Sunday, April 29, 2007

He's finished!!!

At 11:58pm on Friday night, Andy turned in his last seminary assignment. We were both thrilled as he checked off his last item on the to-do list. What a rewarding feeling! We celebrated by popping open a bottle of sparkling cherry juice and toasting to our past three years. It's taking a while to sink in that he's really finished. . . it will probably feel more real and official at graduation! Since this was a busy week for Daddy, Bella and I had a lot of time to hang out together. Earlier in the week, we went to the park. I put her on this bouncy duck and said "duckie". . . then she started to say it too. . . "duckie, uckie, uckie". It has now become her favorite word (after MaMa).After the park, we went to the library. There's a huge open area where Bella loves to run around. She likes to run but gets a little clumsy at times so she's now sporting two 'owies' on her knees. I tried to get pictures, but there was no keeping her still. . . After weeks of practice, Bella can now go up and down the library steps all by herself.

And then we went back to our place and played outside on the grass. Here she is doing her signs while watching 'Baby Signing Time'. I think she's doing 'phone' here. She added 'book' and 'fish' to her signing vocabulary this week. Here she is another day. This time I think the sign was either 'ball' or 'car' - I can't remember now. She's really been into putting shoes on her hands lately. Reaching for her beloved 'uckie'.And. . . I was trying to get a picture of Bella smiling. She wasn't really doing it, so I just asked her to show me her tongue. Guess I got what I asked for!!!

One final Bella accomplishment. . . she has learned how to turn off the light switch. For the past few months, flipping off the light switch has been a part of our bedtime routine. She points to pictures of 'Mommy' 'Daddy' and 'Bella' and then switches off the light. Usually, I've had to help her since she consistently tried to push it in like a button instead of pushing it down. She's finally got it! It probably takes a Mom to get excited about these kind of accomplishments, but I feel proud.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

We have been taking advantage of this warm weather that has finally come our way. This is the first time all spring that Bella's been able to be outside without a jacket. It feels so good to be able to get out.

Bella is officially down to one nap each day. This has been a long time coming and we've finally arrived. Her morning and afternoon naps each dwindled down to about an hour, sometimes less. Now she goes down for her nap after lunchtime. We like to see at least a two hour nap, though it was less than that today.

Bath time is still traumatic. I keep trying to put her in the tub, just to see if she'll be OK. She's not - freaks out every time. I don't want to push this with her, so we're still doing sponge baths. I don't feel like she's getting as clean with this method, but it's much faster and therefore less traumatizing for her. This topic has definitely been in my and Bella's bedtime prayers.

Here's Andy and Bella on the hallway floor. Andy was feeling a little tired, so he just laid down. . . Bella wanted to be by him, so she just laid there too. After Bella was all done resting, she wanted daddy to play with her. He sure got her giggling!Bella comes to my work on Wednesday afternoons while Andy has class. She was still sleeping when it was time to go so Andy had to wake her up. This is what a sleepy Bella looks like. Poor kid - getting interrupted in the middle of a nap is not fun. Later in the day, we went outside to play. Bella loves to play on the library steps. She actually got up the first step all by herself, but needed help with the rest. This picture cracks me up. The sun was in her eyes and I snapped a photo just as she was making this hilarious face. Here she is waiting for me to make her dinner. More outdoor fun - Bella kept running up to Andy and giving him hugs.Bella really likes to play with our pillows. She'll carry one around until she finds the right spot where she'll plop it down and then snuggle on top of it. She also likes my sunglasses.Five more days until Andy completes all of his coursework for his M.Div. This week is going to be so busy, but the payoff will be great. In passing tonight, Andy made a comment about this being his last week of seminary (well, he still has to go to class next week - but all his work will be done). Anyway, that comment really struck me. . . we're really at the end. It's still kind of surreal, but starting to sink in.

And, this update would be a little incomplete for me if I didn't mention something about Virginia Tech. I've been captivated and heartbroken by these events. Stuff like this just hits me hard, I can't explain it. I read an article about those who died that day and feel so sad over the loss of life. Liviu Librescu was a professor at VT. He shielded the students by blocking the doorway to the classroom with his body. He died but many students were saved because they were able to jump out of the window. Partahi Lombantoruan was a civil engineering doctoral student from Indonesia. His family sold property and cars to pay for his tuition. His goal was to teach in America. Erin Peterson was very close with here dad. She was born one week after her 8-year-old sister died from cancer. Now her father has lost two children. These are just three stories - there are 33 (I include Cho because his family is also grieving). HERE is a great article and tribute where you can learn more about the other victims. The VT community will remain in my prayers for quite some time.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Just another week. . .

