This started as a quick, primarily photo update of my now 18 month old little big girl, but has grown to include more thoughts and a lot more length! I’ve been writing it for probably a month, adding bits and pieces of things I want to remember. Probably time to actually post it…
I can’t believe she is big enough to hold on to the chains and swing on the swing like a big girl:
And, speaking of big girls, she has her first pair of big girl shoes. She picked them out herself and it was really hard to get her to stand still enough to actually take a picture of them!
It is also hard to get a picture of her smiling–and not moving–but catching on ride on Daddy’s shoulders worked!
Strolling with big brothers.
At the park
Other things I’ve jotted down to remember:
- Seems to say I love you—usually after picking her up, snugs down head on shoulder, pats back, and says in small, sweet, sing-songy tone “I yuh ya!”
- Puts own feet into shorts when you hold them up for her–totally cute.
- Rides bikes–perches on big bro’s bike while pushed, toes tightly gripping like small monkey.
- Rides in stroller to help with watering the vineyard
- Screams/squeals to communicate most opinions
- Points to eyes and quite a few other body parts accurately–says “eye” clearly.
- Loves her na-nas (see pix at end).
- Pats your back softly and sweetly when you pick her up–love this
- Kisses her dolls’ heads when she picks them up–how does she know to do this?! Love this too.
- Loves dolls and looking at baby chicks
- Says yeah and shakes head for no–helps a lot with communication (and is a new skill learned in last two months or so–see note below written before this sentence about my being concerned slightly with her verbal development or lack thereof)
- We think she has a strawberry allergy, but not positive.
- Starting to wear undies. Also, wipes self after going pee and it is ridiculously adorable
- Fascinated by comparing undies to others who wear undies. And, seems to say, “undies.”
I posted a quick story on Facebook last month about how she fell backwards off a stool in the living room and smacked the back of her head. She cried and nursed and recovered. Then, at bedtime she did some “play therapy” with two dolls–she held them up and then laid them back like they’d fallen, then scooped them up and held them to her chest to have na-nas (we could tell because she held them face in and made smacking noises with her lips). Sad that she fell, but really sweet that she knew how to take care of her “hurt” babies too!
And, more pictures!
Snuggling with her beloved grandpa Tom.
Engaging in women’s health activism already:
Big enough to ride on a real big kid ride at the fourth of July carnival. I love the way she is looking at Lann here.
Drinking from the hose.
I continue to marvel at her every day, and sniff her wonderful head, and think she’s adorable many times a day, AND she is also still exhausting me. Whew. She was a super easy baby and she is a hard toddler. She makes this one sound for almost everything and it is this plaintive sort of whine/grunt and it gets SO OLD. I feel like I spend much more time than I’d like to whining, stop it at her–not about anything she is physically doing, but about that flipping awful sound. I am sound sensitive and always have been and I feel like this noise of hers actually causes me physical pain. She needs to learn to talk and soon. She is my least verbal baby and it is much harder to have a nonverbal toddler than it was to have verbal ones. Sometimes I wonder if we should feel concerned about her linguistic development–it doesn’t seem to be developing much and in some ways she seems like she is going backwards (as in, I worry that she might say less words now than she did on her birthday. I know that is a warning sign and I have other friends who take their kids to speech therapy and other early intervention programs for things like this). While she was my happiest baby, she is a pretty complaining toddler age person! She is also into everything and a total destructomatic. The boys and I are occasionally known to call her, “The Destroyer of Worlds.” And, I’m known to sing a little rhyme sometimes that goes: “Laina, Laina is causing paina in mama’s braina.” Uh oh! Am I horrible?! Or, just keeping it real? I do try to strike a balance in blogging with transparency/honesty and not being a whiny, “bad mom” who doesn’t cherish her darlings enough!
As long as I’m in a confessional mood about my cherishment failings, I also want to mention that trying to leave the house with my kids is pretty much a hideous nightmare every time. Once we’re gone, it’s good, but the process of leaving feels like torture! It is just insane. And, then I leave all crabby and tight chested and frazzled and feeling like my kids may secretly be trying to kill me or something. I hate it. When we went bowling last week, I said that in a “bad mom” moment—“ugh, it is so awful to try to go anywhere with you guys!!!!” and Zander said sensibly, “but everything is always fine after we leave.” And, I was like, oh, yeah.
And, speaking of bowling, look who bowled like a big girl?! I swear, it actually hurt my heart to see her sturdy little body staggering up there holding that big ball.
And, in moments of sheer maternal awesomeness, I bowled two games myself and did score over 100 each time even though I bowled while babywearing, while nursing and babywearing, and with one hand while holding her on my hip (got a strike that time, actually).
We continue to nurse, a lot. Sometimes, I feel like this about it:
I swear we both make these exact faces. I feel such maternal kinship with mothers of all species.
Very often she nurses like this (she’s always favored being a vertical, upright nurser):
And, often nursing her is like this too:
I am at a birth conference right now and feel surprised that people have been surprised that she needs to be brought to me to nurse. She nurses probably three times a night and at least seven times during the day. Totally okay with me and feels/seems normal.
I am consistently amazed at these babies becoming toddlers! Weren’t you just pregnant, like last week?! The fact that I haven’t seen much of you lately makes it even more surreal that she could be so big. Which, btw, is nearly as big as Zander when I first met him!
I wish I could tell you that leaving the house gets easier but I continue to have mini meltdowns when we have to be places on time. I have said more than once, “I HATE having to be places on time with you guys, it stresses me out!” We too are fine once on the road though. I’m sure when they are grown they will talk about mom freaking out in the car because we were 10 minutes late. Hopefully they will laugh about it instead of using as evidence against me!
I laughed SO hard at that picture of the monkeys! HA! That is exactly how it is sometimes. Poor mama. You rock. Thanks for giving us an honest look at mommying a toddler. Alaina is beautiful and smart and oh-so-precious. Congratulations on 18 months of girly-awesomeness!
No, of course you’re not horrible–you’re great. And articulating the awfulness of getting out of the house with your children isn’t bad mommy material: surely they realize how hectic and stressy and hard it is whether or not you actually mention it! (Sounds like Zander does, at least, from his nonchalant and rather helpful response.)
The bowling photo is totally excellent. And, you know, so are you.