Hearts and Flowers

For the last couple of days I have been cooped up indoors. We have been experiencing daily torrential downpours of rain which have put our daily outings to the park on hold. I have grown to love our playtime at the park and I miss my outdoor play.

After many months of winter, being able to venture out into the warming rays of spring sunshine was initially a bit bewildering to me. After all, last year I was too little to do much and spent most of my outdoor time strapped into my stroller. I still ride in my stroller each time we go out, but when we get to where we’re going mommy lets me out.

This has opened up a world of possibilities for me. It has allowed me to explore, see things I have never seen before, play in brand new way, and even socialize with other kids a little. It’s really not surprising that I’m hooked on our outdoor adventures. It’s even less surprising that all this rain is making me miss the outside world.

On the last nice day before the rain came, mommy and I had a great time at the playground. It was a little cooler than the previous day and the playground was almost deserted. This rarely happens. Most of the time the place is crowded with kids, parents, strollers, and the occasional dog.

It’s difficult for me to play when there are so many people around because most of them are much bigger than I am. They are fast and busy with their games. Mommy keeps me close and insists that I hold her hand so that I don’t wander into their boisterous play. She worries that I’ll get trampled because I’m so small.

It’s hard to explore when mommy doesn’t give me much freedom so when the playground isn’t busy, we take full advantage. Mommy lets me loose and I run around all by myself! I can go wherever I want, touch anything that strikes my fancy, and make use of all the interesting playground equipment. It’s amazing!

The last time we went was the best. I was in an exploring mood and mommy thought it would be good to take some pictures with our cell phone. Although it was a bit cool, it was a bright day and there weren’t many people around to get in the way. It was a great day for park photography and we got some great shots.

Mommy and I have been starting to work on our Instagram presence. It’s been slow going as most of our photos are in the camera and not on our mobile devices. I hope mommy got some good shots to share. There was one that I know mommy was excited about. I hope people like it.

We posted that photo on Instagram as soon as we got home. Mommy said she hopes it will get us a lot of hearts. When people like an image on Instagram they have to press the heart icon. When mommy and I get a like we say we got a heart from someone. It’s a bit of an inside joke.

Peachy's Instagram feed

I’m on Instagram!

That day at the park I found something very pretty on the ground. It was yellow and fluffy and I couldn’t help but pick it up. I can’t believe such treasure was just sitting there on the floor. I just knew it was a very special find.

After giving it a good look and petting it’s fluff a little, I turned to mommy and offered it to her in an outstretched hand. Mommy always accepts my gifts graciously but she was particularly pleased with the pretty, yellow, fluffy thing. She called it a flower and thanked me profusely. I think I’ve heard that word before but I’m not sure when or where.

After posting our latest photo on Instagram, mommy put the flower between two pieces of paper and placed a heavy book on it. She said she would save it to put in the book that mommy is making for me. The book is all about me, my firsts, special moments, and fun memories. Mommy has been working on since before I was born.

When daddy came home mommy showed him the flower and she told him that she is saving it because it’s the first flower I ever gave her. Daddy said the flower’s name is dandelion and he said it might not count as a true flower. Mommy disagreed and carefully put the flower back under the heavy book. I suspect daddy is jealous of mommy’s flower. I’ll have to find him one of his own just as soon as this rain lets up.

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Babies Have Feelings Too

I don’t have many friends. I’m good friends with mommy and daddy. I have a relationship of sorts with our two cats. I like to think that you, my readers, are my friends. I have a long list of acquaintances that come to visit me from time to time. That’s pretty much everyone I know.

None of my friends and acquaintances are playmates of my own age. I want to have friends to play with and I am very friendly. I generally like to meet new people and I enjoy socializing. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by large, boisterous groups, but once I overcome my initial fears I’m a very social.

Mommy knows that I’m a social baby and that I often seek out the company of other babies. This is one of the reasons why we have been going to the part almost every day since the weather has improved. It’s a very busy place with a lot of activity and it is exactly the kind of thing that I find a bit intimidating. I enjoy going to the park and exploring, but I have been too shy to do much socializing.

The park is full of kids of various ages, although most are older than I am. They are fast and move around a lot which makes it impossible for me to get anyone’s attention. Occasionally I spot another baby but they seem just as bewildered and overwhelmed as I felt the first time I found myself in the midst of all that action. There hasn’t been any opportunity for me to introduce myself to any of the other babies.

