Archive for August, 2011

The swings and other fun summer activities

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 by Jen

Today we spent almost the entire day outdoors. After breakfast we went to the park, played all morning until lunch. Came back for lunch and then went to the farmers market in the center of town. After putting the food away we again went outside to play and ended up at the park again (from which I called for Thai takeout because I was done). Playing outside today I realized the huge difference between the spring and the end of summer at the park. Josie is now commanding the ‘big girl’ swings whereas in the beginning of the year we were both a bit nervous about them. She can pump and goes way up high in them, holding on, leaning back and being silly. As I pushed Celia in the baby swings I remarked on this to the guy next to me and he said ‘well next she’ll be jumping from them.’ Yikes. I’m glad that’s not here yet.

Josie can also ride her balance bike all over the place now and rode it about half a mile today at the end of the day even when she was already a bit tired (to the park and then most of the way to pick up said Thai takeout).

The other fun thing we did today was play with some ice. Now this project requires some forethought, but very little work and it kept Josie busy for almost an hour and Celia interested for part of the time too. In preparation for the storm this weekend I had filled up a soup pot with water and frozen it to make my freezer into a cooler if we had lost power, the ice would hopefully keep things cool. So I had a gigantic thing of ice and brought it outside. Josie banged on it with sticks, then rocks and other things. It was a great opportunity to discuss relative hardness. Eventually it melted enough to get out of the pot and then the real fun began as we threw rocks at it. Eventually we got a big rock, about the size of a childrens shoe box and that really started smashing it. Josie threw pieces off the porch, I threw them in the air and it was fun to see them go splat. And at the end, no clean up. My kind of game.

These days it may seem like I only photograph Josie a few times and keep posting pictures from those days… but really the issue is that Josie keeps wearing the same two outfits most all the time. Her frog shirt plus peach skort, or her blue dress. They are pretty much her standard outfits for all days unless they are both dirty or she wants to match Celia. The dress and the skort are starting to get small, they seemed so big such a short time ago. Here’s the shirt.

What’s up Irene?

Sunday, August 28th, 2011 by Jen

Today we had “hurricane” Irene which was downgraded to a tropical storm. While others we know lost power, we were mostly just subjected to doing lots of preparation and staying indoors while it rained and stormed outside. Our neighbors lost most of their tree, but our big one seems to be still steady thus far. We had to do some things to pass the time. We had waffles for breakfast, standard sweet ones. Josie started off by playing beach dance party at storyland. If one thing’s good, let’s combine it all to make it better!

Then after lunch of homemade pesto cream pasta harvested from my moms garden (the basil that is). Then we made some homemade bath paint. Celia and Josie had fun in the tub with that getting painted and then clean. After lunch we started making some Challah bread for the first time for both me and Josie. Challah is a slow to make bread requiring 3 rises, so it took the rest of the day!

Sadly the bread came out of the oven after Josie went to bed so she hasn’t had any. I’ll have to go try some. We had waffles again for dinner, but savory ones this time with black beans, cheese, scallions and spinach in them. They were delicious!

Josie’s new words

Saturday, August 27th, 2011 by Jen

Josie has been working on her own word skills lately too, the written ones. We have a work book that does colors, numbers and letters that we’ve been steadily working through. Her counting is good, although tougher with the higher numbers. Now she can instantly recognize small groups of 2 or 3 though without putting her finger on and counting them. For letters she loves for me to print out pages of dotted letter font. I found one online and I make home made tracing pages for her to practice her letters because they were the favorite part of the book for her. She’ll do a page while I put Celia down for a nap, win win for us. I enjoy using them to express my own feelings and wishes like ‘Mommy sure hopes everyone takes a nap today’ because she can’t read them anyway, she’s just practicing letters. She also now takes great pride in writing her name on gifts and cards to other people and can identify her own name and Celia’s sometimes. She wrote my parents a letter today containing all of our names (Josie, Celia, Mommy, Daddy, Mio, Ezzy, Kaya, Fred, and George). Along with the writing has come some more recognizable drawing. Normally everything is just a scribble and art is a ‘process’ not a result for Josie. Recently we got this which was very exciting as a head, eyes, hair and arms were definitely identifiable [right hand side]. Her paintings continue to be one big blob of color that she has a lot of fun making.

Oddly Josie has decided to start climbing everything in sight now. She tried the TV today, yikes. She’s getting the hang of the monkey bars at the playground.

Celia’s new word

Saturday, August 27th, 2011 by Jen

Celia has been working hard on her communication skills lately even if she’s a little confused at times. Today at lunch she did three signs immediately in a row for “all done, more, and wash hands” in that order. We were very confused, but highly enthusiastic of her making any signs. She waves at everyone and everything. We walk out of the house and she starts waving in anticipation of seeing someone, even if no one is there. If someone isn’t waving back or saying hi, she’ll often start making noising in combination to get their attention. She will do the wash hands sign when we turn on the water. Clearly I wash my hands a lot.

