Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas Pictures Video

I know I haven't blogged in a while....I have no excuse and won't even try to make one up!  Sarah will be 6 months old on Friday and I still haven't even done her 5 month newsletter!!

We took Sarah to have her Christmas pictures made last Saturday.  I thought you guys might enjoy watching a video with some of the proofs.  I might be the tiniest bit biased, but isn't she the cutest little thing!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tummy Time

If you read my 4-month newsletter to Sarah, then you know she has developed an interest in the television.  She has an aversion however to spending time on her tummy.  Somehow the light went off and I figured what better way to bribe her to spend time on her tummy than to put her right in front of the TV!!

As you can see from the picture below, it's working.  We are getting lots of tummy time and practice raising our head up so we can see what Dora is up to!!   Have I mentioned that I can't stand Dora?

Monday, September 20, 2010

4 Month Newsletter

Dear Sarah,

Yesterday you turned 4 months old!  After I finished the newsletter last month, I wondered if I was really going to have enough to write about after just a month.  The answer is a definite, YES!  You are changing by the day and I'm constantly amazed.  Your daddy and I were talking the other day about how your are starting to look like a little girl and not just like a baby.  You are growing so fast that sometimes I just wish I had a pause button to slow you down.  In fact, one of your teachers at school commented to us last Monday that it looked like you'd grown since the previous Friday.  I think she was right!

One of the coolest changes this month has been your facial expressions.  You've definitely become much more expressive and aware of what's going on around you.  You've become especially aware of the TV!!  I have mixed feelings about this.  Let me explain.  Before you were born, your daddy and I had lengthy discussions about various aspects of child rearing.  Things we would and wouldn't do, ways we would handle certain situations, etc.  One of our main issues was TV.  We have all along made this statement..."the TV will not be a babysitter."  We would talk about how when we were kids, we actually went OUTSIDE and played every day and we wanted our child to do the same.  We didn't want to outlaw TV completely, but watch it in moderation.   Well guess what Sarah...TV IS THE BEST BABYSITTER EVER!!  I will freely admit that there have been several occasions where you have been cranky, or we needed a moment to wash bottles, take out the trash, or do 100 various other things, and we've plopped you down in front of the TV.  You've been mesmerized and mommy and daddy have gotten a few moments of peace.  Win-win!!  Plus, I now know the theme song to Wonder Pets.  I'm not sure my life would have been complete without having that song stuck in my head REPEATEDLY throughout the day.

This month has also marked a few milestones in your life.  First off, you've laughed out loud.  You haven't gotten to full belly laugh mode yet, but you definitely give us laughs.  It is seriously the cutest thing EVER.  It's pretty much my mission in life to get you to laugh these days.  I've never been so comfortable making a fool out of myself as I am with you.  Whatever it takes to elicit one of your smiles or laughs, I will do.  Honestly, it doesn't take that much.  You are one of the happiest babies (knock on wood).  Your daddy and I feel very lucky to have such a happy, easy-going baby.

The second milestone is rolling over.  You have rolled over from your tummy to your back around 5-6 times now.  You are completely capable of doing it every time I put you on your tummy, but you have to be "in the mood".  You have this little stubborn streak in you that we've noticed recently.  I'm not sure where it comes from exactly.  It must be from your daddy's side of the family.  I mean, NO ONE on my side is stubborn and willful!!  Anyway, back to what I was saying.  If you don't want to be on your tummy, you will do one of two things, scream and cry until I turn you back over, or put your thumb in your mouth and go to sleep.  (Yes, we are still having the thumb war!)

Speaking of putting things in your mouth.....OMG, you are at the stage where EVERYTHING goes in your mouth!  Seriously, I don't know why I keep buying you toys to play with.  All you want to do is put various things in your mouth...your burpcloth, your bib, rattles, blankets and even your own shirt!  It's actually kind of comical to hand you a toy and watch you.  You'll take it and bring it up to your mouth, then move your head side to side and try to grab it in your mouth, almost like a dog would attack a bone!  I resist the urge to say "get it" every time I hand you something.

Another change this month is that you've started to become very vocal and "talk".  Especially in the mornings!  Mornings are still your favorite time of day and you will often talk all the way to school.  Your teacher even commented that "Sarah loves to talk."  I'm hoping this doesn't become a problem in school later in your life, but we'll cross that bridge then.  You have a new little girl named Ashlyn that started in your room this month and she is only 2 weeks older than you.  Apparently you and Ashlyn are already best friends!  The other day, they sat you and Ashlyn facing each other in your bouncers and you two sat there for almost an hour smiling, laughing and talking to each other.  I wish I could have seen that!!

Sarah, your daddy and I have had the most fun with you this month!  Your personality is starting to come through and you are truly a joy to be around (except between the hours of 8-9pm when you apparently lose your mind).  I rush to get home to you everyday and love it when you give me a big smile as if to say, "there you are.  Where have you been?  I missed you.  I love you mommy, you're the best mommy ever."  At least that's what I think you are trying to say, right?  I can't wait to see whats in store for us during month five!!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Labor Day Surprise

I know I haven't been posting much lately, but things have been a little busy and stressful around our house lately.  I'll try to be better, I swear it!

