Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Fun.

This weekend was the perfect summer weekend. It was one of those weekends where you do not have anything overly spectacular planned but in the midst of it all you think to yourself this is what it should be all about.  Spending time with those you love, exposing your child to new delights, and enjoying your weekend to the fullest.  

It started with Hubs coming home late Friday evening from Corn Country and surprising me with a bouquet of flowers and a 12 pack of beer. What a man, right?!  We both had semi difficult week and so we both jumped into our pjs cracked open a beer or two and snuggled into bed to watch a movie.  Never have I thought I would be watching a movie and drinking beer in bed but it was fun, comfy, and felt like home with Hubs next to me.  Regardless of where I am in the world when I am next to Hubs I feel at home. 

My cousin recently graduated from High School and my Uncle and Aunt threw her a  graduation party on Saturday in their back yard.  They rented a bouncy house so all the little ones would have something to do.  For those who personally know me know that I was all about having Gianna "jump" around in this bouncy house and Hubs was all mother hen worried that she was too little.  Well, Gianna "jumped" around in the bouncy house and she loved it.  Lesson to Hubs, listen to your wife.  She knows what she is talking about. 

Then the bouncy house deflated with Gianna and Hubs in it.  I have never seen Hubs scramble as quickly as he did trying to get himself and Gianna out of that bouncy house.  Not gonna lie.  I laughed.  Hard.  Shortly afterward I asked my 2 year old nephew who broke the bouncy house and he said his Uncle did.  Priceless. 

Sunday we got up and went to Hubs hometown festival and spend the afternoon with his side of the family.  They had a carnival in the small downtown area and a parade.   
It was interesting to see what Gianna was and was not afraid of.  The roller coaster made too much noise for her taste but she enjoyed pretty much everything else about the carnival.  It was super hot and humid but she sat contently the whole afternoon just looking around at all the lights and moving machinery.  Her favorite thing to look at was the big ferris wheel. 

Afterwards we all sat in the street to watch the parade.  I am so proud of my little Pretty Girl.  The day just kept getting hotter and muggier and it was nap time but Gianna was a trooper.  She quietly watched the parade pass by while noming her sophie and sippy cup.  We waved at all the pageant queens and HS dance squads.  Her eyes got big and round when the police cars came by with their loud sirens and flashing lights followed by these army like trucks with their loud banging guns.  It was such a fun fun afternoon.  

So much so that I told Hubs as we were driving home in our car from yesterdays events that this weekend was the type of weekend I always envisioned we would have as parents, as a family. He agreed.  

Later that evening after Hubs left to drive back to Corn Country my parents and I went on a walk with Gianna through their subdivision.  Gianna was being unusually quite so we peaked around her stroller and this is how we found her.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Its Easier Yet it Isn't.

Gianna turned 8 months old Tuesday. This past month has been filled with so much joy and yet so much frustration.  In many ways having a 8 month old has gotten so much easier and yet it just as difficult as having a newborn.  I am guessing that being a single parent Mon through Friday plays a major role in most of my frustration.  I am alone during the week and never get a break, but I also know that it's not 100% the reason.  Gianna is just getting older, exploring her world and understanding her surroundings.

When she was a newborn I had to deal with sleep depravation and that alone was enough to make me go crazy.  I do not do well on little sleep and am not a person who can nap during the day.  I was a walking zombie.  There was also the "getting to know your baby" period.  Is she crying cuz she is tired?  Is she hungry?  Is her diaper wet? What is her deal? How can I make is stop?  Another difficult hurdle was getting her naps down. Do I swaddle do I not swaddle?  I know she is tired so why is she screaming as soon as I put her in the crib?  Then I rocked and rocked and she screamed and screamed.   But in the end she was a good baby.  An easy happy baby.  Most of the time she cried when she was hungry, slept when she was tired and cooed and smiled when she was awake.  I didn't know how good I had it even if everyone told me so.

Gianna now sleeps through the night and has no issues going down for her two daily naps which is awesome.  No matter how rough the day prior was I start the following day refreshed and ready.  Even when she is teething she sleeps through the night and takes her naps without any issues.  That alone is a miracle in itself.

She is mobile.  She is everywhere.  She is pulling up on things.  Pulling things down.  Eating the dogs food and toys.  Pulling the dogs hair.  I cannot take my eye off of her for a second.  She is climbing the walls, literally.  No matter how much baby proofing I do, unless I keep her in a bubble or have her in a full bodysuit made of styrofoam, there are bumps, bruises, and tears.
I am going to get that laptop!

