Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My New Stylist

Monica and I had just returned from a short shopping trip in Media, and I was checking my email while she was investigating the contents of her diaper bag.  The laptop was on the end table next to the couch, so my back was to her.  I heard a little giggle, and then felt a yank on my hair.  What the heck!  She never pulls my hair on purpose, so I was really shocked...until I turned around and found this:

My very own little stylist!

She had found my hairbrush in the diaper bag, and was giggling away while she worked on giving me a new 'do.  Can someone please tell this kid that teasing hair went out of style about 20 years ago??

It wasn't the most comfortable experience for me, but she sure was having a blast!

Whoops!  Don't eat the hair, kiddo!
Monica says, "Mama, I officially declare you to be lovely!"   It might be days before I'm able to untangle this mess....but she sure had fun, so it's worth it!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Germs Galore

We are in the throes of Monica's very first cold.  I really shouldn't complain, as we made it 13 months without her getting sick once.  Unfortunately, I'm still getting over this horrible illness, so I am in a weakened condition, myself.  However, I suppose that this is preferable to the alternative, which would be me getting sick the moment she becomes healthy again, as she will assuredly regain her normal energy x 1,000. 

The best word to describe our current situation would be "disgusting."  I actually found myself holding a tissue up to her nose and saying, "blow" yesterday, and then laughing uncontrollably at myself for being so idiotic.   It didn't dawn on me until that moment that she doesn't know how to blow her nose.  So she just sits there with snot running out of it at continuously, which means that I am wiping her nose with a tissue every two minutes; during which, she repeatedly jerks her head, thus smearing snot across her cheeks.  Where it dries into a crust because I am too busy throwing out the snotty tissue and washing my hands in preparation for the next round of nose wiping in t-minus 45 seconds.  That is, as long as she hasn't already wiped it on the couch.

The saddest part is that she can't suck her thumb while she sleeps because she can't breathe through her nose.  So she is alternating between sucking her thumb for a few seconds and then pulling it out to frantically gasp for breath.  Poor thing!

Except for when we're (sorta) sleeping, I don't think we've stopped watching TV since Saturday afternoon.  I'm pretty sure she is in heaven, as I have been too weak to try to engage her in actual brain-developing learning activities.  
Unrelated post note - I just wrote 2011 and kept going like it was nothing.  And then I realized 2012 is almost over.  Brain = dead.

My fears have come true.  Monica is rallying even quicker than I thought possible, while I remain a supine, inert lump on the couch.  To her credit, she has been a perfect angel for most of the day today, revisiting with her toys that were ignored during her snuffly couch potato phase.  Unfortunately, she seems sick of watching television, and I don't think that I have much more time before she is climbing the walls and needed to get out of the house to burn off some energy.  Perhaps I will rouse myself after her nap for a quick trip to the bank.  The bank is a good errand because we can hit the drive through without changing out of our pajamas.  Seems silly to get dressed at 5pm, the day is practically over!

JK has been trying to convince himself that I have an exponentially worse version of a slight sore throat and mild fatigue he was feeling last week.  While I seriously hope he is right, I remain unconvinced due to the coughing he was just doing on his way out the door.

So, that's what's going on over here.  No cute picture to end this blog post, we're not the most photogenic bunch right now!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Great Self-Feeding Experiment

The Grubster eats a lot.  That statement can be interpreted in two ways, and both apply.  She eats large quantities of food, and she eats on a frequent basis.

As of right now, I am basically serving her four meals a day.  We have breakfast when she wakes up (9am), first lunch before nap (12:30pm), second lunch after nap (4:30pm) and dinner (7pm) every day.  Once in a while one of the lunches is more snack-like, but there is never any telling as to how much she will eat.  And since she generally demands a variety of foods at each of these four meals, my on-the-spot culinary skills are unparalleled these days.  Thank God for the internet, which has a wealth of recipes and information relative to feeding toddlers!

This week, I was gauging her level of hunger for first lunch before her nap.  Thinking she was too tired to invest herself in a full meal, I handed her a cup of milk and a couple of puffs, and spooned some yogurt into a small bowl.  I figured it would fill her up enough so that she'd take a decent nap, and then we'd have a real lunch after she woke up.

