Monday, January 31, 2011

Perfecting the Pincer Grasp

Reilly baby is extremely content and agreeable, which is evident after spending minutes with her. She is happy to sit in my lap while we read a book, sit on the floor and play by herself, sit with other children, eat her veggies, whatever is on the horizon, she's happy to go along!

As her doctor said, sometimes with very content babies, it takes longer to reach milestones such as rolling over, simply because they are happy to be where ever they are, doing what they are doing. And even though she is making strides at moving, she is still so happy to stay put, babbling away with her giant 2-teeth grin. Similarly, Rei has just now been making the tell-tale signs of wanting to feed herself. If she sees something in front her, you can bet she'll try and grab it and eat it. But she never makes a move to grab for the spoon, or turn her head away when I feed her. She loves whatever food I give her, and is just so...content with it!

So this bring us to currently, as we are re-introducing some finger foods. She just wasn't ready before, but I think she just needs more practice perfecting her pincer grasp. (Pincer Grasp: Picture a pea on the table. Picture how you would pick up the pea. The position that your fingers are in is the Pincer Grasp. The End.) So she has been practicing with Puffs, broken in half (as was recommended by my cousin-in-law) because her mama is a lunatic. And the Pincer Practice is proving to be yet another hilariously amusing and adorable process. I just crack up watching her. And still, she never gets upset or frustrated when she doesn't get them in her mouth. Again, with the contentedness. Thank you Jesus for this amazing quality in our babyface.

So here's how it all goes down, step by step.

1. Grab Puff. Usually with fist, sometimes isolating those 2 key Pincer fingers. But typically still grabbing one in her fist. Which leads to the hilarious following events.

2. Try to put fist in mouth. "I know it's in there somewhere! Where is that little Puff?"

3. Suck on fist. Sometimes, taking fist out and staring at it, then resume sucking. As if the Puff will be sucked through her closed fingers, into her mouth.

4. Open fist really fast, and shove palm of hand toward mouth. Then suck on fingers. Again, hoping that the Puff magically makes it's entrance into the mouth.

5. Victory!!! Most times, the Puff falls and sticks to her bib or shirt. She will look down for a moment, then attack another Puff on her plate. But sometimes, this process produces victory. And when it does, it is oh-so-sweet-banana-flavored-Puff goodness.

6. Look around to make sure mama and da-da witnessed your success.

7. Repeat with next Puff.

Once Reilly Belle realizes how much easier the pincer makes this process, it will be all down hill. Into a giant pile of Puffs. But meanwhile, I like this process much better. Much more fun to watch and cheer her on, waiting to see the Fate of the Puff.

Love Puffin,

Dirt Road Mama

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mysterious Movement

Lately, I have been watching before my eyes as babygirl gets closer and closer to moving. She's not just getting close to crawling, but also moving in other ways. Ways I can't really I'll turn around to put something in the hamper, and she'll just be 4 feet from where she was chewing on a ball. And then she'll look up at me with this huge smile, like "Hey Mama! Look what I did!"

She pretty much likes going everywhere. And anywhere. But more specifically, going somewhere she isn't supposed to be. In order to grab something she isn't supposed to have. Yes, that's definitely the funnest place to be. For instance, grabbing the remotes. Or the phones. Or mama's water bottle.

Or when she's in her high chair, and she wants to clear the hutch with her one hand. The container of wipes ends up on the floor almost every meal. The funny part is, I keep moving it on the hutch thinking I've put it out of her reach. And then it's on the floor, and she's staring at me. And again, I'm bewildered. Do you just have really long arms, baby? How are you doing it?

Anytime I put her down , it's as if she scans her periph. What can I reach? What can I suck on? What looks fun and interesting? Any wires available? Anything that lights up? Or beeps? I love beeping. Where's mama's water bottle, I love that thing. It's so cold. Where the puppy? Her ears are so fun to pull. Anything around here have buttons? Or anything crinkly, or metal?

So I'm off to put those little plastic pieces in the outlets. Even though, she still can't crawl. Or scoot. Or even army crawl. But I'm convinced that she will inexplicably find a way to get there. She's very mysterious, how she keeps getting her little tiny fingers on what she wants.

I'm ready for you, chick. I have those eyes behind my head. They're not as big as yours, but they're there!

Love & Freakish Movements,

Dirt Road Mama

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Poor Girls

My poor little babydoll face is teething. Look at that face. I can't even deal. I want to just give her ice pops or something. She's not crying all day or anything, but she is fussier than normal in the afternoon. And she is chewing on anything and everything, more than normal.

