Wednesday, February 27, 2013

18 Months

26.5 lbs (75th)
32 3/4 in (75th)


Dear Sweet Rosebud,

Your are 18 months old, or "18 months after one," as your brother (obviously incorrectly) calculates. You are a delightful joy to everyone who spends time with you. I'm pleased to have given birth to such a charming lady, who is gratifyingly attached to me. :)

Highlights from the last six months:

- You FINALLY learned to walk gradually during months 15-16, after mommy implemented the "stop eating or start walking" rule (kidding...hey, 26 lbs is a lot to lug around!). You were a full time walker as of Christmas Day and took your first realllllllly long walk at the mall on New Year's Day. Your second marathon took place the very next day at the Museum of Science and Industry, where you were utterly disinterested in the displays and much more focused on how many steps you could log.

- As of 16 months, you almost always eat with a fork and spoon. In fact, one of my favorite tricks to get you to eat veggies is to throw them in a bowl (with parmesan cheese) and give you a fork. Works every time.

- Speaking of foods, your favorite is definitely any kind of pasta with red sauce, but you're especially partial to Grammie's goulash recipe. Go-Go Squeeze applesauce, "squeezie yogurt," and raisins are also favorite snacks. You're starting to get a bit pickier about your food, but most everything goes down the trap.

- You LOVE dogs, both stuffed and real. Your favorite Christmas gift was your "Fur-Real" puppy, who still gets lots of kisses and cuddles. You love to call Avery by making kissing sounds and patting your lap. It's adorable. Any dog we see on the street must be immediately greeted. The other animal that never fails to get your attention is the horse. You can spot them a mile away, both in real life and on TV. (Oh, and the correct response to "what does the horsie say," is a whinny, followed by a nicker, followed by the clip-clop of hooves. Noisy beasts, those horses!)

- A favorite distraction is a laundry basket filled with clean clothes. You drape them over your face and head and wear them like scarves. Even underwear is fun.

- You frequently call me (most often "ah-mee") when I've ducked into another room. Your constant need to check on my proximity is sweet...mostly.

- You love to pick up tissues (new or used, and occasionally OUT OF THE GARBAGE CAN) and blowing your nose. And while we're on the subject of the garbage can, I very much enjoyed finding you chomping on uncooked pasta that had been thrown away in the kitchen garbage. Yum.

- We (still) call you The Tornado. No one can destroy a room faster or more efficiently than you. You've been known to empty garbage cans (see a theme?), throw books in a (filling) bathtub, poop/pee on the bathroom floor and bedroom carpets, strew the contents of the dog's bowls throughout the house, etc. etc. And that's without discussing the mess you're capable of making in the kitchen!

- You're very attached to your paci and owlie (owl lovie blanket), which come out at bed time and when you're having some separation anxiety. You love to tuck your owlie under your chin/on your shoulder like a violin, but holding it with your shoulder means you often walk around with your arm sticking straight out to the side. :) You turn owlie around and around until you find the tag. At Grandpa's house, you took the napkin he gave you and tucked it right under your chin, like an owlie.

- Your favorite and omnipresent accessory are mardi gras beads. You first discovered them at Grammie's house (she has a thousand strands), so I bought you some for Christmas. I still find them everywhere, and quite often the first thing you do in the morning

- You like to hide from people, particularly strange men that try to get your attention, by closing your eyes. They look at you, you make your "grouchy face" (furrowed eyebrows), and then close your eyes to make them go away. :)

- You love to pat and rub my arm and face during lullaby time. You give "hugs and pats" to just about anyone who asks. Only a few days ago did you figure out that to give kisses, you actually need to touch lips to lips. And you love Eskimo kisses.

- You love to dance, or "use your dancing feet." It mostly involves a lot of foot stamping and twirling. You adore your first music class (no, it's not Miss Mary, but it's still Music Together), and wait anxiously for the instrument bucket to come out. You know when it's time for class to begin, and you back up right into my lap to (sort of) keep the beat during the Hello Song.

- If you hurt someone accidentally (or on purpose) you quickly remedy with hugs and kisses. You're extremely compassionate for such a little girl.


