Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday adventures

It has been a hectic couple of weeks. We traveled to see Heather's family in Alabama, and from that we learned that Sara Beth does not like sleeping in hotel rooms. It is a 12 hour drive from Dallas to Decatur, so when we left around 4pm, we drove until 1am. Sara Beth decided to not go to sleep until Heather climbed into the play pen with her at around 4am. While in Alabama, once she got used to her Great-Grandpa's apartment, she slept fairly well, but since she was in the same room as Heather and I, we had to be very quiet the whole night to prevent her from waking up prematurely. She got to try her first Coca-Cola when her Great Grandpa offered her one. I helped her drink it, as I think she would still be awake if she had all that sugar and caffene at one time.

Sara Beth also got to enjoy some extra TV time. At first she seemed confused that there was not a football game playing on the TV screen, but she got used to it after a while.

We had a good time, though she didn't want to get near the mall Santas, however, it was good to come home. The day after we got back, Sara Beth ran back and forth through the house, reassuring herself that it was all still in the right place. She then sat in the back yeard in her doll stroller and relaxed, mostly staring at our peach tree and enjoying the Texas winter.

That weekend, we put up the Christmas decorations. Heather and I couldn't tell whether it was the cats or Sara Beth who was pulling down most of the ornaments from the bottom half of the tree. We suspect Sara Beth did most of it, but we could never be sure.

For Christmas Eve, Sara Beth got dressed up and smiled for the camera with her mom.

When Heather and I swapped positions, Sara Beth didn't seem to be as pleased with the setup.

Sara Beth did enjoy opening gifts on Christmas.

But she did seem to enjoy the wrapping paper and boxes more. Heather and I bought her a "big girl kitchen" since she seemed to use her old kitchen as a jungle gym. But I think Sara Beth enjoys playing in the box as much as the kitchen that the box is sitting in. She will hide in the box and then burt out in a big "peek a boo" moment and then retract back into the box doing her best impression of an oversized cute trap door spider.

One of the toys that Sara Beth got for Christmas was a cookie set. The wooden cookies have velcro on each side of them allowing them to be attached end to end into one long cookie dough cylinder. Just today I demonstrated to her how to use the wooden knife to split the dough cylinder into individual cookie pieces. Sara Beth giggled uncontrollably while detaching each cookie and as soon as they were all separated, she wanted me to velcro them back together so that she could repeat the process again. I tried to help her hold the knife the way that would bring the most cutting force to bear on the velcro bonds, but Sara Beth seemed to laugh the hardest as she heald the knife and stabbed the blocks perpendicular to the direction and tried to stab the cookies. Either way, it was a great time.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Big Girl

So Sara Beth went for her regular check up at the doctor's office.  When Heather pulled up in the parking lot, Sara Beth burst into tears and started to repeat "No, Mom, No!"  Three vaccinations later, they left.  Sara Beth weighed in at 27 pounds 13 ounces and is 34 7/8 inches tall.  According to wolfram alpha that means she will be 6 feet tall and weigh around 176 pounds once she is done growing.  

Every day she is growing more and more independent.  This past week she has started to want to read her own books.  So I will sit next to her and read my magazine while she pages through her books.

She has also begun to use her play kitchen as a jungle gym.  Fortunately for us, we are planning on swapping this one out with a larger size unit, which should, hopefully, reduce the likelihood of her climbing on top of it.  Until she gets better at climbing at least.

Heather captured Sara Beth sitting in her chair catting on her cell phone.  Even though it currently only calls Minnie Mouse, she will still pretend to call me while I am at work.  When ever I give her a real cell phone while  Heather is on the other end of the line, she will just stare at the phone in surprise.  

Her interest in shoes and jewelry increases on a daily basis.  She has her collection of bracelets that she will place on her wrist, all at the same time and then wave her arms around to make them clink as she tears around the house.

  Whenever I am putting shoes on my feet, she will say "Shoes" to let me know that she has correctly identified that I am putting on footwear.  Whenever Heather leaves her shoes lying around, Sara Beth will put them on and try to walk around the house in them.  Thought it may look like it in the picture, she is not actually break dancing.

