From the Archive – The Pumpkin’s First Two Years

newborn_pumpkinDecember 2003

The Pumpkin is amazingly aware for a newborn. Although she didn’t breast feed to begin with, at two weeks she began to feed normally. Frank and I took her on outings in the snuggli, which we hated to use. She also attended her first dinner party at her Omi’s (my mother’s) house. By the end of the month she was sleeping about four hours at night without interruption. Our favorite things are her facial expressions. She has a million. She also gained 10 oz.


January 2004

She is a baby on the go. Frank and I bring her all over the place. She loves to swing in her portable swing and absolutely loves being in her aquarium bouncer. Sleeping has gotten more regular and we’ve breast fed in public without a problem. She has made her first real responsive smiles. She’s growing steadily.


smiling_pumpkin

February 2004

She adapted to day care without a problem. She responds to communication with any number of noises. She smiles all the time. She is less likely to cry at first when needing changing or food. She’s officially out of most of her newborn clothing and into the 3-6 size. She sleeps most of the night, at least six hours.


March 2004

She laughs. For some strange reason, when Frank says “pecker head” she laughs hysterically. Aside from the congestion which we’re both dealing with, she sleeps a full night. Frank and I even get an hour to ourselves before our bedtime. She had her first shower. It took a rather long time for both of us to shower and pass her back and forth but she really liked it and it cleared out her sinuses nicely. She’s started to hold things like her dolly as well as the little butterfly on her swing. She’s totally into the 3-6 clothes now and is wearing size three diapers. She also does little stomach crunches when she wants to get out of her stroller, which is all the time, and when she is done eating. She loves to be held face outwards while we walk around so she can see everything. We’re debating the purchase of a BabyBjorn.


jumping_pumpkin

April 2004

She’s such a chatterbox. In the morning, we awake to lots of noises. Her favorite sound to make is a raspberry. She had her first swim in the hot-tub and loved it. She can roll over with ease and has started to move herself around a bit. She grabs her feet constantly and has started to put them in her mouth as well. More often than not, she has her tongue sticking out. We bought her a jumper so that she can bounce on her legs (our arms were getting tired) which she loves. She comfortably fills out a 6-9 month size now and is easily bigger than some of her day care-mates who are older. We’re still working on sitting up but it seems she is strong enough but too interested in looking at everything to hold still enough to sit. We now use the lightweight stroller exclusively which is a vast improvement. She loves to see where she is going. She’s also wearing shoes full time now. In the next month, she will move out of her bassinet and into a crib.


out_and_about_may_2004

May 2004

She is really responsive now, answering us with all sorts of verbalizations. She rolls over with ease and puts everything into her mouth including her feet and toys. Her congestion has subsided and although she is still not sleeping through the night, her wakings are less eventful and easy to deal with. She has had her first food feedings. The first of which was extremely messy as she’d raspberry the food back at me. The second feeding she took to better and actually ate a decent amount. The doctor has told us we could wait as long as six months before introducing food so we’re taking it very slow. Frank also upgraded her jumper to stage 2 as her legs are getting longer now. At the end of the month we are surprised that she has learned to sit all by herself for a few moments. She also has adopted a security blanket for sleeping. I’ve learned to attach dolly and this blanket to the stroller for outings. She is also eating peaches.


eating_the_kitty_nom-nom-nom_june_2004

June 2004

We begin the month with a new food – carrots! the Pumpkin sleeps outside in the living room now and we’re almost down to only one waking during the night. She can sit without assistance and reaches, grabs and stuffs things into her month while sitting. We got a great progress report at her doctors appointment in the beginning of the month. She’s now 17 pounds and 25 inches. The full size crib is coming soon. Her first tooth broke through on June 16th! She can also roll from back to front and vice verse by mid month. Day care says she can crawl backwards very quickly and we are learning that we have to keep an eye out when she is on the floor at home. As the months ends, the Pumpkin sits up and grabs her toys to her. She almost crawls when trying to get a hold of our little remote control cars. (We have video!) She eats a variety of sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, rice cereal, apple juice and oatmeal. She is sleeping decently at night in her full-size crib.


hiking_vermont_july_2004

July 2004

The Pumpkin is a big faker! She makes us think she is going to sleep all the way through the night and then wham! Up all night! We continue to slowly work on a sleeping routine. In the beginning of July she had her first road trip to Vermont to visit her aunt.

New activities included nature hikes with Daddy and swimming in the lake (brrrrr!). By mid-month she is crawling forward in inchworm fashion. Go Pumpkin, go!! 7/22 – We have a climber!

