Friday, May 31, 2013

Vivian's One Year Doctor Visit

Vivian weighed in at 18 lbs 6 oz, not quite a two pound increase over her nine month weight. Strangely enough, that made her go slightly up in the WHO percentiles (from 24 to 28) but she dropped ever so slightly in the CDC percentiles (from 13 to 11). She grew an inch to 29.5 inches tall, which dropped her down to the 65th and 63rd percentiles on the CDC and WHO scales. Her head is 18.31 inches, jumping up to the 87th and 88th percentiles (from 70 and 73), so I guess that means she's getting a big head. She got four vaccines: Pneumococcal 13 (PCV 4th round), Hepatitis A (1st round), Measles Mumps Rubella (1st round), and Varicella (aka chicken pox - 1st round).

Vivian has definitely developed a fever within about 8 hours of receiving the vaccines. According to the information provided about the vaccines, it's most likely the PCV, but there is a chance it's the MMR. With ibuprofen she is perfectly happy. She got a dose around 4 p.m., 2 a.m., and another around 1:30 p.m. today.

She met all the development questions with flying concerns and despite the fact that she can't get into a sitting position on her own yet, the doctor was not concerned. In fact, he thought she was doing very well and looked great. So good, in fact, that we're skipping the 15 month visit and not going back again until 18 months for Vivian. That also means our next scheduled appointment will be for Theo's three year check up in the fall.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Happy Birthday Vivian!

Today we celebrated Vivian's first birthday. She woke up at 7:16 (a good bit after her brother, who was confined to his room until she got up lest he wonder in and demolish all the gifts before she got a crack at them) to a roomful of presents and balloons. We stacked the goodies on the coffee table, but there were too many to fit there, so they expanded to the child's rocking chair as well. We got her four ballons, a pink happy birthday to you one with polka dots and three shapes - a Caribbean blue circle, a pink heart, and lime green star. We attached them to her chair at the dining room table. Lest he feel left out, Theo scored a basketball balloon. And a respectable stack of his own gifts.

Vivian was found the balloons fairly quickly once she emerged from the bedroom, but she was much more interested in Tetley and Granddaddy. Theo went straight for the presents. Vivian showed a slight interest in the contents of the bags, a strong interest in ripping paper off boxes (we wrapped only a few in paper), and very little interest in most of the contents. Her immediate favorites were the laptop (a toddler version for those of you who might be concerned) and the ball. Theo loved the reincarnations of the laptop as well, and had trouble sharing. Vivian also scored quite a few new clothes (two pairs of pants, two short sleeve shirts, a dress, and an outfit) as well as a hand-knitted hat with ear flaps and straps for tying (thanks Ciacio Kasia!). She got four new books, a new baby doll, a pop-up toy (you push different buttons and flip levers so doors pop open with animals)a shape sorter, a baking set, a peg push up toy, a purse filled with cards and keys on keychains, a Mozart music cube, a rocking chair (that we brought back into action now that space is available in the absence of the Exersaucer, but I did stick a bow on it), a fox hooded towel, a pink race car, a rainbow plush ball specifically chosen by Theo, and several cards from her great aunts and uncles, as well as the traditional dollar for her first birthday (and some college money). She ran out of steam well before the presents ran out, and just wanted to walk around and play with things that were already out. Most of those were immediately snatched by her brother, until he discovered something underneath the t-shirt one of his gift bags.

Theo got an ice cream set, four new books including one Lego building book set that includes Legos, a new t-shirt, three new trains (an engine, a passenger car, and a caboose), and two sets of train tracks (two connecting pieces in each set).

Vivian got hungry following the present run and asked for breakfast. Daddy was already en route to the bakery, and returned with two slices of cheese cake, croissants, a cream puff, a cookie, and some other sweet things I couldn't identify but were declared tasty. Vivian choose the cheese cake with berry something or another. I didn't get a great look before it got demolished. She shoved it in with both hands (but did not just stick her whole face in, which is what her brother did when presented with his first birthday treat). We stuck the 1 candle on and lit it, and Vivian put it out with her fist covered in whipped cream or icing or whatever was on the top of her cheesecake. She did not care for the way it stuck to her hands and tried to shake it off repeatedly with little effect. When she tired of cheesecake (trust me, it didn't look like anything I would want to eat at that point either), she moved on to chocolate croissant with all the chocolate bits removed. She put a pretty sizable dent in that as well.

