Bring it on

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

And in another blink of an eye, summer has vanished. The calendar tells us differently, of course, as does the hot and sticky weather that persists, but with the dawn of a new school year, we have moved on from the lazier, more relaxing days of summer and have been whisked into the upcoming frenzy of the academic world. Time keeps on ticking into the future, as they say.

This year is a big one for us: In addition to The Big Sis starting 4th grade (say what?), we also have The Little Sis starting KINDERGARTEN (get out!) on the heels of celebrating her 5th birthday (jawdrop).

Our littlest baby is starting her own school adventure, and you know what? I actually couldn’t be more excited for her. I don’t feel sad about this transition. I wouldn’t even say that I feel bittersweet about it. Maybe I’m in denial and it’ll hit me later, rather unexpectedly. But part of it is because I know she’s excited. And I know she’s beyond prepared for this. But mostly I feel like I try to put an emphasis on truly enjoying the current stage my girls are experiencing without looking back too longingly at the past. Yes, we have great memories from her baby days, and from her toddler days, and from her preschool days. We soaked up our experiences in those stages and made as many memories as possible. And I know that new adventures await her — and all of us.

We choose to look forward, lest we stumble looking backward. Onward and upward! Fourth grade and kindergarten? Bring it on!


Bullet mania

Friday, March 18, 2016

All right, time for another bulleted update on random items since I’ve neglected the ol’ bloggie blog for too long. Not that anyone’s reading anyway! Here we go:

  • The Big Sis’s academic challenge team competed in the regional tournament a couple weeks ago, and they pulled out a third-place finish among the 77 teams competing and received a medal for the effort! Coming in second place in the region was another team from her school, with both of those teams just missing for first place.
  • We took both of the girls for eye exams recently (The Little Sis’s first, and The Big Sis’s second). The Little Sis got a clean bill of eye health, but The Big Sis has a slight astigmatism and they said that glasses to correct it were optional at this point. Chances are she’d need glasses in another year or two anyway, and either getting or not getting glasses now wasn’t going to change that, so we went ahead and got them for her so she can get used to wearing them before it becomes a necessity. I thought I might be upset if she had to get glasses, because I remember it was a hard thing for me when I needed them in 7th grade, but she’s actually really excited about having them, and she likes her frames, so I’m excited for her! I’m sure it helps her that so many of her friends already have glasses themselves, so there’s really not much of a stigma attached to it, at least in her current circle of friends.
  • I just wrapped up my second week at the new job, and so far so good! I’m still in the process of learning the ropes, and will be for a while, but I’m feeling more confident with what I need to be doing, and the feedback I’m getting is helpful and is indicating that I’m on the right track.
  • I will travel some for this job, and I just booked my first two trips, one to Dallas and one to Marco Island, FL, both in May. Overall I’m looking forward to the trips, though I’m a little bummed that the Dallas trip means I will have to miss The Little Sis’s preschool graduation. That part breaks my heart, but hopefully she won’t hold it against me for too long. 😦
  • We had to go with plan B for our summer vacation this year because our dog needs surgery next week, so we’ve opted to go to Boston and Maine to visit with friends and family, so we’ll still get to have a vacation but will significantly cut down on costs since we won’t have to pay for lodging (and some meals). At first I was bummed about having to go with alternate plans, but everyone is looking forward to seeing us, so I’m getting excited myself now.
  • The Little Sis had something click a couple weeks ago, and she was suddenly able to read very simple books (like the BOB books)! She’s known her letter sounds for a while, and has been sounding out the letters in words when we read, but she wasn’t able to string it all together to form the words herself. But now she can, at least for words that are pronounced how they’re spelled — words like hug, dog, cat, can, etc.
  • I will admit I was hesitant to have The Big Sis join Girl Scouts this year, but she has really enjoyed the meetings and activities (and even the cookie sales), way more than I expected she would! I believe she came in third place in her troop for cookie sales, which isn’t too shabby at all, especially given the fact that she did the bulk of the sales herself (as opposed to me or The Husband constantly soliciting orders). We stepped back and let her handle the bulk of it on her own, and I think she learned a lot of good things along the way.

Fall conferences

Monday, November 3, 2014
A couple of weeks ago, we had The Little Sis’s fall parent-teacher conference at daycare. Our old daycare didn’t do formal assessments like this, but I find it’s nice to gather information on where your child is currently, what her strengths/weaknesses are, and find out what skills she should be working toward. The Little Sis’s report was very positive — they said she is happy and bright and friendly and is right where she should be regarding things like letter recognition, color identification, and more. One thing we should probably practice more at home is writing her name, as her attempt at that was largely unrecognizable. (I think I made out part of her first letter, but only because I know what it should have been.)

The other comment was that she had been going through a few weeks where she had unexplained accidents a few times a week (which we obviously knew about), but by the time we met for the conference, we seemed to have a better handle on that, so hopefully we’ve moved past that. (Translation: She gets two gummi bears from us for having “potty power” at daycare, and the accidents disappeared immediately. Knock on wood.) They were most impressed with how many letters she knows the sounds of right now — they said they’re not focusing on that at all right now, but we’ve been taking advantage of her strong interests in letters and letter sounds at home, and I’m glad to see it’s benefiting her.


Last week we met with The Big Sis’s teacher for her fall conference. We were told that the Big Sis is above grade level in all areas of assessment, and her MAP scores (199 for both reading and math) are right where they’d expect them to be for her. The Teacher has no concerns with The Big Sis, academically or otherwise, which is always a relief to hear. (I did challenge The Teacher, mostly jokingly, when she said The Big Sis followed all directions the first time. I noted that I’d love her to do the same at home.)
What’s interesting, though, is that we had a 20-minute time slot for the conference, and the first 10 minutes were spent talking about The Big Sis, then somehow The Teacher got sidetracked and told us all about her long journey (that included seven miscarriages) to at-birth adoption of her daughter, who is now 6. I shared that The Husband and I understood such heartache, as we had to take our own medical steps to get The Little Sis and had experienced two losses of our own. That part of the conversation went on so long that we exceeded our initial 20-minute time slot and went over by 10 minutes. Oops! (Sorry, other parents who were waiting!) I have to say, I certainly didn’t expect The Teacher to share all of this with us, but it was nice that she did. (I’m going to pretend that we gave off a vibe that indicated to her that we’d understand, instead of imagining that she told 24 other sets of parents the same stories!)

Another one gone

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Big Sis lost her eighth tooth this evening — her upper left lateral incisor. So exciting!


A random story: The Little Sis and I were playing “Mommy and Baby” at bedtime, and she was pretending to drive me to the zoo. I started to say something, but she shushed me and said, “Please be quiet. I’m trying to tay appension (translation: pay attention).”

Putting the crib to bed

Monday, July 7, 2014
We switched The Little Sis’s crib to a toddler bed several weeks ago, but we still had a futon in her room (in couch position, which is where we’d read bedtime stories), and that’s where The Little Sis was choosing to sleep probably 95% of the time. We finally decided to move the futon to a bed position (mostly so we could more easily put a mattress protector on there), and it occurred to me that I should probably start floating the idea of getting rid of the crib, just in case it took her a while to warm up to the idea. Years ago, I knew The Big Sis wouldn’t have an issue getting rid of the crib when it was her turn, but The Little Sis can become sentimental and attached to some unexpected things, so I wasn’t sure how this would go.

