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Monday, December 31, 2012

11 Months Old

I know, I know...who spends their New Years Eve writing a blog post?  But I am already a week late on this, and L's first birthday will be here in the blink of an eye, so I am determined to get this post in before it is next month/2013.  My how the times have changed.  Even last year when I was pregnant and on bed rest, I put on my sequin maternity skirt and bed rested it up at a friends house for a small gathering:

Needless to say, this year has been much more low-key but fun all the same!  We met some friends downtown after Lilly's afternoon nap for First Night 2013 (the Children's Celebration).  Dan's office happens to overlook the spot where the acorn is dropped/the fireworks go off, and they do an early acorn drop and fireworks show for kids, which is really nice.  We walked around for a bit and then grabbed dinner and headed up to Dan's office for the show.  All in all it was a fantastic evening!

Anyway, we all know these posts are long enough as it is, so without further ado here are Lillian Grace's 11-month stats!

Weight/Length:  SO, I clearly did not weigh homegirl today, BUT we did make a quick trip to see Dr. V on the Friday before Christmas (just a cold don't worry!) and Lilly weighed 22 pounds.  Chunker!  I am dreading can't wait until her one year appointment so I can see her %.  I will say that she is pretty long, and while still a little chunkster, she has really slimmed down a lot since she became mobile.

Sleep: Not much change here, again praise Jesus (I know I say that every time!)!  Lilly goes to bed sometime between 7:30 - 8:00 pm and her wake up time varies, but it's normally between 8:00 am - 9:00 am.  The only real "change" I've noticed in this category is that naps aren't quite as consistent as they used to be.  Lilly is still on two naps a day (I DREAD the day we have to give that up!), but length has started to vary some.  Some days she will still give me two 2 or 2.5-hour naps, other days she'll sleep for 1 hour in the morning and 2.5-3 hours in the afternoon (or vice versa), and still other days she'll only take an hour-long nap both times (that is rare, thankfully!).  

Feeding:  Still nursing and also weaning.  This month I cut out her lunchtime feeding, so she now nurses before breakfast, after her afternoon nap (sometime before dinner) and before bed.  The nursing sessions are getting shorter and shorter, so I don't think weaning completely will be too terrible.  I'm sure it will be a lot easier on her than me!  Cutting out that before bed feeding may just break my heart into pieces.  

Lilly is a pretty good eater, and still mainly eats whatever we're eating, but I've noticed that she's become slightly picky.  It used to be that she never tried a food she didn't like - she'd pretty much eat anything I put in front of her!  She's just a little pickier, both with textures and tastes.  For some reason this month she decided that she could care less about meat. She's also still doing the thing where she'll eat something several days in a row and then all of a sudden decide that it is poison and she hates it.  She loves dairy, though - she has never once (knock on wood) turned down any kind of cheese or yogurt.  Hopefully this means she'll do okay with the transition to whole milk!

New things this month that she tried and liked: chili, Granny Booker's candied yams, animal crackers, edamame, chinese pork, pork bbq and ribs.  I'm sure there are more that I'm forgetting.  Favorites (aka she'll eat these pretty consistently): cheese, yogurt, applesauce, bananas (dried and ripe), black beans, edamame, graham crackers, peaches, pasta, macaroni and cheese.

Firsts This Month: I'm sure we had a lot, but the most memorable ones were Christmas-related: going to the mountains to get our Christmas tree, Holiday Express and first time seeing Santa, Christmas (TECHNICALLY that should be in next month's post since it was the day after her 11-month birthday, but whatever!).

Developments:  We have seen a lot this month, development-wise.  I'm sure I'll miss some things, but I'll try to hit the big ones.

Lilly's personality develops more by the day, and she is a serious ham (like her Daddy!). She is so expressive - I think she gets that dramatic flair expressiveness from mer mama.  She talks and babbles ALL THE TIME, and loves to sing and dance.  The words she says consistently are: mama, dada, Layla, no-no (I am surprised this wasn't her first word as I feel like that's all I ever say!   "No no Lilly, you can't eat Layla's food.  No no Lilly, don't play in the toilet.  No no Lilly, we don't throw our lunch to Layla if we don't like it."), bye bye, all done, hey (said in a high-pitched, screechy voice which is hilarious - I'll try to capture it on video at some point), and uh oh.  Also Elmo, which she pronounces "Melmo."  She doesn't really watch TV, but when she had a cold before Christmas and was extra snuggly we turned Sesame Street on a few times and she would sit still and watch/snuggle for approximately five minutes tops, and now Elmo is apparently her favorite.  If you ask her, "How big is Lilly?," she will hold her arms over her head and wait for you to say "SO BIG!"

