Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Schwartz's vs The Icecapades

Well with a random thaw out day in January with temperatures reaching a lovely 67 degrees, we set out with the rest of the population of Memphis to enjoy this beautiful weather at the zoo.  The line to get into the zoo parking lot looked at least 20 minutes long (we came in from the other entrance to avoid it) and ended up being directed to park in the "overflow" area which is apparently on the grass in Overton Park.  But it was worth it!  While busy it wasn't overly crowded and the animals seemed to be enjoying the break in the cold weather too.  The bears were frolicking, the monkeys were playing, the elephant zoo person was out working on commands with him.  That was pretty cool to watch him pick the whole apple out of the guys hand with his truck and shove it in his mouth whole.  It was just an out and out beautiful day.

But we seemed to miss the ice and snow that we've gotten at least once a week for the past 3 weeks so we headed over to the ice skating rink where Steffanie promised to show us some of her past figure skating glory.  Sarah couldn't skate, you know, since she can't walk yet so Auntie Cam held her while Chris and I enjoyed the rink.  It was a lot of fun.  I'm glad the zoo did that.  Sure it was tiny and the ice was horrible and the skates were dull, but we laughed and had a good time enjoying the delightful figure skating styles of Steffanie.

What you need photographic evidence of Steffanie and her professional level skating moves!  Well, alright, if you insist.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Schwartz's vs the 13th Month Old

(...what you're still doing this?  Yes, I think I'll keep up the monthly posts until 18 months, and then switch to annual birthday updates.  But we'll see.)

Sarah, you're 13 months and here's what you're up to now:

* You can free stand really well.  You'll even squat down and pick something off the floor and then stand back up with it.  But if something is available for you to hold on to, you generally do.
* You're getting very close to to walking without fingers.  You take about 3 to 4 steps before you fall forward.  Normally you only want to walk between people, but just the other day you started letting go of stuff to walk to mommy.
* You're still babbling in your fun language.  Sometimes it sounds like you are saying "taco, taco, taco" and if I say taco back to you, you start to giggle.  I have no idea what it means to you, but it must be funny.
* You must have some sort of inner monologue.  Sometimes while you're playing with you're little people you'll look at one and start to giggle.  I have no idea what you're thinking about.
* You know the tupperware cabinet is yours and will crawl to it, open it up, and start playing if I'm in the kitchen.
* You've really made great strides in playing by yourself.  Mommy can even leave the room without you flipping out.  Not always but often enough that I'm happy.
* Your nap schedule is still out of whack.  Some days you take a morning nap, some days you don't.  I'd actually prefer you go back to your 1 nap a day routine because it was a usually a nice long nap in the afternoons.
* Your bedtime schedule is a thing of beauty.  I love you for it.  You eat dinner around 5:30-6:00.  Then you take a bath between 6:00-6:30 for about 15-20 minutes.  After you get out we get your jammies on, blow dry your hair, put your toys away, read your night night book, and then put you to bed.  You go down by 7:00 and sleep till 7 the next morning.  You love your bedtime routine and daddy says you even kick your legs with excitement when he gets you near your crib to put you in.  I hope it always stays that way.
* You have 1 food allergy we know of, peas.
* You are a busy little girl and bundle of fun.  You keep us moving and generally laughing.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Schwartz's vs HIVES!

So, Sarah had a mystery allergy until yesterday when we discovered what it was.

The past few times we've had dinner with the Joiner's, Adam and I have noticed Sarah breaking out in hives.  The first time it was just red welts on her face.  This last time there were a lot more and they were also on her arms.  He and I both thought it had to be the adorable hypoallergenic dog, Chloe Grace.  Chris and Laura were trying to figure out if I had switched laundry detergent, or if it was the clorox wipes used to clean the high chair.  But we use the same type of cleaning products at home so it couldn't be that.  Of course it didn't make sense that Sarah was breaking out only at dinner.  She was fine when we come over to play and food isn't involved.  What was for dinner?  Well, some of Sarah's favorites grilled cheese, or mac and cheese, and of course some veggies for a well rounded meal.  Elsie Tate's favorite veggie is peas.  Sarah seemed to love them too.  She's had them before, but since Chris and I don't LOVE peas we don't buy cans of them, Sarah gets them when they are in other veggie medley mixes but she has had them before.  And she does love them when we are at the Joiners.

