Posts Tagged ‘Nicole’

July 6, 2014

Two!

It has not been two years. I refuse to believe.

Happy Birthday Nicole

Yesterday was Nicki’s birthday party. It was a pretty low key affair, a few relatives, balloons, a dinner out, and a birthday cake. The initial plan was to go to the park in the morning, and Domingo and I would setup for the party while she napped. We’d open presents and go to an old fashioned dinner across the street for dinner (a place Nicki loves), then have cake.

Instead I ended up with a migraine. We (well, mostly Nicole) boogied to sesame street videos in the morning since I did not have the energy to make it off the couch. We both napped, leaving Domingo – super dad! – to get ready for the party. I was hoping to nap longer but Lily – who is not my favorite feline right now – felt the need to dig me out of the covers a half hour or so after finally falling asleep. By then even if I was able to fall asleep again quickly, it wouldn’t be a quality nap, so I decided to try and make do without. I didn’t want to cancel Nicki’s birthday party. I was already feeling guilty it wouldn’t measure up to last year’s. Besides, there was no guarantee I’d be feeling better if we did reschedule.

As miserable as I was Nicki had a blast, and that’s the important thing. She had grand time chasing the balloons, adored spending time with the family, loved the restaurant and devoured her cake. She even blew out the candle all by herself! Since she was having so much fun with her grandparents we let her stay up a bit past her bedtime. Once she was asleep, I made a bee line for my own bed. Thirteen hours in bed later and I was finally doing better.

fallleaves

Being a Graduand

I have met the requirements for my degree. My cover sheet has been signed (the last signature was acquired Friday and, according to the shipping tracking information, arrived on campus Monday morning), my dissertation has been submitted online. I am a Graduand. There is nothing left for me to do but wait for my paperwork to be processed and the degree to be officially conferred.

That still feels so surreal to think about. It wasn’t that long ago that I wasn’t sure if I would graduate. I did order a copy of my thesis in book form. Maybe it will feel more real seeing my name ‘in print’.

Our Amazing Daughter

Nicki has been such a joy, I don’t even know where to begin. She’s adapted amazing well, (and quickly!) to her new life – the new home, the new daycare, the new schedule. She’s an incredibly happy little girl and tolerates most anything life throws at her, which in the past month has included six new teeth (4 molars!) a stomach bug which she handled better than Mommy & Daddy, and a cold. Her sunny personality has made this whole transition so much smoother.

I’m also thankful that she appears to really enjoy having her photo taken which lines up nicely to my hobby of taking her photo! Sometimes I think she even understands what the camera is for. Lately she’s smiling for the camera and not just at me behind it. She can even be quite the little ham at times, and loves seeing the photos afterwards. This afternoon she kept asking to see the view screen when I was flipping through the photos. She recognizes herself.

The Best Partner Anyone Could Ask For

Domingo has so many praises to be sung: awesome father, amazing husband. He was willing to move here to be closer to my work, never complains about the late shift with Nicki, and can operate under less sleep than I thought humanly possible. I know it’s trite and cliche to say, but I love him more and more each and every day.

In keeping with the photography theme, I will add how thankful I am that he puts up with my obsessive momtographer tendencies. The above photo was taken at the park Thanksgiving morning. A few weeks back I was perusing facebook and envious of all my friend’s fall photos. Here in California highs were still in the near 70s. We have two seasons: summer (hot and sunny), and winter (rainy and cool). We were still in ‘summer’. Since we don’t really have fall here the way the rest of the country does, it doesn’t really make sense for me to lament not having an opportunity for fall themed photos. After all, those aren’t our memories. Still, they reminded me of growing up back East and I wanted some!

I found a park with some leaves on the ground (a thin layer atop mostly wood chips). The park was fairly busy on the weekends with little league, but we figured it would be fairly empty Thanksgiving morning. We dressed Nicki in her light sweatshirt so the photos would feel more fallish, went early in the morning before it warmed up too much for her to wear it. While every sane person was getting their turkey prepped, we were snapping our ‘faux fall’ photos. Our little ham loved it.

