15 Months Old

15 Months Old

So, Alexis turned 15 months old in November. She just keeps growing, whether I blog in a timely manner or not. By the time she turned 15 months old, she sprouted a new tooth, learned some new words, became a much more proficient walker, and started taking a sign language class. She also started dancing. She’d bounce along to music before, but this month she decided she wanted to stomp her happy feet and get crazy. Oh, and she dressed up as a monkey for Halloween, which was perfect for our little banana-lover (“Nana!” Nana!”)

15 Months Old

At 15 months old, Alexis just can’t sit still (and she knows how to get herself out of that chair!) She loves playing with her kitties, sharing her toys, and feeding mommy and daddy her snacks. She can follow simple instructions, and loves to find specific books and toys for us when we ask. Every month, this kid gets more fun.

The First Year

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Dear Citrus Lane, I Love You

I’ve mentioned my love for Citrus Lane before. Recently, though, Alexis got the October box and a bonus box (thanks to an awesome coupon) and I wanted to share some of the great things she received.

Crocodile Creek Ball

Getting a package full of surprises in the mail is always fun, and it’s even better when those surprises always turn out to be something everyone loves. Citrus Lane never lets us down. In her bonus box, Alexis got a great little 5″ ball from Crocodile Creek ($6.99 on Diapers.com). It’s just the right size for little hands. And since “ball! ball!” is the phrase du jour around here, Alexis was thrilled. I also love that it’s a rubber ball, with no BPA, vinyl, latex, or PVC.

Ouchies Jr. Paddington Bear Adhesive Bandages

As she’s getting more independent and active, she’s also getting a lot more bumps and bruises. Perfecting timing to use the adorable Paddington Bear bandaids from Ouchies Jr. ($5.20 in Diapers.com). Seriously, these are so cute. On a related cute note, Alexis has a scratch on her fingers. I watched her on the baby monitor yesterday as she looked at her hand and said, “Uh oh! Boo boo! Here you go,” and then gave her hand a kiss. Ah, babies! So cute.

Octopus Opposites

Also in her bonus box was a full-size board book, Octopus Opposites ($7.19 at Barnes and Noble). We love the vibrant illustrations, and Alexis likes to point out the animals she recognizes, like the monkey and the kitty (snow leopard.)

Boon Water Bugs

Green Tones Castanet

The October box was awesome, too. Alexis loved both the toys, the Green Tones Triangle Castanet ($12.49 at Amazon) and the Boon Water Bugs bath toy ($6.79 at Amazon). They are both in the daily play rotation right now. The October box also included a 3.4 oz tube of tangerine scented Playful Wash from Episencial ($8.99 for 8oz at Drugstore.com) and a full size container of Orange Vanilla scented Alcohol Free wipes from Clean Well ($4.99 at Drugstore.com). Finally, there was a printed copy of Baby Bug magazine from Cricket, and a code for a 3 month digital subscription. It was filled with sweet illustrations and little stories.

I know I sound like I’m gushing and it’s a little ridiculous. But honestly, everything that Citrus Lane sends us is so nice. I love how many of their items are environmentally friendly and of such good quality, and I love that Alexis thinks they’re great toys. I really do feel like these boxes are a great value. The links in this post to Citrus Lane are affiliate links, although I’d tell you that I love the box regardless. If you decide you want to try a box (and December is coming… last year’s December box was especially awesome, so it’s a good month to give it a try), clicking on my affiliate link will save you $10 off your box, and it will save me $10, too.

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A Rainbow Pixel Quilt

I made this quilt for Alexis’ first birthday, and I’m just now getting around to sharing the pictures. Three months late is better than a whole year late, right?

Rainbow Pixel Quilt

I had rainbows on the brain for Alexis’ first birthday, and I carried that into the quilt I made for her, too. I didn’t follow a pattern for this quilt. I sketched out a simple design on a grid to get an idea of how many squares I would need in each color and how to lay them out. Then I just cut out a bunch of squares from scraps I fabric I already had. After cutting out my squares, I laid them out on the floor and re-arranged them until they looked just right. Many of the squares have small prints on them, and Alexis enjoys finding pictures for words she knows. She especially loves to show me the owl on her quilt. I think this quilt would look awesome in all solids, too.

Quilt Back with Embroidered Name

For the back, I improvised. I didn’t have quite enough for the yellow fabric, so I broke it up with some pretty Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy and strips of solid white. I embroidered Alexis’ name on the back using directions from this tutorial at Mary Corbet’s Needle n’ Thread. The results are beautiful, and it was easier to do than I would have imagined.

