December 14, 2011

15-Month Milestones

Height: 31" (40th percentile)
Weight: 22 pounds, 2 ounces(50th percentile)

Sleeping Patterns: I can kiss the 2-naps-per-day days good-bye. She only takes 1 nap per day now, and it usually happens mid-day, somewhere right after lunch. It usually lasts about 2-2.5 hours. That makes me sad for so many reasons, but the primary reason is that it means my little baby is growing up and is well on her way to the toddler world.

Places Traveled: This one is sure to test my memory. I'm sure we've snuck off to Lake Wales quite a few times over the last few months. We also managed to get up to Sebring to spend time with Riley's Great-Grandparents.

Riley is the proud owner of three more pearly whites, for a grand total of 9. She has all four front teeth, top & bottom, and she just recently cut one of her first molars. I can honestly say that he bad teething days are over. She did really well with these new teeth and I didn't even know she had a molar until we were laughing one day, and I saw it. She is surely proud of her new found Colgate smile and is not afraid to show them off. I call her my Cheeseball lately, since her smile is so "cheesy".

Riley's vocabulary is growing almost daily. She is talking much earlier than her Big Brother did. At her 15-month checkup, the doctor advised that 10 words is normal for this age. If that's the case, I really should have named her Gabby. She says "Nae-na" (banana), "doggy", "Daddy" (clear as day!), "Ty-Ty", "Bye-Bye", "Ball", "NO!", "Go-Go", "Wa-Wa" (water), "all done", "quack quack", "ruff-ruff" (when asked what the Doggy says), "Tob-Tob" (our dog, Toby), "Hi", "ca-ca" (cracker), "Debbie" (the sitter) and MOST IMPORTANTLY "Mommy"...I'm sure there are others that I'm missing. I call her Sassa Frass. She is so bossy and sassy, and her little [HUGE] personality is so much fun!

Previously, you read that she's walking. she's running & climbing. Lord, help me!

She no longer gets a bottle, only sippy cups. She's fine drinking her milk out of the cup.

Her hair has grown SO MUCH! 1 ponytail is perfect, but there is more than enough for real piggies now. My biggest dilemma now is to cut it or not. I'm torn because we're in the mullet stage right now, but I don't want to cut it. Everyone tells me to just leave it be. Heck, at the rate it's growing, it'll be to her butt by the time she's 2.

We celebrated Halloween since my last post. Halloween was a lot of fun this year, with her and Tyler being able to participate in all of our Halloween adventures. We visited numerous Pumpkin Patches and bought a pumpkin at each one of them. We did have a little rain on our parade, or should I say a LOT of rain on our parade, but we didn't let it ruin our holiday. On Halloween eve, we witnessed the worst rain event our neighborhood (and several other S. Fla neighborhoods) has ever experienced. Needless to say, lots of our neighbors lost almost everything in their homes and had extensive water damage from the floods that occurred. We were EXTREMELY lucky and only had very minor damage in our Utility Room. All we had to do was replace the carpet, no biggie. Needless to say, the 10" or so of standing water that was throughout the neighborhood posed a little problem for Trick-or-Treating, so we packed up and headed for Aunt Steph's house. Their neighborhood was dry and we had a really nice time trick-or-treating. I had my work cut out for me, yet again, with our Halloween costumes. Every year, I go the super original route. I like our costumes to be something aside from what you see in every costume shop across the country. And, even if it is store bought, I prefer for it to represent a most original theme. So, this year, with limited time and energy, we settled for "Old McDonald and his Farm". David was the Farmer, I was a pig, Tyler was a cow and Riley was the baby chicken. We had fun and most importantly, we made fantastic memories! The "icing on the cake" were the homemade buckets I made, which made me feel a little less guilty that the kid's costumes were store bought. We finished off Halloween night with a stop at Aunt Leah and Uncle Jeff's house and if the buckets weren't full by the time we got there, they certainly were by the time we left! To see pictures of our Halloween 2011 adventures, click here!

