Saturday, June 25, 2011


Wow. Samantha is two years old! More than two, actually. I am apparently not the blogging type. Samantha is turning out to be everything we could ever want in a daughter: smart, funny, pretty, sweet, etc. etc. etc. I even think she's adorable and hilarious when she talks back to me, which is something I have to try very hard not to show her. She's gradually learning her letters and numbers, and she's got shapes and colors down pat. The letters can be slow-going at times:

Me: What's this?
Samantha: Alligator!
Me: Right! What letter does 'alligator' start with?
Samantha: 'Alligator' start with little lamb!
Me: 'Alligator' starts with 'A.'
Samantha: 'Little lamb' start with 'A!'

So she's not quite there with the concept of words starting with letters. But she can definitely recognize most of the letters. Anything she doesn't recognize gets called "E." I want to record here some of the best phrases that have surfaced over the last several months.

(Upon seeing a dead spider) Dirty octopus! Dirty itsy bitsy!
(Trying to talk her grandfather into taking her outside in Colorado) Mittens, jacket, Grandpa, outside, fun!
(Her first full-sentence request) How about a green diaper, please?
(Shopping for her dad's scooter) Mansa (Samantha) needs a scooter!
(Requesting a piece of green apple flavored popcorn) Wanna eat froggies!
(Talking to her future cousin, nicknamed "Poppy") Hi, puppy!
(The day after her aunt Lisa and Uncle Jared left) Ugga? No Ugga. Isa?
(Asking for a kind of cereal first given to her by her grandmother) Want grandma cereal!
(Asking to be picked up) Mommy carry you!
(Trying to push her dad's wheelchair) Too heavy. Help!
(Referring to Mahdad, the coworker who drives Andrew to work) Madaido!
(Her response when told it was bedtime) Playtime!
(Her response when told to come over here right now) I'm still playing!
Wanna watch Sesame Street dot com! Dabu Dabu Dabu dot sesamestreet dot com.
Mommy made a noise!
(Her response when I told her she was little) Big!
Let's go downstairs and get some milk!
Daddy needs a pink shirt!

Words I didn't correct her on (and even encouraged) because they were just so darn cute:
gomurt (yogurt)
coo-doo (computer)
Monkey George

In other news, she's convinced that the profile of Inigo Montoya on one of my t-shirts is a sheep and the settler couple on my Frontierville t-shirt is a daddy and baby. Once she's decided something like that, there's no convincing her otherwise. She's constantly talking (as she always has, even grunting all the time just after she was born). If she doens't know a word she'll make one up. Pronouns are hard still. She'll call herself "you" and a girl "he." One thing that's fun is when I can tell she's working with her own grammar and not just repeating things she's heard. You can tell because she'll get things like irregular verbs wrong because she's following patterns she has heard before.

Overall we are having a blast, linguistically speaking. Now, about potty training...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bragging Mom

Wow! Samantha is so tall, so fast, and so loquacious! They say that time flies when you're having fun, and while I do feel like the past 18 months have flown by, it also seems like my precious girl has been a part of my life forever. It's hard to remember what life was like before she came along! I'm so proud of her, and I know her accomplishments are not really anything to brag about (everyone learns to walk, talk, and eat with a fork, after all), but I feel proud of her, anyway. At 18 months she's using around 115 words by my count and she's putting two words together to make her own unique sentences. ("More milk." "No want." "Mommy shoe." "Bye-bye, Daddy." "Kitty night-night.") She can also count to three, though I'm not sure she knows what she's doing when she does so. This kid can run, too! Yesterday I followed her all over the neighborhood while she ran a half mile! That is not an exaggeration. She really ran half a mile, talking the whole time, before she got tired and sat down. As for the fork, well, she won't be invited to a dinner at the White House anytime soon, so at least we've got some time to develop her skills in that area.

Bragging aside, parenting really is a humbling experience in many ways. I thank God constantly for allowing Andrew and me to raise His precious Samantha. We don't always know what to do in every situation, but we are constantly in awe of her unconditional love and her childlike faith that life is as it should be. As much as she has to learn, we have just as much to learn from her in the years to come.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Walking and Talking

So Samantha will be fifteen months old in four days, and clearly my posts have dropped off. It seems the more mobile the child, the less time the mom has for things like blogging. My angel is absolutely adorable and I'm so proud of her every day! Now that she's walking and talking, things are really getting exciting around here.

