Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lucy is 20 Months Old!

First off, I can't believe my baby girl is 20 months old! Where has the time gone! Lucy, I just can't believe that the baby I brought home from the hospital is now walking/running around with her own personality, pigtails, and mind of her own!
These posts have really changed from when you were a baby. Then, I was trying to document things like weight gain, baby milestones, sleeping schedule, etc. Now, I feel like you have settled into your toddler years and the change isn't so rapid (thank goodness!). You are about 23 pounds now and definitely harder to hold than you used to be. That combined with my growing pregnancy belly, and you have started to do most of the walking from our car to the store. You are getting very good at holding my hand as we walk into the grocery store, Target, etc. One way I can tell you're getting older is that your clothing sizes have started to have much wider gaps between them. I mean seriously, you are supposed to be in 2T for a whole year!? How's that supposed to work? As a first time mom, I'm used to a new clothes size each 3 months, so it's really weird to try to plan for your clothes lasting that long.
You are getting to be little miss independent. You are also very brave. Today Jason/Daddy was climbing up a ladder to cut down the limb of a tree and you kept wanting to climb right up after him! Of course we wouldn't let you, which you weren't too happy about. But when he was finished, we let you climb all the way  up to the top (with us right there in case you fell of course). You also just started to climb the rock wall on your little playset (with help). You have mastered going up and down that slide and will do it over and over on your own. I remember just recently helping you up those stairs.... You also really like to take a ball up there with you, roll the ball down the slide, and then slide down after it. You LOVE playing outside. It is your favorite place to be. You didn't really mind the cold and would play outside in the winter, but we weren't quite as willing to go outside with you. Now that the spring is FINALLY starting to come around, we have spent some wonderful afternoon/evenings outside playing with you. You like being pushed around in your little CozyCoupe and are very well trained to hold your legs up when we push you. You haven't quite figured out how to push yourself with your legs though. Your favorite toys right now are your outside balls (another word you can say!). They only cost like $3 each and you absolutely love throwing and kicking them around outside.
You love to help out with any chore you can. You help me unload the dishwasher, put clothes in the washing machine, pick up your toys, etc. Truth be told, it takes a lot longer having you help me, but I'm trying my best to be patient (not my strongest suit) and let you have fun helping. You have started to really LOVE books (another word you can say!). Every morning when I get you up, we read some books together. You especially love your two Bibles, I think mainly because you know that we only let you look at them when we are with you because they are "nicer". The books that entertain you the longest are "lift-the-flap" books, those are worth their weight in gold around here because they entertain you for a grand total of about 5 minutes! You also helped me bake some brownies a few weeks ago and loved it. I think we are going to have lots of fun cooking together in the years to come! :)
You continue to love bath time (you can say "bath" - seems like the words you say mainly start with "b"). We got you some bathtub crayons that you enjoyed, but then you started to only like playing with them when they were submerged in water (which makes them disintegrate, since they are made of soap), or if they were in your mouth... so I don't think you are quite ready for those. You mainly like to fill a big cup up with water over and over and dump it on yourself. Today, you experimented by dumping water outside of the tub (I was not happy about that one). You also tummy surf sometimes to submerge yourself under water. One weird thing you have started to do recently is scream when I dry you off with a towel on your changing table. I have no idea why but you just want the towel off of your body as fast as possible...who knows?
You have a funny habit of moving your toys all around the house. No toy is too big. In fact, this week you tried to carry your heater (it was unplugged) across the house until you dropped it in the hallway. We often have to tell you to not move your chairs around the kitchen and house. We think you may have a future career moving furniture haha. You also like to sit in boxes. We have an ottoman filled with toys in the living room and you mainly like to take all the toys out and climb in and out of the empty box.

You are starting to have a longer attention span and enjoy coloring and stickers. You still inevitably end up either chewing on a crayon or dumping the crayon box on the floor, but all in all we have been coloring more lately.
You are not picky at all and love pretty much all types of foods. Your favorite food by far is fruit! We call you a "fruitatarian". You love bananas and would eat one at every meal if we let you. Your other favorite foods are pizza, apples, pears, canned fruit, cheese, gummi snacks, ice cream, and mac n' cheese. Typically you just want to eat what we eat. One funny thing is that you absolutely must have the same sauce that I eat (and I eat a lot of sauces...) If I dunk my pizza in the garlic butter sauce, you must as well. If I put parmesan cheese on my pizza, then you want us to put some on yours too. If we have salsa and sour cream with our mexican food you want some too. We have actually resorted to giving you your own little sauce bowl so you can dunk things over and over... haha. I recently started letting you have milk and cereal which you think is very cool. Most of the time you even finish by drinking the milk out of the bowl! :)
Recently, Grandma and Grandpa Baareman came and watched you for the weekend while me and daddy went to a Marriage Conference in Myrtle Beach. They had so much fun with you and you did great! They took you to Steak N' Shake, the park, and played outside with you a lot. You also went with me to Atlanta to visit family. Aunt Kristen took care of you one day while I worked and you had lots of fun playing with Wyatt, although you were pretty scared of her two dogs, it took you about a day to get used to them. You also got to play with your aunts and uncle in Marietta and got to play on their swing set some more. I was super excited to find lots of stuff for you at a consignment sale. I got you a little potty (that is hiding in the shed now until you are ready for it), a Little People doll house, a backpack, and lots of books and puzzles.

