Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Daddy's Dream Come True

Leah is in love with Superman. :)

Dan was unpacking his Superman collectibles to go on display in a new curio cabinet that we purchased earlier this month. Leah, as you can see, took a particular liking to this larger statue. She hugged him, patted him, gazed into his eyes like a school girl, and, when asked, kissed him square on the lips!

Leah also tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to carry Superman away from the evil clutches of her father, who only wanted to see if this one would fit in the cabinet. Much to Leah's delight, this Superman is a little too large for the display piece... could more stolen kisses be in their future? Only time will tell.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I love you...

...You love me.  This is what Barney's taught me:

For those of you who ever watched Boris Karloff play Frankenstein's monster, you really didn't appreciate it until you saw Bela Lugosi try the same.  When greatness is mimicked, you really only then understand the subtleties and the effort that go into creating that greatness.  Sesame Street is great.  It caters to all ages, breaks ground, and stands the test of time.  Barney is Bela Lugosi staggering around with his arms outstretched and an unexplained smile on his big monster face.

You can make a television show, DVD, and music video without so much as sound editing, select camera angles, or rehearsing.  

Barney is the soy of the kid's programming world.  Empty substance.

Barney is a rule-breaker.  For example, the statement was made (and firmly believed) that "Leah is not going to be put in front of the t.v. We're going to interact with her, and let her explore her environment...blah, blah, blah."  Now, we eagerly pull her little chair in front of the t.v.

Leah is a great dancer.

Leah sitting in front of the t.v. does not necessarily mean laundry is getting folded.  In fact, laundry may need folding, dishes washed, dogs fed. Mom and Dad are slumped on the couch.

Baby-Bop has a really annoying voice.  Its like someone crammed Fran Drescher into a four-foot tall dinosaur costume.

Leah will learn the words for what she really likes, exceptionally fast.  Ranking them, Barney is second only to candy.

Barney does not have to be watched.  He only needs to be "on."  Then everything is right in the world.

And lastly, for now:
It doesn't take long to learn the words to the songs.  For example, without looking: "Its cold, burr. I wish I was a bear. I wish had hair like a furry, furry bear."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

All I need for Christmas

Dear Santa,

I've been looking at all the holiday circulars in the paper, and paying real close attention to all the commercials during my shows.  I really enjoy the playsets I've seen.  The attention to detail is uncanny, and the realism in these toys is remarkable.  I gave a great deal of consideration to the vacuum cleaner toy, and of course the wide variety of kitchen playsets are tough to choose from.  Of course, how could I forget the mini ball bounces, sand boxes, jungle gyms, and all those great toys to climb on.  

However, I will forgo the lengthy list of toys from your work shop in the North Pole. I'm going to request one thing; padding.  Lots of padding.  Not for me. For my daddy, my doggies, and my mama.  They are much more fun for climbing and playing on than any toy.  So, please Santa, provide my family with all of the extra cushioning and protection your little elves can load on that sleigh. 

They need it.  

With Warm Regards, Leah.

P.S. Dad wants a cup.  What is that?

P.P.S. Why is your work shop called "China"?

(posted by Dan)

Monday, November 30, 2009

I like . . . me.

For anyone who ever saw the show "Jon & Kate Plus Eight", do you remember when it was a show about eight cute little kids growing up?  In one episode, the mom divulged that the children liked to watch the show, and their unanimous favorite aspect of the show was watching their mom and dad on t.v.  They had no interest in watching themselves or their siblings.  It was all about mom and dad.

That wouldn't be Leah.  She likes watching her favorite thing, herself, a lot.  Sesame Street holds her attention for a moment. Some cartoons can occupy Leah for a minute or two.  Even Barney is only good for a maximum three minutes at a time.  Repeated leg stretches are necessary during a Barney tape.  However, she can and will watch the same 45 second video of the world's cutest kid, again, herself, repeatedly.  To give you an idea, our motion light outside is set to remain on for five minutes.  Leah sat on dad's lap for two cycles of this motion light, visible just outside the window by the computer, while watching the same minute long video of Leah wandering around the family room.  No singing, no dancing, no scaling the Empire State Building and swatting at biplanes.  Just wandering around and making baby faces.  This is her current greatest pleasure in life.

Gene Kelly would be jealous of such narcissism

The scariest part (yes, scary) is how funny Leah finds the conclusion of the video in which she scowls at her mother's insistence that she is not "dada" but "mama."  Every time the baby in the video is corrected she then lowers her brow and looks kind of evil-mean, Leah sits at the computer and smiles really big, and maybe even laughs a little.  

And yet, we'll appreciate these days.  Someday, this "Aren't I the greatest?" will turn into "Why doesn't everyone else think so, all the time?" And the brow will lower...

(Posted by Dan)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November Update

It occurred to us the other day that we had not posted since Halloween. Seems that we are overdue for one!

Leah appears to be beginning her vocal growth spurt. In just the last couple weeks, she has added “kitty” (pronounced “titty”), “bear” (beh), “swing” (eeen), “water” (wa), and the ever popular “no” (nah) to her vocabulary. I love that she’s communicating more, and she cracks us up with her facial expressions and hand gestures when she babbles.

