Saturday, June 20, 2015

16 Months!

16 Month Update

You are almost 23 lbs and 30 inches! We had to pack up the infant seat that we've been using as a back up seat in Daddy's car. Still a shorty, but the big change was how much chub you've lost. You went from 75th to 43rd percentile in weight, and it shows. Your face, legs, and belly have all thinned out some. Here goes the sad (for Mommy) transition from chubby baby to big kid. We stay so busy with play dates, babysitting, book reading, crafts/sensory play, and beating the heat with water play. You keep me on my toes, and I'm so thankful for how much more I experience life now that you're in it! Here are some of my favorite things from the past month or two:

  • Most times Daddy and I take you somewhere, you hold out your hand for me, then hold out your hand for him. We walk hand in hand, our family of 3. 
  • You know SO many body parts, mostly from your love of the My First Body Board Book. Daddy and I want to rip our eyes out when you choose it for the 50th time each day, but it really has helped. You know hair, ears, eyes (mostly), nose, arms, legs, fingers, toes, hands, foot,  shoulders, elbows and belly button. Hands down your favorites are belly button and nose. 
  • You have SO many words now. Of course you are obsessed with "no" but some of my favorites are choo choo, tttt tttt (kitty), apple, blocks, flower, and quack. You say them especially sweetly. 
  • You are all about mommy right now. Mommy better not leave your sight or there will be a price to pay! If you wake up from nap and I'm gone, you are fine and happy to be with Daddy. I just can't leave while you are awake without a big melt down. It's ok; I love you, too!
  • You have always been obsessed with books, but more so recently. We read the same book up to 10 times in a row, and multiple different 'sessions' per day. It is fascinating watching you pick up things (motions, words) from books. I will do something a few times, like sway you in my lap when we read "and rock and rock and rock to sleep", and from then on you do it every time we read that book. Your brain is a sponge!
  • You are just now starting to get into your Little People, which is SO much fun for me! Daddy and I have been collecting Little People items for months (and Gammy got in on the obsession, too!) without a ton of interest from you. Now you play with your pet shop, doll house, and farm almost every day. Seeing my girl in front of her doll house is a dream come true.
  • You are becoming very opinionated and learning to find your voice. Your budding independence is trying but oh so cute! If you don't want to eat or do something, you let me know!
  • You are signing really well and pick up new signs so easily now. The ones you use the most are help, eat, more, and book. For the most part, I have to prompt you to use signs, but you use help and eat without prompting to communicate with me. 
  • On mornings where Daddy is home, the first word out of your mouth is often "Dada!". 
  • I will never get tired of you calling Buttercup "tttt tttt" (pronounced tih-tih (?) ) for kitty. However, I am beyond tired of your love of her food and water :).
  • We go on long walks with the neighbor almost every morning and you do so well hanging out in the stroller. I usually bring a snack and 1 or 2 small toys, and you hang out while we walk and chat. We let "the babies" out for the last part of the walk, and you take your sweet time picking flowers. I try my hardest not to rush you, and to just let you enjoy and explore. 
  • You say "uh huh" for yes, unless I prompt you to say yes, which I do because it sounds nicer but mostly because you say "sass" and it's so dang precious! 
I love you so much, little girl. I'm having a ton of fun watching you grow and change. Though it makes me sad how fleeting the baby days were, and I know the toddler days will go just as fast, I am loving watching the person you are becoming!!! 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

On 'Enjoying Every Moment'

You know how it goes. You're in the midst of a toddler tantrum, or your newborn's witching hour, or your preschooler is exercising their independence and someone, very well intentioned I might add, tells you to enjoy it, it goes so fast, they're only little once, you'll miss this some day. You get the picture. And then you sit feeling kind of guilty that not only were you not enjoying it, but you're not about to start to because you need nap time/bed time/your husband to come home from work and relieve you from the chaos. Double guilt. The best kind.

I get stressed out by my child a lot more easily than I ever would have thought I would. It actually kind of surprises me. I don't know if it's because I want her to be happy, or everyone around us to not be annoyed, or if I'm kind of lazy... I think it's a combination of all 3. Parenting has, and continues, to show me where I need to improve, change, and grow. It has shown me how much strength I have, how to ask for help, and a love I never knew, but I see every single day ways that I need to work on myself. My child is not a problem. She's a child. A toddler. I am the problem. My sometimes-higher-than-her-developmental-age expectations are the problem. My letting society in my head that children are a nuisance or shouldn't be heard is the problem. My lack of taking 10 seconds to breath and press the restart button is the problem. So, honestly, I don't see myself enjoying the tough moments any time soon. But I don't feel like I have to enjoy them for them to bear good fruit. Those are the moments that will help me guide my daughter, that will teach me who I am and who I want to be, that will lead me to look into how I get there, and that will hopefully shave a bit of time off of purgatory ;).

