Sleeping Cuties


I thought this was a fun morning moment.  Lydia is keeping Matt company while he catches a few extra z’s. 

[Update 2012-12-24 09:21:53] Redid the picture

Lydia’s Latest Trick


Lydia has added a new trick to her ever-growing arsenal.  She can climb up on the kitchen chairs all by herself!  She has been climbing on the couch, the storage trunks, and even the coffee table with great skill and frequency, so I knew it was only a matter of time.  Still, her first victory over Mt. Chair was pretty memorable and I have the pics to prove it. 

Last week, she had just gotten out of the tub and was barely dry before she streaked away.  I found her in the kitchen, playing (pounding) on the computer.  I started to remind her about being nice to the computer when I realized she was able to reach it in the first place because she was sitting on the chair.  What a big girl!  So of course I documented the event before I got her down.  Since then, she has climbed faster and more often.  And she’s almost conquered the bed, too 🙂

19 Months!!

I can’t believe how big she has grown!  Lydia is running and climbing and “talking” up a storm.  She has such a cute little way of standing on the balls of her feet and bouncing through the house at top speed.  Our brave girl has also conquered the couch and is fast on her way to getting onto the bed.  It’s only a matter of time before I catch her on a chair and on the table.  As for language, she has always been vocal and she continues to make crazy noises and gabber unintelligibly at random intervals…however, she is expanding her vocabulary daily!  She understands tons of things, both English and Serbian, but most of her words are English at this point.  Mama, Tata, nana (banana), cup, cracker, cheerios, yes, no, teeth, eyes, nose, puppy, cat, etc…   Some things are clearer than others, but she is able to say so many things and makes cute sounds, too.  She does this crazy grunt when you ask her what a pig says and does a pseudo howl when you ask her about dogs.  She has also mastered the vroom-vroom needed for playing with cars.  We’re working on baka (grandma) and deda (grandpa) and other simple Serbian words while continuing to encourage her English vocabulary 🙂  Ona je vrlo pametna, tako naucice brzo (she is very smart, so she will learn fast)!  Much faster than Mom and Dad!! 


We have managed to get some cute pics and vids of her doing “Lydia” stuff.  Some of her favorite things are reading, eating, climbing, playing with/in cabinets and drawers, pulling stuff off of the table/counter/towel rod/drying rack, turning her cup upside down to shake water out and play with the newly formed puddle, finding Mommy or Daddy’s glass and dipping stuff in it…like keys or the remote, changing the channel, finding odd places to stick keys, and pulling laundry out of the basket and wearing it over her head while she wanders around making silly noises (playing “ghostie”).  She also likes to help me clean by running around with the dustpan or shoving the broom around.  And she hands me the pillows when I make the bed.  The trash can has been mastered, so she will happily throw things away, even when we don’t ask her to 🙂  She is such a happy thing, always ready to climb on (aka “waller”) you and she loves to sneak up behind you when you sit on the floor with your back to her.  She screws up her little eyes and holds her arms up in a posture of great excitement (she’s practically shaking with giddiniess) before she darts toward you and throws herself on you back.  And, of course, you simply must hold her hands and lean forward so she can get in a little flying practice.  She’s one crazy, super-sweet girl and God has blessed us tremendously by allowing us the privilege and challengeg of being her parents!!

“ludi” Americans


Lydia is growing so fast, but she had a rough couple of weeks.  We were in Greece for a week the end of June and had a great time.  But Lydia definitely had a hard time getting back into a good eating/sleeping routine.  A couple of weeks after we got home, she started with the up and down cycle of good and bad days (diarrhea, not eating, whiny) that would eventually lead us to the dr.  Thankfully, our friend and tutor, Marijana, went with us and everything turned out fine.  Lydia just finished 10 days of a probiotic to get her little digestive system back on track and this week she has been so much better…happier, eating like her old self (oink, oink), and no more tummy issues!  She’s certainly starting to gain back some of the weight she lost.  Thank You, God!!  Even though it was a tough time, it is so neat to see how He takes care of us:) 

