Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Molly - 1 Year

Except she's actually 13 months old now.  I'm running a little behind :)

Considering I haven't done an update since 9 months, I'm several months behind, but either way - time for an update!

We've had a lot of fun with our girl recently as she's done a lot of growing and has become her own little person.  She's so much fun now and loves to play and get into all sorts of trouble.  She's a very happy baby and is so quick to pick up on things!

She's been walking since very shortly after she hit 10 months old.  She started crawling at 8 months and I remember commenting on how quickly her motor skills developed after that as she went from crawling to just a few days later pulling up on things that cruising around, etc. and sure enough, just a few weeks later she was walking!  Molly didn't take a "first step" either, she took 3 in a row and pretty much took off after that.  It's a good example of how she usually does things.  She just picks up on things so quickly!

She has a strange fascination with dragging out items of clothing and using them to cover her head and play a sort of peekaboo!  Other times she using the clothing to dust furniture.

Molly LOVES Jack and loves to play with him and do whatever he is doing.  She's not too bothered by the fact that he doesn't always want to play with her.  When she's not trying to get her hands on Jack's trucks and cars Molly is trying to get into things.  She pretty much bypasses her toys in favor of pulling books off shelves, emptying toy bins, and trying to turn electronics on and off.  We had to put a piece of cardboard over the buttons on our TV because a month or so ago she discovered the buttons (surprising considering they're small and blend in with the TV and we typically use the remote) and some serious rumbles ensued when Molly was turning the TV on and off during some of Jack's shows.  Yikes!

Molly also likes to stand on things and thinks she's really funny!

One of Molly's favorite games is "Ball in the Hall".  This is a game that Mark and Jack have played for a long time where they play with a ball in our hallway, yes it's pretty self-explanatory.  They're pretty crazy about it, kicking and throwing the ball at one another dodge ball style and Molly LOVES to be in the thick of it.  She runs up and down the hallway holding her own and going for the ball.  It is so funny watching her tiny self in the mix and kicking the ball like the big guys!

The last few weeks Molly has really started to enjoy books.  She'll bring them over and "demand" that you read them.  She of course enjoys the touch-and-feel books, but she has a pretty decent attention span for her age and likes pretty much any of the board books we have.  She also likes to turn the pages when it's time.  She'll look through books on her own and it's adorable when she sits in her chair or somewhere else and "reads" to herself.  As a book lover myself it warms my heart to see my babies enjoying books so much.

Molly does a lot of babbling and is making all sorts of new sounds.  She loves to imitate sounds and words and I think she's going to end up being a fairly early talker with how social she is.  She's also doing some Baby Sign Language and she of course picked up on the food-related signs very quickly.  She now signs that she wants to eat pretty much all day long and she means it.  She understands that once she signs she's supposed to get food and she's not often thrilled about the fact that we keep to a regular eating schedule.

Molly likes to dance and it's pretty much the cutest thing you'll ever see!  She also gives kisses accompanied by a big "muah!" and is starting to blow kisses as well.  She's been clapping, waving, and giving high-fives for a while now.  It's so cute when she puts her tiny hand up because she wants to high-five!  Her newest "trick" is pointing.  She pokes her chubby little finger at things and just chatters away in her own baby language.  Too bad I can't understand her!

Here, Dada, you look like you need a Puff.

Miss Molly is all about food, but this is nothing new.  As we approached her first birthday Molly self-weaned herself down to just a couple of bottles a day.  I was actively trying to keep up with her bottle feedings for a while before I realized she wasn't having it and she was taking in plenty of food so that I didn't really need to worry.  She still gets bottles before bed and nap time (6 oz in each), but other than that she's all about table food.

Molly has been eating breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner for a while now and loving it!  She's getting whole cow's milk in her bottles now and I'm working on getting her to take it from a cup, but it doesn't seem to interest her too much (Jack was the same way and didn't drink milk once we completely stopped bottles) so I'm in no rush to drop the bottles she is taking.  She does like water in her cups though and drinks plenty!

She's working on using a spoon right now.  She's took to it quickly.  Still messy, but she'll get there.  I need to give her more opportunities to work with it.

She enjoys a wide variety of foods and so far hasn't hit a picky phase (although I'm not holding my breath, it's normal for kids to hit picky phases.  I'm sure it's coming and I'm just thankful we've been so lucky thus far!).  She hasn't outright refused anything although raw tomatoes don't seem to be a favorite.  At the same time, tomatoes this time of year aren't really that tasty to begin with so we'll see how she feels about garden fresh tomatoes this summer (hard to resist!).  Favorites include meats, cheeses, beans, berries, grapes, really she loves any kind of fruit, broccoli, sweet potatoes, avocado... it's honestly kind of hard to narrow down her favorites because she seems to enjoy so many things!  She just eats what we eat and is happy to do it!  Lately she has started to notice if we're eating something different than her (like if we're having something spicy and need to give her a substitute) and she isn't exactly pleased when this happens.  No more being sneaky and withholding foods!

