Friday, September 20, 2013

Almost 2 years old!

Annelise is quickly approaching 2 years old.

She is so much fun to be with, and has her very own distinct personality. Likes and dislikes, attitudes both positive and negative, and is just constantly learning, as any 2 year old should be!

I wish I could hold on to the way she says things right now. The way she says "Unky Don", "Wessy", or "No no kitty!" (when the neighbor kitty gets on our patio!). But she's constantly repeating what we say and is enunciating so well lately. Well, relative to how she was talking 2 months ago. :) She uses full sentences occasionally, and we can almost understand each other, when she's not freaking out and crying, which she does a lot when she really wants something. The life of a 2-year-old is oh-so-traumatic sometimes.

I feel like this week has been busier than most, but my favorite part of my day with Annelise lately has been our bedtime routine. Brushing, flossing, getting pj's on, and reading bedtime stories. LOTS of stories. I'm still not totally sure whether Annelise genuinely loves reading, or if she just brings me more and more books to read so she doesn't have to go to bed. But either way, it's really fun to cuddle up with her and read these cute little stories.

We have a bed with a little shelf in the back of it to hold her cardboard blocks and a pile of books, most are from the library right now. Her current favorite, or at least, the one she usually picks out to read first, is "The Lord's Prayer: Explained for Little Ones". It's so cute the way she interacts with the books, making comments about the pictures similar to what I said the night before, or noticing a kitty or lightning images that she recognizes from real life! Other books she really likes are "The Foot Book" by Dr. Seuss, "Pajama Time", "Thumper's Shapes", and her collection of the Little Einstein board books she got from our Portland friends last October. Those are some of my favorites, too, because they're a quick read and we can talk a bunch about the different images and thoughts from the books.

Her imagination has been thriving lately, too. She likes to pretend that Pooh Bear and any of her other stuffed friends get thirsty, hungry, or want to dance with her. She's such a goofball, she gave all her stuff animals hugs and kisses before setting them down before lunch one day. :) And we've been playing piano more! I'm trying to teach her to isolate a few keys at a time- the sets of two and three black keys. Now that I've been doing it with her for a couple weeks, she'll go up to the piano and say "Back keys, back keys!". She doesn't really hit the two and three sets, but at least she's kind of got the idea of hitting the different color keys.

She loves to look for the moon at night. When it's dark out and we're driving, sometimes she'll say "I see da moon! I see it! It's right dere!" And sometimes it is there, and sometimes she's just excited and hoping to see the moon. :) And then she'll reeeeach for the moon really hard! But we can never reach it. It's just too high!

The other day, daddy put Annelise down for a nap and didn't put the crib gate* all the way back up. Well, she decided she didn't want nap time, and about 20 minutes later, daddy heard her crying on our main floor! She had climbed out of the crib (don't worry, no owies, bruises, or scrapes), opened her bedroom door, and then opened our bedroom door to try and find daddy, but he wasn't there. She turned on the light in the stairs, and climbed all the way down, looking for somebody! I think she was probably scared she was all alone, but daddy found her pretty quick after that. But really! She's so big, turning on lights, opening doors, and climbing out of her crib all by herself!

And finally, her favorite word for when she wants anything is "mommy". "Mooommy! mommy! mommy!" over and over and over and over. It's especially repetitive and sad sounding when she hasn't seen me for awhile and just wants to hang out with me, or when daddy didn't let her have or do something that mommy might let her do instead. Mommy's definitely the softy parent in this whole parenting thing. I should probably work on that. ;)

Mayhaps I'll upload a current picture of her later over the weekend. But for now, these are my updates. Hope to be back soon...

*Yeah yeah, I know, drop-side cribs are evil and outlawed or something. But I like them because I can give kisses at night without falling over into the crib, and it's a nice crib! So tough. I'm keeping my drop-side crib. :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

19 months

Annelise has just reached 19 months yesterday, and she's been such a big girl lately.

One of the funniest things she's been doing lately is saying "no!" to whatever situation she can come up with. If she does something bad, like throw her food or dishes on the ground from off her high chair, she'll realize she wasn't supposed to do it, and says "no!". She'll ask for a piggy back ride to go downstairs, then we'll get ready to pull her up, and she walks away saying, "no!". And if we tell her about anything else, she'll copy us right away, not always stopping whatever we're telling her not to do.