I mean, everything.

My poor baby.

My poor breasts.

I know. Say a prayer for me. All my girls are suffering. Owie.

Love & Mama's Have the Highest Pain Tolerance in the Universe,

Dirt Road Mama

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Beauty of the Breakfast Burrito

I have a secret to tell you.

Since being pregnant, my body has required even more sleep than it normally does. And the normal sleep my body required, was that of a lazy teenage boy on a Saturday. But pregnancy really fatigued me permanently. And then the newborn-lack-of-sleep thing that we all know and love. So long story short, it's very hard for me to get up in the morning and see my beloved off the work.

Which makes me sad! I love seeing him in the morning, having our coffee, watching Sports Center, chit-chatting it up, reminding of things such as his water bottle, lunch, and scarf. However - it is dark out when he is up. I mean BLACK. He wakes up at 5:00. Sometimes, I'm so tired that I don't even hear his alarm.

[Sidenote: His alarm plays nature sounds, because once we had the baby, his beeping alarm woke up the whole house. Babygirl and I weren't havin' it.]

Anywho, some days I cannot bring myself to wake up with him. BUT. Hubby does go off to work, every day, with a nutritious and delicious breakfast in his belly. That I made him. How, you ask? Well, with these magical burritos. Allow me to explain.

I found this recipe for Breakfast Burrito To Go, on The Pioneer Woman, a blog that I cook by almost nightly. And I knew it was my solution. Except her recipe is for about 12-15 burritos...and I make 30. Yes, 30. I make 30 burritos, then wrap them individually, then bag them in freezer bags (5 per bag), and freeze them. Every Sunday night, Hubby grabs a bag out of the freezer, puts it in the fridge, and BAM. Breakfast all week. As I sleep for 2 more glorious hours. Amen.

Here's how I do it:
(If you want to make these, you should probably half or quarter this recipe. Unless you want 30 burritos. But the good part is, all amounts are approximate, so you can do anything you want with these!)

First, wash, peel, chop some potatoes. I believe I did 5 pounds.
Then, parboil them. Parboil means: partially boil! Genius, right? So you boil for a bit, and they'll keep cookin' later.

Next: Chop up some peppers. Any colors that are on sale! And also, some vidalia onions. But I was out of onions, whattaya gunna do.

Hi peppers. You're pretty.

Them grab some loose sausage. Brown that on up! Then place in a bowl to set aside.

Next, throw some EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) in a pan. You want to get the onions and peppers nice and soft, and brown up the potatoes a bit.
So now you have nice and brown "breakfast potatoes", and some browned sausage.

Next, get some nice sharp cheddar cheese. You can use already shredded, but I like to shred my own because ya get more flavor. I usually use my shredder or food processor. But if you're like me, you'll forget that cheese is in the recipe until the last minute, and not feel like getting out your food processor. So you'll just chop it up. I'm all about making life easy. And being forgetful.

Then you'll whisk up some eggs. And by "some", I mean 22 eggs. Yes that's right.
And we do not fear the yolks in this house. Eggs are a superfood, and yolks have most of the nutritional value in the egg. Eggs are fabulous for your body. The whole egg, and nothing but the egg. It's true, go google it.
So anyway, you throw the cheese into eggs. Add some pepper. Salt if you want, but not necessary really. Then you pour the eggs into the already cooked potatoes and sausage, and stir constantly until the eggs are all cooked into the mixture.
Anywho, moving on. Grab lots-o-packages of nice big soft tortillas.

And now I will show you how to wrap a burrito.
Somewhat inadequately, because I was doing it with one hand.
So you put a little scoop of your mixture of delish onto the tortilla.

Then you scoop it in to a nice little bunch, like below. Kind of long, like a hotdog shape.

Then you grab the 2 ends, and fold them in. Pretend both sides are doing the same thing here.

Then, with your thumbs, you roll the flap that is closest to you, around your bunch of goodness, keeping the sides folded in.

And bam! You're done. See the fold on the right there? I learned the art of folding wraps by watching the wrap station at college. Who says I didn't learn anything at school?

Then you make a nice pile. This is half the amount that I made. You can either serve here, wrap them individually and freeze them, or warm them/crisp them in the oven. I like em a little crispy on the outside. YUM.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the Beauty of the Breakfast Burrito. Go forth, make buritos, freeze them, and sleep. In that order. Make a hubby smile today!
Love & Mr. Sandman,
Dirt Road Mama

Friday, January 21, 2011


Hey Rei?

