January books

I’ve always been a pretty prolific reader, but since the Pizza Hut Book It program in elementary school I’ve never kept track of what I’ve read. This is probably because (1) in the past I didn’t buy most the books I read, but borrowed them from the library and (2) I read so much and so quickly it was hard to keep track; prior to Reagan reading two 300+ page books in one day was common on the weekend or on vacation!

Since then things have changed. I now download 100% of my books (free and paid) to the Kindle app on my iPhone, which makes keeping track of the books I read much easier. And, with Reagan, work, and everything else in my life, I don’t read nearly as much! Thus for 2013 I’ve decided to try and keep track of everything I read on a monthly basis.

Here is the list of books I read this January!

Summary

The House of Night Series is addictive and expensive. I kept telling myself that I’d stop and move on to something else, but the author ends each book with such a cliffhanger that I had to get the next one.  This probably wasn’t helped by the fact that I’m reading them on my Kindle app and can have the next downloaded and started within a few minutes! I finally researched the series on Wikipedia so I could see what happens in the next books and wouldn’t feel as desperate to download them. This has partially helped because I finally stopped at book 7, but I’m still thinking about them so we’ll see how long it lasts before I start back up again!

Kindle App on my phone!

Kindle App on my phone!

Endurance was a deep and emotional read. It took me a lot longer to get through this book than most books this length, but I think its because the it’s a real life story and really pulls you into it. This book was also a book group book for our College and it’s been great getting together with others who love to read and really talk about the story.

Flip Your Classroom was a quick and easy read. It is also the educational book for our College’s book group this semester. This means a group of us has been meeting to talk about the book and how to implement some of its teachings it in the classroom. Since the book is so short we’ve had to supplement it with additional articles and presentations, but overall it’s a good book an worth it for educators to read.

Dream Eyes is a typical Jayne Ann Krenz book. I’ve been reading Krenz since I was in high school and still love her books even though at times they can get a bit predictable. This one was actually a little better than the last few have been.

Rise of the Fallen was interesting (and free), but just didn’t grab me quite enough to get me to download the rest of the series. Yet, it must have appealed to my Mom because she went ahead and bought the next book in the series, Micah’s Calling, so I went ahead and read it.

**Side note: My Mom and I share a Kindle account. We both read so much and so much of the same stuff that it makes sense to share an account so that way we could share all of our books. Our account is technically my account, but throughout the year we settle up money wise so it all equals out in the end. It also saves us money because we’re splitting the cost of all the books we buy. We’ve been doing this for almost four years now and it works great!**

Dark Promises was an ok read. It wasn’t your typical vampire book, but was just enough off in some places to not make me want to go read more of this series. In all honesty if my Mom hadn’t bought this book I probably wouldn’t have read it.

For Time and Eternity was an interesting book. It followed the story of a good Christian girl who fell for a Mormon boy and ran off with him to Utah (and got married) in the 1800’s. The main female character seems ok with the Mormon religion for a while, but after her newborn son dies and her husband starts talking about taking another wife, she comes to realize that she doesn’t really believe the Mormon teachings and really is a Christian at heart. I found this book interesting because it delves into the Mormon beliefs and teachings of the time, especially those of polygamy.  Yet, the book ended really crappy with the main character becoming lost (and possibly) dying in a snowstorm. On the high side I then researched the author a little bit and found out there is a sequel to this book that covers what happens to the main character after the snowstorm. It’s a newer book and still rather pricey, so I didn’t buy it… yet. 🙂

Guess we’ll have to wait and see what February brings!

Fun with instruments

Reagan has always loved when James played the piano and when Grandpa Gene played the guitar, so I thought she might enjoy some musical instruments of her own.

Reagan with her new instruments!

Reagan with her new instruments!

I got Reagan the Hohner 5 Piece Toddler Music Band and it was a great investment! Reagan quickly got into the box and pulled everything out.

Checking out all the instruments!

Checking out all the instruments!

What's this?

What’s this?

