Phrases

Filed under: baby's progress — by Lauren on June 8th, 2010 @ 9:50 pm

This morning, Sierra discovered that she could combine words or phrases with other words all on her own! She’s been saying “Hi, ____” and “Bye-bye, ______” for a while now, but there were a whole bunch of new ones today, including:

  • Anya wash your hands (“wash your hands” is a phrase she often uses)
  • Read it strawberry (“read it” is another often used phrase and “strawberry” referred to a book, which she promptly handed to me, with a picture of a strawberry on the spine)

Now I’m kicking myself for waiting until 10:45 pm to write this post because there were a bunch of others and I can’t remember what any of them were.

Things my children have said today

Filed under: baby's progress,the day-to-day stuff — by Lauren on May 5th, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

Anya told me on the way to school that she would leave her sunglasses in the car when we got there so they wouldn’t get lost. Agreeing with her, I said, “No, you can’t take sunglasses into school with you.” She then got a little upset and said, “Why do sometimes people tell me ‘no’ when I am right?” After I explained what I meant, she was quickly mollified, and she LOVED when I told her she was very observant – “Just like the man said to Fancy Nancy!”

At Sierra’s baby class, we went outside to play instead of going to the gym. Sierra was climbing on one of the play structures and was about to walk onto the little suspension-style bridge that connected the stairs to the slide. I asked her if she wanted help since it was a little slippery, and she retorted, “No! I’ll do it!” Talk about Miss Independent…

My sweet, smart little (big) girl

Filed under: baby's progress — by Lauren on April 26th, 2010 @ 9:34 pm

Sierra is doing so many new things these days; I’m afraid if I wait until her 18 month birthday update, I’ll forget about them, so here they are, in no particular order:

~Sierra is really talking up a storm and a half, saying tons of short phrases, including:

  • Here it is
  • I like it
  • I don’t know
  • Here you go
  • Come with me
  • I love you
  • Read it
  • Hear it
  • That’s okay
  • Fall down
  • I did it
  • Carry/hold me (sometimes she says “Carry you”)
  • Excuse me (after a fart or burp)
  • Achoo, bless you (after a sneeze)
  • Other side (when nursing)
  • Put it away

Also, she’s started combining “Hi” with various names all on her own!  I love when I walk into a room and she greets me with, “Hi, Mommy!”  She made me laugh last Wednesday morning, despite the painfully early hour, because she was looking at a lift-the-flap book in our bed and said to a picture of a dog, “Hi, doggy!”

~Sierra loves to sing and knows the key words to many of her favorite songs.  My current favorite is “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” – she gets the tune perfectly but only sings “Baa baa baa baa” for all of the words.  She refuses to sing it if I try to catch her on video (I’ll ask her and she’ll squeal, “NO!”), but I’m still working on it.

~Following in her sister’s footsteps, Sierra loves books, loves to be read to, and loves to “read” herself.  She has many books that she asks for by name (or by shoving them in my face and shouting “Read it!” while backing herself into my lap).  It’s cute when she sits by herself and calls out the key words.

She does understand that letters and words are related to reading.  When she picks up something with words on it, she’ll point to the words and say, “Eee eeee eeee eeee” as if she’s reading.  More recently she’s decided that everything says “hi” or “baby” – but doesn’t it look impressive in this video?

~Sierra likes to count, too.  She gets the difference between having one and two of something, and now if I say to her, “One, two…” she’ll supply the “three.”

~We’re continuing with very laid back potty training, just following her lead.  Sierra very frequently forces me to get out of bed in the morning because she insists that she has to go to the bathroom, and indeed she does.  She’ll ask sometimes throughout the day, too.  Last week there was one day she went from 9 am until nap time without using her diaper!  She is not particularly interested in pooping on the toilet yet, but no rush.

~Miss Independent goes up and down the stairs completely by herself, albeit slowly at times.  She gets distracted by things like the flowers on the carpet runner or what Anya is doing.

