Apple and Pumpkin Picking

Filed under: friends,photos,the day-to-day stuff,video — by Lauren on October 29th, 2009 @ 9:57 pm

We went apple and pumpkin picking in the beginning of the month, but I forgot to post pictures back then. With Halloween a day and a half away, I figured I should get on that.

Pre-Bath Escapade

Filed under: Sierra,the day-to-day stuff,video — by Lauren on October 25th, 2009 @ 9:32 pm

Sierra loves taking a bath – it’s one of her favorite parts of the evening.  Sometimes the anticipation is almost as fun as the event!

Anya’s three-year well check

Filed under: Anya,doctor,Sierra — by Lauren on October 21st, 2009 @ 10:40 pm

Anya had her well check with the pediatrician today.  She weighed 32 lbs and was measured to be 36.5 inches tall.  I’d kind of like a second opinion on the height, though.  I think she might be a little taller than that.  She did not quite understand how to stand up against the wall so the nurse could measure her.  At school, they measured her to be 38 inches.  I’d guess she’s somewhere in between those two heights.

(I should have mentioned in her update:  At age 3, Anya is wearing size 7 1/2 shoes, shirts ranging from 2T to 4T depending on the brand, and still 24 months pants, which continue to fall off her tush on a regular basis.)

The appointment went well.  I think this particular doctor is so good with little kids.  She was feeling a little skittish at first, but he got her to warm up fairly quickly and she got through the whole exam without any tears.  He said she’s in excellent health and commented on her being particularly articulate. :)  No shots for her, hooray!  Sierra did get her booster flu shot, in her arm rather than her leg at my request.  She cried for approximately a millisecond.  I also sat her on the scale, just to see, and she weighed 19 1/2 lbs fully clothed.

To Anya, on the Occasion Of Your Third Birthday

Filed under: Anya,the day-to-day stuff,thoughts — by Lex on @ 7:09 am

My Dearest Anya,

Mommy’s post right before this one is excellent, and encompasses much of what I’m feeling now that you’re three. You’re an amazing little big girl, and the emotion that’s at the forefront of my mind as you cross this age milestone is supremely easy to summarize:

I am so very, very proud to be your dad.

The things you say, the jokes you make, the insights you have, and the questions you pose — they’re all a delight to hear, and awe-inspiring to witness.

Before you were born, I wrote you a song to try to capture what I was feeling back then. I sang it for you at your baby naming, and I’ve sung it for you many times since — often, by your request!

I don’t want to write a sappy song
That’ll make you roll your eyes

You can definitely be my mushy girl, professing your love for me (and the rest of your family), offering plentiful hugs and kisses unprompted. But there are definitely times you’re not so interested in the gooey, over-sentimental stuff. Sometimes, you just want to have fun!

I just want to write a happy tune
That we’ll both know for all our lives.

Since you’re already able to sing the entire song to me, I don’t have to worry about that last part so far.

Don’t know that I have it in me
To write the perfect song,
But if it’s about you, Anya,
Then how can I go wrong?

Man, was I prescient. The song didn’t have to be (and isn’t) perfect. You are.

‘Cause you’re my baby,
And I’m your dad
You’re the very first daughter
I have ever had
I love you so much
More than I can sing
My whole life I’ll try to thank you
For all the joy you bring

Mommy covered the main points here already. You are forever our baby, even as you become a bigger and bigger big girl. I don’t have the words to express how much I love you. And I really do constantly try to show you how grateful I am for you. Listen, you’re a three-year-old kid: There are times where you can be trying for even the most devoted and patient of daddies. But even when you’re being, shall we say, a challenge, I’m constantly reminding myself how lucky and fortunate I feel to be your dad, and how I want to value each moment with you, even when you’re on your forty-fifth minute of eating the same apple.

Anya, as I try to write something that captures even a fraction of how happy I you are my daughter, you’re sitting here eating breakfast (slowly). You’ve negotiated for a bite of an unseen granola bar, assuming you eat the rest of your breakfast first. You’ve said “Oh, thank you!” in response to my giving you your Healthy Vitamin. You’ve declared: “Daddy, I love you!” — apropos of nothing. And just now, you announced: “I painted my pumpkin in Izzy’s sukkah!” Yes, that’s true. And I love that you have a mind of your own that thinks about things, jumping from thought to thought. Too cool. And now: “Is that your granola bar? Don’t eat the last bite, because the last bite’s for me!”

