Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Cora Dress

I've been meaning to mention The Cora Dress for quite some time. Do you all remember the butterfly pillowcase dress I made at the beginning of the year? My friend from undergrad, Lindsey, who know lives in Texas just fell in love with that dress. She has an Etsy Shop called Mint2Sew where she now makes and sells the same dress! She has named the pillowcase dress after Cora. I just love the one she currently has for sale (see picture). Isn't it darling?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Woof Woof

I mentioned that Cora has given up many forms of communication and has resorted to barking. It was first. Now, the barking to wake us up, ask for food, read a book, get a drink, etc is getting a little old. She is getting quite vocal about it! Between Cora barking and Reggie whining and crying, sometimes I get a little overwhelmed. It is hard not to laugh when we have a small scolding session and I am telling Reg to quit crying and Cora to quit barking. Isn't this a little backwards? Nonetheless, it is still cute. They can really get each other riled up. Cora is starting to learn how to wrestle with him. If you've ever heard Reggie wrestle, he sounds like a gremlin. It cracks me up. He is still a little strong for Cora. Especially his hind legs which kick harder than a kangaroo. Here is a barking video filmed about a month ago when she first started this barking language.

One more story to close out the night. Cora, Reg and I went on a short walk tonight over to the pond by our house. I decided to let Cora walk the whole way instead of dragging out the stroller. Cora is very interested in taking Reggie for a walk. Tonight, on the way home, I asked Cora if she wanted to walk Reggie. She was all about that. I handed her the leash and she held it like an old pro. You all should have seen her strutting her stuff down the road. Reggie must have known that I gave Cora full reign of the leash. I wasn't holding it at all. He immediately slowed down and never once tugged Cora. I was so proud of both of them. On top of that, we got to see two clutches of ducklings swimming. This was the first batch of babies we have seen this spring! Yeah!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sixteen Going On Seventeen

Cora turned 17 months old yesterday. I am loving each and every day with her more and more. She has such a great personality. I should thank Lee for that one. She is learning new things every day. It has been the best 17 months of my life just watching her grow and experience life.

Such a serious little girl!!

There's the smile!

I have a lot of close up pictures like the one shown. She is always trying to touch the camera while I am taking pictures. To me, her face is as sweet as sugar, so I love the close ups.

Are you ready for the list? If not, get ready. Because here it comes.
  • She correctly identified her first wild animal (of course this is a big deal to Lee and me). She saw the ducks on a near by pond, pointed and signed duck. I about jumped out of my socks from excitement. Now, she is sure to point out all ducks for a crazy Mom reaction.
  • She has a total of 12 teeth. All her molars are in (thank goodness). Her gums are very swollen where her canines are. I am guessing those will pop through any time. She has been a bit fussy and hasn't had much of an appetite that last couple days. Those are very good signs of new teeth. I never thought I'd get excited about her teeth coming in. We are almost to the end of this road now, so I say The More the MERRIER! After her canines, she has one more set of molars. And then the awful days of teething are over! Hallelujah!
  • Speaking of teething, I have mentioned that she must not have any pain tolerance whatsoever. Turns out, I am wrong...again. Today she wiped out on the cement. She laid there for just a second before getting up. I didn't run to her. Instead, I just watched to see what would happen. She brushed herself off, gave a little whine (kind of like OUCH in baby language), and then went back to playing. It wasn't until we got home that she has a big ol' scuff on one knee and a little scratch on the other knee. There was even a little bit of blood! I am very proud to say, my daughter is not a pansy! She is a tough little cookie. But, that must mean that teething is about 100X worse for pain than I could have ever imagined. Ugh.
  • She is sleeping pretty well in her own toddler bed! See previous post for an update. She woke up at 4:55am today. We are getting close to her being back to her old schedule of 5:30-6am wake up time. This transition has been much easier than I had expected. She was obviously ready.
  • She is developing an opinion. I often give her a choice of two things and let her pick. Examples would be two different shirts, two books, two drinks, etc. She really understands what she is choosing (most of the time) because she takes her time to think about what she actually wants. The first time I gave her the choice of two books to read and asked her to pick one, it took her at least 30 seconds of looking, sighing, and sticking out her bottom lip in concentration before she finally made a choice. The only down fall is, she'll stop me if I'm reading a book she doesn't want to hear. She'll close my book and then hand me the one she wants. Sometimes I try to sneak a new book into the lineup out of pure boredom for myself. Oh well. It is HER bedtime story after all. Lee laughs at me in the morning because I can actually read a handful of her books with my eyes closed. I view this as multitasking. I can sort of sleep for a few more minutes even while entertaining Cora. :)
  • We bought a new scale to weigh ourselves. According to our scale, Cora weighs between 26 and 27 lbs. She is a tank! She definitely still has "baby fat", but she never was a really roly poly baby. I am pretty sure she carries most of her weight in her belly. She is sprouting like a weed though. I swear she gets taller every other week. 
  • How could I forget this one?? She is trying to sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". Sooo sweet.
New words and signs
  • This is going to be a pretty short list because Cora has decided to only communicate via words and signs on a very minimal level. She has instead resorted to barking. In fact, she even sometimes eats without using her hands. She really thinks she is a dog.Yes, this is quite cute. Wait, scratch that. I WAS quite cute. I don't understand Dog. She thinks she does. I spend more time telling Reggie to stop crying and Cora to stop barking. How backwards is that?
  • Fish (sound like ish) She also does the sign.
  • I swear today she said "I can". I asked her if she needed help by holding my hand. She shook her head No and said, "I can". Alrighty, then. I guess Lee and I say, "Cora can do this" and variants of that pretty much all the time.
  • Bird. She does the sign for this and says chirp, chirp. (sounds like shurh, or shuh. She doesn't always get the "r" sound in there.
Poor Reg. She wants to be next to him all the time. He is so great with her. I am still shocked about how tolerant he is considering how snobby/pouty/sulkish he can be.

