Friday, May 31, 2013


Oh, hi blog.  Did you miss me?

I sure didn't mean to neglect you.  I wish I could say it won't happen again, but...  life.  It's been busy.

So what's new in G land?  Glad you asked!

*Ruby & I have been "helping" at our hospital Parent-Baby program, but we finally became official hospital volunteers!  Holy wow, the hospital makes you jump through a lot of hoops to do it though!  Immunization tests & screenings, interviews, background checks, readings and quizzes, multiple orientations.  But it's all done now, and we are official.

And how hilarious is our badge picture?

Yep.  Good old pointing Ruby.  When the time comes that we stop volunteering, we have to turn the badge back in to the hospital.  I'm kind of sad, because how great would that be for the baby book?  

*I got a "top secret" text from a friend/former coworker giving me a heads up that my (former) boss might be giving me a call.  Turns out he was right.  My old classroom suddenly became available for the next school year, and I was the first one offered the job!  As amazing as that was, I turned it down.  I hope that doesn't come back to bite me in the butt, but we had already decided I wasn't going back to work next school year, and I just couldn't see myself being ready that soon.  Which stinks, because who knows if that room will be available again, though my friend said he'd pull every string he could to get me back when I'm ready.  Love that.

*The weather here sucks, but we did manage to get a play date in at an awesome park on the one day it's been nice in the past couple of weeks!

*Ruby had an assessment done for potential developmental delay (gross motor) at an Early Intervention center.  That was a little bit hard for me, as a mama, but thanks to some pretty major milestones she decided to hit that same week, she didn't end up qualifying for E.I.  And O.  M.  G. the stuff she is doing now!  I think that needs a whole separate post.

I'm just going to throw in some random pics of the little one, that don't have anything to do with anything, mkay?

*I have been up to my EARS in car seat research, as Ruby has finally about maxed out her Chicco Keyfit infant seat.  If you know me in real life, you probably know that I am a little bit of a car seat safety nut.  I kind of think this also warrants it's own separate post, but lets just say that Ruby will be rear-facing forever, I spend way too much time on (and have the app!!!), and that I'm pretty sure I've finally made a decision on her next seat and will be ordering it within the week.  Phew.

*Also on the above topic?  My neighbors probably think I'm a creeper, because I definitely have peeked in the windows of at least one car to ogle some car seats.

*I have been doing so much sewing lately!  Maybe this is why the blog has taken a hit?  But, you guys, I LOVE my new machine so so much!  I resurrected a project that I started two(!) years ago.  It's a rainbow ticker-tape style quilt, that I hope will one day be on Ruby's big girl bed.  Each block looks like this:

Made from little scraps, all of the color of the outside of the block.  And there's 16 colors.  It's gonna be awesome!  And Ruby is very, very interested in playing with the finished blocks, so I think she will love it.  Also, I decided, to help motivate me to finish (I have SO many half-finished projects around here), I'm going to enter it in the county fair in August.  Aren't I just a little old lady? 

*My brother still hasn't given me the pics from Ruby's birthday, and I want them!!!  I'm trying to be cool about it though, because he's a super busy guy.  I just can't wait, though!

*This happened the other day:

Yep.  Those are dog bowls.  Luckily, that was the (empty) food bowl, not the water bowl.  Though she did stick her arm, long sleeves and all, into the water bowl yesterday and thought it was hilarious.

*Lately I've been feeling like I've finally got this mama thing figured out.  Of course, then Ruby goes and throws a wrench in that (usually with something sleep-related), but after a whole year, I finally kind of feel like I've got this.  Maybe it's her age.  Right now is pretty awesome.  Or maybe it just really takes that long to feel like you've got it, but life feels a lot more "normal" now, which is kind of a relief.  I'm starting to understand why people actually have kids two years apart, because this is the time that it feels like you can handle it.  Don't worry though, internets, I am SO not ready for another one!

"All gone?!?"

*Those rocks (above) are in front of our house, and they do make a pretty good backdrop.