The girl LOVES to dance. Barney songs, the Elmo’s World theme, music from her toys, even commercial jingles and the Jeopardy theme all have her bopping, swaying, and clapping to the beat. When she's not rocking out, Leah has also taken up screaming. ALL. THE. TIME. Silly screams of excitement, angry tantrum screams, or simply “Here I am! Notice me!” screams. Our ears are all bleeding while Leah tests the power of her voice. Needless to say, we hope this particular phase passes very quickly.

We are very much looking forward to Thanksgiving this week. Leah is such a good eater and Momma cannot wait to see her reaction to such a huge meal and new treats like pumpkin pie. Popel will be joining us for the weekend, and we just finished a visit with Grammy this past weekend. Lots of spoiling is going on in our house, that’s for sure. :)

Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Here's Miss Kitty, decked out for her first trick-or-treating experience! Everyone knows we're dog people but she sure is the most adorable little kittycat I've ever seen. :) She wasn't too thrilled about all the fuss Momma made at her costume at first. Daddy said she reminded him of Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" in his bunny suit and disgusted face. Ha!

Halloween night, we picked a nearby neighborhood based on a friend's recommendation and went around to about 5 or 6 houses before stopping. Leah seemed to enjoy the first couple of houses, especially since we saw a couple pups, but it quickly become apparent that trick-or-treating involved greeting too many strangers in a short span of time. She clung to her daddy and whined a bit. Still, that didn't stop her from blowing kisses to almost all of the homeowners who gave her candy, thus winning them over. ;)

I'm glad we took her out, even if it may not have lasted too long. It was fun to experience it and to once again see this big wide world through Leah's eyes. 

Friday, October 23, 2009

"She just loves babies."

Leah, who is so intent on being the focus of all attention possible.  Leah, who screams an ear-drum shattering shrill shriek to overcome any conversation not about Leah.  Leah, who can't stand a singular spotlight for fear that its bulb may burn out leaving her temporarily in the dark, so she insists on multiple spotlights, or rather, the moon and the stars and the sun and every other light emitting or reflecting heavenly body to shine upon the brilliance that is Leah.

This same, humble child "just loves babies."  This statement was uttered proudly by her care-giver on Thursday.  Sure its cute when she cradles her baby dolls. She mocks feeding them, wiping their faces, and changing their diapers.  She nurtures these bundles of joy, plastic, and cloth.  She loves them no matter how full of Chinese lead content they may be.  No one is perfect, but she loves these baby dolls, flaws and all.  This excitement translates to real babies as well.

A baby at daycare has been on the receiving end of Leah's adoration.  We're told its cute.  We have witnessed the excitement on Leah's face to see a baby.  She squeals, and says "baby" as she points at the little girl.  

Then she gets home, loses her temper at something, and those same beloved baby dolls get thrown to the floor with an inappropriate measure of force.  Mixed signals for mom and dad.

[Dan] proofread by the Mrs.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Current Stats

Leah had her 18 month checkup earlier this week. She weighs 24.2 pounds (to which Momma exclaimed, "That's all?!") and measures 33 inches tall. Her weight is in the 50-75th percentile and her height is the 75th-90th percentile. The doc says she looks great and appears to be right on track developmentally. The average vocabulary at this age is 10 words, and Leah can say about 7. If you include her animal sounds (which her pediatrician does!) then she's definitely meeting (and depending on her mood, exceeding) the 10 word mark. Yay.

Only one shot this time for the seasonal flu. She screamed and cried of course, but got over it fairly quickly once she was given a cookie. ;)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bring on the Zombie Frogs!

Leah will be 18 months old on Saturday.  In the last year and a half, she has survived a housing crisis, a financial crisis, a gas shortage, a historic drought, a resulting water shortage, record unemployment, rising crime, record snowfall, a record flood, and a couple of Mavericks.  

So what's next?  Well, if you're religious, you might think that locusts are the next plague.  If so, you haven't seen the bugs in Georgia.  Have you ever heard that the south is a little behind the times?  The bug life is simply Jurassic.  The cute bugs are still cute, such as Ladybugs, the only difference is that they are the size of your thumb.  Maybe the next plague will be something like the river flowing blood.  Again, Georgia's dirt is red. We wouldn't know blood from yucky water anyhow.  This leaves us with frogs. Better yet, frogs raining from the sky. It happened in the Bible, or at least a weird Tom Cruise movie.  In honor of Halloween, they may as well be Zombie Frogs!

Leah was born over 540 days ago.  She had complications at birth, which caused an emergency C-section.  She spent the first couple days of her life in the hospital's NICU in an oxygen tent to help her breathing.  She has weathered more storms (health, weather, economic, societal) than she is even aware of.  She is a tough little kid; determined and independent.  She wouldn't have any problem with a swarm of undead amphibians.

Dodge's tail whacking her in the face is a slightly different story.

[Dan] - or is it Frog Zombies?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My child is a . . . Super Hero!