Her smile gets me every single time. That smile is going to get her out of sticky situations throughout her life. She already knows this.

I put this picture up for a glimpse of her pouty lip. It can be way more pronounced. I just don't normally have a camera when she is really sticking the bottom lip out.

I am pretty sure she was telling me to quite taking pictures of her. She has better things to do than pose for my monthly photo shoot.

I then threatened her with an early bed time and no dessert. No, not really. But I think these two photos really show just how great her hair is. Her hair is amazing.

I was making fart noises trying to get her to laugh. Instead of laughter, she started making her own fart noises. Then I laughed.

I saved the best for the last. This is probably my favorite photo for the month.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sleep Tight. Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite.

Everybody who either knows Lee and me, or at least reads our blog, knows that we have struggled with Cora sleeping pretty much since she was born. Let me reiterate though. She is not the worst sleeper. Not even by a long shot. In fact, I think she is pretty average. I think a lot of people stretch the truth about how well their baby sleeps. According to "the sleep books", a 5 hour stretch is considered sleeping through the night. Oh PUH-LEASE! Do you know how many parents brag about their baby sleeping through the night because of this 5 hour rule? According to that rule, Cora has been sleeping through the night for well over a year. I just don't brag about that. But, I am bragging now. My 1.5 year old goes to bed around 8pm and gets up between 5:30am and 6am! She is a stellar sleeper (note the sarcasm). Why not 7am, Cora?? Ha! Actually, Lee and I have finally embraced Cora's "the early bird gets the worm" philosophy of life as of lately. And to be honest, I think our quality of life has improved. I think Cora is on to something. So here is the story of how we have gotten to where we are at today with her sleeping.

When she was a newborn, I nursed. I was horrible at pumping, so Lee was pretty much no help when it came to getting up with Cora at night. Besides, he was working and I was on mat leave. Anyways, we quickly (read: the first night with Cora. She was just over 1 day old) discovered how great co-sleeping was. As she got a few weeks older, we would start her in her crib and then move her to our bed when she woke up around 2am from hunger. This also worked fairly well for us and she seemed quite content with the set up. When she was closing in on 1 year old, she started sleeping through the night fairly well. Lee and I were in heaven. We hadn't slept in nearly a year. It was pure bliss. All good things eventually come to an end. Cora started the dreaded teething process again and her sleep habits went to hell. Words cannot describe how fast she went from a soundly sleeping baby to screaming her brains out. She would latch onto us in the middle of the night crying from pain. If you haven't figured it out, Cora has no pain tolerance. It was horrendous.

