Showing posts with label Amelia Jane. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amelia Jane. Show all posts


Snapshots of daily life

I've been fiddling around with my fancy camera (aka not my phone) and tried to get at least one picture of each girl that represented them where they are right now. Of course, when I thought I had a good one, it didn't transfer well on the computer screen, and the shots I thought were too dark or blurry ended up being pretty good. I have a lot to learn! Either way, here is what I got.

Audrey's been focusing harder on her tasks and imaginative play. She quietly plays out different scenarios and conversations during quiet time that can last for over an hour. I hear her soft voice floating up the stairs, not clear enough to understand the actual words, but enough that I can hear the patterns of conversation and role play. Words are not in short supply, though. She can talk endlessly about the smallest details happening around her. She asks questions that she knows the answers to, waiting for affirmation which she rewards with a huge grin. She hates conflict and much prefers to return to her natural happy state, but also likes to reflect on what happened a little longer than necessary. She's a bit of a grudge holder, which seems to be in contrast to her sweet demeanor. She gives hugs and kisses willingly to those she loves. I hope she never loses that ability to love whole heartedly.

Amelia is walking now, just a little here and there, but her motivation is outweighing her actual ability which means she is stumbling and falling, bumping into hard furniture, acquiring bruises and earning a lot of attention. She knows we get excited and looks to us for affirmation. We are happy to cheer her on, but at the same time, slow down, little lady! I'm not ready for her to be a toddler. She is a fine mix of both girls. On one hand, she wants to go and explore like Josie, but on the other hand, she's happy to be held and will give sweet hugs like Audrey. She can be shy around others and will absolutely  not go to them if asked (which I don't mind, stranger danger and all). She will, though, offer big smiles and waves as long as one of us is near or holding her.

As is normal for our dearest oldest, the characteristics usually attached to certain ages happen about six months early. Now that we are in the homestretch towards Josie turning five, it is clear that this age is no exception. She's developed a certain level of sass and girlish teen-like attitude that cannot be blamed on influences around her. Her independence is causing an inner battle to continue to obey and respect what we ask her to do. She wants to please us but also wants to try things her way. She's learned that she can ignore us or pretend that she can't hear us to get out of doing something right away. She tries to sneak away quietly and then runs at full speed once she's out of our reach. It can be exasperating, like when I'm asking her to stay by me while I car is about to drive by and she decides she can make it to our car across the street before the approaching car passes (yes, I almost had a heart attack, and yes, she felt really bad about it and apologized on her own). At the same time, she's asking great questions, retaining what she's hearing, and applying it in her own ways to her life. She's a great little conversationalist and provides endless entertainment if given the time to talk your year off. She's an independent person from me (us) and it's fascinating and delightfully fun to get to know her. Loving Josie is fierce and intense. She's a spitfire, but that's one of the great things about her.


Amelia's first birthday party

Amelia's birthday party was a smashing success. We themed it "Winter Wonderland" and many of our friends and family were able to come celebrate our youngest lady. 

With snowflakes hanging from the ceiling all over the place, the theme was kept simple by having a hot chocolate bar, homemade sugar cookies, and popcorn. It was fun to put it all together. The big girls were too busy playing with their friends to get in on many pictures, so you don't even get to see how sweet Josie's matching outfit was with the birthday girl. I guess I need to find another excuse for them to wear their gold and cream outfits!

I used my Silhouette Cameo to make the snowflakes and Happy Birthday banner. The monthly photos poster is from Shutterfly. (See a close up version below.)

I try to use any opportunity I can to make and decorate sugar cookies because it's fun and they are so pretty. Bonus: they tasted good too!

Instead of a cake, I freehanded a large "1" cookie and gave that to Amelia as a smash cookie vs a smash cake.

I had loads of help from hubby, although you wouldn't know it from this picture...

I found the chalkboard banner at Target in the Hot Spots section. It's definitely reusable and pretty generic, so I count that as a win!

Hot chocolate bar complete with toppings.

When it was time to sing to her, she looked around the room with a solemn look on her face. I don't think she quite believed it was all aimed at her, although everyone was grinning and looking at her the entire time. While leaning over towards the candle, I think I pinched her hand a little. Poor girl, she ended up crying and never got to even try to blow out her candle.

She did recover, and happily sat in her high chair nibbling on her cookie, one piece in each hand while she watched the chaos that was happening around her. She only ended up eating a tiny piece of the oversized cookie.

