Wednesday, June 29, 2011

35 weeks

Here is what is going on with Noah this week according to;

Your baby's getting closer and closer to full-fledged walking. She can probably crawl up stairs and cruise, moving around upright while holding onto furniture. A baby this age may even take a couple of steps. (A few actually do walk now — and some don't walk until well into their second year. There's a wide range of ages at which children meet this milestone.)  Your baby's also learning how to bend her knees and how to sit after standing, which is harder to master than you might think! She might get "stuck" standing up in her crib. If this happens, gently show her how she can get back down.  There are ways to help your baby with her walking efforts. Stand or kneel in front of her, and help her walk toward you by holding both of her hands. Eventually just hold your hands out to her in encouragement. Some babies enjoy pushing a toddle truck, which provides both support and mobility. Look for one with a wide, stable base.

Babyproofing your home is a necessity now. One good place to start is to put latches on the doors of off-limits cabinets — babies inevitably make a beeline for such things. (You could also move all cleaning supplies or potential poison hazards to higher cabinets.) Also, your baby's crib mattress should be at the lowest mattress setting.

Once your baby starts standing and cruising, you may wonder if shoes are necessary. Until your baby is walking around outdoors regularly, most pediatricians and developmental experts don't think so. It's normal for your baby to walk a little bowlegged or with her feet turned out, and her feet may look flat. Going barefoot can help strengthen your baby's arches and leg muscles, and feeling the textures of what she's walking on can help her balance.

So far every age and stage feels like the most fun age.  Noah is so much fun!  He is such a sweet baby, and filled with personality.  He's usually shy for the first few minutes around strangers or a large group of people, but will then warm up and be silly eventually.  Although I do think there's a certain side of him that only comes out when he's alone at home with Jeremy and I in his comfort zone.

A few times recently Noah has let go of the furniture that he's holding onto and been able to stand for a second or two before plopping to the floor.  He hasn't taken a step yet when he's not holding onto furniture, but he gets around our living room just fine by holding onto the coffee table or couch while he "walks" around.

Noah LOVES other kids.  Whenever he sees other kids in stores he stares at them the whole time.  I had two weeks off from watching Luke and Noah was quite thrilled to have Luke back again this week to play with.

This week was the first time that Noah cried and seemed to know that I was gone when I left him with Jeremy's mom.  She told me that he only cried for a minute, but that he was just a little somber the whole time I was gone, and wasn't very interested in eating his lunch.  That is sweet, but I think that I may make more of an effort to leave Noah with others at least once a week so that he doesn't get too dependent on me, and that he learns reassurance that when I leave I'm coming back.

This week we added watermelon, cooked broccoli, and cooked apples to his diet.  Noah continues to nurse 5 times a day, and eat 3 solid meals consisting of combinations of ground up tofu, egg yolks, brown rice cereal, fruits, yogurt, and vegetables.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

For years I've heard of variations of maple inspired salad dressings, and after having eaten the same one for the last month straight I was ready to come up with something new.  I served the dressing over a salad of spinach, smoked gouda, peanuts and dried cranberries, but I think blue cheese, pecans, dried cherries, and fresh apple or pear would pair very nicely with the dressing.  I loved the smoky creaminess of the gouda, against the tart chewiness of the cranberries, with the salty crunch of the peanuts, and they all went very well with the maple and mustard flavors.

-1/2 c maple syrup
-1/2 c balsamic vinegar
-1/2 c olive oil
-1 Tbsp dijon mustard
-1 Tbsp lemon juice
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp dried basil
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1 clove garlic, minced

Whisk together all ingredients, chill until serving.  Will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.

Friday, June 24, 2011

an act of worship

At community group this week we had a discussion on using our bodies as instruments of righteousness (Romans 6:12-14).  This led us to a discussion on making things that we do an act of worship.  An example that was given, was of one of our friends who runs, and who is constantly praying in gratitude along the way, making it all an act of worship. 

This has all led me to realize just how compartmentalized my life is... I have my gym/ exercise time, I have my "me" time, God time, family time, cleaning time, cooking time, crafting time, hanging out with friends time and so on.  I've been pondering what it looks like to use all of this time for God's glory, to make all of these activities an act of worship to Him.