Now for the “ludi” part…which translates to CRAZY!  We have 3 friends, college students from the US who came for 2 months to work with a summer English program, who left for Belgrade at 2 AM to catch an early AM flight back to the States.  One of their favorite places to eat is this fast food stand in the centar that has chicken sandwiches and french fries and happens to be open 24/7.  They were planning to meet some friends at the “chicken stand” at 1 for one last meal in Serbia.  So Matt and I thought it would be cool to go see them off.  He went to a concert in the park and hung out with friends by the river drinking coffee for hours and I was home with Lydia.  Around 12:30, she started fussing so I went ahead and got her out of bed to get ready.  I really thought I could slip on long pants, socks, shoes, and her jacket over her PJ’s and she’d go back to sleep as soon as I put her in the stroller and we started walking.  Was I ever wrong!!  We got down there and she was ready to mingle…especially when she saw the french fries!  Jelena (our friend who watches her when we go to language class) was there and held her and fed her french fries the whole time :^)  Poor Lydia, at first the french fries were really hot and she scared herself with one, but then she got so mad when we made her wait for them to cool off more.  And by the time we walked with our friends back to their apt. (which is only a block from ours), she was positively punchy.  She kept squinting her eyes and giggling randomly as we walked down the street!

We had a great time giving our friends a proper send off and Lydia doesn’t seem to be feeling any ill effects today, but I sure am tired.  I must be getting old…maybe I’ll join Lydia for naptime today:^)

Freebies for Lydia

06092008(001)So I have about 100 blog posts that need to be written, but I’m not sure that’s ever going to happen…so I’ll just write a little one today and see what happens 🙂

 Lydia must be really cute or else really pitiful, because people keep giving her things.  I starting noticing it before we left the States.  We ate at Burger King and I took Lydia to the table.  The manager helped Matt with the tray and brought Lydia one of the “under 3” toys!  On the plane, the United flight attendant wanted to give her ice cream, which he gave to us when he found out she couldn’t have it 🙂  (By the way, we had so many people help us with bags and getting on/off the planes as we traveled.  It was such an incredible blessing.)  On the Lufthansa flight, they gave her a bunch of kid stuff as we disembarked.

 Since we’ve gotten here, she’s had people in shops give her balls 3 or 4 times and she’s been offered free plain cones when we’ve stopped for ice cream.

We’d better be careful or she’ll end up one spoiled little girl!! 

[Update 09-19-2008 10:14:48] Added image to article.

Bye-Bye Bottle

Back in December, I started giving Lydia soy formula for a couple of feedings and continued to nurse her for the other two.  She took bottles very well and I quickly scaled back to one nursing session before bed.  By the beginning of January, with our major transition period beginning, she and I were both ready to make a clean break.  I nursed her on a Saturday evening and that was it.  She could have cared less!  As long as she got a bottle 2 or 3 times a day, she was good.  As we adjusted our schedule to take some training classes, she went down to 1 or 2 bottles a day.  In the meantime, her top and bottom front teeth pairs were getting lots of exercise as she tackled more and more table foods.  She LOVES to eat and even though she isn’t very big…barely 20 pounds at 14 months…she can really pack it away.  Lydia’s faves are bananas and vienna sausages and she “sings” to just about anything she eats.  You always know when she’s eating and enjoying herself because she just hums away (our friend, Holly, even nicknamed her the “num-num girl” for the cute little sounds she makes to her food). 

But I digress…  She was down to just one bottle before bed by the beginning of March.  This was a little distressing to me because she wasn’t (and still isn’t) a big fan of soy or rice milk in her sippy cup, even though she practically chugs water.  She can’t get calcium from the standard sources and at this point we’re trying to give her dairy-free foods that happen to have calcium because she decided over the course of an early March weekend that she was DONE with bottles.  It may or may not have been related to an ear infection/cold, but she started getting very upset and crying when you went near her with a bottle and she wouldn’t drink any of it.  We tried several times over a few days, but her mind was made up and she was sleeping well and acting normally.  It took us a little bit to catch on, but she’s fine.  A dr. friend assured us that, whatever the reason for her initial refusal, this was the perfect time to leave the bottle behind.  And he was right!  She has done just fine without it and continues to grow way too fast!!

