Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Weekend Getaway"

This past weekend, Kenny and I had the pleasure of sneaking off to DFW together while Mira hung out with her Grandma Sheila and PapaNui! They drove all the way here from Fulshear, TX (near Houston) to stay with her!!

This was only the second time I've been away from Mira overnight. (The first time, she stayed home with Kenny while I ran off to Kansas City with Coco to watch Wicked!) I did really well though; I didn't cry, but I did get a little blue toward the end of the day and really missed her. Sunday morning, I was ready to hit the road and get home, so I could have my little girl in my arms again! I really think Paris is going to be a blast, but I know it's going to be hard to be away from her that long...

I digress.....back to this past weekend:

We had so much fun shopping and eating and movie going! We really enjoyed our time together! We shopped 'til we dropped, and I scored lots of great stuff (my need for some new clothes is what inspired this trip to begin with)!! We watched Blind Side, which was fantastic - I'm pretty sure my eyes were wet the entire movie!

The highlight of the visit back "home" was getting to eat at a 100% vegan restaurant!! It was so delicious and such a great atmosphere! I won't go into detail here - I've blogged about it on The Vegan Wolfe, if you are interested in reading more! It was just really great to be able to go in and order anything off the menu! Ahhhh....just like the old days!  Mmmmm....I'm still thinking about that cake.....

Thanks so much to Jim & Sheila!! Mira loves you both so much, and I know she had a wonderful time with you! For a couple of days, she was still looking for you both at bedtime when we pointed to your pictures in the hallway! So adorable!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

14 Months Old!!!

So, Mira is now 14 months old, and she is growing, changing, and learning so much that it is getting hard to keep up with just how much she knows and can do these days! This is going to be one of those long, boring-to-some kind of blog entry where I'm just trying to document and record our amazing Mirabelle.

So, if you are one of those who prefers mostly pictures with a few captions...sorry - this one's not for you! But, I know one day (not that far in the future!) I will love to look back and see what she was doing at 14 months old, and one day, she'll really enjoy reading about her little self, too!