In mid January, I had a business trip to Atlanta and you got the 24 hour flu bug. Perfect timing!?! NOT! After a few frantic phone calls we had our friend watch you one morning, and daddy took a day and a half off to stay home with you and nurse you back to health. It was hard being away from you during that time, but you were such a trooper! You were fine by the time I got home, then daddy got sick! It was a pretty miserable few weeks around here!
We love you so much Lucy! You bring so much joy to our lives. I love watching you learn and grow. Seeing your personality emerge is one of my favorite things about this stage. I'm excited for you to become a big sister soon. I know you will enjoy having a playmate.

Love, Mommy

Monday, March 3, 2014

Augusta: Ice planet Hoth

One of the reason I love living in the south is the weather.  Awesome fall and spring, usually short mildish winter, and warm sometimes brutal summer.  This year however, has been most unusual.  I honestly feel like I have been transported back to North Dakota with all of the cold, ice, and snow we have received in the first 2 months of the new year.  But it has made for wonderful memories and fantastic adventures.

It all started back in early January when we had this blast of frigid arctic air.  I think we set record temperatures here as the lows dipped down into the teens and single digits.  As we dripped our faucets and huddled under blankets to keep warm, I looked at temperatures up north and they were very cold.  News reporters and weather reporters were even stating that in North Dakota the temperatures were reaching the record levels of the 1995. Oh yeah, I happened to be there at that time. Brr. I am definitely a cold weather wimp now and proud of it.  After we thawed out from our deep freeze, a couple weeks went by and we were projected to get ice and snow from the evil polar vortex.  Turns out that Atlanta got the worst of that one as I'm sure many of you already know from the news reports and the popular SNL skit.  The polar vortex for us in Augusta however was quite nice.  Lots of cold, no ice and plenty of fun snow.  With a couple of days off from work due to the white powder, we made the most of that time as a family.  Let me tell you.  Lucy loves to be outside and now she had this new stuff to experiment with, eat, and play in.  SO she did not want to ever leave.  We would come in from playing and she would cry and stand at the door looking out longingly saying "snow, snow."  So of course we went out again.  She had a blast (and so did I) and many awesome memories were made.  You can see them in the pics and video below.

The cycle of cold and thaw was about every two weeks on the dot.  So that meant that the most recent icepocalypse occurred two weeks after the polar vortex in mid February.  This one was bad.  The forecasters projected it to be bad and they were right.  The ice, freezing rain began falling on a Tuesday evening and continued for what seemed forever.  Fortunately, we had been preparing so we had a camping grill ready to cook food, firewood ready to burn, plenty of drinking water stashed away and blankets and flashlights. So we were ready to hunker down for the long haul in the dark.  Well the ice just kept coming and coming.  It was thick, sludgy ice/sleet.  I decided to shovel my driveway just in case of an emergency and we needed to get out because I thought if I didn't move that stuff we could really be stuck for awhile considering my driveway is an upslope.  Thanks to a neighbors shovel, I was able to clear and keep clear our driveway for much of Wednesday, although I felt that work the next day.  But the scariest part of this storm happened Wednesday night.  Ice was building up on power lines and trees for at least 24 hours and it is heavy.  I saw tree branches that were completely encased in 3/4 of ice or more.  So naturally, trees and branches and power lines began to fall.  Loud, piercing cracks could be heard all night with the subsequent thud was heard as massive limbs this size of trees and in some cases whole trees were snapping to pieces.  Transformers were blowing and lines collapsing under the pressure of the ice.  I went outside with the flashlight to see first hand what was happening to the woods in my back yard and it was scary.  Felt like I was in a battle zone or something.  After a giant branch fell not but 30 feet from me I went inside and made the decision with Laura to move Lucy to the living room which was the farthest part of the house from any potential tree collapse.  We prayed and we went to bed cautiously, serenaded by the sound of splintering live timber.  The next morning revealed the devastation.  It is hard to describe but it looked like something out of movie or something.  You can see some of it below.  Amazingly, we did not lose power and never would AND no branches/trees fell on our house.  Praise God.

I drove to the hospital thursday morning to help since many of the therapist could not make it in and because of my planning and keeping the driveway clear, I could.  Many roads were closed due to trees and power lines but I made it and worked nearly a full day.  By that afternoon, things were starting to clear up.  It would take several days for power to be restored to the area so we had the privilege of hosting people who needed warmth, a hot shower, etc.  Friday brought even more normalcy as I worked again in the hospital but everything was thawing out, however, I don't think our southern plate tectonics enjoyed all the ice as we had an earthquake that Saturday night.  Over the next couple of weeks we cleaned up the yard debris and resumed normal life.

Apparently the farmer's almanac predicted 3 ice/snow storms for this year and we have had two.  Here's to hoping that those predictions are untrue.  Be swift tropical sunshine.  We need you.


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