She has found the power of her voice.  She has learned that her crying and hollering to me is like kryptonite to superman.  Mix that with her recent development of separation anxiety, oh my goodness!!!  Separation anxiety is the devil.  If I am not in Gianna's eyesight the screaming and crying ensues.  She crawls to me and once she gets to me she will claw at my legs screaming with these massive crocodile tears until I pick her up.  It gets me every time.  This makes it impossible to get anything done when she is up.  I can no longer be in the kitchen unloading the dishwasher while she is happily playing with her blocks in the family room.  She can see me and she can hear me but its not enough.  If I am not sitting right there next to her she is not having it. Not only is this mentally exhausting to me but it's physically exhausting too.  Who needs to go to the gym when you pick up a 20 plus pound baby every 15 mins?

Fear.  If separation anxiety is the devil then fear is his partner in crime.  Gianna has developed fear of the strangest things.  Just as an example she is scared of the vacuum, the hair dryer, and most men.  When she is scared her lip starts to tremble, then her whole body shakes and she cries.  If I am holding her she looks away from whatever it is that is scaring her and holds on to me as tightly as possible.  If she is on the floor she will scream and cry and reach for me.  How do I handle this fear?  Do I keep exposing her to what scares her the most hoping that with time she will begin to loose these fears as she gains more exposure?  Do I stop vacuuming my floor while she is awake and a month later try again and keep doing so until she is fine with it?  Do I rescue her every time she throws a fit when her grandfathers hold her or look her way?

Gianna is too smart for her own britches.  I think that its just that as she gets older she is has become more aware of her surroundings.  And this is where MY difficulties lie.  She is doing what she should be doing at her age.  She is aware that her great grandmother is someone new and doesn't want to be held by her.  She knows that Grammy's crib is not her own crib and will stand up and chuck her chooch (pacifier) clear across the room if you so much as think you are going to try to make her sleep in anything that is not her own bed.  She knows that if she screams she is going to get your attention asap.  There is no fooling her.  Gianna is a big girl now.  She has a personality and she know what she wants and what she doesn't.
Yeah right, Zoey.  Your pillow is now MY pillow. 

But with all these new challenges that month 7-8 have given me its also given me so much joy.  When she is scared or upset she reaches for me.  She looks for me.  I am her person.  How scary and totally awesome is that?  To be someone's person? She is also learning something new everyday and to see the sense of accomplishment splash across her face when does something new is amazing.  Afterwards she looks for me with pride on her face as if she is saying "Did you see what I just did, Momma?"  It makes the total meltdown an hour earlier a distant memory.  I love see the concentrated expression she makes when I give her something new to eat.  Like she is trying to figure out what it is, how to chew it and if she likes it.  99% of the time results in a big smile followed with her mouth opened wide begging for more.  I love our morning snuggles.  Its about the only time she will lay and cuddle with me.  She wakes up in the morning and I go into her room change her diaper and bring her to bed with me to feed.  She will snuggle up close to me and place her hand on my chest as she eats.  It's the best way to start the day.

In some ways its easier now because we have a routine.  Things run more smoothly.  I feel I better understand her wants and needs, but yet at the same time it isn't.  As she gets older I am faced with new challenges and hurdles that together we learn from and get through.  I love it though and wouldn't change a thing about it.  I can totally foresee that 12 years from now I will be laughing at myself for thinking that this is anywhere close to being a difficult time when Gianna wants to wear that short skirt out to the movies.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Joy Of FOOD!

Since Gianna has mastered the pincher grasp and has started to gum her foods I have been giving her "grown up" food while I feed her purees.  Oh my, it has been a total blast and she just LOVES doing it. It has also made meal time a lot easier on our end.  It keeps her preoccupied and happy without having to give her a toy.  (We are trying to make meal time meal time and not meal/play with toy time.) Yesterday I gave Gianna broccoli for the first time.

Grabbing the broccoli.

Successfully getting it in her mouth.

Nom Nom Nom Nom

Success!  Feeding myself is FUN!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers Day

Thank you to the man who always manages to put a smile on his girls faces.  We both love you with all of our hearts and miss you every day that you are away.  

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

When You Have Talented Friends...

