Saturday, November 12, 2005

17 month update

Amanda is continuing to learn new ones include "down", "book", "yuck", and a word that sounds like "buck" but that we really hope is "bonk" since it's a little early to start with swearing! We have started our Waterbabies 2 lessons and they are going well, although between making sure she gets an early nap to avoid screaming fits in the water, and giving her a bath to get the chlorine out of her hair afterwards, the lessons seem to eat up most of our Saturdays. Funny enough, she insists on lying on her stomach in the bath like she is doing a front float, even though she resists it in the swimming pool. We are working on blowing some bubbles but so far she mostly just drinks the water! Yuck! Her favourite part of the lessons is sitting under the waterfall afterwards, with the water running over her shoulders. She will even jump down off the ledge and into my arms, although it's hard to get her to leave the ledge since she loves sitting there so much! In the past several weeks Amanda has figured out how to kiss, and treats Mommy and Daddy to kisses quite frequently. She also gives great big hugs and will run into our arms from across the room. Amanda now has a totxal of 10 teeth plus one more almost about to break through. She is sleeping very well - only occasionally does she wake up, and even then she is able to get herself back to sleep within a minute or two. We are getting excited about this Christmas, although we're a little nervous about what Amanda will do to our Christmas tree! It should be fun to see how she reacts to all the decorations. On the weekend, we took her back to Toybox Studio for some portraits - remember the beautiful angel picture from last year? We can't wait to get the pictures back - hopefully by next month we will be able to post them!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

16 1/2 month update

Well, in the past few weeks we have hurdled headlong into full-blown toddlerhood! Amanda gets more strong-willed by the day (wonder where she gets that from?!?) and definitely lets us know when she is upset! She has started having some pretty strong tantrums when things don't go her way. To be honest, sometimes they are more funny than frustrating for her parents! She definitely has the drama queen inclination and rolls around on the floor like she is going to die. When she's not tantruming, Amanda is quite the funny character. She is saying a few words consistently now, like "done", "oh oh", and "boom" (a new one she just learned a few days ago), and she has said lots of other words in context, but only once or twice. She definitely understands a great deal of what we say to her and follows instructions and "answers" us back. She is still signing - this month she has learned "please" and "thank you". On the tooth front, she now has her full set of incisors, top and bottom, except for one lateral incisor on the top. All of a sudden last week she sprouted both top premolars - before the canines! Very strange! It seems like a bunch of teeth are getting ready to pop through any day now. On the plus side, it means that she can eat pretty much anything we give her now, without us having to worry too much about choking (not that we don't still worry!). She has learned to "dip" her food and loves to eat this way: bits of meat into dip, pasta into sauce, fries into ketchup, pancakes into syrup... A week or two ago we went for our first walk without the stroller - a milestone! We walked all the way down to the river and back, making a detour to the playground on our way home, and she walked pretty much the whole way. Well, except for the times she was running! She definitely doesn't have any trouble keeping up with us...often it's the other way around! She is still dancing a ton and singing all the time - Sue is starting to understand her songs as well, so it's not just us! We just wish there were more hours in the day to spend with her.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

15 1/2 month update

It is getting harder to keep up Amanda's that everyone is back to work and she is in daycare, things are pretty hectic! It has been a challenge to adjust our schedules, and mom & dad are still working on getting enough sleep! Otherwise things are going great. Amanda is growing by leaps and bounds, both physically and mentally. It is amazing how many new things she is learning every day. She is still not talking consistently "in English", although she throws out a word here and there just to keep us on our toes (we've heard bath, duck, dog, fish, and many others, but she doesn't use them consistently). However, she definitely doesn't have any problems making herself understood! She has made the adjustment to daycare very well and seems to enjoy hanging out with Sue and the other kids (all boys, and all older than her - the closest is 4 months older), as well as the two family dogs - although apparently she doesn't like their barking and shouts at them to be quiet! She will point to all the parts of her face and many other body parts if asked, and she is getting good at taking her clothes off at the end of the day. She is also very tidy... she likes things to be put back in the correct place, and walks over to the hamper and puts her clothes in once they are taken off! She is eating all different foods now, except nuts, and is quite a neat eater - she will actually wipe off her face if something is there because it bothers her. If we give her a napkin she will also wipe her mouth and the table after she eats (not sure where she picked this up because we didn't teach her!). She absolutely loves music - she does "full body" dancing now and sings all the time. She even knows a couple of songs - if we start singing The Blue Danube she will fill in the "dah dah...dah dah" bits, and she also hums along on rhythm and somewhat on pitch with Twinkle Twinkle and the Winnie the Pooh song. She has several musical instruments and loves to play with them. Although she seems to be getting quite a bit taller, we're not sure whether she's put on much weight - she is in that difficult size where her 12-18 month clothes are perfect in length, but way too big around the waist (if only the rest of us could have that problem!). Much of the time she looks like a rapper because her pants are down around her bum! She just got two new teeth this week - one on top, one on the bottom - to bring the grand total to 7. She is starting to throw the occasional tantrum when she is overtired and doesn't get her way, but generally she is easily distracted from her crying and doesn't give us too many problems. She is also sleeping great - all through the night and even for long stretches during the day (at least for Sue!).