Hey Mama!

Whatcha doin, Baby?

Ya know. Just chillin'.

Are you tired today?

Well, see, Mama. All this learning. And almost-but-not-quite moving. It take a toll a girl. And sometimes, you just need some time to chill.

I totally agree, peanut. Can mama chill with you for a little?

Sure thing, mama! Let's just clean up my diaper so we're nice and comfy, get me a new dry bib, and get like 6 or 7 books and you can read to me, while we chill! Nice and relaxing.

...what, no good, Mama?
Oh, no that sounds great, sweet pea! Nice and....relaxing!
Love & a pampered little Babygirl,
Dirt Road Mama

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Breast Feeding Tips

Or should I call them, tipples. Ha! I crack myself up with these puns. It's in my blood. My dad, Poppy, is King of Puns. So is my Uncle Bill. It's been passed down through the generations.

Anywho, I've been thinking a lot lately about breast feeding, and certain things that helped me or worked really well in those early weeks and months. I've been talking lately with lots of new or almost mamas, and our conversations have jogged my memory regarding the precious early months of breastfeeding. And I thought I'd share some things that have been brought back to the forefront of my mind. Partially, because I don't want to forget them for my next babydoll! And partially, because I want people to know that it doesn't come easy. I talk about it alot because I love it so much, and it's been a huge part of my everyday life this year.

But for new mamas...don't think it was perfect, and that maybe you are doing something wrong. It takes work, practice, and consistency. If it's hard in the beginning, stick with it, ask questions, because it's hard for many - you are not alone. Sucking is an instinct for babes, but breastfeeding must be taught to them. Reilly, in the beginning, didn't latch on one of breasts. It took weeks before she stayed on and could latch on correctly. And some of my friends have had a much harder time, but they stuck with it. I tell you this because I would never want someone to read about my joyful breast feeding experience, and think, well it came so easy for her, maybe I'm doing something wrong. Maybe my baby just can't do it. Maybe I just can't do it.

Well, I think you can do it. And here are some tipples that helped me in the beginning. Little things that may not be in the books.

1. Send Hubby or BFF or the mailman to the store. Ask him to get your favorite candy. Put it in a Ziplock bag next to your bed, or rocking chair, or where ever you feed baby. Eat this candy when you breastfeed. I didn't eat mine during the day, I made it my midnight treat. It gave me a little jolt of sugar to keep me awake, and gave me a little positive-reinforcement-esque reward at every feeding. Every 2 hours. All night. Oh, and it's guilt-free candy eating, because baby is taking SO many calories from you! Woo!

2. Get a giant waterbottle that you love, stick a straw in it, and keep it full. I have this one from Life is Good. I carry it everywhere, even in restaurants, which may or may not be acceptable. But I don't care, I'm breastfeeding, it's for my baby. So there. Anyway, hydration is so important. They say you should drink a good amount while your feeding, too. So fill it up with your fav beverage, non alcoholic preferably, and drink up!

3. When baby is new new new, they will fall asleep all the time while feeding. I mean all. the. time. The old addage of "Do not wake a sleeping baby!" does not apply to breastfed babies. You must wake them every 2 hours, because they will only give you 1 good stretch of sleep a day (5 hours or so) and you want to train them to do that stretch at night. So wake them every 2 hours during the day, and let em go as long as they will at night.
So the nurse taught me to keep my finger right under Reilly's jaw while I fed, and to look at the little spot next to her ear while she sucked. If the little part of her jaw next to her ear was moving, she was eating. If not, I tapped under her jaw very lightly, and poof! She started sucking again. Awesome tip for me.

4. Do not feel badly when you hear that your friends babies are sleeping 12 hours at 4 weeks. Formula fed babies sleep longer right off the bat, because it is so heavy in their stomach. The vast majority of breastfed babies will not sleep for very long stretches for a while, because it moves through them so fast. But bonus - their poop will never smell! :)

5. Once the baby is about 5 weeks old, start pumping! Pumping in the morning (before noon sometime) will give you a better pump (more milk) because your hormones are much higher. Pump and store the milk in the freezer, and save for Dad to give a bottle at night. This will give you a nice stretch of sleep that you havn't had since pre-pregnancy.

