Monday, February 28, 2011

18 Months

Hi Edie,

Oh Edie. You are SO OLD! Today (kind of) you are 18 months old. As with your "half" birthday last year, this one doesn't really exist. There will never be a February 30th, so I'm writing this letter a day or two early.

Turning a year and a half old seems like a big deal; today is the day that tips the scales towards your second birthday. From now on you will be closer to 2 than 1. This last month has been so much more enjoyable than January. Health has returned to our household (knocking on wood as I type), only to be replaced by teething. Teeth! It seemed like teething in the early days didn't bother you all that much, but this last burst of growth seems to be stirring up some sleep issues and I'm SO grateful this is your last tooth for a while. Your 16th tooth (a canine) is coming through this very second and then we will have a break until your second year molars come in. Then I'm told we will be done with teething until you are 4 or 5! At which point you will be eligible for a legitimate combination pain killer and sleep aid.
Highlights and markers at this 18 month milestone-

Weight: We won't know this until later this week
Height: TBD
Speech/Communication: You are a BIG talker, with well in excess of 200 words. There is never a need for any sign language because you can, and do communicate all your needs effectively. You tell us when you're hungry and exactly what you want to eat, when you need more (please), when you want to get down (and back up), and what you want to do next. You frequently put two or three words together, but not usually in a cohesive phrase. It's more like, "Horsey! Daddy? Please!!!" when you want a horsey ride, or "Help. Shoe. On." when you're trying to put my shoes on your feet. My favorite was yesterday when you were in the kitchen trying to put your sippy cup in the fridge (a popular hobby these days is to ask for your milk, take a sip and then say "fridge" because you like putting it away yourself). I was in the next room and could hear you saying "fridge. Mimi." over and over. Then you added, "Mom. Coming." In other words, you wanted me to come in and help you open the door to the fridge.

You will also say things like "Ring. Edie. Get." When you can't reach a ring that's slid under your crib. You have the words for all your activities and friends, and if I get down on your level when you start to get frustrated and ask quietly "What do you want?" you pretty much always stop the tantrum ramp-up to tell me what it is that you wanted (and weren't getting) that got you upset in the first place. The only times we have to weather tantrums are when the thing you want is something we can't give - like a cookie at 9am. Or the 1000th horsey ride. As everyone is quick to remind me, this tantrum-void in our lives will surely not last.
Your "no you di'nt" pose

You are grasping lots of concepts these days- big vs small, saying "funny" when you think something is funny, initiating teasing (you like to pretend to fall asleep during the day and say "nap" and then open your eyes in a flash to see if we thought you were really asleep), asking for help when you need it, saying "bless you" unprompted when people sneeze, 'please' is said all the time without me asking, 'thank you' usually only with prompting. We have regular discussions about things that are loud vs quiet - every time a truck goes by you look at me very seriously and say "loud" in your cute voice that sounds more like "lowd". I must use the word 'creepy' on a daily basis without even realizing it, because the other day when I was looking at a blog and scrolled down to see a weird picture of a lama's face close up, you looked over my shoulder at the computer and said "Ceeepy" then looked at me as if to ask 'Did I use that word right?' And damned if that photo of the lama wasn't creepy! You were spot on.
Aside from your irregular sleep patterns at night, my least favorite habit of yours these days is when you intentionally spill your sippy cup all over the floor (shaking it upside down over and over and then playing with it like finger paint). I've talked to you about it numerous times with no success, so last week I tried implementing our first time-out. I told you that spilling your milk just to be funny was "naughty" and that you were going to sit on the naughty stair for 1 minute each time you did it in the future. Well, turns out the naughty stair is hilarious, not punishing. I couldn't help but laugh under my breath while you giggled and ran around the stair area every time I tried to sit you on it and walk away. I told myself it was just too early for that concept to be grasped. But the next day I heard you in the kitchen saying "naunny, naunny" and when I came to see what you were talking about, you had a puddle of milk at your feet, cup in hand and you were pointing helpfully at the milk saying 'naughty'. Before I could say anything, you ran over to the bottom stair and sat down, proudly saying "naunny". Granted you only sat there for about 20 seconds, but it was sweet, funny and kind of confusing all at the same time.
Potty training: You've been telling me about your dirty/wet diapers for some time so we ordered a tiny potty chair this month. Mostly we're just introducing the concept, talking about how it works and all that biz. No actual 'pottying' or attempts by me to implement. It seems more a source of fascination than something you want to tackle right now. I don't plan to push the issue for a while.

