Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ten Months

Can you believe little Stella just keeps getting older? Because I cannot! She is ten months old now. It's been a busy, but fun month since my last update. I have decided this is a fun stage. Though I have to constantly keep on eye on the little one, it's so fun to watch her explore, and figure things out, and gain her independence. So, what's new with Stella?

She's picked up some new hobbies. At the beginning of the month, it was pulling all of the books off her bookshelf.

That lasted a couple of weeks. Then it was on to opening her drawer and pulling out all of her shirts.

She also loves banging. Any kind of banging. Banging her hands on things. Banging toys together. Banging a toy on a piece of furniture. If there is banging to be done, she will do it.

She has little interest in her toys these days (unless she's banging them on something). She's much too curious and interested in everything around her to sit and play with her toys. She prefers to crawl around checking EVERYTHING out. And when she's crawling, she's very focused. If something is in her path, she doesn't just move it out of the way. She picks it up and throws it to the side. She even tried that with Scout once when the dog was in her way. She recently learned to open the kitchen cabinets, so we have now installed cabinet latches on the cabinets she's not allowed to play in.

Here she is checking out her box of wipes and showing off her staunch support of Team USA in this summer's Olympic Games:

She also knows where the dog's toy basket is and that she's not allowed to play in it. So, she is naturally drawn to it and I find myself pulling her away from it almost constantly throughout the day. She is a very busy little girl. It's difficult to take pictures of her because she won't stay still long enough. We have lots of blurry ones, like this:


Her busy-ness and desire to explore applies to bath time, too. All of a sudden one day, shortly after she really started crawling, it was like she realized she didn't need to just sit in the bathtub and be bathed. She realized that the bathtub could be explored, too. So, now she crawls around the bathtub and pulls herself up to the sides and checks out the little soap holder and tries to check out the drain. Except, I won't really let her because it pretty much grosses me out if she tries to stick her hand down it. And all of this keeps me much more on my toes and makes bath time a lot busier.

She has gotten pretty expert at pulling herself up to things and checking out whatever is within reach. But, she still hasn't figured out cruising. If she's standing up at a table or couch for instance and she sees something just out of reach, rather than just take a few steps over to get it, she'll get down, crawl over, and then stand back up to get things. She's gotten a little more confident with her standing and will let go of things with one hand so she can turn a little and see things around her. She has made no attempts to stand totally unsupported, though.

Here she is checking out toys at Grandma's house. Grandma's toys are way better because she hasn't gotten bored with them yet.

She and Scout are still good buddies. It really is cute to see how excited they get to see each other in the morning. Just over the last few days, it seems like Stella is starting to understand that some things are Scout's. She'll pick up one of Scout's toys, look at it for a few seconds, and then hold it out to the dog, waiting for her to take it. And, sometimes when Scout takes it, Stella won't let go so they play tug for a few brief seconds. It's pretty adorable.

One of her favorite things this month has been to pull herself up to the sliding glass door so she can see outside. It's a real treat if Scout is out there and she can watch her running around.

Stella continues to be a very happy and easy-going baby. It's easy to get smiles from her and she seems to just enjoy life.

This next picture is one of my faves because it showcases a new look that she's developed and perfected this month - shall we call it Magnum? It's kind of a cross between a big smile and a laugh. She scrunches up her nose, squints her eyes, and gets a big grin. And she often pulls her head down into her shoulders, almost like a turtle. It's pretty darn cute.
She has developed a little habit this month that I'm hoping doesn't last. Sometimes when I put her down for a nap, she crawls over to the end of the crib closest to the door and sits there looking out. Eventually she gets sleepy enough that she just slumps over and goes to sleep.

Cute, no? The problem is, it results in about a 20 minute nap for her since one cannot comfortably sleep in this position for any decent length of time. I much prefer when she falls asleep the normal way - laying down.

She now has 4 teeth, the two front bottom and the two front top. I think she may be working on more because she's been gnawing on things like crazy today. She also just learned how to grind her teeth in the last couple of days and it's driving me crazy. Like fingernails on a chalkboard. You just shuddered, didn't you?

She has also very adorably learned the word Daddy. She can't say it, but she understands what it means. When I say, "Daddy's home", she immediately looks toward the door and when she sees him, she squeals in delight.

She is already in need of a haircut again. And, she's figured out that when I have a barrette in my hand and then I sweep her hair back, said barrette is probably in her hair. So, she reaches up and pulls it out and starts chewing on it. Every time. This leaves me with two options for doing her hair. One - do nothing. Two - a pony. We like both options.

Stella is a big eater. She loves her solids. Formula, not so much. She doesn't have too much formula or breastmilk during the day, but she eats food like nobody's business. She likes almost everything I give her, although sometimes it takes a couple tastes before she decides she likes it. I've also made some of her baby food myself and she seems to like the homemade variety quite a bit. She really loves it when she can eat what we're eating, though. That's when she really pounds her food.