Thursday, July 28, 2005

13 1/2 month update

A snapshot of Amanda at 13½ months...
She runs around like crazy, and has the scraped knees to prove it! ~ She is finally signing...lots of "more", and she seems to be learning lots of others, like "milk", "water", and "all done". ~ She talks up a storm, babbling away mostly incoherently to everyone and everything. ~ She says a few words, like "dog", "duck", and something that sounds very much like "what's that?", but they're still pretty hard to understand. ~ Wherever we take her, she makes lots of new friends and does lots of flirting! ~ She adores her inflatable pool, and the splash pool near our house. ~ She is getting much harder to deal with at church, since all she wants to do is talk and run around! ~ She desperately needs another haircut! ~ She loves to ride in her carrier on Daddy's bike. ~ She is a great eater...we haven't yet found a single food she refuses to eat. ~ After a shaky start, she also loves her cow's milk in a sippy cup. ~ She is having a great time hanging out with her Dad all summer. ~ She can put the stars on her stacker, but not yet in the right order. ~ She will sometimes point to objects in her books when we ask her to ("where's the duck?") ~ She is starting to figure out how to climb on the furniture. ~ Her first top tooth finally came in a week ago, and it looks like the second one is part-way through as well. ~ She loves dogs, but is still a bit shy around them. ~ She hates to have anyone look inside her mouth, which makes checking for new teeth very difficult! ~ She can sit on her hippo, and knows it's supposed to go, but can't quite make it happen yet. ~ She has done great with the transition to Mom returning to work...and she rushes to the door to greet her with a big smile at the end of the day. ~ Whenever music starts (and sometimes even when it doesn't!) she starts bouncing up and down and dancing. ~ She loves to smile at herself and sometimes even "kiss" herself in the mirror. ~ She follows simple commands, like "bring me your water cup" or "come over here and we'll put your shoes on". ~ She sleeps really well but wakes up really early. ~ If we hold out our arms, she will run to us and give us a big hug. ~ We are so totally, crazily in love with her that it makes us ache.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

We have a one year old!

It's official...we are parents of a toddler! Not only did Amanda turn 1 year old on June 12th, but she is walking around like crazy! As usual, our girl was pretty cautious in learning this new skill...she took her time, slowly progressing from 1-2 steps in mid-May, to 5-6 steps by the end of May, and finally to walking as far as she wants with confidence a few days before her birthday. Along with her newfound mobility, Amanda is getting more curious about everything (i.e., is into everything!) and is also testing her independence a bit, watching us to see how react when she's doing something she knows she's not supposed to do. She finally broke the 20 lb barrier - hooray! OK, well she's exactly 20 lbs, but that's all right. At least she is gaining weight. She is eating table foods almost exclusively now and has tried just about everything, other than nuts. She loves to eat scrambled eggs for breakfast and she seems to be especially fond of pasta. She has also tried Pirate Paks from White Spot, twice! - a grilled cheese sandwich and macaroni and cheese (both were bit hits). Believe it or not, she still has only two teeth, although the top teeth seem to be bothering her a great deal. In the past, she's only had significant teething pain at night, but now it bothers her a lot during the day as well. We hope those teeth will be coming in soon! She is still sleeping very well, through the night most nights...we've had a few wake-ups due to teething pain, but she is quickly soothed so it's not so bad. She is not quite saying any "real" words, although she babbles a ton and it sounds like she is speaking her own special language, complete with proper inflections. We joke that she is actually fluent in Russian, because if we ask her a question she often says "DA!" - not gently, like she used to, but very emphatically, like she is trying to tell us something very important! She loves music and will dance happily to whatever is playing or whatever silly tune we are singing. She also loves books, although so far she is mostly interested in turning the pages rather than hearing the story. All in all, she is a happy, energetic, goofy little girl and we love her to bits. It is amazing to watch her personality unfold as she grows.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

