17 December 2016

A Long Overdue Rose Update

Trying to keep up with the blog while enjoying life with two kids under 3, and transitioning to a new job has certainly been a challenge. We've been so busy that apparently we never took Rose in for her 30 month (2.5 year) wellness visit - which would have been back in August. Oops. It's scheduled for this week and she'll be 3 in about 6 weeks. The overdue reminder I got in October made me realize that I haven't done a post on Rose's development in far too long. While I've mentioned a few things about Rose here and there, I haven't dedicated a post about her since late spring. 

Back in June, we switched Rose from the school where she started at 7 months, to the school where we enrolled Zoe in May. We wanted to make sure the school was a good fit for our family before switching Rose, so for a month we were taking Rose to one school and Zoe to another. We knew Rose would have a difficult time with the transition, and even with lots of preparation, it was still a rough couple of weeks months. Just when she stopped crying and clinging to mommy at drop off in early September, we traveled to visit family for a week. When we came back she had a few more weeks of difficult drop offs before she started telling us "I'm not going to cry" and following through with it. Now that I'm working a new job that has me traveling 4 days a month, we are seeing a little bit of regression. For the most part, Rose loves her school and her teachers. She is strongly attached to the teachers who care for her on a regular basis, and they have been wonderful in supporting us with morning transitions and providing her with the stability and routine that she needs. 
All smiles as she prepares for her second day at "Zoe's school"

Last week we had parent-teacher conferences and Rose's teacher shared with us a portfolio of the projects from the past 6 months. It was fun to see how much she has grown (both physically and developmentally). From June until September, Rose was in the 2-2.5 year old class and since September has been with the 2.5-3 year olds. She is very advanced for her age, a characteristic her teacher agrees with. She's been potty trained since she was 2 and we rarely have an accident these days. She's extremely self-sufficient and goes to the bathroom by herself. Since turning 2.5, she's also been very interested in dressing herself. There are a few favorite clothing items that I leave in the laundry room after they get washed for a few days so she doesn't wear them all the time. Other than that, she has free range over her clothes and shoes drawer. I'm usually very impressed with the outfits she is able to put together.
Outdoor art at school in June 2016
One of the most impressive characteristics of Rose these days is her ability to recite books. While she cannot read, she knows so many by heart based on the pictures. I captured her reading "Silly Sally" two months ago, but even back in the late spring and early summer she was already reading "Goodnight Moon," "The Very Hungry Catepillar," passages of "Once Upon a Cloud," "Green Eggs and Ham," "The Cat in the Hat," "On the Night You Were Born", and "Where the Wild Things Are." She also really loves Curious George books.

Rose Reading Silly Sally at Bedtime (October 2016 - 32 months)

Rose and Zoe go to a Spanish-language immersion school and while she doesn't yet speak fluently in Spanish, she understands everything that is discussed in the classroom. She follows commands and occasionally responds back to her teachers in Spanish. Back in the fall, she counted from 1-10 in English, Spanish, and Portuguese for my sister-in-law. We were all extremely impressed. I had no idea she recognized the difference between the numbers in Spanish and Portuguese. Most of her Portuguese comes from my mom when she visits and Rose's obsession with watching YouTube videos on her cell phone (ie - one of our old phones used over wifi). Her favorite Portuguese artists are Recreio da Anita and Avo Cantigas. We also have a few books in Portuguese, but most are a little too long for her attention span.
Jumping at a birthday party in August 2016

Rose Playing the Bongos in May 2016

Rose is a diva in the making. She often obsesses over her clothes, changing 2-3 times in a day for no other reason than to find another outfit to wear. She likes wearing dress up/princess dresses on occasion, and loves having her nails painted. She is often very particular about her hair and her accessories. This past fall, she was obsessed with a pony tail, two hair clips, and a headband - all worn at the same time. She'll go through phases with her sunglasses, necklaces, and bracelets. It's funny to see her interact with her peers at school. They often comment on what they are wearing when they see each other. One of Rose's favorite shirts is "Hello Kitty," and though she's never seen the movie Frozen, she loves her Frozen outfits (Elsa dress, Elsa and Anna shirt, and Olaf shirt).  

