Tuesday, December 30

Tenley's Skills & Milestones at 16 Months

Here is a fun little fairly large update on Tenley's progress at 16+ months. I am sure there are other things that she has learned since I wrote this post and several things that I'm forgetting, but the point is, I wrote most of them down. Also, I clearly could not choose just a few pictures. There was too much adorableness to let you miss out on any of it. 

So don't worry, you won't;-)

Her vocabulary includes: 
"ni'-ni'" for night night
"bapa" (grandpa)
"bama" (grandma)
"mo'" (more)
"mil'" (milk)
"baw" (ball)
"dee-dee" or "dee-sus" for Jesus
"den-si" for Jensie (or Jensen)
"yes"/ "eh"
"uh oh"
"mo" for no
"told" for cold

When we ask her: "What does a ___ say?" She responds with: 
"moo" for cow
"pbbbbt!" for horse
"hoo! hoo!" for owl
"ah-ah-ah!" for monkey
"bah!" for sheep
[whistles] for bird
"ssssss" for snake
"arrr" for lion
"arp!" for dog
"bak, bak, bak" for chicken
"mu-mu" for cat
[crinkles her nose and sniffs] for rabbit
[clicks tongue and pinches fingers like claws] for lobster
[pretends to cry and rub eyes] for "babies on the bus" (from Wheels on the Bus)
"shh, shh, shh!" for "mamas on the bus" with her finger to her lips
"beep-beep-beep" for "the horn on the bus" while pretending to honk a horn
"swish, swish, swish" for "the wipers on the bus" with the movement
"moo, moo, moo" for "the driver on the bus says 'move on back'" while sliding her thumb back and forth

Body parts she knows:
her eyes
her ears
her nose (her finger always goes right in it so we are reluctant to ask her to show us now)
her mouth/lips/tongue/teeth
her head and hair
her neck
her chest
her belly
her belly button
her butt
her knees
her hands
her feet
her toes
her armpits

She signs: 
"thank you"
"all done"
"hello" and "goodbye"
"hungry" or "food"
"i love you" (but now she just wants to blow a kiss for this instead of actually signing it)

Random things she does:
She does high-fives and "pound it" with her fist
She loves shaking hands--you grab her hand and say "Nice to meet you!" then she gets a big smile and moves on to the next person
She glares on command (we say: "Tenley, glare!" and she does. It's hilarious)
She laughs and smiles on command (though not quite so easily for pictures)
She goes to bed with very little fussing (unless she's had a hard day...you know, missed a nap or something)
She dances with her arms mostly (fist-pumping) but her head and feet, too
She fetches her diapers and wipes for me when I need to change her
She "blows" her nose whenever she finds a tissue, wipe, or piece of TP
She puts things in the trash for us
She points at things on command
She will spank her own bum (which is basically her hip) and smile when I ask her if she needs a spanking
She fetches her sippy cup, water bottles, books, the remote, lotion, cereal, her shoes, snacks, her bib, her toys (mainly her baby, her black bear, her giraffe, or her owls), and anything I can point at. She pretty much understands everything we tell her now.
She will put things away or pick them up (though usually only if we help her, otherwise she tends to ignore us)
She folds her arms for prayer and randomly; she also folds them when I say "reverent"
She always pulls one of her arms out of her shirt so it's sort of an "off the shoulder" style--but only if it's long-sleeved...like ALL of her pajamas (see pics)
She will feel her diaper, then nod yes when I asked her if she pooped
She starts taking her clothes off (as fast as she can) if I say "shower" or turn the shower on (because she's scared I won't let her play in the water while I shower if she doesn't hurry and get undressed
She turns the TV off or on on command
She eats with her toddler fork
She winks her eye(s) (about 60% of the time she actually just blinks both eyes)
She blows on her food when we tell her it's hot
She has an obsession with our phones, laptops, and the dustpan
She also has an obsession with purses and bags--mine and anyone else's
She knocks on the bathroom door and says "dad! dad!" whenever Dalin is in the shower

She looks quite a bit bigger in pictures than she is. I think it's partly because I'm small. Every time people meet her they tell me she's a lot smaller than she looks in pictures. I guess the camera adds ten pounds or something:P