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9 Great Board Books for a One Year Old

Books Alexis loves reading. She loves to sit quietly and flip through her books. She loves to point at pictures and name them: “baby!” “kitty!” “fish!” She’s amassed quite the little library. At one year old, here are some of her favorite books:

Happy Baby Colors – If you have a baby who loves babies, this is the best book. Full of pictures of happy babies featuring different colors, as well as other items in specific colors.

Who Says Quack?
 – Real pictures of animals and the sounds they make. Right now, we’re calling this book, “Baa.” Can you guess which page is Alexis’ favorite?

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Slide and Find

Disney Baby Einstein Amazing Animals Play-a-sound – It took Alexis some time to be able to press the sound buttons herself, but now that she can, she’s so pleased with herself.

I am a Bunny
 – Such a wonderful, classic book. Beautifully illustrated. It talks about Nathan the bunny and his favorite seasonal activities. I was thrilled to see another blogger loves this book as much as we do, and dressed her little one up as the bunny for Halloween!

Pudgy Bunny Book – This book is just sweet. But be warned, the end of the story involves telling your kid they can have a bunny.

A Book of Sleep – The illustrations in this book are beautiful. A wonderful little book to set the stage for bedtime. Right now, Alexis’ favorite part of this book is finding and pointing to the owl on every page.

Tubby – A great book about bathtime. This is where Alexis learned the word “splash!” All of Leslie Patricelli’s books are fun to read with great pictures and riveting text, like “I’m naked! Wheeee!”

Octopus Opposites – Alexis got this book in a Citrus Lane box and immediately loved it. Any book with pictures of monkeys and kitties (snow leopards) is bound to be a hit. The illustrations are vibrant and pretty, and the book gets bonus points for including cephalopods and sea urchins.

(P.S., Have I mentioned how much I love Citrus Lane boxes? Use this Citrus Lane link to sign up for your own subscription and you’ll get $10 off your order, and so will I.)

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Uh Oh!

Blankie

When she wakes up from her nap, Alexis begins the important job of surveying her room. She looks for anything amiss, anything laying on the floor that doesn’t belong there. A sock. Something peeking out from under the dresser. A teddy bear foot sticking out around the corner. A pillow knocked off a chair. She knows what doesn’t belong. And as soon as she spots it, she sounds the alarm.

“Uh oh.”

“Uh oh.”

“Uh oh.”

“Uh oh!”

This started the day she dropped her blanket over the side of the crib. That alarm escalated to emergency proportions very quickly. It was highly effective — I was in the room and putting blankie safely in her arms within seconds.

When it’s not a blankie emergency, she is more patient. But she still makes sure I see the problem as soon as I come in the room, and correct whatever has gone astray. This child misses nothing.

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14 Months Old

14 Months Old

Would you look at that? 14 months old today! Alexis has grown so much in the last month, learning new skills and new words. She’s quite the little copy cat, and picks up new things so quickly. It is a delight to watch her mind work. This month, Alexis took her first steps. Every day, she walks a little bit farther before she falls. Then she turns around to make sure she is being properly appreciated.

All this mobility made for one wiggly baby today. She did not want to stay put in the chair and demanded “down! down!”

14 Months Old

Alexis took a trip to Arizona to visit her grandparents and uncles this month. She did great on the plane, and loved seeing all her favorite people. While we were there, she started saying “grandpa.” Other words she began saying this month: grandma, patty, tutu, Darcy, bean, tissue, Cheerio, no, chin, puff, kisses. Best word of the month, though? Mama. She’s been able to say mama for a long time, but this month, she finally started saying it as my name.  She asks for mama during the day, and when she wakes at night, I hear her call for mama. Alexis also learned the sign for “more.” Guacamole was involved.

To round it all out, Alexis finished the month by getting a new tooth.

The First Year

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Vegetarian Meals that Keep Toddlers and Parents Happy

We’ve taken the Baby Led Weaning approach ever since Alexis started solid food at 6 months. Basically, she eats what we eat. No special “baby food” and she feeds herself. This has meant I’ve needed to work harder to make healthier meals for us (somehow, I was okay with feeding myself enchiladas overloaded with cheese, but not the baby. Go figure.) It also means making sure I make meals that are baby-friendly… such as leaving out nuts, and serving cooked spinach instead of raw, since little molar-less babies can’t really chew the raw stuff.

One of our favorite family meals is vegetarian tacos. For Alexis, we simply skip the shell and give her a plate full of taco fillings: brown rice, black beans, avocado slices, shredded cheese, cooked strips of red pepper. Sometimes, I make guacamole. I think Alexis would eat the entire bowl herself if we let her. But of course we don’t, because we love it, too!

