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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in englandbound's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, December 27th, 2012
9:29 pm
The girls had a good Christmas. Cordelia didn't really understand the whole gift thing, but she seems to like her new toys. Valerie made out like a bandit.

We have a kitty hand puppet that I bought for Valerie a couple years ago. When I would put that on my hand and "meow" at Cordelia she would get a huge smile, walk over and give it a big hug (removing it from my hand). Since I knew she loved that hand puppet so much, when I saw a set of 4 hand puppets at Costco, I had to get them. On Christmas, I put the sheep puppet on my hand and started having it "baaaaa" at her. She took it from me and started walking around saying "ba, ba, ba". So cute!

Whenever one of us says goodbye or goodnight to Cordelia she responds by blowing kisses.

We've all had this horrible cold recently. Valerie had it first and had a couple rough nights. I had it, but thankfully could take nyquil. Cordelia currently has this horrible sounding cough, mostly at night. Greg also has a horrible cough. I'll be happy when we're all healthy again.

I hit 50 pounds lost just before Christmas. So far I've managed to not gain over the holiday...not that I've lost over that period either. I'm very excited and proud about that. I can now wear non-plus-sized jeans (I've been able to wear XL shirts for a while) and am looking forward to some of the options available to me as I drop another size or two.
Friday, December 21st, 2012
8:45 pm
Every day that she goes to the nursery, we get a form with things like what she ate and how much she slept. Every now and then it has an additional note on it saying something that she needs or enjoyed that day.

Today's note: "Cordelia loved kissing Carter (he's about 6 months older than she is) all day. She chased him around and would pin him against the wall. Sooo cute :)"

Cordelia has been into kissing this week. Earlier in the week I got my first Cordelia kiss. I was holding her when I gave Greg a kiss and she loves copying us. Granted, her kisses are her leaning in with an open mouth, so they tend to be kind of wet, but still so sweet!

yesterday when I dropped Cordelia off, I asked for a kiss and she gave me one. After I put her down, Valerie went to give Cordelia a hug and a kiss and Cordelia, standing in front of Valerie leaned in to give her a kiss. So cute!

She is really starting to understand what we tell her. I can ask her to do something simple (like give me a kiss) and she'll do it. She also likes helping. If we are picking up toys and putting them in the tub, she will start putting things in the tub...just not always what we want in there.
Monday, December 10th, 2012
5:01 pm
General update
Cordelia is a year old now. She continues to amaze me with what she can do.

She walks very fast. Sometimes it looks like she's drunk, but most of the time she does very well.

Daddy has started this game with Cordelia. He would touch her nose and say "nose". She would then repeatedly touch his hand with her nose (sort of face planting into it) when he says "nose".

Cordelia is starting to do will with following directions. I can ask her to hand something to me or ask if I can have it and sometimes she will do it. I took her in to work one day (she had been diagnosed with strep throat and the nursery wouldn't take her). When we went for a walk she kept wanting to go into the various labs, but I would just tell her "Cordelia, we can't go in there, lets go this way" and she would continue down the hall.

We went to the mall last weekend. I wanted to go for a walk on a rainy day and the girls spent some time playing in the play area. Both girls had fun playing there. After a while, Cordelia grabbed her jacket and her sister's. With her jacket under one arm and Valerie's under the other she enjoyed walking around. She really enjoys walking while carrying things, especially soft things.

We have a cat hand puppet. I put it on my hand one day and showed it to Cordelia. She pulled it off of my hand to give it a big hug.

Cordelia now gives the best hugs. When I go to pick her up, she gets a huge smile, walks to me and, when I pick her up, she puts her arms around me and squeezes. She used to just lean into me to hug me, but now she really understands hugs.

Last night, Greg put Cordelia to bed (it is usually me, but I was sick). When I waved good night to her, she started blowing kisses to me. Her blowing kisses is one of the sweetest things in the world.

Valerie is slowly learning to read. Lately she has been hooked on a show called WordWorld, where many of t he items in the world are made of the letters that spell that item, including the characters. I think it is helping her recognize some words.

Valerie still loves playing with Cordelia and wants to help us take care of her. She's always looking out for Cordelia. It is very sweet.

Cordelia can now stack blocks. I think she prefers to knock down towers of blocks, but she can stack a few before they fall over.

Cordelia really wants to do everything we do. I think that's part of what led to her learning to stack blocks. We have puzzles with pull out tabs which she quickly learned how to pull out. We also have a couple board books with bits you move. The only thing that prevents her from moving them all is that some of them are difficult to move.

Milestones 12 months from What to Expect, the first year

By the end of this month, your baby
should be able to
Walk holding on to furniture. yes. months ago
will probably be able to
play patty-cake or wave bye-bye. She waves bye-bye and claps. We haven't tried patty-cake
drink from a cup independently. I don't know if they mean regular cups or sippy cups. She can do both, but drinking from regular cups is rather messy.
pick up a tiny object neatly with tips of thumb and forefinger. yep
Stand alone momentarily. definitely
say dada or mama discriminately. I believe she does this.
say one word other than mama or dada. I think she has said up sometimes when we pick her up. I think she has also said "ball". and "down"

may possibly be able to
indicate wants in ways other than crying. She will reach for things she wants
"play ball" by rolling ball back to you. Yes. She did this a month or so ago.
Stand alone well. Yes.
Use immature jargoning. Yes. She definitely has much to say.
Walk well. walk...run. She's got that down pat.

may even be able to
Say three words or more other than mama and dada. It's possible that she's there.
Respond to a one-step command without gestures. yes (see above about walking down the hall at work. She couldn't see me when I told her we couldn't go that way.)

