Friday, June 26, 2015

18 Months Old: ABC & 123

RICHLAND, WASH. -- As I dropped Marin off at nursery a few weeks ago at church, all by herself for the first time, I felt never-before-experienced pangs of guilt as a parent.  People just drop their kids off and except someone else to watch them? This is a new concept for me that I wish I was much more familiar with. I can hardly believe she is already a year and a half old! It brings me so much joy and also a little sadness. My little side kick is old enough to brave it on her own a bit. 

She looks so sweet and innocent, doesn't she? This was taken on her big Sunday going to nursery all by herself.

This girl is such a delight and a terror all at once. She's so sweet and loves to give hugs and kisses. And the very next minute she'll be arching her back in fighting rebellion over something she can't do, or something I want her to do that she has no interest in doing (changing diapers or getting in her carseat for instance).

I am enjoying my final months with it being just me and her. She'll never remember this time as an only child, but I will treasure it always.  
Picking flowers in the mountains on our trip to Utah this past week
My mom made this darling dress for her

Eighteen Month Stats:

  • 29.5 lbs. (98%)
  • 35 inches tall (100%)
  • 18.31 HC (57%)

  • Eating: Still picky, picky, picky. This frustrates me tremendously. She still eats applesauce like its candy. Almost every time I ask her what she wants for breakfast, she says, "pie." And then smiles really big. Such a jokester, who inherited my dangerous sweet tooth. 

    Sleeping: 7pm to 7am give or take an hour or so. She's been waking up earlier due to the summer early morning sun coming up around 5 am. Ugh. Her naps though have been especially delightful. They are the longest they have ever been in her life.  Anywhere from an hour to up to 2 and a half.  

    Wearing: 18 -24 month old stuff usually with with some 2T thrown in for good measure.

    Tricks and New Skills/Interesting tidbits:
    • This girl has her alphabet down pat. We've been working on it for months and finally, around 16 months or so, she started stringing them altogether. We were making our way back from Portland one night back in April, and thought Marin would sleep the entire way back. Instead, about half way through, she woke up very bright-eyed and started reciting her ABC's like a pro. She can even identify all of her upper case letters and most of the lower case ones. I'm really quite impressed with her ability to soak up everything we try to teach her. I'm giving Isaac's genes credit for that one. Please watch the below video to see her alphabet in action (also, note, that since this video was taken back in May, she has improved significantly and no longer skips letters). 
    • She can also count and identify numbers up to 10, and says other numbers after that, but generally not in order.  
    • Her favorite thing to say is "uhoh" and usually says it two or three times in a row whenever she says it. Just for effect, I guess. It generally indicates she's found something out of place, she did something wrong, or is questioning something she sees. A few weeks ago I was in the kitchen making dinner, and left her in the family room to watch Elmo for a few minutes of peace and quiet. Suddenly she declared, "Uhoh, uhoh, uhoh!" I assumed it was because the laptop battery died. Several minutes later, however, I discovered it was because she had found a pen and scribbled all over one of my new sofa pillows. Irk.
    • When I sing to her at nap or bedtime, I will leave out the last word of every sentence and she will fill in the blank. The same thing happens with books we read a lot. I'll pause somewhere in the story, and she will fill in the word I stopped on. 
    • Every preposition she uses is, "off." No matter if she means on, up, down or out. And if she can't move something, she declares, "stuck!"  
    • Isaac is her buddy and she loves to play with him when he gets home from work. But... ughhhhh... the second he tries displaying an actual parenting role, and not playmate role, she flips out. Full on flips out. Forget having him put her to bed... it is a full on meltdown complete with hyperventilating, sweat and tears (she cries so hard she actually heats herself up to the point of sweating). I'm trying to figure out how to deal with this and hope this phase ends quickly. I hate it. So much. 
      Marin loves to climb all over Isaac. It warms my soul to watch them play together. 
    • This girl loves being around other kids. I feel bad that we don't have many (or any) friends here in the Tri Cities, because I know she could sure benefit from some playmates. Thank goodness we have nursery now at church, and swim lessons where there are other kids around. 
    • Marin also has some strange fear of men. She's fine around Isaac (minus the bedtime/parenting thing), but any other man she is extremely hesitant of, this includes grandpas, uncles, etc. 
    • She's also growing more and more independent. She loves to try to dress herself before it takes too long and I just do it for her, which she doesn't always appreciate. She could sit for a good 30 minutes at a time trying to put her shoes on her feet. She also loves to put mine and Isaac's shoes on too. 
    We started swimming lessons a few weeks ago and despite the look on her face in this photo, she loves them
    This girl LOOOOVED getting so much attention from her cousins (and grandparents) in Utah this past week. She hugged the "kids" and gave them kisses numerous times a day. She was in heaven having playmates for a solid week.
    Up in the canyons in a dry river bed
    We went to an amazing new splash pad numerous times near my parent's house, complete with waterfalls and a river. She loved it. 
    She likes to go in and outside over and over and shut us out and then stare through the door window smiling at us
    I've been nervous about how she might react to a new baby around our home in a few months. While we were in Utah, she watched me hold Brittany's baby frequently and didn't seem to mind at all. In fact, she loved going up to him and kissing/tormenting him. I hope she has the same reaction to her new sister. 