The Starting of New Traditions

We started a new tradition this year. After Nicki went to bed Thanksgiving night, and with family still visiting, we decided to put the Christmas tree up. I think it ads a little bit of extra holiday magic to have the tree appear overnight – kind of like the tradition of Santa bringing the tree, but much earlier in the season.

Nicki woke up first in the morning, per usual, and was completely mesmerized by the tree. When Grandma woke up an hour later, Nicki ran to her, exclaimed ‘Tree!’ and lead Grandma back to it. It was adorable.

I can’t wait for her to experience the magic of Christmas, and to make that happen for her. I loved the holidays growing up (what kid doesn’t?) and I’m so excited to be creating these new traditions with my family.

September 2, 2013

Back to Blogging Basics

my baby you'll be
“I’ll love you forever
I’ll like you for always
As long as I’m living
My baby you’ll be.”
– Robert Munsch

When I was pregnant with Nicki, and she was a tiny embryo without a nervous system or brain capable of cognitive thought, I felt like I was sharing my story. Even when she a newborn in the “fourth trimester”, crying was her only means of interacting with the world and was completely dependent on Domingo and I. Her story was still our story. Then she learned to hold and manipulate objects. She learned to crawl, and walk and run. She’s talking. She has opinions, and gets frustrated when we don’t understand. Her personality is shining through in spades. While our stories are still intertwined, I’m becoming more and more weary of accidentally stepping my bounds and sharing her story.

I blog under my real name, without a pseudonym to offer at least a layer of indirection. By extension Domingo and Nicki are being blogged about in their real names as well. While I can ask Domingo what level of sharing he’s comfortable with, Nicki will not understand the possible ramifications for quite some time yet. I have so far used myself as a guideline (“Would I be comfortable if my parents posted this story about me?”), but I tend to be more open than the average person. I’m certainty more open than Domingo, and Nicki may take after her daddy.

I’m also concerned that what I might blog about would negatively impact her later in life. Stories of baby antics are a potential source of embarrassment but are unlikely to do real harm, especially since they’re pretty universal. Yet what if I accidentally hint at a health issue or a learning delay? Could that impact a potential future employers hiring decision, even subconsciously? I am dyslexic. It’s something I’m comfortable about enough to share openly, but there have been people (a high school teacher and an ex-supervise come to mind) who mocked me for it. If Nicki should find herself in a similar situation, it should be her choice to share it, not mine. Delays and health issues are pretty obvious topics to steer away from, but blogging is still relatively new, we don’t necessarily know the ramifications discussing seemingly innocent topics may have on our children.

A few years ago Kanses state published a study on societies impressions of working moms. In the study researchers showed a video of a mother and child interacting to two groups of people. In the first they described the mother as a stay at home mother. In the second she was a working mom. There were no other differences in the descriptions and the same video was shown to both groups. Not only did participants judge the “working mother” more harshly, but they had a more negative view of the child. On the one hand this study’s findings aren’t terribly surprising. It’s a form of confirmation bias called biased interpretation. We interpret our surroundings to fit our beliefs. If we believe the working outside the home damages the mother-child relationship, we are more likely to view those around us who work as having impacted relationships with their children because it fits our world view. Still, this study has been haunting me lately, particularly because the results extend to the child. I’m a working mom. I’ve formula feed (I’ve breast fed beyond a year as well, but that’s usually viewed as a positive by society). I’ve employed cry-it-out. I’ve even admitted to breaking the no media before two rule. I’ve admitted all these things here and while I absolutely think these were the right things to do for Nicki, I know they are somewhat controversial. Could you, anonymous reader, be subconsciously viewing Nicki more harshly because I blogged about those things openly? Worst.mom.ever.

So I’ve been making an effort to share less about Nicki since she turned one. I’m posting less candids, I’m sharing less antics. There is no way to completely disentangle Nicki’s story from my story, Nicki will be less of the focus. I’ll be returning to my original intention of blogging – a place to practice writing and maybe even growing my professional brand.

While I think this is the right decision, it wasn’t an easy one. I have a fear that Nicki will one day grow up, read my blog and wonder why I talk about her less. Will she think I loved her less as a toddler than an infant? Domingo and I will likely have at least one more child. Will the next child (and by induction nth child </math joke>) think I love them less if I don’t share as much about their first years? And if I share their first year as much as I shared Nicki’s, will Nicki feel less loved that I am discussing her less at the same time?

