September 11, 2016

thea - thirteen months

Seeing as the blog has pretty much died, I debated whether I should continue with monthly posts after Thea's first birthday.  But I stretched it to two years with her sister's and I'm not exactly keeping up with a baby book, so if nothing else I can at least post once a month for her, yes?  Apparently not since this post is almost two weeks late....

I can't believe we're already over a month past Thea's first birthday!  Lately I have been such a sap about the passing of time and watching my babies grow.  I'm sure it has something to do with still being undecided if Thea will be our last, but gosh.  Recently I was watching Elsie do laps on the driveway with her scooter, a tutu dress and sneakers on, just humming away with a smile on a her face, and huge lump caught in my throat.  Plus I couldn't stop smiling at her.  She is getting so big! I'm not the best at showing it all the time, but man I love these girls fiercely.

Ok, back on track.  Thea is thirteen months old.

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taking this month's photos was nearly impossible

At her post op appointment two days ago they measured her at 30 inches and 21 pounds, but she never actually stood on the scale on her own, was fully clothed, with a saggy wet diaper. And she screamed through the entire appointment so who the heck knows.  On the bright side surgery went well and her head is healing great!  Right now there is still more of a bald patch than I was hoping to see, but the surgeon said the hair follicles can go dormant for a while after surgery.  Hope he is right.  But it looks a lot better.  Seriously the girl was a champ, never really needed any pain meds or acted like it bother her at all.  The worst was following her around trying to keep her from hitting her head on crap.

Thea is wearing some 6-12 months clothes, but mostly 12-18 months.  We've moved up to size four diapers, and while she is still in size three shoes, I think she'll be in fours in that department soon as well.  They just don't slow down with the whole growing thing do they?  Still rocking the same six teeth.  I keep thinking some more have to be on the way, clearly I'm wrong.

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Sleep, ha, girlfriend is still keeping me on my toes.  Thea goes to bed between 7:45-8:15, and then wakes up somewhere between 3:30-6am.  I never know when its going to be.  If she wakes before 5:30, I can usually feed her and she'll go back to sleep until 7:30 or 8.  If it is after 5:30 she generally yells at me for 30 minutes or so until I cave and go get her.  For the most part she is still taking two naps a day, 90 minutes - 2 hours each, just depending on how early she was up for the day and what our day looks like.  I'm still nursing Thea before each nap and bedtime.  I'm about ready to cut her off, I just hate the thought of upsetting her.  But I'm holding out hope that not nursing anymore might convince her to sleep until at least the 6 o'clock hour on a regular basis.

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Thea has become so freaking picky over the last month.  She is rarely willing to try anything she doesn't know that she likes.  Vegetables are immediately refused.  Most everything else is too, but she might poke at it a bit.  How do they know?!?!  A couple weeks ago I put some cut up grapes on her tray, and she sunk back in her chair and cried "owwwweeeee!" like I'd just punched her.  Dramatic much?  Some times we are offering foods that I'm pretty certain she'll like, but she just refuses to try it, so we stuff it in her mouth anyway.  Probably a frowned upon tactic, but for the most part she realizes we are in fact offering something that tastes good.  Except for the mashed potatoes last night.  She cried about that one for a while.  Whoops.  Her favorite things are strawberries, blueberries, mac n cheese, bread, squeeze pouches and sweets.  She is hit or miss on drinking whole milk.  She never refuses it, just isn't always super excited about it.

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We finally have a first real word!  Even though I've been able to understand a few things for a while, last week Thea repeated bubble almost plain as day when we were blowing bubbles.  I think she is just excited about her new found word as I am, if I say bubble she repeats it with such enthusiasm!  She regularly wanders around saying 'weeee! bum bum bum.' What that means I have no idea, but that is what is sounds like.  She has also start trying to say Elsie, which is flipping adorable.  It comes out 'Ehh-eeee!'.  She definitely says baby, dada, sometimes mama, and tries to say grammy (mammy), papa, waffle and book.  She has gotten great and pointing then signing please when she really wants something.  She also says oweee a lot.  Sometimes in context, sometimes when she is just mad.  Oh, she also tries to sing the Paw Patrol theme song.  Nobody else would ever have a clue what she is doing, but I've heard her do it when I turned the show on for the big girls.