She got to spend a little more time with her cousin-twin, Asher (10 weeks younger). I love seeing them side by side at different ages.

I forgot to get a family shot until all the natural light was gone, but we still got a decent one considering the party was over and the sugar highs had run out. Also, Josie had already changed by this point, so no cute matching outfits here. 

We like to do a bigger party for their first birthdays, and this one was perfect! Low stress, high fun, just the way we like it.


Amelia Jane turns one

Amelia turned one a few weeks ago! I will post about her party soon, but this post is about what she's up to right now and how much she's grown in the last month. It's crazy (and if I'm being honest, a bit of a relief) that I won't be doing her monthly posts anymore. That first year of her life is done already. So fast, yet so slow.

We went to the doctor this week (two weeks late, as always) and learned that Amelia weighs 18 lbs 10 oz (29%) and 2' 4.5'' (22%) and her weight to height ratio is just under 50%. To put it in perspective, in the last three months she's jumped up on her weight by 13% (in a healthy way of course) and slowed down on her growth in length by about 25%. Josie was 22 lbs and 30 inches tall and I can't find Audrey's stats but I think she was just about the same weight and height as Amelia is now.

Teething has been a bear lately, with her getting two molars in and at least one more working it's way down and through any day now. When it's the worst, she wants to nurse (a lot) and be held. She wants to eat but doesn't want what she has to eat. It's a hard struggle for this one year old. She used to be such an amazing eater. Now, she spends more time playing with it, throwing it on the floor, and screaming for whatever else she wants but can't communicate. It's reeeeal fun. She took to drinking milk like a pro and downs her whole glass in under five minutes, but then she won't always eat what has been put in front of her. I refuse to play the "feed her only what she wants" game at this point because it'll only encourage her to be ridiculously picky. If she doesn't eat what we are eating, she gets some cheese and more milk or water. She gained enough weight the last few months so I'm not too worried. Usually, it's a phase anyway!

Mobility. So fascinating to watch her in this area. So far, she's still not walking, but man can she cruise once she's holding on to something. I really tried to get her to let go and only hold onto my hand with one hand and she's gotten pretty good at that. She still has a lot of work to do with her balance, but you can see the progress all the time. She finally full out crawls (happened about two weeks before her birthday) and as always, it's adorable. Any time a baby crawls around, exploring, it is just the cutest thing, right? She's so very happy now that she can make her way around the house freely.

In an effort to not drive myself crazy, our house is only somewhat baby proofed. Most of the outlets have plugs, the stairway is gated off (more to keep the older two from destroying the playroom at will than anything) and sometimes I make a point to close the toilet lids. Our cleaning supplies have been on a shelf out of kids' reach since we moved in. Other than that, I've worked a lot with the older girls to remind her not to put things in her mouth. We don't keep small things or toys out (I try to pick up everything as I notice it instead of letting it be like we did before we had little babies) and the girls know that each small toy has a home and to put the toys in their homes. Generally, it's been fairly easy to keep her out of trouble. Oh, and I'm encouraging hubby to secure our larger furniture to the wall (her dresser, bookshelves, etc). She's free to roam around the main level with her sisters so it gives me piece of mind when I know she won't be crushed. Logical, I know.

The coolest part with Miss Millie is that she is understanding us more and more. I can tell her to shut the cabinet door and she'll do it. I ask her to stop doing something and she can look at me, look back at what she's doing, and stop. The crazy part is 75% of the time she really will listen and even obey. Cool, right? I am always surprised when she actually follows through and does whatever it is I'm asking. She's barely one and can't talk yet! Yet she knows to shut a door or put the toys in the basket.

She signs "all done" and sometimes claps, which also means "more" in her world. I cannot get her to do "milk" but that's okay because lately it means nursing but soon it will mean drink in general since we are phasing out of nursing. That is confusing enough for me let alone for her... so I don't push that one. She love loves loves to help me clap my hands and the other day purposely entertained me by slapping her thighs before making a sly face, over and over again. It was admittedly hilarious, so I can see why she did it a hundred times. To really bring out the laughs, she plays hide and seek with all of us multiple times a day. Sometimes she just turns her head, sometimes she hides behind a wall, sometimes she lifts up her blanket over her head. There are a bunch of variations and they are all entertaining. She's really a true entertainer. She also busts a move when she hears a good beat. It's an elusive dance that only lasts three seconds at the most, so you have to watch carefully if you want to see it.

