We had a much easier time with this month’s photo shoot, due in part to her sudden interest in sitting in “big girl” chairs.
I hope everyone is enjoying the first days of 2015!
Chester and I were off from work for two weeks, and had the best time hanging out with B. It was rough going back to reality yesterday–I got used to the extra snuggles and time with my little family. The weekend can’t come soon enough!
A few days before we rang in the new year B celebrated her 16 month birthday. So, here’s what is new in her world:
B is officially off and running on her own! Chester kept saying that his birthday wish was for her to walk and it seems that she heard him. His birthday was December 3rd and that is pretty much the last day she needed us to hold her by both hands to walk.
Everyone kept telling us that we would regret wishing for her to walk, because then we would have to chase her around all the time. We definitely are putting miles on our running shoes, but are so happy that she has mastered this skill I love walking down the street holding her little hand and she seems a lot happier when she is walking and exploring on her own. But, there have been quite a few meltdowns–in public–when we have had to redirect her or keep her from climbing up and down steps! She definitely doesn’t like being told what to do.
Her new-found mobility meant she could get up close and personal with the tree this year.
This month was all about Christmas-related words, including “Tee” (tree) and “Ta” (Santa). She has also learned “hush” as a result of our repeated recitations for Good Night moon, and I love when she chimes in at that part of the story. “All done” seems to be the phrase of the moment. She says it when she has had enough to eat, when she is sleepy or when she just wants us to stop doing something that annoys her (like, brushing her teeth or rinsing shampoo out of her hair).
Relatedly, I have been amazed by how much she seems to remember. For example, Santa dropped off the book Press Here, which we took out of the library awhile back. If you haven’t seen it, it’s kind of an interactive book (press on the dots, shake the book, etc.) and as soon as she opened it, she knew exactly what to do, despite not having seen it for more than a month.
She cut a bottom molar, which brings her total number of teeth to nine. She loves showing off her teeth, grinning broadly when we ask to see them. I can’t wait until the rest of these molars come in though–I hate to see how much pain they are causing her.
She has definitely inherited her mother’s sweet tooth, judging from the way she gobbled up Christmas cookies (especially her Grauntie’s butter cookies). Lately, she has been snacking on wheat crackers, spread with hummus. In an effort to get her to eat more fruits and vegetables, I’ve started hiding them in baked goods. Hits so far have included carrot muffins (substituted whole wheat flour and brown sugar; reduced the sugar to 1/4 cup) and breakfast cookies (substituted pears for apples in the first recipe of this post). I am super flattered by the rate at which she gobbles them up. If anyone has any other suggestions to share regarding ways to sneak greens in, I’m all ears (I’m already planning to delve into smoothies this month).
Now that B can walk, she has been all over the dog. Bascially, there is no safe place for Tracy to hide. B loves to give Tracy hugs and often tries to climb into bed with her. Tracy is so good with B and never shows any sign of wanting to be left alone. It could also have something to do with the fact that B has also discovered the cabinet where we keep the dog treats and is more than happy to dispense way more of them than Tracy is usually allowed.
B has really enjoyed the Christmas music during the last few weeks. In particular, anything by Michael Buble, The Jackson Five, Jingle Bell Rock and Holly Jolly Christmas can always perk her up. She also really loves the theme songs to all of her PBS shows. Sometimes, she’ll just say “Ar-ra!” (Arthur) and start swaying back and forth, which is our cue to sing for her. She actually prefers that little ditty at bedtime, instead of “You Are My Sunshine” which I have been singing to her since she was born.
She got A LOT of new toys for Christmas, and has really been enjoying her kitchen set, Little People train and stuffed Olaf (she hasn’t seen Frozen yet, but this plays into her current infatuation with snowmen). But, she has taken a renewed interest in toys that have been around for awhile like her Poppin’ Park Giraffe and her push walker. Like I said in my Christmas post, it’s almost as if she doesn’t want to hurt their feelings.
Mostly, though, she likes to take things off shelves and put them back. Or, she will move things from the toy box, to the couch to the floor. It doesn’t seem like “play” in the traditional sense, but it keeps her occupied for ten to fifteen minutes sometimes, so I’ll take it!
Now that B is a little more mobile, I sometimes will get ready in the bathroom while she walks back and forth between the upstairs rooms (Not to worry–we have a small house so I can still keep an eye on her and a baby gate blocking the stairs). Sometimes, though, she will go into her room and things will get strangely quiet. I race in, fearing the worst, only to find that she is occupied with a pile of books that she has pulled from the shelf.
All that to say: books are basically still her favorite. Lately, we have had lots of requests for Click, Clack Moo, Guess How Much I Love You?, Put Me In the Zoo Elmo’s Twelve Days of Christmas, and Olivia Saves the Circus.
Least favorite things
Naps. As I’ve chronicled at length, they have never been her favorite thing, but she fights them now more than ever lately and continues to be completely inconsistent about them. Sometimes, she’ll go down before 11 a.m. and other days, won’t even think about it until 1 or 2 p.m. It takes her forever to settle down and she might only stay asleep for 40 minutes or so.
She has recently taken a real liking to her Glow-worm, and if she is upset about going to bed at night, we just need to tuck it in next to her and she calms down. This technique, unfortunately does not help with the nap situation, but since “Glow” was my constant companion when I was little, so I’m glad she is starting to take an interest in hers!
Preparing for and celebrating Christmas was definitely the highlight of the last month.
B had a great time with her Christmas Countdown. At first, she didn’t know what to make of the calendar, but after a few days, she got the hang of pulling off the tags and turning them around to “read” what was in store for her that day. She loved all of the little presents that the elves left for her and enjoyed taking in the Christmas lights and watching Christmas movies (Frosty the Snowman was her favorite). I’m glad she can’t read yet, though, because a few times, we had to rearrange or substitute activities due to inclement weather or scheduling conflicts. I probably won’t be able to fool her as easily in the coming years!
Some of our Christmas Countdown Highlights: Top Row: unwrapping her Little People Christmas Village, enjoying Frosty, while drinking chocolate milk; Center: Choosing the first tag; Bottom row: Gluing cotton balls on Santa’s face to make his beard, writing a letter to Santa.
Of course, no Christmas season in Philly would be complete without a visit to Macy’s. B was entranced by the Dickens’ Village, ambivalent about the light show and not at all happy to sit on Santa’s lap. I quickly placed her request for a giant Elmo, and we all posed for a photo to keep the tears at bay.
In awe of the prize turkey in the Christmas Carol Village
The fun continued after Christmas, starting with a trip to the zoo with Auntie B and Uncle Billy. I had never been to the zoo in the off season. Although we went on an unseasonably warm day, there were no crowds and the animals were much more active than they usually are during the warmer months.
Then, B and her boyfriend Jack went on a date to the Please Touch Museum. I think that the grown-ups had as much fun as they did (except when I got yelled at–loudly–by a seven year old when I accidentally called the trolley in the transportation exhibit a bus. How embarrassing.)! I hadn’t been to the museum since it moved to Centennial Hall in Fairmount Park and it was quite impressive, with lots to see and do.
So, as you can see, we capped up 2014 right! I know there are great things in store for us this year–I hope that the same can be said for you and yours!