Monday, August 31, 2009

Mommy & Me - August 2009

Location: Harris Beach, Brookings Oregon

Thursday, August 27, 2009

7 Months

I learned something new when I went to take Abbi's 7 month pictures. When your child becomes mobile, it is no longer up to you on how the photo shoot goes - it's completely up to your child!! I tried doing her pictures earlier in the day, but she was not doing anything I wanted her to do. She wouldn't lay on the ground or even look at the camera. I got so frustrated that I just gave up and decided to try again later. After her next nap and feeding, we tried again. I decided to take the pictures in her room where she would be more in her "element" and able to play with things and do what she wanted to do. And I'm so happy I tried that. These pictures aren't perfect - in fact, most of them are pretty fuzzy since the lighting wasn't the greatest - but I have to say that these are my favorite pictures of her so far. They are all just Abbi, doing what Abbi likes to do - and that is so much better than a posed photograph!!

That being said, onto her 7 month post! This was a HUGE month for Abbi with lots of milestones, both big and small.

At 7 months, Abbi:

  • Went on her first real vacation. 8 days in the car, almost 2500 miles, and she was such a good little girl! She got to see the ocean, a lake, and a forest all for the first time.
  • Started crawling. She army-crawled the whole previous month, but took off on her knees about 3 weeks ago and hasn't stopped yet!
  • Still loves to laugh - and her mama thinks it is the best sound in the whole world!
  • Loves to grab hair. And she really knows how to hold on! She will grab anyone's hair, whether man, woman or child. I was at a thing a few nights ago when she grabbed a little boy's hair - it took him by surprise!

  • Can pull herself up to sitting, although she sits like the above picture when she does. I think it's super cute!
  • You know how most babies hate tummy time? Well, Abbi is the opposite and now hates laying on her back. It makes diaper changing and clothes changing nearly impossible.
  • Started making consonant sounds. I was beginning to think that she would be a late talker since all she would do is make screeching noises, or throaty noises, or fake coughs, but she now loves to say "ba-ba-ba-ba".

  • Is pulling herself up to standing and standing like a champ. This is her favorite thing to do these days, and you will find her climbing up on anything she can get to in the house!
  • Hasn't quite figured out how to get down from standing yet, but she is getting there.
  • Is able to cruise just a little bit when she is standing. I do think that she forgets that she is just a baby sometimes, though, because she will try to let go and stand without holding on. Obviously, she ends up on the ground when she tries this!

  • Loves her books, but mostly just to eat them. I try to read to her often, but she would rather be the one holding the book, and usually putting it into her mouth!
  • Loves all her toys, but her favorite things to play with are a measuring cup, Daddy's cell phone, and Daddy's watch. She also loves water bottles, but likes them best when they are about half full of water.
  • She still loves Max and will chase after him. He still likes her, for the most part, unless she grabs at his tail or his ears.

  • Has started eating solids. Loves: rice cereal, (although we stopped giving it to her because it gave her a belly ache), sweet potatoes - her FAVORITE!, and oatmeal. Doesn't love: avocados or squash. I think she has an issue with textures, because the two she doesn't love aren't super smooth, (since I'm making her baby food), so I think she'll like them when she gets older and likes textured food better.
  • Still isn't sleeping through the night, but is getting very close. We were almost there, then she started standing, and would stand in her crib and cry and not be able to get back down. So crying it out isn't quite so simple anymore. But I'm confident she'll be sleeping through the night soon!
  • Has her two bottom teeth coming in! I had stopped looking since I figured she'd follow after her dad and not get any until almost a year old, but when I was feeding her a few days ago, I noticed the two little guys coming through. But now she seems to be having some teething pains, but nothing too bad.

She's growing up right before my eyes! I was feeding her a few days ago and looked down and marveled at how big she was. It seems like yesterday that she was this teeny tiny newborn!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

For Jenny May

Jenny May is a former roommate of mine. She lives in Canada, but was here in Utah visiting family and graciously let me take some pictures of her twin girls - Charlotte and Ruby. I feel so bad that it has taken me so long to edit and get these out to her - I took them the day before I left on vacation, and then my computer has been super slow, so editing has taken forever. But they are finally done, and Jenny May - I promise these will be in the mail to you on Monday!

These are just a few of my favorites. These little girl's eyes were amazing and it was fun to photograph twins!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

My Little Girl is Growing Up!!