    Friday, April 17, 2015

    Marin's News

    RICHLAND, WASH. -- Marin and I had a little fun putting this video together... Take a peak:

    Tuesday, March 24, 2015

    15 Months Old: No, no, no

    RICHLAND, WASH. -- I remember not so long ago whenever I'd hear little kids say, "No," I'd think how annoying it was that they'd say it so frequently. I'm pretty sure I made a mental note to use the word "no" as little as possible whenever I had kids, just to keep them from saying it.  Turns out, that is definitely not how it works.  Say it once, say it a million times... somehow those little stinkers figure it out and it becomes their favorite thing to say regardless of what you try to do to stop it. Thus, that word is the theme of my life lately.  Though, I will say whenever Marin actually means "yes," she'll correct herself immediately following her recitation of the word, "no."  It usually sounds something like this, "no... yesssss."

    In other news, Mother Nature has apparently kicked Winter to the curb (finally), so we are enjoying spending more time outside. It has been glorious. Marin loves, looooves, LOVES being outside and will cry when its time to head indoors.

    Marin loves coloring with chalk, though it is a tad messy.

    She loves every kind of ball and kicking the soccer ball around
    Loves playing in the dirt and rocks, but doesn't like getting dirt on her hands.

    Fifteen Month Stats:

  • 28.8 lbs. (99%)
  • 33 inches tall (99%)
  • 18.25 HC (83%)

  • Eating: Picky, picky, picky. I hate it.  She eats applesauce like its candy. And loves to eat slices of cheese. Everything else is hit or miss these days. 

    Sleeping: 7pm to 7am. We are down to one nap a day and she'll sleep anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. 

    Wearing: 12 -18 month old stuff with some 18 and 18-24 month thrown in the mix.  

    Tricks and New Skills/Interesting tidbits:
    • Marin is obsessed with the ABC's or the "A,B's" as she calls them. We have ABC books she likes to read over and over again. I put up some cute little animal ABC decals in her room and she loves to stare and point at them. She recognizes letters everywhere we go, even on signs at the store. She'll loudly declare, "AB's, AB's."  She knows about half of the letters... we are working on the others.  I think she knows what some of the other letters are, but can't quite make those sounds yet... like "W" for instance. 
    • She used to be the friendliest little thing I've ever seen. Now she won't leave my side. We used to have to block her in at church from running away from us. We don't have to worry about that anymore. She's not interested in being more than a foot away from me. I'm hoping this phase doesn't last long... but if she's anything like me, it'll probably last until she's 18 (I was SUCH a home body).    
    • We had a little break for a few months where having a bath was just a thing to cross off our lists. But now, bath time is Marin's favorite time of the day again... until she has to have her hair washed and then she wants out. 

      We took a little trip to Seattle and Portland for my birthday this year. It was incredibly sunny the whole time we were there. It was beautiful!  But slightly chilly... Poor little Marin caught a nasty cold there. 

