Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Beginning of the End. . .

Andy's health has been fully restored. Last Sunday was the worst and each day since has gotten a little better. He's still working at gaining his appetite back, but he's just about there! Tonight, Andy is finishing up a paper for his January course and tomorrow marks the beginning of his last semester in seminary! How exciting! Graduation is just three and a half months away!

Bella continues to get cuter each day. She's been waving a lot lately and when I put her to bed last night, I said my usual. . . "Goodnight Pumpkin. Sweet dreams. I love you. See you in the morning." Just before I started to walk away, she started waving goodnight to me. Sometimes I get a little sentimental about her growing up, but times like these are just too precious and they make me enjoy the little person that she is growing into. Here are some other things going on in Bella World. . .

1. She is going through another 'I-don't-like-getting-my-diaper-changed' phase. Every time we approach the changing table, she gets upset. Laying still is not one of her favorite things.
2. I've learned that a good way to diffuse a meltdown is to take her to our wall with our family pics hanging up and point to each family member and say their name. By the time we've gotten through all the pictures, Isabella's forgotten what she was so upset about.
3. For the longest time, Isabella has always emptied out her toy shelves or any cupboard in the house. Well, this week, for the first time, she has started to put things back (often to just take them back out again). I caught her putting some of her plastic coins into her toy piggy bank and she put an outfit that I was folding into her diaper bag. This is a start to her learning to clean up!
4. She's really big into picking things up and bringing them to us. When she does, she often says something that kind of sounds like "here" or "here you go". It's possible that we're imagining that, but it really does sound like that.
5. She's starting to point at things like the pictures on the wall or different objects in the books we're reading. I know that pointing is a developmental milestone, so I'm excited to see her starting to do it.

Here's the pictures from our week. . .

She got a little cut above her lip
Swimming in Mommy's coat

Daddy and Bella playing with the camera

"I'm such a happy girl." (Most of the time).

Strike a pose!

"Why do you keep taking pictures of me?!"

Our good little eater

Here's the piggy bank she was playing with when I caught her putting the coins away
A closer look
Favorite Sippy Cup
What a difference. . .

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A few days without daddy. . .

Andy was gone for three days and nights this week; attending a class retreat. This left Isabella and me alone to fend for ourselves. I took the little one to work with me and, for the most part, that went pretty well. Of course, about every fifteen minutes or so, I had to take her out to roam around in the hallway - just for a change in scenery. At one point, she walked ahead of me and stopped in front of a classroom door to peek inside. I thought the classroom was empty and didn't think much about her talking until I heard a few giggles from some college girls (at which point I scooped her up and we headed back to my office).

Overall, our three days without Andy went pretty smoothly, though I was so happy when he came home. I didn't realize how much I missed him until he came back. Another reason I was so happy to see him was because I was starting to feel a little under the weather Friday morning. I was exhausted. I was so tired that it made me feel sick. I took a nap in the morning, but it didn't seem to do too much. I also started to feel really nauseous and my stomach was pretty queasy. That was the worst it got and I started to feel a little better by mid-day Saturday. Unfortunately for Andy, he is now sick. He woke up from a nap today feeling nauseous and has since been throwing up all evening. I probably won't be going into work tomorrow. Please pray that he gets better soon and that this is just a 24-hour thing.

Thankfully, Isabella remains in good health (she's the one person in this family who got a flu shot), though she may be about to set a record for length of sleep. Ever since we've been back from Wisconsin, she has been quite the sleeper. All week, with the exception of one day, I've had to wake her up to start our day. She easily sleeps until 8:30-9:00am, one day I let her go until 9:30am and then I woke her up. She's still taking two naps each day lasting from about two and a half to three hours. If she missed her morning nap (due to being at my work or at church) she has been taking four to five hour long afternoon naps. All of these times, I've had to wake her up for lunch or dinner, depending on what nap it is. I'm not worried about this yet, but if it continues, I may have to ask the doctor about it. My assumption is that she is going through a growth spurt.

Okay, okay, I've written too much. . . on to the fun stuff - the pictures!

Isabella continues to practice her walking

Proud member of the 'clean plate' club

Daddy's wearing Isabella's shirt as a hat

What a silly daddy!

Now it's Bella's turn!

Surprisingly, she kept this on her head for quite a while
2006 in Review

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Settled

We've successfully completed our first week back and it seemed to go pretty well. Our Christmas decorations are down now and I found places for all of Isabella's new toys. Isabella is walking around much more, though she is still faster at crawling. Her new thing now is climbing. She gets one leg up onto the couch, but doesn't quite have enough momentum to propel her whole body the rest of the way. I suppose it's only a matter of time. We think that Isabella's body may still be on Central time because she has been sleeping in past 9am every morning. I've enjoyed that extra quiet time in the morning, but it has thrown off the rest of the day a little.

Check out Bella's wild hair. She decided that macaroni and cheese would make good hair gel. I guess she was right.


This is her cheesy face. She wrinkles her nose and squints her eyes when she's trying to be cute. Cracks us up every time. Sitting back in her new chair
Taking a little walking tour around the apartment.
I looked into getting a toybox, but the nice wooden ones are really expensive. So, I brought up these green shelves that I had in college and tipped them sideways for Isabella. This actually works out really well. There are four compartments for toys and Isabella can view everything to decide what she wants to play with. I'm so much happier when things are organized.
This coming week should be interesting. Andy's heading out on Tuesday aftermoon for a retreat that is part of the January course he is taking, which means it will be just Isabella and me until Friday afternoon. This means that I will be taking her to work with me for a few days. I'm so glad that the people in my department like seeing Isabella, though I know that my days will be cut short cause there's only so much she can do in my office before getting bored. I'm just hoping that things go smoothly.

