Saturday, February 26, 2011

Little Things: Ada, Ten Months

Ada is ten months old today!

This is going to be a short one, because I've been sick and just don't have the energy to spend much time at the computer.

Ada's big accomplishment recently is that she is standing independently!  She loves to spend all of her awake time on the floor, standing up, then sitting down, then standing up, then letting go and balancing for as long as she can until she falls down.  She gets so excited when she can stand and everyone in the house cheers her on.  The longest I've seen was about 30 seconds, which seemed like hours.

Here are a few cute photos that Ama took in the past week.  Wearing sunglasses from the Dollar Store.

Enjoying a Portland snow day (a whole three inches at our house) in the Ergo with Daddy.

In the stroller with her best friend, Rada.

And another great shot of her wild hair.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Little Things: Jude, 2.5 years

Jude is two-and-a-half years old today!  At Jude's first birthday, a friend (who is a mother to grown children) told me that the most magical time in a child's life is between the ages of one and two-and-a-half.  She said that watching and helping a child acquire language is an amazing process, and I have to agree.  At the age of one, Jude wasn't saying any words, and at this age, he can say anything he cares to communicate.  His grammar might need a little more fine-tuning, and he does struggle sometimes to say what's on his mind, but there is rarely any question about the point that he's trying to get across.  It's an astounding change.

Jude is incredibly persistent when is comes to conversation.  If he says something and you don't understand what he's saying, he will repeat himself over and over until you guess correctly.  It's a very endearing quality.

Most nights when I get home from work, as long as the weather isn't terrible, Jude and I go outside for a "WACE" (race).  We bundle up in our coats and hats, we each carry a "sword", which is really a stick, and we take off running down the hill.  Jude is very fast and it's often a challenge to keep up with him.  He is more trustworthy than usual during these outings.  He will never leave the sidewalk and step into the street unless he is holding my hand, and if I yell out for him to stop he will come to a screeching halt.  Part of every WACE involves saying "Nice to meet you" to all of the frog statues in our neighbor's front yard, hiding behind trees and bushes on our route, and getting a piggy-back ride home on Mom's back.  It's a really fun part of my day, and also seems to help Jude to get outside to burn off some energy before dinner and bed.

Jude loves climbing (he often says "I'm a monkey!").  He climbs up trees, onto windowsills, and up and down his changing table.  The other day we were out for a WACE with the kids who live next door, and we eventually came to a stone wall perfect for climbing.  The other kids are much older than Jude, but he climbed up so high that I couldn't even reach him.  He proudly exclaimed "I'm the highest monkey!".  Yes Jude, you are.  Here's a photo of Jude in the tree in front of our house.

Jude loves sweets and would eat cookies and cupcakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if we let him.  Tonight at bedtime he related a conversation he had with his grandmother over the weekend: "I like cookies, Neens!  I know you do, Jude."  That basically encapsulates his eating preferences.

We've been doing dinner as a family most days for the past couple of months.  We all sit down to eat at about 6:15, and the kids eat whatever we're eating, although they often get a few extras to supplement the adult food.  At first, Jude was antsy and would only stay at the table for a very short time before getting up to run around and play.  As the weeks went on and he realized that this was going to be a regular thing, he started spending more and more time at the table with us.  These days, it is not uncommon for Jude to sit down and eat with us for 15-20 minutes, which is an ETERNITY for a kid this age.  He's discovered that he likes eating with chopsticks, so we've started having a stir-fry about once a week.  He does a pretty good job of picking up the food and getting it to his mouth with the chopsticks.  See the evidence below.

Jude is very sweet with his sister, but he definitely values one-on-one time with his parents.  He almost always sleeps later than Ada in the morning, but the other day he woke up early while she was still asleep.  We were tired, so we brought him into our bed to read books and play "take a nap".  We were talking about how it was early, and he was usually in bed until almost 8 o'clock, but today he was up before 7.  He replied with "I like seven".  We laughed pretty hard over that one.

Jude is very attached to his blankies and binkies.  Whenever he gets upset, he immediately says "I need my binky and blankies.  I NEED them."  He'll let the blankies out of his sight long enough to be washed or when he's busy with something more interesting, but I think that in the back of his mind, he always knows where they are.  It seems like a harmless obsession, so we haven't made any real effort to take this stuff away from him yet, although we are pretty strict about only allowing him to use the binky in his room.  He seems to accept that, and will spit it out before going upstairs.

