Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Fifteen Months Old

Pearl is having FUN being fifteen months old! She's a very active little toddler; scooching backwards on the floor on her belly, walking backwards, turning in circles, stomping in place, dancing, and in general running around like a crazy, adorable little monster.

Toddler Headstand

We have gone to local parks often in the evening since moving to town, to get some exercise and fresh air. Lately those trips have not included much excercise for us parental units as going to the park means clambering all over the jungle gyms rather than walking sedately along the trail with Pearl sitting calmly in the stroller. One of us gets ground duty and the other follows Pearl as she climbs up steps and attempts to fling herself headlong down slides.

Going Up!

She is babbling so much, and learning words and noises and signs very quickly right now. She can say:

Kiss (which she pronounces oh-so-cutely: "kisssh")
Kai (short for her cousin's name)
Wheee (as she swings)
Woof woof (to identify puppies)
Hooo Hoo (for owls)
Brrrrr (for cold)
Hot (oft accompanied by the sign for hot, which is blowing as if you're cooling off a hot bite)

and maybe Baby and Pillow, not sure on those yet.

She knows the signs for:

Bite (as in she wants one!)
Rain (also used for fountains and showers)

Shadows Stretching

Perhaps last month I was too hasty in condemning Pearl to the realm of tantrum-throwing toddlers. Once she got over her cold/dairy reaction, she pretty much returned to her sunny self. She still makes her will and displeasure known but she isn't so dramatic about it - for now. Even so, I am trying to work new activities into our daily life because we're both getting bored and cranky with each other just hanging around the house.

All Toddler

There has been a marked increase in the amount of solid food she's eating, and I am proud to say that she can feed herself with a spoon! She can scoop up her own bites out of a bowl and get them to her mouth for the most part.

Dinnertime Sillyness

Until this very day she has been unable to scale our furniture. Our couch, chair, and ottoman are very comfy and cozy but they are also huge, made for humans bigger than I and very hard for a baby to get onto. But today Pearl found a foothold and climbed onto the ottoman beside me (it doubles as my computer chair) and stood up on it victoriously.

She Loves the Rain!

How did my little tiny baby grow so big? Pearl seems like a kid lately, with her arms and legs tanned, knees in a constant cycle of skinning and scarring. But she's still baby-plump and cuddly. Her hair smells of warm, freshly cured hay and strawberries and earth. Her smile as she dances to the rhythm of the washing machine is the most delightful thing I've ever seen. She's my girl!

Playground Pic Revisited

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Things I Love Right Now

~* Hummus, especially homemade.
~* The bond between my wonderful husband and my sweet little girl.
~* Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This year we started and completed watching the entire series on DVD, and now we're going back and starting over; falling in love with the show again.
~* Spending time with my brother-in-law, who is moving across the state at the end of this week.
~* The books in the series "A Song of Fire and Ice," which I am rereading. I'm on the most recently published book and am impatient for the next one to be released!
~* Spending time with my mother, who just returned from three weeks on the beautiful Emerald Coast of Florida.
~* These shirts, which I want.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Watch-This Wednesday

Here is a short video of Pearl and I looking through the surly and vicious creatures of My Cat Hates You. Pearl loves kitties and she waves and says "Hi!" to each one.

Ok, so you can't even see Pearl, let alone see her wave. Sorry. You can still hear. That's all I've got!


Friday, August 18, 2006

A Face for Friday


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Still No Dairy for This Mama

Earlier this week I caved in to the delicious idea of pizza and my husband brought some home. I've had some dairy here and there over the summer... nothing major, but enough to cause Pearl some reflux during the day. I figured this would be the same but the last day or two have been pretty bad.

She's had reflux, and she also has a snotty/stuffy nose. And of course my husband has a little cold so it's impossible, once again, to say with certainty that it is caused by my dairy consumption. Today she had a very messy poop (mostly in the potty, thank goodness) and there was a bit of blood. That's never happened before and it freaked me out a bit. I knew that it was a common sign of allergy thanks to reading about Mama C-ta's travails with breastfeeding a babe with allergies, so I wasn't too worried, but still, it was blood!

