Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One Year Old...

So, Ri's one year birthday has come and gone in the blink of an eye, and she's almost 13 months old already. Slacker Mommy has failed to keep a record yet again. ::sigh::

There just aren't enough hours in a day...

Just a quick recap:

Umma arrived in Korea on the 16th, we prepped for the party on the 17th, and then on the morning of the 18th, I found out that there was some major bicycle race along the primary road that leads to Hello Kitty Town! ACK! So there I was contacting everyone who had comfirmed they were coming to let them know to come a bit later, find an alternate route, or take public transportation. All drama aside, the party was fun and interesting and entertaining for all. The traditional set-up was beautiful and worth every penny. Loved having the party at Hello Kitty Town because the kids could just go play and the adults could actually have some conversation and enjoy the food.

At the Dol-jahb-ee, she took her time looking and deciding on what to grab, unlike Tay who grabbed the money right away, and then casually picked up the "writing brush," which is supposed to be indicative of a future scholar on our hands...we'll see about that. :)

Thanks so much to all those who came and joined us in the celebrations!

As for her development and growth, she is now an avid walker as of about two or three weeks ago. She had been crusing for a while and just standing on her own for months now, but never really took more than three or four steps at a time and then preferred to crawl the rest of the way. Now, she prefers to walk EVERYWHERE and gets quite upset when you pick her up to get someplace faster...::sigh::  She also prefers to play on her feet, so even if all the rest of us are sitting down, she'll remain standing, or squat so she can play with whatever is on the floor rather than just sitting down.

She has begun identifying things with words and definitely understands way more than she says. The words she does say and know what they mean now are umma, appa, unna (unni - big sister), ata (tita - "aunt" for Beth), bah (ball), tka (cup...not sure why, but that's what she calls it and that's actually what Tay called it, too, but she put a p at the beginning - ptka), ah-ter (water), boo (book), eh-wo (hello), eh-tuh (thank you) and a handful of other words I can't think of at the moment. She's hilarious because she'll just chatter on in all sorts of nonsense and look at you like you're supposed to understand. And then if you look at her puzzled, she'll just go on about her business muttering to herself as if she's complaining that you're not understanding her.

She is also quite funny when it comes to getting dressed or putting on shoes. Whenever we get ready to go out and we get by the door to put on shoes, I'll set her on the floor and the first thing she'll do is lift up her foot and go "eh?" like she's expecting me to put on her shoes. As for putting on her pants, I'll have her lying down and say "Toes!" and she'll lift up both her feet and shoot them into the pants! It works half the time and the other half she has entirely missed the pant leg and I have to fight her into the pants! This results in an array of giggles and squirminess, but ultimately a dressed one-year-old, so all is well that ends well. :) When putting on the shirt, she will sit up and after getting her head in the shirt, she'll tuck her arm behind her with a little smirk on her face. When I give her the "look," she'll delay for just a bit more and then she'll put her arm through the sleeve I'm holding out for her. Then, she'll do the exact same thing with the other arm...this time with some giggling and a bit more resistence. Such excitement with wee-ones!

In other sweetness, she kisses when she WANTS to now...not only when she's asked. She'll just be playing and happy and suddenly she'll toddle over and plant a sweet one right on your face...even with the sound effect of mmmmmah! She even "tries" puckering, although it's just a cute little smirk that she gets. After she kisses you, she'll usually stand there and clap for herself with an embarrassed look on her face. Silly girl. Her favorite person to kiss is her big sister...go figure. She'll even hug nice and tight, but usually it's combined with a kiss where she'll wrap her little arms around your head and then kiss you as she squeezes...LOVE!

