Thursday, December 5, 2013

16 Month Recap

Yet another month flies by and Nicolette is 17 months old today. I can't believe that she'll be a year and a half next month! She is such a fun and sweet little girl, she loves giving hugs and kisses and I probably drive her crazy asking for them a hundred times a day. There is nothing sweeter than getting a smooch from your baby. She loves to hug and kiss her friends and to feed them and make sure they're drinking water too…she's so nurturing. She is great at playing by herself (which I keep reminding myself is a good thing), Nicolette loves reading, playing with her baby, playing with pots and pans, "helping" with laundry, trying on shoes, digging in drawers, climbing in her car, pushing Leo the Lion all over the house and visiting daddy in his office here at home. She does not particularly enjoy eating, which is frustrating and she recently became afraid of having water poured on her head so we have to wash her hair (what little there is of it) with a washcloth now. All four of her molars are on their way in. The bottom right is almost completely in. We had several rough nights this past month as a result of said teething, the lack of an appetite was probably due to the teething as well. I've been trying to keep a list of her latest words, sounds, etc but I feel like she's learning more and more every day so here is what I was able to keep track of…

Night night (nigh-nigh)
Banana (nana)
Milk (Mihl)
Open (but she says "Aht" and does a big cymbal clap with her hands. But she uses it anytime she wants anything open so it counts :-))
Socks (sometimes "doc")
Sasha (our cat's name)
Thank you
Please (pease, pease)
Avocado (Ahcado)
Words she already knew: Mama, Dada, Uh-oh, Hi, Bye, Up, Off, Down, Nose, No, That, Outside, Hat, Baby, Ball, All Gone, Done-done, Bowl, Toes, Shoes, Water (Wah-wah), Duck, Trash, Yes (esss), Eyes, Cheeks, Home, Shhhhhh

Animal Sounds:
Monkey: Ah-ah-ah-ah
Lion: Roar
Bird: Tweet
Horse: Neigh
Chick: Cheep
Turkey: Gobble, Gobble
Animal Sounds she already knew: Cow: Moo, Sheep: Bah, Owl: Hoo-hoo, Pig: Oink (Ok), Cat: Meow, Dog: Ruff, Ruff, Duck: Quack (Quok)

Body Parts She Can Indentify (on herself, her dolly or mommy or daddy):
Body Parts she already knew: Head, Hair, Eyes, Mouth, Ears, Arms, Hands. Belly Button, Tummy, Toes, Feet, Legs
*working on forehead, shoulders, elbows, eyebrows, lips, neck and back

Helping with the laundry
Talking on the phone 
Playing with pots and pans…ALL the pots and pans
Snuggling with daddy while recovering from the stomach flu
More sick snuggles
And more snuggles
Snoozing in the car - she pulled her hat over her eyes
because the sun was too bright
Texting with her friends

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

15 Month Recap - Nicolette is now 16 Months Old

 Hard to believe that 15 months have come and gone and that Nicolette is 16 months old today! Just wanted to recap month 15 because it feels like a LOT happened this month! We definitely had a vocabulary explosion this month. Last month she was really only saying Mama, Dada, Uh-oh, Nose and Toes so she added quite a few words to her repertoire in October. It is so cute and we love hearing her sweet little voice! :-)

Up (she sticks both of her hands out palms up - so cute!)
That (thaTTT, emphasis on the T at the end)
Outside (Outsiiiiiide - our favorite word)
All Gone
Water (Wah-wah)
Yes (esss)

Animal Sounds:
Cow: Moo
Sheep: Bah
Owl: Hoo-hoo
Pig: Oink (Ok)
Cat: Meow
Dog: Ruff, Ruff
Duck: Quack (Quok)

Body Parts She Can Indentify (on herself, her dolly or mommy or daddy):
Belly Button
*working on knees, shoulders, elbows, chin, neck and back

Going outside with daddy (she'll grab her hat, put it on and walk up to him and say "Outside, outside, outside")

Being Read To (favorite books are: "Moo, Bah, La la la", "It's Time To Sleep My Love", "Barnyard Dance", Disney Princess Storybooks, "Bible Stories for Girls", "Jesus Loves Me Musical Book", "Bugs in a Box", "Chick", "Good Morning, Good Night")
Watching the Panthers Play Football
Climbing on the Ottoman :-?