~Sierra can be such a girly girl.  She just LOVES babies and princesses.  The babies can be real, dolls, in books, it doesn’t matter.  They all make her happy.  As for princesses, she has a sweatshirt with Ariel, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty on it that she adores, and she thinks it’s so much fun to wear Anya’s princess dress up clothes.  She’ll shriek, “Pincess, pincess!” while handing me one of the shirts or skirts and she’ll insist, “Wear it!” until I put it on her.  Then she looks in the mirror and tells me, “Pretty.”

~When she’s not being a princess or a mommy-in-training, Sierra wants nothing more than to go outside.  She walks over to the door and begs, “Outside!  Outside! OUTSIDE!” or will get her shoes and try to put them on.  We go on walks/birdie hunts (“Hi birdie!!!”) or play on the swing set.  She loves to “sfing” and this weekend learned how to climb up the ladder to the big slide.  I’m in trouble now!

Sierra is 15, er, almost 16 months old!

Filed under: Anya,baby's progress,photos,Sierra,video — by Lauren on March 31st, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

Sierra turned 15 months old on March 6th (That’s 1 and 1/4 years!) and since we are just a few days away from her 16 month birthday, I figured it was time to stop procrastinating and actually write this post. She had her well check on the 9th – 20 lbs, 4 oz and 30 1/2 inches – kind of a peanut! She’s healthy in all respects. The doctor once again commented on both her advanced verbal skills and her rather strong will. The rest of her stats? Size 4 diapers, size 3 shoes, in between 9-12 months and 12-18 months clothes, and 14 teeth.

This child has a lot to say and is rarely quiet at home. When we’re out and about or in a big group, though, she takes a long time to warm up. Her articulation has gotten much better, but you still need to know her to understand her well. She has a huge vocabulary, including many names and a lot of short phrases. Some of my favorites: I don’t know; Hi, birdies; wash your hands; come with me; hahaha, funny; and I love you. She loves music and tries to sing several songs, including “ABC” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider” – and she actually gets a few words and an approximation of the tune. “Two” is a frequent request of hers. She must have two of everything, at least according to her.

Sierra walks very well and climbs on whatever she can. She drags a stool over to Anya’s bed so she can get up there, scootches off, and then climbs up again. I am constantly pulling her off of stools and grabbing her off the stairs. She loves the little rocking chair in Anya’s room!

On the whole, Sierra’s sleep is pretty good, at least compared to how it had been just a few months ago. She can be put down awake, even for most naps, and will go to sleep on her own. The past few days she’s been getting up in the middle of the night, but before that she had been sleeping until between 5 and 5:30 am, coming into our room to nurse, and then going back to sleep with us until Anya wakes up and clomps into our room. Oh, and she’s found a “lovey” at last. Sierra has to sleep with her Spot doll. We have gotten a back up, just in case.

Weirdly enough, aside from just now forming an attachment to a doll, she has taken a recent interest in pacifiers and baby food. The former she wanted to hold in her mouth for several days, but she wasn’t sucking or chewing on them, just clenching them between her teeth. I think they helped ease some of her teething discomfort. She likes the idea of them, still, but is usually done after a few moments. The latter she will now happily eat, but only if given a spoon of her own so she can feed herself while I help. She’s pretty good at it, actually.

Sierra eats quite well much of the time now. She still loves proteins more than anything, but has become quite fond of bananas, broccoli, and of course, peas. At the time of her 15 months appointment, she wasn’t drinking much milk regularly, but she’s improving. She still nurses twice a day.

Wipes are still among Sierra’s favorite play things, but baby dolls are her current obsession. She carries them everywhere, walks them around in strollers, tells me “poop” and wants to change their diapers, feeds them, etc. She has one doll which is actually a My Little Pony unicorn that Anya got for her birthday, and frequently she insists that we take it with us if we’re leaving the house. If I mention getting her shoes, she’ll start to walk towards the garage, and then run back to the playroom with an almost frantic, “Baby! Baby!” Also high up on Sierra’s list of favorites are stickers and books. She’s constantly bringing a book over to me, declaring, “Read it! Sit!” while forcefully climbing into my lap. There are several she prefers and asks for by name.

