Monday, May 25, 2009


Sara Beth, after nearly 10 months of hard work, has grown quite a hairdo.  Her hair is similar to mine; it has a tendency to stick up.  It is also fine enough that it responds easily to getting messed up while it is wet.  Actually, this picture reminds me, I need to get a haircut too; that is pretty much what my hair looked like when I got out of the shower this morning.

This week, we gave her spaghetti with the sauce for the first time, and she loved it.  She has gotten into the habit of eating the food as fast as she can, another trait she picked up from her dad.  At dinner time, she has more in common with a vacuum cleaner than a well mannered little girl.  Heather is working on it, but she will shovel the food in like it is going out of style, pausing only to take large swigs of milk to wash the mouthfuls down.

We have a peach tree in our backyard, which has quite a collection of peaches on it.  None of them are ripe yet, but that didn't deter Sara Beth one night when we were out there watering it.  I brought the peach in and she munched into it.  I tried to explain to her that it would taste a whole lot better if she let it sit on the tree for a while longer, but she said she wanted to eat it before the birds did.  It was a valid enough point that I let her munch away at the crunchy peach.

Sara Beth likes to help with the yard work.  She loves being outdoors, and pulls things out of the ground with gusto.  There are some downsides.  She can't tell the different between weeds and flowers yanking either with equal abandon.  Also, she tries to stick the newly yanked weeds (or plants) into her mouth. 

In this picture SaraB is complaining to Heather, who is taking the picture, about how mean I am for taking the tree bark out of her mouth before she eats it.

This picture demonstrates one of the ways that Sara Beth and I are different.  Whenever I play with baby toys, I will try to engineer the tallest structure I can with the materials available.  It involves determining how wide the foundation should be, how quickly it can taper down to a single block, and things like that.   Sara Beth just wants to see what it will look like when it is knocked over.  Typically, I will try to see how tall I can build the structure while she is distracted with something else in the playroom, because as soon as she sees what I am doing, she will come over to point out the potential imbalances that can be added to the system.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Learning to drive

I got a preview of what it will be like in 15 years, teaching Sara Beth how to drive.  She discovered that she can push around her little buggy while on her knees.  A big grin would be plastered across her face as she careened into the furniture.  Any attempt to help her avoid obstacles was met with the unhappy cries of the pre-toddler.  She was perfectly happy to push her toy sideways into the various obstacles, and didn't want anyone suggesting any alternatives.

It didn't take her more than a day to realize that she could also do this standing up.  She now walks around for a little while.  Then, once she stumbles, she switches back to "knee mode" and continues.  It was very impressive how quickly she picked up on the whole walking thing.  We'll now have to see how long it takes her to switch to walking without training wheels.

In an interesting development this afternoon, Heather found Sara Beth rummaging through her toy purse.  She carefully selected her cell phone and cash and crawled over to her buggy for an afternoon on the town.

On a only slightly related note, I wanted to wish Heather a happy anniversary.  It has been the 7 greatest years of my life.  And without you, having a baby would be considerably more difficult.  Thank you.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I don't know why everyone talks about traveling with infants being hard.  Sara Beth was an angel on the plane flight.  Sara Beth played around in my lap, and then fell asleep while eating an apple on the flight out to Wisconsin.  On the flight back, Sara Beth slept for most of the way.  Easy as pie.  Now, granted, we did use the Benadryl trick.  And, of course, by declaring that it is easy, I am almost guaranteed to have a much rougher time when we fly to Colorado in two weeks.

We all had a great time visiting with my Aunt and Grandma.  Sara Beth soaked up all the attention that she was given like a sponge.   

We packed only the bare essentials for the trip, so Sara Beth did not have any toys from home to play with (aside from a stuffed animal and a few books).  To compensate, we took advantage of her ability to entertain herself with common household items, including, but not limited to: plastic meat containers, pieces of cardboard, wooden spoons, drink coasters, and the below mini pink soap dish. 

 In addition, every day friends and family brought more gifts for her.  It was a tight fit going up there with only carry on bags, but packing for the return flight was complicated by everyone's generosity and kindness.  I was able to fit it all into the two bags without any zippers bursting, but me suitcase was now too tall to fit into the overhead compartment and ended up being strapped into a spare seat at the back of the plane.  In addition to new puzzles and books, she received Verna, her great grandmother's 88 year old doll.

Each time Sara Beth found something new, she had to examine it using her "grumpy face," the face she makes when she concentrates.  Aunt Sue loved to see Sara Beth make that face.  We were able to get them both to make it by introducing a back massager to the below scene at the last second.

Sara Beth also got to meet her second cousin Landon on Mother's day.  We all got together to celebrate all the new mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers.  He is three months younger than Sara Beth which means that when Gretchen held Sara Beth, Landon was as happy as a clam, but when Heather held Landon, Sara Beth became noticeably agitated and crawled over to them to intervene.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hurricane Sara

With her newfound powers of mobility, Sara Beth can now get into all sorts of messes, leaving a trail of mess and destruction behind her.  She can now easily pull herself up and will pull all the magnetic pieces of her "Fridge Farm" off the dish washer.  Then once that is complete, she will go over to the refrigerator and begin removing all the magnetic letters from there as well.

In addition, she loves to make other messes as well.  It has been raining quite heavily this past week, which has meant the spring time weather has hung around.  To take advantage of this, we will generally leave the back door open in the evenings and let the cool air blow in from the patio.  However, the torrential rain also creates mud out of the dust in the air.  

I come home this evening to find Sara Beth happily playing around the living room in only her diaper.  The patio door had been open like normal.  The phone rang, and so Heather went to answer it.  As soon as Heather's back was turned, Sara Beth took advantage of the situation and bolted for the open door.  By the time Heather turned around, the munchkin sprinter had made it out the door and was frolicking in the puddle that had formed from last night's rain. The pants and shirt soaked up the dirty water quite well.  After dinner, since she had only a diaper on, I took her out into the back yard to the real mud puddles.  You know your kid is dirty when crawling through the wet grass actually has a cleaning affect.  Needless to say, she took a bath before going to bed.

Sara beth went in for her 9 month checkup today.  The nurses measured her at 30.5 inches and  weighed her in at 22.5 pounds, and Sara Beth hated every second of it.  Those stats put her at the same size as an average 15 month old.  

She can't read yet, but that doesn't mean that she like playing with her books.  Like most other things, she likes to spread all the books across the floor.  She does enjoy sitting and "reading" her dinosaur book (seen below in her lap).  It is one of her tactile books, where the Tyrannosaurs has bumpy teeth and the Stegosaurus  has fuzzy armor plates.  When Heather or I turn the page, she will delicately press her finger onto whatever is the tactile piece on that page, and then wait for us to turn the page to the next dinosaur. 

Over the weekend, I decided to wind Sara Beth up.  It was getting close to her nap time, and I wanted her to sleep well, so I figured that if I could completely wear her out, she would zonk out for a couple hours.  I tossed her on our bed and was dragging her under the sheets, rolling her around, helping her do somersaults and crawl laps around the mattress.  Heather got in on the action too, tickling her.  She took a solid two hour nap that afternoon, however it wore me out and I slept the two hours as well.

When she is not causing messes ( or after there is nothing else to pull off the appliances), Sara Beth will occasionally try to help prepare dinner.  Either that, or she realizes that there is more stuff to get into on the counter top.