Monthly Archives: August 2012

Lately.

Man, things just don’t slow down, do they? I keep waiting for this magical day when I sit down and breathe… but it hasn’t come and sure isn’t showing signs of coming anytime soon. So what’s new; what’s going on that is sucking up all of my breathing time?

Well, for starters there’s the baby. You remember her; Leah. She certainly isn’t stopping anytime soon. In fact, just today I had yet another slowwww downnn moment with her. She is skyrocketing through toddlerhood. Here is the abridged version of what she’s been up to the last week:

  • She has self taught herself sign language. And I don’t know how, we certainly didn’t show her. But here are some of her favorites. For starters, and the cutest, she will pinch her pointer and thumb together on each hand. That clearly means she wants us to sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider with her. It’s so sweet, but once we start… we keep going. 89 verses of that song get a little old, let me tell you. The only way to make her stop is to start singing a different song. She also rubs her belly when she’s hungry. What the heck? Who taught her that. She’s a genius. So she’ll rub her belly and run to the fridge. Did you hear me… genius. When she wants to wash her hands she comes at me rubbing her hands together. That one she’s done for a while, but I’ve never mentioned it. When she needs help, or wants us to follow her she will come over to us and lift her hand/arm in the air as if she’s raising us up off the couch. Pretty funny, but if we don’t adhere to her signing we get an earful of whining. She is also really enjoying using the “all done” sign we did teach her. She doesn’t just use it for meal times anymore, either. When she wants to get out of her carseat, off the bed, go inside… they all get the all done. And today when I went to get her from her nap she was standing in her crib shaking her hands violently telling me she was allllll done with her nap! She makes me laugh.
  • Kind of on the same topic as signing, I’m trying to teach her prepositions. As many as possible. This whole “talking” thing isn’t coming as fast as she’d like, and she’s getting pretty frustrated. There is a lot of “eh, eh, eh” and whining going around here and it is just plain annoying. So I am trying my hardest to teach her one syllable words. So now anytime I pick her up I make sure to say, “up.” Putting her down, “down.” When she brings me her shoes whining, I quickly say, “on.” When she whines at me to get them off, you guessed it, I say, “off.” Anything to cut out the “eh eh eh” – hopefully she catches on quickly.
  • She is really into silverware. I mean really. Whether she uses them to eat or not, she always has to have a fork or spoon on her tray. She tries to stab her food with her fork, and with a little help she can do it. However, she then takes it off the fork to eat. Ha – crazy kid. She also would prefer the big forks and spoons to hers… and I give them to her. We are beyond the stage of “oh my, she’s gonna poke an eye out.” As long as she’s sitting she can have a big fork.
  • Animals, animals everywhere. We now go to Petsmart just to find puppies running around. The kid loves her an animal. It’s not just dogs; she loves to look at the fish, and kitties, rabbits, and the mice might be her favorite. It’s fun for me because I can see her recalling these animals from her books and putting two and two together. I don’t think anyone minds as we make their sounds throughout the store. P.S. if you’re ever with her, just fyi, bunnies say, “boing boing boing.” Everytime we would get to a bunny in her book we would just go silent and she would look at us like, “ok, what’s the bunny say.” So we had to come up with something.
  • She is now backing herself up only to run forward. She reminds us of a wind up toy, and she thinks it’s a pretty cool trick. I don’t know where she thought of it.
  • She still won’t sit still. Ever. I try to make her watch TV, she doesn’t even humor me. But, it’s good. It’s kind of refreshing to not have the tv on all day. And I can always rest assured that she is getting plenty of exercise.
  • She still loves her shoes. And purses. And jewelry. And now she wants me to put bows in her hair!

