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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Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Thanks to everyone for their great flying advice. Belle did fabulous flying (well as fabulous as a very busy 8 month old can be). The actual time in Missouri was the part she did not do as well with. I think it was just over stimulation, and she is not used to sleeping in the same room as us. Stay tuned for Belle's 8-month birthday pictures to be posted tomorrow.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Leaving On a Jet Plane

Fellow bloggers, I am asking you for advice. Belle will be making her first plane trip this Saturday. We are just going for a quick trip to visit Mark's grandmother and extended family. Any tips out there for flying with a 7 month old?

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Cutie Patootie

Not many words just cute pictures and a video!

Cute outfit we got at the Old Navy jeans sale. You can tell she is very pleased with her new look as well.
I mean seriously! Look at these adorable shoes.

This might be one of my favorite pictures. That sweet little hand on our window just melts my heart.
She was so proud she could stand. Every now and then she lost her balance, but she loved looking out the window.

I have had a little cold these past few days, and we have gotten a kick out of our little parrot. She has decided to showcase her cough whenever I cough. She thinks it is a very funny game -- we do too! Sorry for the length, but the grandparents will enjoy it.

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