Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cora - Six Months Old

Cora is halfway to her first birthday! Time has flown at a breathtaking pace, it's hard to believe she's six months old. Yet, we cannot imagine our family without our precious Cora.

Cora is a very quiet baby. She spends most of the day on her stomach; head and chest held high; tiny pink lips slightly open; enormous dark brown eyes wide and alert soaking in everything. She's great at just chilling on the ground entertaining herself. But, she also loves being held, and I sure love scooping up all fifteen pounds of her and snuggling her sweet little body.

For the most part, Cora is very mellow. But, she has an intense side. She is a baby who knows what she wants. When I'm holding her and she sees something she wants, she lunges at it. If she is playing with a toy and I take it out of her hands, she screams and cries so hard I can't even begin to imagine what kind of tantrum she might be capable of when she's a toddler! I've been trying to introduce her to solids, but so far, she's not having it. Right now, she is on amoxicillin for an ear infection. She's decided that she hates the medicine, so Michael, who is far more patient than me, spends about 15 minutes twice a day squirting it into her mouth one tiny drop at a time to get her to take the full dose.

So far, Cora can roll both ways, sit on her own, and she's begun to scooch along on her tummy to get a toy that's out of reach. She also recently started waving "hi" to Michael and me. She takes two or three naps a day, nurses eight times a day, and eats a few bites of solid food. We are in the middle of training her to sleep at night (code for letting your baby scream and cry until she falls back asleep) and we're getting close to her completely dropping middle of the night feedings... thank the Lord.

What are some of Cora's favorite things?

Her big sister. She watches everything Grace does and listens to everything Grace says and sings. Grace is certainly her favorite person in the world. I try not to be too jealous! Oh, and they look like sisters.

Being held and bounced upside down.

Being outside.

Riding in the double stroller while Michael and/or I go for a run.

Getting tickled.

Getting kissed all over her face and neck.

Taking baths. She could spend all day in a bathtub, splashing Grace, chewing on foam letters, and scooting around.

Here she is hanging from the chandelier...

Learning to walk with a little bit lots of help from Yaya.

What could be more enthralling than a balloon string?

Watching everything Grace does.

Cora had three or four colds in the last month and an ear infection. Here we are, sick and snuggling.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Grace - Two Years Old

Our Gracie turned TWO last week. 

This means that we are already 11% of the way through raising her. Considering she still wears diapers and thinks it's socially appropriate to hide behind her hands when we see friends, we certainly have a lot of training to before we shoo her out of the nest. This slightly freaks me out.

Regardless of how far we have to go, we've come a long way. Grace crossed some major milestones this past year. She learned how to walk, speak in full sentences, and sing. She went on her first international trip and became a big sister. Bravo, kiddo! That's a lot for one year!

What are some of Grace's favorite things these days?

Playing hide and go seek.

Music! Grace loves anything music related. We had been singing the song "Jesus Loves Me" for a few weeks when, one day, as she was walking out of the room, I began to play "Jesus Loves Me" on the piano. Watch the video to see her reaction and her little solo.

Since Grace loves music, she loves to sing sing sing all day long. It's so pleasant to hear. Her favorite song to sing is the ABC's. There have been many days where we've sung it at least three dozen times. Now, she's started changing it up. She likes to do plural ABC's "As Bs Cs Ds Es Fs Gs..." Another favorite version is this: "Ain Bain Cain Dain Eain Fain Gain..." She also does a Bing Crosby version where she purses her lips and sings as low as her little vocal chords can manage.

Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Or as Grace calls it, "Beauty AT the Beast." Sounds so much fiercer that way. We watch each song on the DVD every day. If we're riding in the car, she almost always requests the soundtrack. When she's throwing a tantrum, nothing cools her down faster than, "Little town, it's a quiet village..."

Skipping naps. The internet tells me kids are supposed to nap until they're three or four. Grace is well on her way to completely dropping her only nap. 

This roll and play dice/card game. We've played it for HOURS.

Standing on a chair in the kitchen helping me cook and eating scraps of everything. ("No, sweetie. That's raw pork. We need to cook it before you can eat it.")

Books. Grace continues to absolutely love reading. In addition to snuggling a stuffed dog and her blankie every night and naptime, she also snuggles several books. A couple of weeks ago, Grace prayed her first prayer. It went like this, "Dear Jesus, Thank you for the green book, the white book, the blue book, the yellow book, the blue book, the black book, and the green book."

Storytime at the library. Books, songs, and rhymes... of course she loves it! Here's a picture from storytime.

Happy birthday, Grace. I love you so, so, so much. It is such a privilege to be your mommy.

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