Friday, September 20, 2013

15 Months Old!

My oh my, how A LOT has happened over the last three months! 1) we've moved across the country 2) you are going to be a big sister 3) you get to see one set of grandparents on a daily basis!! You've certainly handled the move well. You love your Grandma Foster and look for her every morning when you wake up. You've come to adore your Uncle Roger. However, I think, you love seeing your Grandpa the most. You always get excited to see him walk through the door, giving him a smile, a wave, and a "hiiiiiiiiii".

The older you get the more difficult/stubborn/strong-willed you seem to be. Your stubborn, strong-willed personality will take you far in life my dear! The leaps and bounds you have grown over the last couple months still shocks me and I can't seem to wrap my mind around that fact. You talk...allllll the time. Even though most of it still isn't discernible language you are using, it is obvious when you are attempting to ask a question or talk by the gestures you use. You have quite the vocabulary though; you can say the following: yes, no, Fred (the puppy here), Sammy (another puppy here), Dada, Momma, all done, more, night night, drink, cracker, bye, hi, and stop. I'm so excited to see what word you learn next!!

Your walking skills have fully developed and you are now into "running". You have learned how to come down the stairs (backwards, on your hands and knees). Dancing is a favorite of yours and yes I posted a video of it on Facebook :-) Every now and then I catch you singing along to music in the car. You no longer want help in feeding, you seem to think you've got it all figured out concerning food. Your favorite snack is a cracker and you're always hungry for a bite of something sweet. Milk, water, and watered-down tea are your top 3 drinks, but again you have no issues with tasting a soda here and there. 

Your hair is finally growing out, so maybe by your 2nd birthday you can have ponytails! Your eyes are still so beautiful and carry your "sense of humor" twinkle in them. You only have 8 teeth but you seem to manage just fine. My goodness how tall you are. We've decided that you'll take after Daddy's side of the family, cause you certainly don't get your height from my side, ha ha.  

You will be 20 months old when your little brother makes his grand appearance! I'm so excited for the both of you and I think you will have so many good times together. 

That's all for now, always remember you are loved!! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Birthday to My Big Girl!!

1 Day Old
(For the audience) I don't know where the time has gone! As I look at my baby girl and see how she has grown it's all so very bittersweet and I'm slightly torn. I love how quickly she is developing and I absolutely love to watch the wonder in her eyes as she discovers something new to her. I wish that I could live my life with child's eyes, O, to find wonder in everyday things. I'm torn in the fact that I don't have much more time with her before I hear the words, "Mommy, I can do it all by myself." Right now I'm included in everything she does, but I know a day, not so far away will come when I'm not needed as much. With these things having been said, time to move on to happier words!!

1 Year Old
(For my Daughter) I was right in my predictions! You, my dearest Alana, are walking ALL OVER THE PLACE!! You fully mastered this about 4 weeks ago, right around 11 months. All the videos and pictures of you trying and then BAM one day you just got it. I'm so proud! It is so incredibly cute to watch you toddle around. your little baby feet "smack, smack, smack" the ground and you weeble wobble all over the house. You've also attempted your form of running, don't have that down just yet, but I know it's coming, and quickly. It's nice to have a walking buddy now, although the pace is slow, it's still enjoyable. 

Your teeth are sprouting all over your mouth!! You've got the two bottom teeth and 4 upper teeth with 2 more coming in!! Your lil baby smile is so adorable with your little baby teeth! There is a dark side to this though, you have discovered biting. I'm not talking about just biting food either :-(  You have, on occasion, bitten me in frustration. Let me tell you, it does NOT feel good. But, no worries, my dear, we are working through it.

Did you know that you can bark? Ha ha, it's true!!! You've finally discovered your love for the furry creatures. It all started with the neighbors itty bitty baby Yorkie-poo. Its lil yip was so cute, and you learned to mimic it. Now every time you see a puppy you bark, it's incredibly cute! In conjunction with that, you also respond correctly to the following questions: "What does a puppy say?", and "What does a tiger say?" The latter came about from watching Animal Planet. We are currently working on what a bear and a monkey says. 

