He was the inventor of the drinking straw. So far, that’s the only way that Lauren has been willing to drink a substantial amount of cow’s milk. And when I say substantial, I mean more than an ounce at a meal. Let’s hope that with the use of a straw, she will start to appreciate the taste – not just be fascinated with the drinking apparatus – and eventually will drink it despite the method.
At least for right now. Lauren’s eighth tooth finally appeared. It’s strange how some of her teeth pop up and we didn’t even know she was teething until we actually see it and other teeth seem like they take FOREVER to finally come through – #8 was one of the later. But now that it’s here, no more drooling or that sudden fussiness in the early evening that’s so uncharacteristic of Lauren and she’s finally a little less fidgety when I brush her teeth. Glad to finally meet you #8!
As in what we tell Lauren when she wants to attempt to climb down the stairs on her own…backwards! Seeing her slide down on her belly – usually only briefly stopping at each step to kind of slow herself is both nerve racking (even though we are only inches from her) and entertaining. She sure does take pleasure in attempting new things and doing them over and over and over again. Is this just normal baby activity or could she be a little obsessive / compulsive…surely not being a product of Ryan and me! 😉
On our daily walks Lauren has started something new…waving. She waves to the neighborhood dogs as we pass by or to cars in the street. When we pass a house, trees overheard or just a bunch of flowers, yep, you guessed it – she waves to them. And boy does she ever wave to the occasional ball that we so fortunately stumble upon which was left in a front yard by a neighborhood kid! Each wave is very precise. Arm stretched upward and just the slightest bit of finger movement in the direction of the object that she’s greeting. I would call it a very diplomatic wave. Could I be strolling around a future president?!!
Or in our case, Lauren see, Lauren do! It is simply amazing watching Lauren absorb all of the things in her surroundings – and very humorous at times too. This past weekend I was quite amused to see Lauren intently studying her dad in the shower as he washed his hair. After a few minutes of observation, she placed both hands on top of her head and started imitating Ryan by swishing her hair back and forth. She then looked at me with a huge smile on her face – so proud of herself. Later that night during her bath, she began assisting me with washing her hair and has continued to do so every night since.
Now that I think about it, perhaps Lauren has an obsession with her hair. She is very insistent on combing her own hair after I have finished getting all her fly-a-ways under control. Her technique needs some work as she usually just makes her hair stick up again but it sure is cute watching her try. She also enjoys putting clippies in her hair (for that matter in both my hair and Hailey’s too), however she hasn’t mastered the squeeze part yet so basically she just balances it on top of her head. Might I add, she’s really pretty good at that.
To my surprise, she has also mastered putting a headband through her hair. For a couple of days now while I finish getting ready, Lauren has enjoyed playing in one of my drawers in the bathroom. One of the things that really caught her eye was an old headband that she initially tried putting on her arm like a purse and then on her neck (I’m assuming like necklaces that she’s seen her Grandma & Grannie wearing). I then showed her that it went on her head but decided it might not be the best thing for her to play with so hide it back in the drawer. The next day Lauren, of course, found it again and before I knew it, had put it in her hair! And she did a pretty good job if I say so myself. Take a look!
Today was Lauren’s 12 month checkup and shots. I always have mixed feelings about these visits. I’m so excited to see how much Lauren has grown but hate that it has to end with a round of shots. Each time Lauren just cries briefly, however, I might be scared for life. 🙂
Lauren’s still on the growth path of “not so big” but “strangely tall” – my words, not the doctor’s. They are still sticking to the more politically correct phrase of “long & lean”. She weighed in at 18 lbs. 12 oz. (13%) but is already 30 1/2 inches tall (87%). We are going to start on cow’s milk as soon as we make a trip to the grocery store – I’m anxious to see how that goes – but am also thrilled to have a few more selections for our afternoon snack options now that we have the green light on strawberries and peanut butter.
I tired to get my usual shot of Lauren proudly displaying her bandaged battle scares, however, as soon as she saw the band-aids, all she wanted to do was rip them off to play with them. Nevertheless, I got a picture of that instead.