- My most favorite thing is that you nod and shake your head when asked a question. 60% of the time I actually believe you know what we're asking and can answer accurately. The other 40% of the time you're just being agreeable.

We all love you so very much. Stay sweet, little one.
Love,
Mom
video
Cumulative Word List:


doggie
uh oh
dada
bye bye
yes/yup
up
off
this
that
mama (which refers to me AND dad)
mommy (also pronounced "ah-mee")
ouch
boo boo
out (possibly means "open")
Elmo ("ah-mo")
book ("bop") ?
hot ("ot")
truck ("guck")
Avery (various pronunciations)
various animal sounds--my favorite is the cat ("meowmeowmeowmeowmeow" in a super high pitched voice)



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Four


39 lbs (75-90th %ile)
40 3/4 in (50-75th %ile)

Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Toy: Disney racing Cars
Favorite Fruit: bananas
Favorite TV Show/Movie: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse/Cars 2/Annie
Favorite thing to eat for Lunch: PBJ
Favorite Outfit: "Three airplane shirt"
Favorite Game: Wii Mario Cart
Favorite Snack: Peanuts/raisins/M&Ms
Favorite Animal: Horses
Favorite Song: "All the songs from Willy Wonka"
Favorite Book: The Giving Tree
Best Friend: Theo, Mason
Favorite Cereal: Raisin Bran Crunch
Favorite Thing to do Outside: Play baseball
Favorite Drink: Orange juice
Favorite Holiday: Christmas
What do you take with you to bed at night: Horse race track
What do you want for dinner on your birthday: Mac n Cheese
What do you want to be when you grow up: a Football player and “a Plant Waterer”



Dear Buddy,

Well...good riddance to three. Though this year was as rough (if not rougher) as the previous year, for different reasons, a lot has happened. You finished your first year of pre pre school. You learned how to use the bathroom and became very independent at brushing your teeth and getting dressed. You became an excellent baseball and basketball player. You have started to learn some pre-reading skills, and how to draw a few letters. You can write your name! You've started to learn a tiny bit of math. You have raced and raced and raced and raced your Disney Cars. You've played countless games of Candyland. You visited the hospital in March (nothing serious) and had your first IV. You learned to jump into the pool alone, and how to swim with your face in the water. You swung on the glider at the park unassisted and became brave enough to slide down the scary slides, and practice the monkey bars. You learned to ride your first bike (sorta) and scooter. You rode trains, boats, and planes. You became friends with a new group of kids at school and camp. You became a big brother who loves his sister. 

Here are a few highlights:

You made a school project involving seashells glued to colored sand.
Me: "What are these called?"
You: "Shells!"
Me: "Where do you find shells?"
You: "School!"

Reading The Best Mouse Cookie. "First he adds a little salt, sugar, and cauliflower."(Er, flour.)

You're obsessed with the weather, just like your dad. "It's 79 right now, but it's going to catch up to 88!"

While listening to the "Bobby Baby" opening from the musical, Company, you asked, "Is this MJ's favorite song, because she likes to say 'baba' and they're saying 'Bobby?'"

Talking about getting married and having babies.
Me: "You'll have to find someone to marry if you want to have babies. "
You: "Someone like who? Like a girl?"
Me: "Sure."
You: "Like you?"
Me: "No, you can't marry me, because I'm your mom."
You: "How about Auntie G?"
Me: "Sure, buddy."  ;)

You're so proud of all your bathroom related accomplishments, including changing the roll of toilet paper independently.

In fact, your independence is sometimes frightening. Like the time I forgot to buckle you into your booster seat. "It's okay, I did it myself!" WOW. Okay then.

Bowling on the Wii,  three strikes in a row is a Turkey, and two strikes is a "Chicken Dinner!"

Watching The Music Man, you called "The Wells Fargo Wagon," the "Red Wagon Song." Also, you were quite concerned about Winthrop's lisp, and assured us you'd never make fun of someone because they're different. [heart melt]

You: "That is NOT believable." --in your best "I'm actually 13" voice. (You meant "unbelievable," of course.)


I love you so very much, my little thinker, my little explorer.
Love,
Mom





Sunday, September 2, 2012

Blogger, get a clue!