Another game she loves to play is rolling this giant fluffy soccer ball we have back and forth. Granted, she hasn't quite figured out how to get it further than a foot or so, but when she does, she is just SO excited and proud of herself. She also enjoys climbing. EVERYTHING. I find it quite amusing when she is trying to climb something taller than she can reach, so she takes a dvd case, puts it on the floor, stands on top of it and tries to climb up. Like that whole half an inch is going to give her any sort of boost. At least she's figured out that if she can climb on top of something else to get on top of something higher...that's cognitive development. :)

Whenever she sees Tay writing or drawing on something, Ri must also get in on the action so she will "joosayyo" her way to getting a piece of paper and a crayon and proceed scribbling (and tasting) happily, all the while looking at what her Unni is doing. She wants to do everything her big sister can do...must be a rough life not being able to do everything that the bigger kid does. She's pretty aggressive, though, so give her another year or two and I think she'll be running with the big girls in no time.  ::sad::

On the "tantrum" front, Ri has a whole different technique to being "upset" than Tay did at this stage. When she gets mad or doesn't get something her way, she will plop herself down and dive into a belly flop on the floor, but being extra careful so as not to hit her face or head on the floor, and then she'll ever-so-gently set her face on the floor. Then she will proceed with the whining. Looking up from time-to-time to see if I'm looking at her and paying attention. Quite amusing. If she's on a softer surface, though, like a bed or a mat, she'll throw herself down a "little" harder, but then she'll find that amusing so she'll frequently forget what she was getting mad about and start giggling. Silly girl.

It's pretty scary how quickly she is growing up...I LOVE this age, though...so adorable and so fun(ny). I look forward to seeing her learn new things every day. Such a funny funny girl.

Love you, Shinah Riley Ryals.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Learning things!

It seems the little one is rapidly learning things these days. Now that she's getting a little braver about letting go to take some steps on her own, she's getting around fairly well. Most of the time, though, she'll just stand up and stay in place...just looking around and grinning - I imagine 'cause the view is nicer from a standing position or she's just really proud of herself. Sometimes, she'll even clap for herself as she's standing.

Another thing she learned this weekend - how to receive with two hands! She's learning that by putting out two hands palms up with a cute expression on her face will get her things much faster from all parties (to include her big sister) than if she just tries grabbing things. Now that she's learned that, she's all about it! I must get a video and post it because she's just too cute. This morning, Tay was eating an apple sitting on the kitchen floor when Ri came up right beside her, sat down, and reach out both of her hands with palms up with an adorable "pleading" look so she could have a taste. Of course, sweet big sister breaks off a chunk and gives it to her and Ri's just so happy she sits there grinning and sucking on the apple chunk. She's gonna be pretty upset when the "joosayyo" technique doesn't work when she really wants something!

Ri's also been watching how big sister dresses herself every morning and every evening before bed. As I was folding up some clothes this morning, she was playing around in the clothes, and she picked up a pair of big sister's underwear and tried her hardest to get her feet into them. After a few minutes of struggling and toppling over a couple times, she decided that was not the right way to put them on and commenced putting the underwear on her head. Also unsuccessful here (since her arms weren't quite long enough to get the underwear on top of her head), she decided to just wrap the underwear around the back of her neck like a scarf (or neckerchief) and clapped for herself. Silly girl.

As for her solid food intake, she is pretty much game for tasting anything as long as she can put it in her mouth herself. She enjoys taking her own spoon, dipping it into the bowl, and then eating whatever is stuck to the spoon. She's getting surprisingly better at actually "feeding" herself! Mind you, it is not the neatest event, but she sure enjoys herself. She definitely enjoys fruit more than vegetables, which is different from what Tay enjoyed at this stage. Tay didn't care for sweets other than banana and her favorite was probably broccoli, but Ri really enjoys a variety of fruits. She also loves all kinds of meat, but Tay did not care for meat until she was at least 18 months old. It's funny how different the taste preferences are. Thankfully, both are eating well for the time being. Ri's favorite fruit seems to be peaches right now, but it may be because peaches are in season right now and they are just so delicious. The Korean white peaches are amazingly sweet and juicy and when just ripe, so incredibly soft! The whole family enjoys them!

This weekend was a little rough because the girls of the household were all sick, but it looks like Tay's on the full recovery path, Ri and Mommy are still down for the count, but functioning, somewhat, and Daddy's still going strong. Let's hope we can all be well before next weekend! Ri, even though she was sick, still managed to pull off some adorable pics at her one-year photo session at AIMIN photo studio. Getting antsy for her first birthday party!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Eight Months Old...

I am a complete blogging slacker now. I can't help it. I'm just too busy at work and too tired when I get home, so there is just no time to write about my crazy beautiful children. What can I do? I am trying to at least keep up and write at LEAST once a month, but if I wait that long, then I end up missing a bunch of interesting stories because too much time has lapsed...


