Talisa the Toddler

kids, Talisa

I haven’t done a full post about Talisa for quite awhile, so I thought I’d update a bit on some things I want to remember about these fleeting toddler times!  For the record, she is 23 months old.  Can’t believe she’ll be 2 in less than a month!!  Haven’t even started planning her birthday yet, it’ll probably be very low key.


Talisa LOOOVES to color.  Markers are her favorite, but as you can imagine she’s not so good about putting caps back on, and over a period of about 3 months all of our markers have slowly been thrown away.  The marker drawer is now empty.  oops!  I used coloring time to try to teach her some manners (she’s pretty good at manners in general considering her age!).  Like most little ones, she likes to grab what she wants, when she wants it.  So if I was using a marker she wanted (which was every time of course) I asked her to say “Can I have that please?”  and I’d either say sure and give it to her, or ask her to let me finish and then I’d give it to her.  She did pretty well, though often she’d grab the marker and quickly say “Can I have that please?  Sure!  Thanks!” while pulling it out of my hand.  What do I say to that??  haha


The crocodile tears have started as well!  Of course she often really truly cries, but sometimes she cries just to try to get her way and she has this habit of covering her eyes with her hands.  I try not to laugh, really I do.



It’s my little kitchen de-organizer!  Her most favorite thing to do in the kitchen is beg me to carry her while I am cooking.  But if I can distract her from that, she’ll go to the cupboard!  Sometimes she takes things out and piles them on a table, other time she takes a few things out to play cooking.  Other times she completely empties the tupperware shelf!


I think she has some sort of innate sense of organization (I must take advantage of that!!).  When she takes containers out of the cupboard she takes off the tops and puts each top underneath its corresponding container.  nicely done!


Talisa has her share of falls like any toddler, but in this photo she is doing one of her favorite games – falling on purpose!  She falls down and then Svara has to rush up to her saying “oh no! oh no!”  Talisa thinks it’s hilarious.  Of course.

fall down on purpose

This is the last photo I have of Talisa in her high chair.  She hasn’t sat in it for oh, 3-4 months I think.  In fact we don’t even have it anymore, we lent it to a friend who has 2 little ones who both like to sit in high chairs but they only had one chair.  Now Talisa sits at the table like a big person.  Except she’s not a big person which means she’s either too low in the chair or she has to kneel.  But to her that’s better than a high chair!  I thought about getting a booster seat, but I don’t know if she would refuse to sit in it because it’s not the same as our chairs, in which case it’d be a waste of money…


Oh, these stairs.  Talisa goes up and down these stairs too many times a day to count.  seriously.  For many months my heart jumped every single time she’d go up or down and I’d run to make sure she’d be okay.  Now I’m pretty confident and she’s super confident, so I don’t have a mini panic attack 50 times a day anymore – whew!




Sunglasses.  too cute!  Oh, and she puts them on by herself of course.




Time to (un)help with the chores!  The best time for Talisa to sweep is AFTER I have finished sweeping.  But she prefers to sweep while I sweep, which means thrashing her broom in the dirt pile.



Teaching a toddler their colors can be quite frustrating.  Talisa picked up on color names quickly, but matching them to the right color is a whole other ballgame.  I remember the same thing with Svara – wondering if perhaps they can’t see the colors the same as us or what.  So I put it to the test!  I found these foam “popsicle sticks” at the store and snatched them up.  I gave them to Talisa along with containers of similar colors.  And she  matched them!  All by herself!  I was so proud – and happy to know that she CAN see her colors.  Naming them?  Now that’ll take awhile.  But she’s very interested.  She points to things and says some random color, I tell her the color, she repeats it, over and over.  Fun times.




Talisa can definitely be a little goofball.  She makes faces, does funny walks, silly stances, anything to get a giggle out of us.  And if we do laugh?  She’ll do it over and over for our everlasting entertainment.


silly1 silly2


So let’s see, what else….


Talisa talks up a storm and speaks in full sentences.  Yesterday we were outside and it was time to go in to get ready for bed.  I told her and she walked away saying “NO, I play outside.”  Okay, then! (sorry kiddo, you can talk, but I can still carry you!) One of the things she says funny is “NO WITE!” (for no way).   She can count to about 18, but she skips the number 5 every single time, and I think she skips a couple of the teens as well.

