Monday, April 27, 2009

Splashy Splashy

Stephen here again. Time for another update from Jesstine's Daddy. I have to admit I'm tickled no end by Jesstine apparently recognizing me as "Da-Da." She will say it on command, and seems to be associating it with me. I'm drawing this conclusion because when she wakes up and needs changing, food, etc., she always tends to go on about "Ma-Ma." But when we're just hanging out and playing (and when I'm around), she'll be much more likely to say "Da-Da."

However, I constantly wonder if I'm letting her down. Lacie loves playing with her, but I never seem to know what to do. I love being around her, but I struggle to find ways to "play" with her (without just copying "Mommy's" tricks, which I want to keep special for her). This weekend was a good example.

I stayed with Jesstine (just the two of us) on Saturday while Lacie attended a women's conference at a local church with her sisters and mother. With the whole day to ourselves ,we played..... nothing unusual at all. The highlight of the day was walking over to Grandmom's to wish her luck before her students' piano recital. I don't feel a "connection" with Jesstine in the stroller. The rest of the time, she played with her toys and I just kinda hung around and watched.

Now contrast that with a span of about 30 minutes with my nephew Conrad and his little sister Lexi. Lacie's sister Grace stopped by Sunday with her family to briefly refresh before heading back home to OKC. The older kids ("older" being 3 and 5) were tearing the place apart waiting for everyone to get ready to go. On top of that, they were facing the daunting prospect (for a little kid) of a 3-hour car ride. So I took them outside to play. Even though it was sprinkling, we managed to race, jump, play piggy-back rides and do fun stuff for several minutes. I had a great time racing around the driveway, playing hide-and-seek, and just being silly with them for half an hour (probably much to my physical detriment. After battling some type of head cold the past few days, I ended up with a mild fever last night and a wicked sore throat). The question is how I could so easily play and have fun with Conrad and Lexi but not with my own daughter. I hope it's largely just an age thing......

Anyway, this is really just a long-winded way of setting up the video clip(s) you're dying to see. I don't get many unique opportunities to play with Jesstine. One that I'm happy to own, however, is bathtime. Of course, Lacie also does bathtime on occasion (typically Wednesday nights), but it's kinda become my special time to have fun with Jesstine. There are silly songs, crazy faces, and lots of smiles. But until recently, Jesstine hasn't been mobile enough to really "play" in the bathtub. So you can imagine my joy to see her start doing this......

I couldn't stop laughing with her. Now bathtime can be even more fun than ever before! All we have to do is find a way to keep the water off the walls. I look forward to playing with ducks and boats while Jesstine gets clean. Before, any toy in the tub with her was subject to little more than a good chew. Now she realizes the potential for mayhem with the water. All that's left is to add the water mayhem to her toys and voila'! Bathtime magic! Or at least, bathtime laughs.

But all you parents out there are probably just shaking your heads in warning. Yes, she's having fun all right, but now how will you ever actually get her bathed? It's a good question. In fact, it's already an issue. Check out what happened subsequent to the previous video, only after I had "calmed her down" and prepared to finish the bath.

That's my girl. I just hope this is the start of many more fun bathtimes to come, and not the start of tiresome wrestling matches trying to get a certain squirmy wormy clean!


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Work Out!

Today was a busy day! At 11, a friend of my mom's came over and did an evaluation of Jesstine. She is in a nursing class and had to do it for school. It was a lot of fun! I was glad to help her out. Between that and Jesstine's doctor's appointment, we were able to get her current measurements. I think she is a little over 19 lbs. and is 27.5 " long. That would make since as she has outgrown most of her clothes at least length wise. After that, we went to Grandmom's (Stephen's Mom). It was Grandmom's birthday! Jesstine had to go down for a nap as soon as we got there. Put she played really hard this morning and played even harder when she woke up. Grandmom bought her an excersaucer type of toy for Christmas. Instead of her sitting in the middle, she sits on the outside of it. It is called an "Around We Go" by Bright Starts! I tell you, she has the MOST fun in it! She is ALWAYS excited to get in it. At home, she has to warm up to her excersaucer. She doesn't like it unless it is the first thing in the morning and she is watching Elmo! In any case, she spent all of her time at Grandmom's either napping or in her "around we go." Who knows, perhaps she will be a runner! See for yourself! Imagine the Chariots of Fire theme playing in the background!

In Him,

Lacie, Stephen and Jesstine

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter, 8 months, and Toys!

Well, it has been pretty busy since our last post. I can't believe that our little girl is an 8 month old now! She is growing so fast! I know I have heard parents say that they grow up so fast. I guess you never really know until you experience it for yourself! There are a lot of things that you never know until you are a parent! For instance, socks: they NEVER stay on and they NEVER fit like my socks fit me! They are always pulled off or fall off. Even when they say 3 months to 12 months, you are lucky if they fit right for two weeks! I have given up on finding socks that will fit her "right." Don't even get me started on shoes!!!! Her feet are SO small! She is still in a size 3-6 month shoes (size 2). She is about to grow into the next size, but they are HUGE right now! I guess it is a good thing that it is summer and we won't NEED shoes for a lot of the time. I think we will be swimming a lot since she really likes it and Momma needs a tan!!!