If all that isn’t enough for you, how about this… we are getting our very first guest this weekend! Ok, the first might have been my parents, but they don’t count. Ok, maybe they do, but still, I’m having a real live friend fly in on Saturday! Not that I don’t have wonderful friends here, but it’s different when it’s a friend from way back. Anyways, I’m excited. And am planning my cleaning agenda. Because, Lord knows, I can’t do it until five minutes before she walks in the door or you know who will mess it all up. Kyle is taking Leah on a date Saturday morning and I get to clean all by myself! Is it bad that I’m really excited about that? Well, I am. I’m also trying to find things for us to do, besides showing her around Target, but everything I think of things to do my mind wanders to something I can bake. What’s up with that? It’s a good excuse to cook things we never have. Because really, I would never make a pan of brownies for just Kyle and I… but a guest… of course. Brownies, check. And I know that she is equally excited to shower in the monkey bathroom.

So we have crazy person Leah… and a house guest… and a puppy!

Can we talk about this dog for a second?

We don’t even have him yet and he’s causing a ruckus! Trying to get everything ready for him is reminding me so much of trying to get everything ready for Leah. I am learning that puppies and babies are practically identical. Have you seen the dog toys out there? Do you know that they have a rubber teething ring of keys for dogs?! Leah had almost the exact same thing. I’m also learning that we will be raising this dog very similar to how we are raising Leah. For instance, the food. We are going crazy researching food and ingredients. It’s pretty ridiculous. However, we want him to be as healthy as possible. Also, I bought him fragrance free shampoo because Leah’s doctor told me fragrance dries out the skin more… so obviously the same is true for dogs? I find myself wandering through the toy aisle feeling the toys thinking, “would he like to chew on this?” Exactly like what I did with Leah’s toys. Like I said, ridiculous. It’s all so very fun though. I’ve always had a dog growing up, but never with Kyle, and I’ve never been the decision maker for a dog. I never had to pick food or bedding or housing. I was more of the, “you buy it, I’ll play with it.” I was never actually in charge of keeping it alive. This one we are. So we are trying to do it all right. In just a week the little guy will be here! We are so very excited.

That’s about it. That’s more than enough to keep us busy for quite some time.

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Pink, sparkly shoes.

I think we all have mental clips in our heads of teenage girls fighting with their parents over clothes or shoes or boys. The two go back and forth and back and forth until finally the girl goes running into her bedroom and slams the door behind her.

Right?

Scene from a movie moment.

Well, minus the running and slamming that all happened between a one year old and myself this morning. What.

Only it wasn’t over clothes, or shoes, or thank goodness a boy… it was over an electrical cord. My computer cord to be exact. I had it strung across the floor to reach my computer in the kitchen (I know, I know, my fault). However, Leah was playfully distracted in the living room. Soon enough, however, she made her way to that cord and grabbed it. Of course, I said “no, no,” just as politely as I could. Leah smiled, and continued grabbing it. My “no” got more firm, and Leah’s smile lessened. It was the beginning of a full out battle. You might think that I should have just taken it from her, but I’m really trying to get her to obey, not just take everything she can’t have away so she never learns to listen. So anyways, for a a minute or so we went on like this:

Me: Leah, no.

Leah: Ess.

Me: No, ma’am.

Leah: Ess.

Me: Leah, no.

Leah: Esss.

Me: (trying so hard not to laugh at her stubbornness and the fact that I am fighting a one year old), NO.

And I took it. After all, I didn’t want to risk her actually getting hurt or shocked. Perhaps someday she’ll obey me. Actually, she does listen quite a bit of the time, apparently just not this morning. And when she is being stubborn… there is not a thing in the world that will change her. Oh, I love it and I hate it at the same time.

That little story sheds some light on how the word “yes,” has impacted our lives so mightily in the past few days. I think she only started saying it on Sunday… and she hasn’t let up. Besides fighting with me, she also uses it to tell me what she wants, which is pretty useful. For instance, she’ll point at her cup she sees on the counter and say, yes. Or I can ask if she wants to do something and she’ll answer with yes. And if she ignores me… it’s a non-verbal no. It’s cute to hear her little voice use real words… even if she is using them against me.

Remember when she was a newborn and I said she acted like a one year old? Well, now she’s one and is acting like a twelve year old. Some days I just can’t match her mental toughness. She flat out wears me down! Take today in Target. Like every other day in Target. Although, we had a specific goal of jeans for her. There are temps below 80 in the forecast, and would you believe it… she has no pants! It’s been a while since we’ve needed them I suppose.

