Our Family Has Grown by Two Little Feet

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


O N E!
I remember when I was a kid and the time used to drag on by. Summers seemed endless. It wasn't until I grew up a little and had a better understanding of the calendar that I found out the truth about Summer vacation only being a measly two months long, when it always seemed to stretch at least a half of a year to me. Christmas each year seemed to take forever to arrive, too, and now I'm a Mom to a precious one year old and I cannot believe how fast this past year has gone! Seriously - don't blink. Even as I type this (extremely late post), another month has suddenly slipped away from me, and my pumpkin isn't even just a year... she's now 1 year, and 1 month old!
This next year is sure to pass more quickly than the first - and I can't even begin to imagine how that's possible. The thought came into my mind recently about how this past year, and the addition of Julia to our family, has truly been like a rebirth (of sort) for me/us. Not to say my life was meaningless before she existed, but her joining this world has given life so much more purpose and truly makes me feel "full." I love being a mom, her mom, and I love having the opportunity to care for her 24/7 as a stay at home Mommy - we are very fortunate, for sure, and not a day passes that I don't recognize that.

Julia is amazing. I'm positive every parent feels the same way about their child, but she makes every day a better day, and I'm thankful for that. One of the things I love about her little personality lately is her desire to "help" and want to do things "right." She loves helping me fold the laundry, help make dinner/reorganize my pots and pans, and hang up her clothes.
Today she was helping me sort through old clothes and clean out our closet and at the end we had a pile of empty hangers that needed to go back up on our closet rod. After watching me briefly and seeing that I was taking the hangers and hanging them back up, Julia joined right in and started handing me hangers to help, and by the end, she was hanging up the hangers herself, too! She gets so proud of herself and rightfully so, I'm so proud of her for having the desire and sweetness to want to help.

She also loves tending to Delaney and always making sure Delaney is never left out.
Delaney is her best friend and I'm certain the first thing she thinks of when she wakes up in morning is Delaney from the way she will search the house for her once taken out of her crib, if Delaney doesn't happen to follow me into the nursery that morning. Julia has been going through a stage where she likes to balance a handful of her bibs (one by one) on Delaney's back. And, Delaney is always happy to play along. Good dog.
You can always catch Julia hovering over Delaney while she is lying down somewhere. She likes to pat (gently, most of the time) Delaney on the head, back, tail, paw, etc, and likes to take both of her hands and lift up Delaney's head off of the ground. I am so thankful that Delaney is such a good natured dog and puts up with all of the torturous hair and whisker pulls, when I'm sure some of the time she'd prefer to just be left alone.
Julia loves rummaging through Delaney's toy basket and bringing Delaney toy after toy or bone after bone - and I have to smile at the fact that most of the time, if I offer Delaney a bone or toy of hers, she could care less, but because it's Julia who has presented it to her, she will actually take it and chew/play with it. They are best friends right from the start!

Julia is walking all over the house and will typically have the expression on her face that leads us to believe she's wondering about what she can get into next. She loves pushing things around the house (her toys, and our furniture that's light enough to move), and loves the washing machine/dryer and enjoys helping me transfer clothes from one to the other, pressing the buttons, and watching the clothes spin inside. Something else she loves is the outdoors!
She gets extremely excited about going outside and all that comes with getting ready for it - putting on her shoes/jacket. With the really nice weather here right now, we've started making a habit of sitting out in our front driveway/yard in the afternoon and Julia loves just running circles in the driveway and trekking up and down it. This is something we must continue! On the occasion that we're indoors and I open the door briefly to check the air temperature or let Delaney outside, Julia will get upset because she wants to go outside, too!

We're now completely weaned from breastfeeding and I really enjoyed the year's run that we had with it. Julia now happily is on a "next-step" formula (until 18 months) that she really likes and drinks like a big girl from a sippy cup. She's eating pretty much everything we eat and is recently working on using a spoon and fork! She still loves her Puffs and enjoys sneaking them (and Cheerios) to Delaney at every opportunity she gets.

