Monday, November 20, 2017

one year

dear Cecilia Marie,

it seems impossible that an entire year has already gone by since your dramatic entrance into the world on our front sidewalk. and yet here you are, wearing 12 month clothes, chewing your food with your EIGHT teeth, chasing after the cats, and playing peek-a-boo with Greta. your personality is still happy and outgoing, although you've started to have a little trepidation around strangers. most of the time, though, you wave and sometimes say "hi!" in the sweetest little voice. here's a look back at the last year! 

we celebrated your birthday with a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom party! Auntie Kira, Uncle John and Tia Genesis were here, along with your godparents John and Jen, your best friend Adeline (and Ryan and Amelia!), Nana and Pappy, and many other friends too. our neighbor, Drew, came too -- and he will always have a special place in our hearts, since he caught you when you were born! 

of course we had to do a little photo shoot at the exact spot where you were born. you didn't quite understand what was going on, but you loved the balloons! i think your favourite part of the party was the food, however. we had quite the spread: Wiggle Jigglers (alphabet jello jigglers), Mama's Meatballs (Hawaiian meatballs), Chicka Chicka Nuggets (chicken nuggets), Here Come Hotdogs (mini corndogs), Pile-Up Pizza (Nana's yummy veggie pizza), Double Dare Dip (veggies and dip), and Flip Flop Fruit (cut fruit). the piece de resistance was the delicious coconut cupcakes my friend Autumn made, including a huge special smash cupcake for you! you devoured it and were absolutely covered in frosting afterwards. 

your big birthday present from Mommy and Daddy was a tricycle that converts so we can push you along now while you ride in style with a cupholder and a snack tray, and then when you're bigger, we can remove the handle and deluxe accessories and you can pedal by yourself. ;) we only had one nice day to use it before the weather turned too cold, but i'm sure we'll be making good use of it come spring! 

you stand up by yourself, and you take one or two steps at a time, but mostly you still cruise along the furniture or crawl to get where you're going. and you move fast. you love to sit on top of the coffee table, and if you're sitting with me on the recliner, you try to climb up on the arm to get on top of our little side table. you push your little chair over to the counter and climb up, although you don't really try to reach things on top of the counter yet -- i'm sure it's just a matter of time! 

you say "Gaga" for Greta, "woof woof" when ever you see a dog, "day dee" for thank you, and if we ask for a kiss you say "mah!". you have mostly transitioned off bottles, and drink milk from a sippy or straw cup with your meals. you have a bottle of warm milk before bed. your sleep has not been great over the past few weeks, and you often will wake up around 9 or 10 pm screaming for another bottle (even though your little belly is so full it feels tight before you go down for the night around 7 or 7:30!). 

this month, you've started visiting the Walker Transition room at daycare. the first day was a little rough -- there's a lot more structure and activity, and you sit in a chair at a table to eat your lunch instead of a high chair, and take your nap sleeping on a little cot instead of in a crib. but the following weeks you've done great. you love painting, coloring, playing with the other kids, and zooming around the room pushing a walker. 

your reaction when i took away your birthday cake

at your one year checkup, you weighed 19 pounds (38th percentile) and measured 30 1/2 inches long (92nd percentile!). no wonder so many of your pants are short on you! you are still wearing mostly 12 month clothes with some 12-18 months as well. and you have big girl sneakers that you wear to daycare on Mondays when you visit the toddler classroom, since you go outside to the playground twice a day, but otherwise you still wear your Abby Cadabby mocassins everywhere. 

sweetheart, we love you more than words can say. thank you for being a part of our family. we can't imagine it without you!! 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

eleven months

dearest Cecilia,

it sounds like such a cliche, but i honestly cannot fathom where the last year has gone. it seems like just a few months ago that the leaves were starting to fall and we were setting up your co-sleeper and baby swing and organizing all your tiny newborn clothes. and here we are, in October again, and as i write this, you're in your pack'n'play, drinking your last bottle of the day. 

soon you'll begin visiting the Walker Transition room at daycare (for 12- to 18-month-olds). you and the other babies your age in the nursery are starting to play together now. you and Zach especially love to crawl around after each other, or bang on blocks together. and you absolutely love circle time, when the teachers sing songs and read books to you all. 