Anyways, we were on a hunt. So as I was looking over the jeans, Leah starts in with “woof, woof.” I told you how when she barks I’ve learned that there must be a dog. I start looking for a seeing eye dog, or a box of treats in someones cart, or something. I see nothing. I keep looking at the jeans, Leah keeps barking… only adds pointing (thank God). Low and behold, she’s pointing and barking at a shirt with puppies all over it. Are you kidding me? I laugh and pick it up and give it to her. It’s gray; maybe my least favorite color on her, but she was grinning from ear to ear while still pointing at the puppies and barking. I mean, how do you say no to that? I started reasoning… okay, it’s 6 bucks. She’ll need long sleeves eventually. This is the first time she’s really picked out her own clothes. It’s puppies for goodness sakes. All valid excuses to buy it, no? So I let her hang on to it. Then we hit up the shoes, because I saw they were on sale, and like jeans and long sleeve shirts, she could use a few pairs of close toed shoes. I start looking for tennis shoes… Leah starts reaching and grunting like she’s possessed. I look over… pink sparkly shoes with bows on the top. Whose kid is this?! Even though I personally prefer a cute pair of functional tennis shoes to a sparkly pair of ballet flats… it’s hard to deny a little girl her first pair of sparkly shoes… especially when it’s obvious she can’t live without them.

I’m still baffled every day by her wit, her determination, her stubbornness, but most of all… her awareness. In all of her 13 months she has never missed a beat. Nothing gets by her. And it’s becoming very obvious that it’s only going to get worse. She is only going to get smarter. She is only going to notice more. And this is only the beginning of pink, sparkly shoes.

Sorry, daddy.

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Kyle Proebsting, A.S.A.

Well, he did it again.

Another test. Another pass. Only this one carried a little more weight than the others. This one shot him right up to join the big dogs with initials behind his name. That’s right, I’m now married to Kyle Proebsting, a.s.a.. What is ASA you ask? Associate of the Society of Actuaries. He’s an associate, no biggie.

This stupid little “test” wasn’t so much of a test, but more of a task management scenario. Easy, right?

Wrong.

It was a four day long ordeal; taking up a Friday-Monday weekend. He had 96 hours to complete this thing which included seven different questions that he needed to answer correctly and in the format they wanted.

But here’s the really fun part. They never told him the format they wanted! They just gave him these questions and secretly laughed while he did his best to imagine what they would like to see as they graded. It’s such a ridiculous process; I am offcially convinced of that.

I honestly don’t know how he does it over and over and over and over again. Why anyone would want to do stuff like this is beyond me. He must really love his job. Or perhaps the money. Or perhaps he’s completely delusional and thinks it’s fun… which is my theory. No one in their right mind would put themselves through all of this just because.

Truth be told – he took this sucker once before. And obviously guessed wrong on what they wanted to see. But did they say, “nope, change this and this and this.” Did they say, “reword this.” Did they say, “you flat out got number three wrong.” Did they say, “we were looking for more of a ___ answer.” No, no they did not. Of course they didn’t. They simply said, try again. No help what.so.ever. They did tell him questions one and three could use the most work, but that was it! He didn’t know what kind of “work” they needed, or if 2,4,5,6, and 7 were okay. All he knew was that they didn’t like how he answered 1 and 3. He didn’t know if it was the format or if he got the answer wrong. I mean how freaking ridiculous?!

Talk about heartbreaking. It’s hard to be a wife in moments like that. What do you say? Obviously, I said I was sorry. But it just sounded so worthless coming out of my mouth. And I could be of no real help. I couldn’t help him, I couldn’t answer the questions for him, I couldn’t march up to give these people a piece of my mind like I wanted to. I could just say I was sorry, and sit around helplessly as he put himself through another four days of this craziness. And to top it off he said he felt like he let Leah and I down. I mean, c’mon. Are you kidding me, honey?! All we do is sit around and admire how smart and dedicated he is… pass or fail… this guy is as smart and as good as they come.

But luckily, we don’t have to dwell on the fail part anymore. He passed, and it is all behind us now! We can all breathe again!