To realize that I exercise and eat healthy because my body is God's temple, to be used for His purpose.  That I create, because I was made in the image of the ultimate Creator, and through creating I am displaying His character and glory.  To seize hold of the fact that all of "my" time is God's time, to be used for His purpose and to really surrender my day to Him, and be in constant communion with Him, aware of what He is doing in, through, and around me... because He is always doing something, but only a portion of the time do I slow down long enough to be aware of His presence and work.

So here's to doing all to the glory of God, and worshipping Him through even the seemingly mundane, or nonspiritual

How do you make your day to day activities an act of worship?.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

34 weeks

Here is what is going on with Noah this week according to;

Your baby's vision — previously about 20/40 at best — is now almost adult-like in its clarity and depth perception. Though your baby's short-range sight is still best, his long-range vision is good enough to recognize people and objects across a room. He may see a toy on the other side of the room and try to crawl toward it. His eyes are also probably close to their final color, though you may see subtle changes later.

Your baby may start looking for dropped objects and may use his index finger to point at them. He can easily use his fingers to rake up a piece of food and hold it with his fist closed, and he's learned to open his hand to drop and throw objects with greater precision. He's probably beginning to master the pincer grasp, too — the delicate maneuver that lets him pick up small objects with his thumb and first finger.  Your baby's also a fan of poking things and getting his little fingers into holes, making this a great time to cover outlets around the house.

There'll be times when your baby is afraid of things he can't understand. Even things that didn't bother him before, like a ringing doorbell or a whistling teakettle, may frighten him. When this happens, the most important thing you can do as a parent is comfort and reassure him. Tell him that you're there and he's fine — a hug or a snuggle may be all he needs.

Noah is so much fun!!!!  He's continued to pick up speed crawling, and now he follows me around from one room of the house to another.  He continues to use any stable object he can reach in order to pull himself up to standing.  Every now and then he'll let go and stand for a second or two before plopping down.
He is quite curious, and since he's mobile he can get into anything so we've started working on setting some boundaries.  We were worried that "no" might be hard for him to understand since it's so close to Noah, so we say "no no" when we want him to stop doing something.  Overall he is a very obedient kid (so far) and almost always when I say "no no" he will stop what he is doing, even if I am across the room.  His biggest temptations are shoes, cords, and the trashcan.
Within the past few days he has murmured a few "dadas, dads, or dadadas".  His most used "word" is still mama and he repeats it over and over most of the day.
This week we introduced watermelon and broccoli, both of which he is enjoying.  He also had a fruit puree with apples, blueberries, strawberries, banana and some other fruits.  He loved the puree, but it didn't seem to do so well on his stomach, so I think I'll stick to introducing foods one at a time for now, and maybe wait a little longer on the fibrous berries.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Here's Jeremy's Father's Day gift from Noah.  We took a white coffee mug that we already had and used porcelain paint to stamp Noah's hand and foot prints around the mug.  Once sealed and dried this mug is dishwasher safe and will be fun to use for years to come.

Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

33 weeks

Here is what is going on with Noah this week according to;

Your baby's now exploring objects by shaking them, banging them, dropping them, and throwing them before falling back on the tried-and-true method of gumming them. The idea that you do something to an object is beginning to emerge (using a comb to tidy her hair), so an activity center with lots of things your baby can bang, poke, twist, squeeze, shake, drop, and open will fascinate her.
  Your baby will also be fascinated with toys that have specific functions, such as phones. If she can't hold it up to her ear herself, do it for her and pretend to have a conversation. Over the next few months, she'll start to use objects for their intended purposes — brushing her hair, drinking from a cup, and babbling on her play phone.

Watch for her to start pointing or looking at the correct picture when you name an object — especially if it's something familiar (such as eyes, nose, or mouth) or beloved (like a dog or a rubber ducky).

Also, at this stage, your baby likes to see things fall down, get picked up (by you, of course), and then get thrown down again. She's not trying to drive you mad. She just finds the spectacle interesting and naturally wants to see it again and again.

Noah is very mobile and gets around well on his own.  He loves to wave his hand and say some version of mom, mama, or mamama over and over again.  I can sometimes get him to give me a high five also.  He also loves batting and slapping at objects.  He loves it when we stack boxes into a tower for him and let him knock them down.  In all he is still a very smiley and happy baby, but he has been a little irritable over the last week due to his lower two teeth cutting through his gums.