Hey, there! Just a quick note to say I have no idea what's going on with the fonts, sizes, and layouts here. Perhaps Blogger, the host site, might pay attention. Stay tuned....and always remember you can choose Shift+Command+ the plus key to increase the font size on ANY web page too small to read. :)


Thursday, August 23, 2012

1 Year

Height: 30 3/4 in (75-90%ile)
Weight: 24 lbs, 3 oz (90%ile)
HC: 45 cm (cm? really?) 50%ile

My sweet Rosebud,

I think this has been my favorite month, in terms of development. In terms of age and turning one and all the emotion that accompanies it--I'm not such a huge fan. You've certainly taken more steps toward toddlerhood and away from babyhood. You're even starting to lose a bit of your...roundedness...and are visibly lengthening. Not to worry; there are still plenty of thighs to go around. :)

Some of this month's favorite things:

(Photo credit: Brian J. Markham)
- As if by magic, you learned the hand motions for "Twinkle, Twinkle," and surprised me by doing them on your changing table one morning. Now you start blinking your fingers whenever you want me to sing the song. So sweet.

- You're a super crawler now, one month later. You spend very little time playing with toys, and quite a bit of time dumping out baskets and crawling aimlessly from one room to another. But you REALLY put on speed when you see someone has left the gate to Avery's pen open. Jackpot! Dog food! Water dish! (Naughty baby.)

- At Grandma's one morning, you learned how to crawl up the (soft, carpeted) stairs. At home, you only ever seem to manage one (hard, wooden) stair--which is just fine with me. But the baby gates are in full swing anyway.

- On your birthday you gave yourself two gifts. 1) A top tooth! 2) The ability to pull yourself up. I had been telling our two visitors that day that I couldn't believe that, at one year, you still weren't pulling yourself up. Not two minutes later, you did it. Show off. You spent the next four days ignoring your new skill, until I mentioned to your pediatrician that you had done it, but only about three times. As soon as we returned home, BAM. It was like someone lit a fire under your squishy tush; you began pulling up on EVERYTHING.

- You get SO EXCITED when we head to the basement to play. Screeching at a pitch only dogs can hear. I love it!

- You will often repeat animal noises that we demonstrate. At the moment: doggie, horse, tiger and elephant--my favorite.

- You have the most beautiful light blonde hair that is starting to curl in the back (SQUEE!!!). I love it. I've even started to sneak barrettes and teeny tiny pony bands into it, but it's tough to keep you from pulling them out.

- This month you started to cuddle at bed time a whole bunch. You plop your sweet head on my shoulder (on top of Owley the lovey) and sometimes even stroke my arm while we rock and sing ("Twinkle," "Lady," "Stay Awake," "Raisins and Almonds," Hush, Little Baby").

- You give a hug by ramming your head into the nearest chest. It's very sweet, if a tiny bit painful. And you're working so hard on the kissing noise. Such concentration involved! But you've got the open-mouth fish face working really well.

- You've discovered the paci game: popping it into my mouth and taking it out. Over and over and over.

- You say "yes!" Especially when asked if you want blueberries or grapes--your two favorites.

(Side note: Dr. E says to go ahead and give you peanut butter. The times, they are a changin'. Also, he suggested cutting out bottles completely--you had still been taking 12 oz of formula per day--and immediately switching to milk in a cup. You're not a fan of the milk. At all.)
(Sleep related, for reference: you still take two naps a day. One from 9:30-11:00 and another from 2:00-4:00. Bed time is around 7:00.)


This will be the last monthly update, until 18 months. I have so enjoyed writing them, as I know you'll enjoy reading them when you're older. I love you, Little Bit (borrowed from Papa).

Kisses,
Mom

(Too tired to proofread. Forgive.)

video


Cumulative word list:
doggie
uh oh
dada
bye bye
yes/yup


Friday, July 27, 2012

11 Months

Dear Rosebud,

YOU CRAWLED. It took almost 11 months to the day, but you finally did it. For the first few days you seemed a bit tentative, and then I got to watch as a lightbulb went off. It was as if you said to yourself, "wait...I don't have to stay in this room?!" And then you took off. The hardwood floors don't seem to dissuade you, though dresses pose a challenge. Your little knees trip on them, causing you to face-plant somethin' fierce. Now that you have access to pretty much whatever you desire, I find it endlessly amusing that you choose to go after our shoes. And paper. Any kind of paper.

video
(Leave it to my daughter to ultimately be motivated by a musical instrument.)

