Monday, December 22, 2008

Ho-Ho-Ho

This was too cute not to share. We have been trying to teach Belle to say Ho-Ho-Ho and she is finally starting to catch on. When she woke up from her nap yesterday we were playing and I got this sweet video! Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy 11-Month Birthday!

Belle turned 11 months old on Monday. Unfortunately she has been under the weather for the last week or so, and getting a picture of her happy has been a little challenging. Today we finally got a picture with the help of a shiny patent leather shoe. I mean what girl doesn't feel better when holding a pretty shoe?

We cannot believe that Belle will be a year old next month. Time has flown by and she is changing before our eyes every day. This month she has become very verbal. She is like our little parrot that tries to repeat everything. The minute the garage door opens with Mark getting home from work she says "dada". She can say "Hi" but only does so if she holds her hand or an object up to her ear. She says "mama" when she is upset or frustrated about something. Her favorite things to repeat are "ooooo ahhhhh", "ho ho ho", and "woof". Of course none of these sound like the way we say them!

During playtime you can catch her singing to herself and dancing to the songs her toys make. Her favorite foods are cheese and any fruit. She is pretty much on all finger foods. She still only has two teeth, but there are four on their way. She wears mostly 3-6 month clothes and a couple of 6-12 month sizes. We are still in a size 3 diaper and will probably be here for awhile. She cruises now with one hand, and every now and then lets go and stands for a few seconds. I am sure I will think of 10 more things when I finish this post, but I will spare you all.

We took Belle to see Santa and she went from happy to scared in about 2 seconds. I love that we have the classic screaming with Santa picture!


We are looking forward to this month with Belle's first Christmas and preparing for her birthday party. I have been planning for quite some time and I look forward to seeing the finished product. Please be praying that Belle can kick this nasty cold in time for Christmas. At this point that is all I want for Christmas!


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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Santa Really Should Stop Pinching Little Girls

I apologize for the recent blogger silence. I will blame it on this:I got a sewing machine for my birthday!!! I am very, very excited, and I am SLOWLY learning how to sew. It is something that requires a great deal of patience. I am really looking forward to learning more and more. I have already made several Christmas presents and have four more to make. I think it is such a great hobby for being able to make dresses for Belle, stuff for around the house, and great gifts!

Speaking of Christmas... this is the first time EVER I have had almost all my Christmas shopping done this early. Except for one gift and a few stocking stuffers, I am done shopping. It is very exciting and has definitely taken a lot of the stress out. I am doing Christmas morning breakfast for my family, so getting this done lets me focus on having everything ready for cooking that morning.

We took Belle to see Santa tonight. That was an experience. We knew she wasn't going to be a happy camper due to her fear of men. We got her all dressed up and braved the hour long line. As we drew near Santa's laps we gave her some puff snacks to eat and even put a few in her hand. We thought this would at least distract her from the stranger with all the white hair... um.... see for yourself:

Just in case you needed the zoom in shot:
PRICELESS. Is it bad that Mark and I were about dying laughing at how pitiful she was? My favorite part of the night was when the lady asked which picture I wanted. I guess it was between screaming and screaming harder. Well I figure if you really want to capture the moment perfectly you should get the screaming harder. Don't worry, Belle was smiling within 2 seconds of being in our arms. I love these times. We always find a good laugh in our day.
Sorry for the rambling. We have a lot coming up between Christmas and getting ready for Belle's first birthday party. I will try to stay up-to-date as best as I can. Hope all of you are having a very enjoyable holiday season!



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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving in Saint Simon's

We spent this Thanksgiving with Mark's parents at the house in Saint Simon's Island. It was such a nice way to relax and enjoy the holiday. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. We rode bikes, had picnic lunches, went to the beach, etc. Belle had all new surroundings to explore. Mark's brother and his wife joined us as well with their two dogs. Belle isn't around dogs much at all and so it was very interesting to see her reactions. She needed to know where they were at all times and didn't like when they went out of her sight. She also didn't want them to close - particular much?

Belle could have cruised around this coffee table all day long. It was very fascinating to find the remotes and pull all the magazines off the table!

Daddy and Belle-bug on the beach. Sooo sweet!