Domingo and I have a running joke that he knew I loved him when I was willing to accept the marriage tax penalty. Hopefully, one day Nicki and I will have a similar joke, that she knew I loved her because I was willing to blog about her less.

Nicki has been thriving in the infant room. She has a best friend, Kai*. They play together more than I thought was possible for one year old babies. They chase each other around the room, share toys, and “talk” to each other constantly. Even hug on occasions. Together with Lincoln* they are like the three babyteers. Always giggling, always playing together. It’s the middle of the summer, and with so many families on extended vacation, it’s just the three of them most of the time. She loves her situation at day care so much that in the morning she’ll point to the door, and start to grow frustrated with Mommy if Mommy takes to long to put her shoes on. No more signs of separation anxiety.

I’ve mentioned before that they’ve begun the process of transitioning Nicki to the toddler room. Her teachers have been bringing her over for little visits in the afternoon, so she can meet the other toddlers and teachers and become familiar with the room. Typically Nicki and Kai go on these visits together since they’re both old enough for the toddler room and do so well together. I have been secretly hoping Kai and Nicki would transition together, but he’s not as close to being ready as she is. In order to move to the toddler room one has to have (1) given up on bottles and drinking from sippy cups, (2) feeding themselves, and (3) be walking. Nicki, who has never turned down a good meal and was cruising before crawling, mastered the first two and is just perfecting the third. Kai is the total opposite. He has more interest in playing with finger food than eating it, and was a fabulous early roller and crawler who only took a few steps recently when following Nicki.

Nicki has a tentative move date in the end of August.

When I dropped her off this morning, however, the infant room was at capacity. There are a few people who enroll their children for emergency backup daycare, and one of those children was visiting. So it was decided that Nicki, whose the closest to transitioning, would start the day off in toddler room until another infant room teacher was available.

She did not like the change in routine. When I set her down, she clung to me. If I started to move her grasp tightened. She didn’t understand why she wasn’t in the infant room with Kai and cheerios. It was my intention to spend 30 minutes or so helping her adjust by sitting next to her while she played. She knows everyone in the room so if she could just get distracted with the toys, she’d forget all about the this-is-different feeling. But one of the teachers suggested it would be easiest on her if I just left. So I did. The waterworks that followed broke my heart.

I felt so guilty I waited a few minutes on the other side of the wall before seeking a peek through the observation window. She had stopped crying but was still not happy. I wanted to rush back in and hug my baby, but I was afraid I’d set off another crying jag.

I called a half hour latter. She was fine, apparently rearranging all the toys on the shelves, and would be in the infant room by snack time. She recovers much faster from these things than I do.

I’m now absolutely terrified at the prospect of changing day cares when we move.

*Names may been changed.

Disclosure: This blog post contains Amazon affiliate links. I may earn a small commission with each affiliate link click. For more details please see my full disclosure about blog profit.

Cheerios trumps separation anxiety. The other day I dropped Nicki off to day care earlier than usual, right at the start of morning snack time. Her teacher asked if she would like to join them. Nicki was so excited, she was grinning from ear to ear and banging on the tray as her teacher strapped her into the high chair. She barely noticed me waving goodbye. Yeah, whatever. Bye mom. THERE ARE CHEERIOS HERE! The next day I set her down on the playmat when we arrived. She took off crawling towards the highchairs immediately. She gets cheerios every morning at home, but apparently day care ones are better.

feetup
Putting our feet up while lounging in the high chair.

My Daughter is Part Squirrel. We’ve haven’t used binkies as a sleep aid for quite a while, but Domingo and I still keep secret Binky caches hidden throughout the house in case of baby meltdowns. Trouble is, Nicki has an eagle eye for her Binky. She has spotted one on the top shelf of the office bookcase, half hidden under a piece of paper. When she sees it, she wants it, and we usually cave and give it to her.

A few weeks ago, she was playing with one of the fabric drawers in her toy organizer. She loves to organize her toys, taking them all out, putting them all back. It suddenly dawned on us that the Binky she was sucking on was a different color than it was a few minutes ago. We took a peek in the fabric drawer and found not one, not two, but three binkies! She had her own secret binky cache and was saving them for later! I’m choosing to believe this is some sort of advanced Marshmallow delayed gratification test, and not that my daughter is part squirrel.

drawer
Putting Chan Pie Gnon back in the drawer.

