Monday, February 20, 2012

Our 15-month-old

The month of January was HUGE for Lila. In the weeks leading up to her 15-month birthday (January 26th), Lila went on a cross-country trip with Mommy, Daddy and John, nursed for the last time, and started walking on her own. She also developed a love for books! And in the weeks since she turned 15 months, she has added two more signs and one more word to her repertoire and has dropped her morning nap. What a big girl she is now!

Physical stats:

Lila truly is a big girl now. She is finally over the 20-pound mark and is very long for her age. At her 15-month doctor's visit on January 31st, she weighed 20 pounds 11 ounces (40th percentile) and measured 31 inches long (75th percentile). She has a really long torso, which means that most of her 12-18 month shirts and onesies are too tight now. We've been putting her in 18-24 month, 24 month and 2T outfits and pajamas.

Lila cut her fourth 1-year molar while we were traveling out east. Now that she has all of her 1-year molars, she looks so much older! The length of her hair makes her look older too. The girl has hair to spare -- up front and in back. It might be time to trim her bangs, since she won't keep bows or clips in for very long anymore. Those were my trick to keep her bangs swept to one side!

Once we got back from our trip, we finished up the remaining size 3 Pampers Swaddlers we had in the house and changed our Amazon diaper subscription to size 4 Pampers Baby Dry diapers. The size 3 diapers still fit her perfectly, but we figured we might as well move up to the next size, which is quite roomy. It makes me sad to think she won't be wearing the Swaddlers anymore!


Lila's last day of nursing was January 14th, the day before we came home from our Baltimore trip. She was just past 14.5 months old -- the age at which I'd intended to stop nursing her because that's when I stopped with John. I actually tried nursing her on the 15th while we were on the plane. We had woken up really, really early that morning to take the shuttle to the airport, so I didn't have time to nurse her right away, plus, I figured I should save the nursing for the plane ride in case she got really fussy. But she wouldn't have anything to do with it! She wouldn't even lay down on my arm for me to put the nursing wrap on. So the weaning process was extremely easy, as it had been with John. She was ready.

Lila has more than made up for the lack of breastmilk. As you might expect from a toddler who gained nearly two pounds in three months' time (she weighed 18 lbs 14 ozs at 12 months), Lila has had a very healthy appetite. It's not at all unusual for her to eat more during a given mealtime than her big brother. She eats a combination of pureed baby foods and finger foods. Also, we started giving her "squeezy packs" back in December, I think, and she does really well with those now. They can be a little messy at times if she squeezes too hard at the wrong time, but the potential spills are totally worth the convenience. They are a good way to get some veggies in.

I would say she's probably a little less picky than her brother was at this age. She likes all fruits in pureed form and nearly all fruits that we cut up for her on her tray (except plums, which she won't eat at all, and grapes, which she'll eat only occasionally). She eats a wider variety of veggies then he did for sure. Peas are one of her favorite veggies, whereas John literally gagged on them (and still does). She'll occasionally eat broccoli, which he wouldn't touch. There are a few veggies she won't eat though, like cauliflower, cucumber, yellow squash and zucchini.

Her favorites finger foods are bananas, blueberries, cereal, cheese, crackers, noodles, peas, pears and sweet potatoes.


Lila loves to sleep. She is so easy to put down for naps and at bedtime because she only needs a blanket and two fingers to fall asleep, literally. We started trying to drop her morning nap a week or two ago because she wasn't falling asleep for her afternoon nap anymore. We're still experimenting with the best time to lay her down, but 12 or 12:15 seems to work best. On days that John has preschool, I lay her down for her nap by 11:45 a.m. because I have to wake her up at 2:15 p.m. to go pick him up; we put her to bed those evenings at 6:30 p.m. to make up for the shorter nap. The rest of the week, we put her to bed at 7 p.m. She usually wakes up at 7 a.m., so she's getting a good 12+ hours of sleep each night. If we're at home, she sleeps entirely through the night (yay!). If we're traveling, she tends to wake up.


Lila officially started walking unassisted during the week of January 23rd! She had gotten braver about trying to walk while we were traveling out east, and we knew she'd be walking very soon.

On January 25th, Lila took the most steps she'd ever taken during our post-dinner playtime. Daddy and John were on one side of the kitchen and I was standing with her on the other side of the kitchen. She would start taking a few tentative steps toward Daddy and John as if she wanted to go visit them, but then she'd turn around, all wobbly, and walk back towards me. Then she'd do it all over again. It was so cute to watch her go back and forth like that -- her first-ever pivots!

The next evening (her 15-month birthday), while John, Lila and I were at Babies R Us, she walked around the store like she'd been walking for months. She wasn't just taking a few tentative steps here and there anymore -- I could set her down and she could quickly get where she wanted to go. She and John had fun bouncing and chasing a couple of rubber balls around the store. He thought it was hilarious that she was walking like a big kid!

Lila being able to walk has made life a little more complicated in some ways. She definitely loves to walk off in her own direction (usually towards a flight of stairs) when an adult sets her down, so we finally had to install two baby gates for the top and bottom of the stairs in our house. We'd been needing to do this anyway, but we'd put it off because we don't really spend much time upstairs unless it's bedtime, and even then, we'd only play inside the bedrooms with the doors shut. The bigger problem was Lila wanting to climb up the stairs while we'd be in the living room.