James and I showed her how to *play* the different instruments and Reagan took an immediate liking to the xylophone and wave drum! James also took an immediate liking to the xylophone and showed off his awesome xylophone playing capabilities! He can play just about all of Reagan’s songs that she likes on it and is really creative with his renditions! Hopefully once Reagan gets a little older James will be able to teach her how to play the songs as well! 🙂

Self-Awareness

“Where’s Mommy” and “Where’s Daddy” are two questions we ask Reagan a lot. Usually, the other one is standing right there, and Reagan will point at them. Recently, the point has gotten to be more of a hand gesture in the general direction, followed by an immediate recoil of the hand. That means you better be paying attention or you’ll miss it.

That question is almost invariably followed up with “Where’s Reagan?” and followed by a non-response.

Today, she pointed at herself. It was one of those quick movements and we weren’t 100% sure. Additional attempts at getting her to repeat that were unsuccessful. Maybe Reagan is saying “I already answered that one, next question.” She did repeat it on other days, so our little girl is definitely aware of who Reagan is.

Pink eye

Monday morning Reagan’s eye was pretty gummy when she work up, but I didn’t think much of it and just cleaned it up with a warm wash cloth. Yet, later that day our babysitter texted me the following picture:

Poor baby!

Poor baby!

The message was that, “Reagan’s eye has been pussy all morning and it was matted shut after her nap. This is how it looks now.” As soon as I saw the picture, I called the pediatrician to see how quickly we could get Reagan in to see the doctor. Unfortunately we couldn’t get her in until Tuesday morning.

Monday night I applied (the best I could) a warm compress to Reagan’s eye and then doused it with fresh breastmilk. James and I had been doing some checking online and breastmilk has been known as a home remedy for eye irritations.

Tuesday morning Reagan’s eye looked a lot better, but James went ahead and took her to the pediatrician. The diagnosis was as we thought, a mild case of pink eye (conjunctivitis).

At the doctors

At the doctors

He prescribed some eye-drops to be given in both eyes every four hours for 24 hours. This was probably a good thing because by the time I got home Tuesday night Reagan’s left eye was looking much better and the right eye was now looking pretty bad.

My poor baby looked pretty bad, but didn’t seem to be in any pain or bothered much other than me trying to clean her eye out and apply the eye drops and breastmilk. Luckily by Wednesday morning Reagan was looking much better and seemed on the road to recovery!

Thirteen month update

Miss Reagan Kay Jones is thirteen months old!! I know it sounds crazy, but it is amazing how much Reagan has changed in the last month. It’s like a switch got flipped and Reagan’s cognitive and physical development just took off.

Pretty baby!

Here is some of what Reagan has been up to:

  • Walking: Reagan is fully walking now. She was pretty much walking last month, but was unsteady and still crawled a lot. Now Reagan isn’t crawling at all and walks everywhere she goes. She’s also much more steady and doesn’t fall nearly as much.

Walking around outside!