The best laid plans… I’ve been sick lately so Domingo offered to take Nicki after our morning nursing session so I could get another hour of rest. He also very kindly made sure to shut both our door and the nursery door so the sound of Nicki playing wouldn’t wake me up. Alas, shutting the door is somewhat ineffective when the baby monitor is left on.

Disclosure: This blog post contains Amazon affiliate links. I may earn a small commission with each affiliate link click. For more details please see my full disclosure about blog profit.

family

The theme for Nicki’s first birthday party basically materialized out of thin air the day before her party.

I stated planning this party before she was born. I found these colorful pinwheel cookies on pinterest that looked like something from a book of Seuss. I loved the Seuss growing up, and I figured we would be reading Seuess daily, so I wanted to make Dr. Seuss my pary theme. My imagined first birthday party for Nicole was going to be colorful with a sense of whimsy. I was going to bake those cookies onto a lollipop stick.

But Alas, pinterest failed me. All the Seuss parties inspiration ideas I found were based on “The Cat and the Hat”, or “Green Eggs and Ham”, my two least favorite Seuss books. There was a dearth of other ideas. Adding insult to injury, a few months ago I discovered the Llamma Llama Books, which I loved even more the Seuss. I was quickly becoming disenchanted with the Seuss theme, so I started thinking of the party as Dr. Seuss Inspired, rather than Dr. Seuss Themed.

Invitations

At first I wasn’t going to do invitations. We invited 4 sets of family members, three which had to fly if they were going to attend so I coordinated the party date with everyone months in advance via email. There is no need for invitations when all pertinent party details had already been shared.

But that’s when I had discovered custom printed balloons. Nicki loves balloons. She spied the birthday balloon Domingo bought for me before I did it, and commandeered it. I had to have custom printed balloons. It was a compulsion. The custom printed balloons were from Balloons Tomorrow and set me back $75. (Splurge #1)

nickiballoon

I figured the best way to incorporate the balloons would be on the invitations. Of course this meant I had to design the card to affix the balloon too. The Seuss invitations on pinterest were not my style, and I couldn’t come up with anything, so I decided to go off theme. My first instinct was to do a marbled border for the invitation, but my graphics program didn’t have the right texture. I settled for “smoke” texture but something was still missing. I started playing around with “tubes” and found yellow bubbles against a purple “smoke” background really popped. It’s rare for me to be comfortable pairing multiple colors. Normally I pick one hue and vary the shades. Since the yellow bubbles seem to fit so well, and Nicki loves bubbles as well as balloons, it just seemed meant to be. I used the left over card stock to print my invitations. (I am totally getting my money’s worth out of that card stock!)

Picture of the invitation coming. I apparently forgot to take one.

Decorations

One of my favorite Dr. Seuss books is The Lorax, so I loved the idea of creating an enchanted forest. Once again I turned to balloons. The idea was to create a “balloon forest”. Domingo would later refer to it as a “balloon fog”, since it was toddler height at 2.5 feet tall per “tree”.

forest1

forest2

We used up all three large tanks of helium, but only 100 of the 300 balloons I ordered. There were 16 balloon trees, each tree was tied to an organza bag filled with marbles. I triple tied the bags since marbles are chocking hazards. Truth be told, so are balloons. I wasn’t too worried, Nicki was the only one there under 25 and there were always multiple pairs of eyes on the birthday girl.

The final cost for the balloon forest was $198 after a 20% off coupon. (Splurge #2) I do feel a touch guilty about this purchase being so over-the-top, but Nicki loved the balloons and I could not find cheaper helium. And really, how often does your baby turn 1? Judge away if you must.

Of course the balloon forest would never work in our home, so we needed to find a venue. (That sounds so fancy, doesn’t it? The “Venue” was just the club house at our complex. The cost to rent it was just $35, and we were responsible for cleaning it afterwards.) I don’t think I can count the venue as a splurge. We had 9 adults and Nicki attending the party, and it would have been a tight fit in our living room, even without all those balloons.’

venue
The “Venue”

extraballons
Putting the extra balloons to good use.

