Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

17 Months

The first weekend of Baby A's 17 month started with a visit to Disneyland where she learned an important life skill: Waiting in line. Somehow, she realized that we couldn't move forward until everyone did, and patiently waited by my side while we were in line for the carousel, Dumbo, Casey's train and the tea cups. She liked looking at the other children who were waiting in line, and pointed at a girl's shirt because it had Nemo on it.
We attended mass the next day, and had not been in awhile. Again, she did really well sitting in her own chair and standing in our aisle. She loves watching the choir and smiling at the people behind us.

Halloween was a blast! She had a costume parade at her school, and I loved sitting on the wall with the other parents and seeing her come out in her costume, holding Jamie's hand. As soon as she saw me, her face lit up. After school, I picked her up and we went to the Tustin Halloween Howl, an event put on by our city. She received 'honorable mention' for her costume, and we were called onto the stage to receive her award, a bag of goodies and a few gift cards.  

We had family over for pizza and mummy dogs before heading out to trick-or-treat with her cousins on our street. Again, she wore her costume with no problems. By the second house, she seemed to get the idea of taking the candy when offered and putting it in her personalized pumpkin. But she wanted to keep taking pieces. Not because she knew what it was (she has never had candy - only a hershey kiss from daycare) but because to her, it was a sorting activity. When her cousins were almost a house ahead of us, I told her to run to catch up and she did - trotting off ahead of me to try and catch up to them, doggy ears flopping as she ran. After everyone left, we took her around the block in her pink tricycle and she loved looking at the hustle and bustle of everyone still out.

Later that week, she wanted some of my Starbucks passion fruit (caffeine free, un-sweetened tea). I asked her to say "tea" and she repeated it back to me, no problem. I then decided to go through the alphabet and was so surprised that she was able to repeat about every third letter on the drive to El Torrito (November 2nd)! On our walk that night, she walked around the entire block - about half a mile - by herself! We pushed her pink tricycle, but she didn't need it. We walked by some sprinklers on the street behind us and she was drawn to them. I am all about letting her have experiences instead of trying to restrict or control her. I have seen parents actually create behavior problems in their kids by being this way, and toddlers explore...it's what they do! She listened when we told her it was time to keep walking, and wasn't too wet. Imagine her delight when we got back to our place and it happened to be the one day of the week that the city allows us to water without fear of a citation (California drought). This time, we let her go hog wild and she appeared to be having the time of her life running up to the sprinklers and letting them get her right in her face. Nearing sunset and starting to get a bit chilly (that's 60 degrees here in California), my husband watched her while I went in to run her a nice, warm bath. Spontaneous fun like this is absolutely the best.
One of her new favorite activities this month is organizing.


On Saturday the 5th, we participated in the Lung Force Walk in memory of Mom. They were handing out "I'm walking for..." stickers, and I filled out one for her to wear. Seeing her wearing her sticker in support of her Nana sort of broke my heart. But, it was a good day overall, and an event we plan to do every year.

We were off for Veteran's Day and walked to a local restaurant for breakfast. We stopped at a park on the way home. She loves the slides and now goes down the largest ones.

On Saturday the 12th, my Dad and brother came for a visit and we took her to a park with a huge castle structure. She had fun running from one section to another and went down the tallest spiral slide she's been on. I love how involved they are in her life, and how her face lights up when she sees them.

She tired herself out and slept a solid 3 1/2 hours for her nap! When she woke up, we went to Disneyland! Not only was Disneyland all done up for Christmas, but I also decorated that day too. 

The following weekend, we celebrated Thanksgiving with my Dad and my brother. My Dad brought us some thanksgiving gifts, which I was not expecting. I don't think I've ever received a gift for Thanksgiving before! I unwrapped the Burberry scarf and was so excited. "Keep looking" Dad said as I peaked back into the box. And there was a 1971 copy of my Mom's birth certificate. Looking at it, I was shocked to learn that Paula was not her real name. Her real, full name was Pauline Mary Mangan. Such a treasure and as I sit typing this now, I feel a connection to her through the scarf too, because she loved Burberry. Over the years, my Dad has bought her a Burberry watch, clutch, perfume and now this.

At mass on Sunday, Baby A rested her head on my chest and was zoning out. Otherwise she seemed normal, but we found out the next day it was because she was getting sick. My husband missed my last ultrasound at the IVF clinic before I graduated because he was home caring for her.

The following evening, we flew to Oregon to see his family. We didn't land until 11pm and it was tough. The next day was our 3rd wedding anniversary (and 5th total) and we went out to dinner with his folks to celebrate. He surprised me with an Ancestry DNA kit and a gold bracelet!
The next day was my husband's 35th birthday and also Thanksgiving. The day was spent preparing food while the kids slept. Baby A wasn't too keen on turkey but did enjoy the chocolate that grandma had for after dinner and enjoyed playing with her cousin MK. She also liked running in a loop through the house and down three steeps into the den and up three steps into the kitchen.

His birthday gift from Baby A was a flag I designed to represent her, to be flown when she is in residence at her grandparent's. This wasn't too much of a surprise since it was his idea, but I love that he is so family oriented.
Baby A had do much fun in Oregon with her grandparents and cousin MK. She loved walking (running!) to feed carrots to the horse and her pony Butterscotch. She would squeal with excitement as they came charging down the hill, and learned to make the sound a horse does on this trip.

Things I do not want to forget about this month:
  • Sitting on the floor of her room after her bath, and attempting to put on her diaper. Instead, she ran away from me, down the hallway and out to the living room, naked. Daddy exclaimed "You're a naked baby!" And she giggled and came running back to me. I exclaimed "Buns!" And she giggled again and ran away from me. This repeated about five times.
  • Her excited squeal when she saw the horses.
  • New words: Dada, cat, tea (and some letters of the alphabet), fish, cheese. Previous words: No, mommy, more, mooo, ruff, baby, my, Nana, uh-oh, MoMo, baba, hi, bye, dog).
  • Poop check!
  • New teeth: Canine (Bottom right). Two canines on the top have broken through and on her upper right, the tooth next to her canine for a total of 13 teeth.

Food:
She loves mac 'n cheese and I feel bad giving her the packaged kind. I will in a pinch, but use 1/4 the sodium packet/cheese flavor when I do. Instead, I've been throwing this all in the crock pot for 3.5 hours, and it keeps for several days:

    • 8 oz. whole wheat pasta
    • 12 oz. evaporated milk
    • 1.5 cups of whole milk
    • 0.5 stick of butter
    • 2 large eggs
    • dash of pepper, dash of salt
    • 5 cups of shredded cheddar

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