Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Multimedia baby

It's no surprise that Katen loves buttons. She has her own toy cell phone, TV remote, laptop, ipod, etc but she knows the difference and prefers the real thing. She's also a big fan of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse so we use this to our advantage in desperate times. (restaurants mostly) by downloading a Mickey Mouse video to my Ipod. Here are some pictures of Katen playing with it...

Desperate times at a restaurant. (Can't blame her. We were there for three hours!)

She's holding the earphones up to her ear as she grabs for a snack.

Do you love my pigtails?

...and here are Katen and Daddy watching March madness. My two couch potatoes. :) Yep, the loveseat is still in front of the fireplace. It's safer that way.

Glimpses of Spring!

We've been so lucky in the last few months go get some really nice days in here and there. We're getting a lot of 60's and even a couple of 70 degree days from time to time.
We've taken lots of walks to the park, and even walked to the library one day. (The library is 15 blocks away!) We have fun at home too though. Katen really enjoys sweeping and loading rocks in and out of her little bucket. ...and in and out, and in and out, and...

Here are some pictures of Katen just having fun.

The snow drift is taller than her stroller.
Sporting her raincoat... and a very serious face.

Busy sweepin'

Taking a break from loading rocks

How cool am I!?
(Oh how I love those baby blues.)

St. Patty's Day

In honor of St. Patty's day and a BEAUTIFUL streak of nice weather, I took Katen downtown to see the St. Patty's Day parade. We packed a lunch and headed to the streets. We found a relatively easy place to park and had good luck finding a place to sit along the curb as well. Katen munched on her lunch as we waited for the parade to begin. Here she is waiting patiently.

Once the parade started some of the kids around us got a little wild running into the streets to grab the random things people were giving out. However some of them were kind and shared with our little pickle. Here she's checking out a gold coin...

And here we're about to head home. She got a couple of gold coins, a rubber duck, a rubber duck dressed as a little Irish dude and of course some green beads. The beads are actually her favorite and she wears them around the house very stylishly.

Cookie Monster!

Great Grandma and Grandpa VW came for a visit and brought Katen some fun stuff! I think she reads the book they brought daily (at least!) and I'm pretty sure they have a special place in her heart for bringing her first decorated cookie.

Do you think she liked it!?

She looooved it!
....and I've been craving those awesome cookies ever since then. Only THOSE cookies from THAT bakery will do. Nobody else makes them the same. As a side story, when I was a little girl, my Grandma would take me to that bakery to get a Miss Piggy cookie very similar to the bunny cookie they brought Katen, except Miss Piggy's nose was all frosting. yum!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hail? in February?

Believe it or not, we had hail last Thursday on the 26th of February. The weather had been nice the day before and melted a lot of snow, but was turning colder by morning. Thunderstorms started rolling in about 12:30 (right after I put Katen down for a nap, darn it!) Then came the hail.

Shortly after the hail started, there was a big clap of thunder and we lost electricity for about an hour. Something must have been hit because for the next 10 minutes, through the clanging and clacking of the hail and booming of the thunder all I heard were sirens. Katen woke up from her nap shortly after that so we decided to go to the mall and play for a while. When we got back the electricity was back on. It was definitely weird to have a hail storm in the middle of the winter though.

What we've been up to in February

Katen and I are having such a great time staying home together. It's rewarding to see her grow and change every day. She learns things very quickly and really has begun to immitate me in several ways. She tries to say many of the words I say to her. Some of the interperatations are pretty comical really.

She also likes to act like we do. We have to give her a cell phone of her very own if we want to be able to talk on ours. Otherwise she begs to talk. Once she gets a hold of it she loves to push the buttons and hold it up to her ear. He says Hello! and Bye! Then she hands it to us.