you certainly have a bit of a daredevil streak. although you're not standing by yourself yet, you love to climb -- up the stairs, on the arm of the couch, onto the bathroom stepstool, on top of the CD player, and anything else you can reach. 

you have four new teeth this month -- all four of your lateral incisors -- making a full set of four across the bottom, and just your two new fangs on top. this round of teething was particularly bothersome. you ran a fever and were pretty miserable, even when i gave you Tylenol or Motrin. i was about to take you into the pediatrician when that first upper lateral incisor erupted, and then three other teeth followed! no wonder you didn't feel like yourself.

those few days of teething were notable because your normal disposition is still so happy. you love to play with Greta and follow her around. you try to pet the cats and Kaiser. you still love your froggy Wub-a-Nub and you hold onto his little arms while you fall asleep. you still take two naps (although sometimes only one at daycare), and you sleep about 11 hours at night.

you definitely have a temper, however. whenever i take something away from you, or put up the baby gate to keep you from climbing the stairs, your face turns bright red, you scream and glower at me, and often throw yourself face first down on the floor. that last move frequently backfires on you as you end up hitting your forehead on the ground, which makes you even more mad. but the storms pass quickly and soon you're back to your usual sunny self!

your hair continues to be an endless source of delight to us. it sticks straight up in the back. whenever you stand in front of the fan, as you love to do, it gets blown in all directions. within the next few months, we'll probably need to trim your bangs! 

you love to eat. i'm still keeping tomatoes away from you, but pretty much everything else is fair game. this month, you've had enchiladas, spaghetti, mashed potatoes, omelettes, grilled chicken, meatballs (without sauce!), and lots more. you've probably eaten your body weight in goldfish crackers, pretzels, and puffs. and you absolutely love applesauce pouches. you figured out that the most efficient way to get snacks out of the "spill-proof" snack cup is to shake it vigorously so goldfish and puffs fly everywhere. 

this month, you've started saying "cap" for clap, which you do with great delight. your daycare teachers tell me that you say "a'duh" for all done, but i have yet to hear that one! you do make the sign for "all done", and while you have mastered the sign for "more", we're still working on "please"! 

highlights of this month included our road trip to Washington DC to see Aunt Rebecca and Uncle Josh. you did well on the drive down, and slept in the carrier through most of our visit to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. the next few days unfortunately happened to be the worst of your teething, but you did get to ride on the red panda on the carousel at the Smithsonian Zoo all by yourself. you and Greta also got to stay overnight at Nana and Pappy's house while Mommy and Daddy went to a wedding. you're such a good traveler! 

we love you so much, baby girl. i'm sure this next month will go just as fast as the previous ones, and before we know it, you'll be an entire year old. but no need to rush ... we'll savor each day as it comes! 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

ten months

dearest Cecilia,

where to begin?! you are developing into such a little person and it's so much fun to watch. if i had to describe you in one word, that would be "determination". you decide what you want to do and you do it, or at least try your best! this month, you have been pulling up to stand like a pro. you cruise along the furniture, and a few times you've stood for a few seconds by yourself. you love playing with the Mickey Mouse ride-on airplane and the gumball machine toy. you started climbing the stairs a few weeks ago, and you can make it all the way to the top within thirty seconds.

you're starting to get into mischief this month too: playing in Kaiser's water dish, unrolling the toilet paper, tasting everything you can get your hands on. you like to open and close cupboard doors, and you especially like to run your fingers over the ridges of the heating vents. whenever you're getting into something you think you shouldn't, you turn and look at me with a slightly guilty expression (as below!). 

this month, you've started to make some signs yourself, although it's pretty sporadic. i was so thrilled the day that you signed "more" about ten times during lunch, but you haven't done it since then! little stinker. yesterday, you did appropriately make the sign for "all done", so i think you do understand.

you also like to play peek-a-boo, and when I ask you how big you are, you streeeetch your arms above your head and giggle when I say, "so big!". you are getting bigger too -- wearing all 12 month clothes and size 3 shoes. now that you're on your feet so much more, you wear Greta's old Abby Cadabby soft-soled shoes when we're out and about. 