So, I think she's well on track. The people at the nursery tell me often about how smart she is and how well she's doing.

Cordelia likes scribbling. She likes chewing on crayons, but a magna doodle is perfect for her. It would be even better if she were strong enough to slide the eraser too.
Saturday, November 10th, 2012
8:10 pm
Odds and ends
Cordelia is really changing. Over the past few weeks, it's almost like she's become a different girl. She is definitely losing some of her "baby" look...and she's becoming even more cute.

Tonight, I pulled out a cat hand puppet that I bought for Valerie a couple years ago. Cordelia leaned into it with an open mouth (I think it was her first kiss). She then gave it a very sweet hug.

One of the cutest things in the world is Cordelia blowing kisses. She is in the stage of not quite understanding, but bumps her mouth with an open hand. Too adorable!

Over the past few weeks, Cordelia really loves putting things into and taking things out of containers. She's actually very good at it. The container she puts things into doesn't have to be much bigger than the item she puts into it. Time for a shape sorter...which I tried with her. I showed her how to put a circular one in and she did that with another circular one, but wanted to stick all the other shapes into the same hole.

We have a small bucket that has puzzle pieces in it. The bucket is what the puzzle came in. Cordelia will hold onto the bucket with one hand and use the other to pick things up and put into the bucket.

I've pulled out the blocks that I got for Valerie a while back. Cordelia loves knocking down towers. She will also put the blocks into the container (and dump the whole container over her head if you let her). I was sitting playing with her yesterday evening when she picked up my hand which was resting on my leg so that she could put a block into it. So sweet!

Cordelia loves shoes. She will carry them all over the house with her. Usually the shoes belong to Valerie as mine and Greg's are heavier. Today I put shoes on her for the first time apart from just trying some on. I think she decided she couldn't walk with shoes on. I set her (standing) on the floor and she would pick one leg up high and look at it. Rather than walking to get to me, she just leaned toward me. Thankfully she was close enough not to fall down, but she didn't adjust her feet like she might have otherwise.

I bought new shoes on Thursday. That evening I found Cordelia with one. She was sitting on the floor next to it, grabbing her foot with her hand and trying to stick it in the shoe. Too stinking cute!

Valerie asked me the other day: "Mama, do you have a crack in your belly?"
me: "Uh, What?"
Valerie: "Remember when you were pregnant with Cordelia? How did she get out?"
I wasn't ready for that conversation. I'll be ready the next time I get a question like that.

If Valerie gets a decent night sleep, she will often get up when Cordelia does, shut the door and spend some time entertaining Cordelia. I find this a Very Good Thing...at least until she pulls out a drum.

Cordelia went up to 6 teeth a couple weeks ago. First she got the bottom incisors then the upper eye teeth. Any longer and she would have looked somewhat vampiric. She now has her top incisors.

Cordelia has been walking for quite a while now. She's getting quite quick now. She is also a climber. She enjoys kneeling on the kid's chairs we have. Today at the Hands-on Museum, she climbed a whole set of stairs. In the toddler area they have a couple places where there are a few steps. She kept going up them and trying to go down them head first. We need to work on that.
Friday, October 26th, 2012
8:16 pm
Valerie's word of the day: chlorophyll
She sprung this on me today telling me that chlorophyll is when the leaves fall from the tree. After explaining it a bit to clarify what chlorophyll is, she tells me that chlorophyll is what helps the tree get exercise (I told her energy) to grow big.
Monday, October 22nd, 2012
3:25 pm
Clever girl
When Cordelia was last at her grandparent's it sounds like she was showing just how clever she can be. They have an electric cat watering bowl where the water is pumped up to come out the top and then down into the bowl. Cordelia figured out that if she wanted to be picked up all she had to do was crawl toward it then put her arms up (as she usually does when she wants to be picked up). She would look back to see if anyone was coming. She must have figured it out because every time she would crawl over to play with it she would get picked up.
1:51 pm
Odds and ends
Cordelia has started walking most places that she wants to go. Even if she falls, she will get back up and walk. She had been crawling if there was any distance because it was faster, but now it's all walking, all (well, most of) the time.

Valerie likes luring her into their bedroom (kind of like a dog..."Here, Cordelia. Come here" while patting her leg or the wall) and they will play in there for a while. Valerie has been enjoying jumping on her bed. Cordelia likes that she can climb onto the bed and it is bouncy, but she mostly doesn't stand on the bed. Within a half hour Saturday they both fell off the bed. Valerie was jumping and hit her back on the foot board. I think Cordelia tried climbing down head first. Thankfully the bed isn't very high.

Cordelia has learned to wave. We've been working on that on and off. A few mornings ago, Greg got her out of her bed and started changing her diaper. I came near and waved good morning. She waved back.