But what I am working really hard on is enjoying all those other moments. I feel like I let all the in between moments go by unnoticed. The hard moments are noted very strongly. I note them to Steven as soon as he gets home from work (I'm working on that!). I note them in my head when I'm frustrated and not being the least bit productive. The good moments are noted strongly, too. Yesterday, after Felicity's nap, the weather was so nice (instead of just blaringly hot like it has been). I took her outside and she sat on my lap in the chair on the front porch and we chatted as we shared cheddar crackers and a cup of ice water. We sat that way for probably 15 minutes, my girl and me, just enjoying each other's company and a good snack. I thought to myself "this is what my dreams of having a baby are made of!". Once or twice a day, she will run up to me and hug my legs tight and during diaper changes she grabs my arm to her face for a hug. As I put her down for a nap today, she cuddled my arm up to her face and fell asleep that way. The good moments are so incredibly sweet and I savor them to the fullest, documenting as much as I can with pictures since it does go so fast.

But the in between moments, the many moments a day that aren't earth shatteringly cute or awful and trying, those are the ones I need to cultivate and pay attention to.Those are the moments that life is really made of because, in my experience, there are more of those than the good or bad. I need to work harder on finding joy in the slightly mundane, the repetition, in the normalcy. Instead of just letting those moments tick away, I need to embrace those more, notice them, feel them, and live them. I need to put the phone down and observe more. I need to sit on the floor and interact more. I need to slow down and take it all in because it really will be over much too soon. So that's what I'm working on now...surviving the tough stuff, thriving in the good stuff, and appreciating, even reveling in, all those moments in between, without any guilt for, only reflection upon, the moments that may pass me by.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Growing Too Fast

Felicity is getting so big! She is picking up signs left and right, understanding so much more of what we say, following simple instructions (well... sometimes ;) ), and is so active! She is enjoying things that are SO much fun for me, like starting to do pretend play (pushing her baby around in a stroller, pretending to drink from her play cups), coloring with crayons, and bringing me books to read all day long. She will select a book and then back up until she reaches me, and plop in my lap. I am really enjoying her love of stories! Felicity now "tickles" us by doing wiggly fingers and making a high pitched noise. She is enjoying our (almost) daily walks with the neighbors so much more than she used to, and will relax in the stroller, eat her snacks, sing and talk. At the park, she does most slides by herself (!!!) and is now trying to climb ladders...terrifying for mommy! Felicity's language seemed to explode overnight and she's picking up a new word every few days. Her current word list includes:

no no
Addie (one of the children I babysit for)
choo choo
hi baby
yucka (what I say for yuck/yucky)

There are parts of her growing up that are making me really sad, though! Even though her independence is super precious and exciting, it can also be hard sometimes. She has an opinion and doesn't always want hugs/kisses like she used to and is slowly learning to interact with other children as we struggle through age appropriate but hard things like hitting, throwing, sharing, etc. The hardest part so far, though, is self weaning. I didn't think Felicity would wean this early. In fact, I thought I would have to encourage it in the future (for fertility meds) and dreaded that day, as I have always liked the idea of baby led weaning. So, in a way, I am grateful that the process has begun. But, on the other hand, I never imagined it would start at 14 months! A little over a week ago she decided, cold turkey, that she no longer wanted to nurse to go to nap or bed at night. Those are 2 of the 3 times she nurses in a day, with the other time being when she wakes up between 4 and 5 and joins us in bed. Luckily she has not dropped that one yet, because I don't think my mommy heart could take it all at once! I'm hoping she keeps that at least a few more months. Though it's nice to have Steven be able to put her to sleep (he could before but not without me nursing her first unless I was not home), her weaning has also made the bedtime process *very* lengthy. We are trying a new routine, now that her old routine has gone out the window, but I think the combination of her quitting nursing at those times plus all the things she has going on developmentally was a recipe for disaster for bed time! Thankfully she is still sleeping well once she goes down. I'm happy to see my girl growing, healthy, and becoming independent but, man, it's also really hard! We went to baby story time today, after not having been for about 2 months due to nap time, and it became very, very apparent that my girl is a TODDLER. We will be moving up to toddler story time next week. Toddlerhood comes with a lot of hard changes, but it is also a blast. Although I can't wait until my sister has her baby (any day now!) so I have a cuddly newborn to love on again :).