Thursday, August 30, 2012

9 Months

My baby girl is 9 months old! I love this age. Her personality is really showing now. She's mobile and can explore a little on her own, but she also loves to snuggle! She loves singing songs and little rhymes, and is starting to play with some of Little A's music toys, the shakers and xylophone especially.
Big girl got her first two teeth this month.  Her first tooth popped through on August 7, and the other followed shortly after (bottom front teeth).  She's also grown a bunch again.  At her 9 month appointment today she was 19 pounds, 2 ounces (63rd percentile) and 28.5 inches long (78th percentile).  Most of her clothes are still 6-12 and 12 months now. 
In addition to crawling around EVERYWHERE now, Baby J is also pulling herself up on everything.  Seriously, anything her hands can reach she tries to use to stand up.  Thankfully, she also gets herself back down without much trouble.  Her crawl is still kind of funny.  Most of the time she has one foot down and the other knee drags along the ground.  If she doesn't like the feel of the ground (especially cement) she'll do a bear crawl. 

Her fine motor skills are developing too.  She finds every little thing that falls on the floor and tries to eat it.  She also likes to point at people and toys which is funny and cute!
See that look?  That's the look that makes me thing we're in for trouble with this little lady. 
We still have a super smiley baby, and our smiley baby is also very ticklish, so it's easy to get her laughing. Besides some adorable laughs and squeals, we hear, "Da, da da, da" quite a bit, and occasionally, "Ma, ma, ma, ma." It's pretty sweet when Little A and Baby J have babbling baby talk conversations. Baby J also has what we call her Gremlin voice that is a raspy/growly voice she babbles with sometimes that makes us laugh.
We've reached a point where it is really hard to take Baby J's monthly pictures.  You can see her trying to get away in the picture above, and at one point during the photos, she wiggled her body under an arm of the chair and was standing on the ground.  Silly little girl.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Miss Merry Mac

Great Grandpa Tom giving Mushkin 1 a hug goodbye.

Last weekend we went camping at Merry Mac Campground in Wisconsin with my mom, her brother and sister, and their families.  We had sunny, cool weather so we got to enjoy camp fires, a little afternoon swimming and lots of time with family. 
My grandma passed away in March, but over the winter had talked about doing a big family camping trip over the summer.  I was really glad that everyone still wanted to go, and that we were able to make it back for the weekend.  We were all sure Grandma Sue was with us.
I remember camping a lot growing up.  And I have seen enough pictures to know we started camping young, and I still enjoy camping now.  But I have to admit, I was a little nervous about how camping with two little ones would go.  We took Little A camping at about 4 months, and again around 16 months.  But taking Baby J at 8 months, and crawling, seemed a more daunting task. 
Both of my girls love being outside, so camping is perfect for them.  Plus, for this trip, we were camping with lots of family to help out with both girls, which helped a lot.  I packed a couple of books for Little A, a handful of toys for Baby J and some markers and coloring books.  That was plenty to keep the girls busy.  To keep Baby J happy, my mom suggested moving our pack and play outside, which was a great solution to give Baby J some room to move around without having her eat too many sticks, dirt, etc. 
Overall, we had a lot of fun.  We came home with two tired, dirty and slightly spoiled little girls, and we can't wait to try it again next summer! 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Little A: Toddler Top 10

It's been awhile since I've posted an update about Little A.  To catch up on this silly, sweet and sometimes sassy 2 year old (and show some of my 366 photos), I put together a list of her top 10 favorite things right now.

1.  Tea Parties: On our first day of summer break, a friend had us over for a tea party.  She put apple juice in the tea pots, and Little A loved drinking her "tea" and she hasn't stopped asking to have tea parties since (good thing we have 3 tea sets).

2.  Painting: Another near daily request at our house is to paint.  We've done lots of painting, including watercolors, finger paints, and painting the deck.  There are toddler masterpieces covering our fridge at all times.

This is Little A working on her birthday Thank You cards this spring.  I wrote Thank you on white cardstock, and let her paint with watercolors over the top so the secret message would show.

3.  Swimming: This summer has been hot!  No better way to cool off than swimming.  We've been able to do a few beach and pool days this summer, and Little A can't get enough.  She would stay in the water all day if she could, especially when she's allowed to have her floatie.

4.  Our Garden: We have a small box garden on the side of our house.  Little A, who normally (much like her Mommy) doesn't want anything to do with green veggies, has decided she loves the green beans growing in our garden (making Mommy and Daddy VERY happy!).  She's also a fan of picking raspberries from our bushes.

