Friday, October 31, 2008

Petra the Peacock

Happy Halloween!

Just wanted to share a few photos of Petra in her costume. We went out for a little bit with some friends just to say hello to folks. I didn't bring home any candy for us big kids.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

She's a genius!

Petra displayed her superior intellectual knowledge yesterday evening. I knew she was smart, but I was quite impressed. As I have posted before, she is definitely talking more. When you ask her if she wants to eat she usually says yeah. This morning when I asked if she wanted a banana she said "YEAAHH!" And she has said no for quite some time.

But last night was a real accomplishment. I asked her:
What does a lion say? She roared.
What does a cow say? She mooed.
What does a kitty cat say? She meowed.
What does a dog say? She woofed.
What does a chicken say? Well, she doesn't know this one, but I wanted to see her response. She quizzically looked at me. So I obliged and clucked.
What does a owl say? She hooed.

It was perfect.

Now, the real sad part is that Thomas wasn't here to see it. So, we have tried to get her to repeat this sequence, but she has been too interested in other things and it is difficult to hold her attention on this ... especially with the camera in front of her. She would rather point, hold, and press buttons on the camera than have it pointing in her direction. She has never been a performer. But people around town seem to get a kick out of the fact she can wave, say hi, and blow kisses.

But here is a short video today that I got of her. She was much more interested in other things, but you can definitely get the idea.

She is also walking more ... up to 10 steps at a time. They are moving her up to the 1 year old class tomorrow at day care. I think most parents would be worried about her getting run over. Honestly, we are looking forward to it because we do not believe she is being mentally challenged in the baby room. So tomorrow, is a big day. I bet she will nap well.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Another Beautiful Sunday

As long as I can remember, Sunday has been my favorite day. I love the relaxed feeling that comes every Sunday. Rain or shine I love being outdoors and noticing the world around me. Today was a beautiful day! The weather was pleasant, the sun was shining, it was lovely. When I lived in Durham, I would have made sure to spend several hours at the Eno River hiking through the trails. Or I would have made a day trip to Blowing Rock. I desperately miss that part of NC. Here there is no hiking. Well, not really. There are some flat boring trails that I haven't found any real love for. There are a few places I want to visit that I heard are nice ... maybe now that the weather is cooler we can plan a few day trips.

We also spend at least a little time watching football on Sundays. Thomas and Petra were noticeably interested in the end of game.

Petra has been sick, just a cold. Unfortunately, like every other time, it has settled in her chest. But she was feeling well enough today to smile for a few photos. These were the best of the group. She didn't much feel like looking at the camera.

Everything else here is fine. Thomas is crazy busy with school work. Work is still slow for me ... until the election. And then everything will change. People will be moved. Some will be let go. The turnover every two years in the Legislature surely makes things interesting. I can't say I'm looking foward to things picking back up. Usually I would. But I love the time I am able to spend at home with Petra.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

11 month update- UPDATED!

Everything about Petra these days screams "I'm growing and learning." We feel confident that she will be ready for kindergarten before long. =)

I'd love to write a long list of everything she is doing ... but quite frankly I don't think I can remember it all. Petra is so much fun. She is a happy, happy child that loves to laugh, squeal, and smile. She waves hello and says "HIye" to anyone she sees, even if they are 30 yards away going the other direction. Whenever she gets excited it shows through her whole body, she kicks her legs, bounces on her butt, dances with her shoulders, and squeals. Every where we go we hear "what a happy, beutiful little girl." We laughed for quite a while the other day when we caught her talking to herself in the mirror in the car ... hand motions and all.

She has started to mimic us a lot more, but she is also learning more. On a regular basis she says turtle, bottle (sounds like dodtle), dog, daddy, bye bye, hi, hello, yellow, and others I am sure I am forgetting. She does not say mommy, but still calls me nana. As far as animal sounds go she can say "woof", "(m)eow," bok bok (chicken), hoo (owl), roar, and mooo. Petra, can you say moo?

She still isn't walking, only a few steps here and there ... and usually days apart.