I stepped into the living room to grab my phone off the end table.  JK usually texts me when he is on his way home, so I wanted to think ahead to what we could eat for lunch after Monica was asleep.  And when I got back, I found this:

Her high chair has this attached semi-tray that you see in the picture, as well as the removable full-sized tray.  Since she started eating finger foods, we ALWAYS have the full-sized tray on the high chair.  She hasn't had a meal without the full-sized tray since we started having meals in the dining room several months ago; which is why I had never before encountered this situation. 

Without the full-sized tray, Monica can reach out and grab whatever is close by on the dining room table.  In this case, happened to be the yogurt bowl and spoon. 

I decided to let her have at it and just see what happened.  She has tried to take a spoon out of my hand to feed herself some of whatever I was spooning onto her tray, but she never gets any food into her mouth that way.  She isn't quite ready to balance the spoon in a way that food won't slide off of it before it gets to her mouth.

Luckily for her, yogurt is sticky, and it stuck to the spoon.  All she had to do was stick the spoon in the bowl, and then stick the spoon in her mouth.  I was amazed and impressed that she was actually eating so much of the yogurt.  And boy, was she proud of herself....I had to refill the little bowl three times!  I'm not entirely sure that she was even that hungry, I think she was just showing off her sweet skills. 

Ahhhhh, this independent little baby isn't that much of a baby anymore!!! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monica is One Year Old!

Our little love, Miss Monica, turned one year old on August 29th, 2012. I have had a heck of a time putting together any words to describe how incredible this past year has been for us. And when I try to skip the words and try to work on pictures...well...I get so lost, looking at over 1,800 pictures that I have taken (and these are just the saved ones!), and how much she has changed, and thinking back on all the wonderful times we have had with this little lady since she came into our lives.
Hello, world! I'm brand new here :)

She looks so tiny in her Daddy's arms.

Sleeping peacefully with Mommy
Dog brother watching over her.  I think he's finally accepted that she's here to stay!
At one year, Monica is weighing in at 20 pounds, 1.5 ounces, which is in the 50.86th percentile
She is 30.43" tall (2'6.43"), which is in the 82.98th percentile 

So, what has our one year old been up to lately?  Well....raising hell, to be honest!  

She's in total daredevil mode.  Frankly, I don't have a ton of pictures of her doing anything particularly funny or crazy, because JK and I are always too busy swooping in to avoid disaster.  There is no time to pause for pictures in these situations!  Take today for example.  I ran (literally, I was running!) from the living room to the kitchen to trash a dirty diaper and perform the world's quickest wash (translation: cold water rinse, no soap) of my hands.  I didn't even dry them, I kid you not, I was wiping them dry on my t-shirt as I jogged back to the living room.  There she was, bumping her head on the lamp shade, which was blocking her way to stretching up to fully standing - - -  on the end table.  And yes, if you will remember, the end tables have glass inserts on the top.  Not the safest place for a baby, right?!?!

Sooo....this is just one of many examples of what is going on in our household lately.  Between her crazy acrobatics, daily in-house dance parties, and adventures out to explore various parks and playgrounds, we are certainly keeping busy with this little munchkin.

So I will just wrap up and say, we love you, Monica.  Here's to many more wonderful years ahead!
Pillow Fest!!!  Snuggling and giggling with mommy while we get ready for bed :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Tasmanian Grubster

Today was JK's class registration and orientation at Temple, and he had to get up early (it was still dark!) to get ready to leave by 7:00 am. I fully recognize that I am quite possibly the most spoiled Stay at Home Mom on the planet, having a husband who works from home. Even though he is working during the day, we do get to have our morning coffee and lunch breaks together, which goes a long way towards helping me to maintain my sanity.

In anticipation of JK being out of the house more often than we're used to, Monica and I decided we'd try to kick off the semester in our own way, by being super productive around the house.  We came downstairs and I put on an episode of Blues Clues so I could quickly run the vacuum in the dining room. As I was finishing up, I peeked around the corner to find that Monica was sitting on the couch watching her show.  I did not put her there! 

She laughed at me because she knew she wasn't supposed to be up there. I went in and put her down in the middle of the room, and then turned to go put the vacuum away in the hall closet. In two seconds flat, before I could even get out of the room, I watched her run over to the ottoman barricade, climb one of the little ottomans, and get right back into position on the couch - in her daddy's spot, with daddy's computer mouse and the TV remote. 