*This is getting long, so I'll end with one more, kind of important thing.  I am a bad blogger!  Reader Becca very kindly pointed out that I may be unintentionally ignoring people who comment on here.  And I was!  Turns out Blogger is lame, and even though I reply to my comments, unless you all click back here, you don't know it.  The fix was simple: reply to the email that notifies me that I have comments.

Except I wasn't getting emails to notify me that I had comments.

I knew it was possible, but I had tried to figure out how to get Blogger to do that, and I never could!  In case you are like me, it is NOT under "posts and comments" like you would think it would be.  It's under the "mobile and email" settings.

Now that that's all fixed up, I can stop "ignoring" you all.  Weeeee!  Seriously, though, I am SO sorry.  Bad blogger, bad.

Moss is boss.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Finished: DIY Play Tent

Hi.  My name is Jenny, and I like to make stuff.  Yep, I'm a compulsive DIYer.  Which means that when Ruby's birthday rolled around, I wanted to make her something.  Actually, I wanted to make her multiple somethings (a play fort, a dolly, a quilt), but since I don't have oodles of spare crafting time, I had to whittle my list down to just one thing.  And that, my friends, was this play tent.

Well, ok, if we're being honest, I wanted to buy her a play teepee.  Like this:


Or, this:

But those weren't exactly in my budget, plus there was the compulsive DIYer side of me mentioned above.  So DIY it was!  

And then, what should happen?  In my blog reader came along a post from Jessie at Cape 27.  She made a play tent for her daughter's first birthday.  It was a sign!  I liked the idea of a tent because the construction was much easier, and called for much less fabric.  I like that Jessie and I both had the idea of making some sort of play fort for our girls' birthdays.

It is the perfect place for reading a book.

Or, you know, just hanging out.

Jessie's post led me to the tutorial found here on the Cakies blog (what a great name).  I had the guy at Home Depot cut the molding to size for me right there in the store (Did you know they will do that for you?  They totally will, especially if you bring your baby in a tutu and silver mary janes...  Not that I did that.).  And I had my dad drill the holes on his drill press.  Because he has a drill press, and I do not even own a handheld power drill.  So, thanks, Dad!

The cover was sewn out of some awesome Ikea fabric that I found.  Because it was directional, I had to cut my piece first, then flip it around and sew it back together, so that the print would be right side up on both sides.  This means that there is a seam running down the top of the pole (which is no big deal at all).  Then I just hemmed all the edges and attached the elastic as per the directions.  

Seriously, check out these moose!  Ruby loves them.  I knew she would.  She can see them through the fabric when she's in there and points at them.

I did have to make one slight alteration to my tent.  When the fabric was draped over the center pole, and the corner elastics secured, it was still a little too... drapey.  I was prepared for this, as Jessie talked about having that problem when she made hers too.  Her solution was velcro.  While a great idea, I wasn't sure I wanted to go that route.  I wanted the cover to be fully washable, and I wasn't sure that self-adhesive velcro would hold up in the wash.

So, instead, I came up with the (brilliant) idea to add some ties.

I cut 8 (4 for the front and 4 for the back) 18" pieces of ribbon that I already had on hand from birthday party projects.  Measuring 1/3 of the way from the middle seam and bottoms (which was 14" on my tent), I simply stitched the middle of the ribbon where the existing hem stitching already was, making sure to sew back and forth several times for strength.

After tying them on, the tent was not droopy at all!  Yay!  And the ribbon is totally machine washable, so if anything ever gets on the cover that shouldn't be, I can just wash it right up!  

I also took one last page out of Jessie's book (seriously, I am SO glad she made that post!) and purchased one of Ikea's famous faux sheepskins to throw in there.  It makes it super cozy, and yes, I do like to go sit in there sometimes, too.

"Whaaaat?  Mama, you don't belong in my play tent!"

Now go make one for yourself your little one!  I anticipate we'll get a ton of use out of ours.  We already use it pretty much every day.  Just make sure that if you set out to photograph your little one in there, that you do NOT accidentally let her giant silver mylar #1 balloon float up to the top of your 2 story ceiling...