She has two cool new tricks ... she growls a lot ... a whole lot. We think she picked this up from the dogs. And she has started to throw the tennis ball (over handed) for the dogs to chase. Its a sweet little game of fetch.

Physically, you will probably notice her hair is thicker and longer. Today she is fighting off a cough, what I am worried may be croup. But despite the random coughing she feels wonderful so all is well. She just started crying, which is very odd. The cough seems to bother her most at night. Thomas is checking on her now.

Everyone who usually asks us how she is doing, asks one of two questions:

1) How is she sleeping? Petra has always been a great sleeper. We usually put her down around 7pm and she wakes up around 7am. She also naps some each day.

2) How is she eating? Well, she loves the food I make for her. I'll have to post more about her food in a post by itself. But she is doing well eating lots of different foods and veggies especially. She can chow down on food I put on her highchair tray for her.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Trip to NASA

I've been out a few days and it was not easy to be away from Petra. I missed seeing her for about a day and a half as I went to tour NASA and the air force facilities at Merritt Island. While the trip was great, I missed the family. Here are a few photos of the cool part of the trip. The shuttle you see here is Atlantis. I actually got to see all three shuttles. Two were on the launch pads, and one was being fixed. I was able to see this one closeup and walk underneath it as it was basically horizontally jacked in the air.

Petra is doing great. This past weekend she started singing (or trying to sing) "row, row, row" as in Row your boat. Its very cute. She likes to say it really loud.

I'll post an 11 month old update on her in a few days with new photos.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Love this purse

This summer I fell absolutely head over heels for Amy Butler fabric and patterns. Lucky for me one of the local quilt shops sales her line of fabric ... although not all her patterns.

But lucky me found this pattern I wanted while I was in NC this summer. Except I wanted to use darker fabrics so it could be a fall/winter purse, and to use on a regular basis for work.

Tonight I made it. It took a little about 3.5 hours from start to finish. (the pictures aren't great because I threw it up on the wall quickly and we do not have good lighting in the house ... but you get the point)

Family in training

This summer kicked our butts. Let me explain.

Back in June I gave Thomas a combined birthday and father's day present--3 months with the best fitness trainers in town at Titus Sports Academy. Before writing the check I cleared it with him to be sure this is what he wanted. He could have chosen something different, but I think he decided that "he" is the best investment.

I was a slightly worried about it at the time. He was definitely not in shape. I couldn't remember the last time he did any cardio or lifted weights. The trainers tested him when he started to get a baseline measurement ... indeed it proved that he was out of shape. Just last week he was tested again. Guess what, he gained 4 lbs and managed to gain body fat. Not sure how that happened, I think the body fat measurement may actually be human error because he does look leaner. But nearly every other measurement improved. Tonight was an awards academy....

And he WON most improved! And to top it off he won a gift certificate for a new suit valued at $600! (And this is where I should probably mention that Thomas handed Petra a slice of pizza tonight and she chowed down and nearly finished it)

OK. So maybe the summer didn't kick his butt, he might have had the upper leg. But it did kick mine.

Our scale needs new batteries. And I just never got around to putting them in. Then about 3 weeks ago I tried to put on a dress that always fits. And it didn't. Uh, oh. Turns out I gained 20 lbs since May. And I'm nearly clueless as to how it happened which is the sad part and I didn't notice until it was a lot of weight, which is also scary.

Thomas has been trying to get me to exercise more. So, I joined the FSU gym. It was a great deal - $180 for the year, minus a $150 reimbursement from my health insurance=$30. The only problem is campus parking. So my workout time is usually first thing in the morning - 6:15 am when they open. But they have a pool so now I am swimming twice a week.

So our mornings our now all about fitness training. Thomas works out Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. And I get Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings. I just have to find something to do on Saturday because the gym doesn' t open until 11am. And the local city pool doesn't open until 10 am. So I'm still looking.

I hope by Christmas the extra 20 lbs are gone. And Thomas just decided to give in to his 4 lbs of extra weight and work on gaining more ... muscle.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Shack

I'm wondering how many of you out there in my blog world have read The Shack by WM Paul Young. I finished it a few days ago. While I didn't care for the style of writing, I did stay interested enough to finish it. And I can gratefully say I benefited from this new approach to presenting the trinity.