She will also give high fives, but only when she wants to.  Lilly is mimicking everything (Daddy will start having to watch his language, ha!), from words to sounds to actions.  She has really mastered waving, and actually knowing when to wave.  When someone new enters a room or when we are in public and she sees someone new, she will wave and say "HEY!!!" in her high-pitched excited voice.  It's super cute. She will also wave and say "bye bye."

She is cruising big-time, and actually took her first steps this month (luckily both Mommy and Daddy were there to witness it!) but does not consistently do so.  She will walk from object to object all day long as long as she has something to hold on to, and a few times she has taken 1-2 steps to get to Dan or me.  I have been saying for two months that if she walked at any moment I wouldn't be surprised.  Santa brought her a walker for Christmas, which she loves and is very good with.  Her new thing is climbing...she tries to climb onto EVERYTHING.  She will hang onto the coffee table and lift her leg like she wants to climb up on it, and she LOVES the stairs.

Lilly has 6 teeth - 4 on top and 2 on bottom, which 2 more breaking through on the top as we speak.  Eek!  She is getting really good at using them to bite things, and she loves eating things that are crunchy because she loves the sounds her mouth makes!

I'm sure I missed some, but those are the highlights!  Another thing that is not really a development for Lilly but is big news nonetheless is that she and Layla are actually (knock on wood) starting to get along!  Layla used to stand up and walk away whenever Lilly crawled anywhere in her general direction, but lately she will stay put and let Lilly pull her hair and "pet" (read: hit, tug on, drool on, pull on, etc.) her.  Lilly also tries to "throw" Layla's toys for her.  She'll pick one of Layla's toys up off of the floor and make a throwing motion and pretty much drop it, but Layla plays along - she'll pick the toy up and put it back in Lilly's lap.  A few times, I've even seen Layla give Lilly kisses.  I hope this is the start of a beautiful friendship!  :-)

Likes: Not too awfully much new to report, she's generally pretty happy.  Lilly prefers standing to sitting and loves walking around (while holding onto things of course).  She loves being outside.  Reading - this child will sit still and let you read to her all day long!  Layla.  Bath time.  Snuggling (when she first wakes up, is sleepy, or is feeling icky/teething).  Talking, cooing, babbling.  Nap time/sleep.  Sucking her thumb.  Her lovie.  Songs and singing (Daddy's silly made-up songs are still her favorite).  Laughing.  Crawling.  Cruising.  Dancing (both by herself and with Mommy and Daddy).  Standing.  Being naked.  Squealing.  Public outings/people watching.  Blocks.  Walks.  Rides in her car.  Babies/other children close to her size.

Dislikes:  Still mostly repeats from last month: sitting in the high chair but not eating.  Getting lotioned up before bed (although this is finally getting to be less of an issue, it's still not her favorite).  Additionally, putting on PJs or changing clothes.  Mommy trying to feel for new teeth.  Being tired.  Her car seat (even though we moved out of the infant car seat to a bigger/more comfortable, she's still not a fan!).

What I'm Thankful For:  We had such a blessed Christmas and were so fortunate to be able to spend it with friends and family, so I'm thankful for that along with safe travels.  I'm also thankful that Lilly is going to have a COUSIN on my side!  My little sister is pregnant, and we could not be more excited for Auntie Katy and Uncle Josh.  I'm thankful for an amazing 2012, and excited to see what 2013 has in store for my sweet family. 

What I'm Looking Forward To:  I am both looking forward to and dreading Lilly's first birthday.  I am trying to figure out when my baby girl became a big girl.  We are throwing her a little party, which I am excited about, but I'm sure I'll be stressed about before it's all said and done.  I'm looking forward to a fancy night out on the town with my husband for the Inaugural Ball - there's something fun about getting all dressed up even if Dan will be working!  And I'm looking forward to a wonderful 2013.

Next Pediatrician Appointment: Lilly's on-year appointment is currently scheduled for Friday, January 25, but I'm going to see if I can possibly move it to the 28th.

How Mommy's Doing:  Nothing really to report here.  I'm both excited and devastated about the weaning process, and am also both excited and devastated about a weight loss competition that Dan and I are participating in that starts January 1.  

