Saturday, October 31, 2009


What kind of a mom forgets to charge the camera battery on Halloween and is therefore limited to a couple blurry pictures? Sorry about that. Here's our sweet little chicken:

She was just happy to have her paci outside of bed (which is against the rules!). We constructed the beak out of orange paper and scotch tape about 5 minutes before we left to go trick-or-treating.

At least we were prepared for a snowy holiday! Instead, we had beautiful weather and a chicken who kept saying "Hot. Hot. Hot." So she ended up just being chicken-legs-sweaty-hair-beak-girl.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

There you go!

Baby has been working on developing her vocabulary lately. It seems that every day she learns at least one new word. One of my favorites is "coke", which is her version of "coat". Also, whenever she catches her reflection in a mirror or window, she pauses, pets her hair, and says "pretty". She's very right!

Her best phrase so far is "There you go!". I realized that for some reason, I say it all the time. Whenever Baby fits a puzzle piece in, stands back up after falling down, or throws her pacifier in bed where it belongs (oh, and she calls her "paci" her "sassy"), I invariably reply with an enthusiastic "There you go!". Baby has been following my example...

1. Yesterday, Baby informed me that she had finished her lunch by both signing and stating "Done. Done. Done. Done." I asked, "Are you sure you're done, Baby?", because she still had quite a bit left. Yes, she was sure. I cleaned her face and hands, removed her bib, and picked her up from her high chair. Almost immediately, she began screaming "More! More! More! More!" and flinging her body in the direction of her food. OK, Baby, you can have more! Once she was strapped back in her chair with her food before her, she said "There you go."

2. Baby has some little animal-shaped boards with holes around the border and a shoelace to "sew" with. She will sit quietly and work on these for a long time, and each time she completes a stitch, she says a very quiet "There you go."

3. Baby has been teaching her stuffed bunny (her "lovey") how to walk. This makes sense, since in her case, walking didn't exactly come naturally either! She holds him up on his hind legs and says "Walking, walking, walking" as he cruises along next to her, with the occasional "There you go!" for encouragement.

4. Now that we've been having colder days and we're spending more time indoors, I have started playing a Toddler Songs CD every so often. Baby LOVES it, dancing her little heart out. The first time we listened to it, whenever a song ended, she started to panic a little bit, saying "Eh? Eh?" and looking to me to fix it. A few seconds later, when the next song began, Baby would visibly relax and say "There you go".

Baby and I went to Lil' Biggs on one of the colder days. She spent the entire time pushing around either a baby stroller or this shopping cart, ignoring the huge indoor sandbox, bouncy house, and other fun toddler equipment. I'm not sure if that was worth the $6 we paid to get in!

So, there you go!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Rather Boring Post

Boy, am I a lucky mom! We went up to Fort Collins to visit my in-laws on Saturday and came home on Sunday...without Baby! She's spending a few days on the farm with her grandparents, being spoiled rotten. Of course, I have a long list of things that I want to accomplish while she's gone, but today...well...I sortof goofed off instead. I slept in. I went shopping; not boring grocery shopping, but fun shopping at Old Navy, Hobby Lobby, and Salvation Army - I like searching for treasures :). Sure, all I bought was a scarf, but it was heaven to be able to try on clothes in the dressing room and take my sweet time. I also went to the gym and didn't have to worry about Baby catching swine flu at the daycare center. Nick and I are off to a fancy dinner at Johnny Carino's (I know, it's not local, but their Bowtie Festival is too tasty to resist).

Maybe I'm the one being spoiled rotten!

Tomorrow I intend to winterize the garden a bit; just pull out all the dead veggie plants, add some compost and mulch, and plant my garlic bulbs.

Oh, and for those who are worried...Baby is officially walking now! I had a feeling that a change of scenery might inspire her to try it again. It turns out that a half dozen cats and dogs are enticing enough for our "under-motivated child" to chase. Just a couple hours after arriving at the grandparents' farm, she decided to stand up and, in her own words, "walk walk walk walk walk". Everyone dropped what we were doing to applaud her efforts, so she rewarded us with the proudest little smile. A couple wobbles and crashes later and she's still walking all over the place!