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how she feels about pictures

Thea's attention span still sucks, but it is slowly growing for books.  When I get her out of her crib she starts frantically pointing at her books saying 'buh buh!' and signing please.  Moo Baa La La La remains a favorite, but lift the flaps and anything with animal sounds are also good.  She can't sit through a story that doesn't have animals or actions.  She loves signing songs too.  She can kind of do the hand motions for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Itsy Bitsy Spider.  We also have our own motions for Baa Baa Black Sheep that she does as well.


The little miss is really starting to figure out how to hold her own when it comes to her sisters.  They have been really bad about taking stuff from her when she has something they want.  They aren't always the nicest.  So now she straight up teases them, fights back, and waits for the perfect opportunity to take their stuff.  If Elsie has been sitting in her anywhere chair, and gets up to go do something, no matter what Thea runs over and climbs in it.  She'll pick up toys, walk up to Ryann or Elsie and show it to them, then clutch it to her chest and run away.  The biggest battle throughout the day is for my lap.  Generally I end up with both Elsie and Thea crawling on me, neither wants to give up control!

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I just can't get over how happy and fun Thea is.  She is turning into a little person with the cutest little personality.  I could watch her play for hours.  She is a total disaster and into everything, but she is so flipping cute.  When she is dumping everything from the kids' dishes cabinet on the floor, she'll take a cup over to the fridge, get up on her tippy toes and pretend she's filling it with water.  She loves to drag clothes (clean or dirty) all over the place and tries to put them on.  She lays her head on the floor and fake snores.  She teases me with kisses, and then puckers up and smothers me in them.  When she gives me a hug she lays in and pats the back of my shoulder.  If she ever catches me laying on the floor she immediately climbs on my back.  She loves the swimming pool and swinging.

Her dislikes include anything that might possibly keep her confined (the pack n play, aka baby jail, is just pure torture), putting pants on, being told no, and those little books with finger puppets that come through the middle.  Those are apparently just plain terrifying.

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And I have to throw in this story about our early mornings... A few weeks ago Thea woke up at 4:15am.  I ignored her for a bit but she kept yelling so I went in and fed her, then laid her back down.  She tried to fall asleep for a little while, but then she started crying again.  After another 15 or 20 minutes or so I thought maybe she had pooped (regularly happens in the middle of the night, why?!?!), so I went back in her room.  No poop, she I tried to nurse her a bit longer to lull her back to sleep.  Laid her back down and she SCREAMED.  She was absolutely pissed.  After another 15 minutes I figured maybe I could just rock her for a while.  When I picked her up she immediately stopped crying and started kissing my face over and over again.  Of course I giggled and told her it was time for night night.  So she laid her head on my should and started fake snoring.  WHAT A PUNK.  But pretty much the cutest little blond haired blue eyed punk so whatever.  I tried to rock her but it never worked.  She just kept kissing and hugging me then fake sleeping.  My eyes were watering because I was trying so hard not to bust out laughing.

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Sweet girl, I love you so very much.  I can't wait to read this post when you turn into a raging threenager (not that I have one of those right now or anything) and I need to remember that you can be flipping adorable.  :)

August 10, 2016

thea - twelve months

And in the blink of an eye, she's one! We celebrated Thea's first birthday July 28th, and I'm still in denial.  I just can't believe it!  Fastest year of my life yet.

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Thea is definitely growing in so many ways.  We actually had two doctor appointments in the span of four days, her pre-op physical at Children's Mercy, and her one year well check with her primary.  At the pre-op appointment they recorded her weight at 19 pounds 14 ounces, and measured her at 29 inches tall.  Three days later the pediatricians office said she was 20 pounds 10 ounces and 30 inches tall.  I highly doubt she grew that much in three days, so I'm guessing someone had their measurements off, but I'm not sure who!  She is wearing 6-12 month clothes, size three shoes, and still size three diapers, but just this past week I've started putting 4's on her overnight.  As soon as we run out of 3's I won't buy anymore.  And still six teeth, but her pedi said she thinks maybe one of her molars is coming in.