Babies, wipes, and books are great, but Anya is Sierra’s favorite person in the world. In the morning, Sierra usually asks for Anya first thing, and you can frequently hear her calling, “Anya, Anya!” throughout the day. She often cries when I drop Anya off at school. Sierra loves to copy everything Anya does, and unprompted walks over to her big sister to give her kisses (Sierra is actually really big on giving kisses and saying, “I love you,” and I love it). They giggle, hold hands, and can be so sweet together, at least when they aren’t arguing over a toy, but they generally get along very well and I hope it lasts.

So, here’s a video that is already pretty dated since it’s been a month or more since I filmed these clips, but she’s still cute, so enjoy:

Sleeping

Filed under: baby's progress,Sierra — by Lauren on February 18th, 2010 @ 10:40 pm

Fourteen-and-a-half months later, Sierra is finally sleeping through the night!

So, how did we accomplish this? Sierra has had terrible sleep habits since she was around 10 weeks old, mainly due to mistakes made by me (consistently nursing her to sleep being the biggest one). She needed a lot of help falling asleep and woke up several times throughout the night, always needing to be nursed to get back to sleep.

The first thing we did was work to break her of the nurse-to-sleep association at bedtime. Lex shouldered most of the work on this one, in part because Sierra absolutely freaked out if she saw me and I didn’t feed her, but also because I’m a total sucker and I was too likely to give in to her. I began nursing her just before bedtime instead of at bedtime, and then Lex took over. He patiently took a lot of protest and even some abuse while rocking her, holding her, walking with her – whatever it took until she gave in and went to sleep. Over the course of several weeks, she stopped fighting him so hard, she began falling asleep in the crib while he’d pat her on the back instead of holding her, and then (!!!) she even started asking to be put in the crib on her own. Bedtime went from taking 30 minutes or more to under 5 (after her books and songs). Soon I was able to put her to sleep as well.

So, bedtime became a lot easier, but staying asleep was a whole other issue. Sierra would wake up between 2 and 5 times a night, and though Lex might be able to get her back to sleep the first time, she usually ended up in our bed to nurse and then would nurse on and off the rest of the night. Part of what contributed to her frequent night wakings (aside from habit) is that Sierra is a very light sleeper and even quiet noises would wake her up – and with no self-soothing ability, she would immediately cry for us. We might be able to get her back to sleep and in the crib, but between the creaky floorboards or the sound of the doorknob turning, we would often wake her up again as we tried to leave the room.

Over the past several months I’ve taken quite a few sleep books out from the library. I’ve been looking for any alternative to cry-it-out methods, though it’s hard to find books that don’t spout some variation. I know we let Anya cry, and I never felt good about it. I could see how Sierra’s sleep issues were very much due to things I did or didn’t do when she was younger, and I didn’t feel that she should then be “punished” because of the mistakes I made. I dutifully read The No-Cry Sleep Solution but didn’t feel that Pantley’s methods would work for Sierra. I also perused Dr. Ferber’s book and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, but they are both tradition CIO books, and so I wasn’t interested.

The most recent time I was at the library, I decided I would give No-Cry another go, but while I was getting it off the shelf I noticed another book, The SleepEasy Solution. It looked interesting and boasted a “least-cry” approach, so I figured it was worth reading. Well, when it comes down to it, the book really is another CIO book, but before the authors get to that part, they devote a lot of time to discussing changes to make to the baby’s bedtime routine and sleep environment. One of their big suggestions was to play continuous white noise in the room – something we used to do when she was an infant. There are lots of fancy machines out there, but white noise doesn’t need to be expensive. I looked in the iTunes store and narrowed down the choices to a few options, but then we ended up buying a white noise application for the iPhone/iPod Touch since the clock in her room as an iPod dock.

BEST 99 CENTS WE EVER SPENT!

The white noise had an immediate effect on bedtime – we were able to get out of the room without waking her up! Then we saw that Lex was able to get her back to sleep in the middle of the night more easily. She started waking up less often until she was only waking up once, and then one night she slept from bedtime until 5 am completely on her own. That was the point when we (er, Lex) insisted that Sierra was ready to learn to go to sleep on her own.