After her teeth came through, she had completely given up her crib with no intentions of ever returning. I even tried letting her cry it out. That did not work for any of us. We were all emotionally exhausted from it. So, Lee and I did the next best thing. We put her mattress on the floor next to our bed. This has to be one of the smartest things we have ever done. Cora has been sleeping on our floor since February or so. We have all been sleeping quite well, too. She rolls around a bit, but I rarely have to put her back on her mattress. She normally finds her own way back to her bed. Tonight, however, marks a huge milestone. We purchased Cora a new toddler bed this week, and tonight is her first night in it. AND, it is in her own room. Let the drum rolls begin! I'm sure there are bets out there for how long this will last. We'll see. I have faith in my little girl. I think she is ready for the transition.

What have Lee and I learned from all of this sleep craze? It doesn't matter how, where, or why you sleep the way you do, just as long as you sleep well. The pictures below are perfect examples!

Cora and Reggie have some very special moments together. This picture was taken during nap time. Reg doesn't normally let Cora cuddle up too close to him. He was being especially nice to her this day, so I let them sleep together on the couch for a while. It was just too sweet.

This is one of Cora's famous sleeping positions. Lee and I catch her in the position frequently. She seems to prefer it, so we don't often move her. This picture also shows just how long she is getting! I think she is going to have her Daddy's legs.

Cora fast asleep in her new bed. I liked this bed because it has two railings, her crib mattress fits, and it was really solid. The color isn't as white as it looks. It has more of a grey undertone, but it looks OK.

Our sleeping beauty! I just hope she stays this way. Keep your fingers crossed. I am actually looking forward to maybe sleeping. I mean really sleeping. This is a feat that hasn't been attained much in the last year and a half.

Update: Cora made it until around 3:30am or so. She started crying, so I went in to try to calm her down. I didn't know if she would be upset from waking up in a different room from what she was used to. I spent over an hour trying to get her to sleep. Can you believe I climbed into that little bed with her?! Nothing was working, so I picked her up and brought her to bed with Lee and me. She immediately jumped down. Within about 20 minutes, I didn't hear her playing anymore. I crept out to the hall and she was sound asleep on the floor. She slept until about 7. Lee and Cora are now at the bakery picking up rolls for breakfast. Yum! Oh, and it was snowing when we woke up. Go figure. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Where's Waldo?

Cora is a daredevil. She is an adventure seeking, fearless little 16 month old girl. She is also very curious. Oh, and she is quite helpful. At least she likes to think she is. This is a little montage of a few pictures I have been wanting to share with everyone. Cora gets into everything. Mary Jo and Carol can agree. I know they can. She is really just trying to explore her world, but she gets herself into quite the little predicaments. I have a little story to tell with each set of pictures.

What in this picture doesn't quite belong? OH MY! Is that a baby's bum?

When Cora started crawling, she also started climbing. I guess she figured that if she could get around quite well on a horizontal plane, why not a vertical one too? I remember people telling me, just wait until she can walk. She'll be into everything. Hahaha. She already is into everything. Walking won't make any difference at all. It was true. What has made a difference is her getting taller. She can reach her little legs and arms up to much higher places getting herself into quite the interesting situations.

The above picture was taken when she was literally stuck in the bookshelf. Yep, this is why all parents should anchor their tall bookshelves. Kiddos actually do climb them. If you were to look from the side, her butt was flush with the edge of the cubby hole. A person would be none the wiser about there being a baby pretzeled into one of those cubbies. But, like any good mom, instead of instantly rescuing her...I ran downstairs to get my camera and capture the memory. :)

And then we get to see how helpful our wee little Cora can be. Oh boy! Words can not describe how helpful she is. She gets everything out of the bottom cupboards, brings them to me, and proudly declares, "Thank You!!".  She really isn't hurting anything, so I always play along.

Here is a look at the accumulation of cooking ingredients that Cora has so thoughtfully pulled out of the cupboard and brought to me. :) She is such a go-getter.

I now present Cora, the Escapee. We have the stairs blocked by the overturned bench. This blockade worked really well...for a while. Eventually she learned how to climb over, around, or under to escape into our almost green backyard. This is not OK considering our yard is not fenced!

This brings me to my final story of this post. It has taken me some time to be able to right this without my heart palpitating. You'll see why.

