I really thought we had a few more months before the tantrums started. But, as with many things I've assumed or hoped for in motherhood, I've been proved tragically, traumatically WRONG. You have taken your independence combined with your inability to verbalize exactly what you want... combined with always wanting to do exactly what Mommy doesn't want you to do (you know... things like bogarting the remote and somehow managing to turn on captions... in Spanish... or throwing the remote into the toilet... those kinds of things. not that either of those have happened yet. but we're at about 95% of completion on both tasks), well, it makes for one unhappy, throw yourself down face first on the floor and kick your legs like you're frantically swimming away from a shark.... on solid ground... baby temper tantrum.
And oh! The wailing! The unimaginable, unspeakable WAILING!
The first time this happened was while we were visiting Phoenix for Christmas. You had never done anything like it before, so of course Mommy and Daddy thought something was drastically wrong. Perhaps you'd been stung by a scorpion? Maybe there was a bat in your diaper biting your cute little behind. These were the only possible explanations for your behavior. Which is why we frantically took off all your clothes to check for any of the two possibilities. And when neither a scorpion sting or a rabid bat were found, we just looked at each other and realized that maybe it was because Mommy took away the fork that you were running around with... you know, the one that could POKE YOUR EYE OUT IF YOU TRIPPED?
Anyhoo... your Daddy and I have become quick learners and after that initial tantrum, decided the best thing we could do is ignore it. Which means that you did NOT get the fork back. Which equaled the end of the world for you. And a severe disruption to the world of the family members we were staying with who just wanted to drink their coffee in peace.
It hasn't stopped your tantrums... but there haven't been that many and they're actually not too bad. I do feel bad when you have one of your tantrums and I see the sadness and tears in your eyes... but yea, I'm kinda over it.
But, on to more positive developments in the last couple of months. And because Mommy is pregnant up to her ears and is losing creativity and concentration with every passing second, these will be done via bulletpoint. Cuz that's how Mommy rolls these days.
* Miss Independent. You have a streak in you, little lady... and I think you may have gotten it from me. But you don't really need or want our help with anything. Especially eating. You've got that taken care of. You love to eat with your own fork and spoon. And when those aren't working for you...your hands. And you're also tall enough to reach whatever Mommy has accidentally left too close to the edge on the countertop. And then we have a real mess. And Mommy has to remember that you are taller than the average 15 month old and adjustments need to be made!!
* Girl Time. I'm trying to spend as much time as I can with you in these last few weeks before your sister joins our family. We've had a few dates at the Treehouse Museum and the coffee shop... where you discovered how awesome your froggy is and that you can stick Cheerios directly on him!
* Open, Close. On, Off. You are a big fan of opening and closing doors and can keep yourself entertained for a good 10 minutes just by opening and closing a door. And when you get bored with that, there's always a marker and the lid to the marker that you can put on and take off... on, off, on, off... for another 30 minutes while you walk around the house. Your little turtle ride that Uncle Vince gave you has become amazing to you once again because you discovered that the seat opens and closes.
* Happy Screeching. Apparently, all the kids in day care with you are taking after one little girl who LOVES to screech. And you are no exception to the rule. You love experimenting with your voice and see how well it bounces off of the walls... and Mommy's brain. It's cute. Well, it was cute the first time. But after 20 minutes of it, Mommy and Daddy started to have blood coming out of their ears . But, hey... it's a HAPPY screech. So, it could be worse.
* My Little Snuggler. I don't know if you somehow know that things are going to change soon... or if you know that it's super uncomfortable for Mommy to pick you up and even hold you at all, but you are all about being carried or held these days. A far cry from a few months ago when you had just discovered your mobility and didn't want anything to do with being held. So, it's nice... but it's also hard because you, little girl, aren't exactly light these days. Probably because you eat all the time. But that's a whole different bullet point.
* It's Time To Eat!! You know... as soon as you walk in the door from day care. Or as soon as you wake up for breakfast. Or from your nap. Or you know... five minutes after you've had breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner. You eat all the time. You have breakfast at home, go to school, have your second breakfast and then the day just continues from there. I simply cannot believe how much food you put down in a given day. You're also about to come out of the high chair and get your very own booster seat so you can sit at the table with Mommy and Daddy. You are still all about chairs, so I expect this to make you VERY happy.