Mostly, she sleeps from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am. She still wakes up earlier most days but will often go back to sleep with the help of a diaper change or a pacifier find. She takes a solid two naps unless we aren't home in the morning, and once in a while she still squeezes in a quick half hour nap around 4:30. I thought briefly that we were done with the first and last one, but nope, it was just a weird day or two where she was too silly to sleep (and as always we all paid for it later that day). She still likes to be snuggie wrapped in her blanket, and so really fast at hopping out of her wrapped blanket to standing position the minute she is done sleeping (or thinks she's done before she's actually begun). Also, her wake up call is screaming, so there's that. She's not the happiest upon waking.

This month is the first month that she has truly played with her sisters. They've her... in the past, but now they give her princesses, make room for her, play games centered around her (age appropriate for her) and purposely seek her out to play. Josie is much better about not dragging her around so I can leave the two of them to play in the big girls' room while I get something small done. This is one of the reasons it's easier having more than one kid. When it was just Josie, nobody else could distract her or entertain her so it was left to me to try to squeeze in housework and meal prep and do that at the same time. Now, I set her up with a few toys, a sister or two, and check in often and she's as happy as can be. It's a huge blessing and I'm thankful for it.

Her report card from nursery and the gym is glowing as always. Both places have pointed out how crazy easy she has been to watch and how she is hardly phased at all when other kids take something from her or trip over her. She's turned into the typical third child with her demeanor around a lot of people. Whew! I was hoping this would happen and it did. She's full of personality but much easier to be around.

What else? There is so much more. She's seriously full of life, full of personality, and full of specific characteristics that are unique just to her. I find myself thinking about summer with a one year old and can't hardly wait. The world is so fascinating and new and exciting to her and once again I'll get to experience it through a toddler's eyes. This time, I also get to share this with two sisters who delight in her just as much (I know, I mentioned this in another post, but it's worth pointing out again). Last summer, I witnessed a set of sisters that were about the same ages as what my girls will be this summer. The bigger two led the little one around happily and helped her when she needed it while also teaching her how to play. It was the sweetest thing, watching as I held my little tiny immobile baby and I cannot wait for it to be my girls this year (outside! in the sun! and water!).

She's a delight. We love her. She's one! Now, we have a 4 1/2 year old, a 3 year old, and a 1 year old. How is this possible?? Slow down, time!


Amelia Jane - 11 months old

Well. The unavoidable is here. She's almost one years old, babyhood nearing it's end. This last month has been a sweet one, for sure, as Millie girl has blossomed even more and has captured our hearts all the more. Here's what she's been up to.

She's on the move more and more. She full on army crawls her way around the house, finally gets to the sitting position on her own, and pulls up on any and everything. She's not yet fast enough for me to be concerned about her getting away from me, but she can explore on her own so she is quite happy. It's pretty great for both of us. Her sisters, though, aren't as pleased. Suddenly, their precious toys are fair game and they don't yet understand how to truly keep them out of reach. It's entertaining (and frustrating) to watch them move their toys over two feet, only to then see Amelia scoot the two feet and grab it over and over again. I keep telling them that they need to put it away or get it up higher, but it hasn't really sunk in. 

We did a massive clean up this past weekend where every little toy got put in it's rightful home. The rules have changed again - now anything that is in the big game and puzzle closet is only usable with an adult's permission, in hopes of it staying out of baby hands. 

The main rule: Millie is part of this family so if she's up and playing, she can play with her sisters. It's their job to put away their toys that they don't want her playing with, because I'm not going to keep her away from them. I can see her always being excluded because she's not quite old enough and that's not going to fly. They need to get used to it early on. They get quiet time (her nap time) to play with those smaller toys. Otherwise, they can keep them on our new work table that is in the living room, which is currently out of her reach. There will be no door closing in their rooms, because again, Millie is just as much part of this family as the older girls are. We'll see how this concept goes. Hopefully smoothly!

Breastfeeding is going great. There was a week in the last month where I thought she was self weaning, but I persisted with offering nursing and she eventually stopped. There are just so many things to look at! I can't blame her. She still insists on eating right when she gets up (morning and after naps) and often times as a soother throughout the day, and then I always feed her before bed, just to top her off from dinner. I'm trying to soothe her in other ways so that we can start the weaning process soon, but so far that hasn't worked all that well. I'm not in a hurry to stop nursing, necessarily, but I also don't feel like we need to keep at it into her toddler years. We'll see what she ends up doing and preferring.