A stand-up comic named Daniel Tosh has a bit about a real-life child who can't feel pain, and how he would make a terrible parent for someone with this condition. Mock calling his wife, he says, "Honey, I broke our daughter's arm an hour ago, and she hasn't tapped out yet.  Our child is a superhero!"  

Fortunately, Leah does not put her dad in this situation of mistaking a life-threatening disability with super strength. (He would fail that test.)  Unfortunately, Leah has a different super power.  Well, two powers, but we've exhausted the 'Blinking is all the sleep she needs' power.  Her second power is the ability to be loud. No, make that very LOUD. Leah screams.  When she's happy, she screams. Its earth-shattering.  When she's sad, she screams, but she actually builds it up.  Her mouth will hang open, and its the quiet before the storm.  Then, all that air she just sucked up, comes projectile vomiting out in a torrent of ear-splitting decibels.  Her superhero name should be Banshee or The Deafener.  Her costume should have a bullhorn on the belt buckle.

Life with Leah and two energetic dogs is a constant ballet.  When she starts her screaming, we have to tend to her, and at the same time, run to make sure that Dodge isn't filling the tub while Hud is grabbing an electric appliance to bring in the bathroom.  Their poor doggy ears.

[By Dan]-"huh? say again."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"I am Catwoman....hear me Roar."

Last Halloween, Leah was a little, white lamb.  This year, she is going to be a Kitty.  The costume is courtesy of Old Navy, and she was really excited to see it in the store.  Then she ran away, well another direction.  A side note: its fun chasing someone with no comprehension of danger, a new appreciation for jogging, and the attention span of a gnat.

Dad told mom that he wasn't comfortable buying Leah items with her name on them (i.e. clothing or anything she would go out in public with).  You know, you don't want a stranger approaching her and using her name.  Having said that, we call out her name in public repeatedly.  "Leah, come here." "Leah, lets go this way." "Leah, that's yucks." "Yucks, Leah." "Leah, get that out of your mouth."  "Leah, SPIT THAT OUT!" (Maybe she should dress up as a goat for Halloween.)

[Posted by Dan] - tired.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

She keeps on going, and going, and going...

Leah has two things in common with the Energizer Bunny. First, she bangs out a good beat. Not on a drum but on the side of the tub.  Really.  The left hand has one beat and the right is doing something different.  She's a natural drummer.  

Second, she never stops moving.  NEVER. We have been taking walks almost every evening.  Leah is walking almost the entire distance, even up the big hill to get back home.  She's enjoying the neighborhood dogs, the cars, the "baby trees."  Then, when we all get home, the dogs collapse, mom and dad collapse, and Leah finds something else to do.  This is what happens when expectant mothers drink caffeine.

A side note: Leah turned 17 today (months, that is).   Her favorite word right now is "car."  This can't be a good omen for when she becomes a teenager.  

[Posted by Dan] I have to say this now. Its in the rules.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Baryshnikov, Eat Your Heart Out.

Leah has learned the fine art of dancing.  While she's not quite New York Ballet ready, she is plenty ready for MTV Spring Break. Her best move is the bum-shaker.  In fact, its her only move. But its cute, and she enjoys it. 

Also, we recently introduced Leah to Trix cereal.  Trix in turn introduced her to artificial food coloring.  Artificial food coloring has kindly, in turn introduced mom and dad to technicolor poop.  Its like a demented circle of life starting with a silly rabbit and ending with a disturbed parent.

Lastly, for the grandparents, you may have to listen closely for the subtle variations, but Leah knows some new sounds.  Such as "piggy", "vacuum", "cow", "monkey", and she is learning to say "car".  

(Posted by Dan)

Friday, August 21, 2009


So sorry for the lack of updates! Life is always busy with a one year old. ;)

Leah's last molar finally cut through the gum yesterday. She's been extra whiny and woke up a few times very early Tuesday morning, most likely in pain. I do not envy our sitter, Sarah, this week - she said it's been a teething frenzy with almost all the little ones she watches. Yikes!

Leah continues to love going to Sarah's house everyday. A couple big things both Sarah and I have noticed in the past few weeks are: Leah no longer needs to carry her Pooh Bear with her everywhere she goes (we haven't brought him to Sarah's house all week!) and she very rarely sucks on her fingers anymore. She obviously feels so much more secure and confident, and I couldn't be happier about that.

Car rides are becoming much more intolerable, however. Leah's so busy and loves to be on-the-go. I think she dislikes being strapped in for any length of time. Some days I can distract her with music, other days it's just a constant whine-fest. :P

Thanks to a set of Sesame Street board books from Grammy, Leah is beginning to learn the various characters. She's known Grover and Elmo for some time and she clearly likes Big Bird and Bert. The funniest one is Cookie Monster... whenever she sees him, she smacks her gums and makes a "yum yum" sound. I love it!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Within the last week or two, Leah has become very interested in books. She likes to turn the pages, look at the pictures, and point out some of the characters or objects she knows (Elmo, Grover, ball, doggie, etc.). One of the sweetest things about this new interest is just a couple days ago, she brought me a book and then proceeded to sit right in front of me so we could look at it together. LOVED that! :) The only downside is sometimes she wants you to look through the same book over and over and over again. Ha.