She's also begun showing empathy. First it was with the cat. She's constantly harassing the cat whom she dearly loves. (And Cat is definitely one of the clearest words she says.) The first thing she asks to see when she wakes up is "cat!" When we get home from an outing she has to run to find "cat" and once cat is found, it's all she can do to be gentle as we've asked 1,000 times. Really she'd rather grab the cat's tail and hold on for dear life. The cat's been known to pull Katen into a faceplant in a last ditch effort to get away. When the cat meows out of frustration, Katen gets all sweet and meows back in a high pitched voice. It's hard to explain but very cute.
The other behavior that I'm now working to un-teach is hair pulling. She pulls with all her might and it's hard not to yelp in pain. However, It's difficult to tell Katen "no" because if you say it sternly, she thinks it's the most hilarious thing and will belly laugh. (UGH!) In an effort to appeal to her "softer side" I started acting like I was crying when she pulled my hair. It did work. She's let go right away and chatter at me in her high pitched concerned voice and then give me kisses. The problem is that she enjoys being sympathetic so it backfired. She'd pull my hair just so she could nurse me back to health. (For the love of Pete! Who would have thought?) So now I'm trying a new approach based on a few of the books I've been reading. It works somewhat but needs some tweaking. A few nights ago I'd just been telling Daddy that we need to not make a big deal out of saying no, but do it firmly, tell her why, and then remove her from the area. Daddy took that to heart and the next time Katen pulled my hair, he quickly went and picked her up. Unfortunately she still had a hold of my hair. ...lovely.
On a good note, Katen's taken an interest in the potty chair. About 80% of the time, when I take her diaper off and sit her on the potty, she'll go. We're not pushing full fledged potty training just yet but it sure does save us a few diapers here and there. She especially likes the song the potty sings to her. Yes... we have a singing potty. Don't you wish you had one too?
Some of the things we're learning and reinforcing right now are shapes, body parts, and animal sounds. She's especially fascinated with belly buttons and tries to say it but it comes out "beowy butta." Her other favorite is the nose. She's got to point out her nose, Mommy's nose, Daddy's nose and Swiffer's nose. Swiffer is pretty thrilled about that. Her favorite animals are cows and Sheep. If she hears anything remotely Baaa sounding she'll repeat "Baa Baa!"
Some of her favorite activities around the house are riding in her carrier while I vacuum, going Bye Bye, climbing the stairs ("nairth" in her words), dancing with Mommy to her music, and watching baby sign language videos. She also likes to help sweep. That's great because we end up having to sweep after almost every meal and snack. She's very insistent when she decides she wants to do one of these things too. I'll bet she pulls out her carrier four to five times each day asking to ride with me. When I put it on she gets all giddy and giggles until she's strapped in. She'll also go find her towel and ask for a bath or climb the baby gate in front of the stairs pointing and asking about those "nairth." Once I lift her over the gate she climbs those stairs like a crazy lady giggling the entire way. I love the sound of her laughter! I also never thought that she'd sit still for a video but I've downloaded a few 2 minute long videos of baby signs that she didn't know yet. She absolutely fell in love with them and asks to watch them all the time now. I think they're more appealing since one of the signs is "cat." As I said, she loves all things cat. Actually all animals that she points out are cats initially. Even if it's a horse, or a dog. We're working on that. Ha!
Needless to say, Katen and I are staying fairly busy. We've made our rounds to many of the area's story times and visit the libary often. We have a group of moms that we try to have lunch with once a week and we've even been to the Botanical Center for story time and a scavenger hunt. (which reminds me that I still have several pinwheels in my coat pocket from that adventure. She found a bunch!) Sometimes we go to a local gym to play on the toddler gymnastic equipment and other times we play at the mall playground. I try to keep the playground to a minimum though because of germs but there are plenty of other things to do. If we run out of stuff to do outside of the house there's always crafts and coloring. We finally found some colors that she likes. It's the best when we can get outside on the unseasonal nice days though and go for real walks and play at the park. The fresh air does us both good.
On the days we can get outside Katen takes a nice nap too. She's moved to one nap a day in the afternoon. This is no surprise since she's never been a big sleeper. There are too many discoveries to make and she doesn't want to miss anything. If I'm lucky, she'll sleep for 90 minutes or even 2 hours on a day when she's really tired. That gives me an opportunity to pick up the house, do a little cleaning, plan the meals for the week or prep for dinner.

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