We also celebrated Thanksgiving since the last post. Since I recently started a new job, my PTO is still limited since I have not accrued much. So, we took full advantage of the long weekend, and made the most of it. I spent the night before Thanksgiving, baking and making dishes for the following day. We started the morning of Thanksgiving Day off here at home and went to David's Grandparents to help them get set up for their feast. We brought breakfast along and watched the Macy's Turkey Day Parade while doing so. We really enjoyed the morning. Then we packed up and headed North to Sebring to visit with my Grandparents who we don't get to see enough. When we arrived, the kids were STOKED to find out that Great-Grandma had rented them a bounce house for the day. That was so thoughtful and really made for a lot of fun for the kids (& the adults =). That was the best view I have ever seen from a bounce house! We then hit the road yet again, and continued on to our home in Lake Wales, where we spent the rest of the long weekend with family and friends. We had a most enjoyable time and the weather was beautiful!

To see pictures of our Thanksgiving 2011 adventures, click here!

Foods: Her diet consists of anything and everything when it comes to food. In fact, she eats more than I do. I think she may even eat more than David at times. But, hey, she's a growing girl. She has also just about mastered the fork. The only problem is, she only uses it when she feels like using it. So, I will say, that SHE wants to use it, she does pretty well with it.

Apparel: 12 Month or 18 Month clothing (depending on the item) and Size 3 shoes.

So, there you have it. A brief update of our life over the last 3 months. If it were this simple, let's face it, this post would have been done a month ago, when she was actually just 15 months. But, that's just not the reality of this crazy busy life we lead. The way I look at it, we don't give ourselves time to grow old. We enjoy every moment we can, and try to limit the stress along the way. One day at a time...and even then, they all seem to blend together. That's what makes this ride down the road of life so enjoyable. Never a dull or perfect moment!

Happy, Healthy and Growing WAY TOO FAST! And so it goes...

October 10, 2011

Here Comes Trouble

Here comes T.R.O.U.B.L.E., indeed. Trouble on two feet, that is. Boy, do we have our hands full. As if she wasn't bossy enough before, now we have ourselves a little toddler that thinks she can do whatever she wants, whenever she wants to, only now she's walking while she's "yelling" at us.

Over the last month, Riley has changed on so many levels. She has become more independent and is now walking. She started taking steps just after her first birthday, but now she is really on the go. Eeek! It's interesting to compare how different our 2 kids were when they first started walking. Tyler was very wobbly and unsure, but usually just went for the gusto, full speed ahead. Riley is the complete opposite. She is just as smooth as can be, taking her time, step by step. She takes each stride with ease and is very conservative and suave about it. She walks very well barefoot and recently, I started putting shoes on her everyday so that she gets used to them. Now, if you ask her where her shoes are, she'll walk (or speed crawl) to her room, sit on the floor below her shoe bin and lift her foot in the air waiting for me to put her shoes on. This act is usually accompanied by some yelling in excitement, as she can't wait to get her shoes on. If nothing else, this little one is ALL GIRL. She still loves her headbands, hats and now, her shoes! Hooray for accessories! Can you tell Mommy's excited?!?!


She's got some new shoes!!!

Kickin' Up Dirt in the Park!

We have also been letting Riley explore with utensil feeding. Since her second love is food (her first love is being sassy), she spends a lot of time munching. About a month ago, every time I tried to feed her with a utensil, she would try to grab it out of my hand. So, I gave in and let her have it. Much to my dismay, she took to it like a pro and made contact on the first try. So, now, I give her her own utensil as much as I can. Depending on the food (and whether I want to sweep and mop after the meal) she gets her own utensil about 80% of the time. I'd say she'll have it mastered in the next month, or so. We also find it interesting that she doesn't really have a dominant hand. She is about 50/50 with the right and left side and does well with both. Maybe, just maybe, she'll be left-handed like Pops and Grammy. I know research shows that toddlers are commonly ambidextrous until around age 2, but Tyler always favored his right hand more. Riley is on the fence.

Pancakes for Breakfast!

Taking a "stab at it"

Spooning with Ease!

There you have it, 20-1/2 pounds of walking, eating, pure ATTITUDE! Daddy would suggest that she's a typical woman, but I think I can contest that even men have their "moments". In any case, she's growing, developing and blossoming into a little being, and it's quite a ride. Until the next post. And so it goes...

