One month closer to one and a half!! Yikes! And as always, this month was full of changes and new developments.
Riley seems to have learned a TON this month. She can now do some of her puzzles all by herself, and you can visibly see the concentration in her face as she checks out the puzzle piece she's holding, then scans the puzzle board, looks back at her piece to see where it matches, and then she puts it in. It's awesome to watch. This also means she can now change all the letters in her leapfrog alphabet fridge magnet toy (it's basically a loud version of an alphabet puzzle). And she can put her shapes in her shape sorter by herself (most of the time).
She's learning a ton of new words, and trying to repeat what we say all the time. Some new words include: money, cart, mail, orange, pizza, rock, slide, outside, Minnie (as in Minni Mouse), Wiggles, peel (when she wants you to peel an orange), shake, teddy, firetruck, eyes, nose, ears, head, and probably about 30 more. She loves to say "no no". She is getting really good at communicating what she wants (and doesn't want). For example, she'll climb onto Mark's lap and say, "row row?" or "cake?" meaning she wants to sing row row your boat or pat-a-cake. She'll come to me and ask for "go go?" which means she wants help finding her Go, Dog. Go! book so I can read it to her. She asks for help all the time, which has really decreased the number of tantrums we see. She also comes up to me and asks for "A A A?" or "teddy?" which means she wants to play the alphabet "game" on starfall.com. She LOVES letters and the alphabet lately, and can say the letters A-K and their sounds, as well as M, N, R, P, and S, which is just about the cutest thing in the whole entire world. She also can name and point out a bunch of letters without being prompted, her favorites are "I" and "G" and I have no idea why. She also has started singing ABCs with me. She will start to sing A, B, but if I am singing, she fills in about 5-6 of the letters, and then yells AGAIN! when we're finished.
She loves airplanes and birds lately, and gets really excited when she see one in the sky. She will FINALLY wear hats, although she still takes her shoes and socks off the first chance she gets. On a similar note- she still does NOT like to sleep in footed pajamas. If I put them on her, she fights and fights to try and pull them off her feet. If somehow I do manage to get her in bed with her PJs still on, literally the second she wakes up in the morning, she looks at me and says, "Off? Off?" Sigh, I'm not going to win this battle, which is a shame because those pajamas are so stinkin' cute! She has also started making this silly new face this month, which can be seen below:
She watched Minnie Mouse on TV for the first time a week ago, and became instantly obsessed with Minnie Mouse. She started saying "Minnie Minnie" after just watching it once, and now knows exactly who Minnie mouse is! She also knows who Elmo is, although only from books since she doesn't ever watch Sesame Street. She also watched Curious George for the first time with my parents the other day, and apparently really likes it and knows and can say George, although it sounds more like "Joe." She can distinguish hot and cold, and says both of them appropriately. She blows on food that's hot and says "hot hot hot!"
She still loves to say hi and bye to pretty much everybody, and is getting pretty good at blowing kisses. She loves to check the mail and play outside. She runs to the back door at says, "outside?" over and over and over again. She LOVES to sit in the front seat of the (parked) car and push all the buttons. She still loves to be chased, and thrown onto the couch and wrestle with her daddy. She loves to pinch people's necks and cheeks. She loves Bailey the dog and now squeals/screams in excitement when she sees her. She also discovered she can feed the dog, which means we have to keep a close eye on her otherwise Bailey gets most of her food!
She has become an expert ipad user. She can turn it on, unlock it, scroll through until she finds the apps she wants, pick them, and do them herself. Her FAVORITE thing on the ipad is to watch a short movie called "Jack Jack Attack." If you even mention Jack Jack, she gets so excited and repeats "Jack Jack Jack!" and then goes "yayayayayay!" complete with fist pumps. In fact, one day we had to wake her up from her nap, and she was out like a light. She wouldn't budge. We were saying her name, rubbing her back, trying to wake her up gently, and Mark goes, "do you want to watch Jack Jack?" and she literally popped right up and almost fell over trying to get out of the crib in her groggy state, all the while saying "Jack Jack?"
She's learned a few more body parts (cheeks, chin) and she's learned a few more animal sounds (turkey), and she likes to count, and can say numbers 1-5, and can even pick some of them out when asked (2 is her favorite). Size-wise she's in anywhere from 12-18 month clothes to 2T, wears size 4 diapers, size 5 shoes, and who knows how much she weighs! She hasn't gotten any more teeth, so she still has 12. She's still obsessed with her milk, and drinks a TON every day.