This week I introduced him to green beans and they seem to be going well.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Quick "homemade" frozen yogurt

I hardly think that this qualifies as a recipe, but it's a trick that my mom taught me for when I'm craving some Pinkberry.  Just combine some plain yogurt and frozen fruit (and sugar if desired) in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.  I'd say to use about a 2:1 ratio of frozen fruit to yogurt so that you end up with a thick consistency and not a smoothie.  This was mango and it was delicious.  I even gave Noah a few bites and he absolutely LOVED it.  It's a great quick, easy, healthy, refreshing summer dessert that is much cheaper than going out for yogurt.  Of course, Pinkberry is as much about the toppings as it is the yogurt, so top with your favorite fresh fruit, nuts, granola, shredded coconut etc.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Indian Rice Pudding

Indian Rice Pudding

I made this to compliment an Indian feast that we were having with friends, but you could change it to arborio rice and sub out the coconut milk with extra milk to turn this into a regular rice pudding.

-1 cup cooked basmati rice

-1 cup skim milk
-1/2 cup fat-free half and half
-3/4 cup coconut milk
-1/4 cup sugar
-1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a large nonstick pan over medium heat, combine the cooked rice and milk. Heat until the mixture begins to boil. Decrease the heat to low and cook at a simmer until the mixture begins to thicken, stirring frequently, approximately 5 minutes.  Increase the heat to medium, add the fat-free half and half, coconut milk, sugar, and cinnamon and continue to cook until the mixture just begins to thicken again, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Once the mixture just begins to thicken, remove from the heat.  Transfer the mixture to individual serving dishes or a bowl. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I tend to go through various seasons in my relationship with the Lord, as I'm sure everyone does.  I flip flop back and forth between times of deep intimacy with Him, and times in which I don't seem to hear His voice or feel His presence.  It's not that He leaves me, because I know that He is always here, but I go through periods of being so focused on myself that I am closed off to what He is trying to do in and through me.  I go through periods where I feel like a "dead man walking" and just go through the motions, where Jesus just doesn't seem real to me.  I struggle with having lots of head knowledge, but letting my heart get cold and hardened, with walls built up drowning out the promptings of the Spirit. 

I'm now coming out of a 1-2 month spell of one of those seasons in which I felt distant from Him.  Jesus is right now so real to me.  He is continuing to speak to me, show me where and how He has been trying to get my attention for the last month.  His word is coming alive.  I'm desiring to spend time with Him, making it at the top of my list each day rather than an after thought that continues to get postponed until the rest of my to do list has been accomplished.

He is my Healer (Exodus 15:26).  My Redeemer (Isaiah 44:6).  My Comforter (1 Corinthians 1:3-7).  He is showing me how I had allowed bitterness, judgement, self-righteousness and pride to creep into my heart and consume me.  How those ugly characteristics had been effecting every relationship that I have; my relationship with Him, my relationships with family, and my relationships with friends.  He is in the process of refining me, cleansing me, and making me more like Him.

Today I'm just grateful.  I'm grateful for His faithfulness despite my fickleness.  I'm grateful for His forgiveness, restoration, healing, mercy, and grace.  I'm in awe of Him, of His power, His goodness, His love.  I'm in awe that He would choose to use someone like me to accomplish His purpose.

I pray constantly that Noah will grow up knowing Jesus in a real, deep, intimate way.  That Jesus won't just be someone we read about, that it won't be about religion, but that Noah would have a relationship with Him.  That Noah would see that my and Jeremy's relationship with the Lord is real, and not just rules, not just words we say, but that he will see it penetrate every aspect of our lives, home, and family.

As Peter Lord said "We do what we believe, the rest is just a bunch of religious talk". 

Lord, strengthen me to be a person of action, and not mere religious talk.  I pray that you'd always be real to me, and that Noah would know you intimately and walk with you.  I love you Jesus!!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wire Jewelry

I've got a new hobby... making wire jewelry.  The birds nests are pendants for necklaces that will hang from a chain, and then I made a matching ring for each necklace.  Each of these rings and pendants takes about 5-10 minutes to make.  That's the kind of instant gratification crafting that I love!

32 weeks

Here is what is going on with Noah this week according to;

Your baby may be creeping (pushing himself around on his belly), crawling, or moving about by bottom shuffling — scooting around on his posterior using a hand behind him and a foot in front of him to propel himself.  Creeping is your baby's first method of getting around efficiently on his own. Usually, he'll first learn to pull himself with his hands and then get up on his hands and knees. Then he'll figure out how to move forward and backward by pushing off with his knees. (A "combat crawl" is a variation in which one leg is the pusher and the opposite arm the lead puller.)  All of these variations on crawling strengthen the muscles that will soon enable him to walk. Whichever mode of mobility your baby's using, it's fascinating to see how he solves the problem of getting around.

