Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Snakesgetti, Melting, Helmets and Reflections

I've been meaning to post several updates over the past week or so and just haven't made the time to get them done... soooo, you get blessed with the mini-series blog edition today.

Since Emily still isn't allowed to travel the stairs without a chaperone she gets all excited when we let her go upstairs/downstairs with us a few times a week. I came home from work one night last week and followed Em up the stairs to change out of my work clothes. Now, to truly do this story justice, I must remind you that it's mid-winter here in Ohio and my skin has not seen the sunlight (nor tanning lights) since maybe August... and even then it was probably only long enough for me to stroll from my sister's house to get in her pool. I think I wore jeans most of the summer this year!

Now that that's been said, I headed to the bedroom upstairs to change into some comfy jeans for the night. I dropped trow, grabbed ahold of my jeans and to my surprise Emily marched over and gave my white, pastie thigh a big ol' hug and added an "Awwwww". I'm not positive, but it might have been a sympathy hug! (And, NO, I'm not including pictures of this event for your amusement! I don't carry a camera with me ALL the time!)

Emily's favorite books right now are picture books with all sorts of food, animals, toys, and other day to day things in the them. She's been really fascinated lately with the pictures of skunks, scorpions and snakes and always makes an accompanying animal sound or motion when she sees the pictures.

Last week, I made spaghetti for supper and I believe it might have been the first time she's had spaghetti when I didn't cut or break all the pasta up for her. She looked in her bowl and looked back at me with big happy eyes. She proceeded to pick one of the spaghetti noodles up and held it up for me, all the while going, "Sssssssss"! This kid cracks me up!

I think I mentioned in a previous post that Emily is growing FAST! She was wearing size 12 mos. for most of January and then all of a sudden she's had to jump into 18 mos. clothes because so many of her one piece outfits are getting too short and tight on her. She had some pajamas that were getting too small on her so I decided to move up to the next size.... Oops! I think maybe I jumped the gun a bit on this pair! I accidentally grabbed a size 24 mos. and I didn't realize it until she stood up with them on. (Don't worry, we changed clothes before she went to sleep that night!)

Maybe it's just me, but her feet look like the Wicked Witch's after they shriveled up when Dorothy's house landed on her!

Nothing too exciting here. For some reason Emily AND Tom have been wearing this blue, plastic bowl around the house on occasion. If you ask Emily where her helmet is she will go looking for this bowl.

Tonight while eating supper Emily caught her reflection on the back of her spoon and it made her laugh pretty hard. I tried hard to catch this one on "film" but I couldn't get her to look at the reflection again... maybe another day.

Have a great day and be blessed!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Spoon Training

Tonight was our first official "Spoon Training Night". Yes, we've eaten (read: played) with spoons before but tonight was special because we actually cracked open the textbook (mommy's mouth) and learned the real way to use one... scoop and eat! Emily's been practicing with a fork for a while, but I/Jenni just got brave enough to let my arm flailing daughter try her hand at eating with a spoon by herself.

Here's the play-by-play on how it all went down.

1) A few scoops in, we take a break for a photo-op. On the spoon-friendly menu for tonight was mashed potatoes with a few peas mixed in... and peas on the side for finger-eating pleasure. We're doing pretty well, but we haven't picked up momentum yet.

2) After a few more bites we learn that apparently either mashed potatoes make your eyes itch or they're just fun to wipe on our face. Note the mashed potatoes acting as eyeliner and mascara. She's still too young for make-up but she's learning to improvise well.

3) Apparently this spoon stuff was proving to be a bit too challenging tonight and Emily initiated a prayer break. (Seriously, she wouldn't keep eating until we prayed! Deeply spiritual, this one is.)

4) Partway through the 30 second prayer we realize we have mashed potatoes between our fingers and our hands just might stick this way if Mom doesn't hurry up with this prayer.

5) And, on occasion Emily ends her prayers with a big ol' "Yeah, God!" pose. (She doesn't actually say it, but the arms go up like she just scored a touchdown!) Apparently, she's thrilled that God just answered her prayer and her hands didn't get stuck together.

6) Proving to be the ever flexible switch-hitter, Emily is effective with using her right hand...

... and her left!

The next few items have nothing to do with eating... but I found them on my other memory stick tonight and knew you just had to see these!