Not that that happened to us...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Week in iPhone Pictures

Last week was AMAZING weather-wise.  We spent a ton of time outside, I learned how to put sunscreen on a baby (it's an art), and we explored our summer wardrobes.  The clouds and rain have come back now, so I can't wait for more weeks like this past one!

May 5-11

Sunday:  Ruby's party decorations were so festive, I kind of wanted to leave them up permanently.  We took this pic to send to Grandma (who gifted her the baby doll and stroller), and while she looks so big there, she totally bit it face-first right after this.  Sometimes, you just gotta nap.  Monday:  Summertime jams are so cute!  Yes, that says 93 degrees in my car - bring on summer!  Dropping the glasses and picking them up, over and over and over (and look at her cute little band-aid from her big girl arm shots that morning!).  Tuesday:  Strollin' in to the hospital for volunteering.  Picnic lunch on the hospital lawn between volunteering duties (is there anything cuter than a baby in a hat?).  And because it was so nice, we ate dinner outside on the deck, too!

Wednesday:  Big girl lunchies with a plate (Mr. G calls this lunch a homemade lunchable, because she had turkey, cheese, and fruit, haha).  We're getting this scrunchy cheese-face a lot.  Also, have I mentioned we LOVE our water table?  Thursday:  I got Ruby's cooties and had a horrible cold, so we skipped baby class and headed out east where the outlet malls are.  Ruby really enjoyed the baby in the mirror while I tried on some clothes at the Gap outlet.  More water table fun; the ducks are delicious!  Friday:  Nap time = Pinterest project time.  Shocker, she took a second nap in her crib, and I just about died from the cuteness of her little feet & hiney.  Saturday:  We set up the play tent I made her for her birthday (I will share some real pics of that soon!), and she is loving hanging out in there.  We took a walk to the new hospital by our house to go to Starbucks.*  I blame her pastiness on her dad.  We also went to one of her little buddy's birthday parties that night, but of course, I didn't take pictures.  Momfail.

*We live up on a plateau that is just exploding with development.  They're building a movie theater, a grocery store, a gas station, several restaurants, a stand alone Starbucks, a sporting goods store, and most importantly, a Home Goods.  All within walking distance of our house.  They also finished building a brand new hospital last year, and we recently discovered that it has a number of shops within it, including a Starbucks!  It's so weird going in there because it looks like you're in a mall, but then people walk by in scrubs, or are being pushed in a wheelchair.  This is not the same hospital that Ruby and I volunteer and go to baby class at, though I wish it were since it's only a couple miles away!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Baby is a Genius

Ok, what mother doesn't think that, right?

But I seriously need to write down what she did last night.  This kid is blowing me away with the smarts.

Please ignore what a mess our bed is.  Real life, people.

So last night, we're getting ready for bed.  I set Ruby down on our bed so that I could put my own pajamas on.  I like to get all comfy for our last nursing session of the night.  I give her her bedtime books so that she can check them out, and usually she "picks" one for me to read.

I'm all dressed, so I come sit down next to her.  She's looking at The Going to Bed Book, and she keeps doing what looks like scratching herself.  I'm like, what in the world is she doing...?  Then I notice that she's pointing at the picture of the animals in the tub (see below), then "scratching", then pointing, then "scratching" and so on.  And it hits me.

She's not scratching.  She's scrubbing.

When I read that book to her, when I read "scrub scrub scrub!", I pretend to scrub her.  And genius that she is, she remembers, so when she sees the animals in the tub, she scrub scrub scrubs!

Once I figured it out, I laughed and said, "scrub scrub scrub!" and she looked up at me, smiled, and "scrubbed".

The kid blows my socks off.

It's also worth noting, that these pictures weren't taken last night, but a few nights ago.  She's "reading" Llama Llama Nighty Night.  I took these pics because I wanted to remember that, while I never even noticed that Llama Llama has a rubber ducky in his tub, she certainly did, and she points it out every time she gets to that page.  Without fail.

