This is the area just outside our front porch "before" we worked on it a little this weekend: And this is what it looks like "after"!
Matt used the weed-eater really close to the ground, then we raked the grass off, then he used the tiller as much as possible. I dug up the rest of the sod (not all that much) with the shovel by hand, then he re-tilled it to make it smooth. We placed the stepping stones so we'd still have a direct path from sidewalk to the south porch, and I intend to plant a couple of Yucca plants (perennial, supposed to be easy-care, get kind of large) between the stones and the daylilies. I put rocks where I want to put them, but they're hard to see. Then, for now, petunias to fill the gaps, but soon I want to find a perennial low-growing, flowering ground cover, but I haven't found the right one yet.
I am pleased with how it turned out. The pictures don't really do it justice. I have a double shepherd's hook stuck in the ground, and I was going to feed hummingbirds, but I prefer for the hummingbirds to feed from the flowers in the garden - I think it's better for them! The other thought I had was a couple of wind chimes, but then to find two that coordinate. What other options are there for inexpensive things to hang from a shepherds hook?? I put some snowflake christmas ornaments out there this winter, but I'll definitely want something more summery for this season!
.....You make bath time lots of fun! Rubber ducky I am awfully fond of you!
Okay...so often whenever I think of giving Cora a bath, that is the song I think of/sing to her! (It's from Sesame Street)
For a long time Cora was fine with taking baths.....then she started to HATE them....screaming from start to finish, trying to crawl out of the tub.....bad stuff. That lasted all of about 2 bathtime tries before Mommy couldn't handle that behavior.
So she takes showers with Mommy. I hold her in one arm on my hip, while I wash her with the other, and then switch. Works pretty well. She even has learned it's fun to open her mouth and let the water fall on her tongue. If Daddy's home I pass her out to him for drying, and I shave my legs without her. Otherwise, it doesn't happen. No one's commented about my hairy legs yet, so it works for me!
Well, I'd been trying to think up ways to get her to have fun playing in the bathtub. She has some pretty great tub toys, she enjoyes swimming, or playing in puddles (alot!). I already had a non-slip tub mat in there to keep her from slipping around. So I drew up a bath and got in with her, and we played with her toys, got her comfortable in the water, and she didn't want to get out!
Now, after I hold her for a while in the shower, she wants down, so she can play with her toys in the water! I guess all I can say is be careful what you wish for, because now instead of crying when she's in the tub, she cries when I take her out!!
At the end of the video clip (about 9 minutes) you can find a link for Segment 2, 3, 4, and 5. I would suggest it is well worth your time to watch all 5 segments. Watch them, let me know what you think!
Bed time has changed over time since Cora was first born in December, 2007.
When we first brought her home, it was whenever we could finally get her to sleep, and she certainly didn't sleep through the night!
Then later on, she'd usually finally nod off around 10 or 11pm...much later than mommy wanted, since daddy had to be in bed earlier since he had to be at work but Matt would go to bed, then whenever I could finally get Cora asleep, I'd go to bed, but sleep in after he got up.
That pretty much lasted until September, 2008, when we had a bad windstorm on a Sunday afternoon, which put us out of power until sometime on Thursday that week! We were operating on generators to keep the freezers frozen, and lanterns or flashlights at night. That meant no TV on in the evenings, and no nite lite either. Surprisingly, our daughter was ready to go to bed well before her previous usual bedtime of 10 or 11pm, somewhere around 8 or 9 when it got dark, plus, she was sleeping more soundly through the night!!
We quickly discovered how sensitive our daughter is to the light when time for bed, so all winter, all we did was just turn out all the lights in the house, and she knew it was time to go to sleep.
In comes spring, and with it daylight savings time. Uh oh - soon it will be staying bright light out until 10pm for a good part of the summer, and we'd prefer our daughter to keep her bedtime around 8 or 9pm....but how????
So far, what we've been trying is to implement a more structured bedtime routine. Sometime after dinner we make sure she's in her pajamas (often it's just the clothes she had on all day if they're still clean - she wears mostly comfy knit clothes anyway) then play with her for a while in the living room. After a while we let her pick out a book to read, read it, then offer her a chance to go potty, put her in a night time diaper, brush her teeth, find her blanket, and than daddy carries her upstairs.
The trouble is, she's begun crying as daddy carries her up the stairs. Thankfully, she's usually calmed down and quiet (asleep) by the time he gets back down the stairs, but it's tough to put her to bed crying. I'm hoping she gets accustomed to this routine, and starts going to sleep easier. She's been weaned for about a month now, which it was a lot easier when she'd nurse to sleep, then daddy would carry the sleeping baby upstairs and calmly and gently lay her in her bed, still asleep. But, nursing is not an option - baby's decided she's doesn't want to anymore! And it still worked pretty well when it was already pretty dark at 8pm, but now that it's staying light-ish til 9pm...we're running into problems.