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Sleep still isn't my favorite subject in this house, but the baby isn't the only one to blame.  A few weeks ago I was up three different times, and it was NEVER with Thea.  For the most part she has started sleeping until 5:30 or 6am, and she takes two naps a day, totaling 4ish hours, so I can't complain too much.  But I really thought once she was sleeping through the night I would be too.  Wishful thinking, obviously.  Miss Thea still doesn't seem ready to drop a nap, so we'll stick with two for a bit longer.  She is also still more or less nursing to sleep.  Oy.  I'm hoping to be away from her overnight in October, so we're going to have to deal with that habit by then.  Mama is ready for a break my love!

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Speaking of nursing, we are successfully dropping sessions.  I nurse her three to four times a day.  I don't think she'd really care if she was nursing less, she just likes the soothing aspect of it before going to sleep.  So that is pretty much where we're at.  I nurse her before naps and bed, and sometimes in the wee hours of the morning or first thing in the morning.  Just depends on when she wakes up and whether Chris or I get her out of her crib in the morning.  She is doing great drinking whole milk from a sippy cup, chugging four ounces the first time it was offered to her.

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Girlfriend LOVES to eat.  Though she is a bit picky.  Vegetables are evil, sweets are the bomb dot com.  She no longer hates blueberries, and goes bananas for squeezy pouches and cheese. I think her food hierarchy would go sweets, cheese, squeezy pouches, fruit, carbs, meat.  Vegetables wouldn't make the cut at all.  And her love for cake is pretty much unmatched.  I knew she would like it, but Thea attacked her birthday cupcake with out a second thought, and cried when we took it away.  When we brought out her smash cake at her birthday party she more or less cried until it was on her tray.  Then a few days later it was Daddy's birthday, and there were big fat alligator tears when we set a cake in front of him, not her.  Sweet baby I apologize for your sweet tooth, I'm sure you get it from me!

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My guess turned out to be correct, Thea was walking by her birthday!  She took her first wobbly steps on July 5th.  After that, there was about a week of just a few steps here and there, mostly when we made her go between Christopher and I.  Then those few steps turned into a few more, and then she started practicing going from her anywhere chair, or 'launch pad' as I was calling it.  Two weeks after her first steps she started standing herself up in the middle of the room, and just two days later, a week shy of her first birthday, she became a full time walker.  She is getting better everyday, but there is definitely a lot more grit than grace, and she definitely looks like a mini drunk most of the time.  When she is getting tired she stumbles more, and then she just keeps trying to walk before she is stood all the way up so the falling becomes a vicious cycle.  Still so fun (yet terrifying) to watch her cute little self walk around!

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While I still wouldn't say we have any clear words, Thea's communication skills are starting to explode.  She can sign more, all done and please.  She tells me the animal sounds for dog, cow, bunny (hop hop!), elephant, gorilla (my favorite) and fish.  She waves hi and bye, claps her hands, and throws her arms in the air when we say hooray.  She has the most awesome 'yes' nod, and shakes her head 'no no no' when you tell her not to do something.  Not that she listens, but hey.  She tries to say uh-oh, but it usually just sounds like noises, or uh uh.  She can point out some objects in a book, and is really starting to enjoy being read to.  Her attention span is short, but she regularly brings me books and crawls into my lap so I can read.  Her favorite right now is an Usborne book we got called "All Better".

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I'm pretty sure baby dolls are still her favoite toy.  The night before her birthday we had her presents sitting out, when she randomly woke up at 9pm (after going to bed early at 7pm).  She wouldn't go back to sleep so I brought her downstairs for a bit.  She saw a little doll I picked up at Walmart and had to hold it.  I refused to take it out of the box because dang it, it was a present for her actual birthday, so she just carried around the doll inside the box, rocking it, hugging it and patting it.  She also really loves Fisher Price Little People, especially the princess castle.  Swinging is her jam, as is riding in the little push bike we got when Ryann turned one.

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Thea really is just so damn cute.  I can't help it, I'm kind of obsessed with her.  It isn't as if I love her more than her sisters, or she is a more easy going baby than them (well maybe?  I have no idea).  I have just been able to enjoy her so much the last several months.  9 months to 18 months might possibly be my favorite.  I can watch her dink around the playroom for a long time, she is absolutely adorable exploring and learning.  Dangerous, yes, this girl seems relatively fearless.  But so so so much fun to watch and be around.