She's getting better at putting things away. This is something we've had to work on, and I think we'll continually need to work on. We have a song we learned in Kindermusik about putting our toys away:
Let's put our toys away,
put our toys away,
away, away, away,
we put our toys away.
All done!
So now whenever we put away toys, I'll sing that song, and she'll sing "away, away, away!" with me. :)

Her favorite Kindermusik song, or little poem to music piece, is "Shoe a little horse, shoe a little mare, but let the little colt go bare, bare, bare!" She goes crazy with excitement when it comes on in the car, and even sang along with the "bare, bare, bare!" part once! This video was the second time through the song, so she didn't squeal with excitement like she did the first time, but you can see she still loves it! I love how her head bobbles around since car seats don't really allow for much dancing... ;)

She's figured out how to get you to go places with her. She'll grab your finger or hand, pull you up from wherever you are, and just start walking! She had first figured this out when I was laying on the floor resting, and she pulled my hair up and eventually I would get up with her. I really like when she takes my finger or hand, though. :) We've been working on the whole, holding hands in public places, thing lately. She's so independent that she HATES holding our hands in Target, or any other open area where she's able to walk. [Oh, and she's learned the word "walk", sounds like "ahk!"] If she gets tired of holding our finger, we'll hold her hand to hold her up. We have to hold her up because when she doesn't want us holding her hand, she goes completely limp, and would probably hurt herself falling down if we didn't let her go down softly.

When she's done with her nap, and she's waiting for us to come get her, sometimes she's throw all her bed things out of her crib. Everything except, of course, her Pooh bear. Pooh bear gets special treatment, see. He's her favorite right now, though she also loves her pink musical giraffe, her fluffy puppy doggy, her firefox (red panda), Blue, little sheep, and her lion. She loves to make the lion roar! But all of those guys (plus her blankets) get kicked to the curb while her Pooh bear is always in her hands when we get her out of the crib.

Monday, January 28, 2013


I signed Annelise up for Kindermusik the day before her classes started. I decided that weekend that I wanted her to get involved with something, especially since she lacks the social aspect of going to a daycare or something similar. I'm glad I found this just in time!

Lots of the activities involve bouncing, swaying, swinging and dancing. Singing about baby activities, or trying to use common phrases that baby would use in regular life. Most of the activities involve holding our baby on our lap or on the floor, and doing motions for them, or doing baby massage. Annelise is way too old for that. She's so wiggly and squirmy! She still really enjoys listening to the songs, though, as she wanders around and looks at people, other babies, or stuff.

Sometimes it feels like Annelise enjoys class too much! She's one of the oldest babies in the class, since it's a 0-1.5 year old class, and she's something like 1.25 years old? 16 months, whatever that is in years. She and one other baby were the only walkers in the first session, which made it awkward when Annelise would keep getting up during the different songs and exploring the whole room. I guess that's totally normal, she's a baby who wants to learn, but I just felt embarrassed that my daughter was the only one not doing exactly what our teacher was singing for us to do! She does like any time I toss her in the air, or spin her around as part of the song activity. Lots of giggles! Bouncing around the room to syncopated rhythms is always fun, too.

One of the songs Annelise loves to participate in is the "Jingle, jingle, jingle, goes the baby bells" song. We do that one at home with her all the time! She learns her "where" sign, and how to hide the bells and then find them again! She always gets really excited during class for the toys to come out so we can sing that song. She will point up to the toys up on the shelf the moment we walk in the room and get excited about playing with them. I have to tell her that they're "put away", and we'll play with them later. And then once play time with the toys is done, we have to tell her again "put away!", and "all done!". She's very understanding about toy time being all done.

Now that we've been to 4 classes, or almost a full month, several of the other kids are now full on walkers, too, so the class is much more crazy, and I don't feel like I'm the only one with an out-of-control kid. They're toddlers now, it's what they do. :)

All in all, I'm glad she's going to Kindermusik. She's still the most active one in the class, running around to everyone and playing and saying hi to them, or wandering outside the perimeter of the room and playing with the mirror, doorstops, or whatever else. But she's getting socialized, and some more interesting mental stimulation, which I'm glad for! She'll also be more ready to participate in the older classes as she gets older, and hopefully continue to develop that little brain of hers with lots of social and logical skills!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Level of tantrums

Although I like to think of Annelise being the perfect child, she does have the occasional tantrum. Usually it's because we've told her to not do something she wants to, or because we won't let her have something she wants, like candy or her pacifier. Luckily, they're still few and far between, but I have a feeling as she continues to exert her independence as a little toddler, we'll have more of them to come.