Anybody got any night time routine tips they want to share, to help make it easier for our daughter to go to sleep willingly??? I'd love to hear them!
Right after church Sunday morning, we headed back to the ER, where they said we could bring her back to remove the stitches and it would all be included in the bill. There was absolutely no wait, but Cora could definitely remember her previous experience at the ER.
She was uneasy once we got her out of the car, and cried every time the nurse tried to do anything to her: take her temperature, wrap the little thing around her toe to take her oxygen and blood pressure, look at her..she was nervous! When he walked us back to the room, with the bed in the middle, she just all out started crying, poor girl!
There was a lovely mural on the wall though, of an African Safari - a giraffe, elephant, monkey, lions....very pretty, and she had fun looking at the animals which was a great distraction for her, and she was pretty calm. At least until anyone would come in the room, when she'd start crying again. She was especially distraught when more than one would come in at a time. The doctor came in and took a look, then gave the nurses the okay to remove the stitches. They did a good job. I held her legs, Matt held her head, and one nurse held her arms up over her head while she laid down on the bed. Another nurse took out the stitches. She cried, but it was more at the restraint than anything.
We stopped at CVS for some scar treatment - they had one especially for kids, which we bought. She rubbed her cut once after we got her home and awake from her nap, which broke the little scab loose, and she bled a little, but put a tiny bandaid on which helped for a couple hours until she pulled it off. Eventually the scab which she'd rubbed loose fell off, and I was worried that we'd had the stitches out too soon, but the longer she goes, the better it looks. We're putting polysporin on it until the once-scabbed part gets more healed, then we'll use the scar cream. Glad she's on the mend.
Last night was supposed to be a calm Sunday evening. We'd finished supper by 7, and Matt and I settled onto the couch to watch "America's Funniest Videos" while Cora played in the living room in front of us. It was a nice, relaxing evening. AFV had just gotten over, and we had started the first part of Extreme Makeover and was just going to watch til the first commercial, then put Cora to bed and call it a night since Matt had to be at work in the morning.
Cora was a bundle of energy, going from her mommy and daddy, then back across the floor to a toy - just having fun. She took off towards the dining room away from us and tripped, and I heard the "thunk" of her head hitting the rocking chair. I leaped off the couch and picked her up, I knew she'd need comforting, but I was not expecting to see the blood streaming from her face!!
Panic!! We did pretty good, tried pressing towels to her face to stop the bleeding, and just went immediately to the car seat to head to the hospital. Matt drove, I sat next to Cora. She was a sight! Drying blood all over her face, covering her shirt, I had blood all over me. I prayed out loud on the way to the hospital that God give Cora peace and allow us to get in and be seen right away. Wouldn't you know, not a single person in line at check in, and by the time Matt had parked the truck they took she and I back while he filled out the paperwork. They worked on cleaning up her face, and then had to strap her into this thing called the "papoose" that was basically a straight jacket for babies, while someone held her head. She HATED that, even worse I think than when the doctor stitched up her face! He numbed the area, then cleaned her up, and started in on the stitches - 6 in all. They put an antibiotic on the stitches, since it was a bad place to try to bandage. The minute they unstrapped her and I could hold her again, she stopped crying. We're supposed to take her back in 7 days to get the stitches out.
She fell asleep on the way home, and I tried to hold an ice pack with crushed ice to her cut (they said to try to ice it as much as she would allow) after we got home and before we got her out of the car seat. Well, that woke her up, and she just couldn't calm down until almost 2 hours later. We changed her, we gave her some water, we watched Baby Signing Time, she played on the rocking horse. She was starting to calm down, but her eye was itchy, and she kept rubbing it, and accidentally bumping against her cut, which made her cry all over again. Finally she calmed down enough that she was ready to sleep.
She woke up pretty happily this morning. Not too much swelling, and was just ready to eat breakfast and play. What a blessing to have such a happy natured child, and to know that she's got a Heavenly Father watching out for her too.
I do not wish to sound like a "know-it-all" in the things I write. I know full well that I know very little, but I can write about my experiences. I have NOT got everything figured out. I am constantly learning that the way I did things yesterday was not the best way to do them. I don't think that everyone else should necessarily do things the way I do them. My hope is that others can learn from what mistakes or triumphs I have had, in order to help keep others from making the same mistakes, or perhaps give a shortcut to finding the best choice for them.
For me, I personally enjoy reading about what others have tried in their day to day lives and what has worked or failed for them. Knowing what others have done helps me to make my own more informed choices. Take this blog with a grain of salt, not everything is for everybody. Use what you think will work, forget what you think won’t.
Also realize, whatever it is that I am able to accomplish, I do it all by the grace of God. Which is good, because I sure need a lot of it!