Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Time: Part One

I LOVE this picture. I think it looks like it belongs in a magazine.
We wanted to do a few Christmas-y things in Minneapolis and one of them was the Hollidazzle Parade. I didn't get a good picture of it, but basically, it's a mini parade that goes through the mall downtown at night so the floats and people walking are all lit up. The evening we went was a little rainy, so we watched from one of the skyways - Minneapolis's great idea of connecting streets and buildings so you don't have to go out in the winter. Another cool thing about living here is the public transportation. We got to take the bus to and from the parade for free! While in the area, we popped over to Macy's to see a huge Santa's workshop display on the 8th floor (I only mention that detail because we didn't find the elevator so Russ carried the stroller on the escalator that whole way). Other than that, here are some of the Christmas things we did take pictures of!

We took Sophia to sit on Santa's lap. As I sat her down, I told him, "I'm really hoping she freaks out." And she did. It will be such a fun picture to look back on. 
He tried to win her over by showing a little gift for her, which was was interested in while he unwrapped it, but then cried again. :)
We decorated our Christmas tree with Sophia's help:
It may look like Sophia is helping me put the ornament on the tree, but really, she is gripping it tightly because it's a ball and she wants to play with it.
We put a couple non-breakable ornaments on the very bottom of the tree for Sophia's enjoyment.
Sophia always pulls her hat over one eye.
We put up some Christmas decorations:
Jerusalem and Germany
Our stockings were hung by the air conditioner box with care...
I decided not to do too many decorations in our apartment, so this corner is about it for my "seasonal decorations"

And now, the Christmas pictures of Sophia!

Luckily, she had more smiles for the camera than when I did her 12 month pictures!
Hooray! So many balls!
So excited to open a present with her baby in it!

I didn't realize quite so many of those pictures included the hat. Most of the pictures where she's not wearing the hat, she was signing "hat". :)

The day after I bought some baby snow boots and a little snowsuit, I let Sophia walk around outside for a bit. I was surprised that once we got home, she kept bringing me her coat, wanting to go outside again. So I  brought my camera along.
 So much pink!! Even a tiny pink nose!

hahah she was so bundled up that the few times she fell, she just dragged herself along the sidewalk because she couldn't get back up! I don't like the cold, but dressing a baby for the snow is FUN!
Christmas also signifies the end of Russ's first semester of grad school! Wow! It went by really fast. After his finals were over, we hopped on a plane to visit my parents in Virginia. Sophia did a really great job on the plane, and I had a LOT less anxiety about flying since I wasn't doing it alone. So far our visit has been pretty relaxing and full of goodies and late-night netflix watching. :)
Sophia "helping" make cookies. Look at her little hand on Grandma's knee :)
Grandma has got lots of fun Christmas decorations for her to get into. She loved carrying around this present and playing with the balls in it.
All ready to check out some Christmas lights around town
 Pictures in front of the Christmas tree:
I didn't have a Christmas dress for Sophia, but instead of buying one to wear one time, I made some felt flowers and mom attached them to a dress she already had. I think it turned out pretty cute!
Merry Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 14, 2012

14 Months

 Sophia is 14 months old!!! She walks. She does sign language. She understands things. I find myself saying "no" more often. She throws mini-temper tantrums. She must be a toddler!

Here are a couple 14 month pictures / a preview of the Christmas-y photo shoot I did of my little Christmas angel. (As always, she asked to wear her hat...)

- Weighs 22.0 lbs on our scale at home. Wears 12 or 18 month clothes, size 4 shoes and size 3 diapers.
- Eats 3 meals a day with me/us, and eats whatever we're eating. Drinks 3 bottles a day, but would drink "mama" ALL day if I gave it to her every time she asked for it. She is getting a lot better at drinking juice from her sippy cup, but she still doesn't want to drink milk out of it.

  Sophia loves carrying around her Sophia-sized teddy bear. Unfortunately, it was harder to take up the stairs than she thought, but it didn't stop her from trying.

- Sophia has been getting better and better at walking, and I noticed the other day that in just a month, she's gone from primarily crawling to not crawling much at all. Grandma and Grandpa are going to be surprised at how much she's changed even from when we visited them a month ago!
 As a "hooray! You can walk!" present, I gave Sophia the baby stroller Aunt Lissa got for her birthday. As you can imagine, she's not great at steering, so she mostly pushes her baby into walls and chairs...

- It has been getting pretty chilly here, so we haven't had trips to the park or stroller rides like we did before, but instead we've begun having a couple play-dates with other toddlers in the ward. I hope that's something we'll continue!
 Bundling up for a family home evening walk

 The world's cutest little bear! I really appreciate having this in Minnesota. Now that there's snow on the ground, we need to get a tiny snow suit!