One more prediction that I feel confident enough to make about the future: Sara Beth will drive either a car with a big engine or a diesel truck.  Whenever we walk down the street and some loud car or truck drives by, Sara Beth will start to imitate the engine noise.  In addition, she will often get into a storage box, and then start making engine noises as she pretends to drive it around.  

Monday, December 7, 2009


Rarely does white stuff fall from the sky around these parts, but this week, a dusting of the stuff fell once morning.  Heather and Sara Beth rushed outside and played around looking at all the cold white stuff.

Sara Beth has begun to pick up on some of the habits that we have as a family.  My favorite one was this week when she realized that before meals we pray, and that every prayer ends with the work "Amen."  She will wait till we are done, and then say "amen" along with us, with a big grin on her face.  However, she will confuse "amen" with the phrase "the end" that we say after reading a book.  So, just like after a prayer, she will say "amen" as we finish the last page of a book.

She has begun to take a real interest in her little train.  She will press the button so that it starts to flash and play a song, and then she will push it around the house.  Whenever it stops its flashing and noisemaking, she will stop and press the button again, to ensure that she is not pushing a mere silent toy.

While out for dinner this past week, Sara Beth wanted a bite of my gyro, which had some fresh onions on it.  I tried to direct her towards some of the flat bread and meat, but she ignored my promptings and took a bite out of the raw onion.  She then spit it out, and stuck out her tongue and started to make "pfffttbbb" noises to get the taste off of her tongue.  She then drank half of her water.

Sara Beth has gotten to a point where we will have her help us put dishes in the dishwasher.  She loves to help us out.  So we will hand her a dirty spoon with instructions on where to put it, and she will run over to the dishwasher and place it in the appropriate spot.  I have even allowed her to "help" me carry a dirty plate to the washer.  She has a big grin plastered across her face the whole time.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Our little helper

It is good to be back in the same timezone as Sara Beth and Heather.  The trip was long, and I missed being back with the rest of the family.  I have no idea how a single parent can do it without passing out from exhaustion.

With only one week before December, the weather has finally cooled down to a point where the leaves are turning colors and falling off the tree.  When we first put gloves on her, we were worried that she would pull them off as quickly as we could put them on.  The fear was unfounded as she loved the new addition to her outfit.

While I worked overseas, Sara Beth helped her mom with the chores.  She saw Heather sweeping the floor and wanted to help.  She successfully waved the broom across the floor, but nothing actually got swept into a pile; Heather had to go back and redo the spot once the broom was unatended.

Apparently, Sara Beth threw quite a few fits this past week.  Here you can see her trying to get into the bathroom, and  showing how upset the closed door is making her.  If you look really closely, you can see a tear rolling down her chin.

The shoe thief was at it again.  She put one of Heather's shoes on her feet, and walked all the way from the kitchen to the play room to model them.

As soon as I got back, the first item on my list of things to fix was the dryer.  It would take 4 times too long to get all the moisture out.  I began to take the dryer apart, and when I went to grab another tool, Sara Beth picked up the screwdriver and began to help.  She did end up cutting her finger on a sharp edge on the metal.  We put a little band-aid on her finger.  She proudly showed it to Heather and I, and then took it off since it was getting in the way of her playing.

Thanksgiving weekend is the time that I hang up the Christmas lights.  This year I decided to try out a new setup.  It was trickey and took much longer than I expected.  Sara Beth got a kick out of looking up and seeing me on the roof.  She asked Heather to let her get on the roof too.  We told her not until she is older. 

Sara Beth's table manners are developing nicely.  After we sit down to pray and ask a blessing for the food, Sara Beth will say "Amen" along with Heather and I.  She will also reddily offer to share her food.  She just needs to watch out for my bitting teeth, as they can catch unsuspecting hands.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Heights

Sara Beth has been busy this week. Sara Beth has finally started trying to build with her blocks. In the past, she would dump them all out on the floor and have a grand time putting all the blocks back in the bag. If Peter or I built anything, she was right there ready to unleash destruction on the tower. I am pleased to say that during our last block session, she didn't destroy my tower. She actually sat and made several of her own.
Sara Beth has also discovered that she loves heights. I had the ladder out this week. I turn my back for 2 seconds and she's climbing up! We finally compromised that she would just sit on the ladder instead of trying to climb it!