  • Naming things: Reagan is really good at picking out the different animals. You can be looking at a book or her animal iPad app and ask her where an animal is and she’ll point to it. Even more exotic animals like lemurs and pink flamingos! It’s actually pretty amazing how many different animals Reagan knows and how quick she is to pick them out!
  • Books: Reagan still loves her books and is getting more into the story type books. Two of her current favorites are “Little Blue Truck” and “A Children’s Treasury of Songs.” She also really likes her different lift-a-flap books.
  • Pointing at what she wants: Reagan definitely knows what she wants and is quick to point to what she wants. She’s not saying much, mostly just pointing, but we go through and name things to help her learn the names for things in the hope she’ll start using words to ask for things soon.
  • Playing: Reagan is getting much more into playing with her toys on her own. She’ll sit on the floor with her baby doll and turtle and talk to them and have them do things like feeding the baby a bottle or putting them on her rocking horse. It’s really pretty cute!
  • Being outside: We haven’t been outside much because of the icky winter weather, but there have been a few days that were nice enough to be outside and Reagan absolutely loved it! I think we’ll be hard pressed to get her indoors once spring and summer come around!
Sharing some laughs with Daddy!
  • Getting into things: As normal for a little girl her age, Reagan loves getting into things and has gotten much more proficient at it! It seems like if you turn your head for a minute she is pulling everything out of a drawer or cupboard. Then as soon as you get that one put back, she has 2-3 more emptied out. She especially loves Daddy’s socks and will pull them out and all over the place!
  • Talking: Reagan still doesn’t talk much, mostly Mamma and Dadda and the occasional other little words here and there, but lately it seems like she’s trying to say more words. Both James and I swear she said turtle the other day!
  • Nursing: Reagan is still nursing pretty much on demand. If I’m with her and she wants to nurse, then we nurse. She doesn’t nurse nearly as often as she did when she was younger, but at bedtime, nap time, need a snack time, feeling sad time, and not feeling good time she still nurses. So yes, she still nurses quite a bit! I’m also still pumping during the day while I’m at work to make sure she has Mommy Milk to drink from her sippy cup while she’s away from me.
  • Bottle: Reagan is done with the bottle. Starting on our December vacation we stopped giving her a bottle, she just nursed or had water from a sippy cup. When we got back from vacation and I went back to work, James and the baby sitter would offer her Mommy’s milk and water from a sippy cup, but no bottle. It’s now been almost a month and a half since Reagan’s had a bottle, so I’d call her officially weaned.
  • Drinking from a straw: Reagan has a secured cup that requires her to drink from a straw. It took her a little while, but this month she mastered drinking water from a straw!
  • Solid Foods: Reagan is really eating food now. In the past she would chew up her food and then spit most of it back out. Now she’s actually eating her food and seems to be enjoying it a lot. Her current favorites are corn and peas (she pops them in her mouth and eats them like candy), and pringles (one will keep her happy for quite a while). Reagan eats pretty much everything we give her and has also been enjoying meat (all types), raisins, grapes, strawberries, rice, noodles, and pizza.
Enjoying a Pringle

Enjoying a Pringle

  • Sleeping: Reagan is still sleeping pretty much the same. We have good nights and bad nights, but overall she doesn’t really wake up in the middle of the night, just makes enough noise so Mommy knows she wants to nurse. In general I’m not bothered by her not sleeping through the night and feel that she’ll sleep through the night when she’s ready. Until then we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing.

Overall Reagan is a happy baby girl that loves people. She is inquisitive and likes to check everything out and examine how things work. Her smile literally lights up her face and makes everyone around her smile as well. Reagan is also very determined and opinionated. She knows what she wants and it’s getting harder and harder to side-track her once she’s set her sights on something. She comes by that quite honestly from her Mommy and Daddy though, so I’m not that worried about it! 🙂

Fun with toilet paper!

Fun with toilet paper!

Reagan seems to be changing and learning new things every day and I can’t even imagine what she’s going to be up to by next month!

Weekend trip down south

Last Sunday (the 20th) there was a death in James’ extended family. It was his sister’s father-in-law (Benny) and as remotely related as that sounds, he was family and that’s all that mattered. Also, strangely enough, we’d just seen Benny and his wife Jolene less than a month ago when we stopped by their house in Marion, IL on our way home from Florida. To pay our respects to Benny and support James’ Sister and her family, we drove down to Marion Friday night so we could be there for the Memorial Service on Saturday morning.

Friday we got to Marion early enough that we stopped by Benny and Jolene’s home to visit and see family. It was nice to see everyone (especially the new baby) and Reagan enjoyed getting to see her cousins and burn off some energy!

Mommy, Reagan, and baby Torunn

Mommy, Reagan, and baby Torunn

Saturday morning we met everyone at Cracker Barrel for breakfast and then to the Funeral Home for the memorial and celebration of life. It was well attended by those who knew and loved Benny and there were some touching tributes to him by Tom (James’ brother-in-law) and Bob (James’ uncle). The two little ones under two (who could walk) were a little antsy and were moving around during the service so Uncle James picked them up and stood with them in the back of the room.

James with Reagan and his great-nephew Ridley!

James with Reagan and his great-nephew Ridley!

Afterwards we stayed for a little bit talking with and seeing family we hadn’t had a chance to catch up with yet. It was sad and yet good to be with everyone.

Reagan and Grandpa Gene

Reagan and Grandpa Gene

Reagan checking things out!

Reagan checking things out!