The first night, she cried for 14 minutes before lying down to go to sleep, but it wasn’t the hysterical, gasping for air cry she had done in the past. It was more of a “HEY, WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU AREN’T GOING TO STAY WITH ME?” cry. It still broke my heart, but I could see the difference, and that was the first time she EVER voluntarily went from standing to lying down in the crib. The next night it took 6 minutes of intermittent cries, the third under a minute, the fourth about 6 seconds, and tonight – NOTHING. The first few nights she woke up once or twice in the middle of the night but went back to sleep without help, and then came into our bed between 5 and 5:30 am to nurse and cuddle. Last night she slept from 7:30 pm until 6:20 am. SO AWESOME. I got seven straight hours of sleep. It’s been WAY too long since I got that much sleep. Naps have been improving, too. I had decided that I did not want to follow the book’s advice about letting her cry to nap and would continue helping her sleep, but then starting yesterday she’s been able to fall asleep on her own during the day, too! We’ve still got some work to do to help her extend her naps, but things are so much better than they were even just last week.

Sierra, I am sorry it took us so long to teach you how to sleep! I hope you are enjoying the extra rest as much as we are.

Decoding Sierra

Filed under: baby's progress,Sierra — by Lauren on February 15th, 2010 @ 11:02 pm

Sierra has a decent-sized vocabulary for a 14-month-old.  There are many words she says quite clearly (baby, apple, eat, sock, cookie, ball, head, hat, no, more, up, hi, hello, bye-bye, peas, cheese, bow, mama, dada, and phone, to name a few).  However, plenty of what she says probably is not easily understandable to people who don’t know her well.  She doesn’t pronounce ending consonants on a lot of her words, at least not consistently.  Luckily, I am fluent in Sierra-ese and am happy to provide translation services as necessary.  Her use of signs helps a lot as well.

Some things she says at this age that I want to remember in the future:

  • iPah – iPod or iPhone
  • wahpf/wahp – wipe.  We hear this ALL day.  Sierra loves to play with wipes, to have her hands cleaned a million times during any meal, to blow her nose or anyone else’s nose, to wipe on the potty…
  • efahfant – elephant, except I think the only one she can identify consistently is from the Hatch iPhone application
  • Leh…pah – leopard, referring to a specific book we often read before bedtime
  • pib – crib
  • Ahnah – Anya!  Probably her favorite word
  • fro – throw
  • ticka ticka ticka – tickle
  • Baaapap – Backpack (from “Dora the Explorer”)
  • Dodah/Dodo – Dora
  • seeee – sit (usually said while trying to crawl into my lap or onto a stool)
  • hallah – challah
  • sarrrr /staaaa- star (she signs that one and can accurately identify the shape, so that always helps)
  • tuh – touch
  • wah – watch (as in wristwatch)
  • hi fi – high five
  • I luh loo – I love you
  • hep – help, usually to indicate that she’d like a fork while eating
  • wayehh – where (complete with hands held up in question)
  • owsigh – outside
  • cheeee – cheers (while holding up her sippy cup if she notices someone else taking a drink)
  • culluh – color

There are some things she says that I couldn’t possibly figure out how to write out her pronunciation phonetically – cracker, round-and-round and swish-swish-swish (from “Wheels on the Bus”), Swiper No Swiping (from “Dora the Explorer), vitamins, broccoli… BUT she says the same thing every time, and again, gestures help a lot.

Other talking tidbits:

She’s able to identify what a dog, frog, horse, sheep, duck, cow, and cat say, and she’ll tell you that we say “brrrr” when it’s cold outside.  If she pushes a car around she’ll say, “Vroom, vroom” or “Wheee!”

She can’t figure out how to pronounce her name, so when I ask her what her name is, she points to herself and says, “Name.”  The closest she’s gotten is calling herself “Seee” or “Erra.”

“Two” is one of Sierra’s favorite words.  She asks for two pretty much any time she’s eating anything, but also when she’s coloring or if she wants two of a toy.  She likes having something in each hand!  She’s beginning to overuse it, though – sometimes she’ll ask for “two” just to mean “want.”

