Getting bigger

Mirah... almost 17 months!

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Mirah, my sweet, again I am behind. Such is life these days. We have been very busy. Momma is growing her business. Daddy is teaching and finishing up his dissertation. You, my girl, have been up to a lot as well. Off the top of my head, here is what you have been up to....

1. Communication! Every day you say a new word. Here are the words (or alleged) words we have heard from you:

Dada, Mama, Daddy, Apple (favorite word alert!), Uh-oh (it’s ridiculously cute when your own child says it),
Birds = “-ds”
Avocado = cada cado ...favorite food
Grandma = gamma
Up = Uu (with a very slight “p”)
Out = Ow (no real “t” yet)
Hi = Hi ( with an almost silent H)
Audrey her bff = Di-Di

I really need to go to bed so I am going to finish this later. I promise.

Ok, I’m back! More words for Mirah...

Bubble
Cracker
Kroll
Car
Owl
Cheese
Agua
Water (wa wa)
Yogurt (sounds more like Go-Gurt)

2. Toddler Fasting. With all this talking it seems that eating has gone to the way side. Right now the only two things you will reliably eat....... chicken nuggets and fish sticks. Not exactly what I had envisioned when I dreamed of what a wonderful parent I would be. Oh well, I’m sure this will pass too. In the meantime I will keep giving you wonderful fruits and vegetables with the hopes that one day you will venture out and try something new. Let me tell you, you WANT to try mango. It’s pretty much one of the best things to eat... ever.

3. Dancy-Dance! You love your microphone that plays music. It instantly puts you in a dancey dance mood. You have two main dance moves: 1. the sway 2. the spin (you walk in a circle for what’s gotta be an uncomfortably long time). The best part about ‘the spin’ is that you put a very serious look on your face. It must require a great deal of concentration to keep going in those perfect circles.

4. Potty Fascination. You really have no idea what the potty is all about, but you love to have us take your diaper off so that you can sit on it for about.... two to three seconds. We humor you and try to explain to you (with really bad parent-ese what the potty is all about). We hope to get you your own potty soon, although you look really cute when I hold you over the big potty.

5. Toothbrushing. Not your Favorite. Mama’s patience has been really tested with this one, Mirah. Long story short (although I know it won’t be short)... Daddy and I thought your teeth looked yellowish a couple weeks ago. I asked some mama’s friends about it and some suggestions were to brush more times per day (up to 3) and go in to see a dentist. We did both. The extra brushing really helped because when the dentist looked at your teeth, gleaming white pearls shone back up at him. I was both embarrassed and proud. The 3x/day brushing routine is not working so well anymore. The novelty of the electric toothbrush has worn off and you really just want to suck the toothpaste directly out of the tube. Or you want to try to put the cap back on(more on the later). In the evenings at your last brushing, I try to intervene a bit to make sure you are actually getting your teeth cleaned off. This has turned disastrous. I usually just take a thin wash cloth and go in for a quick swipe. Or more accurately now, I go in for a quick painful chomp on the finger. Ouch. Neither of us is happy with this situation, so I think I will give a rest for a while.

6. Lids. Caps. Oh, they are THE BEST! However, don’t you DARE actually put them on anything MOM! Mirah, right now you are fascinated with lids and caps. You will play half the morning with a sippy cup and its lid. You try and try and try to put it on the cup, but because you don’t know about the “twist” part, you never actually get it on. I have made the mistake of showing you how to twist the lid on and the result is a m-e-l-t-d-o-w-n! I guess if the lid is to go on, you are the one to do it (even if you don’t know how yet).

7. Climbing. Running. Laughing. You are a very silly girl, Mirah. Daddy and I have so much fun playing around with you. You always have something fun (and oftentimes funn-y) up your sleeve. Just recently you have figured out how to crawl up on to the sofa. You beam with pride, get down, and do it again. Ah, the pleasures of accomplishment. You also love to run, especially AWAY from us. Of course you think it’s funny and Dad doesn’t help the situation by pretending to be a monster chasing you! As of now, I’m still faster than you, but if and when you become faster than me.... You’ll be in time out. Yep. I’m the strict one apparently. That is becoming more evident every day.

I need to take some time to relax tonight, so I am going to end there. I am hoping to make smaller posts more often. Even if it’s just a quick list of things I want to remember.

I love you, love you, LOVE YOU, Mirah!

xo,
Mommy

13 months old, 14 months old, 15 months! Oh My!

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It's been so long since I've written that you are now 15 months and I haven't given an update since you were freshly one. I started this post on the 24th of April and I'm finishing it today, the 5th of May.

These past months have been quite busy. Here's what you are up to now:

1. Birds! Or as you call them, "dssss" Mirah, you are an avid bird watcher, hunter, chaser, and scream at-er. You love birds so much that when we are at the park and a bird flies by you will stop whatever you were doing to watch it soar and then land. You've gotten pretty good at sneaking up on them too. I think it must be partly due to your low to the ground stature, but they hang around for awhile before flying off and many times you get pretty close to them. You like to holler to them to like you are saying "hey bird! hey bird! stay there! I'll be right there!

2. Walking backwards, running forward fast! You do this really adorable thing right now where you walk backwards, get a big grin on your face, and then RUN really fast forward. I think that you think you are fooling us in someway. You're thinking something like, "my parents think I am going to keep walking backwards, but wait until they see what I have planned, " and then you dart forward at super toddler speed.

3. Speaking of super toddler speed, there seems to be a little cat and mouse game going on around this house. Whenever Mommy wants to put on your shoes or change your diaper you make a mad dash away as fast as you can. I chase you, but I try not to make it too much fun because then you are going to run away from me even more! I have to say You + Running = Really cute! Although I'm sure when you actually get faster than me, I won't thinks it's so cute.

