Sunday, December 21, 2014

1 Year of L♥VE!

What a difference a month makes! In just a few short weeks Violette has gone from toying with the idea of walking to FULL BLOWN WALKING! She can take 10 - 15 steps without falling if she is focused, and she feeds herself like a pro now, too!
A December to Remember!

First - The Stats!
Height: 29.75" Long
Weight: 18 lb 10 oz
Head Circumference: 17.5"
Diaper Size: 3!
Onesie Size: 9 mos (Carters fit best)
Pants Size: 9 months/12 mos (Carters fit best)
Jammies: 12 months, but no feet! (with room to grow!)
When not walking, she crawls super fast, LIKE A TORNADO!
Violette went from one step at a time to 10! She keeps improving her balance, too. She hasn't quite figured out how to go down the one stair we have standing up yet, (she prefers face first sliding!) but other than that she is a pretty good walker! She still will fall to her knees and crawl when she is in a rush (like trying to beat us to the baby gate!). She FLIES around the house on her knees getting a super high intensity workout. It's pretty funny to watch!
This little girl is a giggler! She has started giggling more often than not - she even has full giggly conversations with herself and others... they go like this:
Conversating with Mama & Daddy

You can't beat all the amazing smiles she's been giving us though... HUGE and somewhat toothy! (on that note.. SHE JUST GOT HER THIRD TOOTH! The top left... and now she looks really silly when she smiles, makes ME giggle.)

Grilled Cheese!
Violette got to have her FIRST CAKE! She did it 2x actually, the very first one was at her 1 year photo shoot with Mr. Mel Carll, we choose a giant cupcake from BakeYouHappy. Violette loved the little fondant snowflakes, but wasn't a fan of the buttercream. When I dug out some cake for her though she decided that was QUITE tasty and dug a few bites out herself.

I am SO THANKFUL that she started feeding herself in time for the smash cakes! She still isn't a fan of touching saucy/slimy/mushy foods but has started to try to feed herself with a spoon (she gets at least one bite in, the rest falls in her lap!) but she is working on it! Her favorite things are whole pinto beans and spanish rice... Oh! and cinnamon toast (Ezekiel brand).
Enjoying her Birthday Party Cupcake!

Party Time!
Her second piece of cake happened at her birthday party - SO MUCH FUN!!! - Surrounded by all of her favorite people, when we lit the candle and started singing, she sang along with us! (melted mama's heart!) After I blew out her candle, she touched the frosting with one finger, and then decided it was the MOST AMAZING THING EVER. After a few more touches, she picked up the whole cupcake and shoved it in her face! Seriously everyone in the room laughed and rooted her on. It was a great moment! We are so very grateful for all who shared it with us!

Note to mommies that haven't done the first birthday party yet... ITS A LOT OF WORK. ASK FOR HELP! We just did cookies and cocoa and I still was very overwhelmed. I never knew if I would finish before the party, but thankfully I had some help! Doing all the setup stuff while chasing a baby around is not ideal.

A friend volunteered a few of her days to help me put the finishing touches up... from my Christmas décor (which doubled as party decorations for the Winter ONEderland) to making the little snowflake crafted decorations and finally setting up for the big day.. I am certain that it wouldn't have been as smooth without her help and am eternally grateful!
A new family tradition.

A Special First Holiday Season!
Violette celebrated her first St. Nicholas Day on December 6th. For those of you who don't know, in Europe, Santa comes at the beginning of the month (which I am sure helps him out with all of those Xmas Eve deliveries in the Americas!). I learned about it when I lived in Belgium, and LOVED everything (except Zwarte Piet!) about it.  There are a bunch of Euro families in the US that celebrate it, too. And we decided that it would be nice to have Santa be the beginning of the month, since Vi & Jesus are celebrated at the end. So, she put out her shoes on St Nicholas Day Eve and woke up to an amazing gift, a toy pup that teaches her the alphabet! She loves it!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

11 Months of L♥VE!

This month Violette started feeding herself! And there was a lot of sickness in the house.
She wouldn't put her cracker down without crying... alas, it stayed. 

First - The Stats!
Height: 29.5" Long
Weight: 17 lb 3.7 oz
Head Circumference: 17"
Diaper Size: 3!
Onesie Size: 6-9 mos (Carters fit best)
Pants Size: 6-9 months (Carters fit best)
Jammies: 12 months, but no feet!

