Thursday, February 26, 2015

February 26, 2015 - Our Girl

She did it again.  Aged another year.  God bless our girl! 

Kristoffer was away last night for work and Grace LITERALLY could not sleep.  From 10 pm to 2 am she came in to my room (where Aya was also sleeping because her room was painted yesterday) every 20 minutes.  Every. 20. Minutes.  I finally had to threaten her - sorry! - that she couldn't go to school if she came out of her room again because she would just be too tired to celebrate her birthday.  She had even been dragging Noah out of bed to come in with her a few times.  So they both slept from 2-5:15am and then we began her birthday celebration.  Of course Aya was also awake since 4 am. So basically, I've been a ZOMBIE for all of Grace's birthday...but even that didn't stop me from feel nostalgic and sentimental and emotional that my first born is closer to 10 than she is to 1! Eek!  

Let's the age of 6 years...Grace:
  • Loves Dinosaurs, Dragons and Elsa
  • Still wants to be a paleontologist
  • Thrives on being a big sister
  • Has a lot of friends but struggles to consistently communicate kindly and balance different relationships well
  • Is an eager learner
  • Has an infectious laugh
  • Is often very empathetic...and sometimes forgets (but more of the former, so that's good)
  • Is becoming a more adventurous (or at least slightly less picky) eater
  • Is our very best sleeper and go-to-sleeper 
  • Is very creative - drawing, singing, building!
  • Has one heckuva memory
  • Loves to swim
  • Amazes us, everyday!
  • Is not a girly girl - but is also not quite a tom-boy.  She is uniquely herself.  So impressive!

...and so much more that I am too tired to remember!  But wow, is she a cool girl.  And boy, do we love her.

I was horrible photographer today (holding a baby, running subject, etc), but below are the least horrible of the lot. I tried to stalk her throughout her day as much as possible. Enjoy our girl as much as we do!  Happy Birthday, Gracie!

A very tired, slightly weepy, 

 (the picture below is just to prove that Aya was there too!)

 (the picture below is to prove that it was a hard day for some people!)

 (birthday morning phone call from Far!)

 (kid decorated cupcakes for school!)

 (Swimming lessons at school every Thursday! How lucky that she got to swim on her birthday!)

 Winding down...
 We can't end a birthday without building Lego in this house!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

February 21, 2015 - Double Digits!

From 9 to 10 months old, a lot happened in Aya's world.  You already know that she started saying "Mama"(and making lots of more word-like sounds), but that's not nearly all!

She started taking on more household chores - sporting her Syracuse orange too!
 She saw her first deceased snake behind our house.
(Deceased after our cook killed it, that is.  It was very poisonous!)
 She had many love-fests with her big sibs!

 She spent some time in the pool and in the ocean (further down).  
She is always very happy to be in the water!

 On Valentine's Day, she stood by herself for the first time.  She did it several times that day and continues to do it.  She can also get down without falling and she can squat and come back up by herself.  On Valentine's Day she also took her very first step!  We won't call that walking, by any means, but I think it means she'll be there before she turns one.

 Grace took this picture of Aya in what appears to be some kind of stretch or yoga position.

Aya also took an over night trip to Nairobi with Mama and Far.  She was really great and took formula from a bottle for the first time.  I think she is our first baby to not cry on airplanes during take off and landing...she must have a baby super power of adjusting her ears to the pressure change!  While we were in Nairobi, Aya clapped for the first time.  Now she is doing it regularly, which the big kids just love.
<iframe width="420" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 And today!  Our 10 month old!

 Sundowner at the beach...Aya ate tiny bits of pizza for the first time.  She loved it! 
(thank goodness...I don't trust anyone who doesn't love pizza!  Noah also fed her strawberry sorbet today which was a big hit.  Third child!)
 Just before bed, helping Far process some World Bank data on rural water and sanitation :)

Other things that Aya loves at 10 months old:

  • electric outlets
  • banging on anything like a phone, iPad or computer
  • playing underneath the dining room table and crawling underneath chairs
  • watching the washing machine when it is on (and trying to turn it on herself when it is not)
  • Oliver!  Her best friend!
  • Grace!  Noah! Mama! Far!  She has no shortage of love for our family!  
  • trying to climb into the shower
  • brown rice and eating other things that come from Mama's plate (but not as much the things that are in a separate bowl for her)
  • being tickled
  • music
  • playing peek-a-boo
  • reading her two favorite bedtime books
  • biting things
  • seeing/being with other babies
Things she does not love:
  • getting dressed
  • diaper changes - she is just way tooooo busy for these!
  • any kind of grooming (eye drops, cleaning her nose or ears or scalp, etc.)
  • when you try to stop her from doing something she really wants to do 
I don't know her official stats right now, but according to the baggage scale at the airport she weighs 9 kg (almost 20 lbs) which is 20-50th percentile.  She LOOKS and ACTS healthy and is definitely growing, so we're not so concerned about the numbers this time around (this is a serious departure from how we were with her siblings, right?).  She is decent eater - although I think we should start emphasizing foods over milk a little bit more as we approach her birthday.  She takes two naps a day and still does not sleep through the night.  Just before Valentine's Day when she stood and took a step, we had several bad nights in a row with like 5 wakes up a night.  That was TERRIBLE!  But now she's at one or two wake ups...which is still tiring, but is a big improvement.  I am sure SOME DAY she will sleep all the way through.  

Overall, she's pretty wonderful!  We had forgotten what a cute, fun age she is in right now...and Grace and Noah's enthusiasm for her is just the proverbial icing on the cake.  Happy 10 months, Aya..we really love you!