Along the same lines is your developing vocabulary. Though most of what you say is syllabic mimics of the words, you seem to know what those mimics mean. But you can clearly say, "Mama, Dada, and all gone." You and I have also been working on your sign language, and I'm proud to say, my lil smarty pants, you can say "please", "thank you", and "more", in sign language. You seem to understand when to use "please" and I'm sure the understanding of the others will come shortly.  You give hugs and snuggles, kisses and eskimo kisses, and you headbutt, ha ha ha. 

Whenever music plays, you dance and sometimes you sing too. Your dancing repertoire has broadened. You will shake your little self, you will put your hands above your head and turn in a wide circle, and when you are in your car seat you will shake your legs and wiggle your toes. When you're with Daddy you'll "bang your head" to music. Again, another fun thing to watch you do! You make me laugh on a daily basis :-) 

Good news for you and for family: in approx 13 days we will be moving across the country to begin our new life in Colorado!! Your grandparents are ecstatic about being able to see you "when ever they want". I'm happy for them, because I was worried they would miss out on seeing you grow up. There are a lot of better opportunities out in Colorado, so your Daddy feels and believes that this is the best thing for us and so we follow :-) You'll love it out there! Mountains with snow year-round, uncles and an aunt to play with, friends at Church, and when you're old enough you can ride with Grandpa on his motorcycle!! It's good to be moving now because it won't be as hard on you, with you being as little as you are.  

My darling dear, today is your birthday and I can't believe how quickly you've grown! You get more beautiful everyday. Your Father and I love you so very much!! My heart is so full of love for you, that sometimes I don't think it can handle it! You make our world so much better everyday. I can't wait to see what you learn this month! 

My parting words of wisdom:
Never stop learning. There is always something new to learn and it is good for the mind!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

11 months??? No Way!!

My predictions from my last post for you were correct! Here we are, you 11 months old, and walking!! It wasn't but 1 week after my last post that you mastered walking with the assistance of stationary items. Last month (sorry I didn't post for your 10month), you enjoyed the freedom of walking with your mobile toys. And from 10 months to 11 months you have mastered walking with stationary items, mobile toys, Momma's hand, and for the last two weeks you have become brave in your attempts to walk with NO ASSISTANCE! I'm so proud of you! Just yesterday, literally,  you became bored with crawling all together. though you still won't freely walk very far, balance being an issue, you will walk from couch to couch and toy to toy. I can't believe how much you've grown!

This video to the above is you at around 10 months. You were so exciting to be "walking" on your own. Your father enjoyed this experience with you! He's so proud, we're both so proud of your achievements.

I haven't been able to get a video of your "regular" walking, as those moments are brief and cannot be coordinated to fit with my demands yet, lol. But as soon as I can get it on video, all the grandparents and great-grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles will see it! You my dear, will be a star :-) (the video below was taken 4 days ago)

In other news, you seem to have faded out wanting to say "Mama", though you have perfected "Dada". Don't worry, I'm not upset, because I know you love me! I'm so glad that you call your Father, and holler for him when he comes home. He feels so loved and wanted when you do that. You won't remember this, but his face beams with happiness every time you call for him.  I still get a name mention every now and then, but it's always when you really want something, or something has gone terribly wrong in your little world. 

Also in other Baby World News, you my dear are cutting 4 teeth at once!! The doctor predicted this, and she was right!! Right now you're my little vampire, because your pointy little side front teeth are coming in "first", quickly followed by 1 of your front teeth, and the other front tooth is just now making its appearance too! Too cute for words. Again, I wish I could get a picture of them, but you just refuse to cooperate. 