I mentioned it to her for the first time on Sunday before nap, and she was actually very excited about getting rid of the crib. In fact, I almost wondered if she understood what I really meant by it. No more crib ever. Bye-bye, crib. Adios. But she still agreed that she was okay with the crib being taken down and removed from her room.

After she woke up from nap, she said the same thing, so I asked The Husband if he’d mind going ahead and taking it down, which he did before the girls’ pre-dinner bath. The Little Sis stayed in her room and watched the dismantling process, acting as a very good helper by putting the hardware into the bag for The Husband. He finally got all of the parts disassembled and we started moving them out of the room, and I knew everything was going to be okay when she started jumping up and down where the crib was and said excitedly, “Yay! Yay! It’s open! It’s open!” We moved the futon to the far corner of her room, and she was very excited to sleep in her “new bed” last night. At some point we’ll get her a real bed, of course, though The Big Sis slept with the futon for a while before we got her a bed; I like that the futon is pretty low to the ground, just in case she rolls off.

Knowing that this is our last child, and the last time taking down the crib, I think I’m supposed to feel sad or, at the very least, bittersweet about this transition. But I truly have no such emotions attached to this milestone. Yes, time continues to escape into some unseen vacuum that hovers around us at all times, but I have to admit that I find it a little exciting that she’s reached this point. If she embraces this change, then why shouldn’t I?

(This futon, given to us by a friend/co-worker 14 years ago, has certainly gotten plenty of use in our family. First it served as The Husband’s bed in the two years before we moved in together [at which time I brought a proper bed to the apartment]. For a while it was in our guest room [when we had such a room!], then it was in The Big Sis’s room, first as our nightly reading spot and then it turned into her transitional bed between the crib and a real bed. Finally, it was moved to The Little Sis’s room and served as our reading spot with her, and now it’s her transitional bed. I swear I’m going to be more emotional when it’s time to get rid of the futon than I was with the crib!)

Wordless Wednesday: First night in the toddler bed

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wednesday roundup

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

*The Big Sis lost tooth #6 (lower right lateral incisor) on April 22. This permanent tooth is going to be met with quite a bit of crowding and most likely won’t be coming in straight at all. Like The Husband and me both, she has quite a small mouth, so we will likely be headed to The Orthodontist at some point. I got lucky, however, and never did need braces (though you’d never think that if you saw my mouth when I was a kid).

*The Big Sis had a fundraiser, Jump Rope for Heart, for the American Heart Association at school recently, where she raised $405. And guess what? That ended up being enough to make her the leading fundraiser at her school, which I could tell made her so proud. She did a little movie where she was jump-roping and asking for donations, and I posted that on my Facebook page, so she really did help with the effort. A huge thank you if you were one of those friends or family members that donated!

*I think we’re on the verge of converting The Little Sis’s crib to a toddler bed. For the past week or two, she’s been asking to go to sleep on the futon in her room, which we’ve been letting her do, then we move her to the crib before we go to bed. Last night we let her sleep on the futon for the entire night and she did well; I think this is a good way to ease her (and us) into the freedom of a toddler bed.

*The Husband is scheduled for gallbladder removal on June 11 after having issues for a few months now. This cannot come soon enough for either one of us, as his attacks have been pretty miserable. (Mostly for him, of course, though I do know the misery of that pain. His attacks are more just inconvenience for me.)

*I’m heading to NYC this time next month, and I am crazy-obsessed-over-the-top excited.


Moving forward

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Little Sis had her first forward-facing ride in my car today! (Yes, we kept her rear-facing in my car this long. Would’ve been longer, but she’s close to outgrowing the height on the Roundabout, so we needed to move to the harnessed booster. She’s been forward-facing in The Husband’s car for maybe a year now, since he has a two-door car and at one point had a shoulder injury that made it impossible to get her in the seat safely. So she’s not a newbie to facing forward, but now enjoys the big-kid privilege no matter which car she’s in.)

What’s up, doc?

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Husband took The Big Sis for her (belated) 7-year well check. As I wasn’t there myself, I don’t have firsthand knowledge of the visit, but he took some good notes for me.

Height: 48.75 inches (Here we come, bigger amusement park rides!) (50th to 75th percentile)
Weight: 52 pounds (50th to 75to percentile)
BMI: 15.5 (50th to 75th percentile)
Blood pressure: 98/56

Milestone questions:

*Can your child tie his/her shoes?
*Can your child get him/herself dressed without any help?
*Can your child catch a ball?
*Can your child repeat back four digits in sequence?
*Can your child count to 30?
*Can your child write four words?
*Can your child read some of a page?
*Can your child skip with both feet?

Wordless Wednesday: Tooth pulling

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

This ‘n’ that

Monday, December 9, 2013

I found out that our dollar movie theater was playing The Wizard of Oz this past weekend, so I offered to take The Big Sis to see it. I gave her two choices: We could get popcorn and candy and call that dinner (the movie was at 5 p.m.), or we could get something small at the movie and grab a quick dinner after the movie. I thought for sure she’d go for the popcorn and candy option, but she did not. As she told me, “Because popcorn just isn’t a very healthy choice for dinner.” What the heck, kid?! I mean, yay for her! But what the heck?


The Big Sis lost her third tooth last night, her top right central incisor. This one has been very wiggly for weeks, and despite trying to pull with string on two different occasions, she had no real luck with it until last night. She’d tried for a good 45 minutes before bed but we eventually had to give up. Around 9:45 p.m., she called out for me, and I went in and she said she was pretty sure it was almost out. I let her get up, and within a couple of pulls, she finally had it out!

I was sort of sad at her first two teeth being gone since it changed her look so much, but this one hasn’t bothered me for some reason.

Her top left central incisor is also wiggly, though I don’t think that one is coming out for a while. All she wants for Christmas (at the moment) is just one of her front teeth.


The next time I get the idea to make Chex Mix and Christmas cookies, please — someone stop me!


A couple weeks ago, The Big Sis read a story in school about Sarah Hale, who led a letter-writing campaign to get Thanksgiving recognized as an official holiday. For one question, she had to answer, “Who was the hero of Thanksgiving?” Her answer: “Sarah Hale was a Thanksgiving hore.” Cracked me up.

Also, she had to answer which president made Thanksgiving a national holiday. Her answer: “aper hand linkens” (translation: Abraham Lincoln)

Twofer toofer

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I remember it well. First feeling your wiggly tooth, then playing with it endlessly, sometimes with your tongue and sometimes trying to pull it with your fingers, trying to devise a way to yank the thing out of your mouth in the quickest and most pain-free way possible. Then putting the tooth under your pillow to gain a visit from the mysterious but generous Tooth Fairy.

Nearly all of her classmates had experienced this rite of passage, but there was The Big Sis, still with a mouth full of 20 baby teeth and nary a visit from the Tooth Fairy. Her dentist said it was better that way: She has a small mouth with crowded teeth, so the bigger her mouth is when her new teeth come in, the better off she’ll be as they fight for space in her gums. But it’s hard when you’re among the last of your classmates to experience a major childhood milestone, though The Big Sis never really did seem to let it bother her.