Yesterday, I bought Leah her first "big girl" toothbrush! It's yellow and has 3 Sesame Street characters on it. I also picked up some toddler toothpaste. We had been using some baby Orajel toothpaste and this little gummy brush, but I thought we were well overdue to retire that and move up. Leah's funny though, when I let her hold the toothbrush last night to check it out, she started brushing her hair with it! It does look like a mini version of her hair brush so she had the right idea. ;)

Monday, July 27, 2009

No More Tears

Leah does not cry at morning dropoff anymore! She went ALL last week, as well as today, without shedding one single tear when either Dan or I (or both of us) have said goodbye and left Sarah's house. She might whine for a minute, because she prefers that we don't leave, but that's it. I am over the moon! It only took two weeks of staying with Sarah to accomplish what we couldn't do in a year at the daycare center. Amazing. :D

So, I have this Tigger hand-puppet that I passed along to Leah. One day last week, I put Tigger on my hand and sang (in a silly voice) "The Most Wonderful Thing About Tiggers". Not only does she crack up when I do this, but she's started bringing me the Tigger puppet. As I put him on my hand, she bounces and "sings" because she knows what's coming. It is too cute!

I took a couple videos yesterday, as well as a bunch of pictures (those of you on Facebook may have seen the pics), so I'll try to get those out tonight or tomorrow.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Distinguished Era

This is Leah's new look... standing or walking with her hands behind her back, looking very prim and proper. Thus, the "distinguished" era. :)

Leah had her 15 month checkup this past week. She weighs 23.4 lbs and is almost 31 inches tall. She's right on track developmentally. Only two vaccines this time around, but of course she still wailed. :(  Thankfully, up until the shots, she was so much more cheerful during her checkup. I don't know if she "forgot" about the upcoming vaccines or she's getting over her stranger anxiety or if it has to do with her age. But wow, she was a little ham! Walking and babbling all over the waiting room, waving at various people, and she even played peek-a-boo with her doctor. So cute.

And for the first time ever at the doc's office, when we were called back to the exam room, Leah held my hand and walked back there with me! I didn't carry her. Definitely not my baby anymore; she's a big girl now!

In just the last few days, Leah has become a pro at climbing the deck stairs on her hands & knees. She's getting faster and faster! Last night, she also walked the entire length of our driveway. For those of you who have visited us, you know how long that walk is, especially for little feet! She's very, very active.

Leah is enjoying getting her groove on. She dances more and more whenever she hears music from a toy. :) And the girl's got rhythm - you should see her drum TWO different beats at the same time!

Everything is still going extremely well with her new caregiver, Sarah. Leah seems so happy, pleasant, and confident. We are overjoyed!

I think those are the highlights for this week. I'll try to stay more up-to-date. ;)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Childcare Success!

Ooops, been awhile since an update! Since I last wrote, Leah had her last day at the daycare center (July 2) and began staying with her new caregiver, Sarah this past Monday. WOW. This has already got to be one of the best decisions we've ever made.

When we arrived at Sarah's on Monday morning, Leah was babbling up a storm and was very excited by all the toys in the playroom. It was awesome. She started to cry as Dan & I got up to leave, which we expected, but I received an email at work from Sarah just before 9am that said by the time she had picked up Leah and went to lock the door, Leah had stopped crying. She ate all her breakfast, was talking and toddling around the playroom, and was doing great! I was ecstatic. I was so appreciative of the email update and I felt incredibly relaxed for the rest of the day.

When we picked her up on Monday, Dan & I were amazed. When Leah saw us, she smiled and then turned around and walked away, babbling the whole time! I've never seen her so happy upon pick-up. We were THRILLED.

Leah has since learned that going to Sarah's in the morning means that Dan & I are going to leave, so she's been a little more clingy the past two days. But honestly, it's still not as bad as daycare. She's not full out wailing. And we can hear her start to quiet down by the time we leave. This is going to be SO much healthier for her in the long run, and Dan & I are very satisfied with our decision already. Thank goodness!

Monday, June 29, 2009

New Things

I was hoping to write up a big post yesterday, and include some pictures, but my little stinker didn't nap! She took one teeny catnap (maybe 20 minutes long) in the car on the way to meet the new caregiver. That's IT. She was up from 7:30am to 8:30pm. I don't know how she did it because I was tired by 7:00 last night! lol Thankfully, she was happy and pleasant all day, and really, all weekend. Leah's top two molars have come all the way through the gums and her mood has significantly improved. She's back to being our fun, silly monkey. :)

So, like I mentioned, we met with the new caregiver - Sarah. Everything went well and I really liked a lot of what she had to say. She has two young kids of her own, ages 6 and 4, and they were very interested in Leah (maybe a little too much, as they kept wanting to touch her!) and Leah was fascinated by them as well. The most telling thing, for me, was the fact that Leah seemed comfortable pretty quickly. She was babbling to the kids, she smiled at Sarah, she played with a few toys, and even let us set her down on the floor without freaking out. Granted, Dan & I were still there but I was very encouraged by her comfort level. I don't doubt that the separation anxiety will come out, but I do think this home environment will be so much better in the long run.