11 month update

We can't believe that in only one month, our little baby will be a year old! This month Amanda has really increased her mobility. Her favourite thing is to cruise around, and around, and around the living room and upstairs hallway, holding on to the furniture or walls. She also loves to be in the kitchen (which can be kind of irritating!) and throws the plastic containers all over the floor on a regular basis. She can stand on her own now, although she doesn't realize it yet - she will occasionally do it by accident, but then when she realizes she's not holding on, she clutches at whatever is in front of her! She is also an excellent walker, but not quite on her own yet. She can walk with her toy walkers, or holding on to a finger (even just a single finger). We think she will probably be walking on her own in the next week or two, but our guess is definitely by her birthday. She has now progressed to mostly table foods. She still has baby cereal, fruit, and yogurt for breakfast (to help keep her iron up), but eats lots of "big people" foods at her other meals. She loves the little fruity yogurt cups and is still crazy about her Baby Mum-Mum crackers. And banana is our secret weapon - even if she acts full (after having a really tiny meal), we can usually get her to eat a whole banana afterwards! And she will eat anything mixed with banana (even ground beef - yuck! That's one of Daddy's concoctions). We are still a bit concerned about her weight - she lost a bit more this month, although mid-month weighings showed that she actually had dipped down well below 19 lbs, so at least she has regained from that. The doctor isn't too worried, but we're trying to make sure she gets lots of food in her at every feeding. We are going ahead with introducing most foods now, although we will still wait on eggs, honey, and milk until one year, and nuts until at least 18 months. Her second tooth finally came in - after 3 weeks of teething! - so now she has a matched set on the bottom. After only a few days of respite (i.e., improved sleep), she started teething on the next ones, although we haven't figured out yet which ones will be next (it looks like she may even get another bottom tooth before the top ones? Who knows). The good news: if given ibuprofen in the evening to deal with the teething pain, Amanda will now give us full nights of sleep fairly regularly - usually 10-12 hours. Hooray!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

10 month update

This has been quite a difficult month. Jeff was away for two weeks, chaperoning a school trip to Europe, and during that time Amanda got a terrible cold. (She had a cold when she was about 3 months as well, but this one was much worse). It has been almost two weeks now and she is finally showing signs of improvement, after several days on antibiotics to treat chest congestion. Because she lost her appetite while sick, Amanda actually lost weight this month, pushing her down to the 36th percentile for weight! She is starting to lose a lot of her cute baby fat! She has also been very mobile this month, which is contributing to her weight loss as well. We're sure that now her appetite is returning, she will gain the weight back quickly. Amanda has also started feeding herself lots of finger foods this month...she finally seems to have made the hand-mouth connection! She loves Cheerios, rice rusks, small pieces of meat, and cooked veggies. She is really enjoying her newfound mobility...she loves to crawl and cruise around the entire upstairs. Of course this means more work for Mom & Dad! She is still using the modified "Quasimodo crawl", and we think she will just stick with this since she seems much more interested in walking. She hasn't said anything that we would consider a "first word", but she seems to be quite close to saying a few words - especially "kitty", since she loves the cats at Grandma & Grandpa's house! She talks all the time and has lots of inflection in her voice, so it sounds just like she is speaking, even though we can't understand the words yet. Her sleeping has gone off track a bit in the past couple of weeks due to her illness, but she seems to be improving (finally!). We still have only one tooth, although the matching one is right below the surface. She has been teething on this one for at least two weeks now, complete with lots of drooling, chewing, and pain...hopefully all the teeth won't take this long or be this difficult in coming in! This month we also found a great daycare that it looks like we will be sending Amanda to in September (she will be home with Jeff over the summer). It feels good to know that she will be well-taken care of... one less thing to worry about!

