month 16!

Greta, today you turn 16 months old! I’m actually writing your update post on the actual month birthday! Greta’s vocabulary is growing bigger and bigger. This month she added Potter, bah, rain, read, ball, walk, meow, and whoa. She attempts many other words, but still hasn’t quite mastered them. Greta loves to read. We spend lots and lots of time reading books every day. Most days she will empty the entire bookcase and we will read every single book. I’m just glad that I don’t have to read the same books umpteen times like some parents. Greta likes variety in her books. If she knows a word she will point the object and say it. She of course has her favorite books that we read more often. This month Greta learned three new body parts: ears, toes, fingers.

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While visiting my parents, Greta learned to blow kisses and pretty much does it everytime we webcam with someone. She has definitely started kissing a lot less. She still gives other people kisses, but I rarely get kisses anymore. Greta continues to love to snuggle and she gives great hugs!

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Greta has always loved her Dada very much, but this month she decided she would do everything that he does. If he is working in the yard, she wants to be there. She tries to rake, water the lawn, dig holes, etc. She copies Dada all the time, even in the house. She has learned that the remote control controls the tv and thinks that is funny. She doesn’t watch tv much (only the occasional sporting event on the weekend) and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t quite get it. Sometimes she seems to think that it is like the computer and the people are trying to talk to her. Greta sometimes waves to the people like she does on the webcam.

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This month Greta has turned into a big helper. She loves to help with everything. She has always loved to ‘help’ with the laundry, but now she is becoming more useful. When I’m folding the diapers she will carefully walk each one over to the bucket that they are stored in. Every time I sneeze (which is a lot these days, thanks to awful allergies that seem to worse when I’m pregnant), she goes and tries to get a tissue for me. The tissues are a little too high for her to reach, so she doesn’t actually bring them to me, but she tries. If we are in the bedroom she does actually bring them to me. This has led to her attempting to blow her nose, which hopefully means she won’t be so afraid of someone wiping her nose next time she gets a cold. If I’m cooking, Greta will bring me pot lids. She always helps unload the groceries. Greta is even learning to help pick up her toys and books! If this helping thing keeps up, I think she will be a big help when Bubba Mae arrives.

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Greta really mastered kicking the ball this month. She kicks it often, luckily it isn’t too hard or we might have some broken stuff. Balls continue to be a favorite toy. Greta is also getting better at climbing. She has figured out how to get on a few different chairs and such.

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This month we took Greta’s high chair tray attachment thing off and put her chair right up to the table. This seems to have cut down on the food throwing some, although definitely not completely. She loves to put her feet on the table as well, yuck.

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Pretty much every morning we go on a walk around our neighborhood. Greta drinks her morning smoothie and looks for dogs and cats. She knows exactly which houses have cats and points to them so we slow down to look for the cats.

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Greta has started to want to pick out her own clothes. Most often she wants a skirt on, in addition to whatever she is wearing. The past few days she has brought me the same shirt out of the dirty clothes basket to wear. I’ve let her wear it for part of each day, but today it will be washed.

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Greta ate some meat this month! Twice! She ate a soft taco with ground turkey and cheese. So far she hasn’t really been interested in much other meat, but hey it’s a start!

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alpacas

On Saturday (well actually the whole weekend) was National Alpaca Farm Days! We took advantage and visited an alpaca farm about 30 minutes from our house. We were the first ones there, so we got lots of undivided attention. Greta fell asleep on the drive there, since she had a busy morning with Dada. She slept for about the first 30 or 40 minutes that we were there, and then woke up with an alpaca right next to her. She was a little scared at first (and really I can’t say that I wouldn’t be a little frightened if I woke up next to an alpaca), but then liked them a little bit. She liked the dogs they had there better than the alpacas. There was one especially friendly alpaca, which you will see below.

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The owners had a nice little shelter for the alpacas to cool off in. There were two big fans and an AC! You can imagine why most of them were in there.

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Here is a picture of my new haircut. I probably got about 6 or 8 inches taken off. Boy is it nice to not have so much hair anymore.

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Here is the prize winning male alpaca that they breed. He definitely knows he is a star.

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We loved the alpaca farm. We hope to one day own one or two. The non-prize winning (breeding) males are pretty cheap, only about $800 or $1000. If we do get one someday I will definitely need to learn to knit or crochet so I can make stuff out of the fiber!