She loves:
baths and showers...or any time she can touch water
putting on lotion and chapstick and brushing her hair and must do these things every time she sees us doing them
her aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. pretty much everyone she knows
eating and snacking. any time, all the time
milk--especially in the morning
playing outside. she runs out as soon as the door is open...even if she's naked and it's freezing
making Dalin and I laugh (she thinks it's funny)
copying Dalin and I at everything. She's pretty sure she is a tiny adult
kissing and hugging everyone, but especially other children and babies
being picked up (and putting her head on your shoulder if she's tired)
rocking in the chair with daddy
being tickled! she literally begs for "mo'" after we stop
snuggling at nighttime and in the morning in particular
sleeping right up against mom with as much of her body touching mom as possible--which means a very uncomfortable night for mom no matter how cute and snuggly Tenley is
climbing on the bed
finding our laptops (unless they are 100% out of reach), dragging them to the couch, opening them and hitting the keyboard
same with our phones
the free baby apps that we let her play with on our phones (hey, she knows a good portion of the alphabet now so I think it's probably not that bad a thing)

Also, she is still obsessed with the song "Frozen Heart" from Frozen. She has loved it since she was a baby (she would cut off mid-cry once it started) and even though we were sick of that soundtrack and didn't play it for several months, she remembered it and immediately calmed down when we started playing it again. We only listened to it about 52 times in the car on the way to and from Idaho for Christmas.

A few of her favorites:
Food- Welch's fruit snacks, pomegranate seeds, cereal, red bell peppers, cheese, pasta, rice
Toys- her baby dolls, her black bear (from Clark's Trading Post), Jack the giraffe (from GG Gunnell), and her collection of owls! (one from Harry Potter World, Swoop from mommy, and Spells from Santa)
Drink- whole milk
Clothing- she gravitates toward clothing with leopard print but she'd rather wear nothing at all
Songs- Frozen Heart from Frozen, Wheels on the Bus, Popcorn Popping
Activity- Pretty much anything mommy or daddy is doing
Word- Probably "more." She says it all the time 

She hates: 
having any part of her body wiped--her bum, her hands, her face, her feet...
getting her finger nails or toe nails clipped (that is, after the first three or so are done)
getting her teeth brushed (unless she does it herself)
going to bed by herself (but she does it...she just whines "mommy" until she falls asleep)
getting in and out of the car a million times (she hates being buckled and unbuckled that many times)
long car rides. like driving from Provo to Boise and back
when I send her back to bed in the middle of the night
banging/bruising her head...but she sure does it an awful lot
being told "no" (as in no more chocolate;) or "stop"
highchairs. especially when we won't let her escape from them which is always

And for your amusement, here are some angry photos of Tenley. She makes some great faces:)

So that's pretty much what I have for now on Tenley. She is our favorite girl and the sweetest and smartest little baby we know. Dalin and I are both so thankful for daughters. They really are made of sugar and spice and everything nice;-)

If you know us, can you think of any other things that you've seen Tenley do that I forgot to mention?

Happy almost New Year's Eve! :-)

Friday, December 19

Pica. Is it real or in my head?

I have a weird little confession for you. It's seriously one of the strangest things that has happened to me so no judging! I'm only sharing because I'm curious to hear about other people's experiences and because it has been weighing heavily on my mind the last few weeks. 

I'll start by sharing that I have never ever smoked. I've never had even an inkling of a desire to smoke. The smell of cigarettes grosses me out and I usually hold my breath when I'm near a smoker. I've never even been asked if I wanted to smoke. It has always just been a no-brainer for me. Consequently, one of the plus sides of living in a place that's 70% Mormon (or more) is that there are very few smokers. It is a pretty rare thing to even see a cigarette on the ground. 

Which is why what I'm about to tell you is so weird for me! If pica is real and not just some kind of psychological thing, I'm pretty sure this pregnancy is causing me to have a bizarre craving for cigarette smoke. 