      Golden Garden Beach in Seattle

      Practicing her musical skills on Grandma Reeve's piano

      Her happy place. 

    Friday, February 13, 2015

    Thoughts on My New Job

    BOSTON, MASS./RICHLAND, WASH. -- I started this post a long time ago back in Boston and just re-discovered it. So, thought I may as well finish it, because its been a long while since I sat down to write...

    "This is it," I thought as I walked out of my office for the last time. I had just dropped off my laptop after informing my PR agency a few weeks prior that I would not be coming back after maternity leave. I thought I would get emotional. Like, really emotional. Not because I was sad about leaving this particular job, but because it signaled something more for me. This was the end of my career. My decade-long career in communications. A career that zig-zagged me all across the country from Washington state to Washington, D.C. and back again. I worked the entire communications spectrum from reporting to press and public relations.  As a working woman, I always thought it would be so painfully boring to be a "stay at home mom." What do they do all day, I wondered so many times. And how on earth could it possibly be fulfilling? But I was surprised the day it all ended. I didn't get emotional. I didn't even shed a tear.

    I suppose I could say things like, that's because my heart was overflowing with the prospect of what lay ahead of me, more so than mourning what was behind me. And I guess that really is true, albeit rather corny. I had quite the ride in that crazy career of mine. I lived my dream of being a news reporter (you can check out some of those nerdy moments here) and had the time of my life being a press secretary in the United States Senate for Senator Bennett and Senator Roberts. And I'll be forever grateful that a PR firm in Seattle hired me when I had no agency experience and then were more than willing to let me transfer to their Boston office just four months later. Talk about a tremendous blessing!  And now it is done. It has been for a little over a year now. And I love it.

    My new job belongs to this little one. And another new one who will join our family at the end of the summer.

    Day one of my new job

    Marin has stollen our hearts in a huge way. Isaac and I are so in love with her. We are constantly amused by everything she does. And she is such a good girl... so calm, happy and sweet (most of the time, at least). When she is awake we are constantly talking about how cute she is and how much we love her. When she is asleep, we are constantly talking bout how cute she is and how much we love her. Basically it's all we talk about (sometimes we squeeze in a healthy round of political discussion).

    I'm already nostalgic about her growing up too quickly. She used to be that small little girl up there. A year later and our sweet little girl is off the charts. I have loved watching her learn and grow and the way she observes the world around her with such big, curious eyes.

    When I ever get sad about not working any more, which isn't often, its easy to remind myself that this little girl is far more important than any conference call or press release.  Sometimes I can't help but wonder, "What happened to my life?!"  It is certainly different from how it used to be just a year ago, that is for sure. But I never imagined I'd love it this much. Or love her this much. It's wonderful.

    I love this kid of mine.
    So, as I climbed into my car with Isaac and Marin that day I left my job, I couldn't help but think that some people would think I was nuts for leaving my communications career behind. But the only emotions I felt as we drove away were a calming peace and deep burning happiness and the thought, "This is really why I'm here."

    Recently, I was at a dear friends wedding. I swear nearly every person I knew from Washington, DC was there too. I was catching up with one of those acquaintances who was telling me all about her new gig in the House of Representatives as the press secretary for a pretty prestigious committee. I kept reiterating over and over again how awesome it was she was doing this and what a neat time it was to be there. She agreed, but then quickly said, "Let's be honest, Andrea. I'd rather have your job." I remarked that she was free to baby-sit anytime. I instantly regretted saying something so painfully stupid. We were interrupted by more friends who wanted to chat, and I never got to tell her what I really meant to say...  What I really should have said was this, "Don't worry. You'll get to be a mom eventually. Its inevitable. For now, enjoy making these really great memories you'll be able to tell your kids all about some day. They'll think its pretty cool their mom got to do something so incredible."

    And that pretty much sums it up for me. I've gotten to live the best of both worlds. I had a really fun career I am thankful for every day. And I have a lot of great memories from it that I hope to share with my kids one day. 