Personality-wise, Jude is very intense.  It is so much fun to play with him, and he enthusiastically greets his friends whenever he sees them.  It can be a real challenge to get him to do something that he doesn't want to do, though.  There are days when he has quite a few temper tantrums over diaper changes, changing his clothes, getting into his car seat, and bedtime.  Other days he is very cooperative.  I want to say that the cooperative days are getting more frequent, but it's really hard to tell from day to day.  I think in the next few months we'll have a better idea if he's getting more reasonable (and I hope that he is moving in that direction!).

Jude is still in preschool two mornings a week, and loves his teacher and classmates.  School has been great for him, providing an outlet for his energy as well as an opportunity to learn some social skills.  Initially, we were concerned that he'd be behind since he's the youngest in his class, but he is keeping up really well.  I think it helps that he's big for his age and very verbal, but he also seems to be doing well from a maturity and interaction perspective.  We just signed him up for three days a week next year (starting in September).

Jude is kind of amazing when it comes to memorizing songs and stories.  Sometimes we'll hear him from the other room reciting pages and pages from "The Cat in the Hat".  He also sings songs to himself when he's in his room.  He knows a lot of words that I don't know.  For example, he can sing all of the verses of "Frosty the Snowman" and "The Wheels on the Bus".

Here's a funny picture after drinking some "Jude juice" made with beets and carrots.

And this one captures Jude perfectly these days.  He's surrounded by his "accessories" - guitar, binoculars, swords, etc.  He's always carrying his gadgets around with him.

And now for the "factual" part of this entry.  Jude currently wears 3T clothes (although I think he'll be in 4T shirts and sleepers soon), size 9-10 shoes, and he's in size 6 diapers.  He sleeps 11-13 hours at night and still has a nap most days.  Sometimes he doesn't feel like sleeping, but he'll still have a "play nap" where he has some quiet time alone in his room for an hour or so.  He's pretty good about playing by himself if he doesn't feel like napping, so Daddy still gets some down time in the afternoons.  Jude is drinking quite a bit of milk although his intake varies widely from day to day.  He also drinks a lot of water.  And would eat a LOT of cookies, if given the chance.

Our boy is such a miracle.  Happy Half Birthday, Jude!

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Six Degrees of Separation

Jude is going to be two-and-a-half soon.  I was looking back at old photos and thought it would be fun to post a few to show the changes he's gone through every six months of his life so far.

Newborn: three days old in the hospital

Six months: Such a change!  And yet, at this age, he couldn't do anything but lie on a blanket...

First birthday: He's a real person!

Eighteen months: Climbing in the ruins in Mexico.

Second birthday: It's hard to beat a fire engine!

This month:  What can I say?

Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mad Scientist

I have been wanting to post a photo of Ada's hair these days. It sticks straight up and she looks a bit like a certain well-known genius.

We took Ada in to see Dr. Jack today for her nine-month check-up.  Here are her stats:

  • Weight: 19 pounds, 1 ounce (51st percentile)
  • Height: 29.5 inches (95th percentile)
  • Head circumference: 44 cm (nurse's comment: "Good", whatever that means) 

Dr. Jack encouraged us to start feeding Ada more table foods.  She can eat almost anything we are eating these days, as long as it's healthy.  The only exceptions are nuts, honey, shellfish, egg whites (although eggs cooked in other foods, like pancakes, are fine), and cow's milk.  We are supposed to start mixing her formula with whole milk starting at 11.5 months, and by one year she should be on just milk.

Ada passed the 10-month developmental screen with no issues.  She was at or above expectations in all areas.  Our little genius.

We are also done nursing as of last weekend.  There were times when I didn't think this day would ever come!  After dropping down to twice a day, then once a day, Ada finally lost interest.  In the end, I nursed her for just over nine months, about the same as Jude.  I'm really proud of myself for lasting that long.  Nursing did not come easily to me, and though it was very convenient at times, it was also a big weight on my shoulders to be the only one who could provide nutrition for the baby.  Luckily, Ada is now very happy to drink bottles of formula.  She wakes up in the morning with a song of "MA MA MA, BA BA BA".  She definitely loves her BA-BA.  And we love her.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 3, 2011