Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fatal Error

I killed our computer. Sigh. It's killing me! I can't believe how I need the computer for pretty much anything I do! The withdrawal symptoms are starting to ease off, but it's been a rough week.

Until we figure out how to resurrect Lazarus (the optimistic name I've given our hp when I'm not calling four-letter words) or we decide what kind new computer I get, I'm pretty much resigned to 15-minute spurts of computer access at the library while Tess shrieks, squeals, pulls books off of shelves and scampers in and out of stacks of books. As you can imagine, I don't get much done.

So, no--I haven't forgotten you and I'm not ignoring you. I'm just in digital exile.

Happy B-day today LK and tomorrow to Reen!

Monday, February 16, 2009

This May Sway Your Decision

Tess had a mini-breakthrough tonight. This is the first time she's ever used her walker for its intended purpose. We are so proud of her!

P.S.--The washer & dryer are gone! Phew!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

1 Year & 2 Months

Saturday was not only Valentine's Day, but it was also little shnuggy's 14-month birthday! Tess is changing and growing up so quickly. Every day she is becoming more and more a little girl and less a baby. She is a sparkly, happy, independent, social, curious, funny and sweet baby girl. She has a good life and she enjoys it to the fullest! She brings us so much joy and we are blessed to have her in our family.

Bubbles with Dad.
It's more fun than shampooing the carpet.

I haven't been great at recording her developmental milestones. For the record, her 14-month accomplishments are as follows:

Words Tess Can Say
  • Dada/Dad
  • Mama/Mom
  • Hi!
  • Brrm brrm (for a car)
  • I love you! (she repeats the words if you say it to her)
  • Duck
  • Papa (But not Nana or Dipsy yet. The guys always come first. It took her a long time to say mom, too.)
Words Tess Signs in ASL
  • food
  • All done!
  • Wash hands
  • baby
  • drink
  • signing (when she wants to watch her signing video)
  • banana
  • more
  • milk
  • hat
  • dog
  • shoes
  • book
Words Tess Understands (but doesn't say or sign)
  • kisses (responds with a wet lick, when she's feeling affectionate)
  • soft (as in, "Be soft! Be careful!" This applies to anything breakable: books, babies, Dad, glassware, small animals, etc.)
  • wheels
  • eyes
  • bottle
  • no
  • Pee-ewww! (What I say when she has a stinky diaper. She will reach out and plug my nose, or plug her own nose.)
  • diaper
  • car
  • meow (for kitty)
Playing Pretend (Things Tess Likes to Act Out)
  • Talking on the phone. She can use the real phone, my cell phone, the remote control, her fist--just about anything can serve as a phone. She usually holds it backwards to her ear and will ramble on in guttural sounds.
  • Blowing her nose. She holds up a baby wipe, scrunches her nose and blows in and out furiously. I've even seen her try to use the nose bulb on herself, which is strange because she hates it when I use it on her!
  • Brushing her hair, usually with a brush or just pretending with her hand. She does it whenever she comes in the bathroom and I'm doing my hair.
  • Feeding her baby. She feeds her baby doll her bottle and goldfish crackers.
  • Reading. She holds a book up (often upside down) and "read" out loud in guttural sounds.
  • Playing cars and trucks. She pushes them around and says "brrm, brrm."
  • Peek-a-boo. A favorite game with many variations--under a blanket, hiding behind a pillow, around a corner or through the banister.
  • Computer geek. She loves typing on the keyboard and has started to figure out the mouse. She can manipulate the mouse wheel to scroll up and down.
  • Chase. You chase her; she chases you. Either way, it's great entertainment.
All of these remarkable accomplishments, and alas, she's still not walking. She pulls up, walks around holding onto furniture, but she can't even stand up by herself. We've been encouraging her, but she's been very stubborn. Here's a little clip of where we're at when it comes to walking:

So does anyone have any idea when she's going to have a breakthrough and actually start walking? Care to make it interesting? Submit a comment with your prediction as to the date when Tess will take her first steps! A prize goes to the person whose date is the closest, without going over. Only one person per date (so if it's been guessed, pick a different date).

It's kind of like betting on a horse race, only with an infant. Good Luck!

True Love

We've been feeling the love this Valentine's Day weekend! Ry & I had a romantic date to the opera Friday night, and Tess got in some Nana & Papa love while we were away.

We studied up on Tosca before the performance, so we understood pretty well what was going on. Subtitles (the opera's in Italian) help out a lot too. Tosca is a dramatic love story that is kind of a mix between Romeo & Juliet (starcrossed lovers that meet a tragic end), Hunchback of Notre Dame (think hypocritical, lecherous religious/political figures), and Les Miserables (set with a background of revolution).

It was new experience for both of us that we'll always remember. I think we'll do it again--I hear that La Boheme and Porgy & Bess are coming in the future. (Now, Metallica, that may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, if you know what I mean.)

We descended from high culture on Friday to the banal on Saturday, but it was still romantic, if you ask me. A lady in our ward was moving and was selling her practically brand new washer & dryer for a song. Only catch--you have to come get them yourself. Luckily the ward was helping her move, so we borrowed a friend's truck & dolly and twisted a few arms (quite literally) into helping us haul them down her two flights of stairs. Ryan was patient, longsuffering, and only cursed my can't-pass-up-a-bargain nature under his breath.