    Friday, December 19, 2014

    One Year Old: Miss Independent

    RICHLAND, WASH. -- My sweet baby girl turned one this week. It's hard to believe it's been a year since she changed our lives on a cold, snowy night in Boston. We haven't stopped smiling since. What a blessing she has been to us. She has filled my heart with so much joy and happiness than I ever knew possible. It's been such a treat to be her mother. I'm a little emotional over her growing up so quickly. What happened to my precious, little baby girl?! How did time go by so quickly?! On the other hand, I am also thrilled about everything she is learning. It's been incredible watching her learn and become more independent as the days go by. She is such a sweet, happy, goofy, smart, friendly, beautiful, delightful girl who makes us smile and laugh nonstop. Life is so much sweeter with her.

    My cute sister in law took these photos for us last month while we were in Portland.

    We mostly celebrated her birthday last week in California. We decided we needed a little getaway to somewhere warmer. We took her to the San Diego Zoo and played nonstop on the beach. What a dream week! Marin had the time of her life playing outside and running free (or trying to run free). It already feels like winter has been so long! She was in heaven chasing seagulls on the sand and seeing the animals up close at the zoo. Her favorite animal noise to make is the snake, and when we pointed one out to her she went wild! She put on a show for everyone around her. The cutest moment of the day was when one of the orangutans who was sitting right by the window turned around and starred at her. She smiled and waved at it without hesitation. She's such a friendly girl who loves to smile and say and wave "buh-bye" to everyone she sees. 

    We stayed at a cute little condo right on the water in Oceanside. Our view was phenomenal and Marin loved being outside every second she was awake and would protest whenever we'd bring her inside. 
    She was obsessed with this bucket, shovel and wheel barrow that the condo had for kids to play with.

    Isn't she the cutest? Its hard to believe she's actually slimmed down quite a bit the last few months.

    She loved playing with all the rocks on the beach and putting them in her bucket.

    Such a ham.

    One of my new favorite pictures of these two. 

    She'd try to make a break for the ocean whenever we'd let go of her.

    She'd gasp when the cold water touched her toes and started shivering, but she kept going back.
    On her actual birthday, we didn't do much except blow up balloons for her to play with and sing to her and have cake. She loved the cake. Loved it so much that we had to take it away from her out of fear she was going to make herself sick. She complained when we took it away and I found her sitting on the kitchen floor the next morning eating the crumbs (don't judge, I just hadn't swept yet). I have video of the cake gorging that I will upload soon. It's good.

    She kept calling the balloons balls. 
    Playing with toys she got from her cousins. 

    Twelve Month Stats:

  • 24.8 lbs. (95%)
  • 33 inches tall (99%)
  • 18.25 HC (85%)

  • Eating: This really shouldn't be a category on here anymore. She eats everything.  

    Sleeping: Wakes up at 5:30 a.m. generally and cries for a minute or so and then goes back to sleep usually until 7 or 7:30.  

    Wearing: 12 -18 month old stuff still.  

    Tricks and New Skills/Interesting tidbits:
    • Marin wants to eat all by herself. She wants to hold the fork/spoon and make a mess with things before somehow managing to get a bite or two in her mouth. 
    • She waves at us every few minutes to say hi. It makes me laugh. 
    • She laughs a lot more now at random things. Recently, I've been reading her a certain book and she'll start smirking or laughing at certain spots. It's pretty cute. And reminds me that she is human and now understands so many things. Amazing. 
    • Whenever we go to baby story time at the local library, she goes around and waves and smiles at everyone. 
    • She likes to bring her "behs" (bears) and baby doll everywhere we go. 
    • I'm concerned we've created a monster. There may have been a time or two (who's counting?) when we've shown her a few Sesame Street YouTube videos. She'll come over to us when we have the laptop open, or will pickup the laptop and bring it to us, reciting, "A, B's" over and over. "A, B's" is referencing the ABC videos, of course. Oh dear. She cries when we turn it off. 
    • She just looks so cute sitting there like a real person. How is she real?!
    • Separation anxiety is in full swing. Ugh. It is so annoying. But sometimes cute. But mostly annoying. 
    • This girl has her animal noises down pat. She can tell you what a snake, cow, dog, sheep and horse say. It's really darling.  You can check out some of those skills in this video: 

    This girl loves life so much that it is inspiring. I love watching her get excited about such simple things. Like playing in boxes. She is such a happy, joyful little girl. It warms my soul to have her in my life. I can't wait to see what this next year brings. 

