a Savannah update – 17 months

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I realize it’s been a while since I wrote about all the cute things Savannah is doing these days. She is 17 months old now, and is getting to be so big! When I look at pictures from even a few months ago, I see such a difference. The biggest evidence of time is the length of her hair. It’s getting so long!

Smiles!

I usually leave it down because she is squirmy and doesn’t like me to put it up. Bows don’t stay in very long, so a single ponytail on the top of the head is usually what I do. Sometimes I do pigtails but not often anymore. It’s long enough to tuck behind her ears, and she has learned how to brush it out of her face which is really cute too.

This little girl LOVES music. Her favorite toys are the ones that make music when you press a button. Sometimes she likes to make them all go off at once. :-) She loves to dance and even attempts to sing with the music. She will dance during the singing at church, which I love!

Dancing with the puppy

She loves to scoot around the house and rearrange things. I couldn’t find her shoes at one point, and finally looked in a bag in her room. Ah! She put them in there. :-) She also loves containers, and she likes pushing things around. She doesn’t really get into things, but she has discovered the bottom shelf of our kitchen “pantry” – where the pots and pans are kept. We now have a new rule – wash the pots and pans before use. :-) (I don’t have anywhere else to move them, so it’s just easier this way. And she’s entertained.)

She says a few words, but not always consistently. She says “Mommy” and “Daddy” (sometimes it’s “Dada”). I think she understands that we are Mommy and Daddy, but then she’ll go and call other things that so not sure. She says “kitty” (but I don’t hear it very often anymore). Her recent thing is “hi!” and “bye” which are adorable. She loves “shoes” and sounds so cute saying it. She also knows “no” and “yes”, and definitely associates head shaking/nodding with the correct word. I think that’s it. She does talk a lot, but mostly babbling that I can’t understand. I was reading about low muscle tone (which she has) and I read that a lot of times kids with low muscle tone have delayed speech. I thought that was interesting. (She may be right on “schedule” – I honestly don’t know. I decided not to worry about her developmental behavior anymore!)

She LOVES to make animal noises. It started with me teaching her how to act like an elephant. I put my arm up to my nose and made a little noise, pretending I was an elephant. Well, she LOVES that. I will have to get a video! She also knows how to be a monkey and we think she’s a better monkey than any of us! She’ll make monkey noises at random, and it’s so cute. Recently she’s also been obsessed with dogs. She loves to bark (“arf! arf!”) and will bark anytime she sees a dog or a picture of a dog, even if we’re watching TV. My in-laws neighbors have a dog who was in the yard a few times, and after Savannah saw him once she barked every time we walked by their yard, whether the dog was there or not. I am trying to teach her how to meow, but unsuccessfully so far.

I keep saying I need to get a video of her being so cute, because I know these days will pass so quickly.


snow pictures

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It snowed a lot while we were in Massachusetts. One morning the day after a snow storm, my in-laws took Savannah to a nearby park and pulled her around on a sled. She apparently had a blast. My mother-in-law took these pictures:

Loving the cold!
Savannah *loves* the cold. Whenever a burst of cold air hits her face, she grins really big and waves her arms. Needless to say, she was a big fan of the snow!

What's this white stuff
As they pulled her, she figured out she could reach over and touch the snow. I wish I had the video they took… it was so cute!

On the sled
All bundled up!

Grandpa pulling the sled through Buttonwood Park
Grandpa pulling the sled

My in-laws had this fun Christmas singing dog that Savannah absolutely loved. We played it at least 5,000 times a day, and we finally resorted to hiding the thing because she continually demanded to hear it. :-) She loved to sing and dance with it!

This kid loves music and loves to dance. :-)


back from new england!

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I didn’t intend to take a blogging break. Oops!

After we moved to a house, I feel more uncomfortable posting about upcoming trips, especially long ones that take us away from home for a long period of time. The part that stinks is that I can’t talk about any upcoming excitement or preparation for the trip! Since it’s usually the biggest thing on my mind right before I leave, I tend to just not say anything at all… And of course it felt weird to blog while we up at my in-laws without mentioning that I was in New England. Hence, the blogging break.