You started talking so young, and the sentences you construct now are incredible. Getting to know you through your thoughts and words has been remarkable. Seeing your 3-year-old joy at spotting your stack of gifts, with your jaw truly dropping as low as it could as you stood in awe, was awesome. But hearing you squeal: “Oh, look at all the presents for me!” was even better.

You’re a very special girl, and I love you very much. Happy birthday.

Anya is Three Years Old!

Filed under: Anya,photos — by Lauren on October 19th, 2009 @ 9:26 pm

Anya is three today.  That’s right, I said three, as in THREE WHOLE YEARS.  I am finding this very difficult to understand.  How can it be three years already?  She was just born, I swear.

Anya, my darling first born, you amaze me and challenge me every day.  I watch you and marvel over how independent you are becoming.  Putting on your own shoes, not just climbing into but also buckling the top of your car seat yourself, completing much of the potty process without help, walking upstairs to get something and coming back down again without someone going with you – these are not things you could do when you turned two.

Your love of learning anything and everything makes me glow with pride.  You ask so many questions (“What does that street sign mean?  What are those guys doing?”)  and USUALLY you listen to the answer (but heaven help us if you ask a question and you don’t like the answer you were given!).  The way you memorize your books, usually after one or two readings, astounds me, and I am thankful for the existence of the library, as there is no such thing as enough when it comes to your appetite for books.  I’m so proud of you for learning to recognize,  spell, and even type out your name!  More words are going to come soon enough.  For now, keep on having fun playing with rhymes and telling me and Daddy what letter words start with (“Hot dog starts with the letter H!  Baby starts with the letter B!).

Your love affair with Dora started to cool off a bit as you approached this past summer and considered all the other characters life has to offer (but yay for still choosing a Dora cake for your birthday party).  Monsters, Inc. was the first real movie you watched (“I want to watch Mike Wazowski today!”) and we had to watch a little bit of it every day for a while.  You also fell in love with Murray from Sesame Street.  Your current obsession is the Wiggles, and no matter how much we talk about trying something different before your nap, you refuse to watch anything else when you wake up, even though we only have ONE episode saved on TiVo and we don’t get the channel they are on anymore.  You like princesses and love dressing up and pretending.

I wish I could live in your imaginary world with you sometimes, because when I hear you talking to your “friends” and going on pretend adventures with them, it sounds like so much fun.  I enjoy those times when you can break away from books long enough to play with your real friends when we get together with them, too.  Sometimes it’s hard for you to share, but you are trying to remember how to take turns, and I love how much you think and care about your friends (“Mommy, I wonder if Sophie will come to school today.  We can play with the puzzles together.).  You are a WONDERFUL big sister, Anya.  I didn’t think I could love you any more than I already did until I saw how you interacted with Sierra, but oh, man.  You talk to her, you bring her toys (and yes, sometimes you take toys away from her, too, but hey, you’re three, it happens), you sing “Twinkle, Twinkle” in the sweetest soprano voice ever when she cries in the car… There’s a reason why no one else can make her laugh like you do.  I love that you still call her “my baby” when you talk about her.  Please remember how much you love her now when you’re both teenagers!

Some things don’t change, or at least, they haven’t changed yet.  You still are one of the slowest eaters I have ever met, unless cake or candy is involved, of course.  I don’t quite understand how you can make any meal last 90 minutes or more, or how you even have the patience to sit at the table that long.  You also continue to wake up from naps as a total crank pot much of the time, and need a good thirty minutes to an hour to snap out of it.  I hope we can figure out some way to improve your sleep situation soon – if you don’t nap, you get overtired and cranky by dinnertime, but if you do nap, you have a very hard time falling asleep at bedtime, and then you are tired the next day from having been up too late.

