Update

14 months old – an update on the toddler

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I was just reading through my old weekly pregnancy updates – Ugh! I love that this blog allows me to easily rewind to and study past events, it’s seriously a bigger help than I thought! – and I realized that I’d documented my daughter’s development for almost 2 years, and then I just stopped 3 months ago.
So here’s another update to catch you up – and for my future self to laugh about.

I remember being so addicted to studying up on every tiny milestone she should be reaching during her first months that it seemed like she wasn’t changing at all. I can’t say the same for the first months of her second year. I’ve probably lost my Pinterest-addiction a little but she’s definitely changing every single day. I’m so amazed at how quickly she picks up on things – and especially the things that I’m not by any means trying to teach her.
If we’re watching a show or if Marcus and I are having a conversation she’ll just randomly repeat sounds or words she hears. She mimics my workout exercises and especially my exasperated exhales. She always, – and this one almost freaks me out – always knows when to start waving bye-bye even before she’s encouraged. After close observation however I have a hunch that she might pick up on key phrases like “I love you”, “I miss you” or “see you soon” that indicate that a conversation is coming to a close. Genius!

Another thing that surprises me is how feminine she is already now. I haven’t really encouraged this either, mainly because I thought she was too young to pick up on it. But she looooves dressing up! In pretty much whatever she can find. A typical “outfit” right now is her winter boots (she’ll bring her boots to me about 3-4 times a day exclaiming “tsch!” (shoes), hand them to me with a smile, neatly sit down in my lap and lift one of her feet), a kui kui nut lei we brought home from Hawaii, and her Halloween pumpkin bucket (and she doesn’t just hold it in her hand, she wears it on her elbow with her hand and fingers strutting up in the air). She’ll walk around like that, maybe swapping the necklace for a random clothing item she finds, like her father’s tie or one of her onesies, and stop and admire herself in the mirror. Like.. is she really old enough for this??

She is pretty strong-willed, but I guess we’ve suspected that for a while. It used to just be cute and we’d just laugh and shake our heads when she’d scream a high-pitched squeal when she didn’t get her way or she demanded assistance. But I’ll admit I’m starting to find it a little embarrassing. I want her to know that’s not a way to communicate. And soon!

More than anything she’s growing so fast physically. She can reach more and more things and unfortunately also climb up on more and more things. It’s not uncommon for me to turn a corner, tear through the room to barely grab her hand as she’s falling off one of the chairs with a move so swift that Spiderman’s jaw would drop through the floor.

Being the mother of a toddler feels strangely empowering as opposed to having a small baby, I think. I’m getting a glimpse of what it’ll be like to teach her manners, morals and standards and it’s forcing me to set higher standards for myself too. It’s making me really curious how being a mother is going to change me as a person.

And now I’ve made myself miss her so much I just want to run to the bedroom and wake her up even though it’s 11pm!

Somethin’ is brewin’ and bout to begin

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It just turned November and it’s already blurring past us. I think I might actually be able to abstain from listening to Christmas music before time this year.
Big changes are coming for our family and I’m busying myself with picking out side dishes to make for Thanksgiving. This is however a great distraction. You can never prepare too much for the best meal of the year, and the possibilities seem eeeendless! The ones I’m most excited about right now are confetti corn and banoffee pie!

I get out of bed and follow the same routine. Get up at 7, pull on my sweats, change a heavy diaper, whip up breakfast. Wave bye-bye to Marcus, eat breakfast, call my sister, fit in a workout routine before naptime. During naptime I shower, clean up, get myself ready and blog if there’s time. After nap we snuggle in bed, then we have lunch. We go outside, on a walk or to the park. Or both. We go home and clean up and then it’s almost time for Marcus to come home. We meet him at the train, talk on the way home, have dinner, the bedtime shift, take a breath and then we go to bed.
Over and over again. And every time we get one day closer.

You’d think we were pretty used to change by now, and I guess in one sense we are. We know how to not get too attached and how to say ‘come what may’ and really mean it.
But the thing about change is that – well, it’s change. It brings on something new every time. So can you really ever be prepared?

 

Winds in the east, mist coming in. Like somethin’ is brewin’ and bout to begin. Can’t put me finger on what lies in store, But I fear what’s to happen all happened before.

 

I’m really crap at ending blog posts. Especially the blabbering ones like this one. That’s why I cheated and slapped on a relevant quote!

Goodnight!

Baby girl is 10 months!

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Hello funnest age ever! It’s 10 months and it’s a whole new world!