Dada & Greta

Saturday morning I got my haircut (pictures later). Matt and Greta tagged along since it was near the new Riverwalk Extension area and went exploring while I was getting my haircut. Matt wanted to make sure I knew all that they saw, so they took lots of pictures. As you will notice, Greta found the cup of cheddar bunnies in the diaper bag and wouldn’t put them down, so she has a mouth full of food in almost every picture. Looks like they had lots of fun!

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How much is too much?

I’m talking about toys. How many toys is too many? How many is not enough to keep your child entertained? There are definitely toys in our collection that do not get as much use, but for the most part everything gets played with at least weekly. Sometimes things get buried at the bottom of the toy box and we forget about them for a while, but usually they resurface. We always said we never wanted our house overtaken by toys and for the most part I think we have done a good job. We only have toys downstairs in the family room. We don’t have any hiding in a closet or basement or in Greta’s room. Greta has a few books in her room, but that’s it. When all of the toys are out there definitely seems like a lot, mainly because the blocks get spread to every corner, but when they are all put away it seems more manageable.

Here are some pictures of our toy collection. I think we are at about the place I would like to be. Hopefully we will be able to keep the total amount of toys to this much, or a tad more. Soon I think we should start the one in, one out rule, but we shall see. I definitely think that book do NOT count as toys. 🙂

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Do you have a lot of toys? More than you would like? Are they hiding in all corners of your house?

For Christmas we will be adding a few things to the mix. Greta will be getting a play kitchen from Matt’s parents. From us, she will get a few things in her stocking and then the box of dress-up stuff.

water play

Greta loves to play in water (well other than the bath or shower). We have finally been getting some rain and when it isn’t pouring we sometimes take her out to play in the puddles and the rain. She just LOVES it. I have tried to capture the utter joy she has but I’m not sure I have. I think I really need to get a video next time. Here are a few rain pictures.

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Also I love how curly her hair gets in the humidity! Most days her hair is very straight, except a little curl where it hits her neck, but when it rains or is humid, curls!!

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She got a little mud in her mouth and did not like it one bit! Time to go inside.

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We have also been watering our lawn once a week and if Matt is just using the hose Greta likes to help, which also involves running around getting sprayed by Dada.

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She also likes to play where the water comes off the house.

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And that is your joy-filled post for today. If you aren’t smiling, I don’t think I can make you smile. 🙂

a few of my favorite things

So I’m sure I have mentioned our baby carrier on more than one occasion. We have an Ergo Baby Carrier and really I couldn’t say enough good things about it. Without it, the first year of Greta’s life would have been quite hard. I don’t wear her as often as I did, mainly because of the growing belly, which tuckers me out a lot quicker than normal. Plus I need her to get used to riding in the cart and such. I still use it several times a week, just not daily as I did in her first year. On our last plane trip it was still the only way to get her to calm down and go to sleep. One of my favorite things about this carrier is that it is super easy to switch Greta back and forth between Matt and I and between our fronts and backs (it can also be worn on the hip which I haven’t tried yet). The Ergo holds up to 40 lbs, which means we will be able to use it for a long while. We plan on getting another one for the new baby so that we can each wear a baby around, especially when traveling. We find strollers to be a big hassle in the airport, so we never bring one. We just strap Greta on and go! Easy peasy.

Since I love the Ergo so much I signed up to be an affiliate, which basically means that if you purchase through my link I earn a little commission for sending you. No one asked me to do this. I just am constantly recommending the carrier to every new mom or woman who is trying to conceive because I love it and would be lost without it. So you will see a little picture over there on the right hand side and if you are planning on buying one, please use my link!

Oh, I totally forgot to mention how comfortable the Ergo is. Both Matt and I have worn Greta for extended periods of time and it doesn’t bother our backs one bit (which is a big complaint about lots of carriers). The main reason for this is that the baby’s weight is supported by your hips, not your back or shoulders. Ergo recently came out with some lovely new colors. I think my next one is going to be the sea green!

The other little icon you see over there on the right hand side is for Kelly’s Closet, a huge online cloth diaper store. They have oodles of stuff. Since I love cloth diapers and want everyone to use them, I signed up to be an affiliate for them as well. My mom sells Bumgenius diapers, but other than that she doesn’t sell any other brands, so if you want something other than that, go to Kelly’s Closet!