We went to visit Fort Frederica. Last time we went it was summer and I was pregnant -- aka MISERABLE. This trip was much more pleasant and Belle enjoyed seeing all the beautiful scenery.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are so thankful for our family and friends. We are especially thankful for the precious little girl that the Lord has blessed us with this year. I will leave you with her blowing you some kisses!
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sneak Peek

Check out the sneak peek of Belle's pictures we had made two Saturdays ago:
http://lisarussophotography.com/blog



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Friday, November 21, 2008

10-25-4

No that is not some crazy safe combination for you to win a grand prize. That number sums up what a busy week we had. Here is the rundown: Saturday - Belle turned 10 months old (crazy, I know!), Monday - I turned 25, and yesterday - Mark and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary.

This last month has been a busy one for Belle. She has her very first tooth and it is oh so cute. She is in the process of getting a couple more. I guess the late teethers have to make up for lost time. She is learning new things left and right. She can say a few words on command and occasionally she will say them spontaneously. She says: dada, mama, hi (sounds more like a southern haw) and tries very very hard to say "uh-oh". The uh comes out and then she works so hard to say oh but never really gets it out - very cute though. The sweetest is at the end of the day when the alarm beeps that Mark is walking through the door, she stops what she is doing and waves and says dada over and over.
She will give you kisses on command and loves to blow kisses at random strangers. Belle loves to give "five". She is on the move cruising all over our furniture, being a daredevil climber, and shaking her little bottom to dance. She loves finger foods and will eat anything - even paper we have found - oops. The only food she has ever had a reaction to is green beans - weird I know! She is starting to be a much better napper. I think all the movement wears her out. I wish I could say all the things she loves and does but there is just not enough time for all the rambling.

On to pictures...

Look how long she is getting!

I don't know about you but their is something mischievous about this grin! She is very attached to "Rosie" her doll that used to be my doll.

This is her excited face I taught her. It cracks me up every time.


Lastly, I will preface that this picture is gross! Belle has a little cold with her three teeth trying to come in, and it is fairly icky. She sneezed the other day and I looked at her and saw this:
YUCK! Of course, I had to get a picture.
Stay tuned... Belle had professional pictures taken on Saturday and I will post the link to the sneak peak as soon as it is available. I will post tomorrow about my birthday and our anniversary.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Featured Meal of the Week

Since I love to cook, I thought I would share with my fellow bloggers some of my favorite things to cook. I try to cook at least 4 meals a week. The easiest way I have learned to plan our weekly menu is to cook one thing chicken, beef, pork, and eggs during the week. That equals four meal ideas I have to come up with, and I also try at least 1 new recipe a week.

This week I will share with you one of my favorite quick and easy meals:
Cashew Pork Stir-Fry over Hot Rice with Broccoli Slaw

Cashew Pork Stir-Fry
1/2 lb. of boneless pork chops (I can often find them sliced thin which I like the best)
3 Tablespoons of Stir-fry sauce
1 Tablespoon of thawed OJ concentrate
1 1/2 teaspoons of corn starch
1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil
2 stalks of celery chopped
1/2 -1 cup of matchstick carrots
1/2 cup dry roasted or unsalted cashews
Hot Rice

Slice the pork chops into 1/2 inch strips. Combine next three ingredients and toss with pork. Heat oil in large skillet over high heat. Add pork with sauce, celery and carrots. Cook 4-6 minutes or until pork is cooked through. Add carrots and stir over heat for 1-2 minutes. Serve over hot rice.

Broccoli Slaw
2 Tablespoons of light brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of vegetable oil (I prefer canola)
1 package of broccoli slaw
2 apples chopped (I prefer Gala or Rome -- red delicious or yellow will get to mushy. I think green apple would be nice in the summer)
1/2 cup of golden raisins

Whisk first four ingredients together and combine with slaw, apples, and golden raisins. Chill in fridge at least 2 hours. This makes many many servings and is a nice crunchy, cold side dish to accompany the hot stir fry and rice.

Let me know what you all think if you are brave enough to try them. Bon appetit!


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Monday, November 10, 2008

Chaleston or Bust

We ventured this past weekend to Charleston, South Carolina for a trip celebrating Mark's birthday a little late. We were actually there because Mark's parents gave him a custom made suit for his birthday and he needed to pick out his fabric and get measured. Why not make a weekend out of it?