She’s sleeping through the entire night, almost which is a big improvement.


mobile_and_climbing_august_2004

August 2004

No sleep til Brooklyn! We’re sort of sleeping but some nights she is really bothered by her teeth. She’s eating a full variety of veggies and fruit. She has started solids with Cheerios and arrowroot cookies. Not much getting eaten but it’s fun to watch her.

Her favorite toys are the peekablocks, piano and an old cell phone and she loves Baby Mozart. She can crawl very quickly and pulls herself up onto furniture and mommy and daddy’s legs. By mid-month she is chewing. She reaches for the sofa from the coffee table and vice versa.

She can “walk” with assistance. She has started to wave good-bye. We close the month out with the addition of three new teeth.


September 2004

The Pumpkin holds the pole in the subway, while riding, just like a little commuter. The evening of 9/9 she said Mama, followed a few days later with Dada!!! Day care says she is using the sippy cup, but just for water or juice. She knows the difference between her bottle and others and will only drink out of her’s. She wants to feed herself more and more which we try to let her and the result is usually food on everyone but it’s fun. On the weekend of the 11/12, the Pumpkin said “DaDa”! We’re overjoyed at these sporadic attempts at communication. The morning of 9/21 the Pumpkin gave Dante a string of pop-beads and pet his leg without pinching or grabbing. She has also started to put toys in the box as well as removing them. On 9/18 she climbed up stairs. She is starting to figure out the relationship between the sounds and keys on her piano.


beattie_wedding_october_2004

October 2004

The Pumpkin attended her first wedding and danced with both Mommy and Daddy. She ate a little bit of wedding cake and some ice cream. On the 16th the Pumpkin stood without assistance for the first time. By mid month we’re told, by day care, that the Pumpkin knows to get in line to receive her stamps from the music teacher. We’ve started more real food like hard rolls, and Gerber graduates since she has eight teeth and can chew. Occasionally, we give her a little bit of what we’re eating. We’re not getting any sleep but I’ve started to ween her offering the bottle instead of the breast more frequently. the Pumpkin understands hello and goodbye and waves for both. She also waves at everyone as we travel to and from day care. We ended the month with Halloween. the Pumpkin was a black and orange butterfly.


November 2004

We’ve noticed a ninth tooth, her first molar – top left side.

We have independent walking – Nov 10th!! It started with standing. the Pumpkin stands fairly well but always reaches for hands to hold while walking. Then at day care she started to be able to take a few steps. Now she will walk back and forth between two people. We slowly are moving further apart and she is taking more steps than ever. We are so excited.

This will be the last month of breast feeding. the Pumpkin takes the bottle very well and I am getting engorged less and less. By Thanksgiving, I feel I will be able to stop completely. It’s taken a month but I feel that is just the right amount of time for this change and the Pumpkin doesn’t show much interest in the breast anymore. She is very happy to hold her bottle all by herself.

By mid-month she can almost get off the couch by herself. She knows what to do since every time she crawls off, I place her feet first and then let her get down herself. She really likes to do things herself. Of course we have quite a few tumbles but the Pumpkin handles them well and usually only cries for a second if it’s not a big bump.

She’s into everything! She readily goes into the garbage cans whenever we aren’t looking. It’s like buried treasure. We’re getting new containers pronto. She also exhibits problem solving. She can utilize containers as steps to bring her closer to what she wants. She can relatively easily climb up stairs. Walking is no problem although she stumbles here and there. She’s also started to eat adult food. I give her pieces of whatever I’m eating as well as the Gerber graduates. She makes choices when offers multiple toys or snacks.


t-shirt_model_december_2004

December 2004

The Pumpkin celebrated her first birthday. She handled all the people and activity with grace and didn’t fuss at all. Increasingly, she is a pleasure to be around and although very independent, she comes up frequently to give us hugs before walking off again. She’s getting the hang of digging through various containers to find specific toys to play with. She is eating more adult food, recently having eaten pizza, pepperoni, fish sticks, mixed veggies, milk, cold-cuts, cheese, and cubed fruit. By the 17th, she has 11 teeth. We noticed the first molar, bottom left around the 9th. The top two molars are in almost fully now. She is also starting to verbally differentiate between mama and dada. During the first week she started to pick up her brush and “brush” her own hair as well as ours and the cats, whoever is closer. We’ve started to brush her teeth which she handles fairly well, although she wants to do that as well. She is starting to use a spoon correctly, although it’s messy.

By the end of the month, she is almost running. She had a wonderful Christmas and learned how to open the presents fairly well. She no longer is content in the stroller but rather wants to walk everywhere. Self feeding is getting better every day. She is very content to sit and play with her toys nicely while Mommy gets ready for work in the mornings. She is starting to convey displeasure and sometime’s fusses if we make her do something she doesn’t want to do. She seems to understand her surroundings better every day and often problem solves to get around obstacles.

