M at Two Years

A two-year-old. A two-year-old. I’ve been watching what was happening two years ago, on my social media feeds thanks to all the throwback features. Two years ago last week I was trying my best to walk this baby right out of me, but she stuck to her own schedule and her own way of doing things. Two years ago this week we were getting to know each other through a haze of sleeplessness and sheer love.

I can’t believe it’s been two years already — I look back at photos of those last few days of pregnancy, and the first few days of infancy, and it feels so far away that it hurts my heart, a little bit. My teeny, tiny baby is so big now, an actual little girl with a very vivid personality, the one we saw tiny glimpses of way back when. She is her own person, and the leaps and bounds she has made this year are amazing.

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Stats:

M likes to weigh herself on the scale that lives in our kitchen (it’s a body weight scale, not a kitchen scale). She hovers somewhere around 26 to 27 lbs., which means she has barely put on any weight in quite some time. She’s certainly eating, and growing, but she is rapidly shooting up in height, so she is long and lean, still, just like she was as a baby. I don’t know her height, because I don’t think I could get her to stand still long enough to check.

Nicknames:

I call her Bug, sometimes. Daycare has picked up ‘Goldie’ which is probably our least favourite nickname, as parents, but we always said she would be free to go with what she wanted when she was old enough to speak for herself. We’ll see how that one plays out as she gets bigger, because I’m imagining a 13-year-old M styling herself as Goldyie or something just to drive her mother to the brink of crazy. 😉

Temperament:

This is all very sleep-dependent, these days. When she gets enough rest she’s perky, chipper, and full of energy. When she’s tired, she is more prone to fall into the stereotypical tantrum-y toddler behaviour. Either way, she’s determined, talkative, and very social.

Skills:

She is an expert at all things that rock, bounce, and roll. Lately she’s been colouring a lot — scribbles, but she identifies the colours and tells me what it is that she’s creating. She can take off her clothes but not put them back on. She uses the potty but not enough to be considered ‘trained.’ She’s been speaking in full sentences for quite some time — her first forays into stringing words together came shortly after her first birthday, and now she’s in the “What’s that?” stage. She uses the word “I” appropriately probably 75 per cent of the time; otherwise it’s things like “Mine wants that” or “M wants yogurt.”

She counts, but it’s usually “1-2-3-4-9-11-12-13!” She runs, she jumps (fearlessly, off of things and onto things), she pushes her chairs around and uses them as step stools to get into the things she wants that have been put up high. She rocks all of her dollies and stuffed animals, puts them to sleep under their blankets, and frets about which ones are hungry. Basically, she does a bit of everything, and it’s enthralling to watch.

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Sleep:

Daycare solved our nap issues. Before that, she was struggling — we thought she was going to become a no-nap kid way too early, but finally having the structure and routine of a daycare centre was all she needed. At home on weekends, I tell her that it’s “quiet time” and lay her down in her crib around noon, and she’ll sleep for about two hours. Night time is a bit more challenging but once she goes to sleep she usually stays asleep, to the point that I have to wake her up on daycare days in the morning. On weekends she will sleep in an extra hour or two, but still follows the same nap and bedtime schedule. It works.

She’s still in a crib but will be moving to a toddler bed when we get the back half of our house renovated. We have the furniture and everything in boxes — it just needs a place to live.

Eating:

We have entered into the somewhat-picky eating stage. M loves noodles. When I ask her what she had for lunch at daycare (they provide two snacks and lunch) she either tells me “noodles” or “not noodles.” So if she could just live on pasta that would be great, but vegetables are kind of a necessity, yes? She loves hot dogs, clementines, bananas shared with Matt, strawberry yogurt, cheese, and orange juice, which she insists is apple juice. And friggin’ Halloween candy.

A few weeks ago she polished off two filets of basa, on her own, flavoured only with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. It was a miracle.

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Clothing:

We’re in a weird place where she needs 2T pants for the length, but if she wears them, they are way too baggy in the waist unless she’s in cloth diapers (which are now only a weekend thing with the daycare switch). She’s been getting away with 2T leggings, mostly. Her 18-24 month tops are also getting a bit short, but still fit, so she’s in a combination of both sizes. She wears size 6 shoes.