We stayed at the Market Pavillion Hotel which I highly recommend. It was right next to the open-air market which is so much fun. We got in Friday night and walked over to Fleet's Landing to eat dinner by the water. It was funny to see Belle's reaction to riding in her stroller over all the bumpy streets. Saturday we got up and went over to King Street to help Mark pick out his suit fabric and then we browsed through the shops all up and down King. Lunch on the roof of our hotel was a must as you can see so many gorgeous views. That afternoon we walked through the market to pick up a couple of things I had scoped out earlier. Belle rode in the Baby Bjorn and enjoyed grabbing other peoples shirts and blowing everyone kisses. My favorite is that she said "Hi" to everyone we walked past. Her Hi now comes out like a little southern girl saying Hah! SO funny.

We had to take Max to the airport Saturday afternoon so we drove all over the city looking at the beautiful sites as Belle napped in the car. I highly recommend visiting Charleston if you haven't yet. It is especially nice this time of year when the temperature is so nice. Belle did great in the car both ways and slept through the night both nights at the hotel. She is really turning into a great traveller. I hope everyone had an excellent weekend. Sorry no pictures but we were going, going, going and the camera rarely came out.


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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dear Anonymous

Dear "Anonymous",

When you decide that you need to attack someone else's character, don't be a coward and comment anonymously. If you feel you have the authority to make the accusations you did against me and my family, by all means be loud and proud.

I am not writing this as an apology to you (obviously). I have gone and tried to find what comment you are referring to that made you accuse me of being racist. You are free to ask any of my family, friends, or colleagues and they would verify that I would never make a comment that would construed as racist. If you would like to take the time and send me a private message, via facebook, as to what you specifically thought was racist, I will gladly address it with you.

You also said: that last time you checked I wasn't "wealthy". I have never claimed to be wealthy and I don't consider my families financial situation any of your business. I don't know where you got the idea that you had enough knowledge of us that you could say something like that. I consider ourselves fortunate that we have been very blessed in life. The only time I would tell someone I am wealthy is in reference to the fact that I have a God that I serve, a husband who loves me and wants to help me get to heaven, a precious baby girl who has changed my heart forever, an incredibly loving family, a circle of priceless friends who support us in many ways, and the list could go on and on. Those are the times I would claim to be "wealthy".

To address the last portion of your comment. Its a shame to be raising a child in such an ignorant household. That was low and hurtful. If that is what you intended, congratulations please send your address where I can write the thank you note. We intend to raise our child to first and foremost love the Lord fearlessly and in that way live a life of integrity. Since you have made your choice marks completely lacking integrity how about you leave the opinions on how I am parenting up to God and me.

I will choose to pray specifically for you this week. Your heart must be very hard to hurt and tear down my family. I know that deep down you are not proud of the things you have said because otherwise you would have put your name next to it. I would appreciate it if you would take the time to contact me on Facebook personally. I would like to see you stop being such a coward and live up to the choice you made to tear other people down.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Electoral Process Through the Eyes of a Nine Month Old


I went and voted with my mommy and daddy today. I wore my Conservative Cutie shirt and they even gave me a sticker.
There were some candidates (no names mentioned) that I made this face at:
This is Belle's new "stink-eye" and I have been trying to get a picture of.

There were other candidate who got my smiles and applause.


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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Belle's First Halloween

This year Belle went dressed as a ladybug. She was so cute in her costume, and I loved it because it was easy to put on and off! We dressed her up and went to trunk or treat at church Sunday afternoon. She was so cute in awe of all the people dressed up.
Checking out all the costumes!

Hanging out with daddy and her other bug friend -- Sassy the Bee.

Hope that everyone had a safe and Happy Halloween. It was my first Halloween off work in 3 years which was very exciting!

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Oh What A Week...

Have you ever had one of those weeks in which nothing can go right? This has definitely been one of those weeks. I worked Monday night and decided to stay over from 11p-3a (after working 3p-11p) because they were desperate for extra nurses. I was so excited because I made some really good money. That excitement left when the next day I saw my car being towed since I had to park on the street when I got home at 4am so Mark could leave for work. So basically I made a whole bunch of extra money so that I could pay to get my car out of the lot it was towed to.

On top of that we have a new addition coming to the Reiboldt household.

It is too small to get a picture of right now...

It makes someone rather cranky around here...

And no I am not pregnant.

It is a tooth! After months and months of teething we have had a sighting or I guess I should say more of a biting. Needless to say it has made for one fairly unhappy camper around here.