I took Emily's hat off really fast on Sunday before I hopped in the front seat and then glanced in the rearview mirror to see this....

And, just a few snippets of video of Emily chatting and being her normal cheerful self when she just wakes up from a nap.

Be Blessed and May Others Be Blessed By You!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hey Homies!

Hello, sdrasvoitcha!
Today's post was typed by none other than Miss Emily herself!

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sfgszM,Mm MLL Xeeeeee emmmmmmwed olllllllLl



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klkssssssssssx566z66z6pxp6xd5dxF xc

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Das v'danya! (Goodbye!)

Growing Like a Weed!

It's lunch time again and time for another update. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to write about today and the main thing that keeps coming to mind is how fast this little girl is growing! We've been very blessed to have received hand-me-downs from my sister-in-law, Pam, and a former high school classmate of mine, Amy.

As we've received things, I've promptly looked through everything to make a mental note of everything that we had and I sorted everything into big tubs that are stored in our basement. We had a 2 tubs of each of the main sizes (6/9 mos., 12 mos., and 18 mos.) and we have one tub of 2T and 3T clothes. The higher up we go the less we have because the hand-me-downers are still working on some of those sizes. I was even organized enough to attempt to sort the clothes in warm weather/cold weather clothes, hence 2 tubs for each of the smaller sizes. (I blabber on about this system in hopes that someone out there can learn from it... when we started getting stuff I had NO IDEA how to organize everything. With my first batch I had tubs of shirts, pants, pj's, footwear, blankets, etc... and that quickly grew out of hand once we started getting various sizes!)

So! Back to Emily. At one and a half years old, Emily was still wearing a LOT of clothes that were size 6/9 mos. She was an itty-bitty thing but mostly has/had an itty-bitty waistline. (She'll be bummed if that doesn't stick around until she's 50!) Then, all of a sudden she started growing! Apparently this Kazakh Hillbilly (as Daddy likes to call her) thrives on cold weather and lack of sunshine. She does come from the frozen tundra after all! Anyway, something happened around November/December and she had a growth spurt and almost overnight outgrew ALL of her 6/9 mos. clothes and adorned a whole new wardrobe of size 12 mos. (Really cute stuff, too!)

Emily had all sorts of new clothes to wear for Thanksgiving and Christmas and then we started noticing that a lot of her onesies were starting to get too short. Thankfully, while we were on Christmas vacation we ran across several outlet malls that carried a lot of baby clothes and I stocked up on some 18 mos. onesies that I knew were we short on in the hand-me-down department... Remember the mental notes I made??? They're important!

As I was reflecting on Emily's attire over the past couple of weeks I noticed that now a lot of her pants were getting too short for her. She was wearing 18 mos. tops with 12 mos. bottoms but it looks like she's finally going to be graduating to all 18 mos. clothes before too long. The fun part in all of this is that she still has that itty-bitty waistline and Grandma G. gets a lot of practice taking tucks in Emily's clothes. It's a good thing she keeps her sewing machine ready to go at all times!

In essence, Emily spent about 4-6 weeks wearing size 12 mos. and jumped into her bigger size. It's a good thing we didn't have to fork out tons of money for new clothes for her! Hand-me-downs rock!

Along with these wacky growth spurts, we had Miss Em re-evaluated at physical therapy. In mid-January I noticed that she was starting to do a lot of tiptoe walking again and I thought we might need more help. I also noticed when we took her to the play area at Polaris Mall that she wasn't nearly as mobile as I thought she was when compared other kids even younger than she was. The fun part with growth spurts for any kid is that their bones grow faster than their muscles and a lot of times they end up tiptoeing until they catch up with each other. In Emily's case, this takes a lot more work and a little extra help because she's had such high muscle tone all along.

Prior to the re-eval, Tom and I decided that we're going to try to take her to the play areas at Polaris Mall or Marion's Southland Mall once a week if possible so she can crawl, climb, run, etc. and pick up some tricks from seeing how other kids work on stuff like this. We're also going to kick the PT up a notch and see if we can't get the stiffness worked out before another major growth spurt kicks in.

Okaaaay, so I know you really came here for the pictures and didn't really want to read all of that without some sort of reward at the end. So, here is the chocolately center of your virtual Tootsie Pop.