Sarah is in the process of moving (her house was still full of boxes) so she asked if we could give her a week to finish setting up. We're already paid up at the daycare center through this week so that's no big deal. Dan is off on Friday for the holiday weekend so Leah only has 4 days left anyway. :)

Over the past week or so, Leah's really been demonstrating her understanding of a bunch of things. She tries to blow kisses. When you ask if you can go change her diaper, she starts walking toward her bedroom. :) Yesterday, she handed me a toy cup and said "Ba!" to tell me that she wanted her sippy cup. We're working on identifying body parts and she definitely knows her belly. She's getting the hang of mouth and nose, and sometimes her feet. She also knows that I usually put my flip flops on before we go outside because she pointed to them the other day and started waving bye! I love all this cuteness. :)

Monday, June 22, 2009


Dan & I have made the decision to search out in-home childcare for Leah.

On Friday, I received another call at work from the daycare stating that Leah had a low-grade fever of 100. I explained that it's related to her molars coming in, that even her doctor said so last week. I asked if she had any other symptoms. They said she hadn't eaten or drank much at breakfast. Ugh, of course not, because her mouth HURTS! Still, they said, "Well you just never know" (YES, we DO know!) and "Could you come pick her up?" Grrrrr.

I ended up asking them if she could stay there to nap since it was coming up on naptime. They said yes and asked if someone could get her afterwards. Because it was Friday and we were VERY busy, and Dan was by himself in his office, I didn't even get over there until 3:45. One of the teachers was like, "She's been so lethargic all day."

Well, I get Leah in the car and take her to Walmart to kill a little bit of time before we could pick up Dan from work. She was FINE! I touched her head and she didn't feel warm at all. She perked up when we walked through the toy aisles and she was babbling away. Overall, she was great all weekend. She had a few freak-outs, which were most likely teething related but it was clear to us that she was happy and in a pretty pleasant mood for the most part.

So, not only are Dan & I fed up with this daycare calling us for what seems like every little thing (and using up a bunch of sick time!) but we think the transition to the toddler room has really, really upset Leah more than we first realized. If she seems lethargic all day but perks up as soon as she's with us, could she be depressed? As I thought about it further, I took note of Leah's moods when we pick her up each day...

Drop-off has always been trying. We do notice a difference, which we thought was simply due to unfamiliarity with the new teachers. She used to whine or fuss just a bit in the infant room and would quiet down usually before Dan & I even left. Now, she full out WAILS at dropoff. Despite the fussing at dropoff in the infant room, Leah would be very happy and cheerful at pick-up. She'd babble, smile, wave bye to the teachers, etc. Now, in the toddler room, she will start crying as soon as she sees us at pickup. She points to the door and doesn't wave bye to anyone. She clearly just wants to get out of there.

Bottom line, we don't think she's happy. And sure, she may adjust over time as she gets to know these teachers. But then what? She'll move up to another room, and then another room, only to start this whole cycle all over again. We don't want that for her.

So, the next most logical option appears to be in-home childcare where Leah will have one caregiver over several years until she's ready for school. She can grow attached to one person, just like she did with Chandre, but won't have to keep swapping around.

I already found one woman who seems very promising. She has 5 kids of her own, has 28 years experience, and has had in-home daycare for years. When I emailed her, she responded very promptly with her own forms to fill out, background info, policies/procedures, etc. She only takes 4 children and has 2 right now. Dan & I are hoping to meet with her sometime this week. She also doesn't send kids home unless their fever hits 102 degrees, which usually indicates some type of infection!

I truly do think this would be the best option for Leah. It would be another transition but in the long run, it would be so beneficial. She'd be in a quiet home instead of a daycare and she'd get a LOT of individual attention. The only downside is if the caregiver gets sick or something, then there's really no backup. But we think it would be worth it for Leah's sake. Pretty much all of the moms I've talked to who use in-home childcare are VERY happy with their decisions for the reasons I've mentioned.

So, that's where we are right now. Dan & I are very gung-ho about this and are hoping that maybe we call pull Leah out of the center by the 4th of July. As always, I'll keep you posted.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A few pics of Miss Trouble

Here is my troublemaker a few days ago... she was interested in the video camera bag and wanted to pick it up. I told her no and then turned away for a few minutes. Next thing I know, she's walking past me with the thing around her neck. LOL And then she couldn't get it off and threw a mini-fit. ;)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Little Normalcy

After a week of whininess, Leah was finally acting more cheerful last night. The only freak out she had was when she was finished eating and wanted to get out of her highchair while Dan & I were still eating our dinner. Otherwise, she played nicely, toddled around the house, babbled, and was more like her usual self. She's still waking up at night due to the teething pain, but that's pretty normal according to various websites and other moms.