I still worry about her getting enough calcium, and I do admit to missing the snuggle time a little bit, but it so neat to think back on how she has changed just since Christmas.  She knows what she wants and is learning to express herself…sometimes a little too assertively…and I wouldn’t have it any other way:)





Happy 1st Birthday!!

Guess what…Lydia turned 1!!  Of course, her birthday was February 4, but better late than never 🙂  We have been very busy preparing for our big European adventure and I just haven’t made time to sit down and blog about all of her many milestones.  Matt suggested several shorter entries and I think that’s the wait to go.  I could write volumes, but who has the time to read it even if I had the time to write it!!

 Lydia got to enjoy 3 birthday celebrations.  We visited my parents in Ohio in January and we had a little party with them.  We had this egg substitute stuff to use in the cake mix and it turned out pretty well the second time (the first time the cake didn’t rise and it just tasted off, although that could have something to do with the ancient cooking oil we found in Grandma’s cabinet).  We used new oil and two boxes of cake mix and that worked great in the 9×13 pan.  Lydia had a fine time playing with her special cake and making a mess.  She wasn’t that interested in eating it, but that’s not really the point, is it?!  It was also great fun to watch her with her presents.  Though clothes are great from my perspective, she was MUCH more attracted to the crinkly paper.

She had a second party with Matt’s parents and our friend Shawn who was visiting.  We had chocolate cake and chocolate soy ice cream.  Matt fed her this time rather than face cleaning up another “caked”-on mess:^)  She really seemed to enjoy the ice cream…like father, like daughter.  She also had more presents…a few clothes and some little toys from us.

Her third party was at Red Robin with Matt’s parents and a couple of friends.  She enjoyed a hamburger and french fries…and the rest of us enjoyed her birthday sundae (no real ice cream for Lydia, you know).  There was even a purple balloon for her and she received a special book from a dear friend (you know who you are:).  Would you believe she had a #1 candle in each cake AND in her birthday burger?!  We took plenty of pictures of all these celebrations and we’ll get them added to this entry when Matt reminds me how to do it 🙂


Where did the last 11 months go??

DSC04444As it’s nearly Lydia’s 1st birthday, I thought I ought to go ahead and write her 11-month update.  Let’s see if I can remember the highlights…

 Lydia is crawling like a fiend and pulling up on everything.  She is super-fast!  We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas visit with my parents, aunt and uncle, and cousins.  Lydia, of course, was the star of the show.  She had a great time exploring the packages and cruising around the furniture.  

Once we got home, it was time to get serious about packing up our house.  Lydia got to play with Matt’s parents when she wasn’t “helping” us sort and box everything up.  She has been such a good sport through all of the busyness and transition of the last month!

Speaking of transition, during December Lydia started getting a couple of bottles a day.  She didn’t seem to care one way or the other and by the end of the month was down to one nursing session (in the morning) and three bottles (mid-morning, mid-afternoon, bedtime).  Right after her 11 month birthday, we “moved” in with Matt’s parents for a couple of weeks while we finished getting the house and contents squared away.  I nursed her Saturday morning, then on Sunday decided we’d try bottles only.  Lydia didn’t mind at all.  I had a couple of uncomfortable days later in the week, but both of us weathered the transition very well 🙂  It was a wonderful experience for both of us, especially in light of current formula costs, but I’m glad to be done.  I am very much enjoying having full access to dairy and eggs again (cheese, ice cream, and milk, oh my…).  It wasn’t so terrible to forgo foods with those ingredients for all those months, but it was inconvenient.  Although, I’ll have to be careful if I do’t want to undo all the weight loss 11 months of breastfeeding (and nearly that long on dairy restriction) produced.

Lydia is standing on her own from time to time and getting braver about holding onto things/balancing with just one hand.  She also talks up a storm and I really think she’s said mama and dada a few times.  She just hasn’t been consistent enough for me to conclude definitively that those are, in fact, her first words.  One of her favorite things is to “sing” to her food.  She just hums up a storm while she’s stuffing a fistful of cheerios in her mouth or enjoying a bottle.  I’ll have to take a video clip so I can embarass her when she gets older.  I do hope she outgrows this particular habit, though…what’s cute for a baby isn’t so cute for a little girl!