September 15, 2011

All-American, 1-Year-Old, Girl

"And, now he's wrapped around her finger,
She's the center of his whole world.
And his heart belongs to that sweet little beautiful, wonderful, perfect All-American Girl."

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is where it all stemmed from. The above quote is the chorus from one of my all time favorite country music artists, Carrie Underwood. The song used to make me cry when I was pregnant, and I'll blame all of that on the overload of hormones. When Riley was about 2-months-old, I heard the song again, and immediately knew it HAD to be the theme for her First Birthday Party! Yes, you read that correctly, I started planning her First Birthday when she was only 2-months-old. For those who know me well, I know you're not shocked.

Most of the plans were only thoughts until about 2 months ago, when I actually, physically, started the planning. I knew it had to be at a park, because if you know us, you know we don't do anything small. I related back to Tyler's First Birthday, and I knew we had about 100 in attendance there, so I didn't imagine it would be any different. And, it wasn't. In fact, it was more...quite a few more. So, Snyder Park was perfect! The pavilions are big, the Oak Hammocks provide TONS of shade and it's only 3 blocks from our house. What more could we ask for on a steamy, feels-like 110 degrees and 120% humidity, August day??? Haha! I think the biggest difference from Tyler's party to Riley's, is that there are so many more kids now. When Tyler was 1, there were only a handful of other young kids around. Now, it seems as though we are right smack dab in the middle of the next generation baby boom, and there are kids in every direction you turn. Which brings me to my next topic....How in the world was I to keep the 30+/- young kids entertained, not to mention the handful of older ones???? Whelp, I am happy to report, I think I was successful. We had a pool with a slide (which also served as a cleaning station for the paint and cake), a toddler bounce house with a pool in it (so cool!), a balloon-twister (who was incredible, if I do say so myself), a paint station (that all of the kids LOVED), a sno cone machine (I think even the adults enjoyed this one), a toddler toy play area and the playground. Add that to yummy food, being outdoors and cake, and I'm not sure how it could have gotten any better. I think I can vouch for everyone when I say, not one kid made it home without passing out on the way. Heck, we even had a couple zonk out before the party was over. Now that, my friends, spells a good time.

As for the VIP whose life we were celebrating, I think she thoroughly enjoyed herself, as well. In pure Jodi fashion, I tried to make everything as special and unique as I could. I made things like her very own Birthday Girl chair, maxed out with Patriotic decor; her All American bib for when it was time for her cake that said "Time for Cake"; a Poster of her first year, month-by-month; our matching hair-bows; the #1 foam fingers, all decked out; her bloomers for her Thank You Cards; and the "sweetest" thing of all, her Smash Cake, even though the whipped icing and fondant didn't really agree with the South Florida heat. Our little birthday girl was dressed to impress and everywhere you looked, there was something that reminded you of our All American Girl.

I tried to spread the All-American spirit by making each of the little girls that attended, their very own handmade All American Hair-Bow for their goody bags. You all know how I love my hair-bows!!! There were also "goodies" for the adults! Mini chocolate bars with custom wrappers! Even the food had a patriotic touch to it, thanks to the good sports who put up with my demanding requests! One might say I'm a little obsessive, but I have so much fun party planning and it's a way for me to let my creative inner-child run wild. For me, the 40+ hours of hard work was WELL WORTH IT! The memories we made will never be replaced and the pictures are worth a thousand words.

So, that's it. No more infant. (sigh) Just one Sassy little 1-year-old girl, who rules this roost and she knows it. Now, if anyone could let me know where the last year went, I'd appreciate that info. It seems like only a few months ago that we were heading home from Plantation General Hospital with our little newbie, terrified to death of what life had in store for us with a newborn and a 23 month old. If we only knew then what we know now....Ha!