I didn't do any scrapbooking while we were gone. It was fun to come back and get a little creative with some of the pictures we took over Christmas.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Back in Pennsylvania

We pulled into our parking lot at 5:53 am (Eastern Time) on Sunday morning, January 7th. Amazingly, we had high energy considering that we drove throughout the night. We decided to do the majority of our drive at night so that Isabella might sleep better. This trip went well and Isabella did sleep a little better than on our trip out. If it weren't for the toll booths, she may have slept longer. She woke up each time we had to pay money, which is quite a bit on the stretch of highway that we travel on. The last two hours were a little rougher on Isabella. I spent the majority of that time rubbing her feet or hands or arms or legs, anything to keep her comfortable. Thankfully, that seemed to do the job, though my hands were a little tired at the end of the trip.

I wasn't too excited to head back to PA, but now that we're here, it's not so bad. It feels great to sleep in our own bed and to be done with living out of a suitcase. Yesterday was kind of a blur as we were all in and out of sleep throughout the day. We managed to unpack everything, which was quite an undertaking in itself since every possible space in our car was stuffed. And, for the record, the majority of that stuff belonged to the little lady who rode in the backseat - she had quite the Christmas! As I unpacked all of her toys, I became a little overwhelmed and am now in the hunt for a toy box to minimize the toy clutter. My project for the next few days is to go through our stuff and get rid of what we don't need or are not using. The spring cleaning bug has bit me a little early, but I figure I should take advantage of it while I'm motivated. This drive seems to come upon me whenever we accumulate a lot of things at once (like we just did).

Here are a couple of scrapbook pages that I did before we left town:



Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Our Time in Wisconsin

I've been enjoying lots of family time, so have taken a little break from updating this blog. I've got a little time on my hands now, so get ready for a photo explosion! On Saturday morning, December 16, 2006, we packed up our car and headed west. After a minor problem of our car not starting (battery issues), we got a jump and were on our way! Our first stop was Ohio where we delivered Christmas presents for a church outreach. We spent the night there and finished the trip on Sunday. Isabella is usually a pretty good traveller, but this trip didn't go so well. She only napped once during the ride and that was only for about 45 minutes. The poor kid was so tired and uncomfortable and couldn't fall asleep. We arrived at my parent's house around 10pm that night. The next day, we had a little belated birthday celebration with my family.
Birthday Pictures
As you can see in this picture, we bought Isabella a little birthday hat but it ended up being a little small. She looks kind of like a trucker in this picture! "I'm such a big one year old!"
Uncle Scott lighting her cake with my Dad and Andy looking on. We were short on birthday candles, so had to improvise a little. That's a Benetti birthday for ya! Isabella smiles as we all sing Happy Birthday
She stuffed her face with the ice cream cake and, shortly after, became one unhappy girl as her hands and mouth became super cold.
Isabella received a new doll whose pacifier she tried to steal.
She also received a new outfit from my cousin Bridget, a little papazon chair from my brother Scott, and a learning toy from my sister Lori. One of my mom's co-workers gave her a dancing Grinch. Here she is playing with it. . .
Christmas Photos
We spent Christmas Eve and my grandparent's house. Here is her first taste of a candy cane.
Don't worry - Auntie Mary was watching her extra closely.
Auntie Mary helps Isabella open her presents on Christmas morning.
Our little family on Christmas morning (just before heading off to visit Andy's family).

Kilps Family Visit
Tyler, Isabella, and Jacob - we tried to get a picture of the cousins, but Isabella would not sit still.Jacob with his new ballsLots of toys for the little ones!
Another bit of exciting news is that Isabella is really starting to walk a lot more. Here is a video we got of her. Unfortunately, you'll have to turn your head to watch it since I can't figure out how to rotate it.
We took the kids to the park.

It was a crisp winter dayIsabella loved to swing
Jacob playing on a horse

What could be more relaxing?
All the fresh air wore Jacob out
It looks like Isabella is cooking something up for the boys.
Remote controls are probably one of her favorite things to play with - right up there with telephones. This child loves buttons!
Here's Tyler! He's getting so big! What a cutie!
Attempt #2 at a Cousin pic - Isabella is about to make a mad dash for it!
Isabella entertaining Tyler
Andy's extended family gets together a few days after Christmas. We all gathered at his Uncle Tom and Aunt Debbie's house this year. We were able to get a picture of the whole Kilps family at this gathering. From left to right: Laura (Andy's sister) holding Tyler, Chris (Andy's mom), David (Andy's dad) who is holding Jacob, Me, Isabella, Andy. Front row: Tim (Laura's husband) and Tom (Andy's brother).
The youngest members of the family: Elena Bisone, Tyler Meade, Sammy Bass, and Isabella Kilps
During our time in Andy's hometown, we visited with some of Andy's high school friends and also reunited with our good friends, the Golackson's. We met halfway at a Culver's and spent several hours catching up.
Isabella and Caedmon holding hands. Aren't they a sweet couple!
Isabella and Lily chatting away. They seem so grown up here. We are heading back to Pennsylania on Saturday (Jan. 6th). We're praying that the trip back is a little easier on Isabella than the way here was and that our transition back into life out there goes smoothly. For now, we're going to soak in all the family time we can get!