Your baby may be able to pull himself up to a standing position while holding on to furniture. In fact, if you stand your baby next to the sofa, he may be able to hold himself up, although he may be hanging on for dear life.  At this stage some parents put their children in baby walkers, but that's not a good idea. Walkers are unsafe: Your baby can use a walker as a stepladder to reach things he couldn't normally get to, such as a hot stove or bottle of bleach. What's more, they discourage floor play, which helps him learn to walk by giving him opportunities to crawl, pull up, and cruise while holding on to furniture — all activities that lead to walking.

Your baby's newfound mobility means that he's now entering the land of bumps and falls. These are an inevitable part of childhood, and although your heart may occasionally skip a beat or two, try to enjoy watching your baby explore his surroundings and discover his limits.  Restraining your innate desire to protect your baby allows him to grow and learn for himself. However, do make every effort to make your home baby-safe. A good way to do this is to get down to his level to find the possible danger zones. Secure fragile objects so they won't topple, for example, and keep rickety furniture in rooms that don't get much baby traffic.

Now's a good time to move drapery and blind cords out of reach, pad sharp coffee-table corners, install toilet-seat locks, relocate hazardous houseplants to higher ground, lock away poisonous cleaning supplies and medications, cover electric outlets, and secure safety gates at the top and bottom of each staircase.

Noah is such a fun kid!  He's so laid back and easy going, and usually in a good mood unless it's time for a nap.  After a few weeks of his sleep being off (getting up in the middle of the night, and fighting nap times) he now seems to be back to how he was before... sleeping from 8 pm until between 6 and 8 am and going down much more easily for naps twice a day.  His tooth continues to pop out more and more every few days, and now he's showing all the teething signs of constantly sticking his tongue out and rubbing his gums with it, and drooling a lot.  His hair is quicly getting longer and more full, it is fairly thin like mine and is starting to wave and curl with all of the New Orleans humidity.
He has now gone from 2 to 3 solid meals a day, and has gone down from 6 to 5 nursings.  He eats really well and rarely seems to turn down food that I give him (unless he's tired or cranky).  Ever since he started eating solid food he has been plumping up pretty aggressively each week.  Now he's in 9 month clothes.  This week we introduced white potatoes and summer squash which both went over well. 
He is also getting more and more mobile.  His crawling speed is increasing, and he is gaining distance as well.  Now if I leave him alone in a room he will usually crawl on his own and follow me into the next room.  He also continues to find any stable surface he can get his hands on to help him stand up.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Spontaneous Entertaining

Spontaneous entertaining.  Two words, that in previous years did not link together in my vocabulary.  Probably because I'm a recovering perfectionist.  And a planner.  So entertaining to me has always been something that I planned 1-2 weeks in advance.  Selected guests to invite, a menu, cleaned our house, and made sure our home and us were all "presentable".  I was so focused on putting my best foot forward, from food, to my home, to my appearance and as a result thought entertaining was only something that was done with lots of planning and preparations.  As a result of Christ continuing to work inside me, making me more like Him, by His grace, I am starting to see (and enjoy) entertaining under different circumstances... done spontaneously.  Today as I was starting to prepare dinner I realized that we had more than enough food for a couple of extra people (as we most often do).  So I mentioned to Jeremy that it would be fun to have someone over for dinner.  Within minutes he had called and invited one of our friends over for dinner, and within an hour that friend arrived at our house.  Our home wasn't cleaned, or even straightened up, we were still in our sweats and unshowered after a lazy Sunday, and the menu wasn't "special", but it was meaningful.  We enjoyed a good meal, good conversation, and good fellowship with our friend.

This is something that I want to get a lot more intentional and regular with.  These days we are all so busy.  Our calendars are all so full.  Sometimes it seems like a burden to fit one more activity/ commitment into our schedule.  But we eat dinner at our table together every night.  We almost always have extra food, and we'd love the opportunity to bless others with a home cooked meal, and with meaningful conversation.

