24 March 2010

Eight Weeks and Counting

Veda is eight weeks old today. It is, of course, so very hard for this mama to believe. And this past week has seen a major growth spurt! I feel like she has grown an inch and gained a pound and a half. I am eager for her two month check on Monday, because I think this girl is up to nine pounds already! Sunday we were at my folks' to celebrate my youngest sister's birthday. The Dax Man was dressed in his finest and both of the girls were in a cupcake motif-- all thanks to their daddy.This is currently the only picture of the three cousins we have. I have a feeling it could be quite a while before we have a good one of everyone together.
Sylvia is also on the verge of a major growth spurt, but I am thinking hers is going to be a language explosion and not a physical growth spurt. She has gotten up on the wrong side of the crib a lot these past couple of weeks and the above is her "I want, I want, I want!" face right before she breaks out into a cry. She has been a bit of a pistol as of late. But, of course, she is still the most adorable and cutest thing ever and despite how many tantrums she throws she is still the light of my life.
Yesterday was a big day. My dad was in Detroit, so I think my mom was a little lonely and wanted company. Veda also needed to meet her Great Grandpa and Great Great Aunt Selma. Both of the "elderlies" (as my mom refers to them) were so happy to see her. They both really love little ones and there is something so precious about seeing the old with the new.
I especially like this picture of Aunt Selma with Veda. For a woman who never had children of her own, she certainly has a passion for babies! She simply LOVES them. She was so eager to hold Veda that as soon as I got her out of her car seat Aunt Selma was ready to take her. I told her she needed to sit down first and then I would give her Veda. There is something about having a 93 year old handling an infant while standing that just didn't seem like a good idea.
Today the Lovebug sported her "darth veda" shirt given to her by her Uncle Chris. Uncle Chris and his friend, Mark, were the only ones to figure out Veda's name before she was born (using my clue of an owl). The first thing Chris asked me is if he could make Darth Vader jokes. And before she was even born he made this shirt-- twice. This is the first size. She has another one to grow into.

And in "big" Veda news: Saturday she gave me her first "real" smile! She is still not doing it very often, but as those smiles increase I am sure I will get a marvelous picture to share with you.
This afternoon Cousin Jack and Nana Jeanne stopped by for a visit. Jack was in great spirits and really enjoyed seeing Veda. He would look at her and smile and then laugh and laugh. It was too cute. Jack, by the way, is nine months already.
And my brilliant child did it again. I was putting away laundry and I heard Veda beginning to fuss. I couldn't attend to her right away so it was a couple minutes before I could make it out to her. When I did arrive I found this bottle of already mixed formula sitting there for her. (The little hand in the picture is Sylvia ready to take the bottle back. I guess Veda didn't move fast enough!)

I was actually really surprised that the Pumpkin remembered what these were. She hasn't seen Veda drinking from one in quite a while. Veda virtually only drinks breast milk and when she does receive formula it is typically very early in the morning, before Sylvia is even awake. The girl amazes me.
So, there has been some interest expressed about the freebies I find. The above are my freebies that arrived in the mailbox today. There are six instant coffee mixes and this lovely tote bag. I have no idea where the bag came from but it is marvelous. So . . . For those of you interested in trying to acquire these odds and ends here is my little guide:

1. Become friends with freebies4mom on facebook. Alternately, you can "favorite" her website by the same name.
2. Places like Wal*Mart, Costco and Sam's Club often have free samples available. And not always do you need a membership to receive items from Costco and Sam's Club (which is good because we do not have one).
3. Items like Pampers and Huggies have rewards points attached to some of their products. There are also "bonus" points that are sometimes available, but if you are friends with freebies4mom she will notify you of them. Once points are collected they can be traded for prizes, lottery type games, or even used for donations.
4. http://www.absurdlycool.com lists available free items on a daily basis. The site is not terribly descriptive, so it can be hard to tell what offerings there are but it is worth checking out once or twice a week.
5. http://www.mypoints.com/ is a website that I have used for about two years. I do a lot of online shopping and mypoints allows me to collect points for a number of the places I shop at. Once enough points are collected I can exchange them for gift cards. This is how we paid for a large portion of our shed last year.
6. Check out your credit cards. One of my credit cards gives me points for purchases. Similar to mypoints, once enough points are collected I can exchange them for gift cards. (And if I use that card while shopping through mypoints I get twice the goods!)
7. Finally, shop around! I spend a lot of time reviewing my purchases and checking around for the best price and looking for free shipping. There is also a site, http://www.retailmenot.com/ that will post any available coupon codes for many different online stores.

**Added bit of information: You may also be interested in checking out http://www.filleritem.com/ where you can find items that will bring you to the $25.00 free shipping offered by amazon.com.**

There are, of course, many other ways to achieve great deals with things such as freecyle.com and even craig's list, but this is just a list of the things that have worked the best for me.

And that tote bag that I got today?
Yeah, it's now housing my newest knitting project!

