Sunday, February 20, 2011

15 Months Old



*thud* <--- that was me falling over in shock.  Just to add to this (and to make my uterus hurt -- haha gotcha!  Cuz... yeah... not yet), I was just looking at photos in my library from one year ago:

Eliza and Grandma, Feb 2010

Our tall girl - 3 months old - Feb 2010

In the Moby. Trip to Santa Fe, NM, Feb 2010

Seriously.  Do you SEE that baby?  That is my baby.  My BABY.  Who now looks like this:

And can do this:

And makes us laugh by doing things like this:


Eliza, you are such a joy (haha, I accidentally just typed "job".  But, Eliza, you are also a job, it's true!).  I love waking up in the morning (which, these days, isn't usually until 6:30 or 7:00, thank goodness!) to your smiling face.  Your smiles, your laughter, your sweet demeanor, your flexibility, your good nature... all of it makes being your mama so wonderful and so... so exactly what I want to be doing right now.

I love you more than you know, and I honestly (really, truly, not kidding) think to myself every single day how lucky I am to have you in my life.  Not a day goes by -- even those days that are harder, those days when mamahood isn't so rosy and easy -- that I don't thank my lucky stars that something, everything, went right with our fourth pregnancy -- with you.  You are still our miracle; I never forget what we went through to bring you home.  

Fifteen months later, you are our walking, talking, signing, dancing, growth-chart-topping little (big) miracle.

"Can I go and run around now, Ma?"

I love you, my spunky, sweet, goofy, brilliant, capable, beautiful girl!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Puddles

Monday, February 14, 2011

My 15-Month Old Valentine

My sweet girl is 15 months old today!  I will write more about the last month (which went by lightning fast for us) later - I have class tonight, so I don't have time right now.  But here are a few (low-quality) photos from my iPod of my Valentine:

Frosting V-day cookies at a playdate this morning

Kisses from Mama

Story time with Grandma at our favorite local children's bookstore

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Monday, February 7, 2011

What do we do all day?

I realized the other day at a play date that other moms also run out of ideas of things to do with their babies/toddlers - and I thought it was just me!

Although I'm technically not a stay-at-home-mom in the traditional sense, being a graduate student does allow me the freedom to spend much of my day, most days of the week, with Eliza.  This winter is getting loooooong, and it's been a particularly tough one, so we're starting to go a little stir-crazy around here and are always looking for new things to do.  Our house starts to feel small if we spend all day playing here - Eliza is bouncing off the walls by the time hubby gets home, so we try to do at least one thing every day outside of the house.  As I was chatting with the other moms, we started swapping ideas for toddler-friendly outings to help the cold winter days less painful.  Here is our list of favorite outings - what are yours?

  • The public library - most libraries have at least some toys in their children's area (not to mention lots of great books to read!), and some even have play areas.  We are really lucky to have a great play area at our local branch - it has a grocery "truck", complete with play food and a cash register, a kitchen, a puppet area, a play mat with lots of great toys, and some comfy couches.  I can think of two other branches within a 20 minute drive that also have nice play areas - as you can tell, we visit the library often.  
  • Children's museum - we have a GREAT one here and my parents bought Eliza a membership for her birthday so we get in "free" each time we visit, which, in the winter months, is at least once a week.  There is a wonderful toddler room where Eliza can run and crawl and climb, all in a safe, fun environment.  It also has a lot of other rooms (they call them "galleries") for other ages, so it will grow with Eliza.
  • Storytimes - there are lots of different story times offered at our local libraries, many of them tailored especially for babies.  To me, a good baby story time includes music, short books, an enthusiastic leader, rhymes, and is not more than 30 minutes long.  There is a bookstore about 15 minutes from our house that offers a particularly awesome baby story time on Tuesday mornings.  It is led by a wonderful woman who has spent the last 10 years working only with very young audiences and developing a really really neat story time program for kids 0-2.  She will usually read two or three short books and in between them she sings, plays instruments, brings out puppets, even introduces a letter-of-the-day each week.  She focuses on early literacy development and encourages parents to do these things at home.  It's great, and Eliza has loved it ever since we started going (I think we first went when she was 7 months old).  It is totally free, too!  
  • Indoor Playgrounds - we recently discovered a neat little indoor playground in our area.  It's a place where Eliza can "run" around (hah, I guess she's not really running yet), climb, go down slides, crawl through tunnels... and they let us in for free because she's only a year old - bonus!  It's not a great choice during really busy times because of all the big kids running around (Eliza was nearly trampled by a rowdy pack of boys last time - my mama reflexes kicked in and I seriously almost punched one of them), but if we go right when they open in the morning, it's perfect and Eliza always has fun - and it wears her out, which is nice before naptime :O)  
  • Playdates - I joined a mom's group when Eliza was two months old and I'm so glad I did.  I know there are horror stories about mom's groups being clique-y and women being catty, but really, I've had a good experience overall with the groups I'm a part of.  My favorite play dates are those that are at another mom's house.  It's fun for Eliza to play with (or, as is more accurate for her age, alongside) other toddlers/babies/kids (and to play with new and different toys, too!), and it gives me a chance to socialize with other moms.  Even when I don't agree with everyone about parenting decisions/topics, it's still interesting and everyone is usually respectful (with only minor exceptions here and there - but that's to be expected).
Some days, we just run errands and hang out at home doing chores and playing, but those days can be just as fun.  She doesn't mind going to the grocery store or Target with me, as long as she's not confined to the cart for more than about 20 minutes, and when I have chores to do at home, we make that work too (although some days are harder than others, depending on her mood!).  If I'm cleaning the bathroom, Eliza will play in the bathtub with her bath toys while I clean, and when we're in the kitchen making dinner or cleaning or washing dishes (no I do not own a dish washer!), she enjoys banging on the pots and pans (or banging the lids together, marching band style!), rummaging through the tupperware drawer, or going through "her" basket (I have a wicker basket in the kitchen that I just stuffed full of odds and ends for her to play with).