5.  Stories & Songs: Little A has been a book lover pretty much her whole (short) life.  Many times when we're out on our adventures, she'll find the book area, and bring one (or more) to me to read.  I frequently send her to, "go play!"  But I'm glad she likes to read, and most of the time I'm happy to read to her.  I'll have to post some of our favorites soon.  Along with books, she loves singing too.  And storytimes that include the two... she's in heaven.  She's still running around singing our ECFE songs, and sometimes (ushually when she's supposed to be sleeping) I'll hear her making up her own songs too.

6.  Cartoons: Or as Little A calls them, 'coons.  She's currently obsessed with all things Dora.  Caillou is a close second. 

7.  Adventures: Pretty much everything we do is an adventure.  If our job for the day is a trip to Target, I still call it an adventure (it's much easier to get her ready to go if I call it an adventure).  A few times a week we try to go on some fun little one adventures though, and Little A loves those days.  Actually, we're all much happier on those days. Below: puppet wagon, nature center, train museum
8.  Friends: We are lucky to have quite a few friends and neighbors with little kids for Little A and Baby J to play with.  Little A is really loving all of her friends right now.  She asks about our neighbor, Little L, just about every time we go outside. And she thinks any trip to the park she include Little EE or Little EJ.  Below is Little A playing with Little C.  He's about 6 months older, and she loves trying to catch up.  Here they were playing with a little toy snake E found in the grass.  They took turns hiding the snake in the trees and running around.  Later they played "crocidile" which apparently consists of laying down on your tummy and being really quiet (a game Mommy can certainly get behind).

9.  Diggers: This spring, there was quite a bit of construction on our drive to and from day care/work.  The construction drove me crazy, because I'm running a few minutes late most days, and the construction could slow things down considerably.  But Little A loved to watch the construction machines, especially the diggers. 

10.  Helping:  Little A has become such a good helper (when she wants to).  She enjoys dumping the ingredients in anything being mixed.  She had so much fun helping make Daddy's birthday cake!  She tries to help with Baby J.  Some things (like going to get toys, blankets, towels) she's very good at helping with, but others (like holding Baby J) are still a little difficult.

When I started this post, I thought it would be pretty easy to do.  But in the week I've been trying to finish it, I feel like things are already changing.  After telling us for months that her favorite color is orange (see the cake frosting and digger above) she now tells me her favorite color is green.  Her new favorite song is BINGO.  I know I say it all the time, but she's growing so fast!  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mini Me

Last week, Little A decided to help me unload the dishwasher.  She likes to be in charge of putting her dishes away, or at least hand them to me if she can't reach their spot.  While we were putting dishes away, I stepped back to watch her for a minute.  As she was walking back to the dishwasher, she paused, patted Baby J on the head and said, "Hi, Sweetie!"  And then went right back to work gathering her dishes.  I laughed, and was about to call E to tell him how weird Little A is (something I do several times each day), when I realized that she was just doing something she sees me do.  I joke that she is so strange, but I'm starting to worry that it is just a reflection of the strange things I do myself. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

On the move...

Baby J has a new skill... crawling.  At 8 months she was crawling, but it was still pretty slow.  Now she's quick and she is in. To. Everything.  It is fun to watch her explore the house as she crawls all around.

For some reasons, our sliding glass door is one of her favorite spots to explore.  She's fascinated by the floor lock.
 She found the library to be especially fun, with so many things right at her height.
 And why not play with the PlayStation?  It's in the name after all.
 Helping Mommy with the dishes.
 And her next challenge... the stairs!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Daddy!

I haven't been so good about posting my 366 project photos this year, but, so far I haven't missed a day!  Here are two pictures from E's birthday weekend.  We spent the weekend at a friend's cabin.  There were 6 adults and 5 kids.  It was a fun way to play, relax and celebrate E's birthday. 

These pictures show what a sweet daddy Baby J and Little A have.  They love Daddy, and Daddy sure loves his girls.  He's fun in a whole different way than anybody else.  Both girls are so very excited to see him at the end of the day (and so am I)!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Toddler (& Baby) Activity: Paint the Deck

One of Little A's current favorite activities is painting.  Given a choice of what to do, it's very often her suggestion.  So one day last week when Little A asked to paint, I set both Little A and Baby J up to paint the deck.  2 paint brushes and 2 plastic cups and they were entertained for about a half an hour (which is a pretty long time in toddler terms). 

After painting the deck lost its appeal, Little A moved on to painting Baby J.  Both girls thought that was very hilarious!
Notes: We stained our deck earlier this summer, so the water just kind of beaded up.  It made painting a little less exciting for me, but the girls didn't seem to mind at all.  Also, when E built our deck, he added a gate with a latch (that Little A still hasn't figured out).  That makes for the perfect outdoor space for the girls to play.