This month was rough for all of us! Mom & Dad had food poisoning and Violette got her first real cold. She had 2 fevers around 101°F so we took her to see Dr. Dave two times the week of Thanksgiving. Thankfully it turned out to be just a respiratory tract infection with no ear infection.
One of the few 'healthy days' of November

Violette started taking baby steps this month and without realizing took to steps unassisted from mama to dad. :) walking is so near we can taste it! We have installed real baby gates in the living and dining area, and hope to figure out the cabinet locks very soon!
Testing out the new baby gate
Vi is totally too long for her infant car seat these days, but as she's no wear near the weight limit we will do our best to hold on to it a bit longer. There's no beating the convenience when she's sleepy! Soon we will make the permanent switch to her Chicco NextFit and convert her stroller to big girl mode, but we're both not ready yet.

Singing you a song
An Amazing Feat! Violette started to feed herself this month! At first it was just puffs, but then she progressed to some toast in the mornings, and then in just a few weeks she is now feeding herself anything that isn't MUSHY. She refuses to touch saucy noodles or mushy potatoes. We will figure that one out later. Until then, deconstructed Mac & Cheese it is! There is hope for this cake smashing yet! 

SB Zoo with Claudia!
Travels! We paid a visit to the Santa Barbara Zoo with my cousin Claudia, her fiancé Darren and their kiddo Deion! It was a fun-filled day! Violette enjoyed her big girl stroller for the first time, and loved the giraffes! She also loved spending time with Claudia! 

SB Zoo with Claudia

Next month is fast approaching... birthday party planning is in high gear, invites have been sent... christmas card and birthday pics have been taken... I'm a bit overwhelmed by December's to do list but praying it all gets done with minimal stress!
Violette's Birthday Invitation

Well, I'm  off to tend to a sick baby...
Until next time!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

10 Months of L♥VE!

We CANNOT BELIEVE that Violette's birthday is less than 2 months away! She is growing fast and is amazing us at every turn. This month she even took a few steps and has been growing to L♥VE food just like Mama and Daddy! We are excited for what the next two month's will bring! 
the only one in focus - she moves FAST!

On the Move!
First - The Stats!
Height: 29" Long
Weight: 16lbs 7ozs
Head Circumference: 17"
Diaper Size: 2
Onesie Size: 6-9 mos (Carters fit best)
Pants Size: 3 months (Carters fit best)

This week our little one can count 2 bottom teeth, and is skipping several of the other teeth and jumping ahead to get her molars on top and bottom on both sides (usually considred a 2 year molar at 18-24 mos, she is getting them NOW! She regularly enjoys cheese, yogurt, applesauce, and broccoli. Her favorite veggies are butternut squash and sweet potatoes, though they do hurt her tummy. She really enjoys sharing mommy's organic cinnamon raisin toast in the mornings, and L♥VED her first taste of pierogi! Grandpa Crash would be so proud! This month we also tried Pick Up Stix and Violette ate brown rice and veggies, and a little bit of momma's pot sticker. A few other favs are pasta and of course Cheese Enchiladas and Rice!
Enchilada & Rice Face!

Still crawling at the speed of light, however she prefers couch surfing and 'walking' with her push toy. Just yesterday our little one two TWO unassisted steps from Mama to Daddy! She can stand up without any help from furniture. And this morning she decided that everytime Mama puts her down, she will stand up and take one step! I am sure walking will be in the VERY near future. We are mentally preparing for that right now!
Using her Push Toy

Hopefully this code will work so you can see her walking with her push toy!

Standing unassisted, holding one of Daddy's juggling balls.

Babbling and smiling, she also likes to 'sing along' (more like yelling) with Mama in the car, and just about everywhere else these days! (I harmonize to the yelling.. a trick her Auntie Pri taught us!) If you "Grrrr" at her, she will usually start her imitation of the dogs growling, more like the growling of a gremlin... LOL. Daddy calls her his little Gremlin when she does this! She also makes sounds like clicking her tongue, and "grrr"-ing as well as her other favorite sound "Lalalalalla" She is all ready for her Christmas carols! LOL
Chattering away.

AWFUL with the new molars coming in. She was literally waking every hour needing 'snuggle' time. I finally made it to the store to buy those teething tablets and teething gel. (We did have a 'little teethers' brand but it didn't seem to help much. We purchased homeopathic Orajel tablets and gel - with Elmo on them, the ones that have no benzocaine and only natural ingredients - and that seemed to help quite a bit. Coupled with Tylenol, she has been sleeping about 4 hour spurts (until the meds wear off). Hopefully this lasts no more than a week! Mama's eyes have been hurting her at work from the lack of sleep - though she still tries really hard not to complain or allow it to impede her performance. The 4 hour spurts have been helpful in getting back to 'normal'. I really hope we can continue them. On a side note, we have been trying to get to work/leave work an hour earlier this week, and that transition has gone pretty well. Now I hope it doesn't kill us when the time changes! LOL.
Vi ain't afraid of no ghosts... but she's still not going to sleep!

