Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Olivia Layne - 16 Months

Where did our baby go? You are getting so big and old, little Laynie Baby. You are walking! You took what we are counting as your first steps on April 11th. After that you would walk by yourself once in a while, but not always. You still preferred to hold our hands. But when you DO go by yourself, you can really go. You got so strong by waiting until you were really ready :) Just yesterday, on your 16 month birthday, you chose to walk by yourself a lot! We LOVE seeing you do it. You get really excited and open your mouth wide and you like to reach out for a high five when you get to us. Nayelle taught you that part of it :) You have had one or two head bumps from falling, but mostly you fall on your bottom and get right back up. I’m pretty sure you said “Mama” for real this morning! Maybe not 100% sure, but it was really precious anyway. You also say “uh-oh” all the time now, and you say it emphasizing different syllables and making your mouth into a cute little “o”. It is adorable.

We finally had good weather this weekend and were able to play outside quite a bit. You just love to be outside. We took a bike ride, played at the park, had a picnic and took walks. I think we are all excited for true Spring weather. Your naps have really gotten out of control. It’s hard to say when you’ll take one, and you now only take one. Sometimes it’s 45 minutes, sometimes 90 minutes. My thought is that you are often pretty tired in the evenings. You can handle it pretty well, but if you get frustrated about something it takes a long time to console you. I think another part of that is your teeth coming in. All your molars are in and your last one is working hard to get all the way through. Sadly you have another double ear infection :( I took you to the doctor because you had a cough that wouldn’t go away and it turns out you poor ears were infected. I hope you’ll soon start getting more rest, all your teeth will feel good and you’ll be healthy. Speaking of health, you had your first tummy bug this month. Poor Maddie and Jackson had it and we went to visit not knowing it and those germs jumped right onto you with a vengeance. You threw up 11 times in 12 hours or so. It was awful to see you suffer that way and not know what was going on. I would do pretty much anything to keep you from getting sick. And that bug was ruthless. It got me and Daddy, too. We are all learning how to navigate your new big feelings and emotions. I’ve read quite a bit about how I’d like to respect those feelings and help you through them, but it is not easy. It’s a big instinct to want to make you feel better immediately by shushing you and distracting you, but I want you to know that your emotions are valid and you don’t need to be scared to share your feelings. I will try to help you understand where they come from and how you got to feeling a certain way, and I will try to be proactive about keeping triggers (lack of sleep, hunger, needing connection) to a minimum. But as with any toddler or adult, you will have big feelings and they are safe with us. Hopefully I can soon figure out a way to redirect the biting, though. It seems to be your instinct when you get really frustrated. You reach down to bite whatever is near. Poor goose. I know in time you’ll learn that teeth are for eating, not biting, though. What a journey this is for us all!

You are so fun, my sweet girl! You smile a lot and your laugh is still the best sound in the entire world. You sit and play for longer by yourself. Sometimes you find something to do all on your own, like putting a diaper on one of your toys or pushing your bus around, and sometimes we will suggest a toy and you’ll play with it. You still much prefer lots of interaction from us, but it’s great to see you figuring things out as you grow up. You like to try to do things on your own, like put on your shoes, socks, hat, jacket, etc. If we offer to help you you shake and twist your body as your way of saying “no, leave me alone, I will do it!” Of course then sometimes you get upset when you can’t do it, but sometimes you will ask us for help when you are ready. You definitely know what you want and like. If you are walking while holding our hands and we ask if you want to walk by yourself you do the same shake/twist to tell us NO! But you will walk and walk by yourself when you decide to alone :) You love to have us sing songs to you, especially when there are hand movements. You get so pleased when you do the movements with us to If You’re Happy and You Know it, The Wheels on the Bus, and Itsy Bitsy Spider.

You can put two and two together, too. You have a book with a picture of a fan in it and when you just see the book cover you will point to the ceiling fan. When we are driving home from Nayelle’s we pass a new mini golf course that has an elephant and before it’s even in sight you make the sign for elephant. If you see a banana in a book you point to our counter where the fruit bowl is. You also make the hand movements for Wheels on the Bus every time you see an actual school bus. Maybe I’m biased, but you are a genius ;) We decided to cut your bangs yesterday. I know! Yikes! They are probably a little shorter than I had planned, but you look completely adorable. You can still wear a bow, but now if you don’t your hair isn’t in your eyes. You look older, too. I love how the rest of your hair curls and wisps while your bangs are straight and short. I wouldn’t be surprised if BabyGap calls for a job ;) I like to think you are strong and passionate and those characteristics can take you really far in life sweet girl. I can’t wait to see how those traits will weave together with the rest of your fun personality as you grow. I could not have a better job than being your Mama


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