Sunday, November 28, 2010

15 Months

I think I would best describe this last month as having been one of transition. For you and for us. You are incredibly verbal now, with well over 20 words at your disposal, but aside from telling me that you want milk or noodles, your ability to communicate your specific desires is still limited. I think you are finding this increasingly frustrating and so am I. I feel like we are close but still some months away from me being able to ask, "What's the matter?" and you being able to respond with an intelligible answer. And the wait in the meantime is not one that either of us seems to be enjoying. Let's just say the day involves more moaning and whining than it used to.


This month has been filled with immense joy for me as a parent, but it's also been a time of struggle. Some of the self doubt that plagued me in the first months of your life has returned now that you are a real toddler. How often can I say "sit down" when you stand on a chair before it means absolutely nothing to you? Twice? Is there a better way for me to teach you safety? Why do you climb right back up to a standing position on the chair just after tipping the chair over, falling and sobbing for 5 minutes? Do you not understand me when I ask you to "come here" or does that request just not interest you? And will it ever interest you to follow my directions? How do I avoid becoming a rule monger?

We had your 15 month check-up yesterday and you measured 31 inches and 21 pounds - which means you are in the 75th percentile for height but only the 25th for weight - Daddy's girl if ever there was one. If I had one word to describe you this month it would be BUSY. The fact that you never (ever) stop moving might be contributing to your skinny minny proportions, but a another factor could be that you are still a pretty picky eater - subsisting primarily on noodles ("nunals"), copious amounts of fruit (satsumas are a current favorite, as are "APah" (apples)), cheese and crackers, and the occasional feast of guacamole or bite of broccoli.

You've become quite adept at what I'm told is called "symbolic play" this month - kissing your stuffed animals and making them kiss each other (while saying "Mwa!"),
feeding your stuffed animals when snacking (you repeatedly tried to make Sophie eat your french fries at The Counter this week), holding your sippy cup to your Baby's mouth and putting your beaded necklace on her, then yourself, then back on her.

"wawa" - this is what you call the activity where you stand at the sink in the downstairs bathroom and throw rocks in the sink while the faucet drips water. The frequency with which you request this 'game' is ridiculous. At least 5 times per day you throw yourself dramatically at the bathroom door and beg "Waaaaaawaaaaaa!!" And the passion you feel when we say no to your request is hilarious (and irritating). But the times when we do 'play' (typically after dinner) are so cute.

Dad noticed that you clearly set an agenda for yourself each time - it may not be clear to us what it is, but you seem determined to drop a certain number of rocks into the sink, remove them and re-drop them before the 'game' can be considered over. If we end it too soon... well, it's best we not talk about what happens then. Let's just say it involves much discontent.

You saw your first snow this month! Watching the first fall was mesmerizing

but you didn't like walking in it one bit. We drove north in the snow and had a wonderful Thanksgiving with both sets of grandparents and aunts/uncles.

Your word list is expanding daily and you've become an excellent mimic. It seems like you essentially try to repeat the last word of every single thing I say. For example, yesterday morning Dad suggested that he needed to replace the batteries on the fire alarms and you repeated, "Firaaaa". You typically get the first consonant correct, but that's usually about it. Dad showed you a book with a beetle the other day and you said, "belelelel" in this hilarious imitation of the word beetle.

The newest words this week seem to be "kick" - accompanied of course by an actual kick, "oh no" said with a strong midwestern accent, "rock" which refers to the rocking chair and the rocks that go in the sink, "brrrr" which is said with a fake shiver when I say the word cold (which I did a lot during the snow flurry we had last week), and lastly, "pea" which means please - and boy am I pleased when you remember to use it.

I will sign off this letter with my favorite story of you this month:

You were looking at a printed ad in a magazine with your Dad the other day. The ad featured a picture of a man from the waist down, wearing short-shorts and running barefoot. You pointed at one of his feet and said "Foof", then pointed at his other foot and said, "foof". You then carefully pointed at his shorts and said, "Poop".

Seriously, you are hilarious.

xoxo,
Mom

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dress Up

Edie had a 24 hour stomach bug that started at 1am Sunday night with an out-of-nowhere throw-up in the crib. She nursed a fever all day yesterday and was extremely clingy and unhappy pretty much all day. By bedtime she seemed to have perked up, but I wasn't sure if that was luck or Motrin... thankfully she was fever free today and aside from a bizarre nap that involved a 30 minute break for crying in the middle, she was one happy camper. Except for when I put her down in the snow thinking she'd have fun walking in the powder. Not so much. She flapped like a bird and begged to be picked up. As if I'd suggested baby torture instead of a frolic in the snow.