6. Get a breastfeeding shawl or coverup, and bring it everywhere you go. You'll be so happy you did. And then you'll breastfeed everywhere and anywhere before you know what hit ya. And trust me, half the people around you won't even notice. Until babe is 8 months like Rei and pull the shawl off her mid-feed to play peek-a-boo. Awesome.

7. Regarding that glass of wine that you want to have. But don't know when to have, because baby gets everything you drink or eat via the milk. I read this, and it's the best tip I got - if you're okay to drive, your okay to breastfeed. So you can have wine, or anything else for that matter, as long as it doesn't affect you too much. And if you had too much, grab that frozen milk you pumped!

That's what I got right now, girls. I share this with you because the number one thing you need in order to breastfeed, besides breasts, is support. Support from professionals with information, support from other mamas who have tips, and support from Hubbies and family.

So here I am, a mama full of information and opinions, saying "You can do it, mama!" Go for it. Breast feed that baby. You'll be happy you did it.

Love & Tipples,

Dirt Roadd Mama


It's our second snow day in a row with Daddy!!

We're doing a lot of snuggling! In our household, we are not the kind of teachers who get all huffy when we get "too many snow days". That phrase just doesn't exist. We will eventually get out of school in the Spring, no matter how many snow days we have. They can't keep ya till July. But during these dog days of winter, when white and ice seems to paralyze us to our houses some days, that snow day phone call is just what we need to make us all giddy and excited!
So yes, we will always love a snow day. And no, we do not understand the grumps who may say otherwise. Maybe it's the kid in us. Maybe it's because yesterday, we had margaritas as noon and chocolate thick shakes for dessert. Wa-hoo. Bring it on Mama Nature.
Love & 5 am phone calls,
DR Mama

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Get it From My Mama

Reilly has started becoming increasingly more mobile lately, or at least, has shown interest in the idea of becoming more mobile. Even in her crib, she spin totally around in the craziest positions throughout the night, without making much of a peep. But the funniest thing about all this mobility is how she has started sitting lately.
Simply put...she got it from her mama.

Since I was in Kindergarten, I was a rebel against the "Indian Style" or "Criss-Cross-Applesauce" style of sitting. And up to my prenatal yoga classes, I was the one who sat in this interesting position when we were at rest. I was not about to try and impress anyone with a Lotus, when I had a big belly and it was just not comfy for me. Anytime I sit on the floor, this is juse how I'm most comfortable.

So you can imagine my surprise when I began seeing babygirl in the position while she plays. Cracked me right up. Like Mama, like Babygirl.

Love & Anti-Lotus,

Dirt Road Mama

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Story About Fed-Ex

First, a picture of Reilly and Daddy to make you smile, before my story frustrates you. They are reading books. And Reilly is sucking on a cold washcloth, with Sophie never too far away. Girlfriend's in heaven!

I am sharing with you, a story about Fed-Ex. A saga, really. But I'm shortening it to a story for your sake. Here it is in a shortened version.

Briefly stated, Fed-Ex can't find my house. Ever. Since we have lived here, we get packaged from UPS, USPS, never Fed-Ex. I called several times. Several. And I would say things like, "This is the EIGHTH TIME I HAVE CALLED ABOUT THIS ISSUE." And, "Trust me, if I could stop using your company I would, BUT I CAN'T. I can't tell Amazon how to ship their packages, so I am stuck with you." I was not a happy camper after my tenth package got delivered to the wrong house.

And that's not even the worst part. The worst part is, the delivery person knew that he had the wrong house, and did it anyway. He would leave the package, with a note that said "Please give to Kaitlin." Really?? I'm pretty sure I paid shipping and handling for you to, oh, I don't know, SHIP AND HANDLE. To my house. And then I would call, and they'd say, "Well we have here in the computer that it was delivered to the location." And I would respond, "Well I am the location and I do not have my package! I am telling you it is not at the location, it is at a different house!"

Now, I know I live on a dirt road. And I am a mama on that dirt road. But it's not my job to teach delivery people how to find my house. No excuses, play like a champion.

Anyway, after this went on for months, I finally, somehow, got through to someone over at that company. And literally had to describe what my house looks like. And then, finally, one day, a Fed-Ex truck pulled up to my house.

Oh, but not before he called. He called and said, "Oh hi, I have a package. I just wanted to make sure you'd be home, because I don't feel like driving all the way to your house and have you not be there." Huh. You are a delivery person. I paid shipping. And you don't feel like driving. That's nice.