Her sleeping habits have become beyond wonderful and I'm so proud of her! She is super easy to put to bed (so nice!). Her schedule at one year old now is bedtime between 7:00/7:30 and she sleeps all the way through until 7:00/7:30 the next morning (so nice!) allowing me time to wake up in the morning, too, and get my day started with a shower (so nice!). She then is up all morning and has successfully transitioned to taking just one nap around 1:00pm. Most days she'll sleep two hours (so nice!), and on a good day we'll even get 2.5 hours +, but we still get some days here and there where it's a mere 1 hour nap day ..... never know what we're going to get each day so I'm learning to use my free time/naptime wisely!

To sum it all up, Julia is a delight to parent. I thought when she was a newborn, giving her kisses would never ever compare to feel so sweet, but I'm constantly reminded every day how sweet those kisses can really be. And, it's even better now because she will (at her own will) kiss me back or give a me kiss on a whim sometimes. I love this little girl!

Happy Birthday Julia!

Some more pictures!
...still trying to sort through the many that we have taken over the past two months - little backlogged - but, still I wanted to share some of the ones I have taken!
before our trip to NY... still perfecting the walk.

soon after returning from NY.... I caught her in here making a mess!

She thought it was great fun to "help" Mommy take down the Christmas cards....

"C'mon Mommy let's go!"

We bought her one of these ball pits for her birthday...

These are ALL of the balls that it came with..... don't worry, we went out and bought the bag of 150 extra balls - what fun are just these 15!?

At Julia's 1 year well baby check-up! Perfectly healthy - 50th percentile across the boards, happy, and thriving!

My little ballerina.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

11 Months!

Julia is 11 months old!

It's hard to believe that we are living out the last couple of weeks of Julia's "baby-hood" and soon to be trading it all in for "toddler-hood." She is 11 months old and certainly ready to conquer the world! This year flew by, what will next year be like?

Julia's desire "to know" just keeps growing and growing. She is intrigued by everything, even the vacuum cleaners that once made her jump are now interesting to her and she loves coming over to touch them as I'm cleaning. I used to try and save all vacuuming for the weekends (when Andy is here to help watch Julia), but with the increase in finger foods flying off of the high chair, I'm learning that it's best to try and clean up after every meal. About those flying finger foods..... this may be one of the new discoveries she enjoys the most (the only other family member to enjoy it more would be Delaney - Mommy definitely would prefer the food stay on the tray/in Julia's tummy and off of the floor/in Delaney's tummy!) I suppose, at least she enjoys eating - regardless of how much actually makes it to her stomach. She is now eating meat (when she decides that she feels like it) and had the special treat of tasting "Grandma's" homemade manicotti for the first time this month...... like most foods, it took her a couple of times of being exposed to it before she liked it, but she is a HUGE fan now.

Julia has also discovered the magic of clapping...

She loves our shortened version of "patty-cake" sung in an extremely goofy voice). She also is quite infatuated with opening and closing the cabinets. If there is one cabinet in the house left without a child safety lock, she'll find it.

This is the very moment that she realized there are actual "THINGS" hiding behind those doors, just calling her name to play...
Recently, she learned that not only can those cabinet doors open and close, but once open, they make great hiding spots. Yup, she learned how to climb inside and stand up in one of said cabinets which is full of tupperware and purposely left without a child lock just for her to play in (this is a bonus for me too, because it provides for endless entertainment right within my sight to preoccupy Julia (usually) while I'm making meals in the kitchen).

