Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Gift

I started asking for a chicken coop well over a year ago, and I'm finally really close to actually having chickens! Brad, the sweet thing that he is, "gave" me a coop for Valentine's Day last year. But it never showed up. Then, he "gave" me a coop again for my birthday in July. But it never showed up. (I knew better this time; July is very busy around here.) Over the holidays, I finally saw some progress on the much anticipated chicken coop: Brad brought an old dog pen to the back yard and put a door on it. Fast forward to this week, and I really got my coop!! How exciting. It's not actually at the house, but it's two windows and some screen away from being ready!

It was worth the wait! Brad and I looked up some chicken coop ideas on the internet, and he took what we found and added his own stuff -- with the help of one of the guys. I wish I had the creative brain Brad has. He decided to build the house tall with an elevated house for the chickens but enclosed on the bottom so that we would have a place to store feed and supplies. The back of the house has a lower door to access the storage, an upper door to access the roosting area for cleaning, and a hinged lid over the laying boxes. I don't know all the proper terminology, but you know, it's really nice!

The back of the house with the laying boxes. This part will be accessible from outside the fenced area.

The opening of the house that will have a ramp. They're going to put windows on the sides.

I'll have to take some more pictures when it's all finished and we're live! We're going to start with a couple or three hens and see how it goes. It can't be that hard, right?

Thursday, February 25, 2010


We've been outside in the beautiful weather quite a bit lately. It's so much fun to play outside now that Blair is walking! There's so much more to do and many more places to go. She adores outside too, so we go out when we can. Blair says "out" or "ide" but not both, and she runs to the door when she hears the word!

Blair adores any and every four legged creature she's met thus far. She loves our dogs too as long as they're not knocking her down or slapping her with their tails! If they're in the fenced part of the yard, she likes to go up to the fence and watch them, and she loves when we throw the ball for them.

Easier to play with in the fence!

This weekend when we were outside, I got so tickled at her watching Buddy and Gus. She was imitating them! I guess she think she needs to pant like a dog! She did this all on her own -- more than once!

Watching the dogs. Miss Observant.

Did they do their tongues like this?

Or this?

Look mama!

Buddy and Gus do this!

Panting... I can't get over how she distinguishes it from the normal way she sticks out her tongue.

She did pretty good on her panting!

Then, she spots the neighbors' dogs, and she's off -- showing them her "aw, I love animals" self hug!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Number Nine

Blair has been really clingy and fussy the last few days (for her at least), so I assumed she might be getting her 1 year molars -- finally. (Of course, I've assumed that every time she's been fussy over the last few months!) She still has just the eight teeth she's had since around Thanksgiving. I looked in her mouth this evening though, and sure enough the molar on the top right has broken through and the one on the left is super swollen and purple. Ouch! It looks like it hurts! Blair's such a great sport though, and for the most part she's been bearable, and she's still sleeping. She's growing up so!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Blair went had a double dose of doctors last Thursday when she had to go to the pediatrician/pulmonologist's office to get her RSV prevention shots and then right upstairs to the cardiologist for an echocardiogram. She weighed 17 lbs 13 ounces! The poor thing now knows when she's getting a shot; she started crying as soon as the nurse rubbed her legs with alcohol. My poor mom is the one who has to watch it all -- they only do RSV prevention shots on the days I have school! She had chocolate though, and chocolate makes everything better.

Good news at the cardiologist's office... Blair's ASD is gone, and she has been released! The doctor said the only place she'll see him now is at Target! We're so glad for that part to be over with. Miss Blair is getting bigger and bigger, and we're seeing so many good things health-wise, and we're so thankful!

Wide open as usual! No problems here!

Today she's headed to Atlanta for audiologicals -- booth testing. I'm hoping for cooperation from Blair (I think she's a tad hard-headed), but there won't be any real news to come out of the appointment. We are still in the monitoring phase of her hearing, and I expect this one will be much like the last. The one thing they did say after the last booth test is that her hearing in her left ear is not good (75dB). I hate to disagree with an expert, but I can whisper an instruction in Blair's left ear, and she does it. Maybe she was having a bad day in that ear or is just stubborn and didn't respond even though she heard the testing sounds. I know; it sounds like I'm in denial. But I know how she does at home, and I am almost convinced that she hears at less than 75dB in her left ear -- at least at times.
I'm interested to see how that turns out. We'll hopefully have a better look as she gets older as well.

Telling me she hears something outside.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

About a girl and her barn.

Blair's aunt and cousins gave her the Little People Nativity set for Christmas. It's so cute, but I waited a while to open it (and some other things) because I wanted Blair to have new toys for a while after Christmas. When we got this out last week, Blair immediately picked out her favorite pieces. If you know Blair or read my posts, you can probably guess. Big surprise -- she picked out two animals: the donkey and the dog. We played with the set, playing Away in a Manger over and over while Blair bounced to the beat. When we went on to the next thing, Blair carried the donkey and dog with her for a bit.

