7.30.2011

Ten Months Old...Part One

Waaaaay back when I was visiting Derek in Seattle, our sweet baby girl turned ten months old! Since we were/are still on vacay, we couldn't do her monthly photo shoot on her actual b-day. We will wait until we get back to Biloxi to take her "official" ten month photo since I am crazy and want to have all of her monthly pictures taken in the glider in her nursery. Thus, this will be "part one" of the post...aka the wordy part containing way more information about a ten month old than you could every possibly want to know, but I have to record it or else I will forget by the time I get around to her baby book! Ha! And "part two" of this post will come in early August once we get back home.

Not a whole lot has changed from last month, but without further ado here is what Miss Shelby is up to these days...
--You have your two bottom teeth! They didn't give you too much trouble at all, especially considering they came in pretty much simultaneously...not any notable fussiness or effect on your sleep, thank goodness! We've given you a bit of Orajel and/or Tylenol here & there, but you have handled it like a champ!
--babbling up a storm these days. You have a LOT to say! The /b/ sound is still your fave, but you can also make these consonant sounds: /d/, /g/, /y/, /n/, and /m/. You say "ma-ma-ma" a lot these days, which I love...but what I don't love so much is the fact that you only say it when are being whiny! Ha!
--still taking Prevacid for your acid reflux, but I am thrilled to say that spit-up is not an every day occurrence for us anymore. I never thought I would be able to say that.
--not moving around just yet. Shelby gets in push-up position and gets on all fours every now and again, but still not crawling. Or pulling up or rolling over for that matter. While we are very anxious for her to figure out how to start moving {because I know she gets frustrated sometimes that she can't}, we are trying to enjoy what's left of this "easy" phase where we can just plop her down on a blanket with toys and know she can't get into anything she's not supposed to.
--you are a total water baby! You love being in the pool with us, which is a good thing b/c we have been in the pool every.single.day since the first of July! Ha!
--still picky with baby food (although you are now eating squash in addition to fruit rice cereal any anything combined with bananas or sweet potatoes), but you will eat just about any kind of table food we give you! Now that you have two teefers and you are getting very proficient at "gumming" the food we give to you, I think we will be completely transitioning from pureed baby food to table food in the very near future. {Right now, I've just been getting her to eat a few bites of baby food before giving her table food. Whenever we go out to eat for dinner, she eats all table food.} You also l-o-v-e drinking out of our glasses.
--drinking four 8-oz bottles a day, and making no attempt whatsoever to hold said bottles! I don't know if it's b/c I nursed you for so long or if you're just lazy {I say that in the most loving way possible..ha!}, but you don't have any interest in holding the bottle on your own. But who can blame you when Mommy is there to do all the work for you?!
--we are still giving you water during the day in your sippy cup. You do attempt to hold your cup on your own, but you still like for Mommy to do it for you. :)
--only using your pacifier & wubbanub for naps & bedtime. There was a time when you wanted your paci all day, every day. You were so attached to it that I was afraid it might be going with you on your first day of Kindergarten. But you just decided one day that you weren't interested in your paci anymore when you're awake. We are so proud of you! When you are older, we plan to take the paci's away from you at nap/bedtime..but who knows, you might outgrow them on your own like you did this time!
--still able to put yourself to sleep for naps & bedtime...such a blessing!
--wearing a size 4 diaper and mostly 12 (although some of your 12 month stuff is now getting a bit snug) or 18 month clothes.

Sweet Shelby, you are the light of our lives! We love you so much!

And because a post without pictures isn't any fun, here's one of me & Miss Shelby with crazy wind-blown hair :)
Part Two coming soon....

7.28.2011

Mount St. Helens

Had enough of Derek yet? Well here comes one last post about my adventures in Washington.

On Sunday, I drove about two hours south to Mount St. Helens to see the devastation that remains from May 18th, 1980. It was amazing to see the sites and hard to imagine that day 31 years ago when the volcano erupted.
Before...
After...

Now, the blast zone is covered in these beautiful summer flowers. Quite a dichotomy!
In this picture you can see the Johnston Ridge Observatory named after the geologist, David Johnston, that died on this ridge when the landslide completely covered the forest with volcanic rock. He and 56 others perished that day, but many, many loggers were saved as it blew on a Sunday.
You can see the glaciers rebuilding and the new cone reforming and growing in the crater.
After the dust settled, 230 square miles of forest were destroyed. Many of the downed trees were salvaged by logging companies, but all of what remains point directly away from the crater.
Stumps of trees that were blasted away.
The rockslide flowed northward initially and scraped clean the sides of the ridges facing the mountain. Now trees are regrowing on the backsides of the ridges, but very few trees are growing yet on the tops or fronts of the ridges as all of the soil was removed and only rock remains. After cleaning the nearby ridges the landslide flowed down the Toutle River valley towards the right of the picture.
Some parts of this valley are 60 feet higher due to the landslide...some parts are 60o feet higher!
This bridge is 14 miles down the Toutle River valley where the landslide stopped, but the mudslides traveled all the way to the Pacific.