So, let's get started...
  • She weighs 22 pounds 14 ounces. I'm not sure about height...that hasn't been measured since her 1 year check-up when she was 29 inches, but I'm sure it hasn't changed much since then. It's very obvious that her growth has slowed down - exactly as it's supposed to at this age. She is still right in the 50th percentile like she always has been.She will have her next check-up at 15 months, so we'll get a new weight/height then.
  • Since she is still in the 50th percentile, she is still in 12-18 month clothing and still wears a size 4 diaper. They seem like they are going to fit for a long time - she has plenty of room in there still!
  • She still wears her size 3 shoes, but has one pair of size 4 that fit well. I think the 3's will be too small soon.
  • She is still in Level 3 at Gymboree. I think they are supposed to stay there until they are about 16 months old. I have been researching story times at the local libraries, and I think we will start attending one of those every week. For some reason, I thought that I had learned that all the library story times were for ages 2 and up. Not sure where I got that idea, but glad I figured this out!
  • She has had two haircuts so far. The first was the day after her birthday, and I trimmed it again just a week or so ago.
  • These are the words she says now: daddy, mamma, dog, duck, turtle, eye, toes, sock, water, wash, down, nice, yuck, dance, nose, no, soft, one, two, THREE!
  • These are the animal sounds she can make now: cow, horse, duck, gorilla (complete with thumping of chest! - learned this from Eric Carle's From Head to Toe),  snake (followed by flicking her tongue in and out!!!), monkey, lion, tiger, dog, bear, owl, horse, sheep, and she knows how to make the sound for car and train!
  • These are the signs she uses now: all done, down, eat, water, cracker, cookie, fan, more, butterfly, where is it?, milk, help, more/again, banana, light, and she signed book once, but won't do it again!
  • These are the body parts she can find now: eyes, ears, nose, mouth, tongue, teeth, cheek, head, hair, heart, tummy/belly, belly button, knee, foot, hand, fingers, and toes.
  • She has started singing songs with us - her favorite is The Alphabet Song.
  • She loves to peel stickers/labels off of everything. She likes to help me peel the paper off the Cricut mat after it cuts the pieces out - she actually is a big help with those tiny little pieces!
  • She can "count" to three! It's adorable to hear her mimick us - "one....two....THREE!!!!" She has even started holding her finger up for "one" as she counts!
  • She has absolutely fallen in love with picture books! For the longest time, she had no interest in them whatsoever. I guess I expected her to be thrilled by them from day one (silly me!). But, now she could easily sit in your lap for an hour and look at books with you. We go through a huge stack over and over again. Her favorite are the pictures of animals. She wants everything to be named, and she likes to make animal noises and show you where things are, too. She recognizes so many words!!
  • Here are just a few of the words that she understands (i.e. she will point to the item/person or go get it if you ask where it is, etc.) - I know there are more, but there is no way to remember/list them all!: hug, kiss, leaf, shirt, pants, hippo, polar bear, dog, cat, rabbit, duck, fish, guinea pig, lion, tons of other animals, potty, book, apple, cup, sofa, table, Mommy, Daddy, Gymbo, Alli (her stuffed alligator), blanket, chair....I think she's got all the pictures in all of her books down....
  • She loves to feed herself with a spoon. As a matter of fact, she gets pretty mad most of the time if we try to feed her something with a spoon. She's getting so good that she really doesn't even make that big of a mess anymore! She can use a fork, too, but, unfortunately, we haven't found anything she will actually eat that you would use a fork to eat. She feeds us with a fork and has picked up spaghetti with her fork, but wouldn't put it in her mouth...
  • She is still very picky about foods, but is finally eating pieces of apple!! She's still tentative and only eats a bite or two, but it's a step in the right direction. She still prefers to bite it off the whole apple. Her new favorite food is cashews! I know! I know! Choking hazard!!! But, she hasn't had a problem at all, and she LOVES them!!! I can't believe she can eat these, but gag on other, softer foods! She also loves popcorn, waffles, Jumbo Rice Crispies (she loves to drink the milk out of the bowl after we've shared a bowl of cereal together!), and any sort of cracker or cookie (notice, these are two of the signs that she knows!), milk (absolutely loves them all - soy, almond, and rice), refried beans, hummus, chips, salsa (loves to dip anything into anything, basically), chocolate chip pancakes (who doesn't??), and she still eats the baby food purees (sweet potatoe, squash, green beans, apples, blueberries, etc.) since she won't eat fruits and vegetables any other way really.
  • She has 11 teeth now: she has all 8 front teeth plus 3 molars with her top right molar very, very close to breaking through!  She is quickly learning how to use those molars, too!
  • Bedtime routine hasn't changed much from the last time I described it. One difference is that now we sing The Alphabet Song when we first go into her room. We point to her animal alphabet pictures that hang on the top of the walls around her room as we sing the alphabet. Another difference is that now, instead of us pointing to the people in the pictures in the hall and telling her who they are, we say, for example, "Where's Uncle Kenny?" and she points to his picture. She has everyone down and when we get to pictures of Kenny and I, she first points to us in the photo, then to the real us!
  • She is still taking two naps a day - a one hour nap in the morning around 10:00 and a one to two hour nap in the afternoon around 2:00. Still sleeping from 8pm to around 5:30am.
  • She is so super-lovey and loves to give kisses! She has also recently learned what it means to "give a hug" and will wrap her arms around your neck and give you a good squeeze when requested and often just out of the blue! It's the best!!! She always has tons of kisses for Shatzie and Jeter, too. Although Jeter usually snubs her, she continues to try and lay on the smooches. She also very frequently gives the pictures of animals in her books kisses. Funny, I just realized that she never gives kisses to pictures of inanimate objects - only pictures of animals or pictures of babies...interesting....
-----  INTERMISSION (I told you it was long - need a break? Grab a refreshment!) -----
  • When getting dressed, she does a great job of pushing her arms into the sleeves and sometimes helps pull the shirt down over her belly. When getting undressed, she pulls her arms out while you hold the sleeve, then nods her head down to push it free of the collar. While standing, she will step out of her pants, one leg at a time, once they've been pulled down around her ankles. She can take her socks off all by herself, of course (been doing this a very long time), and she tries to put them back on her feet. I'm pretty impressed with how well she does in this attempt. She finds the opening, puts each thumb inside, and stretches it wide, then tries to put it on her toes! She's so close to getting it on there!!! She also has the idea down for putting her shoes on, but can't quite do that one either...yet!