I know this is getting long, but so much has happened this month! Riley has decided she loves when I tell her stories. Not READ to her, but tell her oral stories, like fairy tales, or even stories I make up. Often before nap time I will bring her in bed with me and she'll lay there and listen to an entire story, and then fall asleep snuggled right next to me. It seriously is one of the best things ever. She and I took a 3 hour nap the other day after I told her all about Cinderella.
Also, forgot to add, she has started telling me when she's about to poop (by saying "poo poo"). And then she tells me when she's all done, and I change her. Potty training might be sooner than I thought!! Basically, this month has been awesome. And, I can't believe in just one month, she will be 18 months old!!! I love this little baby bug!!
To be perfectly honest, I'm getting a little bored of these weekly posts. Not a whole lot is changing (aside from me getting bigger), so I feel like everything is a little boring. Guess that explains why I've skipped that past couple of weeks. But, I guess I'll be glad I did it later on down the road, so here goes:
How I'm feeling: Pretty good, although definitely getting bigger, and carrying Riley around can take a toll on my back at times. But really, all things considered, I feel great!
Weight gain this week: I have been avoiding the scale... I think I gained a couple pounds this week, although I've been horrible at really keeping track. Sooo I have no idea.
Total weight gain: 17 pounds? Not sure.
New this week: I had like an hour of slight heartburn one day, does that count? Movement has been getting stronger and stronger, and baby kicks like craaaaazy every single night. He kicked Riley for the first time while she was laying in bed with me, and she definitely felt it! Also, I am now in my 3rd trimester!!!
Best part of the week: We decided we are going to ship a bunch of stuff back with us to New Zealand, which means I can shop for more baby stuff and ship it back to New Zealand! Also, we bought a double stroller!! We didn't get the one I REALLY wanted, but decided on my second choice, the Baby Jogger City Mini Double- looks like this:
While definitely not my first choice of color, we bought it second hand and saved quite a bit of money, so it was a deal, and it's basically in like-new condition. We can put a car seat adapter on one side for the newborn, and Riley can hang out on the other! Hooray!
What baby is up to: He's almost 2 pounds (about the size of a cauliflower), about 14.5 inches long. He's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing eyes, and possibly sucking on his fingers.
Salads. Lots of salads.
Chicken mostly, but luckily no aversion to Thanksgiving turkey!
Sorry, no belly picture, I feel like I needed to just post this before I skipped yet another week!
I just spent a while trying to catch up on Riley's 2nd year album, and I just did her Thanksgiving pages, so I figured I might as well just share those... mostly to save me time rather than doing a full blog post. So here they are... This is Riley's "First" Thanksgiving since we were in NZ last year, where Thanksgiving is obviously not celebrated. :)
I took all these pictures today (aside the family photo, I enlisted the help of my mom for that one), and I was so pleased at how "autmn-y" they turned out. That bright red tree was literally right outside our house! So if you get Christmas cards from me this year, you may or may not see some of these photos again. :) And uhhh, if there are spelling errors in this next scrapbook page, don't worry, it's not the final version probably, so I'm sure I'll catch it at some point. And you also might be wondering why I've oddly off-centered it? It's to compensate for the binding in the shutterfly albums, they tend to cut off a bit in the center, so it may look weird like this, but it looks perfect once bound. Trust me.
Hope you and your family had a fabulous Thanksgiving!
It's been a little quiet here on the blog, but for good reason, I promise. We had a craaaaazy last 5 or so days, traveling from California to Rhode Island for my sister's wedding. Which, by the way, was absolutely perfect and she couldn't have been any more beautiful... see?
So the last few days went a little like this... we left out of San Fran on Wednesday... the flight was long, but Riley did really well, until we got to baggage claim in Providence and then she was just so tired she couldn't keep it together anymore (at that point it was about 9pm California time, and she's normally fast asleep around 7). But we all survived, and slept verrrry well that night!
Thursday we moved hotels and took a huge family nap (which was AMAZING), and then we got to meet up with my lovely sister and mom for dinner and hang out time! Jennie hasn't gotten to see Riley since June, so she was dying to see her little Riley bug. And of course, to try on their matching Halloween pajamas.