Loves:

Having picnics, which means putting a blanket on the floor and sitting with all of her play food and her “friends” (her dolls and stuffed animals). Going outside, particularly if it involves a snowman. Frozen, Olaf… yeah. She still loves reading, and loves colouring and playing with stickers. Play-Doh is a recent hit.

Doesn’t Love:

Bath time, but our bath tub has been out of commission for a good month now and she seems to be doing well with showers. We’ll see what happens when the tub is back. Having her hair brushed. Having to take off her PJs in the morning/put them on at night. Random, bizarre things, like the milk-related tantrum she had — she did NOT want to see a carton of milk on the table, even though it wasn’t for her. There are lots of sporadic, strange meltdowns, but that’s what being two is all about, I guess!

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Mom & Dad:

I would say we are firmly into the swing of things as parents, but the tantrums and questioning stage are both rearing their heads so it’s still a bit flummoxing at times. I feel much more experienced than I did two years ago, though. There are new challenges, but new joys. It’s hard to remember life before M — we are both so glad that she’s a part of our family, and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Things to Remember:

Over the last six months specifically (since my last update) the biggest new thing to remember is that M started at a new daycare setting and has really thrived. Just hearing all of the new words, seeing all of the new skills — it’s a delight. We also started a dance class which is a very casual thing but so much fun to watch. She will request a few of the songs at home and do the dances. Her second birthday, which I’ll post more about, is a really special memory already, because she had SO MUCH FUN. I think I’ll look back on the time before she turned two, and after she was 18 months old, as a time of huge discoveries and her personality really coming out and shining.

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Dear M,

Right now as I type this I’m sitting on the couch in the living room, and you are making Play-Doh cupcakes with your daddy. When I came home from work a few minutes ago you were sitting in a crate he was building to hold firewood, and you were announcing, “I’m an elephant in here!” You helped him hammer the last few planks on, then you grabbed one of your tiny chairs, tried to steal an orange from the counter, and shoved three grown-up chairs together to make a choo choo train. You are a whirlwind. You are so much fun.

You have spent the last two days non-stop ‘cooking’ in your new play kitchen — you delighted your aunties yesterday when you pulled them over by the hand to watch you bake cupcakes and fill your kettle with imaginary water. They were so impressed that you were mimicking the noises they made — “beep beep” and “woosh” coming from your little mouth as you kept yourself busy, all on your own, using that active imagination you are so lucky to have.

Sometimes you don’t know what’s real and what isn’t — you try to shove yourself into a photo or movie by smacking your head against a screen or a page of a book. That’s how much you can dream and imagine and cultivate a world beyond what is actually here. You are so very creative and smart and funny and curious — you are determined, and opinionated, and very much your own person. I hope you don’t lose that sense of wonder, that sense of joy, that ability to dream up whatever you desire and picture it vividly like it’s right in front of you. If you keep it, it will serve you well.

You’ve showed us a bit of the magic of a two-year-old’s world, too, and for that I am grateful. Everything is a little bit more fantastic when we view it through your eyes. On the worst of days you have been a little light, a presence empathetic beyond your years, a tiny miracle showing us that good things do happen to people who are otherwise very ordinary. You are our good thing, every day.

Love always,

Mama

M at 18 Months

Our little girl has been with us for  a year and a half now! It’s amazing how quickly time has passed, and how distant the early days seem. It feels like there’s something new she’s doing that I’m marveling at every day, and although there are of course ups and downs, we are having a blast. It seemed like a good time for an update!

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Stats:

M is, in my unscientific opinion, tall but lean. She has remained around the same weight for months, hovering at about 23 or 24 lbs. She’s growing up, but not out. I’m not worried about it because the girl can definitely eat. I don’t have official stats because, of course, I am super behind on making her well baby visit appointment. Whoops.

Nicknames:

I call her Monkey, and I know she gets that at daycare, too. Why? Because she climbs on anything she can. We also call her Baby, which is either because she calls herself Baby, or vice versa, I can’t tell.

