Archive for February, 2011

February 25, 2011

Dear Little Miss: 14 Months

 

Dear Little Miss,

Another month has passed, and you are now fourteen months old. How can so many new things occur in such a short amount of time? Your little personality is ever-evolving. I sometimes feel like if I blink you will be packing up your bags for college. I know that as you continue to grow, the number of new things you do in a month will slow, but right now I’m just trying to soak up every single day. I remind myself of how quickly the days pass when you scream at me for more cheerios and plead for time to slow down as you lay your head on my shoulder and pat, pat, pat my back.

You have really expanded your vocabulary this month. My favorite word that you say is bubble; you sound so cute when you talk! I can’t wait for you to start talking in little sentences. Other new words are cat, bow, ditch (ha!), bath, banana, apple, cookie, up, please and thank you.

You’ve developed a bit of separation anxiety in the past couple of weeks. When I leave the room you almost always follow after me. If I’m in the kitchen, you cry at the baby gate until I let you come in with me.  This makes it a bit harder to get things done, but I do love that you love your mamma so much!

You are an expert fit-thrower. Sometimes I get upset with you when you throw yourself to the ground, but usually it is just too darn funny to make me mad. Of course, I never let you see me laughing at you. I don’t want to encourage any bad behavior! I can’t believe that such a small person can cause such a large scene. Tonight you were carrying around Kona’s ball in a plastic container when she walked up and snatched it right away from you. You screamed and threw yourself down to the ground. Then you flung the plastic container across the room, screamed, speed crawled to the container, and flung the container again. Your daddy and I were hiding our laughing faces. Let’s get the record straight that we do not find your sassy behavior cute, but it was such a funny sight to see you mad at a plastic container!

You have developed a love affair with goldfish crackers, cheerios, and animal crackers. You walk around clicking your little hands together in the sign for “more” because you want one of your favorite snacks. You also still enjoy fruits and vegetables, whole wheat pasta and chicken. We’ve cut every bottle, so you now take three sippys of milk a day. We also successfully transitioned to whole milk this month. Woo hoo!

You walk (and run!) everywhere you go. No more crawling for you. Even at stores you want to walk around by yourself. This can really slow us down, so I usually try to keep you in the cart for as long as possible!

You got another molar bringing your tooth count to twelve.

Daddy showed you how to kick a ball, and I was so surprised when you actually did it!

You have started to understand how a puzzle works and will try to place the pieces on top of the appropriate picture.

You realized that you can crawl inside Kona’s cage and now get in there at least once a day. Yuck. I’m not fond of the amount of fur that gets on your clothes when you do this.

When I took you to the doctor a few weeks ago because you were sick, you weighed 21 pounds 8 ounces.

Keep on growing baby girl. We love you so very much!

Love,

Mamma

February 17, 2011

What does the zebra do? Dance, dance, dance!

I remember doing all kinds of fun stuff when I was little. I think back fondly of my childhood and the many memories that my parents helped me make. We played in the rain, helped cook dinner in the kitchen, swung on the tire swing, and played Barbies (a personal favorite).

But I never went to the zoo. Not even once.

What kind of person has never been to the zoo? Well me, until yesterday. My dad has never liked the zoo. I think he feels bad for the animals in the cages. He must have had a bad experience or something though because I’m already wanting to go back for more. Yes, I will admit that it’s a little sad that the animals don’t get to live in their “natural habitat.” But when would Little Miss ever get to see a lion or meerkat if it wasn’t for the zoo? Maybe never. Plus, the zoo we visited was very nice. The animals had large areas to roam. It definitely wasn’t the stereotypical zoo of Goodnight Gorilla!

So, I’m just going to try to ignore the fact that the elephants and giraffes would most likely rather be in the Savannah and appreciate the opportunity to see them. My favorite thing was the flamingos; they were so beautiful! When we first saw them, they were all in the water cleaning themselves and squawking at each other. After making a loop to see some of the other animals, we saw them for a second time. They had made their way out of the water and were basking in the warm sun. Such a neat experience!

Daddio’s favorite was the gibbon. They weren’t out when we arrived, but after looking at some of the other animals, we could actually hear them playing from quite a distance. They put on an impressive show jumping and swinging from the branches. And boy, did they make a lot of noise!

I’m not sure what Little enjoyed the most, but we’ll just say it was the giraffes since they had a baby on display the day we went. It was so sweet to see the mother nuzzle her little (big) baby!

Here are some pictures from our little adventure. I hope to go back very soon!

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Side story: Little Miss got a Melissa and Doug safari animals puzzle for Christmas. One day I was sitting on the couch when she brought me the little wooden zebra. I took the zebra and oohed and ahhed over it. Then I set it on the arm of the couch and said, “look at the zebra dance, dance, dance” as I moved it across the couch. Completely silly. I thought that was the end of it. The next day I was folding laundry, and Little Miss got that zebra and took it straight to the arm of the couch to make it dance. She has done this every single time she gets the zebra since. My little sponge. Anyway, when we saw the zebras at the zoo, we of course said, “What does the zebra do? Dance, dance, dance!” She thought it was hilarious.

February 15, 2011

The good and the bad.

Having your first baby brings tons of new experiences, both good and bad. This past week we dealt with one of those unpleasant experiences. Little Miss was sick for the first time.

