Thursday, April 9, 2015

Early Toddlerhood: 12-18 months

Well we made it!  I'm now on the other side of the endless sleepless nights.  Every night is not perfect but for the most part, we sleep through the night (in our own beds).  She wakes in the night and puts herself back to sleep. Whoo Hoooo!!! It feels good.  I'm so glad I waited for her to get there naturally in her own time.  It isn't easy to wait patiently for this milestone but nothing about parenting is easy.  Looking back, I am so thankful for all that quiet time we spent together in the middle of the night.  I'm happy we co-slept a little bit too, even if Kyle and I both got kicked in the head more than once.  I will never regret the time that I have spent on Blake's needs because she is already needing me less and less everyday. 

Naps are improving too.  It is all just coming together now :)

**I do still rock/walk and/or nurse her to sleep.  She loves to read at bed and nap time also.  She is in a size large Zipadee Zip which is probably not necessary but is a comfort to her and keeps her warm.  

Oh man food has been a struggle.  I had such high hopes for the healthy habits I was going to create for Blake.  Then we started solids at 6 months and have struggled ever since.  Until now...

I was desperate for her to just try ANYTHING.  I gave up on healthy food and made things like mac and cheese and chicken nuggets just to get her to try different tastes and textures.  I figured if I can get her to try things then I can move into more healthy foods.  Well she pretty much hated everything except fruit and the squeezy baby food packets. Then all of a sudden, she decided she would try things.  It's like she slept through the night one night and woke up thinking "ok I'm ready to eat now."  It's crazy how these two things started happening at the same time but it's making life much easier. 

I'm trying to get her to eat more meat (the biggest challenge) because her iron levels are always low at her doctor appointments.


Yes, I'm still nursing.   No, I don't think there's anything weird about it.  I do think it's weird that people make a big deal about it.  If you are thinking anything other than that boobs are for feeding and comforting babies then you're the weirdo :)

That being said, 2 years is my new goal.  It's what I am comfortable with and it is what's recommended by the World Health Organization.  Our nursing relationship has given us such a special bond and it has been my savior at times.  It can cure hunger, fear, pain, tiredness, anxiety, tantrums etc etc etc.  I'm so happy we made it this far.  I think I will be ready by the time she is 2 to let go of this special time in Blake's life.  It's only really a couple times a day at this point.  She comes to me for comfort and when she's tired and that's it.  

Also, I don't think I have it in me to tandem nurse (look it up) and I'd like to have another baby soon-ish.  Overall, I'm so glad I stuck with it even in the hard times and that I didn't rush into weaning.


Bottles are another story.  The pediatrician said we should really start weaning off the bottle and I guess I agree with that.  They aren't totally necessary since she can use a cup.  It's just what she's been used to when I'm not there and might make things harder for her caregivers to get rid of them.  Since sleep is getting better, maybe this will work itself out.  Every time I start to worry about something the doctor or a friend says we "should be" doing, it just happens naturally and I remember I need to trust my own instincts and stop worrying. 

Frozen is her favorite thing on earth! It has become a way of life. She loves Anna, Elsa, and Olaf.  We have several Frozen books just to keep us from being bored to death at bedtime.  We have multiple Olaf, Anna, and Elsa dolls and a Frozen nightgown that has to be hidden when dirty.  We even have Frozen band-aids.  I have the movie on DVD, on my phone, and on my iPad (just in case) :)

I find it funny, now, that I ever even worried about Blake reaching her milestones. But it's hard not to think about it when I have been studying child development and delays. I think stressing about every thing with your first child is just a right of passage.  It's a learning experience that no one can teach you.  It's also valuable to be aware, if any delays do come up, because early intervention is so important. That being said, the range of what is normal is wide and all children get there at their own pace.  Blake was never even behind in any of her development but she wasn't ahead either.  That's enough to make a new mom crazy.  I will definitely not be such a worrier with the next babe.
At 18 months, she is now walking, running, climbing, hiding, chasing, screaming, laughing, teasing,  going down the slide, feeding herself with a spoon,  saying 50+ words, imitating everything we say, putting 2 words together, and generally bossing everybody around.  She has memorized songs and books that we read often and can fill in the blanks when I am singing or reading to her. She can hold and write with a pen or crayon and she can manipulate our iPhones and iPad.  We are right on track :)  

Momma's got a day job:
We are transitioning into a new time.  I am working a full time day job as well as some nights at Tsunami on the weekends. I finished school and got hired at Cornerstone Therapies (where I did my clinical hours and also known as "the best pediatric therapy center in town")  I'm so thrilled to be a part of their team. I am learning so much more than I ever would somewhere else because of the amazing mentoring program they have.

Potty Training: 
 Not ready to potty train yet but we are starting to look for the signs.

Nope.  Not worried about that yet either. Though people tell me I should be getting on lists, etc etc.  All I know is I want a play-based school and I have one in mind that I think might be good when the time comes.

Hugs and Kisses:  
One of the greatest things to come out of the last 6 months was hugs and kisses. When your child can actually show affection back to you, it is the most amazing feeling.

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