We've said it before, and I'm positive we'll say it at least a trillion more times...we're so blessed to have so many special people in our lives, both family and friends, to share all of these times with. We really hope you all enjoyed Riley's First Birthday as much as we enjoyed having you. It wouldn't have been so wonderful without each and every one of you! We appreciate all of the gifts (which were not necessary, by the way). To see all of the photos from the party (and then some), you can CLICK HERE. And So It Goes...

September 11, 2011

12 Month Milestones

Height: 29-3/4" (72nd percentile)
Weight: 20 pounds, 7 ounces(48th percentile)

Sleeping Patterns: We're still on the same pattern. At the sitters, she tends to only take 1 nap per day. On the weekends, I still manage to sneak in 2 naps. Usually the mid-morning nap is a short cat nap and the afternoon nap tends to stretch a couple of hours.

Places Traveled: We managed to sneak away to Lake Wales once during this month. Daddy had lots of yard work to do while we were there, so we set up the pool and had a water play day.

We did spend 3 days in Key West for Uncle PJ's birthday, which was a BLAST! We brought along our "traveling Nanny" so that Mommy & Daddy could go out at night and trust that the kids were home safe with Alexis. We stayed in a 2BR suite, which was part of an old historical house, right on Duval Street. During the day, we walked along Duval and mingled through the shops and restaurants and usually ended up in the pool. By night, Daddy and I, along with the rest of the gang, did the Duval Crawl and overly enjoyed ourselves.

Riley is the proud owner of two more pearly whites, for a grand total of 6 by 12 months. Both top lateral incisors came in within a week of each other.

Riley experienced her first Gourmet Food Truck Rally during this month. We joined a few friends on Riverwalk for some music, fun and most importantly, good food. I chose the Latin Burger truck. Riley shared Tyler's chicken tomatillo quesadilla and I didn't hear any complaints.

Riley, or should I say "Gabby", now says "Da-Dee" "Hi" "Yay" "Go-Go" "Baby" "No" and "Ty-Ty". I think I may have heard her say "Ma-mee" once or twice, but not often enough to really think she knows what she is saying.

Riley began standing with no assistance during this month. Previously, she would pull up and stand with no help, but now she is just standing up in the middle of the floor, with nothing guiding her. Occasionally, she will get excited and try to move, but still no steps at this point. The standing is becoming more and more controlled, so I don't think it will be long before we have ourselves a little walker.

We learned of Ms. Riley's shoe fetish over the last month. No matter what shape, size or color the shoe, she is trying to put it on. Her favorite place to terrorize lately is the bottom of my closet!

The day I have been waiting and waiting AND WAITING for.......our little sugar bee finally has enough hair for 2 piggies!!!! So now, the biggest dilemma I am faced with each day is piggies or headband! Ha! I love it!

Foods: Her diet consists of anything and everything when it comes to food. I haven't tried her with any of the high risk allergy food yet (i.e. eggs, fish or nuts) but I will soon. She is also completely off of formula and just on whole milk now. The next milestone I am going to try to conquer is the bottle. I think she may be a little tough with this one only because she really enjoys her night time bottle. It is so soothing and relaxing to her.

Apparel: 12 Month clothing and Size 2 shoes.

And, with that, we now have ourselves a thriving 1-year-old, with quite the personality and an attitude twice her size. I've said it once and I'm sure I'll say it a trillion times over.....she is going to be a hand full. She is in to everything, she already thinks she's the boss and even her 3-year-old brother catches grief from her. But, there's not one thing I would change, not for a second. OK, maybe some days I'd like to drop them off at Grammy's or Mimi's and head for a massage, but then I take a deep breathe and look at each one of them, and think about how blessed I am to have 2 beautiful, healthy miracles to share life with. That's right about the time that I call for David and go for a run. Haha! Being parents to 2 young ones is A LOT of work, but the rewards are endless and they make life so much more worth living.

Stay tuned for the next post about her FANTASTIC First Birthday Celebration, but until then, CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTOS FROM 11-12 MONTHS...Happy, Healthy and Growing WAY TOO FAST! And so it goes...