    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    11 Months Old: Figuring Things Out

    RICHLAND, WASH. -- The other day I was getting Marin dressed when it hit me how much she's grown. The labels on her clothes now say, "Toddler" in them. I may have gone into mourning for a few moments over the fact that my baby is officially gone. We've more or less got a toddler (can we just call it "baby-toddler") on our hands now. 

    Kicking a soccer ball with her daddy.

    Eleven Month Stats:
    • 23 lbs.
    • 32 inches tall  
    Eating: Still such a good eater. She likes to grab the spoon when I'm feeding her and try to shovel food and eat herself. Not always successful. Usually ends in a nasty mess. She also loves throwing food on the ground. And on the wall. 
    Sleeping: Wakes up at 5:30 a.m.  Sometimes she goes back to sleep. 
    Wearing: 12 -18 month old stuff. Our favorite thing to have her wear lately are pom pom hats. Its been cold here lately, so we've been having her wear them a lot. They are so cute on her. Tricks and New Skills/Interesting tidbits:
    • Walking like a champ. She hasn't crawled in over a month. 
    • Now that she can walk a bit sturdier, she has gotten pretty good at kicking around the soccer ball. It's pretty cute.
    • She still loves her books more than anything. She pulls them out of her book basket one by one until she finds the one she wants and then will look at it by herself or bring it to Isaac or I to read it to her.  
    • Every Wednesday morning we've been going to Baby Reading Time at the Richland Library. As soon as we get to the reading area, I'll put her down and she'll wander around the reading circle and point to all the other little kids. She loves kids. 
    • New words she likes to say: 
      • Baby 
      • When we ask her what a snake says she'll promptly answer, "Sss," which sometimes sounds more like, "Thh."  
    • The poor girl developed a runny nose on Halloween which still hasn't gone away. Its inevitable that whenever she gets a cold it'll always turn into ear infections. Poor girl. You'd never know she was sick and in pain though because she's always so happy and energetic. 
    • She's starting to figure out how things fit together. She has some tub stacking toys and has recently figured out how they fit inside each other. Its fun watching her figure it all out.
      Marin's first Halloween. We were so festive. 

      Wearing a coat and hat that used to be mine. Isn't she such a doll?!

    Wednesday, October 15, 2014

    Ten Months Old: Walking on Sunshine

    RICHLAND, WASH. -- Ladies and gentleman, we've got a walker on our hands! Now that she's figured out how to get around on her feet, she won't sit still. Unless it involves books. Then she'll sit for a looong time. Its really adorable how much she loves her books. And walking. And getting into everything. Everything. 

    Sometime between now and her 11 month update, it's my goal to find something else to blog about. We'll see how that goes. For now, here is Marin in her 10 month glory... 
    My mom made this coat. Isn't it amazing?!

    Marin being her curious self. 

    She made this shirt too. And those leggings.

    And my mom turned my old BP shirt into a dress for Marin. Seriously, amazing. 

    Ten Month Stats:
    • 23ish lbs.
    • She's probably as tall as last month. Maybe. 

    Eating: Favorite food this month is peaches.
    Sleeping: Still wakes up around 2 am every single night. Every night. But she usually cries herself back to sleep.   
    Wearing: 12 month stuff. 
    Tricks and New Skills:

    • Walking, as mentioned above. She still looks a little like a drunk sailor, but she gets around pretty well.
    • She could sit for hours and "read" books. She loves to flip through the pages and look at the pictures. Sometimes, she'll bring one up to Isaac and I to read to her. It's really precious. 
    • She's also talking a lot more. I mean, she jabbered like crazy before. But now she's actually saying real words. Here are a few new ones I can think of in addition to dada and mama and ball: 
      • Bear: bah
      • Bubbles: bub bubs
      • Bellly button (she points to her tummy as she says this): buhbuh (a lot of these words sound similar, but she uses them in context, which is how I know what she's saying)
      • Dog: daw or dawee (doggie)