Twelve

One year. Twelve Months. Fifty-Two Weeks. Three Hundred and Sixty-Five Days.

You have given your dada and I more joy than we could have ever imagined. This has been a wonderful, terrifying, laughable, heartbreaking, humbling, and loving year, and we just can’t wait to see what else is in store for your amazing life.

 

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You can stand on your own! and you do, often. Lately you have taken to doing squats, without even holding onto nearby furniture. You’re certainly more skilled at it than I am!
You are comfortable furniture cruising, but are not quite sure about taking steps on your own. You can see the wheels turning in your head when you decide that it might be more efficient to just plop down on your hands and knees and crawl.

But good luck containing you! I can blink and you’ve moved to the other side of the room. Thank goodness that you still love your jumperoo– it’s the only way Dad and I can get ready for work in the morning!

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You will try any food. You recently discovered rice cakes and, of course, love them. I’m happy to have found a good on-the-go snack to keep in your bag. You’ve started drinking cow’s milk and LOVE it. You guzzled down that first taste like you’ve never eaten before! it was all dribbling down your face because you refused to take a breath and stop. I will admit that I’m happy to be done pumping at work. You still breastfeed in the morning and at night, and we’re just going to play it by ear to figure out when to stop.

At night, after you’ve nursed, you’ve taken to putting your head on my shoulder and twirling my hair. I sing you a little song (strangely, America the Beautiful has become my go to), and it really seems to get you in the bedtime mood. I think that will be helpful when we transition from nursing.

You’re so happy that it’s summer, becuase that means SWIMMING! We have taken you swimming any chance we can, in Nancy’s pool, at the hotel in Rochester a few weeks ago, etc. MeMe and PopPop bought a little plastic pool for their deck and you’ve gone “swimming” in there every time you’ve visited. You are so confident in the water – It reaffirms my dedication to finding a new house with a pool in the backyard.

The few times Dad or I have taken you for a walk/jog, you love yelling “go go go” when we pick up speed! You will be a great running trainer!

You’re saying all sorts of words: no, more, go, dog, down, Grandma, Pop Pop and a number of different soudns we have yet to figure out. We suspect you are calling Dad by his first name, so we’ll have to curb that at some point! We think you’re trying to say “hot dog” whenever the Hot Dog dance comes on on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

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Favorite things: cow’s milk, Grandma, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, dancing, being outside, swimming, your dogs.
Least Favorite things: getting your diaper changed, getting dressed/changed, Dad or I putting blocks in their place (you just dump them right out again and give us a look).

Height – super tall. You can kick the seat when you’re in your carseat.
Weight – hefty, but losing some of that baby fat
Head – covered with beautiful hair
– Our well baby visit was postponed to July 12th because the doc is on vacation. Can’t wait to see her stats!

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Eleven

 

Viv’s 10th month was truly amazing.

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She crawls like a champ, pulls herself up, walks around using furniture and our hands.  She is in love with Luke and Lacey and pets them any chance she can.  And now, her “pets” are actually strokes of love rather than the loving hitting she used to do.

She started using words this month (her first word was DOG), and has begun experimenting with new foods.  This month, she had chicken, salmon, turkey, white potatoes, yogurt, cheese, and I’m sure a lot more things I can’t think of.  She has not met a food she doesn’t like.  We started letting her have small snacks, like dried yogurt and baby cheerios.

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We also gave in and switched on Disney Junior.  We try to limit it to the morning when she is in her bouncer and we’re getting ready.  She loves her some Mickey Mouse Club and Choo-Choo Soul (with GENEVIEVE!)  My heart actually stops working when I hear The Man whisper “Meeska, Mooska, MICKEEEEEY MOUSE!”  I always thought it sounded silly when parents talked about children shows, but oooh man do I get it!  Now if The Man has the news on in the morning, Viv makes it know that his choice of programming is UNACCEPTABLE!