Motherhood all of a sudden became a completely different ball game. Up until now I’ve marveled at the fact that most moms can actually take care of a baby AND keep a house clean AND run errands AND put dinner on the table AND still be alive to tell the tale. But just over the last few weeks I see something at the end of the tunnel and I’m pretty sure it’s a light!

The new stuff

She plays! Oh she plays! Like right now I’ve got her breakfast on the table all set but she’s too busy playing with her toys. I’m not picking her up, cause THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE! My time as a full-time entertainer is finally over and I can take a seat with the audience for a few stretches a day.

She has taken her first three steps – withOUT falling! She was so startled that she did it that she stopped and sat down. Scary stuff!

She waves. All the time. At anyone! She does understand that “hi” or “bye-bye” means it’s time to wave, but it is also her default action if she gets that we’re clearly asking her a question but she’s not entirely sure what. We get a lot of waves.

She has a total of three teeth now and one that’s gonna surface any day now. I know. Because the week she’s discovered how entertaining it is to bite her mom and giggle when she screams and jumps. And not just when she’s eating. She bites my hands, my stomach (that’s a fun one!), my face.. and I’m still trying to figure out how to best react so she’ll realize it’s not okay – or at least not funny. Any tips are very very welcome.

Generally speaking actually she’s getting more violent every day. Other than biting she hits, smacks, scratches and throws herself on you. It’s fun that she’s getting more playful but.. makeup can only do so much to cover the scratch marks on my face and neck!

She imitates and it’s so fun! Whenever someone laughs she does her own little fake laugh, she waves, she follows, she talks back, she goes “Mmmmm!” when she eats..

Peek-a-boo is the funnest game ever! And she’s really good at coming up with the most creative ways of playing it. With a blanket, under the chair, behind the bed, without a blanket, behind her arm, with her forehead on the floor. Sometimes I wonder if it’s actually a game of be guessing when we’re actually playing Peek-a-boo. I must say she outsmarts me half the time!

The hates

The vacuum

The blow dryer

The door bell

She cries whenever either of these come on. Hysterically! Although the other day when I was cleaning she seemed to be examining the vacuum. Patting it, feeling it. After a while she stopped crying and was more fascinated that it seemed to be moving of its own accord.

 

Before I know it I’m gonna have a one year old on my hands!

Baby Girl is 9 months!

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Nine months in, nine months out! The nine months out were definitely more pleasant. I can’t believe this huge child ever fit inside me. It’s incredible to think that 18 months ago she didn’t exist in this world. And she’s already learned so much and is developing skills every day.

 

The new stuff

She has teeth! I honestly think she got the first one like the day after i wrote her 8 month update. So she has two now and the next ones seem to be coming out any day now! She wasn’t incredibly whiny when they came out but she did get sick with a fever a couple of weeks before.
This has also made it easier and more fun for her to eat solids. She’s still not very excited about food but we’ve come a long way since we started. By now she does open her mouth when the spoon comes but I’m not sure mealtimes are something she looks forward to yet.
She stands up for several seconds now without support, and she could definitely stand up for longer if she didn’t chicken out when she realized she was doing it all by herself. Neither myself nor my siblings walked till we were 1 but I expect that she’ll be on the go any week now.
She doesn’t quite wave or do the gestures for itsy-bitsy spider but she does lift up her hands and wave them around whenever we do either. Also, her vocabulary has reached beyond the letters A, B and M. Every day now she throws in a G, L, D or even an E! It’s so fun to hear her try to talk!
We think she is actually giving us kisses now! When she’s in a really cuddly mood she’ll snuggle up and give you a big slobbery kiss just about anywhere in the face – although she still prefers noses.

 

She loves

Walking! All the time! Everywhere!

And stairs! She’ll gladly crawl up the same flight several times in a row. And she’s as impressed with herself every time.

Chit-chatting and screaming. Yes, screaming is back. I don’t think she’s screamed this much since she was 3-4 months. The stairway in our building is especially echo’y and she loves shouting and screaming whenever we walk in the door – and aaaall the way up the stairs to our apartment. I swear the neighbors always know when we’re home.

Uhm, I think I’m going to mention being rocked to sleep here too. Up until about a month ago I’ve pretty much always breastfed her to sleep. It was the only way. But from one day to another she just wouldn’t anymore and Marcus was forced to wrap her, pick her up and rock her to sleep. He’s done that almost every night ever since. I hesitate to claim it to be one of her favorite things, because on some nights she definitely hates it. But then there are a lot of nights where she lies down and let’s him wrap her, smiles when he picks her up and calmly falls asleep in a few minutes.
Generally speaking she’s been a lot better at sleeping in her own bed this last month than the previous.