Sleep: You are still going to bed easily and happily, with very few exceptions. Teething (or something else??) are making the whole "sleeping through the night thing" a crap shoot with a week of good sleep and then a flurry of night wakings and early rising/cranky mornings. On a normal night you go down at 8pm and wake at 7:30 or so. Napping is more consistent and you always take a nap after lunch that lasts one and a half to two and a half hours.

Food: Shockingly, you've become a pretty good eater these days. You rarely, if ever, require your own meal at dinner, just eating what we serve ourselves. Your favorite foods are anything to do with noodles, broccoli, peas, toast with peanut butter, freeze dried strawberries, grapes, homemade pizza of any variety (which we make about once a week), anything that includes a dip, gnocchi, and anything in the dessert category. You dislike or are luke warm on many popular toddler foods such as chicken nuggets, most potato products (including tots!), quesadillas and grilled cheese. You worship milk and we spend a fortune on your organic whole milk right now.

Interests: You love helicopters (copters), music, dancing, Grandma and Grandpa's dog Toby, and hanging out in the truck with Dad. Most nights after dinner, he takes you out and the two of you hang in the cab of the truck for up to an hour - pressing buttons, changing the radio station, spying buses on the street below, waving to the garden gnome across the street, etc.
Last week you all of a sudden started grasping colors and now talk about the colors of everything around you. Some colors (orange and purple) come very easily, but others are still a bit iffy. You are also obsessed with cleaning these days. I swear I can give you a wash cloth ("wafoff") and just watch you "clean" the house for a full hour. In fact, I've probably done this. I especially like when you "clean" your nose with the same rag and then proceed to wipe down the front door or your chair with it.

While I would still very much describe you as a real character with lots of energy and enthusiasm, your overall temperament has mellowed out a bit. You almost never get angry, you like sharing and playing with others, when tackled by other kids (hi Danny!) you just look confused and try to keep going about what you were doing, and you are very good at playing creatively by yourself. You really are a contented little kid.
You still have yet to have any separation anxiety (with the exception of one trip to the gym daycare a few months ago) and love your time with babysitters and extended family.
At Grandma and Grandpa's for the weekend.

You talk about your friends all the time, your favorites being Mae, AJ, Danny, Chloe (which you pronounce Choly), and Reid and you look forward to seeing them on a weekly basis. This is SUCH a fun age for us a family and I think until the infamous terrible twos start, things are going to keep getting better.

Love you,
Mom

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Colors

I especially love how she pronounces "feather boa" on the last page - "fulalaba"

video

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Boo Hiss

Jeff and I were trying to get a video of Edie singing "Old McDonald" tonight. Earlier today when I sang it, I'd pause after "And on this farm he had a ---" and she'd call out an animal. It was hilarious. Except when we tried to video it tonight, she kept shouting out that Old McDonald had an "Edie" on his farm. When she did this the third time I laughed and said, "boo hiss" in a joking manner. She thought that was SO FUNNY.
video

Monday, February 21, 2011

News

Oh, hello there. Nice to see you.

Edie didn't really get sick, so apologies for the alarm. She's just getting her 16th tooth! Which, my next door neighbor -who is also a pediatrician- informs me is her last tooth until she gets her 2 year molars. So perhaps we will soon get a reprieve from teething. How nice.

More importantly though, we had a fantastic stay-cation weekend in Seattle while Edie gallivanted all over Bellingham with her Grandparents. Sadly, she decided not to sleep well while there, but happily, WE slept wonderfully. We also did some deep Spring cleaning, rode the Vespa all over town (equal parts fun and cold), went out and had drinks in one place, dinner in another and cupcakes in a third locale, and as if that wasn't enough, we also went to a movie! (Kings Speech) and slept in until nearly 10am.

Aaaand. Edie and I just bought a ticket to California!!! We leave in less than 2 weeks and I is excited. A bit nervous about flying with Edie solo, but mostly pumped. We are going to stay with Auntie Napkin (aka Katherine) in LA (and her generous roomie Kait who is going to tolerate an 18mo old ransacking the house) and we are going to do fun things in weather that is decidedly warmer than here. It is roughly 33 degrees here today. I just booked our ticket using air miles and am already thinking up excuses to buy cute Spring coats and mini skirts for Edie. Not for me. Well, maybe a coat, but definitely not a mini skirt. Anyways. Californiaaaaaaaaaaa! Here we cooooooooooome!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Self Fulfilling Prophecy?