Cora was on the deck playing. To set the scene a bit, I can see Cora through the windows of the living room as well as through the sliding door from the kitchen/dining room. So, unless I go to the bathroom or run upstairs, she is always in my sight while she plays on the deck. Or so I thought. A couple of days ago, we hard some really, really hot weather. Seriously, it was in the low 80's. Cora was begging to go outside, so I slathered on the sunscreen and opened the door. She is able to open the screen door on her own, and she goes in and out as she wants. Grandma Jo and Aunt Carol had been putting a bunch of pots on the deck for water play with Cora. She loves this, so Lee and I have been following suit. Cora had just went outside, so I went to the kitchen to start filling up pots. I squatted down in the kitchen to pull out a few of my big kettles. When I stood up, I didn't see Cora. I was only ducked down for maybe 15 seconds. I go outside expecting to find her escaping down the steps (see above photo for a reference of what I was expecting to see). Nope, no Cora in sight. I jump the barricade and dashed out to the yard. No Cora. Hmmm, that's weird I thought to myself. There is no way she can move that fast. I start running down one direction of the back area behind all the townhouses. I was expecting to find Cora playing on another deck. No Cora. I run the other way thinking she had to be that way. No Cora. I then look around the sides of the houses. No Cora. OK, I'll admit it. I was starting to get upset. I run around to the front of our house because by now she has definitely had time to make it to the road. No Cora. (Note: It has only been maybe 1-1.5 minutes at this point). I start thinking maybe she never actually went outside. I tear into the house. I start yelling her name. I am sprinting through the house at this point. Reggie knows something is up because he is right on my heels. No Cora. I run back outside, leap over the barricade and start sprinting up and down the back area yelling her name. At this point, I am debating about going back to the house to the call the police. But, that would waste precious seconds searching for her. She has now had time to get quite far from the house. Somebody could have picked her up. Yes, the worst was going through my head. I decide to run back to the house to get Reggie who is barking at me. His nose is still good. He'll find her. ( I am shaking as I type As I run back to the porch, a little movement catches my eyes. I see two tiny, pink sandals with chubby little toes wiggling from underneath the grill. I lift the fabric cover, and Cora is sitting there. She gets this huge grin and says "Bah-Boo". Yes, she said peek-a-boo to her frantic mother. I couldn't help but laugh. What a turd! Needless to say, Lee picked up TWO baby gates on his way home from work. :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I would like to introduce everyone to the newest wee person in our lives. Meet Magali, our sponsored child in Mexico.

We have finally decided to start sponsoring a child through World Vision. This is something that Lee and I have talked about doing for some time. We just never got around to actually doing it. About 6 weeks ago, World Vision knocked on our door looking for sponsors. Well, gee, this sure made it easy to start sponsoring. Lee wasn't home, so I got to choose where our child came from. My first choice was Mexico, then Ecuador, then Chile. My preference was a North American child, but I would be quite content with a western hemisphere child as well. We could also choose an age and sex, but I really didn't care. It costs $35/month to sponsor a child. The money goes to the children, their family, and the community. World Vision is a very reputable organization, so I know the money is going to a great place.

About 4 weeks later, we received a letter in the mail. I opened it to find pictures and information about our sponsored child. Here is what World Vision told us about Magali.

Magali (pronounced MAH-gah-lee) Perez H was born October 13, 2000 in Mexico. Her health is satisfactory. She is in grade 2, and her favorite subject is mathematics. Her chore at home is to sweep.

Magali lives with her parents in a poor area. Her father is self-employed but his earnings are hardly enough to provide for his family. Her mother stays at home caring for her family. Your sponsorship is an important and continuing part of the assistance given to help this girl and her family attain self-reliance for this is the development in which World Vision is involved.

Isn't she just the sweetest looking little girl? 

Through World Vision, we are able to write Magali letters, send her very small trinkets, and even visit her. Our letters are translated at the Mexico World Vision headquarters.

