Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lately

Grandma recently bought Autumn a new stroller for her baby doll.  Her old one didn't actually fit her baby doll.  Autumn loves pushing baby around.


Also, we have some exciting things planned.  This weekend we are going to POC for a long weekend with friends and family.  I promise to take my camera and take lots of pics of Autumn having fun. 

Next month Autumn, Grandma and I are headed to . . . insert drum roll . . . Disney World!  I have a seminar for work in Orlando June 19-21, so we are heading there on June 16th to spend a couple of days at the park before the seminar and then Grandma will take Autumn one day while I am in the seminar.  Taking a not quite 2 year old to Disney should be VERY interesting.  I've done lots of research on the do's and don'ts of taking little ones, so I feel like I will have realistic expectations and can generally be prepared.  If you have any advice for taking a toddler please leave me a comment or shoot me an e-mail.  Currently Grandma and I are working on "Disneyfying" Autumn.  She has been very into Sesame Street the past several months and I have told my Mom we need to expose her to more Disney shows, movies, characters, etc. since my Mom LOVES Disney and has always wanted to take Autumn (or really any kid willing to go) to Disney World.  Lately Autumn has been watching the Mickey Mouse Club and other Disney shows.  She also has a stuffed Minnie Mouse and a Minnie Mouse swimsuit that she loves.  This morning after watching one episode of Mickey she asked for "more" in sign language.  She knows who Princess Ariel is too.  Keep us in your prayers next month, as travelling with a toddler and exploring Disney World, although fun, will also be challenging.  Autumn has never flown before and neither of our flights are non-stop (Thanks Southwest).  Good news though since Autumn is under 2 she is free to fly (in our laps) and free to go to Disney.  This should be our cheapest trip to Disney World ever.  Hopefully this will be our first of many trips to Disney World, as I hope to take Autumn and her sibling(s) and her cousins when they are old enough to enjoy it a bit more.

One more thing.  I have a few baby items that I am getting rid of.  If you are interested in purchasing them then shoot me an e-mail at amandac.walker@gmail.com.  I am also listing these in the Marketplace at church.

Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack.

Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack.  I didn't like the Velcro front closure.  It seemed too loud opening and closing it.  Also, the opening was a bit small and sometimes made it hard to find stuff.  But, it does have a lot of pockets and a changing mat built in.  Very gender neutral color and just plain adorable.  Asking $50 OBO.   Original cost was $175, so this is a steal.



Graco Snugrider Snap and Go type stroller frame.  This worked great when Autumn was an infant.  I highly recommend it.  We are planning to buy a double stroller though for baby #2 and I don't think I would use this single one very much, so I want it out of my house to make room for baby #2 and all of the baby gear that will come with him/her.  Asking $45 OBO.

Stroller in folded position.

Floppy Seat folded up.

Floppy seat unfolded.  This is used for shopping carts and highchairs.  I didn't use it much, because it was easier to not lug it around.  It is cute though and if you are more concerned about germs then this is for you.  It keeps the kiddos from eating the shopping cart, which they have a tendency to do.  Asking $10 OBO.