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Sweet little Thea, I love you so much.  Happy Birthday.  Now stop growing so fast!

flower headband | crown | floral bloomers | pink bow headband | 'one' onesie by yours truly

July 11, 2016

thea - eleven months

written July 1st

I can't believe it.  I can't believe Thea is already 11 months old.  The months and years really fly by, but my word I still feel like we just brought her home, that we just moved, it all still feels very new.  And yet here we are, less than three weeks from Thea's first birthday, we've lived in our home for just over a year, and Ryann has already completed kindergarten.  I'm baffled.

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Look at that sweet girl.  Can't I keep her a baby forever?!?! She truly is such a sweetheart and so much fun.  Of course she has her moments and she can be a total pain in the butt.  However as the baby of the family and that silly little smile she can get away with pretty much anything. I think the only thing that really gets me frustrated is her standing in the tub. That I just never really find funny. But whatever, it's fine.  She's adorable.

I don't have a clue how long she is or how much she weighs.  If I had to guess weight I'd say right about 19 pounds?  I'm definitely curious.  She still seems to be growing, but for the most part 12-18 month clothes are huge and 6-12 month still fit fine.  Chris accidentally tried to put her in a 9 month sleeper the other night and she 'fit', but I don't think she could straighten her legs.  We pretty much don't wear shoes so I don't have a clue there, and she is still in a size 3 diaper.  And still has yet to cut another tooth, holding strong at six.  Recently she starting drooling a lot more, so maybe one or two are thinking of making an appearance.

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Sleep is ALL over the place.  Nothing horrible, but she just isn't predictable at all.  Bedtime is between 7:30-8:30pm.  Depending on her naps.  Some nights she sleeps until the 4:00 hour and then goes back to sleep, sometimes she sleeps until 5:45am and then won't go back to sleep.  Sometimes she is up by 7:00 even if she goes back to sleep and sometimes she doesn't get up until 9am.  She usually takes two 1.5-2 hour naps a day, but a few times I've only had her take one nap if she has slept until 9.  I don't think she is ready to really drop to one nap, but I think we're getting there.

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Thea pretty much won't tolerate being spoon fed purees at all anymore.  She'll eat stuff off a spoon or fork if it is clearly not baby food.  Such as, you know, ice cream or a sno cone.  Whoops.  Yeah, so much for making her wait until her first birthday for sweets.  She is picky about vegetables and some fruits, but don't you dare eat in front of her without offering her a bite anymore.  She loves chicken, cheese, avocado, plums, bananas, deli meat, cheerios, yogurt melts and puffs.  Oh and noodles, especially mac n cheese.  If she doesn't like what is on her tray, or she is full, she just throws everything on the floor.  We're working on signing more and all done, but usually if she wants more she just points and yells, and if she is all done she just yells and chucks food and tries to squirm out of her seat.

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Which reminds me she points now.  A lot of times I don't have a clue why she is pointing at something or if she is trying to tell me something, but she points often.  In general I just try to tell her what the various things are that she is pointing at.  She can point out a few objects, such as lights or a ceiling fan, her crib, and her book shelves.  But other than that she doesn't really point if I ask her to find something.  Thea gives hi fives and occasionally kisses and hugs.  She also tries to put on glasses and hats and things of that nature.  Actually she tries to put almost everything on her head, but that is my fault.  I have a tendency to stick stuff on her head for my own entertainment.  Whoops.

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I'm thinking maybe, just maybe, Thea will be walking by her first birthday.  She has gotten really good at walking with just one hand, and I think if she was a touch braver she could take some steps.  She is such a good climber.  If she realizes she could maybe get up on something, she is going to get up on it.  Or if she thinks she can get IN something, she is going to try that too.  Drawers, cabinets, tupperwear, etc.  Just gotta test to see if she fits!  Thank goodness nearly all our furniture is secured to the wall.  She has also figured out how to more or less safely get down from places.  Not that I'd leave her up on a chair or our bed, but I spotted her while she got from our bed to the bench by our bed, and then slid feet first to the ground.  She loves to practice going up the stairs and then immediately back down.

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Thea has yet to clearly say any words.  I know that is pretty normal, but it's slightly tough to swallow looking back on Ryann and Elsie's 11 month posts.  Granted Ryann was a freak of nature in the language department, but hey (my post mentions that one of her words was waffle, WTH?!?).  Thankfully Thea is starting to show an interest in books so hopefully reading some stories will help.  Her favorite is Moo Baa La la la.  She loves hearing me make animal sounds.  She tries to bark like a dog and moo like a cow, I can't discern any other sounds.  She'll hold a play phone up to her ear and say something that sounds like hello, but it just isn't clear.  I've also said to her that the fans go 'round and round', so now she'll wave her little finger in a circle at the fan and make a noise that might sound like 'round and round'.  Who knows.  I'm sure language will take off at some point.  For now she's too busy climbing crap.