This all goes along with our high value of community.  Of trying to build relationships with friends, neighbors, and co-workers that are like family.  Relationships in which we can be ourselves, let people see the good and the ugly within us.  Relationships in which people meet our needs, and we meet the needs of others.  Relationships that sharpen us, strengthen us, and encourage us.  Relationships in which we experience the character of Christ... where we serve and are served, where we forgive and are forgiven, where we are shown and show unmerited grace, and unconditional love.  This is what we have spent a year and a half building with our community group, with brothers and sisters with whom we "do life".  And after a year and a half we are just chipping the tip of the iceberg in terms of getting real with each other, being vulnerable about our faults and weaknesses, and being willing to say the hard things that are ultimately for the good of each other.  I think that spontaneous entertaining is just one more step to being in each others lives on a daily basis, and not just on a compartmentalized Sunday at church, and Wednesday at community group kind of a way.

Lord, thank you for community, for the Church, for your body.  Thank you for creating us for relationship, with each other, and with you God. 

our new home

We've lived in our new place for a little over a month now, and I decided that if I keep waiting for our home to be spotless to take the pictures (that friends and family have been asking for) and post them then it's never going to happen. So you have been pre-warned, there will be some clutter/ mess in these pictures... don't judge.  Plus, I'm at a phase in life where I'm for the first time starting to be comfortable with my mess/ clutter... that I don't have everything together, neat and organized... that I don't need to appear perfect... and that I'm comfortable with people seeing me and my home the way we truly are.

First let's discuss the layout... our home is a typical New Orleans shotgun 1/2 double.  Shotgun meaning each room connects directly to the next (as in the wikipedia picture below) and that there are no hallways.  Double in that our house is two rooms wide, consisting of two mirror imaged shotgun floor plans.  1/2 in that we live in 1/2 the house, and another couple lives in the other.  We each have our own separate front entrances, and there aren't any doors that connect/ cut through between our side of the home and theirs.

This shotgun is unlike the other two that we've lived in here in New Orleans in that we have a front door, but we also have a side door that enters into the middle room of the house.  In all of our other homes all of our guests have had to walk through our bedroom to get to either the kitchen or the bathroom, but in this home we made the side door the entrance that our friends use, and the front two rooms Noah's bedroom and our bedroom, so that now our guests only walk through the living room, kitchen, and bathroom.  I REALLY like this layout, although always having guests walking through our bedroom has been a good motivator for me to keep our bedroom clean in recent years.

So without further delay, here are the pictures...

 the front of our double, we are the 1/2 on the right

the side of the house/ the door we use as our main entrance

(view from just inside the front door) Noah's room is the first room if you in the front door (that we don't use).  His room is the largest in the house and the only room with a ceiling fan.  We could easily fit another crib and baby in this room if/ when that time comes.  This would have been a spacious bedroom for us, or a living room, but I really wanted Noah's room at one end of the house, so that we weren't always tromping through it to get to the kitchen or bathroom and interupting naps.
Our couch is a 3 piece massive u-shaped sectional that has plagued us in every home we've had in New Orleans, because the living rooms just aren't large enough to set the couch up properly.  In this case our chaise ended up in Noah's room, but I really like having a nice comfy seat for me while Noah has this massive floor to play around on.
Next up your have our bedroom, which Noah's door attaches directly to.  (on the other side of the door with the hanging coats is Noah's room).  Our bedroom is still a good sized room, and probably the largest bedroom we've had shared together.
Our bedroom contains the only clothing closet in the house (there's also a linen closet in the bathroom).  This is the worst part of living in old houses, they don't have any storage space.  This is by far the smallest closet that Jeremy and I have had since we've been married, and we have to share it.  That said, we made it work, we crammed every inch of it full and got rid of what we could.  We are really fortunate to have as many clothes as we do, and a shelter to keep them in, so I really don't feel justified in complaining that we don't have enough room to store our clothes. 
this is the one room we haven't hung a single picture in yet, but we have several propped up against a corner in our living room just waiting to be utilized
Our bedroom directly connects to our living room, which happens to be the smallest room in the house (aside from the bathroom).
Where's Waldo?... er... Noah?
Our kitchen is the next room.  In most New Orleans houses the kitchens and bathrooms are the back rooms because these rooms (and the plumbing) were added on years after the original construction.  We went down a room in this house from our last one, and no longer have an actual dining room, so we make due with our eat in kitchen.  We also no longer have a laundry room/ closet, so the kitchen also serves as our laundry room... it's multi-functional.  Good thing it's so big to start with.  This kitchen is way more nice and modern than our last one, I am really grateful to have more updated appliances again.  We also have a small privacy fenced back yard that this door opens up to, but it is way too hot outside today for me to venture outside for a picture of the yard.
(Ignore the two different curtains hanging on the window... we are still debating on whether we like the red or caramel better).  since our cabinet space is very limited the armoire in the back left corner of this picture serves as our pantry.
The bathroom is also a good bit larger, and more modern than our last one.  It's nice to actually have a newish tub this time, that doesn't have 50 plus years of other people's caked on stains and grime.
I don't love this blue color, but I'm not much into decorating or painting so it will stay as is.

