Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lucie at 273 Days (Or 9 months, as some call it)

Lucie Ferghana celebrated her 9-month birthday last weekend at Gooseberry Falls! You can probably see from the pictures that she's got the cuteness factor down! I love the 9-month check up because there are no shots (if you've kept up to date on the previous visits) so it's just weight, height, head circumference, some pokes and flashlights shining around her face, and we were out of there. She still managed to cry through most of the appointment.

"No! Don't take my clothes off! I hate putting on and taking off shirts! Now what are you doing? LAYING ME DOWN?! I NEVER gave authorization for laying me down! WHY IS THIS BED SO COLD?! WAAAAAAAH! Don't stretch me out; I want to kick!" *flail*kick* "Get that thing off my head! WAAAAAAH! And whatever you do, don't put that stick in my mouth. I have a tooth and I know how to use it! Oh yes, and it's always a good idea to shine lights in my eyes. You knew I'd respond well to that. WAAAAAAAH!"

Somehow we were able to get her stats (although we had to double check the height measurement because the nurse-in-training's original measurement came up a half-inch shorter than Lucie's 6-month height measurement. No my baby didn't shrink!) She's a little on the small side: 17 lbs 8 oz (25%) and 28 inches long (65%). This is because although she's started solid foods, most of her calories still come from breast milk and well, since she's begun crawling I can't keep her on for more than 15 minutes. She's very interested in the world around her!

* Lucie's disposition: Despite her angry doctor's appointment, she's overall a very pleasant and easily excitable baby! She flaps her arms and gets what we call "grabby hands" while rotating her feet in little circles when she's excited. This almost always occurs when one of her meals is approaching. She is always laughing and smiling (way more than I remember her serious sister doing). She's not very cuddly (she always wants to be looking around or doing something) but she loves to be carried. In fact, she insists on it after her 4 o'clock meltdown. This makes dinner prep difficult. But I've learned how to make a pretty-mean mac n cheese one-handed :) Despite being a bit of a squiggle worm, she still insists on being swaddled (at least her legs). When she's really tired she'll grab her blankie (which is swaddling her), squish it into her face, and roll onto her side in a sleepy fog.

* Lucie's great accomplishments: Finally after about 6 weeks of waiting, she's crawling. She started getting from sitting to prone about a month ago, and I kept saying, "It will be any day now!" Well about 4o of those days went by where she went from rocking on her haunches to pushing off her arms so she scooted backwards (usually under furniture, like in this picture) to moving forward. She's also finally cut her first tooth! (Also very long in the waiting) She can clap and hit surfaces like a drum. She likes to play patty-cake (she actually does the clapping and patting herself!) She also dances! I didn't believe it at first, but when there's music she gets a groove on!

Also, I have a near-identical picture of Abi in this very same position at around the same age. The difference? Abi was bawling. "I'm stuck under the crib!!!" Lucie was amused. "Hm. I'm under the crib."

* Lucie's social life: Most of her time is spent with her big sister Abigail. For several months we struggled with Abi being stressed out and taking it out on Lucie (poor little tykes) but almost overnight they switched to best pals! If Lucie is cranky, Abi brings her toys or handfuls of Cheerios. Sometimes I find Lucie with nearly puffed out cheeks as Abi keeps packing the Cheerios into her mouth as tight as they will fit. In the car, they will make each other laugh (big belly laughs!). Nothing brings me to tears of joy faster than hearing them laughing together! They love to bounce on the couch or the bed and work themselves into hysterical frenzies. Abi will blow raspberries on Lucie's tummy (when it's accessible) and Lucie will take it all as though she were the most loved baby on the planet (which she very well could be!). They kind of share toys but NEVER sippy cups. God forbid. But that's more of Abi's deal than Lucie's. The only similarity I've come up with between them is their looks. They look a lot alike. And they're both smart. Of course. (What parent says their kid isn't smart?) Other than that they are as different as peas and carrots. Lucie is bright, outgoing, adventurous, dramatic, willful, enthusiastic, easily excited AND easily offended. Abigail is calm, sympathetic, quiet, intelligent, timid, loving, and adorably anal. Lucie has the attention span of a butterfly. Give Abi a stack of books and she could sit on the couch for an hour without a peep. Well, this picture pretty much juxtaposes their complementing personalities.

