Sign

Nellie’s vocabulary is exploding. I began trying to count her words the other day and got to about 35 before I couldn’t think of more words. Later in the day as she chatted away, I remembered words I’d forgotten that she can say. Some of her favorites include:

  • Juice
  • Pop
  • Cat
  • Down
  • No
  • Hot dog
  • Bye
  • Daddy

She doesn’t quite understand the difference between “yes” and “no”, so she pretty much says “no” anytime you ask her a question. One of the cutest things she does is when you say, “Nellie need a night-night?” she shakes her head and goes, “Nooo. No nigh-nigh.” She also informs you when she’s pooped by saying with surprise, “I poop! I poop!”

When she started eating solids, I was diligent with signing “more” to her. When she’d finish a bite I’d make the sign for “more” and say, “more? More?” It never really stuck, so I ended up giving up after about two months. The other day, Josh gave her a couple of small marshmallows as a treat and after she finished her last one she padded into the kitchen, pointed up on the counter and bumped the fingers on both hands together, making the sign for “more”. I missed the whole thing, but Josh was right there. He did the sign himself later and asked me if that was the sign for “more”. I told him yes, and he told me what had happened with the marshmallows. I thought it was cool and didn’t think much else of it until I saw it for myself tonight.

We gave her a few fruit snacks after dinner and when she finished, she looked at me and said “ish. ish”. They were Nemo fruit snacks, so I asked her if she wanted more fish. She looked up at me and signed “more” with a smile on her face.
“More? You want more?” I asked her.
She signed again, and I thought my heart was just going to explode out of my chest. I was so excited! My baby girl was signing! I’m not really crediting myself, because she’s been watching a baby signs DVD at her sitter’s house and apparently it’s sinking in! I need to brush up on my signs to see what else she may be doing that I’m missing.

I’m so proud of my lady. She’s getting so smart, and learning new things every day. It blows my mind, and I am absolutely loving this age.

 

Boosit and Buhseek.

Nellie’s vocabulary grows each and every day. A few weeks ago, she was toddling around the apartment being adorable when she exclaimed,

“Boosit!”

*record scratch*

Josh and I whipped our heads around to look at one another.
“Did she just say bullshit?” I asked.
Wide-eyed, Josh replied, “Sure did sound like it.”
“Boosit! Boosit! Boosit!” Nellie chirped happily while trotting behind her little push-toy.
“Surely not,” I said uncertainly, eyeballing my curly-headed cussing child. “We hardly ever say that word.”
It’s true. We don’t. We say lots of other things we shouldn’t, but “bullshit” isn’t really in our vocabulary. Bullshit is kind of a boring and not cool swear word if you ask me. Some would argue that no swear words are cool, and to those people I say, “boosit.”

Anyway, after a little bit of debating, we decided that Nellie was trying to say “push it” because we’ve encouraged her so often to push her toy, to push a button, to push the door closed, etc.

The other day, my mother in law called me.
“You will never believe what Nellie said,” she began.
Gulp. A parade of profanity begun marching through my head, as each and every F-Bomb I’ve uttered in front of Nellie came back to haunt me. The possibilities of what she could have let loose in front of my mother in law were endless. Damnit. Shit. Fuck. Douchecanoe. Jackwagon. Balls. Republican (I kid, I kid! … Maybe. Not really.).

“What.. did she say?” I asked hesitantly.
“Well,” she began, “I was changing her diaper and when we were all done, her little buttcheek was hanging out of the back. So I said ‘Nellie! Your buttcheek’s stickin’ out!’ and then she yelled, ‘buttcheek! Buttcheek!'”

I began laughing hysterically, half because that’s actually really cute and half because I was relieved my daughter hadn’t said ‘asslicker’ in front of her Gran. When we went to pick her up that day from my mother in law, Josh and I prompted Nellie.

“Nellie. Nellie. ‘Buttcheek’.”
“Buhhhseek!” she yelled happily.

I about died laughing. So now my kid can say a lot of different words. Dog, cat, bear, ball, spoon, cheese, and buttcheek.

I’m a proud mama. A proud mama who needs to watch her mouth before my kid really does call someone a douchecanoe.

Nellie Says “No”.

I posted last week about Nellie’s vocabulary (I posted at 10 PM on a Friday night. I win at internets, yes?). Well, over the weekend she learned a new word.

“No.”

So far, she has only used the word when I’m trying to get her to eat something she doesn’t want to eat. For example, I made her a delicious quesadilla and this is how she reacted:

 

 

Apparently, said quesadilla is laced with arsenic and poisonous snakes. After discovering that Nellie could say “noooooo”, while we were out to eat at Chili’s I offered her a purple onion from my salad. I took it, held it to her nose and went “nooooo” while turning her head away. I thought it was so freaking cute, I kept doing it until she cried.