We really need to start playing more music around the girls. Cordelia seems to appreciate it more than Valerie ever did. We have this Winnie the Pooh that sings when you squeeze his paw. Cordelia loves it. She will give him hugs and rock back and forth when he's singing. If he's singing when she's standing she will bounce up and down a bit. I think she's trying to dance.

We bought some BOB books this weekend thinking we might work toward getting Valerie to read. Mostly what it has done so far is frustrate us. She does well in going through the book and making up a story by the illustrations, but shows little interest in working to figure out the words most of the time.

I haven't done very well in losing weight over the last few weeks. I've sort of been stuck around 228. This weekend I was able to fit into 16W jeans in the same brand I've been wearing the 20W. I was very excited about that! They are slightly snug, but not uncomfortably so. I also bought a new shirt and like how I look in them in the mirror today. I definitely have much weight to lose, but this is a start. I need to remember all this feeling good when I see something that looks yummy.
Friday, October 5th, 2012
8:38 pm
Cordelia, pacifier stealer
Today I was informed that Cordelia is a pacifier stealer. She's rather hardcore about it, it seems. If any of the other kids drop theirs, she races to get it before anyone notices it. She will take it and hide back in a little nook near where I hang the bag with her stuff. She will hide them in that corner. They've even found pacifiers (of other children) in her bag. The carers have asked for me to bring something that we can clip to her for her to chew on, which is what she does with the pacifiers is chew on them. I have teething rings and I figure I can clip it to her with the pacifier holder. I've done that before with them.

They also said that there are two children (not including Cordelia) who have figured out how to open the gate into the bigger children room. It sounds like Cordelia will gather at the gate with the other two where they huddle close together and make lots of noise while trying to get the gate open.

Her main carer said that she is "smart, very smart" and wonders what she will be like at 2 or 3 once she gets more things figured out.
Monday, September 24th, 2012
2:39 pm
The girls
Wow, it's been a while since I've posted again. Here goes:

I declare Cordelia to be officially in the class of "walking". She still mostly crawls where she wants to go because it is quicker for her, but several times she's taken over 6 steps to get to me and I've even seen her take multiple steps (probably never more than 10 or so) to get to something else. She has to be in the right mood for it, that's for sure. If she is tired, she won't do it. When she does walk, she often looks so excited about it! We praise her greatly when she does.

I now believe that the upper teeth that Cordelia has are not her canine, but her eye teeth (between incisors and canines as it looks like there are only two (rather large looking) bumps for her upper incisors on her gums. They haven't come through yet and I think they really bother her sometimes.

Something Valerie said on the way to school about a month ago:
"Mommy, this is like a coach. You can be the driver and Cordelia and I are the princesses"
She is really into princesses...still. If we do Halloween costumes this year, what she needs is a princess dress.

I still love watching Valerie and Cordelia play together. They get along great for the most part. Saturday morning, laying in bed not wanting to get up, Valerie entertained Cordelia (who was still in her crib) for a whole half hour before Cordelia got fussy (she was getting hungry). That did mean a pile of stuffed animals in the crib, but that's OK. Valerie knows she can't put anything in there at night. Valerie loves being silly and making Cordelia laugh.

Yesterday we went to Three Cedars Farm with Mike, Jessica and my niece and nephew. We had intended to go to the corn maze, but we never made it. We had a donut and cider then the kids had so much fun feeding the sheep and goats, playing on the play structure and playing in the corn pit (like a sandbox but with dried corn kernels). I spent much of the time when Cordelia was in the pit preventing her from eating the corn, but the cuteness was almost unbearable. The problem with digital cameras (like the one in my phone) is that the delay is just enough that by the time it takes the picture, Cordelia had gone back to playing looking down at the corn and not smiling big at the camera like she had been. She was so engrossed that I couldn't get her to look up most of the time by calling her name or anything. We should go back.

Cordelia really likes cushy carpets. We do not have any carpets, but on both my parent's and my in-laws have nice ones in their living rooms. Cordelia (especially if she's tired) will lay on it and roll around. I've seen her do similar on a pillow at home, but not on our "wood" floors.

Saturday my sister-in-law had a toddler play date at my in-laws house. 7 of the 8 cousins were there plus some of Barbara's friends and their kids. There had to be about 12 kids age 4 and under there. It was fun.

Greg had much of Saturday (and some of Sunday) off when I took the girls out so I took some time off on Sunday morning. I went for a 45 minute walk then sat at Panera, had lunch while reading a good book and knitted some. It was nice to have a break and except for trying to get Valerie to bed each night (which has become a battle), we both declared it a good weekend.

The girls had their pictures taken at school last week. Each girl got her picture taken individually but they also took pictures of the girls together. I look forward to seeing them.

Valerie has been playing Toki Tori (a computer game) lately. Sometimes she drives me nuts asking to play it, but it is nice to see her trying to solve the levels...although she has them memorized by now except the hard ones which she hasn't been able to figure out. When she gets out of the game and to the menus, we can now tell her to find the button that starts with "S" to start the game, etc.
Thursday, September 6th, 2012
8:38 pm
Teeth, a first step and pertussis
Today Cordelia took her first steps. This morning when I dropped her off at school, she stood and adjusted her stance by sliding her right foot forward about an inch or two. She wasn't holding on to anything at the time. She cruises just fine.

This evening she stood (again not holding on to anything) and took a definite step. She went down onto her hands immediately afterward, but it counts in my book.