The morning dropoff at daycare is still pretty rough. Leah cries every morning, though the teachers say she's fine within a couple minutes after we leave. Dan & I have attributed some of this to a variety of caregivers that have been there first thing. The lead teacher, Teresa was out for a few weeks after having surgery and has just returned this week. Up until then, there were several floaters who would take her place and I think it just added to Leah's stress and confusion about the transition. One morning, we had to hand her over to Sabrina, the lead teacher from her old room, and she was fine before we even made it out the door - I think because Sabrina was familiar and it was like her old routine. Now that Teresa is back, I'm hoping it will help give Leah some stability and predicatability for dropoff.

That being said, Leah has been with Chandre several afternoons this week when I've gone to pick her up. :) I love knowing that Chandre is looking out for her and that Leah feels secure with her. Chandre said it'll just take time since Leah doesn't adjust to change easily. Gee, I wonder where she gets that from! ;)

On a lighter note, Dan was teaching Leah to give treats to the dogs a little on Sunday and then again yesterday. She really got the hang of it yesterday and kept reaching into the treat bin for more... I think Dodge loves her even more now. lol And we both think it's important for Hud to receive treats from her, so that he continues to warm up to her and respect her as a member of the "pack".

We're looking forward to our visit with Popel this weekend! It's going to be SUPER hot too so we'll have to try out the kiddie pool again. I also have a bunch of pictures I'd like to try to post as soon as I get the chance.

We'd also like to say CONGRATULATIONS to Uncle Ryan for graduating high school! Woo hoo! :D

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Would you like some cheese...

...with that whine? 

Leah is SO WHINY! Oh my goodness. I think it's gotta be the molars. That combined with her putting on a show for me to get my attention (she doesn't do this for ANYONE else!). I'm hoping it's the molars anyway, so that we can return to some type of "normal" pleasant behavior once they're through. Oy! 

Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer Colds are the Worst

The fever ended up being a precursor to a really bad cold. I took off work again on Thursday and Dan is at home with Leah today. Stuffy nose, coughing, and just generally whiny and clingy. It probably doesn't help that those molars are coming in too, so I'm sure she's in some pain. Poor girl. :(

I tried to upload some recent photos to Snapfish the other day and for whatever reason, it only uploaded two and then quit on me. Ugh. I'll try again this weekend. I know I'm way behind on that!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Leah & I are home again today. She had a low-grade fever (100.5) yesterday afternoon at daycare and they said she was pulling at her ears a lot. So, I had to go pick her up and was able to get right in for an appointment at the pediatrician's office. While he was examining her, he could see her two top molars starting to come in (and I finally saw them too) so he thinks that's where her fever stems from as well as the ear-pulling since there's no sign of infection or anything else. And after giving her some Motrin, she seems absolutely fine.

However, because of the fever, she's not allowed back to daycare for 24 hours. :P  Such a pain when it's just teething. Still, it's nice to have an extra day at home. And maybe an explanation as to why Leah's been extra whiny. ;)

She was so pleasant and happy on Sunday though, which I told Dan was probably our anniversary present from her. Ha ha. He & I actually got to go out on a date while my friend Marcela watched Leah. She freaked out a little when we started to leave, but apparently was very good the rest of the time (sounds like daycare). It was very refreshing for us to go enjoy a nice meal without picking toys up off the floor or trying to entertain an impatient toddler. :)

I got a decent video of her walking around the family room the other day that I'm going to try to upload today. Be on the lookout!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tantrums Galore!

Leah has discovered the power of her own voice. Things she may have simply whined about just a couple weeks ago (mostly to do with not getting her own way!) are now met with full-out, blood-curdling screams. Last night was the worst tantrum I've seen yet.

It began when she toppled onto some blocks. I think it scared her more than anything and she freaked out. She sat in my lap for a few minutes while I tried to comfort her. However, instead of calming down, she continued to freak out and squirm out of my arms so I decided to let her lay on the floor and get it out of her system. Essentially, I ignored her. I walked into the kitchen to start dinner. I peeked back into the family room and she was sitting there, looking at me, and crying to get my attention.

She continued crying even when Dan picked her up and tried to console her. When dinner was ready, I put her in the highchair and she quieted down for a couple minutes to eat. I left the room for a second and she immediately started freaking out again! This continued the entire time we ate dinner. I knew all she wanted was for me to hold her but I refused to give in.

Once I finished eating, I picked her up and she was alright for a couple minutes. She had another freak-out when I tried playing with her in the family room. No idea why. Eventually, she got over it and started playing and babbling again as usual. I think she screamed for almost a solid hour total. Oy. I felt sorry for the dogs and their sensitive ears!

Dan said it best this morning - she's putting on a show for me. She does it at daycare too. She'll cry and scream and reach for me as we're leaving, but just a minute after we walk out of the room, she's perfectly fine! I think she's already learned that I tend to give in to her. So, it's time to set some boundaries for the long term. I just didn't think we'd have to start doing so at almost 14 months!

As a side note, her fever must've been some type of flu strain. Dan and I both got it over the weekend, though Dan felt way worse than I did. We all took a sick day on Monday.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sick or Teething?