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Temperament:

She is… opinionated. She’ll let you know if she does or does not like something, without hesitation. She’s determined, too, and not one for distraction or negotiation. In fact, she’s conniving when she wants to be — one of her newest tricks is to pull a chair up to where she knows the treats are kept, and she recently taught our house guests how to respond to the word ‘licorice.’

She’s sweet and caring, most of the time, but gives into the temptation to pull a cat tail or two every so often. She takes care of her baby dolls and her stuffed animals, and is showing the first steps toward an active imagination. Yesterday she was pouring fake juice into a fake cup for me, and when I told her I needed pepper for our dinner she rummaged through her stuff until she produced a plastic green pepper which she brought to me gleefully.

Skills:

M is a quick learner — she picks up words with ease and is actually quite adept at communicating. She’s been stringing two words together for a few months now, and her sense of humour is really something to behold. She has some awesome dance moves, colours, uses stickers, and loves to sing. She stacks blocks, digs, reads to herself, and feeds herself with her utensils.

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Sleep:

Patchy, to be honest. When she was solidly in daycare and had been for two months, she was on a decent schedule — up between 6 and 7, a two-hour nap at daycare, and asleep by 7-ish in the evening without nighttime wake-ups. Now that Matt is in and out of shifts and she’s scattered between daycare and home, with guests and travel and all kinds of excitement, her sleep is incredibly varied so we’re all a little tired.

Eating:

Everything. Everything! She really loves pasta, yogurt, and any type of sweets. If she eats junky food she refuses to eat vegetables — or eat anything sometimes — in the evening, though. Fruit snacks are another favourite, and she does this thing where she tells us she wants crackers until we open the cabinet and she sees “baby ‘acks!”

I thought she was maybe done nursing, because she went for a three-day stretch with nothing at all while my Mom and Eric were here. But she started asking again, and now she’s back at it numerous times a day. I have no problem with extended nursing but really preferred the once-a-day before bed routine, so I’m not sure where to go from here.

Clothing:

She’s in 12-18 months, 18-24 months, and the 2T stuff my mom brought fits too and is actually better, length-wise. I’m just weeding things out as they stop fitting instead of abiding by sizing, these days. She loves shoes, especially her rain boots, and hats, and is trying very hard to dress herself.

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Loves:

Elmo. Oh how she loves Elmo. Playing outside, especially with bubbles and water. Slides. Any and all treats (she can recognize a Tim Hortons bag from a mile away). Animals of all kinds, especially horses. Colouring, particularly with markers. Music of all kinds, including her toys that make music, and definitely reading. Running around naked after a bath. Tickling people. There’s not a lot that she doesn’t love!

Doesn’t Love:

Diaper changes, on occasion. Having to go inside, having to leave the beach, having to say goodbye to the horses at the stable… you get the idea.

Mom & Dad:

I think we are mostly used to this whole parenting thing, although it’s still a struggle to get enough sleep, enough time to be just us, and enough time to feel like we’re actually on top of anything instead of just meeting the bare minimums, sometimes. When the house is clean and we have time to hang out and everyone is happy it’s nice, but it’s hard to hit all of that at once, you know? I think that’s just part of the life stage we’re in, though.

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Dear M,

Every day you are more and more of a big girl — you want to do things yourself, in your own way, with nothing from us but a watchful eye and applause when you do something spectacular. We’re glad to cheer you on, whether you succeed or fail, because if there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that you will always keep trying and ultimately achieve whatever it is you’ve set out to do.

You’re a charmer, too. Everywhere we go people admire you, talk to you, and engage with you, and you’re happy to chat away, share smiles, and be everyone’s friend. I’m glad you’re so happy and I hope you keep that wonderful grin for a long time to come. You throw yourself into everything with such exuberance.

When I used to imagine you, before you were born, I only thought about tiny baby M, nestled in our arms. You’re slowly growing past that, now, into a person who I could never have pictured, because you are beyond anything we ever dreamed. We’re so lucky to have you.

I love you, always.