Yesterday I was walking around the park looking for treasure as I often do, when I found myself next to a little girl who happened to be standing calmly next to her daddy. She was a bit older than me but she wasn’t running around with the other kids and she noticed that I was there. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and see if she would be my friend.

As she was already observing me, it wasn’t difficult to take the first step and make eye contact. Next I introduced myself and attempted to initiate a conversation. She didn’t seem to understand me but she did smile and speak to me with the kind of words that mommy and daddy use. I felt like it was going well and I was encouraged to continue.

Crawling baby girl

Will you be my friend?

I reached out my hand to the little girl and offered her the rock that I was holding. She did not react and I figured she didn’t see my gesture of friendship. I took a step towards her and held out my hand where it was clearly visible. She took a step back which I assumed meant that she didn’t understand. I would have to be more direct.

I took another step towards her and nudged her hand with the rock, indicating that she should take it. She let me deposit the rock into her palm and I beamed with pride. That’s when her daddy said something in a low tone. The little girl opened her hand, allowing my rock to fall discarded, landing on the ground with a small thud.

I was confused and dismayed. I looked at the rock laying on the ground and I wondered where I went wrong. I thought our interaction was going well. I had never been rejected this way before. I didn’t know what to do so I stood there staring at the rock that had been so carelessly thrown away.

Within moments mommy was leading me away from the little girl and her daddy. Mommy said that I was a very sweet peach and that I did nothing wrong. She told me that it wasn’t my fault and not to feel bad. Mommy claims that some people don’t appreciate rocks like we do and that some little girls are not allowed to touch them.

I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t like a rock, but even if that’s the case surely there are more tactful ways to refuse a gift. I’m just learning how to make friends and trying to find my place in the playground. I fail to see why any daddy would encourage their daughter to hurt a younger girl’s feelings and shatter her confidence. It seems unnecessarily cruel.

I’m trying to not let the experience get me down but I would be lying if I said that I’ve managed to shake it off. Today at the park I didn’t have the confidence to approach anyone even though we spent more time there than ever before. I found a lot of treasure and I had a good time but I felt more comfortable avoiding the other kids.

Maybe I’ll feel better about it at the park tomorrow. Perhaps I’ll regain my self-esteem and make a friend. Or maybe I’m too little and just not ready for friends at the playground yet. I’m going to have to be patient and take this one day at a time.

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Sticks and Stones

I am a treasure hunter and I’m really good at it too. All I need is the freedom to explore my surroundings and I’m sure to find something amazing. My collection of treasures has been growing steadily and I plan on continuing to build my stash.

My new-found hobby began with the arrival of the warmer weather. Now that it’s not as cold, mommy and I get out of the house almost every day. Since I’m a big girl now, I get released from the confines of my stroller whenever we arrive at a destination that mommy considers baby friendly. As soon as my feet touch the ground, I set off in search of treasure.

I didn’t always have this freedom. It all began at the park only a short while ago. While taking my first steps outside, I discovered that the ground is littered with all sorts of fascinating things. On my first outing, I was surprised to find some pretty rocks right at my feet. Sadly I was an inexperienced treasure hunter then. I didn’t take the time to secure my find and so I lost my beautiful rocks before I could get them home safely.

Baby bundled up and ready to to outside

I’m ready to hunt treasure

The second time around I was better prepared. That’s the day that I discovered the beauty of sticks. It didn’t take long before I had both hands full of treasure and there was plenty more just lying around. I knew I needed to free up some space in my hands and I began searching for a solution. The answer wasn’t far away.

Every time I get to explore the outdoors, mommy follows me like a shadow. Sometimes mommy insists that I hold her hand and I’m alright with that as long as I have a hand available. I figured that if mommy was going to insist on sticking to me like glue, she might as well make herself useful. I reached up my overstuffed fists towards her and deposited my treasure into her outstretched hands.

Now we have a system. I search for treasure, pick it up, and give it a look. Then I turn to mommy and pass her my finds. Mommy then proceeds to put the treasure safely into her coat pockets while I resume my search. When daddy comes home I get mommy to show him all of the neat stuff I found.

My pile of treasures has been accumulating on the table behind the couch. It’s beginning to look like an impressive collection. There are rocks of various shapes, sizes, and colours. Some are sparkly, others are smooth, and a few are rather plain. There are sticks of varied lengths and dimensions. Some are straight, others are oddly shaped, and some may not be sticks at all.