Anyways, we're hoping to brave the icy roads tomorrow and head north, so wish us luck. In the meantime, enjoy these pictures of Edie wearing my dance shoes and halloween mask.



Sunday, November 21, 2010

Words

Edie is talking up a storm these days. I keep waiting for her to start stringing words together, but for now it's just one word at a time. I thought I'd save "the list" for her 15 month letter, but I'm realizing that the list is growing longer each day this has become a post of its own. Perhaps I'll just tell some more specific stories about her using the words in my monthly post. Plus, at the rate she's going I'll have new ones to report by the time the 30th rolls around. I've started keeping a little list in her room where I write new words down and currently the list is well and above 20!

1. Up/Down - Up is very well articulated at this point and in use very frequently. Whenever she wants to go upstairs or for me to pick her up, she clearly comes over and demands, "up!" When climbing the stairs she says "upa upa upa" with each step. Down sounds a bit more like "dow" and she especially likes to point out the people on the down escalator at Target by saying "dow" every time someone gets on the down direction.
2. Shoe - pronounced "shew"
3. Boot - "boop"
4. Hot - said pretty much every time she walks by the stove/oven, but also used the other day when my Mom put a sweater on her (at my request). She pulled at it and said (dramatically), "hot - hot - hot" until it was taken off. She also likes to point out the microwave or steaming food and say hot.
5. Baby - obsessed. Like totally obsessed.
6. Kitty/Cat - frequently known as "kiyeee" or "cack". Sometimes "cat".
7.Mama/Dada - boy does this melt my heart every single time. She's saying both all the time. Sometimes just while we're eating, she'll stop and point at Jeff and say "DAda" like she just wants us to know SHE knows.
8. Noodle - Pronounced "nunal" she picked this up with my Mom last week when she made her some chicken noodle soup. This kid loves her some noodles and now says it all the time. After I'd put away lunch the other day, she came running up to me and asked "nunal!?" I heated up more and she wolfed them down. So exciting to know specifically what she wants and be able to give it to her!
9. Window - "wiwo". Unsure why this is so cool, but she's super into windows. Perhaps her father's love for architecture?
10. Key - loves my keys and throws a tantrum when I can't give them to her (like when I'm using them to open doors and start cars)
11. Poop - this is a new one. Mixed feelings. On one hand it's hilarious and sometimes helpful, on the other slightly embarrassing. She now announces when she's pooped ("poowp") and pulls at her diaper like picking a wedgie. I suppose this is exciting and might indicate easy potty training when the time comes. But then lately, she's just started saying poop all the time, and not necessarily when pertaining to the diaper (although the diaper pulling is starting to go hand in hand with the word, regardless of whether the act actually occurred). Just tonight I heard Jeff say very casually to her "Thanks for the update". I asked "What's the update?" and he responded, "Poop". We act very blase to her face, but secretly the 12 year old boy in me wants to giggle.
12. Nuts - she just says "nut" but it's SO FUNNY because it's said with such passion in this fast, irritated way. She says it all the time now, whenever something is dropped or when something happens she doesn't like.
13. More - it typically comes out "mah mah mah!" and coincides with the sign for more
14. Ball
15. Hat
16. Pen - for some reason she calls pens and pencils "peps", which is not the same as saying pen, but she says it every single time she sees a pen or pencil, so it obviously means pen to her.
17. Pumpkin - "pump". I think she's going to be very disappointed when we finally have to dump the pumpkins.
18. Foot/Nose/Knee - "foof"/"no"/"neee"
19. Cake/Cookie - "cack"/"cook". I wish she'd never learned these words.
20. Bee
21. Water - "wawa". Obsessed. Completely.
22. Bye - she no longer says "bye bye", just a casual and very bored sounding "baaah" when people leave.
23. Milk - "mimi". She's totally having a love affair and her lover is named Mimi. She begs for her all the time.
24. Gate - "date" is what she says every morning when I tell her I'm putting in her baby gate (we have the tension kind that's not permanently installed)
25. No - she mostly just chants it to herself while doing something she knows I hate (like standing on chairs) "nahnahnahnah"

She's got a few others that are up her sleeve but not in regular rotation yet, my favorite that seems to be on the way is "please" (coinciding with the sign). The day she says "mah peese" will be a very proud one indeed.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More photos

I seem to have come down with my first winter cold. Because it is certainly winter around here. We had a brief Christmas shopping excursion downtown tonight and BRRRR. The biting cold was enough to make Edie actually wear a hat. Like, almost the entire outing.

