Saturday, September 25, 2010

that fall feeling:

It made its appearance in JULY this year (Yes, July.  Earliest ever.)...

and has dropped by for a visit occasionally since...

At last thankful to have it reside in this summer-loving turned summer-stricken soul for a few months.  Or for a season, if you will...

Ahh, welcome my friend...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

my dad

aka:  Grandpa/track coach...

It is his birthday today, and I just wanted to say that I love him and I hope he has had a wonderful day!!  

Note the signature hat...he's pretty easy to spot during meets :)...

Friday, September 10, 2010


Sweet girl got her new kicks in yesterday, and I think they are pretty cute!  I don't think I've mentioned it before, but her feet have been turning in because of the stroke...she puts more weight on her left leg, causing her to put weight on the inside of her right foot while compensating with the left and turning it in as well.  Whew.  

You can see what I mean in the pic of her standing in the last post.  It's hard for me to look at because she is basically standing on her inside right ankle.  

Anyway, these braces will help keep her feet straight while allowing her to have an arch and to put weight on the outer parts of her feet!  They also give her good ankle support and are specially made just for her.  The casting process was really cool, but I don't have much time to share details.  She will wear socks underneath, and they will fold over the tops of the braces, so if you didn't already know she was wearing braces, you would never know.  Ya know?  We were able to pick out the pattern, and we chose white with purple and pink bunnies :).

We found her some simple, very versatile white shoes to wear with them, but I think these tennis shoes are my favorite!  They are so cute and will be great for fall.  The only problem is that we had to buy shoes two sizes bigger than her feet because the braces have to fit inside, so they look like boats on her since she has SUCH a tiny foot.  (size 2 normally!)  Just pray that she will adjust to them well and not trip over her big new feet! :)

She does not have to wear them all the time right now since she is not walking yet...we are going to work up to a few hours a day for now.

This is her splint that she wears on her right hand at night to help her with the recognition of her right hand/arm and to keep her from fisting her hands, particularly to keep her thumb out.  She's had this for a while, but since we were sharing our accessories...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

we now have a fifteen month old! of, like, a week ago.  Anniston is tackling a ton of new things since I last shared what God is doing through her, so I had to give another one of those extensive, spill it all out at once posts as I am in the habit of doing.  Excited?  Since I haven't truly blogged about her progress in a few months, many of these talents/quirks/achievements have been around for a while...

I first have to start by saying that she is SUCH a sweet baby.  She gives the biggest grins, is VERY generous with her "sugar" and has learned to give "lovin'" in the last month or so.  "Lovin'" is my favorite.  I can sit on the couch with her and Stan and repeatedly ask her to give either mama or daddy lovin', and she will lay her head on the person I say.

Also, I noticed this the other day and just showed Stan yesterday:  She has a new laugh.  Seriously, it just changed Tuesday, I think!  It sounds so much different...not so much the chubby girl laugh anymore; she sounds a little girl instead of a baby.  It's a little more high-pitched.  I guess she is just still experimenting with her voice?

She hasn't said a word yet, but we are not worried.  Her sweet early intervention teacher and therapists say that with her having to focus so much more on gross and fine motor than most children (and since babies' brains can only handle so much input), it is common to have a little delay with speech.  She does like to "talk" though and says the most in her bed.  

We have been extremely impressed with how much she understands what we say.  We can ask her to drink her milk, pick up her peas, play her piano, give sugar, give lovin', etc, and she will follow our commands.  She can say "eat" in sign language...that's the only word I have tried teaching her...  At first, I started WAY too early trying to teach her SL and got burned out until a month or so ago when we picked it up again.  I know that in her case exposing her to language in as many ways as possible is important, so I will try to do better.

She LOVES her stuffed animals now and gives them sugar often :)...almost as much as she gives sugar to pictures of babies, actual babies, and the baby (her "friend") that she sees in the mirror.

Coming from two firstborns (weird, right?), this firstborn is pretty independent.  She always wants to do things on her own without much help.

Her most favorite songs are "This is the day that the Lord has made" and "The wheels on the bus".  

I've already mentioned that she LOVES to "read", whether it is us reading to her, her turning the pages in her books, or her "talking" while she looks at her books as though she is reading.

And, another drumrolllll!!:

She pulled up to standing Monday!!!  Did all that work on labor day.

It helps if you stick your tongue out :).

With the weakness she has had in her right side since her stroke, she has had to learn to do everything in her own way (which makes all of this even more difficult...), and we are beyond proud of her for working so diligently without getting frustrated.  LOTS of grunting, but barely any crying accompanies these complicated tasks.  We have a HARD worker, and I know this is a quality that will benefit her greatly in life...another reason to be grateful for the hardships.  Claiming continued strength and improvement in the name of Jesus!

OH, and one of her physical therapists thinks she will be walking by Christmas!!!  That is alot sooner than I was thinking, and I am so thankful to have a goal to shoot for over the next few months!

There will be an entire post dedicated to mealtime since I have rambled enough for today.  

Happy Thursday!  

P.S.:  Thursday is my favorite day of the week.  Random.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

slacker blogger here...

sorry about that... 

I have so much to catch up on with updating Anniston's progress and fun times as of late, so I am promising (gasp) to post a little more this week...Lord willing.

So, I'm remembering that someone asked me to post the sugar cookie and icing recipes that I use, so here goes:

They are both from Allrecipes, and there might be a slight variation to the original cookie instructions, but other than that, they are really great standard recipes.

Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 1/2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Cream together butter and sugar until smooth.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Stir in the remaining dry ingredients.  Chill in the refrigerator...the longer the better.  I like to keep mine in the fridge overnight before rolling.  Bake cookies in 400 degree oven for 6-8 minutes.

Sugar Cookie Icing

2 cups confectioners sugar
4 teaspoons milk
4 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
food coloring

Combine all ingredients except for food coloring.  If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.  Divide into bowls and add desired food coloring to each.  Apply to cooled cookies.  Allow cookies to sit out for a few hours so icing can completely harden.  Enjoy!

A few tips I learned from the reviews of these recipes online:  

*Roll cookies onto parchment paper placed directly onto cookie sheet.  This allows you to remove excess dough around cookies without having to pick up the actual cookie.  Does that make sense?  This makes them turn out much neater, and parchment paper is great for oven use.  (Never use wax paper will smoke!)

*Back up a sec...when it comes time to roll the dough, use powdered sugar instead of flour on parchment paper, cookie dough, and rolling pin.

*Have a bowl of powdered sugar at hand to dip cookie cutters into before pressing into dough so that the cutters will not stick to the dough.

*I like to use a butter knife to apply icing, and when making designs/dots, I just use ziplock bags with a tiny hole in the corner...fancy, no?

*I think that's all.

*See why they take me so long?

And, to make the grandparents happy, here is a picture I just miraculously found on my cluttered desktop:

Much love!