For now my treasure trove is limited to sticks and stones but I’m hoping to build on this. I know there are other forms of treasure to find. I have noticed some other interesting objects scattered around the park. They may not be as common as sticks and stones, but they are still rather plentiful. I just need to expand my search beyond my immediate surroundings.

The other day, I spotted an unusual object on the ground before me and began to stoop in its direction with my pincer aimed towards it. Mommy sprang into action with an unusual sense of urgency and snatched it up before me. She tossed it beyond the playground area where I am not allowed to go. Mommy called it a cigarette butt and said it wasn’t for babies. I haven’t been able to find another one like it yet.

The life of a treasure hunter is an exciting one. The world is covered in riches just waiting to be discovered. I’m going to rescue every bit of treasure out there and give it a home. I think we’re going to need a much bigger table to house my collection.

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Becoming One of Them

Last summer I told you about my outings with mommy to the park down the street. That’s where the big kids play and I’ve always enjoyed watching them run around. I was always too little to join in. I was always in the stroller or on mommy’s lap, quietly observing and waiting to grow.

In the fall mommy said that I would be big enough this summer. We’ve had a bit of a cool spring but we have ventured to the park a few of times already. It’s still quite cool and as a result, the park hasn’t been as busy as it is during the summer months. It gets a lot more visitors once the water park is open.

Each time we’ve gone there have been only a couple of families sitting on a few benches. I don’t mind that it’s quiet. It makes it easier for me to keep track of things and we get a great bench every time. I have also noticed that when it’s not so busy is when the smaller kids tend to be there.

I can’t help but notice that even the smallest kids are still a bit bigger than me. They are not that much taller but they are stronger and much more stable on their feet. I can walk on my own now but I still go plunkers sometimes. These kids rarely fall down at all.

Most of them seem to be further along with their words too. I only know how to say a couple of words but these kids know how to make their needs and feelings known with words alone. I like watching them play but I have been hesitant to join in. It’s a bit intimidating.

Baby in a stroller enjoying the outdoors

Me at the park last summer

This week has been a particularly good week and we went out every day except for yesterday because it rained. I was disappointed by the rain because the day before was an extra good day at the park. Mommy took me out of the stroller and carried me around! I actually got to explore the play sets, swings, and slides!

Mommy let me touch stuff and look into things. I really enjoyed myself. At one point mommy set me down on the ground, but I got nervous and I quickly sat down. Mommy let me sit in one of the play sets and together we discovered the activities on the walls. There were letters, numbers, and shapes etched on one panel and a maze game on the other. They were fun to explore.

The last part was the best. Mommy brought me over to the slides and after letting me have a good look, mommy sat me down on it and I slid down. I would have been scared but mommy held me the entire time and I realized it was really fun. It made me giggle.

After a couple more trips down the slide, mommy said it was time to go. I wasn’t ready to leave. I wanted to do the slide some more. I cried when mommy stuffed me back into the stroller. A handful of Cheerios helped me calm down and we went home.

That’s why the rain yesterday was a big disappointment. I wanted to explore the park some more. Today I got my chance. After watching from the stroller for a while mommy let me sit on her lap. This was nice for a bit but I soon began to feel restless.

Mommy set me down on the ground and I stood there a while holding mommy’s hand. I took a cautious step but I didn’t want to go alone. Mommy came with me and she let me hold her hand while I walked around the play sets. There were some bigger kids playing there and I didn’t want to intrude so I stayed on the outside and watched.

Adorable baby girl

I felt a little shy.

Mommy stayed with me as I walked around exploring at my own pace. Then something caught my eye as it moved past me. I let go of mommy’s hand to chase it and I managed to successfully catch it. I suddenly realized I wasn’t holding mommy’s had anymore so I sat down in a hurry.

The object I captured was secure in my hand. I took a good look at it and after a thorough investigation I discovered that it was a dry leaf. I let the wind snatch it out of my hand and carry it away. Mommy gave me her hand again and I stood up for more exploring.

Mommy walked me over to the smaller play set where there were fewer people. I was just about to head for the slide when I spotted something sitting on the ground. I walked over to it and picked it up for further analysis. It turned out to be a rock.

I walked over to where the benches are and I sat down on the ground with my treasure. It was an extraordinary rock and I was fascinated by it. After a while mommy tried to put me back on my feet again but I was perfectly content sitting on the ground with my rock.