Her speech is improving and growing and she's making many more sounds, though still none that we can really match to exact words, with the exception of "hi"... which sounds more like "eh" (see video below)

and she's working on "baby"... but that usually just sounds like "ba" - though she can't officially say much, you can tell that she now understands a bunch more of what we say to her and that is enough to already make communicating to her more fun! One of her newest tricks in making sounds is to hang her mouth open wide and hum a noise for us to repetitively cup our hand over (the classic "Indian" call) - she thinks it's pretty funny. And, she's become a HUGE "nose-scruncher."
You can also see this in some of her 10 month pictures posted here on the blog. Perhaps this isn't the best habit for us to encourage, but we can't help making her do it, because it's really so very cute. She also sort of breathes real heavily through her nose while she does it (kind of like she's smelling something) - it's pretty entertaining to watch. We're also noticing that she's starting to bark like a dog (haha..... think I need to worry?) There is an outdoor dog that lives in the neighborhood behind us and it tends to bark all day and all night long (right outside Juila's window). My guess is that she's imitating this dog. However, Delaney doesn't help that cause either. When Delaney barks, Julia likes to quickly respond with a "bark" of her own and then quickly chase Delaney to the window to see what *they* are barking at.
Best Friends.

The LARGEST accomplishment this month is Julia discovering how to walk!
Right now "walking" consists of sporadic groups of steps here and there, followed by an extremely fast crawl, but she is certainly on her way! Each day, she seems to add one more step onto her record from the day before and currently (at a handful of days past her 11 month birthday) her record is 7 steps! And, she basically is running along the furniture when she can use it for balance. It's near impossible right now for me to capture it on video because I never know when she's going to do it, but I'm working on it! Here's one attempt at a video (of course she walked, and then didn't want to do it again for the camera... but it's still a video to share!)

In addition to walking, she is becoming more and more comfortable with standing on her own.
(Here she is gawking at the UPS man while we were outside. I guess Mommy needs to teach her how to inconspicuously sneak a peek at someone!)

We're looking forward to what the last month as a "baby" brings as we get ready to celebrate Julia's first birthday soon!

Some photos from the past month...

I love these pajamas on her!

This should have been included in our halloween pictures!

About to take Delaney for a walk!

VERY interested in "helping" Daddy work at home.

Learning all about the amazing calculator...

Happy Birthday, Daddy! (11/14/10)

What our family room looks like on any typical day when Julia is awake.

Breaking from play for a drink of water!
Putting on a concert with her pretend microphone...
Admiring her Coach purse...

Trying on Mommy's winter wear

Julia's first Thanksgiving!

"Papa Lou" came to visit and we all enjoyed his company(...and his cooking!)
Our two little butterballs...
"C'mon guys, let's eat!"

Julia's Thasnkgiving meal wasn't as much of a hit with her as I had hoped. Her dinner ended up consisting of yogurt and yogurt melts with puffs. Whatever works!
The thing I enjoyed most out of having my father come and visit was getting to witness him interact (in his goofy and crazy way) with his first grandchild. I've grown up always experiencing him acting silly with us, and also with our younger cousins/nieces/nephews, but it definitely filled a missing void to get to see him being silly this way with Julia and making her laugh.

Takin' a few steps to Mommy!

The second best thing to any Thanksgiving meal are the meals of leftovers that you're able to enjoy (without all of the hard work of cooking all day!) for a few days after the big day....

Dad and Andy feasting on leftover stuffed artichokes (..a family favorite tradition). Andy was a huge fan.
My boys!
Papa Lou bought Julia her first pair of crocs! (and, they surprisingly fit her really well!)

A shot of her top teeth that you can never quite see in pictures. She has 3 top ones, and the 4th has been sitting there just beneath the gum for the last 1.5 months. It's about to poke through any day now.
In addition to having my Dad visit with us, we were also lucky to have our dear friends, Mr. & Mrs. Jones, from back home in NY pay us a short visit while they were in Austin visiting their son and future daughter-in-law. It was nice to have the extra company and help!
Just after bath time!
Julia helping me address her birthday party invites
...her idea of helping was doing laps around the table...

I'm adding this video "just because"...... it's Julia trying on her new hat (for her to wear up in NY!) and watching one of her favorite Sesame Street videos...