Here is to a much better week next week!


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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Happy 9-Months!

My how much can change in one month. This month Belle became a complete busy-body. Last month Belle was mobile, but now she is crawling much quicker, pulling up on everything, and cruising slowly around furniture. She is becoming more and more verbal saying things like da-dee, da-da, ma-ma, hi-eee, bababa, na-na-na, etc. She doesn't know what any of the words really mean yet but it is so cute to hear her tiny voice. She can range from little whispers to rather boisterous. This month she fully weaned herself to the bottle, and while I was sad about it, I cannot starve my child. Once I got over the initial sadness (who knew packing up my pump would make me teary) I have realized how nice it is to not be as tied down. She has really stretched out her feedings and dropped one on the formula. Belle started meats this month and isn't really impressed. We also got the ok from the pediatrician on Wednesday to start finger foods. Now for what you really want... pictures:

Sweet girl and daddy. She is really starting to have more hair grow in and it is very light and auburnish (if that is a word).

First tub bath.


Here is our attempt for size pictures with a mobile child:



And this is about attempt 25 and the best we could get. It included daddy singing and dancing hence the funny look on her face.

9-Month Stats

15 pounds, 9 ounces (5th percentile)

27 1/3 inches long (25th percentile)

Videos:
1. Crawling everywhere -- getting into everything.

2. Crusing for mommy's iPhone.

3. Belle loves to sing along -- melts my heart to pieces.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Blog Slacker

Sorry about the slacking lately. We have really been swamped with Mark finishing his graduate schools. I have a 9-month post for Miss Belle so check back on Sunday when I get my camera card loaded.

Thanks!

Oh yeah, just saw gas for 1.99, very exciting!

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fun in the Sink

No words just really cute pictures.




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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Week in Review... and Looking Ahead

We had a busy week at the Reiboldt house. When Belle decides to do something new, she decides to do several new things all at once. First of all, I made an executive decision to start giving her bottles for her lunch and dinner feeding. She was completely uninterested in nursing during these feedings, and that left for a hungry baby and stressed out mom. So the new system has been in place for a week and.... I LOVE IT! I still get to nurse her in the morning and before bed when she is at her calmest, but during the day she gets her bottles and is so much happier. I know there are plenty of people that might want to give me grief for this, but whatever - you do what works for you and your child.
The picture below demonstrates Belle's newest skill. Once she got the crawling thing down she began to crawl with purpose. Finding different objects to attempt to climb and go after. She wasn't getting close to pulling up until I found her like this during her afternoon nap. Lets just say no afternoon nap occurred this day and we took it as a great time to run some errands. We lowered her crib down the rest of the way that evening. Now I have to stand on my tip-toes to reach in to put her down/ get her out. She is now not afraid to try and climb on anything and everything. Baby proofing is underway and many blockades have been placed around the house.
Belle has never really been able to sit unsupported up to this point. It was sort of concerning to me, but I came across a blog of a mom with quads who were having the same problem. They were born a little more prematurely than Belle but around the same time. Due to the fact that they were more premature, they qualified for Early Childhood Intervention. They described the problems with sitting that their kiddos were having and it sounded just like Belle. She would arch her back and never could balance. I followed the blog along and they showed what the therapists were doing with their babies. I cheated and put them into practice at our house. Three days after, it all clicked for her and she is sitting SO much better.
We went to the pumpkin patch on Saturday and got some precious pictures. If you have a facebook account I have posted a bunch more there, but Blogger was giving me picture-posting grief.
Saturday night, Belle had her first sleepover at my parents house, and Mark and I went out on the town. We went to dinner at Killer Creek and then to the OAR concert. It was such a fun night. We felt a little bit old at the concert, but who cares? Belle did awesome at my parents (not that we had any doubts), and they had so much fun together.
The next few weeks are a little stressful at our house as Mark is gearing up to take his 5 final exams for graduate school. They are very intense and reflect the last year of classes he has taken. Please be in prayer that he will recall the information and feel great peace as he takes these tests. He is getting his Masters in Economics. Check out his blog and leave him a comment that you are thinking about him - www.reiboldt.com.

Hope everyone is having a great day! Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be a beautiful 72 degrees. Can't wait!





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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Coloring Outside the Lines

Just some thoughts on my scattered mind...