So tonight, we opened up a can of peas for the first time and gave Sarah some to eat while Chris and I ate.  It's so rare because of his school and work schedule that we actually get to eat dinner together, so we try to either feed Sarah finger foods, or at least give her some to start so she's happy while we eat together and then one of us cleans up the kitchen while the other feeds Sarah.  Anyway, she's going to town on those peas.  She is gobbling them down like they are the best things EVER.  Then it starts.  A few red welts appear.  I'm not freaking out, in fact  I was excited to finally know what was causing them, I even called the Joiners to share the good news.  She's had peas before so even if she is allergic she's not going to die.  But they start spreading and spreading till finally she looks like this and Chris is asking if maybe we should give her some benedryl.  To which I looked up and saw how bad it good and immediately grabbed the benedryl.

So I guess Sarah has her first official food allergy: peas.  We didn't discover it when she was on baby food because she hated them and would spit them out, I guess that should have been a clue.

And before the question is asked: does Sarah always eat naked? No, but we have learned that no bib can protect you from Chef Boyardee.  She somehow manages to get it on her somewhere even if we are the ones feeding her.  So yes, for any pasta based meal, we do strip her down and have the tub waiting.  (Sorry Mom, I know you're tired of seeing naked pictures of Sarah.)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Small Miracles

Sometimes it's the little things that make you realize how much Heavenly Father loves you.  This is one of those times.  (Imagine that with the Law and Order voice followed by the gavel thingy--dun dun.)

It was a normal Thursday morning.  Sarah and I played for a while then I fed her breakfast.  She had about 1/4 maybe 1/3 cup of Maple and Brown Sugar flavored oatmeal.  (Can you smell it?  Good, remember that, it's important later in the story.)  And then continued to act like she was ravenous.  So I thought, you know today's a good day to try eggs.  The little mailer thing gerber sends out recommends 1/4 cup of oatmeal and 1/2 a scrambled egg for breakfast.  Eggs are good for protein.  We shied away from them after a trip to Cracker Barrel where her face broke out.  Of course we were feeding her a lot of crap that morning (smoked sausage, eggs, hashbrown casserole with onions in it) so we didn't quite know what caused it.  Anyway, so I'm making her an egg, I get a little distracted and by the time I check again, it's too late to scramble and it's going to be an omelet.  So I do the only logical thing and slap a slice of cheese in it.  (Yum!)  Now the intent was to share the omelet with Sarah thereby giving her the 1/2 a scrambled egg serving that gerber recommends.  But the little heifer gobbled it up and by the time she was done what was left was cold and I didn't want it.  So I made my own.

While I'm cooking mine, I look over at her because she's coughing and her chin has red welts on it.  Crap!  Guess that means it's the eggs that do it to her.  But I don't freak out, she's had other things with eggs in it so I don't think she's really allergic, I guess she just can't handle straight up egg.  But she's coughing pretty bad and I worry a little so I give her a teeny tiny dose of children's benedryl.  (Avoid the lecture, don't bother telling me I shouldn't do that in the comment section.  I'll just delete it.)

She's good, we're playing then gym time rolls around.  I get her dressed, I get dressed.  She looks a little sleepy, no big deal she's still smiling and laughing.  We hop in the car and get to the gym.  I'm getting her out, she looks pretty tired and I think, you know I'll just tell the ladies if she's about to fall asleep come and get me and I'll take her home.

We are literally 6 inches from the car, I just pulled her out, and she starts puking up EVERYTHING she had for breakfast.  EVERYTHING!  Like exorcist pea soup style.  It shocked me so I jumped back and another wave of barf starts flying from her.  I had enough sense to stop her from hugging me and instead pointed her face toward the ground as a horrid torrent of maple smelling egg goo shot from my wonderful darling child.  Then she stepped in it.  Then she finally got her arms around me and sent the last bit down the back of my jacket.  I survey the situation.  She's covered in syrup smelling nast.  I'm covered in it.  I take her into the Y, tell them I'm not staying, she just got sick and take her to the bathroom where I clean her up, strip her down, take off my overcoat and pull off my fleece pullover and put it on her.  It was very cute in a pathetic looking way.  And we head home.

By the time we get home, she's giggling and wants to play.  I want to shower.  I laid her down for a while and grabbed a quick shower.  She didn't nap, instead she took that time to rearrange her crib.  So she's fine.  She's got her spunk back.  I guess the eggs didn't agree with her and so she expelled them with as much force as humanly possible.  But the Lord really knows me and loves me, because He had her wait until we were completely out of the car before she barfed.  I don't think I could have handled it if she had thrown up in the Saab.  I think I would have left it on the side of the road with the keys in the ignition for anyone to take and walked back home with the naked baby in my arms.  So like I said, thank goodness for the little miracles.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Snowmagedon

I don't necessarily agree with the term that was coined for the first southern snow storm of 2011, but perhaps that's because we didn't get dumped on as much as other parts of the south.  My mom on the other hand, probably agrees 100% as her Mustang GT was a casualty of the war.  The snow hit early in AR and she hit black ice about 10 miles from her exit spinning into the semi-truck that was skidding out of control in front of her.  She's fine and the car will be fine.