Basically in the last month, I have thought about cigarettes/smoking (not doing it myself of course though) every single day. Every time I have read the word cigar (which was quite frequently in the book The Pit, which I had to read for class) I found myself trying to imagine or remember what cigarette smoke smells like. It was the same thing with seeing someone smoke on TV. I'd have the desire to smell or taste a cigarette. Every. Single. Time. Whenever I see someone smoking, the thought crosses my mind that I'd like to walk near them and inhale. When I see a cigarette butt on the ground, I have the sickest urge to pick it up and smell it or taste it. I drove behind someone today who was smoking out the window of their truck and I was tempted to put my window down to try and smell it. I mean, it's just so strange for me. But it's a very real urge. 

I just can't explain cause for it other than that this pregnancy has given me some degree of pica. I've read of some pretty crazy cravings people have had while experiencing pica but I haven't heard much about a 100% nonsmoker craving cigarette smoke. I also read that pica is often evidence of an iron deficiency but last time my blood was tested I was at an okay level. Anyway, it's just really weird and I hope it goes away soon or at least by the time little guy is born because it's kind of annoying thinking about smoking every day when it never even used to cross my mind. 

Have you or someone you know ever had some kind of pica during pregnancy or any other bizarre craving? I had an aunt who craved rocks during her pregnancy (I believe it was rocks) but that's about as close a connection as I can think of. 

Wednesday, December 17

6 Personal Beauty Goals (and a request for advice!)

I don't wear very much makeup. And truthfully, I don't care all that much about how I look. I care much more about how I feel. Personally, I definitely feel prettier, cleaner, and happier with a little mascara and eyeliner at least. I do like to look my best for Dalin, but he loves to tell me that I don't even need makeup (which every girl probably loves to hear from their boyfriend or spouse, but rarely believes;). As much as I appreciate him saying that, I just feel better with some eye makeup. That said, I am usually okay with ditching the blush and eyeshadow unless we're doing something special or going somewhere where pictures will likely be taken.

If you know me, you probably know or have noticed that I like to have my makeup look natural. I just want it to enhance my appearance, not make me look like a completely different person. Ideally, it would look like I'm not wearing any makeup (it would just look like I have long dark eyelashes and my skin has a permanent healthy glow;). There is of course, the occasional exception to this--once in a blue moon I like to do something fun or crazy with my eye shadow, but in general I definitely stick with neutral skin-toned makeup.

Despite my anti-makeup-sounding attitude, I like makeup and think it's fun to put on (unless I'm having a bad day or I'm in a hurry--then I just feel crappy). I also have personal beauty goals that I'd ultimately like to "achieve" for myself. And now I'm going to share them with you because you just might find that we have similar beauty goals or that you would like to make some of your own.

Mary Kay Satin Lips lip balm, Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara in brown/black, Covergirl espresso eye pencil, Clinique Mocha Pink blush, and neutral-gold tones eye shadow from Forever 21

1. Get my teeth completely sorted out. This means getting my wisdom teeth out asap (only because I foresee future problems from keeping them even though I technically have room for them). I then need to get my bottom front incisor to go back in place (my other teeth have crowded it a bit, making my bottom retainer miserable to wear). Eventually have my root canal tooth whitened (from the inside). Get the rest of my teeth whitened and maintain them (I eat tons of foods that are infamous for staining teeth, including blueberries, pomegranates, tomato sauce, etc.).

2. Get back to the point where I only need to wash my hair every 3-4 days. This pregnancy has been great overall, but my hair has gotten very oily the last few weeks. At first I thought my shampoo was to blame, but I've realized it has to be the pregnancy. I never used to shower every day but now I have gotten into the habit of doing so because my hair looks so gross if I don't shower. I would like to gradually help my hair adjust to longer periods in between without looking crazy oily but I might just have to wait until this baby is born!

3. Find an amazing (and affordable) pore/blackhead cleanser. I think overall, my pores are fine with one exception: my nose. I hate how oily/spotty my nose looks up close (thankfully this is pretty much only noticeable when I stand three centimeters from the mirror or use one of those horrible magnifying mirrors that makes everyone's face look terrible). I haven't tried very many products but I feel like I'm constantly trying to clean out those pores and I hate doing it. If someone has suggestions for me, please by all means offer them!

