15 Months… an update

It’s time for an update on The Bean… because it’s been a while. 3 months to be exact.

I’m not sure why 15 months seems like a significant age worth documenting, but maybe it’s just that 13 and 14 don’t sound all that “big”. 15 months allows me to split up Keelin’s 2nd year into 4 major updates which, to be totally honest, is a great break from the weekly updates that I dedicated myself to in her first year. Let’s get right to it because… well… she’s a growing girl, and this may take a while.

upcloseandpersonal

Vocabulary – aka the road to becoming a talk show host
At 12 months Keelin was sitting pretty with the basics; mama {sometimes} dada {all the time}, giggling, and random babble. Now at 15 we’re still prominent with ‘dada’ seeing as how it tends to be the default for everything that doesn’t have a name yet. It’s still adorable. I’m still jealous. There ya have it. She will say ‘mama’ from time to time, especially when she’s mad at me for not letting her have what she wants. Yes, we’ve entered into tantrum world… more on that later.

But by-far her favorite word would have to be ‘doggie’. I was unaware that ‘doggie’ has a wide variety of pronunciations, but my dear child has gone through just about all of them. Doooogie, dowgeeee, duggie {victory}, etc. Holy crap she loves those dogs and loves even more that she knows what to call them. Again, it’s adorable.

But that’s not the only animal-themed bit of vocab she has in her alphabet soup. She will ‘woof’ like the doggies which generally comes out as a forced ‘f’ sound and is accompanied by the cutest curly lipped pucker you’ve ever seen. Props to Biscuit the dog for assisting in that skill. She’s also mastered the ‘ish’ part of ‘fish’ and knows exactly where they are in the house. She’ll see a photo of a fish in a book, point to it, whisper ‘ish’ and look over at the aquarium. Genius I tell you. We are still working on ‘cat’ but from time to time when I’m being completely foolish recreating animal noises she will let out the sweetest ‘maaa’ in an attempt to meow. Yes, my heart breaks a little each time she does it.

She’s a big-time giggler and will mimic our laughs…which I’m currently trying to utilize to help teach her what monkeys say. She also loves saying ‘hi da’ whenever Z comes home from work or goes into her room after a nap. Add that to her love of singing, which she does just about any time we have music {with vocals} playing and she’s always chatting up a storm. But her most recent discovery is the word ‘bubble’. Z’s dad is a clown with the Big Apple Clown Care Unit that visits sick children in hospitals. A few days ago he came over after work and brought his back of tricks which included bubbles. She loved them, the dogs went ape-shiz, and by the end of the day she was giving us a muffled form of ‘baba’. Since then she’s decided that bubble can ONLY be said with the assistance of her finger so as soon as you ask her to say it she brings her hand to her mouth and strums her lips while she talks. What a cheater.

Let’s Get Physical
People are constantly telling me that Keelin looks exactly like her daddy. To which I generally respond, “Yes, if I didn’t push her out myself I would wonder if she was mine”. But now that she’s become this awesome little person I’m seeing more and more of myself {did I just call myself awesome?} in her actions. Especially the dancing. Watch out SYTYCD Season 29! Keelin loves to flap her arms, twist her torso, and rock her hips back and forth. We were watching SNL on Hulu the other day and she  was busting out some sweet moves to one of Justin Timberlake’s latest tunes. Of course this make’s me oober happy and allows me to daydream about her first dance recital and the perfectly pink tutu she’ll no-doubt spill chocolate milk on during rehearsal week. Le sigh. Here’s a little snippet of her dancing – pardon my shaky camera, I was trying to dance with her!

How else is she rocking her physical fitness? Climbing. Lots of climbing. The stairs have been a breeze for a while now so instead of crawling up them she’s insisting on WALKING up them. She hangs on to the railings and steps up each stair. She hasn’t quite captured the fact that her upper body SHOULD be in line with her feet as she’s going up, but that doesn’t stop her. She gets herself into a stunning diagonal {head hanging down over the lower steps of course, because this mama needs more things to give her a heart attack} and some how releases one of her hands to find the next rung up so she cal recover her balance and do it all again with the next step. Needless to say one of us is ALWAYS a step behind her and it takes a really long time to get upstairs.

She’s also gotten pretty great at butt-scooting down the stairs. She prefers to be holding one of our hands during the journey, which I’m totally fine with, but it also takes forever because our steps are slatted and she likes looking back through them to see who is downstairs.
And we officially have a couch-climber. Apparently her daddy taught her one day when I was out of the house. Of course. I’m surprised she hasn’t really tried to climb up anything else. Maybe subconsciously knows that the couch is nice and soft so it’s safer when she throws her face into the cushion.

