18 months and counting!

Well, my baby girl is 18 months old! This is officially the age that I've always considered babies to offiically enter the stage of "toddlerhood." Casey and I have been amazed at how much of a "little girl" she's been lately. Now, if we can just get some hair growin', it'd be a little easier to believe! Here are her 18 months stats- and other adorable, memorable things:

-She's 22 lbs, 32 in. (That's 10th percentile weight, 75th percentile height.) She's a peanut! Head circumference is 90th percentile- just like her Dad!

-She's a vocabulary machine!!! Lots of animal names (and their sounds), body parts, some foods (banana came out "nanana" today), a few names (some family members, some Loveys, you know- the typical), a couple of commands (more, down, no, mm-hmm (meaning yes), I don't know (this is done with her hands in the air, while saying "knowww!?")) and a few clothing items.

-My favorites and her most interesting words are: vacuum ("va-huuhm"), bow ("bowww"), woh/wow!, cool!, baby ("baybeeeee"), please ("pease"), cooking, moon ("mooooon"), shoes ("shoe-shoes," combined), boots ("boos"), blankie ("badie"), outside (actually pronounced perfectly- so random!). I just can't get enough of her funny interpretations and pronunciations!!!

-She has tons of Loveys. Here are a few:
(Not pictured: the ladybug blankie that she sleeps with at daycare. And yes, the red reading chair counts as a Lovey.)
-Her favorite activities include:
Helping in the garden:

Playing hide-and-go-seek:

(Where could she be?)

(sooo clever hiding in the closet!)

(Did she find me yet!?)

(I see your feet!)

(In the ball pit)

Other activities not pictured: playing pretend kitchen (cooking AND cleaning included), watching Blues Clues, going on walks, petting dogs, bathtime with Daddy, reading books (and locating and naming things on each page), singing songs with hand motions (see post about The Itsy Bitsy Spider: http://thedailydowell.blogspot.com/2010/02/itsy-bitsy-spider.html), tickling ("tickle tickle tickle" is all you hear when she's about to GET ya!), rocking/feeding/walking/driving/tucking in her babydoll.
Favorite Foods: raspberries, tomatoes, avacados, pizza, and chicken nuggets ("ta-nanas").
Favorite items to wear: bows, boots (or any shoe-shoes), and her gray hoodie. And sometimes a blankie as a cape.
"My bow"
And in other Ada Awesomeness: she's learning her colors (occasionally will find or say green, yellow, purple, or blue. Occasionally being the operative word.). She's obsessed with the letter "A." I keep meaning to buy some kind of big, tangible alphabet toy to learn the other letters, but can never find anything good! She can locate specific books and titles out of hundreds (mostly Goodnight Moon, Where's Spot, Pat the Bunny, Little Feet Like, and Little Hands Like. And yes, I said hundreds. My Mom is a literacy specialist.)- I thought this was pretty cool and amazing! She says "Hey!" and "Bye!" to anyone and everyone who looks her way. I love it. Recently begun adding "Thanks!" to the interactions....
And just to prove to Dr. Gonazalez as we were leaving her 18 month checkup that she is one smart cookie- we had just discussed the plethura of words that she was accumulating, and as he was leaving she waved and said "Bye Doctor!" (OK, I totally prompted her- but it was still classic!)


I Think I Hear a Bunny Coming....

Aunt Kendra (Casey's sister) got Ada this singing, dancing, purple Easter Bunny for her 2nd Easter- and Ada is OBSESSED with it!!! Here are a few pictures of her with her "beeny!"

The ears wiggle and flap to the beat.
I LOVE my new Easter Bunny- Thanks Aunt Kendra!
We listen and play with our bunny at 6:30am on the way to school....
...And at 4pm on the way home!
And, even though this is not the softest, plushest toy that Ada has- she still insists on sleeping with it. This video captures the sound coming from Ada's room at 8pm...



So, Ada had a nasty bug; which I've already posted about. Here are the logistics of the situation:

Cost of throwing up every 20 minutes for 12 hours: sleep, sanity (for Ada and me)
Cost of the 15 of loads of laundry to clean soiled blankies, towels, and shirts: $5
Cost of Pedialyte (which she loves): $5
Cost of all of the stain remover and bleach to clean the 4 outfits with raspberries and Mexican
Casserole thrown up all over them at daycare: $3
Cost of taking a sick day- which I didn't have: $150 (they don't really dock me! Only if I were to quit, they'd take it out of my last paycheck... so whew!)
Cost of an eco-friendly carpet cleaning (scheduled for tomorrow morning): $160
Cost of snuggling with The Bug ALL DAY today- reading and watching Nick Jr: PRICELESS!