you have very strong opinions about things, including getting your diaper changed and having your nose wiped. as soon as i lay you down to change you, you roll over and scramble to the far edge of the changing table. and if i try to wipe your nose, you scream and spit at me. i try not to laugh at your distress, but sometimes your reactions are pretty amusing! most of the time you're completely relaxed and easy-going -- but you definitely let us know when your boundaries are being crossed.

you're eating lots of finger foods now: small pieces of spaghetti, watermelon, bananas, scrambled eggs, and even chicken and ground beef. you love applesauce and yogurt pouches. you do seem to be sensitive to tomatoes -- the few times you've had marinara sauce, you break out in a bad diaper rash the next day -- so we're steering clear of those. 

you love to do whatever Greta does, especially playing with the Fisher Price doll house and castle. you bang blocks together and play the xylophone. you usually don't like to sit still on my lap for long while we read books, but you're absolutely entranced by Giraffes Can't Dance

Greta's dance classes started again last week, so you get to come along. while the weather is nice, we'll probably walk around the corner to the library most weeks (since we can't watch her class). it's fun to have some one-on-one time just with you! and in a few years, i'm sure you'll be ready to join her! 

we love you, sweetest one! 

Friday, August 11, 2017

nine months

dear cecilia,

today marks the day you've been on the outside just as long as you were on the inside. (although, technically, pregnancy is closer to ten months... but i digress.) and every week this month, you've been growing and changing. you are crawling everywhere, although you tend to keep one knee bent underneath you and scoot along that way. you pull yourself up to stand, and you're so pleased with yourself every single time that we can't help but cheer for you. you're starting to cruise along the coffee table, although at this point it's pretty uncoordinated and you don't move very fast. 

your new mobility has its good points and its challenging points. of course, you are very excited to explore the house, and you entertain yourself for long stretches of time just crawling around and seeing what fun discoveries await around the corner. one downside is that you do not like to be contained. you immediately roll and try to crawl away whenever we change your diaper, and you squawk in protest whenever i put you in the pack and play so i can cook dinner or take a shower. but your naturally cheerful disposition always wins out, and after a little yelling, you're all smiles again. of course, you've acquired some scrapes and bumps -- sometimes you get going too fast crawling and faceplant. but you brush off these little interruptions and just keep going! 

you and Greta now have to navigate these changes in your relationship, as you want to do whatever she is doing and be wherever she is. most of the time, she's happy to share with you. if she takes something from you, you squawk at her and make your displeasure known. we talk a lot about treating each other with kindness, taking turns, using gentle hands, and remembering that people are more important than things. she makes you laugh harder than anyone else can, and you both love when she feeds you dinner! 

this month, you moved into the convertible carseat. overall, you do pretty well in it. i thought you were going to love sitting more upright and being able to see better, but if you drop your toys, you can't reach them easily like you could in the infant carrier seat, so it hasn't been the overwhelming hit i anticipated. i think you're used to it now, though, after we made the 1400 mile round trip journey to New Hampshire this month for my cousin Raychel's wedding! you've been to other weddings before, but this is the first time you got to stay for the reception. you were a little overwhelmed by the lights and music, but you loved visiting with all our family, and meeting the Killian clan (including your Great-Gramps Wayne, Janeen, Auntie Kris, Auntie Karla, my cousins Brinkley, Kerryn and Karrah, and your second cousins Naveigha and Leighla). as part of our trip, we also visited Auntie Kira in New York City. throughout the whole trip, you slept like a champ in the pack and play, with the sound machine blaring white noise by your head (although most of your daytime naps were in the Ergo or the car). 

you still have just the two teeth on the bottom, but this month you've started eating more textured foods. you're working on your pincer grasp. you especially love to eat your crunchies (Greta likes them too). on our trip this month, you ate a lot of baby food out of pouches and loved it! i think you were excited to have some pouches of your own after watching Greta eat applesauce almost every day. 