So we left last Friday (Jan 21st) for New England. I talked last November about our growing concerns about flying. I’ve been disenchanted with flying for a while now… I feel that airlines are nickle-and-diming you to death, people are herded around like cattle, no one is treated with respect, everyone is treated like a terrorist. Maybe it’s necessary, but we’re just getting tired of it. We always knew at one point we wouldn’t be able to fly anymore, as we started adding in the cost of tickets for our kids. Also, flying means renting a car which is expensive as well. So we knew that we were going to have to learn to make the drive – at around 18 hours it really isn’t as bad as it could be.

My brother-in-law Tim joined us for the trip since he has the whole month of January off work. He not only was an extra driver, but also someone in the backseat to entertain Savannah. I think she gets bored back there by herself! It was so helpful to have him along.

We had a lovely week up in New England, visiting friends and family. We got to see snow. A lot of snow. I am completely snowed-out, and don’t care to see any more until next winter. The idea of going up in January was to celebrate a late Christmas, but to be honest I’d rather go up at a time when we can explore the area where my in-laws live instead of hiding out in the warm house. So we’ll have to adjust our time of year to visit them.

Savannah’s grandparents just absolutely love her, and we were sent out on date nights (whether we liked it or not! hehe) so they could get a chance to babysit. It was nice! I enjoyed being with Paul, and I enjoyed the break from Savannah. Win-win situation for everyone.

We drove back last night. Here are the stats:
12 states (Georgia – South Carolina – North Carolina – Virginia – West Virginia – Maryland – Pennsylvania – New Jersey – New York – Connecticut – Rhode Island – Massachusetts)
9 interstates/highways
18.5 hours there, 17.5 hours back

On the way there, we switched drivers more often… on the way back, we each took one 6 hour shift. We left around noon/1pm both times and got in the wee hours of the morning. Savannah did great! Whoever was in the backseat played with her, and she slept most of the night. There weren’t many places where we could let her get out and stretch, but we tried the best we could. We had lots of noise-making toys which she loves. We listened to an audio book to help pass the time. On the way up was The Kite-Runner, which I may write a separate blog post about. On the way back was a Mary Higgins Clark mystery which was light but a little too short. Audio books are great to help pass the time though. And it was fun to discuss the book – I think we talked about The Kite-Runner all week. :-)

I hope to get back to more regular blogging now that we’re back. :-)


ice storm, day 4

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snowdays2

I saw this picture today and it cracked me up. Sooo true!! Day 4 is coming to a close. Metro Atlanta public schools are still closed, until Tuesday (Monday is a holiday) – though I think a lot of private schools are going back tomorrow. Tomorrow the temperatures are supposed to be in the low 40’s, and hopefully the ice will melt!!

Meanwhile, I still have not left the house since Sunday. I walked down our driveway today to get the mail (yay! mail finally resumed today!) and had difficulty finding footing that wasn’t icy. It’s very scary to be slipping when you are holding a baby! I called Paul when he was on his way home and told him that I wanted him to drive me somewhere – anywhere – just to get out of the house. Because the buses are still not running, he’s been taking the car to the station every day. (Driving very slowly. He said the roads are much better, but bridges are still pretty scary.) When he got to the car after work, he noticed that the air in one of the tires was very low. We just filled up this tire a week or two ago, so he stopped at the mechanic on the way home to ask them. Turns out, our front two tires need replacing – the treads are almost gone; the mechanic suspects it’s due to the alignment. So, of course that makes going anywhere while the roads are still fairly bad with questionable tires not a good idea.

So it looks like tomorrow is going to be another homebound day, though if the ice melts enough then I might be able to walk to a store. I am going crazy at home!! And I haven’t seen anyone besides Paul and Savannah since church on Sunday!


ice storm, day 3

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The snow hit late Sunday night. It came fast, big fluffy flakes. The next day I measured and it was as deep as almost 5″ in some places in our yard!

