Monday, June 28, 2010

Wow, what a busy week/end!

Stop, slow down SUMMER of 2010, you are going WAY TOO FAST! It seems like there is so much to do and so little time to do it!!!

Last week I worked two long days, we had a 3 family - 3 day garage sale, attended the Hendricks County Rib Fest, Neighborhood Block Party, Church, and a family bike ride!!

Here are a few pictures detailing the week/weekend!!

While we were having our garage sale, I walked over to a neighbors and found this chair for $5! It appears Amazon is selling it for almost $50! Oh yeah, bargain #25 of the summer!! She LOVES it and it is like brand new. I wonder if the previous owners even used it!!! Score one for Mama Al! Another smashing success!

"My brand new Elmo CHAIR!"

"Ok, so second to food, this might be the next BEST THING IN THE WHOLE WORLD!"

The next garage sale bargain was this bike seat for $5! Yes, I said only FIVE dollars!! I have been looking all summer at garage sales for a bike seat or a trailer. This was by far the best quality and the BEST price. Here is a picture of her first spin with daddy's around the neighborhood! Last night we took our first family bike ride. We were able to go about 10 miles before she started getting antsy! She had a great time and loved going fast!! Nate is one strong daddy able to cart this 26 lb child up those killer hills!! I could barely make it up them myself on my own bike!! One final thought on the bike seat ... we feel this is one of our final bridges to the life we had before Sophia. As many of you know, Nate and I loved cycling on Saturday mornings, going anywhere from 25-50+ miles. We often would bike with our fathers. It was such a sweet time that created amazing memories. Since having Sophia, we haven't been able to get on the bike and now we are able to! I am not saying we are going to do a 50 mile route anytime soon, but 12-18 is in our near future! Just gotta find routes without big country hills!!

"This is pretty sweet ... minus the helmet mom makes me wear!"

Watching and waiting for my balloon animal!

Sophia requested a doggy, the lady gave her a teddy bear that looked like a dog? Humm... I am thinking the same thing you are too! HA!

After about 90 minutes at the Rib Fest, we headed back home for our neighborhood block party (that was in our court!) It was a SMASHING success!! All of the home cooked food was AMAZING and we were able to meet lots of the people from our small neighborhood! Sophia even met a new little girl that just moved in two weeks ago. I am thrilled to have found her a playmate just around the block!!

Drinking my "Elmo wa-wa" as she states it oh so clearly!!

I am looking forward to a girls trip to Cincy with my mom and sister! We are going to have a blast shopping, eating, and did I mention shopping??? IKEA Cincy here we come!!! Oh yeah and Graeters ICE CREAM watch out for the Kiesel women!!!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Please and thank you ...

.... they are called the magic words! :)

Over the past few weeks, we have really been working hard on Sophia's manners. Well, as much as you can with an eighteen month old! She caught on to the word "Peeeease" really quickly, however, we can't seem to get her to say Thank you. I usually say, "Sophia, what do you say?" To which she answers in a very excited (and sometimes very loud) ... "Peeeeeease!"

Over the past 5-6 months or so, we have always signed thank you to Sophia when it is appropriate for her to say it, but it always seemed to go in one ear and out the other ... but ALAS, last week she finally started signing "thank you" back. It is so cute, when she hears the word "thank you" so will immediately sign "thank you." Even if the word thank you is in a conversation!

It is so rewarding to finally see hard work paying off! Although, it is funny how she learns the "que" words to trigger either Please or thank you ... "What do you say?" always triggers a "Peeeease" while "Say Thank you Sophia" will trigger the sign back.

Sometimes she will see something that I have and just start saying, "Peeeeeeeease, Peeeease, Peeeeeease!" At least that is better than her grunting and screaming!!

I was very proud of her today, she came up to me while I was eating some Kashi TLC crackers and said, "Peeeeeeease mama" and when I gave her one she immediately signed back "Thank you." It was amazing ... without any of the prompts!! I know those cases will be few and far between, but she is starting to "get it!"

She is also our mealtime "Prayer Police." Once she is in her highchair, and I put food on her plate, she looks at me and says, "Amen." She is letting me know she is ready to say her "Amen prayers" as we call them. We hold hands and say a prayer to bless the food to which she ends the prayer with a big AMEN! If Nate and I sit down to eat dinner, start talking, and forget to pray ... she is the first one to say, "Amen, Amen, Amen" and won't stop until we pray over the food! Guess her "Grandpa Whitness" taught her well! :)

Blessings to you all who read this .... Good night blogger world!


Happy Father's Day 2010!

This year we celebrated Nate's 2nd Father's Day, my dad's 30th Father's Day, and Whitney's 43rd (I think?) Father's day! Such a great weekend for celebration!!

Here is a glimpse of the card we made for the Grandpa's since they are always great at "fixing" things around the house and on their bikes!! Seemed fitting since she was trying to "fit" the parts of her clippos together! And isn't that the best smile EVER??
This is a picture of the gift Sophia and I made for Nate for Father's Day! I goggled "Father's Day Crafts for Toddlers" and this seemed like the best one for this year. My little creative juices started flowing ... then after 2 hours, I realized this was going to be a lengthy project! HA!! The kicker of it all is that I actually worked on it during Sophia's nap ... she was with me doing it in spirit, right? HA!!

