Friday, January 11, 2013

Christmas and 11 months

I can't believe Gabby is just 1 month shy of being a year old!  I know it's cliche, but time really did fly this year.  It's also crazy to think that at this time last year I had a huge belly and was eagerly anticipating meeting this little girl who has changed our lives for the better!

We spent Christmas this year in the St. Louis area visiting my family and friends.  We were only there for 4 days, but we packed a lot of visiting in!  Gabby still hates the car after our trip--my parents live basically an hour from everything, so it was at least 2 hours in the carseat everyday!  She was as good as you would expect a 10.5 month old to be on the plane--no major crying fits, and she did manage to keep to her nap schedule all right.  I think the other passengers were very relieved, especially since we had some cryers on the rest of the plane.  Below are some pictures from Christmas.

With Mommy at Great Grandma and Grandpa Pecheninos' house

While Great Grandma Pechenino looks on

This is a taste of what she got the whole trip--center of attention.  What can I say--we're easily entertained.

With Auntie Amy

Opening presents Christmas morning.  Her favorite thing was a styrofoam container.
Posing with Grandma Pechenino

Opening presents at Great Grandma and Grandpa Stoehrs' house

She really wanted to help Jacob (her second cousin?  My cousin's little boy anyway) with his coloring

But she really didn't like it when cousin Andrew tried to hold her.  Even though he was on Mommy's lap at the time!  I love both Andrew's and Jacob's faces here!

Sigmund examines her toy.  Actually Jacob's toy.

We had a great time with both the Stoehrs and the Pecheninos, and were so happy to visit with our friends Lisa and Lia, and my sister Amy, Ryan and their animals.  Gabby saw her first snow, and wasn't too impressed.

In the snow!

With Lisa and Lia

I love how Gabby and Lia are looking at each other here.  Kind of like "can you believe these people?"

We did try to put her down a few times, but she was not having it!  Unfortunately, no pictures of that, but it was pretty funny!

Santa was light on gifts this year (he just told us to take her to Build-A-Bear for the first time), but everyone else in the family made up for it!  She got a wagon from the Romos, a Ballapalooza from the Wards, and tons of clothes and toys from everyone on my side.  Fortunately, my relatives remembered we had to fly home and they were all small things.  I was really overwhelmed by how many great things she got this Christmas!

In her brand new wagon from Grandma and Grandpa Romo

Another month down, and Gabby is picking up some cool new skills.  We now give her solid food at every meal.  She gets bananas and Cheerios for breakfast, some veggies and cheese at lunch, and meat and veggies at dinner.  However, she still seems to need the baby food in order to get full.  It's like she eats the solid food for a while, gets bored (or tired) and then whines until we give her some puree.  It's kind of frustrating--you're hungry, so keep eating!--and I'm not sure how to get her to realize that our food is better than hers.  We have managed to get her off of baby cereal in the morning, so she only eats solid food then, but lunch and dinner are more challenging.  Especially dinner, since I worry that if she doesn't get enough to eat then she'll wake up in the middle of the night hungry.  We've done that for the past few nights, and I'm tired of it!  I think I'm going to have to enlist daycare's help with this!

We're also trying to get her to use a sippy cup instead of her bottle for her 5:00 feeding.  I'd like to get her off the bottle fairly soon after her 1st birthday, but it's also slow going.  I think we have a cup that she likes, but she doesn't quite seem to grasp that she can have formula in it and not just water.  She drinks an oz, and then cries for a bottle.  I've gotten pretty firm on not giving in to her, but then I worry (again) that she's not getting enough to eat!

I don't mean to paint a picture of a non-stop fussy baby, because Gabby is far from that!  She's so good at entertaining herself and plays very nicely on the floor with all of her toys.  She loves the stairs, and climbs up and down them (under supervision--we learned that the hard way) as often as we let her.  In fact, that's the only way we can keep her out of the kitchen when someone is cooking or cleaning up after dinner!  She loves the kitties (especially Zoe) and does her best to get to them whenever they're foolish enough to be in the same room.  When we were visiting my family, she loved to be around the dogs ("these are the ugliest kitties I've ever seen, but at least they're always around!"), and got several face baths from my sister's puppy Sigmund.  She loves the kitties so much that when I put her on our bed where Zoe was sleeping, she crawled over to Zoe and then followed her right over the edge of the bed!  Gabby was more startled than hurt, but it took a lot of mommy hugs and kisses for her to stop crying!  She did have a pretty good lump on her forehead for a couple of days!

Gabby is starting to use more words, but she's still not doing it very consistently.  There are definitely times when she says "ma ma" and "da da" and is referring to us, and she adds "hi" to her waving sometimes.  She doesn't use the cats' names, but definitely makes a different noise to try and get their attention than she uses to get mine or Brian's.  And I have this little song and dance I made up for her when she was tiny that we still do, and she definitely asked me to do it again (by saying "do do" right after I'd finished it) the other day. She's also very good at pointing at what she wants.

She is inching ever closer to standing and walking.  As I mentioned last post, she stalled a bit for a while, but now she adopts what I call downward facing dog (if you've done yoga you know what I mean--basically legs in standing position with both hands on the floor) while she's on the floor playing.  She'll also put one foot down while crawling like she's going to stand up.  She very rarely lets go while standing, but when she does she can keep her balance for a few seconds before falling (generally because she sees something on the floor that she wants).  She did stand up all on her own the other day--I had a toy on my head (what, where do you store toys?), and she got into a squat position and then straightened her legs to stand.  Her balance is great, she just needs more confidence that it's OK to let go!  We're working with her, but I think we have a little while yet before she takes those steps.

I am also currently in prep mode for her 1st birthday party.  We'll be combining it with our annual Super Bowl party on Feb. 3 (we figure we can do this until her 3rd birthday when she actually wants to invite her friends and I don't want 15 3 year olds in my house).  I've ordered the invitations, and have a couple of decoration ideas that I want to do.  I'm keeping it low-key, and relying on the game to entertain everyone.  Brian will make his usual awesome menu, and the kids can play with Gabby's toys.  I do plan on getting a cupcake for her to smash, and taking the obligatory pictures of that.  Overall, it should be a good time!

I have another week off before classes start again, and I'm trying to get all of the prep work done before the semester starts so that I'm not as stressed as I was last semester.  The mild cold I have and the lack of sleep is not helping my concentration though.  It's pretty frustrating doing all of this work and not getting paid for it, but that is the life I've chosen (for now).  I basically have 1 lecture and 2 labs this semester, and it's material I already know.  I anticipate an easier time.

I can't believe the next time I post I'll no longer have a baby!  This past year has flown by!