20 Months Old

20 Months Old

Alexis was actually excited to get her picture taken this month! She wanted to sit in the white rocker, and said “Picture! Picture!” Her daddy asked her to demonstrate different signs she knows, and she was happy to oblige. Here, she’s signing “kitty.”

In the last month, she’s had another round of strep, but she handled it like a champion. She is still enjoying signing and saying different letters of the alphabet, identifying letters, and now identifying “words” she sees in her books. (She can’t read, she just knows when she’s looking at a “word.”) And she still loves practicing counting. Alexis’ also finished her second sign language class. She loves going to class and signing, and even likes to sign the words she knows when she’s reading her books.

Signing "snow."

Alexis signing “snow.”

Alexis’ memory is amazing. She seems to know every page of every book she owns. She memorizes the stories we read to her, so she can “read” them to herself, saying the right words with the right pages. Grandma sent her a set of bird flash cards recently. When she saw the woodpecker card, she asked her daddy what it was. He told her, and she said “Gruffalo!” We found her Gruffalo book, and she went right to the page with a small woodpecker in a tree, not even an actual character in the story, pointed to it and said, “woodpecker!” How does she remember all these little details?

One of the sweetest developments this month was a little game Alexis invented, called “Kiss.” She’ll get behind something with a hole, like the bookshelf or a table leg, and call out “kiss!” All adults in the vicinity are expected to immediately come and give her a kiss. If we can’t fit our head through the bookshelf, she’ll come running around the side, saying “too far!” and give us a kiss. She’s become more affectionate all around, freely offering kisses and hugs, and occasionally saying, “I love you.” She has mom and dad wrapped around her finger, competing for the most love.

Every day, it seems like she gets a little cuter and just a little more hilarious. Don’t stop, little one.

The First Year

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Citrus Lane March 2014 Box Review

Citrus Lane teased me with a coupon code and a hint that the March box would include something from Hape. Another coupon code for $10 off an “Add to Box” item, plus free shipping for that item, allowed to me to also get Alexis a cool new bib covered with little fire trucks for free. (Fire trucks are featured in a song about the color red that we’ve been singing at Sign and Sing Story Time, so they are pretty popular right now.) All that had me sold, and so Alexis received her March Citrus Lane box last week. She was not disappointed.

QubesBecause she has a grandma who likes to send her little presents, Alexis is well aware that people in trucks leave boxes at our door. And when she sees one arrive, she gets very excited and declares, “Box! Scissors! Open!” and “Present!” She loves to unpack the boxes, and makes the most wonderful faces when she pulls out something she knows is for her. The first thing she pulled out of the Citrus Lane box was a long tube of Hape Qubes ($9.99 on Amazon), a set of twelve little wooden sea animals (they also have sets of farm animals, jungle animals, and dinosaurs.) Citrus Lane did really great this month — Alexis is loving dolphins and penguins lately, and they are both in this set. When she saw what she had, she said “Ooooh!” and demanded that we open the tube immediately. She’s still playing with them a week later.

You Are My BabyContinuing with the ocean theme, the box also included a lovely board book called You Are My Baby ($7.92 on Amazon), which pairs ocean animal parents with their babies, both of which have their own set of pages to turn. Alexis and I like to read the book together — I turn the parent pages and she turns the baby pages.

Also in the box was a Medi Buddy ($6.99 on Amazon), which is a compact little first aid kit perfect for a diaper bag. In addition to bandages, antiseptic wipes, and antibiotic ointment, the kit contains stickers, which are Alexis’ favorite part. And finally, a full size container of Orange Vanilla scented Alcohol Free wipes from Clean Well ($4.99 at Drugstore.com). We’ve gotten these wipes from Citrus Lane before, and Alexis loves using them to clean her hands after a snack.