She’s such a funny little thing, but her personality is showing itself more boldly every day, and it’s not always pretty (but at least she’s sweet and cute more often than not).  She can be stubborn and whiny, and she can sure give you “what for” when she doesn’t get her way.  I think it would be so neat to know what she’s thinking or saying, but there are times when it’s probably just as well that I don’t 🙂

God has certainly blessed her with a resilient personality.  In spite of all the changes as we pack and travel and get ready for our big European adventure, she continues to eat, sleep, play, and travel very well indeed!

Even now, she’s jabbering contentedly at her Great Grandma and playing around in the third place she’s visited in a week.  Chairs are excellent pull bars and tables make great tunnels!!

 And in just over a week, our little one will be one 🙂  Will we have some fun stories and pictures to share!!

10 Months

Such an unoriginal title for such a big month!  Our precious little girl is growing sooo fast.  She has come through chicken pox relatively unscathed (there are several little marks, but they’ll fade in time) and it seems like she is less a baby every day.  Poor Lydia had a rough few days.  As can be seen in the pics, she was covered from head to toe with pox and she also battled a fever over that first weekend in December.  She hardly ate, just nursed and slept most of the time.  We gave her oatmeal baths and tylenol/ibuprofen to try to keep her comfortable.  And she slept snuggled up with us.  But by the beginning of the week, her fever broke and she was scabbing over nicely.  Quite a 10-Month birthday present 🙂

 We are very thankful that she scabbed over in time to go on our long-anticipated trip to Columbus.  The pediatrician told me she was good to go as long as all the spots were scabby…which they were by Wednesday.  We left VERY early on Friday and she did so well in the airport and on the plane.  (FYI-we had a great flying experience with Skybus.  No extras, but comfy seats, good basic service, and sooo cheap…what more do you need?!)  It was so great to spend time with Kevin and Ronda and their precious Kaden.  The kids were so cute together and it was such a blessing, and answer to prayer, to see them playing with each other.  Matt and I really enjoyed taking Lydia up to see Great-Grandma Prather.  She came down with shingles right after Thanksgiving and thought she wouldn’t be able to see Lydia.  Doesn’t God do amazing things??  I’m not overjoyed that Lydia had chicken pox at barely 10 months, but they’re over with and she got to spend time with my grandma.  She even got her first Christmas card and presents!  We were also blessed to attend the last year of the Living Christmas Tree at our old church.  The music and message were simple and timeless and so well done.  On Sunday, we were privileged to share a little bit about our time in Serbia and how we hope God will use our little family there in the next couple of years.  We also heard an encouraging message from an awesome missions speaker.  It is so cool to hear what God is doing around the world.  And our girl was phenomenal on the plane coming home.  She hadn’t slept well during our visit, but she was still so happy and sweet…just jabbering up a storm and playing on the plane.  We have tons of pics to share!

On a side note, Lydia went on a baby food strike as she started to feel better.  She was nursing/eating a little, and feeding herself bananas and “puffies”, but that was about it.  So when we got to Columbus, we started giving her some of the fruits and things Kaden (13 months) was eating.  Ronda even gave her Cheerios for the first time!  And she did great…I guess she just wanted to be a big girl and do it herself 🙂  It took a little time for Mommy to catch up, but Lydia is doing so well.  She sits in her chair and finger feeds herself.  It’s too cute how she picks things up between her index finger and thumb and then ends up with her whole hand in her mouth.  (By the way, one of her favortie games is “pointy” where she sticks out her pointer finger and tries to get yours 🙂  She loves fruit and Cheerios (to the point of kicking her feet  when she hears them rattling in the box), as well as Graduates turkey stew and beenie weenies.  She has also been drinking soy formula from her sippy cup (and she no longer uses one with handles…I guess it’s too baby-ish) and she even took her first soy bottle this morning.  I’m working on getting her weaned by the time she turns one, and by the looks of things, she’ll make the transition a lot easier than I will.