A few more photos from earlier this month:

Like many couples with young kids, Jeff and I each get a sleep-in day on the weekend. This was on one of mine. You can always tell how hard Edie slept by looking at how crazy her hair looks in the morning. I like the side cowlick on this particular morning with Jeff in their pjs.
Edie on a particularly cute day. Playing with her bumble bee finger puppet from Grandma and Grandpa B. She's very proud of being able to correctly say "Bee" now, so she loves this toy.

My mom took this picture on one of her babysitting days with Edie. I'm posting it because it perfectly captures her mania lately - she doesn't go anywhere without her trusty "Baybeee" (seen in left hand), is obsessed with water ("wawa") hence the tiny bottle of water being trotted about. She also apparently asked my Mother to dress her in the tutu, jean leggings, vest and "boops" (boots). The whole combo is cracking me up.
And speaking of being obsessed with water. Edie now begs at the downstairs bathroom door and cries "WAWA!!! Wawah!" All. The. Time. Jeff created a bit of a monster (unknowingly) when he showed her how the faucet worked with her on a stepping stool. We have a bowl of wishing rocks that we've collected over the years and she likes for Jeff to hand her one at a time while she drops them in the sink. We try keeping this to a post-dinner activity, but sometimes it's more often.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Finally, some photos

We finally uploaded our photos from the last few weeks. There are quite a few, so I think I'll post them in small batches. But first, I urge you to stop everything you are doing and bake these pumpkin chocolate chip bars.
The photo doesn't do them justice, but was taken more to document how many we ate BEFORE dinner last night, approximately 10 minutes after being removed from the oven. They are part brownie, part cake, and completely and totally addictive. Already half the pan is gone and this is only because I have exercised extreme restraint today by not standing at the counter and eating the entire thing straight out of the pan. Recipe here (thanks Alison!):
http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-squares

Edie got her own tiny table and chairs recently. In fact, I sat in these very chairs when I was probably about Edie's age as we inherited them from Steve and Julee Johnson, my childhood (and adulthood) friend Kristin's parents. The Johnson's used to live directly across the street when I was growing up and the Johnson kids were my primary playmates. Edie loves her table and spends at least 7 hours per day standing on the chairs and laughing at me while I say "DOWN. SIT DOWN!" Sigh.
She also spent a week or so obsessed with wearing this hat. But only indoors.
Edie and Jeff went for the rainiest walk in all of history earlier this month. I'm not sure if you can tell from this photo, but they are DRENCHED. They walked for miles and miles in the pouring down rain (and Jeff carries her instead of using the stroller because he's a weirdo). I kept calling Jeff to see if he wanted me to pick them up in the car and he wouldn't answer. Apparently (and despite the look on E's face in this picture) they had a smashing time singing-in-the-rain-style.

My little Mexican wrestler:
If we thought there was a chance in hell she'd wear a face mask, we totally would have dressed her in full wrestler regalia for Halloween.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Edie Bee

Sometimes after Edie goes to bed I look at photos of her on the camera and/or computer. As if I don't get enough of her face during the day. But I guess I don't. Because DUDE, she just gets cuter (and funnier) every day. I seriously have a hard time believing I made this kid sometimes. We have so many photos to take off the computer, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Until then...

Monitor

Our bedrooms are all upstairs so we use a baby monitor after Edie goes to bed and we hang out downstairs with the stereo or TV on. The reciever is set up so that it doesn't activate unless noise levels elevate above the norm in Edie's room. For example, we often have Edie sleep to white noise, but because the white noise is at a constant level, it doesn't turn the receiver on downstairs and we don't have to hear static while watching TV. Sometimes if Jeff walks by her room, the noise of his shoes on our wood floors will turn the system on downstairs and I'll hear his footsteps on the receiver. When the downstairs receiver activates, it lights up with little LED lights, 1 light for minimal noise, 4 for an epic scream fest.