I figure if anyone is still hanging in there at this point it's for the pictures, so I won't keep them from you any longer.  As usual there are way too many because I can never narrow them down.  It is so hard to get L to keep still long enough for photos these days, but what I can get is normally hilarious!

Happy 11 months to my sweet girl, and Happy New Year!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

NCMA's Holiday Family Fun Friday

Two blogs in two days, I feel like I should get an award!  I'm trying to go in order of everything I meant to post about before Christmas, so we're backtracking again to another Christmas-related activity.

On the Friday before my birthday, the Baums along with our besties decided to check out the North Carolina Museum of Art's Holiday Family Fun Friday.  This event is one that I found online when I was looking for fun Christmas activities.  It was a free event, so my expectations weren't super high, but it looked like it would be cute.  It was a pajama party for the kids, and there were arts & crafts, music, movies, and even an indoor "campfire" with story time.

The first thing we checked out was the campfire area, which was super cute.  They had all of these little tents set up and there was a band playing Christmas songs.  Note: Lilly's Christmas PJ's had not yet arrived, which is why she is in a Christmas outfit instead.

At this point, I still hadn't ordered Christmas cards because Dan and I could not agree on a family photo, so we took the opportunity to pose in front of a Christmas tree and Steph was nice enough to snap a few photos with my camera in hopes that we could get a picture we both liked.

Does anyone who received a Baum Christmas card this year recognize this photo?  Thanks, Steph!

Sadly, I stopped taking pictures at this point in the evening, but we really didn't do much else.  We all grabbed dinner together and then attempted to sit by the "fire" for story time with Hadley and Lilly, but at the time we sat down the book was kind of boring and the girls weren't super interested.  Also, Santa was there, but the line was long and he was sitting in a canoe instead of a sleigh so we didn't bother with another visit.

I think that this event will be fun for the girls when they are a little older.  The set up was really cute, and there were a lot of activities, but not a ton for the 2 and under age range.  Either way, Lilly and Hadley both seemed to have a great time checking everything out, and it was a fun outing with the besties!  

Stay tuned for more posts, I still have to get to L's 11-month post as well as her first Christmas.  Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Holiday Express (more Christmas traditions!)

Happy belated Christmas, friends!  I hope that whatever holiday you celebrate was full of lots of laughter, love, joy, and time spent with family and friends.  

I have SO much to catch up on, blog-wise.  The time from Thanksgiving to Christmas flew by in a blink, and I have not had time to even catch a breath!  I have several Christmas-related posts that I'd like to get to before January arrives, including Lilly's 11-month update.  Sheesh, it's enough to give me a headache just thinking about it!  

I blogged a few weeks ago about new traditions that we're starting with Lilly around Christmas time.  There are a few that I didn't do this year because I ran out of time, such as making gingerbread houses and baking cookies for Santa.  Seeing as how she's too young to remember this year, I got a bye, but next year I'll have to budget my time better.  ;-)  Anyway, one of my FAVORITE new traditions that we started this year was that we took Lilly to the Holiday Express at Pullen Park.

I think I may have blogged about Pullen Park before - back when I was pregnant with L it re-opened after renovations.  Dan and I spent an afternoon there, and I couldn't wait for Lilly to be born so that we could enjoy the park as a family.  Pullen Park was actually the first public park in NC, and y'all, if you live in the Raleigh area and have never been, you HAVE to go, even if you don't have kids.  There is a playground, carousel, boats, a train, and delicious food not to mention a ton of activities.  Lilly and I have been to meet Dan for lunch several times, and we take family outings there often.  We all love it!  Anyway, every year in December, the park is transformed into a Winter Wonderland.  They put up a TON of lights which  makes the night time train ride amazing, and there are all kinds of crafts, concessions, entertainment (children's choirs, carolers, bands, etc.) and Santa is there!

I should back up and explain that we were lucky to even score tickets this year.  I heard about the Holiday Express a while ago, but forgot to get tickets until around Thanksgiving.  Much to my dismay, when I went to purchase tickets, they were ALL SOLD OUT.  I even drove to Pullen Park to try to be put on a waiting list, and the event is so popular that they were no longer taking waiting list requests because they knew they wouldn't be able to fill them all.  I was seriously heartbroken.  We had the idea to look on Craigslist, and I kid you not, I just happened to look at the exact moment that someone was putting their tickets up for sale, and I was able to buy them there.  I was back on Craigslist a few times after hoping to find another set so that Steph, Jon and Hadley could come with, and literally every other post on Craigslist was by people who either wanted to trade nights or who were looking for tickets - I was able to get the only pair of tickets being sold.  Hooray!  I have already set an alarm on my calendar starting July 1, 2013 (July 1 is when the tickets went on sale this year) that will go off daily to remind me to buy tickets until I get them, so that another sellout doesn't damper our plans next year!