The funny thing was what happened when we went back to the nativity. She was obsessed with the barn. She didn't want baby Jesus or anyone else in the barn. She just wanted to play Away in a Manger over and over again. She danced and danced.
She lugged it around the house, and it's almost as big as she is! She picked that thing up and took it to her daddy when he got home. And she played and played and played that music. If the music stopped while she was walking around with the barn, she also stopped to press the music button again. She just about took that barn to bed that night.

When she woke up the next morning and Gigi came to get her, she of course had to take the barn! Too funny!

Showing Gigi how to play the music.

She insisted on holding it even if she was being was a bit awkward but precious still!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Big Helper

Blair got a table for Christmas, and I've just gotten around to putting it together. It worked out well though, because kids love new stuff! She rediscovered her Leap Frog piano this week after being on her shelf for a few months, and it's like new all over again!

Of course, Blair was the biggest helper when I was putting the table together. She loves a screwdriver!

Checking out the table. She's into climbing these days.

Kissing the table?

First picture of her walking!

Helping me organize the pieces.

Getting the parts together.

Here mommy. I'll just give you one, then I'll put one in my mouth....

Here's another one!

Is this what you do with this?
(It doesn't have a tip in it.)

Ha ha! I was teasing!

Can I put on in for you?

Checking out our job.

Seems sturdy to me. (We're gonna have to work on this.)


Monday, February 15, 2010


Blair got her first big goose egg today. She fell and whacked her head on the corner of the bathroom cabinet. Of course it was while I was trying to run around to get ready to go to lab! She didn't cry very long at all, but she's got quite a knot up there! I'm so glad it didn't break the skin; it'll go down in no time!

On her way to the bathroom less than 2 minutes before injury.

Post injury. It's hard to see it this picture, but it's right below her hair line.

You still can't see it very well but the shadow shows up some on the left side. She was already back to busy, and her eyes weren't even dry yet!

Real snow!!!

I teased at Christmas about how cotton was the only "snow" we got. Well, we got real snow this weekend. Brad had never seen snow. I couldn't believe it! Growing up, we got snow a few times, but I guess it didn't make its way down this far!

It was really pretty while it lasted. It was pretty much gone when we got up Saturday morning, but I have pictures! We took Blair out for a few minutes. She thought it was fine until she touched it; then she cried!

Her daddy pushed her around in her beep beep car.

I guess we'll have to wait another dozen years for snow again!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Break Through

I'm pleased to announce that we may have had two recent break throughs in toddler world. This past week has been one of quite a few new things for Miss Blair. First of all, she is a walking machine! She's everywhere on two wheels and getting faster. It's so much fun to watch her toddle around the house.

The two big categories in which we may be seeing big changes (crossing our fingers!) are eating and talking. A few weeks ago, Blair showed interest in some blueberries, so we gave them to her of course, and she's been eating them since. She also recently started eating nectarines and breakfast bars. I always put stuff on her tray for her to pick up and eat. It's just getting her to actually, pick it up, put it in her mouth, keep it there, and swallow it without gagging that's the problem! We usually use baby food as a calorie back up, because we know she'll eat it. If she weren't on Pediasure I'd really be worried about her nutrient intake.

Slowly Blair's been adding a thing or two here and there that she would pick up and put in her mouth. Then, this week a friend's blog inspired me to fix a grilled cheese, and she actually ate a piece or two -- success in my book! So I've kept giving her new things to pick up and eat all week -- pancakes, chicken, waffles, cheese, grapes, etc. She's had things like this before, but she's never even shown the least bit of interest in them -- until now! She's not anywhere close to eating everything, but I see promise, and it makes me feel better. I was sure we were going to be fighting this gag reflex through elementary school!

Blair demonstrating how to use the juice box straw as a fork. She's her daddy's child for sure! No idea what she did with her real fork.

The talking is the other big thing. Last week, Blair up and started saying mama! I think she says it knowing that it's me, but I'm just glad she says it at all right now. We could only get her to mmmmm before now (and that was for a cow, not for me!). We've been concerned that she might not be able to hear some of the higher frequency letters like s and f, even with her hearing aid. That is pretty common for Auditory Neuropathy, I believe. Today, I put a necklace on her, and asked her if she wanted to take it off, asking her to say off -- and she said it! I had gotten her to imitate f this week by blowing out of her nose (which she also does for sh), but this time she said off just as plain as can be, blowing the f through her lips like someone trying to blow hair out of their eyes. I was so excited. If she can do the sound, that means she hears the sound! Then, she started imitating lots of things. She said toe, and she copied babababa and lalalala. This is GREAT NEWS if it keeps up. We have been looking for her to really start babbling and imitating with more consonants than just d, and it looks like she might be starting to! I sure hope so!