During her ponytail and barrette phase in September 2016
We continue to try and establish healthy habits for the whole family. The TV is very rarely on, and though Rose does get to watch her music and videos on YouTube, they are mostly educational, and limited in time. I definitely notice she gets into the zone when watching. In addition to watching her Portuguese music artists, she often gravitates to tutorials on taking care of babies. For awhile this summer, she was obsessed with watching videos on changing diapers. I would see her take what she watched/learned in the videos and apply it to her play. She loves taking care of her baby dolls at home, and is often giving them baths, changing their diapers, and feeding them at the table in an extra high chair. Zoe has started taking an interest in the babies too. Right now, Rose is still territorial with her dolls and they don't really play together yet. 

More accessories in October 2016
On the topic of sisters, Rose continues to often be rough with Zoe. She is very attached to mommy and gets jealous when I give Zoe attention. She frequently tells me to give Zoe to daddy, or asks to be picked up when I am holding Zoe. Now that Zoe can walk and is no longer nursing, we are starting to see her lash out less. We've been working on positive reinforcement when she is gentle with Zoe or when they play nice together. I know that my lashing out at her when she pushes or hits Zoe doesn't help, and I've had to work on that.

Rose at almost 33 months - October 31, 2016
Another area where we have struggled is with naps. Over the summer I had reduced my work hours so I could be with the girls more, and support Zoe more with her first year of nursing/eating. On Mondays and Fridays I was home with them and would try to get them to sleep around the same time so I could do some work. If Zoe was awake, Rose would refuse to nap. And, often, when Zoe went down, I'd still have to rock with Rose to get her to sleep. While she sleeps really well at night (and has since turning 11.5 months), naps have been hit or miss for at least 6 months. At school, she seemed to be napping well until just last month. But on the weekends and days at home with me, she would resist. Sometimes I would plan morning outings so she and Zoe would falls asleep on the way home. I would let them sleep in the car while I did work. It was difficult to do on the really hot days, but worked well in the spring and fall. 
Running with her fofinho (Portuguese lovey)

Rose continues to be a very good eater. She still drinks kefir milk at home, and now drinks regular milk at school. We are fortunate that the school Rose and Zoe attend provides them with lunch and two snacks daily. We are even more fortunate that their meals are ridiculously good and fairly healthy. They get a second breakfast in the morning, a gourmet lunch, and an afternoon snack. All are prepared on site by a chef with a nutrition background. Meals are varied and often include fish, red meat, white meat, and vegetarian choices. As an example, on Friday the girl's lunch at school was: apple pork, multigrain bread, rosemary roasted potatoes, green beans, and milk. Last week they had tuna steaks with orzo, cucumber, and cauliflower. We try to limit snacks at home, and focus on meals as a family at breakfast and dinner 7 days a week. On the weekends, we often cook and sit down together for each meal. I notice that Rose has very good table and eating manners compared with other kids when she goes to birthday parties. I like that school supports all the kids eating the same meal at the same time together. It's similar to how we approach the meal at home.

Posing at Hill Ridge Farms during a fall outing
I'll find out Rose's stats at her doctor's appointment this week, but I feel like she had a growth spurt this past fall. None of her 2T pants fit her anymore and we have fully transitioned to all 3T clothing. I think she's still on the petite-average size height-wise, and probably average weight. She had been following the 30th percentile on the CDC growth charts, and I would expect that has continued. I've noticed a drastic change in her body since turning 2. She's much slimmer, losing both fat rolls in the arms/legs and losing the pot-belly that young toddlers have. She loves to run and jump, and she's actually pretty fast. When we do a 2 mile hike around the lake, she often walks 75% of it, asking to be picked up here and there throughout the trek. Even after walking for a mile and playing on the playground, she'll often walk most of the mile back home. 

