Happy Birthday!

Our darling Little Miss had her first birthday over the weekend!  She cried most of the day.  Whether her dad left or she had to take a nap or mom took the iPhone away from her, Miss Henley broke down in tears and–her latest achievement–flailing arms that just might slap you in the face.  Her theme song for the day went like this: “It’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to, cry if I waaaant to!”

All crying aside, we had the most perfect birthday!  As you can see, she loved taking pictures with the chalkboard and her balloon.

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She loves to throw her head back with a big “UGH” and then peek to make sure you’re smiling at her silliness.  She also throws her head back when you howl or when she’s having a tantrum.  The funny thing is that she’s always like her head held this way, in fact, she was like this in utero which is why she had to be born via surgery.

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She’s turned into quite the energetic, opinionated, smart, talkative, lovable, teasing, dramatic, little beauty.

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Most of her really dark brown hair fell out thanks to a horrible case of cradle cap and has been replaced by lighter brown hair with definite red undertones.  Her eyes are dark, not quite brown, blue, or green but a mix.  She has five teeth and loves when I brush them.  She’ll slurp green smoothies or apple sauce, eat chili, tacos, meat, or cheese, and drinks water.  Juice, milk, hot chocolate, or soda are promptly spit out–I’ve raised her well!  Oh and yes, she is still breastfeeding.  I’m surprised she still is since she is so independent in pretty much every way, but I’m okay with it.  We’re slowly weaning and working on a new sleeping schedule–apparently she is far too big to take two naps every day, but some days she’s okay with it.

Her favorite part about opening presents was looking all the colorful bags.  She loves to unload anything from anywhere and put it into another container and the bags were just waiting to be emptied.

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She got clothes, money, books, an activity table, farm animals, and bath toys and she was excited about all of them!

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We had a small party at our house with cupcakes and icecream for dessert.  My cupcake decorating leaves a little something to be desired.

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And here she is again with the arched neck.  She really does this all day, every day.

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Ooooh her candle!  Ty has been trying to get Henley to blow out matches in preparation for blowing out her birthday candle, but she’s been more interested in touching the flame than extinguishing it.  Grandma had to pull her hands away during “Happy Birthday.”

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She started out daintily picking at the frosting of her cake.

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Clapping for others as they ate.

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And ended up offering to share once she was covered in chocolate.

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Happy birthday, my little sweetie!bui

We had such a fun time at her party, but the aftermath was not good.  Henley really isn’t used to eating much sugar, I mean, I’ll give her cookies or icecream or sweets, but we don’t have them very often.  She ate about a third of her cupcake and threw up twice before bedtime.  Poor bug.  Next year may have to be an apple or carrot cake instead!

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Raking Leaves with a Toddle-Tot

It has been snowing, a very wet, slushy snow, at our house this week.  I spent most of Monday stacking a load of firewood my father-in-law has dropped off to my house, thankfully I got it all stacked before the snow started.  I can’t say the same about getting the leaves off my lawn.  Henley and I have been raking away at them for a few days now, one wheelbarrow-full at a time.  Tuesday morning when I woke up to a snow-covered yard my heart sank a tiny bit.  I still had so many leaves to rake!  We finally made it out again to our soggy yard this morning and it was COLD!
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As you can see, we bundled ourselves up pretty well from the cold, full-body fleece suit for Henley and a winter coat for me.  Henley’s suit covers her hands so that she can’t pick up dirt like usual.  The resourceful little tot figured out how to lay or crouch down to munch the mud hands-free.

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She also gave me my marching orders for the day.  As she got tired of raking and hauling leaves she started pointing to me then back towards the wheelbarrow with increasing speed.  I asked her if I needed to hurry and she said “oh yeah.”  I asked her if she wanted to rake for me and she said “no.”  She kept pointing to the wheelbarrow so I asked her if she wanted to put leaves in and she said “oh yeah.”  She helped me load the wheelbarrow one last time before we headed inside for a snack and a nap.

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It definitely takes longer to do yard work with a toddler around especially a bossy one!  But she adds a fun dimension of conversation and  play to the work.

Mommy’s Little Helper

Miss Henley carried both of her daddy’s church shoes from the kitchen and put them away in his closet. That’s the first time my little bundle of destructive energy has put anything away ever.  She did this completely of her own accord, all I said was to take the shoes to my room.  I was stunned when she actually followed me and proceeded to hoist the shoes into the closet!  Does it still count even though she promptly pulled the shoes back out of the closet?

Christmas Wish List

I’m so prepared this year, I’ve already bought Christmas presents for both Miss Henley and Mr. Rancher!  I know it’s only November, and believe me I think about Thanksgiving dinner pretty much every day, several times a day, but my mind is still on Christmas!  Here’s a rough break down of what everyone in my house wants this year:

Mr. Rancher: a gun, camo clothing, sleeping bag, swather, tractor, work jeans, and a lot of other really expensive pieces of equipment.

Me: furniture, movies, a greenhouse, and all the flies in my house dead.

Henley: her own personal toilet to play in, unlimited toilet paper rolls to unravel, tupperware to scatter throughout the house, an iPhone, and dirt to eat.

I haven’t bought Henley or Ty one single thing that is on their list of wants this year.

Sleep Training

Guess who slept through the night last night?!  I’ll give you a hint: it wasn’t me or Mr. Rancher.  That’s right, the first night that Henley has slept for more than a three-or-four-hour-stretch since Henley was four-months old and I didn’t even sleep well!  I still woke up at midnight.  And again at one.  And again at three.  Each time I sneaked over to her room to check on her, and what do ya know she’s asleep!

This night has been a looooooong time in coming.  I tried everything from feeding her all. day. long. in hopes of filling her up for a stretch of six or seven hours without food.  I tried rocking her everytime she woke up and telling her I’d feed her in the morning–we were both up for hours with this method.  I tried letting her cry it out–we were both up for hours with this method.  I tried giving her a bottle, hoping she would get mad and stop waking up–oh no, she loved the bottle.  Yesterday I was simply at my wits end as to what to do with this child.  I called my sister to report Henley actually taking the bottle and actually enjoying the bottle.  “What’s the point of giving her a bottle if she just drinks it?!!!  I may as well just nurse her and get her back to sleep!” My sister laughed.  Only because it’s not her baby.

All I have to say about sleep training is: it worked for on me.