I know I’ve left stuff out, but I’m going to publish this post anyway, since I’ve been working on it for days.  I would love to have gotten some of this stuff on video, but my Flip camera is dying a sad, slow, painful death.  :(

Stand Up and Go

Filed under: baby's progress,Sierra,video — by Lauren on January 14th, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

Last week Sierra suddenly figured out how to stand up by herself, and since then she’s been walking more and crawling less each day.  I’d say by now she’s walking about 75% of the time, if not more, and getting steadier by the hour.  She’ll even start to crawl somewhere, then change her mind and stand up so she can walk the rest of the way, and she is so delighted with herself!  It’s quite sweet.

Sierra is One!

Filed under: baby's progress,doctor,photos,Sierra,video — by Lauren on December 17th, 2009 @ 11:47 pm

(Brace yourself, this one’s going to be a doozy)

Sierra turned one (ONE!!!) on December 6th.  That’s right, one!  I haven’t quite come to terms with it yet.

She had her 1-year well check on December 8th – 19 lbs, 6 oz, 28 1/2 inches long, and a head circumference of 18 1/2 inches.  The nurse didn’t give me the percentiles, but I asked Dr. Internet, who said she’s in the 19th percentile for weight, 25th for height, and 81st for head circumference.  That’s small for a baby of mine!  (Well, small, except for her big head.  Must be all that hair!)  I was very surprised about that.  She’s got tiny feet – barely a size 2 1/2 – just like me.  She’s fitting nicely in her size 4 diapers and 9-12 months wardrobe.  I hope she grows a bit soon; I have all these cute 12-18 months winter clothes from Anya, and I don’t want the cold weather to pass without her getting the chance to wear them!  She had 7 teeth on her first birthday.  Her 8th finally broke through the gums a few days later, and tonight I discovered that she’s cutting at least one, possibly two, molars.

The doctor said Sierra is in excellent health.  He commented that her verbal skills seem advanced for her age, and then he asked if we felt she and Anya had different temperaments.  I thought that was an odd question at first, until I said that Sierra is certainly, um, strong-willed.  He said that he didn’t want to be the one to say it, but…  Yeah.  That’s definitely our Sierra.  She’s had strong opinions about the world since birth (Pacifier?  Bottle?  I THINK NOT!) and she will make sure you know it.

Sierra is still not a big fan of eating much of the time.  There are a few things she really likes (grapes, cheese, most proteins, pizza), but even then she often doesn’t eat much, and just because she ate something happily yesterday does not mean she isn’t going to throw it on the floor today (I am SO not a fan of that particular behavior, and UGH!  She can be so obnoxious about it.  Now she does it while yelling, “NO!”).

We introduced whole milk two weeks before her birthday, and she is learning to like it, though she’d rather drink water.  I also began the weaning process by eliminating her morning nursing session.  My hope is to have her down to twice a day (before bed and first thing in the morning) by the time she’s 14 months, but that would require her to sleep through the night on a regular basis.  A girl can dream!  Some nights we get a good stretch, maybe 11-5, and a few times she even slept through the night, but some nights remain difficult.

Since last month, Sierra completely mastered pulling up, getting back down again, pushing her toys around, and rescuing herself instead of getting stuck in a corner, plus she’s gotten much braver about standing independently.  She’ll push herself up to standing on pretty much anything (toys, my leg, a laptop) except the floor, and she can hold it for at least 10-15 seconds.  She even took her first steps on her birthday!  I don’t expect she’ll be walking for at least another month or two, but she’s getting a little closer each day.

Sierra’s still our little chatterbox.  She’s talking a lot now, and she also tries to repeat just about everything.   Not all of it would be understandable to someone who doesn’t know her and some things are word attempts instead of real words – like yesterday, I realized she was trying to say balloon, only she pronounced it “boppy” – but she’s getting better and adding a word or two daily. Some of the things she says really clearly are ”Mommy, Daddy, up, doggie, more, baby, cheese, tickle, tushy, keys, hi, eat, happy, bye-bye, NO…” Less clear but still consistent are “bath, milk, Anya, sister, duck, woof woof, quack, one, want, all done, bubbles, pop, Dora, backpack, touch, peepee, hooray, boom boom, I love you, puzzle, catch…” She uses about 10-15 signs regularly as well, including “please” and “I love you” – two of my favorites – and picks new ones up quickly.  ”More” is her catchall sign.