Molly loved her birthday cupcake!  Big surprise, huh?  She ate the whole thing and hardly made a mess at all.  Girl is serious about her food.

Breakfast is typically eggs and (recently) whole-wheat oatmeal toast, or whole-wheat oatmeal toast with almond butter and fruit, or baked oatmeal and fruit

Lunch could be a lot of things.  Often she eats dinner leftovers, but sometimes she'll have a mix of cheese, veggies, and fruit, or sometimes baked chicken or natural turkey lunch meat with fruit/veggies.

Snack is fruit, veggies, and/or organic "Cheerios".  Or sometimes I will take the Cheerios and mix in some yogurt melts or freeze dried fruit to make a "trail mix" kind of snack

Dinner is whatever we're having!

Molly had her same two bottom teeth for several months with no new teeth.  Right before her 1st birthday her top two teeth finally popped through and another week or two later her bottom lateral incisors (the ones on either side of her two bottom ones) came through, and just this week her top lateral incisors are making their appearance as well.  She went from having the same two teeth forever to what seems like a whole mouthful of teeth!  She's been doing a lot of teething (obviously), but has done pretty well with it.  Her night time sleep wasn't awesome right around her 1st birthday and I'm guessing all these new teeth have something to do with it!

Molly and her cousin Rilynn who is only a few weeks older.

So sleep.  She had a few weeks there were night time sleep was pretty iffy with multiple wakeups.  Luckily she seems to have come out of that, but she's still waking up once per night.  I'm hoping she transitions out of that soon.  Jack had a similar sleep pattern and he started sleeping through the night again shortly after his first birthday so ::fingers crossed!::

Around 11 months we decided to transition Molly from 2 naps a day to 1.  It was a little early to make the transition, but I'm confident it was the right choice for her.  You probably realize by now I'm all about letting things happen on their natural progression, but in this instance I feel like a nudge towards 1 nap was what she needed.  With the 2 nap a day schedule it was just too hard to balance her sleep needs against keeping a reasonable schedule and I felt like I was always having to manipulate her naps and as a result she wasn't getting good naps anyway.  Based on the number of hours she needed to be awake in order to get a good nap I felt comfortable stretching it a bit so that she could have one long nap a day vs two short ones.  It was about a 2 week transition, which mostly just entailed her figuring out sleeping for a longer stretch and then she was good to go so I'm glad we went with it!  Right now her schedule looks like this:

7.30/8am: Wake-up, breakfast


11.30am/12pm: Lunch


1-3/3.30pm (somtimes even closer to 4pm): Bottle, nap

Snack & playtime

6pm: Dinner


7.30pm(ish): Bottle, bedtime

12 month stats:

Weight - 23 lbs 9 oz (90th percentile)

Height - 29 inches (30th percentile)

Head circumference - 47 in (90th percentile)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of February 23rd

We had a nice little weekend.  Saturday we were able to get outside and enjoy some nice weather with temps in the 50s and lots of sunshine!  We took Jack around the block a few times so he could practice riding his bike.

Sunday it was back to cold (and I hear unseasonably cold temperatures are on the way.  ::thumbs down:: ).  I had a meeting with a potential doula client - hopefully I'll hear (good) news soon!  I got some things checked off the list for Jack's birthday party this weekend.  My baby is turning 4 on Friday!  I can't even.  He just needs to stop growing up so fast.  I also whipped up some of these individual baked oatmeals to have on hand for breakfasts (this non-morning person who has to feed little people every morning is a big fan of utilizing the freezer to provide nutritious breakfasts!) and we closed out our weekend by watching the best Walking Dead I've seen in a while.

Annnd now it's Monday.

Lots to do this week!  Here's what we're eating:

Sunday:  Vegetable Beef & Barley Soup with Crusty Bread

Monday:  Cheesy Beef and Pasta with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Tuesday:  Freezer Meal with Vegetable/Salad

Wednesday:  Leftovers

Thursday:  Homemade Pizza

Friday:  Out

Saturday:  Out

I'm linked at Menu Plan Monday hosted by OrgJunkie.com

Monday, February 17, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of February 16th

Lovely little weekend.  We saw some more snow, but nothing too heavy.  Saturday morning I had my third and final prenatal meeting with my doula client and now I'm officially on call for my first birth!  Excited, nervous, all the feelings, basically.

After our appointment I ran some errands and I'm reminded why I do my best to avoid shopping.  I really don't enjoy it.  I'm a much better online shopper where I don't have to go out in public and deal with everything that entails.  Not only did I strike out with the purchases I needed to make, but I also spent an incredible amount of time standing around Walmart waiting.  First, for 20 minutes at the customer service desk which was manned by a single employee on a Saturday afternoon (Gaaah!) to make a return, and then in an insanely long checkout line that despite being labelled "express" was anything but.  I think I have some slight emotional damage lingering from that whole experience.

