Ever since the moment Lee and I met, we often daydreamed about our future together. We set goals and dreams that we would like to one day achieve. They aren't outlandish or crazy. They are real and they represent us and what we believe. My favorite times with Lee are when we daydream. We talk about what we hope our future holds and what would make tomorrow more perfect than today. I decided to make an "I Wonder" blog entry because every time I look at Cora, I wonder.
I wonder when I'll wake up one morning and realize that I have a child. My very own daughter. One that is a direct descendant of Lee and myself on so many different levels. Cora coming into this world was such a natural, obvious next step for us that it has never seemed surreal to have her in our life. It has always felt right. Like it was meant to happen exactly how it did. Some days I do wonder why I was so lucky to get such a beautiful, happy, healthy, intelligent little girl (I say this as she is completely stuck under the chair. LOL!).
I wonder where we'll be living in 3 years.
I wonder if I'll ever take pictures of anyone or anything other than Cora (or other kids) again. ;)
I wonder what kind of career I'll have when we decide to leave Edmonton.
I wonder where Cora's first backpacking trip will be.
I wonder what Cora thinks when she sees Lee and myself.
I wonder if she'll be a ballerina, a chemist, a tennis player, an indie rock musician, a contemporary artist, a naturalist, a botanist, or any of the zillion other things she could possibly be. I am not in any hurry to find out though. I do sometimes imagine coming back to the Edmonton Folk Fest to see her perform. LOL. That would be me trying to live my dreams through my child. I always wanted to be a rock star.
I wonder when she'll stop growing so rapidly so I won't have to do monthly photo shoots on the couch. Or, am I going to be that mom who makes my 14 year old sit on the couch and smile for a round of pictures 12 times a year? Gah!! We'll never be able to get rid of this couch. LOL. Note to self: Next time, use a stuffed animal next to your child for month-to-month growth comparisons. ;)
With that, I'd like to present Cora at 13 months old! What a little looker she is. Honestly, the biggest change I notice in her over the last few months is how long her hair is getting. Her cheeks seem to be getting chubbier and chubbier, too. She's our little chipmunk.
Cora has added three words to her vocabulary. In order of appearance, 1. Dog (sounds like Dah) 2. Thank you (watch video) 3. Dada. She sat at the window the other day watching Lee leave. She was screaming Dada and pointing. It's a good thing Lee didn't see this. He wouldn't have left. :( She does say Mama, but we haven't seen Cora make a good association between myself and her saying Mama...yet. :) Until then, we won't count it. Lee and I have only counted words that she has actually used in context or it is obvious what she is saying. With dog, she points at dogs and says dah. It's obvious what she means. Thank you took us both by surprise. I handed her some food from the fridge and she said thank you. Lee was sitting there and we just kind of stared at each other. She has continued saying it either in response to us saying it or when we give her something. She also says it if she gives us something.
We definitely have a polite little girl on our hands. I also think she is trying to say hello. She holds the phone to her ear and says Raw Roh. Pretty soon, she'll be walking and talking. My baby really is no baby anymore. :) The pictures here are really just a hodge podge over the last couple weeks.
I braided Cora's hair for daycare. Can you believe it stayed in all day?
Lee is quite the comfy guy to sleep on.
This has to be one of my most favorite pictures.
She loves sitting on the window sill. It is the perfect height for her.
It isn't possible to have a bigger grin.
We had some friends over for egg rolls the other night. She was hooked on James for the night. She showed off by riding her horse right next to him and leaning over to smother him with kisses. It was pretty cute.
Her affections could have had something to do with the fact that James was playing with her quite a bit.
Cora has figured out that she can use my sewing machine as a stool to sit on. It is just high enough that she can watch the snowshoe hares outside.
Lee and Cora reading "Walter the Farting Dog". This is a pretty fun book. :)
Considering Cora is nearly 13 months old, this post is a little late. I haven't yet put up her official 12 month photos! First, here's a blast from the past.
My goodness. She was sooo tiny. And so precious. Well, she is still very, very precious. Just not so tiny any more. :)
She also loves to help clean in anyway she can. Here is her most recent favorite chore. Reloading the dishwasher after Mommy has already loaded it. She is going to have some competition for dishwasher space once Reggie gets back. What is The Belle up to at 12 months?? Hmmm, where do I start?
Overnight it seemed she turned into a toddler. Where did our little baby go?