We had a visit to the pediatrician today. The daycare called me at work this morning, shortly after 9, to say that Leah had a low fever (100.5) and that she hadn't eaten much of her breakfast. She was napping and they said they'd check her again when she woke up. Well, I got another call after 10 and her fever was up to 101.8 and she was extremely fussy. So, I had to go pick her up.

Apparently, Hand Foot & Mouth Disease (not to be confused with Hoof & Mouth Disease!) has been going around the daycare. The folks there thought Leah may have that since she wasn't eating as much. I personally thought it was just teething, as her molars seem to be getting ready to come in and she's been extra fussy since last weekend. Anyway, I called the doctor's office and got an appointment for the afternoon.

He doesn't think it's Hand Foot & Mouth. He's not quite sure of the cause of her fever since she has no blisters/rashes for HFM or any other symptoms that might indicate something else (i.e. strep throat). So right now it's just Tylenol for the fever and if it continues or we see some other symptoms, the pediatrician said to give him a call this weekend. 

Poor Leah though, she HATES the doctor's office. She associates it with vaccines and anytime the doctor or the nurse do something as simple as listen to her heartbeat or take her temperature, she SCREAMS at the top of her lungs. It's like she's anticipating something worse just by their touch. :(

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cool Treat

Leah had her first taste of ice cream yesterday. In all the heat and humidity, we took a little outing to Dairy Queen in the afternoon. As soon as Leah saw me eating a blizzard, she did what she usually does when she wants something you have... she pointed and said, "Eh?" ;) So, I gave her a teeny spoonful. The coldness definitely shocked her and her scrunched up face was priceless - I wish I had my camera! Still, that didn't deter her. She continued to eat a small portion of my blizzard. :D

This morning's drop-off in Tumblers didn't go nearly as bad as I thought. Leah babbled, started to play with a few toys, and waved at Lexie (her old pal who moved up a couple months ago). She only started to fuss when Dan and I waved goodbye and walked toward the door, but she quieted down pretty quickly when one of the teachers picked her up. Whew! I'm anxious to hear how the rest of her day went!

Monday, May 25, 2009

What are you looking at?

This is the face we've been seeing all weekend. Grumpy. More specifically, it's the face she keeps giving Dan. We have no idea why but almost everytime he tries to talk to her or hold her, she just stares at him like this! However, if he's outside working on our new fence or playing with the dogs, then all she wants is Daddy. She's a moody one.

Leah's been sleeping a LOT lately. I almost wonder if it's all the walking she's doing, so she's tiring herself out. She took an almost four hour nap on Saturday, a three hour nap yesterday, and slept for about 13 hours last night. Wowza!

She mimics us now when either of us yawn. ;)  She'll open her mouth real wide and go "Ahhhhhh" in this soft voice. It's hysterical.

Her transition at daycare last week seemed to go well. She spent one hour in Tumblers on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Still, the hard part will be tomorrow when we drop her off in the new room. I'm not expecting a good reaction!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sweet Surprise

When we picked up Leah from daycare today, Chandre - her primary caregiver - had a gift for her before she officially moves up to the Toddler room. She bought her a cute green dress and a Winnie the Pooh blanket. :) But the truly special thing was the homemade card. On the front, she wrote "I'll miss you so much Leah!" and decorated it with stickers. Once we got to the car, I read the inside and was in tears.

She wrote:
"Leah and family,
Words cannot express how much I have enjoyed taking care of Leah. I have grown so attached to her that I treat her as if she's one of my own kids. I knew the time would come for her to move, but I'm not ready for her to move up. I love Leah, and I'll check on her everyday she's

I am so thankful for Chandre. :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ba-ba History?

I may be jinxing myself by writing this but I think we may be done with bottles! Leah hasn't shown a whole lot of interest in them lately so last night, Dan poured a bedtime sippy instead of a bottle. She took it with no problem! I tried a sippy first thing this morning (wake-up and bedtime are the only bottles we've been doing anyway) and she wasn't quite going for that. Dan & I drove separately to work today, due to my late Fridays, and he put the sippy next to Leah for the ride. I'll find out later if it was successful or not. Still, just another step out of babyhood. :)

One of my new favorite things that Leah is doing is grabbing my hands and holding them above her head, indicating that she would like me to walk around with her. :) She's taking more and more steps on her own but she definitely enjoys walking super fast when one of us is holding her hands. Once she lets go for good, look out world! And look out, Hud and Dodge!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


We got the official word yesterday that Leah will be moving up to the toddler room, "Tumblers" on May 26th. They'll begin to transition her next Wednesday thru Friday. EEEK!

I'm nervous. Leah is VERY attached to her caregiver Chandre. (Chandre seemed sad yesterday too when she talked about Leah leaving the infant room, which honestly comforts me to know how much Leah is cared for everyday.) I'm anticipating a rough week, especially during morning drop-off. And I hope Pooh Bear is up to the task of constant snuggles - we're gonna need him big time!

Monday, May 4, 2009

One small step...