My little smarty-pants.  What a big kid she is becoming.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Project 365

It started the day Ruby was born.  I just couldn't let a day go by without snapping a picture of her!  Lots of these pics have already been shared in my Week in iPhone Pictures, but here she is, in all her daily-Ruby glory:

And, yes, it's very possible I'll be doing this for her second year! ;)

Friday, May 10, 2013


*As emotional as Ruby turning one was for me, I feel like a switch has flipped, and now I feel like I'm falling hardcore in love with her all over again, but this time it's toddler-Ruby instead of newborn-Ruby.  I didn't think I'd love the toddler stage as much as baby, but Ruby is really coming into her own these days and being such a kid, and I am actually loving it!

*On a less happy note, under the recommendation of our pediatrician, I made an appointment for Ruby to be evaluated at an Early Intervention center for gross motor delay.  I knew this was coming, and while I could tell the pedi was trying to be really sensitive/coddle me about it, I was actually ok with it at the time.  Still, it is HARD as a mama to feel like your child is behind.  Yes, she is smart as a whip, but other babies her age move.  She does not, and we are around a lot of other babies, so it's pretty hard to see the younger ones doing something she can't (but should be able to) do.


This funny-faced photo was taken a couple of days ago.  Right after little miss big girl pulled HERSELF up to stand at her water table!  Finally, at 12mo4days old, she can pull up.  She did it countless times afterward (enjoying dropping her boat, sitting down to pick it up, throwing it up into the water, then standing to look at it).  She's also able to pull up on her crib, too, so I know it's not just a fluke.  She still does not crawl, cruise, or walk with assistance like most other babies her age though.

*That water table is probably the best toy we've ever owned.  We have played with it several times a day since her birthday.

*Part of the reason the water table is so awesome is because it has been amazing weather-wise here!!!  70's-80's every day.  It's like summer, and I am in love.  Of course, it's still May, and we're going back to rain next week, but still.  LOVE.

*I don't love that Ruby gave me her cooties, so I've been suffering through this glorious sunshine with the worst cold I can remember having.  We're still nursing, so I can't drug myself into oblivion until it's over, either.

*Speaking of nursing, I didn't put this in her 12mo post, but probably should have.  I am insanely proud of the fact that we made it to a year without Ruby ever having to take a drop of formula.  It was a goal of mine from the beginning, was almost thwarted immediately, but we fought on, wasn't always fun or easy, but we DID IT.  Sadly, I probably need to put a disclaimer here that this is not a knock on anyone who chose a different path than we did.  This is about me accomplishing my goal.  And to continue along with that theme, I'm immensely proud also that we never did any type of sleep training/CIO with her either.  I feel really strongly about that, and I am glad that societal pressure never swayed me. 

*I read this post the other day, and I just love love love it.  Especially the part at the end about concealer and chocolate.  I've read Sarah's blog for years, and now that I am a mother, I treasure it even more.  She is SO wise, as well she should be having 6 kids!  We all have a lot to learn from her.  Plus, she has the cutest house and the best granola recipe.

*I finally got a pair of colored skinny jeans the other day.  I've only wanted some for the last year.  I could never find any that fit my post-baby body right, though, until yesterday.  Thank you, Gap Outlet.

*I also finally used my new sewing machine for the first time.  That thing is a dream!  This morning I whipped up a little drawstring bag to hold a birthday present I made for one of Ruby's little friends.  I'd made a similar bag for another of her buddies, and let me just say that it was SO much more enjoyable to do on my new machine.  I didn't really think I'd see much difference on something as simple as a little bag, but it is that much better.  There's so much stuff I want to make now, if only I had the time!  Perhaps this quilt (minus the ruffles & in different colors) for Ruby to sleep under, now that she's all grown up?

*My "Crafty Stuff" board on Pinterest has 292 pins.  I need to get on making some of that stuff.