Not only do I win at internets, but I also win at motherhood. You can go ahead and give me my Mom of the Year Award now, thanks.

If you like this post, please take a second to vote for me at Circle of Moms’ Top 25 Baby Journals. Just click the button, give me a thumbs-up, and you’re done. Thank you!

 

Loquacious

About two months ago, while I was in the midst of fretting over Nellie’s lack of bipedal locomotion, her vocabulary exploded and she started talking.

I’m not talking soliloquies or anything, but the kid just started naming things. Out of nowhere. She said “dada” on her 6 month birthday, and “mama” way later. She has always been really selective with “mama”. She usually only uses it when she either is mad, or wants something. Excellent.

Anyway. Nellie started to talk. One of the first words I noticed was “dog”. Now, to the average person who isn’t around my child as much as her father and I are, the way she says “dog” would not sound like “dog”. It sounds more like “d’g!”. The first few times she said it, I just responded with my usual non-committal acknowledgment of “Oh yeah?” or “Mmm hmm!”. But then she started pointing at actual dogs, saying “d’g!” and going “woof! Woof!”
And that’s when I realized my kid was actually realizing what a dog was and what sort of noise it made.

For about two weeks, everything that wasn’t a human was, “d’g! woof!”. We would correct her whenever she would point at one of our cats, and she got it relatively quickly. She can now tell the difference between a dog and a cat, and say “woof!” and “eeeoooowww” appropriately. She now can point out an elephant, cow, dog, cat, duck, and turkey and make the appropriate noise for each animal.

It’s absolutely incredible to see her picking up on these things that we had no idea she was listening to. Out of the blue, she began saying “juice”, “ball”, and “down”. I reaaaally need to stop saying things like “fuck” and “damnit” around her because one of these days she’s gonna walk up to her sweet Gran and be all, “Where’s my fucking juice, damnit?” and then I will melt into a puddle of shame.

Another thing I marveled at is how easily I understand her and what she wants. When I’m around other peoples’ toddlers, they’ll stand there and babble incessantly at me and I’ll just look down at them with a blank stare and nod:
Random Toddler: “AAAAAbadad ba fsh pffff baah GAAAAH!”
Me: “……………. Usually only on Wednesdays.”

But when Nellie points and says, “ffffsh!” I know she wants a goldfish cracker. When she looks at me while sitting in her high chair and urgently says, “dah! dah!” I know that she means “down”, even though it sounds similar to the way she says “dad” (“da”). I can tell the difference between “ba ba” (“banana”) and “bah bah” (“bye bye”). It’s astonishing to me that I can understand her cute little babble, even though it technically doesn’t really sound any differently than any other toddler’s.

I guess it’s just one of those things that takes me by surprise and makes me really feel my role as a parent. Even her grandparents don’t always know what she’s saying, but Josh and I do. We can tell what our sweet little lady is trying to say, and it kinda makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and maternal inside.

Your Baby is Walking? OMG! Congratulations! Your Life is Over.

I wrote a blog a while ago about how Nellie is a perfectionist. I commented that at nearly 15 months and still not walking it was hard not to worry.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I can now stop worrying about her lack of walking and switch to worrying about something else,  because on Friday evening, this happened:

Now, Nellie’s been pulling up and cruising and taking a few unsure, wobbly steps for a few weeks now. Almost never more than 4, and always resulting in a tumble. This past Friday night I was sitting at the kitchen table and she was holding on to a nearby chair. I was looking at my laptop screen when all of a sudden, she let go of the chair and walked all the way across the living room. I looked at her for a good ten seconds before I realized what had just happened. There was no tumbling, no falling. It was as if my kid had just decided: “yep. I’m going to walk now.”

I promptly freaked out, and looked at my daughter who was standing in the living room. “Come here, Nellie! Come to mommy!” I squealed at her.

And then she did. She walked right back over to me. My daughter walked right over to me in that adorable, arms-up, wobbly toddler way. I squealed again and scooped her up, hugging her and praising how amazing she was. Because, duh, she’s the first kid ever to do this.  Then I snatched up the camera and took the video above. Please note my awesome parenting skills as my kid tries to play with an electrical socket.

After a few more treks about the apartment to make sure that this was for real, I announced to my Facebook friends and family that she was finally, officially walking. I was met with congratulations from everyone, but also:

“Your life is over!”

“Welcome to a whole new world!”

“Did I mention your life is over?”

“Put everything you own on top of the fridge.”

“Hide your kids, hide your wife.” (ok, I made that one up.)

“Hey! Did you know your life is over?”

So far, my life is still very much marching on and I love watching her walk. She’s so cute in her wobbly, crazy steps. I’m still not used to the sight of my tiny daughter walking but it gives me a thrill every time I see it. She has also entered a super cuddly phase, where she will give you a hug if you ask her. She also likes to force Josh and I to kiss, but that’s a whole different post.