This was no fluke, as I got her on video on the third attempt after I removed her the second time:

Sooo....I put the vacuum away and proceded to pack up the little ottomans into the big ottoman.  She made an attempt to climb back onto the couch without using them for a boost, but was unsuccessful.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief, and we headed off to the kitchen for breakfast. 

I brought her back into the living room after breakfast, and then I ran back to the kitchen to put the yogurt into the fridge.  When I came back, she was on the couch.  Again.  Yep.  She can climb up onto the couch from the floor.  

I was stumped.  I couldn't leave the room because she wouldn't stay off the couch.  Normally JK is on the couch, working, and would be there to deter her, if necessary.  But with just her and I, well...I couldn't let her out of my sight.  As I slumped on the couch and tried to figure out how to tackle this problem, she was playing with her toys.  I was thankful that she was at least staying at floor level while I was right there in the room.  

The logistics of her being able to get onto the couch are a nightmare.  For one, she has no awareness of the danger of falling off of the couch, and will blissfully run from one end to the other, stumbling on pillows and falling all over the place.  There is absolutely no way that she can be left alone on the couch for even the shortest period of time without the chance of her seriously hurting herself.  Second, the ends of the couch are part of their own barricade to keep her from the end tables where we keep all manner of dangerous/expensive/breakable items.  Even if she could be left on the couch safely, the couch gives her access to things like laptops and lamps and plants.  Was I going to have to rearrange the entire living room?

As I was mulling all of this over, I glanced over and saw this:

The Grubster was helping herself to some Party Mix.

When we get done with all the "good" stuff in the Party Mix (i.e. Cheetos), and all that is left is a handful of lame pretzels and BBQ corn chip crumbs, we usually give the container to Monica.  The little bit of leftover snacks makes a fun noise when she rolls it around, and the container itself makes a great drum.  I have no idea what prompted her to attempt - and succeed - at removing the lid this morning, but she was having herself a fine snack.

Sick of the suddenly-not-baby-proofed-at-all living room, I took her upstairs to give myself a break.  We made a pit stop to wash the cheesy crumbs and stains off her face and fingers, and then I let her go about her business.

We were playing in her room and I was sitting in the glider while Monica was "doing laundry," which involves running amok while carrying various items of clothing from room to room.  And then this happened:

She decided to climb right over the glider ottoman that we keep wedged between the dresser and the rocker to barricade her from the outlet behind it.

Still in disbelief from the morning's downstairs antics, I got to work on moving the dresser.  This entailed removing half the drawers so it would be light enough to move, and dragging the dresser in front of the outlet, all while trying to keep an excited frenzied Monica from completely destroying the nicely folded contents of the drawers that were temporarily on the floor.  I finished the heavy lifting and shooed her away as I worked on putting the drawers back into the dresser.  While I wasn't sold on the new location of the dresser, it would work until JK got home to help with a more permanent relocation.

She had gone running out of the room, so I followed to see what she was up to.  I found her in the bathroom, crouched behind the toilet, examining the toilet's plumbing connections.  With her mouth.  For obvious reasons, there is no picture of this disgusting incident.  

A glance at the clock showed that it was 11am.  I have never been so happy to declare nap time, and I have never been so grateful as when she went right to sleep without a fuss.  

Surprisingly, the remainder of the day was fairly tame, with only one more unexpected kamikaze move when she tried to throw herself into the bathtub.  JK couldn't believe that he missed so much activity in only three short hours of time.  I still have no idea what we're going to do about the couch situation, but at least JK will be home tomorrow to help me figure it out!  Maybe while she's asleep she'll forget about all the crazy new tricks she learned today?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mama, mama, mama, mama, mama

To put it nicely, Monica has been a bit of a challenge lately.  It's "Mama, mama, mama, mama, mama" 24/7. I can't leave her sight without an episode of shrieking and screaming.  She does not care if JK is right there playing with her, she goes postal when I walk away. When we're playing upstairs and I try to go into the bathroom, she throws herself on the floor outside of the door and screams and rolls around until I let her in.  Then, when I open the door, she comes in and hangs on my leg with the "Mama, mama, mama, mama" on repeat, reaching up for me to hold her on my lap.  Sorry, kid, but no. 

JK has taken to referring to himself as "Not the Mama," instead of Dada.