So, yeah. Edie got a runny nose yesterday. Remember how I said this would happen??!! So far it doesn't seem like a repeat of the plague, just a runny nose and some sleep disruption, but GAWD. Please please please let it resolve quickly so that we can still go out on the town this weekend.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Heart Art

A week or two ago, Edie made valentines. First, she dressed in her custom craft smock made by Aunt Kati:

then we get a feel for the paint brush and test out of the homemade sponge and potato stamps.
Then we put paint on the paper, on our head and maybe just a little, in our mouths.


Not photographed here is the fact that I then cut the paper into heart shapes, wrote Happy Valentine's Day on the back and let Edie go to town with heart shaped stickers.

We attended a lovely party today at Edie's friend Mae's house where many children dressed in pink frolicked while eating sugar cookies. Technically I think I was the only parent irresponsible enough to let my kid eat one, but dude, it's Valentine's Day. And if I'm going to eat one (which I totally did), then it's really hard for me to explain to Edie why she doesn't get one (at least without making up a lot of lies). At the party, we also made Dad a valentine using elaborate craft supplies, which he greatly appreciated. Our real gift will come this following weekend when Edie will have a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa C's house and Jeff and I pretend it's 2008 and do things like GO TO A MOVIE. And SLEEP IN - and I'm not talking one at a time, I'm talking both of us sleeping, in the bed, together. Until at least 9 am, heck, let's go crazy - 10!!!

I'm pretty sure that by throwing caution to the wind and discussing sleeping until 10am, Edie will wake up with a terrible cold tomorrow and the whole thing will be postponed.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie


I used to love playing the game "Would you Rather". This is the game (for those unfamiliar) where you pit two terrible things against each other and force your opponent to choose which one they'd rather face. Example: Would you rather weight 400 pounds or have terrible acne? But you can also tempt people with two awesome choices and see which way they go with it. While playing once with a group of riends, I came up with a choice where one option was "or would you rather be able to spontaneously, make a pot pie in your pants on command." It didn't matter what you put opposite this choice, no matter how tempting, everyone would rather have a pot pie whenever they wanted. This recipe isn't instantaneous, and you don't (in fact I would recommend you don't) pull it out of your pants, but it is reliably stellar.


Recipe and Directions:
Saute in 3T butter: 3 chopped carrots (large dice), 1 large (8-10 oz) potato cubed (I like 1/2 inch-ish cubes), and one medium onion diced
Cook until soft - 5-10min
(Optional: you can add a cup or two of sliced mushrooms at this point and saute for an extra few minutes)
Stir in 4T flour for one minute to coat vegetables and then pour in 1.5C chicken stock and 1.25C whole milk
Stir and simmer until it thickens (5-10 minutes)
Stir in: All of the meat from one pre-cooked rotisserie chicken (chopped, shredded or cubed to your desired size), 1C frozen peas, 1T fresh thyme and 1t chopped fresh sage, salt and pepper to taste
Stir and set aside

Pastry dough (for one layer of crust - I double this for a two layer pie):
1C + 2T flour pulsed with 1t salt
Add one stick of cold butter cubed and pulse until pea gravel consistency
Add 4-7T of ice water (2 at a time) and pulse until it just starts to combine a bit
Dump crumbly mix onto plastic wrap and use the wrap to make the dough into ball, put in fridge wrapped in saran if not using immediately. It can keep wrapped in fridge for up to 24 hours if needed.

Assemble:
Roll out one dough for bottom crust and put in Pam sprayed pan (I recommend a casserole type dish because this makes a lot of filling - a regular pie pan won't be sufficient), fill with warm filling, then top with another layer of rolled out crust and pinch around edges, cut slits in top and brush with an egg wash.

Cook uncovered the whole time at 375 until crust is golden brown - about 45min

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Weekend on Orcas

We decided rather last minute to head up to the island last weekend and had a fantastic time. We spent almost the entire month of January as social lepers, festering in our own sick, that a change of scenery was the best thing ever. Also last minute, we asked friends we haven't seen in forever to come and were surprised first that they were free, second that they were willing to make the trek and third that they are having a baby in April! Obviously, it had been WAY too long. We hadn't seen them since before Edie's first birthday. We spent Friday night just the three of us and for the first time in maybe forever, Edie slept through the entire night at the cabin. For some reason her sleep is always a bit of a mess there, but that spell has now been broken. She slept like a champ the whole weekend and we all had such a nice time. Saturday, when our friends joined us, was a lovely beach day.
Sunday was soggy city, so we spent the entire day curled up inside with the fire kicking the temp up to 80.
Edie shared her pretzel sticks with her new friend.

