Monday, March 26, 2012

PIctures in the Park, Spidey Baby, and 29 Seconds

We were able to slip away to a park one afternoon last week, to take some quick pictures of Grace. Because I wanted something other than desert in the background of these!

Grace got a kick out of playing with plants and had her first real grass experience (that I can remember.)

We took pictures for her birthday invitations. I wasn't too pleased with the results but there are some cute ones in there.

Grace likes to swing, but isn't "in love," with swinging like I've seen other children be. She tolerates it with a smile but doesn't get excited and clap or laugh or anything.

But put that child on a couch and it's like you just gave her a million dollars. So strange.

We have found a new way to entertain ourselves these days. Ian will hold Grace up to the wall sideways and she will "climb," and "crawl," on it, and we crack up calling her our "Spidey baby."

And, in probably the biggest news of the day for me, I've finally found a way to post pictures faster! My friend Alison showed me a way to export the pictures using Picasa which resizes my massive photo files into a more manageable size.

It used to take me 5-7 minutes for one photo.

Today, it took me 29 seconds, and that was loading 3 pictures at once!

I suppose I should finally finish that post from my parents' visit from January now. I guess I have no more excuses!

I am ending my day (we are 8 hours ahead of the east coast USA,) with a chocolate pudding and a glass of water while I watch the Biggest Loser. Because I tend to eat when I watch that show.

That's a bad thing, isn't it?

Does anyone else do that?

Oh well.

Monday, March 19, 2012

45, 46, 47, 48

I can hardly believe that this is the second to last of these week by week updates on our Grace baby. She is nearly one year old! It has been alot of work, but very rewarding to track her growth via {what I think is} beautiful, frameable pictures.

I was talking with a friend recently about how with the influx of smart phones with cameras, people are relying on those much more heavily, and though they work in a pinch, more often than not, they do not produce print worthy pictures.

Well, not that I would turn down a phone with a working camera and internet connection, but I am still glad that I took the time to capture these steps "for real."

Grace got to celebrate her first Valentine's Day:
Had a bout with a cold or teething:
Moved up in clothing sizes to some very cute and fun summer clothes:

And is generally into everything and anything. For some reason, she is obsessed with pulling the textbooks off of my desk shelf that is at my feet. She hasn't even noticed the same shelf on Ian's desk though!
(That dress above, is the same one she wore in her passport photos at 8 weeks! It makes a pretty adorable tunic top now!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Vacation in a Day

This week was one of those weeks and we were in desperate need for a getaway.

Fortunately for us (and our budget,) we were able to getaway to a beautiful resort with a pool and beach that is only one hour away. So, on Friday morning we loaded up our friend's cars and headed out as a group for a mini vacation.

{The resort in the background with the pool}

{The beautiful beach with the warm as bath water ocean}

It had been a couple of months since we had been able to take Grace swimming so we were excited to see how she would react to the water. She loves bathtime and she loves being around other kids, so I thought this would be a home run, and it was!

Grace floated around with us for a long time, taking breaks to get sunscreen on or to eat lunch. We walked down to the beach and took her out into the ocean and then let her play in the shallow water with some seashells.

It really was a perfect day. Until I ruined it, that is.

I guess she wasn't totally dry. Or maybe she was just tired. But I reapplied sunscreen and got her hands (really important to, it is one of the most forgotten areas and the most prevalent spots for skin cancer!) and then she would try to rub her eyes because she was tired.

Poor baby just kept getting sunscreen in her eyes and her little eyes got so swollen and kept tearing up.

Lesson learned- keep the hat on, avoid re applying sunscreen to a baby's face once they are wet.

All was made better with a dry towel and a warm bottle though, and she quickly fell asleep in my arms, sitting straight up! I loved getting to cuddle her because she rarely sleeps on us.

We ended the day by stopping at a McDonald's, a rare treat for us. It wasn't a long vacation, but it was just what we needed! Good friends, food, and warm weather!

It was in the mid 90's today so I am guessing we only have 1-2 more weeks until we are tipping into the 100's. I think we'll try to go back to the beach again before the temperatures become unbearable- something that will help me get through the hard work week!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


A couple of months ago I received a card of encouragement from some ladies in the States. I pulled it out of a bag this week and was once again touched by the words it had to share with me. The dozen or so signatures brought a smile to my face and I thought I would share the sentiments with you...

I hope this made someone smile today and feel uplifted, like it did for me!

*Card, graphics, and words are from Dayspring.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Life Lately

I've been around, even if it doesn't seem like it lately.

Studying Arabic, fighting off a nasty re occurring infection, traveling, house hunting, dealing with some unpleasant work issues, and cooking even when I don't feel like it are among my recent accomplishments.

But there are happier ones as well, as I have gotten to spend time with my beautiful daughter, watch a handful of manly action flicks with my dashing husband (Con-Air and The Terminator are among them,) went on a date for the first time in three months, talked with family, and spent some good time with friends make the list seem much happier and fulfilling.

The heat was upon us for several days, reaching into the high 90's, and I just knew that this Arab summer was going to be a doozy, but then the cold came back and some interesting sand storms have kept things pleasantly comfortable.

We traveled to our future city this weekend to do house hunting, only to realize that no one was going to hold a home for us for 3 months until we could start a contract in mid June. Bummer. But we got to eat some American food, drive around the big city, and learn some more of the sites.