Books, books, book!  This girl still thankfully loves her books.  Pretty much the only times during the day that I can count on having some peace while she’s awake is when she gets caught up in her books (she sits and reads by herself for 5 to even 30 minutes at a time) or when she’s watching home videos of herself on the iPad (desperate times call for desperate measures, meals HAVE to be cooked!).  Often in the morning she wakes up, nurses, and slides off the bed to toddle off to her book pile.  She reads her books by herself while we catch a few extra minutes of Zzzzzzzs.  Until I get hit on the head with a book of course.

Eating – some days Talisa has a good appetite, others she doesn’t.  She’s still keen on frozen blueberries and would eat them for every meal of every day if we had enough and if I let her.  Oh, she’s not allergic to chocolate anymore, YAY!  She used to get hives from chocolate, but over the past month I’ve tested it a few times and no reaction, so now she gets to have some chocolate when we do (I make a lot of healthy treats that include some cocoa powder).  She’s not so keen on veggies, but we keep trying and there are some she’ll eat (she likes raw tomatoes!).  She likes carrots and will eat leafy greens if they are chopped small and in soup.  She and Svara often share a small pot of miso noodle soup for lunch (healthy noodles, organic silken tofu, and either grated carrots or chopped leafy greens in a miso broth).  Easy to make and they both gobble it up – win win!

Talisa has become quite possessive of me where Svara is concerned.  If Talisa is not in the best mood and she sees me hugging Svara, all hell breaks loose.  She screams, pushes Svara (but she DOES say excuse me  hehe) and asks to nurse.  I try to keep most of my cuddles for Svara when Talisa isn’t looking for the time being.

SLEEP – if you have read previous updates about Talisa, sleep has ALWAYS been an issue for one reason or another.  It wasn’t getting any better after 18 months and I was at my wits end and couldn’t even think straight due to sleep exhaustion.  My mom sent me a baby sleeping book for my birthday, so I had a read through it.  I never was one for crying out.  I did sleep training with Svara at various times with various success, but I was glad to have never had to do that with Talisa.  BUT sleep was getting worse and the book made some good points – she wasn’t getting good sleep either, and she wasn’t crying in distress.  and she certainly didn’t physically NEED to nurse 5-10 times a night.  Yeah.  So with everything I read, I decided it was time to cut her off nursing at night.   So I thought maybe I’d be kind and just hold her but not let her nurse.  That didn’t work since I had to sit there and hold her for 2 hours a time waiting for her to fall asleep enough for me to put her in her crib.  Not cool.  I had other things to do at night – like work and SLEEP.  So…. one night when Naren and Svara were at a function I let her cry.  I checked on her every 10-15 minutes to let her know I was around and to make sure she had her pacifier and security cloth (her fasa and toony).  It took 45 minutes for her to fall asleep.  Things got a LOT better after that.  For about 3 months it was lovely and I could hardly believe it.  I did end up nursing her early in the mornings (5 or 6) as she’d then fall back asleep.  If I didn’ tnurse her at that time she’d be up for the day.  Not fun.  Then she got sick, and we were all sick.  And that dragged on for a month and a half and things were BAD again.  I can’t deny a snotty coughy baby who wants to nurse in the middle of the night.  So we were back to little sleep.  A few weeks ago she was finally totally over her cold so I had to go back and do the whole letting her cry again.  Took 40 minutes that time and it’s been better since.  she still wakes up and I actually bring her into our bed when she gets up sometime around 5 (sometimes a little earlier) because it’s just easier that way.  But if she wakes up earlier I just lay her down, tell her goodnight, and she goes back to sleep.  So glad to get a bit of sleep back again!