Lovin' my valentines today!

Our anniversary was just two weeks ago, so we're sort of Valentine's Day slackers around here. I never really liked the day anyway. Shouldn't we be all lovey dovey all year round? I think.

Brad and I decided not to fight the restaurant crowds this weekend. I would have loved to go to any of the several places I adore, but it takes forever to get there. It's so far to go anywhere nice, we usually just end up talking ourselves out of going out to nice restaurants. I always fall asleep on the way home anyway, and that's no fun for Brad!

So we cooked steaks last night at home with stuffed tomatoes, asparagus, and baked potatoes. It was perfect. We also had creme brulee -- our favorite! I made it my heart creme brulee dishes -- just for my valentine! Heart dishes? Yes. I also have
Christmas, Halloween, and Easter -- all on Target special! They're lots of fun! Then of course I have the plain ones for off-season creme brulee! As far as I'm concerned, creme brulee is divine no matter what dish you put it in! Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hiding Place

For a while now, Blair has enjoyed hiding things in her shirt -- and the shirts of others! It's quite funny to have her sitting in your lap when she all of a sudden grabs the neck of your shirt and shoves her paci right in! The other day, I went in her room to get her after her morning nap, and she was standing there in her bed looking like she had a growth on her tummy! Sometimes I wonder how long she plays in her bed after waking up. She had put both of her socks and a posey (a velcro strap for the pulse oximeter) inside her pajama shirt. I wish I had a picture -- it was hilarious!

Here she is putting my phone in her shirt. I know it looks like she wears pajamas a lot, but we do get dressed every day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Net Net

In addition to my favorite kitchen tools, recipes, baby girl, etc. I have a favorite internet writing safety net: a spell checker. I do not happen to be the best speller in the world. It would probably help if I didn't try to spell every word that I didn't know by using Spanish spelling rules -- but they're just so much easier in Spanish.... Unfortunatley, unfortuneately... (See? Those are my first two attempts that my trusty spell checker underlined in red for me!) Unfortunately Spanish rules don't work in English for very many words. Darn. I also think faster than my fingers type, so I have typos that my spell checker so nicely underlines as well (see above). Then, it works just like a word processor -- right click and correct!

The spell checker I use is on the Google Toolbar. I have it set to check the spelling of all the words I type into browser forms. I have found it extremely useful, and it has saved me from embarrassment on many occasions! It might have even given me a few good grades, since I've had to write some online postings for class that were graded on content and grammar (supposedly... I think some of my classmates would have failed if that were really the case).

I'll be back to blogging a bit more after Ashlee vs. Med Surg round 2 tomorrow! I have some great pictures of Blair and her daddy with the cows.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Helping herself... the baking soda I put on the rugs before vacuuming. Yum.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bag Balm is for cows and people.

Yesterday morning, I opened up my browser to see my My Yahoo! homepage, which displays at the top the Yahoo! News Most Viewed stories. It's really out of habit that I even have a My Yahoo! page. Besides the AOL address I don't even count, my very first non-university email address was with Yahoo! -- gosh, that seems so long ago now -- and the My Yahoo! page sort of stuck. I don't know why I can't just drop it from my default homepage tabs; I guess I'm a virtual pack rat!

Usually the five stories in the Yahoo! News Most Viewed portion of my My Yahoo! deal with things going on around the world. I usually do nothing more than glance at the headlines, close the tab, and move on to other things.
Sometimes, things will pop up there that are quite unusual. It's funny what catches people's attention -- and to my surprise it's not always negative! Yesterday, a particular story caught my eye. Of all things, Bag Balm made the Yahoo! News Most Viewed stories.

Have you ever used the stuff? It's good stuff. According to the article, Bag Balm was first produced in 1899 to use on milk cow udders. It has been in production since, and word of mouth has expanded its client base from farmers and their cows to anyone and everyone who ever had an ailment that could be treated with a greasy goop.

My mom introduced Bag Balm to me a long time ago. It's good for anything from chapped cow udders (evidently, but I've never tried it for this!) to cracked (people) heels. The first time Brad complained of cracked heels, I went straight to Wal-Mart and bought some Bag Balm. We now keep it in our supply/medicine closet, and every once in a while I have to slather his feet down with it and wrap them in plastic wrap so the Bag Balm can get to work without making a mess. It seems to do the trick. I can't say that I've used it for all of the other uses the article mentions, but I thought it was quite interesting. It's worth a read...and a try if you've never used it!