We have a BUSY few weeks coming up! First, a quick trip to see your great-grandparents and many other family members in Michigan, your first real road trip ever! (hoping for a smooth ride) Then, in June, is of course your birthday!! After that, the end of June is a BIG time for us. We will be moving to Colorado!! Your Colorado Grandma will have 3 dogs for you to play with! Not to mention, your 2 uncles and your 1 aunt and then of course, Grandma and Grandpa. You my dear, will definitely NOT be starving for attention. 

Till next entry! We love you so very much!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

T-minus 4 Months Till 12 Months

9-days old
9-months old

I can't believe how quickly time goes and it doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Happy 9 months Alana! In 4 short months you'll be turning 1, and I'll probably cry a little. I'm already making mental plans about what we're going to do for your party. But until then, I'll give you an update on what the last month of your life has been like :-)

Your teeth seem to be stubborn. You are relentless with the chewing and the gnawing, but those teeth, they just don't seem to want to cut through! You still only have your two front bottom teeth, but I have no doubts that they'll be here in time for you to enjoy your birthday cake. Your teeth aren't the only thing that is stubborn. You, my dear, are very strong-willed and stubborn. I see a lot of myself in you already. These traits will take you far in life, so long as you learn how to use them appropriately. That's what your family is here for. We are your trial run for your social, intellectual, character, personality, and maturity development. I know there will be times a head where you and I will battle over the traits that we share. But always know, I love you, regardless of what happens. 

With the ever consistent developmental process of your personality, your motor skills are also in a continuous state of growth. You have mastered the art of crawling. You are swift and quite agile and I find myself chasing you down many times throughout the day. I hear, that it's only going to get "worse" from here. You have become bored almost with the idea of crawling and sitting, and have also mastered pulling yourself up. In the last week you have begun walking along side of, or around the objects you use to help you stand. I predict that the next entry I make I will be telling you of how you're making attempts at walking. Don't worry my dear, your long desired independence is not that far away. 

I can officially say that you know who is Mama and who is Dada, though my name continues to be "Mamamamamamamamama" and Daddy's name continues to be "Dadadadadadadadadadadadadada" the above assigned names are said appropriately. I can't seem to get you to say them on request yet, that is my next goal. It is clear that you have a passion for talking and it has also become clear that you like to "sing". Generally it is a drawn out "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"
in a monotone manner that accompanies a song you hear, but I take it as singing nonetheless. You also enjoy "singing" along with Mommy when I sing to you at night. I believe that this is more a failed tactic at trying to stay awake than it is a desire to sing with me. I DO hope that you do want to sing with me someday.

There are so many big changes coming up in your life! It's bitter-sweet for this Momma though. I'm so proud of what you've accomplished and a big part of me is looking forward to what you'll do next, but the extremely nostalgic side of me wishes you were still that little 7lb 15 oz little bitty newborn. Onward to greater things!!

**parting words**

I pray that you will be exactly what you want to be, I pray that you cultivate the gifts God gave you, whatever they will be, and I pray that your Father and I will be the very best that we can be for you!
You are loved!

((Also, Happy St. Patrick's Day))

Monday, February 18, 2013

8 Months - Two Teeth - and Laughter All The Way!

8 Days Old
  I can't believe how much time has passed and how quickly it has done so! I'm not fooling myself, I realize that things will only speed up from here. I feel as if you've taken a nose dive into the pool of milestones, as they seem to be happening one right after another. It's almost too much to keep up with and keep straight in my head. Luckily, I have been able to take pictures of each one! I even have managed to get videos too, which I will naturally use to embarrass you when you bring your first date home to meet your Father and I. 

As a new Mom I found my self being incredibly overzealous and being too anxious over your achievements, or the lack there of. I will admit I found myself stressing over the fact that you had not decided to crawl yet. It wasn't until I got your 8-month pictures done that you decided to show me your skills! I blame it on the fact that we had no carpet, and the discovery of a stable crawling surface inspired your mobility, because you've been doing it ever since. However, with this new found freedom, comes such phrases as: "Alana, no!", and "Alana, Mommy said no!" The latter of the two seems to strike fear into you the most, because that phrase is usually followed by your tears (lasting mere seconds). 