17 March 2010

St. Patty's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Everyone! It was a rather ho-hum sort of day around here. The morning was rough: Everyone needed me at the same time, everyone pooped at the same time (including the cats), everyone needed to eat at the same time (including me but, of course, I get to wait until last), and everyone was a little fussy. Around 2:00 things leveled out and the rest of the day was actually rather pleasant.
Sylvia wore her special green duds and even brushed her hair to make herself extra attractive for this festive day.
Veda wore her green outfit, even if it wasn't especially "St. Patrickish." She is finally beginning to outgrow newborn clothing, but some of those 0-3 month pieces are still quite large on her, including today's outfit. (Those footies contain no feet!)
This afternoon Veda and I played while Daddy and Sylvia went for a walk outside. It was another gorgeous day up here and the Little Pumpkin is loving her time outdoors. Last year she was afraid of grass. This year thus far, that fear seems to be a thing of the past. I suspect we will have lots of fun this summer!

Last week an old family friend asked me what I do. Aside from the obvious, watching my girls and trying to run the house, I really came up short in my answer. I am so very busy with these two girls and chores that I don't get to "do" much for myself. So, this got me thinking: What exactly do I do for pleasure?
I am on a free sample kick and will spend my spare moment or two surfing the web looking for freebies. This is what came in the mail for me today. Today's haul was especially good!
And I still do a lot of reading but it has kind of taken a different form. Other than the obvious interest displayed, it is generally things that can be put down on a moment's notice. And so, knitting magazines are a favorite (and more are desired, so if you happen to have any . . . ), and knitting instruction books are great reads too! And when I do have enough time to read for fifteen plus minutes consecutively, then I read my typical murder mystery or romance. And someday when my brain power can be used for thinking again then I will return to my more "academic" reading. (I wonder if that day will ever truly come . . .)
While my reading is widely knitting related, my actual knitting looks more like this. That is not quite true. I have three ongoing projects right now. This is extremely rare for me, as I tend to knit one project at a time. But somehow I ended up with these three projects and have been slowly (very slowly) working on them for the last six weeks or so.
And, yes, I am currently watching a lot of television. We don't have satellite or anything so it is all on dvd. Netflix started as a one month gift from a fabulous friend and we loved it so much that, despite not being able to really afford it, we continue to keep the subscription. It has been a lifesaver. Baby Einstein is in there intentionally. It is part of my daily viewing. Feedings have become very difficult as Sylvia insists on trying to push her sister out of my lap or simply sitting on her to reclaim the spot. Videos have become a necessity and she only intently watches Baby Einstein. Call me a horrible parent, but I would rather let her watch twenty minutes of a video than squash her baby sister.

That's what I "do."

In closing, I will leave you with a very sweet story:

This is how I found Veda Friday morning. I had been washing dishes in the kitchen and when I came back into the living room I found Veda with these two baby toys on either side of her. They were lovingly put there by her big sister.

11 March 2010

Sisterly Love

Video no. 1: Sylvia giving Veda a kiss.

Video no. 2: Continues directly after video no.1 ends, Sylvia being "helpful."

05 March 2010

Veda Speaks

Hi! This is Veda, the littlest member of my family (although, I think a cat or two may be smaller and that tiny bird on top of the entertainment center is definitely smaller). See that guy lying next to me? That's my cousin, Daxton. He was born just one week ahead of me, so we're pretty "tight." (I don't know what that means but Mama said that because we were born so close together we will probably be pretty tight growing up-- Hmmm . . . Our clothes will never fit?)
Anyway, he is a pretty interesting guy. I got to see him earlier this week. Mama woke up at 7:30 in the morning and she got busy getting me and my sister ready. We were pulling out of our driveway at 10:52 a.m. Mama said something like, "Good grief! It only took three and a half hours."
There was something very neat over there, but I don't remember what it was.
And here I am trying to twist my body so it looks like I am as big as he is. It is called an optical illusion. Is it working?
Okay. This picture is very special. Do you see that sweater I am wearing? Well, my Great Grandma knit that sweater a very long time ago. Oma said that she thinks Great Grandma was making it for one of Oma's siblings, but no one was ever little enough to wear it. Until me. I think I make it look good! Mama said that Great Grandma must have been knitting it for me; she just didn't know it at the time. Mama also said that it would be like her knitting something now that would one day be worn by one of my grandchildren. Wow!

I love my Oma very much and I am sure that I would have loved my Oma's mama just as much.

02 March 2010

Sylvia's Bumblebee

Last week Sylvia and I were sitting together on our green chair. She suddenly looked at me, held up her finger, and said "Bzzzzz!" I have no idea what made her think of this at that moment, but she had never done it before. She has a couple of books with a bumblebee in it and we do the standard "Bzzzz!" and then attack her with our finger. I guess she figured out how to do it herself! Ever since, whenever we ask to see her bumblebee or for her to do her bumblebee she responds with the cutest sounds and gesture, as you can see in the videos (both taken today).

I'll be back soon with some adorable pictures.