And now we come to what I'll call the "hat montage". Edie was quite taken with this hat on Sunday. As is probably obvious from the photos. Eventually Jeff decided to take Edie for a short walk in the rain, wearing her hat.


She returned from the walk like this:
On Saturday, I made (if I do say so myself, which I do) a stellar chicken pot pie. I will post the simple recipe shortly.
Edie spent much time playing with Jeff's old toys from the 70's that live in a toy box at the cabin.
Looking sharp in her favorite "DINO!!!" pjs and a sweater. And a stylish hat that really brings the whole ensemble together.
When it was time to go and Jeff packed up the pack and play, Edie found a new way for us to carry her around. Oddly she hung out like this (voluntarily) for way longer than seemed right.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sneeze

This exact exchange just occurred between me and Edie at the breakfast table:

Edie has a giant sneeze. Then she looks at me in an accusing way and says: "BESSYOU!?" (as if to say, Why didn't you say bless you Mom? SO rude.)
Me: Oh I'm sorry, I forgot to say "bless you!". Bless you Edie.
Edie slowly shakes her head at me in silent disapproval and then adds: Sheesh

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

17 Months

The 17 month mark seems like the toddler equivalent to turning 31 as an adult - zzzzzzzz. Turning 16 months old was such a sweet number and next month is a big one because 18 months makes you one and a half years old! But 17 months sounds a bit ho hum. And if I'm being honest, this has been worse than a ho hum month, in fact I think it's easily been one of our hardest as a family of three.

One week into the new year you came down with a terrible flu/cold bug that lasted over two weeks and eventually turned into an ear infection. I don't want to dwell, but I think it's important to leave an accurate memory of things... Your Dad and I both caught the bug from you and taking care of a miserable toddler while being miserable yourself is the hardest thing I think I've ever done.
You had a fever that came and went for 12 days before we were able to start you on antibiotics for the ear infection and during those 12 days you spent all your time doing one or more of the following: clinging to us, crying, or snoring loudly with your sweaty head pressed into my neck and then crying when put down to sleep in your crib. We are SO happy to be in better health now that the month is coming to a close, although I will say that we are all three still a bit shy of 100% when it comes to night time coughing.

In non-illness related news, you met your baby cousin Hannah this month. Her Mom (my cousin Sarah) and Dad brought her down to visit from Alaska and after talking about her Christmas picture for almost a month, you were very excited to meet her in person. It's possible that you won't get to see her again until she's your age now and we all go to Hawaii next year with our extended family.
You with Hannah's Grandma (your Great Aunt) Laura and Grandma B holding Hannah.

Great Grandma holding Hannah and you trying to feed her one of your goldfish.

You made a few changes to your eating routine this month. Midway through your cold, Grandma B came to visit and made us chicken noodle soup from scratch. It was one of the only things you would eat (except for "pops!" - Popsicles) and for some reason you were only happy being fed soup while sitting in one of our kitchen chairs like an adult. A day or two later, I tried to serve you a meal in your highchair, but when I turned around to pick you up and plop you into the chair, you instead ran to a regular chair and tried to climb it while saying "sit!". I took the hint and you have now graduated from high chair to booster seat. You seem much happier and more willing to stay put through meals now that you sit at the table like a big kid.

You have also been working on eating your food off of a plate, rather than everything being on your chair's built-in tray. You only sometimes pick up the plate with your dinner on it and tip the whole thing upside down. Just last week you started eating cold cereal (with milk) for breakfast. You actually do really well getting the spoon to your mouth with cereal and milk still on it, which is a pretty major development. Granted you also reach in with your fingers to fish out the "manas" (bananas) and "boobays" (blueberries), but still! Using a spoon is tricky business and you are making great strides.
Eating Kix at Grandma and Grandpa's house

We started taking a toddler music class this month, and from the one class you attended before falling sick, I think this is going to be fun for you. We pranced around with scarves, beat drums, and sang songs about all sorts of things. Your favorite was the welcome song that the teacher sang where she included each of the kids' names into the song. You stood in the middle of the circle while most of the other kids sat in their parents' laps and seemed to think it only fitting that everyone in the room should be singing your name while seated in a circle around you. You love to dance and have started to quietly sing "Sataaa" to the tune of Raffi's 'Must be Santa' at random moments while swaying from side to side. You also frequently stop what you are doing to say "widdle" (wiggle) and then you do a funny little shimmy move.