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

19 Months

Autumn was 19 months old on Saturday.  There is so much she is doing these days.  Here's a breakdown of what's going on lately.
  • Weight - approx. 22 lbs.
  • Height - approx. 32 inches
  • Clothes - Size 12-18 months, only buying new clothes in 18-24 months though
  • Shoe Size - 4.5, but almost into size 5
  • Words - Mama, Dada, Elmo, Bubba (aka Cooper), bubbles, bathtub, bath, says "neigh" for horse, dog, book, etc.  She doesn't talk much on her own (except for babbling), but she seems to be repeating some of what we say (not all the time though).
  • Autumn has started saying "mine" and she likes it!
  • Autumn loves to kiss and hug her baby doll and her stuffed animals.
  • Autumn loves Sesame Street and Elmo and Abby Cadabby.
  • If I ask Autumn where the baby is she will point to my belly and then to herself.  We are working on discussing the idea of a baby brother or sister.  She also likes playing with the baby gear, like the infant car seat and the bumbo.
  • Autumn is sleeping in her toddler bed.  She does great at night, staying in the bed all night.  She doesn't do so great at nap times.  Usually I can get her down at night by laying down with her for a few minutes and singing to her and cuddling with her.
  • Autumn is using a lot of hand gestures lately to express what she wants.  She will grab your hand and pull or push you where she wants you to go.  I love it when she does this, because she actually wants to hold my hand vs. me fighting with her to hold her hand when we're walking somewhere in public.
  • Autumn has started throwing the occasional tantrum when she doesn't get what she wants or she can't express what she wants.
  • Autumn understands sooo much of what is going on around her.  She can point out all kinds of animals and people in books.  She knows all of her relatives.  She knows where things belong (like Mommy and Daddy's shoes in the closet, blankets in her bottom drawer, etc.).  She knows how to open the pantry and she always pull out her food rather than random canned goods.  She is so smart!
  • Autumn can slide down the slides at the park all by herself (without Mommy worrying too much).
  • Autumn is fascinated by the iPhone camera when I have it turned around and she can see herself. 
  • Autumn loves giving hugs, kisses, saying bye-bye and blowing kisses.
  • Autumn seems to have some kind of allergy or sensitivity to bug bites.  Her bug bites (I assume mosquito) usually swell up and last longer than they ever do on me.  No other weird side effects though.
  • Autumn still seems to have the "port wine stain" birthmark or whatever it is.  The doctor is not at all concerned about it, but it does seem weird that her left leg will turn red and/or purple when she gets too hot or cold.  The birthmark is not very noticeable at other times.
  • Autumn loves to eat pretty much everything.  She has a great appetite and is not at all picky.  She also loves to feed herself. 
  • Autumn is very good about telling us "no" by shaking her head when she doesn't want something.  For example - Autumn are you ready for bed - head shake "no".  If she is ready for bed I get no response.
  • Autumn still takes a pacifier at nap and bed time.  She will sometimes fuss when you take it away, but she is usually easily distracted.
Autumn you are such a beautiful, sweet, smart and fun little girl.  I am enjoying spending time with you and watching you grow and learn every day.

Okay, enough bragging on my princess, here are some pics and videos.

Autumn pretending to be a baby in the infant car seat. 
She would alternate between getting in this and having me strap her baby doll in it.


Autumn's bug bite.  She did not want her shoes on her swollen foot.

Autumn's "port wine stain" birthmark. 
It was a hot day here, so it was more noticeable than normal.

video


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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day

I had a wonderful Mother's Day this year.  It started with Andrew and Autumn sneaking to the grocery store while I was getting ready for church.  I had gotten dressed and ready and went to find Andrew to see if my skirt was too tight over my expanding belly (and hips).  I couldn't find him and Autumn anywhere.  I assumed they had gone to get donuts or something fun like that.  Turns out they went to the grocery store to buy me some beautiful flowers for Mother's Day.  Andrew even had Autumn hand them to me.  How sweet is that?

After church Andrew agreed to take us to brunch at Escalante's even though he did not want to go there.  We ate outside and enjoyed a nice meal with a fidgety little girl.

My only wish for Mother's Day was for an afternoon nap.  That didn't happen.  Autumn slept for about 30 minutes on the way home from brunch and decided that she didn't need to nap anymore.  So, Andrew, Autumn and I loaded up and headed "into town" to look at bicycles for Andrew.  He has been toying with the idea of buying a road bike for a few months and he is about to take the plunge. 

After bicycle shopping we headed home for Daddy to mow the lawn.  Autumn and I called Ms. Christel to see if she and Eli wanted to play.  We met them at the park near their house in Pearland and had a ball.  Autumn is so sweet with Eli.  I like asking her to give him a hug.  She nearly tackles him, but in a sweet way.

On the way home from the park Autumn fell asleep in the car.  She ate dinner and was in bed for the night.  Then the real treat began.  Andrew cooked me dinner.  How sweet!  Now if only he would have cleaned the dishes too.