Nursing – still going strong!  When Talisa was a baby she nursed when she was hungry and that was about it.  After about 15 montsh or so she started becoming more emotionally attached to nursing, wanting to nurse when she was sad, mad, etc.  She still does that.  I am currently trying to defer that when possible, trying to divert her attention elsewhere, give her cuddles but not nursing, etc.  But sometimes she’s just in hysterics and it’s the only thing that’ll calm her down.  Other than those times she nurses in the morning, before and after nap, and at bedtime (and then once around 5am or so).  At some point in the next 2-3 months I’ll probably start phasing out the after nap nursing and go slowly from there.  I like still knowing she’s getting the extra complete nutrients from breastfeeding, and if it helps her sleep I’m all for it!

I think that’s enough for one post, I’ve got some other things to do online before I myself get to bed.  I should be back soon with a post all about…. homeschooling!




Talisa – 18 Months

baby update, kids, Talisa
Our neighbor and friend is a fantastic photographer and took photographs of the girls recently.  Here is the first glimpse of the photo session, I'll post more when we get more!

Our neighbor and friend is a fantastic photographer and took photographs of the girls recently. Here is the first glimpse of the photo session, I’ll post more when we get more!

18 months old seems like such a milestone.  Halfway between baby and toddler.  Starting to do so many more things!  Jokes, crafts, helping, and more!

Here is the rundown of where Talisa is these days.  After this month I’ll try to get back into regular posting of daily things and probably not post an official Talisa update until 2 years.

I have to apologize, mostly to myself, for the severe lack of photos from this past month.  The memory card from our handy small camera has been misplaced, and I can never remember to take out the big camera to take daily photos!  So the few photos here are from Naren’s phone this month.  Usually I have a few on my ipad, but the wifi on my ipad doesn’t work anymore, so I don’t have it handy and don’t find it useful to take photos anymore there.

COMMUNICATION – Talisa is in this parroting phase.  All we have to say is “Can you say____” and she’ll repeat what it is we want her to.  Some words are more clear than others, but it’s amazing that she’ll give any word a try!  She hardly does any baby signs anymore as they have all been replaced by words.  Sometimes she’ll sign “more” or “nurse” but I think that’s about it.  She loves singing (Baa Baa Black Sheep is the current favorite) and she’ll sing along with her favorite tunes but with nonsensical words, it’s pretty adorable.  She says 2 and 3 word sentences pretty regularly and is always pointing things out.


PLAY – No surprise here, but books are still her number one favorite toy.  She is also getting more into role playing with dolls and such.  Not anything that makes sense, but it’s cute watching her develop that side. She is also starting to role play things in the toy kitchen – putting a pitcher under the sink spout, giving me things to eat, etc.  She is getting more accurate with her shape sorters.  Naren bought her a set of the big duplo legos for Ayyam-i-Ha and she has fun putting those together.  Sometimes she is content to play alone, and other time she insists we “SIT!  SIT!” next to her and play with her.

We were fortunate to get to a great book sale this month.  We all picked out some books we liked.  Talisa had a blast of course!

We were fortunate to get to a great book sale this month. We all picked out some books we liked. Talisa had a blast of course!


SKILLS – Talisa has moved to almost exclusively feeding herself with her little fork and spoon.  Last week she ate all of her breakfast oatmeal by herself (spilled a bit, but not much!).  I think she was wanting to do this before we knew it because she’d always reach for the table yelling “nah! nah! nah!” which is what she says when she wants something.  I realized finally that what she wanted was her bowl/plate of food!  I bought a bowl with a suction cup so it won’t slide around while she’s trying to scoop out the food.  She can easily take the bowl off of her try if she tries, but at least it helps with the sliding when she’s seriously trying to eat.  She can also hold an open cup and drink out of it by herself!  When she’s tired of drinking she’ll start dumping, though, so I have to watch her carefully.

FOOD – She is still eating mainly what we eat.  Breakfast is usually scrambled egg (or just the egg yolk and Svara eats the white, their preference), toast, cold cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, frozen blueberries, bananas, etc.  Lunch is often miso noodle soup (with carrots and tofu, she shares this with Svara), or else whatever we are having.  Same with dinner.  Snacks are popsicles (usually just blended up watermelon, or sometimes banana with milk/fruit), banana ‘icecream’, homemade cookies, crackers with hummus, raisins, etc.