4. Teeth and food. Ugh. Ugh. Triple ugh. You have ten teeth now. The top two middle front ones; the bottom middle four front, and four molars. Surprisingly the molars didn't cause you much trouble. Recently, though, something was going on. I saw a tiny speck on white on top the other morning and so I think it's another top front one coming in. Anyway, the reason why I bring it up is because you really worried Mommy this last time around because you basically stopped eating anything of nutritional value for about two weeks. Or if you did eat something it had to be pureed and you HAD to eat it with your hands. What a mess! I tried to discourage this eating behavior until you stopped eating altogether and I got desperate. I mean a girl really shouldn't try to survive on crackers alone! Things have gotten MUCH BETTER the past few days. The first night you ate something green again I was so happy and relieved I almost cried with joy.

5. Tiny Eyes! You like to make this really silly face lately where you squint your eyes up really tiny and smile! It reminds me of pictures I've seen of Daddy when he was little! Even cuter, is that we can prompt you to make the face by saying," Mirah... Tiny Eyes!"

6. Sleep, glorious sleep, glorious sleep!!!!! I really never thought I would get good sleep again. Granted my definition of "good sleep" will never be what it used to be, but these days you are an amazing sleeper. Many if not most nights you sleep through the WHOLE night!!!! It's quite exciting! However, occasionally there is any unfortunate caveat and you decide that 5am is a great time to get up for the day. Luckily it doesn't happen often. Also, wonderful in the world of sleep is that you now only take one nap, but it typically is over two hours long, sometimes you even make it three hours. Since Mommy has to try to work while you sleep, this recent occurrence is MUCH appreciated.

7. Nanny share. Last week we got you set up with some regular babysitting time. You and your buddy Audrey share the same babysitter two times a week. It's Audrey's babysitter really, but she is sharing her with you. Audrey's mom and I are really excited about this because we think that you and Audrey are going to have some good times together. On your first day with the new sitter, Jenn, something totally adorable happened. Since Audrey was really young her parents have helped her learn how to use the potty and now at 15 months she is pretty good at it. Therefore, when Jenn was babysitting the two of you, she sat you (who has yet to touch your heiny to a potty) down on the potty. She said you just looked up at her like, "what's this all about." And then Audrey says to you, "psssssss." HA! That is so cute! You two are going to teach each other so much.

8. Da-ddy! Yep, Daddy taught you how to say it and he is very pleased with himself.

9. My own little Co-Pilot. Mama has a new bike with a very special new seat on the back. A seat for YOU! We went for our first real bike ride today. I think you really liked it. You fought the helmet at first, but now I think you realize it's just part of the experience and it's worth the hassle. Plus, mom has a dorky helmet on too! The things you do in order to be a good role model.

10. A pat on the back for Mom and Dad. We love this! When you give us hugs you now also give us a little pat on the back. So sweet and just what we need!

11. Brush your own teeth with an electric toothbrush nonetheless! Mama got you a special electric toothbrush in order to entice you to brush. So far, so good. You love it, but it's very important that you do it YOURSELF. No help allowed.


1 year old Big Girl Mirah

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Mirah, Mirah, Mirah....

My oh my what a big girl you are becoming. Here's a summary of what you are doing these days....

1. Walking Professional. It's incredible what kind of determination you have. The day you started walking, I mean REALLY walking, was quite a sight. I could see it in your eye that you had made the decision to become a walker. It didn't matter how many times you toppled over you kept getting back up and within hours you were moving from room to room on your own two feet. These days you are right at our heels following Daddy and I around the house. You love to go from room to room to room. And sometimes you just walk circles around the room just because you can. You, as a walking girl, is so amazingly cute. I love it. I especially love to see you come around the corner. I play a little game with you where I go into another room and call to you, "Mirah come here. Come see what Mommy's doing" just so that I can see how cute you are as you walk into the room to see me. It's a simple pleasure, but it makes me smile.

2. Vegetables..... BACK ON! Yes! This one makes me very happy. You were sick all last week and we had to ban you from dairy which happens to be your favorite food group. Before you got sick you were so into cheese and yogurt (ultimate fave) that I could not get you to eat much of anything else. It was starting to worry me a bit. During sick week you ate only bread and bananas since you were banned from dairy and I didn't think you'd actually eat a vegetable. A happy result has followed from the dairy ban. You LOVE vegetables again. I can give you green food, orange food, all sorts of wonderful colors and you eat it right up. Yes. You're still sticking with the pureed stuff, but as long as it gets to your tummy, I'm happy. I think you may have forgotten about ______(rhymes with go-gurt). I told Dad that I think you will need a nice long break from it so that you can realize all the other good food in the world. Horray for peas!

3. Queen of the Protest. Also known as Baby Houdini. You're a gal on a mission these days and anyone who stands in your way will, well, be really tired. That's Mommy these days. Tired. Why? Well, let's see. When I try to do reasonable things like change your dirty diaper or put clothes on you, you turn into Baby Houdini Protest Queen. You have figured out how to contort your body (especially your shoulders) so that it's nearly impossible to hold you. I mean where DO your shoulders go? They are virtually non-existent and you slip right through my grasp. Add a little lotion after a bath and I've got a 20 minute slippery wrestling match. I realize that you are protesting to show me that you have your own intentions and wishes. I understand that and I appreciate your need for independence. The problem is that you really can't go all day with a dirty diaper and leaving the house naked is just not an option. I will continue to work with you on your new found need for independence, but you gotta cut me some slack, too. Go with the flow little pumpkin. I promise I'll let you have plenty of fun in our non-diaper changing time.

4. Put things in. Take them out. Repeat. I have been waiting for you to take an interest in the whole container in and out thing. It's great because you have a lot of fun emptying out the tupperware drawer and dropping your toys in there. Meanwhile, I might actually get lunch made or something. Sometimes when I am drying my hair or putting on makeup in the bathroom you hang out with me and just empty out the bottom drawer. Don't worry, Grandmas, I took out all the razors and dangerous stuff. You make quite a mess, but if I can get my hair dry, I'm willing to pick it all up.

5. Sharing. Today you learned something very nice with Daddy. You learned how to share. Recently you have been bringing things to us to show us, but then you keep them in your hands. I think that maybe you didn't realize that we were asking you to let it go. Today you got it and you starting taking blocks out of the box and handing them to Dad. He was very excited and so you handed him all of the blocks. Very sweet, Mirah.

