Thursday, December 24, 2009

Take a picture!

Merry Christmas Eve - or Christmas 'Lite' - as my sister in law called it this morning! For Christmas this year Frank got me a new point-n-shoot camera, but I got it a few weeks early since I guessed what he was going to buy me (unintentionally) and had set my mind to buy it for myself. :) He hates it when I foil his plans, but it worked out well because I've been able to capture sweet little Allison more than usual this month.

Don't think that me having this camera has gone unnoticed by my curious toddler, either. More than ever, I've seen her start to imitate me - and that's a little scary! A few nights ago she was sitting on my lap and I held the camera out in front of us to snap a quick photo. I pointed to the camera and told Allison 'lets take a picture!'. She totally got it! I let her hold the camera after that and she kept holding it at arms length and cheesing really big. But the best part is that she thinks she has figured out how to smile. It looks something like this:

Since then, that's the face I get when I ask her to 'take a picture' or simply to 'smile'.

Later that same evening we were headed out to go visit my mom in the hospital after her knee replacement surgery. I got a picture of her with Frank and Papa complete with her new look.

The rest of the visit, Allison spent her time wreaking havoc on everything in the small room. She was busy pulling cords, pushing buttons, dragging around my dad's laptop bag, and begging to be held.

These last two are my favorite (taken by Frank with his iphone).

Luckily, my mom is home now and feeling better so we can visit without so much stress!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

So much news!

I keep telling myself that I need to take on a blogging technique that consists of daily briefs instead of trying to tackle huge monthly updates. My friend Tiffani does this, and it seems so much more effective. I think I'll give it a try after this post where I need to get everyone up to speed on the Barnetts.

The biggest piece of news is that I'm 11 weeks pregnant, and expecting Allison's brother or sister in early July! The kids will be around 25 months apart. The due date is actually my brother-in-law's birthday! This pregnancy has been tough so far because I've been much more sick this time than I was with Allison. Unfortunately, the nausea meds aren't working this time either. I've got my sights set on week 14 in hopes of some relief.

I have been extremely lucky, though, that my back has held out so far. I got a steroid injection in my spine at the end of June, and I was told that it could last for months or years. I was hoping for the latter (obviously), but in early October I started feeling a lot of pain again. Right before I was about to start another round of steroids I found out I was pregnant! I figured that meant that I'd be on bed rest for the whole pregnancy, but my back miraculously started feeling better. I have no way to explain it other than maybe there is a hormone that's keeping me from feeling pain? God only knows, but I really appreciate it! I can't expect that my back will hold up during the whole pregnancy, though, at which point my doctor said I can take Tylenol 3 (vicodin) for the pain. It's not my favorite plan, but I don't have any other options.

Cravings have also been a big part of this pregnancy so far. I'm hungry every 2.5 -3 hours, and there is never any telling what I'll be in the mood for. At first, I couldn't get enough scrambled eggs, then I wanted ham sandwiches, now I love chili (even though it makes me feel sick for hours after I eat it!), and I LOVE ice water. I have no desire for sweets like cakes, cookies or brownies, but if you bring me sweet tarts or gummi bears I'll eat the whole package. I can't believe I've only gained a pound! Whoever said that you only need an extra 300 calories per day during pregnancy was obviously a man.

Allison news:

She officially hit the 18 month mark about a week ago, and I can't believe another 6 months have passed. Each one comes faster than the last. She's growing up right before our eyes! Every day she learns something new.

The biggest change has been her verbal skills. Our pediatrician said that from 12-18 months kids tend to focus on perfecting mobility, and from 18-24 months they work on language. He was SO right! It's like a switch has been flipped! She went from saying around 30 words that took her 6 months to accumulate, to adding 2-3 words per day! Just this week she's learned: feet, toes, hands, sun, moon, star, santa, maggie (she says the whole words now instead of 'Ma') clock, boots, door, barn, and duck. On top of that, she has started copying what I say (or trying). She used to just listen to me, but now she is really making the effort to communicate.

One thing I love about Allison is that she is very mothering. She takes care of her sheep and her babies every day. She consistently will hold her juice or food up to their mouths and make smacking noises. She also puts bibs and diapers on her baby. They get kisses and hugs throughout the day, too. I also caught her feeding a banana to a stuffed bear ornament on our tree this morning (then she gave him a kiss). Those are supposed to be 'no touches', but how could I possibly tell her no when she's being so sweet and nurturing?? I think she's going to make a wonderful big sister!

Allison has a HUGE crush on her Uncle Eric! She wants no one else when he's around! :)

Another cute story. Allison has learned to blow her own nose! Now, I'm not saying she does a good job, but she gets it. I leave kleenex where she can reach them, and if I see that she has a runny nose I can tell her to go get one, and she'll take one out, hold it up to her nose and blow really lightly! I have to help her wipe her nose after that, but she's much more willing after having the chance to fix it herself.