It just so happened I had snapped a monthly photo for Nicki lying on different colored sheets. I had intended to them to make a Happy Birthday Banner, but the venue didn’t have a convenient place to hang a banner. All the windows were too narrow, and the only bare wall was the brick fireplace. I ended up taping her monthly photos to the windows.

I admit this is totally neurotic of me, but I didn’t want rectangular photos. Where’s the whimsy in that? I settled on circles because they’re relatively easy to cut out and different enough. My originally plan was too have numbers printed out on card stock and overlapped on top of the photos, but they ended up being ridiculously hard to cut out neatly, so I cut them out as a circles as well.

agebubble
agebubble2
Sample age bubbles for 10 and 11 months.

Food

I never made the pinwheel cookies. Truth be told I forgot about them, which is probably a good thing because we had so.much.leftover.food. (Splurge #3)

For the adults we standard party snack fair for us – one cheese, one fruit and one veggie platter. Before Nicki was born I built a bit of a reputation as a dessert guru in the family even though I mostly do easy stuff. I haven’t had the chance to really bake since then, so I over indulged my inner domestic diva wannabe. We had ice cream cone cupcakes, rise krispie and fruity pebbles treats, and multicolored chocolate cake balls.

cupcakecones

krispietreats

cakeballs
My sister and mom ended up making the cake balls. Yummy.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a first birthday party without a smash cake. I wanted a smaller cake (we had already done a smash cake) so I purchased a $8 4-inch cake pan off Amazon. I decided to use this number idea. (Since the softer, albeit bigger sprinkles were not a problem on our previous smash cake, I felt safe trying these smaller ones.) Unfortunately I must have forgot to grease the pan and the top of the cake popped off when trying to remove it from said pan. I was so annoyed at myself. At that point I had made 4 cakes (the vanilla ice cream cakes, 2 chocolate cakes for the cake balls, and the ruined smash cake) for a party serving just 10 guests. My mom convinced me to use icing to glue the two pieces of the cake back together and move on. Trouble was, I could no longer level off the top. The cake was just too fragile. I was forced to keep the doom shape.

smashcake

After icing it I realized it looked like a giant (4-inch) round bubble. That’s when it dawned on me that the invitations had bubbles, and the monthly photos were round like bubbles. I had a theme to her party after all!

Total cost of the party: $316 (plus the cost of food, which I forgot to keep the receipts)

The Birthday Girl Loved It

nickicatchmeifyoucan
Catch me if you can!

balloons!
I’m surrounded!

architectualinspection
Inspecting the tree tops.

nickimyballoon
Mine!

nickiyupgoodparty
Yup, Good Party.

I totally failed in my momtographer duties. I did a good job with the still objects, but photographing a one year old in a balloon forest is like trying to capture photographic evidence of big foot. I had so many blurry, obscured photos, it’s ridiculous. I have a photo where the only thing you see of Nicole is her hair ribbon, and another where you can tell she’s smiling but the top half of her face is obscured by balloons. Every single photo has at least some motion blur. This was the best I was able to capture. Daddy did much better with the video camera. Next time higher ISO. Much higher ISO.

July 1, 2013

Nicki at Twelve Months

Dear Nicki,

What a month! What a YEAR! As fast as the whole year has gone, the past three months have felt like a blink of an eye. Weren’t you just 7 months old yesterday?

bubbles
Playing with bubbles

You are no longer a baby, but a toddler. Literally. Yesterday you walked for the very first time! Twice prior you let go of what you were holding onto, took a half step to reposition yourself, and grabbed back onto it. You were so close! It reminded us of when you learned to crawl – one half step at a time. Mommy decided to be sneaky. I held out my hands for you to grab into. You let go of the book shelf and reached for me, but I quickly pulled away. You stumbled forward two steps before falling into my arms. An hour later you let go of the computer chair and torpedoed into daddy! Today you took two more slower, more deliberate steps. You are so proud of your accomplishment!

prettyeyes
The prettiest eyes ever. Some day I will have to learn what it is about the bathroom that brings them out so much
ETA: I now know: the tub acts as an eye catch light!