{Another bad photo. That's what happens when it's practically dark in her room and I try to take a picture!}

This last week and a half has been a big one for Abbi.

*she started eating solids
*she started standing on her own
*she started crawling

Eating Solids

Luckily, after that first day of eating the rice cereal, she really caught onto the whole eating thing. She had a few days of rice cereal, then moved onto sweet potatoes. One more day of sweet potatoes, then she'll get to try avocados. Unfortunately, she started sleeping really badly over the course of the week. I thought it was maybe because of getting off schedule from vacation, but she would scream when I put her down to sleep, and when she did fall asleep, she'd only be asleep for 15-20 minutes before she would wake up screaming again. And she would be up every 2-3 hours at night. I was just about at the end of my rope until we figured out that she was really gassy. After doing some looking online, (thanks again Google!) I found out that many people have problems with the rice cereal giving their babies gas. I took her off the cereal a day and a half ago, and have already noticed a HUGE difference. I'll try oatmeal sometime next week after we test out the avocados, and maybe try to do the rice cereal again in a few months once her system has adapted to solids better. But she does love eating now. She can go from crying to having the most excited face ever when she sees her bowl come out!


Yeah, this one I wasn't ready for. I walked into her room one day when she was crying, and found her standing up. And now, that's the first thing she does when she wakes up. The doctor told me to start letting her cry it out at night so she learns to sleep through the night, but now, she will get up and scream because she can't get back down. So that's not going so well. But it's fun to watch her go up to things and stand on them. I can't believe she is growing up so fast!


She's been scootching for over a month now, but it is full fledged crawling now. And boy, can she move!! The video shows her trying to stand on the chair, which isn't easy since it rocks back and forth. But then she goes down to the ground and you can see her crawl. I think it's the cutest thing in the world!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Abbi's First Food

We finally bit the bullet and started feeding Abbi solids. I have been wanting to put it off, but decided now was the time.

I have to say, I thought she would jump right in and love it. She has been watching us eat for the past little while, getting that look on her face that says - I want some of that now! So we were both a little surprised when she hated that first time eating solids! She barely took a few bites, and actually ended up gagging herself at the end and throwing most of it up. But it was kind of funny at the same time - I have to admit!

Josh ended up giving her the spoon to see if she would like it better if she put it in her mouth herself. It didn't work. I have to laugh, because she'll put everything in her mouth and never gets that sour face, but when she finally gets food, she acts like it's the worst thing in the world!

Luckily, the second day went much better and she got the hang - and the taste - of it quickly!

I do have to apologize for both the bad pictures and bad video. I'm kind of bummed. I had my camera on manual setting and handed it to Josh to take pictures, not realized I didn't change the setting. So I was only able to salvage a few pictures, and they still aren't very good. And then I didn't have the video set up in a very good place, and my arm and hand are in the way for most of it. And you can obviously tell it was not only Abbi's first time eating solids, but it was my first time feeding a baby with a spoon!

**Ok, sorry - no video. I've been trying to upload it for about 10 hours now, and it won't - I'll try again another time...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Vacation Day 7 & 8

Day 7

August 4th, 2008

Ahhh, it is coming to an end. It's always sad to have a vacation end.

This day was pretty uneventful. So uneventful that I didn't even take a single picture that day. Not one.

We got up, got ready and packed, and headed out. Drove to Reno. Checked into the same hotel. Had dinner at Carl's Jr. (Thank goodness no Denny's this time!) Went back to the hotel, went to sleep.

That's all.

Day 8

August 8th, 2009

Josh and I were feeling a little lazy - I'm sure he was tired of all the driving, so we did end up sleeping in a little bit. But when I say sleeping in, I mean getting up at 6am because that is when Abbi got up, and just lounging around the hotel room. I think we headed out at about 11am.

Abbi and her faces - keeping us entertained!

The drive back to Utah was quicker than the drive to Reno 8 days earlier, thank goodness. It seemed like the whole state of Nevada had road construction on the way out, but on the way back, it was only half of the state. We drove, and drove, and drove. Abbi kept Marilyn and I entertained with her noises and faces. She really was so good in the car - better than I ever expected! Stopped in Wendover for some food. (Wow - it's been a long time since I've been to Wendover, but that place is really a dump!) Then we drove some more.

This was Max for the majority of the time in the car. On my lap. My legs were numb by the end of this trip!

We hit a pretty strong rain storm as we were driving past the Salt Lake, and
I was super glad Josh didn't let me drive when I volunteered after the stop in Wendover.