Yesterday, we went to visit my friend Kelly. Her step-daughter is in FFA, and is raising bunnies at her house so I took Allison over to see if she'd like to play with them. I got one cute picture of her with the bunny in her lap, but that was all she wanted. She thought they were fun to watch but I was surprised that she was afraid to touch them.

Today, we finally made it to see Santa. We stood in line last weekend one freezing night for 30 minutes and the line barely moved, so we gave up and went for some hot chocolate instead. But today was beautiful outside and there was basically no line. Frank met us on his lunch break, so as not to miss her first encounter with Santa. I was really sure she was going to scream and refuse to sit on his lap, but she surprised us, and went to him willingly and sat on his lap and posed for the camera! It's the cutest picture!!

We happened to be there at the same time my sister Amy took Drew (aka chunk chunk) to have his picture taken with Santa. We did have a picture made with both of them and santa, but I don't have the digital copy.

So lets go way back to mid-November (because these pictures are too cute not to post). Allison went to her friend Ellie's three year birthday party. They had a horse for all the kids to ride up and down the street. She had sooo much fun!

You'll be hearing more from me soon! I'll leave you with a picture of our Christmas card. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Things I don't want to forget

When I wrote the last blog I knew I was leaving out some really adorable things that I had intended to write down simply because I never want to forget the way she was at this early stage in toddler-hood.

1) The other day I was visiting with my neighbor in the front yard while Allison entertained herself with leaves, flowers and acorns. Then I hear 'weee! weee!' over and over. I turn around to see her seated on our driveway (that has a fairly steep slope) and she is very slowly scooting her way down. Then I realized that she is pretending that the driveway is a slide at the playground because that's exactly what she says when she goes down it! Weeeee!

2) She discovered airplanes yesterday. I heard a loud one fly over our house when we were outside and I pointed it out to her. She was VERY excited and spent the rest of our time looking for them. At one point she pointed to one passing by and said 'PANE!"

3) She is learning to build with legos. At first she was only interested in taking apart anything that was assembled, but she has begun experimenting with putting them together herself. She has finally figured out that both pieces have to be facing up, but her alignment is still off. Instead she compensates by just pushing as hard as she can (which obviously doesn't work). Her arm will actually shake from the strain! When she gets it right she claps for herself.

4) A few weeks ago she was watching football with Frank and she noticed the refs giving the signal for a touchdown so she put both arms up by her head. Then the TV panned to some fans clapping and going nuts so she started clapping. That's been a favorite ever since. We say 'touchdown' and her arms go up, followed by clapping and 'yay!'. Fast forward to last Monday night. We were driving home from dinner at my moms and she was really fussy in the back seat and I figured she was just ready for bed. Then I look back and realize that she's got her arms up in 'touchdown' and was just mad that we weren't playing along. We had about 10 rounds of 'touchdown - yay!'.

5) She also is learning 'peek-a-boo'. The cutest thing though, is that she doesn't understand that the point is to cover your eyes, so she covers either her mouth or her cheeks. Then she throws her hands back with a great amount of enthusiasm. Sometimes she will cover my face and do the same thing. :)

6) She is learning to sing. Back when she was really young I remember asking Frank to put her to bed and sing to her. 'What should I sing?' he asks. I blanked on a lullaby and just suggested he sing the ABC's. He's been putting her to bed with that song ever since. Now when she knows it's time she will start singing before he does. It goes 'Aaaa Ccccc D'. She doesn't have the letters perfect but she's right on with the tune. She also tries to sing the 'D-D-D-D-D Dora' song, which comes out as just a bunch of D sounds.

7) Her new dance move reminds me of Ray Charles. She sways really big from side to side using mostly her head.

8) She past the stage of not wanting something on her head few months ago, and will now bring me a bow and put her head down and wait for me to put it in her hair.

9) She can now walk backward, and is pretty proud of herself for that.

10) She got a pack of stickers about a week ago from a friend of mine. I started by putting them on the back of her hands so now she assumes that that is the only place a sticker can go. She will point to them and hold her hands out palms down waiting for one on each hand.