SLEEP – Talisa is still working on those teeth!  I think the last one of that set of 8 that was coming in is just about to pop.  Then it’ll just be the canines and then her 2 year molars (hopefully not for awhile!).  It’s still the norm to nurse her to sleep.  Occasionally she’ll have a 4 hour stretch of sleep, but the usual night is 2 hour stretches, with sometimes a 3 hour thrown in there.  Hoping after this final one comes out it’ll be awhile before the canines start coming in!  She is improving with the staying awake in the middle of the night.  This past month it has only happened on the night she had a tooth popping through (twice this month I think).  She tries to get back to sleep, but it can take 2-3 hours on those nights.

GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT – we need to take her for her 18 month checkup, but she had fever and still has a little bit of a runny nose, so we’ll wait until next week.  She is SO active that she seems pretty slim (but not too slim).  I miss her chubbiness!  Her hair has seemed to stop growing this month.  It’s quite curly, but since there is not much of it, it just sticks out in funny random places.  Quite entertaining 😉


THINGS TO REMEMBER:  Here are some little things I want to remember but don’t really fall into the above categories…

  • Talisa had a bad accident this past month.  She fell on the three steps that go from our living to dining room and her teeth went through her bottom lip.  Naren was not home at the time, and it was pretty traumatizing for the three of us girls at home.  The bleeding stopped faster than I had even hoped it would, and it healed up within 2-3 weeks, but you can still see that her lip is bigger in that area.  I wonder if the evidence will ever disappear.  I really felt completely awful!
  • Talisa is starting to bully Svara!  Pulling her hair, hitting her, kicking her, etc.  She does it to me as well, but not nearly as much as she does to Svara.  I guess Svara is an easier target!  Svara used to hit me a lot starting at that age, so it’s not too surprising, but it’s hard to get Svara to react in a way that will help stop the behavior.
  • She has started saying “I love you” every time she kisses or hugs us, which is a LOOOOT.  I LOVE it!  She’s not clear in the way she says it, it’s something like “Ahdzhoo”.
  • When we are playing around on the bed she likes to tell me (or whoever) to sleep and expects me to put my head down, take off my glasses, and close my eyes.  Yesterday she did it to Naren and Svara and she even sang them some songs like lullabies, haha!
  • Her little cloth (it’s actually a premie prefold) and pacifier are her security items.  I have several of the prefolds so I can rotate them and have extras around just in case!  She has to be holding her cloth while she nurses, sleeps, and if she’s ever upset.   Svara never had any security items beyond her pacifier, so it’ll be interesting to see how long she keeps it for!
  • She is starting to show interest in toilet training, but she only wants to sit on the toilet, she never actually does anything.  But it’s a start!  Time to get out the potty chairs!

sister smiles


Talisa – 17 Months

baby update, kids, Talisa

talisa laughing at svara


My baby is quickly turning into a toddler and little girl. At this age she is still a baby in so many ways, but she is also growing in SO many ways EVERY day. I don’t have access to my photos at the moment, but I wanted to make sure to write this post anyway! So here is a rundown on where Talisa is these days!

COMMUNICATION – Talisa is a little talker! She still uses some baby signs, but some of them have been given up since she can easily say the word. But she has also made up some of her own baby signs! Unfortunately it’s not as easy for us to know what her made up signs mean. For example, one of her self-made signs is tapping on hand on the back of her other hand. She makes this sign whenever she hears a loud hammering type sound from neighbors doing renovation. Obviously the sign means that sound, but I’m so curious to know why she made the sign like that and what exactly it means to her! She is saying new words every single day, and even 2 word sentences sometimes.

PLAY – Her play preferences haven’t really changed since the last update.  Books are still her number 1 favorite ‘toy’.  She’ll sit and look at books for quite some time by herself, or bring us books and cuddle up next to us so we’ll read them.  She likes to grab a book, roll onto her back, and page through it.  And it doesn’t have to be a baby book.  A novel, a cookbook, anything with pages will do!  Shape sorters and stacking toys are still favorites as well.  She sometimes makes little dolls and animals ‘talk’ which is pretty darn cute!  She likes dumping things out and putting them back in.