When you're not crawling, you spend a lot of time in a jazz split. Hopefully you'll be able to sustain the flexibility that you certainly won't be inheriting from your mother--sorry, kid. (And, fair warning, I've also got bad eyes and bad teeth, so...)

You still looooove the peek-a-boo game, though sometimes you're so lazy you can only be bothered to half-heartedly cover one eye. Then you wait for me to figure out what you're doing. It's adorable, actually.

We have definitely determined that your "D" word is "doggie." You're so enthusiastic about all dogs we run across at the park, on walks, and, of course, your own dog. You're infatuated by her tail, much to her chagrin, and she spends much of her day trying to stay out of your path of destruction.


You also seem to have another word for your brother's name, but I can't quite nail down the phonetics yet.

You're definitely saying "Dada," and you definitely know who Dada is. :)

You can hold your own bottle! Just in time to start giving it up!

And the pointing. Oh...the pointing. You point at EVERYTHING. Usually with no desire to label or hold. But it's darn cute. One thing you point at incessantly is your butterfly mobile. Then we practice blowing it to make it move. So sweet.

You took your first bike ride on June 24, in the Burley with your brother. To his credit, he really tried to be patient with you, even though you kept smacking him in the face, unintentionally. We took a short ride to the park to do your very favorite activity--swing. You could swing for HOURS--and have, actually, swung continuously for one hour on an afternoon we spent at the park with your brother's friends. You never fussed, you never even batted an eye when I kept running to the other side of the park to tend to him. What a gal!

You had two playdates this month; one with Little L (who you first met when you were a few days old), and one with Huey's brother (Auntie G, we need a blog nickname for him!). Unfortunately for both of them, you spent the majority of the time trying to pull their hair. Ouch. You also met Princess Baby A, and squealed with delight over her for a half hour. She didn't quite know what to make of you.

You took a vacation with us to Mackinac Island. Let me tell you, if ever there was a baby who didn't sleep well in the car, it's you. 14 total hours, 3 total hours of napping. Which meant you spent most of the rest of the time staring at your reflection and hoping someone (me) would crawl into the back seat and entertain you. Other than that, you were a trooper on our vacation, even though you missed several naps and were completely out of routine. You were SO EXCITED about the horses! horses! horses! Every time you saw one (which happened about 120 times per day) you would yell as loud as possible. Passersby were quite amused at your antics. You also ate quite a bit of ice cream and tried to learn to crawl on the floor of our hotel room--to no avail.

You remain a jolly, happy baby, for the most part, and I love being your mom and watching this process all over again. Next month is a big one!

Love,
Mom

11 Month Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/93pdwk0pj2ivu73/8brPF4W5d0
Mackinac Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ob2t4pu3q8b3v2f/kjyVkFIOy8

Saturday, June 23, 2012

10 Months

Dear Rosebud,

You've reached the stage in life where you've been out of the womb longer than you were in, and I can't believe it was already a year ago that I was hugely pregnant in the heat of summer. This is the month you made the transition from the "easiest baby in the world," to...ummm...a girl with many opinions about life. You are not shy about letting us know if you're uncomfortable in a certain position (on your back when you'd rather be sitting, sitting when you'd rather stand, standing when you'd rather sit), and since you still can't get yourself to your desired location, you grunt about it until someone helps you out. You've also found that you can occasionally distract your brother from taking a toy out of your hands by screaming at the top of your lungs for help.

Here are some more highlights:

- You are (FINALLY) comfortably rolling all around, and Dad and I often find you upside-down or flipped on your stomach when you wake up in your crib. And I snapped a photo of the first time (to my knowledge) you fell asleep on your stomach. As a result of all this movement, Dad lowered your crib to a safer level and Mom cried just a tiny bit.

- You are becoming desperate to pull yourself up on things (the living room ottoman, your crib rail), but your upper body strength can't quite combat your lower body weight. But you keep trying!

- While you're not crawling at all, you do seem to throw yourself forward into Pigeon Pose to retrieve  runaway toys.