She was always a super fast crawler, but she only recently started walking on her own. She took her first steps with help around her birthday and her first steps on her own at just over thirteen months. By fourteen months, she was walking everywhere with help and at fourteen-and-a-half months she just took off. Now she never crawls and she loves to carry things all over the house!

She's been getting new words like crazy, too. She started with "na-na" ("night-night") several months ago and then added "ball," "meow," and "uh-oh." While we were visiting my parents she got "up" and "doggy." Now she's got lots of words and I'm going to keep a list here.

Update: I quit! That child knows too many words! This is a mostly complete list of her words up through her 18-month birthday.

na-na - night-night
mya-na - banana
key - kitty
goggy - doggy
woof, woof
da-ee - daddy
da - down
ba - ball
bu - book
shya - socks
shez - shoes
yummy - yummy, food (she says this when she's hungry and when she's eating)
abby - apple
dyabada, diabee - diaper
baa (sheep noise)
roar (in an adorable whispering roar)
faufau, fwafwa, fowa- flower
kee-ku - cookie
ank-you - thank you
(elephant noise)
ooh-ooh (monkey noise)
ca-o - avocado
here you go
thank you
bah-dee - belly button
Ugga (her uncle)
MiMi (her grandmother)
doodle (rooster noise)
fly (when she wants you to throw her glider)
fly - butterfly
boont - balloon
Grant (her cousin)
jamas - pajamas
the end

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ten months already?

Wow. I haven't posted in a really, really long time. I guess I've been pretty busy taking care of my precious little girl. She's now a little over ten months old! In the past three months she's learned to pull up on the furniture, cruise, and climb the stairs, so now I really have my hands full. She's getting to be much more easy-going than she used to be and although her naps are still only about 30 minutes long during the day, that seems to be all she needs as she is happy and full of energy. She prefers to feed herself now and will take the spoon away from me, fling the food off of it, and stick it in her mouth. She eats just about anything that can be cut up into baby-size bites. She even has two teeth on the bottom and one on top! Yep, a lot has been happening around here, baby-wise.

Also on the SAHM (stay-at-home mom) front, I've been craving adult conversation and working really hard to save money now that we are down to one income for three people. It's definitely worth it to know that my little girl is getting the attention and care I want for her. I've recently discovered couponing, including shopping around for the best grocery deals and doing things like rolling CVS Extra Bucks and Walgreens Register Rewards. It looks like if I do it right, I'll be able to reduce our monthly grocery bill significantly. I'm posting my favorite blogs and sites regarding shopping frugally in the sidebar, if anyone's interested in checking them out. Couponing also seems to be my latest excuse to avoid school work.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

5 months

Wow! Little Samantha is 5 months old! After three weeks of shush/pat and pick up/put down using the methods of The Baby Whisperer, nap time and bed time have gotten a lot easier. As long as I get her to bed in time (there is a definite window of opportunity and if we miss it we are screwed), things go rather smoothly. So my little one is no longer sleep deprived and is a lot happier in spite of her bedtime protests.

We've been taking a Stroller Strides class at the park and the mall. I love it. Samantha is mildly amused at the sight of all the moms lined up doing squats and push-ups. Boy, does it ever feel good to be moving again! I attempted four miles with Samantha in the jogging stroller today and my knee told me to quit at 3, so I walked the last mile, but we did well. Samantha slept through the last half.

Samantha is so adorable. She flashes her beautiful smile (just like her dad's) at everyone she meets. Life is good.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Nap Deprivation

No, I'm not the one being deprived; it's my daughter. In her ongoing quest to become a big kid, she stopped napping when she was tired sometime between the ages of three and four months. Things came to a head about a week ago when I somehow realized there was something wrong with my little girl. She was exhausted and constantly fussy, but she would not sleep during the day. On top of that, she seemed to be having more and more trouble getting to sleep at night.