Bumkins Super BibAfter the coupon codes, I spent $4.50 on this box. Just adding up the cost of the items, which are all high-quality and things that we will actually use, this value of this box is $29.89. The box also included special discounts for additional items from Chronicle Books, Hape, and Me4Kidz. Alexis’ bonus bib, an add on item that ended up being free, was also a great addition. It’s a Bumkins Super Bib ($6.73 on Amazon), made of a wipeable fabric that’s easy to clean without being plastic-y, my favorite sort of bib. Overall, this box made both Alexis and I happy. Another success for Citrus Lane.

 

Just so you know, the links in this post to Citrus Lane and the specific items are affiliate links. If you decide you want to try a box, clicking on my affiliate link will save you $10 off your box, and it will save me $10, too. Everybody wins!

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27 Weeks and 2 Days

Welcome to the third trimester! I’ve been feeling a lot more “pregnant” lately, like my baby (and my belly) have had a growth spurt. Things feel more smushed and I’m getting more heartburn. And I think the photographic evidence supports my feeling:

27 Weeks

The highlight of the week, though, is that I can definitely see my belly move when baby moves. It’s rather weird, watching your belly move on its own.

Both last time I was pregnant, and again this time, one of my worst symptoms was “pregnancy brain.” And this week it’s really been on display. I miss my brain. Pregnancy is also making me even less graceful than I was before. I’m dropping things all over the place. It’s been rough. I’m another broken plate closer to a new set of dishes, though.

I have no idea how we’ve come this far already, and I’m still waiting for time to slow down. Baby still needs a name… and a crib… and a nursery. Next week is my last monthly doctor’s appointment. Then it’s every 2 weeks. No rush, little one.

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26 Weeks and 1 Day

My husband came downstairs from putting Alexis to bed and asked me, “Did you make night waffles?” Of course not. Don’t be silly. I made peanut clusters. 26 weeks pregnant and I am ravenous. Even though my stomach is shrinking, I just couldn’t stop eating today. I have chocolate on the brain, and haven’t quite been able to satisfy my craving. Perhaps it was the fasting that started last night and didn’t end until lunch today, for my glucose tolerance test, that has made me so hungry.

Baby boy is growing. He’s kicking, punching, and doing barrel rolls increasingly frequently, and they are definitely getting stronger. I’m feeling fuller and more squished inside. Hello, heartburn. I’m also getting more clumsy–I broke a plate tonight–and I’ve started having the weird sparkly lights at the edge of my vision that I experienced last time I was pregnant. I had my eyes checked last time and the verdict was that I was having ocular migraines, which are bizarre painless migraines with auras, so I’m guessing that’s what’s happening again. I’ll take it over painful migraines any day.

There are less than 100 days left! Baby is going to be here in 14 weeks, which seems so soon, and we still have most everything to do. No name picked out yet, and the room destined to be the nursery is still very much a guest room, but I have started to give some thought to decorating the nursery. It will be fun to get started on that. First step? Going out and buying flooring for the basement, to replace what was damaged last April during a flood. Once we get a floor down there again, we can start clearing out the new nursery.

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19 Months Old

19 Months Old

Alexis is 19 months old. In the last month, she’s been growing. Eating lots, and improving her skills with fork and spoon while she’s at it. When she has a mind to, she can use her silverware like a pro. But sometimes it’s still fun to smear yogurt everywhere. Alexis has also started experimenting with a regular, open cup. Once she figured out that she has to “tip it,” she’s done pretty well. Of course, she’s also figured out it can be more fun to “dump it!” or blow bubbles in it. I try to not to laugh, because I don’t want to encourage her, but it is pretty funny.

Since we were both sick for much of the last month, Alexis also got a very rare opportunity to spend way too much time staring at a screen. I am not in favor of screen time for children under 2, although we do let Alexis watch an occasional YouTube video. But with Alexis not feeling well, and mama feeling very sick, we bent the rules. One of Alexis’ favorites has been “bunnies! jumping!” Mostly, though, she watched a lot of Baby Signing Time. While I still don’t like her staring at a screen, she did pick up a lot from these videos. She’s learned a ton of new animal signs, and she’s developed an understanding of letters and the alphabet. She points out letters she sees all the time now, and she can sign a fair number of them, too. Now that we’re healthy again we’ve cut back on the screen time, but I’m glad that she was able to get something out of it while she was watching.