So there you have it.  This is the fifth place that we've lived in together in the four years that we've been married.  I'm really hoping that we'll be in this one for at least a few years and put an end to the move every year trend.  Although, I do think each move gets easier and easier as we get rid of more and more extra junk.  This place already feels like home.  It feels cozy.  We love the house, we love the neighborhood and neighbors.  We'd really like to be here for a few years and have the chance to really build on the relationships that we've already started making with all of our neighbors.  This really feels like a neighborhood, all of the neighbors know each other.  Most of them sit on the front steps in the afternoon/ evening and talk to each other and those who wander by.  Every time we spend the evening sitting outside we find someone to engage in conversation with.  We are within walking distance of a beautiful park, and of fun local restaurants and grocery markets.

This house is our home.  I wonder what our years here will hold... new milestones for Noah, lots of laughter and love, relationships being built with our neighbors, and more I'm sure.

Lord, help us to remember that our home is yours, let it be dedicated to you and your work.  May we give and receive ministry here.  May lives be healed, changed, transformed, and surrendered here.  May all who enter our doors encounter you, and your perfect, sacrifical, unconditional love. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

homemade envelopes

I have been making my own homemade cards for years, but have always bought little packs of colored envelopes  to place them in.  A month or two ago our neighbor taught me how to make my own envelopes, and it couldn't be more simple.  All you have to do is find an existing envelope the size that you want your envelopes to be, take it apart, trace it onto your desired paper, cut out, fold at the seams, and secure (with double sided tape or glue).  These are really easy and can be made from things ranging from sheet music, old maps, books pages, to colored scrapbooking papers, or even junk mail.  The possibilities are endless! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chai Gingerbread Bars

I made these Chai Gingerbread Bars yesterday and they have quickly become one of my top 10 things that I've ever baked.  I love the flavor, texture, and fact that they were made with 100% whole wheat flour.  I did make the few changes below;

-I did not have fresh ginger on hand so I omitted it
-I doubled the Chai leaves
-I did not have allspice so I omitted it
-I added an extra tsp of ginger, and extra 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp each of cloves and nutmeg

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

31 weeks

Here is what is going on with Noah this week according to;

By now your baby's emotions are becoming more obvious. She may throw a kiss to familiar people, and even repeat it if you clap in appreciation.  Over the next few months, your baby may learn to assess and imitate moods and might show the first stirrings of empathy. For instance, if she hears someone crying, she may start crying, too. And even though your baby's just beginning to learn about her emotions, she's picking things up from you. Over the many months (and years) to come, your baby will likely copy the way she sees you treat people.

If your baby sleeps in a separate room and gets anxious about nighttime separations, spend some extra cuddle time reading, snuggling, and playing mellow music with her before you put her to bed. Having a regular bedtime routine she can count on will give her the security she needs to make falling asleep easier.  Your baby will appreciate the consistency and predictability of a set pattern every night, and even better, she'll be more relaxed and more likely to go to bed easily. Just make sure you choose something that helps calm your baby instead of riling her up.  While you can certainly start your ritual in the bathroom or the living room, it should end in your baby's bedroom or wherever she sleeps. It's important to teach your baby that her sleeping area is a nice place to be, not just where she's "banished" at bedtime.  If your baby gets upset as she sees you walk out the door after you tuck her in, tell her you'll be back to check on her in a few minutes. In all likelihood, she'll be fast asleep by the time you return.  Even when you're away from home, stick to your routine as much as possible. It can make it easier for your baby to settle down in an unfamiliar environment.

Not too many changes this week.  Noah continues to get a little better at crawling each week, but he continues to be way more interested in using objects to pull himself up to standing than actually crawling.  This week he has started to wave and give high fives, but he doesn't understand what either of them mean, he's just copying what we do.  He tried and liked peaches this week also.