As a parent you have to constantly decide whether to allow your child to try things for themselves or to just do it for them. Doing things for them often ends up being faster and cleaner. But then when will they ever learn?

This morning, I decided to let Penelope practice her spoon feeding skills.

Here was the result:

In spite of the mess, I do have to admit that I was proud of her for getting most of the blueberries and oatmeal into her mouth.

But, most importantly, she was awfully proud of herself.

By the end of it, she was eager to resort to her hands.

Mmmm Mmmm good!


Welcome Home!

We've spent the past week running around like madmen unpacking, cleaning, restocking and all-around readjusting to life back in the U.S. Thank goodness for giving parents who came up to help us with all these things for the past week. We couldn't have done it without them!

Besides the 6-hour time change, the biggest shocks to our system have been going back to driving places in our cars (poor Penelope is not a fan of the carseat), having so much space to spread out in our house (and more to child-proof too), staying indoors with the AC to stay cool (not having to rely on ice cream has been great on my waistline), and renavigating life here with a toddler.

Here are some pics from the past week:

Along with the grandparents came lots of gifts for Penelope. Here, Poppy T shows Penelope a present from Great Grandma Nani--there were lots of' "ohs!" and giggles at the little girl turning around inside the globe.

Penelope has had lots of new things to get used to, including a screen door and a backyard. We can't get enough of our outdoor grill, one of the many things we missed while in Germany.

Getting acquainted with the huge bathtub

She's still trying to figure out the ceiling fans, another thing we didn't have in Germany

Before we left Penelope figured out how to open our tiny fridge in Germany. We're glad our huge (still haven't gotten used to the size) fridge has better suction, but Penelope isn't too happy about it.

Penelope is still having fun discovering all the new nooks and crannies in our house, like my sandal bin in my closet.

Penelope in her room trying out her new rocking horse from DeDe and Poppy T. I love having a "real" nursery for her instead of the empty white-walled room she had in our Germany apartment.

Ready for story time in the big rocking chair in her room

When Grandma came Penelope got a stroller and a new baby doll, both of which Penelope is currently obsessed with. The doll has this little pacifier that stays on the doll's mouth with the help of a magnet--perfect toy for a litte girl who would walk around with a pacifier in her mouth all day if we'd let her!

She loves pushing Baby Stella and random objects 'round and 'round the house

Penelope also got this cute backpack with her name on it from DeDe and Poppy T. Now she's already to go to school (a.k.a. daycare) in a few weeks.

And she's off!

But not before she gets in a little snack.