* Favorite Foods. Blackberries, blueberries, spaghetti, ketchup, potatoes, tomatoes, grapes and clementines. You are our little fruit kid.
* Foods You're Kinda Over. Peas - Yea, we kinda pushed that one too much. Plus... they're peas for Pete's sake. I can't believe you liked them in the first place. And we also may have overdone the banana's, cuz now you'll only eat about 1/2 a banana before you hand it back to me as if to say: "What else you got?"
* Hats! Oh my, do you love hats these days. I can remember when putting a hat on your head was like shoving rusty nails through your eyes. But now? You will find a beanie, bring it to either your Daddy or me and then duck your head so we can put it on you. And the result? GANGSTA! Only problem is that you only let it stay on for a minute before you take it off and bring it back over to us so we can put it back on your head. This could go on for hours.
* Playdates! You (who are we kidding? WE) have discovered the beauty that is a playdate. Our friends Paul and Kelly brought their soon Cooper over a few weeks ago to test the waters of the playdate and WOW! AMAZING. Well, to be fair that first playdate you were kind of... what's the word? Selfish? Didn't want Cooper touching anything that was yours. And it's amazing to me that two toddlers don't really "play" with each other on a playdate... rather they play next to each other. And then pass out for 3 hours. But on the second playdate, you were much more willing to share your stuff and had a really good time. Which means that Mommy and Daddy don't have to entertain you! Serious bonus, little girl!
* Know Your Nose You have learned to point to your nose, ears, eyes and mouth when we ask where they are. And just recently you've added feet to your knowledge base. And of course, belly button. You also like to point to Mommy and Daddy's noses. Out of the blue. As if to say: "Yep... still there!"
* Pick Your Nose. You have discovered the wonder that is sticking your finger up your nose. For this, I blame your father.
* Blankie. Lately, you've been all about your blankie. Not a specific blankie. Just whichever blankie is handy. We've even started to put a blanket on you at night... a first! And you love to cuddle with it. That and the pillow pet that Grandma Paskins gave you when you were 2 months old. You have discovered the wonder that is the froggy pillow pet and Mommy and Daddy are no longer allowed to use it as a pillow. You will use it as something to snuggle on. But only when you see Mommy or Daddy comfortably resting their head on it.
* Our Little Traveler. For Christmas, our little family headed down to Phoenix to hang out with Daddy's side of the family. We were a little nervous at how you would handle 7 hours a day in a car seat, but you were an absolute rock star! You had a lot of fun and were pretty content... as long as we kept giving you crackers or clementines.
* Christmas. Of course, I still haven't written about Christmas in Phoenix, but just know that you had a blast with your cousins. And Gracie the dog. You loved you some Gracie. You also loved trampolines that it seems like EVERYONE had. Which leads us to...
* Trampoline Terror. My terror. Not yours. You LOVED the trampoline. And Mommy made the mistake of putting you on the trampoline. You know... because you INSISTED. And as soon as I did, you took off for the edges of the trampoline. I guess I should explain that this trampoline was actually sitting on top of a big slab of concrete so that your cousins can practice dunking on their outdoor hoop. And since Mommy is (say it with me now) pregnant up to her ears, she wasn't able to a) contain you when she was on the trampoline with you and b) contain you when she was on the concrete and you were headed for the edge... of course the edge that was directly opposite of where Mommy was actually standing. And that made for another temper tantrum when you were banned from the trampoline because you almost sent Mommy into labor. And then, you know... Daddy made the same mistake the following day and let you on the trampoline. And you pulled the same stunt. Which also almost sent him into labor and you were once again banned from the trampoline until we could find five other people to surround the trampoline so you didn't bust your face wide open when you fell off.
* Hands Down Your Pants. Lately, you've started sticking your hand down the back of your pants. We don't know why. And we had been worried that one of these days, you would surprise us with a nugget of poop in your paw. Luckily, we've managed to avoid that thus far. Unfortunately, the ladies at day care cannot say the same. Twice, Hazel. TWICE.
