Monday, August 31, 2009

Collecting Things

Sara Beth has learned that anything not bolted down to the floor can be picked up and that she can then play with them.  When she came back from the pool one day, she decided that her polka-dot pajama bottoms can work perfectly well as a shawl, so she went to extract all the books and stuffed animals from their orderly positions while sporting her fancy new neck-wear.

She loves to play with her medical supplies.  In addition to a play set that we bought her for her birthday, we gave her an old empty Tylenol bottle.  As you can see, there was not enough room for it in her shopping cart, so she needed to use alternative methods to carry it.  

And then we come to makeup.  Sara Beth loves to get some chap stick on her lips whenever Heather puts some on her lips.  In addition, Sara B loves to steal Heather's lipstick.  They are, apparently, the perfect size to grab.  I have found Heather's lipstick  in many different places other than under Heather's sink.  In this picture, I caught her in possession of three different sticks while she was trying to transport them.

Sara Beth is showing off her Sunday best.  She has graduated from the infant nursery and moved on to the toddler class.  The workers say that she is very good and communicative.  When she wants something from the diaper bag (snack or bottle), she will walk over to the side of the room where all the diaper bags are, and then point at them till someone brings it down for her to fish out want she wants.

Sara Beth loves helping in the yard.  She helped put some more mulch in our front flower beds.   Flowers quake in fear when Sara Beth is near. It took several attempts before she learned the difference between a "gentle touch" and a flower mangling grap, and a couple petunias are going to need a couple of weeks to recover.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Sara Beth is learning what rules are.  She has enough of a grasp on the English language that we can now start laying down some rules.  When she was younger and learning to explore the house, we closed the door to the laundry room, so that she would not get into the cat's litter box in that room.  Once Sara B went to bed, we would open the door back up for the cats before they decided to use our bed as a replacement litter box.  Now that she is old enough, we keep the door open, and convey to Sara Beth that she is not allowed in there.  Sara Beth wants to make sure that we mean it.  She will go right up to the entrance and see how close she can get without getting punished.  

  Once she knows where that line is, then she will see if repetition will bring different results.  She would go right up to the line, check that Heather was watching her, and then take an additional step into the cat's safe room.   One day, it took Sara Beth 6 consecutive "experiments" before deciding that we meant it.  She has learned that lesson.  She is now much more responsive when we tell her "no," though there are exceptions.  Tonight she got a spanking for ignoring us and repeatedly trying to eat food off the plates in the dishwasher as we loaded it.

Greater communication between Sara Beth and us means that we can play more advanced games with her as well.  Now when we go to the pool, after Sara Beth wears herself out running around the splash park, we will help her jump into the pool.  Heather will stand with Sara Beth at the edge, and then on the count of three, Sara Beth will gleefully leap into my arms in the pool.  Well, it is more of a walk off the edge as she can't really leap, but she does do it with a big smile on her face.  

Sara Beth's aunt and uncle came to visit this weekend.  Sara Beth and Uncle John had a great time playing.  I suspect that Sara Beth was fascinated by the beard.

Sara Beth's walking skills have improved where she is now able to keep up with her older friends.  Sophia and Sara Beth ended up playing tag around the kitchen, circling around the other.  You couldn't tell who was "it," but they had fun doing it, laughing loudly the whole time.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sharing with cats

Sara Beth had a fever at the beginning of this week from her one-year vaccinations.  The MMR shot gave her a 103 degree fever from Monday to Wednesday morning.  She slept for long stretches.  She was a little fussy, but tylenol kept her happy.  I turns out that her first molar also came through during the same time.  So the medicine was doing double duty helping her gums feel better too.

Needless to say, it didn't slow Sara B down all that much.  She is still tearing though the house, exploring all the nooks and following the cats around.  She has learned to give them "gentle touches" so they no longer bolt whenever she gets within grabbing distance.  In fact, the cats and Sara Beth are beginning to build friendships.  Here, Sara Beth noticed Little Bit begging at the table for food, so she offers so share her melon.

Noodles are one thing that Sara Beth hasn't offered to share.  She loves the stuff; shoveling it into her mouth using both hands.  I suspect that, just like her father, spaghetti is her favorite food. 

If  you notice most of the pictures this week have been taken with Sara Beth is strapped down into her booster seat.  It is easier to photograph her if something keeps her in one place.  

