Tuesday, May 29, 2012

1.5 years old!

Georgia is now 18 months old! I know I say this every month, but boy, does time really fly! This month, we have been busy doing nothing much. Dave has been home for a couple weeks straight now (yay!) and we've settled back into a routine. Our terrible month of weather continued into this month (making it about 6 straight weeks of below-average temperatures and record amounts of rain), and the last week or so the sun has finally made it out! I think Georgia's a little confused going outside without a jacket!

Weight: Around 25.5 pounds
Height: Maybe 34 inches? If so... 95th percentile
Diapers: size 4+ mostly
Shoes: moving into size 6. She went through her size 5 in 2 months!

Language: She is showing a lot of interest in letter themselves. We have several toys with letters and she asks for their name and sound. A couple times she has found the "M" and says "mama!", so even though she doesn't know the letter itself, she can memorize the shape with the word I told her. She is also starting to talk in sentences and not in words. (not that we can understand what she's saying, yet!). She learned quite a few new words this month including "ra" (walk), bus, nat-nums (oatmeal), girl (she points to people and asks, "girl?" and I think she's trying to figure out who are girls and who are boys)

Food/Sleeping: Not much change from previous months. She is still waking early, around 5:30-6 AM or so, but then will fall back asleep until 7:30-8. Its not bad, but I do wish she slept through. I think a lot of this has to do with the sunlight. The sun rises here before 5, and it starts getting light around 4:30. Georgia has been eating a lot! I think she went through a growth spurt, and she would tell me she was hungry all throughout the day. Her picky-ness levels have gone down and she eats everything we eat.

Activities: We have kept busy by going to many parks this month. I save our old bread and we go feed the ducks often. Georgia tried (for the first time) finger painting (which she loved!). With the nice weather the last week, we have been able to play out in the backyard, and I had a redneck pool - I just filled up a storage bin with a couple inches of water. Georgia's other favorite activity is wrestling. She loves rough and tumble play. Playing chase, scaring her, playing hide and seek are all very fun to her.

Other skills: She has been very interested in steps. She loves going up and down, holding our hands. If there are only one or two steps, she will be brave and try them on her own. She also loves taking her doll out on walks. She knows the way to the park and will cry if we leave home and turn the other way (towards the grocery store).

Firsts: This last week, the weather was so nice, we braved a trip to the outdoor pool in the area. It was Georgia's first time in a pool! She was very unsure about everything at first, but then absolutely loved jumping from the side into the water. When we got home, she took one of her longest naps ever :)  Last night, we went over to a friends house and she "jumped" on the trampoline. I think actually, all the older kids bounced her up and down, but I have never heard her giggle so much!
Wrestling with daddy

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Easter in the Netherlands

We went to the Netherlands for three nights during Easter. We had a great time, but we realized, once again (like we do every trip!), how stressful it is to travel with young children! Thankfully, it was probably worse on me, worrying about Georgia's missed naps than it actually was on Georgia. She was definitely tired, but was a trooper and didn't seem to mind doing some sightseeing and lots of sitting in her stroller.

The start to our trip was rough. I had planned on Georgia taking a nap in the AM and our flight was in the afternoon. Of course she didn't want to stick to the plan and refused her morning nap, and I left the house very frustrated with her, knowing it was going to be a good 4-5 hours until she would have another chance to nap. She did great on the flight there, and once we were on the ground in Holland she fell asleep in our rental car.
We stayed in the town of Haarlem. It is about a 15 minute train ride outside of Amsterdam, and is a little bit less touristy (and busy)! The city itself was picturesque, with cobbled streets, many bikes and few cars. There were canals and boats and little alleyways. After checking into our hotel, we spent the evening walking around the city trying to find someplace to eat, and finally settled on McDonalds. Whoops. We were hungry and tired and argumentative and had a cranky baby that wouldn't have sat still in a cafe or restaurant for long.
The next morning, I was up early and excited to walk around. I left G and Dave, both still sleeping, for a walk around the city. The sun was rising and the city was still. It was absolutely beautiful! I got some Dutch breakfast - fresh squeezed orange juice and some croissants and ham and cheese. I found a little farmers market and bought some of the best cheese I had ever tasted and I explored a supermarket, trying to find some gluten-free food for G and Dave to eat for breakfast.
Keukenhof Gardens
One of the things I loved about the country were how friendly people were! I called it a mini-America and it was so refreshing. People drove on the right side of the street, the food was good (and more American tasting than British food), and people were friendly! They smiled when they talked to you, helped you if you needed help (and even when you didn't...haha). I honestly think that coming to the Netherlands would be an easier 1st international trip than coming to Britain, even with the language barriers.

After Georgia and Dave had woken up and eaten breakfast, we headed to Keukenhof, the great Dutch gardens. They are known for their tulip displays, but sadly we were a bit early to see the tulips in the field. We were in time for the hyacinths, though! They were in bloom in the fields, and the great gardeners had brought in blooming tulips and the grounds (both indoor and outdoor) were beautiful! They had a mini-farm for the kids, some playgrounds and we got a huge bag of cotton candy. This is probably the highlight of our trip.

