A Day Full of Fun!

Wow! We sure had an eventful day yesterday. To start, it was the day that Lauren’s play group went to the fire station. And while it was during her usual nap time, she was quite the trooper through the whole visit. She didn’t care much for the firefighter fully dressed with his mask & oxygen tank (who could blame her, he did look and sound like something from a scary movie) but she didn’t cry when he tried to touch her…just clung on to my neck for dear life. She enjoyed the fire trunk – especially the lights and all its shiny chrome – and allowed me to wonder far enough away from her to snap a few photos.

This afternoon we headed to Petsmart. It’s been some time since Lauren’s last trip to the pet store and today she was in heaven. Let’s think about it…a store for animals! Not only were there dogs for her to gawk at and stalk (by far some of Lauren’s favorite pastimes), but there were tons of pictures of dogs to wave at and touch as well. Then there are the dog toys – which most are balls…HEAVEN! We spent quite some time in the store, getting front row seating at fish swimming, birds flying, and the occasional and very welcome distraction of a dog wondering by. Lauren was even very helpful in picking out Hailey’s Christmas toys. As you can imagine, Hailey got another squeaky soccer ball, a plush soccer ball, and then something a little different caught LP’s eye – an elephant that squeaks and its tail & trunk move. I only hope that Lauren understands that all of these things are really for Hailey and that she somehow likes the toys that we get her for Christmas as much as she enjoyed carrying around Hailey’s toys in Petsmart.

To check out a couple of pictures from our fire station visit, click here.


Quite the Entertainer

While most days with Lauren are pretty comical, these past few days she has really outdone herself.  I’m sure that to most, her silly little tactics might not seem too entertaining, but I have laughed out loud at her several times lately…sometimes out of amazement, sometimes out of pride, and sometimes because I think she’s just funny.  Let me share a few incidents from the past couple of days.

Lauren has suddenly decided that she needs to pop her back on the floor like I do.  I don’t think that she’s seen me do this very often (more so as of late since I’m in desperate need of a visit to the chiropractor right now), but yesterday I mentioned that I was going to pop my back as I passed her on my way to lay on the floor.  By the time I turned around, she was already lying on the floor and strangely enough pretty close to being in the right position, smiling from ear to ear with pride.  Of course, I had to laugh and snap a few photos.  One of her more endearing acts was after she fell down outside on the sidewalk.  Generally she jumps right back up after a topple and takes off, but this time was different.  She hit pretty hard on the concrete, catching herself with her hands and just stayed down, crying.  I whisked her up and immediately took at glimpse at her hands to survey the damage…nothing visible, perhaps a little ego bruising, so I kissed one of her hands over and over until she stopped crying.  The kisses must have been exactly what she needed because she shoved the other one in my face so I could shower it with kisses as well.  I laughed gleefully knowing that Lauren loved receiving my kisses as much as I loved giving them.  I could go on and go about how much Lauren has picked up from just observation.  She tried using my eyelash curler on Tuesday as she has seen me do many times before (I was luckily there to deter her before any damage was done) and she gets a huge kick out of turning Ryan’s computer on and off…and then on and off and on and off again (I think it has something to do with the blue light that appears and disappears each time).  I mentioned to her on Monday that the sweater she had picked up off the floor while I was sorting dirty laundry was in fact dirty and needed to be washed.  She then so matter-of-factly drug it down the hall and into the laundry room, returning to me with a big smile…I, of course laughed out loud with amazement.  She is now very insistent that after I’m done with brushing her teeth that she needs a turn.  With no couching from me, on her very first attempt she took the brush, placed in on her pointer finger as she has seen me do so many times and then stuck it in her mouth, singing.  You see, Lauren hasn’t always been so excited about getting her teeth brushed so I would always sing to her as a distraction.  I guess now she thinks that’s what you do and it should be quite interesting to see her sing when we start to use toothpaste. 

