Not flesh of my flesh
nor bone of my bone
but still miraculously my own.

Never forget for a single minute
you didn't grow under my heart
but in it!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Gabriella's First Concert

Gabriella LOVES music and we listen to music every second that we are in the car. In fact, if music is not on, she will request it by saying ("Sea-Sick" aka "Music."). We are not allowed to drive anywhere without music playing, and not just any music, HER music! For this reason, I have purchased various children's CD's so that we can at least mix it up a bit. Aside from the given choices that she LOVES (Elmo / Sesame Street, Dora, Yo Gabba Gabba, and Cedarmont Kids Toddler and Preschool Tunes) I have ventured out to find children's music artists who Gabriella and I both enjoy. Two of those artists are the Laurie Berkner Band and the Toe Jam Puppet Band. The Toe Jam Puppet Band is a local group that I discovered last summer. They have many local performances but we have never been able to attend one until today. Gabriella and I know much of their music, so it made it even more fun. Gabriella even put in a song request prior to the show beginning. She asked one of the band members for "Hot Dog" twice but both in a very, very quiet voice. They did play it for her, though!

Gabriella loved the interaction of the show. The band offers 2 performances every Monday at 10:30 AM and 12:30 PM at the Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford, MA. We had to go to the later performance because I had a meeting this morning. I was told, however, that the earlier show attracted the younger children and that the later show attracted the older children. The older children play a bit more rough than Gabriella enjoys and than I am comfortable with. At times, the band would turn off the lights (it was still "light" in there, certainly not dark) and they did silly displays on an overhead projector. For a dinosaur song, they put a dinosaur display on the projector and the kids got up screaming and running. For these children, it was all in fun. For Gabriella, though, she thought they were truly scared and got scared herself. When the lights were back on, though, she was back to interacting, dancing, and chasing the man with the bubble machine around. It is a neat band and if you ever have an opportunity to share their music with your kids or bring your kids to see them live, I would highly recommend it. For us, though, we will aim to get to the earlier shows from now on to avoid the bigger kids.
By the time the show was over, it was after 1:30 PM and Gabriella had not napped, so she was really starting to get extremely fussy and crabby and even moreso than on typical days in which she goes without a nap. We did, though, spend about an hour exploring the zoo. The zoo is very small, but I felt it was perfect for us. For me, the pluses were that it is relatively close to us, there was not tons of walking, and there were no large crowds of people. For Gabriella, the plus was that there was great variety of animals and displays in the small area and we could visit them all before her attention span faded!

They had a very small train that ran the course of the zoo and Gabriella loved it. She loves trains and she got to see all of the animals at the same time.:
Gabriella was exceptionally fussy by the time I put her in the car to go home. She fell asleep during the ride (at about 3:00 PM). I transferred her to the bed at home and she didn't wake up until 6:00 PM. However, she woke up burning up with a 102.1 fever. This certainly explains the more-than typical fussiness. It was a fun day, despite Gabriella getting sick, but now our focus moves to getting her back on the mend.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Girly Girl...?

The similarities between Gabriella and I never cease to amaze me. In every way, with the exception of her tan skin, she is like a mini me! She has a similar personality, demeanor, preferences, expressions, features, etc. We are similar even down to quirky details such as the fact that when I was a child I used to pick at the center of my top lip; Gabriella has started doing this recently but, of course, never knew that I used to do it! To me, she is proof that things don't happen by chance; there is clearly a plan designed by God. Discovering this "evidence" fascinates me. I am forever pondering, and being grateful for, God's plan that enabled the union between Gabriella and I. I certainly expect Gabriella to be her own person, but, I am constantly amazed that I had yet to discover any major differences...that is, until today!

It was a beautiful day today with spring-like weather. We took advantage of the day by spending it outside. Gabriella; our oldest dog, Riley; and I took a long nature walk in a local state park. We explored the woods, played near a stream, met lots of people and their dogs, and collected acorns ("pa-con"). After 2.5 hours of exploring, we got in the car to drive home and we passed a lake. I saw a rowboat launching so I stopped to show Gabriella. Of course, Gabriella wanted to walk down by the water and play for a bit. There was a man fishing, so Gabriella pretended she was fishing too by dangling a long branch in the water. Then, she noticed a small cleared area that directly abutted the water. I was purposely avoiding this area because it was all mud. I HATE mud and DESPISE getting dirty. I am very conscious, though, to not allow my hatred toward dirt (and all things messy) to hinder Gabriella's desire to explore. So, probably against my better judgement, I let her walk onto the mud. Then, Gabriella picked up two big handfuls of mud and, again, I didn't stop her. After all, I knew I could easily wash her hands and give her a bath. She then squatted down to dig in the mud. All I could think about was all of the dirt that was getting embedded underneath her fingernails! I reminded myself to relax and let her enjoy it. I did ask her, though, not to sit because the ground was muddy and I didn't want her pants to get wet (notice I said "wet" and not "dirty!"). She quickly forgot what I had asked her and one shin was planted in the mud. I reminded myself that it was okay and that she was having fun! Next thing I know, she was sitting in it and then, literally, rubbing handfuls of mud onto her BRAND NEW Stride Rite sneakers (my fault for taking her for a nature walk in nice, new sneakers)! At that point, I actually relaxed because she was already covered in mud and there was nothing else I had to "worry" about her dirtying! She then stood up with two handfuls of mud, looked at me, and lifted her hands up to the side of her face. I knew exactly what she was about to do and couldn't control myself from yelling, "NO!" She was quicker than me, though, and rubbed one handful of mud on the side of her FACE and the other handful of mud in her HAIR! Again, it was too late to be uptight so I burst into laughter and the man who was fishing was cracking up too. I then heard crunching coming from her mouth from the bit of dirt that managed its way INSIDE of her mouth. YUCK! At that point, I had had more dirt than I could handle, so we headed back to the car. She proceeded to SLITHER UP THE HILL, like a snake, on her belly, toward the car! NO LIE! I let her enjoy, though...heck, I figured it would help in cleaning up some of the mud! Before getting in the car, I stripped her down to her onesie and sanitized her hands. As soon as we got home, her clothes went directly into the washing machine and she went directly into the bathtub!