Her tantrums right now are pretty tame. The weakest ones are when she just sort of whimpers when we haven't noticed that she wants something. She'll walk over to whatever it is, and start her fake little cry. Or sometimes she starts a tantrum with that, when she can't get something to work right, like getting food on her spoon or fork.

The next level of tantrum is when she gets upset while we're holding her, or she's in her high chair, or really, wherever, and she arches her back suddenly, and just about careens herself to the floor. She cries a lot more loudly, and makes it known that she's obviously unhappy. If we take care of whatever it is that she's complaining about, this is usually where the tantrum stops. Sometimes she realizes that she doesn't care that much, and gets over it quickly. But if not...

The final level of tantrum is a full out wailing and throwing herself to the floor, laying face down on the ground and wiggling. This has happened 2, maybe 3 times. One time was because she couldn't get the food on her fork, she really didn't want anyone to help her, and she freaked out when I tried. Since then, I make sure to ask if she wants help, and it seems like she understands that phrase and that I'll just put food on her utensil and she can do the rest. Another time was just that either Mark or I was holding her, and she really didn't want to be held at that moment in time.

Honestly, I still find her tantrums funny. Especially the full out, lay on the floor and wiggle around ones. They're usually over ridiculous things. Kids are kinda crazy sometimes, you know?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Bed Time Routine

Annelise's favorite bed time story lately is Pajama Time! I sing it in a jazzy tune, and she really loves it. The last page is all about her getting tucked in bed and hushing down to sleep! I did some research online, and found that there's actually a song written already. As it turns out, my version is pretty darn close to how they sing it here:!

I try to read her a bed time story each night so it sort of become routine. We not so great at routine around here, though. But at least I try? I've been trying to sit her down in her rocking chair and have her hold a book that I read through with her. She's almost got the attention span for that now. But even if she wanders away for a bit, I keep reading the story and eventually she comes back to see what I'm doing. I think it's working to just read and let her figure out whether she wants to sit there and listen. Sometimes when we're reading, she tried to pull forward to other pages, or just go to the end and she says "ah-eh", like "The End"... but it's not over yet! She just gets excited? I have to force her to let the pages go in the correct order so hopefully she'll eventually understand that we're going to read it all through before "The End".

I've been trying to brush her teeth each night, too, but it's hard to do that since she always wants to rip the brush out of my hands and just gnaw on it. The toothbrush was one of her favorite teething toys, and it's still somewhat of a comfort item for her just to hold it. She got a Baby Pooh bear toothbrush for Christmas, and I've designated that to be her regular toothbrushing brush. Hopefully it'll stick.

I try to do a bath time every few nights. If we did every night, I think her skin would dry out too much. But she really loves bath time! Especially with the new squirty toys she got for Christmas! Starfishies, penguins, whales, walruses... they're all cute and Annelise thinks they're awesome. She's also got her little yellow ducky as usual, her Cheat Commando toys, and a couple of bath books. Sometimes she has so much fun, she doesn't want to get out. But she's all pruny, and really needs to. So I drain the tub, and she gets kinda bummed. But then looks forward to the nice fluffy warm hooded towel! That hooded towel she got for her birthday is the best. I should really make her a couple more of those now that I have a sewing machine of my own.

Once bath time is over, we usually have to calm down a bit by playing in her room, reading a story, or coming down for one more light snack before bed time. Bed time is usually between 8 and 9pm, but it just depends on how hectic or lazy her day was, or if she got a good nap in. We're not totally strict with routine, and try to follow her cues as much as possible. But she sometimes doesn't want to go to bed at all! Even when it's almost 9pm! That's when we know she's either hungry, or overtired and we have to let her deal with it and complain up there in her crib until she figures out she's tired and falls asleep.

She's a good sleeper, and I'm incredibly grateful for that. Even with fussy bed times, she usually falls asleep within 15 minutes of laying her down. I can only really remember a couple nights over the past few months where she just wouldn't go to sleep. Poor baby... I think she was probably teething at the time, and nothing was really helping.

So there you go. Our bed time routine, or lack thereof, as we currently have for now.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas 2012 and updates!

This Christmas has been an exciting one, that's for sure. Of course, Annelise still doesn't really get Christmas, but she's understanding that opening boxes means fun things come out of them! Since I haven't updated in awhile, I'm going to try and recap a lot of what she's up to lately.