I thought this gift would be best b/c Nate always like some time alone to work on the computer, play games, or just surf! Sophia has a newfound interest in the computer keyboard which makes it pretty much impossible to type or email. We have to use the computer when she isn't around! Nate can hang this on the door to let us all know that he is taking a "Time Out!" A word Sophia will quickly begin to understand!! For those of you that know Nate, the tent is very appropriate as he would LOVE to take all his "time outs" in a tent in the woods by a stream!!

Sophia was a hard nut to crack after church. I couldn't get her to smile at all ... let alone take a good picture with her Daddy!! She kept saying, "Num Nums, Num Nums ..." Guess my daughter is more like her mommy and daddy ... when a girl wants to eat, she ain't gonna do nothing else till she gets her food!

Hope everyone had a wonderful day celebrating our earthly and Heavenly Father's LOVE!!


The Cloth Diaper Whisperer

Hey FB peeps and CD-mamas that read this blog:

Check out "Like" them and enter their contest for 2 new Bum Genius 3.0 diapers!!

I am always looking for new ways to increase my "Diaper Stash" as I know you CD-mamas are as well!!

Even if you don't CD, check out their FB and Kelly's Closet's website for great information and products!!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Power of a Positive Mom

Last week Nate and I finally made it in our new Half Price Book Store. It has only been open for over a year!! Oh well, better late than never huh? I found the book "Power of a Positive Mom" on clearance for $1! I had a friend read it and recommend it, so I thought I would check it out! I am only into the second chapter, but am pretty impressed by it! It begins with two chapters devoted to the Portrait of a Positive Mom. After that introduction, the book is broken down into 7 major principles: The Power of Encouragement, The Power of Prayer, The Power of a Good Attitude, The Power of Strong Relationships, The Power of Your Example, The Power of Strong Moral Standards, and The Power of Love and Forgiveness. At the end of each chapter there is a "Power Point" Section which includes a scripture to read, topics for prayer, and an activity (memory verse, journal, etc).

As I mentioned previously, I am only 2 chapters into the book, but I found this excerpt to be helpful, challenging, and yet freeing ....

... (pg 19) ... "I came to the humbling realization that there are times when our kids can and will make it without us -- even should make it without us. It is tempting as mothers to step in and solve all our children's problems, thinking we are the only ones who can. The truth is our children need experiences that teach them to cope without us. If we take care of every need and are present in every situation, how will our children learn dependence on God?"

WOW? What an amazing truth and thought provoking idea!!

I will close with an amazing verse that sums up our role as mother's as God sees it ...

Colossians 3:17 "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."

... pretty powerful huh?

Anyone else read this book before? Any other books you suggest?


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Big Cheese!

Could her smile get any bigger? Can you tell she is so excited about her new Mickey Chair from Aunt Sarah (Sarah scored a great deal at the Grand Opening of Big Lots in Avon.)!! She is also loving her new clippo "treasure" I found at the garage sale last week!

I am searching for new ways to get Sophia's attention during picture taking sessions. The good 'ol ways that worked for all those months no longer work. I can't just call her name and she looks up! (Oh, great .... it is starting now, teenage girl-like behavior???) I have to do something very creative to elicit even the smallest smile!! Guess I must have been lucky this time huh?

Happy Tuesday!!!


Monday, June 7, 2010

No turning back, no turning back!

Well, after repeated encouragement from my hubby, I finally decided to bite the bullet and she transitioning Sophia to one nap. She has consistently been taking two naps since she was 4 months old. I think I feared change the most! Heck, I have been doing the "same" schedule for almost 14 months now!! That takes a lot to break!! I know it probably won't be like this for baby #2, but our life and activities are scheduled around Sophia's nap. Some may say too much, but many would agree that babies do extremely well with routine!!

To my surprise, this transition has been much easier than expected. She can now make it till about noon before she needs to go down. My goal is to eat lunch at noon, then nap right afterwards. At least she has been kind to me and has been napping at least 2 hours for her nap! Still gives mom some much needed time away from Sophia. The hardest adjustment is probably for me b/c I always did certain tasks during the morning nap and a separate set of tasks during the afternoon nap. Plus it gave me two LONG breaks. I know this is all part of her getting older, but it just takes time to let it all sink in and find ways to make the "new" way work!!

I am excited about all the new possibilities with our new schedule! Morning play dates that we don't have to rush home afterwards for a nap! Morning shopping trips and grocery story runs! Zoo and Children's Museum! Long Runs and Walks in the park and with friends!! The list goes on and on .... I know Nate is thrilled to have less of a time "restraint!"

However, I would love any suggestions of time fillers .... since Sophia and I are now together 2 hours more per day, I am running out of things to do! Thank HEAVENS it is summer and there is always the Radio Flyer Red Wagon!!! (My life saver!)


Friday, June 4, 2010

Garage Sale Bargains!!

Over the past two days, Sophia and I have visited many garage sales! Here are all my bargains for a grand total of $9! Yes, I said nine dollars!!

- 47 piece foam Aquadoodle mat
- Seasame Street Travel Seat Cover (will come in handy in the next few months)
- Baby Gap Reversible Pink Dress
- Brand New Sonoma long sleeve 2T top with buttons
- 24 month Children's Place Green dress
- 3 books
- 1 package of crayons (never used)
- Playschool Clippo Set with tons of clippo pieces!!

I think I had some pretty good finds, huh?? A little soap and water and Clorox wipes = Good as New!!