23 Things about Gabrielle Grace: 1 year edition

To Gabrielle Grace on your 1st birthday,

1) You are so close to walking. In fact, you've taken 1 or 2 steps without falling (Grandma claims three but grandmas tend to exaggerate). You also enjoy taking one step and then dive-bombing into my arms, so it may be awhile.

2) Breastfeeding came to a close between 10-11 months. I'm so proud we made it that far on our journey together. It's nice to have my body back to being mine, but I would be lying if I said I didn't miss it from time to time.

3) On the flip side, you love actual milk! In fact, you love everything, including the recent additions of tortilla chips, cucumber and birthday cake!

4) Since my last update you've developed a major case of stranger danger. When a person outside of immediate family attempts to hold you, you scowl and put your head down. It's hilarious to me, but your first days of school after summer vacation might be rough.

5) You're very much still in the "stick everything in my mouth phase." I'm very much ready for this to end, especially after you took a bite of a crayon on dad's watch.

6) Being chased is your favorite pastime. If we get close, you just melt into a big pile of mush and prepare to be tickled.

7) I can't not mention the funny face you've been making for over a week now. Not sure how or why it happened, but now everytime there's a camera around, you are guaranteed to open your mouth and do this:

8) Instead of onesies, you're wearing a lot more shorts and t-shirts now. It really makes you seem like a certifiable one-year-old. I also have been styling your little mop. It's straight as an arrow, so no curly Qs for you, but it's a beautiful shade of strawberry blonde that I like to put in a side pony.

9) Binkies are a girl's best friend. Now that you're one, I'm going to try to get them down to naptime and bedtime, but who are we kidding, that is going to suck (no pun intended). Hopefully we can wean by age 2. There, I said it. Now I just have to do it.

10) Currently your schedule is as follows:
6 a.m. - wakeup, diaper change, bottle and play
7 a.m. - real deal breakfast (you hate eggs just like mommy)
8:30 a.m. - walk in the stroller
9 a.m. - 1st nap of the day
10 a.m. ish - wake up happy and play play play
11:15 a.m. - lunch
noon - play some more (this includes pushing walkable furniture, pointing at EVERYTHING, at crying if Faith takes a toy from you)
1 p.m. ish - another nap
hopefully 3 p.m. wake up from nap, happy girl again
3:15 p.m. - play some more, torture Howie, crawl toward mirrors and find anything that's not a toy
4:30 p.m. fussy time
5:15/5:30 p.m. dinner is served
6  p.m. bathtime, lotion, cute pj time
6:30 p.m. - dad takes you downstairs to practice piano and guitar :)
7 p.m. bottle and play/practice walking
7:30 p.m. books and rock and bye baby

11) You are Howie are entering the "get-along" stage. He loves licking your little fingers full of food and you love letting him and giggling.

12) You and Faith are friends. She's good to you but still learning how to treat a baby and you laugh at her jokes but then get mad when she takes a toy away.

13) Unlike your sister, one thing you're not into at this age is cartoons. Faith loved a little Mickey Mouse or Little Einsteins while I would get something accomplished like cooking dinner. She's always had an amazing attention span, but I didn't know it until you wouldn't sit through one book with me or watch a cartoon she was watching for more than one minute. This is a good thing.

14) When we put you to bed at night, it's so nice knowing we are going to get a full night's sleep nowadays. We might have to binkify once a night but that's a rarity. #praisebetheLord

15) You have quite the stink eye if you don't like the taste of something, the look of something or just disapprove in general of what's happening. I'm not sure whether to be concerned or proud.

16) Sometimes you don't notice what makes your child different until you have another one. Faith is Captain Cautious. You are Admiral Adventure! Watching you two play in the sprinklers is like night and day.

17) We've entered the pointing phase. You look at everything from boys to fans to lights to toys and say "baa?" as if you need confirmation. I know you understand so much more than you can say and am excited for more words to come.

18) Favorite toys include babies, lift the flap/touch and feel books, remotes and kitchen utensils.

19) It bears mentioning that you have been crawling since about a week after I published your 9 month post. Go figure. You have a bit of an unorthodox style, with one knee up, but you've gotten good at getting around. You can even stand for a time by yourself, too.