Kind of… what’s next on the insane agenda? Exam DP. Design and Pricing. Don’t you wish you could take a test like that? Here’s what it entails… in picture form, because I don’t have words for things like this.

The study schedule in case you want to join him.

The study manual.

Sample page. However, I like 1a. Basically admitting they’re all insane. “The future is impossible to predict, but actuaries try to do it anyways.”

Nbd, he just has to memorize all of these flashcards. (The eraser is saving his spot).

Oh, wait. And all of these stacks of flashcards, too.

And there you have it. On November 1, he gets to put all of his hard studying to work and take a six hour test pulling all of the above information out of his brain as needed. Where he has space for all of it in there I have no idea.

Until then, or at least for today, we will enjoy the fact that he has knocked another one out of the way, he got some pretty sweet initials to go after his name, and that we are one step closer to finishing this stuff once and for all!

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Woof, Woof!

This baby has got a set of eyes on her! She can spot a dog from a mile away, and then proceed to bark at it. I’ve learned to just trust that if Leah is barking… there is a dog somewhere around her.

We are all about animals these days, folks. Old MacDonald has taken up residence with the Proebstings. We are a barking, quacking, baa’ing family – and it all starts with the little one. Man, she is learning things so quickly these days. It seems like we teach her one thing and she just takes it and runs with it. She is loving learning to communicate, not only with her animal friends, but with her human friends as well! It seems like just within the past couple of days she has learned new ways to communicate with us verbally and non-verbally. For instance, just today she has learned the word Yes. And not just being able to say it, she has learned in which instances to use it. For example, “do you want to go inside?” “Yes.” Only, it’s more of a “ess.” But, hey, we get it. Her word count, that I can recall at 9 o’clock at night is as follows: yes, this, that, all done, done, sit, shoes, hello, outside (her version; da taaaaa), dada, mom, and perhaps down. I thought I heard it several times today, but I’m not quite convinced I should add it to the list. I’ll let you know soon. And then of course, you have your standard woof woof, quack quack, and baaa.

With all of this talking she’s been doing, I’m really starting to feel like her mom. Because, Lord knows, some of these things she “says” only her mama (and perhaps daddy) can understand. I mean, really, if she came up to you and said, “da taaaaa” would you take her outside? Probably not. But we’ve got that kind of 24/7 connection with her that helps us figure out “Leah language.” It’s pretty fun, decoding all of these little sounds. It’s fun to watch all of this babble slowly turn into real words.

But sometimes I think… the words just aren’t coming quick enough! Remember when Leah was only rolling? And wanted so desperately to be crawling as well? And she was so frustrated with herself. And we were so annoyed listening to that grunting all day long? Well. We’ve come full circle… only with mental frustrations. She is wanting so badly to tell us all kinds of things she wants and needs. And we are wanting so badly to understand just what in the world she is asking for… and it just makes for long days. Long.Days. We are at the height of “eh, eh, eh;” with outstretched arms and fingers pointing to God knows what. So much of the day is taken up by whining! I know that she is on the brink of so many words, and I know that like everything else this phase will pass oh so quickly… but my goodness, this might be the hardest for me to get through. Like I told Kyle last night, imagine if all of your coworkers only whined, grunted, and pointed all day long. What kind of shape would you be in at the end of the day?

Cause I practically faint into bed.

But. I still love her. And she is extremely lucky she is cute. And I know that her brain is on overdrive (I can all but see it), so I know she is not whining just to get on my nerves. She is working on a gazillion new sounds and words. So really, I can’t blame her. And I won’t. But that doesn’t make it any easier.

Do you know what does make it easier? These winter temperatures we’ve been having! Oh my goodness, thank the Heavens for weather under 90 degrees. Leah and I have been living outside lately. We were at the park yesterday at 7:30am. And we came home at 9am. It just too nice to pass up! Today we were outside most of the day again. Leah loves to reorganize the rocks in the gardens. And I love to sit on the step and watch her move them from place to place, eventually putting them back in the gardens. Sometimes she just works so hard doing absolutely nothing. I’ve started to give her little jobs around the house, and she really seems to enjoy them. She can throw things away, use our electric sweeper, throw the dirty clothes from her bedroom downstairs (her favorite), and help me put clothes into the washer and dryer. It’s fun to have a little helper, even if it means I do double the work in 10 times the amount of time. But it means that she is occupied, having fun, feeling useful, and not playing in a toilet somewhere.