We made it back into town, dropped off Mike and Marilyn as Abbi was about to throw a temper tantrum because it was just past her time to eat. We quickly drove home, threw all the suitcases on the floor, and fed Abbi. We were home. Back to familiar surroundings. It's always good to get home after being gone so long, but it's always hard to say goodbye to such a fun vacation.

My favorite things about this vacation (in no particular order):

**Seeing and being reminded of what a beautiful world God gave us. It sure is amazing. From the ocean to the river to the lake and everything in between - we are so lucky to get to experience it all.

**Hearing my husband reminisce about trips from his childhood. And having his parents tell stories of those same trips.

**Seeing my husband interact with his parents. And with his daughter. And even with Max.

**Watching Abbi experience her first real vacation. I know she won't remember any of it, and it probably wasn't a big deal to her, but it was still great to spend that time together as a family.

**Falling in love with Josh all over again. Not that we had fallen out of love or anything like that, but sometimes, when you get caught up in the day to day, you don't stop to really look at your partner and remember just how lucky and blessed you are. It takes getting away from the normal and spending that time together to be reminded sometimes.

I am so lucky and so blessed!

Vacation Day 6

Views of Crater Lake from the top

Day 6

August 3rd, 2009

We got to have a bit of a lazy morning this day, since we didn't have too much driving ahead of us. The original plan was for all of us to go up to Crater Lake together in Bud & Karen's motor home, but since they were in the accident, they had a doctor's appointment and insurance things to take care of, so they decided not to join us. We met them at Jack in the Box for lunch, (I LOVE their tacos, and am always so excited when I am in a town that has a Jack in the Box!). After lunch, Josh, Abbi, me, Mike, Marilyn and the dogs all headed to Crater Lake.

I had heard about Crater Lake - Josh remembered it from his childhood, but I really did not expect the beauty that I saw. I really think this is a place everyone needs to see in their lifetime.

Abbi enjoying getting wheeled around. I wish she would be able to remember this trip when she is older. We'll just have to come back and do it again when we are done having kids and they are old enough to enjoy it!

Instead of trying to describe how this lake occurred, I'll just copy from a sign at the lake:

Imagine the impressive snow-capped mountain that once stood here. Successive volcanic eruptions over many thousands of years had built a cone that rose perhaps a mile above the present lake level. Like Mt. Rainer and Mt. St. Helens, it was one of the major volcanoes of the Cascade Range, and one of the most explosive - Mt. Mazama.

About 7,700 years ago a series of violent eruptions transformed Mt. Mazama. The volcano ejected large volumes of rock and ash high into the air. Then, great avalanches of hot, gas-charged rocks spilled down the slopes. Finally, the remaining upper portions of the volcano collapsed, creating the 6-mile wide caldara that now holds Crater Lake.


It is a pretty impressive sight indeed.

The lake is almost 2,000 feet deep, the deepest lake in the United States. It is fed entirely by snow and rain and is considered to be the cleanest large body of water in the world. The eruption of Mt. Mazama may have been the largest eruption in North America in the last 640,000 years.

Nature is amazing!

The sides of the lake are very steep and fall quite far from the top. There is a trail that takes you down to the water, but we did not venture down. They actually have a boat that gives boat tours. They say you can swim in the water, but it is so cold that most people don't last more than a few minutes.

The sides are quite steep! And the water is an amazing color!

It truly was gorgeous. And the water really is that blue. None of the colors are photoshopped in these pictures. It was almost the color of the ocean off the Florida coast - but in a lake in Oregon!

Attempting more family photos

After spending some time at Crater Lake and taking about a million pictures, we headed back to Klamath Falls, where we met Bud & Karen for dinner at a restaurant there in town. Then back to their house where we enjoyed another night of hospitality.

Poor Max, he started limping around that night, and when we looked at his paw, it looked like it was either burned or rubbed raw. I think that he had just been on so many adventures over the last few days and he poor paws weren't used to all of it. I'm sure he was happy that this was our last day of "adventures."

Vacation Day 5

Day 5

August 2nd, 2009

**click on any pictures to see larger!**

We got up that morning, hoping to go to the little restaurant next door for breakfast that morning, but unfortunately, it was closed on Sundays. So once we were all ready and packed, we drove down to a different restaurant and had breakfast. Still no crab omelet. I think I'm going to be craving one of those now until I can either find somewhere here that makes one, go back to the coast, or try to make one myself.