- Tragically, I think Sophia is moving from 2 naps to 1. This is a hard transition, and I'm not even sure if it's really happening since she's also been really thrown off by having at least 2 molars coming in. Lately, she takes a late morning nap and I think, 'Maybe this will be a long nap for the whole day', but it's not much longer than usual. Then shes happy and plays in her crib but won't sleep in the afternoon, but gets tired and cranky just before dinner. So we put her down for a late, short nap, but then she won't go to bed until way late, causing her to sleep in late's a vicious cycle. Oh well. At least I don't have to work so I can cater to her schedule while we get it figured out.

- I was really confused one morning when I looked at the monitor and saw black spots in Sophia's crib. Turned out, they were books! Almost every day since then, Sophia pulls the box of books over to her crib, pulls them in through the bars, and flips through the pages - humming to herself -while she's falling asleep.

- There still isn't much going on in the speech department. Sophia will inconsistently say "ball", "mom", "dada", "hi", and a few other words. She understands a LOT of words. The words she can sign consistently are: "more", "eat", "drink", "hat", "all done", "milk", "baby", "please".

- Sophia is definitely developing more of a personality. She is a lot more playful and smiley, but she can also get very mad when she doesn't get what she wants. Shopping trips are good examples of this. For a while, she'll sit in the cart and hand the shopping list back and forth to me, but if I ever let her feet touch the ground, she's gone. If I try to put her back in the cart, she twists her legs to get free and cries. Yesterday, I let her roam around a kid's store, and she was in heaven. She was walking up and down the aisles, walking up to other kids and offering them her bottle, saying "hi" to people (which for her is nodding while making a little "heh" sound), carrying around toys...but when it was time she go, she was not very happy with me.

- It also seems like she's fascinated by putting things in things and taking them out again: like her books, her clothes, and the silverware in our dishwasher. While we were setting up the Christmas tree, Sophia literally didn't even notice while she spent 45 MINUTES carrying spoons back and forth between two tables and singing. I think she's destined to be an organizer, like her mama.

 Testing out the "big girl" car seat. Or as we call it: the throne.

 Little goose doesn't know how to sit in her highchair. She got that from her mommy!

 Watching the Christmas Devotional. Everyone had their own chair - a big couch for daddy, a recliner for mommy, and a baby bouncer for Sophia. :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Too Tech Savvy?

Sophia is obsessed with the Baby Signing Time DVD's. She signs "baby" and looks at the TV several times a day. I try to just let her watch one per day because I don't want her watching too much TV, but this week she has taken it up a notch.

One day she signed "baby" and then brought me the remote.

One day she signed "baby" and brought me the DVD case.

Yesterday, she discovered the buttons on the side of the TV and accidentally switched the input from DVD to TV while she was watching Baby Signing Time. Russ decided to sit down to watch the news story on TV at the time, but Sophia walked right back over to the TV and played with the buttons again until she got back to her movie.

This morning when I was watching those morning news shows (pretty much the only time I have the TV on during the day) Sophia signed "baby", brought me the DVD case, and when I still said no, she walked right over to the TV and changed the input. Every time I changed it back, she changed it again. She even walked over to the DVD player and pressed a button like I do to press "play". Crazy!

Soooo, soon after, she was chillin' in her bouncer with her sippy (and her hat because it's her bff) watching Baby Signing Time.
Sophia is signing "drink"
I am in need of advice. Maybe I should be a better mom and distract her and play with her when she asks to watch her show since I don't want her watching a lot of TV. On the other hand, I think it's amazing that she has made all the connections with the remote and the DVD cases so I want her to know I understand what she's asking for. Plus, she really is learning a lot from those movies. What do you think?

Here is a video of this morning:
 (In Sophia's defense, she had a rough night last night and went down for an early nap soon after this video was taken)
I like the end where she still freaks out, but then suddenly relaxes when she realizes she really is watching the show again

Friday, November 30, 2012 Videos

I've been impatiently waiting for Sophia to turn 14 months so I could post all the cute things she is doing and learning, but since I discovered (after 3 years) I can take videos on my laptop, I took some that I love so much and are so cute that I want to share them now.

In this video, Sophia does some "tricks". My favorite part (besides her adorable baby bangs) is when she gets mesmerized by her belly button.

 Tyler and Rachel might be getting sick of the pictures we keep sending them about how much Sophia loves the hat they got for her birthday, but she seriously LOVES it and wears it several hours a day. Every time she asks for it and we give it to her, she smiles and laughs like she is being reunited with a long lost friend.