My best friend Bettes and her husband Nick came to Hometown from the Big Apple over the Memorial weekend to visit with family and friends.  She and I went to Jr. High together and have been friends ever since.  Not only her both she and her husband wickedly good lookin', they both have some major brains, and jaw dropping talent.

While they stopped by at our home to meet Gianna for the first time Nick took a few snap shots of our little girl.  I love how they came out and hope you enjoy them as much as I do.  So here is my Wordless Wednesday.... with words, cuz I am a rule breaker like that.

I love this shot.  

This picture cracks me up.  I can imagine her saying "Listen here...".

I am a hot mess and Gianna looks pist, but SEE how beautiful my Bettes is?

Popeye arms.

A gift to Gianna from Nick and Bettes.

Thank you so much Nick!  I love them!!  Bettes, I miss you bunches and love you lots, Hooker.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Little Bit of This and That

Since I have been MIA for quite a bit I am going to do a quick recap of some of the happenings here at HHL.

Gianna: Hubs installed a swing.  We love love love swinging.  
Pure bliss face.

Gianna has been teething for the past few weeks.  She is working on tooth number 3,4,5 and 6. 

Appropriate,?  Maybe not.  Funny? Yes.
And that is what we pretty much think about that.  

She has become quite the crawling machine.  She is all over the place in the blink of an eye.  She can go from a laying position to a sitting position all on her own now and has become the master of the pincher grasp.  It's so fun to watch her in full concentration mode trying to pick up a piece of food then to have her try to quickly smash it into her mouth.  Sometimes she makes it.... many times she doesn't.  So then she starts all over again.  

Corn Country: Hubs found a place for us to live.  It's a two bedroom, two bath duplex with a laundry room and tons of storage.  It even allows dogs.  Perfect.  I have not seen it yet but Hubs is waaaaay more picky when it comes to choosing our rentals than I am so I trust him.  He says its in a really nice, has tons of room and is in a quite area of the small town.  The place is not available until the beginning of July so Gianna and I will be staying at our home in Hometown until then and Hubs is going to continue to make the long commute home every weekend.  I am so happy that the mess of finding a place is over with.    

Our trip to Italy:  Gianna and I both needed a passport for this upcoming trip.  She didn't have one and mine was expired.  What a royal pain in the rear!  I could not believe all the hoops we had to go through to get a passport for Gianna.  I do get why they do it but at the same time its not a fun application process.  Also, did you know that you are no longer allowed to show teeth in the photos?  I never mastered the no smile = cute photo look so I attempted a half smirk on my pic.  I look like a convict and I do not look cute.  If you want to imagine what my pic looks like picture me with a bad case of the farts.  Gianna on the other hand looked 100% adorable so all is well.  

Oh and we were notified that our flight is no longer a non stop flight.  The company that we bought our tickets through no longer does one way flights for our area.  We have to make a stop in Amsterdam.  Way to mess up a good thing.  Jerks. 

Me:  To end this post all on a happy note.... this week I noticed that I am not loosing massive amounts of hair when I shower.  I still loose the random four or five strands but I will gladly take it! 

Friday, June 11, 2010

I've Been Unplugged

Hubs took my laptop when he went back to Corn Country after my sister offered to lend me hers until his return.  We figured this was an offer we could not refuse since he has yet to buy a web came and our laptop has one built in.  The plan was that he was to use mine so he could continue to Skype with Gianna and I while he is far away and we were to use my sisters.  Well, while it lasted it was awesome but a few days later my sister needed her laptop back.  AWESOMENESS!

So I've been unplugged.  No e-mail, no facebook, no blogs, no bumping, nothing.  At first I was dying.  Only able to check my e-mail via my crap phone and then to NOT be able to respond due to said crap phone.  It was like someone cut off my right arm.  Then after a few days past you know what?  Surprisingly, I actually started to enjoy it.  I know!  Who would have thunk it?  Not me, that is for sure.

Well, Hubs came home late last night after an 11 day absence due to being stuck in Corn Country over the last weekend for work.  He is going to be here for a long weekend and then will be returning to work far away in the corn fields while his girls stay here in Hometown.   So I figure that although I may have my laptop back I am going to continue to stay unplugged for just a little bit longer and enjoy my family.  :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Goldilocks and the Three Pools.

There was once a pretty little girl with strawberry blonde hair who was in search of the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day. 

This water was much too cold.

This pool was much too big

This pool was PERFECT!

Swimming is fun.....

but exhausting!