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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Photo Contest, Round 2

I've been slacking on the blog (and much of the rest of my everyday life) lately, due to the fact that life has definitely thrown me some curveballs. Nevertheless, nothing can keep us from taking endless cute photos of Bryn, so here's Round 2 of the Family Photo Contest. Vote for your favorite shot. :)

I call this one "Welcome to My House." Nana and Papa Meyaard got Bryn this playhouse for Christmas, and since we have a lot of empty rooms, we set it up inside instead of waiting for spring. Bryn delights in standing inside and peeking out of each of the windows in succession. She thinks she's playing peek-a-boo with the dogs and generally cracks herself up.


What can I even say about this one? I'm thinking about "Cleanliness Is a Virtue" as the title, since Ben was very careful in the photography to allow her to still maintain her modesty. :) Bryn LOVES bath time and has recently started standing up to play in the tub. Strange but true: she absolutely refuses to stand on her own (without something to hold on to) on the floor, but she will do it with no fear in the bath.

Entitled "Muffins for the Muffin." Bryn's fascination with sorting things has recently led to endless reorganizations of our cabinets. We attempted to nip this in the bud by having Ben install child safety locks on all our cabinets, but this only inspired her to move on to a bigger sorting challenge--the pantry. And those really are boxes of muffin mix that she's going for on the end of the first shelf.

We call this one "First Snow." Bryn was absolutely fascinated (and a little freaked out) by the cold white stuff that recently covered the ground here and spent much time looking out the windows at it.

And lastly, we have "One of the Pack." Bryn absolutely adores the dogs, and her fifth word (if you count "bwahahaha" as her fourth) is some sort of odd combination of "doggy" and "Dagny." Perhaps not surprisingly, Dagny is her favorite of the dogs, as she lets Bryn climb all over her, while Tela pretty much limits her baby interaction to drive-by lickings.

Okay, there are the entries. Again, three by me and two by Ben, so we'll try to balance that in the opposite direction in Round 3. :)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Toothy Maw

Bryn has spent the past three days grabbing at her face and crying all day on and off. I was pretty much at my wit's end with her, especially when I had to leave my moms' group early yesterday because she wouldn't stop crying. Upon arriving home, I decided to feel around inside her mouth. Her gums looked a little swollen to me, and even though she had never been this hysterical about teething before, I couldn't figure out what else it could possibly be. Much to my surprise, I discovered not just one tooth breaking through on top, but FOUR. That has got to hurt. All of them are partway through the gumline already. So I slathered her up with Orajel and then dug through her toybox for every teething toy I could find and then put them all in the refrigerator. The Orajel apparently brought on some blessed relief for her, and she napped for THREE HOURS straight, which is an unheard of feat for her. Today, though, she has woken up from her nap after a mere 30 minutes, so I think that was just a fluke. She's getting to be quite the big girl with all her teeth though!!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Children's Museum

Yesterday I used some of my birthday money (yes, I know my birthday was two months ago; I'm not good at spending money on myself) to purchase a family +2 membership to the Children's Museum. This means that for the next year, we can go as much as we want, and we can take 2 guests each time (plus kids under 2 get in for free). I am REALLY excited about this. Cathy inspired me to do this, and I'm SO glad I did. Bryn and I went yesterday with Andrea and Hannah as our guests and had a fabulous time. The girls particularly liked the Playscape on level 3. This photo is a pretty good indication of their favorite parts: Bryn wanted to crawl and creep around and explore everything, and Hannah wanted to play with blocks and put things in her mouth. :)

Here's a great shot that Andrea got during one of Bryn's adventurous forays--she just took off and decided to crawl through a tunnel without any prompting from Mama. Bryn also adored the carosel on the fourth floor. In fact, she liked her first ride on it so much that whenever she heard the music start up after that, she took off crawling towards it in an effort to get in on the fun. So there will be many more trips in the future. Consider this an open invitation: any of you who live in Indy are welcome to attend with us any time, and any who are from out of town are encouraged to come visit us and go!

On the photo contest, it seems that an unofficial tally of the votes shows "Smile for the Camera" as the leader. We will be posting round 2 of the cute-baby contest next week.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Family Photo Contest

This week Ben has appealled to my overblown sense of competition and has challenged me to a contest of "who can take the cutest picture of Bryn." So all of you should post comment and let us know who you think the winner is, since Ben and I are not exactly very impartial judges. :) Here's my first entry, entitled "So Close to Walking." Bryn has finally gotten the hang of playing with the fun car that her Aunt Jill gave her for her birthday. She doesn't actually stand up on it yet on her own, but once I prop her up on it, she goes to town and is very proud of herself. She was also deeply embarrassed on Sunday night when 12-month-old baby Christopher came over with his parents for games and showed off his newly acquired walking skills.