Talisa reading

SKILLS – Lots more climbing going on these days!  She’ll climb onto a stool, stand up, and then get back down by herself.  She likes stepping into boxes and baskets as well.  She is working on learning how to feed herself with a spoon.  Usually the spoon/fork goes into her mouth upside down, but it’s starting to improve a bit!

FOOD – Not much has changed here lately. She is still basically eating what we do (minus the spicy foods and still no chocolate or oranges or dairy).  She likes tofu, plain rice, soups, blueberries, toasted sandwiches, hummus on crackers, cookies, and much more.  Oh, and ice chips!

SLEEP – I mentioned last time that her molars were starting to come in.  She’s still working on them.  And not only molars, but her incisors and canines as well.  That’s a lot of teeth!  Going on 2 months of straight teething.  I haven’t been able to put her down to sleep awake for this whole time.  It has sadly become the new norm to nurse her to sleep and gently put her in her crib.  I have never had to nurse/hold her to sleep for this long before.  As soon as these teeth finish coming in (it seems like one breaks through every 1-3 weeks and each molar is a 2 week ordeal by itself) I HOPE HOPE HOPE she gets back to her old routine of nursing, then into the crib to settle herself to sleep.  If she doesn’t I’ll have to urge her in that direction.  And now that she’s much more opinionated that’ll be interesting…   So yeah, still the old good nights are 2-3 hour stretches and bad nights are 30-90 minute stretches.  And if it’s a night where a tooth is really bothering her she may be awake for 2-3 hours (last night she was awake from 5am-6:45am and then back to sleep until 8.  I don’t let her get up and play anymore when she is awake in the middle of the night.  I try try try to put her to sleep, let her sit on the bed and babble for awhile (in the dark) until she asks to nurse again, etc. etc.  Hoping that helps not turn it into a habit!  It seems to be happening less than before (crossing fingers).  She is down to one nap a day except for the very odd day here and there if she wakes up early and had a rough night of teething.

GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT – As I mentioned, she has a lot of teeth coming in one after the other!  At last check (it’s hard to get a good look!) 3 molars are through along with 2-3 of her second incisors.  The canines aren’t through yet, but I think they are on their way.

She is growing taller!  I haven’t measured her, but a couple weeks ago we noticed that she was reaching for the latch on the front door and she was about an inch away from reaching it.  Today she reached it and opened the door, eeps!  Now we have to keep the front door locked 😛  So she’s definitely growing!  Her hair is growing as well, all funny and curly and adorable.  I hope to post some good photos soon!


Finally a photo of the teeth!

talisa dirty look

Talisa giving her “dirty look” to Svara. She thinks it’s hilarious!


Talisa – 10 Month Update

baby update, kids, Talisa

Talisa is 10 months old already!  She is showing her independence this month by wanting to get DOWN and get AROUND and INTO things as much as possible.  Oh, I forgot CLIMB on things.  Whew, we are being kept busy!

COMMUNICATION – Talisa is learning a few more baby signs.  She’ll still tell us when she’s done eating by signing finished.  She also waves goodbye, sometimes signs “more”, and a few others.  She is babbling up a storm and lets us know by yelling and crying when she doesn’t want something.  She can say Mama and Papa but doesn’t clearly call us that all the time.  I think she calls me Mama more often than she calls Naren Papa.  She calls to Svara a lot but doesn’t have a clear way of saying her name yet.  When she hears something she’ll put her hand to her ear. When music comes on she clasps her hands together and shakes them and starts bobbing around, dancing.  It’s just too cute!  She very frequently sticks one arm out and puts her pointer finger and thumb together like she is pinching something and just holds her arm out to us like that.  I am not really sure what she is doing, whether she’s trying to sign something, pretending she’s giving us something, or what.  If we put our fingers to hers or pretend she’s feeding us something she gets a kick out of it.


Still a big fan of talking on the phone!


Can’t get enough of this smile

MOBILITY – The only thing new this month is that she is standing for a longer time all by herself.  She’ll pull herself up on something and then she can stand on her own for about 30 seconds before she decides to sit back down.  She will occasionally take a step or two if I am sitting down next to her and holding her hand while she is standing.