20) If I'm in the room, I better be holding you. I did go through the whole labor and delivery ordeal, so I best be your favorite for at least the first few years. :)

21) When Faith was a baby, I would rock her to sleep and semi-hope it went fast. With you, I know there is only more care-taking to do for her once I put you to bed (denying another bowl of ice cream, fighting to brush teeth, convincing her not to wear a dress to bed). That said, I take my time rocking you to sleep and I try to force my arms to use muscle memory so I can always think back to what it's like to hold a one-year-old as they drift off to dreamland.
22) We found you a new preschool. It was funny because we have super high standards for you and Faith, but we took a last minute tour, came totally unprepared with no questions and had no idea how much it would cost, but it all worked out perfectly. I'm excited for you to start there in the fall!

23)  I had the pleasure of having your birthday off work. We had a blast and I hope to make it an annual tradition.


In conclusion, raising you is so much fun. I hope I'm around to see you raise your own babies someday.

Love you!

Preschool Dialogue

The following is a list of words that have come out of my 3-year-old's mouth as of late.

After she had been acting like a turkey all night, we sit down for dinner and she says:
"Mom, tell me about your work."

Faith: "I call Gabby "sweet pea."
Me: "Aww, that's a cute nickname."
Faith: "It's not a nickname. It's just what I call her."

After climbing into my driver's seat and getting behind the wheel, Faith shouts:
"Get outta my way!"
I have no idea who she learned that from...

"My hands are so..."
Daycare worker thought she was going to say "cold."

Throwing a fit when told she needed to take a nap:
"Thissss waaaasn't myyyy plaaaaaan."

Me: "I wish I was 3 sometimes."
Faith: "So you wouldn't like tomatoes?"

Faith: "He knocked down all the pins."
Grandma: "That's called a strike."
Faith: "He knocked down all the strikes."

Me: "Gabby's never had chocolate before."
Faith: (horrified) "We need to get her some chocolate baby food!"

Faith: (crying) "You said tomorrow was my last day (of daycare)."
Me: "Faith, I said that yesterday."
Faith: (pauses) "Wahhhhhh!"
This whole not being able to tell time thing is hard on a kid.

(While playing in the living room one morning, Faith sings to herself)
"Nationwide is on your side!"

Girls Weekend

You know those friends who know your life story? The ones who know that you get impatient when you're hungry, and that you take long showers, and that you are an early bird no matter how late you stay up, and that you prefer beer to wine? Yeah. Those friends. I love those friends.

A couple weeks ago, I got together with two of em in Des Moines, after our rescheduled Girls Trip was forced out of Omaha by Warren Buffett and the Berkies. (No, we will not pay $400 for a hotel, Mr. Buffett, even if you did send me a personalized note once.)

I've been best friends with these girls since we were 10. Through high school:


Through college:


And into adult/mommyhood:

These girls are still the girls I turn to about big life decisions, small ones, when I need a laugh, when I need to cry, when I need to call someone on the way home from work so I don't lose my sanity listening to the Frozen soundtrack for the 472nd  time.

I won't go into detail about everything we did. (Those bills from the Gap and Limited will do that for me in a couple weeks.) I will hit ya with the highlights though. Here are the things I'll remember most:

-spending the two hour drive to Des Moines talking about the eating habits of our children
(not sure if that's impressive or sad)
-being greeted by these plants, chocolates and champagne on ice waiting at Cari's aunts place where we stayed on Friday
(Cari's aunts are the BEST, no offense to mine ;)

-staying up super late reading all the notes we sent each other in high school
(yes, I inherited my mom's hoarding tendencies and kept all my notes from high school)

It was hilarious to read what our 17-year-old brains were thinking about. And a little lame. But Ericka's poetry had me laughing so hard I could not speak. "Why does life have to suck?"

-getting ready with NO INTERRUPTIONS by little people
-eating breakfast WHILE IT WAS STILL HOT
-buying clothes FOR OURSELVES

If I'm making it sound life we weren't missing our children, sorry I'm not sorry. While we talked about our kids a LOT, we also had a blast.

-eating a late lunch at Coach's Pizza in Des Moines (yummm)
-Cari taking this pic and then proceeding to spill Ericka's and my beer all over herself and the ground when she bumped the table 

-mani/pedis or the lack thereof
-drunk shopping and dancing in the dressing room (I will not reveal who this was.)
-gorging on dinner at Court Avenue Brewing Co.
-not having a White Russian, not at all

-feeling OLD at Beer Can Alley
-not caring
-wishing girls had more clothes on and worrying about the ones who looked too hammered to stand
-realizing we are in our 30s!
-taking a cab home even though we didn't need it
-breakfast with my other BFF and her daughter

-wishing we had more time
-driving home to see and squeeze our babies

No matter how many years or miles pass by, these girls have been, are, and will continue to be my best friends. Can't wait to take another pic in 7 years!