This is another entry by me, entitled "Emptying the Dishwasher." Bryn thinks it's big fun to "help" me with daily tasks. I should mention, in my own defense, that all even somewhat sharp objects are removed before I allow her to do this. :) However, she did come out of the washer soaking wet, as our wash cycle has a tendancy to leave little puddles of wetness behind.

Another entry by me, entitled "Smile for the Camera." Bryn definitely knows what a camera is, and lately, every time we get close to her with one, she stops what she's doing and makes this huge cheesy grin. I have no idea where she got the notion that this is the appropriate "photo face," but it sure is cute. The only downside is that it is now far harder to catch her in cute spontaneous poses to capture what she's actually doing, since seeing the camera now brings out her inner model.

Speaking of Bryn's inner model, this photo by Ben captures it quite well. One night she was helping him in the kitchen and felt the need to play with the dishtowel, which he says she shimmied back and forth across her little diapered butt. There were many good pictures of this, but this one is his favorite, since she also struck a model pose with her hand behind her head. He says he thinks she's channelling Marilyn Monroe.

And here's another entry by Ben, entitled "Breakfast For the Dogs." Here she is sorting my breakfast bars into the dogs' food and water dishes. I was less than thrilled to discover this passtime when I returned from work that night. However, pictures of babies in diapers are always a crowd-pleaser.

So vote for your favorite in the comments section. :)

Meanwhile, this has been a busy week for me. On Sunday I started up with regular team meetings for the Awakening, a teen retreat at our old church that I'm serving on the team for. I did it two years ago and had a great experience, plus it's wonderful to get back there and see some of my favorite kids again. The Awakening meetings cause me to be late for our own Game Night, but Ben held down the appetizer fort quite admirably. On Monday, I started my first grad class toward my master's. As I told Ben on my way home from class, I have no idea why I thought it was a good idea to get my master's in Urban Education, except for the fact that this is the only secondary ed program that IUPUI offers. I mean really, let's look at the list of schools of attended or worked at: Dunlap, Butler, Carmel, Zionsville. Those are all about as far from urban as you can get. I'm about as qualified to do a master's in Rocket Science as I am in this. So I get the feeling, based on my first class, that this undertaking will be far harder than I originally anticipated. Tuesday brought my first meeting with a Bible study group I'm joining at church, which I really enjoyed. Today includes a visit to the Children's Museum with Andrea and Hannah, and tomorrow is Brynie's first Gymboree class. Then next week, I start up with nightly rehearsals for Mr. Zionsville. Oh, plus I'm still working retail. So this is shaping up to be a very busy month!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Adventures in Feeding

I guess that New Year's is the typical time to make big plans for changing your eating habits. Bryn has been really good about eating (almost) all table foods and completely giving up the bottle for a sippy cup. Her one food remnant of babyhood is vegetables. She still eats the tiny Gerber jars of baby food rather than venturing into actual vegetables. Well, since Bryn's primary food group of choice is "whatever's on Mama's plate," I guess this explains her lack of vegetables, since green things very rarely make it into my daily diet. We do eat a lot of salad, but one bite of lettuce was enought to convince her that this is a food she will not enjoy until later. I like raw veggies, but she doesn't have enough teeth to bite and chew them. So I have resigned myself to the fact that I am going to have to eat some hot veggies to get her to do it. Ew. This leads me to the main course of yesterday's lunch--spaghetti squash. That's right, the noodles you see on her tray in the photo are not actually noodles--they're squash. I found this recipe for mixing spaghetti squash with marinara sauce and some spices and baking it to make, well, spaghetti. After seeing me eat some, Bryn went to it so voraciously that I had to strip her down to keep her from getting sauce all over her shirt. (Besides, this blog has been seriously lacking in nakie baby pictures.) I have to admit that if someone else had served me this dish without telling me what was in it, I would never have known that it wasn't noodles. That being said, since I had cooked it, I DID know that it wasn't noodles, thus making every mouthful pretty disturbing. In the end, Bryn and I both had full meals of squash, and although I was starving again 2 hours later (apparently squash just does not fill you up like actual noodles), she seemed quite happy. Ah, the things I do for my daughter. I draw the line at cooked carrots though!!