Standing on her own!

PLAY – Svara is still Talisa’s favorite playmate.  She’ll follow her anywhere, crawl on her, take things from her, pull her hair, all that sisterly stuff.  Svara is patient and gentle most of the time (she occasionally forgets and plays a little rough, but it’s not mean-hearted).   She loves knocking down stacked blocks, taking things from her mailbox in the house toy that you see in the photo below, and pretending anything is a telephone.  She hates being stuck in one place and not being allowed to eat all the paper and other stuff she finds on the floor.  Clapping and dancing are other favorite activities!

steal mask

HEALTH – We had a bout of sickness in the beginning of this month which was no fun and threw our new nap schedule out of whack!  The girls caught hand, foot, and mouth disease at a gathering we went to.  Talisa showed symptoms first.  We thought she was teething because she was drooling up a storm and had a bit of a fever.  But that night when teething medicine did no good and she was screaming and not able to nurse, we knew something else might be up.  A trip to the doctor the next day confirmed that she had ulcers in her throat, poor thing!  A week later and the girls were recovering, and *I* caught it!!  Ugh, that was not fun at all, I think I had it worse than the girls as well.  For a few days I couldn’t type or walk because of the blisters on my hands and feet.  So we all recovered from that finally after a couple weeks, and now we are back to normal.  Let’s hope it stays that way for awhile.

SLEEP – As I mentioned, Talisa’s two-nap-a-day schedule that she finally settled into herself got thrown out of whack by the HFM. She is back to having 2-3 naps a day, depending on what happens that day, what time she wakes up in the morning, etc.  Sometimes she even has 4 naps.  I think she is starting to get her second bottom tooth as well (I can see it RIGHT under the gum) so that could still be messing with her sleep.  Nights are no better yet.  After she was sick she was back to 30 minute-1 hour stretches all night, so I gave her another few days of Nux Vomica which helped that.  But it seems nothing can get her to have more than 2-3 hour stretches at night!  Hopefully time will help…

FOOD – She usually eats 3 meals a day and sometimes another snack or two.  When I say “meal” I mean she is sitting down with us at the table eating, it doesn’t mean she eats a lot.  Some days she eats more than others.  She likes to try what we are eating.  I haven’t made cereal for her for almost two weeks because she hardly ever ate more than a couple spoons, and I can’t keep leftover cereal for very long.  So she’s mostly eating table foods.  Sometimes I take out food from ours before salting it, sometimes I just give her some of the different components of our meal, it depends on what we are having.  Frozen blueberries are her number one favorite food, she has them every day.  Here are some of the other things she eats (how MUCH she eats depends on the day and her mood)

frozen blueberries, fried egg yolk, homemade bread, rye crackers, ‘icecream’ made from frozen bananas and sometimes avacado, date and nut ‘cookies’, organic soft tofu, steamed veggies, pretty much any kind of fruit, mango/banana/coconut popsicles, whole wheat pasta, veggies from soup, homemade cashew ‘cheese’, brown rice

She is quite good at her pincer grasp now and hardly ever puts her head down to her tray to get something in her mouth anymore.  She throws about 1/4-1/2 of her food onto the floor, depending on how hungry she is. When Naren feeds her he puts the food into her mouth bite by bite.  When I feed her I put it on her tray and let her go.  My way is a lot more messy, of course, but I figure it’s good for her fine motor control to have that option sometimes.  Of course that is only for foods that can be picked up.

GROWTH – She hasn’t had a checkup, but when we went to the doctor when she was sick she weighed 7.5kg.  That means she only put on about .5 kg (about 1 pound) in 3 months.  I’m not sure about the height.  I figure this is because she is SO active!  The doctor wasn’t worried at all, so neither am I.  She still has baby chub, just not as much as she used to.  I’m trying to include higher calorie foods each day such as ground up nuts or nut butters, coconut, egg yolks, etc. to help.  If I don’t consciously do that then she tends to eat mostly fruits and veggies.  Which is great, but babies and toddlers need a good amount of healthy fats as well!  Too bad she doesn’t like avacado, but I can blend it into banana ‘icecream’ and she gets some that way.