* Changing a Badger. There are times that I'm not sure that putting a diaper and pajamas on a rabid badger would be harder than changing and putting clothes on you. It's become a two-person job at times and I've sometimes had to resort to turning on Sesame Street to distract you from the HORROR that is Mommy putting on your pajamas.
* Nightmares. You went through about a two week phase again of waking up from what I can only assume were nightmares. It didn't help that while you were going through this, you had a cold and we were on Christmas vacation in Phoenix, so you were totally out of your element. But, by the time we got back home and got you settled back into your normal routine and were over your cold, you only had a couple of wake-ups that we let you figure out on your own and we haven't had an issue since.
* Growth Spurts. Oh, how I'm loving this recent growth spurt. I know it's a growth spurt, as it's the only way I can explain the 8:30-9 a.m. sleep in every day, and the MASSIVE amount of food you are consuming. Either it's a growth spurt, or you somehow know that Mommy needs some extra zzz's in preparing for your little sister to join our family and have decided that it's the least you can do. Either way, THANK YOU!
* Chatty Cathy. You are more and more verbal every day. You babble to yourself A LOT. And your favorite things to say right now? Mama, mamamamamamama and mo? mo? mo? While you're saying mo? mo? mo? you are giving the sign for "more". And most of the time, the mo? mo? mo? comes out of nowhere and Mommy has absolutely no idea what you want more of. Crackers? Tomatoes? Singing Wheels on the Bus? Mommy having an emotional breakdown over the fact that we ran out of chocolate milk?? WHAT MORE???
* Signing Time. You have been taking sign language classes for about a month and you love it. Mostly, you love the songs that we sing and you even sometimes do the signs for the songs. Notably, you like to sign the Baby Signing Time theme song, while rocking your bunny that Uncle Vince gave you.
* Singing. You love it when Mommy sings to you. And our new ritual driving home from day care is to turn off All Things Considered on NPR (you have no idea how hard this was for me!) and sing Itsy Bitsy Spider, or If Your Happy or Five Little Monkeys. Over. And Over. And OVER. You'll even do the hand motions for most of the songs... my favorite is when you shake your finger for "No more monkeys jumping on the bed!" Hilarious. But really... let's be honest. I should be paying attention to the road!!!
* New Kitchen. Since the kitchen remodel has finished, your habitat has increased quite a bit and you love to run around the new table and down the hall until Daddy comes and gets you and throws you up in the air. This can go on for hours and it wears Daddy out. You also enjoy your new habitat that was created out of the box that the new microwave came in. I bought some washable markers and made some windows in the box for you to look out of, and then you and I decorated it. As we were decorating, Daddy told me to give you the green marker. Which was silly because that's what you were already using. I explained this to him, yet Daddy insisted that the marker I was holding was green. I tried to explain to him that it was actually aqua... and he proceeded to disagree with me until we both looked at you and realized that you were now chewing on the marker and it was ALL OVER your mouth and face. And, what do you know? Daddy agreed that it WAS, in fact, GREEN.
* Speaking of Milk. Guess who has finally started to drink milk at the house, not just at day care? Woo-hoo!
* Rough Housing. You are a big fan of rough housing with Daddy every night before you go to bed. And I have to say, I think he's a fan, too. I can't wait until I'm able to join in the fun!
* Brrr! It's Cold! Although this winter has been very mild compared to last year, we have had a few snowdays that have allowed us to bundle you up and take you into the great outdoors. You love getting dressed up and putting on your snowboots. And yes, the snowsuit might be a little big but you look so funny and cute in it that we just ignore it. That and we know that give it a couple days... you'll grow right into it!
That pretty much covers the last couple of months. You have been an absolute angel as of late. We are so lucky that we didn't screw you up too much in those first few months of your life. And we can only hope to recreate your awesomeness with your little sister. She's coming soon.
Are you ready?
PS: Your monthly updates will probably not be as regular as they have been (as if they've been regular, I know!) for the next little while. I may try to just update you every few months. I guess it depends on how much Squirt is kicking my butt. If she is anything like you... well, you know.