Over here though, we only got about 2 inches maybe way less than what everyone else got but enough to enjoy some good winter fun.  We are really lucky to have some great friends who live a neighborhood over so we headed over there Monday night to go sledding down their side hill.  It was both mine and Sarah's first time sledding.  She LOVED it!  She giggled the entire way down and by the end would start laughing and rocking with excitement when Chris put her in the sled because she knew what was coming.

And since it was my first time too, I enjoyed it with minimal injuries.  Just one awesome bruise on my thigh from a head first trip down the hill.  

Here are the girls after their solo trip down the hill without any adults.  I ran beside the whole time freaking out.  Sarah loved it!  She's giving a thumbs up, you can't tell though because I didn't have any gloves for her so she's wearing socks on her hands.  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Schwartz's vs the Pink Icing

To go overboard or not.  That is the question new moms face when baby's first birthday rolls around.  I've been to a number of 1 year old birthday parties and most of them have been pretty extravagent affairs.  And  I have nothing against that.  Honestly, if Sarah's birthday was in a warmer month, we may have had more people over and done a cook out.  But our house is cozy and so we kept this party simple.  I have a lot of anxiety over Sarah's birthdays.  I actually worry about them regularly and have since I found out the due date.  I really want to make sure that Sarah's birthdays are special and separate from Christmas celebrations.    So we waited a few weeks after Christmas and I asked everyone to make sure they wrapped the gifts in something other than Christmas paper.  Which was really a reminder for me because we have wrapped other people's gifts in Christmas paper before because that's what's always in the house.

Since we were actually at Disney World for Sarah's birthday we decided to go with a Minnie Mouse theme.  Laura at Sew Joiner made Sarah's birthday hat and matching shirt.  Megan from Draper's Catering made the cake and smash cake and they were delicious!  For party favors, I stole the idea from my friend Laura to make magnets.  So I took a picture of Sarah with the princesses and had some wallet size pictures printed, then slapped them on some magnetic backings and called it good.  Oh, and for decorations we went simple.  I bought Minnie Mouse plates, cups, etc. from Wal-Mart.  I toyed with the idea of making a happy birthday banner like I've seen on cute crafty blogs but decided I didn't have the time, so I just bought one of those.  But I poached an idea for photo garlands from Alyson's Pink-a-licious party she threw for her Lyl Bug when she turned one.  I'm glad I did those and I made them so I can easily take them off the garland and slap them right into her baby book.  That's got to be at least 10 pages done!
The Details

Present opening time came and since we just did that at Christmas I thought she'd be a pro at it.  But alas she has just recently decided 2:30 is her new nap time, and I didn't know this before I planned the party.  So she needed a lot of help and coaching to get them unwrapped with daddy.  I should have taken a picture of all the presents on the table.  It was so cute to see the explosion of pink wrapping paper.  Rather than have you scroll through pictures and pictures and pictures I thought I'd do a collage.  But I would like to point out a few of my favorites.  Top left Sarah LOVES the ride on lion Grandma and Grandpa Schwartz gave her.  4th on the top, Chris is working hard trying to figure out how to install all the stickers on the Little People airport we gave her.  2nd on the top, we gave ET an airport for Christmas and got one for Sarah.  I thought it would be nice for play dates if they had one toy they both knew from their own house and could play with together.  I like how it looks like Sarah and ET are already discussing how awesome this toy is and what they are going to do together.  And bottom right, that's a Belle baby doll.  I saw the My First Disney Princesses back around Thanksgiving but my friend I was out with told me they were creepy.  Then I saw them again at Wal-mart the week of the party and there was more of a variety and I liked about 4 of them.  So I called my mom and asked her to get it for Sarah for her birthday, not because I was being too cheap, but because I couldn't choose between Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, and Belle.  Sarah loves the doll.  I came in the room last night and she was handing her to Chris for him to hold while they played together.
The Presents

Time for some yummy cake.  Sarah's never had even a bite of cake.  I was saving that for her birthday.  Plus, I figure if she doesn't know about it then she can't want it or miss it.  I know these things are coming eventually but I'd like to put it off as long as possible.  So we had a plan in place and I walked Chris through it, strip her down to her diaper, put a big bib on her and hope she doesn't get it in her hair. We sang happy birthday and then let her lose.  She loved it!  She mostly just ate the icing, and more icing, and then a little more icing.  She was very excited.  It reminded me of that scene in Elf.  I was thinking to myself a little conversation like this:
Mommy: "So Sarah, do you like sugar?"
Sarah: "Is this pink stuff made of sugar?"
Mommy: "Yes."
Sarah: "Then YES!"
I was eating my slice of cake next to her and she started doing her "uh uh" and pointing and actually wanted a bite from me!  I told her she had her own right in front of her.  Silly girl.  Here's the photo collage of Sarah and her smash cake.
The Cake