* Lucie likes: mashed up beans, the jack-in-the-box (which, coincidentally, Abigail HATED for months), going outside (at first), coming back inside, her blankie, ANYTHING EDIBLE (or not), closing the lids on the pop-up animal toy, taking things out of boxes, Patty Cake (she claps on her own and even pats her legs when you "roll it, & pat it"), Itsy-Bitsy Spider, music & dancing, patting drums, digging in daddy's pile of school paraphernalia, books with interesting places to touch, to stick out her tongue for hours, clapping toys together, looking at pictures of family, bouncing, spinning the toy that is essentially teaching her how to unroll the toilet paper roll, getting and giving sloppy kisses, fruit, and trying to use a sippy cup.

* Lucie's dislikes: sitting in grass, getting dressed, getting undressed, getting her diaper changed, being put down, the hour before mealtime, sitting in a stroller for more than 15 minutes, sitting in a car seat for more than 15 minutes, being alone, clothes that hinder her crawling, hats (we've already lost one at the zoo this year), and being sat on by sisters.

Well that's the long and short of it! (Mostly the long of it...but I haven't blogged about Lulu in a while, so I thought it was worth a little effort!) We love our little big baby and we can't wait to see how God develops the personality and gifts he's given her :) Lord help us...

Week 4 Push-Ups Progress...

So I just finished the Week 4 exhaustion test. BRUTAL. My arms are like spaghetti. Well, more like the arms of the WACKY WAVING INFLATABLE ARM FLAILING TUBE MEN as seen here:

I pushed myself to do 40 straight. That's quite an improvement of my initial exhaustion test of 22. Jon and I are good motivational partners. And we are instilling a healthy work-out ethic for our children! Lucie shows daddy her very first push-ups :) (Also, you can see Jon finishing his fourth set of 20+ push-ups. That's why he's starting to look a little exhausted!)

Two more weeks!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things!

Per my mom's request (and every mom's advice) I've begun writing down the adorable, the hysterical, the strange, and the heart-warming antics of our two daughters. For your reading pleasure, I give you a collection of anecdotes that will make you smile tenderly and affectionately nuzzle your own sweet babies. Or they will cause a desire to create a sweet baby with whom to nuzzle. To those of the latter group: you've been cautioned. Read at your own risk!

* Nearly every day, Abigail hugs and kisses her daddy good-bye as he leaves for school or work. This particular day, Jon was leaving for work, more specifically, to bar-tend at the lucrative Ruby Tuesday in the Mall of America. Abigail has visited her daddy at his work before, and she has watched him pour beers, shake martinis, and place glasses in neat rows to fill with fountain drinks of many kinds. After Jon gave his usual barrage of kisses to Abi (including a strange phase of her wanting kisses for her elbows), she went to her room and began putting on her dress-up clothes. When she emerged, she was donning a large-brimmed sun hat, a few necklaces, and an over-sized button up shirt. She then went to the front hallway and stepped into Jon's old work shoes. She waddled (very clown-like) to her little car where she slipped on her purse and sat down. Turning to me she stated very matter-of-factly, "Mom, I go to work now. I go to make cups!" Then she scooted, big shoes and all, down the hallway back to her room.

* Jon often chews gum in the car to help keep himself awake during long trips. After one such trip, Abi noticed Jon's constant chewing and of course, wanted whatever he was eating. Jon took out a fresh stick and tore off a small corner. He then instructed her not to swallow it, but only to chew it. "When you're finished," he explained,"you can spit it out in the garbage." When we returned to the apartment the thrill of chewing gum had apparently worn off. Abi went straight to the garbage and spit it out. We applauded her for not swallowing it, and for spitting it out in the garbage (instead of less-appealing places like in her hair, in her sister's hair, in her mother's hair, or in her father's...uh...backpack). However, about an hour later we caught her walking through the living room, chomping away on a piece of chewing gum. Confused Jon questioned her, "Abigail, what are you eating?"
"Gum!" she replied happily.
Already knowing the answer, he grimaced and asked, "Where did you get it?"
Without a hint of disgust, she responded quite honestly, "The garbage!"

* I was clearing dishes after breakfast one morning, leaving Abigail and Jon at the table. They started making up words to make each other laugh. Then Jon started using funny voices which Abi would emulate. One such voice was low and growly, which made it particularly humorous for Abi to copy since she has a high, squeaky voice to begin with. This brought the most laughs from Jon and me, so of course, she mimicked this voice over and over to please us. After a little while her voice got a bit hoarse so she cleared her throat. That little cough must have brought up a bit of phlegm that caused her voice to turn ultra-raspy when she tried to talk again. Instead of coughing again to clear the obstruction she continued talking in the raspy voice - which was super funny-sounding! She suddenly realized that she recognized something familiar about the voice she heard coming from her. She exclaimed in her best raspy-voiced impersonation, "I Uncle Jay!"