So, that's what we do all day!  Of course there are those days... but thankfully she is so sweet and such a little love that the rough moments are quickly forgotten.  I am loving spending so much time with my girl, and couldn't imagine life any other way.  It's not always easy, but it is always worth it and it's never boring!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Eliza is communicating with us more and more recently!  It is so fascinating to watch her learn so much - so many new things! - every single day.  I can see why people say that toddlers are "sponges".

Eliza's signing has really picked up recently.  I learned a few new signs from the DVD "Baby Signing Time", so I have been showing them to Eliza and she has started using them already (and yes, I did let her watch the DVD once with me - though we're still not keen on letting her watch TV regularly).  It took a while for her to start using signs at first - I think by 8 months she was consistently using the sign for milk to ask to nurse, and that was shortly followed by "more" and "all done" (and, quite randomly, "fan").  But that was the extent of her signing up until recently.  Now she can (and does) sign "fish", "eat", "cat", "dog", "cracker", "hurt" and "drink".

And then, just this morning we were walking through IKEA with my parents and I was pointing out a baby nearby, and she did the sign for baby!  I didn't even model it to her first, she just signed it - I was totally blown away.

It's pretty neat to watch her learn to communicate more effectively.  She is also starting to talk more, too; she will try to pronounce almost any word you ask her to.  The words she regularly uses these days are:
  • "mama"
  • "dada"
  • "bah-pah" (she uses this word for Grandpa and Grandma - either that, or she thinks my mom is also grandpa - haha - but I don't think so, I think she just can't quite vocally differentiate between grandPA and grandMA yet)
  • "eye"
  • "hi"
  • "bye bye" (this one was new this week!)
  • "clock"
  • "fish"
  • "look!" (she points when she says this, it is so cute!)
  • "hat"
My girl is growing up so fast, but it is such a joy to watch and be a part of that I honestly don't feel sad about it.  I only sometimes wish I could slow down our days, our lives, our busy schedules so that I wouldn't always feel like I'm going to miss something!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Diaper-Free by 2012?

Potty training is still a ways away for Eliza, but we're starting "potty awareness" already.  We're following her lead, though, so as not to push it.  Over the past month she has started to show us that she is becoming quickly aware of her bodily functions, and it's really interesting - and kind of amazing for such a little person!  She can tell us when she pees, or perhaps just after, when she can feel her wet diaper.  She points to her diaper when it needs to be changed - it's quite handy sometimes actually!  All we've been doing is talking to her about peeing and pooping and explaining to her that that wet feeling in her diaper is because she peed, and that sometime soon, she will pee in the potty like mama and dada.

Part of this process includes leaving the door open when we use the bathroom.  Quite honestly, I've been doing this for a while when I'm at home alone with her, so it's not a big change for me.  I've just started talking about it more with her.  I know she understands me, because she will point to her diaper when I talk to her about it and sometimes she'll point to the toilet, too, so she definitely gets the connection.

I think in the next couple of months we will get a little potty chair to put in the bathroom.  I figure it can't hurt to introduce her to it and get her interested in the process, even if she is many months away from official potty training.  Though, I'll admit, it would be nice if she potty trained on the early side... as much as I love cloth diapering (and her cute CD bum!!), it will be nice to not change diapers for a while!

What are your experiences with potty awareness/learning/training?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Has anyone read this book?

Thoughts?  Did you like it?  Why or why not?  


Eliza's Stats

Birth: 8 lbs 5 ozs
Going home: 7 lbs 10 ozs
5 days: 7 lbs 13 ozs
2 months: 12 lbs 6 ozs
4 months: 17 lbs
5 months: 18 lbs 12 ozs
6 months: 20 lbs 13 ozs
9 months: 24 lbs 3 ozs
12 months: 26 lbs 13 ozs
15 months: 28 lbs
18 months: 29 lbs 3 ozs
2 years: 32 lbs
3 years: 34 lbs

Alice's Stats

Birth: 8 lbs 11 oz
2 Months: 13 lbs 10 oz
4 Months: 17 lbs 15 oz
6 Months: 20 lbs 4 oz