Have you heard the news? In t minus three weeks we will be welcoming a very handsome chocolate lab into our family. And we could not be more excited! Having Bella here overnight last weekend was just torture. We so wanted that to work out, and to be able to call her ours. But since it didn’t, that sent us into overdrive puppy mode. We just saw how much Leah really loved her, and we didn’t really see the point in waiting until Christmas to get our boy. We found a guy out of Springfield that just had one litter of 11 chocolate labs (poor mama!). So through email, then phone, then texts… we had him pick us the biggest, and darkest male out of the group. He sent us pictures – and man are we excited to see this little (big) guy in person! He’s just three weeks now, but when we get him will be around 7 I believe. We are just so excited to raise a puppy together from start to finish, and to watch Leah grow up with such an awesome breed of dog. All signs point to her being totally ready for a four legged brother. First, you have the barking at any and every dog she sees. Even the ones on dog food bags… everyone gets a woof woof. Then you have the fact that she is very interested in what will be his dog bed. She spends a lot of time in that during the day. She has chewed on the toys we have for him already, as well as tasted a milk bone. Last night her dad put Duncan’s collar on one of Leah’s stuffed dogs and they walked him around the house… Leah was just dying laughing. She thought it was the greatest thing ever. She loves to be in the crate we set up for him, and goes in it completely on her own. But today was the icing on the cake. With no prompting from me (actually, I wasn’t even in the room), she took that same stuffed dog, put him in the crate, and shut the door.

We both predict that she will be very hands on with his upbringing. Poor dog doesn’t know what’s coming his way. Cesar would be proud… she will be the pack leader for sure!

That’s all she wrote for today. I hope you’re enjoying the new set-up!

 

 

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Third time’s a charm?

Well, I don’t think I have to tell you – but I’ve moved again. I just could never get comfortable with A Beautiful Life. Stinks, too, I had high hopes for it. But it left me with very little inspiration to write about anything. I’m not sure why. It seemed hard to get any thoughts together, much less sit down and write them, although, perhaps it wasn’t the blog? Perhaps it was the one year old that now runs around like a maniac. Or perhaps it was moving. Or perhaps it was life getting in the way of my blogging. Ironic, wouldn’t you say?

Anyways, I again have high hopes for this little gem. I’m really liking it so far. I even changed carriers. WordPress took some real figuring out, but I think I like it better. It seems cleaner, more organized. More sophisticated? Because we all know how sophisticated I am.

I want to try, and I mean really try, to live our life through blogging. It’s become really fun for me to share most of our lives with you. When I started blogging two+ years ago, there was no Leah. There was no new house. There was no new soon to be puppy. I really didn’t think I had much to write about; but somehow I kept finding things. I had Kyle, which a lot of the time is more than enough material. I kind of felt like I was at my best blogging throughout pregnancy; I mean, my goodness, that was the time of my life. And then after the little bug was born, I’ve struggled. Probably because the little bug was born. But I’m determined to get back on track. I feel like we are in the prime of “just starting out” as they say. I mean, we’ve got the baby, the new house, the soon to be new dog. I should have more than enough to keep my fingers typing.

I want to really document our lives. I already love reading back through Life with the Proebsting’s and everything that went on during that time. So much of it I’ve already forgotten, but when I read about a certain day in our lives back then it all comes flooding back. I love that I decided to start a blog, and I really want to make it into a good one. For you, but a lot more for me. Life is moving at an incredible rate of speed right now, and if I don’t stop often to document… precious, seemingly meaningless at the time, memories get lost in the shuffle. So I’m on a mission to document. To record. To Chronicle our Lives.

There is much more life to come from the Proebsting’s. I hope you’ll continue to follow us.

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