Lydia crawls so well, just gets way up on her hands and knees and goes wherever she wants, and she pulls up on anything and everything.  Her walker is her favorite and she runs around the house in it.  That girl can go!  She has these cute little “kilroy” moments in her pack and play.  She’s just barely tall enough to grasp the top and pull up, so when she does, all I can see are her eyes and nose and little fingers.   It’s too funny and I’m doing my best to get a picture.  She’s trying to cruise and can stand on her own for a few seconds if you help her get balanced.  And she keeps lunging toward stuff like she thinks she can walk already.  And she is so nosy, anything in her reach is fair game.  Unfortunately, she is getting a little mommy attached (which isn’t all that shocking since we’re alone together pretty much all day every day), but she still seems to be doing relatively well around other people.  So we’ll just be praying for her to have an adaptable spirit and a cheerful attitude in the face of new people and places.

 She babbles away and sometimes I think she really means that “mama” or “dada”, but nothing definitive yet.  Her listening is improving and she responds to verbal cues like “good girl” or “no/stop”.  It’s so exciting to watch her grow in so many ways.  She’s still pretty slight physically, but she’s meeting all the appropriate benchmarks and it’s just awesome to see her little mind in action, figuring things out and developing such a neat, unique little personality.  Even with some wild nights sleep-wise (colds, chicken pox, travel, teeth), she continues to be a happy, thriving little girl.  I’m looking forward to more restful nights ahead, but regardless, we are so blessed and we are so excited to share with Lydia the true meaning of Christmas as we look forward to special times with family during her first Christmas season.

Luke 2:11,14 (KJV)


 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.



Ninth-Month News

It’s nearly month 10, which means it is way past time for an update.  Our little one continues to grow and thrive…though she’s definitely on the dainty side, weighing just under 16 lbs. at her 9-month check-up.

She has been scooting (army crawling) for the last month, and is getting better at being up on her hands and knees.  Her biggest accomplishment has been pulling herself up to standing.  She did it in her crib right around her 9-monh birthday and now does it using anything handy.  She’s so mobile…and it’s only going to get worse!  Between crawling and pulling up, she can get into pretty much anything she wants.  She also “walks” around in her walker and loves to play with the cabinet doors.  She can’t get them open very far before they bump into the bottom of the walker, but that doesn’t stop her from trying…repeatedly.  And those little hands are working very hard to pry into anything…the cabinets, boxes, bags, etc…

Her sleep has been pretty out of whack since we went to a conference in October and left her with Grandma and Grandpa Maxson for 3 day.  On top of that, we’ve since spent a lot of time traveling and haven’t had a very predictable routine.  And just yesterday, I spotted another potential cause.  Lydia’s first tooth is on the way!  It’s the lower front tooth on the left and it’s starting to break the gum.  We’ll see how long it takes to actually come in.  

 She’s eating Stage 3 foods and is starting to explore textures.  We’ve given her those puff things and apple wheels.  She also enjoys bananas and licking crackers/cookies.  And Matt even gave her mashed potatoes, mushed corn, and a little piece of turkey to gnaw on Thanksgiving .  I tried a little piece of hamburger one day, but she wasn’t quite ready for that.  We’ve got some pasta for her to try and I’m working on getting her to drink soy formula part of the time as we look to weaning her in the next couple of months.

Lydia loves to play and investigate everything and continues to be pretty happy and adaptable.  She only wants mommy from time to time, but generally is fine going to the nursery or getting passed around.

 She’s got a little cold she’s getting over at the moment and we’ve had some additional sleepless nights as a result.  I’ve questioned my mothering abilities…and my sanity…a time or three, but we’ve made it through.  Last night was a peaceful night and I’m feeling much better about this “mommy” thing.  It’s amazing how far those 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep will go toward restoring your state of mind.  I’ll be positvely giddy once she’s back to sleeping 8+ hours a night 🙂

 We’re very blessed by our precious girl and God continues to refine us as we face the challenges of each day.  

She’s “talking” to me now, so that’s my cue to close.  We may get new pics up eventally, but I make no promises!