Dear readers, I have officially entered the realm of having a toddler. A real, toddling toddler. Is my life over? No. It actually feels like the excitement has just begun.

Paci Free?

This post may get me the virtual stink-eye from quite a few parents and make me a few mommy enemies.

As of last night, Nellie Rose is pacifier-free.

She’s been off the paci with the exception of bedtime and naptime for months now. The kid’s never been too attached to her pacifier. Josh mentioned today that he’d like to try a paci-free bedtime tonight. I thought, what the hell? The older she gets, the harder it’s going to be to say bye bye to the paci so I thought I’d give it a shot.

I had a feeling that we wouldn’t have much of a struggle. We weaned her from her swaddle in one night at 6 months, she was drinking from a sippy cup by 10 months, took whole milk instead of formula with no fuss and only cried for 10 minutes when we weaned her from being rocked and held to sleep around 9 months old. In short, the kid is adaptable and rolls with the punches.

It would appear that Operation Paci-Free Bedtime has been no exception. We put her down tonight without paci, said night night and turned out the light and sat on the couch to watch 127 Hours expecting to hear her at least whining a little bit.

An hour later, I realized that Nellie hadn’t made a peep. She wasn’t even phased by the absence of Paci. Not even a whimper.

I know that a lot of you are probably snarling and frothing at me right about now. I admit freely: I have an easy baby. Sure, she has her meltdowns and Hobby Lobby fits but overall she is a very easygoing, adaptable child and we are really blessed. I could also be declaring a paci-free house too early; it is, after all just the first night. Nellie may have just been too worn out after a day of running, squealing, and throwing her goldfish crackers at our waitress at Chili’s to care about her lack of pacifier. She could be laying in her crib at this very moment, dreaming and scheming of ways to make our lives a living hell the next few nights. We may be in for a battle of wills, but considering her personality I really don’t think so. We’ve been informed on more than one occasion that we aren’t going to get this lucky twice. We’re fully expecting our next child to look something like this:

So no worries. We’ll get ours. I try not to be smarmy about Nellie’s easygoing nature, so when people ask me how I got her to take a sippy so early or how I managed to get her off Paci so easily all I can really do is shrug and say, “I got lucky.” Because that’s really all it is. It has nothing to do with Josh and I or our ability as parents.. Nellie just takes life as it comes and accepts things for what they are.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to say the same for Baby #2, A.K.A “Taz” Green.

Welcome to Crank City. Population: Nellie

The past few days, Nellie has been cranktastic. Even her grandparents, who normally praise her behavior until they’re hoarse, commented on how nothing seemed to make her happy. Nellie is a happy baby by nature and is very easygoing, so when she gets cranky it’s definitely out of character.

I started noticing it on Friday, when she and I took a side trip to Hobby Lobby before picking up Josh from work. I put her in the cart and she was happy for approximately 5 minutes before she began whining at me and stretching her arms out. At this point I’d already put a few things in the cart, so I calmly explained to her that mommy couldn’t hold her and push the cart.

Unfortunately my words did about as good as a bunny rabbit pleading with a hungry cat not to rip out its’ entrails and eat them for lunch. Come to think of it, the rest of the Hobby Lobby trip I was pretty much the bunny rabbit. Nellie won, and I pulled her out of the cart. It’ll be okay, I thought to myself. I’ve held her and pushed the cart before. But this time Nellie wasn’t just content with riding on my hip. Ohhhh no. She decided that she wanted to push the cart. Considering she is approximately two feet tall and cannot reach the handle to push the cart, I had to hold her so her little hands were wrapped around the cart’s handle. I then had to continue pushing, but also steer the cart with my free hand so we didn’t crash into the lovely knickknacks that lined the shelves of the Hobby Lobby.

Soon my sweet babe became bored with that and started to scream. I plopped her back down in the cart and handed her a sippy cup. She sipped happily for about a minute and then tossed the cup onto the floor. As soon as her juice hit the ground with a “clank” she began to wail and point. Ever the obedient servant, I bent down and retrieved it, handing it back to Her Crankness. I turned my head to admire a particularly pretty flower pot when I heard the cup hit the floor again.
Clank.
I turned my head slowly to look back at Nellie, who was staring at me doe-eyed. Then she started whining, reaching, and squalling for the cup.

This continued pretty much the rest of the time we were at Hobby Lobby. I tried to placate her with keys, toys, even a riveting pack of baby wipes which she could open and close. Nothing was making her happy. I became that mom. You know, the one desperately pleading with the screaming toddler to just, “hold on for one second because mommy’s almost done”? The mom who is sofuckingclose to being through with her shopping trip so instead of abandoning the cart and carrying her yowling offspring out of the store, she frantically presses on with a wild look in her eyes? The mom that I used to glare at before I had children?