I think she is trying to say "dog". It is hard to tell if it is actually meant to be dog or just the consonant "d" sound (like daw). She has a huge repertoire of consonant sounds.
She loves saying "uh oh" every time she drops something. In fact, many things are thrown to the floor just so she can say "uh oh".
She babbles constantly. We have a feeling she has so much to tell us. Yikes.
She bangs her head on the floor during temper tantrums or just to get attention. It is weird. But, it is Cora. I'll embrace all she does. :)
She is really starting to test her limits. She holds her silverware, food, and/or sippy cup off the side of her chair just to get a reaction from whoever is paying attention. Lee and I tell her, "Cora, do not throw your cup on the floor. Please put it back on your tray." She them promptly slams it back on her tray all while staring at you with her big, beady eyes. As soon as we say, "Thank you", she immediately starts taunting us again. If we get mad, she drops it. If we ignore her, she stops. So, most of the time she we ignore with only one or two food casualties on the floor. She does however immediate start throwing anything on the floor when she is finished at her chair. It is easy to tell when she is done. Lee and I, of course, think her learning curve is amazing and love to see how she gets what she wants. Or how she behave when she doesn't get something. Lee did point out twice now that we are probably those annoying parents who think their kid is cute all the time. Oh well. I am the type of person who very rarely ever gets annoyed by a child. I have always been that way, so no surprise here.
She scoots up and down the stairs like a pro. She has had two mishaps. Both times were due to major distractions: 1. chasing a cat and 2. being hyper in front of a crowd (unfortunate timing, lol).
She makes the funniest faces just to get a chuckle out of Lee and me. One she does is raise her eyebrows as high as she can. Her eyebrows are wildly animated. She also strains her bottom lip and jar while showing all of her bottom teeth. Hilarious!!
Everyone keeps telling me, "Oh, just wait until she starts walking! Then she will really be into everything." I don't think these people really understand what I mean when I say she is mobile. She pushes her chair around and uses it to climb up on furniture that she could otherwise not get on. She also uses her chair to reach things on the counter, reach ornaments that would otherwise be out-of-reach, etc. You get the picture. Lee and I refer to her as our monkey. She is quite a problem solver.
She is getting very good at walking while holding onto our hands. We could keep her happy for hours just walking around. She gets so excited that sometimes she tries to run. She just squeals in delight. In fact, she earned her first pair of new kicks over our holiday in Omaha so she could walk around outside.
I decided to split this post in half because the number of pictures was about to get overwhelming (if it wasn't already). The first post was the first half of our trip and this post will mark the second half of our stay in Nebraska.
When we left Gretna, we headed straight for the Party Patch. The Party Patch is Aunt Jean's store, and it would only be fitting for Cora to visit. Lucky for us, Aunt Jean was up front so we got to see her right away!! Normally she is fast at work printing invitations in the basement. Cora thought the Party Patch was quite the place.
The first days at Jean and MJ's were full of relaxation. In fact, we didn't even get out of our pj's one day. Now, that is a holiday! We were gearing up for our fun filled weekend of New Years Eve and visiting the Omaha Children's Museum. For New Year's Eve, we had a house full! My BFF Lindsey, her husband Dave, and adorable baby girl, Parker, came over. Aunt Anne and her boyfriend, Justin, and his most sweet little boy, Alex, also came down from Lincoln. Add Grandpa Bob and Grandpa Jim to the list and we've got a serious house full! I absolutely loved the sounds of everyone laughing and all the little kiddos running/crawling around. It was a lot of fun. MJ made a Chinese inspired dinner to feed everyone. Cora and Parker were so cute playing together. Remember, these two are only 2 months apart in age. Click here to jump back nearly a year ago when the two little tykes met. Those little memories are so special. Here is the start of another slew of pictures.
Grandma Jo giving Cora a bath.
Linds and Sweet, Sweet Parker. She was so dainty and sweet. I couldn't get enough of her. She made Cora seem like quite the rugrat!