Leah took her first steps! :D

She technically took them sometime at daycare on Thursday (I think) because her caregiver kept trying to get her to do it when we picked her up, but Leah would have none of that. But I'm counting her first steps that WE saw on Saturday, May 2nd. :) We were so proud! She'll only take 2 or 3 steps at a time before she sits back down or falls over. What a big girl!!!

Yesterday, we opened our new Waterwheel activity table from Aunt Laurs. Leah was occupied for a good while and got herself all wet. :) Between that and the little pool, I think we'll have a lot of fun outdoors over the coming months!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chubby little cubby

Leah has grown very attached to her stuffed Winnie the Pooh that Grammy gave her for Valentines Day. She snuggles him, rocks him, holds him on her lap in the car, and carries him into daycare everyday. He's become a great transitional object for her. She used to cry and/or cling to one of us when we would drop her off at daycare in the morning (and be fine as soon as we left the room!). Since having her Pooh bear, she's been fine. Maybe a little whine here and there, but that's all. I'm thankful she has a security object, and I secretly love that it's Winnie the Pooh. ;)

Not much new going on this week. We're looking forward to our visit with Aunt Laurs this weekend!

Monday, April 27, 2009

New foods and toys.

During our weekly grocery trips, I'm trying to buy a couple different foods that Leah hasn't tried in order to keep things interesting. Last week, we gave her half a peanut butter sandwich, which she gobbled right up. I also bought some pancake mix and I discovered that she will not eat plain pancakes - she has to have some maple syrup just like everyone else. ;) (I was trying to avoid sticky fingers! Oh well!) Yesterday, Dan gave her some strawberry slices for the first time. That was a no-go. She would put a piece in her mouth, make a silly pucker face, open her mouth, and let it fall out onto her lap. Ha. And she continued to do this with 4 or 5 pieces. I guess she thought she might like the next one? ;)

Dan set up Leah's new kiddie pool on Saturday. The water was pretty cold and she didn't have any interest in even sticking her feet in. But she enjoyed kneeling over the side, playing with her bath toys, and splashing. I think this will be awesome, and she'll enjoy it more and more, as the summer goes on.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Daddy's got the magic touch.

For the past week or so, Leah will only fall asleep when she's with Dan. It's wild. I can give her the bedtime bottle, try to rock with her in the nursery, let her stretch out in my arms, etc. Nothing. She stays awake. Babbles, squirms, you name it. But as soon as her dad takes her in her room, she's out like a light.

Hey, I don't mind. Whatever works! We'll take it. ;)

She's been extra whiny this weekend, especially today. I imagine it's her teeth since she always gets whiny like this when she's teething. She's got one top tooth that looks to be cutting through her gums right now, so that's gotta be killing her. She also has a bug bite on her leg from being outside a lot on Saturday, so the itching could be annoying her too. It's been a long day.

So, yeah, bedtime with Daddy? Sounds great. ;)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Big Girl Jammies

Weather is in the 80s down here, and last night I dressed Leah in some new summery pajamas that we bought at Target. These were the first two-piece jammies she's worn; she's been in infant sleepers up until now. Oh my goodness, she looked like such a big girl! It's amazing how one little detail made such a difference but suddenly, she really didn't look like a baby anymore. She was my little girl, just playing and babbling and looking so darn cute. I love it.

Apparently, she's got quite the sweet tooth too. When we picked her from daycare yesterday, her caregiver Chandre mentioned that she barely ate any regular Cheerios... but was all over the Banana Nut Cheerios that someone else had. ;) We couldn't blame her. Both Dan & I said regular Cheerios are so bland and boring that you have to put sugar on them to taste any good. Ha.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Current Stats

Let me bring everyone up to date on the basics:

Leah had her 1 year checkup last week. She currently weighs 21 lbs 8oz and is 29 inches long. She had 3 vaccines and they pricked her big toe to check for anemia. Poor girl.

She currently has 7 teeth. 4 on top, 3 on the bottom.

At around 11 months, Leah refused all baby food. She only eats table food now and she HAS to feed herself. ;) Her favorite things so far seem to be hamburger, bananas, and Olive Garden breadsticks.

We're DONE with formula! YIPPEE! We're on to whole milk, which is wonderful and so economical. We're also down to 2 bottles per day (first thing in the morning and bedtime). She drinks from sippy cups throughout the rest of the day.

No walking yet. She is mastering standing on her own and has been cruising a lot more. And she still loves to crawl super fast everywhere.

Words she can say: Mama, Dada, Bye, Pooh-ba (Pooh Bear), Ba (for bottle or ball, depending on what's in her sight) and sometimes I swear she says Da-ba (for "Dodgeball"). She also understands that a doggy says "woof woof" (she'll go "uh uh") and she claps whenever we cheer and say "Yay!". Other than that, she loves to babble in her own Leah language. :)

Welcome to Our New Blog

Everyone knows life with a one year old is a busy thing. Crawling, cruising, walking, talking, eating, playing, whining. It's neverending.

Still, I want a place to document our daily lives when I do have a moment to breathe. To inform family and friends, to remember in years to come, to make sense of as we travel along this parenting road. We survived the first year, so we're off to a positive start. ;)

So, here it is. Life with Leah. Enjoy. :)