Friday, August 28, 2015

I Guess We're Bookworms

I'm delighted to see Nicole taking a greater interest in books. I melt inside when I see her crawl over, pick one up, and proceed to flip onto her back so she can "read" it while lounging and narrating very loudly to me. I've always loved reading, and I would be ecstatic if Nicole became a little bookworm like me.

I read to Nicole on a daily basis. Sometimes I read to her while she plays or lies in my lap and looks up at me (currently, we're on the 6th Harry Potter book. She just stared and stared at me earlier today as I read about Harry's first potions lesson with Slughorn) and sometimes I snuggle her on my lap so we can read some age-appropriate board books.

You can only handle Brown Bear, Brown Bear so many times, though. I'd much rather practice my British accent and keep Nicole's attention by reading animatedly, but we keep a good variety of books on rotation.

^^^See??? Harry Potter can be fun for an infant! ;)

Of course, with school done and Nicole taking fairly consistent naps (and sleeping 10+ hours straight at night), I have much more time to read things that I want to read! It seems like such a luxury to be able to read what I want without homework in the way! It's like the good old childhood days when I could spend my whole summer reading for hours on end. I blew those summer reading programs out of the water! Earn ALL the free pizza coupons!

Currently, I'm reading In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume. I started it right before we flew to California, but then I decided that it miiiiiight be better to wait and read a book about an airplane crash after I'm done flying on airplanes for the foreseeable future. So smart, I know.

The top three books on my to-read list are:

  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  • All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (I never read it in high school)
Also, who can give me an opinion on the Divergent series? I haven't read it, or seen the movies, and I want to know if this one is worth my time the next time I feel like reading a "teen fandom series" (as I call them).

I love my little baby bookworm! I can't wait until she's old enough for me to read her the entire Little House on the Prairie series, just like my mom did when I was little! I still remember those nights listening to her read. I'm so glad I get to make memories like that with Nicole.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

California and Such

Nicole and I were able to fly out to California for a week to see my brother Johnathon get home from serving a 2 year mission for the LDS church! I've never waited in an airport lobby for someone to get off an airplane before, and it was fun to see him come striding down the hall in his suit with his hands in his pockets while my mommy cried (and, let's face it, she definitely wasn't the only one).

^^^First time meeting Uncle Johnathon

Reunions are so sweet. It was great to spend so much time with my family. There were lots of family dinners and Me'n'Eds pizza and All-American Chocolate Cake from Costco and Nicole demanded to keep me in her sights at (almost) all times. Someone's developed some stranger/separation anxiety! Sweet baby.

Speaking of Nicole, she was much more receptive to going swimming this time around. We were also able to put her in this super handy baby tube, so she spent half the time chilling in that... but we all love holding her, so she didn't stay in there for long.

Aaaaaand now you get to see my beautiful farmers tan. Whoot.

 ^^^The only downside to splashing... sometimes, you get water in your face :P

Nicole's hands and feet got so wrinkly in the pool! I just about died. Cute, wrinkly baby feet and fingers. GAH!

We went to Morro Bay the very next day after Johnathon got home. It was Nicole's second time going to the beach, actually. I never mentioned on this blog that we joined Doug at the end of his latest business trip a couple weeks ago and stayed in a beachfront hotel in Pacifica for a day. It was rather chilly there, but it was very hot and sunny at Morro Bay.

And I neglected to put on sunscreen.

The backs of my legs were on fire for several days. You'd think that after living in California for 18+ years of my life, I would know to never skimp on sunscreen.


On the plus side, we found lots of sand dollars and sand crabs, and I got clam chowder for dinner! Nom.

 ^^^HUGE sand crab!

The trip was worth every minute, even with the pain from the sunburn. Ha. Those ultra white legs of mine needed some sun anyways.

It was Ryan's (most likely) last time seeing Nicole and me in person before leaving for his mission in October to North Dakota. We all keep telling him that he's going to be freezing! He doesn't even know. I mean, it never snows during the winter in Fresno! He doesn't even know.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Nicole // 8 Months

That pose in the first picture is a such a model pose! This girl KILLS me. She knows exactly what to do when the big black camera comes out ;)

Nicole is officially mobile! She has a bunch of different "crawling" methods. My favorite is when she gets up on her hands and knees and then flops forward onto her tummy. It's so funny. I have to keep an eye on her now because she's starting to move quicker and quicker. It's so fun to watch her work out how to move.

Crawling opens up a world of possibilities. That, combined with the fact that she's gotten veeeery good at picking up tiny things off the floor with her "pincher grip" resulted in a baby who kept getting rather distracted by the tiniest leaves and twigs while her mama was trying to take pictures of her.

Exhibit A:

I also see her in this pose a lot:

I call it: "A Youthful Twist on Angelina Jolie's Leg"
One of her bottom teeth finally broke through! And the other one is so close, I can feel it just under the surface of her gums. The poor baby has been so grouchy as she waits for this tooth to cut. Any day now, baby girl!

She sleeps through the night, generally 10-11 hours! There's only been a small handful of nights in the past month where I've needed to go in to rub her back or rock her for a few minutes to settle her down (usually, teething is the culprit). Sometimes she'll wake up at 2 in the morning and start talking to herself for ten minutes or so, then she'll settle down and fall asleep again. Hopefully this is a permanent thing!
Some other tidbits from 8 months:

+ Home girl will eat just about anything I feed her.

+ She can kind of wave at people now! Or rather, open and close her hands.

+ I've said this before, but she has SUCH. A. LOUD. VOICE.

+ Baths and swimming are always a big hit; she loves splashing in the water.

+ She thinks little kids are hilarious (I need to get her laughter on video sometime!)

+  She loves the great outdoors, especially trees, wind, and grass.

+ When she hears upbeat music, she does this adorable little bouncy dance move. I love it so much and I could watch her dance forever and ever and ever. SO cute.

+ She occasionally tries to pull herself up on things (usually the side of the bathtub. While she's in it and it's all wet and slippery. Go figure.) but can't manage it yet. But she does try. Oooooh no...

+ She makes the sound "Maaaa! Maaaam!" when she's upset and wants me, but that's usually the only time I hear it. I don't think it counts as a first word, though. We'll get there.

+ We're still in debate about her true hair color.

+ She sticks out her tongue aaaaall the time! Lots of drool. Lots of raspberries. Lots of cuteness.

Man, she changes so much in just one month! It makes me a little sad! Along with the bigger milestones, there are some tiny, precious things that I don't ever want to forget.

I want to remember the way she stares into my eyes when I cradle her and talk to her.

I want to remember how she snuggles up against me when I pick her up out of her crib.

I want to remember the gentle pats she gives me on the arm with her tiny hand.

I want to remember how her smile brightens her face like sun breaking through clouds.

I want to remember how she tries to push with her toes while she's crawling and reaches as far as she can.

I want to remember the way her chubby thighs jiggle when her stroller goes over a bump.

I don't ever want to forget.

We love this happy, loud, fiery ball of personality so much! I truly enjoy watching her develop, learn, discover, and grow. Nicole, happy 2/3rds of a year to you! Each day is an adventure!