And that's our little 10-month-old in a nutshell. We're looking forward (with both excitement and lots of trepidation) to her first plane trip this coming month. Get ready East Coast - this little babe is coming your way!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Stella Eats a Popsicle

Stella is 10 months old today. That means it's time for her 10 month old post. But, I am tired. Very tired. So, you'll have to wait a day or two for that post. In the meantime, please enjoy this video of Stella trying her very first popsicle.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Busy Week

My niece got married last Saturday. Most of my family came to town for the occasion. Throw the 4th of July into the mix and we had a very busy week. Please enjoy this extensive, even after being whittled down, photographic documentation of our activities:

Lots of pool time:

Mr. Frisby even got in a round of golf with two of my brothers-in-law, Steve and Richard (that's Steve in the picture, not Mr. Frisby).

A trip to the beach:

This was actually Stella's first trip to the beach. I think she enjoyed it, but we found out she feels about sand how she felt about grass. She hates it. Therefore, it makes a pretty good babysitter. But, as long as she was sitting on a towel or something, she had a lovely time. That second picture is my nephew, Max, buried in sand up to his head. Awesome.

Next was the 4th of July. This was probably Scout's worst day of the week. Up until then, she had been enjoying having so many fun people around. But, the 4th of July - well I think it nearly did her in. We started the day with pool time. This was where Scout's problems started. She gets very anxious when people are in the pool and feels the need to watch out for everyone. But, she will not get in herself. So, she is constantly racing around the pool, barking incessantly at anyone who looks like they might be in danger, i.e. splashing or under the water. As you can see from the following picture, we had a lot of people in the pool. Therefore, there were a lot of people for poor Scout to "keep track of".

Scout takes her watchdog responsibilities very seriously. She would not leave the pool side all afternoon. As long as someone was in the pool, she had to be outside watching. By the end of the afternoon, she had barked herself hoarse and the poor thing had been running back and forth so much that she had worn down one of her toenails until it was bleeding. And she still had the fireworks to deal with later.

Although Scout was wound up as tight as could be, the rest of us were having a great time. Stella got to sport a festive new bikini (it's actually not "new", just new to her) and thoroughly enjoyed the pool as she always does.

There was diving board fun:

There was jumping off the side of the pool fun:

There were floatie wars:

There were choreographed and coordinated pool entries:

And, at one point, Scout did take a brief, though much-needed break from her lifeguard duties:

And Grandma was in hog heaven with all the grandkids around:

After the afternoon swimming, it was off to my sister's house for a BBQ and fireworks. We decided it was in Scout's best interest to leave her in the car during the fireworks show. She was huddled by our legs during dinner because she could hear small fireworks going off throughout the neighborhood. We figured she would feel fairly safe in the car and it would block out the sound a little bit. I think this proved to be a wise choice. She was eager to get in the car and immediately laid down on the floor when she hopped inside. After the fireworks, she was in the exact same spot when we opened the car door. She was clearly not excited, but she wasn't shaking, so that was an improvement over her status during dinner.

The rest of us, however, enjoyed the fireworks, Stella included. It was her first fireworks show and, although she was tired, she seemed to enjoy the bright fireworks and didn't mind the noise.

This post is getting long. Are you still with me? You are? Good because we still have several days to get through.

After a very busy 4th of July, we decided to tone things down a bit. The next day, we had intended to go to San Francisco with my brother and his family, but by the time we got moving and got to my parents' house to pick up my sister and head up to meet them, we decided it was too late to go to the city (we had to be back for my niece's bridal shower that evening). Instead we opted for a quick trip to Rancho San Antonio to go to Deer Hollow Farms. We thought Stella would enjoy seeing the animals and we thought Scout would enjoy staying with my parents' for an hour or two to sleep while we were gone. By the time we got to Deer Hollow Farms, Stella was asleep. I think she would've liked the animals if she had seen them. She only woke up as we were leaving, so she just got a quick glimpse of the cow. Maybe next time. We enjoyed our walk, though, and Scout got a great nap. She didn't move from her spot in my parents' living room the whole time we were gone.

Friday, we went to Big Basin to see the redwoods. We packed a lunch which we ate upon arriving at the park. Then, we did the short hike that goes by all the well-known redwood trees. Stella loved being outside and seeing the trees.

She thought the pine needles were hysterical.

She also thought sitting on my shoulders and pulling my hair was hysterical.

Big Basin was fun and, as you can see, we had quite the group. I wish this picture wasn't blurry.

Saturday was the big day. We forgot our camera at the temple, but we picked it up after the wedding on our way to the luncheon. After lunch, the plan was to go to the reception site and help get things set up. Stella was tired and it was very hot, so she was making it impossible for me to help with anything. So, while Mr. Frisby was hard at work, I fed her a bottle while sitting in the back of our car and documented everyone else setting up.

That night was the reception. It was a Luau reception. All the hard work setting up paid off because the place looked great. And the food was great. And the entertainment was great. Stella handled the long day like a champ.

So did my parents.

So did Alyssa and Alec.

And look, the Secret Service even showed up.

Then it got cold, making us all scramble to our cars for blankets.

And then our busy week was over. Congrats to Alyssa and Alec on a very successful wedding. And congrats to you for making it through this post!