I think Riley liked her Aunt Jennie, what do you think?? Anyway, after a semi-low key day, the fun began on Friday... we had nails appointments and rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, and it was all fabulous. Riley was the flower girl, and we had no idea how she was going to do. At the rehearsal, she was a little shy at first, but then Jennie's BFF Julius busted out the bubbles, and she walked all the way down the aisle holding his hand! So there was hope for the wedding day! The rehearsal dinner was a little overwhelming for Riley with all the people and the loud noise, but overall she was a trooper, so we headed back and tried to get her in bed early to prep for wedding day!!
And then the big day! Of course, Riley woke up SO early, but that made it so she could nap before the ceremony, so it worked out well! She hung out with Mark while I went and got hair and make-up done with the rest of the bridesmaids while Riley took a nice long nap back at the hotel.
Now, you might be waiting for all the amazing pictures of Riley in her flower girl attire. Well, you are about to be disappointed. I took barely any pictures of her, and not for lack of trying. Trying to play photographer and be a mama and matron of honor at the same time is no easy task. PLUS, it was cold and verrrry windy outside, so Riley was not pleased to be taken outside for photos. And any time she saw me, she would shout MAMAMA and sprint towards me. So yeah, here's the best I could do... cold, not happy, and about to run and grab my legs.
Anyway... so yeah, no photos of the baby, so I'm hoping Jennie's wedding photographer got some good ones! Now, I'm sure you want to know how she did during the ceremony, and she was PERFECT! She walked down the aisle perfectly, sat with her daddy during the first part of the ceremony very quietly, and then he took her to the back of the church just in case she started to get restless. In fact, the only time I heard her was when I was doing my reading, and she heard my voice and said "mama!" a bunch of times. She was perfect!! But again, no pictures since I was walking down the aisle myself. Once we got back I was able to take a few pictures of Jennie while Mark tried to get Riley down for a second nap, so at least I wasn't totally hopeless behind the camera!
Jennie's dress and bouquet were GORGEOUS. Although her bouquet weight like 15 pounds, that thing was THICK!
So the wedding was amazing, and the reception was so much fun! Lots of work though, trying to keep Riely quiet at all the right moments! She was really good for most of the toasts, and then started to cry during the maid of honor toast so Mark took her out of the room, which is good because it would have been really difficult for me to give my toast with her in the room! But it was clear that Riley was quite overstimulated and overwhelmed with all the people and the noise, she would start to get a little bit clingy and irritable, so we would take her upstairs to the quiet for a break, and she was a totally different baby. Loud, running around, happy, she just needed little breaks from all the wedding activity!
Then on Sunday we headed back to California. I though it was going to be a nightmare, since Riley was getting more and more tired each day we were there, since she was only getting about 8-9 hours of sleep at night instead of her usual 10-11, but we managed to get a little nap in the car for her on the way to the airport, which helped! And she was pretty much the perfect baby in the airport and on our first flight, and then we had a few hours to kill in airport number 2. Our next flight was 6.5 hours (YIKES), but Riley was AMAZING!! She stayed up for a bit, we read books, played with the ipad, watched a DVD, and she fell asleep in her car seat for an hour and half. Then she was up for a few hours, and then about an hour before landing she was just so tired and ready for sleep, so she cried for a few miuntes trying to get comfortable and fall asleep, but then she was OUT. She slept through until anding, then slept through me carrying her off the plane, trough the airport, through getting bags, transferring her to her stroller, going out in the cold and loading on the shuttle, all the way until we had to transfer her to her car seat. She woke up and cried for a little bit and then fell back asleep. Seriously I could not have asked for it to go any more smoothly.
Now of course, the whole thing was exhausting for all three of us, and Riley was still so tired she took a solid 3 hour nap today, but we had a really good time and the wedding was amazing. I am sad though because I know I may not get to see my sister again for another year or so :( But it toally reaffirmed my desire to eventually end of living close to family, and having that be the top priority in deciding where we want to settle down permanently.
Anyway, congrats to my sister and her new husband Philip!! They are currently enjoying a nice warm, tropical honeymoon and I am extremely jealous. :)
I'm sure everyone says this. Their baby is the funniest. But I really think Riley is above average when it comes to funniness. No really. The kid cracks me up with the things she does. You want examples? Okay, I'll share. But first, a cute picture.