Afterwards most of James’ side of the family went to Cracker Barrel for lunch, but we took off on an adventure. Since we were this far South and had a little time to spare, James wanted to go through as many southern counties as possible. We are on a quest to have Reagan visit every county in Illinois, so this was a great opportunity to add to her count!

We meandered over and around the south-west counties of Illinois, briefly heading into Missouri to visit Lambert’s Cafe in Sikeston.

Time to eat!

Time to eat!

Reagan checking out one of Lambert's famous "throwed rolls"

Reagan checking out one of Lambert’s famous “throwed rolls”

Reagan seemed to enjoy the atmosphere and the food at Lambert’s, but what she really liked was feeding Daddy his food! It was pretty cute and James did a good job playing along!

Eating some corn!

Eating some corn!

Feeding Daddy

Feeding Daddy

Reagan and Daddy having a good time!

Reagan and Daddy having a good time!

After eating, we got back on the road and also briefly stopped at Boomland, which advertises that it has something for everyone. I’d never been to a Boomland before, so I was interested to check it out.  And so did it deliver? Yes, I would say there really was something for everyone and we didn’t even get through the whole store/complex! It had collectibles and figurines for every holiday, hobby, fetish, and everything in between.

Reagan checking things out in Boomland!

Reagan checking out all the stuff in Boomland!

When we finally meandered out of Missouri and back over the river into Illinois, we happen to cross at Chester, IL, home of Popeye!

Welcome to Chester!

Welcome to Chester!

Checking out Popeye!

Checking out Popeye!

Looking at the sunset over the river!

Looking at the sunset over the river!

Even with everything we crammed into Saturday, we still managed to make it home that night! It was a long day and Reagan wasn’t always the most cooperative little traveler, but overall even with the memorial it was still a good day.

Twelve/Thirteen month Checkup

We were a little late with Reagan’s twelve month check up. So late in fact, she was three days away from being thirteen months!! Overall Reagan was deemed healthy and even though she didn’t gain much weight or grow that taller from her nine month check up.

Waiting for the Doctor with Daddy!

Waiting for the Doctor with Daddy!

Here’s a run down of how well Reagan is meeting her development milestones for 12 (13) months:

Physical and Motor Skills

  • Weight: Reagan should have tripled her birth weight by one year. Reagan’s birth weight was 7lbs 8oz. Tripling her birth weight would mean she would need to weigh at least 22lbs 8oz. At this check-up she was 23lbs 9oz, so she was all good on weight
  • Growth: Reagan should have grown to 50% over birth length: Reagan’s birth length was 20 5/8 inches. Adding 50% of her birth length to this would be 30 15/16 inches. At this check-up she was 29 3/4 inches, so a little shy of the full 50%, but not by much. Also, I’m not sure how accurate their height measurements are because they have Reagan laying down when she does them.
  • Teeth: Reagan should have one to eight teeth. Reagan has a mouthful of teeth! She has her top (4) and bottom (4) front teeth and at least 4-6 additional top and bottom back teeth.
  • Standing: Reagan should be able to pull herself up from standing. Reagan has been doing this for quite some time and has no problem with it.
  • Walking: Reagan should be able to walk with help or alone. Reagan is fully walking on her own and has been since right after her first birthday.
  • Sitting Down: Reagan should be able to sit down without help. Reagan has no problem sitting down without help.
  • Banging two blocks: Reagan should be able to bang two blocks together and has been doing this for the last few months.
  • Flipping through books: Reagan should be able to flip through the pages of a book by flipping many pages at a time. Reagan is definitely doing this and has been for at least 1-2 months.
  • Have a pincer grasp: Reagan should and has had a pincher grasp since around 10 months.
  • Sleep: Reagan should sleep 8-10 hours a night and take one to two naps. Reagan normally does the 1-2 naps and depending on the night gets anywhere from 10-11 hours of sleep. This might be slightly higher than normal, but given that she still nurses on and off during the night, I think it’s probably fine.
Reagan exploring and checking things out in the doctors office