i think you have officially said your first words: "dada" and "mama". you've been babbling those syllables for months now, but this month you will look directly at one of us and say the appropriate name. at the very least, if i ask you where Daddy is, you point to him and smile. the other day, you crawled over to the pipe organ in our living room, pulled yourself up to stand, banged on the pedals and said "dada! dada!" soooo i'm pretty sure you're a genius. 

you still drink four to five 6 ounce bottles per day, and eat solids twice a day with some snacks in between. you take two good naps (ninety minutes to two hours in the morning, and at least an hour in the afternoon). sometimes you take another short nap before dinner. if you don't get that third nap, you're ready for bed by 7:30 or 8, and you typically sleep for 12 glorious hours.

you are wearing 9 month clothes and size 2 shoes. you weigh 16 pounds 13 ounces (25th percentile), and you are 28 inches long (62nd percentile). you're such a snuggly baby, and i probably kiss your cheeks and squeeze your little thighs hundreds of times each day (no exaggeration). 

we love you so much, kiddo. happy nine months!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

eight months

dearest cecilia,

what an exciting month you've had! reading back over your seven-month post, i'm amazed at how much has happened in the past four weeks. first of all, you got your first teeth! your bottom left incisor made its appearance a few days after you turned seven months old, and the bottom right incisor joined the party about a week later. you like to stick your tongue out these days, so we don't actually get to see your teeth all that much, but they sure are cute!

you also went swinging for the first time and absolutely loved it. as soon as i put you in the bucket seat, you grinned and waved your arms in excitement. then i gave you a gentle push and you just about lost your mind with happiness, kicking your legs and laughing. it's so much fun to watch you discover the world!

i'm guessing you weigh about sixteen pounds. you are wearing 9 month clothes, and as soon as we use up our current stock of size 2 diapers, you'll be moving into size 3. you wear size 2 shoes, when you deign to keep them on, that is. i freely admit that your sparkly cherry sandals are just for show! 

you'll be crawling soon, but you're not quite there yet. you get up on your hands and knees and rock back and forth, and sometimes you keep one leg tucked behind you as if you're in a runner's crouch, ready to take off when the gun is fired. you are adept at scooting backwards on your tummy, but unfortunately this causes you much frustration, especially when you're trying to reach a toy!

you started waving just a few days before you turned eight months. you wave with your whole arm -- sometimes with both of them! i get ridiculously excited whenever you wave, or when you clap, which is your other new trick. whenever i say "yay, Cece!" you happily clap and wave those arms around again. 

currently, your favourite thing to do is to play with the basket of wooden blocks. you pick them up, put them down, take them out of the basket, and put them back in the basket. you clap them together and then clap them on the floor, experimenting with the different sounds. i have a feeling it won't be long before you figure out how to throw them, and then we may need to find a different game! for now, though, the blocks keep you occupied for a good half hour at a time.

one big milestone this month was that we transitioned you out of our room, into Greta's room. you truly love the extra space to stretch out in your crib, and so far everything has gone very smoothly. most nights, you're ready for bed around 7:30 or 8, and you are sound asleep by the time Greta is ready for bed at 8:30 (or sometimes closer to 9!). in the morning, you frequently wake first, and babble to yourself until either i come get you or Greta wakes up and talks to you. a few mornings, i've come into your room to find Greta reading books to you, which is just about the sweetest thing ever. your big sister loves you very much! 

another big milestone is that you spent the night away from me -- actually two nights in a row! you and Greta stayed with Nana and Pappy while i went to New York to visit your Auntie Kira and to celebrate my dear friend Julie's upcoming wedding with the rest of the bridesmaids. you did very well overall. Nana and Pappy took excellent care of you, but i was so ready to snuggle you when i came back! 

you continue to be a good eater. you love the baby food blends (chicken and rice, apple strawberry banana, macaroni and cheese with vegetables, mango and oatmeal), and you're working on your pincer grasp. i give you about ten cheerios to play with and you manage to eat two or three, while the rest end up on the floor. you are now drinking 6-7 ounces of formula four to five times per day, and eating between one to two containers of baby food as well. 

we love you, cecilia marie!