Trick or Treating
Bath Time
Coloring - but you have to watch her closely…she likes eating the crayons as much as she enjoys coloring with them!
Going for Walks
Pestering Sasha our cat-child
Stomping her feet
*working on jumping…poor thing bends her knees and straightens them really fast and laughs and laughs thinking that she just "jumped"

Favorite Toys:
Baby Doll & Stroller - She's always looking for her "baby" and carries her around the house all day
Ring Stacker
Animal Flash Cards
Tea Set
Pots & Pans (both her toy ones and mommy's real pots and pans)
Picnic Basket Set

Not So Sure About:
Vacuum cleaners
Hair dryers

Favorite Foods:
Pasta with Marinara & Kale
Wild Alaskan Salmon with Farro & Kale or Broccoli
Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Onions
Hummus & Pita
Nature's Path Whole Grain O's
Deli Turkey (from Earthfare - carageenan free)
Clementines (had to try SEVERAL times, but after about the 10th try over a month and a half she seems to have acquired the taste)
Steelcut Oats with Flaxseed Meal, Chia Seeds & Hemp Seeds

Surprisingly Not Wild About:
Pancakes - liked them ok, didn't love them
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches

All day, every day the Italian and I say over and over how much we love little Nicolette. (I guess that's what parents do) But she really is sweeter than I ever imagined our baby could be. She's so incredibly intuitive and really seems to understand what we're talking about. We're having the best time watching her learn and explore and we are constantly amazed when she learns something new. It is such a blessing to be her mommy and I couldn't imagine life without her! We love you Nicolette!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Daylight Savings - SUCCESS

So Daylight Savings time was this weekend. I'm not big on trying to manipulate Nicolette's schedule (and haven't had much, if any success at doing so in the past), but I did want to do whatever I could to prepare us both for the time change. I reached out to a group of my mama friends and one of them referred me to the isis website. I listened to a webinar about preparing for Daylight Savings and it was extremely helpful. Here are a few of the tips that helped me out:

1. Extend bedtime. Gradually keep your baby awake an hour past her normal bedtime. They suggest starting 10 days prior to the time change and work in 10-15 minute increments. We started about a week prior (before viewing the webinar). Nicolette was normally falling asleep between 7:30-7:45 but due to some late/long naps she started falling asleep at 8:15/8:30. Then I listened to the webinar and was like, "ok, we'll go with this and use it to our advantage". I started intentionally pushing our bedtime routine back until 8:30/9:00 leading up until DST.

2. Extend morning darkness/quiet time. Now I had only thought to worry about trying to keep Nicolette up later at night in order to prepare her for falling back. The webinar also encouraged extending morning darkness and/or quiet time which TOTALLY makes sense when you think about it. The last thing you want is your baby who usually wakes up at 7:30am to wake up demanding attention at 6 or 6:30. And I can personally attest to the fact that just because your baby goes to bed an hour (or more late) does not mean that she will sleep in an hour or more late…unfortunately it's usually the opposite. If Nicolette goes to bed past her bedtime, she's usually up super early in the morning…makes no sense to me but whatever.  Anyway, so last week we started keeping the nursery dark and quiet after she woke up until 8:30 and then moved forward with nursing, breakfast, etc. (I say "we" but who am I kidding? Managing Nicolette's sleep is definitely part of my full time job as stay at home mommy. The Italian refuses to acknowledge schedules of any sort, so this was my call)

3. Sleep pressure. The webinar also talked about babies needing to have enough "sleep pressure" built up in order to settle down and go to sleep. I can say 100% for a fact that Nicolette HAS to have enough sleep pressure built up in order to sleep. I can put her to bed at the exact same time every night, but if she has napped 3 hours in the afternoon instead of 2 then she will be awake in her crib for an extra hour. I've noticed that Nicolette needs to be awake 5 1/2 - 6 hours after her afternoon nap in order to fall asleep at night.

So by Saturday night, Nicolette fell asleep at 9pm. We were all set for the time change and it went well, except for the fact that she woke up at 11:45, 1:00 and 3:30 (#sadface). I was sure that she was going to be up between 5 and 6 because she usually does wake up super early if she wakes up throughout the night (which makes no sense to me). I was dead wrong…she slept in until almost 8am, was happy as a clam all day, went down at noon for a 2 hour nap and was asleep around 7:45 tonight with no fussing so I'm counting this as a daylight savings transition success! Yay Nicolette!

Friday, November 1, 2013

This Little Piggie Went Trick-or-Treating (and LOVED it!)

I took Nicolette Trick-or-Treating last night. We didn't do family costumes this year because the Italian had to have knee surgery yesterday (no worries, he's totally fine), so Nicolette was dressed as a little piggie. And she was the CUTEST piggie I think I've ever seen! t wasn't sure if she would have any interest in trick-or-treating…but she absolutely loved it! She loved walking from house to house (she insisted on walking instead of being carried). She also loved digging into each bowl of candy and picking out her very own special piece and putting it in her pumpkin.  She would then turn back to the bowl and pick another piece and put it in her pumpkin, then another, then another. I kept saying "only one piece Nicolette." But the all of the neighbors kept saying, "Oh, she can have more if she wants it". Needless to say mommy isn't letting her actually eat any of her candy (Daddy did a good job of polishing it off…with a little help from mommy). Luckily she hasn't had any sweets other than her birthday cake on her first birthday and she was much more interested in the sound that the candy wrappers made than what was inside of them. She was such a trooper and seemed to have a blast…she didn't want to come home and even when I took her little piggie headpiece off, she kept grabbing it, putting it back on her head saying, "Hat, Hat". She was absolutely cracking up right after I put her costume on her (as you can see in the photos below). I didn't think it was possible but I'm falling more in love with her every day. She is so precious to us!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Nicolette's 14th Month

Nicolette's little personality is showing more and more these days! She is such a thoughtful and determined little girl.