This was the first lateral blast and the largest landslide in recorded history, which dramatically changed the landscape forever.

Well that's all the fun for which I'll have time during this trip as I fly home on Saturday. It's been tough to be away from my girls for this month, but we were able to make the best out of the situation. I can't wait for life to get back to normal and to get ready for Shelby's first birthday!!

7.26.2011

Tuesday Tidbits!

Happy Tuesday to you! :) Just a few tidbits to share with you....

{one}
First off, a BIG thank you to my hubby for doing a few posts on his (and our!) adventures in Washington! Although I know he's had a good time exploring that part of the country, we are both very thankful his time there is quickly coming to an end.

{two}
In Biloxi, we have a playground with a baby swing right behind our house. And since Miss Shelby l-o-v-e-s her some swingin' time, we pretty much make a trip out to the swing almost every day. Well, since we got to Ormond Beach at the first of the month....we've been doing lots of swimming and playing in the sand...but no swinging. Well, three weeks into our vacay...we found the cutest little park right on the Intercoastal Waterway with a baby swing! This sweet girl was in heaven.



{three}
Shelby's precious red hair has really been growing in lately. It's gotten so much longer & thicker recently. But homegirl gets some serious bed-head as a result. Here is Shelby laying on bed yesterday after waking up from her afternoon. {Please try to ignore the dirty clothes behind her!}
{four}
Speaking of Shelby, she is now officially ten months, one week, & two days old. Her ten month post will be coming to you sometime before her eleven month birthday...I hope! ;)

{five}
I had a big first today. I drove my car through an automatic car wash for my very first time this morning! When I was in high school & college, I would always get my car washed at my dad's work....and since we've moved away from home, Derek has always washed and taken care of my car on a regular basis, {he's such a good hubby!} so I've never had a need to go to a car wash before. But since my car has been sitting outside in the salty ocean air for the past several weeks, I thought it was time for a car wash. I don't know why, but I was so nervous about going through it..like I would not understand the directions and put my car in neutral too soon or too late and ruin my car somehow and just be totally embarrassed. Thankfully, that did not happen. :)

{six}
By this time next week, our little family of three will all be under the same roof again and sleeping in our own beds!

7.24.2011

Olympic National Park

Derek here again!

I have this weekend off from work, so I did some exploring yesterday. I left around 7:30 yesterday morning and drove up the peninsula to check out the Olympic National Park. I started the day at Hurricane Ridge which is up in the mountains in the center of the peninsula. Check out the views!
I think Mt. Olympus is somewhere in the middle of that range, but who knows really... they all look the same.
Look at these blacktail deer that were grazing in the alpine meadow!
The view of the valley, Puget Sound and Mount Rainier in the background.
Quite steep cliffs along the route!
Within an hour drive from the mountains is the Pacific Coast which is covered with driftwood that washed down from the old growth forests.
Not your typical Gulf of Mexico sandy beaches.
Very rocky!
Very cliffy!
I drove through Forks, WA, which is in fact a real town situated between the beach, the mountains, and an Indian Reservation like in the movie Twilight. Sarah wanted a picture of the sign so I literally had to wait 15 minutes to get a picture of this sign without a 15-25 year old girl standing in front of it. No joke.
Forks is now a tourist trap for Twilight fans. Even the Subway has a Twilight sandwich made with Black Forest Ham. There are lots of randomly placed signs that say "Treaty Line Here" which definitely made things confusing, and I can now understand the conflict in the movie over territory. For the record, I didn't see any vampires or werewolves the entire trip, but I did see a lot of pale people. I've spoken to much about Twilight...moving on.
A short drive from Forks is the Hoh Rainforest which is situated on the Pacific side of the mountains so an average of 180 inches of rain is squeezed out of the moist air each year as it passes over the mountains. It looks like there should be dinosaurs wandering through this forest!
Look at all of the moss on this tree! I happened to go to the rainforest on a rare day when it wasn't raining, which makes it just a normal forest that looks very creepy.Trees growing on what is left of a tree that had been blown down hundreds of years ago!
The Hoh River winding from glacier, through the rainforest, and down to the Pacific.
The tallest Christmas trees (Douglas firs) that I've ever seen!

It was quite a day. I got back to my room at around 9:30 last night and began working on this blog post. I think that the Olympic peninsula is an amazing place with the widest variety of climates that I've ever seen! I hope to do some more exploring today, so perhaps you will get another blog post from me soon!

7.23.2011

If I had a nickel for every time...

If I had a nickel for every time someone told me how much Shelby looks like her Daddy, I would be one rich mama....
Left: Derek at 8.5 months old eating melba toast. I have no idea what that is, but my mom said she used to give it to me and my sister, too.
Right: Shelby at 7 months old going to town on her first teething biscuit {even though she wasn't teething just yet, we gave it to her to see what she would do with it..and she LOVED it!}.
Left: Derek at 10.5 months old. I love this sweet picture of him!
Right: Shelby at 9.5 months old sporting her "Star of Mommy's Blog" bib! :)

Is Shelby the spitting image of her Daddy, or what?!