I think that does it for now. Sorry, no pictures today. :(

Monday, November 9, 2009


If you keep up with me on Facebook, you know Allison was sick all last week. She ran a 103+ fever for 4 days, had swollen lymph nodes, wouldn't eat, and she was so miserable that she ended up sleeping with me and Frank for a couple of nights (we NEVER do that!!). The doctor told us it could be the flu (even though she tested negative), mono, or tonsillitis, but without blood work we couldn't confirm. Once her fever went away she was still very tired, but we assumed it was because she had had such a long week battling the fever and not eating. She is also cutting two molars, so we factored that in. But now she's sleeping around 17 hours a day or more, which includes a morning nap that she hasn't had in about 2 months. This kid has mono. I'm totally convinced. I was baffled at where she could have contracted it until I read up on mono on Web MD and found that since I had it in HS, I can still be a carrier of the virus the rest of my life. It has active and dormant periods, and when it's active I have the chance of spreading it. I also learned that up to 50% of people are immune to the virus - which explains how I've never given it to Frank. Luckily, you will only ever display symptoms of mono once in your life - so I'm safe! I say all that so people don't feel like they need to stay away. In another week Allison will be less contagious, but even then you're fine as long as you don't let her lick you! No need to quarantine the family!

Now that that's out of the way, here is all the cute Allison news. When she was sick last week I was checking her temp every couple of hours, and she didn't like to be bothered with the big beeping thing in her ear so I made a game of it, and made a big deal when it beeped. She caught on and started taking the thermometer and putting in either her ear or her sheep's ear and saying 'beeeeep!'.

She's picking up new words all the time, but she doesn't repeat them often. Some of her new words are: puppy (which she says very clear), baby, socks, cookie, cracker, Dora, eye, nose, flower, cheese, and papa. I'm sure there are some I'm forgetting. It's strange to hear her talking a little. She usually surprises me with her words. I'll have no idea she can say something and one day she'll just point and label something out of nowhere. We are trying to teach her a few words for bath time - faucet, shampoo, and fish (one of her bath toys). So far she's only attempting shampoo. It always comes out either pey-pey (??) or pooooo. Maybe I should have called it soap. :) When we were at the grocery store a couple weeks ago she saw the shampoo on an isle and started telling me 'pey-pey! pey-pey'!

She is also finally beginning to adopt the new sheep we got her about 3 months ago (there's apparently a very long probation period). We bought it hoping she wouldn't notice that it wasn't her favorite sheep since it is EXACTLY the same minus all the wear. Nope, she knew immediately and the new sheep had been shunned. Recently though, she's been carrying both of them around the house and seems very proud of her flock.

She and Maggie continue to be buddies. She likes to pet her while telling her 'puppy' over and over. This morning she tried very hard to cuddle with Maggie, but Maggie was confused and bolted before Allison could finish leaning on her.

In not so cute news she is really discovering her opinion and how to express them (fits). I'm a little overwhelmed to see her act that way sometimes, and hoping I can be consistent enough to teach her correct behavior. I'm reading a book right now called 'Parenting by the Book', and it's giving me a lot of perspective on how to parent her 'God's way' and to always keep in mind the goal of raising a godly woman of character who is independent, selfless, and humble. That feels like a tall order in our society, but the tips in the book are very helpful. I'd recommend it to anyone who has a child around the age of two since the book suggests that about that time (maybe sooner) is when parenting takes a new turn and should be WELL established by age three. Just my two cents.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cutest Ever...

We took Allison trick-or-treating last night for the first time! She was dressed as a fairy using a bunch of random things I had collected over the last couple of months. You'll recognize the tutu from her first birthday. Anyway, needless to say she was adorable!! The outfit turned out better than I had imagined, and I think she really liked it too.

Our neighbors were taking their daughter Ellie out at the same time, so we all went door to door together. Allison watched Ellie very closely as she dug into bowls of candy and put them in her bag. She caught on right away and started reaching for the large quantities of bright colored wrappers. Seriously, SO precious! I think we hit about 6-7 houses and then decided the girls had more candy than they'd ever be allowed to eat so we spent the rest of the evening handing out candy from our neighbors garage. I let Allison have a very small dum-dum (sucker) but I don't think she'll have any more candy.

These pictures are going to make you melt!!

These were taken at our house right after I finished getting her dressed. She was so busy watching Elmo, though, that she hadn't noticed the outfit. :)

Still focused on the TV.

That's the best her wings looked all night. They were way to big for her!

Now she gets it. She's really digging her costume at this point!

Prancing around the house. She was very proud of her pumpkin bucket.

Cant you tell? This is my favorite picture, by the way.

Showing off for dad.

This is her racing out of the front door to meet Ellie.

Now she's off to hunt acorns. It didn't take her long to stash a few in her bucket.

Still looking for acorns. This is what we do on days that are pretty. I sit in the front yard and she entertains herself by collecting acorns in a cup. Why should this night be any different?

Ellie hugging Allison

Ok, enough with the acorns.

Her first piece of candy! She was too excited to put it in her bucket at first.

But she's got the hang of it now and she's off to the next house!

Trick or Treat!!!