6. Books. Your favorite "toy" of the moment. You love to take them off the shelf and bring them out into middle of the room and flip through the pages and pretend to read to yourself. It really doesn't get much cuter than that. Especially when you read the book upside down. There is one book that you find extremely hilarious. It's a small photo album book with pictures of your family. Sometimes I hear laughing to yourself and I find you flipping through the pages looking at your grandparents and aunties and uncles. I think it's because you are beginning to make the connection between the picture and the person. Not sure what's so funny, but I'm sure you've got your own private jokes with them or something.

7. Laughing. You laugh at us a lot, too. Which in turns makes us laugh and then makes you laugh harder and then us and so on. Daddy, of course, can really get you going because he does really loud laughing noises and well, they are pretty funny.

8. Sleep. Getting better. We're trying to teach you to put yourself to sleep. We have to be really patient, but after about a 1/2 hour of you bouncing around your crib you flop yourself down and go to sleep. All without crying. At this point we have to stand there and watch the whole event, but eventually we hope you'll do it without an audience. A work in progress, as usual.

9. 6 teeth. Two on top and four on bottom. I have a feeling that you have another top one it's way though due to the 20 minute crying spree yesterday and the day before. Teeth are a pain.... for all of us.


So, my big girl, that's a taste of what life is like with you these days. Exciting, challenging, and ultimately wonderful. We love you so much. Thanks for being our girl.

xo,
Mommy

Happy 1st Birthday Mirah!!!!

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Wow. What a birthday. It turned out that we celebrated much differently than we had planned, but it worked out nonetheless. A few days before Mirah's birthday party she got sick. We had a full on Vomit-a-thon. Daddy was puked on. Mommy was puked on. Fun. Poor little Mirah. Next up the "D". I can't even say the word I've seen so much of it lately. Uck. After a couple days of that, things started looking up and that all would be well for the 3-girl birthday party (cupcakes, sing-along, pretty dresses...etc). On the night before the party, the mean tummy bug attacked Nick and I. I spent the night heaving and scaring the living daylights out of Mirah. Nick, well, he had the other component. It was a rough, rough night for all of us. Being sick + being a parent = Really, really difficult. I mean....vomit, nurse, vomit. WHAT?! So we made it to Saturday and we felt much better. Nick and I were determined to not let Mirah miss her party. We had an ethical dilemma, however. Should we go to the party, pretend to be well, and risk getting the other kids and parents sick? Well, of course we couldn't. So we stayed home. Initially I got a little choked up about missing the party, but then I realized we could still have a nice day together. AND WE REALLY DID! It was quite simple. Nick and I laid on the couch and watched Mirah run around the house. We watched a movie while she napped. Then the three of us cuddled up on the couch and had some chicken noodle soup, bread and goldfish crackers. (Mirah had a lot more goldfish crackers than I would normally allow, pretty much half the bag). At one point, Nick and I looked at each other and Nick said, "Well, aren't we just the 3 amigos." At that moment it was apparent how much a part of our life little Mirah had become. She was truly one of us. I mean, I guess by definition she always has been, but we could really feel it at that moment. I loved that day.

The next day was Mirah's actual birthday. By now, we were all feeling almost normal. We continued to take it easy and only ventured out for a nice walk in the sunshine. It was a particularly warm day. That was nice. Our friends brought over cupcakes from the party the day before. Mirah opened gifts, although she was clearly tired and didn't have the enthusiasm you'd normally see from her. We sang happy birthday. She was confused by the candle and the tiny cupcake, but she tried it. Eh, she thought. (We'll enjoy something sweet and decadent soon when she's 100%). Mirah talked to her grandparents and aunties and uncles on Skype after that. The whole process took over an hour. It's amazing that she had it in her. Overall, the weekend was a success. We all felt good that we were able to spend so much quality time together celebrating our collective achievement of getting Mirah to 1!!

more photos in the gallery page.

Update

I have to announce that Mirah has now walked across an entire room! Her bedroom! Yay, Mirah!

Also, I forgot to mention on the last post, that her peek-a-booing has evolved. She now will hold a blanket, hankerchief, shirt...etc. in front of her face and when we say, "Where's Mirah?" She pulls it away!!! We love it.

Happy 11 months, Mirah!

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Mirah,

Time is going too fast. You're almost 1 now and I haven't even mentioned your 11 month milestones!!

Here's what you've been doing recently....

1. Drum roll please!!!!! You are WALKING!!! Yep. It's been a long time in the making, but you are now moving yourself from place to place on your own two feet. You haven't exactly crossed an entire room yet, but you're regularly going about 8-10 steps at a time. Needless to say, your parents are very proud.

2. Eating much more finger foods. Over the holiday vacation in North Dakota you became very good at feeding yourself. You love bananas, cheese, bread (fave), Great Grandma Gunlikson's meatballs and potatoes, and various types of meat crumbles such as sausage, ground turkey, and ground beef. You still prefer most of your vegetables pureed. You are funny about food preparation. You will gnaw on an apple, but refuse applesauce made with the exact same pureed apples. You love pureed carrots, but you scoff at the mini cooked carrots. I guess they seem like different things when prepared in different ways. *Edit* I guess you don't like carrots in ANY form. At least this week anyway.

3. Tooth number five in! You now have 2 on top and 3 on bottom. I believe the sixth is about ready to show itself because your night sleep has been a little more interrupted these past two weeks.

4. And so we must talk about the inevitable---- sleep. I've been trying some new things with you lately at bedtime. I'm trying to teach you to put yourself to sleep without being rocked. I am attempting to do this with little to no crying. I'll let you know how it goes.

5. You drink from a cup like a big girl. That is with no sippy spout, just a plain old cup. I think you are actually more effective when you drink from a cup, too. Sometimes with a sippy you get kinda playful and end up spitting out most of the water.

6. You're cool with a babysitter. Since we don't have family in town and we are on a strict budget, we haven't had you in daycare or even had a babysitter. Over the break you spent a lot of time alone with your grandparents and you got used to being away from mom and dad for short periods of time. Just this week I decided that I needed to do something special for myself and so I got a gym membership. Babysitting is included. YES! And to my utter joy, you are okay with hanging out in the babysitting room while I get some exercise. Wow. It's pretty much changed my life. So thank you, my dear, for being so adaptable. Mommy really appreciates it.

