Anna

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Baby #2

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Movie List 2012


       It's been awhile since I've posted anything that wasn't strictly baby related.  It's almost as though that's how I spend the majority of my time.  ;)  I do love my daughter and everything that comes with her.  However, I think it's time to post something that is separate and fun, though obviously not as cute and luscious as Anna's delectable cheeks.  (Seriously, one day they will be gone and I will cry myself into the depths of despair.  I shall have to have more children to compensate for the loss.  But that's a whole other topic all together.)

      Whilst reviewing my list of movies for the updating, I remembered that Netflix and Starz parted ways earlier this year shrinking the list of options of movies available on Instant.  Many are now only available on disc which can be procured through the mail.  This is fine, unless you have more movies on your list than you get at a time depending on your plan.  I decided to meander on over to Amazon.com to see what the prices would be if you wanted to buy some of the movies if they weren't available on Netflix at all and you were just dying to watch them.  This luckily, brought me to a lovely new option of Amazon Instant Video.  I knew that this was available and that you can also rent movies and TV episodes on iTunes.  However, what makes this option enticing is that there are a few given movies that you are able to stream for free to a variety of devices (PS3, XBox 360, Kindle Fire HD, Roku, PC, etc.) provided you have an Amazon Prime membership.  I signed up for Amazon Mom awhile back and this comes with Prime, so there's a few I may have to take advantage of.  I've listed the price with each Amazon Instant Video option and unless it is otherwise stated, they are the price for renting.

  1. Miracle on 34th Street (1994 version) - Netflix, Amazon Instant Video $2.99
  2. Miracle on 34th Street (1947 Version) - (Colorized) Netflix, Amazon Instant Video $2.99
    (Black & White) Netflix  (There's another 1947 version on 46 minutes long for Free w/ Prime & also on Netflix Instant.)
  3. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Amazon for $13.79 to buy the DVD
  4. Mickey's Christmas Carol - Amazon for $9.99 to buy the DVD
  5. The Muppet Christmas Carol - Amazon for $9.99 to buy the DVD (same $ for instant video to own)
  6. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Netflix, Amazon Instant Video Free with Prime
  7. While You Were Sleeping - Netflix
  8. Mr. Krueger's Christmas - Amazon for $14.95 to buy the DVD
  9. Home Alone - Netflix
  10. Home Alone 2:  Lost in New York - Netflix
  11. Elf - Netflix, Amazon Instant Video $1.99
  12. A Christmas Story - Netflix, Amazon Instant Video $1.99
  13. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Netflix
  14. Frosty the Snowman/Frosty Returns - Netflix
  15. Santa Claus is Comin' to Town - Netflix, Amazon Instant Video $6.99 to buy episode
  16. The Little Drummer Boy - Amazon between $4.99 - $12.40 to buy the DVD, Amazon Instant Video $6.99 to buy the episode
  17. Jack Frost - Netflix, Amazon Instant Video Free with Prime
  18. It's a Wonderful Life - Netflix
  19. The Santa Clause - Netflix, Amazon Instant Video $.99 
  20. The Santa Clause 2 -  Netflix
  21. The Santa Clause 3 - Netflix 
  22. The Polar Express - Netflix, Amazon Instant Video $2.99
  23. Babes in Toyland (1986 Version) - Amazon Instant Video Free with Prime
  24. White Christmas - Netflix Instant
  25. The Nativity Story - Netflix, Amazon Instant Video $2.99
  26. Hogfather - Netflix Instant (Anyone want to see the girl who plays Mary in Downton Abbey in something else?  She's the female lead and I love her.)
  27. Fred Claus - Netflix, Amazon Instant Video $2.99
  28. Nutcracker:  The Motion Picture - Netflix Instant, Amazon Instant Video Free with Prime
  29. Santa Claus:  The Movie - Netflix Instant
  30. A Christmas Carol (2009 Version) - Netflix, Amazon Instant Video $1.99
  31. Christmas Classics Vol. 1 - Netflix Instant, Amazon Instant Video Free with Prime
  32. Arthur Christmas - Netflix, Amazon Instant Video $3.99
  33. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000 Version) - Netflix, Amazon Instant Video $2.99
      Enjoy your movie watching and gearing up for the holidays!  I love all these movies and am really excited to watch them (we'll see how many I actually get to) while decorating the house, trimming the tree, baking deliciously sinful treats, and most importantly, wrapping gifts.  I hope all the links will help you out.  I know I hate searching for things and it's nice to have a database of it all in one place.  Consider it my Christmas gift to you all.  Now, if you don't mind passing the popcorn, I need to get started.  