I think mothers today are in some ways doing a disservice to one another. We spend on our time with our "mom friends" praising the wonderfulness of our children. Don't get me wrong this is a great thing... to a point. We are supposed to be proud of our children's accomplishments and when we have really great days at home. We forget to tell one another sometimes that these "perfect" children can have really bad days as well.

I am surrounded by an incredible circle of friends. Prior to motherhood and into present time, they have told me how their children take naps like it is an Olympic marathon, play contently by themselves, eat like champions, and so on. Basically leaving me with an impression that their children are like this 24 hours a day.

Let me praise on Belle for a minute and then get down to business. Belle is a happy and sweet baby. Developmentally she is ahead in some areas and right on par in others (adjusted age). She started consistently sleeping through the night at two and a half months. I could go on and on about how abundantly happy she has made our family, but that is not the point of this post.

Belle's personality is really starting to come out more and more. At the end of the day, I consider changing Belle's birth certificate so that her middle name reads Strong-Willed. Nap times are hit or miss and sometimes more of an Olympic sprint. Leaving the room without a complete and utter meltdown is out of the question. When it comes time for her to nurse it is like a wrestling match which has led me to start weaning her because it is just not worth a fight anymore. There are many other things which for the last few days left me absolutely frazzled. Can't you understand what it feels like to have this image of all your friends children sitting quietly and doing everything their mother asked of them all while you feel like you are losing your mind?

After a little meltdown out of exhaustion and many conversations with Mark, my mom and dad, I have come to a realization. It is something I want to challenge other mothers with, and something that I want to be honest about for women who will be mothers some day. Some are my mom's thoughts and some are mine.

Do you think that Moses, David, Jesus, Paul and other great leaders of the Bible were quiet children? Do you think that they followed all directions and obeyed their mothers at all times? NO! We even know this from the scripture. There is evidence in the Bible that God used strong-willed children to be the leaders. God has a special plan for Belle. I don't know if she will be a significant leader one day, but I know that he has given her personality distinct qualities so that she can do great things for Him. He also gave her to Mark and I so that we may raise her to use her personality to accomplish great things in His kingdom. He knew that we were capable of making it through the days when our patience will be tested. I challenge all mothers first of all to recognize the qualities in their children that are God gifted and if they can be challenging in day-to-day life, make a daily promise to praise Him for them. Also, pray for guidance in raising your children to use these gifts fully.

There is no child out their that always "colors between the lines". I am not saying that children drive their parents nuts, but that every child is unique. Mothers, I challenge you to talk with your closest friends and acknowledge the ways that your child may color outside of the lines. The more honest we are with one another the less frustration moms will have on their bad days at home. The best thing that happened after my rough days at home were two girls at work being very honest about their rough days at home with their kiddos. They told me how they had struggled that day. Admitting our struggles isn't admitting that something is wrong, it is recognizing the areas in life that Satan is attacking us. I know that this has been a bit of rambling, but I hope that there is something you have been able to take from this. I have started the last few days at home with a much clearer perspective and prayer. It hasn't been that there haven't been any struggles, but I have been better equipped to handle them.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

8 Months Already?!?

Belle turned 8 months on Monday, and time seems like it is flying by so quickly. There are many days that I want to just press pause on time and enjoy the stage she is currently in. She is so SO silly these days. She loves to make funny noises and funny faces. She can wave Hi/Bye-Bye (on a good day :) ). She army crawls and is getting into all kinds of stuff. She acts like she wants to pull up but just doesn't have the strength or height to do that yet. We did go ahead and lower her crib. When we go to get her up from naps she has her bumper pulled down and her arms sticking out with her face up to the opening -- SOO CUTE. I love this phase of discovery, even though it can be challenging some times. Belle is such a joy in our lives. I don't think one day goes by that we don't get tickled with giggles by our sweet girl.

Birthday Brownie (please don't worry, we had the tray pulled out far and her arms cannot reach that far)
Raggedy Ann Size picture

Belle's new favorite ride is the laundry basket. She loves to be pushed around, and just smiles so big.
Playing with her second cousin Conner in Missouri
This is her new way to sleep: little legs crossed and tucked underneath with her little bottom in the air. Melts your heart.
SOOO sleepy after her plane ride.
Trying her ladybug Halloween costume on. It was hard to get a picture of her she was flapping her arms because she was so excited.

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