Alexis also started counting and talking about numbers a little more. She can identify “one” and “two” objects, recognize the numbers 1-10, and she can count up to 10, although I think she may just know the sequence of the number words, not their meaning. She continues to add new words to her vocabulary all the time, and one of her favorite words/concepts this month was “Everywhere!” Any time she encountered a large group of objects, they were “everywhere!” Spilled flash cards all over the floor? “Cards everywhere!” In a parking garage full of lights? “Lights everywhere!” Looking at the changing pad cover with the owl pattern? “Owls everywhere!” She also let me know that she had learned my name. Usually, I’m “mommy” or “mama.” If I’m not coming fast enough when it’s bath time, though, I’m “Shannon!” It’s hilarious and weird at the same time.

Alexis also finally got that last incisor she was working on for so long, meaning all she has left are the dreaded two year molars. Let’s hope for a little teething reprieve, but then let’s try to get them over with before baby #2 arrives, ok?

The First Year

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18 Months Old

Exactly one month ago, Alexis turned 18 months old! February was a total bust, so I’m sharing the pictures with you now. Later today we’ll be taking her 19 month photos. Alexis is a strong-willed little girl with a mind of her own, and lately that mind has not been interested in sitting in the white rocker for photos, even when bribed with snacks.

18 Months Old

You seriously want me to sit in that chair? You’re joking, right?

Get me out of here!

Get me out of here!

So we improvise.

18 Months Old

Aside from not sitting in chairs, Alexis sprouted two new teeth and took a trip to Arizona to see grandparents and uncles this month. She did great on all four of her flights, and I think being able to sign about it (“Go, go, airplane!”) helped her to understand what we were doing. While we were there, we visited the Phoenix Zoo and spent time playing with Uncle’s doggies.

Alexis started singing this month, both words from songs she likes and her own made up songs with nonsense words. It is such a delight to hear her sing! She also started using some two word sentences this month, like “fix it!”, “lights on!” and “mommy up!” And finally, she started taking her second sign language class, which she loves.

The First Year

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25 Weeks

Baby #2 - 24 Weeks

Somehow the laws of space and time have been bent, and I am already 25 weeks pregnant. This doesn’t seem possible. Yesterday, I went back and read through a few blog posts from this time in my pregnancy with Alexis, and I’m feeling more behind than ever! By this time last pregnancy, we had already picked out a name and assembled a crib. We’ve got some work to do!

25 Weeks Pregnant

Until the last week or so, I haven’t really felt very pregnant. Alexis keeps me busy and I’ve had few pregnancy symptoms, so it’s been easy to focus on what’s right in front of me instead of what’s coming. But suddenly, baby boy is kicking a lot more throughout the day, my belly is starting to feel like it’s in the way, and Braxton Hicks contractions have made a noticeable appearance.

By now, baby boy weighs about 2 pounds. Daddy got to feel his first baby kick this week. Alexis knows a baby is in mommy’s “belly” and likes to ask to “touch it.” The other day, she gave him a kiss. Baby sat on my sciatic nerve on Tuesday, causing all sorts of pain, but kindly moved overnight. This gave me an opportunity to learn that I’ve selectively forgotten the negative parts of my last pregnancy, because I was sure Alexis never gave me sciatica. Then I discovered that of course she did, at this same time in the pregnancy. I wonder what else I’ve forgotten?

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Citrus Lane Coupon Code

You know how much I love Citrus Lane, the monthly boxes filled with surprise goodies for my daughter and myself. I love them even more when they have a deal, and they have one now! Use the coupon code SPRING20 at checkout to save $20 off your first order. I always feel like I’m getting my money’s worth with Citrus Lane boxes, so this is a great deal. Regular price is $29, and you’ll definitely be getting more than $9 worth of stuff in your box. I’m not sure when this code expires. They also have another active code right now, TAKETEN, to save $10 off your order, so if the first code doesn’t work, try that one.