It took us FOREVER to find a baby gate that worked for the top of the stairs (3 times was the charm). Daddy did a fantastic job of installing the Cardinal Gates Stairway Special Safety Gate, and we absolutely love it. Now the kids can run around upstairs between the bedrooms and in the hallway before bedtime! Then Daddy installed the Summer brand gate we'd initially bought for the top of the stairs at the bottom of the stairs. Lila doesn't even try to pull on it -- she knows she can't get through! It's great to have this peace of mind. Daddy deserves a medal for all his hard work.

Here's a video from February 1st that shows Lila walking around the playroom......


Lila still seems to be a bit quieter than John was at this age. She recently added the word "ball" to her vocabulary, and it has quickly become one of her favorite words. Whenever she sees a ball in a book or around the house, she'll point to it and say "ball." Her other favorite word is "Daddy," which she says constantly. If Daddy's at work and she's saying his name, I'll ask her where he is, and she'll say "Daddy" and put her hands out to indicate that she doesn't know.

She makes a lot of the same noises that John did. She makes roaring noises when she sees pictures of animals (even dogs....she's still working on the barking sound), and she makes vrooming noises when she's playing with John's vehicles.

She does use a wider variety of signs than John ever did, though, including "eat" and "milk." She started signing "eat" on January 30th and "milk" around the same time. It's so nice to have her finally use the "milk" sign so I know when she's thirsty!


The biggest change in Lila's playtime habits since December is that she now enjoys books! She will happily walk over to the bookshelf in her room or the playroom and pull out book after book until she's sitting in a huge pile of books. She'll turn the pages as if she's actually reading what's on them and then throw the books to the side when she's done with them (she does the same thing with her cups, much to our dismay).

Lila definitely prefers the small board books, especially the square-shaped ones with big pictures of animals or household items. (She seems to have something against rectangular-shaped books. I don't think she's ever let me finish reading one.) Her favorite books are Doggies; Moo, baa, lalala; the four books in the Bright Baby series and any touch-and-feel book.

And here are some more recent photos of our precious 15-month-old.....

More brother and sister pics

John often asks if Lila can sit on his lap, but she's usually not interested. Last week, however, when we had taken John's new "big boy" car seat out of its box, she was very interested. She wanted to see what this new seat was all about.

After the novelty of sitting on John's lap wore off, she sat next to him on the seat. I gave each of them some reading material so I could snap some more photos of them together. Cute!

The kids also like to hang out with each other in the pack n play that we set up in the living room. In the photos below, John is trying to put Lila on his lap -- unsuccessfully. She looks pretty uncomfortable. The second picture makes her look like Gumby with her leg way up by her head.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Brother and sister....

Just a couple of photos of John and Lila from the other day.....
Lila was riding around the house on the train, and John wanted to join her (of course). It was a tight squeeze, but they both fit on the seat! You can tell from the last photo that Lila eventually grew tired of having her brother behind her. She wanted to ride by herself!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Out East!

We had a great time catching up with some of our Army friends during our 10-day trip out east (January 5-15, and don't worry, we flew there). It was totally exhausting traveling with the kids, especially since they didn't start sleeping well at night until right before we returned home, but our friends definitely made it a lot easier with all of their help! We honestly couldn't have done it without them.

For the first few days, we stayed with the Powells at their home in suburban Baltimore. John has been bethrothed to Elise Powell since they were four months old, so it was very exciting to see them together again -- it had been nearly 18 months! Of course it was also very exciting to get Lila and Baby Jack acquainted with each other (Baby Jack is Elise's 9-month-old baby brother).

It didn't take any of us adults very long to realize that having four children under the same roof is extremely difficult, if not ridiculous. The hardest part was having to juggle the kids' schedules (i.e. mealtimes, naptimes, bedtimes) whenever we made an outing. As soon as Jack and Lila woke up from their morning naps, we had to get going right away so we could be back in time to lay John and Elise down for their naps. And we're pretty sure it would have been hilarious to be a fly on the wall during mealtimes at the house. Stephanie and Mike did such an awesome job of getting us all fed!

We took a ton of photos of the kiddos.......the photos of John and Elise with the balloons were taken on the 8th, John's birthday, but it was a joint celebration, since Elise's birthday is the 23rd. They were so funny with the cupcakes! There was no way they were going to be able to wait to eat them until after they decorated them.

On our way down to North Carolina, we stayed for two nights in Charlottesville, VA. That's the home of the University of Virginia, one of the universities Ross is considering for his Master's degree when his new branch allows him to go back to school (ideally he would start in the fall of 2013). The town had a really laid-back feel, and it was obvious that a lot of young families lived in the area. We liked it a lot!

Our hotel room in Charlottesville had a mirrored-door closet that Lila was fascinated with (see photos below). She liked pressing her lips up against it and smiling at the baby she saw! It reminded us of the first time John saw his reflection in a full-length mirror, when he was 13 months old and we were staying at the Lakeway Resort in Austin for a marriage retreat (check out this post from February 2010:

We arrived in Sanford, NC on January 10th for our stay with the Boenitz family! We had been lucky enough to see the Boenitzes multiple times in 2011, so we got a good start to 2012 with our first-ever visit to their beautiful home near Fort Bragg. Lila was thrilled to be reunited with her bethrothed, Baby Kael, who is just two days older. They played really well together, as they had last year. John, however, distanced himself from both babies. He felt threatened by their ability to take toys that he wanted to play with (no surprise there!). It was especially funny to watch John run around the house with Kael's push toys while Kael chased after him.

Our trip out east was wonderful, and we hope we can see our friends again very soon -- wherever we may be!