But she was excited a month ago as she told us that her right lower central incisor was loose. (Well, she didn’t use the exact tooth name, of course.) And not long after, she showed us that the one right next to it (left lower central incisor) was also a little wiggly But the one on the right took the lead and within a couple weeks, it was pretty loose and she could pull it forward quite a bit, but still it held its place firmly by those last roots. Sometimes she would pull at it herself, other times she asked me and The Husband to take a turn. Surprisingly, even though the thought of wiggly teeth gives me the heebie-jeebies, it didn’t bother me (that much) to assist her with this task, though all of us were unsuccessful.

So she came home last Thursday (June 20) after gymnastics class and eagerly showed me the bag that held her little tooth. Sure enough, there was a newly empty space in her gums where the adult tooth was already poking through. Apparently on her summer camp field trip that day, one of her friends told her she should try to pull it, and she did, and out it came!

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So we got ready for her first visit from the Tooth Fairy that night, putting the tooth in a gold earrings box and placing it under her pillow after our nightly stories. Unbeknownst to us, though, The Big Sis wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy:

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The Husband was the one who retrieved the tooth and the note after I’d gone to bed, and he saved the day, responding that the Tooth Fairy didn’t bring enough pixie dust for her to fly, but she did bring enough for her to having flying DREAMS for two weeks. Whew — good thinking! When The Big Sis woke up the next morning, she was greeted with this note and one of each coin: a dollar coin, half dollar, quarter, dime, nickel, and penny. She also scored a new toothbrush (that we happened to have hidden under the sink).

So the next day, she came home from summer camp and said she had a surprise for me. She said, “Look how wiggly my other tooth is now!” and she opened her mouth, pulled out something from behind her back, and said, “Ha! It came out today! Once again, she was down a tooth, the result of another friend at camp telling her she should pull her loose tooth!

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I jokingly accused her of being a greedy girl and just wanting the tooth fairy to come back another night, which of course she did, bringing an additional set of coins as well as a pass to her favorite indoor playground. I also had The Husband doctor a photo to make it look like he caught a picture of the Tooth Fairy in her room, and I think it turned out pretty good — and she loved it. (I’ll try to remember to do that for Wordless Wednesday tomorrow.)

Two days in a row = two Tooth Fairy visits. I thought we were set for a while, but at story time tonight, The Big Sis realized that her top right central incisor is now very slightly loose. Based on our last experience, it’s unlikely to come out for at least a few weeks, but crazy that it’s all happening so fast for her after going so long with no experience in this area.

Eighteen months

Friday, February 15, 2013

Well, this is a bit late, but here is The Little Sis’ 18-month pic from last week. She’s getting to be such a big girl!

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Nothing but the tooth

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The big excitement in our house this week is that yesterday The Big Sis told us she felt a tooth in the back of her mouth on the bottom right. She said she was at recess and felt it with her tongue and said to herself, “Hey, is that a tooth?!” And sure enough, it is her first permanent molar coming through!

The Big Sis is at the age where most of her friends are losing their front teeth, but hers will probably not come out for a while, according to the dentist — maybe not for another year. (This is good, however, because her mouth is small and even her baby teeth are crowded, so it’s a good thing for them to come out later.) I feel kind of bad for her with everyone else experiencing this milestone without her, but she’s definitely excited about the new tooth. (Though she’s quite confused on why she’s getting a new tooth if she hasn’t lost one first. I’ve tried explaining it, but it hasn’t quite sunk in yet.)

I looked at it with the flashlight last night, and pretty much the entire surface of the molar has broken through and it just needs to rise up further. Clearly with so much tooth showing at this point, it’s been cutting through for a little while now, and I’m surprised she hasn’t felt more discomfort up to this point. She said it is a little sensitive when she brushes her teeth, and we did give her some Tylenol for pain the past couple of nights, but all in all it was a good experience.

Let Teething Round 2 begin!

(Just for record-keeping purposes, I’m going to add here that The Little Sis now has 12 teeth — all but the two-year molars and the canines. I think I’ve seen one of the canines just below the surface, but I can’t get a close enough look.)

Foto Friday: First ponytail (kinda sorta)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hey, gotta start somewhere, right??

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Perhaps some real curls thrown in too? We shall see in time…

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Fa-la-la-la busy

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wow — what a busy month of December! There was the normal Christmas craziness, as well as a busy few weeks at work (that still haven’t let up — I’m working on a big project that takes a lot of time and will keep me quite occupied well into January). But I’m happy to report that we all had a wonderful Christmas. The Big Sis visited Santa on the 15th and asked for a huge play castle and a plush Ariel doll (that she’s wanted for a long time), and whaddya know — the jolly ol’ elf delivered on Christmas morning! The Big Sis excitedly came into our bedroom that morning and told us all about the play castle that was set up in the living room, and we feigned surprise and then expressed great wonder when she took us out into the living room to show us. The Little Sis received several baby dolls (her favorite!), a play tunnel, and a sheep pillow (among many other goodies), though she was just as happy playing with The Big Sis’ presents as well as the wrapping paper and boxes (what a cliche!).

But the big news is that a couple days before Christmas, The Big Sis learned how to ride her bike without training wheels! I didn’t realize how big this milestone would feel before it happened, but it’s quite huge. I should note that she hadn’t shown much interest in her bike, even over the summer, and we never really did push it. About a week before Christmas, she wanted to get out the bike and asked to take the training wheels off, and we figured why not give it a try. Breaking my back, I tried teaching her about balance, steering, and pedaling on the bike as we made out way up and down the sidewalk, and she was making progress each time, but she was scared of the cracks and bumps on the sidewalk.

A couple days before Christmas, I decided to take her down a couple blocks to the walking track near our house. There’s a good flat stretch there, as well as a nice wide space for her to use…and wouldn’t you know she pretty much took right off. I ran right along with her in case she had balance issues (wrecking my plantar fasciitis foot again), but it turned out not to be necessary, and the next time out she was able to ride without me alongside her. The first couple of successful outs, she still needed help with getting started, but as of tonight, she’s mastered that and now just needs to get a better feel for using the brakes (and then more advanced skills like biking uphill). We tried biking on the sidewalk on the way home, but she was having too much trouble keeping a straight course on the narrow sidewalk, so we’ll stick to the trail for now, but I’m confident she’s going to master that soon as well. I am so unbelievably proud of her. I’ve made the process seem pretty easy, but it really wasn’t — she really, really wanted to do this and was super hard on herself when she’d falter, often collapsing on the ground in frustration. I kept up the encouragement, even when she was in tears, and ultimately her intense determination is what allowed her to succeed. What a wonderful little girl we have.

Movin’ on up

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Last week, The Big Sis kept coming home from kindergarten and telling us that she was going to another teacher’s room for the morning. The first day I brushed it off, but then when it happened a second and third day, I decided to e-mail the teacher and ask about it — I just couldn’t figure out if this was somehow a good thing or if it was bad and they were trying to separate her from another student or something. And I’m sure they didn’t really tell The Big Sis much about why she was moved, so I wasn’t getting many answers from her. All I knew was that she was going there for reading time.