She started acting funny on Tuesday night. She woke up in the early hours with a low-grade fever. All day Wednesday she was fussy, and that night her fever spiked up to 104. Quite alarmed, we called the on-call nurse who said we should alternate between acetaminophen and ibuprofen to keep the fever down and bring her to the doctor in the morning.

The next day I took my pitiful girl to the pediatrician. Much to her dismay, the doctor gave Little a thorough check. She protested the entire time prompting the doctor to comment on her intense strength. When he was trying to check in her mouth, Little clamped it shut but somehow still managed to scream at the top of her lungs. What a talented little girl! Anyway, the doctor declared that it was only a virus that needed to run its course.

The next couple of days were pretty tiring, and I was reminded of Little’s newborn days. She wanted to sleep most of the day (on my chest!) but woke multiple times during the night because she was uncomfortable. Needless to say, I got very little accomplished while she was sick.

On Saturday I encountered yet another first. A small, bumpy rash popped up on Little’s back and face. Once again, I called the nurse and explained what was going on with my sickly child. She assured me that the rash was perfectly normal and meant that the virus was most likely making its exit. Thank goodness. I’m sure I sounded like such an amateur to the nurse, but hey, that’s what I am! I’m just glad that my first rendezvous with illness in my child was such a mild virus.

Little was finally back to normal today. We tried taking her out yesterday, but she wasn’t having any of it. Today was much better. We had lunch with Daddio’s dad and then enjoyed some light shopping. The key to our enjoyable experience was letting Little walk around on her own for most of the time. That and lots of snacks. It’s hard to really shop when your 13 month old just wants to explore, but at least we got out of the house!

Even though her virus was tiring for the whole family, there was one silver lining to Little being sick. She was so snuggly! I just love to snuggle with me sweet baby. The dishes and laundry can wait!

This was Tuesday before I knew Little Miss was getting sick. Looking at this picture now, I can see the virus coming. The flushed cheeks and puny eyes tell the story.

In the trenches. The only thing that got us through was goldfish crackers and lots of love.

On the mend. By Saturday Little had enough energy to play hard for thirty minutes. Then it was time to crash for three more hours.

Even when she didn’t feel well, Little Miss still tended to her babies. What a good little mother!

February 11, 2011

Be mine.

I would not call myself a crafty person, but when I spotted all the fun Valentine goodies in the Target dollar bins a few weeks ago, I was inspired to make some handmade “love” notes  for Little’s friends and family. I came up with a cheesy little note that is way over done for the inside, but I thought it fit the do-it-yourself feel. The notecards were plain, so I spiced them up a little with ribbon and Valentine paper. All the cards were different in some way.

Valentine’s day is such a cute little holiday. I’m so glad that I can use Little Miss as my excuse to channel my inner Kindergartener! Whether you’re going to spend your Valentine’s day with friends, family or that special someone, I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating your love. 🙂

February 4, 2011

Teaching Kindness

Children go to school and learn how to write. They memorize math facts and study about America’s history. As the student becomes older, the studies continue to evolve into more difficult subjects. Hopefully, by the time a young person graduates from high school, they are a well-rounded human being who knows all sorts of information on many different subjects. But what else does a child learn when she goes to school? What else should be taught besides math and history and grammar?

I read an article in Instructor magazine the other day about teaching kindness and empathy in the classroom. The author explains that children must be taught empathy because it isn’t something that is inherently understood.

Now I don’t know if I’m the only mother out there that does this (surely not, right?), but I often think way into the future and consider different situations that may occur. I think about Little Miss running on the play ground with her friends. I think about sleepovers with giggling girls. I think about her going to the movies by herself and wearing make-up for the first time.

But I also think about things that may happen to Little Miss to make her sad or hurt her feelings. Why do I waste my time considering such things, you ask. Well, like I mentioned, I hope that I’m not the only one that does it! I hope that it’s normal for a mother to wonder about these types of issues. And I will say that I don’t sit around all day long wondering when Little is going to get her feelings hurt for the first time. Luckily, I’m not that pathetic! 🙂

When I was in first grade a group of girls were down right mean to me on the play ground. I remember it quite vividly to this day. The thing that I didn’t understand then (and still don’t understand today) is why these girls were so hateful to me.

I was reminded of this situation last weekend when my sister and I brought Little to the park. It was a beautiful day and we wanted to take full advantage of the warm weather knowing that it was just a fluke. It was the end of January, after all! Anyway, as Little played, I witnessed a group of boys snub another young boy. The mamma in me wanted to run to the child’s rescue and give the group a piece of my mind.

Why do kids have to be so mean? Why can’t kindness and compassion be natural for everyone? Because according to the article I read, it has to be taught! And guess what? Parents–not teachers–are responsible for setting the foundation for a compassionate person. I’m excited to hear that empathy is being explored in the classroom though. The article listed many great ideas on how to get a child thinking about others and how they may feel in a situation.

The most important thing for me is that Little Miss grows up to have a kind and tender heart. We will always remind her to treat others the way that she wants to be treated. I never want her to be the girl on the playground that is taunting another child. I think that would actually hurt me more than to see Little with her feelings hurt.

What are your opinions on teaching kindness? How have you taught your own child to be kind and empathetic? I’d love to hear from you!

P.S. Mothers (and fathers) out there: Do you think about all of this stuff, or am I just crazy?

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