Thursday, November 21, 2013

Funny Story

Heidi has become very intrigued in her surroundings, and is exploring boundaries. A current interest is the dogs food and water bowl. I've told her "no" before, using a stern voice, while showing her the sign for "no" but she continues to gravitate toward the bowl when she is on the floor. She has even moved obstacles aside in order to reach the bowl.

The other day, I decided enough was enough. It was time to put all my work skills to work. I let her crawl over to the bowl, and as she went to touch it, I told her "no" and pulled her a few feet away. She crawled forward to try and touch it again, and I repeated "no" and pulled her away. We repeated this over, and over, and over.... 21 times to be exact. On the 22nd time, instead of crawling over to the bowl, she crawled over to me and started to cry. She formed some new neuron connections, and started to learn!

I didn't think she would fully understand and remember after just this experience, so the following day we repeated the activity. This time, it only took her 15 tries before becoming distracted with another toy.

Fast forward to today, and as she started to crawl over to the bowl, I told her "no" and she turned, looked at me, and stopped moving. She thought for a minute, and then crawled past in order to reach a dog toy. Not that I want her putting the dog toys in her mouth, but that is better than the dog food!


and now for many more teachable moments.

And a totally unrelated picture... a walk in a park the other day resulted in this picture. It's a Texas sized leaf, transplanted to NY!!! Picture taken by Grandma, with her new camera


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

My all-time favorite cookie. A few adjustments from the recipe on the back of the Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip bag. Salt is unnecessary, substitute shortening for butter or margarine. Decreased cooking time is most important! And always save some dough to eat uncooked.

Chocolate Chip Cookies                                                                

2 ¼ c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 c shortening
¾ c granulated sugar
¾ c packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1.     Heat oven to 375 degrees F
2.     In mixer bowl, beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla until creamy.
3.     Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4.     Gradually beat in flour and baking soda.
5.     Stir in chocolate chips
6.     Drop by rounded tablespoons on ungreased baking sheets

7.     Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Chocolate Cake Recipe

One of my favorite family recipes, for chocolate cake, chocolate butter frosting. Yum.

Chocolate Cake                                                                  

3 squares (3 oz) unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 c flour
2 c granulated sugar
½ c shortening
1.5 tsp baking soda
¾ c milk
¾ tsp baking powder
½ c milk
3 eggs unbeaten
1 tsp vanilla

1.     Heat oven to 350 degrees F
2.     Grease 2, 9 inch pans
3.     Melt chocolate, and then add chocolate, flour, sugar, shortening, baking soda, and milk into mixing bowl. Beat for 2 minutes.
4.     Stir in baking powder, add in ½ c milk, eggs, vanilla. Beat 2 minutes.
5.     Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Chocolate Butter Frosting                                                     

¼ c butter
3 c confectioners’ sugar
5 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 squares (3 oz) unsweetened chocolate, melted

1.     Beat together butter, confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla.

2.     Stir in melted chocolate

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Heidi 7 months

Heidi "report" at 7 months of age.

Heidi, at 7 months, has 6 teeth (2 on top, 4 on bottom). She will wave "hi" when prompted, and is imitating grunting sounds. She will make consonant-vowel combinations such as "bu, ma" and is starting to make raspberry sounds. Heidi is using different intonation in her babbling. She does lots of laughing and giggling. When I ask for a kiss, she opens her mouth and leans forward. If I ask her "you want up?"she lifts her arms into the air. She looks around when I ask her "where are the doggies?" We have started to show her sign language, and she is intrigued and watches our hands. Heidi recognizes the sounds associated with Skype. She turns and is able to locate the direction of sounds.

Heidi imitates banging her hands on a toy, or on her highchair tray. Heidi takes toys out of containers. She learned how to purposely drop an object, and will look to the floor afterwards. When given a choice, such as two books, she will reach for the one she wants. Heidi has preferences for some toys over others, and smiles in recognition of certain toys like her wooden spoon. She turns pages in books, and imitates touching pictures. Heidi can push a ball back and forth. We have started telling her "no" to touching the dog food bowl, and she will pause for a second before trying again. She pats Skipper if he is close by. Heidi finds a toy hidden under a cloth. She pulls an object in order to reach a different part of the toy. Heidi takes puzzle pieces out in order to chew on them. She bangs keys on a piano, and pushes buttons on toys.

Heidi uses a pincer grasp to pick up small pieces of food. She can hold a toy in each hand, and transfers an object from one hand to the other. Heidi knocks down a tower of blocks. She holds out a toy, and laughs when she pulls it back toward herself. Heidi is army crawling everywhere, and can easily navigate around obstacles and corners. She sits for extended periods of time, and can balance herself while reaching for toys. Heidi rolls from back to stomach and stomach to back. She weight bears on her legs when held in standing.

Heidi is still nursing 4-6 times a day. She feeds herself small pieces of foods such as chicken, pork, beef, vegetables, fruits, and cereals. She spits out food she does not like. Heidi takes bites of cereal, and can move food from one side to the other side of her mouth. She eats different textures of foods such as soft, crunchy, mushy, and even ground beef. If I put food on the fork, she can get it to her mouth. She eats soup and cereal from a spoon. Heidi recognizes an open cup, and will take sips out of it with help. Heidi is now helping to get dressed by pushing her arms through the sleeves. She pulls her socks off in order to chew on her toes. When given a sippy cup, she can hold it herself if she is lying down. Heidi sleeps for 9-11 hours at night, with a few short naps during the day.

Heidi is very social, and is aware of her surroundings. She becomes quiet and looks around in new situations. Heidi is now aware when I step away from her, and she prefers to be comforted by me. She gives big smiles to people she knows, and smiles or makes sounds in order to draw attention to herself. Heidi takes a few minutes to warm up to someone new. She is interested in watching other kids play. Heidi loves to play peek-a-boo, and pulls the blanket off her face. She is intrigued by songs with hand motions, and music in general helps to calm her down. Heidi imitates facial gestures, such as a scrunched up nose.
Heidi - 7 month picture

Heidi was having some "helmet free" time, and she was so cute that I couldn't resist taking pictures. And then I couldn't decide on just one, so here are a few for you!




 We are still in the process of waiting for the bank, attorney's, and Realtor's to complete all necessary paperwork. Each day brings us closer and closer. Since we know the current owners have moved to Texas (how ironic!), the house is currently empty. Over last weekend we went to the house to explore a little, and rake the front yard. I met a few of the neighbors. The yard definitely needs some work! Anyone want to come help?

Kristin and our new house!