And if I could also get a nickel for every time someone told me how pretty Shelby's red hair is or asked me where she gets her red hair from...then I would probably have more money than I could ever possibly know what to do with!

And a big thank you to Shelby's BooBoo & Pop-Pop for keeping us supplied with baby pictures of Derek! It is SO fun for us to be able to compare pictures of Shelby to Derek at similar ages. I always thought Shelby resembled Derek, but I think she looks more & more like him with each passing month!

7.21.2011

Mount Rainier

Hello, again! Derek here. I'm back for another Seattle post!

I had to work the first morning of our vacation, so we decided to go to Mount Rainier that afternoon since it was a nice day and it was in the opposite direction of downtown Seattle. We left our hotel on base at around 3pm and drove towards the mountain. Due to the latitude, the sun rises around 5:30am and sets around 9:00pm at night, so we had plenty of time to explore once we got there.

We drove to the "Grove of the Patriarchs," which is an area on a little island in the middle of a river which had never been logged so there were trees that were up to 1,000 years old! I think I was much more excited than Sarah, but she began to appreciate the area when she saw trees like this one!
Sarah was testing the temperature of the little river that isolated these trees. The river is fed by melting snow and glaciers, so it was quite cold!

When we got to the end of the trail there was this little suspension bridge. Sarah was a little nervous, but she handled it like a champ!!

Good job, Sarah! You did it!!!


This was her reward...they call these two trees "the twins," which are each over 1,000 years old!

Sarah made it back across the suspension bridge and back to the trail!

Sarah in front of Mount Rainier's peak from a place on the mountain called "Paradise" due to the meadows of wild flowers that grow in the summer. Unfortunately, "summer" had not yet arrived in mid-July, so we got to see the snowpack that remains from last winter. Apparently, this is the snowiest place in the lower 48 states and gets more than 50 feet of snow each winter! In the background you can see kids walking among the treetops.
One of the many beautiful views of Mount Rainier. We were lucky to see the peak because most days it is obscured by the clouds.
One of the glacier rivers that runs down the mountain.
The Narada Falls, which is fed by one of the many rivers.

On the way out of the park I spotted this elk on the side of the road, so we turned around for a picture. Little did I know that we would pass probably 20 more elk on they way home. I guess they aren't a rare sight around here!

We had a great time at Mount Rainier National Park and then headed back to my hotel on base before driving to Seattle the next day! In case you missed it earlier this week, click HERE to see the recap of our time in downtown Seattle.

Thanks for checking in with us!

7.19.2011

Sarah and Derek go to Seattle!

Hi everyone!

Derek here making one of my few posts compared to Sarah, but I just wanted to fill everyone in on our mini-vacaction to Seattle. I am currently in Tacoma, Washington, doing an ICU rotation so when I found out my official schedule, we planned a trip to fly Sarah up here so that we could make the most of the month since we have to spend most of it apart. I had a three day weekend last weekend, so we took the opportunity to fly Sarah up and do some sightseeing! We left Shelby with her Grammy at the beach, so Sarah and I had some great one-on-one time.
The above picture was our first glimpse of the Space Needle...from the parking lot of our hotel.

Whenever we go to a city that offers a Duck Tour, we always like to start off with it since it's a great way to get an overview of the city and learn the major landmarks.

Not a really important landmark, but Sarah thought it was cute and she was missing Shelby so she took a picture of the baby ducks.
The Seattle skyline form Lake Union on the Duck Tour.

So I think one of these floating houses is the house in "Sleepless in Seattle." I'm not sure which one it is, or even if it's in the picture, since I'm proud to say that I'm not a frequent viewer of that movie. So if you really want to, just ask Sarah. She was pretty excited about it.

The Space Needle from Lake Union on the Duck Tour.
After the Duck Tour, we walked to Pike's Place Market which is a public market where farmers can sell directly to consumers and no chain companies are allowed to sell there.
The fresh seafood that is caught off the coast...be careful, they throw the fish!

A typical produce stand in Pike's Market.
The only "chain" in Pike's Market...this is the original Starbucks which started out just roasting coffee for the first 10 years before they decided to actually brew the coffee for consumers!

The "Gum Wall" is a local landmark in Pike's Market. Pretty gross if you ask me.
Top Pot doughnuts is a local doughnut chain that we were told we had to check out!
Those were some BIG doughnuts, and they were good!
We took the ferry to Bainbridge Island where we watched the US women's World Cup game and did some sightseeing.
Watching the cars flow onto the ferry. They load and unload quite quickly!
As you can see in the above pictures, Seattle was quite dreary, but on the last day it cleared up so we decided to wait until then to go to the Space Needle which was once the highest tower in the city.
View of the residential area from the Space Needle.
View of the Seattle Seaport from the Space Needle.

There's our hotel! Holiday Inn Express turned out quite nicely!
Our last view of the Space Needle before we left Seattle. We had a great time, but Sarah had to get back to Shelby and I had to get back to work.

I will have another post up later this week about our visit to Mount Rainier. Thanks for stopping in!