There’s been a lot going on over the past two weeks for our family– some good things and some not so good. On the positive side, we celebrated my dad’s birthday, Anna turned 16 months old, and Patrick started an exciting new position with his current company. The only bad thing (and unfortunately, it was really bad) was that Anna caught a stomach bug and then passed it onto Patrick and me. I don’t think I’ve ever been so sick and unfortunately, it hit both Patrick and me on the same night. Luckily my dad was around to help us out because we were barely functioning the next day.
Other than being sick, I’ve been so happy recently. I love staying at home with Anna and watching her grow. She’s starting to say “mommy” a lot, which makes my heart melt. We spend every possible moment that we can outside and I imagine that will only continue as the year progresses. Overall, it’s been a good two weeks.
Ok, so it’s not really summer yet, but it feels like it since the high was 86 degrees today! Anna loves being outside, so we’ve been taking full advantage of the warm weather. My parents’ neighborhood has a community playground, which is really nice because I can just take Anna in the stroller and meet up with friends there.
I think Anna understands a lot more words than I previously thought she did because a few days ago my dad asked her, “Anna, where’s your nose?” and she pointed to it. We’ve never taught her that, so it was exciting that she just picked it up from hearing us talk. We also play a little game with Anna where she says “hi-ya!” and lifts up her leg to pretend to kick a toy (it really sounds like she’s doing karate), but recently I’ve noticed that she’s tried to kick our cat and another kid, so I think we need to stop. It was really funny for a while, but I guess you just learn as you go with things like that as a parent.
I missed posting last week because Anna hasn’t been sleeping well recently (teething, congestion, and probably just habit by now), so I’ve had a few very rough nights. I felt bad because it was the first week that I missed posting since she was born, but I was way too exhausted to write something worthwhile. I’m probably going to have to do sleep training with Anna again soon and I’m not looking forward to that at all.
Despite not sleeping well, Anna has been her usual happy and silly self during the daytime. She’s learning new sounds (bay-bee and mee-mee-mee are her current favorites), has learned how to walk backwards, and fed herself a few bites of food with a spoon. She also likes spinning until she gets dizzy, which is really cute.
Until next week, thanks for reading.
At 15 months old…
- -Anna is a pro at walking!
- -She understands a lot more words now. If I say things like, “Do you want to go downstairs?” or “Where’s your shoe?” she gets it.
- -She gets frustrated if she tries to express or show me something and I don’t understand.
- -Her favorite thing to do with other kids is to try to hand them a stick or a piece of mulch. If they take it, she wants it back right away.
- -She loves playing outside and going to the park or playground. The biggest attractions there are mulch, rocks, and grass.
- -Anna plays lots of silly games, like hiding things behind her back and then saying, “ta-da!” when she brings them back out.
- -Her sleep is still hit-or-miss at night. For naps, sometimes she’ll sleep for 2 hours but sometimes it’s only 45 minutes.
- -She is a silly, beautiful, wonderful toddler!
I love this picture of Patrick, Anna, and my brother.
Since having Anna, my life has obviously changed a lot and overall it’s definitely for the better. I’m happy being a stay-at-home mom and think that Patrick and I started having kids at the right time in our lives. I love playing with Anna, I’m finally catching up on my sleep (most days), and I think this summer is going to be awesome with lots of time spent outside. I do still have days where I find myself feeling overly anxious and sometimes I do wish I could get out more, but that’s slowly getting easier, too. I have to remind myself that there was a time when Anna was only a couple of months old and I couldn’t be away from her for more than an hour or so because she never took a bottle. I try my best to remain flexible because my life is going to continue to change a lot as Anna grows up, when we decide to have another baby (still not there yet), and when I decide if I’m going to start working outside of the home more or not.
For exercise now, I chase Anna around and walk on the treadmill* for about 30 minutes each day during her nap (sometimes longer if I’m watching a dramatic episode of House of Cards). I used to be really into Crossfit and even continued it during my pregnancy, but I honestly can’t imagine doing those types of workouts right now. The whole idea of Crossfit is to increase your capacity for functional, real-life fitness. The workouts are very intense and it would take a long time for me to build back up to that level of fitness without being so sore that I couldn’t take care of Anna. The exercise that I get throughout the day from lifting Anna, carrying her around, wrestling her to change her diaper, and generally just being on the move is functional enough for me.
When Anna is older and can either handle being in childcare at the gym or is in preschool, I probably will go back to doing some form of group exercise because I really do enjoy it. For now, though, I’m pretty happy with just walking.
*I feel very lucky because my parents have a treadmill in the house, which means I don’t have to go to a gym to use one. It’s been great during the colder months and when Patrick and I do buy another house, having space for a home gym is going to be one of our priorities.
This past week was wonderful. I love watching Anna learn how to walk and she seems even happier now that she can move more independently. The weather finally warmed up, so we’ve been able to spend a lot of time outside at parks again, which I love.
I wanted to wait until Anna’s sleep had consistently improved at night before writing about it, and I’m happy to say that I think we’re at that point! About 5 weeks ago, I started the process of night-weaning her and teaching her how to go back to sleep on her own. I started with a 5-hour stretch of not nursing and then gradually increased the amount of time. When she woke up, I would wait a few minutes to see if she could settle herself back to sleep and if she couldn’t, I would go into the room and pick her up to comfort her and then lay her back down in her crib and talk to her while she went to sleep. The first night it took about 2 hours, but after that it really didn’t take her that long at all to settle back down. Now she can typically go from her bedtime around 7:30 pm until 5:30 am without needing me to come into the room. After her 5:30 wake up, she usually goes back to sleep until around 7:30, which is a huge improvement from waking up 4-5 times per night! I’m very proud of both her and myself about it.
Anna has started to string a few steps together. She’s still hesitant, but is slowly gaining confidence and trying to walk more frequently.
Today we were stuck inside for Raleigh’s second big snowstorm of the season. Anna’s still too young to really appreciate the snow, so we just watched it from the window.
I keep meaning to write about different or more in-depth subjects (I’ve been thinking about writing a post on healthy body image and good eating habits for a long time), but I’ve been completely exhausted by the end of each day. Maybe some day I’ll have more time to work on the blog. For now, chasing around after my little toddler is keeping me very busy .
Now that Anna is a little bit older, I try to get out of the house and do something fun with her each day. Some days that means just going to the grocery store (luckily she still likes that), but most of the time I try to plan an activity where she can move around and interact with things. Raleigh is a pretty amazing city for young kids because not only does it have wonderful parks, but there is also Marbles Kids Museum. We just discovered it last week and it’s like a series of giant playrooms for her. They have separate toddler areas in almost every room and have exhibits like a pretend veterinary office, a grocery store, a school, a workout area, and a big Lego room. It’s made our winter much better so far! I was getting stir crazy and Anna’s current nap schedule is pretty much the opposite of all of my other friend’s kid’s, so it was challenging to get out for play dates. I’m still definitely looking forward to warmer weather, but for now, we’re doing OK .
- -Anna saw her first snow (she was not a fan– she put her hand in it and started crying)
- -She slept through the night for the first time in many, many months!
- -She took her first steps while holding onto our hands. Now she walks around the house like that.
- -She’s started having her first tantrums. We officially have a toddler.