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Baby dolls are still a big hit.  She gives them hugs and kisses, and pats their little backs.  I love it.  She has also been enjoying the pool.  Sometimes it isn't her favorite, but for the most part she has a good time, and regularly sticks her own face in the water.  She doesn't seem too phased if she gets splashed either.  I need to do a little research on teaching infants/toddlers to hold their breath.  Maybe we'll have one kiddo who isn't scared of the water!  This month Thea made her second trip to Georgia, and she LOVED the ocean.  Truly.  She'd hold someone's hands and keep trying to go further and further into the waves.  She only tried to eat sand once, and that was enough misery for her!  Haha.

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Thea is still a mama's girl through and through.  She is fine with other people such as Chris, my mom and dad and a few others, as long as I'm not standing right there.  If I'm there she pouts and whines until I'm holding her again.  Same for if I'm gone and come back.  She was a perfect angel for whoever had her, but the second she sees me she cries until I pick her up.  Overall she really is such an easy baby in terms of personality, aside from the extreme attachment to me.  And the fact that I still nurse her before naps keeps me attached to her for most of the day.  That will change soon though, I'm hoping to wean her for at least most of the day shortly after her first birthday.  As soon as we've got her drinking milk and going down for naps by herself, you better believe I am disappearing for an entire day!

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Thea girl, I love you.  Will you please stay my baby forever?  I can't believe you're almost one.

July 9, 2016

ryann's art party

It only took me three months to post these photos...

This year we went round and round on what to do for Ryann's birthday party.  There was talk of inviting her whole class to somewhere not our house, having a few friends at our house, not having a party and having a whole special day for Ryann, a puppy party, another unicorn party, etc.  Both her and I were having a hard time settling on a location, a guest list, and a theme.  Ultimately we ended up inviting the girls from her class to an art party at our house, and I think it turned out great.

We lucked out with warm weather, so we were able to set up some art activities in our garage, as well as let the girls play outside.  We did invite them in for snacks and sweets, but otherwise the majority of the party was outdoors.  I tried my best to remember that five and six-year-olds don't really care about the decorations.  Ryann is used to me going big for a party, so I still wanted it to be exciting for her, but we managed to get some big bang for our buck with a pack of brightly colored paper and splatter painting some cheap table linens.

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We held the party at 1:00pm, so we focused on snacks and sweets.  Ryann requested summer sausage, pirates booty and pretzels, as well as some of Jenny's cake pops.  We added in cheese and crackers, chocolate covered strawberries, and cookies.

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For favors the girls made out pretty well.  They got to take home a mini paint can full of sixlets (I love sixlets.  Like a lot.  I don't know why.), their projects (a canvas painting and a washi tape covered frame) and a personalized apron.  I bought the aprons at Hobby Lobby and used my silhouette to cut out each girl's name.  I bought my heat transfer glitter from this etsy shop.  The shipping is pretty quick and they have a very wide selection! The easel that the paint cans are on came from Ikea.

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Ryann had fun, I think the girls had fun, and despite having nine kids under the age of seven in my house, it was surprisingly relaxed!

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June 5, 2016

thea - ten months

Clearly slacking in the blogging department.  Seeing as my last update was also a monthly post.  But hey, at least I'm not totally failing with those!  And for the love my blog design is what, 4.5 years old?  Sad story.  Oh well.  Thea is ten freaking months old and I think I'm going to feel all the feelings and cry big fat tears when she turns one.

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I've had to resort to all methods of bribery and distraction to take pictures of this kid.  Puffs, lights, songs, siblings, etc.  You name it, I tried it.  Photographing babies is hard freaking work!