Rose Swimming at the Beach, Mother's Day 2016 (27 months)

Jumping Like a Frog at Storytime in May 2016

Rose at the Neighborhood Playground, June 2016 (28 months)

More "Sun's Out Gun's Out" in the summer (July 2016- 29 months)

I'm grateful that Rose has remained healthy and has exceeded developmental milestones to date. At times I think she is too smart, and that likely causes some of the tantrums and emotional challenges she has. I suspect her emotional intelligence has not caught up to other mental capacities. I'm also grateful to have a wonderful school in the area where they can attend. It certainly is not cheap, but we are investing in their future. In addition to being fserved well-balanced meals and snacks, they are mentally stimulated in age-appropriate ways with materials from the natural environment, and they spend a lot of time playing outside. I think these factors have contributed to both girls remaining mostly healthy for the past 6 months. While we probably won't be able to keep away all germs all winter, I'm glad they are healthy enough to fight off whatever comes their way.

When I have Rose's new stats, I'll update the post. And, now that I am no longer doing monthly posts on Zoe, I'll try to remain balanced in posting about both girls. My hope is that as they get a little older, we can get back to traveling, and then I can blog about some exciting new adventures with the new perspective of doing so as a parent. We had hoped to go away this winter, but with all the traveling we've done to visit family the past 6 months, I'm not sure Colin can take the time off. We might have to do a few long weekends instead.

29 November 2016

Miller Family Photoshoot October 2016

Once again, the wonderful Ana Teresa Galizes, of Galizes Photos, has done a fantastic job taking photos of our family. We were glad for an unusually warm October day.

01 November 2016

Halloween 2016

We celebrated lots of Halloween events over the past few days. Saturday we had a party for the Women's Birth and Wellness Center in Chapel Hill (where Rose was born), we carved and painted pumpkins yesterday, there was a Halloween parade at school today, and of course we went trick-or-treating this evening. Rose trick or treated like a pro, saying "Trick or Treating" at each doorstep, only taking a few candy bars, and then politely saying thank you. Zoe didn't want to miss out and lasted a full hour, also taking her fair share of candy. Everyone loved the Flintstones theme, and the girls were so cute in their fairy costumes. Zoe ended up wearing her cat suit for the parade. I'll have to dig through the camera devices to see if we got a picture. She loved wagging her tail while she wore it.

Fred, Bamm-Bamm, Wilma and Pebbles
Wilma and my little cloth-diapered Pebbles
Zoe paints, Rose paints and scoops, and daddy carves pumpkins

I think she got just as much on the pumpkin as she did on herself
My first time free-hand drawing and carving a pumpkin (L)
Colin is a pro and can draw Hello Kitty freehand (R)
My princesses
Darwin protecting his girls (or maybe checking to see if Zoe has food)
The Flintstones and Bamm-Bamm go trick or treating
Bamm-Bamm and Pebbles are joined by their friend skunk

 Happy 2016 Halloween. Hope you all had a safe and fun day/weekend.

01 October 2016

Zoe Miller Turns One!

Posing for her 12 month photo and getting so big!
Zoe's learned how to give a big cheesy smile for the camera this month
The month of September has arrived, and with it came a special little girl's milestone first birthday. I think Zoe had more birthday celebrations this month than any of us have had all year. We had Zoe's big birthday party in upstate New York with mostly family and some friends; a small gathering in RI to celebrate Zoe's first birthday and her Tio Mark's milestone birthday; and we also had a small gathering at the pool in NC with some of our friends from the area.

Celebrating the August and September birthdays in RI
Birthday cake in New York
Always amazing cookies made by Aunt June
Focused on her birthday candle and cupcake
Rose can blow out the candle as long as Zoe gets the cupcake
Indulging in the delicious lemon cupcake from J&S Watkins Desserts

In early September, we traveled north to celebrate Zoe's birthday after spending a very hot August in North Carolina. Normally, the heat subsides a bit in August and the weather is more pleasant, but we continued having hot (90+ degree) and humid days. Though it was humid, we didn't get much rain. We spent a lot of time cooling off at the pool and got to check out the new splash pad in Cary. Unfortunately, my phone broke just before our trip to New York, so all my photos from the month were lost. Thankfully, we took pictures during our trip and during the birthday celebrations, so those are the ones you'll see here.