Mama

M at One Year

A whole year old! I can’t believe that she’s not an infant anymore. And I can’t believe how quickly this past year flew by. This will be her last monthly update.

Stats:

As of her one-year appointment (which happened about a week ago) she was basically the average baby — around the 5oth percentile for both weight and height. She must have long legs, though, because her pants are always too short! She grew a lot more teeth in the last month, enough that I have lost track because I don’t want my fingers bitten off so I can’t check. 😉

Nicknames:

As usual, mostly just her real name. We seem to have avoided nicknames!

Temperament:

Our cheerful, social girl. We took her to a kids’ concert a few days ago and she wandered around all of the kids, patting them on their heads and trying to snuggle with everyone! She can be quite insistent if she wants something and I’m starting to see a few glimmers of toddler tantrums but mostly she’s quite agreeable and smiley.

Skills:

The big one this month is climbing. She can now climb up and down off of our living room chairs and couch, and get onto her rocking moose and pony on wheels. I’m sure if we had stairs she could access she would be up and down all the time! She is walking very steadily and starting to take a run at things here and there. She like to sort out toys and pick things up and even cleaned up all of the paper and tissue after her birthday party on the weekend.

Sleep:

Generally disastrous, hah. She has been waking up frequently at night and getting up early. Of course, today she slept in, so maybe she will go back to her decent sleeping habits. Her daily routine will be changing (more on that soon) so it might help with her messed up sleep. We’ll see!

Eating:

This girl loves food! A lot of the time if she’s cranky it’s because she’s hungry for a snack and we haven’t realized it yet. I’m used to feeding her three meals a day but it looks like she needs to graze, too! She is starting to develop some stronger preferences for and against food, turning down things she used to like. We don’t really worry about it — as long as she is eating, and eating relatively well, I don’t want to get into any kind of power struggles about it.

She is nursing but has dialed it down a lot over the last month. There was one day last weekend when she didn’t ask to nurse until after dinner! I am appreciating the bit of extra freedom but have no solid plans for weaning — so far I’m fine with letting things play out in an unstructured, casual way.

Clothing:

She has been in 12-18 month/toddler size 1 clothes for awhile now, thanks to her height, so we don’t have much wardrobe changeover this time around. I have been dressing her in comfy things rather than cutesy outfits mostly because I want her to be warm and able to move freely — and this is the age where her clothes attract stains like crazy so we keep the nice stuff for special occasions!

Loves:

Books, her rocking moose, balloons, other kids and people in general, music, taking laundry from the baskets around the house and putting on her head, grabbing shoes from the hall, and playing outside.

Doesn’t Love:

Getting dressed, especially in her outdoor gear, getting in and out of the car seat, not being able to stand up in her high chair, being put down if she really wants to snuggle.

Mom & Dad:

Going through a transition of our own. Matt had a change in employment which is leaving him as a (likely temporary) stay at home dad for the time being. Today is their first day and there are definitely good and bad things about the situation! We are working on a plan that will probably have her back into daycare at least temporarily — Matt is looking at casual work or re-education, both of which would call for childcare. I am a bit bummed out about pulling her out of care and kinda feel like we’re taking her away from her friends, but Matt is able to bring her to the playgroup where the daycare goes, so she will still see everyone occasionally.

Other than that, things are carrying on as usual, and we are definitely looking forward to a fun holiday season as a family.

Things to Remember:

Her first birthday party, of course (and I’ll share more on that later this week!). Her first sleigh ride, her first Halloween, her excitement and intensity while watching a drum show last week. All of the little baby sniffles and squeaks and hugs and changes over the last 12 months. It’s all memorable and it’s a year I will never forget.

Dear M,

For weeks before your birthday I spent a lot of time thinking about how we would mark the day. Would we read you a special story? Would we sing you a song? Your party was the day after your actual birthday but it seemed wrong to not do anything for the day you turned one. In the end, your Daddy quietly sang to you, holding you by the fire in the middle of a busy dinner party, and we shared story time before bed.