Her teacher wrote: “[The Big Sis] has been going to Mrs. M’s room for Literacy block. This is from 8:00 – 10:30, she teaches kindergarteners and first graders that are moving at a faster pace in literacy.  We felt this was a good placement for her and she has adjusted well.  We would like to have her spend the entire day in the K/1 class and her homeroom teacher would then be Mrs. M. She will be getting all of the kindergarten curriculum but at a quicker pace and may go more into the first grade curriculum as the students are ready.”

They continued doing the partial days last week and moved her full time to the K/1 room yesterday. To say I am proud of her doesn’t quite cover it. We knew she had the potential to do well, as she was certainly prepared well during preschool, but I’m so happy that she’s performing well enough that her teachers see the potential in her as well. One of the triggers for her challenging behavior is boredom, so I’m hoping this will help nip that in the bud. We haven’t met her new teacher but will have a chance to when we attend Curriculum Night tomorrow night. In reading through her classroom information, so far I’m happy with her new teacher and think she’ll be good for The Big Sis.

Her K/1 class will have weekly homework that includes a phonics worksheet, a rhyming worksheet, and a worksheet meant to teach them how to follow directions. Each week the class has five “wall words” — basically sight words — that the kids need to practice reading and writing. On Fridays, there will be a quiz to test the mastery of these words. (For example, this week’s words are: my, an, in to, come.) In addition, we are to dedicate at least 20 minutes of reading time per night, which can include us reading to her, her reading to us, or us listening to books on CD. (We do this anyway; last night we had 30 minutes, which is pretty typical.) Last night we also took things a step further on our own in an effort to reinforce the words and had her point out her wall words in our stories whenever she saw us read them.

The Big Sis is a little hesitant to move full time because she’s already made friends in her old class, and now she is sad she has to leave them behind and make new friends. I personally know this is a good move for her and that it’ll turn out fine and she’ll probably have a new BFF by the end of the week, but it’s hard for her at the moment. We will continue to reassure her that she’s good at making friends and will get to know the kids in her new class.


In other school news, we let The Big Sis ride the school bus for the first time yesterday morning. The Husband will still probably drive her most of the time (especially once waiting at the bus stop means being COLD), but she wanted a chance to take it and see what it was like. I walked her to the bus stop and was pleased to see that there were probably six or seven other parents with their kids as well. (I wasn’t sure how it worked since I didn’t take the bus in elementary school. I was hoping I wouldn’t be the only parent there, but I definitely wasn’t.)

I think she was a little nervous, but her eagerness won that battle, and she lined up perfectly when the bus arrived. She found a seat with a neighbor who’d gotten on at another stop and tells me she had a great time. Not surprisingly, she’s asked to ride the bus more often, though we’ll probably make that a reward for good behavior.

One little, two little, three little…

Thursday, June 28, 2012


And teeth!

The Little Sis is in the process of getting her first top tooth (the right lateral incisor), which will bring her to a grand total of three teeth. We can also feel the bulge on the gums where tooth #4 will appear (left central incisor, it seems), so that will be in before long, as well.

But secondary to that news is the news that The Little Sis took several unassisted steps today when I went to visit her at lunch. And not just step-step-DIVE! She would take a step, pause and balance, then take another step. Most often she’d string two or three tiny, cautious steps together, but sometimes she took four careful steps to me, which was quite exciting. You can tell she’s proud of herself too — and each time she had to make sure both the teacher and I were watching her, otherwise she’d protest loudly enough to catch our attention.

You know, I was a little worried that kid milestones weren’t going to be as exciting this time around, but that’s certainly not the case. And I’m so excited for The Big Sis to find out she’s taking steps on her own. I think I’m going to “forget” to tell her, then see if I can get her to do it on her own at home tonight. If The Little Sis takes real steps, The Big Sis is going to go absolutely nuts!

Wordless Wednesday: Can you stand it?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Baby that can sit up? Check!

Baby that can pull up to standing? Check!

Baby that can crawl? Check?

Baby that can say mama? Check!

Baby and five-year-old who are ready to head to DISNEY WORLD?


On the move

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Little Sis can now easily sit herself up from a prone position. We got to watch her practice this over the weekend, and it was so fun to see her getting better and stronger with each attempt.

She also is pulling herself up on furniture up to her knees, and it’s just a matter of time before she pulls herself to her feet and starts cruising.

And last, but not least, she is so so so close to crawling. She goes immediately to her hands and knees and rocks back and forth quickly, and yesterday she took two little knee-steps before getting too tired. I would not be surprised if she takes off at any moment.


Wasn’t it not that long ago that The Big Sis was doing these very things? Sitting up…pulling herself up…crawling. It feels like it was just yesterday….

And yet, that can’t be true, as The Husband and I went on Friday to register The Big Sis for kindergarten. She will begin in less than four months. Kindergarten!

At this point I’m really not sad or bittersweet about this transition. (Though I reserve the right to change that at any point.) It’s hard to believe she’s growing up this fast, yes, but we’re embracing each new stage as it comes. My only thing is that there are so many unanswered questions at this point — will we let her ride the bus? where does she go when she gets to school? how will the car pickup line work at the end of the day? how much communication will we have with her teachers and peers? — but those are all questions that we’ll have answered before long, so I try not to linger on those things unnecessarily at this point. We go to the school on August 3 for an assessment so they’ll know where to place her, and I believe there’s also another Kindergarten Kickoff Day where we’ll get to go and tour the school and rooms, meet the teachers, and get even more information about this whole process.

And what’s unbelievable is the fact that before we know it, it’ll be The Little Sis’ turn….

Wordless Wednesday: The Little Mermaid, Big Sis-style

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

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Celebrate good times (come on!)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I have a five-year-old. That’s like, a real kid ‘n stuff. An amazing, wonderful, fun, smart, clever, be-dimpled little kid.

We had a wonderful time celebrating The Big Sis’ birthday over the weekend. We took her out to dinner on Friday night, her actual birthday, for crab legs. Yes, the girl is picky about so many things, including most typical kid foods, yet she inhales crab legs faster than I can crack them open — and I’m pretty good at it!

On Saturday morning we hung out around the house until it was time to go pick up her cake (Beauty and the Beast theme) and head to the party. It was held at a local indoor playground, one of her favorite places to go. We had a pretty good turnout of 15 kids who gobbled up pizza and cake, watched patiently as The Big Sis opened her presents, and then played like energetic four- and five-year-olds tend to do on play equipment. The party was exhausting for me trying to make sure everything ran smoothly, and it would have been difficult to pull off without some good help with The Little Sis (who I didn’t see much of for about two hours), but we managed just fine and The Big Sis had a blast.

That afternoon we came home and recharged a bit. Or rather: The Husband, The Little Sis, and I recharged a bit while The Big Sis played with some of her toys, including her sparkling new dollhouse. I took her out for dinner to Jimmy John’s (her favorite and mine too!) and then we met one of her preschool friends and his mom to see Beauty and the Beast in 3D. (Did I mention this is her favorite movie? And not really mine, but I was still nice and took her because I knew she’d love it. Which she did.) Five years old and her first date already? They grow up so fast these days. 😉

On Sunday, she would normally have gone to the grocery store with me, but we had her stay home so she could have more time to play with her new stuff.