Riley has recently discovered light switches. And while I'll humor her for a few minutes and let her turn the lights on and off, I'm not about to hold her there until her little heart is content, which may be a good long while. So today, she figured out she can push her stroller up to the wall, climb into it, stand up, and voila. On and off go the lights. Clever, right? She sure thinks so.
Also, Riley's most recent obsession is starfall.com. First she just loved the letter part of it, but then she discovered there are also a bunch of songs, and numbers, and a little section for vowels.... I have no idea why, but she fell in love with the "I" and points to it and shouts "I I I I I I I!" until we click on it. She also LOVES the little teddy bear that comes on in a lot of the songs/animations, and waves to him every time he appears. And she also loves the "head shoulders knees and toes" song now. It's kind of long so I split it into two videos (about 2 minutes each), feel free to check them out... the last minute of the second video cracks me up every single time.
Also? Riley really wants to be able to jump. She's not quite there developmentally (I think that's more of a 2 year old development), but she thinks she can do it!! (This video was actually taken a few weeks ago, I just forgot to share.)
Alright friends, I've got lots to do and not a lot of time to do it before we head out to the east coast for my sister's wedding! The blog may be quiet for a few days (although I still need to do my 25 week update, ack!),but you better believe their will be TONS of pictures of the cutest little flower girl you've ever seen! And the beautiful bride, of course. :)
Riley had a rough day. I don't really know why, teeth maybe? She had more tantrums today than she's had in the past two months combined. And of course I had this brilliant idea to take her out to scout out a photo shoot location today, thinking maybe she'd love being outdoors on her rocking chair? Or, maybe she wouldn't...
Not even the lens cap could keep this baby happy. We were there for a max of 4 minutes. Luckily Mark was with me, and was able to convince Riley to look my way without crying at least once or twice, so it wasn't a total bust.
It's never fun when your little one is having a rough day and you don't know why. So here's to hoping for a brighter, happier tomorrow (and lots of sleep tonight for everybody!)
My little black (and white) baby cow. So sad Halloween is over, but REALLY excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas!!!
I was going to post about our plan for the next few weeks, but as I was writing it, it was getting pretty boring with no pictures and not many real concrete ideas of what we were going to do, so I decided to wait a bit until we had a few activities under our belt. November will have two themes, and the first one is TRANSPORTATION. I really just chose this because we have a big trip across the country in a few weeks, so I thought it would be appropriate. To start, we headed to the library...
Go, Dog, Go, P.D. Eastman
That's Not My Train, Fiona Watt
That's Not My Plane, Fiona Watt
Trucks (Baby Touch and Feel) and Tough Trucks, Tony Mitton
Big Wheels, Anne Rockwell
Boats, Byron Borton
The Little Dump Truck, Margery Cuyler
Maisy Drives the Bus and How Will You Get There Maisy, Lucy Cousins
Sheep in a Jeep and Sheep on a Ship, Nancy Shaw
So far Riley prefers Go, Dog. Go! and That's Not My Train, oh and that little mini Let's Go Sesame Street book, We have read those ones SO MANY times already. She'll come up to me and say "Go?? Go? Go??" which means she can't find her Go, Dog. Go! book, and wants some help... and then we read it. Over. and over. and over again.
Lonely Bus Driver (finger rhyme), The Little Train, Tugboat, Engine on the Track (finger rhyme), Wheels on the Bus, I'm a Little Airplane (sung to I'm a Little Teapot tune), Row Row Row your Boat, Leaving on a Jet Plane, Twinkle Twinkle Traffic Light, and whatever other ones I can think of or find!
Arts and Crafts
This has been pretty fun so far! We did a "painting" activity with the colors of the stoplight (red, yellow, green). This involved putting paint in large plastic bags, and taping them to the window, and letting Riley "paint". We also painted by running cars through the paint and creating tracks with the wheels, but she preferred to use her fingers. Best part? No clean up!
Our second craft so far involved making mini trains, cars, and boats with foam shapes. Now you could use these shapes to identify both colors and shapes, but I chose just to talk to Riley about the shapes so as not to confuse her. We actually got the shapes for free at a garage sale, I just bought the large foam piece and some glue, and voila! Amazingly enough, somehow she picked out the circles with 100% accuracy. Apparently, the girl knows her circles!