When the delivery man came to the door, I said, "Oh hi, are you the normal delivery person?"
[Because that's the line I would always get from Fed-Ex central office - "Oh, it must be a substitute and he doesn't know where you are."]

And he said, "Yep, 15 years, always me!" And I said, "OH, Good! So, this is my house! I'm so glad you found us! Now you knew where we live! (Stated Address Here!) This is us!" I said this in really friendly, bubbly tones, so as to make some kind of impact, so he would remember where he delivered. I kept stating our name and address over and over.

And then he said, "Well, it would really make it easier if you marked your house with your address." The NERVE! Like it's my fault that he has never delivered to me house.

To which I replied, "Well, actually, it is, right there. I painted the sign myself. See it? Right there? My address??" To which he said, "Oh." and left soon after. I totally won the friendly-not-so-friendly stand-off.

I tell you this, because the other day, I got a phone call from the Fed-Ex delivery man. Is this normal? I never get calls from UPS. It's just all so odd.
He was calling to find out the condition of our road, if there was a lot of snow. He said this:
"Oh hi, I have a package that needs to be signed for. I was wondering if your road is plowed well, if you think I'll be able to get in and out. Or else, if it's not, if someone could meet me at the end of the road."

No, sir. No. I will not, in fact, meet you at the end of my road in the bitter cold with my baby. You are paid to deliver. Please do so. Even, yes, if it's cold, and if it snowed 4 days ago.

But I didn't say this. I had an even better response. It could not have been more perfect.

I said, "Well, I haven't been on the road recently, so I wouldn't know. But I did get a package from UPS yesterday, and he managed to get here okay, so I'm sure you'll be fine." And I really had gotten a package from UPS the DAY before!! No phone call, just a delivery, like a normal delivery person. UPS - I love you. I think I'll bake him cookies.

And do you know what Fed-Ex man replied??

"Oh okay, fine. Which house is yours again?"

I kid you not. And thus ends the Fed-Ex saga, for now. We will continue to be passive aggressive, apparently, because he evidently hates his job. I think I'll have him take lessons from my UPS man. Delivery with a smile, I tell ya. It's how it should be.

Fed-Ex representatives? Are you reading? Do you want to send me something free, due to my struggles with your company and my disgruntled delivery man? Like a coffee mug? Maybe a pen? Actually, never mind, you don't know where I live. Tell you what, bring it to the end of my road, and I'll go pick it up from you.

Now do you see how ridiculous you sound?

Love & Online Shopping,

Dirt Road Mama

p.s. I will be posting a happy-go-lucky-babyface post later today. Because I don't like being complainy, man. It just don't feel right. This saga just became to ca-ray-zee not to share with ya''ll!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Movin & Shakin

It is official, ladies and gentlemen. Babies and toddlers. Whoever reads this blog.

So, in that case, it's official Mom and Dad.

I think, maybe, Reilly has discovered that there is possibility at some point in life that she may have the ability to...dare I say it aloud...move.

I know this picture is blurry, but the face juts kills me. She was yelping in joy. Actually shrieking and yelping. It's her new thing. Frightens the dog, cracks up the Mama.

Anywho, let's analyze what's happening here, shall we? Babygirl used to be very content just sitting. She would sit, straight up, perfect posture. Lately, she does this. She leans forward. I describes it briefly in yesterday's post about her turning 8 months old. [Goodness gracious sakes alive, I have an 8 month old child.] So she will lean forward on her arms, like so. And her leg sticking out there on the right, is usually tucking under in the "crawling" position. Her right leg, though, the one that's hiding under there - that's her downfall. She hasn't quite figured out what to do with that guy yet, he just stays tucked under there.

Does anyone else wish I had a yellow marker, like on the football shows?

Then, in her efforts to free the leg that is still tucked under her, she will usually end up on her belly. It's hilarious, because she is extremely joyful throughout the whole process. But she doesn't this multiple MULTIPLE times a day. She just keeps finding things she wants, that are out of her reach. The nerve. It's usually things like the remote, or the phone, or the dog. You know, her toys.
It may look like this little child is just chillin' here on the bed, but alas, it is not so. She's a movin' and a shakin'. She's close to creepin'. This is too much change for one person to handle!! I mean, seriously. She just learned to sit.

