Thursday, November 8, 2012

A few fall photos

Zanna is 17 months old as of yesterday, and here we are at one of her favorite places: the dog park. Not so much of afraid of dogs, this one! Well actually the really big ones scare her but small dogs are definitely her cup of tea.

We took Gus to the Lake of the Isles dog park last weekend and there were luckily lots of little dogs for Zanna to boss around. Gus used to fall into the dog-park-go-crazy category, but now at the age of five he spends most of his time endearing himself to the other dog owners and occasionally greeting the dogs.

Zanna is a full-fledged toddler now. She's super talkative and active and with the exception of big dogs in close range, generally fearless. I'm thinking about finding her some sort of toddler gym class because she loves running around and climbing on things but doesn't get to do a whole lot of this at home with the hardwood floors. Or perhaps our general unwillingness to line all levels of the house with foam padding.

She knows a few bits of sign language and these have come in really handy. She does please, more, bath, all done, and food. Maybe a few others but these are the main ones. She's saying a bunch of words and the newest ones are apple, baby, and puppy, and she's started pointing out the baby in one of her books. She's little by little figuring out how to say different words and not surprisingly gets a little frustrated when she can't quite say something yet, especially since it's obvious how much she understands. She will go get her shoes or jacket if I tell her to and is really good at following directions (when she feels like it!).

Z's first real chore is that she feeds Gus every day. She gets out his bowl and Micah helps her put a scoop of food into it. Then she hands Gus his morning treat bone. Then in the afternoon after we all get home, she gets the food bowl ready again. It's cute how much she likes this. Sometimes she'll haul Gus's entire food container out of the pantry at a time other than 6:30am or 5pm and we unfortunately can't oblige. Otherwise we'd have one fat pug. One fat pug, mind you, who is feasting like a king on flying people food at dinner.

Which leads me to my next point: finicky eaters. All the literature says this is when many toddlers start getting particular about their food. And they would be correct. I say this as someone who doesn't give up easily. 

Zanna's diet at home mainly consists of peas, blueberries, strawberries, cheese, pumpkin seeds, applesauce, yogurt, those little sesame sticks, pizza, the fruit pouches that come in fabulous fruit/grain combos like Pear Barley. (To which we say "Ha! You reject the zucchini I offer you, but did you know you're eating barley right now?! Even I don't like barley!) 

Okay, so not bad stuff. Just not necessarily broad in category. I actually am kind of afraid she's going to turn into a grape based on excessive fruit consumption. She once ate five tangerines in a row until Nana  cut her off. 

Z used to eat just about anything, but after roughly 12 months of age, veered off on a journey called Oh, I'll Let You Know If I Want It. Which is fine. It's an assertion of toddler independence, I get it. We just keep offering her different things, avoid crap, and try to keep changing it up. She's just not so into meat and a number of things whose common thread we can't put our finger on yet. 

But the fact of the matter is that when a kid doesn't want to eat something, the jaw is pretty much wired shut and it's case-closed. Have you tried putting something offensive (like squash?) in a child's mouth lately? Getting a chemical engineering degree form Harvard would be easier. But, we'll keep offering. Sometimes we make a huge deal about something like broccoli, with both Micah and me gushing over it and acting like we're wondering where it's been all our lives. That once set up a great "Hey, me too!" moment that resulted in Z actually consuming a respectable amount of green vegetables. Unfortunately, she was on to us after that. 

The funny thing is that at daycare, where they make everything on-site and keep it healthy (read: lentil soup), they tell us she eats everything. Positive peer pressure much? I've also been informed that my daughter loves quesadillas. Oh really? Apparently only when Lucy makes them because she blatantly rejected the one I made her after learning this!  

In general, Z is a fan of the salty-savory and not so much the sweets, with the exception of fruit, for which we might as well start buying stock in frozen blueberries. I don't know how much to believe the idea that kids pick up on preferred flavors in utero based on what their mothers ate, but I can tell you that overall her tastes are strikingly similar to mine. I fall into the same salt-biased category but still eat a lot of fruit. I know I ate a TON of fruit when I was pregnant, and my only real pregnancy craving, aside from just wanting to eat a lot, was grapefruit.  

But, if she does end up like me, she'll be eating a healthy share of Eskimo Pies eventually, but just happen to love quiche more. At any rate, she's doing fine in the food department. 

I leave you with a picture of the cousins. It's so awesome that Zanna is old enough that they can play together now. Cute stuff. 

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