Since then, I'd like to make an official statement that I can neither confirm nor deny that Sarah has had cake for lunch these past few days.  All I will say is that cake is huge and someone has to help me consume it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Schwartzmas Eve

Thanks to the genius rotation system, we celebrated Christmas with the Schwartz fam on New Years Eve.  And just like Disney was a whole different experience with Sarah, so was Schwartz Christmas.  It was nice to be able to take part in traditions that Adam and Melissa started years ago when they first started having kids.  They've always spent the night at Ma and Pa Schwartz's with the boys the evening before we celebrate Christmas there and watch movies.  Chris and I, not having kids, didn't feel like we were apart of that (not in that awww feel sad for us kind of way), so we'd go over for the movie, then head home and come back in the morning.  But this year, we packed up our overnight bags and headed over on Schwartz Christmas Eve for a wonderful lasagna dinner.  Then as a special treat we all loaded into the cars and drove through Starry Nights.  Sarah had fallen asleep, but we didn't want her to miss it so we woke her up and she loved it.  She flapped her arms and smiled real big.  We headed home, put Sarah to bed, and I cooked up a pot of homemade hot cocoa with homemade marshmallows.  We even took a suggestion from Real Simple magazine and put a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream in it.  Chris and I thought it was yummy, though the boys probably disagree.

Anyway, after seeing the pictures from Florida Christmas I cheated and got up and showered before going downstairs for presents.
And tried to get a decent picture of Sarah under the tree to compare with last year.
Unfortunately, she didn't just sleep through it last year when she was only 3 days old.  And this time, I took her bowl of kix away and that really made her grumpy.  But she's still adorable!

The Schwartz's outdo themselves every year and we all got many wonderful gifts.  Every year Melissa and I get matching gifts from Ma and Pa Schwartz, and this year it was cute because the boys were apart of it too.  We got matching fur lined Crocs.  You know I love crocs, I don't care how ugly you they are.  And I've thought of buying myself some of the warm crocs and never have so this was exciting.  Chris got brown ones, and I got pink with brown lining.  Then Adam opened his and got camo ones, and when Melissa opened her crocs they were pink with real tree camo on them.  Too funny!  Sarah of course was spoiled for round two.  She got some more outfits in 12 month sizes (I guess it really is time to take all the 3-6 month clothes out of her drawers.)  And some pjs that will actually fit without me having to pack her in like a stuffed sausage.  But I think the gift she like most at this celebration was the Little People Airplane.  She clapped her hands she was so excited and kept going back to it wanting us to take it out of the box between me trying to get her to open other presents.

She also got the Little People House from Aunti Cam, Little People Wagon from Auntie Susan and Auntie Steffanie, and the Little People Zoo from Uncle Adam and Aunt Melissa.  Plus she hasn't even opened the Little People pink dump truck that we got her!  She LOVES little people.  She talks to them and has started even changing her pitch like she's doing voices for them like she sees me do.  It's adorable.  
Then the big boys busted out the new video game NHL slap shot, while the little boys got into their new Batman Bat Cave.  Sarah, of course, would not be left out and was right in the mix with the H's.  She loves those boys.  She loves to watch them and play with the same toys they're playing with. And they really are good to her.  They bring her toys and talk to her and help her open and close things.  It's sweet to see them playing together.
We lunched on a "sparse" offering (HA!) of 3 different kids of warm dips, veggie plate, meat and cheese plate, and later even made a couple batches of Christmas cookies and of course enjoyed another round of homemade hot cocoa.

 Were entertained and serenaded, courtesy of Sarah, by Ma Schwartz's collection of Hallmark Jingle Buddies.  Each of the kids have loved pressing the buttons and watching those things.  Now it's Sarah's turn.  She even showed us her awesome dance moves (see below).
Then we realized we'd been there for over 24 hours and had forgotten to feed Sophie extra before we left the house!  She was super angry when we got home.  I gave her a big bowl and sat there while I petted her and apologized over and over.

We had a great Christmas season and it will be difficult to top.  You only get baby's first Christmas once you know.  And we really went over board with a trip to FL and my whole family together and then celebrating with the Schwartz's truly being apart of those traditions.  But now that all the celebrations are over, I can say, that first Christmas with kids is going in my mom memory reel as one of the best.  I just hope we're always able to keep the focus on family and being together, not the stuff under the tree.