Your birthday was much like your birth — after all of my thoughts about what it would be like, about the fanfare and gravity with which it would arrive… it just happened. One day you were 11 months, 364 days old. The next, you were one. One day you were not here, but the next, you were. It’s hard to remember life before you. I don’t miss it at all.

Thank you for making me a mom, M. Thank you for every moment, challenging, heart wrenching, beautiful, joyous. You go through life with such happiness and zest and it is lovely to watch. I hope you keep that light and sparkle forever.

I love you, always.

Mama

M at 11 Months

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Why the bucket? Because yesterday (when she turned 11 months old) she wouldn’t sit still otherwise. 🙂 We have gone from lying down with the moose to sitting on her chair with the moose to me draping a blanket over the side of the crib and hoping she’ll stay still long enough to snap a somewhat decent photo. Good thing there’s only one picture left in this series!

Stats:

I actually have measurements this time around! Well — maybe not totally up to date measurements, but it’s something. About two weeks ago she weighed 20.5 lbs, and last week she was just about 30″ tall. She has grown another tooth, a new one on the top which will finally make her upper teeth symmetrical when it comes in all the way. Matt says it looks like she may be cutting a molar soon, too — I generally try to avoid putting my fingers in her mouth so I’ll take his word for it. 😉

Nicknames:

Nothing new!

Temperament:

The temper tantrum stage continues. She can tell when we are about to stop her from doing something and she does not like it one bit. She’s still happy, though — I think she just needs some more space to play. We are still working on getting things safe for her to have access to the hallway and her room, which will hopefully prevent some of the baby gate induced tears. She’s always happy to wake up and say hi in the morning and after her naps, and she gets really excited when people come over. I can see her sense of humour coming out and so far it’s pretty goofy!

Skills:

Walking! She started a few weeks ago, just a few steps, but these past few days she’s been toddling for longer stretches, especially if she has a toy in her hands to distract her from thinking about what she is doing. When she really wants something she crawls because she’s faster, but you can tell she’s proud of herself for moving upright and it’s something she’s working on every day. She can also climb off of our bed by herself (though we still spot her) and has picked up a few new regularly used words like “pretty” and “hot.” Speaking of hot — if anyone is near something warm she flaps both of her hands and gets distressed. I may have overdone it on the warnings. She’s good at following simple directions like “bring this to Daddy” and she loves to clean up by picking up her unwanted food and putting it on a plate, or putting things in bins (I keep finding her socks in her garbage can).

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Sleep:

She was reliably getting herself to sleep after naps, as I’d put her down in her crib after nursing her and she’d roll over and go to sleep. Now she resists and cries. We give her about five minutes to stop and/or fall asleep before we try again. At night, it’s iffy — she’s either so tired that she goes down easily, or she fights it like she does at nap time. This seems to be dependent on if she had a two nap day or a one nap day, which has no rhyme or reason. Some nights she sleeps straight through and others, she’s up once or twice. I’m battling my own case of insomnia so it’s a bit trying but I’m trying to not stress about it because I know daycare is going to throw everything for a loop, soon.

Eating:

M is in a bit of a picky phase. She’s partial to carbs and dairy and doesn’t want to eat very many vegetables or fruits these days. We get her to eat it anyway by being creative — cherries on her toast, cheese on top of peppers, or a sandwich stuffed full of everything. Some days she eats a lot, some days I wonder how she’s not starving. Giving her a preloaded fork seems to help.

She is still nursing, albeit less often. We consistently nurse when she wakes up, before nap time, and before bed, but in the in between times she sometimes doesn’t bother. Yesterday I think she only nursed for 30 seconds all afternoon! She loves to drink water from her straw cup so I think she may end up weaning for daytime, which is fine by me as I’m going back to work. I think for the next month she’s in daycare I’ll send her with one bottle of breastmilk, and after she turns a year old I will try to adjust things so that we’re only nursing at home.

Clothing:

She’s mostly in 12-18 month clothes, because she needs the length, especially in pants! Because she’s walking she’s wearing shoes when we go outside, and we’re in the season where she generally needs a coat, too. Once winter rolls around for good it will be interesting to navigate boots and snowsuits.