As all of you know, Easter was this past weekend. It was a GREAT weekend! We actually started ours out on Friday! Daddy got to stay home with us. Thank you LSI for giving all of your employees Good Friday off! We aren't Catholic, but we sure appreciated Good Friday! We spent the day visiting a friend in the nursing home in Haysville. Then we went swimming later in the day! Someone was too excited and wouldn't nap so she was pretty tuckered out by the time bedtime rolled around. Saturday night, our friend Kara came over and sat at the house while Jesstine slept. Stephen and I went to Cheddar's and went bowling! It was very fun! Sunday it was a very dreary day weather wise. It was disheartening (I am sure to other mothers with little girls too) that her first Easter was so dreary. She had such a beautiful dress and she was such a cutie in her fancy sandals! This mother thought ahead though. Earlier in the week I decided to take pictures when it was warm and sunny out, so that we could she her in her Easter splendor! I know Easter is about Christ rising from the dead and not about bunnies, eggs, and candy. I kind of feel like Christ's Resurrection is something to celebrate! In America, we celebrate by eating as much sugar as we can, right? So I kind of see the other non-religious Easter traditions as more of a celebration of the true meaning of Easter (kind of like Christmas, right?). Anyhow, here are the "staged pictures I managed to get earlier as well as a picture of Jesstine and her buddy Kara actually on Easter Sunday!

Easter Pictures:

8 months! It seems like it was just yesterday I was SO on edge about getting Jesstine here. I worried so much that something was going to happen like last time I was pregnant. Now she is here and growing so fast! She won't fit in most of her 9 month clothing. We have already transitioned to the 12 month onesies. I am just putting some of the other things on her because she hasn't had a chance to wear them yet because the weather has been so weird! She is so smart! She can wave hello and goodbye (as long as we hold her arm up). She is eating Cheerios and other fun finger foods. She loves to stand. We are still working on the crawling thing though. She has started to show more interest this week. Stephen thinks she will crawl by the end of this week or sometime this week. I say it will be at least next week. Prove me wrong little Liebkind!
8-month pic

Finally, toys! So, I have been in search for some toys that are more age appropriate. This is where YOU come in! If you were to look in my front room, you would think, "This kid doesn't NEED anymore toys!" You are partially right. She is kind of at an in between stage right now though. Most of her toys are for babies or for bigger babies who can crawl and pull themselves up on things. Then of course there is the execersaucer. Most of the time she cries when I put her in that though (she is pretty tired of it, either that or Grandmom's is far superior and so she doesn't like the one at home). I have been on the hunt for a toy that will help her to crawl. Something that rolls away from her, but not as quickly as a ball does. Balls roll away and they are out of sight, out of mind. I have a shape sorter, a stacking toy. I have an incrediblock. What more could I want right? I am hoping this is just a lull until she is more mobile. Then I will no doubt be pulling things out of her hands that are not meant to be toys, but she wishes they were! If you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment. If you don't have an account, you can always click on the comments, make a comment and post it as anonymous.

I leave you with this final picture. In the mornings, Jesstine is our alarm clock. She will wake up anywhere from 6:45-7:30. When she does, we go in and get her (and Dumpty usually). Then we bring her back to our room for some family snuggle time. I took these this morning. I had gotten up to go to the bathroom and get myself ready for the day. I came back into the bedroom and saw her snuggling up to her daddy. I was able to get a few great pictures, but this one is the best! I hope you enjoy!

In Him,

Lacie, Stephen and Jesstine

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Water Baby

I have wanted to get Jesstine in the water since she was born. Our first experience wasn't great, but she was only a few weeks old and the water may have been a bit too cold for her. I was given some hand-me-down bathing suits from the son and daughter-in-law of one of the elders at church. They are so cute! I also have had a Y membership for quite some time now. I got brave and took Jesstine to the Kidzone (child care provided at the Y) for the first time this week. I thought since I was branching out, I would go ahead and take her swimming! I didn't know what to expect. Stephen is not much for swimming, but I LOVE it! If I looked good in a bathing suit, I would swim for exercise all of the time! Since I don't, you will have to make sure you look at the little girl in these pictures not the huge one holding her! I hope you enjoy this adventure in pictures as much as we enjoyed our time at the pool! We actually had such a good time the first day, I told Stephen he had to join us the next day just so I had someone to take pictures! That and I wanted him to see the joy on Jesstine's face as she went swimming!

Here we are ready to go swimming! She even got her shades on! She didn't need them really as this was an indoor pool! It sure made for a great picture of our beach baby though!

When she first got in, I just put her feet in. Then I thought that she had learned to sit so well, I would just sit her in the shallow part. The first thing she did was move her arms and splash! She doesn't splash much in the tub. I guess because she is less confined, she feels she has free reign?

She liked floating any way I put her in the water! Here she is on her back. She was still a little apprehensive at first, but after a while she would even let her head go back and relax a little.

Here is where she spotted Daddy with the camera!

This was the amazing part! She decided to put her own face in the water without me prompting her! I think she wanted to drink it. Then after a while she tried blowing bubbles by saying "da" with her face in the water. The pictures don't show it, but she even liked going under the water! I would count and she would get so excited. Then we would go under. She was a bit frazzled after first coming back up, but laughed again after the water went off of her face and she caught her breath.

She seems to have no intrest in crawling when on land, so we spend a lot of time walking. On land she tends to drag her right foot or step on the left with her right. In the water, she did such a great job and loved it!
Well, that is all of the pictures for now! We sure had fun! I think I will try to do it at least once a week with her. I am sure we will spend a lot of time at Grandmom's pool this summer too. I am also already looking into lessons for her! The Y is so great! It has opened up so many opportunities for us! I hope that it stays that way!
In Him,
Lacie, Stephen, and Jesstine