We’ve noticed four front teeth on top and bottom. and at least another six molars.


pumpkin_january_2005

January 2005

The Pumpkin continues to be really independent. She has graduated to the leash in stores and surprises us with good behaviour as she explores the different shops we visit. She is saying Mama, Dada, Up, Hi and Bye Bye with relative clarity and she understands what these mean. She also says “Ee-ah” but we don’t know what she’s talking about yet. We use both the baby Einstein DVDs and the flash cards to try to encourage her to match words to everyday objects. We are careful to annunciate clearly so she’ll speak with clarity. She has also learned how to slide off of the bed and the sofa without falling. I can’t believe she is a full-fledged toddler already but calling her a baby seems wrong since she’s mobile, talking a little bit and throwing temper tantrums (we ignore them) already.


in_mommys_shoes_2005February 2005

The Pumpkin is really learning how to communicate. Her vocabulary includes hi, bye bye, cat, cow, car, apple, outside, Baxter, Mama, and Dada. Her babbling is becoming more articulate and sometimes I think I hear her say other things. She also points to everything. Frank and I are trying to keep up. One the 17th, we noticed that her top two eye teeth have come in. That’s fourteen altogether now. She can get on and off of her BMW with ease and propel herself backwards. We wake up to her bouncing in the crib, which is ok since we are now sleeping through most nights.

We’ve started to feed her what we eat rather than give her toddler food. She likes everything, for the most part. She’s even surprised us with liking things like pickles. When we have time, we walk almost all the way to day care. She is pretty good about holding hands but is becoming more likely to want to walk by herself. We’re getting a lot of use out of the leash. Especially in stores it allows us to let her walk around without us having to worry about her getting away.

The Pumpkin has found her rhythm. This one particular Cuban song is her absolute favorite. We exposing her to many genres of music and love when she responds with dancing. Her steps include jumping, turning around and clapping. We’re going to add a mpg as soon as possible to the home movie section.


March 2005

The Pumpkin has learned how to do her puzzle. If you give her one piece at a time, she can put it in the correct spot. the Pumpkin has also learned how to play catch. She has also learned that if she drags things, the cats will come to her. Unfortunately, for them, she has also learned that they can be picked up. We’re now supervising all cat/Pumpkin interaction. The good news is that they are all, even Baxter, handling the new challenge well.


April 2005

It’s hard to keep up. Seems like April was just beginning. the Pumpkin continues to pick up words here and there. Lately we’ve heard juice and ba-ba which we’re not sure about but she’s clearly indicating something. Over the past month, slowly, she has gotten the last two of her front teeth. She now has a full smile of 16 teeth. We’ve gone to the playground several times. The swing is her favorite.


daycare_may_2005

May 2005

the Pumpkin had an operation on her ears. She has little tubes that will help drain the excess fluid and allow her to hear better. So far we’ve noticed a big difference in the volume of her voice and we no longer have to shout at her. She says gargoyle and a few others I can’t recall right now. She climbs into bed by herself. She’s becoming a little neater at the dinner table. We’re still getting the hang of mealtime but things get better every day. Besides ears and nose, she can now identify eyes, mouth and feet. When we say chicken she tucks her hands in her armpits and flaps her arms which is the cutest thing ever.


June 2005

Life is like a whirlwind. the Pumpkin is very good at brushing her teeth now. She also helps mommy and daddy clean the apartment by using the Swiffer broom and throwing things away in the garbage and putting dirty clothes in the hamper. She is a helper who brings things from one room to the next and easily knows where things are and where they have to be put away. Some recent words include, bap (bat), bub (bug), bath, gargoyle, fishes, ah-ee (auntie), and mama and dada clearly mean Frank and I now. There are more I just can’t remember. She babbles as well and seems to be making perfect sense to herself. She just started (7/14) to count to 3 and when The Count comes on Sesame Street she minics his laugh. She loves to read and makes growling noises when we read “Where the wild things are.”

We’ve started to use the high chair as a booster and have her eat at the table with us. Eating in general is getting much nearer and she’s eating pretty much what we are. We’ve also introduced the potty which the Pumpkin sits on and knows to go to when we tell her. As soon as she can let us know what’s going on, we should be able to try a little potty business.

She had her first trip to an amusement park in late June and she loved it. Her favorite rides are the swings, the pendulum, and anything she can drive without mommy and daddy’s assistance. We’ve also had trips to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the Prospect Park Zoo, and the Bklyn Botanical Gardens. We’re trying to keep her busy and do outdoor things every weekend. We finally get hugs and kisses now.