Lauren’s first birthday was so much fun! She didn’t gasp out loud as I thought she would at all of the balls, balloons & dogs (she left that reaction for the day after when only Mommy, Daddy & Hailey were present to enjoy), however, I believe that she really had a great time. We all dined on some of her favorite foods for lunch – grilled cheese, green beans, and loads of fruit including pineapple, papaya, grapes, oranges, kiwi, and honeydew – and then after opening presents she got to sample birthday cake and ice-cream for the very first time.
After several minutes of just smiling as her hands sunk further and further into the icing, she finally tasted a little with Dad’s help. Once she got the hang of it, she made quite a mess but spent some time trying to lick it all off of her hands.
The ice cream was a completely different experience. While I think she liked the taste, it was just too cold for her – causing a reaction of total body chills and a wide open mouth frown indicating that she just wanted to spit the extra cold substance out but couldn’t because it tasted too good.
The dog-ball-balloon theme was definitely a big hit and I’m sure will continue to bring much entertainment to our play sessions for days to come. Even with pictures of both Ryan and me displayed next to some current shots of Lauren, no one could come to a consciences as to who she favors more. I guess she really is a true mix of both of us! Click on the picture of Lauren to enjoy a few more pictures from her first birthday!
WOW! I can’t believe that this time last year we had just met our little baby girl for the first time less than 24 hours ago…it sure doesn’t seem like a whole year has come and gone. But then I think of how much Lauren has accomplished in the past year and I’m utterly amazed that it’s only been a year. To think that she could hardly see anything with her eyes a year ago and now she will point to them when you ask her! That cute little belly button that she so fondly locates upon request wasn’t so cute and kissable last year! 🙂 When I see those first pictures of her and truly can’t believe that she was ever that small…her skinny little legs – while still lacking the usual baby rolls – are now strong enough to carry her any where she desires (tonight she walked around the pool table and back without anyone in front of her for motivation – she just wanted to take a walk! She also has perfected turning while walking as she went around and around in circles tonight while playing keep-a-way from Hailey with one of her balls…it was impossible not to laugh out loud!)
I am in awe of how much Lauren understands. It seems that every day she surprises me by actually doing what I’m asking of her. She knows come her, bring it to me, give it to me, give it to Hailey, sit down. When it’s, “bath time” she will attempt to undress herself, lifting up her arms to take off her shirt when you say “arms up”. In the morning she is great at helping get dressed by pushing her hands through her shirt when you say “push, push, push” and will step one leg at a time into her pants. She gets the biggest kick when you let her throw away her own diapers and enjoys cleaning her plate – even if that usually means dropping anything that she no longer wants on the floor for Hailey. She will stand on her head when you ask her to and can locate her eyes, ears, mouth, nose, belly button and toes upon request. Her favorite books are the ones where you have to seek out a specific animal and she can do that by name or by the picture. She knows Granny, Grandma, Grandpa & Papaw and can point out Aunts and Uncles after a little refresher. She knows most of her stuffed animals by name including Geoffrey the Giraffe, Penny the Pig, Hippo, Duck, Bunny, Zoë the Zebra, Elle the Elephant, Frog, and any one of her several Dogs. I could go on and on and while she’s a girl of few words, her understanding of them seems endless. She’s an awfully good helper around the house – continuing her roll of laundry sorter while I fold and has started helping with the dishes as well – handing me the clean flatware from the dishwasher so I can put it away. I foresee this maybe having a few hiccups as unlike the clothes that she gets such a thrill from removing from the dryer and throwing into a basket, the dishes are heavy and breakable. I’ll see how long I can keep her strictly zoned in on the forks & spoons.
Lauren is such a mild mannered baby. She’s very much an observer – loves to people watch which makes eating out and even shopping very enjoyable for the whole family! She’s an extremely happy baby and loves to laugh and smile, but can be stingy with them at times, only sharing them with the people that she knows and loves most – and then is a REAL goofball! (sounds just like her Daddy, huh?!) . She does play by herself well, however, prefers to have Mommy, Daddy and Hailey in the mix. Her favorite time of the day is in the evening after dinner and before her bath. All four of us are upstairs in the game room just having a great time! Lauren spends most of the time walking, talking and simply running wild from one end of the room to the other. After she has tuckered herself out by playing full-force, a nice quiet bath hits the stop which comes in as an extremely close second-runner-up for Lauren’s favorite past time!
What an absolutely wonderful first year! To see pictures from Lauren’s 12 month photo shoot, chick here.
First Year Highlights!