One little side note, today we had a special Mommy and Mirah moment. You were tired and almost ready for a nap, but not quite there yet. So we sat down in the rocker and read/sang "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and "Hush Little Baby" together. You were so nice and calm that you just rested your head on my shoulder and I sang. Periodically you would lift your head up just to look at me and then lie in back down to take in the song. What a great moment together. Thanks for giving me that.

I need to go rest for a bit, while you nap. See your smiling eyes soon, but not TOO soon. (hehehehe).

love you my sweet M,
Mommy



Happy 10 months Mirah!


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Hey sweetie pumpkin,

You are now 10 months old. We better do our monthly recap of what you've been up to....

1. Sleep. Yes. Still good. You go 8 hours now, wake up for a snack, and then back to bed. Theoretically you don't even need the snack, but I am not ready to close the all night diner just yet.

2. Eating. You are still a puree food girl. With the exception of cheerios, or Miriohs as Dad calls them, you still like to have your food blended. I usually offer you tidbits of whatever I've pureed for you so that you have the chance to feed some to yourself. This morning you had a couple bits of chicken sausage and you seemed to really like it.

3. Diaper Change= worse possible thing to occur in all possible worlds! Ironically this used to be one of your favorite things. Before you could roll over and crawl away you loved these moments of one-on-one with Mom or Dad. We enjoyed it too, because to be honest the task at hand was not always that pleasant. It helped to have sweet smiles while we changed you out of your stinkies. Now, things are different. As a prep for a diaper change I attempt to find you something interesting, something that you will think is so great that you won't realize the horrible "torture" you are experiencing. At this point, though, nothing is interesting enough. As soon as the back of your head touches the changing pad...meltdown.

4. Future Bronc rider? You've always had this really unique expression that you make when you are excited about something. It's hard to explain, but you kinda tighten you lips and start to bounce around. Recently you've been doing this a lot while we are holding you on our hip and you added a leg kick to it so that you look like your riding a bucking bronco. Awesome.

5. Music LOVER! Dad has been playing guitar for you a lot these days. As soon as the guitar comes out you get that excited look and scoot yourself as fast as you can up to him. You love to strum the strings. We've started a music group with some other parents and babes. It's pretty fantastic and I feel so fortunate to provide you with such a great experience. I really want to learn the guitar now so that I can sing and play music with you too. You know, we're totally going to have a family band soon!

6. Peek-a-Boo. You have now learned to be the Peek-a-booer. When we're in the kitchen together and you are in the Pack' n Play you will duck your head down so that I can't see you (mama: "Where's Mirah?) and then pop up again, when of course I excitedly say, "Oh, there she is!" If this game is allowing me to cook dinner then I am willing to play endlessly.

7. Mama's girl. This one is great, but can be exhausting. You pretty much want to be near me all the time. Luckily I have a great carrier where you can hang out on my back and I can do somethings around the house while you chill like my little baby monkey.

8. Cuddles. You like to rest your head on Mom or Dad's shoulder occasionally and give us little cuddle hugs throughout the day. It's very nice. I think you should give a few more to Daddy, though. He really likes 'em and this whole Mama's girl thing is difficult for him:)!

Well, honey, I need to wrap this up. It's been a very busy month. You're continuously growing and learning. Daddy and Mommy have been working hard on their endeavors, too. Things are heading in a good direction. We love you so much, big 10 month old girl.

xo,
Mommy

Happy 9 Months, Sweet Pea!!

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Well, pumpkin, you are now 9 months old. And what a busy past month this has been. Here's an update:

1. Crawling at record speeds! You are so fast that I think we might need to post speed limit signs around here! You crawl from room to room now and require constant supervision. Sometimes in the mornings it's like Dad and I are playing Mirah-tag about who's turn it is to keep an eye on you. "You're it. watch her. I need to do this or that." Which leads me to my next point...

2. YOU LOVE ELECTRICAL CORDS, OUTLETS, AND ANYTHING POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS. I don't know maybe you just like to live on the edge, but you definitely are drawn to danger. I hope you grow out of this before you start liking boys. I really don't want to have to have the "you are not allowed to date a motorcycle driving 20 year old when you are only 16" talk. Oh please, Mirah, don't do that to Mommy.

3. You learned the art of protest. I am not talking political protest here. Nope. Just your regular day-to-day "I don't want to do that, mom" protest. First of all, I was under the impression you would not discover this manner of communication until you were a toddler. Wrong. It started with getting into the car seat. When I go to put you in your whole body gets tense and you scream in protest. Ugh. Sometimes I desperately hand you something to distract you just so I can get you buckled in. One problem.... your favorite distraction is my car keys. This would not be a problem if I didn't need them to drive the car (the whole reason you have to get in the car seat in the first place). I might have to get you your own set of keys to the car. I've already tried giving you toys keys. You are not fooled.

4. You are experimenting with volume. I love this one. No, I really do. Sometimes when we are out and about you engage in a very boisterous conversation with yourself. It's really loud and gets everyone's attention. I love it because you always have this look on your face like you are making some big proclamation. People stop and take notice. You are very effective.

5. You are practicing standing alone. Just this week you have been very much interested in pulling yourself up to standing. On a few occasions you have even let go for a few seconds. Dad thinks you are getting too big, too fast, and you should hold on just a little bit longer!

6. You have been saying "Dada" for a few weeks now and you know who gets REALLY excited about it and jumps up and down and points at himself when you say it. I admit, I am excited too. The other day we did a little experiment with you. I was playing with you in your play area across from the living room. Dad was in the living room. As you played with your toys I asked you, "where's dada?" And you immediately looked across the room at dad. Very cool. Being college graduates, we knew that we could not conclude anything based on that one instance. Therefore, we aimed to replicate the experiment and you, my dear, looked at Daddy every time I asked you "where's dada." Genius, pure genius.