After breakfast we spent more time exploring all the fun new stuff before exhausting her and going down for a nap. Following her morning nap, she got to spend an hour or more upstairs without any competition for toys. Vivian really enjoyed the purse, mostly taking the cards out and passing them back and forth with Granddaddy. She also got to touch the train tracks, birds from the birdhouse, and other toys that would normally send Theo into screaming fits if she looked at them too hard. (Theo went to the basement with Grandma where apparently he listened to Billy Goats Gruff ten times.)

Lunch consisted of yogurt raisins (Vivian licked the yogurt off and spit out the raisins), tomato, a slice of turkey, and tons of macaroni and cheese. More playing came next, and then an afternoon nap to restore her energy. She grazed on Cheezits with Granddaddy in the afternoon then Skyped with Dziadzius and Babcia. Then we spent almost an hour in the backyard with Theo and Grandma before heading the buffet for dinner. Vivian ate cheese, more cheese, another round of cheese, macaroni and cheese (do you see a theme here?), and followed all that with frosting from a cupcake and poking at blocks of jello (which she definitely did not find edible). We also gave her a cone with frozen yogurt and let her rip, and she enjoyed pounding it on the table ice cream side down more than she liked eating it, which she also did. She drank lemonade and water and scored a balloon ball (I don't even know how to describe so I'll depend on photos for that) from the balloon man at the restaurant in honor of the occasion.

We took giraffe photos once we got home.

You'll get a pretty good idea of Vivian's habits from the description of her day above. She still naps twice a day, once in the morning around 9:30 and in the afternoon at roughly 2. The morning one is much more flexible as she often misses it or it gets pushed back due to outings and activities, so it ranges anywhere from 15 minute power naps in the car to an hour and half.  The afternoons are rarely less than an hour and half and can go up to two hours or more depending on how far behind she is on sleep. Overnight, a regular (good) night means she sleeps from about 7:30 or 8 until her first feeding around 6 a.m. and then goes back to sleep in the crib until 7 or later. A bad night, blamed on teething lately, can mean up to three additional wakings and most likely feedings (11 to 12, 2, and 4), or even most of the night spent in bed with Mama. Often she spends the last hour in bed with me anyway because I fall back to sleep while she's nursing.

In addition to the overnight feedings, Vivian is nursing before each nap and bedtime and, at the moment, as often as she likes to snack during the day, which is easily one or two more times. She is hungry pretty much right on schedule for solids at around 8, 12:30, 4, and 6, but can be bought off with extra nursing. I have started in the past three weeks to give her cow's milk in a bottle in addition to nursing because I didn't want another vat of formula that would last forever at only 6 oz of consumption a day, and our supply of frozen breastmilk was depleted. I am totally out of the pumping business and have been since late February, and that's one thing I do not miss. Cow's milk is great because we always have it on hand and I don't feel any sort of guilt or grief about pouring it down the drain if she doesn't want it. I also don't have any problems saving some until the next feeding either, so less goes down the drain anyway.

Vivian can hold her own bottle but hasn't mastered the art of tilting it yet, so she does best when laying down.

As for movement, Vivian can walk across a room if she doesn't need to turn at all and is properly motivated. She still prefers to get around holding onto one hand, but any other object seems to satisfy as well. She can stand indefinitely, and easily reach down and pick up items off the floor while holding onto a table or someone's hand. In fact, I'd say the remarkable stuff in motor skills is what she isn't doing. She still can't quite sit up on her own, so you'll never find her sitting or standing in the crib. She does not pull up on anything, so she depends entirely on someone's hands to get into a standing position. That's not 100% the case, as she can get upright by sheer force using someone sitting on the floor for leverage, but it is not pretty. If she gets onto her stomach, she gets mad and only moves backwards trying to figure out how to sit up again. And she really doesn't care for sitting at all unless it's a meal or something super interesting and novel. Those things might buy you five minutes tops.

By far her favorite activity is simply walking around, although chasing Theo and finding Tetley are very high on the list as well. There is nothing she loves more than a ball in the toy department, and she loves dogs. She can find a dog image that I would never notice and point to it. Vivian loves to take things out and put them in, and open and close containers. When eating, she wants some of whatever anyone else has, including utensils and dishes. She likes to put food in a bowl from her tray then eat it, or put it on the spoon then take it off with her hand and eat it.