You are confusing Mommy and Daddy so much on the talking front. I swear it sounds like you’re saying “here” when you hand us things, and “hi/bye” when you wave, but those are abstract concepts. Everything I’ve read said first words tend to be nouns that babies have a strong affinity towards – “ball”, “dog”, etc. It doesn’t seem possible for you to understand what “here” means. Our guess is that you’re mimicing us. We’ll often say “here” when we hand you something. Maybe your associating the word and the gesture, like the wave that accompanies the word “hi”, without knowing what it means? Or maybe it’s first time parents hearing what they want to hear.

In that-might-be-a-word news we hear something like ‘nana’ when you eat Bananas, and it sounds like ‘E’ when you see Lily. We’re not sure if it’s ‘E’ for ‘Lil-E’ or ‘E’ for ‘Kit-E’. ‘Lily’ was mommy’s prediction of your first word, by the way.

fakepout
The fake pout someone at day care taught you. You will be hard to resist when you get that lower lip thing perfected.

You are amazingly social for your age. The other day at day care you and another little one year old boy where chasing each other through the foam tunnel and laughing up a storm. At the fair, you were more interested in watching the other kids than the animals. You love to sing along during lullabies and narrate books while reading. You are a total sweetheart, and everything that Mommy and Daddy could have ever hoped for.

Love Always,
Mommy and Daddy

June 22, 2013

Teething Pains

To the tune of “On top of Spaghetti”:

On top of the Wor-ld
With my Darlin’ Nicole
I lost my poor Marbles
When somebody Teethed

Nicki had a difficult time sleeping when her first two teeth were coming in. Of course there were other factors, and we weren’t sure if it was the teething keeping her up. Teeth #3 and #4 came in with little fanfare. For just a couple of days as they were breaking through the surface Nicki would fuss going to bed and took longer to fall asleep. Easy Peasy.

Then came Tuesday. Nicki rebelled against the nap. She slept for twenty minutes in the morning and would not go to sleep in the afternoon. A friend suggested teething might be the culpable, but I was skeptical. She just had two new teeth. These things are supposed to be spread out to give parents a break, right? Right?!

I checked and tooth #5 had already cut through the surface. Yes, with no symptoms. So we would just have one rough patch with tooth #6, right? It can’t be that different than the other teeth, right? RIGHT?!?!

Tooth #6 has caused more pain and grief than all other teeth combined. The pain is worse when she lies down and she’s fighting going to sleep, even to be rocked to sleep.

Thursday night Nicki woke up in the middle of the night. She was an hour away from her next possible Tylenol dose and you could just hear the pain in her cries. But even though she was crying in pain, she wasn’t fully awake. She kept turning over, like she was trying to get comfortable and just couldn’t. I was left with two options. (1) Go in and cuddle my crying baby. I could attempt to sooth her back to sleep (or at least until her next Tylenol dose) but in the process she’d wake up fully by my presence, and face the full brunt of her pain. or (2) Let her cry and see if she can go back to sleep on her own. The risk with this option is that she might not go back to sleep, and then I would have just let her wallow in agony, alone in the dark. Worst.Mom.Ever

Letting a baby cry has got to be the hardest thing a parent ever has to do. I certainty can’t begrudge anyone who would have picked option 1. Thankfully, just four minutes later she was asleep again, and she slept through the rest of the night without needing another Tylenol dose.

Here we are almost a week later and tooth #6 doesn’t appear to be any closer to breaking through. I’ve tried:

* Freezable Teethers. They work ok, but they tend to get warm too quickly, and Nicki isn’t really interested in them.
* Rubber Teethers. She’ll chew on them if she’s not in too much pain. Once she starts crying, forget about it.
* Tylenol. It’s effective for us, but I think part of the reason it’s so effective is because we use it sparingly. My main beef with baby acetaminophen is that they typically flavor it like candy. Nicki will insist on more after she gets the full dose. She’s already overtired and fussy, I don’t need to give her another reason to cry.
* Chilling a banana. This has been one of our better remedies. She loves banana, and eating chilled banana bits keeps something cool on her gums longer than the freezable teethers. Nicki loves to eat.
* Frozen Washclothes. I’m told these will work wonders when her back molars are come in. Babies can get the washcloths back to where the gums need the relief. Right now she doesn’t really seem interested, although she did chow down on her bath washcloth for a good five minutes the other day.