August 3, 2011

11 Month Milestones

Height: 28-3/4" (52nd percentile)
Weight: 21 pounds, 2 ounces(60th percentile)

Sleeping Patterns: Nothing has changed as far as her nightly sleeping habits. The babysitter has told me on more than one occasion that she's skipping one of her naps during the day. On weekends, she still seems to manage 2 naps a day, but maybe that's because we're constantly on the go, and that can be a little exhausting. In any event, I'm sure the one nap per day schedule is approaching, as she is almost a year old.

Places Traveled: As usual, we never have a dull moment around here. Even though we only managed one trip to Lake Wales, we spent the rest of the month traveling locally to events and gatherings.

Accomplishments: I'm convinced that Riley thinks she's already 2. I know she's almost 1, but geeze, does she have to grow and develop like a weed?

Riley is the proud owner of two new pearly whites. Her top two front teeth came in within days of each other. Thankfully, she's doing much better teething than she did with the first two when she was 5 months. She was miserable then. This time around, she was fussy, but no where near what she was last time. If they all come in pairs, I'll be a happy Mommy!

As I mentioned last month, since I can't seem to keep this girl from climbing on EVERYTHING, she has now learned how to get down from everything. Well...almost everything. And, I use the word "learned" sparingly, because she certainly learned the hard way. She has met the floor a few times on her way down, but like anything else, the best way to learn is to do. Needless to say, she can now get on and off of the couch, Tyler's recliner, Tyler's bed and our bed. I had my first encounter with her climbing out of her crib in Lake Wales. I heard a noise and when I went in to check on her, I found her feet straight up in the air, hanging over the side of her crib. Thankfully, there was a bouncer next to the crib, which she was propping herself up with. SoOOOOoooo.......her crib mattress is now on the very last setting, which is practically on the floor. If she gets out of this one, we'll be in deep trouble. I never had to even think about that last setting with Tyler.

Riley celebrated her first Fourth of July during the past month. We spent the long weekend in Lake Wales for the holiday. We set up blankets on the side of the lake to watch a firework display across the lake. By the time I brought out the sparklers for Tyler, she had already gone to bed. So, it turned out to be a pretty mellow holiday this year, but as usual, she was dressed for the occasion.

We have ourselves a professional cruiser. She walks along everything she can and then some. She also stands on her own now. I don't think it will be long before she is walking, but I'm certainly not promoting it.

Ms. Lovey Dovey has started giving kisses. If you ask her for a kiss, she'll lean in toward you, mouth WIDE OPEN, and give kisses. I can't get enough.

Riley had her first bowling alley experience during the last month. We spent a Saturday night at the bowling alley celebrating Aunt Steph's birthday. Riley fell asleep on the way there and woke up around midnight. The lights were out and they were playing loud music, but she was fine. She was actually a little party animal and stayed awake until we left to go home.

We helped celebrate Matt's 30th Birthday and Layne's First Birthday during the past month. Layne is our friends little boy who is just about a month older than Riley. They were so cute playing together and it seemed as though they were flirting.

Foods: We are on all table food now, and let me tell you, this girl can eat! I've also started introducing her to milk and she's done great with it! I think the only thing that threw her off the first time, was that it was so cold. I typically made her formula bottles with room temperature water, so the first milk bottle took her by surprise, but she had no issues getting it down.

Apparel: 12 Month clothing and Size 2 shoes.

So, here I sit, at the end of this post, teary-eyed as I come to the realization that this is the last post I will be making before her first Birthday. Bittersweet doesn't begin to sum up the emotions. I think if I could bottle up any age, it would be these days. She's old enough to be independent in so many ways, yet still so dependent on her Momma. Young enough to not backtalk, yet old enough to know how to be sassy and throw temper tantrums. Young enough to still like to cuddle with me and lay on my chest, yet old enough to just be laid down for bed and not rocked to sleep. I think back on her days of discomfort when her reflux was so bad and how I prayed for the day when she would outgrow it. Well, I can honestly say that now that that day has come and gone, and reflux is just a faint memory of her baby-baby days, I would give anything to go back to them. Not for her sake, but for mine, just so that I could soak up the time again. We only get those days once and they are gone so fast...

Until the next post about a thriving 1-year-old...Happy, Healthy and Growing WAY TOO FAST! And so it goes...