You can also totally ignore this whole post and not buy anything and I will love you all the same. Neither site tell me who bought anything, so I won’t know who much money you spent 🙂

trip to FL

Last weekend we went to visit my parents in Florida. We had a great time and Greta really seemed to like them a lot more this time. Since she seems to finally have gotten over her stranger danger, she went to them much easier than previous visits. She didn’t even scream if we left the room! We saw quite a few people while we were home, but definitely didn’t get a chance to catch up with everyone we wanted to. We spent lots of time outside since the weather was much cooler than it had been in Texas and there was lots of shade, which we have none of at our house! Greta learned to blow kisses from my mom. She also learned to say the dog’s name, Potter. She loves that dog. He was not quite as fond of her, but he didn’t bother her at all, he just walked away when she came too close. My parents tell the dog, Bah, to make him behave and Greta picked up on that quickly and was always walking around saying Bah to him. Kind of funny. Here are some pictures of the visit.

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month 15

This month started off pretty rough. Greta was big into whining and crying and tantruming and all sorts of fun stuff. Some days it was non-stop. We figured out most of the whining was from her being hungry but not able to tell us. Now Greta and I eat every 1.5-2 hours during the day. I thought kids were supposed to eat less often when they ate solid food…apparently not this one. I have lots of trouble figuring out what to feed her umpteen times a day. I think she may also have been going through a growth spurt or something since she ate 2.5 muffins at playgroup one day, when all the other kids ate maybe 0.5 of a muffin. For a child who didn’t eat for months and months she sure has figured out the eating thing.

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At her 15 month checkup she weighed 24 lbs, 8 oz, which means she lost 4 oz from her 12 month checkup. The first loss. Honestly we were just hoping she didn’t lose a lot of weight since her legs have slimmed down SOOO much since she started walking. She also grew an inch and is now over 31 inches. Her weight and height are now in the 75th percentile rather than 90+, but her head remains in the 92th percentile.

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In the past two months, from about the beginning on July on, Greta’s comprehension has grown by leaps and bounds. She really understands what we are saying and sometimes even listens! She is learning new words. This month she finally mastered Mama! She also says ‘night-night’ which is really more like ‘na-na’, but whatever. This month she learned that dogs say ‘woof’ and anytime she hears a dog barking she says woof. If you ask her what the dog says, she responds with ‘woof’. She also points to dogs in books and says ‘woof’. Clearly we need to get a dog (kidding). According to Greta many other animals also say ‘woof’ including cats. I’m trying to teach her meow, but it usually is more just ow, with no me. Other animals also say ‘roar’.

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We are also really working on body part identification. This month she learned feet, eyes, nose, and hair. She even says eyes! In fact, often she will jam her finger in your eye and say eyes. Cute and funny, but also a little painful sometimes. The way she identifies her eyes is by scrunching them up. Too cute!

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This month Greta started to wipe her own mouth while eating. She still hates it when we try to wipe her mouth, but she at least is attempting to wipe her own even though it is not very successful. This month she also learned to blow on our bellies (or other random body parts). It is adorable and fun. She also learned to rub noses. Now she prefers that to kisses. Greta is also expanding her dance moves to include spins! Sometimes she gets dizzy and falls down, but usually she stops before that.

Greta is a very sweet little girl. She loves to kiss and hug and snuggle. During our trip to PA this month Greta was a kissing queen. She will kiss pretty much anyone on command. She also likes to pat us. She doesn’t get upset when other kids take her toys (at least not most of the time). Greta is also a great observer. Whenever we are somewhere new she likes to just watch everything and everyone. She likes to play shy, but is really outgrowing her shyness. She is also outgrowing her stranger danger (or rather anyone but mommy and daddy danger). She went to both of parents much more easily during our recent visits.

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She is growing up way too fast. She has transitioned to mostly one nap a day. Her preferred time is morning nap, which is different than most kids. Usually we delay until around 10:30 or 11, but not always. Our little car hater has also turned into a car sleeper. I’m pretty sure the times in the last month that she fell asleep in the car on her own out number the number of times from her entire first year. Luckily she also has learned to stay asleep while I get her out of the car and into the bed so she can actually get a decent nap rather than a short car-only nap.