Viv has gotten more into reading bedtime stories, and currently favors “The Fuzzy Yellow Duckling.”  No clue who wrote it or whether it’s well known, but she’s drawn to the soft, but realistic, illustrations.   I’ve been trying to be super animated while reading, since that keeps her attention a little longer.  She does not stand for longer stories, despite how much I want to read her “Are you my Mother?”.

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Spending the day alone with her is quite tiring now.  She is all over the place! You can’t leave her alone for a second or she’ll playing in the dogs water bowl or eating Maple tree “helicopters.”  On the weekends when the Man is at school, we will run errands or walk around the store, just to get out of the house. 

Current Favorite Things: DOG (Luke and Lacey, in particular), FOODS, bouncing, giving hugs, waving bye-bye, dancing, the Disney Channel.

Least Favorite Things: Being physically restricted, not getting what she wants rightthissecond, being put to bed before she is ready

Height and Weight measurements coming next month at her ONE YEAR CHECKUP!

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Ten

Double Digits!

Oh my doodlebug. Your 9th month has been the best so far. You have flourished and grown up so quickly, it’s impossible to imagine what new things you’ll be doing tomorrow.

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You LOVE food. All kinds of food!  You’ve moved from having mainly purees to chomping on all kinds of fruits and veggies.  You will bite huge chunks of bananas, squish blueberries, shovel broccoli and carrots, and even ate a few pieces of brussell sprouts!  You’re dying to get your hands on tortilla chips, but will have to wait a little while for that.  For now, we have cheese and yogurt on the agenda.  You did have your first taste of meat this month, although by accident. But you’ll get your hands on some chicken soon enough!  You’ll still devour those baby food pouches when given the chance.

Nursing has become a little bit of a challenge for both of us.  I have slowed down on pumping at work, and consequently, my supply has dropped a bit.  Thankfully, I had stockpiled tons of frozen milk, so we should be able to get to your first birthday.  You’re all business with nursing first thing in the morning. Nursing has become more of a comfort at bedtime.  But on weekends when you’re nursing all day (instead of taking a bottle), you get a little frustrated and start to bite… HARD.  A happy mommy that does not make! We’re working through it, and I still enjoy our cuddle time.

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Your bites are getting more powerful- especially with that new tooth! You’re getting your upper left lateral incisor, so it looks like you’re a baby vampire! It seems like one of the upper center incisors is going to cut through soon too!

You have a new favorite toy, Dino.  He plays music for you at night (“You are my sunshine”), and you grip him close when you fall asleep.  You also like your dolly, especially because you can twirl her hair.

And speaking of hair…. you’re starting to get a lot of it! It curls a little behind your ears, and wisps around on your neck. We love your bed head in the morning; it’s especially adorable after morning naps with Dad in our bed.  You are also fascinated with hair, specifically pulling it as hard as you can. You’re a tough little baby, and is experimenting with grabbing and pinching.  It’s hard not to give you the reaction you seek (screams), and we’ve been working on telling you no, which you think is just hysterical.  We’re in for it with you!

One day this month, we were playing in your room, and you just picked up and started crawling- just like that! You had been making circular movements on your belly to get where you wanted to go, and that day, something just clicked. Now you tear around the house, following the puppies and Mom and Dad wherever they go.  You’re especially fond of following me to the bathroom door, and then banging and scratching on it.

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Everything is a problem for you to solve. You can see your mind working so hard to figure out how to get that, or do this. Just last week you learned to pull yourself up in your crib.  You had done it a handful of times before, but now there is no stopping you. Last Saturday, you perfected it, so we decided to lower your crib to the lowest setting.  The next morning I came into your room to find you standing with your head peaking up over the railing!  You have figured out how to grab the rails, put your feet up against the bars, and lift yourself up.

You are interacting with Luke and Lacey more each day. You smile and laugh when you see them first thing in the morning. Luke lets you crawl all over him, and just lowers his head and closes his eyes to prevent any serious injury.  Lacey wants to be as close to you as possible, and sometimes doesn’t understand why she can’t lie on top of you!