4. Keep my skin even-toned, hydrated, and glowing. How my skin looks is really important to me. In fact, I told the ladies who came to my bridal shower that the best compliment they could give me on my wedding day was that my skin and hair look good (I was mainly concerned about the photos that would be taken and kept forever). Thankfully, I lucked out in both respects. But more recently I have absolutely found that the more water I drink and the better I eat, the better my skin looks. I think my skin has actually been great lately but I have to give this pregnancy the credit. It was not so pretty with Tenley (at least, from what I remember) but now I finally understand what it means to have a glow! I'm very happy about it and even more happy that I have been able to almost completely eliminate my use of foundation (other than the few spots I like to touch up, mainly when I'm going all out with my makeup).

Ultimately I won't have to use foundation at all (other than emergency touch-ups). Oh, and in case you were wondering, I use Covergirl Clean Liquid Foundation in Creamy Natural 120 (I believe). It matches my skin really well without making it look orangey or smudged on, which as far as I'm concerned, are the biggest mistakes you can make with makeup! If you aren't sure if your makeup does this, I would definitely ask someone close to you to tell you honestly--my mom always let me know if my makeup looked off when I was in high school for which I was grateful.

5. Keep my skin looking young as long as possible. This means drinking water, eating well, ditching soda and other sugary drinks (which I rarely drink now anyway), moisturizing (at least while we live in the west--the dryness out here is not my friend), exercising to keep my arms and legs toned, and keeping that muffin-top at bay (once I'm no longer pregnant that is). Apart from that, I am not too worried about how my body looks. The stretch marks will only get worse while I'm still having babies but ultimately they will fade (they did with Tenley) and there is no point in stressing over them especially since they don't bother Dalin at all.

6. Take better care of my nails and nail beds. This has never been my strongpoint. I rarely paint my nails or get them done because they are short and round (not pretty sadly) to begin with. They're also thin (at least according to the Chinese lady at the salon I went to one time...for the second time in my life:P) and my cuticles are a nightmare. Most of the time I don't care too much about my nails, but especially in the winter, the dryness makes my hands miserable so I really would like to be able to stay on top of that. I think it would help both my nails and my hair if I were better at taking my prenatals regularly, ahhh!

What are your favorite, fairly inexpensive beauty products? I love Olay skin products (which are somewhat expensive though not compared to other brands) but I try pretty much anything if it's affordable! I especially am requesting good pore cleansers that produce a noticeable difference.

I also want to know what your personal health or beauty goals are. Don't you just feel better about yourself when your skin and hair look good? I know I do.

I hope you are having a happy week! Only one week until Christmas Eve! (which, in my mind, is pretty much as exciting as Christmas Day:)

Tuesday, December 16

Gift Ideas for One Year Olds

One year olds are fairly easy to please. They are interested in anything and everything so finding worthwhile Christmas gifts should be easy, right?

This is partially true, but sometimes it can be hard to choose the best gifts without spending too much money. I like to know that the gifts we're giving her are going to be played with--especially since we're trying to stick to giving 4-6 gifts (basically the four-gift rule* with a little wiggle room).

One way we have tested out which gifts will be played with is by doing trial runs with the toy at various toy stores or at other kids' houses. If the toy distracts your child for several minutes in the store, you know they will most likely play with it at home. In contrast, if they lose interest quickly and move on to something else, you can tell the toy is probably not going to be worthwhile at this time or that it is not age-appropriate for your child.

1. Mini-Me Appliances or Tools
For toddlers like Tenley--who is very independent and likes to copy what mom and dad are doing--mini versions of things make fun gifts. For instance, Tenley loves when I pull the dust pan out and she is fascinated by the vacuum. A child's vacuum or mini dust pan would therefore be a good gift for her so she can pretend to be helping (or really help one day). We got a mini dust pan for Tenley from the Dollar Store (and they have other mini versions of cleaning tools there, too) and though we haven't bought her a vacuum yet, they have some good ones for $15-$20 on Amazon (like this Dirt Devil). Another alternative would be to buy a corn popper ($10 on Amazon), also shown below (though for me, the sound of that would put me over the edge at some point). Other mini-me ideas include a mini toolkit set, a mini kitchen set, play food with a grocery basket or cart, or a mini dishwashing set (I saw a cute one at TJMaxx!).