We also had Grace in our room during that time and it just reconfirmed everything I ever thought about room sharing. We are not fans and neither is Grace. She is happily sleeping in her own crib, in her own room tonight.

We hope to be making several out of town trips to help us through this long spring semester- to the beach and to the pool are the highest of my priorities right now. This Florida girl needs some sunshine!

I'm looking forward to seeing how Grace handles the water, as she is six months older and worlds more mobile now. I was a competitive swimmer growing up, life guarded, and surfed, and I hope that Grace loves the water as much as I always have.

Plans are under way for Grace's 1st birthday party- I want simple but beautiful- a celebration of Grace and the joy that she brings to so many people's lives. I'm sure it will be a wonderful day.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

41, 42, 43, 44

I'm finally making progress on getting her weekly pictures organized! These aren't the best or my favorite, but a 10 month old has become a very mobile object to photograph!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Eleven Months, Grace!

Clothes: I finally switched all of her clothes out and she is officially wearing 6-9 months clothing. She had a big growth spurt at the end of the last month/beginning of this month, so I don' really expect her to have another one for awhile. This set of clothes are good but i is mainly a bunch of onesies or sun dresses, and I don't want o send her to he nursery in dresses because they will just get ruined, ha!

Food: We switched Grace to three bottles a day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with 2-3 "meals" a day. I'm really struggling to find foods that she can gum her way through. She wants to be able to eat more but she just doesn't have the tooth power yet to do it. Alot of bananas, apples, softened carrots, cucumbers, yogurt, crackers, and some cereal. She eats my breakfast with me each morning (a bowl of oatmeal,) and seems o really like that.

We were at a friends' house for dinner one night and the husband was holding Grace while we ate dessert. He said "I bet you'd love to eat some chocolate cake, huh?" and hen like a slow motion scene, I couldn't get he words out of my mouth fast enough that she hadn't/shouldn't have chocolate! I was a little bummed that her first taste of chocolate (that I know of, anything could happen at daycare, I suppose,) wasn't her first birthday cake, but it was just a lick. I've had a chocolate allergy in the past so I was really worried about that- luckily she didn't have any reaction!

So far, she is only allergic to avocado. We will retry it after her first birthday to see if she has outgrown her allergy or not.

Sleep: Last month, I wrote about how I was nervous because we had to get Grace back on a good sleeping schedule since i had been disturbed because of her yeast infection. Thankfully, she slipped right back into her routine and sleeps from 7 am until 7 pm. She has even stared taking a longer nap when we get home from school, nearly 3 hours!

I am also so grateful that her teething has disturbed her sleep! She got her second tooth (bottom middle, left,) this month and it was really just one afternoon of fussiness and then it was over. No fever, no waking up in the night!

Activity: Grace has become a lot more proficient crawling, pulling up on things, and generally, getting into trouble! She loves to crawl into the bathroom and pull out her bath toys and play with them, which I am fine with. I have a problem when she starts playing with the toilet seat lid. Gross!

She loves to crawl to my nightstand and take everything off of it. I've baby proofed it now, so it is just a couple of sealed lotion containers, but it brings her so much joy to knock it all off! Silly baby. She has also gotten really good at flipping through board books and pulling things out of containers- she concentrates so hard!

Personality: Grace has really started seeking us out for comfort when she is hurt, bored, hungry, tired, or just in need of a snuggle. She is go, go, GO, right up until bedtime and I can't imagine her ever falling asleep anywhere but in her bed, since she has to be involved in whatever is going on or yelling ou baby words whenever possible.

Likes: Grace loves it when we play "chase," and she tries to get away!

*Her Pacifiers, *bananas, *clapping hands to "If You're Happy and You Know It, *worship time at group, *naps, *bath time, *climbing into the taxis when she is in her carrier


*diaper changes, * being left alone, *Having to wait long for her bottle*

Book of the Month: "Fox in Socks," by Dr. Seuss. Ian has been reading this to Grace and she is sitting still for more and more of it!

Song of the Month: "Catch a Falling Star," was her first original lullaby that I sang to her all night long on her first night after being born. I haven't sung it to her in awhile but it came back to me this month and she just gets so calm and still when I sing it to her!


*Grace is still in her baby car seat! She isn't a year old yet and is still less than 20 pounds (18.6, I think,) so we're keeping her in it for awhile longer. Her car seat can hold her safely in it until she is 30 pounds and 30 inches long, so we have awhile more. Plus, it's saving us from having to buy her big girl seat yet! I always think it is funny when I see other babies, younger than Grace, graduating to their forward facing seat because it just reminds me how tiny she is!

*Grace is closer to walking. She cruises and will often put her feet flat on the ground when she is crawling and straighten her legs, but she hasn't quite figured out how to lift her upper body. Despite her curiosity, she is a surprisingly cautious baby and lowers herself really gently from the standing position. I think she still has another month or two until we see those first steps.

Grace, my beautiful baby girl. I can hardly believe you are just one month away from being one year old! I cried this morning as I gave you your bottle, knowing that these days are numbered and that you will become more and more independent in the weeks to come. Though I want to pause these last few days of your first year, I am also desperately looking forward to this summer, when I get to be the stay at home mommy that I have always wanted to be with you! You are beautiful, both inside and out, and I am eager to see the little girl that you will become. Sleep well and enjoy these simple times.
Your Momma