You know on American Horror Story: Coven when the characters each went and experienced their personal Hell?  Yeah... this right here is mine. 

Sunday my family came over to entertain the kids so that Mark and I could enjoy a much-needed date!  We saw Monuments Men (it was great!  Mark has a not-so-secret man-crush on Matt Damon.  I don't blame him.) and then enjoyed a kid-free dinner.  We had such a nice time!  And the kids had fun at home with Nana and Papa and Uncle Tommy. *Sigh* I really needed that.

We ended the night with cheesecake and The Walking Dead once the kids were in bed.  Perfection!

Pretty light this week as far as cooking goes.  The enchilada quinoa bake I'm making on Monday will yield tons of leftovers so in addition to lunches I plan to utilize them on Wednesday when Mark won't be home for dinner as well as on Thursday when we'll be short on time because I have a meeting to attend.  During this season of my life I am beyond thankful for simple meals that are cheap, easy, and feed us for multiple meals!

Plenty to keep us busy this week.  The temperature is supposed to warm up considerably and I'm super looking forward to it!  Here's what we'll be eating:

Sunday:  Out!

Monday:  Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Bake

Tuesday:  Sloppy Joes with Zesty Potato Wedges

Wednesday:  Leftovers

Thursday:  Leftovers/Freezer Meal

Friday:  Out

Saturday:  Apps

I'm linked at Menu Plan Monday hosted by OrgJunkie.com

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of February 9th

Menu Plan Monday on Tuesday.  Clearly I'm not on top of things.

We had a (much needed) relaxing weekend!  Mark even brought me coffee in bed one morning and later that day he and Jack went to see Frozen at the movie theater.  Jack had such a fun time and says his most favorite part of the outing was the popcorn, haha!  I got some quiet reading time while Molly napped.  Good things all around.

Sunday things happened (laundry, meal planning, grocery shopping, house stuff).  We were under a level 1 snow emergency for a time Sunday afternoon.  This weather... I can't even.  I know everyone and their mother is complaining about the cold right now, but seriously I think I might just shrivel up and die if I don't get some fresh air and a good amount of sunshine soon.  I NEED it.  I'm already looking forward to that burst of energy/productivity I will receive come spring, which really is just a return to my non-winter self.  SUUUUUUN!

For dinner on Sunday I made the pretzel bread linked below and we made grilled cheese panini with the bread + beer cheese and it was just as amazing as you're thinking.  Lucky for me, I have another loaf stashed in the freezer for a later time!

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday:  Grilled Cheese Panini on Pretzel Bread with apples and veggie sticks

Monday:  Jalapeno Popper Chili (Crock Pot)

Tuesday:  Buffalo Ranch Chicken Wraps with Ranch Potato Wedges

Wednesday:  General Tso's Chicken with Brown Rice and Broccoli

Thursday:  Leftovers/Freezer Meal

Friday:  Happy Valentine's Day!  Out

Saturday:  Out

I'm linked at Menu Plan Monday hosted by OrgJunkie.com

Monday, February 3, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of February 2nd

Another busy weekend in the books!

We were finally able to have Molly's 1st birthday party after having to postpone last weekend due to weather.  Yep, last weekend it was cold and we got like 8 inches of snow.  A few days later we had lows of -25 degrees and then this weekend it was 52 degrees.  Mmmkay.  That's Ohio for you.

Anyway, very busy Friday preparing for the party.  Saturday morning I had another prenatal meeting with my doula client, which went great, then home to frost cupcakes and load up for the party, then off to set up and by the time we actually had the party I was beat.  Hopefully I'll be able to share a few pictures later this week.  Sunday I was going to rest after the busy few days I had, but of course there was plenty of things to keep me busy so it wasn't all that relaxing.  Although, I can't complain too much considering Mark did the grocery store run for me while he was out getting a hair cut.  He rocked the couponing while he was there, stopped by the library to pick up my holds, and brought me a McDonald's sweet tea.  Niiice!  Even if I was at home doing laundry at least I was able to wear yoga pants all day :D

My house is still a mess.  Am I the only person whose house is a mess for days after a birthday?  The kitchen is of course in shambles and it always takes me a few dishwasher cycles to catch up on dishes, and there's the decor to figure out what to do with, and the new birthday gifts that need a home.  I'm supposed to be hosting a play date on Wednesday so I'd better start getting the house back in order!  We're also anticipating a snow storm Tuesday night so we might not be hosting a play date after all.

And now that Molly's party is behind us I'm rolling right into planning mode for Jack's birthday later this month.  Don't get me wrong, I love celebrating my babies, but I will be very, very happy once all the party planning/preparation/hosting is out of the way until next year!

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday:  Apps for the Superbowl

Monday:  Leftovers

Tuesday:  Mexican Black Beans (Crock Pot) with Cilantro-Lime Rice

Wednesday:  Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Thursday:  Leftovers/Freezer Meal

Friday:  Out

Saturday:  Out/Apps

I'm linked at Menu Plan Monday hosted by OrgJunkie.com