Anyway, I digress.  So the tickets cost $8/each for adults and children over 2, and everything except refreshments is included.  We weren't really sure how much Lilly would be able to do, but we thought at the very least it would be a fun thing to check out to see if we wanted to come back next year.  I am here to tell you that we will be attending this event every year for as long as they have it, because it was beyond fantastic.  The lights were beautiful, the entertainment was awesome, and the whole thing was just amazing.  The crafts were obviously a little old for L so we didn't do those, but seriously I would have paid $20/ticket for it, we ALL had so much fun.

There were so many people in attendance that there was no parking at Pullen - you had to park across the street and take a shuttle over. This is the part that I was the most worried about, because since it didn't start until 5 and L goes to bed between 7:30-8:00, I didn't want to spend a ton of time waiting.  Luckily, there were quite a few shuttles running and we ended up only having to wait in line for maybe 10-15 minutes, so it wasn't bad at all.  We all had on our excited faces:

L LOVED the bus ride (perhaps because she wasn't restrained in a car seat?) but did not love the camera flash.
Mommy and Lilly at the entrance of the park.

It wasn't super dark when we arrived, and we knew Lilly would be hungry sooner than later, so we chose to ride the carousel first and then eat and save the train ride for when it was darker.  

Standing in line for the carousel
L was intrigued by whatever animal that was that she was about to ride...

To say that she loved the carousel ride would be an understatement...
After the carousel ride, we checked out the line to see Santa and it wasn't long, so we decided to go ahead and eat, then see Santa and then ride the train before heading home.  I am not sure whether I have stated my Santa requirements before on the blog, but Santa was a HUGE deal growing up in the Eaker house...I remember driving across town every year to see Santa because the one at the particular store we went to was seriously the best ever.  This was giving me anxiety, because my pictures with Santa from when I was younger are a lot to live up to (ha!).  In other words, I wanted to him to be legit.  None of this fake beard nonsense.  I posted on Facebook about it and asked everyone I knew. In the end, since the entry fee to the Holiday Express was only $8, I was not expecting a lot from Santa and fully intended to drive across town to a mall that allegedly has the best Santa in Raleigh at a later date.  I was VERY pleasantly surprised.  Not only was Santa legit, but the visit with him was included in the price of the arm band AND YOU GOT TO TAKE YOUR OWN PHOTOS.  That alone made it worth every penny we paid and more, because most places with legit Santas make you pay to see him and then again for photos that they take!  I wasn't sure what L would think of the man in the red suit, but she thought he was hilarious:

Santa is legit...look at that beard!
She giggled at him for a full minute before she started trying to figure out how to take that ball off of his hat:

I was very pleasantly surprised at the way the photos turned out.  Hooray, Santa!  It took longer than we anticipated to eat and visit with Santa, so by the time we we'd finished with him it was 7:15ish.  I fully intended to keep Lilly out a little later than normal, so we headed over to see how long the line for the train was.  On the way, we stopped for a few minutes to watch Frosty because Lilly was intrigued...

...and then we stopped again to play with some of the light displays:

I love this one because it looks like she's caroling, too.  Ha!
Unfortunately, since the train ride is pretty much the main attraction, the line was SUPER long.  Lilly was in such a great mood and had done so well with Santa that we didn't want to push our luck (she was already yawning and rubbing her eyes), so we decided to save the train ride for next year.  She's' ridden it plenty of times sans lights and loves it, and it's not like she'll remember that when she was 11 months old she didn't get to ride the train and see the lights, ha!

Someone who was catching the shuttle back at the same time we were was nice enough to snap a family photo for us:

And then we busted out the lovie for the 2 minute bus ride because homegirl was exhausted from all of the activity:

We had such a wonderful time at this event, and I am already excited to go again next year, especially since Lilly will understand a little more.  I can't say enough, if you're in the Raleigh area and have kids, you should definitely check out Pullen Park's Holiday Express.  The Baums can't wait to make many more wonderful Christmas memories in the coming years with this fun new tradition!


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