  • She still throws a fit at every diaper change - she really hates it!
  • She is amazing at following directions. The other day, she and Kenny were in the kitchen, and he randomly tells her, "Go give Mommy a kiss." She looks up at him, then turns on her heels and marches straight over to me in the living room and plants a big kiss right on me!! Can we say "melt my heart!!"?? A couple more examples include: "Take this and put it in the trash"; "Go get another book and bring it here." That's a two-step direction!!
  • Not only does she go and put something in the trash when you ask her to, she has also been known on a couple of occassions to decide all by herself that something needed to go in the trash can - thankfully, both times she was right - it was trash that she had found! One was the cardboard packaging from babyfood that she got out of the pantry, and the other was a sticker that she had peeled off of something!
  • We have started watching a tv show every once in a while. It's called "Mama Mirabelle's Home Movies"!! Of course, it jumped out at me because of the name - you just don't see that name everywhere! It's a cute little kids' show on Sprout (with no commercials!) about a mama elephant that teaches her three kids (an elephant, zebra, and cheetah - I guess she adopted??) about animals. This is right up Mira's alley since she absolutely loves animals! It is a mix of cartoon (which Mira ignores for the most part) and live footage of real animals (this is the part Mira really gets excited about). I name all the animals as they come on, and she points and jabbers away and makes the sounds for the animals that she knows. She has already learned the sound cue that signals the live footage is starting - she perks right up and whips her head around to watch!
  • She can run, kick a ball (nearly "dribble" the ball!), and wiggle her toes while standing! She is just learning how to throw a ball (both hands, over her head) but doesn't quite have it down yet. She can get on and off of her ride 'em toy (we call it her "grasshopper") and even push herself along a bit with her feet - forward and backward. But mostly she prefers to be pushed (it is one with a telescoping handle for the pusher) in which case she quietly and calmly says, "wheeeeee!" the whole time! Too cute! Tonight, I showed her and helped her to do a flip, and she loved it!! She really caught on quick as far as how to get in the "starting position" - after showing her only twice, she knew what to do. She would walk over to me, turn to face away from me, take a step or two to back up close to me, squat down, put her hands on the floor, and tuck her head. Then I would support her head and push her over! She thought it was great stuff!! We'll keep working on that - I'm sure she'll have it down in no time!
  • She loves to get into cabinets and drawers. The amazing thing is how good she is at not slamming her fingers in them when she closes them! She is very careful about putting her hand flat on the outside surface and pushing it shut! Her favorites in the kitchen are the tupperware cabinet, her drawer with all her dishes, and the cabinet with the measuring spoons/cups - we find all these items scattered near and far. Upstairs, she loves the second desk drawer with all the markers and highlighters, and the small one up top that has the post-it notes.
  • Here are a couple of things that impressed me lately: We were looking at one of her books and she pointed to the picture of a sofa and asked, "Dat?" (meaning "what's that?"). I said, "That's a sofa. See, this is our sofa," while pointing to and patting our sofa (which I was sitting on). Then I said, "That's a sofa, too," and pointed to our love seat. She pointed to the picture in the book and said again, "Dat?" I said, "That's a sofa." She patted our sofa. I said, "Yes! This is our sofa! Where's another sofa?" She looked up at me then turned and took a couple of steps over to the love seat. She pointed and patted to it telling me, "Dat. Dat." I thought that was pretty smart of her to understand "another" in that sentence and to remember where the other sofa was!
  • I was also impressed when I put her shirt on her and, without any sort of gessture, said, "There's a turtle on your shirt." and she immediately looked down and pulled her shirt out so she could see the turtle on her shirt! She then, of course, pointed and said, "Dat!"
  • This morning, we were playing with a toy on the floor of her bedroom. It happened to have lots of animals on it, and I pointed out a turtle. She said turtle for the first time last night, so I wanted to see if she would say it again. She did say it again - this is probably her clearest word - she says it so well! But, then she kept pointing up toward the top of her wall. I thought she was pointing to the ABC animal pictures up there, but there is no turtle in the alphabet (T is for Toucan). Well, she kept saying turtle and pointing up, so finally, I picked her up and walked closer to where she was pointing. That's when she showed me that she was not pointing at the animal pictures, but to the turtle music box that was on her shelf! You couldn't see it from where we were sitting on the floor, and I had totally forgotten about it!! So, it daughter is out-smarting me already....
So, as you can see, Mira is growing smarter and stronger on a daily basis! She is learning new things every single day! It is so exciting to watch and be a part of this process. She really makes us laugh out loud all the time, and, often, we just look at each other in disbelief when she does something or says something that simply amazes us!

Mirabelle, there will be days, as you grow up, when you doubt our fairness, our intelligence, our trustworthiness; You may grow skeptical of our diet choices, our fashion sense, our dance moves, and our senses of humor; You'll question our relationship advice, our religion, our driving skills, and maybe even one day, you'll doubt our parenting advice. And that's all perfectly okay, but I hope you never, ever, in all your days, doubt for even a split-second our unending, unwavering, unconditional love. That would truly break my heart.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!!

Well, 2009 is gone and 2010 is here. Sounds funny to say "twenty-ten", but I remember that it felt weird to say "two thousand" 10 years ago when we had been saying "nineteen nineties."

Well, that little disertation has made me feel very old...

I also felt very old last night when I couldn't even stay awake until midnight!! After watching two episodes of LOST and playing a couple of games while watching some of the Dick Clark/Ryan Seacrest countdown, I fell asleep on the sofa around 11:30. Kenny woke me up with a glass of champagne at midnight. We counted down, shared a New Year's kiss, took a sip of champagne, then headed off to bed! Happy New Year!

This past year was an absolute great one, and we hope to make 2010 even better!