If you have ordered from Citrus Lane before, the coupon code for you (until March 3, 2014) is HOORAY and it will save you 50% off your next box. I used this coupon code to order the March box for Alexis today!

They also hinted that there would be something from Hape Toys in the March boxes, and at 50% off that seems like it has to be a good deal.

If you aren’t familiar with Citrus Lane, you can check out my posts about a few of their boxes here, herehere, and here.

Consider this my monthly love note to Citrus Lane. :)

(Just so you know, the links in this post to Citrus Lane are affiliate links. If you decide you want to try a box, clicking on my affiliate link will save you $10 off your box, and it will save me $10, too. Everybody wins!)

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So Much for February

February was a total bust in this house. I’m not exaggerating. As January ended, both Alexis and I got sick. And we didn’t really get better until just recently. She handled it better than I did, and she’s never had more than a cold before! Poor thing had her first ear infection, her first sinus infection, and her first strep infection all in one month. We love antibiotics (when they are appropriately prescribed.) Poor mommy had the flu, despite getting the flu shot, which just seems like a cruel twist of fate. Poor #2 was exposed to a bunch of Tylenol this month, which is awesome, considering the news that Tylenol might be associated with ADHD. Amazingly, Daddy stayed healthy through all of this and had the difficult job of taking care of everyone.

Go away, February. And take your snow with you.

Go away, February. And take your snow with you.

Now that we are on the mend, we are so excited for March and for Spring to arrive. We are sick of winter. And we still have so much to do to prepare for #2! But before any of that happens, I’ll do my best to catch you up on the few things (aside from lying on the couch and watching way too many Baby Signing Time videos) that actually did happen this month. Like Alexis turning 18 months old. That went by a blur!

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Citrus Lane December 2013 Box Review

The theme of January seems to be “catching up on December!” It’s been awhile, but I’d still like to share what we got in our December box from Citrus Lane and how it went over with the little one. Although I don’t get the Citrus Lane boxes every month, I enjoy getting them from time to time and specifically ordered the December box because last year’s box was so great.

Citrus Lane December 2013 Box Contents

This year, Citrus Lane included the Melissa and Doug Rainbow Stacker ($8.27 at Amazon), a Handprint Art Kit from Pearhead (~$14.95 at Pearhead), Snuggly Lotion from Episencial ($8.50 at Amazon), and the book “I Took the Moon for a Walk” from Barefoot Books ($7.19 at Amazon).

The stacker was perfect! I love wooden toys, and had been thinking Alexis might like a stacker, but hadn’t gotten around to getting one for her. (I can’t buy her all the toys, can I?) I used it as a stocking stuffer and Alexis loves it.

The book, “I Took the Moon for a Walk,” also became a Christmas present. It’s a lovely book with adorable illustrations, and quickly entered Alexis’ regular rotation. She calls it “Moon,” and loves looking through it. Two for two, Citrus Lane.

The lotion came in a smaller size than pictured, although it still felt like a large tube of lotion. I just can’t find the size I received for sale online. It smells great and will definitely be useful around here, where the winter cold is drying out everyone’s skin.

The handprint kit from Pearhead is cute, and definitely something we will do, but haven’t gotten around to yet. It’s impossible to find this specific kit for sale online, though. All the available kits force you to choose between pink and blue, and I’m glad the one in the box does not. That said, two handprints on a plain white canvas seems a little boring, and I think we’re going to have to think outside the box to make this art kit more… arty.

All in all, I was happy with this box. While it only had 4 items, each one was quite nice and will be put to use, which is what is really important.

Just so you know, the links in this post to Citrus Lane and the specific items are affiliate links. If you decide you want to try a box, clicking on my affiliate link will save you $10 off your box, and it will save me $10, too. Everybody wins!

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