I’m pretty sure that some of my other behavior has rubbed off on her too.  For instance, we had to run into Old Navy yesterday to grab a quick gift.  Lauren seems to enjoy this store very much and I know it’s only because of the dog statue.  I decided since we were just running in and out, I would forgo the stroller and I would just steer her clear of the dog.  In my attempt to reroute her back to the checkout without walking past the dog, we had to walk past an end cap of two jillion socks, with probably close to one jillion of them lying on the floor instead of hanging up.  My daughter would not stop picking up the socks on the floor and handing them to me so that I could hang them up properly.  After the sixth pair, I had to finally pick her up and dart to the cashier because we would have been there all day.  Her tidiness doesn’t stop there.  Hailey has been such a bad girl lately, getting into the trash everyday it seems.  Lauren is now familiar enough with the drill of scolding the dog and then picking up the mess to put in the trash can, she helps me out.  However, yesterday was a challenge for her.  Hailey had torn up some foil.  It seems that the shiny, sliver paper was just too pretty for Lauren to throw away so she carried it around the house for some time.  Because I was afraid to think where it might end up if I didn’t get it away from her, I was finally able to convince her that washing her hands in the bath room would be much more fun than the foil so I pulled out the bathroom trash can from the corner so that she could happily discard of it and wash her hands.  After several minutes of hand washing I put LP down and went to get the hand towel to dry her.  Apparently she could not stand the trash can being out of place because as I turned around, she was in the process of pushing it back into its rightful place, the corner.  Such a good little helper!

Yes, I could go on and on but I better leave with one last too cute not to share story.  While getting the mail Monday afternoon, Lauren was distracted by some weeds in the neighbor’s yard and made a beeline for them.  She picked one and then attempted to place it behind her ear as I had done with some of our flowers during the summer.  It has been at least two months since we have had any flowers so I was pretty astonished that she remembered.  And to top it off, when she couldn’t get the weed behind her ear, she just stuck it in her ear!  We spent that afternoon outside with “flowers” behind our ears, enjoying the sun!  Check out Lauren and Mommy being silly and loving it! p1080756-1.JPG


Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is a time for sharing family traditions and this Thanksgiving Lauren got to indulge in some that have been going on for decades…and like with many other families, our customs revolve around food. With my family, Lauren got top1080673-1.JPG taste her first Thanksgiving Ravioli which is my grandmother’s recipe. On Ryan’s side, Lauren enjoyed a time-honored menu of turkey with homemade noodles (also his grandmother’s recipe) on top of mashed potatoes. It’s a special time for us to be thankful for family; to cherish memories of loved ones that are no longer with us and to create new memories for the next generation. And getting to do this while dining on some very scrumptious cuisine is even better! However, I’m sure that all of this ceremonial devouring of food is still lost on Lauren. If I had to guess (and I’m quite certain of this), I’d have to say that Lauren’s favorite part of Thanksgiving was…the Dog Show. While at her grandparents’ house on Thursday, she didn’t seem too interested in the television…who could blame her with all of the other activities and distractions. But, because we know how much she adores dogs, Ryan was certain to record the program so she could check it out later, and we did Friday morning. Oh my, did she ever enjoy seeing all of the different looking dogs, some quite unusual, right in front of her – bigger than life! Check out Lauren admiring the dogs as well as other pictures from Thanksgiving, click here.


A Dazzling Dozen!

That’s right; Lauren’s twelfth tooth has made its appearance. Not much fuss with this one, even with it being a top tooth. I think that her mind as been elsewhere since she’s been fighting off a little bit of a cold – might I mention one that she felt the need to share with me. We aren’t doing too bad, just trying desperately to recover before Thanksgiving. Hopefully everyone starts feeling better soon as our festivities start tomorrow with my family. Welcome #12.


Fourteen Months – What a Blessing!

With each month that passes, I try desperately not to take any moment with Lauren for granted. Ryan and I both feel so very blessed to have such a remarkable child…even if she’s only remarkable in our eyes. Just the other day, we were getting such a kick out of watching Lauren “help” Ryan blow up her a new inflatable fish that she got from story time. Ryan responded, “A year ago, something like this wouldn’t have been funny to us.” And he was right. A year ago we were still new to the joys of parenthood and would have found it difficult to understand how seeing your child do something so silly could make you so proud. So much has changed for us over the past year. Just check out how much LP has grown! Exactly one year ago today and today:23178107 Look at all her hair! Those teeth!! That smile!!! She’s now weighing in at almost 20 pounds (19.4 lbs. to be exact). She’s got such a personality…crazy when just Mommy & Daddy are around and then shy and reserved when others are watching. She dances around when she’s happy and likes to kiss and snuggle when she’s tired or not feeling well. She has learned how to walk backwards, sideways, around in circles, and up & down small steps without using her hands. She loves the outdoors and animals of all kinds. She is such a good little helper around the house and knows exactly how to get Mommy & Daddy acting and feeling like kids again. She attempts to blow her own nose and blow on her food. She enjoys picking out her own clothes and afternoon snack (with a little guidance). She gets so excited about stickers and books, she is relentless in her pursuit to always try on Mommy & Daddy shoes and attempt to walk around the house in them (video in the making to be posted soon), and she can’t wait for her evening bath! She loves to try new things and is always so proud of herself when she succeeds. We are so blessed and we are extremely thankful for each wonderful moment (even those that we might not tag as “wonderful”). WOW! So much of our lives has changed, but it’s these new experiences that we get to witness everyday that allows the statement, “Change is Good” to resonate within our hearts.

