Friday

~18 months old~Probably my favorite age so far!

Some random thoughts about being 18 months old:

It seems like everyday Summer is doing or saying something new. Just today she started to "moo" like a cow when we were watching her Baby Einstein DVD and I pointed to a cow and said "moo." She also said "apple"..well it was more like "app!" But she said it each time they showed the apple, so I"ll give it to her! She said "blue" when they showed a blue cup. She has been saying "duck" a lot too and I didn't teach her intentionally. We just happened to be going to the park to feed the ducks, and then the next day she saw a duck on her DVD and said "duck!" Then she pulled out her yellow ducky at bath time and showed Dada and said "duck." He was quite impressed. So it just goes to show us that she is listening to every word we say!!

She is babbling all day long, chatting away saying who knows what! But she sure knows what she is talking about, that's for sure!

Every time we go to Trader Joe's they give her a balloon. She absolutely loves balloons! After they "die" we cut the strings short and she drags them around with her everywhere she goes. We try to name them according to color. So far most of her toys have boys names, so we've been trying to use more girls names. So far, her favorite balloons have been Miss Lavender, Miss Mandarin and Miss Scarlet.

She is very independent, strong willed full of energy and she knows exactly what she wants and doesn't want. However, when other people are around she can be very quiet and she'll just study you until she feels comfortable enough to crack a smile. Which can take a while. She's not easily "won over." Haha!

She is getting to the point where she doesn't want me to feed her with a spoon anymore. She likes to do it herself, and she's pretty good at it too. She can eat yogurt with a spoon and not make too much of a mess. Nana and Papa were pretty impressed with her spoon skills when they were here to visit. She'll even use a napkin to "wipe her face." Whenever I cough and cover my mouth, Summer will do the same.

She still gets scared by loud noises and will come running to us whenever a big plane goes overhead and she hates the vacuum. Of course, so do I...but for different reasons! haha!

She loves to eat whatever you have on your plate (even if she just ate) and she has started drinking from a cup, with a little help from us, but she's still doing it herself. We just make sure it hardly has any water in there. She never really had a bottle, so she's not too familiar with the whole "tilt your head back" way of drinking. After we weaned her she went straight to a sippy cup with a straw.

Whenever she is wearing socks, she'll fling them off any chance she can get, even if it's cold outside. Shoes too. She loves to take off her shoes. She loves to wear sparkly bracelets (especially Grammy's) and we got her a few with "diamonds" in her size and she wears them all the time. She'll even hold her arm up so they won't fall off. She still loves to put on other people's shoes and walk in them.

Her new favorite books are the 2 that Nana and Papa brought her. "What Does Baby Say?" and the "Mommy and Me" book. She loves that one because at the end of it is a mirror. So she loves that part! She also loves her new stuffed blue seal that Nana and Papa bought her at the Long Beach Aquarium. Papa named her "Lucille The Blue Seal", but we also call her the "Gug Seal" since Summer thinks she's a "gug" A.K.A. dog.

She has a sticker chart with right now she is more interested in peeling the stickers off and playing with them. But when she is good she'll get a sticker. She gets stickers for not fussing when we wipe her hands and face after she eats, for letting Mama brush her teeth in the bathtub (and not fussing) and for not fussing when we change her diaper. So far those are the only times she'll but up some resistance, but we've been tackling it pretty good with the sticker chart! She is totally aware that she gets stickers when she is good!

We're trying to keep her on a pretty consistent schedule. Right now it sort of looks like this:

Between 7-7:30 am she wakes up and plays while I fix her breakfast.
Between 7:30-9 she eats and plays. (sometimes she eats for a looong time!)
Between 9-10:30 we'll either go for a walk through the park or we'll play in the house and watch her Baby Einstein DVD-depending on the weather.
Around 10:30 we'll have a little light lunch snack, something with chicken to last her through her nap.
Around 11:30 I try to put her down for her nap. We'll read some books and have some milk.
If I'm lucky she'll sleep from about noon til about 2-2:30ish.
Whenever she wakes up we'll have another little light snack. She doesn't eat much for her lunch snacks. Which is fine since she eats so much during breakfast and dinner. So we try to make the lunch snacks count with lots of protein!
(We don't really run any errands after her nap unless we really need to. She will sometimes wake up fussy and we're gearing up for the night time routine so sometimes we'll sit and snuggle and read more books or we'll color and play with stickers or if she's having a really fussy afternoon we'll sit on the couch with a warm milk and a blanket and snuggle while we watch a calm DVD with classical music. It all depends.)
Around 4pm I "try" to start making dinner , but it's hard with a fussy baby at your feet.
Dada gets home around 5:30ish and he'll play with Summer so I can finish dinner and we'll usually be eating around 6pm. After diner we play and about 6:45 we start the bath.
If all is going well, abut 7:15-7:30 we get her out of the bath and in her jammies. We read a few books, she has some warm milk and Dada dances with her and puts her to bed. Sometimes she'll fall asleep in her bed, but most of the time she fights it and cries for about 5 minutes until she falls asleep. She's just like her Dada! Always fighting sleep!
Hopefully by 8pm, sometimes even 8:30 she is fast asleep. She'll usually cry out a few times starting around 11pm, but won't wake up. She can be a very restless sleeper. On occasion, we'll have to go in her room and help to rock her back to sleep. But she can usually soothe herself back to sleep. Which is the goal!