Some Internet research revealed a few things. First, I discovered that her bedtime was way too late. That, combined with a lack of consistent daily structure, was affecting her daytime sleep. A baby Samantha's age needs about 15 hours of sleep each day! And keeping her up doesn't help her sleep better; she will wake up around the same time each morning regardless of when she went to bed. I also discovered that lack of sleep was bad for her brain!

That night I decided to let her "cry it out." I was so desperate for my baby to get the sleep her little body needed. So I read her a story, sang a few songs, and got her tucked in. We both cried for 90 minutes until she finally went to sleep. While I was waiting for her to go to sleep, I was still desperately searching for answers. Clearly just tucking her in and leaving her to cry was not the solution for us. So after asking for help from friends, message boards,, and my old pal Google, I put together a reading list.

What I came up with was a combination of knowledge, advice, and schedules from Richard Ferber, Marc Weissbluth, and Tracy Hogg. I have been following a combination of Hogg's EASY (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You) structure for our day, Ferber's gentler version of cry-it-out, and Weissbluth's plan that includes a super early bedtime to help get naps back on track. The last few days have been full of sleep ups and and downs with Samantha crying through some naptimes and sleeping through others, but we are definitely making progress. Today things are definitely looking up and right now she's playing happily with her toys instead of yelling at them! Last night she went to bed with minimal fuss and I had several evening hours free to get some schoolwork done for the first time in months!

I know the road ahead is full of bumps and crazy turns, but we are on our way.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My 16 week old traveler

Well, little Samantha is almost 4 months old, and not quite as little as she used to be. As I write this, she's laying on the bed beside me kicking away, watching the ceiling fan, and giving me a big, toothless grin every so often. We're on the bed because I'm trying to get her to nap but it isn't really working, so we'll settle for a little quiet time.
The last few weeks have seen some amazing changes in our baby girl. In the span of two weeks she learned to roll over from her back to her tummy, grab her toes, make popping sounds with her mouth, and (the best one) giggle!
I love that all of Samantha's grandparents are 100% behind us in all our parenting decisions and don't try to make choices for us. We are both so blessed with wonderful in-laws! My mom got out a bunch of my old baby items for us to use while we were visiting in Colorado. She slept in my old crib, on my old blanket, in my old pajamas. She wore my old socks because the socks I packed for her were too small (it's been too hot to wear socks at home so I wasn't aware how much her feet had grown). She played with my old toys and sat in my old baby seats. It was a great walk down memory lane (though I'll admit that many of the items I really don't remember). Can you believe that parenting books from the 1970's encourage solid foods around 3 months of age, say babies should sleep on their tummies, and are OK with parents holding their babies in moving vehicles? A lot has changed in the past 30 years.
We had a great time on Samantha's first big trip. She slept in the plane all the way there. She did wonderfully in the airport on the way back despite the four hour delay, and she slept all the way back, too. The best part on the way back was that there was an empty seat and the airline allowed me to use her carseat in it. What an arm-saver! We had to nurse when we arrived due to the delay, but it was no big deal since it was about 2 am and there was nobody at baggage claim by the time I got there! Traveling with her was fairly easy and I'm sure I have lots of vocal mothers who traveled before I did to thank for that in addition to people who are just generally kind. The airline doesn't charge for checking carseats or strollers and allows gate check of those items. The TSA allows milk for the baby to pass through security in containers greater than 3 oz. Restaurants and coffee shops happily give away free cups of hot water to mommies who need to warm bottles. Flight attendants assist overburdened moms who drop things on their way off the plane. Pilots help figure out how to unlock collapsed strollers at 2 am. And random strangers are more than happy to help entertain bored babies during airport delays. It was, overall, a great experience.

In Colorado, Samantha spent lot of time with her Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Lisa. She had a blast. She visited Dinosaur Ridge, where my mom volunteers, and saw some interesting dinosaur exhibits and fossils. She particularly liked the maps that showed continental drift (future geologist?). She spent time with our dear friend Betty at her beautiful home with a pond and several huge trees in the backyard. She met her first dog (an extraordinarily large one at that) and met some cats with hair (hers has none)! I had a great time, too. I got some great runs in while my parents baby-sat. I just ran around the neighborhood, but those hills were killer for a flatlander like me. We visited the Old Spaghetti Factory, a restaurant I went to as a baby. The trip was tons of fun and we can't wait to go back at Christmas.