2. Wooden or Foam Floor Puzzles. 
Another gift I think Tenley would enjoy playing with (with help) is a giant floor puzzle. I know she would not be able to figure it out on her own but she loves any excuse to play with mommy and daddy and honestly, I think she would just like to mess around with the pieces. Both of these puzzles were about $15 on Amazon.

3. Baby Dolls, Strollers & Accessories
For little girls (and even little boys, too), baby dolls and strollers make excellent gifts. Tenley loves her baby dolls and says "baby!" whenever she sees one at the store. She also loves anything she can push around like a baby stroller which she has had experience playing with at her Great Grammy's house and other places. She likes to pretend feed her baby with a bottle that makes noise and change the baby's diaper. I'm sure she would love to carry around a baby carseat or splash her baby in a mini bath as well.

4. Wooden Blocks or a Wooden Train Set 
Tenley loves playing with anything wooden. I wonder if it's partly because of the sound because she loves knocking blocks over and banging them together. She also loves train sets and it's hard to get her to leave when we are in a waiting or play area that has one. The only thing stopping us from getting one for her is the cost--those sets (especially the nice Thomas the Tank Engine ones) are expensive!

5. Ride-on or Push-along Toys
Two of Tenley's favorite toys are her wooden wagon (for pushing toys in and, if you're Tenley, for riding in) from Nana Searle and her Fisher Price 3-in-1 Bounce, Stride & Ride Elephant from Grandma and Grandpa Gunnell. She loves being pushed around on them but she also has no problem playing with them by herself.

6. Books
Books that pop-up, have touch and feel aspects, light up, or make noise are favorites for little kids with short attention spans. Tenley loves books in general but she is also dangerous with paper books. Sometimes I catch her starting to gnaw on the cover or rip pages, so we mostly stick with board books for now.

7. Bath toys 
Some babies love baths and water and will even cry or attempt to hold onto the support bar when mom makes them get out (Tenley is one of those). She loves playing with her little rubber bath toys and even just with the mini shampoo and conditioner bottles we kept from a hotel. She will sit in the tub while I shower and be completely distracted the entire time and probably wouldn't even get out if I didn't make her. Rubber squirting bath toys or small floating boats would be good gifts for your bath lover.
8. Learning Toys with Buttons and Sounds
Leap Pad and other companies make fun learning pads for toddlers. They love pushing the buttons and even though they won't understand what is being said, eventually they will get excited about knowing what button they are being commanded to find (Tenley has the pad below and it says "Find the color green. Find the owl," stuff like that).
9. Non-toxic Art Supplies
Crayola makes a whole line of mess-free products for toddlers and everything they make (as far as I know) is non-toxic (which made me feel better when Tenley ate a crayon). Toddlers love mimicking their parents so especially if you're into writing or art like I am, it's nice to have something for them to keep busy with while you work on your own projects without having to worry about the mess and everything else.

10. Any Melissa & Doug Products
Melissa & Doug make tons of awesome wooden products. They have play food, flat wooden dolls, blocks, bead mazes, and many other things that are perfect for toddlers. Their products can get expensive but they are such high quality that you know you'll only have to buy something once. If you plan on having multiple kids it's probably worth the investment because they'll last forever!
11. Classics: Balls, Baby Legos, & Stuffed Animals
These things make great small gifts or stocking stuffers. Tenley loves balls that light up, and though she doesn't really get stacking Legos yet, she loves taking them apart. She also loves a select few of her stuffed animals. Her favorites are the softest ones and the little ones like this little Ty Beanie toy (the owl's name is Swoops:) These are good toys to bring to places like Church or the car because they easily fit in purses.

Well, Tenley has been tearing up the house while I've worked on this post all morning so I had better go do some damage control. I hope this list helps you and that you find some great deals on gifts for your special little person in your life. Also, like always, I love suggestions, so if you have anything to add, please comment!

Happy toy shopping!

*The four-gift rule covers want, need, something to wear, and something to read. We love the simplicity of this idea but sometimes you need or want more than one thing which is why we will probably be lenient.