Cordelia has had the front bottom incisors for a while now. Just in the past couple days (we noticed them today, but I don't think they came through today) her upper canines have come through. Not the upper middle teeth...the canines. If the middle top teeth don't come in soon, she will look rather vampire-esque. Right now they are just poking through and aren't all that long.

There was a note today at Valerie's classroom that a classmate has been diagnosed with pertussis (whooping cough). I thought "Valerie's had her vaccine, it's fine", but we received a letter later in the day that let us know we should get antibiotics for Valerie. I assumed pertussis was a virus like other colds, but it isn't. It is a bacteria. I suppose that explains the vaccine wearing off (like tetanus) over time. The girls have had minor runny noses and a bit of a cough at night over the past few days. The doc seems to think that they likely have colds and not pertussis, but we should keep Valerie away from Caroline who is just 2 months old. He prescribed an antibiotic for Valerie as she likely had close contact with the student who has it. Pertussis seems like a regular cold for a week or so before developing the whoop like cough, so she was probably exposed to it over the last week or so. I suppose it's possible that the cold that they have is the early stage of pertussis even though the doc doesn't think so.
Cordelia is already on antibiotics, but I don't know if it is one effective for pertussis. She wouldn't have had direct contact with the student as she is on a different floor. Since I have a check up for her tomorrow anyway, I'm going to bring Valerie in for a nasal swab (that should be fun to get) to see if she's caught it. We have family in town that includes a 2 month old little girl who we were to see tonight. We've put off visits until we can rule out pertussis in Valerie. That means waiting for the test results and probably means we won't be able to see the rest of the cousins who are coming in for the weekend. Thankfully the Florida group is here for a month (starting just this past Tuesday) and the Virginia group is moving back into town, so it should just be the Chicago group that we will miss. I will be very sad to miss seeing them all together. There are 8 cousins all under the age of 5.

Valerie was rather heartbroken to not be going today. She really wants to hold Caroline. We're going to try not to mention other cousins coming this weekend.
Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
10:16 pm
Catching up... aka rambling
This evening was not a great one. Just before bedtime, Cordelia was crawling and landed on her face. Cue screaming. We managed to get her calmed down eventually and gave her her evening bottle. I put her to bed where she cried more than she has in the past week or so before becoming quiet. Not too long after that she woke screaming. I tried giving her the rest of her bottle, but she wasn't really hungry. I put her back to bed where she repeatedly would doze off then wake screaming. She sounded incredibly mad...or hurt. Since she normally sleeps on her knees and chest, we feared that her face hurt and that was keeping her awake. Greg held her for a bit where she would doze slightly longer but give kind of a snort and then wake crying hard. We ended up calling the after hours doctor. While waiting for the doc to call us back, Cordelia started acting herself (wide awake) again. She was crawling, smiling at me and wanting to play. We were less concerned then. The doc said that if there were a serious problem that there would be other symptoms.

Yesterday after her nap Cordelia woke with a rash all over her legs, arm and some on her back. By the time I picked the girls up, it had faded quite a bit. They had a case of roseola not too long ago, but Cordelia never had a fever that we noticed.

Cordelia is quite the talker. She babbles quite a bit. Tonight she made a sound that sounds like "Pa" after Valerie mentioned Papa. Greg asked Cordelia if she could say "Papa". She responded "Papapapapapa".

Cordelia can stand for short periods of time without holding on to anything. It usually happens when she wants to hold on to her toy with both hands. She will even shake whatever she's holding without really losing her balance.

Valerie has been impressing us with how well she can write her name. She's getting quite good at her letters, enough so that we can tell what she writes.

Both girls were incredibly good on the trip to Nana and Papa's a couple weeks ago. Cordelia slept most of the trip both ways (which led to her not wanting to sleep when we got home). Valerie colored some and watched the Swan Princess. I really need to get more movies for times like those. We have a couple more, but one is quite dark (Anastasia) and the others are not really want I want to listen to.

8 month update: (from What to Expect The First Year)
Your baby should be able to:
bear some weight on legs when held upright...definitely
feed self a cracker (and everything else we give her)
pass a cube or other object from one hand to the other... I've seen her do this only a couple times
rake a raisin and pick it up in a fist. We don't give her raisins, but she does that with everything else
turn in the direction of a voice. yes
look for a dropped object. yes

will probably be able to:
stand holding on to someone or something. yep
object if you try to take a toy away. maybe? She could just be used to her sister taking things away from her
work to get a toy out of reach. yes
play peekaboo... i think so. I've not done this with her myself, but I think someone else told me she likes it.
get into a sitting position from stomach. yes

may possibly be able to:
pull up to standing position from sitting. yes
pick up tiny objct with any part of thumb and finger. She's getting the hang of that.
say mama or dada indiscriminately. yes

my even be able to:
play patty-cake (clap hands) or wave bye-bye. not yet although I've seen her move her hand like waving bye bye...to herself.
walk holding on to furniture. yes, but if she really wants to get somewhere she still crawls so she doesn't go far along furniture
stand alone momentarily. yes
understand the word no (but not always obey it). I think so.