But I have to say that one of my favorite new physical quirks is learning how to ‘pound it’. She’s been a high-fiver for a while now and just for fun we tried to get her to fist-bump. She wasn’t really into it at first until one day a few weeks ago when our neighbor came over to babysit while I kicked butt at a consignment sale. Keelin had woken up from her nap and was playing with her new toys when I gave ‘pound it’ one more shot. All of a sudden she formed her hand into a loose fist, made a broken wrist, and held it out for contact. What was even cuter was the way she lifted her shoulder to her ear to help lift her hand up. In case you were at all curious, yes, we make her do it all the time. And she loves it. Here’s proof.

Too Toothy
We are up to 12 teeth and counting. It’s a nice even spread with one molar on each side, top and bottom, and four spread across the front, top and bottom.

Mama’s Little Helper
One of Keelin’s new favorite past-times is to help Z or I empty the dishwasher.  What started out as her grabbing at the dishes and us telling her to put them down, turned into her picking the dishes up and handing them to us. Smart little stinker working around the ‘no’ command so she can keep touching the plates. She can obviously only reach the bottom rack so it’s minimal assistance, but it’s definitely a foreshadow of the future when she is big enough to help out more around the house and even help with future little siblings.

Defiance
For your sake and mine I’ll save this category for another post because, lets face it, toddlers aren’t the best with discipline starting out.

buddy fruit mishap

oh boy

Snuggle Bug
Keelin has gotten super snuggly lately. She’ll reach up like she wants to be held but when we pick her up she’ll grab hold of our necks and press her cheek against ours. If that’s not sweet enough she’ll pat the back of our heads with her tiny hands, as if to mimic us when we are comforting her. She loves pulling us in while she’s up on the changing table too.

Firsts
There have been plenty of firsts in the last 3 months, most of which I’ve already mentioned {climbing down steps, climbing up on the couch, etc.} but Keelin also had her first ride on a swing

swinging

and had her first haircut! I wish I could have waited a little longer but her poor little bangs were hanging down in her eyes. And since she’s really good at pulling every matter of hair accessory out of her hair, it was time. She did pretty well, didn’t really cry but squirmed all over the place. Z and I thought she looked like a little french girl afterwards so we lovingly call her Mon Petite every now and then.

first haircut

To keep you from a full day of reading I’ll cut it here. Those were the major updates from the last 3 months and I can’t wait to see what the next 3 have in store!
Happy 15 months mon petite! You are so loved.

Until next time…

Link UP Week: Sew Cute Tuesday

link up week

What the what? Three posts in one day? Yes, believe it folks… linking up has ignited an uncontrollable fire.  But this is that last link party of the day, I promise. I hadn’t originally intended on doing another but when I found this blog and party I decided it had to be done. Especially since I’d been meaning to share a project that will fit in perfectly with the theme!

Better Off Thread

Welcome to Sew Cute Tuesday hosted by Better Off Thread {hello adorable blog name}. It’s all about sewing or craft projects and it’s about time I shared one that I did back before Christmas. The hubs and I were trying to budget our spending for the holiday and I wanted to make something special for my new nephew, Spencer. I already had the fabric, snagged a few extra rolls of ribbon, and was on my way to making a sweet lovie {tag blanket} for my sweet love!

His nursery has a nautical-lighthouse theme so I wanted to do something along those lines and I decided to use the fishy fabric from Keelin’s 42 week onesie shoot. I had just bought some grey pop-dot fabric for the quilt I have still yet to finish, and decided it was the perfect soft back the blanket needed. I measured and cut the fabric to match and pinned them with the ‘right’ sides facing one another. You should know that I’m a terrible seamstress so my technique is terrible and probably WRONG in the grand scheme of things… but it gets the job done. In the photo below you can also see that I measured out 1/2″ on each edge to help guide me on the sewing machine… yeah, rookie.

tag blanket

I then placed the ribbon tags where I wanted them. I didn’t make any particular symmetry, just wanted enough on each side for him to really grab onto. Remove the pins in the area where you plan on placing a ribbon tag and slide between your pieces of fabric, making sure the end of the ribbon is lined up with the edge of the blanket.

tag blanket

Replace the pins {through the ribbon} and head to the sewing machine.

tag blanket

I assume since you found me on a sewing blog you can basically decipher the rest. I assume since you found me on a sewing blog you can basically decipher the rest. If not, sew each edge completely, making crisp, 90 degree corners. Leave a hole about 1″ to 1 1/2″ so you can flip the blanket right-side-out. I used the tip of my scissors to lightly press in each corner to make sure they were fully inverted. Close the hole and admire the cuteness.

tag blanket

It was a lot of fun to make and even more fun to see in a picture with my nephew!

tag blanket

Hopefully in the next week or so I can link up again to share progress on Keelin’s onesie fabric quilt. It does exist, and there has been progress… but it’s definitely not done. If you have a fun sewing project worth sharing, make sure you join the link party with Better Off Thread!

