Monday, February 28, 2011

Party Tricks

As Sophia approached 16 months, she has developed a lot of what I like to call "Party Tricks".
In the word department, she's had Dada/Daddyyyyy nailed for a few months now. No Mama (despite our best efforts). She does say something resembling Nonni - so we'll chalk it up to her Italian heritage.

"Fa" and "Woof" are her current obsessions - any dog or anything dog related is Woof. We have the Sandra Boynton book "Doggies" which she absolutely adores. In fact, I can now ask her to go get it from the shelf in her room and she'll bring it out to me in the living room to read and say "woof" when she hands it to me.

She also has her little cabinet of fun. It's where we keep all our water/juices. I have a stack of seltzer cans that Sophia like to take out, roll around the floor, and put back in, all quite methodically. (I think she has a little bit of my anal organizational tendencies. Lord help us all when she's a teenager!)

Her baby doll is clearly her best friend. We got it for her as her Christmas present and she loves "Baby" to pieces. If you speak too loudly when "baby is sleeping" she shushes you with her finger to her lips. (Apparently she did this to a rather large man when she was out at the playspace the other day and he just giggled.) Baby also gets a bottle and wrapped up in Sophia's fuzzy blanket. It's adorable to watch. The only thing Baby will be ditched for is...

Cheerios. Yup, she is her father's daughter. She loves her little snack trap of Cheerios every morning. She'll obviously drop a few, but she then goes to find them and either puts them back in the trap (or her mouth) or throws them in the garbage (which is actually more than I can say for her father when he eats them! :)

We also just got her a basketball hoop - one of those that you hang on the door. She is starting to get the gist of it. I think Dave & I actually have more fun with it, but she definitely is working on her dunking technique.

More to come - Sophia & I are off to London in under two weeks to visit some friends. It should be quite the adventure. Can't wait!

So where's the manual on this thing anyway?

It is so fun to watch Sophia grow and learn so much every day. (See my post about Party Tricks).
One of the things we're quickly learning is she enjoys testing Dave & I. Especially me. Meal time is our big test point - how much food can she throw before royally perturbing Mama?? I've been trying the "ignore it" route, but it's just not my personality and part of me really feels like it is condoning it (even if the magic "they" say if you show no reaction, they'll stop).

I've tried turning her chair around facing the windows, and she just makes funny faces and giggles at her reflection (kind of cute, actually). I've tried the stern no. All of which just elicits a huge grin from her and fits of giggles. When it's the end of the day and I'm tired or worn out, it's really tough not to get frustrated and angry. But I realize (somewhere deep inside, and generally after the fact) that she's not trying to perturb me, she just loves the interaction. So I'm working on making it a positive one, for both of us.

The new approach - just calmly eating with her. What she eats, she eats. I'll try to make it look like (as much as I can) to what I'm eating. When she starts to throw, we're done. Yes, I know, that is probably what I should have done in the first place but I've definitely found it challenging to feed myself and her concurrently, so I've really just focused on her. I'm realizing every day, though, that she is growing and is very capable (relatively speaking) of feeding herself. She is officially a little person. The baby is gone.

Dinner is our current tough spot. Dave doesn't/can't make it home in time for a family dinner, so it's just Sophia & I. And while 5:30 is a bit early for my dinner (we usually don't eat till about 8:30/9) I'm focusing on having a mini meal with her at dinner. Note to my waistline - hang in there with me please - I'm doing this for the good of my child! :) It's a work in progress, as is everything. But we'll get there, hopefully without too many roadbumps.

The funny (ironic?) thing about all of this is she doesn't do any of this for the nanny. I swear, the woman is the baby whisperer. Sophia eats tons, sleeps long hours and doesn't bat a single eyelash when she's around. And I'm so thankful for the fact my daughter is so loved and taken care of.
(Now if only I could get a long, dark haired wig to make her think I was Lidi and we'd be all good :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

And sickness descends...

It's been one hell of a week for the Ahouse family. We were all sick - starting with Dave last Thursday and moving through Sophia and I over the course of the weekend.
When Dave first started complaining, I honestly thought he was suffering from a little bit of "MAN" disease. (what can I say, there's a reason women have babies and not men)

By Saturday, he hadn't really made it out of bed and Sophia now had a 102 fever. I was feeling less than stellar, but was trying to hang in there. Fast forward to the afternoon, and Dave was diagnosed with pneumonia, Sophia was miserable and I was hanging on. Happily, Dave got fluids and antibiotics, I gave Sophia Motrin to break her fever enough to fall asleep. I was able to curl up on the couch and get myself to a doctor on Sunday. Sophia had her 15 month well visit Monday, which got her on antibiotics as well as me (the beauty of going to a family practice!) and all of us on the road to recovery. It was a slow couch day that included the introduction of Calliou (apparently, not a winner for Sophia who, despite her fever and yuckiness, was content to toddle around the house as oppose to watch Calliou whine about his cat Gilbert and not winning any ribbons.)

I'm all for families sticking together, but all 3 of us sick was not something I'd recommend. The best thing that happened for Sophia (who was still struggling sleeping because of her sad little cough) was to have our amazing baby sitter come to care for her on Tuesday while Dave & I went to work. Here was someone who was 100% healthy and could devote herself totally to Sophia. She's a godsend. By the end of the week, Sophia was back to her normal perky self and Dave & I were feeling human again. Hooray! What a way to celebrate Dave's birthday and Sophia's 15months.

The "Fun" with Food

We've been lucky - Sophia has always been a pretty good eater. We've had our ups and downs, but she's at least tried most things we've put in front of her. She used to eat like a house (no pun intended.) now she is mellowing out in her consumption amounts. She'll still try new things, but we've learned putting them to the front of the meal is our best bet - usually in the 2nd slot. Give her something tasty and familiar for the first course and then on to the new item, which may or may not be summarily rejected.

And as a 15-month old, she is now in the land of exerting her will. If she doesn't want it, she is most certainly going to let you know it - either with an emphatic shaker of her head, a swat of her hand, or an out and out "No." So, really, she doesn't leave you guessing. When she's done, she's done.

Unfortunately, we've also come into the "let's throw food on the floor" time. Despite every attempt to tell her "No" (forcefully, gently, you name it) she thinks it's a game, breaking into a huge smile when you tell her no. She'll happily eat, but when she hits a certain point, it's all about how much can be mashed into little pieces and then systematically dropped on the floor. It really used to bother me (though thank god we have hard wood floors- I couldn't imagine carpets!) but this weekend we've made the decision to just ignore her, hoping the novelty of the reaction will wear off.

Moms - are you running into the same thing? Any tips or tricks?