Violette got to visit her very first pumpkin patch this year! Dressed in fall attire, we went to a patch in Ventura called McGrath Brothers that has been a working farm for over 100 years! They grow pumpkins, strawberries, celery and more! They grow produce year round, and have a beautiful old barn and cottage. They also have chickens that lay every color egg! (I asked which chicken lays the blue and green eggs and they didn't know for certain, but they do have quite a few Bitsy-birds (Rhode Island Reds) that lay the brown eggs! They had goats and geese and other farm animals as well. We got to take a tractor pulled hay ride, too. It was a fun filled day with our daycare friends (Kitiara, Crysania, Sean Michael, Brooke & Gabe!)! We really wanted to get a GINORMOUS pumpkin, but settled on two smaller ones, a small orange pumpkin and a white one that's a little bit larger. We don't plan to carve or paint them this year (both aren't appropriate for babies her age!) so instead we bought metal push-in silly faces to decorate them with at Ma Maison. :) We have settled on a Halloween costume, and Violette even gets to have Mama as a prop! We will share those pics with you in the next blog!
Pumpkin patching!

We also had the pleasure of going to TWO fabulous first birthday parties this month, one for Andres and one for Jaxson. Both were TONS of fun with fabulous themes! We have started planning Violette's first birthday party, but since her birthday is SO close to Christmas, we just hope that her friends can join us for a sweet intermission to their holiday preparations! I know that Violette will always struggle with her birthday being so close to the celebration of Jesus... but I pray that she will feel special every year just the same.
In costume at Andres' jungle book party!

With hopes that your Halloween will be fun-filled and festive - we thank you for keeping up with our little family along the way.

All my best,

Sunday, September 28, 2014

9 Months of L♥VE!

Violette's 9th month has been a doozie so far! :) She is 40 weeks old, been out LONGER than she was in! So much has changed this month... and as I write this intro she has just finished a plate of pasta and shredded cheese! (a small plate, but alas... deconstructed MAC & CHEESE!) We are very excited about what is to come! Here's a look at what's been happening at Chateau Sawyer!

9 months!

and then this happened... 
Wait for it....

Oh, YES SHE DID. Ugh... #yourekillingmesmalls

First - The Stats!
Height: 29" Long
Weight: 16lbs 7ozs
Head Circumference: 17"
Diaper Size: 2
Onesie Size: 3-6 mos and 6-9 mos (depending on the item - Carters fit best)
Pants Size: 3 months (Carters fit best)

This week our little one can count 2 bottom teeth! She has been allowed some more adventurous eats as well! She started cheese and yogurt this week (both immense hits!) And pasta is another newfound favorite... with a preference toward the spinach or carrot varieties... we are now at 3 meals a day, and approximately 3 snacks. She enjoys puffs in spinach, sweet potato and carrot varieties these days as well. Such a big girl! (No teeth pics yet, she won't let us get near them yet - we think! - because they are so sensitive)

1st time Crawling in GRASS!
Photo by Mel Carll

Crawling at 90 miles a minute these days, she still prefers standing and when seated is more in a kneeling position as though she will stand up at any moment. She is frequently found with "no hands!" Or an item in each hand standing up tall and strong. Such an overacheiver this one!

Rocking her Audrey Hepburn look...
Photo by Mel Carll
Lots of babbling and smiling and just a few words. She understands quite a few though... like when I ask for her spoon or her ball or her block she knows exactly what I am requesting and hurries over to get it. She mainly says "mama", "dada" and "dog" .

The last few weeks have been an improvement, with a 7 hour spurt and then a 2 hour spurt at night... there are still the every 4 hour nights but they have been less. We shall see if it continues.

We had a fun photo shoot with Mel Carll last week. We got some really cute shots, too. Violette enjoyed her first touch of grass and dirt that day... yikes! This month was filled with blessings and changes, and we are excited to see what is to come!

Monday, September 1, 2014

8 Months of L♥VE

Sorry this post is almost 2 weeks late! Month 8 was a wild ride, filled with adventure, big changes and lots of snuggles! Here is an update on what's been happening here at Chatéau Sawyer!