I encourage people to look into sponsoring a child through World Vision. They also have a catalog where you can donate money to buy school books, buy goats, etc. They have a really neat organization. (USA website) (Canada website) (International website)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sweet 16

Sweet 16 MONTHS, that is. Cora just turned 16 months about 1 week ago. And let me say this once. Sometimes I think she is 16 months going on 3 years old. She is getting taller, thinning out, and looking less and less like a baby every single day. She is growing and developing and changing right before my eyes, but it is getting harder and harder to pinpoint true "milestones". What I have been most impressed with this last month is how she imitates Lee and me.

I may have mentioned before in a past blog how she brushes her teeth with us. She has now taken it a step further. She rinses her tooth brush in the water. She uses my makeup brushes to apply her own makeup. She even puts the powder brush in the powder. But those kinds of things really aren't that exciting. They're cute...definitely. But, you expect that with a child. It just feels good to have a wee one imitating you. What shocked me the other day was I handed her my keys and she walked over to the door and tried to insert them into the door knob! I thought to myself, "Wait a second, Cora! You were actually paying that close of attention when I unlock the door?" Oh my! The old saying 'kids are sponges' is true!

Cora is also starting to become quite the handful. She climbs on everything! She has no fear of falling. None. She pulls herself onto the toilet, then uses the toilet paper holder as a foot step to launch herself onto the counter. Most of the time, I think I gave birth to a monkey. They've even started mentioning at daycare that they can't take their eyes off of her for a split second. She tries to climb everything there, too! She loves it because she can get to places none of the other little ones can. They have sandbox table and she climbs into it and sits in the sand. They finally gave up with her and let her sit in the sand box while the other kids play around her. This kid knows how to get her way! I am working on collecting photos for a blog entry on this one. ;)

Even though Cora is growing and changing, some things about her haven't changed at all. She is still a horrible teether! I mean horrible. As of her 16 month birthday, she had 8 teeth. Four on top and four on bottom. However, we were up with her while she screamed and screamed and screamed. We've become so used to her teething that when she is screaming at the top of her lungs in pure agony, we know it is teeth. We give her tylenol and cuddle her real close. She is normally in such a fit we can't even get her to chew on a cold washcloth or something. It is awful. Now, only 1 week later, she has three molars that have broken through the gum. Two on the top and 1 on the bottom. I've been calling her Camel Cora because of her diastema between her incisors and molars. Her canines haven't come in yet (which is normal I believe). Anyways, camels have an enormous diastema between their front and back teeth throughout their whole life. The things you learn in mammalogy when needing to identify skulls. :) I am hoping her 4th molar comes in here soon for the sake of MJ and Carol when they come. On top of it all, we are all fighting a nasty cold. Yuck!
 Note: It has been two days since I have been back to edit this. Turns out, Cora's fourth molar has started to pop through. This brings her total count to 12 teeth!

Lee has best described Cora as a thrill seeker. She loves to be startled, falling from high places, swinging, twirling, thrown. Her latest thrill seeking adventure is something we refer to as "timber". She stands stiff as a board with her hands above her head and falls straight onto her face and belly. Normally she walks up to where I am sitting and does this completely confident that I will catch her. Now, she goes up stairs to fall onto her bed. She has even started stacking pillows to fall onto them. I really need to get it on camera. Her face is priceless right before she falls.

Here is the infamous list:

New Words
  • Reg (sounds like dedge or yedge) Our dog is named Reg and she loves him very much. She will go on this long diatribe about who knows what and her last word will be Reg. I know she is trying to tell me something about him. I just don't know what it is yet.
  • "What's this?" or "This?" (sounds like ahhh dis or dis)
  • varoom or zoom (sounds like dooooooom) She has a book about Amos the Old Dog who drives his couch around. This is where she gets this word. 
New Signs
  • Flower
  • No. She passionately shakes her head back and forth. She still doesn't tell me No. She only answers me with No.
  • Milk
  • She put her first signs together the other. She signed "milk" and "more" the other night when she wanted a glass of milk before bed. Awesome!!
Here is her official 16 month photos. I really love how this month turned out! I hope you all enjoy these as much as Lee and I have.

My long, long posts that are few and far between as starting to tire me out. :) I am hopefully going to start writing shorter, more frequent posts that tell little stories about Cora. I think my readers will also like that considering I have been writing chapter books as of late. Make me keep my promise! I have my first post in my head already!

Lee and I are headed to Quebec City, Quebec this week. Stay tuned for a recap next. Ohhh, this means another long post.... ;)