Okay, now that I am done sulking, let's get on with the entry.

The past month has been a "growing" one for Riley...not necessarily in the physical growth, but definitely in cognitive growth and experiential growth. Since the last post, we made our trip to Cebu, and it was fantastic, albeit EXHAUSTING.  We spent a week at Plantation Bay, and we had a blast. Ri LOVED being in the water and would splash and splash while I carried her around. She didn't care too much for the float (or maybe I didn't care too much for the float because she would just suck the water off the part near her mouth) so I did most of the "floating" for her. Although we didn't get a good video or picture, we also used the "infant lifejacket" and she was actually floating there on her back in the lagoon by herself and when we said kick-kick-kick, she'd kick and Jeff made the flapping motion with his arms and said "move your arms, too!" she did! It was so adorable...I only wish we had our waterproof camera CHARGED.  arg.

She didn't care too much for the sunscreen, but it had to be done with her sensitive and fair skin; luckily, neither girls got any sunburn the entire trip! She did pretty well with keep her hat on her head. We were able to get some really cute pictures. She didn't like being thrown in the air as much as Tay did when she was her age. She prefered the splash down and I think she enjoyed the slides (since I couldn't really see her face coming down).

Development. Riley has grown leaps and bounds in the cognitive development. She has mastered the "mama" and "dada" and has recently even started saying "ata" for Tita! If you say, "bye-bye" and wave, she'll raise her hand and say "ba-ba-ba." She knows if she bangs on something, it's going to make a sound, and she LOVES to do that. She's a complete copycat, too! If you stick your tongue out, she'll do it right back. If you blow a rasberry, she'll do it over and over! If you squint your eyes, she'll squint her eyes (and make a funny face), and if you go to kiss her, she'll open her mouth and try to eat you. :)

In the physical development, she has finally figured out the forward crawl so she is quite mobile. She combines the forward crawl with the roll and backward scoot to get exactly where she wants. Babyproofing the house has begun. I am finding it is MUCH HARDER to babyproof with a toddler in the house! Her fine motor skills are developing nicely as well. She can now pick up a Cheerio-sized piece of food with her pincer grab and get it into her mouth (most of the time). She has also almost gotten down the "flying kiss"...but she usually gets distracted once the hand is at the mouth and starts biting or blowing rasberries on her hand instead of letting the "kiss" fly.

I know this post is a bit rushed, but at least it's somewhat written, no?  Man, I really need to put in more time to write...I miss it.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Almost seven months!

Let's see...Riley's now almost seven months old and next week, she'll be making her first flight to Cebu, Philippines. She's a little behind her sister in that Tay flew back to the US when she was 2.5 months old, Thailand at 6 months old, and Philippines at 9 months old. For some reason, we travelled a LOT that first year of Tay's life. I guess it's true that with two kids, it's harder to travel (and a lot more expensive, too!). Not to worry, Riley, because you'll get plenty of sky miles in your first year, too, because we're also heading back to the US this summer!

Anyhow, just wanted to write a quick blurb about what she's up to lately. She got sick sick for the first time last week where she was running a low-grade fever for about four or five days, but we didn't need to medicate because it never went above 101 degrees and she would cool down fairly quickly with a wet wash cloth and some down dressing. It all started with a little cough on Friday. Coughed a few more times on Saturday, but Saturday night, she couldn't keep any food down so she threw up about five or six times in the middle of the night. Yes, this made for two clothing and sheet changes, but after that I learned my lesson and finally just got a giant bowl and had it next to me as I held her so I could hang her over it. Survived the rest of the night catching the contents of her tiny tummy. I would have been more concerned if she was lethargic or wasn't wetting her diaper, but she continued to want to eat, her nursing was strong, and whenever she did get a bit of sleep, she would wake up happy and energetic. Long story short, Sunday, she started her low-grade fever with her continued cough, but again, no change in attitude or energy level from the little one and still nursing strong. Monday, she was able to keep down some solid food and more nursing, so it looked like she was on the up-swing, but she just wasn't shaking the fever. She ended up having a huge diarrhea diaper, and then her fever went down for a bit, and she seemed back to normal and then she got the snots.  Yuck.