July 2005

In early July, I brought the Pumpkin to the Jersey Shore where she got her first tattoo. A couple of weeks later, we brought her back to Advantureland and got her another tattoo. She loves them and when we say tattoo, she points to her arm as well as says tattoo. She can clearly say “baby” and we think she’s saying Baxter and Dante when we talk about the cats. She has mastered the stairs, going up without assistance and going down with a little help. When we read her picture book, she can indicate almost all the pictures when asked, even words she doesn’t say. She plays the piano one note at a time now so we’ll start music lessons with mommy very soon. We ended the month with her first trip to the NY Aquarium. She was very exited about all the “ishes” and even sat relatively nice for the seal training demo. She was non-stop moving for almost four hours which is just amazing. She has so much energy! She also got to pet a horseshoe crab.


August 2005

More words: chair, cup, shark, book. the Pumpkin understands the meaning and use of the word no. She has quite a selfish streak and doesn’t like when anyone touches her things. We’re teaching her that sharing is ok with somethings, especially toys that aren’t hers or other people’s strollers, but being selfish is ok with your own things. She’s also a bit more fussy now, asserting her independence as much as she can. We regularily have battles of the wills. Daddy and I are being very steadfast in our rules and trying to handle the outbursts as calmly and nonchalantly as possible. We’re still working on the hitting but so far no more biting which is progress. She’s had another growth spurt and is now a 24 month/2T size. I am not buying new clothes until Fall so she’ll just have to manage.

By the end of the month she has also learned the word and concept of mine. We’ve got our hands full now. She also has the majority of her fall and winter clothes. I did some shopping and have discovered at Cabelas has the most reasonable winter gear around so it looks like we’re all getting gear from them.

September 2005

We began the month with a trip to the Statue of Liberty and the Bronx Zoo with uncle Kelvin and aunt Shawnda. the Pumpkin loves the animals. She spoke a new animal word so we have cat, dog, turtle, owl, bear and now monkey and whale and what might be lobster and octopus, maybe as well! A few days later, I was working with her flashcards and she said peas and banana. She is also trying to combine words like daddy keys or bye bye baby or bye bye cat. the Pumpkin has her good moments with sharing and with a little urging shared her BMW with a girl at the playground.

The Pumpkin sings twinkle twinkle little star! No words but we can tell.


October 2005

The Pumpkin has well established word grouping like “more juice” and “no baby” and her vocabulary continues to build. We enjoyed another trip to the Aquarium and the Prospect Park Zoo. For Halloween she was a pirate. We trick or treated around the entire neighborhood and the Pumpkin said thank you to everyone. She continues to get better at sharing and is really affectionate with lots of kisses for everyone. Our favorite word is “pumpkin.”


November 2005

More words and more phrasing. We’re really getting the hang of speaking. We took her to vote with us and she made a little friend to play with while we waited to vote. When the little girl went into the stall with her mother, the Pumpkin looked around for her. When she saw her shoes from under the curtian, she pulled it back and said “there you are” which was the funniest thing ever. Thank God the woman had a sense of humor and didn’t mind the exposure. It’s only the second week and she already knows what a turkey is, how to say it and the noise it makes including flapping her arms. She finally knows the color orange and has added brown much faster this month. We continue to learn new songs as per her “homework” from daycare. I think in a few months we’ll start calling it school to help the transition. She’s also well acquainted with “Elmo” and “Big Bird”, both of whom she can say. She’s also started to use big as an adjective.

I know pictures are lacking but she is a tough moving target to capture on film. Time to start potty training.

The Pumpkin can count to five and knows the numbers on sight, her first symbol recognition, thanks to Sesame Street and the numbers on each floor of the apartment building as we walk up and down every day.


first_tattoo_december_17_2005December 2005

Happy Birthday! This month you learned to count to ten without helping. You can sing your ABC’s almost perfectly and can pick out letters you know from books. You also sing “Twinkle, twinkle little star” and “Old MacDonald” so well that even a stranger would know what you’re singing. You actually sing all the time, although much is probably something you’re making up. You’re really ready for potty training but mama and daddy are holding you back a little. We want to devote a long time to be able to get it right, more or less.

You know so many words now, we can have conversations with you. You finally figured out to talk on the phone. You can accomplish puzzles after only a few tries. Although you have your moments, you are mostly wonderful to be around. You make us laugh all the time. Your laugh is the best sound in the world.

We’re so proud of the way you listened when we asked you not to touch the Christmas tree. We love you so much!

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