*I recently read Ender's Game for the first time (though a friend of mine has been trying to get me to read it for a couple years, I just haven't had time!).  I love me a good dystopian society.  Which is funny, because if we really had a dystopian society, I'd probably be the first to go, with my lack of survival skills and refusal to eat meat off of bones.  Still, I'm excited to see the movie this fall, especially since a new theater is opening up in walking distance from our house!

Aaaaaand, I think that's enough random for you.  Time to go cross some things off my to-do list before the little lady wakes up from her nap!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Things Loved 9-12 Months

It's that time again, for another "things loved" post!  And, hey, did you notice?  I've now got a "things loved" button that will take you to the whole list things loved posts (as well as our lists for holiday gifts).  It's right over there by Ruby's birthday ticker.  Check it out.

1.)  See Kai Run Smaller shoes.  I will preface my "lovedness" by saying I am a little bit miffed that SKR didn't want Ruby to model their shoes when they had an open casting call here about a month ago, but what can I say?  I think I have the cutest kid ever, they should be begging her to model! ;)  But anyway, I love these shoes.  They fit well, stay on, are well made (of leather, so they're breathable), flexible, and Ruby is nuts about them.  She always wants to hold them, try to put them on herself, and loves wearing them.  She even knows the words "shoes", "feet", and "toes" now because of her interest in the shoes.  Plus, they really seem to help her balance when she's standing (and she tends to let go of whatever she's holding onto when wearing her shoes).  I hear they're great for beginning walkers as well, so if Ruby ever decides to get a move-on, maybe we will see!  We also have them in silver (love!), and while they are expensive shoes, I managed to buy both pairs at 50% off, so there are definitely deals to be had!

2.)  Goodnight Moon.  Such a classic, no?  Ruby loves this book, and I'm pretty sure it's because of the "three little bears sitting on chairs", though she is also fond of the kittens and the bunny himself.  We even think it sounded like she was trying to say "goodnight" the other day.  Love it.  For some reason I love the "mush" too.  And actually, we've yet to find a Margaret Wise Brown book that we don't like!

3.)  Bubbles!  What's not to love about bubbles?  Ruby often points to outside, and to the jar of bubbles.  She likes it when they "get" her (pop on her), and once they've all popped, she says, "all gone!".  I got this big jar at Michael's for 99 cents.  We still have 2/3 of it.  I plan to get another one to keep in the car too, for park trips and such.

4.)  Green Sprouts Cups.  We've actually had these since before Ruby was born, but she is super into them lately.  She's not quite to tower-building yet, but she nests them all nicely, likes to throw them, and also (this boggles my mind) likes to match the color pairs together OR nest them all omitting all of one or two colors.  They're also great in the bath, since they have holes in the bottom to make showers.

5.)  Munchkin Snack Catchers.  If you have seen our Week in iPhone posts lately, you have seen a lot of these things.  It seems to be the quintessential piece of toddler paraphernalia.  The snacks go in it, the lid is like a trap, it won't let the snacks out unless baby reaches in and pulls them out with his/her hand.  Anytime a baby sees one of these things, they all come running crawling.  Well, except my baby.  She points to it.  The only thing I don't like, is that Ruby likes to hold it by one of the trap flaps, and then shake it, which lets all the food out.  We're working on shaking it by the handle.  In the mean time, Braidy is enjoying the Cheerio shower.  I don't just put Cheerios in there either.  I like to make a baby trail mix of cereals and freeze-dried fruit.  She loves it.

6.)  Green Sprouts Toddler Cup Set.  This was something I got as a crazy good deal on one of those daily deal websites.  I liked it for the multi-stagedness of the cups, and they have not disappointed in that department.  Ruby used to only be able to drink out of the rubbery mouthpiece.  More recently she's been able to use the standard sippy part, and now she is also able to drink out of the straw!  I also like that the lids are interchangeable on all the bottles (well, except the straw, because of the length).