Saturday, March 12, 2005

9 month update

It is hard to believe that Amanda has now been alive "outside" for as long as she was alive "inside"! This has been a very big month in terms of milestones. It's now a race to see whether Amanda will crawl or walk first! She has just started doing a modified crawl in which she moves forward on her hands, dragging her legs behind her (we call her Quasimodo!). But mostly she just uses this as a means towards getting to the furniture so she can pull herself up...she really wants to be standing all the time. She has become very adept at pulling up on almost anything, even just a knee! She has just started cruising on the furniture, and will "walk" for quite aways with someone holding onto her hands. She can also stand unassisted for several seconds at a time before toppling over! This month Mandy finally got her first tooth - one of the bottom front ones. We had a few very sleepless nights, but otherwise it was relatively painless for her and for us! So far she only has the one tooth, so she will have a very cute lopsided grin for awhile until its partner comes in. Amanda continues to be a very vocal baby - she has almost got "mama" and "dada" down, using them mostly for the appropriate person. We have added lots of new foods to her diet, and she continues to enjoy eating solid foods, although her appetite changes greatly from day to day. We've started her on some finger foods, but she's not that interested...everything else the girl touches goes directly into her mouth, but when we actually give her FOOD, she looks at us like "what the heck am I supposed to do with this?". She does love the rice rusk teething biscuits - the only thing she will consistently feed herself. We have finally made some headway in our ongoing sleep issues...we are attempting to convince her to go to sleep on her own (without nursing to sleep), while avoiding "crying it out". Although it's been a struggle, it is working very well. After only a couple of nights, we have gone from 3-4 night wakings (with much difficulty going back to sleep) to only one after 7-9 hours of sleep (sometimes she goes right back to sleep, sometimes not). It is encouraging to finally see some progress!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

8 month update

This month has just flown by! We have continued to have some problems with sleeping, some of which seemed to be due to something she was eating. So we cut back all her food and have slowly re-introduced each type of far, so good! As a result, though, poor Amanda is still only getting a few types of food. Within a few more days we will have re-introduced everything (rice, oatmeal, bananas, peaches, sweet potatoes, carrots, and chicken), and can start with some new foods - we hope to try Cheerios, since she is just starting to get into finger foods, and then maybe some teething biscuits and more fruits and veggies. Speaking of teething, still nothing...we think Amanda may be the first five year old without any teeth! Just is actually happy to have avoided dealing with the biting issue thus far. Mandy is very close to crawling; she lunges forward from a sitting position and rocks back and forth from her bum to her knees. The only problem she has is that she gets one leg stuck under her (still in the sitting position)... once she figures out how to move that leg, we anticipate that she'll be off to the races! (Something else we are a bit ambivalent sure has been nice to have a less-than-mobile baby!). For the time being she manages to move, albeit slowly, by scooting on her rear end and squirming on her tummy. She is vocalizing a lot and has started to call us "mamamamama" and "dadadadada", although it's not perfect yet (she uses both for both of us). We also get a lot of ba, la, bla, and ga sounds, and the occasional ka. We have finished our swimming lessons - some classes were better than others, but it seems that her general lack of sleep these days makes her a bit grouchy in the pool (and sometimes out of the pool too!). Our new mom & baby group is going very well...those Friday afternoons are a life- saver! We have also started to see the very first signs that she is signing back to us, although it's still a bit sketchy...she makes something approximating the "milk" sign when she is getting hungry. Hopefully we will see more signs in the weeks to come.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

7 month update

Amanda is 7 months old today! The Health Unit scale told us that she weighed exactly the same as she did at her 6 month doctor's appointment (18 lbs, 5 oz), but she had grown a bit, to 27". (I'm sure she has actually gained a few ounces, as the scales aren't too accurate and her weight depends on when her last feeding was). We had a wonderful first Christmas and enjoyed showing Amanda off to our family and friends! She was very well behaved (she even attended Midnight Mass!), but it took us awhile to get her back on schedule after the holidays were over. We are still on tooth-watch...we keep thinking she will get a tooth or two any day, but so far we haven't seen any! She is definitely keeping us on our toes sleep-wise; we have had several full 12-hour nights of sleep, but they are interspersed with terrible nights where she is up two or three times. Amanda is continuing to enjoy solids - we have now had rice and oat cereals, as well as sweet potato, banana (her very favourite!), and carrots. We also tried barley cereal, but she was waking up every night with screaming fits, so we think it gave her a tummy ache. Still nothing on the crawling front, which suits us just fine! But she is starting to pull herself up on the side of her crib - so far she can do this from a sitting position only (and she can't get herself into this position, she has to be sat up by someone else), but we are anticipating that she will figure it out soon and we'll have to lower the crib mattress. Amanda also started swimming lessons yesterday, but it didn't go too well - she cried through the whole lesson. She was a bit tired, so we'll hope that she enjoys it more next time. We will go twice a week for five weeks. We are also starting a new mom & baby group with several of the people we've met, since our babies have outgrown the mom & baby group we used to attend! It's hard to believe - I remember starting to go when Amanda was only a month old, and she was so tiny compared to all the other babies. I couldn't believe she would one day be four or five months old...and now she is seven months old! Time is going by so quickly.