Sometimes when there’s too much going on, The Big Sis can become a bit overwhelmed and really act out — but she was great the whole weekend. She was a perfect delight the entire time, truly getting age 5 started on a good note. (It caught up with her a bit when she returned to school on Monday, but hey, at least the weekend was good.)

But where, oh, where has the time gone? We’ll register her for kindergarten next month, and she’ll start that in mid-August. Wasn’t she just my itty-bitty? Not that long ago she was the size of The Little Sis. And now she’s a little girl with opinions and a sense of humor and an incredible love of life. It doesn’t really make me sad — more just stunned that time can pass so quickly.

But as I tell her often, she might not be a baby, but she’ll always be my baby.

Sitting up

Sunday, January 8, 2012

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She’s not sitting up reliably on her own all of the time, but she’s getting less wobbly for longer periods of time. It won’t be long before we can sit her upright and we won’t have to have hands at the ready just in case!

Catching up

Friday, January 6, 2012

*The whole sleeping thing really came unglued with The Little Sis earlier this week, culminating in a night in which she didn’t get to sleep until 12:30 a.m. and then I had to wake her at 6:30 a.m. Not nearly enough sleep for most people, let alone a baby her age (and one that routinely sleeps 12 to 14 hours consecutively at night). At that point we were pretty much at the end of our rope, unable to solve the sleep mystery that had gripped our house. The next night, I made a big effort to get her to bed even earlier. We’d had a consistent bedtime of around 6:30 or 6:45 p.m.since I returned to work, but the craziness of the holidays made us a little lax in that area, and I’m wondering if that’s what caused the issue…the past two nights I got her to bed at 6:15 p.m. and 6:05 p.m., respectively, and she slept through without a peep until we woke her at 6:30 a.m. And right now, night three, I got her to bed at 6:15 p.m. and so far she’s been silent for five hours — quite a departure from how things were earlier in the week. Getting her to bed that early presents definite issues on weeknights, mainly getting dinner made on time since we usually don’t get home until between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m. and The Husband isn’t home until at least 6 p.m. and sometimes closer to 6:15 p.m., but I’d much rather deal with that than the sleep issue. I don’t know if the problem has been solved permanently, but I’m appreciating it for the moment.

*The Husband picked up The No-Cry Sleep Solution from the library on Thursday. So far it seems as though just having the book in the house has made her sleeping better. (Score!) Seriously, though, I plan to read through the book so I’m armed with some tips for the next sleep regression phase, whether that’s tomorrow night or in a few months. Side note, though: Why in the WORLD is there not an audio version of this book available at the library? Aren’t sleep-deprived parents a bit short on time to be reading such a book?

*I’m feeling very good about my milk supply at this point. I now have just over 1,400 ounces of milk in the freezer, and each day I’m able to bag up about four or five 4-oz. bags of milk beyond what The Little Sis gets each day. I know this could tank at any moment, but here’s hoping that’s not the case. For the record: I still hate pumping, but I must say it’s not nearly as bad with the pumping bra that I fashioned myself from an old too-tight bra that I should’ve gotten rid of long ago.

*The Little Sis is starting to get stronger with sitting in a tripod stance, though she’s still pretty wobbly when she tries to sit unsupported without putting her hands on the ground. Still, it’s neat to see her getting stronger with this every day. In other milestone news, she still hasn’t rolled from back to front yet, but I suspect that’s coming any day.

*The Little Sis will be five months old tomorrow. How is that even possible??

*The Big Sis started a drama class at the Y this week. She attended her first class on Thursday, and so far so good. It’s taught by the same woman who taught her ballet class over the summer, and we liked her a lot, so I’m optimistic that this will be a good thing. I’m not sure how regular a thing we can make it, though…the only time the class is offered is Thursdays at 4 p.m., and The Husband asked his boss if he can leave early that day for the eight weeks of the class. His boss has been flexible and agreed to the arrangement, but I doubt it could be a permanent thing. Still, I’m glad he’s able to work it out for her to attend this class, and we’ll see where this goes.

*The Big Sis has been doing AWESOME with her bedtimes over the past two or three weeks. I don’t know what clicked for her — I don’t know if she took pity on us for dealing with The Little Sis’ sleep disaster or what — but I’m so glad it clicked, whatever it was. Fingers are majorly crossed that this continues.

*The Big Sis will be five years old in three weeks. Three weeks! Five!

*Kindergarten registration starts next month. The Big Sis will begin kindergarten in just seven months. Oh my!



Thursday, December 1, 2011

I hadn’t planned on writing today, as I need a little break after NaBloPoMo, but I wanted to note these milestones:

1. I hit 1,000 ounces of milk in the freezer this week. I hate pumping, but it’s nice to see a plentiful stash that should go to good use.

2. The Little Sis rolled over (belly to back) for the first time this evening! Admittedly we do very little tummy time, especially now that we don’t have much time with her in the evenings after work (we basically get home, get unpacked, I feed her, and then she’s in bed), so I decided to do it tonight. The Husband had just gotten home and she started fussing some, then she started to roll and over she went!


Friday, September 9, 2011

*The Little Sis just switched from newborn to size 1 diapers yesterday. She has really filled out all over in the past few weeks, as you can tell from her one-month photo. Love those chubby, kissable cheeks!

*I got my first real smile (meaning: I did something and she reacted with a smile) from The Little Sis on her one-month birthday, and I’ve gotten a few more since then too. I can’t wait until it’s a regular thing.

*The Little Sis is definitely becoming more interested in observing her surroundings. We have a print of the NYC skyline in our living room, and the bridges and a couple of the buildings have little lights on them, and this is currently her most favorite thing to look at.

*Things are great on the sleep front with The Little Sis. (KNOCK ON WOOD!!) She goes down pretty easily when it’s time for her to sleep, and last night I got a 7.5-hour stretch of sleep from her. Most other stretches of sleep are generally 2-3 hours long. I don’t have a normal sleep pattern myself at the moment because I catch sleep when I can, but I really feel pretty good and don’t really feel sleep deprived. I might get more sleep in a 24-hour period now than I did before.

*Things are NOT great on the sleep front with The Big Sis, at least as it pertains to going to bed. Once she’s asleep, she’s great and doesn’t wake up until the morning, but getting her to sleep is next to impossible. I’m mentally exhausted from the battle and completely out of ideas.

*Despite the bedtime issues (which were present before the baby was here), The Big Sis still loves being a big sister. We allow her to help as she wants but we certainly don’t make her help if she doesn’t want to. I want it to be an enjoyable experience, not another chore.

*We are still getting out and about quite a bit with both girls, which was a major goal of mine this time around. Success with that so far!

*The Big Sis is participating in a Trike-a-Thon at the end of the month to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. If there’s anyone who would like to donate, let me know and I can give you the information. She has already met her goal of $100, but the more the better for St. Jude.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It has happened.

The “whys” have struck.

Me: “We need to put on a diaper.”

Baby B: “Why?”

Me: “So we can get dressed.”

Baby B: “Why?”

Me: “So we can go see the doctor.”

Baby B: “Why?”

Me: “So he can look at your leg.”

Baby B: “Why?”

Me: “Because you broke it and we need to make sure it’s better now.”

Baby B: “Why?”