7. You are branching out with food. Now you will eat and sometimes even enjoy bananas and avocados! Yay! I am happy about this because these two foods were the ones that turned you against ALL food for a week back when you were around 6 months. The most recent and exciting discovery has been cheerios. Not the honey nut kind that Uncle Mike and Grandpa Bill eat EVERY morning, but the plain kind. I am not sure how many you actually eat, but you love to pick them up and bring them your mouth.

8. You are sleeping better now because your two top teeth are now IN! Whew! You still get up once a night, but that is a honeymoon compared to what you were doing when they were coming in. Maybe you could just stop at 4 teeth. I think that's enough, right?

Well, sweetie pie, you are 3/4 of a year old and you have now been on the outside as long as you were on the inside. I hope you like it out here. I think you do. Somedays when I am really tired I think back to when you were just moving around inside my tummy and I laugh because I had no idea what work it would take to be a parent, but then again, I had no idea what joy your little laugh would bring to me, either.

I love you, Mirah.

~Mommy

Happy 8th months, Mirah Belle!!!


Hi Sweetie Pie,

You're napping now so I'm going to frantically try to get this post done. Wow. You are 8 months old. I just read what you were doing at 7 months and it seems like that was an eternity ago. Here's a recap of what's transpired since then and what's in the near future:

1. You sit up in your crib. I still remember the first time you did this. Daddy had put you down for your morning nap. We could hear you rustling around in your room suggesting that you were awake. He took a peek in to check and quickly he said to me, "you gotta see this..." I looked in and there you were just sitting up in your crib looking around. I could tell you were excited about your new found ability to get yourself up. I loved it so much that I got really excited and you kinda gave me the "I know it's cool, but, geez ma you it's not THAT big of a deal" look. Now it's a common occurrence to go into your room and find you just sitting there doing your baby thing.

2. Here's a big milestone- YOU ARE CRAWLING!!!!! It's been a long road and we've seen how determined you are. You stuck with it and now, girl, you're a mover. It was such an interesting process to watch. You had been looking like you wanted to move for some time. And you had some pretty interesting solutions. At one point you put together a series of rolls, pivots, and dives to get yourself somewhere (not sure if it was where you intended to go). Then your arms started to play an important role. The only problem was that they were pushing you backwards and away from your sought-after destination. This frustrated you. And you were not happy to find yourself halfway under the couch when all you wanted to do was get to your maraca. Before we left for Seattle you had made a couple tiny moves forward, but I'd say you hadn't gone any more that 12 inches with your left knee, right knee combination. It was clear though the you were getting it. Then one day I could see in your eyes that you had decided you were a mover. Your maraca was across the room. You REALLY wanted it. You were going to get it. Off you went. One leg (i think it was your right) was more dominant in the movements. The other just kinda came along for the ride. You looked a bit like a wounded soldier crawling across the battlefield, but with baby Bambi-like wobbliness. You stuck with it and soon you had the maraca in your hand. Way to go, M! Here's a pic showing you right after you made your big jaunt...

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3. More teeth on the way. Yep, the two top ones are almost here. I can see them just under the surface. And oh, do we feel for you. It's obviously quite painful. These past few days you really seem to be feeling them. The last time your teeth were coming in I got no sleep because I was up all night with you in your room wondering why suddenly you forgot how to sleep. This time around I have a better understanding of what's going on. Daddy and I don't like to see you suffer so we comfort you the best we can. On the bad nights we cuddle you up with us in our bed. Then we all get some rest. It seems to be going much better this time around. I am so excited for you to get these top teeth. Way too cute!

4. You like books, but only certain ones. I know them well and we read them over and over again. Most I don't even need to look at anymore because I have them memorized. For my sake, I try to sneak in a new one every once in a while to mix it up, but you catch on and protest. If it's not one of your usuals I can't even get past page 2. You tend to like the ones that I sing or the ones in which there is something to touch. That is, with one exception....Good Night Moon. You love this book. I read it to you almost every night and you sit through the whole thing. Sometimes I read it more than once and you are still mesmerized. I don't know what it is, but it is a gem.

5. You love music. It always seems to lift your spirits. I realized yesterday that I need to make sure I give you a good dose of music everyday since you love it so much. Recently I've been caught up in the election and the all the other issues going on that I have been subjecting you to a lot of NPR. I know, you're mom is kind of a nerd. I'm hoping though, that I might be expanding your vocabulary and teaching you the values of intellectual discourse (ok, total nerd).

You are clearly an active participant in this world, little Mirah. Daddy and I realize this. Everyday we are trying our hardest to be the best parents that we can be for you. Unfortunately, though, we aren't perfect. You will find out later that not everyone has such a hard time finding their keys, or wallet, or cell phone. With all of our imperfections, though, we hope that you will also realize how incredibly much we love you.

Cheers to another great month with you, my girl.

xo,

Mommy

Happy 7 months, Mirah!!!


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Little Miss M,

Well, well, well Missy. You are seven months old now. And of course, you are the embodiment of change. In the past month you have done this......

1. Started using a sippy cup. Daddy and I think you are extra talented with the sippy cup because we know babies much (well, months) older that aren't able to hold their own cup and drink. Is drinking from a sippy cup an Olympic event? Because we think we you could be a champion.

2. Food... back on!!! Yes! All it took was the introduction of sweet potatoes and you were a solid food girl again. Then you tried peas, pears, apples, and carrots. All were deemed acceptable. I am relieved. I think the texture of the bananas and avocado threw you off. I'm going to try making some food for you now. I will make sure to blend it to princess levels of smoothness.

3. You sit like a pro now. I don't even have to surround you with pillows anymore. Occasionally you lose your balance, but you've figured out how to tuck your shoulder and roll. Pretty smooth, Mirah. I LOVE the sitting ability. It has given me new freedom. I can put you on your blanket with some toys and voila! I can maybe cut up an apple or something. I am enjoying this stage as much as I can because I know that you don't plan on being immobile for long. That brings me to your next new skill...

