Tuesday, April 28, 2015

19 Month Update

Time to get serious, folks. The tot is on the downhill slope and will be hitting those Terrible Two's before we know it, which means my baby will only be a baby a little while longer. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't going through some serious baby fever at the moment. Is it just me or is everyone either pregnant or welcoming a new bundle of joy into their lives? Everywhere I look there are growing bellies and the sweetest swaddled newborns (and working down the hall from the postpartum unit definitely isn't helping). I'm beginning to miss the sweet, simple days of infancy but I'm also enjoying this independent yet loving phase that the tot is currently going through. Lately, she is all about mom and dad and wants to spend every second with us. She's a complete doll, always offering giant bear hugs & endless smooches. I want to soak up life as a family of three for as long as possible, because I know those Terrible Two's will roll in one day and bring that sweetness to a screeching halt. So, in an attempt to distract myself from the urge to start thinking about baby number 2, I am fully embracing the tot in all of her overly-energetic glory. And my, is she ever energetic!

First things first, our girl is dying to talk. If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen the videos of her jabbering to her books and stuffed animals. She tries so hard to tell us what she wants (or doesn't). The intent in her eyes is clear, but she can't form the words for the life of her. Her lack of ability does nothing but frustrate her which means we've been dealing with a lot more temper tantrums lately. The smallest thing sets her off, sending her entire body to the floor and her limbs wailing around in the air. It's exhausting for all of us, because Jake and I want nothing more than for her to open her mouth and tell us what she wants. And like most other mommas out there, I simply cannot wait to hear my baby finally say, "I love you." For now, she sticks her arm out, points her finger at me, and says "yoooooou" whenever I say it to her, but I long for the day when that sweet voice verbally reciprocates her love for me. A small aspect, I know, but also something I have been dreaming of since she was in my womb. Aside from vocalizing her love for us, she is adding new words to her vocabulary daily. Most times she'll say a word and then we won't hear it again for days (sometimes even weeks). I fully believe she is more capable than she gives herself credit for, but often times she gets overwhelmed by our eagerness and her own frustrations. She really is so much like me, it's remarkable.

In potty training news, the tot has successfully used the "big girl potty" on multiple occasions. We are taking things nice and slow (no pressure here!), but encourage her to try to use the potty before bath time and during diaper changes at home (which isn't too often these days since we're always out and about). She loves when I sing the potty song (a knockoff of the teeth brushing song from her favorite video collection), and nearly falls off the toilet every time from excitement. I make an exceptionally large deal each time she "makes a deposit" which only makes her that much more excited to try. Things are going well but we definitely aren't shoving the process down her throat. We're taking it easy and letting her go at her own pace. She's nowhere near ready for big girl underwear and I'm not ready to clean urine out of our carpet. We'll save all of that fun stuff for this summer.

As for food, she is still eating like a champ. We have noticed that her appetite has definitely started to decrease, but when she is hungry she can clean her plate in no time. She has cut back on her snacking (mostly because she just doesn't want to stop playing to sit down and eat). One thing that I'm certain will never go away is her love for milk. No matter how happy she wakes up in the morning, she will whine and cry until a cup of milk is put in front of her and then, just like that, she's downed the entire thing and is anxiously waiting for more. Aside from milk, she's also loving the abundance of fresh fruit that we bring home from the grocery store every week. She's still a fan of cantaloupe but decidedly has a distaste for plums. Oh well, you can't win them all!

Favorite activities still include wagon & tricycle rides, swinging in the swing, and reading books, but new this month is her love of singing! Even our babysitter commented recently how funny Taylor is when she randomly bursts into song in the middle of circle time. I'm a huge fan of this development and fully encourage (and sometimes even prompt) her to be as loud as possible. We twirl in circles and sing "la la la" and "do do do" until we're both laughing so hard we can barely breathe. Jake looks at me like I'm insane, but she loves every second of it. Girlfriend is also a huge fan of dancing and is always the first to bust a move when she hears music playing. Signature moves include low squats, head bobs, and shoulder shrugs. She definitely marches to the beat of her own drum, and I couldn't love it any more. Why blend in when you're born to stand out?

I know I say this every month, but this phase is by far my favorite to date. Aside from the tantrums, our tot is a happy camper the majority of the time. She is inquisitive in nature and downright hilarious. I just love being around her, watching her explore and experiencing the world through her point of view. I absolutely love the little lady she is becoming, and I'm forever thankful I get to call her mine.