Monday, November 19, 2012

Anna turns 9 Months!


      When I was taking her 9 month pictures, it hit me just how much she's grown since last month.  I know there's still a ways to go before she is, but she really is changing from a baby to a little girl.  The process maybe a bit slow, but there are times when it all seems to go so fast.  Too fast.  This month flew by and I can hardly remember everything we've done.

      We had our first Halloween with her and she was a doll.  I firmly believe every child should be a pumpkin when they are little.  It's a rite of passage to me.  The costume that I found for her (at a consignment store for about $6) doesn't have sleeves and has an open elastic bottom.  So I put her in some very warm footie pajamas underneath.  She stayed warmer than either of us that's for sure.  This was actually the first time that we decided to go to a Trunk-or-Treat.  We were there a few minutes late, but we really enjoyed seeing all the costumes.  I think people must have been really running out of candy because kids were being really good about taking candy.  Too good.  They were only grabbing one piece!!  I had so much so I would give more when I could.  I also made cupcakes and handed them out to parents who came along with their kiddos.  Chocolate Pumpkin.  YUM!  Definitely do that next year.


     That weekend we went to Othello to visit and it was really fun to see Anna interact (or not) with her twizins (twin cousins).  The boys are obviously used to sharing things with one another, but Anna is a bit more spoiled, being the only child.  Little Ezra was usually most interested in whatever she was holding.  At one point there was a sort of game going on between these three over a cup.  In the end, they all became distracted by something else and the game was over.  The next week Anna and I went on our first solo trip without daddy.  It was just an overnighter, but Anna got to play with her cousin Ella, who is about a year older.  These two were such stinkers and from the pictures you can tell that Anna does what she does with most people she doesn't know as well as Mommy and Daddy.  Stare them down curiously.  I have to say that I think it's funny that people will always try so hard to get her to smile, but to no avail.  Few people get a smile on her first glance.   She really is a happy and funny girl.  However, she has to analyze you first before she gives you the same reactions she gives us.  :)  Keep tryin' folks.  One day outta nowhere she'll give you a grin.




Some things we are loving about Anna right now:

-  We have come to realize that Anna has three different laughs.  One when she thinks she's being funny and/or copying us.  One is a kind of courtesy laugh.  And the third is her authentic, whole-hearted laugh.   The first is a very high-pitched "ha-aha" and it's pretty funny.  The second is very deep and she'll do it under her breath sometimes.  It's almost like a repetitious cough.  The third is kind of a combination of the two.  It's the most fun and it usually is made when we tickle her.

-  She loves to copy our sounds.  Whenever we cough or laugh, she'll look over and start doing the same with a smile on her face.  It's ridiculously cute.  She loves to do the same stuff Mom and Dad can do.

-  When she sees her doll that rattles, she gets super excited.  It's one of the craziest things I've seen.  You'd think she had never seen anything so cool in the entire world.  I love seeing her get so happy.

- She is so chatty!  She likes to use her tongue now to make more indecipherable sounds.  I've still yet to hear her say a real word with meaning behind it.

- I love putting naps in the positives!  Yay!  She's doing so good.  Both during the day and at night.  Occasionally, she'll wake up in the night, but that rarely happens.

- She's eating so well.  It's pretty funny actually.  She's very interested in food when we are eating.  Whatever we got, she wants.  I'm trying to get into a better habit of eating when she does because it really motivates her to eat better.  She will completely refuse to eat something when we first offer it to her, but then she see us eating and she wants to join the bandwagon.  Mommy just needs to feel more comfortable with her eating more solid foods.  We bought these Gerber Graduates Puff cereal snacks and I felt so anxious and left the duty to Ty.  She did great and loves to have these little snacks once in awhile.  She also has a small transitional sippy cup that she drinks water from and loves to play with.  It's pretty funny to see and hear her gnaw on it.

-  She continues to crawl, pull herself up, and walk along furniture.  I think she's getting pretty close to standing on her own.  In fact when we were in Moses Lake, not long after we arrived, I walked her to a room and when I let go, she just stood there for about two seconds before sitting down.  Excitement rang out my mouth and I texted Ty right away to let him know of his little girl's new achievement.  She's done it one other time after that, but not as long.  I think one day she's going to let go of something and realize what she's doing and surprise herself.

-  She always responds to her name.  And by respond, I mean she turns her head and gives this look of, "What?  I didn't do anything...........yet."  Even if she doesn't look the first time, it's a guarantee once we throw the middle name in there.  Just say "Anna Renee" and you've got her full attention.