Me: “Because we want to make sure you’re not going to hurt it again.”

Baby B: [thinking] OKAY!

We’re in for it now.

Something fishy going on here

Monday, May 11, 2009

We have reached a new (and kind of unexpected) milestone with Baby B: the first pet.

Of course, we already have a golden retriever and two cats, but all three of them pre-date Baby B. Even though she adores all three of them, they’re not really “her” pets.

So late last week we were talking and Baby B said that she wanted a fish. We’ve got a five-gallon tank that has been empty for, wow, probably a couple years now, ever since our last fish died. No particular reason that we hadn’t gotten a new fish…just never got around to it. So at Baby B’s suggestion, we decided to go get her some fish on Saturday after my 5K (which I did run). They have one fish in a small bowl at daycare, and from what she tells us, they get to take turns feeding it.

So we hit the pet store, and she insisted she wanted a red one and a blue one. We ended up with a red one and a black one since there weren’t really any blue ones that would work well for the tank. She was so happy to be taking her fish home! We asked her what she wanted to name them, and I was looking forward to her response, but she didn’t have an answer on the way home. (I love her names for things…she has a caterpillar named Peanut Butter and a stuffed dog named Letter.) We went to my parents’ house that night, and on the way home I asked if she’d thought of a name for her new fish. Just as confidently as she could muster, she said, “Hermit! And….Bath!”

So there you have it. Our new fish, Hermit and Bath. May they not be flushed down the toilet for a long time to come!

Snip ‘n slide

Monday, February 23, 2009

By the time a child reaches two years old, most of the major milestones have already come and gone. They’ve had their first solids and finger foods. They’ve taken their first steps. They’ve said their first words and sentences. But there was one major milestone we were missing by age two.

The first haircut.

Faced with a mullet (or the “Kentucky waterfall” as we call it here) that showed no signs of fixing itself, we decided it was time to get Baby B’s first haircut. I read reviews of the one child-focused salon here in town and wasn’t impressed (dirty store, rude stylists and receptionist, not really overly accommodating to young kids), so I decided to look for places in Cincinnati to get it done, then we could go to their children’s museum afterward as a treat. We’d make a day of it!

The hair place was, eh, okay, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to return. Funny enough, the reasons I didn’t want to go to the place in town were the reasons I didn’t really care much for this place. I don’t regret going there, because now I know, but I wish the people had been a little more kid-friendly. Not that I expected them to coddle her the whole time, but some people skills would have gone a long way.

But anyway, the haircut. Baby B cried from the time we put her on the frog chair until she got to pick out her post-haircut balloon, which is basically what I thought she’d do, though by the end, it was definitely more of a fake cry instead of a true distress cry. She did at least stay sitting in the chair the whole time, though she got squirmy when they were trimming her bangs, and as a result, those ended up being cut more bluntly than I wanted, but I know they’ll grow out before we know it. Plus, kids can get away with that blunt bangs look much more than adults can (in my opinion). Overall I’m very happy with the haircut, even if we won’t be going back to this place again. She looks like a little girl now.

Afterwards, we went to the Cincinnati Children’s Museum and played there for a couple of hours. Baby B had a wonderful time sliding, riding down a ramp on a little toddler-sized car, and playing in the ball physics room. We’ve been to that museum before, but it’s amazing how much more she was interested in since the last time we were there six months ago. It helps, too, that exhibits in the non-toddler-specific area are generally not too old for her (like they are in some children’s museums), so she’s not limited to just the toddler area.

Before, during, and after pics of the haircut are coming for Wordless Wednesday this week!

No hate for ’08

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Boy, and I thought 2007 — the year Baby B was born — was a fantastic one, but it was boring compared to 2008 for us! 😉 We had so many adventures throughout the year, and I have to wonder how we can top ourselves next year!

We began the year visiting the in-laws in Connecticut for New Year’s weekend, where Baby B got to spend time with her grandparents and meet her aunt and cousin for the first time. January also marked Baby B’s first birthday, which we celebrated with my parents and a few close friends. She had her surgery for ear tubes in mid-February, and that was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. She has had zero ear infections in the 10+ months since the surgery. Much relief for everyone!

March was a pretty laid-back month, but she was certainly on the march for April, when she started walking full-time at 14 months old. Everyone warned us that we’d hate once she became that mobile, but I can honestly say we’ve loved it. Yes, it forces us to be more active, but is that really such a bad thing?! April treated us with gorgeous spring weather, and we were able to get out of the house to enjoy the outdoors (and all the local parks) much more often. Baby B was also treated to her first ice cream cone on one of our outings that month.

In May, Baby B surprised me with breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day, and we traveled to attend a family reunion of my mom’s family. For Memorial Day, we packed up and flew to Boston to visit with Serenity and her little Baby O, and we also took in the children’s museum, the swan boats, and a nearby beach (Baby B’s first time at a beach!) with them while in the area.

With June came a day trip to the zoo in Cincinnati and my first real race, a 3K. In July, we went downtown to enjoy our city’s Fourth of July festival and parade, and we went back downtown later than night for Baby B to experience her first fireworks display. We also attended our local fair, and even though Baby B wasn’t big enough for most of the rides, she still enjoyed looking at all the fair had to offer. In mid- to late July, we attended two weeks of swimming lessons, then took a daytrip to Gatlinburg so The Husband and I could celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary. At the end of the month, we headed back to Cincinnati to go to the aquarium, which we all loved.

In August, I had my second race, a 5K through downtown. The previous month, I had decided to train for the half-marathon, so my training continued through the late summer and early fall months. In the middle of August, we took a trip to Cincinnati (yes, again) to go to the children’s museum there, our second children’s museum of the year. We hit our third children’s museum when we went to Milwaukee to visit friends over Labor Day weekend, and we also visited the Milwaukee Zoo and observed the Harley anniversary festivities along the lakefront while we were there.

September brought us the annual dog swim at one of our local pools — always a riot to watch! We enjoyed the continued warm weather by visiting parks as often as we could, and at the end of the month, The Husband ran in his first race, the 5K Race for the Cure. After the race, we stayed downtown and visited our city’s children’s museum (#4 of the year), which isn’t as fancy as some of the others we’ve been to, but it still kept Baby B entertained.

In early October, we went to not just one but two pumpkin farms and enjoyed corn mazes, big slides, petting zoos, and fresh-picked apples among other things. We met a girl from one of my parenting boards, her husband, and their son, Luca (who is about a month younger than Baby B), when they were traveling through our parts. It was so much fun to see them playing together! That weekend, The Husband and I went on our first overnight trip without Baby B, going to see Cirque du Soleil and enjoying a nice grown-up dinner in Cincinnati. In the middle of October, we drove two hours for an overnight trip to my parents’ hometown for my third official race, a 10K. We painted pumpkins for Halloween, and Baby B dressed up as Raggedy Andy for her daycare Halloween party.

We went to Indianapolis during the first weekend in November so I could run my half-marathon, which I did significantly under my goal time. The race could not have gone much better than it did, and this ranks as one of my biggest life accomplishments at this point. While in Indianapolis, we visited their children’s museum (#5 for the year) twice, as it’s supposedly the largest in the world.