4. Getting up on your hands and knees and sometimes all fours! The hands and knees thing started when you realized you could rock forward from sitting. Daddy and mommy helped you with this by putting your favorite toys juuuuust out of reach. I wish I could explain in words the look you got on your face when you saw something you really wanted to get at. First, your lips tightened up. Then your brow furrowed illustrating the deepest level of concentration. Finally the arms came out in front with your hands curled in kinda like a ballerina, but not so much worried about elegance. From here you started to bounce your arms (elbows out and eyebrows stilled furrowed) until you gain enough momentum to move your body forward. Whew. It's quite a process, but in the past weeks you have streamlined it and now it happens lickety split.

5. Looks like you might be crawling soon. When you're up on all fours you look at us in amazement and with a bit of confusion... hmmm.. what to do I do next? Keep trying little Monkey girl. You'll figure it out one day and from that day forward NONE of our lives will ever be the same.

6. Did I mention you like change? Well, here's a change that I am not so fond of. It's called "Mirah's asleep...... op, I guess not!" For being a rather non-structured person I am quite proud of our little bedtime routine. I will spare the details because they are not all that fascinating. The important part is the last step, you know, the one where I lay you down in your crib and you drift off into a deep and peaceful sleep? Well, you've caught on to the last step. And you've got other plans. You give me your usual sleepy Mirah look and sometimes you even appear to be actually asleep. It is at this point that I usually lay you down in your crib. Little Mirah 6.5 months and younger would've just rolled to her side and gone to sleep for the night. But new Mirah.... no way! As soon as you feel the mattress on your cheek you fling your body from side to side and look up at me with this, "not so fast mama!" and your eyes goes open as wide as they can to prove how incredibly NOT tired you are. But alas, I am your mama always on a mission to develop newer and better tricks. I can tell you them now because, well, you can't read. And when you can, I hope I not still using these tricks. Anyway, here's what I do.... Mirah plays the awake game. Quickly mama rolls her over to her tummy (her absolute favorite sleeping position), mama manuevers both arms out to your sides and turns your head and guides it down toward the mattress. Sometimes if I do this with the ultimate fluidity I can lock you into your favorite, almost irresistible sleeping position, and your out! Sometimes I have to do it a couple times in which it looks a bit like baby wrestling. More than two failed attempts using leaves me with my only last resort. The straight jacket mama cuddle hold and rock. For this one, I have to take you out of the crib, hold you in my arms and tuck your arms and legs down so that you cannot move. Then I tip your head back so that it is hanging down lower than the rest of your body (for some reason the head dangle is a very important element in this move). From here I have to bounce and make stacato shush, shush, shush, sounds very vigorously until you can't hold onto your awake life any longer. It sounds complicated but when implemented as only a determined parent can do, it can result in sleep in a matter of minutes. So there you have it. I've got tricks for you even when you try to change it up on me. Some may ask, why don't you just leave her in there until she goes asleep on her own. And I say, to each there own. These are our tricks and I actually kinda like them.

7. Arms out to mama and dada. This one came unexpectedly. For some reason, I thought babes took much longer to do this. Everyone knows this move. It's a classic. Baby is held by one person. Another person enters the room. Baby wants to be held by new person. Baby leans toward the new person with arms out reached!! Best feeling ever if you are the entering person. Both daddy and I like this one so much that we do it over and over just to make ourselves feel good.

I think that is a good summation of your recent accomplishments. I have a funny story that I can't let go untold. You'll like this. It shows how tired and out of it your mama is some days....

I don't remember the exact circumstance, but one day when mama was running around trying to get things together. You were crying and daddy was holding you. I couldn't find your paci. Then when I did, I ran it over, HOWEVER, instead of putting it in your mouth. I tried to put it in daddy's!!!!! Oh my goodness. I actually tried to give the paci to your daddy! Wow. Crazy mommy.

Ok, sweetheart. You've been napping for too long now. It's my turn to wake you up. Happy seven months. Every day we love you more. Even when we think it impossible.

xo,

Mommy

Happy 1/2 Birthday Mirah!!!

Sweet Little M,

Tomorrow you turn 1/2! I can't believe it. Well, I can say that you have taught your dad and I a lot these past six months. Here are some things we can do now:

DAD:
1. Handle direct contact with bodily fluids on a regular basis. MAJOR.
2. Lull you to sleep on the most difficult of nights.
3. Make you smile just by entering the room.
4. Bring out the little dancer girl in you.

MOM:
1. Wake up. Go back to sleep. Wake up. Go back to sleep. Wake up. Go back to sleep. Repeat with varying degrees of intensity every night.
2. Do anything as if I had one hand tied behind my back.
3. Clean the entire house with you attached to me (via baby carrier). Including multiple trips up and down the stairs with laundry.
4. Change a diaper in under a minute.

And you, my dear, you are busier than ever. It's official YOU CAN SIT without our help. I still put pillows around you when you are playing because your form is not quite perfect just yet. Also, I discovered tooth #2 this past week. Way to go girl! Working on the solid foods. I gave you some banana and avocado and you weren't into them. In fact your not that into any solid food recently. I'm sticking with you though, I know nothing lasts for long.

Well, honey, I need to go to bed. I hope that you are having as good of time getting to know us as we have been with you. You truly light up our days and we are so lucky to have you in our life.

much love,

mommy

24 weeks doesn't equal 6 months, I guess

From the start I was figuring out Mirah's "month" age by dividing her "weeks" age by 4. That's starting to make less and less sense. Plus I don't like the time in between when she is, for example, six months in weeks (24 weeks) but not six months by the calendar (August 1st). It creates some sort of mental tension for me.

Mirah's now 24 weeks (not yet 6 months). Wow. These past weeks have been incredible. She changes so much everyday I won't be able to note ALL of the wonderful things she's been up to, but I will try.

So here we go little M, here's what you've been up to:

1. Sitting up. It's not completely official yet, but you've been known to sit up unsupported for several minutes. I still have to keep a hand close by as to thwart the inevitable face plant.

2. Roll over back to front. You know when a cat almost lands on its back but somehow flips itself over onto all fours? Well, when I place you down on your back now you flip onto your tummy almost that fast. I'm exaggerating but sometimes it seems that fast. This roll over has been causing some problems in the sleep department. Let me explain. Bed time. Lie you down on your back. Give you the paci. You fall fast asleep. A minute goes by I hear "ehh, ehh, ehh, ehh." Go to your room. There I find you face down with your arms straight out to the side flailing desperately. So I roll you over and give you the paci. You fall asleep. Repeat this again every couple of minutes for at least a half an hour then start all over three or four hours later. Let's just say it's been a long week of baby flipping.