Yesterday she said one of her first attributable words. She often says ‘mama’ and ‘hi’, so maybe those are the first words. But this one was clear as day about her intention. She walked into the living room, pointed at the yoga ball and said ‘ball’. Jordi had rolled her around on it some the night before so she was excited about it. I also sometimes think I hear her say ‘thank you’ and ‘hello’ at appropriate times. She clearly is mimicking words we say to her as well.

Her receptive language is accumulating quickly too. She’ll bring a ball when asked, kiss me sometimes when asked, and go looking around when I say ‘where’s Josie?’ All of this development has of course come at a steep price of highly interrupted and resisted sleep.

Josie rides down the hill

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011 by Jen

This afternoon I suggested to Josie that she might want to ride her bike down the hill, and I meant the cement path which has a nice tilt. She did this instead. I’m glad she didn’t head straight down the first try.

Blowing kisses

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011 by Jen

Celia has learned how to blow kisses. Here’s a very short video of her demonstrating while swinging! She has to be in the mood to do it. She’s very happy in the swing. I bring her to the park and she immediate gets out of the toy car and just jets for the swing making happy babbles at it. Sometimes we’re confused if she’s trying to sign ‘food/eat’ or blow us kisses, she makes the same lip smacking noise for both.

Dance party in view

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011 by Jen

I’ve written about our dance parties lately, but you really have to see them to experience it. Two videos, one from my parents house and one from ours this morning.

This one has costumes. Dedicated watchers can watch past about 45 seconds… the rest can skip it.

Celia at 10 months

Thursday, August 18th, 2011 by Jen

Celia’s first year continues to speed by. She’s a pretty happy baby these days but watch out if you do something she doesn’t want or try to take something away. She throws a full on head and body fling backwards. She has her own opinions and she’s not afraid to show them.

She has gotten pretty stable on her feet and I don’t worry too much about her walking around on concrete, except our driveway is so bumpy that it is tough. She does not understand the concept of stairs though at all yet, so I have to keep close to monitor anytime we’re near one. She can also climb onto Josie’s bed and doesn’t understand the drop from there either so I spend a lot of my day keeping her from too big of a fall.

She’s very vocal and always love to join in the conversation. Sometimes it really seems like she’s near saying words. She definitely says ‘hi’ back sometimes and it sounds like she’s trying to say ‘mama milk’ right after nursing, but we could be reading into things. Nothing is dramatically clear. She does seem to understand more of what we’re saying though. If we ask her for something she will give it to us more times than not, or at least put it in our hand but not let go. She continues with the sign language, but she drops it when she’s frustrated which is unfortunate since that’s the most needed time!

Something big is going on developmentally though because her sleep has been very disrupted again. She’s fighting naps too often and so getting her to sleep enough to be happy and fit into our daily schedule has been a challenge. It will be nice when she settles again into more of a routine, any routine would be fine.

Celia plays by herself amazingly well. She still always wants to see what Josie and I are up to, she must be in the same room, but she’ll do her own thing unless I’m trying to do something she can’t do (like coloring) and then she breaks it up. If shes fed and not tired she will explore her toys and do new things with them. She also likes to play with balls a lot. She tries to pick up the basketball in the park and kick it.

She has started to pay some attention to books other than chewing on them. She still chews a lot. She will listen to about 4 pages of a book before she just wants to rip it out of my hands and chew. She’ll touch the touchy books and flip the pages, even developing clear preferences for different pages. Celia is very jealous when I read to Josie and wants to be involved but then can’t tolerate sitting still, so it’s tough, we do a lot of reading while she naps. Celia is very interested in music though, she’ll dance to the kids music (including the tea pot) and always is bringing out the musical instruments. Each night before bed she sits down with Jordi while I put Josie to bed and plays guitar. She loves the nightly ritual and is constantly finding things to bang together and see what noise they make.

  • Size/weight: size 12 and 18 month, don’t know exact other measurements probably 18.5 lbs
  • Favorite food: breastmilk, broccoli, black beans, apples, avocado
  • Favorite toy:  whatever Josie has, push toys, anything she can fit in her mouth
  • Favorite book: baby’s first touchy feely book
  • Favorite activity: walking around outside and picking up everything, eating shoes
  • Sleeping: bedtime ~8:00; naps 3 hours after she gets up for on average an hour and a half twice a day; gets up 6-7am
  • New skill: steady walking, throwing fits, squating
  • Teeth: 8, four on top and bottom
  • Vocalizations: very loud, ma ma, dada, hi, kah

What do we do all day?