Every morning you have at least a half hour workout in your jumperoo. You go to town in that thing, getting some serious air! Dad is happy that you don’t need the jumperoo music on anymore – it is the definition of an earworm!

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Favorite Things: Eating, crawling, Jumping, talking, bath time, other babies, reading books

Least Favorite Things: naps, being overtired, dirty diapers

Stats: (no well baby visit until her 1 year checkup!)
Height – 29 inches?
Weight 22-23 lbs ?
Clothes – solid 12 months, though some of those clothes are getting tight. You’re close to growing out of size 3 diapers!

Nine

Vivian is Nine Months Old!

GOTCHA! Happy April Fool’s Day.

Oh wait. No. that’s not right. Vivian actually IS Nine months old. And as of yesterday (3/31/13), she has been “out” longer than she was “in”.

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This last month has been just amazing, watching Vivian grow into a big baby.  You can almost see the toddler wanting to come out, and it makes my heart ache and burst all at the same time.

And the things she can do. She can stand up, and wants to stand all. Of. The. Time. Whether that be holding onto her pack and play or crib, or holding your fingers, Miss Viv is bi-pedal. She shows very little interest in conventional style crawling, preferring to maneuver backwards and in circles until she gets to what and where she wants.  In the last week, I’ve caught her in a half crouched-half crawling position. It almost reminds me of what someone looks like when they’re about to do a tripod pose in yoga class haha.

A lot of people have mentioned that they think she’ll be more instead in walking instead of crawling.  God help us if that happens soon!  We’ve tried to baby-proof as much as we can, but still have a lot of work to-do.  Honestly, I doubt we’ll really have a fire lit until she really is moving around like crazy!

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Viv is a master eater.  She chows down on basically anything we give her, including a green beans, peas, and pears combo! We stock up on Happy Baby/Happy Tot pouches from Happy Family and form the Up and Up brand at Target. We occasionally get jars too.  She hasn’t had any meat or dairy yet, and I’m really grossed out about giving her meat, even though The Man and I eat it regularly. She is still nursing twice a day (morning and night), and gets expressed milk during the day while I’m at work.

Over the last month, Viv has been prone to SCREAMING fits. And when I say screaming, I mean, “who is stabbing that baby” kind of scream.  It started when I would put her down in her crib to go to bed, which made us wonder if she had an ear infection.  Then it continued during the day when The Man or I would leave her sight, which lead us to believe it was a separation anxiety.  Other times, she will chew her fingers (or our fingers) and whimper.  So maybe it is teeth?  The jury is still out, but we go to the doctor tomorrow for her 9 month visit, so hopefully all is well and developmentally typical.

Otherwise, she’s as happy as a clam. She still loves her bath time (which is a big change from 3 months ago!). She would sit in there for an hour if we let her, just splashing and singing and chewing her bath toys. Viv will watch everything so intently; you can just see her brain just absorbing tons of new sounds, smells, and sights with every moment.

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Current Favorite Things:  her musical puppy, car naps, Disco, sitting in high chairs, peek-a-boo with a blanket, her jumperoo

Least Favorite Things: not having Mom or Dad within arms reach, being woken up from car naps.

Weight: 21 lbs, 4 oz
Length: 28 1/2 in
Head Circumference: 17 in
Clothing Size: 9-12 month clothes

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Eight

Annnnd she’s off!!

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Vivian is on the verge of mobility.  She rolls over constantly, and almost every morning, we find her sound asleep on her stomach. She’s like her mom!

She rolls over and over to get to what she wants, and can rotate in a full circle on her stomach.  Over the last few days, she has begun to crawl slightly backwards, but still can’t quite grasp crawling forwards.  Basically she will do a cobra style move, then flop her chest down, and throw her arms back like she’s swimming.  Sorry honey, it won’t work on dry land!

And speaking of swimming, she loves it! She is less phased about going underwater, and has been practicing “jumping” in the water. I will sit her on the ledge and let her balance until she eventually leans a little too far over and falls into my arms.  Let me tell you, there are big celebrations involved.

