Friday, October 30, 2009

photo shoot

for K's 1 year old pictures, we decided to do something a little different from Sears...
i have admired Jessica's photography, as a stranger, for several months... her daughter, Kailey, was in 3rd grade last year, and when Kailey became a big sister for the second time in the Spring, Kailey encouraged me to check out her new little sister on her mom's website. i searched to find Jessica's site and I was blown away... it's hard to really even put words on my feelings about her photos... they're so beautiful... they're real... i love the beauty of the land in many of her photos...i love the lighting and the vibrant colors...
so, after realizing that we could afford such an incredible talent (thanks to a special Jessica was offering), we had a photo session a few days before K's first birthday. we headed up to Graves' Mountain, which happens to be very close to where Ry and I said our "i dos" a little over five years ago... and, since i love autumn, i was so excited that we were able to have photos done outside when the trees were gorgeously painted with colors... :) and the day was beautiful... :)
while our little lady wasn't the most cooperative, the 4 shots that jessica has shared with us so far capture my baby girl and make me want to cry... breathtaking... k wasn't smiling much...she was more entertained with rocks, leaves (which she liked to eat, too), not looking at Jessica, and turning away from the camera... :) kudos to Jessica for stickin' with her subject and for being incredibly patient... :) (it must be her experience with 3 adorable little subjects of her own! :))
i'm eagerly awaiting the rest of Jessica's incredible talents in our portfolio... but for now, i will share our sneak peak with you, too...



Thursday, October 22, 2009

10.23.08 05:41

Happy 1st Birthday to my beautiful baby girl... :)
A plethora of emotions surround my feelings about this wonderful event... :)
As I stared at her little hands and fingers tonight as she lay sleeping in my arms, I'm constantly reminded how beautiful and amazing our God is for creating such a perfect little human... When you think about all of the little minute details...and how they must all coordinate at the same time in special ways to make such a perfectly formed little girl... :) how humbling...

And time...I would really appreciate it if you would slow down a little bit... please..........

Words can't describe how much I love her...
She's incredible...and amazing...
And I can't believe I've been chosen to be blessed by her each day...
She's a gift from above, no doubt... :)

And while I could write for hours about my feelings...I won't...
Just suffice it to say that my life has changed so drastically...for the better...
and I'm loving every.single.second... :)

Happy Birthday, Baby... :)
I am beyond blessed to be your Momma...


(party and pics to come later... :))

Sunday, October 18, 2009

"ooooooo"

I love watching and hearing her "oooo." :) It can bring an instant smile to my face... :)


video

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The tongue's secret power...

For the last few weeks, any time K is fully focusing her energies on some serious play, out comes the tongue... It's pretty funny... We're wondering where she picked this up, but we can't figure it out. I think both Ry and I are guilty of the same habit, but it's probably pretty rare that she sees us with our tongues poking out... The only explanation is that the tongue, while slightly protruding from the mouth, must hold some secret power in concentration and exploration... :) Adorable... :)







Tuesday, October 6, 2009

fruit fly infestation


Go ahead and say "HELLO" to our little friend...Mrs. Drosophila.

At chez Rakow, lately, I'm taken back to my high school days of AP Biology. We had a great time with our little drosophila (the scientific name for the fruit fly) pals - doing genetic crosses to see what color eyes or what "pattern" they'd have on their abdomen. It was actually a very neat project... Our little flies were contained in these little vials that were similar to tall, clear pill bottles. They had their food and a "reproducing medium" within these vials. When we'd need to count, sex, or check the colors or patterns, we'd insert a little "q-tip" sort of instrument soaked with what was called "Fly Nap." (Yes, this is why I know the fly above is a female...the male would have a striped abdomen! My AP Bio teacher would be proud... :))

I'd like to have some Fly Nap right about now. About 4 weeks ago, we made a trip to Kroger, a local grocery store found about 15 miles away from our house. We went to Kroger instead of our local Food Lion because I wanted some decent produce. I love to feed Katherine good, fresh fruit, preferably organic, and I'm always on a mission for the best fruit around. While at Kroger, I was sort of disappointed with their selection but picked up a few peaches. They weren't quite ripe yet, so when we brought them home, I sat them out on the counter top for a day or two of ripening. Thus, our problem began... Apparently, one of the peaches was a little breeding ground for some fruit flies, but I didn't know it. I think some flesh at the stem of the peach was infected while at Kroger, and I brought home a whole extended family of fruit flies. They are STILL driving us nuts. We are loudly clapping our hands together at random times while in the kitchen or while eating meals ourselves. They love to hover and annoy us at the most inconvenient times. I have even started setting them up for mass killings by leaving fruit peels out on a paper plate. Within a short time, the little buggers come to my little trapping ground...but we're only able to kill a few here and there when we try that method.
Now, they must be very evolved...because we can slap our hands together and open them...only to find a stunned fly that escapes our grip within a second or two. I swear, they must have bodies of steel...