Keep the cuddles coming, please, please, please!  I will never get tired of the unprompted “I love you, Mommy” and spontaneous hugs and kisses.  I also love when you say “please” and “thank you” on your own, or when you ask me if I’m happy or sad.  As always, yes, Anya, I am happy because I have my two girls, even if I’m angry about something else, even if it’s something one of those two girls did.

I only have one page left of your baby book to complete, the one for your third birthday, and then Daddy and I can add our letters to you for when you are grown up.  How bittersweet.  I say this to you all the time, and sooner rather than later I know you’ll start rolling your eyes at me, but no matter what, no matter how old you are, you’ll always be my baby.  I love you, Anya.  Happy third birthday, precious girl.

Sierra is 10 months old!

Filed under: baby's progress,photos,Sierra,video — by Lauren on October 14th, 2009 @ 10:10 pm

Sierra Claire turned 10 months old on October 6th!  The scale reported she weighs approximately 19 lbs, so it’s probably a little more.  We transitioned her to 9-12 months clothes recently.  They’re a little big, but she needed winter clothes and it didn’t make sense to buy her new clothes in a 9 months size.  The tooth count is still four.  Number 5 and 6 have been visible under her gums for eons.  What are they waiting for?

This was a big month for Sierra!  She mastered crawling at around 9 1/2 months old and is now unstoppable.  Nothing gives her more pleasure than to escape the room, especially if she thinks someone is chasing her.  She’s such a little imp, and finds trouble wherever she can.  Even though she still doesn’t put too many toys in her mouth, somehow she manages to find and try to eat every speck of dirt that is invisible to everyone else.  She also likes to “walk” while someone holds her hands.  Like many other new skills, Sierra pulled up to standing one day and then didn’t do it again for weeks.  She finally pulled up again earlier this week.  For some reason, outside the tub is the only place she can do it for now.

Our happy little imp:

Happy Little Imp

Sierra’s communication skills have really started to explode.  She has three definite words – Dada, all done, and her newest, doggie (sounds like dawdie) – and a whole bunch of others that she may or may not be saying or at least repeating; it’s so hard to tell for sure at this stage.  Now she babbles “mamama” a whole lot more, and sometimes it seems like she says it specifically to call me.  She signs more, eat, all done, and milk really well, and tries to sign apple, daddy, mommy, play, water… I’m sure I’m forgetting some.  Sierra points to things that capture her attention, and can show you where the animal picture and frog decals are in her room.  She also identifies her head by patting it, and is working on locating her tongue, belly, and toes.  She now claps and raises her hands for hooray when we sing, “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and sometimes makes an “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”  Music makes her so happy.  She loves to dance!

One other cool thing from this month – Sierra has started to figure out what certain objects are for and how to imitate using them.  If you hand her her shoes, she tries to put them on her feet.  She will bring a comb or her bow up to her hair.  I showed her how to use a toy spoon and bowl to “feed” a baby doll, and now she does the same.  Hand her a phone, and she’ll “chat” away.

Here are some videos from the past month:

“Quacking” like a duck, making funny noises, and “So big!” again:

Early crawling, tearing up the play mat, eating, enjoying the escape:

Sesame Place

Filed under: baby's progress — by Lex on October 12th, 2009 @ 1:48 pm

We went back.

It was awesome. See all the photos here.

Anya Spells Her Name

Filed under: Anya,baby's progress,photos,video — by Lauren on October 6th, 2009 @ 10:32 pm

For a few weeks now Anya has been telling us “A-N-Y-A spells Anya.” This morning she was playing with the letter magnets on our fridge and she told me, “Look, I’m spelling my name.” Usually she tells me she’s spelling words and she’s just put random letters together, but today I looked and she had put down A-N-Y. She was looking for another A, but there’s only one of each letter in that set, so I found her another one from a different set and she finished it. It’s me and Lex, so of course we took pictures. ;)

This afternoon we were messing around with my computer and I was showing her how she could type letter and make them show up on the screen. I asked her if she wanted to type her name, and she did.

Holy crap. I have a kid who’s old enough to spell her own name. I have a kid who’s ALMOST THREE. When did that happen?  There’s no way I’m old enough for that.