After breakfast, we got back on the road and drove down the coast into California. It's my dream to one day drive from the bottom of California, all the way up to the top of Washington all on Highway 101. From the parts of that highway I've been on, there are some great things to look at! It was gorgeous driving through the forest and seeing all of the amazingly tall and big trees. It was still quite foggy, but there were some great views of the ocean as we drove.

Poor Abbi. Not only does she look extremely tired, (she did fall asleep, but not until towards the end), but I only packed one pair of long pants for her that she already wore the day before. So here she is in the jacket and socks we bought for her and her little capri pants!!

We went to a place called Trees of Mystery. Outside, a very large Paul Bunyan and his blue ox welcome you. It's one landmark Josh remembered from going there when he was a child.

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox

There our journey started into the forest. I have to admit - you can't really capture on camera how overwhelming these trees are. Nature sure is amazing. And these trees to amazing things to survive.

Family Tree

This is what they call a Family Tree. If you look closely in the photo, you can see trees growing up from tree branches. It has 12 trees growing on the one tree. Crazy - I've never seen that done before!

Clockwise from top left: Tree growing crazy, Mike, Marilyn and the dogs, the tree you could go under, our fam in front of a giant tree, Mike & Marilyn in front of the same tree, Elephant Tree

There were so many amazing trees here to see. Trees that grow horizontal, vertical, and trees that start out going one way and change to a different way! A tree with a crazy root system that they called the Elephant Tree (I guess it is supposed to look like an elephant, but I didn't see it.) Trees that you can walk underneath, and trees that are SO big around!

Tree shots and Cathedral Tree

The tree on the far right is called the Cathedral Tree. It is 9 trees in one, forming a sort of half circle. Many weddings and church services are held in front of this tree every year.

Tram ride and view from the top

They also had a tram that ran to the top of the mountain. This is new from when Josh came here as a child, and is a really great addition to the park. The view from the top was amazing. So beautiful. From one side, you could see out to the ocean, and from the other side, there were trees as far as the eye could see.

Candelabra Tree & tree shot

The tree on the left is called the Candelabra Tree. The horizontal tree on the bottom is a fallen tree that sent up shoots to grow as new trees. They do crazy things to survive!

Wood carvings

At the end of the trail, they have a whole bunch of wood carvings, all done by chainsaw, that depict Paul Bunyan stories. I decided that I'm going to have to read up on Paul Bunyan now, because I didn't really know any of the stories! A few of them sounded vaguely familiar, but I think it would be fun to read them.

Ginormous tree

At the very end of the trail, there is this part of a huge tree that was either cut down or fallen. It is believed to have been growing for thousands of years. That was one big tree!

After going through The Trees of Mystery, we got back on the road and headed back up to Oregon and back to Bud & Karen's house in Klamath Falls. We had dinner at their house, then tucked in for a good night's sleep. We all needed it!!

Vacation Day 4

I think this may be my new favorite photo of Josh and Abbi. I don't know what it is about it, but it pulls at my heart strings!

Day 4

August 1st, 2009

Today was the day for the family reunion - the reason we traveled to Oregon! That morning, we got up and got ready. When Josh's parent's got back from breakfast at a little restaurant next to the hotel, we went over to get ourselves some breakfast while Marilyn watched Max & Abbi. Unfortunately, the the restaurant was quite small, and it was packed - being a Saturday morning. We decided we didn't want to sit and wait forever, (bummer - because they had a crab omelet that I really wanted to try!), and we walked back over to the hotel. I was starving, so we left Abbi with Marilyn still while we went to find something else to eat. We ended up just going through the drive-thru at McDonald's. Not exactly the crab omelet I was craving, but it got rid of my hunger. We went back to the hotel to wait with Marilyn. Mike, Bud & Karen had all driven over to the river where the reunion was being held to reserve some space. When Karen got back, we all headed over to Fred Meyer to pick up some food, drinks and snacks, and then headed up to the river.

Family Reunion

While it was cold and foggy on the coast, just a few miles up the mountain was the river, where the sun was shining and it was nice and warm. It didn't really feel like we went up in elevation that much, but it put us up above the fog where the weather was nice. I guess the people that live there spend a lot of time at the river in the summertime because the fog hangs around the coast so much.

Josh & Abbi by the river

There was a lot of family there to meet - most of which Josh had never met before - or at least didn't remember. We also walked down the path to the river, where lots of people were enjoying cooling off. We just walked along the rocky bank, and Max dipped his paws in a time or two.