The point of this long story is that today I recognized one BIG difference between Gabriella and me - Gabriella apparently likes dirt and I, on the other hand, hate it and have always hated it, even as a child. If my memory serves me correctly, as a child I hated getting dirty and would burst into tears if I got dirt or spilled food on my clothing. Gabriella is very "girly", but apparently even girly girls like mud! Today, Gabriella helped me to lighten up and enjoy the moment. We had a great day, she brought me out of my "comfort zone," and we shared an afternoon that I will likely never forget!

Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me but, even though they're not the best quality photos, my cell phone camera captured the messy event.

It all started with an innocent smile:
...then she was standing in the mud and only getting her hands dirty:
Notice her focused look as she admired the mud!:
...then she went to kneeling:
...and then sitting in the mud!:
...then proceeded to cover her sneakers in the mud!:
Proudly showing mommy the mud on her hands!:

Friday, March 5, 2010

Gabriella's First Jewelry Party!

Grammy had a Lia Sophia jewelry party at her house this evening. Being a girl after my own heart, Gabriella loved admiring the jewelry!
She never stops making her mommy proud!

Gabriella's 2.5 Year Physical

Gabriella had her 2.5 year physical today (one month late due to our trip to Disney and mommy's terrible memory) and the doctor said she is growing and developing wonderfully. She weighs just shy of 28 pounds (27 pounds, 13 ounces) which falls in the 25th percentile for her age. She is also in the 25th percentile for height, so she is very well proportioned. She has remained in the 25th percentile in both categories since she's been home. She is in the 50th percentile for BMI and 40th percentile for head circumference. The doctor gave Gabriella a new storybook, as he does during every physical. She did wonderfully during the exam and was fairly relaxed while the doctor was examining her. An uneventful visit to the doctor with only positive news makes for a very happy mommy!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"Hmmm? Oh Yeah," "Stuck in Sticky Tape," and "I Like It"

Gabriella has a few new phrases that she has been using frequently.

"Hmmm? Oh Yeah"
Grammy bought Gabriella Emotion cards which are cards that depict an emotion and you act that emotion out. Gabriella and I were acting out emotions such as happy, sad, surprised, etc. When we got to the "thinking" card, I said, "Hmmm?" and Gabriella immediately put her finger on her cheek, said, "Hmmm?," pointed her finger in the air, and then said, "Oh yeah!" I cracked up laughing because it was perfect and she did it completely on her own. I have no idea where she saw this, but I couldn't believe it. If you could see her do it in person, you would get the full picture of how cute it is. So, needless to say, we have her act this one out for everyone we see!

"Stuck in Sticky Tape"
Gabriella recently watched a Dora episode in which one of the characters was stuck in sticky tape. So, this is Gabriella's newest fascination. She pretends she is stuck and says, "I stuck. Sticky tape!" and repeats it over and over! It cracks me up.

"I Like It"
Gabriella has also recently been saying, "I like it" or "I love it," especially when we are out shopping and even more especially when we are shoe shopping. She is only two years old but already has a shoe obsession! She is the only two year old who I know who will willingly try on shoes! We can't go past shoes without trying on a pair. Today she learned a couple different uses for "I like" other than for material things. Gabriella has a lot of boys in her class and this morning she was the only girl. The boys were telling Grammy (who owns the school), "I like Gabby" and Gabby chimed in, "I like too!" Today, while in school, Ms. Tayla told the children that if one of their friends does something to them that they don't like then they should tell their friend, "I don't like that." Apparently Gabriella tried this new phrase out a lot today and even tried using it with Ms. Tayla during naptime! At dinner tonight, Gabriella tried out her new phrase again. She doesn't like to sit in a highchair anymore, so I got her a booster
seat and she told me, "I don't like it!" Well, I "love" how her vocabulary is growing and Gabriella is able to express herself more freely!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spicy Bum Bum

Gabriella typically uses three descriptors for food, hot, cold, or spicy (and "mmm, yum yum"). Today she informed me that "(her) bum bum (is) spicy!" With Gabriella around, who needs entertainment?!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

"In A Minute"

Gabriella's language is increasing exponentially and as more words come out, I become more aware of the words that she is taking in! Her latest answer to many commands is, "Minute" meaning "In a minute!" For example, if I say, "Gabriella, please get your sneakers," her response is, "Minute." It strikes me funny each time she says it. I figured out that she picked this phrase up from me. I have become very observant of my language to figure out if it was, in fact, me who she picked it up from. Sure enough, when she asks me for something or to do something while I am preoccupied, I acknowledge her request by answering, "Ok, in a minute." Now, I have to teach her what a minute really is and that sometimes she doesn't have the option to delay her tasks for a minute!