To see more of Lauren’s 14 month photo shoot (that was only made possible with the help of a few marshmallows), click here.


Visiting Woolaroc

We took a road trip this past weekend to Woolaroc. Since Lauren adores the p1080372-1.JPGoutdoors and animals, we thought this would be a fun outing for the whole family. As Lauren started getting tired for her morning nap, we loaded her into the car and off we went. We made use of the navigation system in the new car which had us going the “scenic” route but it turned out nice as there where still plenty of pretty leaves on the tress to admire.

I found out that Woolaroc stands for Woods – Lakes – Rocks; however, this name is lacking a proper description by leaving out one of its focal points…Animals. And of course, they were LP’s favorite part. We were surprised how much Lauren noticed all the buffalo, deer and other wildlife roaming the property on the drive up to the museum and walking trails, but the real animal fun came at the petting zoo. She enjoyed looking at them all, but really didn’t have any desire to touch them (I don’t blame her – they were pretty smelly). Most she had seen before, but I believe that this was a first for a real bunny and she was quite fascinated with them (again, no arguments from me as to why – they seemed by far the cutest and least smelly). We also enjoyed a picnic lunch on a blanket under some trees. And as serene as this might sound, it really wasn’t with a 13 month old that can’t get enough of trees, grass, leaves, dirt…really anything that involves nature. I tried to get her to eat and corralled as Ryan scarfed down his food in record time and then we switched duties. While I was eating, I had the opportunity to laugh at their comedy act and snap a couple of pictures so that Ryan could look back one day and laugh also. Check out some of these pictures as well as others that we took while enjoying our day at Woolaroc, click here.


Number Eleven, Oh My Heaven!

Lauren’s eleventh tooth has broken through the gums (top right as I predicted) and yes it’s been a doosie. However, I’m not convinced Eleven is entirely to blame…it could be that Nine and Ten are still giving her grief. We had just conceded to the fact that LP would be wearing braces based on the large gaps between her existing bottom teeth and these new ones, when Nine and Ten kept growing and growing. It seems the gaps were just to allow room for other ones to come in there later. Yep, she skipped a few teeth in order to start in on her molars just in time for all of the holiday festivities. My assumption that her teeth would come in order from front to back was obviously wrong. Needless to say, Nine and Ten are taking up A LOT of real-estate in that little mouth of hers and I believe giving her some grief. Our poor baby girl.

I have been trying to keep Lauren happy by the form of distraction. We have been spending the past few warm, sunning p1080663-1.JPGafternoons in the park looking at squirrels (LP is determined to try to catch one), picking up leaves & acorns (really Lauren enjoys collecting the acorn “hats” more), and stalking the occasional dog that happens to be enjoying an afternoon walk. Yes, as hard as I try to divert her attention, she is some times relentless in her dog pursuit…playing the deprived child who never gets to play with dogs so well that many owners feel compelled to allow her to pet their dog. She always happily accepts the offer only to get coy and shy when she’s just within petting distance and retreats to the comfort of Mommy’s leg. I am then left with the duty of petting this perfectly mannered dog that had to unwillingly stop its squirrel hurt in order to oblige Lauren’s bizarre fascination with dogs. However, the circus act doesn’t stop there…as soon as we part ways; LP resumes her uncontrollable waving, pointing, and squealing at the dog until it finally disappears. If the whole act wasn’t so entertaining, I might be a little embarrassed. With the trees starting to turn, I couldn’t help but to snap a lot of pictures! Check them out, click here.


Fork Savvy

Unlike our usual routine of me “forking” food for Lauren and then handing the fork to her so she can feed herself, this past week I’ve been showing her how to pick up the food herself. After a week of patience (on both of our parts), Lauren

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successfully fed herself using a fork this weekend. And it wasn’t just a one time fluke…she started with some diced apples at breakfast on Sunday and then for lunch moved on to corn! That’s right corn! As an adult how mastered feeding herself long ago, I still have problems with corn kernels rolling of my fork so I was very pleased and impressed at LP’s progress. I still think it’s much easier, quicker & cleaner for her to use her hands (and I don’t think Lauren will disagree with me on that), but we will continue to practice until it’s the other way around. Check out LP’s triumph over the fork, click here.