Loves:

Books! This month has been alllll about reading. She brings us every book she can round up and we read them to her over and over. She also loves her musical toys and if you tell her to play you a song she’ll mash the buttons happily. She still loves animals like crazy. She’s very in to the flowers leftover in our front perennial garden, too — she’s happy to stand and touch them while saying “Pretty!”

Hates:

Getting dressed and getting changed, still. She doesn’t like when gates are shut or doors closed, and she occasionally gets upset if she has to say bye-bye (though she still waves while pouting).

Mom and Dad:

Today, Matt realized he won’t see M at lunch as of next week because she’ll be at daycare. After almost a year of coming home to hang out with us, he was pretty sad when it dawned on him. We’ve both had our verklempt moments but overall we have had a happy month and I know we will get used to things. We’ve really been enjoying seeing all of her new skills and her emerging personality!

Things to Remember:

Thanksgiving, and M’s fun with Baxter the dog. The way she insistently chased her Uncle Jesse around trying to grab his beer a few days ago. That time she walked all the way from the hallway into the kitchen. Her spiky post-bath hair. Holding her head up while she practically fell asleep in the Canadian Tire shopping cart. So many little moments that make up our lives.

Dear M,

When you fell asleep tonight, in my arms, I felt like I was holding the whole world. Some scary things happened today in Canada, and we worried about family and friends while it all unfolded. You weren’t worried, of course — you’re free from grown up concerns like that — but it made me hug you extra tight at the end of the day. We are so lucky to have you.

And today, especially, I do feel lucky. I feel lucky that I have been there for your first words, your first steps. Your first food, your first smiles, every single one of your teeth — so far I have been there for everything. That is going to change, soon. I won’t be present for all of your new experiences or regular routines. You’ll come to rely on other people in new ways, in the ways that used to be in my realm. It’s tough to swallow but it’s a part of growing up, for all of us. Because one day you will set out entirely on your own, and all I will be able to do is smile and hope that I have prepared you as best as I can.

M, you are our world. And no matter what happens, no matter how old you get, no matter where you go or what you do — we will be there, if not physically, then as the little voice in your head that says “You are special and you are loved.”

Always,

Mama

M at 10 Months

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Yesterday, M turned 10 months old. In the last few weeks she seems to have blossomed even more. About once a week I turn to Matt and say, “How is she so grown up?!”

Stats:

Once again I don’t have definitive answers (sorry, M). She is taller than average and I believe she is weighing in somewhere around 21 lbs. No new teeth — as far as I can tell; she won’t let me look in her mouth. Her hair is filling in and growing a lot!

Nicknames:

Sometimes I call her Monkey when I’m grabbing her out of her crib. She’s usually just Baby or her real name, though.

Temperament:

This is the month where she has started throwing actual tantrums. Nothing over the top but she will grump at us if she doesn’t get what she wants, anywhere from a dirty look and a grunt to red faced crying. What she wants is usually something she can’t have — a cookie, a beer, you get the idea — so she is learning about that concept. When she isn’t upset about that, though, she’s cheerful. Most of her stranger danger has gone away and she will warm up to people relatively quickly. She likes to share and is always handing us things (then snatching them back).

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Skills:

Another skills explosion month! She easily stands on her own now, pushing herself up from sitting/squatting without holding onto anything. She will hang onto toys while standing and shake them. She loves to drum her hands on anything that makes noise. She has the hang of her xylophone more, now, and makes music — and she loves to dance! She is deliberately pushing buttons and hitting things on toys to make noises or reactions. She waves if you say bye-bye, says “kitty” and “dada/daddy” and “mama” clearly, and has learned how to sign for “more” although her version of it is just clapping so far. She giggles to herself all day long and seems to understand cause and effect. And, Matt taught her to point!