Monday, August 15th, 2011 by Jen

I know I’m going to look back at these days sometime and say what did we do all day? Some of the highlights of today were making ice cream sandwiches from homemade chocolate chip cookies with homemade kit kat ice cream and teaching Celia to play fetch. It was raining and we were supposed to have had our storm windows replaced today so I had our schedule cleared. We were stuck at home with no car. So we:

  • Woke up at 6:30, I got the girls dressed and took them out for my morning walk. In the rain, they were covered, me not so much.
  • Came home and tried to stretch while they jump on top of me, nursed the girls, started making Celia’s breakfast.
  • Woke up Jordi (he worked until the wee hours of this morning), started feeding Celia until Jordi was done with his shower and then I got mine.
  • Cooked and inhaled my breakfast before Jordi left for work. Said goodbye to Jordi and got dressed while two girls again wanted to jump on top of me.
  • Played and read to the girls for an hour. Tried to put Celia down for a nap, failed. Played for another half hour and got Celia down for her nap. We play a lot of ‘dance class’ which consists of pushing the music button on the tea pot toy and shaking around. Josie has some crazy dance moves. Celia mostly claps and does lots of squats. I read about 6 baby books at this point. Celia actually listens and looks at them now. That wasn’t the case even a week or two ago.
  • Celia napped, I did a letter workbook with Josie working on her writing skills (this was her choice) and letter recognition. We made ice cream just out of the basics, cream, milk, sugar and vanilla. Chopped up some kit kats to throw in too. I read Josie a new magazine of hers and a long story, twice. We did some stickers as well and told stories about them.
  • Celia woke up at 11:30 and I started getting lunch ready while they play. We ate around noon and then cleaned up.
  • We played some more in the living room, building with mega-bloks. Celia rediscovered her ‘baby’ toy bin which has been ignored for a few weeks. I played catch with Josie for 5 minutes before she got bored and Celia took her moment to grab the ball and bring it to me. I threw it, she got it and brought it back. We did this for the next 10 minutes until Josie couldn’t stand watching anymore and started chasing the ball herself. We had more dance parties.
  • I email out to other moms begging for a playdate.
  • I try again to put Celia down for a nap and fail. She is very sleep resistant lately. I fold and sort diapers. We play some more and I read some curious george books for as long as Celia will permit (about half a story at a time). Eventually I get Celia back to nap.
  • I fold laundry while Josie plays and then prep the food for dinner. It is apparent no one can come for a play date today.
  • I bring out the mixer and Josie and I make cookie dough in the dining room without making too much of a crazy mess. Josie adds the vanilla herself for the first time following my precise instructions of just give it a squirt or two. She also put all the cookies on the pan for the first time herself using the cookie scoop, her hands are getting much stronger.
  • I bake the cookies and start cooking dinner. Realize I don’t have enough of key ingredients even though I went to the store yesterday and had read the recipe beforehand. Find other stuff to improvise with.
  • We made ice cream sandwiches from the cookies so they’d freeze together a bit.
  • Blur of time from about 5:20 when Celia wakes up and Jordi gets home while I try to make dinner, set the table and pick everything up. Josie was exceedingly helpful today.
  • Jordi is home just before 6, we eat, Josie anticipates ice cream and declares herself full after a few bites, but keeps eating actually as we all sit together. Celia eats her whole avocado, a few bites of corn, a pile of rice noodles and some cantaloupe. Dessert is “fantastic” in Josie’s words, she doesn’t finish it though as she was actually somewhat full.
  • We clean up the plates and have some family dance party time. Get the girls into pj’s, teeth brushed, pottied and diapers. We read another Curious George story and I put Josie to bed (7:20). Celia had a late nap so we play some more fetch and catch with her before she again fights going to sleep (8:20), but I win this time through sheer determination.
  • The house is somewhat clean as Jordi cleaned while I put the girls down, I am here on the computer, Jordi waiting for me to play a game when we really both just need to go to bed.
  • Oh and somewhere in there I changed at least 5 poopy diapers from Celia and a few non-poopy ones plus 8+ nursing sessions. Somehow the time just passes so quickly when we look back, but the day is so long in the middle. I am very glad to have these days with my girls. I have to start deciding on preschool stuff for Josie in the next month for next year.


Friday, August 12th, 2011 by Jen

Celia has started to imitate some of the things we do. She already claps and waves, but now she’s moving her hands like she’s washing them right after I wash mine (about 8 billion and 2 times a day thanks to eating, toileting, cleaning and laundry).

Also this week, while I did my best job trying to imitate a good parent while not further injuring my back by laying on the floor and playing with the girls, Celia learned how to give me raspberries on my belly. I’ve been doing them to her for a while now, but she is super drooly these days and I ended up a slobbery laughing mess.