YEAH. I became THAT MOM. And I silently apologized to every single woman that had ever been the recipient of my smarmy, snarky, childless glares in the past as I pushed my screaming, thrashing kid in the cart toward the checkout lane.

On Saturday, I had to go back to Hobby Lobby (a different one) and it was pretty much a repeat of the entire debacle the day before. Screaming, throwing, pleading, wailing, grabbing. I had pretty much decided that Nellie just hated Hobby Lobby. That the whole time she was in the store she was thinking how much she hated crafts and was all,  “fuck yarn. I hate yarn. That fabric offends me. Who needs colorful pom poms? WHY ARE THESE STICKERS SO EXPENSIVE? I HATE THIS STORE. DON’T WISH ME A GOOD DAY, I WILL TAKE A CRAP IN THAT EASTER BASKET RIGHT NOW, I DON’T EVEN CARE.”

Yesterday, however, we almost had a repeat performance of I Hate Hobby Lobby Starring Nellie Rose at Walmart. After about the tenth time of retrieving Nellie’s sippy cup, I decided she was just going through some personal baby issues and hated the world. I debated playing her the CD Jagged Little Pill, because it was always good for me when I felt angsty. She whined and cried the whole way back from Walmart. When we got home and I climbed in the backseat to release her from her carseat I saw her gnawing on her fingers, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

She’s fucking teething. Her mouth is hurting. It’s her damn molars breaking through her soft, sensitive gums. I’ll be a son of a bitch. THAT’S why my kid has been such a cranker the past few days.

We got inside, I set down the groceries and gave my lady some Tylenol. About a half an hour later? Much less cranky, easier to please and not gnawing all over everything like a cracked out beaver.

Sigh. It’s been a while since I had a mom fail, so I guess it was a little overdue. While I hate that her molars are causing her so much pain and discomfort, I am kind of glad that it is teething and not just a general hatred of crafts in general because one day, maybe, I might get into crafting. Probably not because I am so un-crafty and uncreative that if I tried to knit, I would probably somehow start an accidental fire and if I tried to scrapbook, it’s likely that I’d accidentally cut my jugular open and bleed to death all over the pages.

But it’s nice to know that if I do decide to start crafting, the Hobby Lobby will be there for me and won’t have to fear the Wrath of Rose.

Perfectionist

Nellie will be 14 months old on Sunday and she isn’t walking yet. As a mom, it’s hard not to worry especially when there are babies 2-4 months younger than she is that are not just walking, but running. I’ve been told not to worry about the fact that she’s not walking until closer to 16 months old but still… It’s hard not to be concerned sometimes.

As Nellie grows, her personality and her quirks emerge a little more each day. Nellie is, by nature, a very cautious and deliberate child. She doesn’t do something until she is absolutely ready and has it absolutely right. She army-crawled until 10 months. I would catch her on her hands and knees rocking occasionally but as soon as she knew someone was watching, she’d flop back down on her belly and crawl that way. When it came to pulling up, she would do it very hesitantly and if there was any shakiness or unbalance in her legs, she would immediately lower herself back down to the ground where it was safe. From talking to other mothers, I’ve found that when most toddlers decide they want to get back down to the ground after standing up, they just sort of toss themselves on the ground or allow themselves to fall onto their butts. But not Nellie! Oh, no. If she is standing and holding onto the couch and decides she needs to crawl somewhere? She will crouch down while still holding onto the couch until her butt is almost touching the ground and then she will let go.

She is the same way with her words. She first started babbling, “dada” on her six month birthday. But she didn’t just come right out and say it. She whispered it. We’d hear her whispering in her tiny little voice, “dadadadada” over the baby monitor and when we’d go into her room and encourage her to say it, she would just look at us and smile.

So it would seem that our little girl is a perfectionist. It’s the most amazing thing to see this aspect of her personality. I’m reminded of stories I’ve been told about when I was in pre-kindergarten and we were learning how to cut with scissors. I refused to cut in the class and my teachers were concerned about my motor skills. My mom found me in my room one day hunkered over a piece of paper with a pair of child’s scissors in my hand, cutting and cutting until I had it perfect. It was only then that I would cut in front of my peers and teachers; once I had mastered the art of manipulating a pair of scissors. I see this same trait in my Nellie and it’s really kind of amazing.

Nellie is very careful and does everything with purpose, but she is also very silly. She’s actually sillier than I could have ever imagined…. But that’s a subject for another post.

So taking into consideration Nellie’s cautious nature I guess it’s no surprise that she isn’t walking yet. She will when she’s ready, and when she knows for sure that she’s got it down. And when she does… The fun will really begin.