Aside from the physical effects the dairy's caused Pearl, she has been a mess emotionally too. I don't know how much of it is toddler stuff and how much of it is do to her tummy troubles but she has just been clingy, angry, and moody in general.

Hopefully it'll be uphill from here, it usually seems to be after she poops. I'm bummed though, because I was really jonesing for a black forest sundae - perhaps I can rig up a non-dairy version though...


Friday, August 04, 2006

In Which Every Word Typed Ellicits a Yelp of Pain

So, apparently you're supposed to wear gloves when chopping up hot peppers like jalepenos. I did not know this, and now I am in pain. Only the fingertips of my left hand feel like they've been seared but the sensation from my right hand is making me think that a Reverend Mother has my hand in a box and a Gom Jabbar at my throat. I tried washing them with soap, hot water, vinegar, cider vinegar, baking soda, gave them a clay mask, and finally took a Claritin, which I can tell is beginning to help. Still, ouch!


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Elimination Communication: A Year in Review

We've been practicing elimination communication for about a year now, so I thought I would share some thoughts on how the year has progressed in regards to pottying.

We started when she was two months old. I'd heard about elimination communication here and there before she was born, but had kind of dismissed it offhand as "out there". But I noticed as a newborn that she would usually pee when her diaper was removed, even if she had just recently gone, and I began thinking that perhaps there was something to the elimination communication thing.

So I did some reading, talked it over with my husband, bought a Baby Bjorn Little Potty, and she pooped the first time I set her on it! It was amazing! While she was premobile we did very well. I was never able to really read any cues she gave about needing to tinkle other than fussiness, and she phased that out over time as she became more involved with the world around her, so I mostly relied on timing and intuition in knowing when to place her on the potty.

We had about an 80% success rate and when she was about six months old we had our best day ever - Pearl didn't pee a single time in her diaper! I was so proud.

Then she began sprouting teeth, and as each one pushed through the gums we would have a few days where we would only get a few pees in the potty. And not longer after that she began crawling, and that lowered our success rate considerably. She was so busy, and I didn't like to be constantly interrupting whatever she was doing to potty her, and she often protested it as well. I did still give her the opportunity often, though, and she has almost always been willing to go upon waking up. I'd say we caught about half her tinkles. Once she started eating solid foods though, she didn't often poop in the potty.

Walking didn't change a whole lot as far as pottying went right away, except that it made her harder to catch! However, over the course of a few months we taught her the potty sign, and she understands what it means and will use it on occasion. She also understands a lot of words now, and when I say, "Let's go potty!" she will follow me to the bathroom and sit on her potty, though she doesn't necessarily use it at those times. In the past month or so I have begun taking her when I need to go, and at first had great luck with it - to the extent of having our second wet-diaperless day - but perhaps the novelty has worn off, as it hasn't worked as well recently. I can still get her to go after waking usually and often she will not pee while we are out and about, and will then go in her potty upon returning home.

I started practicing elimination communication with the goal of it being a laid back, unstressed thing that at best would free us from having to use diapers and at least would keep her from forming the notion that eliminating is supposed to be done in diapers and make it easier for use at the typical potty-training age.

For the most part have succeeded with keeping my patience, though I must admit to irritation spilling over every once in a while when she won't pee and I know she needs to - prooved by her peeing off the potty moments later! Still I feel we have kept it a peaceful, loving practice.

As far as how successful we have been with actual practice and the progress we have made, I do not feel disappointed at all. I feel satisfied. My daughter knows that her potty is for peeing in, she will pee in it, she can tell us that she needs to pee in it, and she can wait to pee until she has access to it. She doesn't do those things all the time but the fact that at fourteen months of age she does it at all is pretty impressive to me!

I believe that elimination communication is the way to go, and I plan on practicing it with our next child from birth.

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