- When we get her ready for bed, we read her one of the little board books we have for her.  During one of the times I was saying family prayer Ty used one of the books to distract her.  While he was turning the pages, Anna reached out and started turning them!  Now we always lift up the page and she turns it.  Yeah, my baby is a genius.  She's also fiercely independent, so we try to give her opportunities to do things for herself.


-  She's a bit used to it now, but when Ty whistles she used to brace herself.  Even if she wasn't close at all to him.  She would squint her eyes and put her head down, as if shielding herself from a fierce wind.  She'll also do this when Ty sneezes.  If you know Ty, you know that his sneezes are kind of intense and loud.  She will give him this look as if to say, "What in the world?  Why would you do that?".  It's pretty funny.  You'll hear the second laugh she does for the first part of the video and the second half is when she braces for the whistle.

 - This girl is the teething master.  She now has four new teeth on top and I seriously didn't know until they were breaking through, only because we saw them.  Today, we actually discovered another bottom tooth that has popped through mysteriously.  I was preparing myself for so much worse and she has really been a trooper.  I know it's not likely, but I'm hoping the rest of our someday children will be as amazing as she is. 

-  We recently bought a video monitor and I love it!  It's so much fun to watch her and see what she does in her sleep and even more so when she is awake, but thinks no one is watching.  She cracks me up.

Some things we aren't loving so much:

-  Stinky poopy diapers.

-  The Rash.  What's worse is her incessant scratching, which doesn't help the rash.  It is a lot better than it used to be though.  We've started using Aveeno eczema lotion morning and night and also Aveeno bath wash and that's helped, but the scratching really hinders it from fully healing.  You can see her doing this in this month's growth pictures.  I couldn't get her to smile because she gets this look of concentration when she's scratching and nothing can break it. 

-  Changing her clothes.  Whether it's putting them on or taking them off.  It's incredibly frustrating.  She screams, she trashes, and she tries to scratch the living daylights out of her skin.  You'd think we were performing some kind of torture on her.

-  All off limits areas are the one that she is drawn to the most.  We have a speaker that we have covered by a really big pillow, but she still pulls herself up and grabs the wire and gets in trouble every time.  Doesn't matter how many times I pull her away, she goes back for it.  Hopefully, we can get something more stable to keep her from it.  

-  Whining.  Oh my goodness.  I thought this kind of behavior wasn't going to start up until she was a toddler.  I can't imagine what it's going to be like when she is one.  

-  She puts EVERYTHING in her mouth.  Except for new things that you choose to give her to eat.  Most of the time it's not bad, but there are plenty of things that must be kept out of reach.  We've realized that even though she's good at turning the pages in her board books, she isn't allowed to hold them because she fancies the taste of cardboard way too much.  It's a little bit gross to me, but there's no accounting for taste.



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Favorite Baby Items 4 Months to 8 Months

      As Anna grows and gets bigger, the things we use for her change (and sometimes get bigger).  There are obviously things that she doesn't need anymore that didn't make this list.  However, there are a few things that will reappear.  (Once again, any links to the items will be attached to the pictures.)

Baby Connect (Activity Tracker) App:


      Yup, we're still using it.  In fact, when Ty got his new Android phone he made sure to get this app.  It's been so incredibly helpful.  We have been able to see how much she's eating, how often, diaper changes, reminds us to give her solids meal.  I also really like to be able to keep track of her weight and height and this app is a great way to keep those recorded.  It helps us know when she needs to go down for a nap.  That's probably the best part.  I'm really bad at remembering things and keeping track in my head so this app really has been a life saver. 

Arm's Reach Cosleeper:


      We used this up until about 6 months.  Mostly for traveling, since she transferred beautifully to her crib.  I would highly recommend it!  I'm so glad we have one for the next time.

Graco Pack N' Play Playard:

      Ours is a little more girly being pink and brown with flowers instead of plaid, but the same general idea.  This has been great as a travel bed for Anna, as well as a more contained play area when I need to take a shower, workout, or just get something done.  We bought ours at a garage sale and it's been well worth it.

BreathableBaby Breathable Mesh Crib Liner:


      When Anna started rolling over, we knew we couldn't have the crib bumper in the crib anymore so out it came.  Then, Anna started smashing her face up against the railing and getting her feet, legs, and arms caught between them.  Finally, we decided to get a breathable liner so that she wouldn't get her limbs stuck.  I sleep much better at night knowing she's safe and so does she.