I was remembering today this one time that Jeff decided to take on a personal challenge - to see how hard he would need to smack my butt before it set off the monitor. As in, the monitor in Edie's room upstairs would have to hear him smacking my rump all the way downstairs (we were standing in front of the receiver) and turn on the whole system from the noise.

It took 3 tries.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cake Part 2

This was taken about a month ago:
video

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cake

Two cake recipes I'd like to share with you:

1. The chocolate buttermilk cake recipe I used for Edie's birthday cake. I don't think I've posted this yet, so I'm doing it now. This seriously was the best plain-old-chocolate cake I've ever had. I also liked it paired with the cream cheese frosting recipe they recommend, but it would be good with chocolate frosting too. The only credit I can take is for finding the recipe and following it to a tee, but it came out ridiculously moist and lasted for days post-party. I recommend trying it the next time you're thinking of picking up a box mix:
http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/recipefinder/chocolate-buttermilk-cake-425


2. Spiced Applesauce Cake from the Smitten Kitchen blog. I saw this recipe and knew I must make it. It was a simple, falltastic cake that's great for a weekday. If you have homemade applesauce I bet it would be even better (I used store bought unsweetened applesauce)!
http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/10/spiced-applesauce-cake/

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It Worked!

Years ago, one of my friends dated a guy that we used all go bowling with (back when Seattle had bowling alleys). Every time he missed a pin he would exclaim, "Nuts!!" We all found this hilarious and endearing.

So, a while ago I had this idea that it would be really funny to have a kid that was trained to say, "nuts!" when they dropped something. You know, rather than the conventional "uh oh". Except it turns out the reason why all the kids say "uh oh" is because it's way easier than "nuts". So I gave up on that. BUT! A few weeks ago I revived my efforts. My thought was that Edie seems to be picking up a lot of words lately and doing more and more mimicking. It was worth a shot, right? Well, just tonight Edie dropped a rock and totally unprompted exclaimed, "NUT!"



Poop Snake

Parents of young children likely know - when you use a Diaper Genie the resulting trash bag that comes out of it is super long and skinny. You know, like a snake. It is also filled with poopy diapers. Jeff coined it "The Poop Snake" long ago as a joke and it stuck. He probably wouldn't approve of me writing this post because Jeff doesn't believe in publicly discussing issues involving BMs, but Jeff! It's funny! And also as a PS I would like to note that we do use cloth diapers during much of the day at home, but we missed our garbage pick up last week so we had an extra full garbage can this week.

Tonight:
Jeff - I'm going to take the garbage out to the curb tonight, because it's filled with about 80 pounds of poop snake.
(pause)
Me: That's your band's name - "80 Pounds of Poop Snake"
Jeff: Lots of people would come to see us.
Jill : Hmmm

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Books


Edie has developed names for some of her books this week.
- Her book about animal babies underwater is called "goo goo" because the first page features a clown fish saying "Glug Glug!"
- "Go Go" (not to be confused with Gooo Gooo) is Goodnight Gorilla
- Her book called ABC Helpers features a photograph of two kids frosting cookies together on the cover and she calls that book "Cook!" (her word for cookie)
- Her book called "Buzz Buzz Busy Bees" is gleefully referred to as "BEEEEE!" when she hands it to me

Friday, November 5, 2010

Words

Cutest word Edie has mastered this week - Baby. She says it perfectly and with such enthusiasm, "BAYBEEE!" She found a baby doll in a consignment shop we visited earlier this week and exclaimed 'baby! baby!" then walked around with it clutched in her arms like a real baby. She's also good at spotting pictures of babies in books. I recently started reading a developmental book about toddlers that features a picture of a pediatrician (the author) holding a baby on the cover. Edie likes to find it in my room every day and show me the baby. She also likes to point at the pediatrician and say "Dada!". She's killing me with cuteness with all her words. Which is a good thing because it outweighs being barfed on in public on Wednesday afternoon.

Least cute word Edie now uses? "no no no no no" which she repeats back to me in a mocking tone when doing something unsafe. It sounds more like "nanana " or "ninini" sometimes, but it's clear what she means.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dress Up

Last week at playgroup we put the kids in their Halloween costumes. Except I brought a few extras. And then everyone wanted to dress their kid in everyone else's outfit. So it essentially turned into our first Dress Up party. Edie refused to sit like all the other children.