First - The Stats!
Height: 27.5" Long (my measurement)
Weight: 15lbs 12ozs (my measurement)
Head Circumference: 16" (did not measure)
Diaper Size: 2
Onesie Size: 3-6 mos and 6-9 mos (depending on the item - Carters fit best)
Pants Size: 3 months (Carters fit best)

Let the adventurous eating begin! After perfecting her consumption of the first foods, we have moved on to delightful blends and stage 2 foods! We have also FINALLY found a puff that she enjoys... (She is not a fan of banana or sweet potato puffs, she likes the spinach & kale green ones!). She still isn't quite sure about the picking up the puff and putting it in her mouth on her own bit, but she has decided that the texture no longer scares her - and the flavor is nice, too. Some of her favorite Earth's Best stage 2 foods include Pears & Raspberries and Spinach & Rice. (This kid and her spinach! She is like a Popeye in training!). She also has been getting used to her new ZOLI sippee cup. :)

The week before her 8 month birthday we had a BIG change! Violette figured out how to crawl. At first it was just hand, hand scoot - but the NEXT DAY it progressed to hand, hand, knee, knee! The NEXT DAY AFTER THAT she was a mover and a shaker, and the following day, she was as fast as the dogs! After she mastered the crawl (not even 7 days later) she decided to take on the 'climb'! She climbed the ONE STEP we have in the whole house. At first it was just a lean on the step, but when she figured out that her knees were getting in the way, there she went again! It didn't help that dad decided to drop moms bangle bracelets just out of reach... this kid loves her sparkle! It took about 2 minutes more and then she was up! The next day she tried again, and perfected the climb on the second try.. then once more, there was no stopping her! After a few days of that, she decided she wanted to stand up again... and has become an expert at pulling herself up in her pool pen or against the couch. She stands and scoots just a little bit, she even dances at times! But she hasn't quite decided that she wants to use the railing to get to and fro, she prefers the crawl for now.. (thank goodness!). Definitely in the "pre-walker" stage though. She even climbs on the changing table now (EEK!)

Last month, she had said "ah-mamamam" and "dadada" but this month she has changed Jeremy's moniker to "bahbahbah" and has also added her little PAY ATTENTION TO ME noise that sounds like Ahhhhhhhh! She likes to do a little scream fest with dad or I to get us to chat with her... She is also learning volume, and enjoys playing with whispers to loud screams! She likes to chat with her toys, too. Oh, and she smacks her lips at me when she wants to eat and says "momomomomo", It's pretty funny! She enjoys singing at the table, too.
Happy after a Nap

Grumpy at Bedtime 

This isn't the most fun subject for us, as sleep is something that is still hard to come by in this house. Currently Violette enjoys staying up late and waking multiple times a night. However during the day, she naps like clockwork. Not sure what this is about... is there a time in a baby's life when they need to be awake more? should we move the naps up? I just don't think we can hang with late nights and early mornings for very much longer... we are all pretty sleep deprived these days.

Violette is very happy to have a new friend that shares her name! We received our package from France that held our very own Mon Amie Violette. She is similar to the My Pal Violet you find stateside, but her name tag is spelled correctly, and elle parles en francaise! We could have her speak in english if we wanted too, but it's nice to have a toy that sings Frere Jacques and Alouette with proper enunciation. :) She also uses Violette's name in a bunch of things, like playing, or telling her that she is hungry and asking if she wants to get some pears (Poires). or talking about visiting the giraffes with Violette. It's really cute, when Vi hears her name in french she stares at her little friend like, YOU KNOW MY NAME!!! ;)

Also, we had a little adventure this month! We went to see the largest rubber ducky on earth! Mama had been eyeing it since it first appeared in the US, and was SO EXCITED that it finally made it to L.A. We went with my friend Pri, who loves all things cute! (she said it was the best day ever because she saw the cutest ducky with the cutest baby!) We were also happy to see the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile while we were there... too funny because Auntie Jenna said we should start seeing all of the oversized things with Violette, and make it a 'thing', and then there it was! :)

from violette:

 bawav `nj,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 1 1,L, 111111111111BN   ,,M   -./'

Sunday, July 27, 2014

7 Months of L♡VE

This month was another big one filled with changes, outings and fun! We are so blessed by this girl each and every day!
Big Smiley Girl!

First - The Stats!
Height: 27" Long (my measurement)
Weight: 15lbs 12ozs (my measurement)
Head Circumference: 16" (did not measure)
Diaper Size: 2
Onesie Size: 3-6 mos and 6-9 mos (depending on the item)
sitting up!
Here's a look at the rest!