You can guess how well all this is working from the title of this post. I’m open to suggestions if you have any. In the mean time I will keep reminding myself that this, too, shall pass. There are a finite number of teeth coming in. We just have to wait them out.

June 1, 2013

Nicki at Eleven Months

Dear Nicki,

Eleven. E-Lev-En. How is that even possible?! Next month is the big one-(decimal)-oh!

You’ve hit many major milestones this past month, including crawling. You picked up crawling by lunging forward from a sitting position, so you quickly learned how to get back from a crawling position to the sitting position, and from there how to go from your tummy to sitting. You also started pulling yourself up to a stand constantly. You can stand independently, and get up without support, but you don’t realize this yet. I’ve seen you take your hand off your activity table to hold a toy, but as soon as you realize you’re not holding onto anything, you grab for it. Maybe this month you’ll gain the confidence to do stand unsupported intentionally?

crawlingfiend

The weather finally turned warm and we switched you to two piece PJs. It was just in time too, as you were starting to outgrow your Christmas fuzzy sleeper! In mid May! One of these days I will buy those in the right size. Mommy promises.

Last week we got you your first pair of shoes and took your first steps outside. Did you know the average size for a nine month old baby is a 3 or 4? You? At a month shy of the one year mark your size 2 shoes are too big! Or at least too long! Looks like I wasn’t far off the mark in my observation that you have ity bity feet for your age!

walking

The milestone I’m most eagerly anticipating is talking. We thought we may have had a first word (other than “mama” and “dada”) a few weeks ago when Daddy and I were picking you up from daycare. As we were walking to the car, you turned back waved and said “bye”! We both heard it clear as day, but you haven’t done it again yet. You parrot back a lot of words. Mommy can say “hi” to you and you say “hi” back (much to the delight of your grandparents.) You’ll also say “hello” after your toy says “hello” sometimes, but it’s not clear you understand what those words mean yet.

standingwithconfidence
Domingo calls this one the executive at her desk pose

We’re also working on teeth number #3 and #4! Right now you can just see the white bits under the gum, they haven’t broken through yet, but they are there. You have been so incredibly good this time around, which makes me think last time it wasn’t the teething keeping you up. So far you’re still sleeping like a champ and we haven’t needed to give you anything for the pain. Knock on wood. Speaking of sleep, you’re also up to an hour and a half per nap in the crib at home. I am a happy mama!

Love Always,
Mommy & Daddy

Both Domingo and I felt horrible we didn’t get toys with buttons and knobs earlier. When we did pick them up (at 8 months) Nicki seemed beyond ready. As a parent you’re always wondering if your mistakes are screwing up your child. How much more improved would her finger dexterity be if we had been practicing it all along? Would increase finger dexterity have lead to more exploring, and would that have lead to building more of those lifelong neural connections and pathways? Am I screwing her up for life?!

We were determined to always have at least one next stage toy around. That way we’d catch and accommodate these mental shifts sooner.

assembledegg
A reassembled Easter Egg by Pooky

About a week ago we noticed Nicki making a rattle out of an old tissue box and the plastic Easter eggs we still had lying around the house. They’re still out because she loves them. She can now take them apart with ease and get’s them back together by mashing the two halves until one is smooshed snuggly inside the other. Not bad for a ten month old. We started to think that maybe, maybe she’s not that far away from being ready for building blocks. We were planning to get MegaBloks for her birthday, why not get them now?

While quite the demolition expert, she hasn’t mastered the art of building… yet. She did get two pieces together although I think there was a bit of luck in that. But that isn’t stopping her from loving the blocks. She pulls apart whatever Mommy and Daddy make, bangs them together and against other toys to make noise, and flips the car base upside to use as a bucket, turning it into a “fill and spill” toy.

Tonight she started sorting them.

megabloks

She crawled around the room picking up all the single blocks and throwing the rest to the side. Notice the car? All singles! Color me impressed.

Maybe we’re not quite ready to build, but those pathways? She’s got ’em.

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