As a little peace offering, I have a video to show you of a very special event that happened on Labor Day.

P.S. - If you tend to suffer from motion sickness, please take a dramamine before viewing as Niel was doing the filming!

Sarah Rolling from Shelley Arnett on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

3 Month Newsletter

I am stealing an idea from another blog I read.  The blogger wrote a newsletter to her daughter every month for the first 4 years of her life.  I thought it was a fantastic idea and plan to do it for Sarah, although I can't guarantee I'm disciplined enough to do it for that long.  We'll see if I even get to month six!  Because I didn't do this from the beginning, I'm incorporating the first 3 months into one.  I plan to print these out and keep them in a book so Sarah can read them someday.  Here goes!

Dear Sarah,

Today you are 3 months old.  It's hard to believe that much time has passed already.  It seems like just yesterday your father and I brought you home and looked at each other and said, "What are we supposed to do now?"  Luckily we've figured a few things out and you've been  very patient with us while we muddle our way through this parenting thing.

I could tell you all about the day you were born, but I think I'd like to keep that in reserve for when you are older and I want to make you feel guilty about something.  I'll just say that at 10:18pm it became the greatest day of my life.  I remember holding you for the first time.  The nurse brought you in and put you in  my arms, your eyes were closed and I said very softly, "Hello Sarah."  You instantly opened your eyes and looked right at me.  I can't explain the feeling of that moment to you.  It was so special and powerful for me that I'm tearing up just writing about it.

Those first few days in the hospital, you were completely mellow and calm, like you didn't have a care in the world and nothing bothered you.  I almost asked for a test to make sure you were really MY CHILD.  I felt sure they'd brought me the wrong one and mine was really that kid in the nursery screaming and carrying on about every little thing.  Except for one thing - - you looked EXACTLY like your father.  He couldn't deny you if he wanted to!  In fact, your Gramma showed me some pictures of your daddy when he was a newborn and the resemblance was scary.  You are his little mini-me.  He thinks it upsets me that you don't resemble me more, but it honestly doesn't.  There is something very special about seeing him reflected in you.  Now, if you grow up to act just like him, then we have issues!

Every since those first few days, our lives have been a whirlwind.  I got 8 weeks of maternity leave with you and even though they were sometimes exhausting, those 8 weeks were also completely wonderful.  We spent lots of time together cuddling, talking, eating, playing and shopping.  Sarah, I can't tell you how happy it makes me that you are such a good little shopper!  In fact, there were many times over that 8 week period where you would seem a little cranky, so I'd pack you up and take you to the mall.  The mall always soothed you.  The mall is your happy place.  I couldn't be more proud.  Your father couldn't be more terrified.

We've also spent a lot of time visiting your grandparents.  Mamaw, Papaw and Gramma are completely over the moon for you kiddo.  I'm pretty sure there is not much any of them wouldn't do for you.  Especially if you flashed them one of your big toothless grins!   

The big toothless grin is a new development over last 6 weeks or so.  You'd smiled before then, but I'm talking about the BIG ear-to-ear grin.  It is by far my favorite thing right now and I can't get enough of them.  You are especially generous with them in the mornings as you are quite the morning person.  Yet another trait you did NOT inherit from me!  My favorite thing to do right now is to get you out of your crib in the morning.  You'll lay there until one of us comes to get you and then the minute you see us standing over your crib, you give one of those BIG grins.  I secretly hate it when your father gets there before I do.  After we get you up we always spend a little time in the morning talking and playing with you while you are in your bouncy seat.  You love that bouncy seat and will sit there kicking your legs, waving your arms, oohing and ahhing, and grinning at us.  I love having that time in the morning before I head off to work.

Speaking of work, after those 8 weeks, I had to return to my job, which means you had to start daycare.  That was by far one of THE HARDEST things I have ever had to do. I spent the last week before returning being a little selfish with you, cuddling and snuggling every chance I got.  Every day closer, I cried a little more.  I honestly didn't think I was going to be able to do it. You see, I had wanted you for so long and now I had you.  We had spent every day together not just for those 8 weeks, but for the 9 months before that.  Now I was supposed to turn you over to someone else every day?  Not an easy task.  But, I sucked it up and dropped you off at daycare and I have to say, you have adjusted beautifully!  It eases my mind so much to see how much everybody there LOVES you.  You are the hit of your school Sarah!  You really seem to like it there too.  You always seem happy and content whenever we pick you up or drop you off.

In fact, you seem to be a generally happy baby most of the time.  You rarely cry unless something is genuinely wrong.  You have cranky periods like most babies, but even those aren't that bad and you are soothed pretty easily.  You've only thrown one real temper tantrum and that was when we were trying to have your pictures made.  I won't go into the details of the whole photo shoot experience except to say that at a certain point you were done!  Done.  Done as in....IF YOU TAKE ONE MORE PICTURE OF ME, I WILL CUT YOU!  I'll be honest and say I was a little afraid of you that day.  Other than that, you have been a pretty easy baby.  The biggest battle we've had besides getting you to sleep well, is getting you to stop sucking your thumb.  It's a test of wills between you and I right now and I'll be honest, I intend to win this one. 