By nine months (since we're getting close anyway)

your baby should be able to
work to get toy out of reach. yes
look for dropped object. yes

will probably be able to
pull up to standing from sitting. yes
get into sitting position from stomach. yes
object if you try to take a toy away. Again, perhaps.
stand holding on to someone or something. yes
pick up a tiny object with any part of thumb and finger. yes
say mama or dada indiscriminately. yes
play peekaboo. I think so

may possibly be able to
play patty-cake or wave bye-bye. not that I've seen
walk holding on to furniture. yes
understand word "no" (but not always obey it). I think so

may even be able to
"play ball" (roll ball back to you). haven't tried, but she has spent some time chasing a ball around that she's pushed
drink from a cup independently. yes. She even knows to tip it back if she doesn't get any
pick up a tiny object neatly with the tips of thumb and forefinger. Not neat yet by any means.
stand alone momentarily. yes
stand alone well. meaning longer than momentarily? I think she does "well" in that she can move her arms vigorously and not fall over, but she tends to not last more than 30 seconds or more. I think she gets distracted.
say dada or mama discriminately. I think she's getting it figured out.
say one word other than mama or dada. Tonight it was Papapa
respond to a one-step command with gestures (give that to me--with hand out). Haven't tried it.

All in all, I think she's doing quite well. Up until tonight, I was thinking that she was doing well in sleep training as well...which might be the cause of the problem tonight. Thankfully she is asleep now. Time for me to do the same.

I've finally gotten rid of most of the stuff left from the garage sale. I was away for a weekend in there, which didn't help. All that is left is a small amount of stuff to take to the women's shelter. We have a garage again!
Sunday, July 29th, 2012
7:49 pm
"Grandpas, Papas and Daddies can fix anything"

"Mamas can bounce a car on their head. "No, that's silly. It would fall of and break a window."

In other news, Valerie and I went for a walk tonight (which is where the above observations took place) or rather, she rode most of it in the stroller and jogged some and I pushed the stroller. We did 3 laps around the block. On the second laps I noticed a string of small candy wrappers on the sidewalk that weren't there the first time around. A couple girls had walked by us just before that, so I figure they had something to do with it.
Valerie noticed the wrappers the third time around and asked about them. I explained that they were candy wrappers that were likely tossed there by some bad kids and asked if she wanted to pick them up. She wanted to take the stroller back home (she was riding at the time and we weren't far from home) and then go back to pick them up so we got a shopping bag and she picked up all the wrappers and put them in the shopping bag.
Monday, July 16th, 2012
6:23 pm
I was so proud of Valerie last night. We (Valerie and I) went to a farewell party for one of my coworkers at a Yacht Club on a nearby lake. She slept most of the way there (about 20 minutes) and never really fussed while we were there. She didn't like the small plants growing in the water (I didn't either), but otherwise she was great! We swam. We had to walk out quite a way to get to any depth of water, but she went right in to mid torso and we played for a while. She likes playing with the noodle and having someone help her use it to swim. She ate a whole hot do (and most of the bun) along with some tomatoes, tortilla chips and fruit. After she ate, she asked to go play on the nearby play structure. I told her that she could go as I could see her, but that I was still eating. She went and played. It looks like she had fun. She did play a little with kids of my coworkers. When it came time to watch the guest of honor open gifts, she was also good and quiet. She stated a few times at the end of the day that she wanted to go out sailing (my boss' husband was taking people out) but it was getting too close to bedtime, so we had to go and she didn't really fuss about that either.

We came home. She kept asking with every turn I made if it was the way to go home. There was a minor bit of reluctance when it came to getting her into her pajamas, but she went to bed without fussing and fell quickly asleep.

She was also quite good during the day before the party as well. The party was from 4-8 pm (we left around 7) so I had been a bit concerned about going out so late in the day. She had gone shopping with Cordelia and me and had gone for a walk with her Daddy.

I was very proud of her.

Something that I've been thinking of doing for a couple weeks now but hadn't gotten around to until this morning was keeping track of when Valerie wakes with a dry pull up. She stays dry more often than not anymore. She got a sticker this morning for staying dry. If she can stay dry most nights of a fortnight, she can start sleeping in underwear. I don't expect that she will be dry every night so we will need to change sheets every now and then when she has an accident, but I do think she's ready.
Sunday, July 8th, 2012
9:16 pm
A week at the lake
We went to Long Lake (by Alpena) for a week, arriving home yesterday. I think I spent more time preventing Cordelia from eating *too* much grass and sticks and leaves than doing anything else, but there were many other highlights for the week.

I discovered that Cordelia's first tooth (bottom left) cut through on Saturday shortly after we arrived. It must have cut through on Friday or Saturday. I believe the second (bottom right) will cut through any day.

I got to spend lots of time with my parents and some time with Greg's parents and sisters. This is always nice as, apart from being nice to talk to, they are also a second set of eyes and hands on the girls.

Cordelia perfected going from sitting to crawling and crawling to sitting either early in the week or just before we left. I also saw her trying to get down from standing to sitting or crawling many times. Sometimes she fell forward, but I saw her fall onto her bottom (into sitting position) a few times. I cheered. Before we left, she kept pulling herself up onto things and falling and hitting her head. Her falls are less frequent and more controlled now so she is hitting her head much less. I am very happy about it. I think she is too as she seems quite happy when she manages to get where she wants to go.