(Of course, while I finish writing this post, it's 12:08pm and I have been trying to get her to calm down from playing and take her afternoon nap! She was all hyped up and was drinking her milk like it was the last milk on earth then she was jumping and bouncing in her crib, totally nowhere sleep. Then I smelled poop. Ugh! Ar you kidding me? Ok, change your diaper, try to get you calm once again and put down for a nap. She cried in protest when I left her room for about 3 minutes...and so far it's been 2 minutes and I haven't heard another peep....But I have thought that before and I have gone up to her door to check and as I slowly creep up to the crack in her door, trying not to make the hardwood crack and squeak under my feet, gently push the door open hoping to find a sleeping baby, but only to find that she is standing at the edge of her crib staring at me. We make eye contact....I'm hoping she didn't see me, her mouth opens and she says....."up!"
Ugh! Little stinker!

I blame Dada!



Thursday

Pain in the...back.

I have been blessed with a back that lets me know when I have done too much and when I need to do more. It's quite possibly the bossiest person I know, reminding me on a daily basis of it's existence in my world..."locking" it into my brain. Sending me constant updates and tweets. 

 "Um...I don't care this much about you!" ---"Sorry, I take that back! Don't hurt me."

My back - consuming more of my daily thoughts than should be legal. Taking away days at a time, forcing me to sit (preferably against a bag of ice) and reflect on healthier, stronger days...most of which were yesterday! My back is quite frankly - a pain in my ass. Like an unfaithful boyfriend, going out on you when you least expect it, when all you try to do is treat it nice. Yea, that guy.

My back has never had my back. Constantly turning on me. Constantly on my case....unless I cater to it every single day and pay all sorts of attention to it regardless of what I have planned....like a high maintenance former friend who refuses to get over 'that one guy who went out on her that one time back in college.'  

"Yea but you didn't like him anyway....?" 
"I know, but I do like to complain a whole lot..." 
Yea, that friend. 

I have been blessed with a back that knows what it wants, lets me know how it feels, and like my children when I'm on the phone, will go to extreme lengths to get me to pay more attention to it. We've been through so much together. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, baby wearing, millions of pre and post-baby hormones turning joints and muscles into "loosey-goosey" mush,....car accidents. Don't get me started on the car accidents.  I've been rear-ended or side-swiped more times (as a passenger) than I can count. Because of this, I don't make a very good passenger ...Right, Babe?  However, I've been rear-ended as a driver too. A guy plowed into the back of us when we were stopped at a light (he on the other hand was looking down at his phone TEXTING and driving instead of paying attention and slowing down for a red light!) and I had a 6 month old baby in the back seat! Another reason why rear facing car seats are best for babies. Baby was fine thank God. Never blinked an eye in fact. 

Anyway...back2U

Remember the good old days when we were in the pilates studio 5 days a week? You hardly made a peep. You were so sweet and kind and unobtrusive and calm. Never spazzed out. Never slipped up. You were the epitome of strength and support. I thought so fondly of you back then. Such a nice back.

Which reminds me! My back also knows just how to humiliate me. "How does a Pilates Instructor have a bad back?!" Exactly.

I am extremely blessed for this very vocal, very bossy, very pushy, very stubborn, total jerk-store of a back. At least that is the positive spin I'm trying to attach to it after all these years. It's either that or start waking up at 5am and hitting the pilates studio for hours and hours a day again. Did I mention I'm an overtired new mom now? Nevermind the fact that she is 18 months old. In the grand-scheme-of-life-looking-at-the-bigger-picture-here...I'm a new mom damnit!

Can we divorce a body part? Just askin'....


**Fast forward a few years to the Re-Cap: Exactly 1 year after I wrote this, I had just given birth to a 10 pound chunk-a-lunk baby via home water birth. So I have more to add to my back pain woes because this chunky monkey is HEEEAVVVVVVY to carry around!!  When you start out a 10 pounder...you just get bigger!  Funny how that works. 

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