We finally get them off the truck, into the house, installed and ready to go, and then I go to plug in the dryer. And the dryer plug doesn't match the outlet in our house. Uh-oh. So, I frantically call my dad and he tells me it may not be the end of the world: you just take the dryer apart, disassemble the plug and install a new one that fits. Disassemble electrical components?!

Oh sure, we can fix that! Piece of cake!

Believe it or not, it really was that simple. We got a new plug, Ryan installed it, and I ran outside with Tess and hid under a tree while he plugged it in to see if it worked.

The washer and dryer are really nice. Now we only have one minor problem left:

Yeah, we still have the OLD washer & dryer taking up most of the kitchen. They still work, so I put them up on Freecycle but the person who wanted them never showed up to take them. Aarrgh. I'm still working on getting them out of here. In the meantime, you'll notice how they're functioning as sort of a kitchen island, perfect for storing all your kitchen essentials.

Ryan sure loves me. Who else would put up with me?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Baby Love

Tessie melted my heart this morning. I needed something to occupy her during my morning workout, so I got out this new baby doll that I'd been saving for her.

Align CenterTess making the ASL sign for "baby."

After exploring the baby's hat, eyes and feet, Tess took her bottle and started feeding the baby and making this funny, high pitched noise. I'm not sure what the noise is supposed to be. Best I can tell, Tess is either making the sound of a baby eating, cooing or whining, or she's making the noise of a mom comforting her baby.

I never was able to master the "foot" hold method of bottle feeding.

In any regard, the fact that she knows that's what a mom does for her baby made me feel like I must be doing a good job (even if I did just throw new toys at her so I could have 45 min. to myself!).

A little for you, a little for me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Playing Cupid

Last night Tess and I put up a few decorations for Valentine's Day. I can't count the number of times she's peeled these off and I've stuck them back on. The love birds are now much higher up the window.

After that fun, Tess was in a goofy mood. I think it had something to do with her lack of clothing. The more naked she is, the goofier she gets.

Playing Peek-A-Boo!
Notice how she has mastered the dramatic pause for maximum comedic effect.

Shakin' her little rump. I think it's so funny that she knows to do this to music. I don't know how she learned it--I certainly don't go around the house shakin' it! It must be innate.

Reading Richard Scarry and cleaning the carpet.

I Heart Valentine's Day!

Guess where we're going for Valentine's Day!

Nana & Papa are watching baby and I'm excited!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lots of Undocumented Fun

I'm kind of short on pictures this week. We had many opportunities to take pictures, but I kept forgetting to bring my camera with me this week.

So you'll just have to imagine what a great time Tess had playing on the coin-operated rides at the mall this week. They have all sorts of rides--an ice cream truck, a fire engine, a jeep, a train--pretty much anything that moves. She was a little shy at first, but once she warmed up to the fire engine, there was no pulling her away. It is just her size to crawl inside. She loved driving with the steering wheel (brrm, brrm, brrm), pushing all the buttons inside, and sticking her head out of the windows to say "hi!" I lost track of time and we spent over an hour playing in the cars! No quarters were needed--she got pretty nervous if another kid's car actually started to move. The only difficult part was getting her to leave. I can tell how much she is really enjoying something by the level of tantrum she throws when it's time to go. Let's just say that she really enjoyed the cars.

Ry and I also took Tess on her first outing to the park this weekend. I was so excited about it being warm, I forgot all about my camera. She had her first swing ride, went down the slide (with a little help) and played on the playground equipment (mainly she likes to hold the railings and pretend to shake them). She wasn't quite sure what to make of the swing at first, but by the end she was laughing and clapping as the breeze blew through her downy duck hair. We went for ice cream after the park--an outing which she always enjoys.

As recompense for the undocumented week, I took a few Sunday photos. Tess wore an adorable seashell dress from Nana that I totally love (it's reversible--she can wear the pink polka dot side next week!).

I got a new dress, too, since I was down to one skirt that I can wear to church. I thought I looked cute in it--why is it that when you see yourself in a picture, you don't look as cute as you thought you did? Or maybe that doesn't happen to other people. Anyway, here's a pic of my Sunday ensemble as well.

More pics next week--I'm charging my camera battery right now!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Let's Get Physical

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hangin' Out

We checked out the new American History Museum this weekend. It's been closed for the past several years for renovations, and we're glad it's open again! The museum is beautiful. We took in some old favorite exhibits (First Ladies' gowns), saw a fabulous exhibit commemorating Lincoln's 200th birthday, and had fun at the Discovery center for kids. No need to feel left out--you can tour the Lincoln exhibit online!

Tess loves to be around other kids--even if they aren't paying any attention to her (big kids usually just play around her). She just likes to watch them play. She threw fits of protest with every activity station we left. She could have stayed there all day.

Tess & Dad being snuggly after church on Sunday.

Tess has claimed these one lb. weights as her own at exercise class. She takes one in each hand and does chest flies with them. That's pretty good, considering that she is lifting 1/20th of her body weight in each hand!