Swimming off the boat in Lake George on her birthday with daddy
A boat ride on Lake George for Zoe's actual birthday
During the month of August, Zoe perfected the art of walking. She impressed everyone who saw her on her first birthday with her confidence and steadiness. Unfortunately for us, her confidence extends to walking off ledges, which has resulted in a few minor (we hope!) injuries.

Sisters at the EcoTarium in Worcester, MA
In addition to walking, we are seeing Zoe's personality developing. She is becoming very independent and can play by herself for a long time. She is also very smart and understands just about everything we say to her. The teachers at school have commented that she understands everything in Spanish too. When they tell her it's time to change her diaper, she walks right over to the diaper changing table. She still is not communicating much, just mama, dada, da (for Darwin), and "ah-da" for pretty much everything else, but we are pretty good at figuring out what she wants through her various hand motions and sounds.

Some of the games she seems to enjoy the most include peekaboo and keep away. She finds great joy in offering you food and then pulling it away when you reach for it. At the playground, Zoe is a daredevil. She walks up the steps confidently and would walk right off the steps or the slide if we let her. We help her sit down and she loves going down the slide all by herself. Her preference is to walk back up the slide and she does a pretty good job at it.

Zoe has always been a bit reserved and shy. When people greet her, she often turns away and burrows here head in the shoulder of whoever is carrying her. With the people she knows, she is very caring, kind, and gentle. She has started giving people kisses by extending her tongue out. She pets Darwin very gently as well. For some reason, she loves putting her hands mommy's mouth and touching people's eyes.

We continue to count our blessings that Zoe is a good sleeper. She typically starts getting fussy around 7 or 7:30pm and stops once her pajamas are on. If we lay her in our arms, she extends her body as if to suggest she wants to be put down. When we lay her down at night, we just turn out the light and walk out. She typically doesn't make a peep again until morning (10 hours later). She's fairly consistent with her wake up time between 6:30-7am, no matter the time she goes to bed. Her preference is also for 2-3 naps a day, the first by 9:30-10am, and a second longer nap (2 hours or so) after lunch time. If the first nap was short, or if she went to bed late, sometimes she wants a 3rd nap around 5pm.

Walking all over the place and showing off the guns rolls here
The Millers (minus Darwin) at Zoe's first birthday party
In preparation for eating the school menu, we started giving Zoe a little more dairy. We've encouraged her to drink kefir, which she isn't all that fond of, and we continued to give her foods with dairy cooked in them. It does seem her tolerance has improved since she doesn't break out much.

Meal time is extremely messy. Zoe insists on feeding herself and gets food all over her hair, face, clothes, high chair, and the floor. She usually starts off allowing us to feed her, but then demands the spoon or fork if we are using one.

Zoe continues to be a good eater. I call her our fruitatarian. The girl could eat her weight in grapes, strawberries and cantaloupe. She's also a big fan of bread. We try to encourage vegetables and meat at the table first and then offer bread and fruit last. With only one tooth, she manages to eat pretty well.

I continue to nurse Zoe on the days I'm with her and pump breast milk on the days she goes to school. It's becoming increasingly difficult to produce much with the pump, but her school has put on the pressure to continue bringing two bottles to school each day. I'm still pumping about three times during the day to get about 6 oz, and then every night before I go to bed. 

Our mostly toothless, blonde-haired and blue-eyed toddler!
At her 12 month wellness check up, Zoe was at the 25th percentile for height (28.5"), 29th percentile for weight (20lbs), and 83rd percentile for head circumference. She is well above most developmental milestones. We love this little girl and can't wait to see what the next year has in store for her and us. I think my favorite age for young children is 15-21 months.