Andrew and I are both in agreement that holidays like Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, (really even anniversaries) etc. are "appreciation holidays".  This means that no real gifts are expected or wanted, only gestures to show your love and appreciation.  Andrew did a great job showing me that he and Autumn love and appreciate me for being Mommy.  I feel very blessed to be Autumn's Mommy and am looking forward to being a Mommy to two little angels by next Mother's Day.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Favorite Baby Items

Lately I've been thinking about some of my favorite baby items.  This was prompted by my sister-in-law asking for help with her baby registry.  I still haven't decided whether we will do a registry or not for baby #2 (I figure we will decide once we know the sex), but I started making a list of what we need to buy vs. what we already have from Autumn.  In this process I also jotted down a few of my favorite items that have come in handy with Autumn over the last 19 months or so.  I know every Mom has their own preferences and favorites and they are certainly not all the same, but here is my list of favorites:

  1. Wet Bags from Etsy - I just bought 2 bags from this shop and LOVE them!  I use these for keeping a plastic plate, silverware and bib for when we go out to eat.  Autumn tends to throw glass restaurant plates on the floor, so we started bringing our own.  The wet bags make clean up after dinner a breeze.
  2. Snack Bags from Etsy - I use these for keeping random things in the diaper bag organized.  In one I keep a juice box and a pacifier.  In another I have diaper rash cream, hand lotion for Mommy, and my lip gloss.  I said the items I use it for was random.  I also use these for snacks.
  3. Munchkin Snack Catcher - Great for in the car or on the go snacking.
  4. Vera Bradley Diaper Bag - I tried several diaper bags (Petunia Picklebottom, Vera Vera bag, etc.)  I ended up with this one and I love it.  Vera also has out a new cross body diaper bag that might be a nice option.  These also go on sale from time to time.  The other day they had them 50% off (sale colors only).  I was so tempted to buy one, but I didn't need another one and I didn't know anyone who did.
  5. Vera Bradley Book Bag - I got this last fall when it was a limited edition for back to school.  It looks like they have come out with it again.  It has been great for days when we go to the zoo or are walking around a lot more.  It is easier to carry than the diaper bag on those days.
  6. Munchkin Plastic Plates - see #1 above for uses.  We also use these at home.  They're dishwasher safe and durable.
  7. Pampers Diapers - I know everyone has their own diapers that they love, but we just keep going back to these.  We used the swaddlers when Autumn was a newborn.  I think I liked these best then because they were the only ones I could find in a preemie size.  When Autumn came home from the hospital the newborn size diapers were so big on her.  We used the Huggies Slip Ons when Autumn was in her squirmy phase just before walking and those were wonderful for that phase, but know she will pretty much lay still for a diaper change, so back to Pampers it is.  We use the Cruisers during the day and the Extra Protection ones at night.  They seem to be the most absorbent and secure.  Plus they have Elmo, which makes Autumn happy.
  8. Pampers Sensitive Thickcare Wipes - I have tried other wipes at times, but these are by far my favorite.  They are thick and easy to pull out.  They are also soft.  I have other brands fall apart when I pull them out and some others seem so much stiffer.
  9. Sophie the Giraffe Teether - Great teether and oh so cute!
  10. Aden and Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets - my favorite blankets by far.  Autumn loves them too.  Autumn doesn't seem to get as cold as I do, so these light weight blankets are great year round.  They are breathable, so I felt safe leaving her in the crib with them earlier than with any other blankets.  They're also really cute and soft.  They have a ton of products on their web site too; crib sheets, security blankets, etc.
  11. mamaRoo - Autumn's favorite swing.  It does several different motions and even hooks up to your iPhone (although we never used that function).  I got it back from a friend a few weeks ago and Autumn insisted on sitting in it.  She's way too big now though.  I can just see her throwing a fit when we put baby brother or sister in there.
  12. BOB Revolution Stroller - Best jogging stroller.  We don't use this a ton because Autumn doesn't really like being in the stroller now that she is walking everywhere.  It was great for before she was walking though and it still comes in handy for days when we go to the zoo or do 5k's, basically anywhere there is a lot of walking. 
  13. Stride Rite Shoes - Autumn has a lot of shoes, but the Stride Rite shoes seem to be the best all around shoe.  They are cute (although there are a lot of cuter ones out there) but they really seem to be the most supportive for Autumn's feet.  Investing in a couple of these is worth it.
  14. Amazon Mom - This is a free membership program through Amazon that offers you discounts and savings on shipping, subscribe & save, etc.  I use the Subscribe & Save options for diapers, wipes, and Boogie Wipes.  I just select which product I want, the quantity and how often I want it to arrive (once a month, one every 2 months, etc.).  It saves time and money and the items almost always ship within 2 days.  When I initially started using it I found it to be around 20-30% cheaper than buying from the grocery store.  The Amazon Mom program is free for 3 months (I actually think I got it free for a year when I started) and after that you can pay the Amazon Prime membership for $79/year and receive all of the same benefits.  I do believe that the membership more than pays for itself if you use it enough.
  15. Graco SnugRider Stroller - This snap and go type stroller was perfect when we just had Autumn.  It was cheap (around $75) and very functional.
  16. Graco Ready2Grow Stroller - I am planning to buy or register for this stroller with baby #2.  I've tried it out in store and it seems perfect.  You can use it with the infant car seat or not.  It also has a sit and stand option for Autumn, which I think we will end up using a lot.  I will have a final verdict on it once we start using it.
  17. Boogie Wipes - These are my favorite all around wipe.  Since they are a saline wipe I feel safe using it to wipe Autumn's face.  We also use it for boogers (obviously) and dirty hands, etc.
That's it for now.  I'm adding to the list as I find more things I love.  What are your favorite baby and toddler  items?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