I made zero attempts to measure the little miss.  At Thea's last check-up their computer system was down, so I didn't have her percentages.  They were mailed to me a few days later and she had dropped to the 28th percentile in weight.  For a girl who was once in the 90th I was pretty surprised.  We also were persuaded to get labs drawn because the pediatrician doesn't think too highly of me not giving Thea baby cereals (therefore not getting a lot of extra iron).  I was hesitant because I didn't do cereals with the other two and they seemed to have turned out just fine, but I complied. Her numbers fell just below the normal range (normal is 10.5-13 I believe, her levels were 10.2), so they prescribed an iron supplement.  However they wrote a script for 300% of an infants daily iron needs.  Sounds a bit nuts to me for a child who barely missed the mark, not to mention she wasn't eating a ton a table foods yet, so we're doing our own thing.  We're supposed to have her levels rechecked in a couple of weeks so we'll see.

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Clothes are still 6-12 month or 12 months.  There are some 9 month items that still fit, but for the most part they are too small.  She can wear size three shoes, and the ones I just bought at Old Navy are 12-18 month.  Still fitting in the size three diapers.  The teeth count is still holding strong at six.  I swore I could see some more coming in on top, but nothing has popped through yet.

Thea has started eating fair amount more of table foods.  Ham, cheese, black beans and avocado seem to be the favorites.  Actually yogurt melts are her jam, she goes nuts for those things, along with puffs.  She will also eat sweet potato, corn, peas, banana, bread, occasionally asparagus and green beans.  Honestly she might eat a wider variety if we offered, but we haven't been cooking a ton lately.  I fed her some grilled chicken legs we had the other night and she was loving it.  Blueberries still seem to the absolute most hated food in the universe.  Why she hates them so much I have no idea, but she HATES them.  She is still nursing the same amount, about 5-6 times a day.  And she has figured out, for the most part, how to use the playtex straw cups.

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I'm happy to report that Thea has occasionally started sleeping through the night.  Granted through the night is 7:45am-5:45am and that is totally killing my morning run and shower routine, but I am more consistently getting long stretches of sleep and it is glorious.  I've tried feeding her and putting her back in her crib, but everyone in our house is getting up around then (6:15 or so, early birds) and the sun is coming up and it just hasn't worked.  Sometimes she wakes up in the middle of the night, but if I feed her she'll go back to sleep.  She generally takes two naps a day, each about two hours long.  I more or less nurse her to sleep all the time.  She CAN fall asleep on her own, but she is still just so pathetic about it, and that kid has me wrapped around her finger sooo...

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Thea is starting to cruise more effectively, and girlfriend loves to use anything and everything she can as a walker.  If she pulls up on something and it slides a bit she immediately has to test it to see if she can push it across the room.  Stools, end tables, the pouf ottoman in her room, laundry baskets, they all regularly go cruising throughout the house.  Thea has also taken a big interest in holding our hands and walking.  For a bit there she would just plop down if we tried, preferring to just crawl to her desired location, but now she'll seek out your hands and try to steer you where she wants to go.  She can walk holding on with just one hand, but the second she starts to stumble a bit, she reaches out with her other hand.

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No words yet, but Thea is by no means a quiet baby.  Right now she seems to say 'yay yay yay' or 'day day day' and occaionally 'da da da' on repeat.  Yay yay yay is my favorite.  She'll say ma ma ma and throw a few other sounds in there as well, but for the most part she sticks with the previously mentioned ones.  You can tell that she is understanding more and more.  She'll shake something if we say shake, or smack stuff together if we say bam bam.  She claps when we say yay, and will sometimes wave when we say hi.  If I ask her where her baby doll's eyes are, she looks to it's face.  And she is starting to follow along when I sing 'If You're Happy And You Know It.'  I can't wait until we hear some words.  The girls are so curious to know what her first real word will be.  Ryann of course is pulling for 'Ry Ry.'  I can't remember what Elsie picked, but it is something absurd that will never happen.

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Thea really is just such a happy baby.  She is pretty quick to smile, and while she prefers Mommy, Daddy or Grammy to hold her, she is happy to flirt with anyone and everyone.  She is adorable out in public.  Only recently have I started taking her places more often, before I tried to run errands or do things when someone else could watch her, because she got tired quickly and doesn't like being confined when she is tired.  Now she can stay awake for longer stretches without turning into a maniac.  And she is so interested and curious about everything going on around her.  My mom and I took her down the toy aisle at Target and I think her head about damn near exploded.  So many things to see and touch and oh my gosh!  It is the cutest.

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Thea, watching you grow is so much fun, but some days I wish I could keep you my baby forever!  Love you so much.