17 August 2016

Zoe's Transforming at 11 Months

Zoe at 11 months
11 month olds don't sit still
11 months is such a fun age. There are so many big developments taking place and I can almost see the changes take place on a day-to-day basis. Zoe seems to understand a lot of what we communicate to her and she uses a combination of sounds and motions to tell us what she wants. We've been using some baby signs, mainly just "more" and "all done", and Zoe sometimes flaps her hands together when we are eating. I'm not sure if she's telling us she wants more, or if she's just clapping at us. Being able to communicate is one of the most exciting milestones.

Playing Peek-a-boo

Standing and cruising like a big girl
The other very exciting milestone that we are so close to is walking. Zoe still cruises a lot and may take a step here or there. Over the past week or so, I've worked on having her take a few more steps. I expect that at the 1-year update she'll be walking like a pro. 

You can't turn your back on an 11-month-old
The two stresses of this age both relate to eating and food allergies. Because Zoe is not yet a year, her school still requires us to provide milk for her. On the days she is with me, Zoe does still nurse fairly regularly (like 4-6 times a day). On the days she goes to school, I try to send three bottles with at least 4 ounces each. At school they tell me she likes a bottle for her nap and she's been alternating between 2 and 3 naps a day. To get 3 bottles, I have to pump 3 times at work during the week, plus pump before bed every night (7 days a week). So many times I want to go to bed at 9pm after putting the girls to bed, but I have to stay up to pump one more session. Since we are now so close to a year, the end is in sight, which is what keeps me going. The major milestone that I look forward to is not having to pump anymore!

All dolled up for a wedding, and wanting out of her car seat
I'm not quite sure what we will do when we do get to a year. It's hard to know if Zoe drinks more breast milk because we don't offer as much solid food to her, or if it's because she just likes mommy's milk. Zoe has had skin reactions to a variety of solid foods, like dairy, eggs, and some nuts. She was fine with a cashew packaged bar, but then broke out in a rash when eating a similar bar that had almonds and walnuts. Most of the reactions result in patchy rashes on her face that look like hives. She'll often scratch at her face a bit, making it look worse, but once we wipe her down, the rash often clears within a few minutes. The cheese still continues to be the only food that made her throw up. We've given her very small amounts of cow's milk and most times she gets a little rashy. The pediatrician told us we could go straight to water and skip milk. To do that, I think we'll have to get better at giving her more food (and a variety) throughout the day. With it being summer, we've relied a lot on snacks (like fruit, cheerios, granola bars), and/or eating meals at the pool. I don't know how she does so well eating solid food without any teeth! We'll have some scheduling changes starting in October, which corresponds with the end of the summer from the perspective of the pool closing down. I expect we'll get back on target with cooking a variety of entrees that we can all enjoy. We stopped doing our community-supported agriculture (CSA) share last year because it was hard to keep up with it while having a young infant. I'm hoping we can rejoin for a winter share that will include produce and eggs.

Being a ham at snack time

This past month we also had to start double-stuffing Zoe's cloth diapers because she had been leaking through them so much at school, resulting in several clothes changes a day. Other than that, we haven't had many changes to her cloth-diapering routine. 

In preparation for Zoe's entry into the 1-year-old class at school, she has started taking her naps on a cot instead of in the crib. I wasn't sure how that transition would go, but she's done great with it. For the most part, she still prefers a morning nap around 10 and a long nap mid-day (12 or 1). Many times, she also wants a nap at 4. Because of our summer schedule, she's been going to bed fairly late, between 8:15-9pm, which might be why she wants that 3rd nap during the day. She has a consistent 6:30-7:30am wake up time.

Zoe did a fair amount of sleeping in the car seat in July
We did a lot of traveling in the car during the month of July, and both girls did fairly well. During a quick weekend trip to New Jersey, we drove almost 1000 miles in two days. We left Saturday morning at 2am and arrived home Monday morning at 2am. It took a long time for us parents to recover from that trip. Because the girls got to sleep for most of the drive, they did just fine!  