One of my favorite things that Nicolette does now is "ballerina turns". I started showing her a simple bourree turn and she immediately started copying me. She doesn't raise her arms up yet but she's got the turning down pat. One night she was reading her ballerina princess book and she suddenly got excited and stood up and started ballerina turning just like the princesses in her book.  It made me giggle!

Nicolette LOVES books.  She has definitely taken to "reading". I was worried because during her first year I would try to read to her but she would wiggle and squirm and try to get away or just shut the books entirely. I of course jumped to the conclusion that she would be one of the children who hated reading, would barely be able to finish school and end up living in our basement for the rest of her life. Well, crisis averted...for the moment it seems that we have a reader on our hands. Books are her favorite toy these days. She even likes to build a nest using the Boppy pillow and go through the books in her bedroom one, by one, by one.

She has the Sandra Boynton book Barnyard Dance and the first lines are "Stomp your feet! Clap your hands! Everybody's ready for a barnyard dance." She now stomps her feet and it is so cute.

When we're reading books I'll use my finger to point to different pictures and we'll talk about what they are. A few weeks ago she started grabbing my index finger and she'll hold it and make me point to different things in the book. 

Her vocabulary is growing. She says "Mama", "Dada", "Up", "Done", "Wah-wah" (water), and when we ask What does a cow say she'll say, "Mmmmmmmmoo" or What does a sheep say? And she'll say "BAH!"

She's in a Mommy & Me ballet class and she's the youngest one by far. It's so neat to watch her intently observing the 2-2/12 year olds in her class. They can run and jump and she's desperately trying to figure out how to do it to. We got home from dance a couple of weeks ago and when I would say "jump" she would bend her knees and straighten them really fast and then giggle and giggle thinking that she was really jumping.

We've transitioned 1 Nap. She was probably ready earlier but I was afraid that if we switched she wouldn't get enough sleep. It took a couple of weeks to make the transition but now she's waking between 6:30/7, going down to nap around 12:30 or 1 and sleeping for about 2 hours. Bedtime is still 7-7:30. If she naps longer it takes her longer to fall asleep at night but we're trying to keep bedtime consistent. The transition has put a damper on Nicolette's social life but now that more of her friends are switching too we hope to be back at playdates soon!

But my favorite thing is our nighttime routine and Nicolette's new practice of Stealing kisses - if you missed it you can read more about that here.

She's a special little child and I'm having the best time watching her grow up. It's definitely going faster than I would like so I'm trying to take time to savor every moment.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Stealing Kisses

Nicolette has been doing the sweetest thing for the past week or so. I still nurse her right before bed and we do that with lights off because it's good "wind down" time for her. Well, she'll start nursing and after a minute (or less), she'll sit up and lean her little face into me and give me a kiss then she snuggles back in to continue nursing.  Sometimes she'll even sign "thank you" after I give her the kiss before she lays back down. MELTS MY HEART! She'll do this several times before she actually nurses. Oh my good is sooooooo sweet. She is the most precious little thing and these are memories that I do not ever want to forget.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tiny Dancer

Yesterday was the milestone of all milestones! Nicolette's first dance class!!!! It's just a mommy & me class at our YMCA and we didn't even do any ballet positions or anything but I had so much fun. Nicolette was the youngest by far so she's definitely got some catching up to do. She was so interested in watching the other little girls (a couple 18 month olds but the rest were between 2 and 3) jump and skip and dance. It will be fun to watch her learn and hopefully develop a love for dance!

Tiny Dancer!
Waiting to be invited into the studio! 

They don't make leotards small enough
(that I could find), so mommy had to improvise.
We're in the studio!!!!
Of course Nicolette is drawn to the amp
Dancing! Maybe she should be a dj instead? 
"hmmmm....lets just turn up the volume a little bit!"

So excited to be sharing first dance lessons with her buddy Leela!

I promise she had fun...geez this girl can whip out a stone face
like no one I've ever met!
I debated whether or not to enroll her in this class because she is so young but took her to the studio one night for the Open House for the dance program and she just danced and danced and danced. So I figured what have we got to lose, we'll be in this together! So looking forward to the next 6 weeks (and hopefully next 20+ years) as a "Dance Mom".