With the discovery of the crawling, came the exploration into the mode of crawling. You've experimented with three different kinds: 1) pictured to the right, didn't last very long. 2) you began crawling with a mixture of one foot and one knee, and 3) the "normal" mode of crawling. You seem to have settled on the 3rd for the most part, but every now and then we see this --->
I can't help but laugh when I see you do this, because it makes me think of a monkey!! 

One of your milestones, forced upon you, was the development of two bottom teeth! And while you look so adorable with your teefers, they sure do hurt!! Hence my failed attempt at implementing the "be gentle" lesson. It's still a work in progress; I'm not giving up, and as of today I'm see some signs of improvement!  Two pearly whites on the bottom and a nose that still runs like a faucet, makes me wonder if you're not trying to make some more show up! With the incoming of the teeth came the realization of chewing. This was also helped by a visit to the Vanaman's, who's son (7 days younger than you) is a chewer! And now here we are, just days later, and you're munching on 'puffs', small pieces of crackers, and whatever else we'll share with you! I'm picking you up your first real toothbrush tonight so that we can start practicing proper oral hygiene, which is very important!

And the 'Mother' of all milestones you've reached thus far.....((cue drum roll))...... You have said your first word!! And to clear things up with your grandparents, it was NOT the word 'no'; it was 'Mama'. You said it clear as day a few days ago when you were looking at me! I was so happy :-) You've now made the connection that saying that phrase repeatedly will get my attention/response of  "What Baby?" You're also working on saying "dada" and "lana"(short version of your name), but I don't think you know the power of those words yet. All in due time. But I'm so incredibly proud of you! You have also begun mimicking the sounds of singing, and you're good at keeping the right tone, which impresses me! I hope that I can instill in you a passion for music and singing, and who knows maybe one day you and I can sing songs together!

My darling daughter, you get more beautiful every day!
Never forget you are most dearly loved by us, your grandparents, and all your family! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Life Will....Never.....Be......The......Same

I keep wondering to myself, when are you going to crawl? Then, in the same moment, I think to myself that I don't want you to crawl yet. I want you to stay my itty-bitty baby. As selfish as it may seem, I want you to stay little, that way you'll always have a smile for me when you see my face; you'll always choose me over anybody else, and I'll always be your "safe place". I know that can't happen, but I wouldn't mind it if it did. As soon as you start crawling you'll start trying to pull yourself up, and from there walking, or perhaps straight into running. You'll soon realize that there is a whole big interesting world out there past Mommy-n-Daddy Land.

UNTIL THEN....Happy 7 months Babycakes!! It's so fascinating to see your little mind put together cause and effect. For example: you have now put together the cause of you whining will get the effect of a glance of attention from either myself or your father. May I also note that said whining stops as soon as you get the glance you're looking for and then promptly resumes when what you consider to be appropriate actions are NOT taken. Of course, you're absolute favorite cause and effect is with your toys: the one's that spin, the one's that talk, the one's that rattle, and most favorite the one's that are easy to grab and bang against surfaces.

You may be asking, "but Mom, what is my latest and greatest milestone development?!" Well, in the last month you have become much more mobile, though you aren't crawling yet, you have discovered the art of rolling, army crawling, and slight scooting on your bottom. None of them are mastered yet, but I predict in the next month you'll have those mastered and be well on your way to getting into things that you ought not to. 

OH, I almost forgot! Just in the last week, you have been answering "where's Babycakes?" Ha ha, let me explain. Behind us on the wall above our couch is a framed 8x10 of you, and you've established the understanding that that is a picture of you! You're quite vain as a matter of fact. Anytime you see a picture of yourself you smile, squeal, and bounce with delight. But now, when I ask you "Where's Babycakes?" you search around with a goofy grin on your face till you find that 8x10 on the wall, and once you've spotted the picture you smile and jump up and down!

