March 30, 2010

Quick Post

Just a little post to say I've uploaded a bunch of new videos, which can be found here. Enjoy!!

March 27, 2010

The Easter Bunny

Last weekend, the Mall of America had their annual Spring Festival, which included events such as a petting zoo, face painting, learning the bunny hop from the Easter Bunny himself, and of course, photos with the Easter Bunny.

Audia had seen the Easter Bunny at Southdale earlier in the week; he didn't have any kids with him and played peek-a-boo with Audia from across the rotunda. She LOVED it. The rest of the day, she said "bunny! bunny!" over and over again.
Chris, Audia, and I met our friends N and D, and Audia's BFF, A, there bright and early (they were giving free bunny ears to the first 300 kids!). Boy, did we have a blast!!
Audia and A both LOVED the Easter Bunny (which is quite a difference from this December, when they met Santa Claus). Audia kept looking up at him to see what he was doing, and mimicking his actions. It was also so cute to see them interacting with the baby animals, and watching the butterflies in the butterfly garden. Audia LOVED getting her face painted. She sat patiently while the lady painted her face like a bunny.If only the paint dried a little bit faster; she of course wanted to touch it right away when she looked in the mirror, so we ended up with some smudged whiskers. She still looks darn cute though, don't you think?

March 25, 2010

Miss Talksalot

So, I know I've mentioned in the past couple of posts how quickly Audia's vocabulary seems to be expanding. I figured it was time I actually delve into some of the specifics of her language development, just as a point of reference for her and I for later. Mainly because it feels like her vocabulary is growing exponentially, and I am sure in a months time I will simply be used to these new things she's discovering now, and on to being amazed about something else.

So, last week she said Octopus. She knows a ton of animal names at this point, though she still calls dogs "Arf"s and Cows "Moo"s.
She's finally seemed to master the concept of color (for a while, when you asked her what color anything was, she would always answer with "Bll" (for "blue"). She still defaults to Blue if she doesn't know what color something is, but she now knows Blue, Green, Red, White, Purple, and Pink. When asked which color she likes best, she answers "blue" every time. :-)
She also is mastering numbers! She won't count on her own (well, she will, but she says "one, one, one, one") but if you start counting, she knows which number to say after the number you've said up to four! And she recognizes visually numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6!
She's been saying "please" ("peehs") for a while, but just a few days ago started saying it on her own, without someone saying "what's the magic word?". She also said "Thank You" ("Tuck-ah") on her own twice yesterday!
But the biggest improvement/surprise recently is her understanding of opposites. She has a mini board book, which is only 5 pages, that depicts Grover from Sesame Street and shows different opposites, which we've been reading to her on and off for a few weeks. Well, just yesterday she pointed at the ground, shook her head, and said "down!" and then immediately put her arms up and said "Up!" with a big smile on her face. Then, today we were in the laundry room and her jacket was hanging on the line (I washed it yesterday). She wanted it and said "Jacka!" Chris said "no, honey, it's not dry." And she said "wet!" SHE IS A GENIUS!!! Lol. It just blows my mind! Now, I can't find any "official" studies on when kids start understanding opposites, but based on vocabulary milestone lists I've found on various websites, they all state that kids should start understanding opposites at around 5 years!!!
There is no doubt in my mind that all of this crazy development is why she's been having some troubles sleeping through the night. It's certainly improved from my last entry about the 18 month regression, but we still have a way to go. At least she's not waking up every half hour to hour all night long anymore, though!

March 16, 2010

18 Months Update and Fun Times With the BFF

Audia had her 18 month appointment last Wednesday. She currently weighs 23 lbs and 3 oz and is 34.5" long. This puts her at the 99th percentile for height and the 25th percentile for weight. Her pediatrician said that because she is gaining weight steadily, and because Chris and I are both so tall, we don't need to worry about the difference between her height and weight percentiles. She's bound to be a long, lean kiddo. (As if we needed her to tell us that....LOL) Right now she is as tall as the average 2 year old! Audia's doc was also very impressed with her vocabulary, which is a nice affirmation that I am justified in feeling a bit dumbfounded when she randomly says words we have not made any sort of effort to teach her. Like when she randomly pointed to a purse at the mall and said "puhs" or when she pointed at an Octopus in a book and said "Ah-puss". Not to mention the fact that she can name all of the main characters in Yo Gabba Gabba and Sesame Street. At this point, she is suprising me on a daily basis with new words. After a few days of it, you'd think I'd get used to it, but I think a part of me figures that she's going to slow down after a little while and instead she seems to be speeding up!

We had a play date with my BFF, N and Audia's BFF, A, on Friday and boy is it fun watching them play together these days! Even the last time we saw them, which was only a couple of weeks ago, Audia and A played next to eachother but not really with eachother, but on Friday, they spent a good 15 minutes chasing eachother around the dining room table, shreiking and giggling.

It was so much fun to watch; by the time they were done, N and I were just as exhausted as the girls were because we had been laughing so hard! I wish I had video of it, but photos will have to do until next time. It is so great to have such a good friend with a daughter the same age as Audia. It will be so much fun to watch them grow up together!
In other news, the weather this weekend was GORGEOUS!! It was sunny and it reached 64 on Sunday, which is unheard of for MN in March. We took advantage by going for a walk at a park nearby and watching the ducks, which Audia loved. Today it is rainy again, and a bit cooler, but it looks like we are done with freezing temperatures until next winter, unless some freak cold front moves through. The grass is starting to turn green, our tulips are peaking through the soil, and I'm sure in no time there'll be buds on the trees. I am so happy to live in a place with seasons again; I didn't realize how much I was missing out on until I moved back!

March 5, 2010

18 Month Sleep Regression

So, I've been following Ask Moxie's blog basically since Audia was born. She's just a "regular" mom, who has two kids and blogs about parenting. But a lot of her perspectives on things like sleep training and breast feeding and co-sleeping fall right in line with mine, so I find her to be a good source of information, and also of indirect support of the parenting styles we've chosen for Audia.

Ages and Ages ago (like, right after Audia was born), I remember reading on her blog about sleep regression and, more specifically, about how the 18 month sleep regression seemed to be the worst for most parents because it seems to come out of nowhere. Boy, was she ever right.
Audia has been sleeping in her crib since September, and 98% of the time, she goes down without a fuss and sleeps through the night with no problems, until about 5:30 or 6:00, at which time we take her into bed with us and she'll sleep until 7 or 8. She's been a fantastic sleeper. Starting Monday, however, that little nighttime angel has been replaced by a screaming, tantrum-throwing, inconsolable, waking-every-30-to-60-minute monster. I honestly feel like I am parenting a newborn all over again. Except that she's a lot bigger, and a lot more vocal than she was as a newborn. And she forcefully screams "no" every time I say "it's bedtime" or "lie down, please".

I am pretty certain, as Ask Moxie has said, that this regression has to do with a developmental leap. Her vocabulary has absolutely exploded the past couple of weeks. She's beginning to string words together, and she's starting to figure out the concepts of counting and colors. I just wish there were some magical solution to this nighttime waking that didn't include co-sleeping again. Unfortunately, it is looking like it may boil down to that. Lord knows if I go too many more nights with as little sleep as I've been getting, I will become a monster myself.

It is such a testament to the fact that just as soon as you get comfortable with your child's routine and behavior, they inevitably will switch it up on you. Kids are ever-moving, ever-growing, ever-changing, and if you aren't flexible and adaptable, you are bound to be swallowed whole as a parent.