Shortly afterwards mommy picked me up and put me back in my stroller. I was very unhappy about that and I cried loudly. Mommy said it was time to go home and have a nap, but I wasn’t done having fun yet. Mommy told me we would come back another day and she offered me some Cheerios. That helped as I had worked up quite an appetite.

On the way home I realized that I had lost my rock somewhere. I think that in the thick of crying, I had forgotten it at the park. I hope we go back tomorrow so that I can go get my rock. Maybe I’ll even work up the courage to interact with one of the other kids. Perhaps they would like to see my rock.

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Sunshine and Snowflakes

Last week the weather has been amazing! We have been experiencing some unseasonably warm days and even though there has been a lot of rain in the forecast, most of it appears to have passed us by. Instead of rain, we have been enjoying warm and sunny days.

It has been so warm that mommy and I have been spending some enjoyable time outdoors. We’re back to our routine of picking up the mail and going to the park. Mommy and I sort the mail together and then we watch the big kids play. Last year I was looking forward to being able to play with the big kids this year, but I’m not quite ready yet. Maybe another month or two.

Now that I’m a big girl, I’m enjoying big girl snacks and mommy has been packing my morning snack in my diaper bag and I’ve been enjoying it at the park. Somehow food tastes better in the fresh air. So far I have not felt the need to give mommy a hard time about eating on a single one of our on the go meals.

The warm weather has melted all the snow. It’s incredible how quickly the landscape can change. One day everything was covered in the white stuff and the next day it was all gone. It makes it hard to believe that just one week earlier I discovered my favourite winter activity.

Baby in a sled

Ready for takeoff

I waited all winter to try out the sled that I got for my birthday but fate kept getting in the way. First I had the flu, then mommy and daddy got sick in turn. Next it got unbearably cold and windy. Then mommy was sick again. We had one setback after another which made for a difficult winter.

Then the stars aligned and it was finally time to try out my brand new sled. Mommy bundled me up so much that I could barely move. I had my shirt and pants on with a hooded sweater. Over that I wore my snowsuit which really added to the bulk. Of course mommy wouldn’t let me leave the house without my mittens, hat, and winter boots.

Daddy brought my sled outside and I got placed in it. With all of the clothes I was wearing I found myself wedged in there rather snugly. This turned out to be a good thing because suddenly, the sled lunged forward and we were off.

Once I regained my composure, I realized that daddy was pulling on the red rope at the front of my sled and I was gliding along the snow. Mommy was just behind me to make sure I was safe at all times. We had a few close calls in the deeper snow, but no actual mishaps due to mommy’s watchful eye.

I was having a really great time which was apparent by my big smile. Sometimes daddy went fast and that made me giggle. I love to go fast. I think we were going even faster than that time at the park when the mosquitoes attacked us.

Baby going sledding in the winter

Faster daddy!

I was having such a good time that at first I didn’t notice it had started to snow. Big fluffy snowflakes were falling slowly all around me. When I became aware of them, I found them hypnotic. I got quiet and watched the winter scene. It was beautiful.

I was feeling so warm in my snowsuit, and it was so quiet and still with only the steady sound of my sled plowing through the fresh snow, that I didn’t even notice how tired I was. The next moment I felt something touching my face. When I opened my eyes I found myself leaned back in the sled with my head back and I was looking straight up at the sky.

I hadn’t even noticed that the snow was landing on my cheeks and nose, but mommy did and she was gently brushing it off my face. I was so sleepy that I couldn’t even keep my eyes open and I couldn’t sit up in the sled anymore. Daddy picked me up, sled and all, and carried me home.

Once we got home, mommy took of my snowsuit and outdoor accessories and she took me upstairs for my nap. I slept very well that day. The excitement of sledding and the fresh air did me some good. It was an exceptionally satisfying nap.

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Winter Outdoor Fun

Fresh air is good for babies and big girls like me. Last summer mommy and I spent a lot of time outdoors. It was my very first summer and we made a lot of great memories. We even managed to get daddy to join us on some of our outdoor adventures.

We took many walks around our neighbourhood with no real destination. There were many days spent at the park watching the big kids play. We hit the trails at the larger park down the street. Some days mommy and I even did our errands without bringing the car.

Outdoor fun doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t even have to go very far. Some of our best adventures happened right in our back yard on lazy days when we didn’t feel like going anywhere. I even enjoy simply sitting on the porch and observing what the neighbourhood is up to.