Anyhow, long story short, she's almost better; the fever is gone now and she's got the lingering cough and a snotty nose. But...now I think Daddy and big sister are getting sick.  Arg...I hate when we share bugs.

On a happier note, Riley now calls me UMMA!  Mostly when she's whiny.  Like if she wants me to pick her up and I'm not moving fast enough, she goes "Ummmmma" in her sad little sick voice. She has also mastered the "bye-bye" wave...but she'll rarely pick up her arm to do it. She'll just open and shut her right hand. If you lift it for her, she'll wave perfectly and on cue. She also has figured out how to look really sad without actually crying so she'll squint her eyes and pout her lips and make a sound like "hmmhmmhmm" and then she'll open her eyes to check to make sure you're looking at her. If you're not looking at her or making an effort to "help" her, she will then shut her eyes again, open her mouth and let out a yell. Then, she'll open her eyes again and look at you once more to see if you're moving.  This will go on for a bit before she actually gets mad and cries, but it's so darn cute when she does it, I can't help but just watch her to see her doing it again and again!  Bad mama...

Riley also has figured out almost how to get from a tummy position into the sitting position, but she has not yet figured out how to get on all fours...it's weird how that works. I suspect she'll be crawling in the next couple weeks because she's quite the scooter and most of the time it's backwards, but every so often she'll scoot forward.

She now has two teeth, too!  Both on the bottom. I can't believe this child has two teeth already! Tay didn't have her first tooth until she was seven months! 

Anyhow, luckily, even through sickness, I have a very happy child, so I look forward to next week's vacation with the family.  Work has been so TIME CONSUMING.  Ugh.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The First Tooth! ...and sitting up.

Poor little Riley has been drooling and biting on things non-stop for the past week or so and now we know why: Riley has cut her very first tooth. It seems a little early for me since Tay didn't cut her first tooth until she turned seven months, but what can you do...

Tay's came with a low-grade fever and a bit of crankiness, but none of the drool and incessant biting(!). Riley had no fever, but she made it very obvious that her gums were itching by chewing and biting on everything to include (but not limited to) her spoon during feeding, her bottles during nursing, ME, and her fingers! Oh, and the drool!  Her little mouth had a never-ending leak.  :)...

Another milestone she has almost mastered is sitting up by herself (not from a lying down position, although she has been working ever-so-hard on those flutter kicks). She's very good at the "tri-pod" and now prefers that to any other placement (not her back, not her tummy). I still try and avoid sitting her up after she has eaten or nursed because she still doesn't sit up quite straight, so some of it comes right up when squished properly...ugh. Her back strength is getting very good, I think because she LOVED tummy time for a while, so she always wanted to be on her belly. I got a few really cute video clips of her sitting up and toppling over, but I want to merge them together because watching them in series is just that much funnier...if I can figure out how to do it. 

Yay for developing! She's already starting to scoot around on her belly (with every bit of strength she has in that little body) and grunts all the while, but she doesn't get far...yet. She hasn't figured out that if her face is down on the mat, it's gonna hurt if she scoots too far. I'm hoping her "inch worm" maneuver transitions into a more of a face-up low crawl soon. 

OH! I also forgot to mention that she CLEARLY knows who "Umma" is...if you ask, "Where's Umma?" she'll turn her head and look around for me and when our eyes meet, she gets this HUGE goofy grin on her face...then she tucks her little chin down to her chest and squints her eyes with a smile like she's being bashful or something...hehehehe...adorable.  Riley's just starting to grow out of that immobile newborn phase and about to move into the uber-cute melt-your-heart charmer phase...Tay went through that transition and can still melt your heart in the blink of an eye...now we're gonna have TWO of them in the house! How am I going to get anything done?!?

Well, we've got another fun-filled weekend ahead of us, so here's to hitting a few more milestones!  Yay, Riley!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lazy Momma?

Perhaps I have become lazy now that I have two little girls to write about except one...

I feel sorry that I can't capture every developmental milestone like I did for Tay, but the world still knows what's going on because of Facebook.  I think because it's so much easier to write short status rather than writing a whole blog entry for each event, I have resorted to doing that to let people know what's going on with our little family.  Anyhow, that's just lazy, I think, on my part...so I really ought to get on it and write. Enough making excuses and on with the post...