Halo Sleepsack:


      This is a must have.  Anna rolls around and crawls all over her crib.  Thus making a blanket practically useless.  The sleepsack is great because it keeps her covered and warm.  The zipper starts at the top instead of the bottom, which I think is genius.  I bought mine from Amazon, but I would suggest watching babysteals.com (my favorite baby discount site) and waiting for a deal from them.  They've had a deal for them a few times in the last couple of months.

Sassy No Scratch Bottle Brush:



      This brush should have gone in my last list.  I really love that they clean the bottles (I use the Avent brand by the way) and don't leave them all scratched up.  In fact, I really think that they might clean even better than your typical brushes.  It does come with a small bristled brush for the nipple, so you can get into the hard to reach area.  I have noticed some of the little stringies will come off if pulled too hard.  That's mostly been at the top though and really not that bad.  Overall, I really like this brush.

The First Years Spinning Drying Rack:


      This probably should have been on the list last time too.  I was getting tired of just using a towel and the bottles not drying very quickly that way.  The bottles dry much quicker and better with this rack.  I take it with us EVERYWHERE because I like it so much.  I refuse to have to dry them by hand when it's so easy to use this.  It takes up less space and keeps it all organized. 

Evenflo Exersaucer:


      Once Anna grew too big for the bouncer and was able to hold her head up properly on her own, we wanted something we could put her in to preoccupy her whilst we were able to get things done.  I found an exersaucer on Craigslist for only $10, when I went to get it I saw how incredibly dirty and covered in stuck-on-food it was.  I felt bad and bought it, but I really regretted it.  I decided that it would just be a gift because the girl seemed like she could really use it, but I decided that I would say something the next time I was in a situation like that.  I just hate confrontation.  Anyhow, I ended up getting this one and have loved it.  At first, we had to take out most of the things because she would get so frustrated that she couldn't really pull them or control them, so she really was only playing with anything that spinned.  Slowly, we started adding things back to it and it was great to put her in it and walk into the kitchen without worrying about her.  Now that she is much more mobile, she prefers to pull herself up onto it and play with the toys on the outside.  She definitely likes her freedom.

Escali Baby/Toddler Scale:

      Yup, we're still using this beauty.  We actually try to weigh her about once a week to see how she's doing.  I think soon we'll be able to take the cradle top off and she'll be able to either sit or (gasp) stand on it. 

The First Years Jet Stroller:


      We actually have a stroller that was a packaged deal with our carseat at the garage sale we bought it at.  However, whenever we went somewhere, it took up a large portion of our trunk, which is small enough being that we own a sedan.  We knew we wanted a smaller stroller, especially one that would collapse nicely and take up little room.  After some searching and pricing, we decided on this stroller.  Since we plan on having more children (who knows when), we decided the black one would be best since it's a basic gender neutral.  The shoulder straps were the most important since when we first purchased it she still wasn't sitting up on her own very well.  Otherwise we would have gone with a regular umbrella stroller. 

Outlook Shade-A-Babe:




      With both strollers, we struggled to keep the light from her sensitive little eyes.  I got a deal on this for half the price on BabySteals.com.  I told you I loved that site.  This has basically eliminated the problem and helped protect her from UV rays as well as any bugs and bees that come near.  It's very easy to put on and also easy to adjust.  Another very highly recommended item.

        What are you're favorite items for this stage?  Did you use any of these or something different?  How did they work for you?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Anna turns 8 Months!


      Once again, my little love bug is aged another month.  She's really just the bestest and sweetest little girl.  Sometimes I can't keep up with her constant changes.  The other day I went into the kitchen for a minute and when I came back it was like I was looking at a different baby.  The same, but somehow different.  She grows too fast.  When you guys figure out the cure for that, let me know.

      I'm trying my best to not be a helicopter parent, though Ty is much better at this than I am.  When she falls or bonks her head, he reminds me that we need to take our cues from her and not the other way around.  She feeds off of our reaction, so if we are calm, then so shall she be.  However, this is easier said than done for me.  Regardless, I'm trying to let her do her own thing.  I want her to feel free to take (safe) risks and not be afraid of trying something.  I'm the opposite of that too often and she shouldn't become that way because of my overprotectiveness.  Haha.  Is my mommy badge showing yet?

Newest Accomplishments:

-  She has been sitting up on her own now and she stays that way for awhile.  She'll grab a toy and just sit and examine it until something else catches her attention.

- My girl is a crawler! She seems so much happier now that she's able to get around on her own.  There were signs before, but the actual first crawl was on her 7 month mark.  She really likes to reach milestones on her monthly birthdays.  We made a barricade to keep her "contained", but Anna is a smarty and finds gaps to get through.