 

She hates

Waking up in her own bed. As well as she has slept this past month, she has learned that most often she finds herself alone when she wakes up at night. This means that she wakes up all the way and certainly does not just go back to sleep on her own – even if she actually wakes up between us in our bed.

When anyone she knows leaves the room. She really seems to dread being left alone more than anything else. She’ll start crying even if her grandparents or aunts or uncles leave the room. And even if her mother is holding her.

She really just hates being alone. She always follows me around the apartment and hardly ever leaves the room on her own. I guess I don’t actually have an independent baby yet.

Baby Girl is 8 months!

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The other day I sent my mom a random picture of Baby sitting in her high chair drinking water from a bottle. My mom’s reaction was, ‘she looks so different!’. We’ve only been gone for what.. three weeks?

It is insane how quickly she develops. Sometimes she’ll do a face or bust a move or make a sound that for a terrible second makes me think she’s turned into a toddler before time! Then she loses her balance, rolls over and takes a while to work her baby abs into a proper sit-up – and I know all is well.

 

Favorites: As she is on the move, now faster than ever, she absolutely loves being left on the floor to explore   anything.

She loves her toys! And most definitely the ones that aren’t actually toys. We keep her stuff in a little bag, and its contents are everything from rattles and balls to bag clips and measuring spoons. A few weeks ago I bought her a new binky (in our desperate attempt to teach her to take one – any good tips?) and ever since she has played much more with the box it came in than the actual binky.

I’d have to say that her absolute favorite thing to do is standing up and walking. She stands up everywhere now! She’ll grab hold of whatever’s close and try to hoist herself up – even with things that don’t support her weight (like my hair). Getting to her feet is something that is sure to always bring a triumphant smile to her face.

 

Hates: Uhm.. I honestly don’t think she has any major hates for this month.

She got sick a few weeks ago and she absolutely hated having her nose wiped. But who likes that?

 

The new stuff: I can’t even remember.. did I write that she was crawling already last month? Let me check real quick…

It appears that she was army crawling a month ago. But folks, she is crawling for real now! We got all excited the first few times she did it, but then I watched her the other day and it kinda looks like she doesn’t really move her legs much. It’s like she only uses her arms and her butt just kinda wiggles along behind her. Not quite sure, that might just be when she’s in a hurry. She was venturing into my sister-in-law’s room for the first time at the time. Pretty hyped.

Just the last few days she’s actually sat patiently and opened her mouth at the right times when we’ve fed her. To say that I was beginning to lose hope is an understatement. I’m not sure I even ever had hope. – I haven’t been the biggest fan of spoon-feeding her. I might write a blogpost about that later.
I guess I just expected that she’d be more excited about eating by now. At least some things. Granted, there are some things she will eat more of, but so far it seems that eating pureed food is more of a chore for her than an exciting part of her day. Is she my daughter? I guess she hasn’t tried cake yet…

A new thing that especially her parents have noticed is that she is tons more cuddly now than she’s been since she was a newborn. Especially when she’s sleepy she doesn’t mind lying on us. She’ll even (on purpose!) crawl up in our arms when we’re in bed and lie down her head and even fall asleep! Oh my tender little mommy heart! It’s the best feeling ever! When will she learn how to give me hugs and kisses??

Baby girl is 7 months!

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It feels more like we’re the parents of a kid than a baby lately!

She’s crawling! Or.. army crawling. The point is that she can get from A to B on her own, and that she’s pretty fired up about it. And so are we! Most of the time.. Just the other day she ventured into the kitchen for the first time. She was so excited that she was breathing like a sweaty dog, before I snatched her up and away from all the dangerous objects.

It’s like I see danger everywhere now.

It won’t be long before she’ll be pulling herself up to a standing position on her own either. In the meantime she has figured out that if she can manage to grab someone’s fingers in each of her hands, she’ll be able to pull herself up. I figured that one out just the other day when I was sitting with her in our bed and she started patting my arms in search for my hands. Once she had a finger tight in each of her fists she clenched her abs, grunted, and stood herself up with a triumphant “Ah!”.

She inspires me! I wish I was as eager to learn and get stronger as she is.