Me, I'm feeling a lot like this:

90% of the time, she doesn't actually need anything.  For instance, she hangs on my leg and whines when I'm sitting on the couch.  As soon as I relocate to the floor, she is off and playing with her toys.  The second I sneak back onto the couch, she is hanging on my leg.  It's making me nuts!  Not to mention that my back is breaking from constantly sitting on the floor or holding her or carrying her.

Therefore, JK has had to become really creative in his attempts to amuse her when I need to step away for a minute.  So, the other, day, I came out of the bathroom and found this going on in her room:


Hilarious, right?

But here's the thing....she now thinks it is the funniest thing ever to put things on her head and run full speed while she can't see anything.  Since we have never-ending piles of laundry on the floor, she has easy access to grab a t-shirt, throw it over her head and face, and go running amok.  JK found her crashing into the hallway walls repeatedly, and then collapsing in a fit of giggles on the floor.

Her cast comes off one week from today.  Why do I get the sneaking suspicion that this first cast is not going to be the last cast?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monica's 11 Month Update

Happy 11 month birthday, Monica!  We can't believe that you turned 11 months old on July 29th, and that in less than a month you will have been in our lives for an entire year!

Summertime with the little Grubster has been great, and July was more of a laid back month, for a few reasons.  Let's get down to some details!

We kicked off the month by taking Monica to get her very first pair of sneakers!  We went to Stride Rite and had her walking abilities assessed and her feet measured in order to get the right type and size of sneakers for her still-developing feet.  The sales ladies were in awe that our 10 month old was wandering around the store like a seasoned toddler.  She skipped right past the first two stages of "starter" shoes and went right into a pair of real sneakers!  We thought she'd take a few days to get used to having them on her feet - nope!  She was running up and down the sidewalk that night, showing off her new shoes to the neighbors.   

Now that she has appropriate footwear, Monica has overcome her dislike of the grass, and will happily follow us around the yard to do some light yard work.  Her favorite thing is to gather up sticks and twigs so daddy doesn't run them over with the lawn mower.  Occasionally, she'll try to jump in and help out with a more difficult task, but that can get a little scary....

Yikes, wrong way, Grubster!!! Point it at the plants, not at your face!!!

Phew!  That was a close one!  Much better, point the hose AWAY from your face.

Since the doctor cleared her at the 9 month checkup to try all foods (with the exception of honey), Monica has been trying all sorts of new foods this month.  She's pretty keen on seafood - she's had crab legs and salmon - and corn on the cob is definitely topping the list as a new favorite. 

She actually wanted to catch a turtle for some turtle soup up at the cabin - but it looks like daddy caught her first!

Unfortunately, not all "firsts" in this little one's life are going to be fun and smiles.  Monica was running along the deck and tripped and broke her arm on the 14th.  We were not even sure it was broken as her stumble itself was like any other.  The difference was that she was avoiding putting any weight on the arm and would throw it out of the way when she would fall, instead of catching herself.  We waited a full day to see if she would get back to normal, and then made an appointment with the pediatrician for the following morning.  The doctor sent us for x-rays and confirmed it was broken, and then sent us for our first - and, dear God, hopefully last! - trip to CHOP to see an arm specialist and get her a cast.  Poor baby!  It was quite a trying experience for all of us, especially her.  Luckily, the cast only has to stay on for a total of four weeks.  We can't wait for it to be gone, everything from eating to sleeping to bathing is a big ordeal.  But, at least it is pink, and as fashionable as a cast can be. 

Luckily, Monica is a real trooper, and she's not letting the cast slow her down.  She was right back to running and playing within a day.  It was a few days for her to get used to the extra weight on the one side and to regain her balance, but she has been handling it better than we expected.

So, for the most part, we've been keeping things pretty low key for the second half of the month.  Since she can't talk and tell us if the cast is getting itchy, or damp, or uncomfortable, we have to be really careful about not getting it wet or too dirty.  And the weather has been a little crazy with storms threatening every few days, which has kept us from some of our regular walks.  We can't risk getting stuck out in the rain with this thing.

But, not to waste the whole summer, we ordered Monica a special fully  submersible cast cover.  While it is primarily for bathing - she was getting stinky that first week while it was on order! - it has also enabled Monica to go swimming.  Here she is in the pool for the first time:

Look at that happy smile!  We definitely have a water baby on our hands, this kid cannot get enough of the pool.  We were very cautious about introducing her to the water to make sure that she had a positive experience.  She has surprised all of us by willing - and repeatedly - putting her own face directly into the water and then coming up giggling.  Even with the cast cover, we are hesitant to fully submerge her upper shoulder for fear of water leakage, but I can tell we'll be starting swimming lessons sooner than later.  