When we’re on the move, I ride in my stroller. I like to watch the changing scenery and I really like to go fast. When we’re not moving, I prefer to be out of my stroller so that I can get a better look around me. Last summer I wasn’t big enough to really get involved but I still prefer to watch from mommy’s lap.

The winter makes it more difficult to have outdoor adventures when you live in a cold climate like we do. Some people say you should go out no matter what the weather, but we tend to choose indoor activities when it’s cold. These days many of our outings involve a car ride to some indoor location.

Last summer I wasn’t very mobile yet but these days I’m getting into all sorts of mischief. I can’t wait to see what I can get into outdoors. I do have a snowsuit that mommy and daddy bought me so that we can go sledding but there hasn’t been any opportunity to use it. We happened to be sick on the good sledding days and since then snow and dreadful cold seem to come together.

This winter we have had bouts of unseasonably warm weather among the dreadfully cold spells. Although there wasn’t any snow on these occasions, we did manage to get some fresh air by squeezing in some walks. It’s important to dress appropriately for the weather in order to be comfortable out there.

Baby wearing a jacket ready for outdoor winter fun

I’m feeling warm and stylish

I have been getting some good use out of my faux suede coat made by George. I have been using it since the fall and it still works on those warmer winter days. It’s not as thick as my snowsuit jacket but the faux shearing lining does keep me quite warm. The hood is nice too as it keeps the wind out of my ears.

Mommy likes to dress me in layers when we head out. Underneath my jacket I wear a long-sleeved shirt and a sweater with a hood. Warm socks are a must and a pair of my thicker pants to keep my legs warm. To finish things off I have a blanket over my legs and feet to make sure I don’t catch a chill.

My jacket has been keeping me quite comfortable on our walks. It’s also great for car rides as it keeps me warm for the short trips to and from the car. Once in the car it’s easy to unbutton the front so that I don’t get overly warm.

I have been getting a lot of compliments on my coat and I must say that I do feel pretty in it. It’s soft and fuzzy both inside and out. There are two cute pockets on the front and nice detailing around the waist. It comes in two colours options. Pink with cream shearing or tan with pink shearing. I opted for the tan and I don’t regret it.

If I feel like accessorizing, or when mommy thinks it’s necessary, I wear my matching faux suede winter boots with the fur trim. I generally prefer to not wear shoes of any kind but I’ll occasionally put up with shoes for a little while. Mommy tells me I look extra cute when I wear my coat and boots. I do like to look good so it’s hard to argue with that.

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Where the Big Kids Play

Over the course of the summer, mommy and I developed a bit of a tradition. On nice sunny days, we walk to the mailbox. Mommy picks up the mail and then we go to the park. We find a nice bench, preferably in the shade, and mommy sorts and reads the mail while I observe from my stroller.

I like this time as it gives me a chance to take in what I’m seeing at my own pace. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to look around without being told what to pay attention or having things pointed out. Mommy is always talking about things we see and that’s fine, but sometimes it’s nice to just watch the world and be amazed by whatever catches my eye.

There are several parks around our neighbourhood, but on mail days we always go to m favourite one. The reason I like this park is because it has a large play area for the big kids. There are swings, slides, jungle gyms, and so much more. My favourite part is the large water park. I’m too small to play at the park but I love to observe from my stroller or from mommy’s lap.

Baby in a stroller enjoying the outdoors

So this is what fun looks like.

If we go to the park later in the afternoon, it is very busy and noisy. I don’t mind the noise so much and sometimes I even like to join in and make some noise of my own. However I find it difficult to focus on one thing when there is a lot going on around me. We also have to sit further away because the closer benches are always full. I prefer to be in the center of things.

The best time to go is in the late morning or early afternoon. It’s still busy and there is plenty to see, but it’s not to the point that it overwhelms me. That’s when we get a good seat right next to the water park area. It’s the best place for watching the big kids splashing around.

Now that the really big kids are back in school, it’s even better! Durring the day, the park is scattered with kids only a little bit bigger than me. I really like to watch them play. They look only slightly larger than I am, but they do run around on their feet and that’s something I haven’t figured out yet.

We also see other strollers in the park and the last time we were there, I spotted a baby in one of them. Mommy tells me that next summer it will be me that’s running around in the park and I’ll probably be playing with the babies in those strollers. Can you imagine that? Me, the little peach, on my feet and running around with other kids? Seems too incredible to believe.