You have to try this Chicken Parmesan recipe- it's SO tasty, and SO healthy! I love Elie Krieger, a Nutritionist that has her own show on the Food Network. I've been planning on making this for a while- and been saving the butts of bread for weeks to make my own breadcrumbs (so they could be whole wheat! My friend Tiffany uses leftover bread from her breadmaker to make breadcrumbs- I might have to try that next!). So I finally got around to making it, and let me tell you- it is definitely going to be become a part of the routine recipe rotation! Casey LOVED it, Ada ATE HER MEAT, and it was delicious and nutritious! This is Elie's recipe- I put the tweaks I made in green!

-4 slices whole wheat bread (for the breadcrumbs- just throw it in the food processor, then spread on a baking sheet, spray with cooking spray, and bake for about 12 min on 350. It's OK if they get a little too crispy, but you definitely don't want soft or soggy.)
-1/c flour (I used 1c, just to be safe and well coated!)
-1 tsp dried oregano (I'm pretty sure I used way more than this.)
-1/2 tsp dried garlic POWDER (not garlic SALT. Big difference in nutrition! Also pretty sure I used more.)
-4 tsp paprika
-1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper
-1/2 tsp cinnamon (I think this was the amount? I honestly didn't measure any of this: I just put it all in various amounts based on how much I like the spice!)
-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (I LOVE sweet and spicy!)
-2 eggs + 1/2c milk (Elie used just egg whites, but I'm not THAT crazy over the amount of fat in a dish- especially if it's from a natural source. Plus, the cholesterol is good for Ada's brain. Use whatever milk you've got in the fridge. Elie says skim, I used whole and it worked fine.)
-4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves; pounded to 1/2 in thick. (I would pound to even thinner- ours came out SUPER thick- which was amazing; but impossible to finish a whole breast! Maybe cut them in half before breading, too? These servings end up HUGE.)
-1 jar marinara sauce (I actually just used a pasta sauce I had on hand- complete with chunky vegetables. And it was great! You might want to double this to 2 jars- I'll explain later.)
-3/4 c mozzerella (I have no clue how much I actually used. I just covered the top of the dish!)
-2 tbl GOOD parmesan (we're talking the $8 wedge you get from the cheese lady at HEB. But you don't need much, and it will last a while wrapped in plastic in the fridge. Also- I'm pretty sure I used way more than 2 tbl!)

-In 3 separate medium bowls (I used deep plates), put the flour, the eggs/milk, and the bread crumbs with all of your spices. Dredge each breast through 1)flour, 2) eggs/milk, and 3)the bread crumbs. Get a good, thorough coating of each to ensure major crispiness!!! Place them all on your foiled baking sheet.
-in a 400 oven, bake these for 15 minutes. Spray them with cooking spray on each side before hand.
-Pull out, top with a jar of marinara sauce and your cheeses, and bake another 10 minutes until cheese is bubbling and calling your name.
-We cooked spaghetti noodles to put our chicken on; but you will probably want another jar of pasta/marinara sauce b/c it just wasn't enough with the one jar over the chicken!


What a Day

Ada turned 18 months today- I can't believe I have a year and a half year old! She dressed suuper cute for school today- white skinny jeans, plaid babydoll tank, a big bow, and gold sandals.... only to contract a nasty stomach flu and throw her mexican casserole up aaaalll over it. She has been throwing up every 20 minutes since 3:45 this afternoon. She finally fell asleep on a towel laid out by our bed- I'm praying she can get a decent night's rest to heal and feel better.

Here's a pathetic picture of us racing around after school to clean her carseat (which she puked ALL over- I finally got it santized and reassembled; and there is only a faint vomit smell remaining...awesome.). Ada kept saying "brrrrr" in between bouts of kneeling in the grass to throw up.

So, Ada, I'm so sad your 3rd half year ended ended like this. I will make it up to you this weekend, Buggy! I will also post about all of the marvelous, fabulous, and adorable things you are doing as an 18 month old soon, too!


Poor Buggin'

My poor baby had a rough day today! It started with the fact that we returned to school today after an AMAZING Spring Break- she wasn't a happy camper to be yanked out of bed to hurriedly get dressed!

Then, she tripped on a big toy at daycare- falling flat on her face and biting her tongue pretty badly. Blood everywhere! Sweet baby girl- Miss Tresa loved on her for a while; but it's not the same as your Mommy!
Then, this afternoon we had gone for a long walk around the neighborhood and stopped to swing at the park. There was another little girl that Ada was dying to get down and play with - and I let her even though she was barefoot. I was standing a few feet away from Ada when I heard her go "bugs!" (She has a small obsession with all bugs- all stemming from my expansive Ladybug collection).
Then a little more worried: "Bugs."
Then: "Owie."
Then: "MOM." (pronounced: mohm)
By the time I got to her ants had overtaken her wittle footsies. She didn't peep one fuss, or shed one tear, and when I said: "I gotcha, baby," she even had the awareness to mimic me and say "gotcha." It broke my heart!
This sweet thing still hasn't complained about her booboos- here's a picture of her poor little foot:


Rodeo Encore

Our neighbors had rodeo tickets that they weren't going to use, so gave them to us for Saturday's rodeo and show! We were kind of high up; so we didn't make it to the concert (Brooks and Dunn- I think Ada would've enjoyed it if we could've reasoned with her!)