3. Grabbing for everything. You make this very serious face of concentration now as you see something that you want to grab and you slowly move both hands toward it until you reach it. I think you are experimenting with your ever-improving binocular vision. It's very cute. We now have to be careful when we have you at the dinner table because you reach out and grab whatever is in front of you. Even though you've had rice cereal I don't you're ready for Masaman Curry just yet.

4. You can eat off a spoon. You have always been good at eating and you transitioned to the spoon very smoothly. I think you're willing to accept any method of getting food into your body. You've only had rice cereal at this point, but I plan to introduce you to more exciting things soon.

5. Laughing at funny word(s). You're first favorite word was "waffles." You pretty much thought it was hilarious. We loved it too, because we could get you to laugh just by saying it. You change fast and the past couple days we've tried to get a reaction out of you by saying "waffles" and you just give us the "that was so last week" look. Bummer. Hopefully we'll find a new funny word soon.

6. Fun in the tub. Bath time is now a fun time; even the getting out part. You have two favorite parts of bath time: sucking on your toes and watching water pour through your hands.

More recently (as in the past two nights)

7. Your sleep has been improving again. You've decided to stay on your tummy when you roll over at night. At first it made me nervous, but I watched you lift you head up and switch sides, so I think you've got it under control. Although I have caught you sleeping face straight down into the mattress. I'm not a big fan of that one, but I think you've got a hard enough nose to keep your airway open. Just don't make this one a habit.

The most likely reason for all the night waking was discovered yesterday....

8. I felt a tooth! You were chewing on my finger and "ouch!" I felt something sharp. I can't see it yet, but it's been confirmed but Dr. Uncle Mike. A tooth is emerging.

So, sweet M I think I covered the most important things you do these days. I really can't believe how quickly you have been growing and learning. It's exciting, but it makes us sad some days because it seems to be happening really fast.

Well, I better go and enjoy some quiet time before you wake up and need to be flipped.

love you.

mommy

p.s. lots of pictures coming really soon.

Happy 16 weeks/almost 4 months!!!

My dearest Mirah,

Last Friday you reached 16 weeks (I classify that as 4 mos, however, by the calendar you won't be 4 months until June 1). You are a big girl now, nonetheless. Your dad and I have really enjoyed watching your sweet personality emerge these past weeks.

What you like now:

1. Sucking on your hand. The more of it you can get in your mouth the better. I tried to give you a teething ring, but you just gagged and gave me this "gross, mom!" look.

2. Morning exercises with Daddy. These activities include lots of sitting, standing, and tummy time. Wow, you have really improved on the tummy thing. Before morning exercises, you looked like a little mole trying to plow your way around with your face into the ground. Now you've figured out how to hold your head up and look around. Sometimes you even roll over onto your back.

3. Standing. You are pretty much obsessed with standing supported. If I could hold you upright all day long you'd be very happy. Your chubby little legs are very strong.

4. Sitting propped up on the big blue chair. Daddy put you in the chair one day and you sat very contently with your arm up on the arm rest. You looked up at us with that "what's going on parents, I'm just chillin' here... say, you got anything good to eat around here?.... and where's the remote?" look.

5. Squawking while getting your diaper changed. I am not sure why you consider this activity the highlight of your day, but you are one happy girl on the changing table. Not only do you squawk, you flail your arms and legs around like a little monkey. We call you our little "Pterodactyl Monkey" (i didn't know that Terodactyl starts with a silent "P!?!" remember that Mirah, you could win a spelling bee someday).

6. Saying "GGggggggggggggggg" to everything.

"Hi Mirah!"
response: "Gggggggggggg........"
"How are you???"
"Ggggggggggg...."
"Oh really?!"
"Gggggggggg..."
"That's very fascinating"
"Ggggggggggg..."

7. Giggling when we tickle your neck. Oh man, you just started this giggle thing and it's just too much to handle. We love it.

8. Batting at things. All of your dangling toys have become punching and kicking bags for you. You really give 'em a good beating and they just keep smiling...


What you Don't like...

1. Being placed anywhere for more than 5 minutes. You definitely have a station quota now. I used to be able to set you in the bouncer chair and you'd just watch me contently as long as I provided some form of entertainment. Now, you reach your limit and your little body stiffens up and you demand release.

2. You love the bath, but you despise the getting out part. This pretty much eliminates the mellow, evening bath ritual for us. Any attempt has resulted in serious evening meltdown. I guess you're a morning bath girl.

3. You're not a big fan of books at this point. You only let me get about half way through a book before you tense up and try to escape. No worries, we've got time. Daddy only read one book by the time he was 16 and look how smart he is now!

4. The pacifier falling out. Ohhh, I have a love/hate relationship with that thing. Thank goodness you no longer need me for nighttime pacifier patrol (pacifier falls out, M wakes and mommy has to put it back it). Not fun. It's funny... you can be fine without it, but if you have it in and it falls out. Watch out. I've only got seconds to get it back in.

Well, sweet little M, mommy needs to get off this computer and get some rest. I love you my dear. Thank you for being so you.


much love,
mommy

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more pics from Mirah's big DC adventure coming soon!!!

Some firsts

Mirah had a busy weekend. Now that she's 3 months old she's ready for more adventures, so I am here to provide them for her. First acquisition of the weekend... Mirah's own SUV (aka jogging stroller). Since I am going to be in Dave and Jodi's wedding in June and I gave them my pre-pregnancy dress size (wishful thinking in month 9 of pregnancy), I have a bit of work to do. I thought a jogging stroller would be the answer. I found a good deal on Craigslist and rushed over to get it. On the way home, I realized that Mirah is probably too small for me to actually JOG with her in that stroller. Instruction manual recommends age 6 months for jogging. Bummer. Well, at least we can walk along the beach now. Maybe we'll walk to Massachusetts?!