Now that crawling is no problem, we really have to watch her. She's gotten quick. This is how she managed to get lots of leaves, sticks, bark and grass into her mouth. She was definitely not content to sit on the blanket I spread out for her.

Valerie had lots of fun (and became rather spoiled) during the week. She had two sets of grandparents and two Aunts to spend time with her. I was very proud of how well she did in the water this year. Last year she wouldn't go above mid thigh, but this year, with the help of Grandma and Daddy (and a noodle) she went in water deeper than she was tall. She wanted to go out to the raft, but they didn't have the life jacket handy at that moment, so they didn't go. I don't know if Daddy took her later. Still, it sounds like she had lots of fun and was doing some floating in the water.

Valerie also went out in the sail boat with us. We had to talk her into it, not because she didn't want to go but because Nana walked to the shore with us and she wanted to stay with Nana. We knew she would have fun on the boat, so we told her that her Daddy (the captain) had important jobs for her. She helped with the jib ropes.

Greg and I went out two other times in the sail boat. The first time we went a ways up the lake which was very nice except that I had missed my back with the sunscreen. I didn't get a bad burn, but I did get burned. It didn't hurt, but man did it itch! I captained the boat for the first time for a short while.

I took Cordelia swimming a few times. The first time we sat at the edge of the water and what she wanted to do was eat the sand. She went straight for it and seemed to ignore the water lapping at her. I took her out into the water to swim with Daddy and she seemed to enjoy (or at least not hate) being out there. The next couple times I took her out she was a bit tired and got fussy quickly. The last time I tried to take her out, she was well rested but the water seemed a bit too choppy to go out with her. We were going to sit at the shore, but Greg wanted to chase after his Dad and sister in the sail boat. I find turning down a ride on the sail boat difficult.

I didn't get much exercise while there. Watching Cordelia occupied much of my time. I did take her for a walk almost every day. It often helped her get to sleep.

It was horribly hot a few days and none of us slept well those days. I had to strip Cordelia down and put a fan in their room so she could get some sleep. Neither girl got enough sleep any of the nights, but on cooler days Cordelia managed a couple good naps. This weekend we're trying to get them caught up on some sleep. It didn't work yesterday. Tonight (so far) seems to be going better. Valerie fell right asleep. Cordelia has done a bit of fussing, but after Daddy fed her, she seems to be asleep...although one of their puzzles just crowed. They have a puzzle that makes animal noises when you put the puzzle pieces in the right spot (it has a light sensor). It must have just gotten dark enough to go off. sigh. Greg claims it isn't in their bedroom, but I heard someone shifting around.

On July 4th, my parents and I took the girls to see the parade. Valerie enjoyed being there and chasing after candy until she took a misstep off of the curb. She had a very minor scrape but was tired by then. We had gone the long way around the block to where we sat in the shade and for watching the parade we moved away from the shade so Valerie could see and get candy. Some groups were handing out freeze pops, which I thought was a good idea (something cool and somewhat hydrating) until we ended up with 3 of them. Mom stayed back in the shade with Cordelia, who enjoyed people watching most of the time, while Dad and I went to watch the parade with Valerie. Before the parade, we tried walking to where my Uncle John said he might be, but he wasn't there yet. Oh well, we'll see them in a month or so.

We allowed Valerie to stay up to watch fireworks over the lake. I think she enjoyed watching them. We sat at the shore and could see them in several places. I liked sitting with her on my lap and pointing them out or have her point them out.

At one point watching the fireworks, I noticed a red dome in the trees across the lake. I wondered what it was for a while before I figured out that it was the moon. It was almost full and very red. The lake was quite still so it was a beautiful sight seeing the red moon with fireworks near where it was rising and the reflection on the lake. I sort of wish I had gone to get my camera (Mom had a tripod) but I was enjoying watching the fireworks with Valerie. I do wish that she had gotten to see fireflies as I don't think she's seen them yet. Usually she's in bed before it gets dark, but she was allowed to stay up until she was quite tired. Cordelia was too easy to wake in the heat.

One evening when Greg went to put Valerie to bed, I noticed it was quiet, so I went in to see what was going on. Greg was in the shower and Valerie was asleep on the couch. Later I found out that he was so hot that he didn't want to cuddle with her to read to her. He said she could stay up until after his shower, but she didn't make it. She woke when I put a pull up on over her underwear (she was wearing a dress with no shorts. That helped) but went right back to sleep when I put her in her bed. Later I tried moving her away from the edge of her (higher than she's used to) bed she woke in a bit of a panic. She sat up and it looked like she was trying to grab something in front of her. I think she then sort of realized that she was sitting and started grabbing at the sheet. I think she was still mostly asleep and trying to grab her blanket. She couldn't hear me when I asked a few times if I could lay her back down. Eventually she allowed me to. It was very strange

Valerie enjoyed riding her bike around the circle. We let her do this on her own since we could see her the whole way except for behind a couple trees. She had trouble at first since the training wheels perfectly lined up with her back tire and she would just spin her wheel in the looser gravel, but Grandpa fixed that.

Both girls were quite good on the way up. Cordelia slept quite a bit and Valerie also took a nap. On the way back, they were both grumpy. Cordelia fussed for a half hour between naps at one point and Valerie didn't nap at all. She just kept complaining about how long it was taking. We kept telling her that we understood and wished the journey was shorter too, but there was nothing we could do about it.