In this video, Sophia goes and gets stuff. It's incredible how much she has learned and how much she understands. 

The video for this picture wouldn't load, but today during lunch Sophia kept signing "baby" over and over so I finally brought her baby to her. (She loves it almost as much as her hat) I was surprised when she started trying to feed her baby lunch! It was so cute - and then after a while, the baby became lunch while Sophia tried to eat her nose...
Now this is what I call a toothy grin!
This is a tickle game Russ plays with Sophia. I am so glad that he plays it with her now instead of me. I get a lot of anxiety about when he's actually going to strike!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sophia's One Year Video

For Sophia's birthday, I wanted to organize all the videos from her year and put them on a DVD. I've been spending about 15 minutes of her naps for the past couple weeks watching the videos, naming them, and deciding which ones are actually worth preserving. That turned out to be really overwhelming, so when I saw my friend Ashley's video for her daughter, I decided a tribute video with short clips would be MUCH more manageable. Now I have a beautiful finished product to keep me satisfied until I finish the entire DVD.

Russ and I watched it last night and just kept looking at each other, not believing how much she has changed and grown. The only sad thing is I somehow deleted almost every video from the first month of Sophia's life. If I hadn't I would have begun the movie with the video that accompanied this picture:

Sophia just watched the video with me, and when it was over, she did the sign language and said, "Mo" for "more". I guess she liked it. :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

13 Months and Walking!

I didn't plan on still writing a blog post every month now that Sophia is 1, but she is still changing and learning so much that I want to be sure and record everything! No more monthly photo shoots with the lion, though.
12 month stats - as of about 3 weeks ago
Weight: 20lb 10oz (58th percentile)
Height: 29.5" (55th percentile)

- The biggest change is that Sophia is WALKING! Since about her birthday she'd take 2 or 3 steps between the couch and the chair, but now she can walk from room to room. So far she still crawls most of the time, but she gets up on her own and walks a little more every day. She's adorably wobbly most the time and falls down a lot, but it doesn't bother her at all.
Wobbly Walking 
(the last 10 seconds are the best)

Walking Girl

- Still on basically the same schedule with 2 naps a day and sleeping around 12 hours at night. Her eating schedule has changed since turning one. She has 3 meals a day and 3 bottles a day. It took me a couple weeks to transition from formula to milk. I think it upset her stomach, and I know it changed her bowel movements. Our bank account and I are very happy that Sophia is a whole milk drinker now and seems to like it even better than formula. She also drinks water from her sippy cup and learned how to drink from a straw a couple weeks ago. She doesn't seem very interested in juice or in drinking milk from anything but a bottle.

- Signs: "all done" (this is her favorite one. She especially does it when we're shopping and she wants to get out of the cart), "milk", "please", "baby" and sometimes "more". I've been trying to teach her "thank you", "bear", "ball", and "eat" but not having much luck yet. I was tickling her on the airplane and she signed "all done". I tickled her again, and she signed "please all done". That was a proud mama moment for me.
Eating lunch and signing "milk" - her word for all food. You can kind of see her cute pig tails :)

- She understands when I ask her to sing and when I tell her it's time to "go bed" she shakes her head. She knows what it means when we fill the bathtub and gets so excited she kicks and squeals the whole way to the tub. If I ask her where a couple things are (like ball, binky, baby, bottle, book) she understands and gets them. Russ taught her to find our nose and our ears, and if you ask her where her belly button is, she tries to lift up her shirt and show you. She's also great at giving kisses.
 Sophia really likes her baby doll from Aunt Lissa.

- She basically isn't verbalizing anything except "mama" and finally occasionally says "dada" (except mama is milk most of the time and only sometimes me). Just last week she started saying "uh oh", but most of the time it's just "UH".

- When she wants something, she reaches for it and grunts. If she wants to share something, she holds it out and grunts. If I hand her something and grunt, she nods and takes it from me.  It's how we communicate. :)
Stealing Uncle Tyler's cookie

- Last week, Sophia and I flew to visit my parents in Virginia. We were very blessed and lucky to have an empty seat next to me for Sophia BOTH ways. She needed it because she's all over the place! As some strangers commented to me, she's "active" and "busy". So true. On both flights, she made friends with the people next to and behind us. She offered her snacks to them, showed them her toys, smiled at them endlessly, and played peek a boo with them. I decided she's not shy at all - as long as I was around. Overall she was just fine with all the new people, places, and things, but sometimes she cried unless I was holding her.
 Playing with Aunt Rachel

Wow. I realized I have taken lots of videos this month, but not that many pictures. I'll have to correct that for next month!