- You're more comfortable hanging out on your tummy than you have been in the past, but you're still not pushing up onto hands and knees. But you will stay there to examine a book or a very interesting toy. You are able to push your upper body off the ground, leading your Dad to believe you'll skip the army crawling stage. We'll see...

- Your most piercing scream was heard through the grocery store today (about thirty times), and you thought that was just hysterically funny.

- You have two favorite books (the ABC and Colors Baby books), and you use your new word every time you read them. We're still trying to figure out what that word means, but we're leaning toward "doggie." You also will put your mouth up to the page to "kiss" the picture of the baby.

- You love to make popping sounds with your mouth and encourage those around you to participate, too. For several weeks, I would stick out my tongue when you did that, and it was most fascinating to watch you to try to figure out how to imitate me. A few days ago, you figured it out, and now your little tongue spends half the day hanging out of your mouth.

- You notice every single dog that crosses your path and make sure that every one else notices the dog, too!

- You mastered your first sippy cup on the first try (fabulous Tommy Tippee cups that are bite-free! and come with lids!), though I'm still a little worried you might experience Death By Sippy Cup...you take in so much water at one time!

- Your brother and I took you to the pool for the first time and you love splashing around--and didn't even mind the uncomfortable pool floor on your little thighs.

- We also brought out the baby pool several times last month so you could shriek (at a pitch one would think only dogs could hear) and splash for an hour at a time. You are certainly the happiest when there's water involved.


Words/sounds (that have meaning):

Uh-nnnn = uh oh
Da-nggg = we're not sure what it means, but it definitely means something to YOU (doggie? baby? thank you?)


Thanks for keeping us on our toes! Now let's get moving!!!
Love,
Mom

Photos here: http://www.zangzing.com/hannahrae/10-months-mayjune-2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

"The Cayman Islands" Post. Aka: "When it Rains it Pours."

(The trip we hoped for. Minus the clouds.)

(Yes, this is several weeks late.) (Don't judge me for not proofreading!)

We're back on the mainland, after a wonderful week in (on) Grand Cayman, in the Cayman Islands. This is our second Adults Only Vacation since we started having children, and I can certainly say that it is refreshing for the soul and for the soulmates to be blessed with time away from the children, work, and household duties.

Sunday: We arrived to clouds and drizzle. Our first cab driver said it was "very unusual for this time of year" and that that it would certainly pass the next day.  We ate a delicious dinner in the Westin's casual restaurant, Ferdinand's.

Monday: Exactly the opposite of the cab driver's description, we experienced drenching rain the entire day. Like, from 8AM to 8PM. The best discovery of the day was the all you can eat brunch served daily at Ferdinand's. And eat we did. Because when it rains on a tropical island, what else do you have to do? Later, we took a cab to Camana Bay, an outdoor, upscale mall...which was closed, save for threes stores, due to an island holiday of some sort. (And, yes, we did check with our concierge first, and, yes, she did say it would be open.) Hubby bought me a lovely silver ring as an early birthday gift. We saw "The Five Year Engagement" at the mall movie theatre. After the movie, we got soaked walking to find a cab, which we were finally able to do from a gas station. We dined at the nicest Westin restaurant that evening--Casa Havana.

Tuesday: We discovered the "bus" that picks up directly across from our hotel. Or, really, anywhere you want. The "bus" is actually a 10 passenger van with a sticker on the front. The drivers honk their horns at passersby, and if you flag them down, they'll stop for you wherever you like. And it's mostly a $2.50 US ride per person. A much better deal than the VERY expensive cab rides. We did a little shopping browsing in George Town and found ourselves with a few hours to kill before dinner. We asked the locals where we should grab a cocktail and were directed to a lovely bar on the water. Several rum-laced cocktails later, we moseyed back uptown to find some dinner. Since it was (still) raining, the streets were pretty empty. After several attempts to find a restaurant still open (did I mention it was only 5pm?), we grabbed the bus, asked the bus driver for a recommendation, and ended up at Champion House. Our braves selves tried delicious braised oxtail and curried goat for dinner. Oxtail = A-. Curried goat = C-.