7.)  Skip Hop Zoo Bib.  I might even like this bib more than our Tommee Tippee ones!  It is super soft, has a pocket to catch stuff, is machine washable (huge plus), and tucks neatly inside itself, but you don't have to know origami to get it to do so.  It just stuffs into it's own little pocket.  Because of that, I usually have this bib in my diaper bag, but I want to get more for home.

8.)  Baby Buddy Secure a Toy.  Many a comment do I get about this thing.  Because we have it wrapped around Sophie's neck like a noose.  But you know what?  We don't lose Sophie (and who wants to lose a stupid $30 giraffe, right?).  They're cheap.  They keep your toys on a tether.  Get some.

9.)  Boogie Wipes and Nosefrida.  Both of these would have been good from the get-go, but Ruby didn't really get sick until recently.  I'd always seen the Boogie Wipes in the store and thought they were just another gimmick to get parents to spend money.  But they actually work really well at getting crusty boogies, and Ruby likes it a lot better if I wipe her nose with one of these, than a rough paper towel.  The skin on my nose is so sensitive that I have to use lotion tissues, so I wanted something soft/non-irritating for her.  And the Nosefrida.  Every parent seems to know about this.  Yes, it sounds gross.  No, it actually isn't gross, and yes, it does work that well.  I have a love of all things Swedish (Ikea, Volvo, meatballs) and this did not disappoint either.

10.)  Whole Foods 365 Baby Wipes.  We use cloth wipes and water for diaper changes at home, but we do keep a pack of disposable on hand for those times that all the wipes seem to be in the dryer, or we've forgotten to refill the wipe-water bottle and have a diaperless baby on the table.  Also, I use them on the go because I never figured out a cloth wipe system that I liked for the diaper bag.  We'd been using Seventh Generation, but they always seemed to make Ruby's buns a little red.  The Babyganics wipes were better, but I have a hard time finding them in stores.  On a whim, we picked up these Whole Foods wipes, and they seem to be the best yet!

11.)  Baby Buddy First Toothbrush.  Now that Ruby has teeth, we want to take care of those babies.  Another mama recommended this "toothbrush" to me, and it has been a hit.  Ruby and I take turns brushing her teeth, and I also just let her chew on it if she wants to.  Bonus: it's dishwasher safe.

12.)  Yes to Baby Carrots Lotion.  Before Ruby was born, we were gifted some Burt's Bees baby lotion.  She's never really had dry skin, but we incorporated lotion into our bedtime routine to help differentiate from every other diaper/clothing change.  Ruby handled the Burt's lotion fine, but I got tired of the fragrance.  I found this Yes to Baby Carrots, and having liked the Yes to Carrots products for myself, decided to try it.  It is a thin lotion, that goes on so much better than the Burt's.  It's fragrance free, but kind of smells like aloe to me, which I like.  Ruby likes the picture of a carrot on the front, which distracts her from getting her diaper put on, so it's a win all around.  Once we run out of our Burt's Bees shampoo, I plan on giving the Yes to Baby Carrots shampoo a try as well.

13.)  Munchkin Shampoo Rinser and Duck Tub.  This shampoo rinser was another thing that I thought was gimmicky, but I'd read some love for it on another mom blog (and let's be honest, I was really drawn to the hot pink color).  It is awesome!  As a shampoo rinser, I like it because it is flexible, so you can kind of mold it on top of the baby's head to keep water out of her eyes when rinsing (which became a problem when she was no longer laying down in the infant tub).  But also, it makes a great toy!  Ruby loves putting things into it, and at the end of bathtime, she cleans up by shoving all of her little toys into it before she gets out.  $5 well spent.  The Duck Tub has been another lifesaver for us.  Ruby was really scared to be out of her infant tub, but too big to be in it.  The duck made the bath not so big, which is calming to her, but I also like because I don't have to fill the whole darn tub!  Now she really loves it, and points to it affectionately whenever we're near her bathroom.  A tip for newly sitting, unsteady babies?  Don't inflate the bottom part.  We still have it uninflated, because it made her wobbly and scared, even though she is a strong sitter.