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The Man and I have overdeveloped Right biceps from carrying Vivian in her infant car seat.  Her size, plus the weight of the carseat made it next to impossible to lug her around.  So guess who moved into a big-girl carseat?!  She seems to be comfortable in it, and it’s a lot easier for us to carry her to and from the car (versus the seat).  The major downside is that if she falls asleep in the car, we can’t easily transport her to her room for a nap.

Viv had her first real cold this month.  She had congestion when she was 3 weeks old, but the big guns were out this time. Snot everywhere, coughing, sneezing, diarrhea, and a grumpy baby. Time, humidifier, and the snot-sucker helped.  (go ahead, click that link. I dare you.)

Of course, her sickness didn’t prevent her from TALKING. ok, probably not really, but we can pretend.  We’ve determined that she says DADADADADA when she’s happy or playful and MAMAMAMAMA when she’s upset or wants comforting. Verdict is still out on whether she knows what she’s saying.  (The Man would disagree. he is convinced that she is the smartest baby alive).

IMG_5366_webCurrent Favorite Things: FOODS (specifically baby food pouches), sippy cup, her ABC Giraffe, peek-a-boo.
Least Favorite Things: being overtired, interesting things just out of reach, finishing her food when she wants MORE FOODS.

No Well baby Visit this month.  We check in in early April!

Weight: 20+
Length: Long
Head Circumference: Lots of brains!
Clothing Size: Officially 9-12 month clothes!

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Seven

I have a completely different baby than I did a month ago.  It is almost like the first 6 months didn’t happen.

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Vivian started the second half of her first year eating bananas.  We slowly introduced a variety of foods, and attempted a modified version of baby-led weaning.  In the meantime, we’ve focused more on pureed (store-bought) baby food, and she loves it! She opens her mouth wide for basically anything, and then smacks her lips and hums at how delicious her food is.  So far she has had: banana, apples, peaches, pears, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, carrots, and avacado.  The only one she wasn’t thrilled about were the green beans (which she refused after 5 or so bites) and the peas (which she choked down, but unhappily).  Since she hasn’t had a reaction to anything (other than gas from the peas!), we’ll soon be moving onto mixed foods (like apple-banana-strawberry!)

And soon enough, we’ll be moving onto beef jerky and bagels! because TEETH!! Her first tooth cut on January 16th, at 6 1/2 months.  A few days later, her second tooth cut.  It took a while for them to become visible, but now there are two white crowns about to pop out!

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She is a pro at sitting up by herself. Viv can sit unassisted for a length of time (10? 20 minutes?) when we’re up playing in her room.  She will reach for something in front of her, grab it (or not), and lean back. Sometimes she leans back just a little too far, starts to lose her balance, and straightens back up again.

She is less averse to rolling over, and up until yesterday evening, I hadn’t witnessed her roll from back to front (The Man had). I have, however, come upon her on her stomach when mere moments before, she was on her back.  She prefers to be on her back, and will often roll from front to back to get in a more comfortable position.   She has realized that rolling is a way to get! at! all! the! things! Something too far away? just roll on over and grab it! movement for the win.

Standing is her next goal.  While she has always liked to stand up (with her knees locked, just like her mom!) with our help, she is now able to hold onto objects and stand on her own.  This lasts less than 10 seconds, and she isn’t able to pull herself up yet, but progress is progress.

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Vivian has become an expert swimmer! She began swim lessons this month, and now gets excited when we get her changed into her swimsuit in the YMCA family changing room.  She kicks up a storm in the water, and takes it all very seriously.  I have to drag smiles out of her while we’re swimming, which is in stark contrast to her normally super happy demeanor.  We’ve practiced going under water, too (which neither one of us liked very much). She hasn’t learned that she should put her hands forward when swimming on her stomach, and instead keeps her arms to her side like a figure head on old ships

This has translated well to bathtime.  She now sits in the tub (without a seat), and plays with toys.  She loves to splash around and wants to stay in, even after she starts to shiver.  Thankfully her stage of screaming during baths has stopped (for now?)