Wednesday: We headed to the Turtle Farm, where we were able to "hug" some giant sea turtles and commune with the birds. We were hiking along a little rainforest-y trail when the heavens opened. We found ourselves under a tiny shelter and tried to wait out the storm. Ha. Instead, we darted from shelter to shelter through the pounding rain until we reached the front of the building. A short walk later, we reached our dinner destination (an hour early): The Cracked Conch. Outside the main restaurant is the home of our now favorite Cayman bar, the Macabuca Oceanside Tiki Bar. There, we sampled the second best rum drink on the island and were served by a George Clooney look-alike bartender. The highlights of our dinner were the conch ceviche and braised short ribs. And those were just the appetizers! After our best dinner on the island, we were forced to take a VERY expensive cab ride back to our hotel, since the busses stop running to the West Bay area after dark. Who knew? During our cab ride, our very sweet, Jamaican driver suggested we hire her to tour us around the island the following day....for the bargain price of $50. Per hour. Um, no.

Thursday: For about $50 (for 24 hours), we rented a car from our hotel and spent the day touring many of the major tourist destinations (in between rain showers, of course) by car--driving on the left, of course. Brad was a pro, having lost a hubcap practiced in New Zealand several years prior. We started at Pedro's Castle (locals pronounce it, "PEE-dro"), which really isn't a castle at all, but a replica of an old plantation house with significant island history. The original stone staircase and foundation are still intact. We departed the "castle" for the Queen Elizabeth Botanic Park, where we saw some of the most amazing plant life I've ever experienced. It was a lovely hike through the rainforest, culminating in a rendezvous with a couple of blue iguanas. We headed north and west to Rum Point and Kaibo. Lunch at the Kaibo Beach Bar and Grill included THE BEST rum drink on the island--just as our flight attendant said it would be. We sat through a storm and made our way to Rum Point where (SURPRISE!) the sun graced us with its presence for two hours before sunset, during which time we snorkeled a tiny bit and read our books in the hammocks. After a lovely afternoon, and feeling like we had seen so much of what the beautiful island has to offer, we headed back to our hotel to freshen up and drove back to the West Bay area for dinner at the Calypso Grill, in Morgan's Harbour. The highlight of my Official Birthday Dinner was the sticky toffee pudding, served just a few blocks from Sticky Toffee Road. Yum.

Friday: On Friday, fresh out of ideas, we made our way back to George Town for more shopping browsing. Just before I was about to try to convince my husband to purchase some out-of-our-price-range jewelry, he told me he had just discovered there were two seats left on the Atlantis Submarine trip, which we had attempted to ride earlier that week (foiled by the weather, of course). While we found the experience incredibly overpriced, it was pretty neat to do a "dive" without getting wet or SCUBA certified. We did see a shark, some tiger fish, and various other sea creatures. At this point, the weather seemed like it might actually stay clear for a while, so we returned to the Westin and rented some snorkel gear--and we're oh so glad we did. The reef off the Westin's beach is incredibly satisfying. Snorkelers used to feed the fish there, as the story goes, so the fish are quite friendly and plentiful. And they greet you as soon as you enter the reef. By swimming within inches of your nose. In a giant school. (Gulp.) We saw angel fish, a puffer fish (!), and a whole bunch of other fish whose names we don't know. Next to the Great Barrier Reef, it was the best snorkeling I've seen.

Saturday: FINALLY, we had a nice--if not completely sunny--day. We spent seven consecutive hours on the beach, reading, drinking fruity cocktails, snorkeling, and getting sunburned...somehow. I was treated to a birthday serenade by the local musicians at our hotel, and we were able to be flies on the wall (er, sand) at two different beach wedding receptions. Our last Cayman meal echoed our first. I ordered the coconut shrimp that Brad had so enjoyed during that first meal at Ferdinand's.

Our very early return on Sunday morning was peaceful and uneventful. We were so grateful to return to happy and well cared for children (thanks to Mimi), and even enjoyed a charming double birthday celebration with Papa, complete with dinner, dessert, and decorations.

(The trip we got. Clouds included.)
We agreed that we would definitely return to the Caymans one day, and it is a great tropical destination for families.













Photos here: http://www.zangzing.com/hannahrae/cayman-islands-2012