So, that's been our month of July.  We wrapped up the month by celebrating my birthday.  JK and Monica giving me this great new hammock.  Monica loves snuggling and swinging with mommy :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Puff Fest 2012

I've heard it a million times, a million ways, from dozens of people.  It's when there is silence in the house that you should worry about what your kid is doing.  Be afraid when you don't hear playing, crashing, and shrieking from the next room.  Because that means that something scary is going on.  

Like this: 

Yep, that's a silently snacking little Grubster with a whole tube of puffs spread around her on the floor.  Well done, Monica, one more mommy milestone for me.  Gotta love her!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Monica's 10 Month Update

Summer continues in full swing, and we have had a TON of firsts this past month:

Monica's now has her own chair - a little person's adirondack chair to match mommy's and daddy's chairs. Perfect for lounging in the backyard, watching dog brother chase balls and frisbees, and supervising while mommy tends to the garden.
Monica found her professional calling this month: dog grooming. Dog brother very patiently allowed her to brush him, and she thought it was the most hilarious thing EVER.  It was slightly less hilarious for me since she was using my brush, instead of a dog brush. 

Monica's also had her first trip to the beach! This kid loves, I mean LOVES the beach. The sand, the ocean, she loved everything about it! 

Checking out the ocean for the first time with Daddy.  She loved splashing in the surf, it was so cute!

Playing in the sand with Mommy.  She was having fun, I swear, she really just wanted to get away from me so she could look for seashells.  
Lounging around, catching some rays.

First Restaurant Experience:  Grotto's Pizza on the Rehoboth Boardwalk.  Great choice, Monica!

First carousel ride at Funland, Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk. Monica jumped right on a starting shaking the pole, encouraging her trusty steed, saying, "Mush, mush!" No, Monica, we gently corrected her, we don't say "mush" to a horse, we say, "Giddyup!"

 Our family on the beach.  What a great time we had!!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Monica's Nine Month Update

Attention All Grub Files Followers! The author of the Grub Files, yours truly, would like to plead guilty to a missed publishing of Miss Monica's 9 Month Update. Allow me to explain: At any given point in time, I generally have anywhere from 2 to 10 blog topics or entries that I'm working on writing. And as Monica gets older, and the list of total blog entries gets longer, it gets a teensy bit tougher to manage the blog in the background. was not until this very moment when I hopped on here to work on Monica's 10 month update that I realized that the 9 month update was still marked as draft and therefore not published. Oh, the horror! And to think that there was a chance that I might have accidentally published the 10 month update before the 9 month update! I'm having an anxiety attack just thinking about it. We would have had to throw away the whole blog and start over. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little. But that would have really bugged me!

Anyway, I will cut myself a little slack as the end of the month approaches, as there is also the fact that Monica's 9 month checkup with her pediatrician was not until the middle the month of June, just two weeks ago. So, kinda sorta technically - yes I'm stretching here! - it's not that late.

Let's get to the good stuff, shall we?

Height: 2' 5.25" 91.5%i based on length-for-age data

Weight: 17lbs 15ozs 27.7% based on weight-for-age data

While Monica is still very tall for her age, her weight gain is tapering off. But the doctor and JK and I are not at all concerned, because the kid eats like a horse! There are many factors that come into play here such as breastfeeding (as opposed to formula feeding), increased mobility at a very early age, and having two parents with high metabolisms. So, again, no worries.

While we are on the topic of food, the pediatrician has cleared us to give Monica any and all foods, with the exception of honey.  She will pretty much eat anything we put in front of her, as long as she gets to feed herself.  The Grubster's independence is getting in the way of spoon feeding these days, but we still manage to sneak in a couple bites of yogurt with fruit here and there. 

The biggest news this month is that, by definition, we no longer have an infant; we have a toddler. At just 9 months old, you may ask with raised eyebrows? Why, yes. Our child has fully adopted walking as her primary means of getting around. 