It’s so much fun to observe her little baby logic. If she wants to get to an object she’ll look around to see if someone is standing close and raise her little arms to make them pick her up (she’ll move from arm to arm to get close to my parents’ oven). If the object is however too far away, she’ll see reason and settle for an alternative.

All this moving around makes it hard for her to stay asleep in her own bed. She rolls over a lot and especially pushes herself “upward” and when she reaches the head of the bed she’ll wake herself up every time she moves.

She hardly ever sleeps on her back anymore. She’s almost always on her belly with a face plant in the mattress that worries her parents sick.

So far, it seems that her favorite food is avocado.

No teeth yet! I’m not even sure we’re getting close. She hardly ever drools and I expect her to get a lot more whiny when that time comes.

Her vocabulary has now stretched to “Ah”, “Mah”, and “Bah”. Marcus and I both get really excited about “Mah-mah” and “Bah-bah”.

I do miss having a tiny little baby but I’m not really sad that she’s growing so fast. I’m way more excited to see what kind of person our little girl is going to be!

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Baby Girl is 6 months

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Made it to the half year mark! Can’t believe it! A year ago I had only just announced that I was pregnant and had just posted my first weekly pregnancy update!

Our little girl is getting so big! Right now, she’s fast asleep taking her first nap of the day in our bed. She strongly prefers to have me breastfeed her lying down. Not sure why. But she gets all fidgety when I lay her down in my lap. So I lie down and she’ll snuggle up close to my body and she falls asleep almost right away.

Right now our bed consists of two mattresses pushed together right on the floor. And they fit neatly into a small corner of the room, so it naturally becomes the perfect playpen and napping place for a baby that is getting more mobile every day. She hasn’t quite figured out crawling yet, but we think it’s getting close. So far her favorite ways of getting from A to B is rolling over, rotating by pushing herself to the sides and rolling over on her back and pushing herself “upward” with her legs. I can’t blame her for getting a little frustrated with herself.

She gets bananas and sweet potatoes every day now. Not quite sure if she likes anything yet, since she makes the same scrunched up facial expression each time, but she swallows and wants more, which I consider a good sign.

The latest tricks include making “mamamama”-sounds – not sure that they’re actually due to me trying to teach her to say “mama” though. Just a few days ago we discovered that she has begun to reach for us. We enjoyed this phenomenon for a few minutes yesterday passing her back and forth and getting excited every time she raised her little chubby arms and leaned forward. Such a tiny little gesture, yet so rewarding! Also, one of the best games we’ve played yet is touching our foreheads to one another’s. Silly, but it’s a game that she understands just as well as we do.  I’ll lean my head close to hers and she’ll giggle and come the last few centimeters and knock her forehead on mine. Seriously, best game ever! I’ll gladly play it with her till the day I die!

She is learning to let go of most of her fears! She almost never cries in the car anymore and as soon as we introduced the rubber duck to bath time she has completely abandoned any need to cling to the sides of the tub and she’ll sit in there for as long as we want – as long as that duck can be in her chubby hands squished into her mouth.

To my surprise, I almost feel more protective of her now than ever. I can’t quite figure out why. Whether it’s the rewarding moments of seeing her appreciation for my love for her or simply the element of time, I don’t know. But someway I feel much more like a real mom these days.

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Baby girl is 5 months!

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5 months. Is that all? and already?

She’s lying on her belly here on the couch next to me, staring me down. I guess she’s waiting for me to turn around and make a funny sound or something. At least right now she is. In a minuteshe’ll have rolled back on her back. Then she’ll get sad that her toys are so far away and she’ll crunch up and try to roll back to her tummy. And eventually she will and she’ll get that surprised look on her face, like she still can’t believe she can do that.

We just gave her an evening bath before bed time. She still really doesn’t like the water, but we’re trying our best to go slow and take our time to play with her and splash around. We’re also still working on car rides. Really hope she gets over that one soon.

Those are however just about the only things besides being hungry that she cries about. She’s the happiest little baby most of the time and has learned that it doesn’t take more than a few calls to get her parents’ attention if she needs something. Which is niiice! On the other hand, now she’ll call us for just about anything. I can’t reach my toy! I want more milk! Keep talking to me!

She’s becoming her own little person more than ever. She loves talking and being social. She doesn’t really seem to mind being with people she doesn’t know either. She has started giving us “kisses” (snarling and attacking our faces if we get too close). She has begun to laugh a little too. Sometimes if she’s in the right mood and we’re being REALLY funny she’ll scrunch up her face as if she’s about to burst with happiness, only she doesn’t quite know how to express it. Eventually a tiny squeak or even a giggle will escape. She wants to touch everything, especially faces. Whenever we carry her around now she’ll keep one hand on our faces or grab my hair as if to make sure we’re still there.

