Oct 23, 2010

14 months: Where has the time gone?

Well, it has been two months since our last blog post which means we have a lot of catching up to do. In the last two months, Kate has grown up before our eyes; she seems more like a little girl every day. The last time we blogged, Kate had just celebrated her first birthday and was starting to think about walking. Two months later, Kate walks like a pro and has started saying a few words.

First things first, J has started a new one year album and has put up some new pictures that cover the last few months.

We'll start back in August. For Kate's birthday, we used a few gift cards to buy Kate some wheels to drive around the block. She loves tooling around the neighborhood in her red convertible. Here she is waving to some adoring fans.

Also for Kate's birthday, with the handy skills of Papou Jerry and a wonderful birthday gift from my step dad, we turned our loft into a sweet playroom for Kate. Daddy was a little miffed that his man cave got turned over to the baby, but considering he had done nothing with it since we moved in, I decided that he had forfeited his right to the room. Plus, our family room is pretty much a man room outfitted with a giant tv and surround sound. I don't know how many tricked out rooms he thinks he gets.

Kate's room comes complete with an adorable table for tea parties, stuffed animals included, the great chair Grandpa Denny made her for Christmas, and a toy box to hold all her stuff.

Papou Jerry also installed a cabinet that gives me room to hold more stuff and provides a fun place to display Kate's nicer books and breakables. She also has what every budding artist needs, an easel, whiteboard, and chalkboard. So maybe it is all a little advanced, but we have already had some fun times in her playroom. Plus, it is a good place to go when Miss wants to make noise while Daddy is on his very important business phone calls.

Kate currently has six teeth (four on top, two on bottom) and is working on her seventh. The top four came in all at the same time, so that wasn't much fun for anyone, especially Kate, but we got through it.

She is working on a few words as well. She has regularly said mama and dada for the last few months, though she seems to prefer Da Da to everything else. J wants to argue that her first real word was Willow (pronounced War-Rah), but I never heard her say it and she hasn't said it for months. So, I don't count that. I picked Kate up at daycare one day and was told that she was saying bubbles (pronounced bub-bub). She even demonstrated her new skills when A. asked Kate to show her the bubbles and she started saying it. I felt that I needed to try it at home with our bubbles. J also didn't believe when when I told him her new word, but he was amazed and impressed when she repeated the word over and over again with our bubbles. Her best word right now is probably up (pronounced up). She doesn't always use it at the right time, but has it down. Less frequent and still works in progress are duck, baby, hat, cup, and Bobby (a character in a book and heard tonight for the first time). She also makes the sound of a horse, car, and sometimes a sheep.

Another major change around the Ryan household is Kate's newfound ability to throw a tantrum. We're not talking full-on throw-herself-on-the-floor-kicking-and-screaming kind of tantrum, but we have definitely seen this face frequently, sometimes multiple times a day. And that is low key. She definitely gets her diaper in a bunch when she doesn't get exactly what she wants.

A few weeks ago, J and I took Kate back to the Wild Animal Park (now lamely called the San Diego Zoo Safari Park- don't get me started). So far, birds seem to be one of her favorite animals, other than dogs of course, so we let her have some fun in the lorikeet exhibit. She had a great time watching the birds fly around.

Kate has also figured out how to open up all our cabinets and drawers. She loves going through them and making a huge mess in her wake. Her new favorite discovery is the empty margarine tubs that we have in our Tupperware cabinet. She loves stacking them, putting things in them, taking things out of them, putting on the lids, taking off the lids. Gotta love cheap "toys."

Another great skill Kate has "mastered" is feeding herself with a spoon and a fork. I say "mastered" because she thinks she has it mastered, thus should be the only one using the utensils, but we think she gets more food on her face than in her mouth. So we have a daily battle over who is going to hold the spoon. We tried giving her one and keeping one for ourselves. That worked for a week or so. She has now decided that she needs both spoons so she can two-fist it.

Perhaps the biggest change that has happened in the Ryan household is a walking baby. She had been flirting with walking for a few weeks, but finally took her first steps at Auntie JJ's Labor Day party on September 5th. With a ton of spectators, she took about six steps and then another five or six steps a little later, and then wouldn't do it again for a week or so no matter how hard we tried to coax her.

Maybe it's because this was the extent of her walking skills in the beginning. I think I would rather crawl than walk around like a drunken sailor.

But with a little time and a lot of falls, she has finally got the hang of it. We are actually quite happy with the new mobile Kate. As we have said before, Kate is a bit on the heavy side, though she has actually lost weight since her 12 month appointment and is proportional to her height. It has been a load off our backs to have her able to walk around instead of needing to be carried everywhere. Willow, on the other hand, is not enjoying the walking as it means that she always has a baby on her heels which isn't really fair for a blind dog.

With the walking has come another fun new game. J has taught Kate to kick balls around the house. I figured she would be a volleyball or basketball player since we are pretty sure she is going to be really tall, but perhaps soccer is going to be her game.

Here she is on the move with her styling new Stride Rite shoes. The girl loves to wear shoes and socks, but would prefer not to wear anything else.

It has been an exciting two months and we think the months ahead are going to be filled with exciting and possibly patience-trying days from our smart, funny, and very stubborn little girl. Fortunately, mommy and daddy are bigger, smarter, and more stubborn than she is and we intend to win the majority of the battles, at least for a few years.