Since Peter is out of town, my Aunt Kathy came for a visit. While she was here we went to Lake Highlands and had tea with her friends. Sara Beth had a great time playing with Ben (who is three) and watching baby Andrew (who is 3 months). She discovered toy cars and was rather attached to one of Ben's. Of course, Sara Beth also enjoyed all the attention she got while she was there.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Preparing to travel

I am heading out of the country for 2 weeks beginning tomorrow for work, so this past week has been filled with me spending as much time as possible playing with Sara Beth and Heather, as I will be on the other side of the world from them. I worry that I will leave Sara Beth, the toddler, and come home to Sara Beth the little girl; that she would grow up too much while I am away. While I am out, Heather will be filling in as this blog's special guest author.

Anyways, this past week we went to the Dallas Arboretum. It was a little over a year since the last time we took Sara Beth. She had a lot more fun this time; she went up to all the mums and sniffed them. In one case, she walked up to the flower, and while bending down to smell, she lost her balance and grabbed onto the nearest thing to help break her fall. The nearest thing was the mum. It didn't help her break her fall, but it did break.

There were still some pumpkins out at the Arboretum from the Halloween holiday. Sara Beth went up to the first one she saw and wanted to climb onto the top of it.

While Heather and Sara Beth were out at the store, Sara Beth apparently found some new, pink, sparkly shoes. I tried to take a picture of them, but Sara Beth was running around the house with them on. This was the best picture I could capture, the others were all blurry or out of focus since she kept moving so quickly. Fortunately, this should be solved soon, as I just bought a camera off of Ebay for $36. Hopefully it will work better than our current one.

Sara Beth loves to play with glasses. Our glasses. When we give her some sun glasses of her own, she will take them off immediately, and very quickly loose interest in them. Our glasses, on the other hand, will hold her interest for as long as we allow it. Sara Beth reached up and pulled the glasses off my face while we were walking around the book store. I didn't think much of it, as her fingerprints on the lenses can be cleaned. 30 seconds later, I glance down and she is resting in my arms trying her hardest to tear my ear pieces off of the frames. In retrospect, I'm not all that surprised. After all, her nick name is "Destructor".

Sara Beth's hair is growing very quickly, and I am happy to see the natural curl forming. In fact, her hair is almost to the same length as her Mom's hair in the back. Heather is growing her hair out to donate to "Locks of love", and we are not going to cut Sara Beth's hair any time soon. It will be a contest to see who can grow their hair the quickest.

Sara Beth now has her own little doll stroller to push around the house. She will careen through the house at pretty good speeds, and occasionally, she will even put a doll in the stroller.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Exploding diapers

At the beginning of this week, we were running low on Sara Beth's extra absorbent night diapers.  Heather and I talked and decided to try just using her regular diapers.  It was a spectacular failure.  The first night, Sara Beth decided to pull her diaper off in the middle of the night and wet the bed.  The second night we put her in a full length footed sleeper.  Somehow, the diaper came off and ended up shoved into one of her pajama legs.  The third night we brought out the big guns: duct tape.  The diaper stayed on, but it still leaked.  So the next day, Heather went out and bought some more night time diapers.  We learned our lesson.

My parents came in for the weekend.  Sara Beth had a great time with all the extra attention.  She helped my parents look at two potential future houses for my parents, but by the time we had pulled up to the third house, she was past her nap time, so Sara Beth and I explored the lawn out front.  Sara Beth was so tired that she was loosing motor control and ended up tipping over and falling into some shrubbery and ended up with a scratch on her cheek.  Once we got back and she took a good 3 hour nap, she was back to her regular self.  Sara Beth and her Grandmother were able to play and learn; they practiced saying the word "Grandma" quite a bit.

Unfortunately, that was all the pictures we took this week.   We'll try to document things a little better in this coming week.

Monday, October 26, 2009


While putting up dishes this week, Sara Beth decided to pilfer the silverware basket for her own uses.  We had the pantry open; she carried her newly obtained container and stuffed anything she should grab from the bottom shelf.  She then carried around her loot around the kitchen, routinely stopping to take it all out and repack it.