Funny story about this photo. While I was pregnant with Cora, I wanted Oreos all the time. Lee had a lot of "sympathy" while I was pregnant and also craved Oreos. He used to buy a package every few times he went to the store. Nice guy, right? Wrong! He would wait until I fell asleep and then eat them all. Every last crumb! I would call Lindsey (who was also pregnant and truly understood my agony) crying and complaining that he ate my Oreos again. About 15 minutes before Lee opened his gift, I was telling Lindsey that earlier that morning Lee had eaten nearly all of the Oreos. She was laughing so hard. Little did I know about the gift at the time. I guess this would go down as a "perfect gift" for Lee. He still, right to the minute of me typing this entry, claims he never remembers eating all my Oreos. Yeah right, Dude. You remember. It is called denial. Admitting your problems/mistakes is the first step. LOL. Make sure you take a look at Dave busting a gut. I am pretty sure he had just heard that Lee ate all the Oreos that morning.
Parker and Cora doing a Christmas gift exchange. Parker gave Cora two really great books. One is a huge book full of bedtime stories. It has been great reading through all the fun stories. The other is a book called "How Do I Love You". It is a really cute book. I highly recommend it for any little readers out there. Come to think of it, I might just make a blog entry of my most favorite children's books that Cora has. That would be an interesting topic. Cora gave Parker a book called "Gallop". It is another book I highly recommend. It incorporates scanimation into each page which is really cool. She also gave Parker a large polar fleece teddy bear. It was so soft and cuddly.
Cora had a really hard time sitting back and letting Parker open her gifts.
Our two little bookworms. You both make your Mommies proud.
OK, maybe the paper was pretty cool as well.
Parker giving her teddy bear kisses.
Dave got egg rolling lessons from Lee. Lee and his Mama make the world's best egg rolls.
Cheers, Grandpa Bob.
Cora thought Justin was pretty cool. We were able to spend a whole day with Anne, Justin, and Alex. We had a great time. We had lunch at Bass Pro Shops, shopped, and then headed to Scheels. It was a great time.
Cora opening her present from Aunt Anne.
A little wooden dog! How cute!. Cora loves him.
Cora getting some hugs from Uncle Dave.
How great is that smile on Parker. She had me laughing all night.
Cora and Parker also practiced going up and down the stairs. This was Parker's first time. She did so good. She was able to learn what to do and what to not do from Cora. Cora at one point decided she would go screeching off the stairs face first. Lovely. Of course it was right after we finished bragging about how good she was. Oops. Check out the fun video below.
If you clicked on the link I posted earlier taking you to the blog entry when Cora and Parker first met, you would see a side-by-side shot of them laying on this pink blanket. Linds and I wanted to an take an updated one on this trip. Well, here is the photo I got. Both girls flipped over and beelined it away at the exact same time. Lindsey got a couple of the two of them behaving. Is this a precursor of what we can expect in years to come? The two of them speeding away from their mamas...together? Oy vey. I did however get a video of them being cute next to each other. Check out the very short clip below. :)
Little Alex. Those baby blues are just delicious.
Aunt Lindsey with Cute-as-a-button Parker and Not-So-Modest Cora.
Our next and last big outing in Omaha was to the Children's Museum. Lee and I hadn't been there for a very, very long time. We thought it would be fun for Cora. Well, it may have been a bit much for her little soul. It was very neat, but there was a lot going on. I could see Cora was a touch overwhelmed, but she was a trooper! She loved the water play, the giant piano thingy, and the infant/toddler room. Of course, the things she really liked were the most boring for the entourage of adults that followed. Oh well. It was worth it. :)
Cora didn't look like she was 100% awake. LOL
Sunglasses look good on these ladies anytime of the day. :)
She wasn't too sure about the slide in the first place. You can see in her face she was hesitant. Her hesitance kind of surprised me considering she is such a daredevil.
The water play are was a huge success.
Cora drawing in the craft room. She looks like she is really concentrating on her masterpiece.
Grandpa Bob being silly. He had all the little kids laughing at this.
The cool piano like thing.
Cora loved this dolly in the infant/toddler room.
Off to the Upstream Downtown for appetizers.
Cora showing off how she drinks out of a straw.
Grandma Jo and Cora playing.
I think this goes down as one of my favorite photos of Grandma Jo and her little Belle.
Cora hanging out with a Mountie in the Vancouver airport on the way home.
We had a great time on our trip back to Nebraska. Thank you to everyone who made it so special. The memories will last a lifetime.
I am a graduate student in biology at the University of Alberta. I have been married to the man of my dreams for 6 years. We welcomed our most beautiful baby girl to this world Dec 23, 2008. She is the reason I have started this blog. On Apr 29, 2012, our incredibly handsome son was born. My kids are the reason I continue writing this blog. They are my world.