Family Photos

Wild Oregon Blackberries. Too bad there weren't ripe ones - we were a bit too early!

After some time at the reunion, Josh & I headed back down to the hotel for some rest and to put Abbi down for a nap. A few hours later, Mike and Marilyn met us back at the hotel, and we all headed to the beach, to Harris Beach.

Beach Photos

It was a bit chilly and still foggy, but it was still beautiful. I've always loved the ocean, and it amazes me how different it looks in different locations. We walked around for quite awhile, letting the dogs enjoy the sand and letting Abbi get her first views of the ocean. She really loved it and couldn't stop looking out to sea.

Abbi getting her first views of the ocean

We thought Max would just love digging in the sand, but it took us a bit of prodding to get him to dig. I think there were just so many new smells and sights for him to take in. I'm sure that if he were to go one or two more times, he would really love it.

Max, digging and experiencing the beach

I think Mike and Marilyn really enjoyed being there with Abbi while she experienced the ocean for the first time. We all had such a good time, just taking in the sights.

More beach photos. I love how Josh's parents are always trying to get smiles out of Abbi. And 90% of the time, she gives them to them!

I was surprised at how many people were there, especially with the less than perfect weather. But I had a ball taking hundreds of photos. We really do live in a beautiful world, and there is just so much see.

Beauty of the beach

This won't be my last trip to the beaches of Oregon!!

My favorite beach shot. What a beautiful place!

Bud and Karen headed back to Klamath Falls after the family reunion, and when we got back from the beach, we got a call that they had been in an accident on the way home. Everyone was safe, but Bud ended up with some deep tissue bruising. Their truck had some extensive damage and they ended up having to rent a car to get the rest of the way home. We are just grateful that no one got seriously hurt!

Vacation Day 3

Pictures from the stop along the road through the forest.

Day 3
July 31, 2009

More driving!! Really - we spent a lot of time in the car this trip, but we were able to see so many amazing things.

That morning, Bud & Karen treated us to a delicious breakfast of sausage gravy and biscuits before we all set out to drive to the coast. Bud took us on a road that went through the mountains, and was absolutely beautiful. We stopped once along the road so that I could take some pictures.

More stop along the road pictures.

Back on the road, we continued through the mountains until finally, we could see the ocean. It was quite foggy, so we really couldn't see much, but the glimpses I got were wonderful. We drove to Brookings, Oregon, where we checked into our hotel where we would be for the next 2 nights.

Through the window photography - first views of the ocean!

Josh and I decided to just take it easy for a bit while the other adults drove to see what time the seafood restaurant we wanted to go to for dinner was open until. When they got back, we unfortunately found out that they were closing early that night for a birthday party, so unfortunately - I didn't get to taste their clam chowder that everyone raves about.

View from Aunt Dorothy's house. You can't really tell since the weather was not optimal, but it was a great view!

Next stop was Aunt Dorothy's house - who is Mike's aunt. She lives on a beautiful piece of property that has an amazing view of the ocean. Even though the day was so foggy and overcast, I still got a good idea of what the view is there normally. She also had a huge lemon tree with Meyer lemons. If you've never tried a Meyer lemon, you really should try to find them, (although I don't see them here in Utah very often.) I believe they are a mix of lemon and orange. They are sweeter and less tart than a typical lemon, and they are delicious! We ended up picking some to take with us, (even though we had to smuggle them through California!!)

After visiting, Josh, Abbi, me, Mike, Marilyn, Bud, Karen, Michelle (Karen's daughter) and Karen's daughter all headed to dinner. There was another seafood restaurant close to the one we wanted to go to, but the line was really long and there was no where to sit. So we went a little further down and found another restaurant - Chetco Seafood. We enjoyed meals of lots of fried fish, clams, shrimp and scallops. I had to get my seafood fix while on the coast!

After getting back to the hotel, Josh, Marilyn, me and Abbi headed back out. I didn't realize it would be quite as cold as it was, so I wanted to pick up some socks for Abbi. Yes, I'm a bad mom and didn't pack for every occurrence! So we hit Fred Meyer where we bought socks and a jacket for Abbi - both of which got lots of use while we were on the coast! Then we stopped at a laundry mat to do some laundry for Josh since he discovered that he hadn't brought enough clothes. I hadn't been to a laundry mat for years! Then we headed back to the motel, ready for a good night's sleep.