Sleep:

This week has been a wash, with houseguests in town — any time there’s something happening in the house she is bound and determined to stay awake. But, she has been napping once a day, for an hour to three hours (usually two). I think she needs a second nap because by dinner time she’s upset and sleepy, but she refuses to sleep more than once so we may just be in a transition. Still, it’s kind of nice to finally have her on a somewhat routine naptime schedule, because I know that sometime between 10:30 a.m. to noon-ish, she will be sleeping. Her nighttime sleep is decent, though she has been waking up early and occasionally not wanting to go back to sleep.

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Eating:

Still hasn’t found a food she doesn’t like! She insists on having utensils, now, and can sometimes actually spear something with her fork. I have been letting her have bowls and plates and she’s doing a good job at not throwing them more often than not. This month I discovered she loves scrambled eggs, and so far, we have had no bad allergy experiences for which I am very thankful. She started having straw cups of cows milk a few days after she turned nine months old (the Canadian recommendation is that you can start around then) and she loves it.

We are still breastfeeding five or six times during the day — when she wakes up, before her nap, after her nap, once or twice in the later evening and once before bed. Most of these are short sessions and I am wondering what daycare will do to all of this because I really don’t want to have to pump that much. I’m hoping she will drop some feedings and we can still nurse in the morning and at night.

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Clothing:

Kind of in a no-man’s land, here. She is tall enough that her 12-18 month wardrobe fits in the legs but is a bit baggy in the waist. Some of her 6-9 month stuff still fits, and the 6-12 stuff is good but generally too short in the legs. I ordered her a few 9-12 month items on consignment, but I think she is going to be in 12-18 month stuff that is just a tiny bit too big. One thing I’m looking forward to about her getting older is not having to switch things out every three months!

Loves:

Her cats. Oh how she loves the cats. Her first word in the morning is usually “KITTY!” and she points up at the window where a cat may or may not be. She outright tackles Marbles to pet him (and she has actually learned to swish her hand back and forth to pet). She loves to eat and as soon as I put her in her highchair she starts smacking her lips. She loves to pull hair but we don’t really love that. Bath time is a current favourite, and she loves to read/be read to. She will pick up books and bring them to us, or she’ll flip one open and start babbling to herself.

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Hates:

Getting dressed and getting changed. As soon as she’s on the change table she’s upset.

Mom and Dad:

Enjoying a bit of quality time together while my dad is in town! Actually, both of M’s grandpas babysat her on Saturday night. It was relatively brief but they said she was quite happy and spent most of her time bugging my in-law’s dog who is also visiting. We are still sort of dreading the looming daycare/back to work switch up but I think the anticipation of it and the changes and challenges it will bring will be worse than the actual adjustment.

Things to Remember:

Time spent with family members, her joy at finally getting to have noisemaking toys, the time we swore she was going to walk in the basement (the carpeted floor enabled her to shuffle herself a bit), the reappearance of MAMAMAMA.

Dear M,

A few days ago your daddy and Poppa and Grandpa were out getting us firewood to keep us warm this winter. You and I had been at home all day and part of it did not go smoothly. You woke up from your nap as soon as you went down, because there was more commotion than you are used to. This made you grumpy until you went back to sleep a few hours later. We were both tired and a bit frazzled, but I had to make dinner for everyone. You were in the living room playing, content after getting your nap, but you wanted me to join you. You kept crawling up to the baby gate with different toys in your hand — blocks, Mama? Rattle, mama?

It broke my heart in a small way. Oh, M, I wish I could spend all of my days playing with you. I wish I didn’t have adult responsibilities like dinner and work and grocery shopping and cleaning. I wish I could always be with you. Soon you will learn that, like Dada leaves the house to go to work, so does Mama. I will not be there for you to wave your toys at from the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (or something like that). I will be off doing adult things, and your babyhood will continue on. But you will have friends and providers who can play with you, like I want to, and we will both get what we need to get done, done.

Over the next month I will be doing all I can to put aside my adult needs and soak in this last bit of uninterrupted time with you. You are only this little once, and you keep getting bigger, and I am sad to see the days tick by while being thrilled for you that you are learning and growing and so excited about it and proud of yourself. We will strike a balance between playtime and work time and settle into our new normal, again. Just know that I am never too busy to truly be there for you, and if you need me, you have me.

Love always,

Mama