Vivian has a ton of words now, enough that I know I won't get them all. She says Tetley and Mama and Dada still, as well as Grandmama and Granddaddy. She says book and blow and woofs for dogs and says kitty and balloon and bunny. She often will say one word extremely clearly multiple times over the course of one day, like she is perfecting it. Then we won't hear it again for days or even weeks. She signs milk for any liquid now, and rarely uses the water sign which she used to use for water at meals. She still signs eat and waves hi and bye like a champ. She loves to give and receive kisses, and does so by leaning over, which often results in bumped heads. She is super sweet about handing toys to Theo, and both seem to enjoy that game, as well as the "car game". That game consists of Theo standing behind her chair and dropping cars over the back and Vivian passing them back underneath the seat in the gap between the bottom of the booster and the seat of the chair itself. They both think it is a blast.

Vivian loves getting tossed into the air and turned upside down. Noble Duke of York is by far her favorite song followed closely by Trot Trot to Boston. She also loves to climb stairs and would go up and down all day if allowed. She can really swing her foot up and then uses both hands to throw herself back and leverage herself up the step. It isn't at all pretty or independent but she adores it.

Vivian has four teeth visible - the first two on the bottom, a third top right one that started coming through on May 6th, and another top left canine (so there is a gap between the two upper ones in) poking its way through as of May 12th. Vivian still has no hair - even less than Theo at this age if I recall correctly.

I will try to get Vivian's stats up shortly as well. We love you Vivian and look forward to many more years celebrating you!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Tulip Festival

The next chunk of photos are from our annual trek to the tulip fields. I have very few stellar (or even really decent expressions) in my photos, so I'm stealing from Michal's collection.

We went prepared, but the mud was still epic this visit. Theo sank in the puddles past his boots at times and actually wanted to be carried. I won't bore you with the details of the car stroller trying to overcome these conditions, but it is still coated in mud as a result of our attempts.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

April's Best Photos

April went by in a blur, most likely because we spent almost half the month traveling to and fro. I'll try and get the photos from our trip out shortly, but in the meantime here are my favorites from the first part of the month. You can check out the entire gallery, too.

Theo enjoys an Easter cupcake from our neighbor across the alley, Ms. Phyllis. (Post note: look at those lovely even teeth all in their correct locations!)

We went to the Museum of History and Industry on the first Thursday of the month, when lots of area museums stay open late and have free admission. This particular museum had recently moved and reopened. Theo is pointing out the geese on the lake on our way from the parking lot to the museum.

Vivian finally started in the parent child class where Theo has been attending for two years. She really enjoyed the first class. Here she is smiling at herself in the mirror on this toy.

Theo likes to catch all the fish in his fishing game and line them up on the dining room table. He plays this game every week with Ms. Patricia (also a neighbor) when I take Vivian to class.

Here is an absolutely terrible shot of our parents' group kids. We had all the kids lined up on the sofa in the same place (we have done this twice before, once as babies and once as toddlers) and I forgot my camera so this was all I got. I tried to dig through Michal's slightly better photos (he also forgot the big camera but at least had opportunity to get a better shot) but couldn't find the right ones.

Theo in the construction room at the children's museum when we attended courtesy of our friends Ilana and Isaac. (Thanks! We had an awesome time.) Someone else had started this house and Theo loved climbing in and out of it.

Vivian paging through a cookbook after library story time.

Vivian enjoying a meal. And a plate.

Vivian enjoying herself and the mess she's made.

One last visit with the Beetle car before we shipped it home. Theo still asks about it since it's not in the usual parking space here anymore, and now asks when it is coming back.

Vivian driving a car at the playground...

while Theo works at the storefront there.

Monday, May 20, 2013

March Madness Photos

I took a ton of photos this month. I don't know why since we were home almost the entire time. The weather improved dramatically here in March, so we went outdoors much more often. Here's a selection of some of my favorite photos...

We went to Target on a weekend morning. Theo was so wiped out, he fell asleep in his car sleep. He still looks so young to me when I see him all curled up like this, fast asleep. Most of the time, he seems so big these days. He stayed asleep even through us ordering lunch in a restaurant. In all fairness, we had just gotten back from two time zones away.