I know that time passes too quickly and before I know it, the girls will be grown, but there are a few milestones that are coming up soon that I look forward to. In addition to not pumping, being done with bottles, and seeing Zoe walk and start communicate, I also look forward to slightly cooler weather. While I do like summer, this year has been oppressively hot in North Carolina. We've had 45 days reach over 90 degrees. I hate that indoor spaces are freezing (like my office) and then it's so hot outside. I think my favorite time of year in North Carolina is September-November. The weather is comfortable and there are so many kid-friendly fall activities. I basically want to get to mid-September and then freeze time for awhile. Who can I talk to to make that happen? 

20 July 2016

Zoe's Cruising at 10 Months

Sometimes it feels like life is flying by and I want it to slow down and other times I find myself looking forward to the next milestone. I'm one of the first to admit that the first year is really hard and on many occasions I have said that I will look forward to this fall and winter when Zoe is a little older. I do appreciate this age and how fun it is to see our little girl grow and develop. But, it's also difficult to have a young child who can't yet communicate her needs and still relies on mommy's milk.
Zoe at 10 months (a week or two late)

A smile now that she can play with the camera lens cap

The big news at 10 months is that Zoe is close to walking. She still crawls from place to place on one knee and one foot, but any time she can stand with support, she will. I often leave and find her standing playing with toys at school. And at home she loves standing at the coffee table that doubles as a toy storage area. There she can reach into the toy box to grab the toys she wants (within reach). When she's busy playing, she often forgets that she is not holding onto anything and she can stand unassisted for several seconds. She hasn't gotten over her fear of taking steps on her own, but I expect she will fairly soon.

At 10 months, Zoe has mastered the wave hello and bye bye. Often, she makes the number 4, by tucking her thumb into her palm as she waves. And, we call her wave, the "pope wave" because she puts her hand just slightly above her head and away from her body and makes short quick waving motions. You can see a little bit of it in one of the science museum videos.

During June and early July we did a fair amount of traveling. Colin and I describe summer in North Carolina as "dog breath air." It didn't seem like June was that bad, but July has been very hot. We try to get out of town as much as we can in July. Our big 4th of July week trip took us up to State College, PA to visit a friend, further north to Niagara Falls, Ontario and Toronto, Ontario (Canada), a little farther north and east to Montreal, Quebec (Canada), and back home to North Carolina with stops near Burlington, VT to visit a friend and the Albany, NY area to visit family. I'll post about our travels on another post, and will stick to Zoe's updates during the month.

Enjoying the baby play area at the Toronto Children's Museum

Standing to play and poop at the museum

Zoe exploring the Toronto Science Museum

Zoe cruising and almost walking

Zoe pooping: 

As you can see in the video of Zoe playing with the brush on the wall, she's very inquisitive and cautious. Many of you have seen how long it took her to smile for the camera. She's somewhat shy, but determined. Even though that brush pricked her hand the first time she touched it, she proceeded more cautiously the second time and focused on the task at hand. Learning is serious business.

I'm almost afraid to post of our good fortune related to health with both girls at daycare/school. Over the past month or two, neither of them have gotten sick. I was really worried when we received notice that Zoe's class had hand, foot, and mouth on two separate occasions, and Rose's class had a confirmed case of croup. Zoe's teachers do a great job of washing all the children's hands the minute they are dropped off at school. In Rose's class, we drop the kids off outside and when they come in at 9am, it's snack time and they have to wash their hands. I hope our good fortune continues because healthy girls make for a happy family!

A typical reaction from Zoe when Rose plays with her. 
She has a 50/50 chance of being hurt by Rose each time.