Now that I've written these out, I realize I should have added another.  The one downside of our duck tub, is that it doesn't fit under the faucet to fill!  To solve this problem, we bought the Boon Flo.  It deflects the water into the tub.  It also makes the faucet less scary to Ruby, and I like that when she is older, we can put her under it to rinse her hair.  Also, it does double-duty to protect from head-on-faucet bonking, and even has a bubble bath dispenser (that we haven't used yet)!

So there you have it!  Our favorite things, months 9-12.  Isn't it funny how stuff you thought was so gimmicky/unnecessary can end up being a fave?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Calendar Girl - Twelve Months

Well, we're here.  Twelve whole months old.

It's pretty shocking to me that Ruby's first year has already come and gone.  It was everything I expected, and a whole lot more that I didn't expect.

One of the biggest shockers to me, this month specifically, was how much of a transition the first birthday feels like, and how emotional it made me.  Waves of nostalgia have been hitting me all month long, triggered by little things like the ornamental trees blooming at the hospital, or a song on the radio that came out last spring.  It kind of makes me feel like the time when you're newly postpartum and everything makes you cry at the drop of a hat.  For certain, there have been less tears, but the same overwhelming waves of emotion have been surprisingly hitting me.

We've started volunteering at the hospital, and each shift we have some down time.  We were told there was a neat play space on the 4th floor, so we went to check it out.  It turns out, it is right outside the doors to the NICU, where Ruby spent days 3-5 of life under the bili lights.  Whoa, did that bring things back.  We were with our friend Jessie, and she asked me to tell her about the jaundice experience.  It really made me relive those first few days with my girl!

Look at those sweet little baby hairs!
Just like I always say, this month has been my favorite age (yes, again).  Ruby's receptive language is insane.  It has been for a while now, but she now understands simple phrases too.  Things like, "play with toys", "go downstairs/outside", "drink your water", "where's your sippy?".  That last one was so funny.  I asked her where her sippy was, and apparently she'd been hiding it down by her leg in the highchair.  She looked at me, reached down and grabbed it, and thunked it down on the countertop bartender-style, like it was no big thing.  This girl is smart, smart, smart.  It's a little bit scary.  

She can point out mommy, daddy, Braidy, herself, her grandparents, and a whole slew of other people she knows with almost 100% accuracy.  Now she's working on her body parts - it turns out she knows where her toes, and mine are!  She also knows her toys.  If you ask her where her rhinoceros is, she will dig through a huge basket of toys until she finds it.

Also awesome, is the fact that she enjoys putting things IN containers now.  Which means she cleans up after herself!  I've been singing the clean up song whenever we put toys away pretty much since she began playing with toys.  Now if I sing it, she will clean up her toys herself.  When she wants to get out of the bathtub, I tell her we have to put toys away first, and she will put them all into the shampoo rinser cup.  And one day, I was in the shower and she emptied a whole basket of my fabric.  Mr. G saw her and said, "Toots!  We have to clean that up before Mommy comes out!"  She looked at him, and started quickly throwing everything back in!  She also is obsessed with the dryer, and will empty a whole load into the laundry bin.  She likes to put things into the dryer too, though, so we have to make sure to take the bin away when she's done!

Thanks to the two pairs of See Kai Run shoes I got her, Ruby has become obsessed with shoes (uh oh).  She tries to put them on her own feet, and needs to have both of a pair at all times, she is not satisfied with just one because she knows that they come as a set.  The shoes seem to give her pretty good stability as well, she will often let go of whatever she's holding onto while standing now, and can stand for 20-30 seconds unassisted.  Maybe she will walk before she crawls?  Oh, and she doesn't just like her own shoes, she's a big fan of taking out Daddy's as well, and gets a very devilish grin on her face because she thinks she's being naughty (and she likes it).

At twelve months, her hair is finally long enough for clippies!  She never lost her birth hair, but she's got some crazy cowlicks (thanks, Daddy) and it is different lengths all over.  Still, now that she can wear little clips without a headband, she looks like such a kid!