-  On the few occasions she's gotten through the weak side of the barricade, she's turned a bit of her attention toward our very steep stairs.  Even when she has mastered stair-climbing, I'm not sure I want her going up and down them.  I still have to pay attention so I don't fall and break my neck.  But I digress.  She's a pretty good climber.  She's reached six stairs (with either Ty or I behind her of course) before getting bored and trying to turn around. 

-  Her world expanded when she was finally able to pull herself up on things.  She likes to make her way around the barricade (the coffee table, couches, banana chair on it's side, and the entertainment center) and in her crib.  I'm really not excited about that last one.  The other thing she likes to pull herself up on is mommy and daddy.  We are the only means to get her to where she really isn't able to go yet. I get so excited every time I see her crawling towards me, thinking that she'll want to cuddle, only to have her get frustrated that I'm not picking her up and taking her to her desired destination.  Gets me every time.  Oh well.  I'll take what I can get.  

- She's finally holding the bottle on her own.  There seems to be a little too much distraction for her to be left to her devices though, so we still hold her while she holds the bottle.  I don't mind.  It's a good way to get some cuddles in.  

Some things we are loving about Anna right now:

-  She's such a happy girl.  The two of us have a fun little game that we like to play.  I'll laugh and she turn to look at me, smile and laugh right back, then go back to what she was doing.  This can go on for quite some time before she gets bored.

-  Finding new ways to tickle Anna and getting her to laugh is a favorite of both Ty and I.  There are the classics, like the armpits, sides, and tummy.  However, there's been a new discovery.  When Ty takes her hand or foot to his unshaven, prickly face and wiggles his chin, she lets out an adorable laugh.  

-  We finally made a breakthrough in naptime!!!  I couldn't think of anything else to do, so I consulted the Sleep Sense book since it worked so well before.  I looked up the nap time schedule that applies to her age.  Turns out, she didn't need as many naps and needed to have more awake time between naps and bedtime.  Once I started stretching out time between naps, suddenly life got so much better. 

- She talks and babbles quite a bit.  Mostly it's:  dada, nana, mama, baba.  However, there are some other cute little sounds that make it in there.  Those are little harder to convey.  :)  I don't consider them words though since she's not really making any kind of association with them. 

-  Her favorite toys are mommy's chunky jewelry (specifically a couple of necklaces and a bracelet) and hair.  Not her own of course, though it's starting to grow and get just tinsy bit thicker.  Mostly, it's my bangs or her daddy's when she gets a hold of it.

-  A few Sundays ago, she started clicking her tongue.  I would imitate her and she loves it.  It's like we are speaking the African clicking language with each other.  Haha.  

-  She's finally starting to understand how funny Peek-a-Boo is and that clapping is fun.  It's a great technique to get to calm down if she starts getting overly upset.

-  During her naptime and nighttime routines we always sing to her to get her ready for bed.  However, when she's awake I'm trying to come up with some fun songs to sing.  Her favorite right now is "Popcorn Popping".  I always make sure to do the actions that I learned in Primary to go along with it and she loves it.

Some things we aren't loving so much:

-  Solid foods are a little bit of a struggle still.  I don't want to force her because I want it to be her choice.  However, I know she's interested.  If we eat in front of her she stares at us and what we are eating and starts reaching for it.  Most of what we eat she's not ready for yet.  Though I did give her some hummus.  She didn't seem to enjoy the taste, but came back for more.  I broke down and gave her some Brown Rice Cereal and then started to introduce more variety and we are making progress.  In fact, she seems to enjoy listening to Weezer while she eats and that somehow calms her down enough to lean in for more bites.  What funny girl. 

- Now that she's getting more solids in her diet, her bowel movements have been quite STINKY!  They are definitely the least enjoyable task. 

-  Even if her diapers aren't stinky, sitting still is basically not happening during the changes.  We have to make sure she has some kind of toy to distract her beforehand.   That doesn't always make a difference sometimes.  She loves to kick her legs and run interference between my hands and the button snaps of her onesie or clothes.  Now that she knows she can move, she doesn't understand that that doesn't necessarily means she needs to.

-  This rash.  Oh this rash!  We continue to try different things to no avail.  The Yoreganics helps, but it's not a cure by any means.  She scratches so relentlessly and we put Caladryl on to help, but that only lasts so long.  We took her to see Ginger (She's also Anna's pediatrician) and she gave us some things to try, so we'll see.










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