So, what else has this little Grubster been up to in the past month?




and Motorcycle Riding:

We're having a wildly fun summer so far!  For now, we're packing it up to go on Grub's first spelunking adventure. More Grub-related news to come next week in the 10 Month Update post.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dirty Grub Business

I just went upstairs to get Monica from her second nap. JK is out at his mixed martial arts class, and I was trying to decide if Monica and I were going to take a walk to the playground, or if we would go out to Trader Joe's for some food supplies. I took her out of the crib and was snuggling her for a second in the rocker, and I said, "Some little stink really needs a bath after dinner. Let's check your diaper."

When we got to the changing table, I found that not only was there poop inside of her diaper, but it was outside of her diaper as well. Shocking, truly, because it's been months since this has happened. Early on, JK and I were completely desensitized to poop explosions. Alas, after many months free from scrubbing Dreft into her poop-stained clothing, this situation was not met with any nostalgia on my part.

I made an executive decision to wipe her down the best I could with some baby wipes, and then escort her straight into the bathtub for a real cleaning, even though we had not had dinner yet. She just smelled too bad, and it was really unappetizing. So, I whisked her into the bathroom and started running the tub.

This is the part when she decided to pee all over the floor. So, not only did she need a scrubbing, but I also got to scrub the floor and clean up her laundry that she peed all over. At least the clothes were already dirty.

Now we're in the kitchen and she is having some string cheese and meatballs and applesauce with yogurt for dinner. Obviously, her appetite was not affected whatsoever by the situation upstairs. Business as usual for this Grub!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Grub Pen, we bid you farewell...

It is with heavy hearts that we announce that the infamous Grub Pen has been dismantled. Our little girl needs more room to explore, so we have have spent the last week troubleshooting, brainstorming, and gate installing all over this house so that she can have access to roam more freely. I won't try to pretend that I didn't shed a few tears as JK was breaking down the Grub Pen to utilize the pieces to cordon off his computer equipment. But, they were short lived, as I had to suck it up and move on to get the Grubster into the bath.

Wait, you might ask, didn't she just have a bath yesterday? Why, yes, yes she did. However, tonight, she decided it was hilarious to gag herself with her toys and hands, laughing hysterically, until she projectile vomited bile all over both of us in the car. Disgusting. But that's totally off topic.

Anyway, back to the household babyproofing situation. We still have some clean-up work to do and things to install, but we're getting there. I joke about being sad that she is growing up, but in fact, it is truly the most convoluted and confusing feeling that I have ever felt. One one hand, it is exciting and liberating that she can walk around like a little person now. Her focus is shifting upward, and she's not spending every single second trying to pick every single particle off of the floor and put it in her mouth, the way she was when she was crawling. She's not wearing out the knees of her pajamas after a couple of wears, and that is great, too! But, on the other hand, it is challenging and scary that she can get around the house and she is fast! Literally, I blink, and she is gone from my immediate line of sight. Frightening!

I talk to a lot of moms online whose babies were born in Monica's birth month, and it's about 50/50 as to whether or not their 9-10 month olds are mobile yet. The ones whose babies are not are hearing horror stories - people say, "oh, wait till your little one is walking, then you're really in trouble!" In my opinion, I'm liking this stage more than crawling. Is it easier for her to get away from me now? Absolutely. Is it difficult to deal with things like changing diapers and clothing? Hell yeah! But it's also a lot of fun. I'm finding that all ages and stages have their pros and cons....and as a parent, it's my job to get through the tough stuff and focus on having fun and enjoying the great parts.

For example, it's been ungodly hot the past week, so we've been a little cooped up in the house. So today, I dressed Monica, threw her in the car, and went to Kohl's to get us out of the house. My objective was to return and exchange an outfit for her. But, when we got into store, I realized that the shopping carts were gross, I didn't have our stroller, and I had left the return item in the car. I had this heavy, sweaty kid stuck to me, and she was wiggling like crazy to get down. So, what did we do? We walked to the back of the store to housewares and Monica spent a half an hour running around the empty department and "playing drums" by beating on the bed-in-a-bags that were within her reach. She had fun and burned off some energy, and I had fun watching her. It was a win-win.

So, I guess that's my lesson to myself right now. Try to enjoy each stage as she's growing up. People aren't kidding when they tell you that it goes by so fast. It really does.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Who Walks at Eight Months? This Kid!

As promised, we have worked to capture Monica's amazing feat of walking at only eight months old.  Here are a couple clips so you can see her in action!