* Abigail maintains quite an entourage of stuffed animals that accompany her to bed. The master list would include B (the Goat), Raymond (the otter, as named by Jon), Winnie the Pooh & Tigger (as named by A.A. Milne), and Cat in the Hat (as named by Dr. Seuss). Others that sometimes make the list would be Purple Bear, "Little Pooh" (who is currently naked), Baby 1, Baby 2 (names TBD), and пингвин (if you can get that one, you get bonus points). One night, Abi invited her entire guest list into bed with her. After carefully arranging them several rows deep on her pillow she took a step back and sighed desperately. Then exclaimed, "There's no place for me to live!"

More stories to come! (I have lots more) But I will give you a few shorter dialogues and quotes to whet your whistle:

Abi: "I'm not eating a cow! I'm eating a hamburger!"

Grandma: "Abi, are you satisfied?"
Abi: "No, I HAPPY!"

Mom: "Abi, why are you squatting like that? Do you have to go potty?"
Abi: "No..."
Mom: "Oh I see, you're hiding a golf ball in your shorts."
Abi: "No, I hiding TWO golf balls!"

Mom (to Abi): "Where does the tow truck take the broken cars?"
Abi: "To Canada!"

Abi: "What does a caterpillar say, Daddy?"
Dad: "Umm...rrRrr, rrRrr..." (noise like a cartoon caterpillar inching along)
Abi: "No! He don't say anything! He's just a caterpillar!"
Dad: "I didn't know it was a trick question!"


Thursday, May 13, 2010

One Hundred Push Ups

Jon and I have started an endeavor called "One Hundred Push Ups" and this program basically trains you to do 100 push-ups in 6 - 8 weeks.

I'm actually okay if I never get to 100 but I know the training will at least tone my arms a bit! We're on week two and I'm right on track (this stage is still a little light for Jon unfortunately). Jon watches me and tells me when I do "good" push-ups. I don't think I do any truly poor push-ups (like sticking my butt up in the air or anything like that) but out of my averageness Jon likes to encourage me when my push-ups would pass the drill instructor's approval. We both did near 60 push-ups today broken up into 5 sets. I'm feeling it in my abs (which you should if you're doing drill-instructor-passing push-ups), shoulders and arms of course. Plus I've started looking up when I do them instead of watching the ground come at me all the time!

We try to do our exercises when the girls are sleeping. Last week Abi woke up as I was finishing up and she sat on me. Today she tried counting with Jon and counted "1! 2! 3! 4! 5! 6! 7! 8! 9! 10! 11! 12! 14! 14! 17! 19! 12!" Needless to say Jon lost track of how many he did :) I'll try to keep you updated on our push-up progress!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Summer Reading Selection

I might not get to all of these (upon further review, I won't - let's be realistic) but this is the list of books I will likely choose from this summer. Let me know what you have on your list!! In no particular order...

* Bringing Up Girls - Dr. James Dobson. FOR OBVIOUS REASONS :) Four years in the making Dr. Dobson finally comes out with the partner to Bringing Up Boys.

* The Mission-Minded Family - Ann Dunagan. Developing a mind-set of leadership, calling, & destiny as well as self-sacrifice and submission to God is important to us. I want to teach my kids these attributes by living them myself and implementing in our daily family life.

The Mission-Minded Family: Releasing Your Family to God's Destiny  -               By: Ann Dunagan

* The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien. I read this in high school and would love to reacquaint myself with the story that precedes the Lord of the Rings. Especially since the movie will be coming out soon!

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* How to Write & Illustrate Children's Books and Get Them Published. I've been weaseling through this for 5 years or so. I promise I'll finish it this summer!! I have so many ideas rolling around in my head and I don't want my illustrations to crash in technical faux pas.

* Eternity in Their Hearts - Don Richardson. Jon has been urging that I read this, and I think now is the time. It gives tons of stories about how the concept of the True God has existed for centuries in different cultures around the world. It's kind of the answer for the question of how someone who's never heard of Jesus can be saved.

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* Mini-Skirts, Mothers, & Muslims - Christine Mallouhi. A book on how NOT to offend Muslim women :) A friend recommended it to me and it sounds intriguing, especially as we are getting closer to moving to Central Asia and living among Muslims.


* War & Peace - Leo Tolstoy. I'm sure I won't get anywhere near finished, but I want to keep a classic in the mix as much as I can. Here's to reading one chapter, falling asleep, and drooling all over Chapter Two.

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