She's almost 15 months old. Has her doctor's appointment on January 4th for the 15 month visit. I won't be able to go, since I'll be in Ames at my new external office! That's a whole other story, but I'm sad that this will be the first doctor's visit I have to miss. Ever. Mark had better take good notes of what goes on in that appointment!

For Christmas this year, we went to Mark's side of the family, and got to hang out with the whole gang! It was a really great time, and I'm so glad we got to see everyone. Annelise especially enjoyed all the hubbub, but occasionally needed her downtime after being with so many people. The first night we were in town, we went to a local west-Mex restaurant, as Mark likes to call it, and Annelise didn't really like anything but the cheese chips or cheese quesadilla. She really likes to eat independently, so me and Grandma helped give her little bites of each to choose from. Any time we tried to give her beans or rice, she'd make a face and push them out of her mouth with her tongue. I tend to get annoyed when it happens because I want her to like lots of food! But it's really pretty hilarious when it happens. For breakfast, Grandma makes a feast of foods, pancakes, french toast, bacon, eggs cooked how you like, fruit, juice, coffee, milk, chocolate milk... Anyway, Annelise loves fruit, and is randomly picky about eggs. She likes pancakes pretty well, and sometimes likes french toast. She hasn't had a lot of bacon yet, but I think she likes that, too. She loves drinking out of her straw for juice or milk! She got to have lots of egg nog this Christmas! When eating meals, she's decided that's she wants to be independent. So, we have to give her a little fork and break up her food in pieces small enough that she can stab and get to her mouth. She's pretty good at it already. She's really not great with a spoon, though. Doesn't quite understand the scooping concept nor does she have the coordination to keep the food on the spoon if she happens to get it on there. But oh well. The fork works well most of the time! She does get really frustrated if she can't get the food on the fork in the first couple of tries. It takes some calming down or helping (if she lets me!) to get her going again.

Speaking of food, we're trying to get her to eat more different kinds of foods. She really likes most breakfast foods, oatmeal, cheerios, pancakes and such, but sometimes doesn't like eggs. She's randomly picky about veggies, but usually likes carrots. At Christmas Eve dinner, she was being really cranky, and wouldn't eat much but the dinner roll, a little sweet potato and some cranberry sauce. She might have just been tired, though... it was approaching 8 which is her early end of her bedtime. She's usually getting ready from 8-9pm, and usually earlier than that if she's had a busy day. She does have a pretty good nap and sleeping routine. I'm kind of surprised it's so regular it is, but she generally gets up around 8, naps at 12 until 3 or so, then is up till 8 or so.

During our time at the grandparent's house, Annelise practiced her walking a lot. In the living room, she'd walk between people sitting on the couch, to the chair, to the rocking chair, to the rocking chair her size, and to whoever else was around. Maybe 5 feet walking distances each way. It seemed to really build up her confidence, especially when she'd make it all the way to one side without plopping down or tripping on anything and we'd cheer for her! Yaaaaay!!! She gets so excited when we cheer and clap for her. Sometimes she'll try to do things she knows we've clapped and cheered for in the past again, just because she loves it so much. Like taking a toy in and out of her toy box over and over because we cheered the first time for her putting it away! Or when she puts on her gold or pink bead necklace, we cheered the first time because it was so cool watching her figure that out... then she does it over and over! If we don't cheer for her, sometimes she cheers for herself. It's so funny. Anyway, throughout the course of the Christmas time, she eventually decided she likes walking! Now that we're home again, she's walking everywhere, falls every once in awhile, but usually just when something's in the way. (It's still a mess in here with her little toys and things around the living room...) She's not my little baby anymore! She's a big girl who can walk all by herself!

Other new things... Annelise has a few more words she sort of says. In the mornings when I get her out of bed, I bring her into our bedroom and say, "Hi Daddy!" And usually she copies me and says, "Hi Deh-deh!" It's adorable! She also pretty clearly says "dah" when she wants down on the floor. One time a long time ago she tried to say "Pooh Bear", that came out "puh-buh" really cute sounding... but she hasn't tried to say it since that day. Sadness, especially since I was out of town. But at least it's on a Voxer I can listen to over and over again! Mark and I think she sometimes says "all done", but it's little too garbled and inconsistent at this point to really know that's what she's saying. Her latest word that she says really consistently is "uh-oh!" She started saying it in the car ride on the way home from the grandparent's house. It was just me with her, so Mark didn't get to hear it right away (he was driving the other car home). But she said it right after I heard her drop her pacifier down the the car floor beside her car seat. I copied her, and she copied me back. We probably spent a whole 10 minutes on that drive saying "uh-oh" back and forth. And now she says it for whenever she drops something out of her high chair, or loses her pacifier out of her crib, or knocks something over while walking... it's really cute!