Vivian passed out in the bucket car seat. We upgraded her to a convertible rear facing seat later in the month, as she only had an inch or so of room to grow in height for this one, and she's gotten heavy enough that she outweighed the convenience factor.

Everything is bigger at Costco, including the buggies. They have room for two kids to ride in front, so for the first time, we took advantage of that. Vivian loved it and Theo was much less concerned than I thought he would be by the company. In fact, he rather enjoyed it, too. Theo is looking for the trains in this shot.

Theo got in the bucket car seat at home. He's been doing that since before Vivian was born, but for the first time ever, he asked for Vivian to get in as well. I indulged him, and it lasted much longer for both of them than I expected. Theo only got irritated when he wanted to get out and couldn't budge.

Another one of Theo's impressive bridge creations from mixed block media.

Vivian loves bathtime.

Another Theo request: Vivian in the ball box with Mis. Theo will add all the animals and Vivian decides there are better places to be. You can see the sad face in amongst the animals in the complete gallery.

Back in the ball box. This time Theo got in with Vivian, all the animals, and all the balls. I'm not sure how much longer the ball box will be in existence, but it's awfully cute when he includes her in his activities.

Theo swung in the big kids swing for the first time with me. He didn't stay long but it was still a big advance.

Mama and Vivian at the park on the same day.

Theo arranging his miniature Thomas trains after lunch one day.

Oh what fun it is to ride in a one Daddy sleigh...

The weather was awesome so we took an urban hike along the lake. Vivian got her first taste of the world from the backpack and oh what an experience it was. Theo also loved this walk. We practically had to drag him away kicking and screaming.

On the boardwalk during that same early evening hike.

Vivian enjoying the slide at a local dog park.

Theo and Daddy at bedtime one night. They have the same sense of humor.

Vivian still loves a ball.

Vivian has learned to try and pull up on things. She hasn't succeeded yet with anything but another person's hands but that hasn't stopped her from trying.

Theo somehow managed to stuff himself into this much too small box. He asked me repeatedly to make it bigger.

Vivian reading her favorite book, Baby Touch and Feel Animals, to herself. She can sit and flip the pages for almost half an hour by herself.

Theo trying on the pig hat that's part of a 3-12 month pig costume we own.

He couldn't fit into the costume itself so we dressed Mis (now Piggy Mis) in it instead.

There's no reason to worry, though. Theo then got dressed in his fish costume from the past two Halloweens. And then he put his monkey costume jacket on his pillow.

The picture says it all...

That's Vivian, Piggy Mis, monkey pillow, and Theo underneath them going for a ride on the red blanket.

Happy St. Patrick's Day from our little leprechaun!

Who? Me?

Vivian playing peekaboo with the shower curtain.

You might not recognize her, but that's our cat, Rocket, under the blanket. Theo covered her up and read her some books. He usually essentially body slams her while she's sleeping in range, so this setup was a nice change of pace.

Theo, Vivian and Daddy on the Sounder. We took Theo on an afternoon round trip for the first time on a somewhat real train (not just our local public transit or a scenic tourist type railway). You might have seen the real photos posted earlier in a much more timely manner.

Theo was either plastered to the window like this or snacking the entire time we were onboard.

Vivian enjoyed the ride (and the snacks) as well.

Theo at the end of our weekly bilingual play and learn group at the library.

Theo loves this magnetic drawing board. He had me trace a train track on it (you can see a bit of the piece at the bottom of the photo) then drove his trains on it.

Theo driving his trains past the "station" (seen at the bottom of the photo, which is actually the middle piece of a six arch bridge that's been re-purposed ever since our Sounder ride) and the people on the other side of the track waiting for the train.

Mis in his piggy costume in the exersaucer, courtesy of Theo.

Vivian investigating.

More train track tunnels.

I finally had enough sense to bust out our double stroller, also known as our bike trailer. Theo has used it before, but this is the first time I put both of them in it. We took it for a ride to the grocery store because it is the work horse of our stroller collection. Not only does it carry both kids, but the back has almost as much room for groceries as the trunk of a New Beetle. They loved it.

Vivian loves to lick the yogurt off of yogurt pretzels.

The rest of the March photos are from Easter, which I miraculously managed to post in a timely manner.