Eating food has been pretty good. She likes to take three or four bites of one thing but then wants to try something else. I've learned that I can't give her a whole bunch of one thing and count that as her meal. She wants variety. Again, can't blame her! She sees us eating different things and wants to try all of that too.

I'm being persistent with veggies but so far she hasn't taken to them all that much. She'll always try one, but often times it comes back out. She loves her carbs and most fruits, just like all of us, so I have to watch that I don't just default to those to keep her happy. Oh, and the girl loves meat. She fits right in around here.

We usually leave the house at least once a day, and I swear she thrives off of that. She is clingy and extra emotional when we stay home all day, which gives me even more motivation to get out of the house. We go to the gym, grocery store, friends' houses, church events... it's good. We don't do a lot of free community events because people...everywhere... but we do like to be out and about. She hardly ever gets upset even when she's really tired or getting hungry.

Amelia's hand-eye coordination has improved dramatically. Physically, this month has been huge for her. She is just changing and growing in leaps and bounds. Every day, she has a new skill for us to ooh and ahh over. She waves differently now, turning her hand back and forth, usually watching her little wrist work. She stares at her hand, smiles, then looks at us to see if we see how cool that is. We see it, sweetie! It's awesome. With that new trick comes her signing, "all done" pretty easily. She doesn't always do it when she's actually done with something, but she understands that it means something and looks at me expectantly when she does it. She also watches me sign "milk" while she's nursing, and lifts her hands up, looks at it, then looks at mine again over and over again. I know it's only a matter of time before she'll be signing like crazy. She also mimicked "more" the other day, but hasn't yet done it on her own.

There haven't been any real words yet. She's saying "bababa" after I say Mama to her, and once in a while she mimics my "hi!" but none of it is really used as communication. Josie worked so hard to get her to say "papapa" which she does say a lot, but again, there is no context to it; she's just chatting nonsense syllables at this point. Frankly, it's just fun to hear her sweet little voice when she's not crying. For so many months, she was either quiet and watching or screaming. There was no sweet chatter. It's nice to hear.

 Sometimes she'll make a face or do a certain expression that just looks like hubby. He didn't have much hair as a baby, so that's probably most of it, but there's definitely resemblance there that goes beyond the (lack of) hair. Take a look:

Can you see it? Her lips and smile are different, her nose is more feminine (good! ha.) but the eyes, the expression, the hair, it's the same, right? So cool. Genetics are cool.

She produces the biggest tears faster than any baby I've ever seen.

Sleeping has been amazing. At least at night. She's been sleeping all night all month. She goes to bed between 7:00 and 7:30 and then sleeps great until sometime after 5:00 AM. Hubby goes in (I'm too much for her when I'm there but not feeding her) to change her diaper and reposition her with her blanket and pacifier, and then she often sleeps til 7:30 or 8:00 AM. This past week, she's even surprised us with skipping that early morning wake up and sleeping til 7:00 or a little later. It's so great. I don't have that super tired time of day mid afternoon because I'm getting a full night's sleep! Now, her naps are not as great. Maybe because of her great nights of sleep, her naps have been less predictable. I can count on her afternoon nap to be at least an hour to an hour and a half, but it's hit or miss if she takes a good one in the morning and she often seems to want or need one in the late afternoon. That's tricky because we aren't always here to do that so then she's super grumpy for that hour and a half before her bed time. I guess we're just in that in between stage between one and two naps. Not my favorite, but thankfully she's fairly flexible.

My attempts at great sister pictures this month failed miserably. Amelia was less than willing to sit with them and the big girls don't exactly cooperate all the time either. Gah! I will still post the best of the terrible bunch because this is life right now, and I want to remember it.

And here's the comparison shot of all three girls. So. very. different. It's just crazy. I can't wait to see what her one year stats will be in a month, because it just seems crazy that she's almost one. The other two seemed older somehow. Millie still feels like a legit baby. And that bald, bald little baby. It's comical (yet adorable), isn't it? Also, to understand how truly different in size they are, Amelia is wearing a 6-9 month onesie here and it's pretty loose. Audrey is in a 12 mo onesie, fairly loose, and Josie is in a 12 mo onesie, not loose at all. All very different. Josie had been walking for two months here, and Audrey was crawling around like crazy, kind of teasing us with walking. Amelia is moving a lot but not like her sisters were. In this collage, I can see the similarities between Audrey and Amelia a lot more than usual. Those eyes seem identical!

Amelia is such a light in all of our lives. I say that every month, but it's even more apparent as she gets older. She's such a gift to us! Love you, baby girl!