Not many pictures of G and me.... here we are in the middle of some almost-blooming tulips
We went back to the hotel for Georgia's naptime, and Dave let me go walk around the town again. Can I just tell you that I was exhausted that night? haha... walking around for 2 hours in the AM before we left, walking around Keukenhof, walking around the city again, and then after all of that, we went into Amsterdam in the evening. I probably walked 8+ miles. I. was. tired.
The hyacinths at Keukenhof - beautiful, right?!
Amsterdam that evening was nothing special. It rained on us. There were tourists everywhere. The city was dirty. There was traffic. I was tired. It was not very fun. I don't even have any pictures worth sharing.
The train station, on the way to Amsterdam
We got some Italian food to-go since Georgia was beyond tired and was having trouble sitting, standing and walking. We ate in our hotel room and called it an evening. We planned out a little bit what we wanted to see and do the next day.

The next morning, we headed out to a little place north of Amsterdam. One of the major bridges was under construction and we had to take a few detours, but our trusty GPS got us there in the end. It was the place pictured up above. There were 5 or 6 working windmills. One of them was a cheese shop (not sure what the windmill had to do with that!), and another one ground spices. It was a very cold and windy day, so we made this stop as quick as possible.
There were also some friendly goats ;) Again, we didn't quite know what to do for lunch, so stopped at a McDonalds. Georgia's only nap of the day was a 10-15 minute cat nap in the car as we were driving around. Again, a stressful, not-fun day with a tired kid and grumpy wife. Poor Dave.
There were lots of these flower fields as we drove around. I really wish we could've stopped and gotten closer! For dinner that night, we went to a cafe in Haarlem. It was a delicious dinner, and the people there couldn't have been more friendly. Poor Georgia was exhausted (On day 3 of very little sleep) and the ladies at the table next to us were entertaining her ;) The food was delicious and it was really the only Dutch food we had the entire weekend.
St. Bavo's
That night, I went to 10pm Mass at St. Bavochurch. I really wanted to go inside the church and I figured a service was the best way to do that. Most cathedrals look very similar to me, and this one was no exception. It was almost even plainer than some of the others I've seen. This cathedral, though, was built in 1559, and Mendelssohn, Mozart and Handel have played its organ. I honestly don't know what the service was for. I thought it would be a Easter service (seeing as it was Saturday night), but none of the passages they read from the Bible were from the gospels. They had a choir, and the church was lit by candlelight. It was beautiful, but I snuck out around 10:45, utterly exhausted and judging by the program, the service was about halfway over.

Easter Sunday was an odd morning, seeing as there were no church services we knew about. Haarlem was completely deserted, and we went once more to Amsterdam on our way back to the airport. We did not see a single person dressed in "Easter" clothes, and that was very weird.
We completed a walking-tour in one of the guide books that we had. We walked along several of the canals, past some coffee shops (and some marijuana ones, too), cafes and homes. It was a much nicer experience than the first day we had come. The sun was out, but the air was cold. Slowly the town came to life, and people were out enjoying the weather.
The airport in Amsterdam is amazing! They had a playground for the kids, a "library", lots of shops and a grocery store. Then, we found the baby-room. It was perfect for us because Georgia had not yet taken a nap that day. This is an article I found about it. Basically, it was a room with lots of round couches and cribs. Each of the couches was enclosed in something similar to a mosquito net. I was able to sit in an enclosed area with Georgia, nurse her, and she fell asleep almost instantly. It was the most perfect thing! This is actually one airport I look forward to flying through again just because of the baby room.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

17 months old!

Well, we almost have a 1 1/2 year old living in our house. It is amazing how quickly time flies. This month was rather difficult for a couple reasons. We had a vacation to the Netherlands the beginning of the month, and it ruined the streak of good sleeping that we had going. That, combined with teething (the canine teeth) and also dropping her morning nap (most of the time), have made life a little more difficult than normal. Also, Dave was gone almost 3 out of the 4 weeks on work trips. And it was cold and rainy, keeping us housebound for many days on end.

Weight: 24.6 pounds
Height: 33ish inches

Words: learning more and more all the time! New words: bus, squirrel, "k" for kate, girl, Matt, "T" for Tim, baba for Grandpa Hall, up, down and probably quite a few more that I can't think of! Her favorite word is "NO!" which she says quite enthusiastically while doing something she knows she shouldn't do.

We play with this little guy one day a week. Georgia's first boyfriend ;)

Teeth: She now has 15 teeth (I think.....). This month she got 3 out of the 4 canine teeth. She was teething practically the whole month, with those teeth coming in about one every week. The last one still has not made an appearance.
My little girl loves to dance!
Fashion: Georgia loves picking out her own clothes and shoes! I will often pick out two outfits and let her choose which one she wants to wear. The clothes she likes the most are the pinkest/frilliest, or the ones that have animals on them. She loves wearing shoes and will bring me different shoes to put on throughout the day. Her favorite shoes are her rain boots and her shoes with cats on them.
Grandpa Wallace visited us for 1 day. G is giving him a goodnight kiss here

Sleep: We had another rough month. She was sleeping through the night before we left for the Netherlands, and then being overtired and the 4am parties out in the street below our hotel woke her up a few nights in a row. Add into that mix some rough teething, and she was waking up 2+ times a night again. The last couple nights have been better, and I think we're heading back to sleeping through the night.

This month was a challenge with naps. One nap wasn't enough for her. She was exhausted and overtired, causing nighttime sleep to be poor. But two naps was too much for her. She would have parties in her crib for 1+ hour before falling asleep. She was cranky and irritable. She has finally seemed to settle into the 1-nap-a-day schedule. She has been sleeping from right after lunch until around 3pm. She is finally not overtired any more, but still is tired in the morning and not quite used to having to stay awake a full 5 hours before naptime!