Other stuff – she’s a total snuggle bunny.  Sierra crawls over to me and puts her head down on my lap or shoulder, and she gives big kisses, complete with a MWAAAAH sound effect. I LOVE that.  Also, she can identify a bunch of body parts, including her toes, eyes, hair, nose, mouth, teeth, belly, and tush.  When I read her one of her pre-bedtime books – Baby Faces – she will respond to certain pages with the same things that I do (so when I say the baby is hungry, she signs/says “eat”; when I say that baby is dirty, she says, “ewwww”; for that baby is crying, she goes “wah wah” and does a crying hand motion; etc.).  She knows all the motions for “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and “Shake Your Sillies Out,” and she tries to do “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”  She’s also developed a recent love for the “Happy Birthday” song.

Sierra loves putting objects into and taking them out of anything she can, dogs, coloring, toy cars, baby dolls, phones (especially Lex’s iPhone), playing with clothes (she puts them on her head, it’s so funny), and all things musical.  She also loves anything she shouldn’t have or shouldn’t be doing.   I’ve called her an imp in several posts already, but it’s so true:

That’s what I get for leaving the tissue box within reach:

Mini-Motzart:

The girl loves trouble. Luckily, we love her. How could we not?

Video time, hooray! Here’s a few, with clips from the last 5-6 weeks.

Sierra playing with her toy cookie jar. She’s about 11 1/2 months here:

Playing in the playroom. This was after her first birthday:

This one’s just a mix of clips from the last several weeks. She’s talking more (and more clearly) now, but of course never when I have the camera ready:

More on Anya

Filed under: Anya,baby's progress — by Lauren on November 29th, 2009 @ 10:30 pm

As of about two weeks ago, we stopped insisting that Anya take a nap.  Even though she would sleep most days for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, she was having a very hard time falling asleep at night and was also waking up too early in the morning.  In the past, if she didn’t nap, she would get cranky or kind of punchy around dinnertime and would be nearly falling asleep by bath time.  However, the nap skipping experiment has gone quite well.  Most days she breezes through the day without issue and then goes to sleep relatively soon after we put her to bed – and stays asleep for about 11 straight hours.  A couple of times, skipping the naps has caught up with her and we ended up having her “rest” in her bed, knowing she would probably conk out.  I hear that tends to happen when kids give up their naps.

Also, Anya can now officially spell three words – her name, boots, and mom.  :)

Sierra is 11 Months Old!

Filed under: baby's progress,doctor,photos,Sierra,video — by Lauren on November 12th, 2009 @ 11:17 pm

Sierra turned 11 months old on November 6th.  I had to take her to the doctor this past Monday (double ear infection, poor baby), so we got a bonus weigh-in – 19 lbs, 4 oz fully clothed.  Dr. Internet says that’s actually only in the mid-20′s for percentile, which I found odd.  She doesn’t seem tiny to me!  She’s still in 9-12 months clothes, size 4 diapers, and size 2 shoes.

This month Sierra mastered pulling up and cruising, and loves to grab onto anything and everything she can to stand.  The only problem is that she hasn’t quite figured out how to sit down again, so if she feels like she can’t do it, she’ll yell until someone comes to rescue her.  The same goes for her push toy – she loves to walk laps across the playroom, but only knows how to go forward, so I’ll hear her shrieking and discover her stuck in a corner.  She doesn’t stand on her own yet.  It seems like she’s fully capable of doing so, but as soon as she realizes that I’ve let go of her, she lunges for me or drops to her tush.  The only place she’s brave enough to try is in the bathroom outside of the tub.  I don’t know what it is about the tub, but it must inspire her, because that was the first place she pulled herself up successfully, and now when she’s standing looking into the tub, she’ll let go for a few seconds and then clap her hands to cheer herself on.  Ugh, she likes to climb, too, but thankfully (for my nerves) she’s not very good at it yet.  She’s constantly trying to get a leg up into the bathtub or onto her LeapFrog table, and last week she got three-quarters of the way up onto Anya’s table in her room.  I caught her trying to do it again the next day:

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She’s talking more now, though I doubt anyone other than me or Lex would understand her.  At last, she calls me “Mama” or “Mommy” most of the time.  Sierra’s working hard on saying Anya (sounds like “Ahdah,” but that’s an improvement over calling her “Dada”).  Other words we hear her trying to say include all done, milk, doggie (still one of her favorites!), Daddy, baby, diaper, cracker, ducky, quack quack, woof woof, more, hi, water, apple, up… She tries to repeat back a lot of what is said to her, and even when she doesn’t get close, she’s still matching the number of syllables.  She signs really well and clearly understands that she can use signing to communicate.  Yesterday at lunch, she noticed the sandwich I had ready for her and decided she’d had enough time tossing her veggies on the floor; she wanted that sandwich and she wanted it RIGHT AWAY.  She signed EAT EAT EAT, shrieked, and tried her hardest to grab the sandwich.  It was kind of cool to see.  I’ll have to try to get some video of her signing soon.

Sierra can correctly identify her head and nose, and sometimes her eyes, tongue, and belly.  She does some of the hand-motions for “Itsy-Bitsy Spider” and still enjoys “Open, Shut Them” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”  In general, she loves music and bops or claps along.  She points up when asked where up is, and if you ask her to go shluffy/night-night/to sleep, she does this:

Dogs are a major obsession for Sierra.  Friends of ours gave Anya a stuffed animal pug toy, and Sierra often requests (er, insists) that we take it with us whenever we leave the house.  She cuddles with it and kisses it.  I’d like to transition that love to a different toy because it’s not the most baby safe doll, and if she loves it that much, it would be nice to let her sleep with it.  I found a Spot doll in her room and so far, she’s a big fan of that one, too.  Any semi-realistic-looking dog gets her so excited, and if we happen to see a real one somewhere, it’s all I can do to keep her from jumping out of my arms.  She even picks out the dog piece of one of our puzzles every single time, exclaiming, “Dawdie!” or “Dawgie!”

Imitation has become a big part of Sierra’s play.  It makes it fun to play with her, because she studies what we do and then tries it out herself.  If you blow on her face, she cracks up and then tries to blow on your face.  The other day I was dropping some links into a slinky while sitting with her on the floor, and she then picked one up and did exactly the same thing.  Even better, the next day she crawled over to the same toys and repeated the activity, only this time without watching me do it first.  She likes to pretend to feed a doll or comb her own hair, but her favorite activity is to copy whatever Anya is doing.

I enjoy this age very much, not only because Sierra is learning a ton of new things each day, but also because her personality is really starting to emerge, and as she gains more skills and becomes more independent, I can see her as a person and not just a baby.  She makes decisions and sets goals for herself, then takes steps to achieve those goals.  Granted, her goals are things like “Get the Elmo doll that is on the other side of the room,” but you know what I mean.  She thinks about things, remembers things… I wish I could hear what goes on in her mind.

Sierra is such a love.  She gives hugs by laying her head on whatever part of you she can reach while saying, “Awwww” (and when she climbs up onto Anya to give her hugs, I all but melt into a puddle of mush).  She also tries to give kisses by popping her lips, but more often than not she ends up spitting on the object of her affection.  That said, she’s also got a major impish side.  She loves to shake her head “no” when asked to do something.  She tosses her food on the floor and then looks up with a grin to see what we’re going to do about it, or yanks out her hair bow and hands it to me with a giggle – and she kind of needs that bow:

One of her favorite games is to be chased, so she’ll make a beeline for an open door, and if no one comes after her, she stops in the doorway and calls to you until you go get her, at which point she cracks up and tries to crawl away as fast as she can.

I’d love to say she eats like a champ and sleeps through the night.  I’d also love to win the lottery.  A girl can dream.  Her eating is getting better, but she’s not so into the veggies.  She prefers cheese, grapes, and anything that’s a protein, but as for quantity, there are days when she eats two grapes and calls it a meal.  On a good night, Sierra will go to bed around 7:30 and then wake up around 1 am to be fed and again at 5 am, at which point she usually ends up in our bed.  There are many nights where she wakes up more often than this, though.

What would any update be without a video?  Here’s Sierra not eating, “feeding” her baby doll, learning to walk with her walker toy (she’s much better at it now), and telling us how old she will soon be:

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