Until next time…

Link UP Week: Trendy Tot Tuesday

link up week

Welcome to day 3 of link UP week!
Forgive me for only posting ONE link up yesterday… this past weekend was a little nuts and this week is going to be even MORE nuts. On Friday, as we waited for my parents to get here for a long weekend visit, we found out that Z booked a roll on the new NBC series, Revolution. He is currently filming in Wilmington {probably on set as we speak} and I’m playing single mom for the week. I may be looney tunes by the end of it all! But enough about me, on to the next link up!

My college friend and fellow mom-blogger Melanie at Career Desires to Bottles and Diapers gave me the heads up about this awesome NEW link up. I was hoping to find and help promote a brand new link up so I’m so thankful she passed this along! It’s called Trendy Tot Tuesday hosted by Kelly at Mrs. In Training, Megan at Table for Three, and Lindsay at Baby Mama Drama.

Trendy Tot Tuesday

This will be a chance to talk about kid’s style, and pretty much anything goes.  Pictures of your cutie, talking about their style (that you buy and dress them in, ahem!), a Polyvore board, linking to the new kid’s line at the Gap – anything!  All ages welcome, from you sweet pregnant mamas stocking up a closet to the teenagers that probably pick all their own stuff out now.

Sounds like fun! Let’s get to it!

When it comes to Keelin’s wardrobe, I learned early on how AMAZING consignment shopping is. Especially for mommy and daddy’s wallet. Before she was born I had to stop myself from filling my cart with the cutest Gap, Carter’s, and FAO Schwartz fashions. I discovered that I’m not a big “color” specific shopper {aka Keelin’s closet isn’t overrun with pink} but instead I prefer bright and fun colors… hence my love of Carter’s! But like I said before, dressing your kid like a supermodel can be a major strain on the bank account so we rely a lot on seasonal sales and consignment shops. I decided to use this first Trendy Tot Tuesday to put a spotlight on the outfits Keelin wears all the time, and show some of the adorable digs I wish she had.

FAVS:

  • The first is my go-to party outfit. Keelin wore it for her 1st birthday and some of her 1 year photos and I’m so in love with the sweet flowers and matching skirt. They were both a gift from my first baby shower and are both from Arizona.
  • Next is a super sweet Carter’s outfit perfect for chilly weather. The hooded sweater has a fun swirl pattern and silver glitter buttons, and the grey stretch leggins {terrible picture, I apologize} have matching buttons. Adorable.
  • The third is a representation of my FAVORITE article of clothing… overalls. We love OshKosh denim overalls but anything goes. The one in the photo is an adorable romper that Z’s mother knit her. Homemade clothes are ABSOLUTELY the best.

Now onto some adorable “dream” digs.
My guilty pleasure is scoping out Facebook, Gap, and Etsy for adorable outfits. Seriously if I could stock her closet with nothing but Gap and WAHM-made outfits, I would. We probably wouldn’t have a house to put the closet in, but she’d certainly be stylin’!

  • First is an adorable white Scalloped eyelet dress from Gap Kids. I’ll take one in every color please- and do they come in my size?
  • Next is a sweet Love U Dress/Tunic from Bleu Bird Designs. I LOVE all the colors and the rustic patchwork!
  • 3rd  is a dress and ballet slipper set from BabyBlushBoutique. Remember them from the fantastic giveaway they hosted? Love all of her custom designs.
  • 4th is a Green zigzag bishop dress from Marjorie’s Daughter. This company is actually owned my by gal pal’s aunt and her smocked dresses are beyond precious and she’s currently having a sale on Zulily! Check it out!
  • 5th is a Limpopo Bandana Ruffle Tunic from Tea Collection. Bright colors, sweet ruffles, love love love!
  • And last is pretty much the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen – Hill farm blue vintage romper from ju ju Creations. Killing me.

Well there you have it! Some of my favorite outfits in Keelin’s arsenal and a list of dresses you are more than welcome to purchase and send her/me. :)

Thanks so much to the gracious hosts for coming up with such a fun link up! I’ll definitely be joining in again!

Until next time… 

The mind is a mysterious beast

This is something I’ve wanted to write about for quite some time and I’m finally in a place where I’m OK to at least talk about it. It’s on the heavy-side, so forgive me for starting off your week on such a sullen note. I’m sure some of you can {unfortunately} relate to this experience, so I thought it was time to release the word vomit.