Reagan exploring and checking things out in the doctors office

Sensory and Cognitive Development

  • Follows a fast moving object: Reagan absolutely does this! She loves following balls when they are thrown or kicked!
  • Can respond to sounds: Reagan will respond when she hears sounds, especially her Daddy playing the Piano!
  • Responds to her name: Reagan knows her name and will look at your or stop when she’s doing when you say her name.
  • Understands several words: I think Reagan understands a lot more than several words. She knows Mommy, Daddy, Brandy (babysitter), Grandpa, Grandma, Bath, Pringle, Deer, Dog, Kitty, Duck, Turtle, Baby, iPad, and the list goes on and on.
  • Can say Mamma, Pappa, and at least one or two other words: Reagan (when she wants to) can say Mamma, Dadda, Grandpa, Grandma, Turtle, and possibly a few other words. The problem is she only says them when SHE wants to say them, not when you ask her to say them! She also masters how to say something and then stops doing it like she’s bored with it.
  • Understands simple commands: Reagan can definitely understand when you ask her to take something to someone, to pick something up and bring it to you, and basic things like this.
  • Tries to imitate animal sounds: Reagan seems to imitate some of the animal sounds from the iPad, but they’re not that clear.
  • Connects names with objects: If you ask Reagan to pick up the turtle, she knows what the turtle is and will go pick it up. She will do the same thing for a number of other toys, book, etc. She is also really good about knowing and being able to pick out the different animals when she sees them in her books and on the iPad.
  • Understands object constancy: Reagan will look for things if you’ve tried to hide them from her. She definitely knows they still exist!
  • Points to objects with index finger: Reagan points at EVERYTHING. Normally she uses more than just her index finger, but she can and occasionally does point with just her index finger.
  • Waves bye: Reagan has been waving bye bye and blowing kisses for a couple of months or so.
  • Experiences separation anxiety: Luckily it hasn’t gotten that bad, but Reagan definitely realizes when Mommy or Daddy leaves and can sometimes get a little upset over it.
  • Makes brief journeys away from parents to explore in familiar settings: Heck yes! Reagan has no problem going off and exploring things on her own!
Sitting with Mommy while we wait for the Doctor

Sitting with Mommy while we wait for the Doctor

Below is Reagan’s length and weight growth since birth:

Length

  • 29 3/4 inch (13 months)
  • 29 1/8 inch (9 months)
  • 27  3/4 inches (6 months)
  • 26 inches (4 months)
  • 24 5/8 inches (2 months)
  • 20 5/8 inches (birth)

Weight

  • 23 lbs 9.4 oz (13 months)
  • 22 lbs 3.4 oz (9 months)
  • 20 lbs 0.64 oz (6 months)
  • 18 lbs 4 oz (4 months)
  • 13 lbs 13.8 oz (2 months)
  • 7lbs 8 oz (birth)

When talking with the doctor he seemed happy with how Reagan is doing and wasn’t concerned with her growth slowing down. He said it was normal for a breastfed baby to grow quickly and then slow down, especially once they start walking and becoming so active. He was pretty impressed that Reagan is completely weaned from the bottle and eating solids (and so many types so well). He also said she was advanced in her ability to pick out (know) so many different animals.

We finished the visit with 3 shots. Reagan cried when it happened, but calmed down as soon as I was able to pick her back up. In fact, she threw a bigger screaming fit when we got her dressed than she did when she got her shots!! I guess a certain little girl is definitely starting to take after her Daddy!

Day off

Monday James and I had the day off from work, so we relaxed and hung out around the house. Well, relaxed as much as you can with a busy 13 month old little girl getting into everything!

Checking out her handiwork!

Checking out her handiwork!

Reagan thinks it's great fun to thrown everything into the bathtub!

Reagan thinks it’s great fun to thrown everything into the bathtub!

Other than getting into everything and throwing her toys into the bathtub, Reagan also spent some time cuddled up with Daddy reading books!

Pointing at animals in her book!

Pointing at animals in her book!

Having a good time reading with Daddy!

Having a good time reading with Daddy!

It was a nice day, but not nearly long enough!!

Rocking horse

It finally happened…. Reagan finally realized how much fun her rocking horse is!!

Having fun on her rocking horse!

Having fun on her rocking horse!

Thank you Grandpa Gene and Grandma Alice!!