Heather noticed that Sara Beth's hair is getting long enough that it can be pulled back off her face under a bow.  It is amazing how different she looks with her hair done up differently.  You can still tell that it is Sara Beth because of the distinctive trouble making sparkle in her eye.

Heather and Sara Beth have been going to the pool almost every day.  It is a great way to play outside without bursting into flames in the 100 degree Texas heat.  Next to the pool is a little splash park with fountains and showers.  Sara Beth loves that much more than the pool, since she can control her own movements, and isn't limited to being held by Heather in the pool.  She will circle around some off the fountains, and others she will run through, but in either case, she will do it with a big grin on her face.

If I am lucky, Sara Beth and Heather will wait until I come home from work before going to the pool.  It is so fun to watch Sara Beth though whatever water-based obstacle is in her path to get to me.  When she catches me, I will scoop her up and run back through the fountains.  It is great fun and I could do it every evening, at least until the weather starts to get cooler.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mmmmm... hummus

Heather and Sara Beth both like hummus.  Heather got a package of the ground up chickpeas from the store and spread it on crackers for Sara Beth to eat.  Sara Beth licked the stuff off the crackers and asked for more to be spread on her now empty crackers.  We bought a second package of it after the first one disappeared so quickly.

Also, Sara Beth now keeps a fork or her tray.  She will practice using it, stabbing at or around her food with it.  Typically, she will give up and grab the food with her other hand, but occasionally, she will proudly raise a skewered bit of food to her mouth.  She has even offered her filled fork to me for me to eat off of.  

Sara Beth's new word of the day is "Uh-oh".  She will walk around the house repeating it.  When Heather asked "what is uh-oh?," Sara B looked around and saw her doll lying on the floor, and pointed to it, repeating "uh-oh."

Now that Sara Beth is more mobile, she has begun to explore the whole house and looking in all the nooks and crannies. One of her favorite spots is the couch in the front TV room.  She likes it there because she can play with all the remotes that are on the back of the couch while rolling and walking around on the cusions.  There are also candles that sit on that back table.  She pretends to drink from the candle holder, making the "mmmmmm" sound while doing it.  

Sara Beth wants us to interact with her while she explores the couch.  It isn't as much fun for her if she doesn't have someone to show off her discoveries to.  Here, you can see her glance at Heather with in a look in her eyes that says, "Put down the camera and check out this remote I found."

Monday, August 3, 2009


 Sara Beth turned one year old on Friday.  First of all, the stats: when we took her in for her one year appointment, she weighed in at 25 pounds and 32.5 inches, which is the 95% and 99+% percentile respectively.

We had her party planed for Saturday, but to celebrate on her actual birthday on Friday, Heather brought her up to eat lunch at work with me.  I did the proud father thing and walked around showing her off to anyone that appeared interested.

That evening, to initiate her entry into the more accident prone toddler years, she fell face first into the chair.  She cut her lip on the inside and outside, tore a gash in her mouth, and left teeth marks in the wooden chair frame.  It was a traumatic experience for everyone involved.  Heather took Sara Beth over to a neighbor who is a nurse to see if Sara Beth would need a trip to the emergency room for stitches.  Fortunately, the only permanent damage was to the chair; the blood came out in the wash.  We were planning on having a neighbor come over and take some one year pictures of Sara Beth, but those have been postponed until next weekend; the swelling should be down by then.

For the actual party, Heather bought a pink tutu and over sized head bow to match.  I think Sara Beth liked it, as she didn't try to pull it out of her hair the whole time.

During the course of the party, Sara Beth wanted a drink from my water bottle.  After several gulps, it became apparent that she didn't care all that much about actually drinking the water.  So I put the cap back on the bottle and let her continue to play with it, and now she was much less likely to douse herself.

Tradition dictates that the one year old get themselves all messy while eating their birthday cake.  Sara Beth actually daintily nibbled on the frosting.  She only started getting messy once Heather took her hand and smashed it into the middle of the cake.  Her cleanup wouldn't have been all that bad, except black icing is rather difficult to get off.

Opening presents was an exercise in controlled chaos with all the little kids running around and Sara Beth wanting to play with every box and piece of wrapping paper in addition to the actual presents.

The next day, Sara Beth got to play with all her new presents.  She began to play with her little tea set, eating imaginary food out of her tea cup using a fork.  She also offered me a taste of her pretend meal.  She also carries around some small lady bug toys from her party and will play hide and seek with them.  Either Sara Beth or I will hide them under a pillow, and then the other will look under the pillow to "find" it.