Walking to Reliant- it was coooooold! Rodeo required attire: plaid dress and cowboy boots. Look at the horses!
Leaving the rodeo- even cooooooooolder!
Then we went and ate at Chucky Cheeze's, where Ada's dance moves reaced a new level of awesomeness:
Enjoying the birthday concert from afar.
Drop it like it's hot.
Throwing some ballet into the mix.
Big steps, big steps.
Bob your head.
Thirsty after all that dancin'!



Here are some headbands I made for Ada! The "bows" (or flowers in this case) are interchangeable. These are the first two- many more to come. I've been crafting a lot of these faux flowers lately, but can't post pictures of any of the items until after May-ish because most of them will be given as birthday/holiday/Mother's Day gifts! ;)


I just went and checked on Ada after hearing her quiet down for naptime- and this is what I found:


Zoo Break

Yesterday, Ada and I snuck Daddy out of work early on a total whim and all went to the zoo!!! 2 hours later (stupid traffic!) we were surrounded by exotic animals and a very enamored bug:

Get in the car, Daddy!
(Mom forgot to bring him a change of comfy clothes...)

What a fun treat to hang with Daddy on a Wednesday afternoon!

The elephants.

Lazy lions. The zoo keeper thought I was crazy when I tried to place Ada on the big male for a photo op. (Joking.)


What does a monkey say?? ("Ooh ooh ooh ooh!")
What else does a monkey say? ("Eh eh eh eh!")
Response when asked what one of the monkeys was doing....
(In case you were wondering, he was swinging from the mesh wire on top of his exhibit. Apparently a 1 year old cannot verbalize that.)
This cheetah was MAD! Some obnoxious patrons kept taunting him- we left, in the hopes that the cheetah would figure out a way to leap the fence and maul them....
The giraffe exhibit. Also known as the "Gaffes."
Giraffe obsession?

Casey discovered a new breed of domesticated homosapien on our way out...



Please excuse the 4 gazillion emails that have been periodically sent out this evening- I figured out half way through tagging all of my past posts a much more efficient (and less obnoxious) way to update all of those!

The brighter side is that now there is now a way to search older posts by topic- on the right side of the blog is a section labeled "Past Posts"... that will make it much easier as I blog more and more! :)

Again- sorry for your flooded inbox!


Ada Bug and I are enjoying our 2nd Spring Break together this week- and having a ball! I was reminscing tonight about getting my Ladybug tattoo last Spring Break; and how madly in love I am with my little girl.
Mom and Ada (6 months old)- in the tattoo parlor. waiting to get inked.

Finished product! Now Ada likes to touch it and say "bug." Sometimes more like a question: "bug?" Like, this looks like the other 3 trillion ladybugs around the house... but different...

I had intended this blog to be just about my 1 year anniversary of gettin' tatted up; but since I didn't begin blogging until Ada was almost 9 months old, I thought I'd include a few more pictures of one of my favorite stages thus far. I loved every single minute of 6-9 months!! (And 0-3 months, and 3-6 months, and 9-12 months. And 12-15 months. And now 15-18 months! I can't believe Ada will be a year and a half in a week!!!!)

6 months- Spring Break 2009 @ Grandma and Grandpa's

6 months- loving to swing. It would lull her into a trance!

6 months- 1st table food! Homemade butternut squash. She couldn't get enough of it!

6 months- sittin' pretty! Playing with the first of about 5 of these tea sets. She kept getting them for her birthday and holidays! She STILL plays with this thing!

6 months- incessant antibiotics for incessant ear infections. None since we put tubes in in December, though! :)

7 months- school picture day at Tigerland! We LOVED the baby room...we love the "Young Ones," too!

Actual school picture- she didn't like the photographer then, and she doesn't like the photographer now! (See post from December 2009)

7 months- sitting in the front yard, enjoying the grass tickling her chubby thighs.

7 months- kissing on her Daddy. She's so super affectionate- has been since she learned to bear hug about 4 or 5 months old!
8 months- venturing to the Westgate Community Pool.
8 months- I love this picture.

8 months- sweetest thing in the entire galaxy.
8 months- irresistable!!!!
9 months- more hugs. Plenty of precious pictures of Ada at 9 months, but I believe most of them have been posted in earlier blogs!!!