This has been a typical week in the Kilps house - nothing new, exciting, or out-of-the ordinary to report. Every day brings us closer to Andy finishing up all his work - he's almost there! We're getting excited, but our excitement is a little tempered because we don't know what the next step is yet. We know that we'll find out eventually, but sometimes it's just hard to be patient.

Bella finally started signing 'more'. That is probably the first sign that we tried to teach her - even before we made the decision to deliberately teach her sign language, we were doing that one. She's also starting to do 'all done' at times. A new development for Bella is that she has become afraid of baths. I don't know what happened - she has loved baths for quite a while. She's fine with me turning on the water and she enjoys throwing her toys in, but as soon as it comes time for her to get in, she freaks out. I'm somewhat at a loss. . . she needs to get clean, but I don't want to traumatize her. I gave her a sponge bath the other night - not her favorite thing, but not as bad as the bath since it was much quicker. I'm sure this is just a passing phase.

Bella's also starting to climb onto the couch in her room more often. She did this a couple of months ago and then seemed to forget that she could do it. Today she kept climbing over and over again. She hasn't quite figured out how to get down gracefully. After diving off the couch face-first and having a really hard landing (she is now sporting a little bump on her head), I thought she would have learned her lesson. That didn't happen. Soon after she was feeling better, she was back at it again - trying to get down face first. She'll learn - I just hope it doesn't take a lot more bumps before that happens.

Here she is having fun on the couch after she just climbed up! We haven't used our exersaucer in months, but it still stays put in our living room since we have nowhere else to put it. Today, Isabella expressed some interest in it, so Andy sat her down right on top. She seemed to enjoy herself for a little while.

So much fun! - by the way - those objects on the side of her mouth are graham crackers, not her teeth. She does have teeth in these areas, just not that big.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

Our church had an Easter egg hunt for the kids on Saturday morning. Before the actual hunt, we headed to a local assisted living home and handed out bunny bags to some of the residents. The Easter Bunny met us there. Touching his eyes was fun. . . Waving at him was fun. . . . . . but being held by him - NOT FUN!!! After that, we bundled up for the egg hunt. It was 36 degrees that morning - probably the coldest Easter egg hunt on record. Here are Isabella and Lexie (a girl from our church who just adores Isabella). Lexie helped Isabella gather all of her eggs. This morning, our household was up early for the Easter sunrise service. We woke up around 4:30am, got Isabella up arond 5:10am, and were out the door by 5:15am. We took Isabella in her pajamas since a big chunk of the service was outside. With it being only 30 degrees this morning, we wanted her to be as warm as possible. After the early service, we went back inside the church for a breakfast and then I changed Isabella into her dress. I had originally planned on her wearing a different dress, but it was just too cold, so I put her in this one with long sleeves. She still looked very cute. Isabella has become pretty attached to her blankets - mainly the fleece ones. She likes to carry them around and snuggle her face into them. Just before going to bed, Isabella thought it would be a good idea to pick up everything off the floor and bring it to me. She just about buried me in blankets, pillows, and books. As we were looking through Isabella's farm book, I asked her what a cow says. I have often asked her this question in the past only to get the same response, "cok, cok" (for quack, quack). According to her, this is the sound that every animal makes. So, imagine my surprise when I ask her tonight what a cow says and she answers me with "moo". I couldn't believe it. She said it a few more times, but then later on tonight it became "cok, cok" again. Oh well. . . baby steps, right?!!!

We have two Baby Signing Time dvds that Isabella really enjoys. She especially likes the theme song that goes. . . 'baby, baby, baby signing time!' If she's upset about something, I just start to sing this song and she calms down pretty quickly. Lately, she has been humming the beginning of this song or singing the beginning part . . . 'baby, baby'. When she wants to watch the video, she signs baby, hums the tune a little, and points to the TV. I love the way she tries to communicate with us.

I scrapped a few older photos this week. . .
NEW HOME WIVES GROUPWe hope that everyone had a blessed Easter!!!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Staying up late!

Our church has services every night leading up to Easter. The service doesn't start until 7pm. On a normal week, Bella is usually in bed around 7:30pm. Not this week! We don't even leave the church until 8pm and then it's about a twenty-five minute drive home. By the time we get in the door and get Bella ready for bed, it's about 9pm. She's such a trooper when it comes to us messing with her schedule - I hope we can get her back to 7:30pm next week.

Here she is showing off her tongue. Whenever we ask Bella where her tongue is, she sticks it out. So far, she knows her tongue, hair, eyes, belly-button, feet, and anyone else's nose - just not her own. We're getting there. She's really into the camera. It's tough to take her picture because she just wants to hold/play with the camera. Her big thing lately is doing a quick pose and then running to me so that she can see the picture. First bite of an apple. Daddy pealed an apple for Bella and she loved taking huge bites out of it. We still cut her food into small pieces, but she's beginning to want to eat things the way that we do. Yummy!!!