I just did some research via my blog. I posted this post, on her learning to sit, on November 22. Then I posted this triumphant post, when she actually learned to sit, on December 2. According to this approximate calculation of her learning curve concerning her physical development in the mobility sector, she will learn to crawl in...

10 days.

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go baby proof my house. I have electrical sockets to fill. And wires to put away. And drawers to clamp shut. And PAINT! My paints, I must put those away. I think I have some bubble wrap in the basement, I'll just go grab that. Cover everything. That should do it.

Over and Out.

Love & Growing Babygirl,

dirt road Mama

Thursday, January 13, 2011


So I am the mama of an 8 month old little babygirl!! She is so amazing. I love that she has a personality now, and I can predict things that she'll do or how she'll react to things. It's an insane feeling that I have, now that she's 8 months. I am so proud of her, and the things that she is learning and trying each day. But I'm also proud of Hubby and I. After 8 months, she is so happy and so healthy in the home that we've made for her. Seeing her face light up right when Hubby walks in the door, and then seeing her laugh uncontrollably until he comes and kisses her. It's the best feeling in the world.

Here are some of our accomplishments this month:

1. Becoming even more vocal! Now, when I read to her, she will make noises along with me. And just as loud as me, which makes me feel like I have to yell as I read. But then I realized what she was doing, and that she only makes noise when I do, and I thought it was hysterical that she's practicing reading like her mama. So I read. She babbles. She can't even hear me. Let's hope she doesn't do that at school one day. Ha.

2. She moves in her crib. Still not a huge rolling fan, it doesn't interest her much. But she will spin around in all different positions. It's very funny to look in the monitor trying to figure out where her head and feet are.

3. She CLAPS!! She just started this last week. She has been able to grab her feet and clap her feet together, hold toys in her hand she clap them together, but just this week she actually started clapping her hands. It is hilarious. She is so excited when she does it.

4. Ignore the fact that she is leaning in these pictures. It was time for her to breastfeed, and miraculous that she was not grabbing that sign. So rather than adjust her, I snapped photos.

5. She is so close to going up on all fours. Which is close to crawling. Which is close to moving. Which means she will be asking for the keys soon. Help.

6. She is interested in EVERYTHING. Which is when she demonstrates the almost-on-all-fours action. She will reach way further than I ever expect her to in order to reach something she wants. And then from sitting, she'll lean forward and crawl her hands out, until she plops on her belly. So funny how she's trying so hard to get what she wants! I love watching to see what she'll do.

7. She shows so much emotion and excitement when we're doing something she loves. I take out her favorite toy (her Fisher Price Laugh&Learn kitchen), her favorite book (Peek-a-Boo Baby), sing a song that always makes her laugh ("Whip My Hair" by Willow Smith, except we sing "I whip my Rei back and forth"), or play her favorite game (roll the ball to each other), and anyone in the house would be able to tell by her reaction how excited she is.

8. She plays throw & catch! With a ball from our little friend Adeena, I roll it to her, and she will either roll or hurl it back to me! And she is obsessed. She will shriek in delight when I sit in front of her and roll her the ball. It her favorite game.

9. I made her mock-a-mole for lunch yesterday. Mock-a-mole is a take on guacamole, where you add peas in place of some of the avocado to get some veggies in your dip. Yesterday, I wanted her to try avocado, so I mashed up 1/2 of one. Then I added some peas, and made myself laugh that she was having mock-a-mole for lunch. I told her if she didn't like it, mama would have it with some Baked Scoops.

10. She absolutely says "Hi." At the appropriate time for a person to say hi. I will say, "Hiii!" in the same sing-song tone. And then she'll say, "Haaa" in the same tone. Many times, she'll say it without prompting, like when Daddy comes home.

11. She is still obsessed with the changing table. Or really, just having her diaper changed, wher ever we are. She plays with her feet and giggles and babbles. Funny little bean.

12. She is obsessed with shoes. Namely, her Uggs. And she wants to suck on them. She will not cry or even care if I take her favorite toy away from her. But if she rips off her Ugg, and I take it out of her mouth, she flips out. So upset. I calmly explain to her that we do not chew on real suede, and that she'll understand much better when she's a bit older. She'll usually gaze at me strangely as I explain to her about designer footwear, and then she forgets why she was upset because her Sophie is in her hand.

Thank you, God, for blessing our lives with this little piece of heaven. The joy that she brings to our lives is beyond what we could have ever imagined. Anything so perfect could only be from You.

Love & Gratefulness,

dirt road mama