Next up... baby play mat. And not just ANY play mat for little Mirah. Parenting Magazine's toy of the year. This girl's gotta have skills. With this mat she can practice her focusing skills, her hand/eye coordination skills, her tummy lying skills... Daddy was so excited to see Mirah having so much fun with her new toy that he had to experience it himself.

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And the final first of the weekend... Mirah went on a walk and faced OUTWARD. Pretty exciting. We walked around the neighborhood and looked at all the pretty trees in bloom.

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Since I couldn't see her face and this was something new for her, I had to check in with her periodically. The only way I could do this was to catch our reflection in a parked car or hold the camera out and take a pic
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I think I'm kinda neurotic.

12 weeks old today!

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Mirah-bella,

We've been calling you that a lot lately because it seems to suit you. You are a true beauty inside and out. This past month has been a big one for you. Here is what you've been up to:

1. Better Sleep--On the night of April 19, 2008 you slept a record 7.5 hours!! We had spent the previous day at the beach with Uncle Scott and Adriana. You were such a good girl. The day was sunny, but there was a chilly breeze. That day your outfit transformed into something quite strange by the time we left the beach. Here's how it went down... Start-- wearing dress from Grandma Sue (see previous post, and yes, you wore it 2 days in a row!) Next came the sun hat--- a little too big and not all that warm. Then came the pink hoodie for added warmth and to help the sun hat stay on. Then of course we had to add the matching pink pants. All of this and you still had on that dress. You were warm and protected from the sun. Mommy's job was complete. Only thing, you looked like a little bag lady. Sorry, babe.

2. the cutest little sounds-- You've gotten so much more verbal these day. You love to imitate the sounds we make. It's quite amazing. One night Daddy said "hi" to you and you responded with "hi." We looked at each other in shock. "Who took away our little baby and replaced her with a toddler?" You did this one more time and that's been it. No more "hi's " for us. I guess that means you are still a baby. Daddy would also like to note that in response to his "da-da" prompts, you said "aa-aa." Pretty good, but I think you meant to say ma-ma.

3. the best smiles in the world-- The first month of motherhood was quite hard on me. I REALLY like to sleep and I REALLY didn't get to. And with all the new things that come with parenthood, I wondered to myself, "who are these people that have more than one child? Are they super-human?!" And then one day.....

you smiled at me. A real bonified "I'm happy to see you" smile. At that point, I wanted 10 more kids.

4. calm, happy girl personality-- We're really starting to see your charming personality shine through these days. You are such a lovely little gal. You've really gotten good at going places. I am reminded of a Seinfeld episode where Jerry wants George to go with him to the laundromat, and George doesn't want to and Jerry says," Aaaah, come on, be a "come-with" guy." Mirah, you've become my good little "come-with" girl.

5. shrieks and shrills-- There is a fine line between happy and sad I am finding out. One moment you are entertaining yourself with squeaks and squawks of joy and the next second you scream out (a lot louder than before) with hunger. Sometimes I feel like you think I might not feed you........ ever again. I always remind you that your mama will never let you starve. And being that you were in the 95th percentile for weight at your last doctor's visit, you are far from starving.

Well, I think that about sums it up. I better go get you out of your swing or you will sleep the whole day and we all know what that means for your nightime sleep!

Congratulations, little Mirah, on becoming 3 months old! Looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us next.

xo,

mommy

Play time with Mirah!

Have you been waiting to see Mirah smile and make cute little baby sounds? Then you need to click HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy 2 months, Mirah!

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Horray for Mirah! Today she is 2 months old! Wow. To celebrate Mommy is going to take her to the expensive baby clothes store to return the clothes she bought last week with Auntie Amy. Amy, I know you think I'm crazy, but I just have to do it. Mirah, with your leakage record, my dear, we are going to have to wait for the expensive stuff.

After that, Mommy and her friend Juliet are going to the outlet mall to BARGAIN shop for baby clothes. Who do I sound like now? Great Grandma Gunlikson, maybe?

At 2 mos. What Mirah can do:
1. smile
2. laugh
3. say "agooo," "ack," and "epistemology"
4. behave at mommy/baby exercise class (yes!)
5. fall asleep on her own (yes! x2)
6. eat from a bottle (horray x3)

What Mirah won't do:
1. burp easily for mommy at 3am (instead she grunts all night and then belts out an earth-shaker at 7am)
2. sleep more than 4 hrs in a row at night. (4 hours is actually a huge improvement over the every 2 hour thing she was stuck on for a while.)
3. nap in her cradle for more than 20 minutes, on our bed she'll do 2+ hours, though. Figures.

So, we'll keep working on the sleep thing. I know you've got an all-nighter in you, Mirah. Stay tuned we'll be posting some new videos soon.

xoxo,

mommy

Notable events from the last week

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1. Mirah started bottle-feeding. This makes Mommy's life a little easier.

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2. Mirah received her first piece of mail!!

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3. Mirah is getting pudgy little toes!!!

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4. Mirah discovered the joy of her pacifier!!!

What a week!!!!


Raise your hand if you're one month old today!

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Fours weeks ago today, little Mirah decided she was ready to enter this world. With her in our lives we have discovered the magic of parenthood and with that came:
1. Life without sleep
2. Four trips to the doctor's office (two routine, one eye infection and one cradle cap/baby acne)
3. Two phone calls to the New Mommy's hotline suggesting we bring her to the emergency room (didn't do it, over reaction on their part)
4. Bodily fluids projected at us from all ends
5. Cute smiles
6. The best cuddles ever
7. Experiencing the joy that a new baby can bring to an entire family

You are a wonderful little person, our sweet Mirah. We look forward to all the months ahead.

2 weeks doctor visit

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Mirah had her two week doctor visit today. She is a very healthy little girl. She has already gained over one pound!! Mommy and Daddy don't like to brag but most babies have only gained back their birth weight in two weeks. Another noteworthy event: MIRAH ROLLED ONTO HER SIDE!!! Wow!! She is quite an amazing little girl. Who knows what great accomplishment is next.

Getting her nails done

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Mirah received her first manicure today.

No more cord!!!

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The last of Mirah's umbilical cord fell off today. She has the cutest little belly button!!