I like to think she’s learning to bond in other ways than through nursing now. I love watching her touch and examine Marcus’ face. I’m glad that he gets to feel a lot closer to her now that she’s responding more to him. As social as she can be in crowds, we can tell a huge difference when we come home and it’s just the three of us again. She clearly shows how comfortable she is by either going straight to sleep or lighting up and starting the party. It’s the best thing ever to feel that we are truly a little family and that she loves being with us as much as we love being with her.

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Baby girl is 4 months!

PicMonkey Collage (2) It sounds terrible but I’m just going to go ahead and say it anyway…

Having a newborn and having a 3 month old is night and day. It is not until the last few weeks that parenting has really become FUN! It’s not until then that I’ve started to realize that having children truly is the greatest joy in life. I honestly go to bed every night as excited as a little child to wake up next morning and play with my baby!

Yes! She can play now! She has a couple of toys that usually follow her around the house. So far we have had to hand them to her but last night she leaned over and picked one up herself. She hasn’t quite figured out yet that the noises comes when she shakes them but she’ll hold them close and suck as hard on them as only a baby can.

Her favorite toy however seems to be her own voice. She loves talking to us. If we lean down and give her a long kiss on the cheek she’ll start purring in long ‘aaaaah’s. She’ll stop in the middle of a meal to give me a smile and share a few remarks. She’ll stare at us in deep fascination when we make new sounds that she doesn’t know how to do yet. She’ll even have long conversations with herself if she wakes up from a nap or is left alone during dinner. I love her sweet little voice! I completely fell in love with it just a few hours after she was born (when she’d stopped crying), and her high-pitched squeals are just hilarious!

We’re still waiting for that first roll-over! So far she doesn’t seem very ambitious. In fact I’m not sure it has even occurred to her that that might be fun. I guess she doesn’t see her roomies roll around much… maybe that would help. She will however try as hard as her tiny abs can to sit up. 8 times out of 10 when she cries it’s because she wants to sit up, stand up, be picked up, get a new view or do something else.

Actually she doesn’t cry very much at all these days. It’s wonderful to have a somewhat more diplomatic baby. If she’s bored or in a bad mood she can most often be persuaded to enjoy a pleasant conversation, game or meal.

I am starting to miss the tininess of when she was a newborn (she’s growing soooo fast!) but I have to admit that this has been my favorite age so far!

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This facial expression completely melts my heart!

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Baby girl is 3 months!

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It is safe to say that every month of Baby’s life has been more fun than the previous one. This last month has easily been the most eventful so far.

This was the month when she slept through the night for the first time! It happened out of the blue a couple of weeks ago. It only worked after we seriously started trying to put her to sleep in her own bed. I wasn’t too excited about this – because of mommy feelings – but I realized it was the safer way. So I started to feed her more in the evening and kept her sleeping in my lap for about an hour till she was deeply asleep enough that we could quietly walk her to the bedroom and put her down. This took some nights to get right. Many times we’d put her down and had to pick her back up an hour later cause she woke up. But then one night I woke up and it was 5.30 and I knew we had arrived. Our sleepless days were over.

So, the biggest news for this month is that she is starting to show some routines!

Also, she has found her hands and sucks away on them whenever she is bored. Oh what a blessing that she can entertain herself for a few minutes like that now! So excited for her to start grabbing and reaching for stuff too!

She still really likes listening to Marcus playing the guitar. That is his number one way to distract and cheer her up when I’m gone. She goes completely quiet and just stares at him in fascination. We’re hoping that’s a sign!

I hadn’t really thought about it before but she really seems to like having her diaper changed. I guess I can’t blame her.

The biggest challenge this month has been a few fussy days last week. She was just really grumpy and not even the boob could not make her stop complaining. She has also started drooling a lot so we’re guessing teething?

Another challenge is bath time. Since she seems ready we thought we’d try to especially focus on establishing a bedtime routine that includes bath time. So far Baby has not been a big fan of this particular activity. So yesterday we tried doing it a little differently. Instead of laying her down in the water at once we tried just dipping her feet at first and just letting her tap the surface a bit. We made sure to keep talking to her as we slowly sat her down and began to bathe her. It went pretty painlessly!

Our favorite time of day is still early morning when we all lie awake in bed and talk and play. Those moments really make me extra thankful for my little family.

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