This Weekend

On Saturday Autumn, my parents and I all walked the Sprint for Life 5k.  The event raised money for ovarian cancer research and awareness.  One of my Mom's good friends passed away a couple of years ago from ovarian cancer and my Mom always likes to do this walk in her memory.  My parents also have a friend from the Corvair Club who is currently undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer.  Here are a few pics from after the "race."  This was Autumn's 2nd 5k, since she did the same one last May.

Autumn and Grandpa.


Autumn and Mommy.


Mommy trying to get Autumn to smile and look at the camera. 
It was a rough morning for baby girl, since she had to get up so early.
Saturday evening we headed down to POC to spend Sunday with Papa and Tia.  We arrived at the beach house around 11PM and went to bed pretty much right away.  On Sunday we played and took Autumn on a boat ride.  Autumn also got to ride in the bike basket with Daddy and Papa.  It was a fun weekend.

Hanging out with Daddy.


Autumn's 2nd boat ride went much better
than the last one a few months ago.


Riding in the bike basket.  She loved this!
 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Big Girl

Autumn is becoming such a big girl.  Recently we moved her to a "big girl bed."  She was so excited when we came home one night and daddy had put the bed together.  She climbed right up on the bed and wanted to go to sleep right then.  She did great her first night. 



video

The nights since then have been fairly good.  The hardest part is getting her to go down to bed.  Once she is down she stays in bed all night and sleeps through the night.  Last night I put her to bed at 9PM screaming (her not me).  She didn't scream long though and was asleep very quickly.  I think we have been fortunate that she doesn't seem to want to roam around her room at night.  Although she does roam during nap times some days.  The other day Hurricane Autumn hit her room with a vengeance.  She had pulled out all of her blankets and sheets from her dresser and some clothes and shoes too.  Turns out she had a dirty diaper and just couldn't take a nap, so it was play time.

On another note I stayed home with Autumn on Tuesday this week.  It was a crazy and stressful day for me.  It started out fine.  We got up and got ready (a 2 hour process) and then headed to the park for some fun.  Autumn played hard and loved the park.  She didn't want to leave, but once we did she fell asleep in the car on the way to Chick-fil-A.  I went through the drive-thru and then headed her home for her nap.  I put her in bed and she woke up.  She cried, so I decided I would let her eat lunch and then we would try naptime again.  BIG MISTAKE!  Naptime never happened.  I count on her naps to do work or get things done around the house.  By 3PM I called my boss to inform her that I had not gotten any work done and probably wouldn't since Autumn still wouldn't take a nap.  I felt like a failure of a Mom.  I was so frustrated and tired myself.  After I threw a little tantrum we made the best of the napless afternoon.  We went to the grocery store, read books, snacked, and at 8PM went to pick up Mommy's dinner, because I was in no mood to cook.  Autumn finally went to bed around 8:40PM.  Such a late night for little girl who didn't have a real nap all day.  Autumn is a handful with a lot of energy.  She can easily wear me out.  Going to work the next day felt like a vacation.

Here are a few pictures from our week.  Enjoy!


Beautiful flowers from Andrew for "taking care of the house". 
(We had a flooding issue in my bathroom last week)

Movie Star!


Our lunch view on Saturday.


Lunch at the zoo on Saturday.  We tackled a trip to the zoo just
Mommy and Autumn without a stroller.  Went fairly well.