We played in leaf piles in November, and we watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade together as a family before joining my parents for Thanksgiving dinner. I have so much to be thankful for!

Just because the year was winding down in December doesn’t mean that we were! We made Christmas cookies with Chef Baby B, and visited with Santa. We decorated the Christmas tree together, enjoyed Baby B’s performance of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the daycare party, and went to a local drive-through lights display. And how could we forget a wonderful Christmas at the end of all that?!

And that’s just a brief summary of our year’s activities. (Whew! No wonder I feel so tired!) That’s not even getting into all the other changes in Baby B over the past year, including an even more developed (and silly) personality and the arrival of HAIR (finally)! She’s gone from being able to say one word to being able to converse with us quite well. Of course, we’ve also seen the introduction of super-picky eating and toddler tantrums, but you take the bad with the good, and I wouldn’t trade all the good we have for anything.

So after a year like that, how could we possibly have more fun next year? I don’t quite know the answer yet, but I can promise we’re sure going to try hard!

Letter figure it out

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Recently I bought Baby B some foam alphabet letters that are intended for use in the bathtub. I thought it would be a good way to practice learning her ABCs while having fun. They already performed a wonderful duty in helping get her past a temporary bath and shower strike a couple weeks ago. Every bath and shower since buying the foam letters has gone extremely well, just as before.

So last night was bath night, and we were playing with the letters. I laughed as Baby B handed me a yellow D, noting that she gave me the letter that my first name starts with. Baby B leaned over again, and the very next letter she picked up was handed to The Husband…and it was the first letter of his name. We looked at each other and laughed it off, knowing it was quite a coincidence, but a fun one.

I laughed and said, “Okay, Baby B, now can you find your letter?”

And I’ll be damned if she didn’t lean over instantly and correctly pick up the first letter of her name and stick it on her chest…from among the two complete sets of alphabet letters and one set of numbers floating in the tub.

From 62 objects in the bathtub, she handed my letter to me, The Husband’s letter to him, and picked out her letter — all consecutively and probably within a span of 20 to 30 seconds.

The Husband and I looked at each other, temporarily not sure whether we had a supergenius on our hands or if coincidence can really be that crazy. We know, of course, that it was a complete coincidence, but even that being the case, it was very bizarre indeed.

Jump! For my lo-ove!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Amid all the inconsolable grumpiness this week, I’m neglected to share that Baby B has figured out how to jump on both feet! She started doing it a couple days ago, deeply bending her knees and trying to launch herself upward against gravity in a quick burst of motion. Most of her efforts come up empty, but every seven or eight attempts, she’ll be successful, and it seems to amuse her as much as it does us!


Also, a big thank you to those of you who wrote to say that your child is showing some of the same signs that Baby B is. It doesn’t really fix things, but it’s nice to know when you’re not alone. Our daycare teacher said that Baby B isn’t the only one in her class going through it right now. That does help to know it.

Last night she still wasn’t quite herself, but we were able to enjoy our visit with good (just good? no, great!) friends who came over last night. She cried just once during the night last night — again in her sleep — and was still a fountain of drool when she woke up, but her general disposition was much better. I still dosed her up with some Motrin and teething drops before daycare this morning, but hopefully we’ve seen the worst of it and we’ll have an enjoyable weekend.

Monday roundup (yee-HAW!)

Monday, April 28, 2008

*Baby B loves to turn off the lights when we leave a room. If we forget to let her do it, sometimes she’ll whine until we turn the light back on so that she can turn it off.

*Baby B’s current words (with recognition of what she’s saying) include: ma-ma/mom-mom (mom), da-da (dad), dog-doh (dog), ba (ball), cat, and nana (banana). I know there are a couple I’m forgetting, but I’ll add them later if I remember.

*We’re working on making sure Baby B understands our single-action commands, especially “come here.” With her really enjoying walking, she likes to just take off (usually in the opposite direction of us!), so we’re trying to make sure she knows what we mean when we tell her to come to us. Sometimes I’m convinced she knows, other times I’m not so sure. I think a lot of it is that she understands, but then chooses to ignore it. I suspect that’s not the end of that whole game.

*Baby B loves to climb steep hills, whether it’s the grassy incline in our backyard, or one of the many super-steep driveways in our neighborhood. She can usually navigate down them just fine, but seems to prefer going up.

*Baby B usually gets a bath on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, then a fun bath (no washing) on Sundays. However, since daycare puts sunscreen on her (including on her head since she doesn’t have much hair…and what she does have is thin and fine), we have to get that out each night, so The Husband has been taking a shower with her when we get home. I can’t see us doing that permanently in lieu of baths because she loves her baths so much, but it’s been a good solution when we do need to get the sunscreen out each day. She loves the water coming down, and she giggles when The Husband throws water in his face.

*Baby B can now get on her rocking horse all by herself, and she can get off it by herself, too.

*We went out this weekend to buy Baby B some spring/summer clothes, as she had none in her current size…everything that fits her is long-sleeved winter stuff. We went ahead and bought most things in 12 month size, which should last her throughout most of the spring and summer. (Believe it or not, she’s still mostly in 6-9 month or 6-12 month clothes, though she did have a few 12 month items.)

*This morning, The Husband reported that one of the daycare teachers put on a some kind of “fun time” CD, and three of the girls (including ours) came running over and started dancing by the CD player. Like, waving arms and shrieking. The other two girls lost interest after a minute, but Baby B continued dancing for the entire song, making herself dizzy and falling down twice. At the end of the song, she clapped eagerly.

*Baby B can stand in one spot and turn herself in a circle.

*I’m doing pretty well with the post-weaning time. There are times I do miss it, but most days I actually don’t ever think about it…and it almost seems weird that I would’ve possibly continued. So, it was definitely the right time to do it. I’m glad to have my body back again.

*Baby B has perfected her high-pitched scream. She does not do this when she’s angry or upset or frustrated. She does not do this when she’s happy. She does it at completely random times, just whenever she feels like testing it out. It’s kind of funny, though thankfully she hasn’t done this in public. Yet.

*When we ask, Baby B can point out where her belly button, nose, and ears are. We’re working on the other parts of the body, too, but so far she’s not real consistent with those.

*She’s very drawn to lions, and whenever she sees one or when we say, “What does a lion say?” she’s quick to break out her roar: “RAWWWR!”

*As we move forward in time, I am so, so, so thankful that I’ve kept such detailed records in this blog. It’s sad just how many things I’m forgetting about Baby B’s early days. 

The next steps (aka Advanced Walking 202)

Friday, April 11, 2008

*I thought I was being a slacker recently as I haven’t taken nearly as many pictures of Baby B as before, but then I realized that the decline started right as she started walking everywhere. Little bug is fast, I tell you!! I’ll let her roam to other rooms by herself a lot of the time and she usually comes back out on her own, but if she’s in a room and out of my sight for longer than a minute or so, I have to go hunting for her. She doesn’t stay still long enough to let me get my camera, let alone take a picture. Maybe I should just keep the camera on video mode all the time now.