Annelise also has enough hair to hold little hair clips with bows in her hair! She looks like the cutest little girl ever. But she usually takes the bow back out within in five minutes of putting it in. I'd love for her to wear them all the time, but alas, bows would be all over the house. The first time I put one in, I also put one in my hair to show her. She got jealous of course, and wanted me to help her put one in her hair, then we looked in the mirror, and I told her, "So pretty!" She thought she was cool stuff, you could tell. But then, she tried to grab the bow out of my hair, then grabbed the one in hers and pulled it out. So... it's not long lasting. But I'm still excited her hair is long and thick enough to hold a tiny bow clip!

Very first coloring all by herself happened today! I opened her brand new Toy Story coloring book that was in her stocking, with some included crayons, (the basic red, yellow, blue, and green) opened to the first page for her, and she colored it up! Red is her favorite... wonder why? ;) Check out her masterpiece...

We also colored this one a few weeks ago, but I helped a bit with the coloring of Pooh, Tigger, and the purple tea cups. She did a lovely job of coloring the picnic setting...

Anyway, those are the latest updates. I'll end it here. This was long. Hopefully I'll post again soon! But I likely won't. Unless my facebook fills up with too many posts about Annelise and I need a better and slightly more permanent outlet for all this. Or I get inspired. You better hope I get inspired.... :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Handedness, Standing/Walking, and More!

I think Annelise is a lefty. She tried eating her pasta today with a spoon, and got 3 spoonfuls in with her left, and none with the right. And she seemed far more frustrated with her right hand, and kept wanting to just pick the pasta pieces up with her left hand. Also, she's always favored her left hand for everything. 

Annelise has stood up on her own and stayed standing several times in the last week. She still plops down anywhere from immediately to about 15 seconds from when she got up, but it's progress! She likes to use her walker, but is so good at crawling now, she'd much rather just crawl places. I think the main reasons she likes the walker is because it makes cool sounds and I get really excited when she uses it. 

For the past week or so, I think one of her molars has been trying to come through. I can kind of see the front and back of a top left tooth in the back, but not the middle part yet. She's been really cranky, waking up at all hours of the night whining and whimpering. It's so sad, and also so grating on Mark and my nerves, because it's almost nonstop for hours when it starts. We try just about everything to make her feel better, food, cold foods, stuff to chew on, Orajel, Tylenol when a slight fever hits, distractions with games or toys... I think molars are just the worst. 

She has become attached to her toothbrush lately. I don't exactly know if it's related to the teething, but I'm pretty sure she loves the toothbrush because it's got both the bristled part the feels fun on her gums, and the soft rubbery part on the other end and that also feels nice to massage her gums with! She grips that thing like a mad woman, though. It's intense!

Annelise loves the rocking chair she got to use at her grandparent's house a couple weekends back. I think it was her Uncle Scott's? She was so funny getting in and then rocking for a bit, sticking her legs straight out as usual, of course, for any chair she sits in. Then she'll hop back out of it, play with something else for a second, and then get back in the chair and rock again! Repeat about 10-15 times. She was having such a good time!

It's been unusually warm for this time of year in Iowa. But it's great because the best way to cheer up Annelise when she's grumpy is to head outside and let her crawl in the grass! She likes to look at the rocks in the rock garden at her grandparent's house! She's so funny, because she knows she's not supposed to eat them, since we've told her as much, but she thinks she's being sneaky. She'll grab a rock, kinda lick it really fast, and then throw it over the edge. It's like she's rebelling against us telling her not to put the rock in her mouth! What a little stinker!! At her other grandparent's, she likes to crawl around in the grass, pick up leaves, and try to put those in her mouth when I'm not looking. But I'm always looking! Joke's on her!

At our place, Annelise and I like hang out on our patio, and she pulls herself up on the railing bars, and looks down to the driveway below. In our tiny little lawn, she likes to crawl back and forth, then test me on whether or not she can climb down the curb to the parking lot area, but that's a no-no! She also likes to look at the weather beacon towers. They blink red and white bright lights! I can't wait until next weekend when we put up Christmas lights to see what Annelise thinks of them this year!