I picked it up not because of everything I had heard about it--because I had heard nothing--but due to one specific quote in the front cover from Eugene Peterson. Peterson writes "When the imagination of a writer and his passion of a theologian cross-fertilize the result is a novel on the order of The Shack. This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress did for his. It's that good!"

This might not grab everyone's attention, but it certainly grabbed mine because my mother was adamant about me reading the Pilgrim's Progress as a child. And before I left home, it had been read front to back at least 3 times. The strange thing to me is that I never thought of the Pilgrim's Progress as some new idea. It seemed obvious that a guy had a path that God wants him to follow, sometimes he strays, and there are consequences that follow. So the idea that the Pilgrim's Progress meant something to a generation never occurred to me.

The Shack definitely challenged me to see and think about the trinity in a whole new perspective. I'm actually looking forward to reading through the book again, except skipping the first 4 chapters which set-up the story in a horrific way. These first pages drug on like a drip of molasses and could have been written with the speed of Forumula 1 without ill effect to the rest of the book.

There were several passages that I found worth remembering. Infertility specifically is a roller coaster ride, especially with IVF. Top that off with adoption issues and I have some real emotions flowing some days. So when I ran across this passage I had to smile:

"Emotions are the colors of the soul; they are spectacular and incredible. When you don't feel, the world becomes dull and colorless."

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Pucker Up

Give me a kiss.
Actually, I'm quite sure she is saying "no" in the photo above. (But it looks like a kiss. So we will pretend. =)

It was a big day. Petra is definitely in the middle of a learning and growing phase. The last time this happened was 8 months, she had a long list of new things for the month.

It seems we've hit and are in the middle of another learning stage. I can't wait to see what comes next! But first, let me tell you what is happening.

Today she took her first steps! Actually 4 steps in a row. YEAH! And we missed them because they happened at day care. Of course she has an audience there as well so I'm sure she got a bucket full of praise. You can only imagine how worried I was that it might be days before she tried again. But it wasn't. She was more than willing to please us both with try after try when we got home. And we had a blast! Looking back I have no idea why it was today that she suddenly felt comfortable enough to try on her own. We were trying to coax her all weekend to let go, and she never did ... until today. So my number one priority tonight was to get a video for everyone showing her walking. And so here you go, and here is an extra clip also of us trying to record this for the blog world.

But, she is up to much more than just walking. She is also talking and interacting more. Pretend you are trying to get a baby to walk to you, and you motion for them to come to you with your hands. Well, she does that too. Or this weekend she was scared of our friend's big black dog and when asked if she wanted to pet her she said "No." And she has said both "turtle" and "lego" in the last 24 hours. And sometimes she tries to bark and makes a funny little noise if you ask her what a dog says. And her 2nd tooth is about to come in on the bottom. I honestly could probably go on and on.

Tonight she was tired after all the fun. And we sat and read books together for close to an hour. She actually sat still for them tonight and let me finish three in a row.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Happy 4th Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary!

We are thrilled to have celebrated another fabulous year - better than the last. In fact, much better because now we have Petra in our lives.

Thomas was super busy at school on Thursday, so we held out a few days and went to dinner on Saturday night at a Brazilian steakhouse called Rodizios. I loved the place! There is no menu. There is a salad bar that has a few vegetables and soup on it. And after your salad waiters frequently wander by with long skewers of meat and you get all you want. They had chicken, wings, specially seasoned shoulder steak, garlic beef, shrimp, and so much more. But my favorites were the lamb, bacon wrapped filet, and bacon wrapped scallops! YUM! We also ordered some Argentine wine.

It wasn't the most affordable price, but all you can eat filet and lamb probably makes for an expensive meal. Unfortunately the dessert left a lot to be desired.

So we headed around the corner to The Winery for cake and more wine.

After all this wine, I couldn't stay awake. So off we headed back to the house to releive the babysitter.