*I let Baby B walk on the sidewalk for the first time by herself without holding my hand, and I have to admit that it made me so nervous! She can get started walking so fast, and quite often she leans her entire body forward as she takes her forward steps, and I’m terrified she’s going to trip over something or just misstep and fall on her chin. It’s one thing to fall on the living room carpet, but another to fall on concrete. She did trip once a couple days ago but had good reflexes and caught herself fine on her hands. It’s not too much to hope she always catches herself, is it? 🙂

*Yesterday when I was home with Baby B (we had to keep her home again on Thursday because her chest congestion was too bad), she walked backwards for the first time, taking probably six or seven carefully calculated steps, followed by about four or five sideways steps. (She also did it a few more times throughout the day.) It’s so fun to see how proud of herself she is when she does new things like this! And it’s just a fraction of the pride that ignites inside me at these times.

*One of the things on our to-do list for the summer is go to the Cincinnati Children’s Museum to let Baby B explore the toddler-friendly exhibits. (We have a children’s museum here, but it doesn’t have much geared toward younger toddlers.) The one thing we were waiting for before making the trip was for her to start walking well, and it looks like that’s been checked off our list. I don’t know yet when we’re going to head up there, but I can’t wait. We’ll probably also put a trip to the zoo on our itinerary when we’re in the area. I’d love to do it soon when all the zoo babies are tiny.

*You know one of the big reasons I’ve been excited for Baby B to walk? Not just because it’s a big milestone, but because crawling makes the knees of her pants very dirty. I know she’ll still find ways (and new ways, at that!) to get her play clothes dirty, but I’m definitely glad to be past the dirty knees of crawling.

Turning the corner

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ever since Baby B took her first steps a couple weeks ago, she’s been practicing some each day, but we usually had to initiate it by standing her up and telling her to walk. She would take maybe five or six steps, then drop to her knees and continue on her way crawling. We just kept practicing every night with her, and we knew that they were encouraging her at daycare, too.

Something clicked with Baby B overnight on Friday night, and she woke up Saturday morning and almost immediately began using walking as her primary form of mobility, crossing the length of the house more times than I can remember. Sometimes she’d still drop to her knees–always controlled and deliberate–but she’d get herself right back up again and continue, which isn’t something she would have done before. At first she was still kind of careful with it, walking like a Baby Frankenstein Monster and unable to navigate corners, changes in flooring, or obstacles on the floor very well.

So it was fantastic to see just how much improvement she made during our time home over the weekend. By the end, she was turning corners like a pro, stooping to pick up her toys mid-walk, carrying BIG toys with her (at one point, she had two big toys–one in each hand), and stepping over or around things in her way on the floor. In fact, she improved so much that she was even walking while in her sleep sack at night, which seriously limits the range of motion of her legs. In an instant, we watched our baby girl turn into a genuine toddler, not just based on age but also toddling ability. I almost don’t even recognize her sometimes when she’s walking across the house, always a few steps ahead of me and eager to get where she’s going. She looks so proud of herself–and she should be! I know I am. 🙂

Wordless Wednesday: First time walking!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

For more Wordless Wednesday participants, click here.

UH-ah…it’s the DAH-dee!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Whenever I pick up Baby B from daycare, we have fun imitating each other with silly sounds and noises (none of which I can replicate here!) on the drive home, but recently that took a different turn when she started adding some words into the mix.

She’s been able to say “doggy” for a couple of weeks now. Usually it comes out “DAH-dee” or “DAH-duh,” but it’s definitely in reference to The Dog because she most excitedly uses it when she sees him.

So all this week, the only thing she talks about on the way home is her “DAH-dee.” She’ll say that, and I’ll repeat, “Doggy!” and she’ll say, “DAH-dee!” We spend literally more than half the drive home with this “conversation.”

On Tuesday night, she learned how to say “uh-oh,” and this one is cracking me up! At first I thought she was just repeating sounds, but she definitely knows what it means, and she now drops things on purpose just so she can say “uh-oh” (which comes out as a very enthusiastic “UH-ah” but with the right inflections that is almost sing-songy). So the remaining part of our drive home from daycare is filled with our back-and-forth exchange of “UH-ah!”

You know, it’s awesome moments like these that make the occasional struggles (like with the eating thing) not such a big deal.

Stand in the place where you live

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Husband and Baby B were playing in the living room yesterday while I was making dinner when out of the blue, Baby B decided to stand up for the first time all by herself, just out in the middle of the room without holding onto anything at all. She’s been notoriously chicken when it comes to letting go of the things she uses for balance, so it was quite exciting to see her stand up without any assistance at all.

Yet another step closer to walking, it seems.

The great communicator

Friday, January 11, 2008

We were finishing dinner last night (Baby B LOVED her first-ever toasted cheese sandwich), which involves taking the tray off the high chair, doing an initial clean-up of the big food bits that fell on the chair, then cleaning Baby B’s hands and mouth. I’d turned away and started to walk to the kitchen with her plate when The Husband said, “Wait! Look at what she’s doing!” I looked over and saw her holding her arms up in front of her and twisting the wrists of each hand from side to side, with a big smile on her face like she was just so proud of herself.

She had just made the sign for “all done” or “finished” for the first time.

I should note here that we’re not officially teaching her sign language. We talked about it after seeing how effective it was with my niece a few years ago, but had decided against it for the most part. I know recent studies say that teaching sign language does not delay the start of verbal talking, especially if you still say the words out loud to reinforce the signs, but part of me just isn’t 100% sold on it, even if I can’t completely peg why. So we know a few signs and have used them sporadically–in fact, very sporadically lately–but never in an actual effort to teach her. Instead, we’ve noticed that Baby B has developed her own signs and body language for things, so we tend to emphasize those with her. So that’s why it came as quite a surprise that she did this last night.

And it wasn’t just a fluke. This morning after I nursed her before school, she did the “all done” sign again, all on her own.

This two-way communication with Baby B has been so much fun! Her sign for wanting more food to eat at dinnertime is a tap (okay, more of a slap) on her tray. She’s done a whole-arm wave to say “hi” or “bye” for a while now, but she’s finally figured out the art of the small wave, just flexing her wrist up and down (as opposed to her whole arm).

She also has some other non-verbal forms of communication she uses. She’ll blow us kisses, and when someone is holding her, she’ll often pat them on the back (just like we pat her). When she’s confused or inquisitive about something, she’ll raise one or both palms to the sky and tilt her head slightly to the side as if to say, “What do you mean?” When it’s time to eat, she crawls excitedly over to her high chair and stands up, as if to say, “It’s time! It’s time!”

She’s stalled out on any new words besides Mom-mom and Dad-da-da (though occasionally I think she says “hi”), but I can tell she makes up words of her own to suit her needs. For example, when she hands something to us, she always says a short, emphatic, “Dah!” as if to say, “Here!”

Even if she’s lacking in words herself, she definitely has an idea of the meaning of some of the words we say, even without signs. The other day we were playing in the living room, and The Dog was on the other side of the baby gate. The Husband said something to me, just in passing, about The Dog, mentioning him by name, and when she heard his name, Baby B leaned her whole body so she could see The Dog around The Husband (he was blocking her view). Maybe it was a coincidence, but it was just too appropriate for her to hear his name and then lean that much to see him.

Of course we’re eager for Baby B to talk for real, but we’re really enjoying this great interim stage with her and look forward to encouraging her to communicate with us both verbally and non-verbally.