Then, this weekend, we went to the harvest festival at our church.  It had pony rides, but Sara Beth didn't want to be away from her mom.  It had a petting zoo, but the bunnies scared Sara Beth, and she burst into tears.  She did recover enough while walking around the pumpkin patch, and decided that she wanted to see how big of a pumpkin she could hoist.  She lifted a rather large pumpkin, but she didn't use proper form, and lifted using her back.

Our church also has a playground with a couple play sets.  Sara Beth loved playing with the wheel, and made race car noises while spinning the wheel back and forth, just like her daddy taught her.  She seems to be fascinated with cars and also loves to sit in my lap while I am in the drivers seat of my car and push all the buttons on the center console of my car.  Don't call CPS on me, the car was sitting off and in my garage at the time.

Getting back to the things Sara Beth collects: her mom's bracelets.  Whenever the closet door is open, she will go into it, open the bracelet drawer in Heather's jewelry box, and then carefully place every single one onto her hand. 

In this picture, Sara Beth carried her purse into the front room of our house and in the process of reorganizing it.  She will empty everything out of her purse, and then begin stuffing things back in.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


This week past has just flown by, and I just realized how long it has been since I last posted.  Sara Beth will now regularly feed herself at the table.  In fact, quite often, she will refuse food offered from our hand, and will only eat it if we place the food on her tray for her to pick up.  In the below picture, we let her sit in a "big girl chair" after eating the majority of her breakfast on her own.  She was so interested enough in Heather's toast that she didn't mind eating it out of Heather's hand.

These apples initially started on my plate.  I made some sliced apples covered in peanut butter and raisins as a snack for me while Sara Beth ate her lunch.  She decided that my food looked better.  But she didn't eat the apple; she just sucked all the peanut butter and raisins off of the slice, then tried to give the plain apple back to me.   

Heather makes really good food.  Sara Beth agrees. When Heather cooked some oatmeal for Sara Beth, it took too long to eat messing around with silverware. So Sara Beth decided to do it the old fashioned way.  She picked up the bowl and brought it to her mouth to slurp it up, but the full ramifications of the theory of gravity are still eluding her.

But Sara Beth wouldn't let a thing like half a bowl of oatmeal in her lap slow her down.  She proceeded to lick the bowl to get the few bits of oatmeal that still clung to the sides.  

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Quite a Week

This past week, Sara Beth's great-grandmother passed away.  We went back up to Wisconsin for the whirlwind funeral.  Heather got Sara Beth a beautiful dress to wear.  

While up in Kenosha, we had to go by the Jelly Belly Factory.  Sara Beth was like a kid in a candy store.  She kept trying to grab or at least touch the different bags of candy.  Once I put her in the cart, it became a lot easier to contain her.  There are little yellow strips of text by the handle to the cart warning that no children should ever sit in the cart.  I ignored them.

Also, since it is getting close to Halloween, we went to the local pumpkin patch.  Sara Beth didn't know what to do with the below photo-op and stared blankly out of her cut out.  It wasn't until I stuck my head through the other hole that she smiled.

The pumpkin patch also came with an animal pen and food you could feed them for a quarter.  Sara Beth liked the animals when she saw them from afar, but as we got closer and closer, she clung tighter and tighter to Heather.  She finally reached out and touched a goat, but it took a while, and several quarters worth of animal feed.

The pumpkin patch also offered a maze built out of hay.  Sara Beth almost made it through the thing, but she stood up a little too quickly and knocked her hat off.

The plane flight back home went well for the most part.  We were bringing so much stuff back with us, we checked a bag.  As soon as we got in the air, Sara Beth guzzled down two bottles of milk and fell to sleep soon after that.  She slept most of the flight, but near the end, she woke up, and vomited all over Heather, her doll, and herself.  Fortunately, I missed the worst of the smelly stuff.   The spare set of clothes was in the bag we checked.  It was so bad we stripped off Sara Beth's shirt and she flew the rest of the way to Dallas in her pants and diaper.   

  Once we got home, Sara Beth at a quick dinner, took a bath and eagerly went to sleep in her own bed.