As you can see in this photo, your eyes are looking more and more like mine. Your eyes are my favorite of your facial features :-) ha ha, not because they look like mine, but because they still shine with joy and delight whenever you smile. I revel in the beauty that is your joy, because I've seen so many faces, adult faces, that even when they smile, there's no light in their eyes. I pray that you keep that joy that lights up your face!

Another major milestone! You, my dear, are cutting teeth. FINALLY! You've been teething for almost 5 months, and just two weeks ago they cut through. Yes, I said 'they'. You are cutting both your bottom front teeth at the same time. I'm so excited to take pictures of your toothy grins when they're all the way in. Also, I would like to thank you, because this was the easiest introduction to teething EVER! Sure you were a tad fussy and your nose sprung a leak, but otherwise you were great! Downside is since they've cut through, you've discovered biting...something I fear we're going to have to get rather stern about.  

Ya know what the best part about all of this is? The amazing memories I'm making with you. I'm getting to be here to see all your 'firsts'. Daddy got one of my firsts; he got to hold you first in the hospital, but that's ok, because I believe you changed him forever. When your Daddy held you, his whole world changed and he has sworn that he will keep you safe always. Every day, multiple times a day, your Daddy tells you how beautiful you are and how much he loves you. And you are beautiful, my dear! Your laughter brightens my days, and your love for us is so beautifully pure.  

 Of all the things you will question in your life, our love for you, I pray, will never be one of them. 

Things may not always be great and times will undoubtedly get rough, but remember this verse below:

Isaiah 41:10  fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

 And remember this: you have our love always, but more importantly, you can have the never-ending, unconditional love of the Almighty Father. Cling to HIM, humans will fail you, your Father and I at some point will probably fail you in some way, but the Lord will never fail you. With Jesus any hard time can be triumphed over and any storm can be weathered.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Time?? Where Has It Gone??

6- Days Old
6- Months Old
"Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!" Alana's favorite 'word'. No more cute "Ma ma ma ma" or "la la la la" while sticking her tongue out. No I've lost that precious child, and it has been replaced with a growling monster! 6 months old and she already has so much to say...or growl rather. This isn't just an ordinary growl, no it, just like the complexity of some English words, has three different meanings. Meaning #1: "Grrrrrrrr" while smiling means, "hahaha, this is fun Mommy!". Meaning #2: "Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" while throwing her chest out means, "I DON'T WANNA BE IN THIS SEAT, MOMMY!" (<- that one's followed promptly with a swat on her leg and a firm "no" from me) Meaning #3: "Grrrrrrrrr" while smacking her lips and throwing herself forward during mealtime means, "You clearly aren't feeding me fast enough, Mother!" 
5 1/2 months old

Where did the days of precious moments and endearing "awh's" go? And yet, I'm so proud of her for achieving so much in such little time! From the early days of the discovery of her fingers and toes, to the current days of her exploring the many different ways she can scoot; from the early days of coos and gurgles, to the current days of her laughter, giggles, and squeals of delight filling the halls; and even from the early days of me trying to decipher what her cries meant, to the current days of her being able to tell me exactly what's what through inflection. I have spent all these days, all 6 months of them, in awe of the way God has created humans to develop!  

As Christmas is a mere few days away, I cannot help but grow continuously more excited everyday! Though Christmas is a time to remember the most important thing of all, Christ's life and all He did and is doing for us, it's also a time for the children! It is a time for them to revel in the mystery of the season. To learn with only the special awe, reverence, and humility seen in a child about the life of Jesus, coming to us as a baby! The draw of Saint Nicholas (who was a real person), and the understanding of why his story was kept alive. I'm so overly excited to begin establishing Christmas traditions in my own family, now that I have one! I can't wait to revel in the joy of the season with my baby girl as she grows over the years and along with it her growth of understanding. I can't wait to see her face light up on Christmas morning as we all share together in gift giving. 
Alana my dear, there is never a dull moment with you! As always, Mommy and Daddy love you so very much!