You've started going to bed SO happily this month and while sleeping through the night hasn't quite returned to normal since recovering from your illness, we're getting there. At night (after blowing your Dad a kiss or 10), we say "ni-ni" to your baby and you love kissing her with a big smacking noise. Then you become very concerned about tucking her into your crib with a blanket ("blantet") and after reading your 3 stories, you happily get plunked into your crib and talk quietly to baby before dropping off to sleep for the night.

You've started requesting that I put your hair in pigtails by pointing at your head and asking "ponies?" almost every day. They start looking a little droopy after riding in the car and napping, but you don't seem to mind. Your other charming activity includes you saying, "Cookie, eat" while pointing to your mouth. This happens at any time of day, typically starting at 8am. When I say no or offer you something else, you look at me with the saddest expression and say "Peeeese?"

In other talking news, you've started saying thank you, but it sounds like "foutou" or "fantoo" and it cracks me up every time. Thanks to your illness you also learned the words kleenex (keenex), tissue, medicine (me-acine), and because of your humidifier - steam (sheam). You are very talkative, frequently answering non-leading questions with answers other than yes or no, and making choices/demands for your meals and snacks. In addition to knowing most of the words for your clothes (shirt, shoes, pants, coat, etc), you also have most body parts down, many animal words, and you have most of the words for the foods you like eating - raisins, pirates booty (pooboo), goldfish, peanut (for peanut butter), toast, soup, eggs, noodles, cheese, strawberries (saberries), bananas (manas), and of course cookies. You learned about ice cream recently when your Grandparents took you to the drive thru at Dairy Queen and wow, I thought you might never get enough. Your Dad and I are suckers for sweet treats so I'm worried I'm a bit lax about letting you enjoy dessert, but given how skinny you're getting these days I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

At your most recent doctor's appointment for your ear infection you had grown a bit over 31 inches, but had barely gained 4 ounces since your 15 month appointment. Physically, you are definitely turning into your father's daughter, temperament-wise I'm told by others that you're all mine. You love to act overly surprised at things for an audience, gasping and holding your hand to your open mouth and waiting until everyone is watching. You do this every time the tree outside our dining room scratches the window in the wind. You also love to hold your hand out to us and point at it saying "boo boo" and when kiss it, you immediately hold out the other hand to show us your other boo boo. This happens so often that your Dad finally asked you the other day if you have chronic pain in your hands. You love to be a helper in any way you can and love the praise that follows, patting your chest and saying, "helper". It certainly seems like you received a double dose of charisma and pride while baking in my oven.

Let's hope your next month brings some health and sleep back to our lives.

Love,
Mom





Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dishwasher

The import of this announcement may not be fully understood by those not close to me, but: WE HAVE A DISHWASHER. I should clarify - a brand new, functioning dishwasher. Because we've always had a dishwasher, it's just that for the last 2 years it's been totally broken and a complete waste of space. It died in a blaze of glory when I was newly pregnant when the main spinning piece inside essentially set on fire mid-cycle. It didn't come as a complete surprise as it was approximately 100 years old - pretty much the first dishwasher ever built. When we bought a new one and it was delivered, the Sears people told us that it was impossible to remove the old one and therefore, install the new one. When new floors were installed in our house, they were installed OVER the dishwasher. Therefore, the only way to remove the one was to saw the counter tops off and pull it up and out. Oh, and something was wrong with the plumbing and our counters were too low and a bunch of other stuff. We were overwhelmed with baby prep and essentially gave up. The last two years have been a blur of bottle washing and fighting over sinks full of dirty pump attachments, bottles, sippy cups and dishes. But then. Then Jeff and his Dad made a second and successful attempt this weekend and I can hardly believe it but we have a dishwasher. It's such a thing of beauty. Edie's been pulling a Jekyll and Hyde move all week and every time I feel like throwing her out the window, Jeff guides me into the kitchen to look at our shiny new roommate.