I really enjoy being at Long Lake. It is such a nice peaceful week...at least for the first part of the week. By the end of the week everyone is somewhat tired (our bed was soooo hard!) and getting grumpy. The heat didn't help.
We lost power at home while we were away, but it looks like it must not have been for long. The ice cubes we had in the bin in our freezer were still ice cubes and not even stuck to the bottom.
Tuesday, June 26th, 2012
10:00 pm
Seven months!!
According to "What to Expect"

Your baby should be able to
sit without support. check
feed self a cracker. check...and almost anything else we feed her
razz. I think so, but she's gotten past it

Will probably be able to
bear some weight on legs when held upright. Since she was like a month or two old
Object if you try to take a toy away. somewhat. She doesn't usually seem too upset, but she will try grabbing it if it isn't too far away.
Work to get a toy out of reach. Yes, and the couch, and Mama, etc
Pass a cube or other object from one hand to the other. I haven't seen this
Look for dropped object. She follows things with her eyes, so I could see her doing this
Rake a raisin and pick it up in a fist. check
Turn in the direction of a voice. check
Babble, combining vowels and consonant such as ga-ga-ga-ga or da-da-da-da. check
play peekaboo. Haven't tried this

May possibly be able to
Stand holding on to someone or something. Yes, until she gets off balance, falls and hits her head

may even be able to
pull up to standing from sitting. yes, unfortunately. We really have to watch her right now
get into a sitting position from stomach. I haven't seen this
play patty-cake or wave bye-bye. nope
pick up tiny object with any part of thumb and finger. I've seen her do this. She's been trying, but isn't always successful
walk holding on to furniture. She sure tries, but doesn't usually get anywhere more than a few inches
say mama or dada indiscriminately. check...isn't that the same as babbling?
Monday, June 25th, 2012
9:27 pm
Odds and ends
Valerie managed to wake Cordelia this evening, so now it is past their bedtimes (by a couple hours for Cordelia) and neither is asleep. Thankfully they aren't fussing, but that could change. Cordelia is alternating between chatting and being entertained by Valerie. We got Cordelia to bed late because dinner took a while to fix.

We made kabobs for dinner. We put each ingredient on its own skewer as we didn't know how evenly the different things would cook. Basically we determined that most of it could have been cooked together and we will try it next time. Valerie was able to help put stuff on skewers, which she liked.

Valerie usually asks for lots of stuff on the way home (milk, to watch TV, etc) so after explaining to her that we needed to get settled (as usual) and I needed to go potty, the following discussion occurred.

Valerie: Are you going poopy in your underwear?
Me: No, I'm not going poopy. I will go potty when we go home so that I don't do that in my underwear
Valerie: Are you going peepee in your underwear?
Me: No, I'm not going now. I feel like I need to go so I will go when we get home.
Valerie: So you don't have an askident?
Me: right, so I don't have an accident.
Valerie: Like I had an accident. I went pee a little in my underwear at school.
Me: Did that happen today?
Valerie: No, that happened tomorrow.

Cordelia is now a pro crawler. Now for her next trick, she will pull herself to standing using the chair or couch. Actually she's done this many times. The problem and concern that I have is that she isn't stable and has fallen and hit her head many times. We have fake wood floors, so it is a good thump when she hits. I'm afraid of her getting brain damage from it. From what people have told me, it sounds somewhat normal.
I don't think it will be very long before she is at least cruising. She's trying to get so much practice at standing.

I made granola bars for the second time tonight. Greg says they're better than the first batch, which is good. Instead of mixing the chocolate chips in and having them melt, I let the toasted stuff cool, sprinkled mini chocolate chips on the bottom of the pan, mixed the toasted stuff with the sticky stuff (honey, butter, sugar, etc.), sprinkled that over the chocolate chips and pressed it all down into the pan. I sprinkled some more chocolate chips over the top and pressed those in, but I probably should have done that before pressing the rest down. It looks like it mostly worked. I had been afraid that the chips on the bottom would just stick to the pan, but after the first row (which I had removed when it was still a bit warm), I slid the rows to the side after cutting to loosen them from the bottom of the pan. I may not have needed to worry about it though.

I am growing some plants in containers on our back porch. I planted two tomatoes. One stated that it was good for containers, the other didn't. The one that didn't has a tomato growing on it, but the greenery is now rather yellow. I'm not sure if it is because it's in a container or if the tomato had caught something. The other plant has started looking a touch yellow around the bottom too.
Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
10:05 pm
Cordelia update
Cordelia impressed her carers on Tuesday (on Monday her main carer doesn't work and the other had to go home because her daughter was sick, so she had other carers) by getting up and properly crawling shortly after I set her down. She had really come a long way in her learning to crawl over the weekend.

Today her main carer asked if I had heard her say "mama" as she was saying it lots today. I had heard it several times in the past few days.

Cordelia had her 6 month check up on Tuesday (at 6 month 3 weeks). Because it was a bit late, they fit her in with a different doctor. The doctor asked lots of questions and said she was developmentally on track. She did sound a bit concerned about us feeding finger foods to Cordelia. Especially meat. I do break meat up very small to give to her and for the most part she doesn't have any trouble with it. She sounded concerned about us not waiting 3 days between introducing new foods. If she has a reaction to a food, I'll think about what we've given her in the past 3 days and anything new (even if it is more than one thing) can be eliminated.