Monday, Day 1
Paul drove into work in the morning. He said it wasn’t too bad – he was the only one on the road. I stayed indoors. It had stopped snowing, so I bundled Savannah up and took her outside. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find her hat (I later found it in the car, which Paul had taken to work) so I didn’t want to spend too much time in the cold. It started sleeting, and we headed indoors. I spent my day playing with Savannah and watching JAG. As the temperatures dropped, the sleet covered everything in ice. Paul was going to take the train home, but the buses weren’t running so he would have had to walk home from the station (about 1.5 miles). He ended up driving, which he said was slow and tedious. He saw a truck jackknife in front of him! Scary! We were cozy at home in the evening, looking forward to Castle night. We were very upset that our local station pre-empted it to show weather updates instead!

Tuesday, Day 2
Schools and businesses remained closed the second day. Savannah’s physical therapist called to say the PT office was closed and we would have to reschedule the appointment. Paul walked to the train station in the morning to get to work – it took him about 45 minutes. I started to get a bit of cabin-fever. I took another walk with Savannah – this time, more around out neighborhood. I noticed the ice and snow were starting to melt. Some of the neighbors with shovels are trying to break up the ice in the road to help with the cars. Our roads were pretty bad, especially this one that runs in front of our house that has a small hill. All day I watched cars spin out as they try to get up. None ended up in the ditch, but it seemed a bit scary to me. I called Paul to see if he could pick up some dinner on the way home – we’re running low on food, as I am used to shopping every day and I definitely didn’t expect to be snowbound so long. However, despite repeated reminders, Paul forgot. :-( He passes 4 fast food restaurants on his walk home, and all were closed. Bummer! At this point, I was starting to go crazy being stuck at home with only Savannah to keep me company. Also, I got a bad headache. When Paul got home around 7, I begged him to take Savannah while I laid down. He brought me some dinner which helped, and after putting Savannah down for bed I was able to walk around and function like a normal person.

Wednesday, Day 3
Today is the third day of being homebound, with schools and many businesses still closed. People are getting restless and cranky! I am so thankful that we haven’t lost power at all. I am also thankful that as long as we have power and water, I will not be running out of diapers. I’ve seen some Facebook updates of people running out of diapers and formula! I really want to get to a store, though! A lot of snow melted yesterday, but all the water froze overnight and everything remains icy. I went for a walk with Savannah and the sidewalks were so icy that I turned around and came home again. I was going to try and walk to a store, but I don’t think I’ll be able to make it (at least with Savannah). I don’t really *need* it yet, so it’s okay. They’re saying it should warm up tomorrow, with Friday being in the low 40’s and hopefully will melt all the ice! Stores should be able to restock on Saturday or so, and I am anxious to get past this and on with our lives!

Now, before you make fun of southerners, please keep the following in mind:
1) Ice is dangerous. This isn’t a snow storm that we’re all freaking out about.
2) I read today that Atlanta has 58 vehicles working to clear roads. From watching the news, I take it that a lot of those are construction vehicles that aren’t typically used for snow/ice removal. I’ve been told Atlanta has only like 4 salt/sand trucks. To compare: New York City has 1700 snow plows and 365 salt trucks. Now, NYC is much bigger but Atlanta’s no small town.
3) It snows only once or maybe twice a year. Since the city shuts down, we don’t usually have to worry about going anywhere. We don’t know how to drive on icy roads.
4) Most of us don’t have snow tires, chains, snow boots, or other gear like that. There really isn’t even a need for snow shovels, though quite a few of our neighbors have them.

Some pictures:
The street in front of our house
The street by our house is all ice

Ice over the snow
Ice over the snow

Icicles hanging from our roof!
Icicles!

And this is a fun video of a street that runs through downtown Atlanta. It was solid ice, and people were taking advantage!

Peachtree St. Ice Rink in Midtown from A.Nendel on Vimeo.