Baby's first road trip! We had to stop at Babies R Us on the way home because it was TOO LONG.
We visited Violette's Great Grandma Char in Solvang this week. We also got to spend time with our cousins Claudia, her fiancé Darren, Laura, Josh and Baby Maya! We had a nice picnic in the park (Hans Christian Anderson Park) and then went into downtown for a stroll down Copenhagen. It was a very hot and humid day but there was a nice breeze that kept us moving. Our first stop was at a shaved ice place... :) Grandma had her first "snow cone" experience with all of us! We even gave a tiny bit of the ice to Violette... she was weirded out by the temperature but didn't seem to mind it. BRAIN FREEZE! Haha. Halfway down Copenhagen she decided she didn't want to stroll anymore and switched to the babybjorn carrier one. She was so content that she even took a little nap. After downtown the cousins went back home and Violette and I went back to Grandma's for some quality time. She showed me around her new apartment complex (very nice!) and then she snuggled with Violette while we caught up. It was a really nice visit! Can't wait to have another!

Great Grandma, Cousin Maya and Violette!

Quality time with G.G.!

This girl has progressed from rice cereal to fruits and veggies.  We started with 1st stage foods in apples, pears, bananas, squash, sweet potato, peas and carrots. Her all time favorite was pears! She didnt care for the squash and neither did her digestion.. so we will have to try again a different time. She didn't mind the sweet potatoes after Dr. Bloom suggested we include a touch of breastmilk and rice cereal on day 1 of all of the new flavors. She did have a special meal when we went to Ernies with auntie Tina and enjoyed (?) A few tastes of squished avocado! She did not protest, but wasn't digging in either.
Sitting in her high chair... FEED ME!
We've begun her stage 2 foods, which just means its a thicker puree and some of the flavors have mixtures of her first food plus one. Last night she tried spinach and rice and surprisingly she enjoyed it! On the menu this month is an intro to raspberries, apricots, pumpkin, winter squash, blueberry and green beans. (so far so good on all of these delicious flavor combinations. No reactions yet to any fruits or veggies, and she seems to like them all!) The doctor said to wait for all proteins (except avocado) until her 9 mos checkup.

Violette can now sit up unassisted for the most part. When she is sleepy she likes to lean on us or her boppy for support. She continues to stand with our support as well, and likes to move about by rolling and using the inchworm method. While visiting great grandma, she observed her cousin Maya crawling about and studied her every move. Then after Maya had gone home for the day she decided to give it a shot. She rocked and rocked back and forth, and then backed her self into a corner! It was awesome! Great Grandma Char was able to see the whole thing, too!
She sat herself right up at Daycare!

The next few days were slow moving, she would get on her hands and knees and wobble quite a bit, and then she decided that moving was happening! This time she moved one hand in front of the other and scooted her butt in. She did this little by little until she made it to the coffee table... a feat considering it is about 4 feet away from her play area! Let the CHILDPROOFING COMMENCE! We actually decided to try the inflatable pool play pen since we have enough room for it. :) Of course she will always be supervised when she is in it.. so no worries there! She may not like it, but we shall see!
Crawling in her room
Very proud of herself!

She has started putting consonant and vowel sounds together! "Ah - mamamama" is her name for me, and "Dahdahdah" (reminiscent of this commercial from Mama and Daddy's graduating year) is her name for daddy. She still grunts quite a bit, but she loves to babble and sing along to music. She especially loves the theme song to Dragon Tales (the only program we ever really let her watch, and it's only an episode a day.. (they are short!) She gets the biggest cheeseball smile on her face when the song starts and she taps her feet and sings along (ahhhh ahhhh ahhh) :) It's really cute.
Watching the intro to Dragon Tales!

This step is hit or miss, some nights she will go to bed at 930 and wake up at 530! (those are the good ones!) but others she wakes at 1215, 215, and then again at 5. One night she slept from 930 to 730! It was pretty heavenly. But the next night we were back to the 3 wakeup calls. The last two days though have been 10 to 6... so we are making slow progress.
Playing with the giant sheep at daycare!

Mama hopes it sticks even for a little bit. She seems to make silly mistakes when she doesn't get enough sleep... like forgetting the baby's milk for daycare! or setting the alarm at the house... or putting the kids clothes on backwards! Ugh. It will be nice when i can catch up and these 'new mommy brain' moments disappear.
Mama put my dress on backwards.


Sorry this post is a week late, but such is the life of a new mommy! You never know when you will have something come up! Like last minute visits with my Grandma... best day ever!