The internet is full of delicious vegetarian recipes, many of which are kid-friendly. Some of the meals we’ve all loved recently:

  • Vegancognito’s General Tao’s Tofu – This one is delicious. I served the broccoli without mixing it in to the sauce. Alexis had a plate of rice, little pieces of broccoli, and small cubes of tofu in sweet sauce. She ate it all, and signed “more” for seconds. Even when I served her a little pudding for dessert, she went back to finish all her broccoli.
  • Everyday Reading’s Spinach Quiche – Spinach is a great source of iron, and this quiche makes it easy for everyone to eat. Even better, this recipe is so easily modified. I am lazy and use a store-bought crust with this one. I was an egg short one day, so I added some extra cheese and the whole thing still came out delicious. In addition to spinach, I like to add whatever other fillings I have on hand. Sauteed mushrooms, red onion, and swiss cheese are all nice additions. The last time I made this, Alexis loved it so much she had three platefuls. (If you are feeling like putting in the effort, try making Broccoli, Mushroom, & Gouda Quiche. It is so good. And don’t cheat, make the crust they recommend.)
  • Once a Month Meals’ Southwest Rice and Beans – Served with sliced avocado and a side of green beans. For grown ups, roll it up in a warm tortilla and eat it like a burrito. Simple and satisfying.
  • Zucchini Herb Casserole – This is a good way to use up excess zucchini. I add in a can of kidney beans (rinsed and drained), and even my husband, who doesn’t care for kidney beans, doesn’t mind them in this casserole. Serve with warm buttermilk biscuits.

Those are a few of our favorites. I’m always looking for delicious new recipes we can all enjoy. Do you have any vegetarian family favorites to share?

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Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day

In case you didn’t know, September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, matey. It’s one of our favorite holidays around here. Even Alexis got into the spirit and copied me saying, “Arrgh!”

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What I’ve Been Reading

I spend a lot of time trying to make informed decisions about how I parent. Which means a lot of looking for research and reading, reading, reading. Being an obsessive consumer of information, I also spend a lot of time reading and watching less important things. Here are some recent highlights:

Have you seen this video? I have to admit, I love it. It’s been stuck in my head, entertaining me while I shower and brush my teeth. We spend a lot of time around here talking about animals and their sounds, so this was extra timely.

  • Recommendations for introducing little ones to allergenic foods, especially nuts. The American Academy of Pediatrics took back it’s recommendations in 2008, in light of evidence suggesting that delaying the introduction of allergenic foods might actually increase the incidence of allergies. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology stepped in with recommendations advising that it is not necessary to delay the introduction of allergenic foods past one year, at least in babies with no other allergy issues. No need to wait until 3 years old for peanut butter after all!
  • Amber necklaces and teething babies. These seem to be really popular “natural” remedies for teething pain. I’ve always been skeptical of the claims that they have an analgesic effect, and concerned that they pose a choking or strangulation hazard. Apparently I’m not alone. And it looks like the science just isn’t there to support their efficacy, either.
  • Nutrition for Breastfeeding Toddlers. Does my breastfeeding toddler really need to start drinking cow’s milk? It seems logical to me that, given the choice, human milk is probably better for a human baby than milk designed to grow baby cows. The verdit? “There is no need to add cow’s milk to your toddler’s diet (or the equivalent nutrients from other milks or foods) as long as your baby is nursing at least 3-4 times per day.” Easy enough.
  • ‘Babies can’t remember’ is bunk. I had no idea that some people actually believe babies can’t remember things. Of course they can. How else would they learn? This article cites interesting studies about memory in babies. For example, my 13 month old will be able to remember things that happened today for at least 8 months.
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13 Months Old

13 Months Old

After a busy summer, 13 months just snuck up on us! In the last month, Alexis traveled to Tybee Island, Georgia to hang out on the beach and play in the ocean. She used what she learned in swimming lessons to kick in the water while saying, “kick kick kick!” And she’s added some new words to her vocabulary, like “ball,” which she announced with great excitement when the dentist gave her a new ball at the end of her first check up.

13 Months Old

Alexis is also saying doll, boo, Roo, and lots of “um!” which is her word for “up!” She added the sign for “all done” to her repertoire this month, too. Alexis loves playing peek-a-boo, whether it’s from behind the bookshelf or by putting her blanket over mommy’s head. She also loves dancing along to music, and has started to sing along, too. She has a great sense of rhythm!

13 Months OldAlexis wants to walk and run everywhere, but still needs us to hold her hands when she does. Sometimes, when she is very interested in something, we can let go and she’ll keep standing until she realizes what she’s doing.

Highlight of the month? Giving mommy a kiss unprompted.

The First Year

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