We actually celebrate when we kill a little fly...seriously...it's that bad. Yesterday, while I know this may be too much information, but I found two mating on the pear peel I left out and was HAPPY because I got a two for one deal!!! And, of course, forget about those offspring who were being created in that moment of fly passion! :)

I think we're making a dent in their population. I've bagged up our bananas...and the other fruit are in the "green bags" that you'll see advertised on TV (they really work). While we still see about 3 or 4 roaming around in our airspace, I think we may be near the end of our fruit fly infestation. Lesson...on your next trip to the store, don't pick up fruit if you see lots of fruit flies. And, if you happen to be in the neighborhood and hear a "SLAP" and someone cheering from the kitchen, you'll know why! We're on a fruit fly mission...beware! :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

I really blew it...

I think I've met my first true parenting challenge... My little girl, is, without a doubt, one of the most stubborn eaters...

From the first spoonful of cereal back in the Spring, I prayed that she wouldn't be so difficult, but I will admit that, deep down, I knew food was going to be a challenge. I was hoping that her refusals were because the whole eating thing was so new for her...but nearly 5 months later, we're still fighting...

Rewind to the cereal tastings... I actually stopped feeding her cereal for about 4 -6 weeks because the experience was so negative... I feared that she would have negative associations with food...and I don't want to do that to her. When I reintroduced cereal, it was a little better, but it wasn't an easy time...

Yes, she "Mmmmmmmmmmmmms" and smiles when she eats...and she has her favorite foods... She loves yogurt, cheese, ANY fruit, and this week, pudding. She also likes macaroni and cheese, which I didn't want to feed her...I heard it's pretty much the worst thing you can give your child. But, she loves it...and to be honest, we love it, too...
She will hardly touch any vegetables - except sweet potatoes. She especially loves sweet potatoes with apples. Every once in a while, she'll eat a little bit of waffle...and crackers... But, generally, she will not eat anything else...

I will admit, she's come a long way...and about 70% of the time, we have pretty good meal times... But, the other 30% of the time - they're fierce battles. I go back and forth with my feelings.... Everyone, especially my mom, promises me that she won't starve...and she'll eat when she's hungry. But, I just feel like, in general, she doesn't eat enough... Why?? She fell into the 10th percentile for weight at her last doctor's appointment and that doesn't help... She's a petite and tiny little thing (not my genes!) but doesn't look unhealthy. She's thriving...and active...and happy.
But, the words from the doctor's nurse keep replaying... "Hmmm, let's weigh her again....Yeah, she'll probably need to come in for another weight check next month..." (Translation to a first time mom "Your child is disappearing in front of our eyes...are you feeding her at ALL? She should be plump and round...")
And the feeding schedule, of course, a guideline, that they gave us, made me feel like we were starving her. Basically, the schedule had 3 meals plus two snack times... When we were at the doctor 2 months ago, she was BARELY eating 2 meals a day...and of course, she wasn't having any snacks...(Translation: People like you go to jail for not feeding their kids...) And, the doctor wasn't as concerned about K's weight as the nurse lead me to believe...but he did tell me that he wanted her to nurse no less than 4 times a day. When I left, I felt like I had been stamped with "FEEDING FAILURE" on my forehead...

Oh, and forget the week after when I tried to meet those guidelines... All she was doing was eating and sleeping...I was trying so hard to get those 3 meals and 2 snacks in...on top of nursing 4 times... She had like 10 minutes to play between naps and eating... So sad...and she was so unhappy...and so was I.....

So, last night...our feeding challenge came to a head... I was tired...I had a day filled with kids, whining, and poop...and we had a late night the night before b/c we attended a teaching friend's mother's funeral (and she managed to cry almost the entire way home)...and I have been at home almost every night this week with K, by myself, as Ryan helps a friend out and comes in around 9:30 PM .....
I know that I lost my cool...
For dinner, I made her:
cooked apples
ziti with a little pasta sauce
buttered noodles

and offered her:
pudding
yogurt
sweet potatoes with apples
mandarin oranges
and pears.

She refused almost everything...and wouldn't even try the new foods. She blocks the spoon or my hands...oftentimes swinging her arms to knock the food all over the place. She tosses the food over her shoulder onto the floor (the dogs love this!)... And, she managed to use her arms as windshield wipers on her high chair tray flinging food all over the place... And, I had mopped a day before...on my hands and knees...

I raised my voice and loudly placed the bowl of food on the table, slammed my palms down, and said, "THAT'S IT!" She looked at me...her face changed...and she cried...
She cried so badly that her arms were shaking in fear. She was scared...and it broke my heart.

I am so disappointed in myself
...and so incredibly sorry for making her so upset...

I have never seen her like that...and I pray I will never do that to her ever again...

I suck...
I really felt like a failure...and the guilt...
it's overwhelming...

I look at her little sweet face and listen to her laugh...and her smile...it melts my heart...
How could I do that to her??????????????? How could I lose my patience with her????

So, I've spent a lot of time thinking and praying...and taking deep breaths at mealtimes when she refuses her food...
and I work really hard not to lose my patience...
I smile a lot while I offer her food and talk to her in a sweet voice.

It's going to take awhile to reverse my thoughtless loss of reality yesterday...
I remind myself that she will not starve...
Who cares if she's not eating 3 meals AND snacks

She's crawling like a fiend...she's active...she laughs...she's observant...she's thriving... She can't be doing that bad......I can't be doing that bad of a job at keeping her energized and fed...even if I am a feeding failure...