Luke is now her best friend, and the feeling is mutual. She grabs his face, ears, and pets his paws at any chance she gets.  He is constantly sniffing her face and looking for her.  Vivian so desperately wants Lacey to be her best friend, but Lacey isn’t quite so sure. I think Lacey is more startled by the abrupt movements Vivian makes, because when we’re all sitting and calm, she is happy to let Vivian pet her. Both of them are still super protective of her, and always try to go into her room at night to check on her before they go to sleep.

Current Favorite Things: SWEET TATERS!, grabbing for water glasses, musical toys, her elephant, screaming when mom and dad leave her room at night, Luke and Lacey.

Least Favorite Things: not knowing where Mom and Dad are,

No Well baby Visit this month.  At her 6m checkup 2 weeks ago she was:
Weight: 18lbs, 5oz
Length: 26 1/4 inches
Head Circumference: 16 inches
Clothing Size: 6-9 months, but barely fitting

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If the Sixth month is any indication on how fast she is growing up, we’re in for some leaps and bounds in her seventh!

Six

I have no words. I distinctly remember being 6 months pregnant.  I remember that my friend’s baby was 6 months old the day I found out I was pregnant.  But that Vivian is six months old is inconceivable!  In some respects, I feel like we were just struggling through that first night in the hospital, worrying about her little sneezes, whether she was eating enough, and learning how to swaddle.  On the other hand, I have pre-parenthood amnesia. What was our life even like without her? It seems like she was always meant to be here with us, and that our lives didn’t even start until she arrived.  I actually remember thinking the same thing when the pups turned 1.  I know it’s not quite the same, but even now, I look at them and know that they put so much light into our lives.

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Vivian had a great December.  She met Santa, had a whole month of Daddy day-care (on Monday and Wednesdays), learned to sit up in her stroller, and played in her highchair while The Man and I ate dinner.  She also has had some great experiences eating in restaurants, and is comfortable sitting in restaurant high chairs!

She is beginning to show signs of stranger anxiety.  While she’s comfortable with people she knows, she does show some signs of distress if The Man or I walk out of the room.  I have noticed that even if I walk out of her sight (like when I’m getting her pajamas out of her closet, and she’s lying in her crib), she will start whimpering (if I’m lucky) or full on crying (if I’m unlucky).  Usually it only takes a word and a smile to calm her down, but it makes my heart ache.

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Viv is absolutely interested in our food. She watches every morsel of food that goes into our mouths, and sometimes opens her mouth too. Grandma has told us that she avoids eating around her because she feels guilty!  She has also become interested in drinking glasses. My parents sent me a video at work one day of Vivian licking my mom’s pepsi glass! we’ve given her some empty cups, and she actually holds it like her bottle, and puts her mouth on the edge.  At brunch a few days ago, she grabbed a plastic cup, put it to her mouth, tipped it back, and was surprised when she got a trickle of leftover water! Can’t wait until she can start using a sippy cup!

She celebrated her first Christmas and New Years Eve this month.  With Christmas, she was a champ: staying up late, going all over the place for days on end, and generally staying happy.  On New Year’s Eve, she hardly napped and was asleep by 6pm! I suppose she wanted to rest up for 2013 and her foray into solid foods!

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I had a twinge of sadness on her six month birthday.  Until that point, I provided every morsel of her nourishment for fifteen months. She was exclusively fed breast milk (from me, or from a bottle of expressed milk) for her whole life. And while I know she has to grow  up, a selfish part of me had such pride that all of her chunk was there because I helped her grow it. But now I get to see her develop her own tastes and preferences for food. Hopefully she inherits her Dad’s propensity for cooking!

Current Favorite Things: Boob/bottle, petting Luke and Lacey, singing and babbling, “reading” books, musical toys

Least Favorite Things: Watching mom or dad leave, rolling over, being bored

No Stats yet this month! Viv has her well-baby visit (with shots) on the 11th.  I can’t even begin to imagine how long and heavy she is- but suffice to say that she’s close to outgrowing her 6-9 month clothes!

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