We continue to introduce new foods to Zoe in the hopes she will be able to eat what we eat. Now that the weather is hot and fruits are in season and appetizing, we've been giving her more variety. She still loves bananas and now has a love for grapes too. She's also content to receive strawberries, blueberries, and watermelon. She's a fan of meats like chicken, beef, or pork. We tried salmon this month and her face got a little red and blotchy, but it wasn't bad at all. We also finally tried a little egg yolk and so far she seems to not have any reaction. We'll likely do the egg white soon. Zoe's 9-month doctor's appointment actually took place around 9.5 months. Since we were going to the doctor, we decided to let Zoe try a piece of cheese. Within a few minutes, her face seemed to be itchy and got red and blotchy. And several minutes later, she actually threw up. So far that has been the only reaction. We will likely not do block cheese again soon. She seems to do okay with cheese that is cooked in foods (like meatballs or pizza). It might also be the type of cheese, or type of processing.

While we are likely in okay shape with Zoe's milk intake, I have really stressed out this month with pumping breast milk. Zoe's school has not been as receptive to me bringing less milk to school like Rose's school was. So, I've spent more days "power-pumping" at work and adding in an extra bed-time pumping session. Going back to my first paragraph on this blog, this is one milestone that I can't wait to get here. I have about 5 bags of pumped milk for Zoe left and she still has 6 weeks before she turns 1. Part of the problem at school is the teachers and the other part is that Zoe likes her milk. Rose liked food and milk and could take either with no problem. If given the choice, Zoe would choose mommy's milk 100% of the time. On the days I am home with her, she still wants to nurse 5-6 times a day. Unfortunately breast pumps are so inefficient at pumping breast milk. And, I would guess that Zoe stops nursing when the milk doesn't flow so easy when she is with me, but when she gets it from a bottle, she wants more.

Zoe continues to be a great sleeper, going to bed between 7:45-8:30pm and getting up between 6-7am. She is starting to transition from 3 naps a day to 2. At home, she usually wants a 1 hour morning nap around 9:30, a two-hour nap mid-day, and a 30-45 minute nap around 4 or 5. At school it seems like she takes a two hour nap late morning and she's often sleeping when I pick her up at 5:30. The pacifier is a source of comfort for her, and she looks for it when she wakes up in the morning. Sometimes sucking on it puts her back to sleep. We've been trying to put her down to sleep without it and only giving it to her when she needs to relax.

Sleeping in daddy's Ergo backpack

Going for a ride on Grandpa's boat is tiring
While the lifejacket pillow was nice, the jacket constricted too many movements

We continue to use cloth diapers at all times except overnight. At this age and with giving her so much milk or water, Zoe pees a lot and her diapers are often saturated. She frequently pees through the diapers and needs several clothes changes per day. After 2.5 years, I think my Bum Genius diapers are done. I had about 12-13 and there are only a few that actually have an in tact PUL. I've switched back to using my Charlie Banana diapers and the newer Fuzzibunz from Costco. I'm hoping these will get us through another year and that we can get Zoe potty trained early like Rose did.

Zoe is excited about seeing Niagara Falls from the Ferris Wheel

Rocking some shades on Centre Island (Toronto) beach on Lake Ontario

As you can probably see in the pictures, Zoe's hair is really coming in. It's fairly straight, somewhat thick, and light-colored. In the sun she looks blonde. Her eyes remain blue and I don't see any hints of other colors. Thankfully, we haven't had any problems with her skin, with rashes or sunburns. She is fair-skinned and I worried she would burn easily, but she seems to tan with the sun's rays.

Though I look forward to Zoe reaching one year for selfish reasons relating to pumping, I do enjoy the 10-month-old stage. I love seeing her personality develop, her start to "talk" and make noises, her persistence in getting what (or where) she wants. While Zoe's talking is still mostly babbling, her favorite sounds are "ah-da." We've been working on "ma-ma" and I sometimes get that sound when I'm around and she wants to be picked up. It will be interesting to see how her language develops since she spends 3 full days a week in a Spanish-language immersion school. In reflecting on Rose's 10-month-blog post, Rose was already making different letter sounds like "fif" "mam" "da" and "ba." We'll just have to wait and see what she says when she's ready and when she decides to walk. Only time will tell!