Other cute things to note this month:  She sticks her tongue out when she's concentrating on something.  She's still obsessed with bears, and we've been cramming her into her 9mo bear jammies whenever they're clean because she loves them so much.  And the three little bears sitting on chairs in Goodnight Moon?  She points to them on every page that shows the whole room.  She's also become much more interested in Daddy, and misses him when he is gone.  One morning he left before she was up, and for the rest of the day she was looking for him, saying, "Da?  Da?"

Wow, this is really dark.  I need to work on my editing skills.

Speaking of saying, at the end of this month, we think Ruby has really started to talk!  She's been saying "dada" and "dodo" (which we think is dog-dog), and "mamamamama" for a while now, but we're calling her official first word(s) as "all gone!".  Just the other day, my mom and I were feeding her dinner, and after she'd eaten everything, she pointed at the plate.  I told her there was no more, it was all gone, and she clearly repeated, "All gone!"  Mom and I stared at each other in shock, and then she said it again.  Since, she's said it many more times in appropriate context.  We changed a diaper on the go, put everything away, and she said "all gone!"  Bath toys get put away, "all gone!"  She also switches it up and says "all done" when we're all done with something too.

In addition to her "all gone/done", she also says "go" (usually pointing to the door when she wants to go outside, or the stairs if she wants to go up or down).  She also says, "hi dad" with regularity, and has really started repeating us ("out", "bye", and we think she's trying to say "goodnight" when we read Goodnight Moon).  It is crazy, but it is so cute to hear her voice!!!

Less cool stuff, of course, includes sleep.  She's usually napping better and almost always will take a morning nap about 2 hours after being up (finally!!!) and often wants an afternoon nap now (again, finally!!!).  BUT, she suddenly is having trouble getting past the 30min mark in both naps and night.  Especially at night, like clockwork, we put her down, she sleeps 30min, then wakes up screaming and is unable to put herself back to sleep, so we have to go in and bounce her.  Then she'll sleep the rest of the night until morning.  Sure, she stirs between sleep cycles, but can always put herself back to sleep at every other time.  But this 30min thing is weird.  She doesn't seem to want to be awake, and it usually doesn't take us long to put her back down.  Who knows what is up with that?

I'm also seeing signs of toddlerhood to come.  Diaper changes are the worst thing ever to her, with foot stomping and screaming.  Random stuff will lead to the back arching meltdowns typical of toddlers.  Usually with Ruby it's when I won't let her hold something at a store, like a heavy can of beans, or a box of tampons (thanks for calling attention to that at Target, Ruby).  And I get the back arching when trying to put her in the car seat too.  Oi, I am not ready for this!

At the same time, though, I am so excited for Ruby's next year.  More talking.  Hopefully some movement (no, she is still not crawling).  Summer is coming and she is at the perfect age to go out to the zoos, aquarium, farms, and parks.  She is so interactive, I just can't wait to share these new experiences with her.  And come September, we'll be doing a one morning a week parent co-op toddler school.  In some ways, I really miss my sweet little newborn Ruby Jo, but man oh man.  My Ruby these days is more fun than I imagined.  She's my sidekick, my buddy, my partner in crime.

At the beginning of this post, I started by talking about what I didn't expect.  The biggest of all was how much love I can have for one little person.  When I was pregnant, I knew I'd love my baby.  But oh my goodness, I had no idea how powerful that love would be.  It's been 366 days now since she was born, and I still feel like I could explode into a million pieces with love for her.  I truly cannot wait to see her grow up in the next year.

On a lighter note, I do think I want to continue her monthly posts.  I'm out of stickers for her onesies (and don't really want to go that route again anyway, since she spends the whole shoot trying to get them off), but the only other idea I have is using a chalkboard to display her months.  What do you guys think?  Good?  Any other ideas?  Let me know, and please tell my baby toddler not to grow up too fast, ok?