Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July milestones

(Laurel on her potty after her first pee and her reward lolli!)

Laurel has recently tackled some milestones - for better or worse. After we returned from Iowa, we broke out the little potty. Starting at the beginning of the month, we started "using" the potty. Laurel does like to sit on the potty, so we've been fine there. The first day was filled with pee accidents, as to be expected. Sometimes it would bother her and sometimes she didn't get and just let it out:). The second day was pretty much the same, but more "uh oh" comments when it would happen. We decided not to apply any pressure on the issue, if she wanted to go that would be great, and if not, that's ok too. Fortunately it's summer and it's been getting hotter outside. So running around nude has become the preferred dress code for Laurel. It's really helped and over the past week, I've noticed that she has become very good at holding her pee. She knows she doesn't have a diaper on to catch the liquid and knows not to let it loose on the couch or while she's playing. The trick was to get her to pee in the toilet. She also got very good at knowing when she was ready to pee. Several times recently, she's said she has to pee, goes to the potty...and sits...and sits. Then she gets up and pees on the floor:). The final trick for her was to figure out how to let the pee out while sitting on the potty. And finally today, July 22, it happened! And not once but twice! I think it startled her at first. But she's made the connection and so we're hopefully this trend will continue. I haven't stressed using the potty while we're out in public, but we may have to start that soon too. But while at home, the pants are off, the little potty is in the living room and she's free to use it when she wants. We're thrilled at the progress she's made so far!!

Today also marks another step in Laurel's growth - climbing out of the crib. Starting at the end of last week, Laurel has had a distinct aversion or fear of her crib. She doesn't want to be in it and just screams and screams. So the naps have been brief to not at all, and the night sleep has been difficult. She's been a dream sleeper up until now so we've been baffled. She's gotten up in the middle of the night crying and has come in with us. We were letting her cry it out tonight but after climbing out of her crib in desperation, we know that she's moving up to being a big girl. It's sad to think of giving up her last bits of babyhood:(. We'll be transitioning to the toddler bed and perhaps even into the full bed when we move. Keeping her in the bed will be the next challenge.

We are slowly packing for our August 7th move up the street. Not far at all, but have to box everything up none the less. I know Laurel is sensing the change and it may be stressing her as well. Lots of new things in her life right now!
Right now, we're having a visit from my Dad and we're having lots of day outings. I'm using the car rides to encourage some sort of nap out of her during the day. Hopefully she'll come back around to a normal schedule once we're settled in our new place!

Friday, July 3, 2009

summer flying by!

A long overdue post - we're already into July! Time is really flying by, especially when it's the loveliest time of the year. Here in LA, it's beautiful 70's weather, heat wave probably around the corner:). We've been enjoying a lot of time outside. Laurel has become a huge fan of any park, playing with her sand toys, riding on the swing or the slide. Her ears perk up at the slightest mention of the park and she can't wait to run out the door. We've also taken up some of the simplest activities - blowing bubbles and drawing with sidewalk chalk outside. Whenever we're outside, Laurel always takes note of the planes flying overhead. She loves to gaze at the sky and point out the planes as they fly well as the moon, the sun, the birds:)...

The larger part of the summer for me has been consumed by Copper Willow projects and shipments. Still mailing boxes for orders taken from the stationery show and sending out supplements for our stationery and wedding albums. Alex's company has made the official move to become a part of Activision and we're able to take advantage of some great benefits. He's been placed under the guidance of another lead animator but has been given the opportunity to pursue his interest in the technical side of animation and placed as the lead technical animator.

Laurel continues to attend her school 2 times per week and is doing amazingly well. She doesn't really get upset anymore and is usually occupied in other activities when I arrive and doesn't rush right to me side the second she sees me. We're already looking ahead to pre-school. We'll be touring a co-op style school in Westchester, near the airport. It means parent involvement, cheaper rates and a more play oriented school. I think it will be a good style for Laurel. She would be on the list to start in the fall of 2010.

Laurel's vocabulary is flowing non stop now. She made these leaps in June: She's repeating pretty much repeating anything we say - I must post a video! She is also recognizing numbers and shapes. She can point out the numbers as well as count from 1 to 10. She also knows several of her letters and is working on pointing out her colors. She can recognize and say heart, triangle, square and star. Some of her more common place words have been replaced by longer words - for example, done is being replaced by finish, fishy is now Nemo. Laurel is also working on multi-syllable words. Sometimes the second half of the word still drops off, but she can say Dorothy (elmo's fish), Monster (for Monster's Inc.), bubble, elephant, alligator, zebra, etc. And about mid-June I caught her singing a song to herself! That couldn't have been cuter:). She loves the slippery fish song they sing at school and it has hand movements. I was watching her in the rear view mirror in the car and she was singing it with the movements. My heart just melted!
Laurel continues to enjoy the Pixar movies and Elmo. She did make it to the movies twice so far! The first time was for Up, which was not very animal oriented and didn't hold her attention for more than maybe 45 minutes. After her attention faded, we spent the rest of the time walking laps around the theater:). Today, she went with Dada, Ryan and Ryder to see the third Ice Age movie and watched the entire thing! She was mostly interested in the squirrel but understands more language and recognizes the animals types.

Next on tap for Laurel progress will be potty training. I wasn't sure we'd do this so early, but she seems to be ready. She always points out when she's pooped and will tug at a wet diaper. She understands the potty and what happens. With a little dedication to the cause, I'm hoping it won't be a big struggle! We've been waiting for a time when we don't have anywhere to be so that we can stay home and put some effort into it without distraction or need to leave the house.

Our most recent time away was for George and Amy's wedding in Iowa/Illinois. George is a friend from grad. school, Alex was in the wedding. Laurel was very excited to be on the plane and did a great job on the flights there and back. She as occupied with lots of new little items that I bought at Target, plus some snacks and the dvd player. Our time away was occupied mostly by wedding related activities, but we were able to get to a small zoo on the last day. Her favorite thing was an inflatable obstacle course for the kids. We could really see the influence of her school - she is much braver than she used to be. We were worried she'd be timid, but she dove right in to every acitivity on the trip. The hotel also had a pool and she's turned into such a little fishy! And she was a dancing fiend at the wedding reception and we couldn't keep her off the dance floor!:)

Up next for the Velez family - moving! We were able to find a nice little apartment just up the street from our current house. Just out of Culver City, back in LA. We'll have about the same amount of space but we'll be able to save about $600 per month. We're excited about some of the littlest pleasures - washer and dryer in the apt., dishwasher, a new fridge, new couches, air conditioning! We'll be moving in the 2nd week of August.