AND she got her first two teeth this weekend! Well, just the little white tips are poking up from her gums. Only 3 days before her 18 month birthday! The best part? She didn't even complain at all. She never woke up in the middle of the night; in fact, she's been sleeping 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. every night! What a good baby!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Good Books on Autism

Autism is so prevalent in our children's generation that I would imagine most of us have been touched by it in some way. I won't pretend to be at all knowledgeable on the subject, but I wanted to pass on a few good book recommendations that I have found inspiring or educational:

Dr. Offit is chief of Infectious Diseases and director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. I am absolutely fascinated by the influence our media has over public opinion, and in his book, Dr. Offit explains away some of the confusion surrounding autism-related theories (such as parents' fear of vaccines caused by some rather questionable science and unbalanced media coverage). I would highly recommend this book for new parents who fear they can't fully trust their doctor's recommendations to vaccinate; at least this will give you one side of the story.

Born On A Blue Day book cover

This book is incredible. Mr. Tammet is (or was, when he wrote this) a twenty-something autistic sevant, highly functioning on the autistic spectrum and living a completely independent life in spite of his challenges. His mind is amazing; he sees numbers as colors and shapes and is able to memorize an entirely foreign language in one week. I was enthralled by his description of memorizing the number pi to over 22,000 digits. He describes the numbers as a landscape, complete with rolling hills and geographic features that help him recall each and every digit perfectly.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

This was an interesting fictional novel narrated from the viewpoint of a 15-year old autistic boy. He sees the world around him from a completely unemotional perspective. One scene that sticks out in my mind was his feeling of being overwhelmed by all of the people and objects in a busy train station. He needs to find the information desk. While most people would simply scan the room until finding it, Christopher must place his hands next to his eyes to physically block out all of the extra stimuli, such as advertisements and faces. Once he finds the sign he is looking for, he imagines a red line on the floor between where he is standing and where he needs to be and walks along the line to cross the station. This book is a quick read and very interesting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

False Alarm

So, in my last post I mentioned how excited I was that Baby FINALLY started walking.


Baby isn't walking. She walked.


Sure, last Wednesday she walked all over the living room and kitchen for like 10 minutes with hardly a wobble, but apparently she's done now. She hasn't walked a single step since!

Why couldn't I have a perfectly average, normal kid first...let the second kid be the challenging one! Not that Baby is necessarily "challenging", but what (almost) 18 month old doesn't have ONE tooth yet? I have never even heard of that happening!

Well, I'm just taking this whole parenting thing one day at a time. I have our pediatrician's office on speed dial and just hope that I'm doing maybe 1% of this job right. Thank you to all of my mommy friends who pass on your hard-earned wisdom! I couldn't do it without you!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We have an official toddler now!

I've been meaning to post a really cute video of Baby for at least a week now, but have come up against a couple roadblocks: (1) our computer was fried by lightning (I heard a loud bang during a thunderstorm that sounded like it actually hit our roof, but there was no damage so it likely struck nearby), and (2) I can't figure out how to upload the video to our new computer.

I also don't have any new pictures but just wanted to share the news that Baby took her first independent steps today! What a relief! At 17.5 months, she's been grudgingly "walking" while holding our hands for a couple weeks now, and recently it's seemed that she is perfectly able to walk, physically, but is only lacking the confidence to strike out on her own. Well, today she seemed to have discovered some inner ambition because she couldn't stop saying "walk, walk, walk, walk, walk" as she requested help. I was excited when she took two steps from the wall to my hands, but didn't get my hopes up too high yet.

I moonlight as a secret shopper (sweet gig), so I left the house when Nick got home from work to go pick up our (free!) dinner for a carryout assignment. I was only gone for a few minutes, and while I was waiting for my order, I got a text saying that Baby was walking all by herself! Apparently, she walked across the living room and kitchen several times. Nick said that she looked more stable on her own than the wobbly girl we're used to holding hands with. I rushed home, but by then it was nearly bedtime and she didn't feel like performing. I can't wait to see if she'll do it again tomorrow!

So for those of you moms with full-time jobs who might be sad about missing the big milestones, like those first steps, rest assured: it happens to stay-at-home-moms too.

Congratulations, Baby, on reaching this exciting milestone! Hopefully I'll post some video or pictures soon!

Swimming on Labor Day.