As you can tell in the last video, she was starting to get sleepy, haha!  But don't worry, she got her second wind when we went downstairs and she was jumping all over the couch to try to get to the cat. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

You mean you have to use your hands? That's like a baby's toy!

Do you know what movie that is from? If not, click here for the answer.

Monica has started to regularly quote this scene while hanging out in her pen.  Her sweet little baby toys that once captivated her attention - her bees, her monkey, her lion - barely hold her interest anymore. She wants her flashy light-up singing talking remote control and her fancy music table. It's either that or the real TV - ugh!

While letting her rot her brain watching TV is the easiest way to amuse her, JK and I do make a real effort to engage her with her toys and books We resort to the TV as a crutch when we want to have a meal without the Grub Dog begging for us to throw scraps to her in her pen.

So, to shake things up in the toy department, we splurged and bought Monica a few new toys this month.

First lego set!
JK giving building instructions
Monica listening intently
All parts of this toy are great!

Yay, a huge tower to knock down! 

What's this??  A caterpillar tunnel?  Awesome!

Look at meee!!!

Umm, Daddy, you're too big for this toy!
Climbing through the door
I'm gonna get you, mama!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Monica's Eight Month Update

Happy Eight Month Birthday, Monica!  I know we're late since the actual day was April 29th, but hey, sometimes life gets in the way of baby blogging. Our little lovebug has had SO MANY developments between her seven and eight month birthdays.  We can barely keep up with all the changes going on around here! First, let's cover the topic of her rapid growth.  While we won't have any official stats until after her 9 month checkup, I do have proof that she is growing!  The picture to the left is from her seven month update, and the picture to the right was taken a couple of days ago - so there are no more than six weeks, at the most, between these two pictures.  Look how much she has grown!
I thank God regularly for my mother's compulsive shopping habits, as Monica is already fitting into her nine month pajama sleepers.   

Milestone Updates & Daily Grub Life Day to day, we're having fun enjoying the lovely spring weather.  Monica's favorite activities include going out back to watch JK throw the frisbees for the dog, and taking long walks around the neighborhood in her stroller. 

The Mobile Grub: As seen in the post Mowing - Beyond the Grub Pen, Monica has been working on her assisted walking skills for a while now. However, this video no longer does her justice, as just last week she took her very first steps on her own!!! I've never heard of a baby walking - or trying to walk - at seven months, and I'm certainly not quite ready for her to be walking just yet. But, as we've all learned, we're operating on Monica's timetable here. Anything can happen at any time. For now, she's always got her dog brother to help her get around, until she fully masters her walking skills.
Mush, mush!
  The Teething (and therefore barely sleeping) Grub: Not to be overshadowed by the major milestone of first steps, Monica is also sporting her first two teeth! The first one came through just days before her 8 month birthday, and the second one followed a few days after. We have had a couple rough days with teething, and sleeping has been a challenge, but we're getting through it together. Oh, and in case you are wondering - yes, in this picture, she is completely asleep in a little ball in the corner of her crib.   Precious!

Lobster, anyone?

The Hungry Grub: Monica is moving away from eating purees and venturing into the world of finger foods. I'm hard pressed to feed her an entire meal of purees without major grumbling. But when I dice some fruits or veggies and let her feed herself, she doesn't make a peep. She'll be eating frozen pizzas with JK and I before we know it! Allowing Monica to feed herself finger foods has greatly improved her coordination and dexterity, and she has just about perfected her pincer grasp - the ability to grasp and manipulate objects her with thumb and forefinger. While exciting, this also means we have to increase vigilance around our home and when visiting others - the ability to grasp small objects also means that she can more easily get them in her mouth, which can be dangerous.  

The Talkative Grub: As if all of these physical developments weren't exciting enough, Monica started "talking" to us this month. She's been saying "dada" and "mama" nonstop. While sometimes she is just babbling, she is definitely starting to use her words to make the actual association with each of us, as she will call us by name when we leave the room, or if one of us is gone from the house for an extended period of time. She is also working on her "b" sound as "bababa" is her newest babble.
Hello, Mama
It's been very easy to get wrapped up in all the fun with Monica, but I promise to give her blog updates more attention and keep everyone posted more regularly.  We're trying to get a decent video of her walking to share with our followers :)  For now, it's almost dinner time, so I'd better go scrounge up some grub for the Grub.  Peace out!