Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Storytime!

Not too long after Aurora's nap, I was "working" on the computer--probably browsing a forum or facebook. Aurora came up to me and started pulling on my arm, grabbing my hand and pulling it from the keyboard, etc. Obviously, she wanted to take me somewhere--which she normally does when she wants to ask me to do something for her. I decided to take the lazy route and see if it would work. So I told her, "Aurora, how about you bring what you want to mommy rather than taking mommy to it?" I didn't think I was clear enough for her to understand, but she ran off after that. A few minutes later, I heard her coming down the hall, obviously struggling with something slightly large for her. She reached our door and peeked in, quite proud of herself. She had dragged our "outside" blanket down the hall to me in our bedroom to show me what she wanted!

I picked up the blanket and gave her my hand and she led me to our porch, which she loves to play on and we've used the blanket on it numerous times. I spread it out and she did a happy, squealing dance on it. I left to grab my water bottle and a book or something and came back to find that she had moved half of her toys out onto the blanket in the 2 minutes I was gone! Apparently she not only knew what she wanted, but she also had plans for it once she got what she wanted! I was quite impressed with her level of understanding and apparent planning for her age.

She's so smart! ;) (Proud mommy moment!)

~Regina

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Aurora-Boo at 17 months

So...a real, actual blog post with more things than just pictures. :) Since pictures can't tell the entire story of Aurora's development, I thought it was about time to tell you all what Aurora's up to these days....

Talking
She has a few sounds that mean lots of things. She uses "da" for almost everything, with a few variations on it. "Da-DEE" is used for "daddy" (duh) and "baby." "Dum" or "dam" can mean "yum-yums" (nursing). And everything else is just "da!"--well, except for some of her rather creative sounds that she uses for "flower" and "hot." For "flower," she "smells" the flower quite loudly, even if we're just talking about flowers. For "hot," she blows onto the hot food or in the direction of the person who was talking about whatever was hot. It's rather adorable to see. :)

For all other communication, she signs (or grabs me and takes me where she wants me). I've counted around 30 signs that she knows and uses. Let's see if I can list them: all done, eat, bath, diaper, more, shoes, ball, bye-bye, Daddy, hairclip, baby, dog, cat, bird, duck, wash hands, toothbrush, down, drink, open, sleepytime, rain, shower, car, train, camera, please, thank you, strawberry, pacifier, sauce (as in sauce to dip stuff in)... that's all I can think of for now.

She makes plenty of other sounds, too--as one would expect from a young toddler. She's recently begun saying "mamamama"--but she doesn't seem to mean anything by it yet. She also enjoys humming to herself or along with a song. She'll hum to herself in the car, or while playing with toys, or while nursing, or while I'm singing her to sleep. This Sunday at church she was trying to sing along with the songs, which was precious.



Play
This is, of course, Aurora's main calling in life. :) She runs, she climbs, she stacks, she knocks over, she spins, she falls, and does it all over again. She loves her baby dolls and will carry one of them around everywhere with her--sometimes asking me to hold the doll while she runs off to do something else. She also tries to be a helper--which is so sweet. If she makes a mess, she'll lean over and try to wipe it up with her hand. If she loses something and I'm looking for it, she'll put her head on the floor and try to look, too. She likes to pull her diapers out and pretend to put powder on them. She'll take clothes or blankets and bunch them up for me (folding them?). She loves to try to help take care of my potted plants, but that usually ends with the death of one of my plants.

But then, she's also ornery. She loves to pull books off the shelves, throw things over the side of the porch, open cupboards, throw things into or take stuff out of the garbage. She's managed to get herself permanently banished from the kitchen--and life is much happier because of it. She simply loves to explore and understand how things work, which at this point in her life means she needs to play with them. But her play is often times not gentle enough for the things she's interested in--so she gets told "no." We're working on teaching her to touch things with just one finger, but so far I haven't had enough patience to really work hard on that.



Sleep
This has never been an easy area in her life. She wants to stay awake and not miss a thing, no matter how tired she is. But, we have discovered, when she's not teething, she is actually able to put herself to sleep (sometimes, if the stars and planets are aligned correctly). She just happens to be teething most of the time. She doesn't sleep through the night, we've given up hope of that happening any time soon, but she recently set a new record of only waking up twice during the night. We'll see if that ever happens again. ;) She also still needs to be swaddled most of the time, though some nights she is able to put herself to sleep with out it. I'm assuming she's just one of those types of people who needs some pressure or weight on her body to help her relax. When she gets a little bit older, I'm planning on making her a weighted blanket for her bed.