Now, obviously Riley required a LOT of help to "make" these... this part of the activity was meant to have her help me pick out the shapes, and put the glue on, and then I put them on the brown paper. Her creation looked more like this... :)
This was a little tricky because we don't actually own a whole lot of "transportation" items. We have a truck shape sorter, which is still very popular, and a train puzzle, which Riley likes, but needs help completing as it's a little advanced. We've been working on learning the colors of the stoplight, and have three different "color bowls" full of red, green, and yellow items, respectively. They are all just random items we had around the house. Riley didn't understand the color sorting concept at first, but she's starting to get it and is actually really interested in it, so we'll keep doing it.
I turned around for a second, and Riley had taken the colored pipe cleaners and put them on like necklaces! And she kept them there for a quite a long time!
I also set up a transportation "treasure box" (also known as a sensory box), which she really likes! It looked like this before she started playing with it:
There are black beans (like the road), rocks, "sand," matchbox cars, an assortment of mini trucks, wheels (which are actually yo yos), little puzzles that rattle when riley shakes them, yellow pipe cleaners (like lines of the road), spinning tops with trucks on them. Now, this was a bit of a gamble, as I wasn't sure if Riley would (1) stuff all the little non-edibles in her mouth or (2) dump them all over the floor and make a HUGE mess. Well, she did try to eat the black beans at first, and I let her explore having one in her mouth (mostly because I couldn't fish it out of there), and she decided she didn't like it, and was pretty easily redirected after that. As for making a mess, she would take handfuls and put them on the floor, but then she like to pick them up and put them all back, so that was no problem. She also liked to pick black beans off of a strip of packing tape, and putting them into the truck bed...
We haven't done any big outings yet, but when we do go out, I make more of an effort to point out things transportation related, especially things we may have read about in some of our books. Riley points out cars and bikes, and we went and saw the train, and we have plans to take Riley on her first train ride soon!
I recently discovered starfall.com, and Riley LOVES it. It has this alphabet part that Riley is really into, and she can now say the letters A-E as well as their sounds. If she sees my computer, she runs to it and shouts "A A A A A A!!" to do the letter activity. If you have a little one, definitely check it out. I didn't want to do too many letters at once (or have her staring at the computer for too long), so this week we only looked at A-E. Maybe we'll do a few more letters next week, or we might stick with A-E for another week since she really likes those ones so far!
Eeek, I skipped 22 and 23 weeks, but now I'm a day early with 24 weeks!
How I'm feeling: I had been feeling fabulous over the past few weeks, and then randomly there were a couple days last week where I had my first heartburn this pregnancy! I'm not really sure why, as I was eating the same foods, and not any more than usual, but it seems to have gone away since then, so who knows. Maybe baby boy was in a weird position, squishing things inside of me more than usual? Aside from that, over the last few days I've been having a few more aches than usual, but really only a few times a day, and it's hardly worth mentioning. So overall, still feeling pretty great
Weight gain this week: 5 pounds over the past 3 weeks
Total weight gain: 14 pounds!
Cravings: meringue cookies. but i can't find them anywhere, at the moment. diet coke.
Best part of the week: riley has made my day just about every single day lately. I mean, she always makes me happy, but this week in particular she has been so incredibly funny and smart and it blows my mind how much she knows and is capable of! There have been MANY moments this week where I have been like, "did she really just do that?" So fun! Also, 24 weeks = VIABILITY, which means baby could survive outside the womb at this point!
Worst part of the week: The night where Mark wasn't home, Riley was in bed, and we had no good food in the house!
Exercise: Not good. Not good at all. Zero runs, zero weights, only walking. I did have the intention of going swimming one day... but it didn't happen. I'll do better next week, otherwise I'm going to gain WAY too much weight and not be as healthy as I should .
Movement: definitely getting more frequent and stronger. I feel him all evening long, every time I'm trying to fall asleep (of course), and early in the morning.
With Riley I feel like I always knew how big she was, what new fun developments were going on, and all those little pregnancy development details. This time, I often have no idea. But I did look it up this week, just out of curiosity. At 23 weeks, baby was about 11 1/2 inches long, and weighed about a pound (apparently the size of a large mango?), so now is a little bit longer and bigger (sorry, didn't look up the exact stats for 24 weeks). His skin is becoming less see through, and he's busy packing on the fat! He is practicing "breathing" amniotic fluid, and he's picking up tons of sounds from outside the womb (which means he's apparently going to know all of Riley's favorite songs and books right from birth)... :)