Since November, Riley has hit quite a few milestones.  She has grown like a weed, of course.  At her two month check-up, she weighed over 15 pounds and was already rolling from belly to back.  At her four month check up, she was 17 pounds and 10 ounces and rolling in both directions.  We thought we had a thumb-sucker on our hands because for a while she constantly sucked her hands and her thumb, but now she has relinquished the thumb and just licks her hands or whatever happens to be near her mouth and sometimes she sucks it for a few moments and then resumes licking.  Riley must have been born with an appetite for solids because even before she was three months old, she would drool and demand whatever food we were eating.  We got a really hilarious video of her getting mad while her sister ate a cheese stick right in front of her without sharing.  I decided to start her on solids just a little past her four-month birthday, and it has been hugely successful.  I made my own rice soup for her and she ate it like a champ.  One day after work, I was so hungry I was eating a pita and dipping it in some homemade hummus.  Riley was watching me and drooling a waterfall...and then she started getting mad that I wasn't sharing.  I decided to give her a taste, so I dipped my finger in the hummus and let her taste...oh my.  She LOVED it.  She was demanding more.  I didn't think she could handle a lot yet, so I just gave her one more dipped finger, and she grabbed my hand as soon as she saw it and shoved my finger in her mouth!  I knew she was definitely ready for more than just rice soup.  Then, we introduced green beans and rice puree, which she loved even more.  We introduced some prunes as well because she hadn't poo-ed in more days than I was used to...she made some interesting faces to that, but she did get to liking it.  She has also had a couple tastes of banana, too, as Tay and I made some banana muffins one evening.  :) 

Riley seems to enjoy getting read to...especially if she can see the books and the colorful pages.  I enjoy lying in between my girls and reading a book to them together...it doesn't last super-long, but it's so wonderful while it lasts. 

I'd like to mention here that this post is not chronologically arranged...I'm just writing as I remember.

Christmas was a blast with the two kids.  Of course it would have been nice to see some family, but it was also very nice having a nice cozy Christmas, just the four of us.  Christmas was even more fun this year than last because Tay had a blast opening all the great presents she got and even helped Riley open her presents.  We had a nice lazy day.  I absolutely love the Christmas season.

Shortly after Christmas, on 29 December 2010 to be precise, Riley turned 100 days old so we got a little cake, dressed the girls up in pretty dresses and had our own little party in the comfort of our home.  Also, that day marked the first day that Riley rolled from back to front!  What another great way to mark a milestone.  On a side-note, we didn't do a big 100-day celebration because our entire household was recovering from the sniffles...that nasty cough lingered for over two weeks!  Yuck.  For the first time ever, I had to suction a baby's nose so she could eat easier. Poor thing. 

2011 arrived and I made us dduk-guk for dinner that night.  I can't remember what we did that morning during the day, though...why? 

I've noticed that Riley really enjoys being on her tummy for the most part.  She sometimes seems to prefer being on her belly rather than her back.  Perhaps it's because she's on her back the majority of the time, but she definitely gets a kick out of rolling over on to her belly and looking around. Now her arm strength is getting much stronger so she rotates on her belly as she needs to to reach toys and such.  Just recently, (mid Feb) she has started to scoot on her belly by doing the "inch worm"...she puts her face down on the mat, scoots her behind up in the air, then pushes forward with her knees on her belly and face.  She doesn't scoot far, so I'm not so concerned that she'll get mat-burn on her face, but it's a concern that we'll probably have soon enough...ugh.

This past weekend was the Coex Baby Fair.  Riley and I were "live" models to demonstrate the use of the Moby Wrap for two shifts - Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon. It was quite an adventure with SO many people, but because she's just so darn cute, she made an excellent model because everyone would first look at her and then ask me about the wrap!  :)  It worked out well...hopefully we helped make some sales. 

Well, in other news, I have changed jobs and this week will be my first week at the new job.  It'll be a steep learning curve, I think, but I will enjoy the challenge!  Hopefully this job will also motivate me to write a bit more regularly...maybe.  Or maybe it'll have me so busy I'll give up writing all together!!!  Hopefully not...

Looking forward to another great month with my family and my ever-growing sweet baby girl.  Happy five month birthday, Shinah Riley!