Personality
She is full of personality! She's very intelligent and observant (we can't get away with anything!). She likes to know how things work and seems more accepting or obedient when we explain to her the "why" behind what we're doing (though that doesn't always work). She generally is able to clearly communicate what she wants (unless she's crying, then it's really hard to know) and usually knows exactly what she wants. She's very independent, both in playing and in doing new things. And she certainly seems to have that streak of "I'm-going-to-do-this-till-I-get-it-right" that both her parents have. Did I mention she's stubborn? But she's very cheerful, when well rested and feeling good, and often hums to herself while playing or doing whatever. She's a little bit of a tease (offers me one of her snacks and then eats it herself right when I open my mouth for it) and seems to have a very good sense of humor. She certainly cracks herself up plenty. :) She's full of energy and very friendly (waving and blowing kisses to all of our neighbors and other random strangers). She wants to be a helper to mommy and to be involved in everything we do.



Physical
Weight: 22.6 lbs (at the end of the day)
Height: 31 inches
Hair: light brown and curly
Eyes: hazel
Teeth: 11 (eleven)



Favorites
Color: yellow
Food: strawberries
Toy: the baby doll mommy made her for her 1st birthday
Non-toy play thing: anything she's not supposed to have (computer, cell phone, big books)
Word: da!
Person: mommy
Daily activity: nursing
Annoying thing to do to mommy or daddy: scratch the walls with her fingernails
Hair style: disheveled
Sleeping position: on her tummy with her legs tucked up
Music: classical
Book: the one with a collection of nursery rhymes
Night-time activity: fight sleep and stay up late
Movie: Pride & Prejudice (A&E--long version)
Drink: water (unless yum-yums count as a drink) ;)
Place: living room, surrounded by toys
Acrobatic feat: tipping her camping chair over and sliding down it--I'll show you in another post
Hair accessory: hair clips--or ketchup, depending upon her mood
Dangerous activity: rocking her dinner chair back on its legs
Sweet activity: blowing kisses to everything, including garbage being thrown away and random strangers in cars driving by
Body part: her bellybutton!
Animal: dog

That about covers it, I think!

~Regina

Monday, June 21, 2010

Camping!

This past weekend we went camping at Salt Fork State Park with several other families who I know from an online community I've been a part of for 2+ years now. It was lots of fun to finally meet the ladies behind the screen names. What a strange world we live in these days, really. I'd never been group camping before, so it was certainly an interesting experience.



Between the four families there were 18 kids, ranging in age from 9ish months all the way up to around 15 or 16 years old. Aurora had an absolute blast running around with all the kids. She, of course, wanted to play with all the "big kids"--not the babies closer to her age. Thankfully, there were several of the big kids who enjoyed carting her around with them, though I still had to keep an eye on her because she liked to take off and try to go visit other campsites across the road. She's a friendly little one. :)





The "big outing" of the weekend was going to the lake on Saturday morning. Last time we were at a beach, Aurora screamed every time we put her in the sand. I was hoping that she had grown out of that, but no such luck. She spent quite a bit of time hanging out on a blanket, just playing by herself, because she refused to touch the sand.


At one point, she decided to try to come down to me (I was near the waterline, playing in the sand with one of the other mothers). She made it two steps off of the blanket, realized that she was standing in sand, tried to turn around, fell on her bottom, and started wailing. I had to run "rescue" her because she couldn't manage to get back on the blanket by herself. However, the allure of all the other kids playing in the sand and water finally convinced her to try out the wet sand, which she managed to handle. She spent the rest of her time at the beach grabbing sand toys and throwing them into the water. :) She didn't ever really play in the sand and didn't venture very far into the water, but she did finally have some real beach fun.





The rest of the time, we just hung out around the campsite and ate yummy food--which Aurora managed almost always to make quite messy.

Corn on the cob...


Hotdogs...


Pancakes and bacon...


Wil enjoyed teaching games to some of the kids. He brought several card games--only Pass the Pigs got played--and Ladder ball (AKA Bolo toss, Bolo golf, Amish golf, Ladder golf, etc.). The kiddos kept asking about Bocce ball, which we also had, but we never managed to organize a game.


Otherwise, we just hung out around the campsite, talked, and attempted to keep tabs on the many children who were everywhere. :)

There are more photos of our camping trip in a photo album under our "Photos" tab at wilnregina.com. Go check them out!

~Regina

Aurora photos: Camping!