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On Feb. 5, Shrove Tuesday, our church had a pancake extravaganza at the Isler's house.
Emily and I are at the far end of the table and Daddy was taking the picture. Also on the wall by the door you can see Mr. Pineapple. For some reason, this past spring Emily was really taken by this and in the middle of our Bible studies would just jabber to no end to this thing! It was pretty funny, but I guess you probably had to be there (or be me) to really enjoy it to it's full extent.

Here's a better view of Emily with her pancakes.
She was especially fond of the ones with REAL blueberries in them!
Check out how much hair she has now!

The next morning, after our tummies were properly filled, I drove Tom to the airport so he could spend a few days with a couple of pastors on a mini-retreat in FL. He had a great time, learned a lot and came back refreshed. It's a shame he had to spend so much time in such a God-forsaken place. (Yeah, that's sarcasm.)

This picture was taken from the back porch of the house they stayed in!

I picked Tom up from the airport on Saturday night and on Sunday morning he was still awake enough to inconspicuously snap a picture of me playing under the table with Emily at church! (I was a bit surprised to find this when I checked the memory stick in the camera when I was looking for pictures this afternoon!)

And, for your video enjoyment... my sister, Michelle, created this lovely little clip for Emily for Valentine's Day. I'm not sure how long they keep the link active so enjoy it while you can!

After getting inspired by Michelle, Tom decided to try his hand at this and created a little clip of all four of us strutting our stuff! Again, not sure how long it will last so enjoy it now!

Enough for now... Be Blessed!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Happy Homecoming Day, Emily!

Can you believe it's been a WHOLE year?!?

It's been a whole year since we brought Emily back home to the states with us. In many ways I can't believe how fast this year has gone and yet it still seems so long ago that we walked through the Columbus Airport with her to meet my family that had come to pick us up.

For a refresher of that experience, visit The Looooong Way Home. I know we got up at 4:00AM Kazakhstan-time and didn't get home until around 2:00AM Ohio-time. I "think" we were traveling for at least a good 26+ hours from start to finish and I remember like yesterday how exhausted I felt.

I've never run a marathon before but I can only imagine what I felt like was similar to how exhausted a marathon runner might feel when they finally cross that finish line. And when we crossed our "finish line" I think being that exhausted seemed to make all the emotions I was feeling that much more magnified. I felt like crumbling to my knees in a pile on the floor as I handed Emily to my dad but the adrenalin was so strong that I wanted to take in every moment of watching the excitement in my family as they got to meet her for the first time.

Here are some pictures from that awesome day!

Below: I knew I had to give Emily to my dad first because he might not ever get a chance to hold her again! Also in the picture are my sister, Michelle, peeking in from the background and my mom.

Aunt Shell finally got a chance to hold Miss Em for the first time. They're now great buds and enjoy rough-housing and making messes together.
Here's Aunt Laura with Emily for the first time. Aunt Laura will be thrilled if Emily turns out to be left-handed and a sports fanatic. They love laughing together and teasing each other. Hehehe... I remember when Emily had no hair! Never fear, there are recent pictures of Em at the bottom of this entry with more hair!

UPDATE FROM THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS: A couple of weeks ago Emily's friend, Kael, came for a play date. They get along great and Emily turns into Kael's shadow when they're together. I recently put together a photo album for Emily with pictures of family and friends and when she gets to Kael's picture she pats it and lays her head down on it like she does with Mommy, Daddy, RyRy and Spencer (our cat). She loves Kael.

Here are Emily and Kael playing at the kitchen gate as I was getting a snack ready. Feel the love!

Emily gets to play with her cousins Brooke and Logan when we need someone to watch her. She has a lot of fun with them and I think they kinda like her too.

One of Emily's new tricks in the last couple of weeks is to climb up on her stool and get up onto the couch like a big girl. So far, she's been very safe and doesn't teeter on the edge of the couch. She loves to be a big girl and read, play with her toys and sit by Mommy and Daddy on the couch. (The cool part is that the stool belonged to my/Jenni's grandpa and I believe he may have even made it.)

Well, that's enough reminiscing for today. It's time to sign off and rest up for a new day with the kiddo!

Oh, and please drop us a note either in the comment section or via email to let us know if you're reading our blog. We're aren't sure how many people we have still following along. We'd love to hear from you!

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