Weight 20 lb 15 oz (98 percentile)
Length 27.25 inches (86 percentile)
Head circumference 17.75 inches (98 percentile)

Definitely a big girl, but relatively well proportioned. She does look a bit chubbier in the last couple weeks. I think she'll be moving much more now and that will help.

She also got two shots and an oral vaccine. She wasn't happy about any of that.

While I was there, I saw twins. They were 4 pounds. One pound each at birth. so tiny. So precious.
I was thankful that Cordelia was a good size at birth.
Saturday, June 16th, 2012
2:58 pm
Cordelia just pulled herself up onto her knees then got her feet under her. She didn't quite get her legs all the way straight, but came close.

Wow they grow fast
Friday, June 15th, 2012
9:14 pm
She's on the move!
I was informed this morning that Cordelia was breaking land speed records. She does some proper crawling now, but moves however she must to get where she wants to go. She will move from the living room into the kitchen if that is where the rest of us are.

Yesterday she chased a boy around at nursery all day. She moved to wherever he was, and if she couldn't get there (at one point there was a high chair blocking her way) she became very frustrated.

For dinner last night she enjoyed pork tenderloin and broccoli. She had leftover broccoli for lunch at nursery and it sounds like it was very entertaining. The nursery had their end of the year pot luck where she had a good portion of hot dog and some strawberries. She made funny faces at the feta cheese and the watermelon came shooting back out of her mouth after she gummed it a bit (into two pieces in fact) and got it caught in the wrong place for a moment. She was quite intent on getting my plate.

She can now sort of drink from a sippy cup. Since we've been giving her food, her poos have become rather solid. She had two prunes two days ago and they really did their job yesterday. Especially since she seemed to enjoy them, I will give one to her every other day or so and see if it keeps her regular. In addition, I plan to give her water. She tries chewing on the cup, but is starting to figure it out. Keeping the water in her mouth long enough to swallow is a different story.

We don't really have to worry about her sitting anymore either. In the living room, I tend to place a blanket crumpled up behind her mainly because our floors are hard (no carpet), but she is more likely to go over forward as she is reaching for something, or wanting to crawl. She can catch herself that way and it is good for her to learn to transition from sitting to crawling and back.

The past couple mornings she has been waking at 6am. We would really like to discourage this. I will buy larger diapers tomorrow since her current diapers are very wet in the morning and may be what wakes her. She is usually tired an hour or so after she wakes. I'd rather her sleep longer then be awake longer.

Her cuteness continues to grow.

Valerie continues to not want to go to bed when she has naps at nursery. She does still love being a big sister and I think she still views Cordelia as a living doll. She wants to give Cordelia a drink from the sippy cup but then doesn't always tip it up so Cordelia can get something or will take it away and say "She doesn't want any more" even if it is obvious (to me) that she does want it. We will work on that.
Tuesday, June 12th, 2012
8:52 pm
Cordelia has added several things to her list of foods. She has now had beef stroganof (her Grandma's recipe), peas, butternut squash, pizza crust. The beef I gave her in little tiny pieces. Valerie wants to feed Cordelia as well, but when I told her to find a small piece, the piece she picked out was 4X larger than what I had showed her. Today as I was finishing up some things for dinner, Valerie asked to give Cordelia something to eat. I told her no (she had to wait until I was sitting at the table), but she gave Cordelia a piece of cinnamon chip that was on the table. Cordelia had a bit of trouble with that so we had to have a stern talk to Valerie about how she could hurt her sister doing that.

I think Valerie enjoys having a living doll to take care of. We have to keep reminding her to not be too rough with Cordelia. I think she just gets excited.

Here is the list of foods I had posted in FB on June 4:
We have ended up doing baby led weaning with Cordelia as she loves feeding herself. That way I don't have to fight her for control of the spoon.
Things Cordelia will eat (shoves in her mouth enthusiastically, how much is swallowed varies by how easy it is to get into small enough pieces) in no particular order:
peaches (canned)
graham crackers
rusks (US version, very different than UK version)
chicken (this is an example of something that doesn't get swallowed often)
sweet potato puree mixed with rice cereal and formula
cucumber (I don't think she was able to get pieces off to swallow)

Yesterday when she got home from school, Valerie asked to watch Mama Mia. I humored her. She said she had the song in her head and kept singing "Mama Mia! Mama Mia! Here we go again!" Very cute. Today she asked to watch it again later in the evening, but she had already had enough TV so I told her no. I'm not sure what to think of her desire to watch that.

We really need to do something to teach Valerie patience. She's getting better about not having a tantrum when we tell her she will have to wait, but she is still annoying in that she keeps asking when we will be finished. She will now ask questions like "When you are finished with what you're doing, can you...?"

I think I saw some proper crawling this evening. I walked into the room as I saw her move a knee and the opposite hand forward. She definitely makes progress and we have to be very careful what is on the floor in the living room. She can make her way close to the kitchen, so areas that have been somewhat cluttered with Valerie's stuff (mostly paper based) will need to be cleared. We do have a baby gate, but I'm not ready to resort to that yet.
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