The mind is a mysterious beast.

I’ve been unlucky enough to face the scary and debilitating truth of someone you love “losing” their mind. I’m not talking about going to crazy-town after making a pit-stop in looney-ville. That’s an entirely different story.
I’m talking about losing the parts of your mind that make you who you are.
I’m talking about losing the memories and experiences that have formed your life and your place in it.
I’m talking about walking around the home you’ve lived in for over 50 years, without the ability to recognize that it’s your ‘home’.
Old age, dementia, Alzheimer’s… no matter what you call it or how it’s ‘clinically’ diagnosed… it sucks.

My maternal grandmother was always a fun-loving, active, silly, talented, and sophisticated inspiration. She was a brilliant painter, seamstress, and cook, made the world’s best dinner rolls and cinnamon buns, and always insisted you enjoyed seconds at dinner. But unfortunately, she doesn’t remember all of those wonderful attributes and it’s truly heartbreaking to sit and wonder where that person has gone. The mind is a mysterious beast.

2-3 years ago we started to see signs that something beyond just ‘getting older’ was affecting her memory. Things beyond just forgetting the date or now realizing that you’ve now told your husband the same story three times {heck, I do that}. Now, the same person who loved celebrating {and never forgot} my birthday because she remembered me running around telling everyone it was on “JOON TWELF”, now has to ask “Who is this?” when she looks at my wedding picture. The same person whose beautiful paintings are hanging on the walls of my home, my parent’s home, and my brother’s home {to name a few} now is amazed when she learns that she is the one who painted them. The same person who would smile and talk me through things as I watched in amazement while she made her famous cinnamon buns now can’t remember how to make breakfast.
What happened? Where did she go? Did she disappear completely or is she still in there somewhere wondering why everything is different now?

From time to time we will see glimpses of her humor or specs of remembrance from her childhood that remind us she is still the same Gamma.
When we ask her what flavor of cake she wants, and she responds with “both” as if we are silly for even asking.
When she looks at a side table in the living room and says, “You know who made this? My daddy made this.”
Those are the moment when we see the woman she used to be. Perhaps still is, but she’s unable to get out.

The mind is a mysterious beast.

Because things have progressed {or regressed, in this case} so quickly, it’s been difficult to wrap my head around it all. It’s hard to really understand how someone who was always on the move, whether it was cooking, walking around the neighborhood, or just cleaning up around the house, now sleeps the majority of the day. It’s impossible to understand how the person who was so excited to hear from me when I called her on her birthday last year, probably wouldn’t know who she was talking to if I talked to her today. It’s not fair that the home I remember LOVING to visit during the summer as a child is now just a house, since 1/2 of the duo that made it so bright and joyful can no longer take care of it, or herself.

It’s hard.
It’s impossible.
It’s not fair.
The mind is a mysterious beast.

I probably sound like a broken record to those of you who have dealt with this, or are currently dealing with it, in your family.  My husband’s grandmother has been slowly ‘losing her mind’ for many, many years now and while a part of me wishes I could have known her when she was the happy-go-lucky grandmother he remembers {there are still glimpses of that person too – she has the best sense of humor}, the other part is thankful I didn’t have to watch the disappearance from the start. She never really knew who I was, so I don’t get the same heartache when she shows me the Christmas present that I made her and asks, “Did you see this? Isn’t this nice?” That doesn’t mean the heartache was never there, or isn’t still in some way, but the circumstances have allowed his family to adapt to things more gradually, so the difficulty can be buffered with laughter and a sense that this is now ‘the norm’.

I’m not there yet.

I don’t know if I will ever be there. It’s actually kind of impossible to imagine a time when I’ll be okay with it all. I’ve gotten to a point where I can avoid tears when my mom calls to update me on the latest thing she’s forgotten, but then again I’m currently writing this with giant puddles in my eyes, making it very difficult to see my spelling errors, so what does that say about my level of “being ok”?

The mind is a mysterious beast for sure, and the idea of not having full control over your own is terrifying. This kind of thing is often passed down through the generations by the women of the family, so will my mother and I suffer the same fate? Will Keelin decades from now? Dear God, I hope not.
Is there a way to prevent it from happening all together, or at least get a few more ‘good’ years in before the disappearing act begins? Do ‘brain teasers’ and memory games really make a difference? Should I eat less chocolate, drink less sweat tea, spend less times staring at a computer screen? Who knows.

All I know is that I’m not okay. Not yet. And I miss my grandmother.

Until next time…