You seem to be adjusting well to a routine, especially in the evenings.  We spend some time playing, followed by a bath, then a bottle, then a book and then bed.  By far, your favorite part of these is your bath.  You have always seemed to like your bath from day one.  It's not that you get in the tub and go crazy, you just get in there and chill.  I almost expect you to go "ahhhh" one night when I put you in there.  Which I can understand, being an infant is hard, exhausting work and you need to be able to relax a little in the evenings!  You've just recently started to enjoy reading books at night too.  We've read to you pretty regularly since the day we brought you home, but you could really take it or leave it, but lately you seem to enjoy it.  You even fell asleep last night while we were reading and then proceeded to sleep for 7 straight hours!  That is another accomplishment you've achieved lately, sleeping most of the night!  You've even made it all the way through a couple of times! Thank you for that! 

Sarah, I can't seem to find the words to express how perfectly you fit into our family.  Your father and I can't imagine what our life would be like without you now.  It's even hard to remember what our life was like before.  Someday I'll tell you the story of how you came to be here, but it wasn't an easy road.  There were many heartaches and struggles and while I couldn't see it at the time, I now know why.  We had to go through those to get to you.  YOU are the one.  YOU are the one we were supposed to have.   You have made every single heartbreak, every single struggle and every single tear SO WORTH IT!!  I love you more than you'll ever know and I think God every single day for blessing us with you.

Love, Mama

Friday, August 13, 2010

Morning Fun With Dad

WARNING...this is a post about poop.  It's not a graphic post about poop.  No details regarding poop are discussed, but if simply discussing the subject of poop offends you, please check back tomorrow.

Now, for those of you still with us, which if we're being honest is probably everybody, because you know deep down that I had you hooked with that first sentence!

Since I have returned to work, our family has gotten into a somewhat comfortable routine in the mornings.  I get up early and get myself ready.  Then Niel gets ready while I get Sarah up and fed.  I end up leaving for work around 7:00 and Niel has Sarah until 8:00 when he takes her to daycare.  Recently, Sarah has added something else to the routine.  Her daily poop.  She is becoming quite the model of regularity lately and has designated the hour of 7:00am - 8:00am as her poop time.  For those of you following along at home, that is the hour that Niel has her to himself in the mornings.  (Insert my laughter here).

This all started about a week ago.  I had my keys in my hand about to walk out the door, Sarah was sitting in her bouncy seat and I walked over to kiss her goodbye.  I noticed she was making "the face".  The face that says, I'm working on something here, please give me some privacy and could you hand me that People magazine on your way out.  I yelled at Niel that Sarah was leaving him a present and left with a chuckle.

Fast forward a couple days and I leave for work.  About an hour later I get this text message from Niel that reads exactly this...."I kid you not, the minute I picked Sarah up to put her in her carseat she started to poop!  It wasn't a normal poop either.  It was HUGE.  HUGE!!!  Are you telling her to do this when you're not here?"  Why no, no I'm not.  The fact that she's doing it on her own makes it even more special.

Fast forward another day or two.  This time I didn't get 10 minutes into my drive and I get a text message saying...."SHE'S MAKING THE FACE."

This scene has repeated itself about 4-5 times over the past week.  In fact, it happened yesterday morning, except this time I didn't even make it out of the driveway.  I'm pulling out and Niel comes barreling out of the front door like a crazy person yelling, "She's doing it AGAIN, she making the face RIGHT NOW!!!"  I laughed uproariously, as did most of our neighbors probably.  Thirty minutes later, this text comes through..."Don't think I don't know you are putting her up to this!  It has to stop!"

This morning when I left, I gave Sarah a kiss and said, "Are you gonna poop on Daddy today?"  She looked up at me and flashed a big toothless grin as if to say she hadn't decided yet, but isn't it funny!  I love her!  

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Picture Of The Day...

This is one of my favorite pictures!

It was taken in the hospital when Sarah was just a couple days old.  There is something about this picture that just fills up my heart every time I look at it.

This scene has repeated itself countless times since Sarah was born.  Niel is a truly fantastic father. (I always knew he would be and I'm relieved that my streak of being right about things is intact!!)  He is constantly kissing and cuddling with Sarah just like he does in this picture.  He sings to her everyday.  Mostly random songs that he makes up about what they are doing.  There is the burp song, the getting dressed song, the taking a bath song and the going to sleep song!! (I'm going to try to get audio soon - shhh, don't tell Niel!)

Sarah seems equally as smitten with her daddy as he is with her.  She gives big toothless grins when she hears his voice or sees his face.

I love watching these two together and I'm looking forward to seeing their relationship develop.  I have a feeling she might be a "daddy's girl"!