I can’t believe my little dude is going to be 2 in less than 2 months. Probably we’ll stop with the monthly posts after that, but we may keep taking the pictures at least for ourselves at that point. He was super tired tonight, so there were tears followed by giggles, followed by tears. And when we asked if he would take his hand out of his mouth he replied with a stern no, so, there you go. Also, I don’t know why no one combs this poor child’s hair. Oh wait.
(For the full list of pictures from the first year, see here)
Today you are 22 months old! I have said many times that the past month was my favorite, or one particular age was my favorite, but I’d like to rescind that and say that this past month was the best. For a whole bunch of reasons, the biggest of which is that you are just the most fun little person on the earth and I have smiled more this month than possibly ever in my life.
You are suddenly this crazy verbal toddler, now combining 2 and 3 words together with ease. It catches me off guard every time you do it, but it’s also so cool and so cute that I want you to talk all day long. Last night you said, unprompted, “bye bye my daddy” and we all died on the spot. Tonight at dinner there was a tank of lobsters and no matter how much we suggested otherwise, you were completely certain that they were monsters. I hope you never learn that they’re not.
This month you’ve also been working hard on jumping, which I have to say is fairly hilarious. You can, very occasionally, get both feet off the ground at the same time, but mostly you do very excited galloping. You tried jumping off a low step at music class last week with hilariously poor results. You never fell, but let’s just say that it seems you inherited your grace from me. Your motor planning skills are pretty fantastic though.
You have been a little more into TV than we like lately, but mostly because you are 100% completely and totally obsessed with cars, trucks and planes. You could watch the movie Cars 800000 (more) times, and you would still excitedly scream “MAYER!” (Mater) every time. Ditto with “Air-pane!” and the movie Planes. We put on Bolt (a movie about a dog) and I thought you might have gone straight to heaven with your nearly uncontainable excitement over a movie all about a dog. I can’t wait to blow your mind with Horton Hears a Who since you think Elephants are the greatest things next to cars, trucks, planes and dogs. You are a simple creature and I love that about you.
You’ve also developed a really wonderfully improved sense of patience this month. You say please (“pease”) unprompted and mostly calmly, and if we tell you to hold on a second you will respond with a content “otay” or “awwight” and actually wait. There are a few exceptions, but this is a huge change and it is the coolest thing. You are suddenly just so grown.
Your likes this month include: ketchup, mama (you are SUPER into me right now, I am a huge fan), daddy, the grandparents (every one of them), “An Cware, Un Stot and Addie” (Aunt Claire, Uncle Scott and Addie), dogs, trucks, cars, planes, trains, Mickey Mouse (“mouse!”), Elmo, french fries (ugh), coloring, ice cream and hugs.
Your dislikes this month include: not being allowed to take your trucks to daycare, diaper changes, diaper rashes, coming inside after playing outside, sitting on mom or dad’s laps and help when you did not specifically request it.
While you have been so very fun this month, it’s also become apparent how sensitive you are, and I’m trying hard to nurture that and not let people try to take it away from you. You are easily frightened by loud, unfamiliar noises, and you don’t necessarily want to try things right away. I think that it’s okay to be cautious and concerned, as long as it doesn’t hold you back from trying things, and so I will cuddle you for as long as you need. Sensitivity is all too often looked down upon and I don’t want you to ever feel ashamed or embarrassed because you’re a sensitive kid. It will make you an incredible older brother, friend, husband and father some day.
We put away the bottles for good this month, which felt very much like officially finishing the chapter of your babyhood. You took to the new cups easily (they’re only about a half of a quarter of a step up from a bottle, but whatever) and I’m just glad you still want to sit on my lap to drink your milk. Those are my favorite times of day- when you lay on me and I can just soak you in. When I can take a second to really see you, and smell your sweet scent and just absorb you before you’re up and running around again. I am going to be dreadfully sad when you no longer want to sit on my lap to have milk and so I treasure each day it happens.
I realize that the months ahead are completely filled with change, but please know that one thing cannot and will not ever change. I love you so deeply that you will never understand, until perhaps you have a child of your own. Nothing you can do will ever change that and each day that love only grows deeper and stronger. I am so proud of the person you’re becoming and so humbled that I get to spend each day with you.
Happy 22 months Elijah. We love you so very much and cannot wait to see what next month brings.
Our big anatomy ultrasound is in a week, which both feels like it has snuck up and also like it’s still a million years away. And I can honestly say, while I am so very excited to know, I absolutely could not care less about the sex of the baby. Truly. But I want to know noooooow.
When I was pregnant with Eli, I thought I wanted a girl. Not because I didn’t want a boy, but because I had grown up with girls. I had a sister, a half sister and 3 step sisters. My female cousins outnumbered the male ones 3:1. I just didn’t feel equipped to have a boy since I never really knew any young boys. And yet, now I find myself the very happy mother of one. And it’s funny because I kind of quickly adopted the boy mom mentality, and now I find it challenging to picture having a daughter. Again, not because I don’t want one, just because now, ironically, I don’t feel equipped to have one.
But, since day one of this pregnancy, I’ve felt strongly that this baby is a girl. I know every pregnancy is different, but the levels upon which this pregnancy differs from Eli’s only serves to convince me of that more and more. And so I thought it might be fun to do some of the old wives tales to predict the sex just to see how right/wrong they are.
I’ll start with the Chinese Gender Chart (which yes, should be sex not gender. But I didn’t make it, so I am not responsible for the name). Based on my due date and birth date the baby should be a boy. It correctly predicted that Eli was a boy.
Mayan prediction- the myth is that Mayans predicted gender by looking at the mother’s age at conception and the year of conception. If both are odd or even, it’s a girl. If they’re different, it’s a boy. I was 30 when I conceived this baby and the year was 2013, so boy. Just for fun, I was 28 when I conceived Eli and I got pregnant with him 2011, so he would also be predicted to be a boy.
Carrying height- the old wives tale is that if you’re carrying low, it’s a boy. If you’re carrying high, it’s a girl. I’m definitely carrying higher than I did with Eli, but still relatively low. I think this one is kind of a wash, but since it’s higher than I was carrying with Eli, I’ll put it under girl.
This is me now, at 17 weeks, 2 days (and let’s be real, I’m about 10-15 pounds heavier now than I was then, but a few months ago, my stomach was SIGNIFICANTLY less protrude-y than my boobs. Also, OMG I miss my body.):
Heart rate- Eli’s heart rate was consistently in the 160s throughout my pregnancy. This baby started in the 160s and has dropped to the 140s. If we’re going by same v. different, I’d predict girl, but per the old wives tale, it means a boy. So.
Cravings- the myth goes- sweet cravings are a boy, sour means girl. With Eli this was pretty true. I did have some sour cravings, but I also ate cinnamon rolls for breakfast every single day for almost 3 months, so I’d say sweet was more prevalent. This time, my sweet tooth has been super mild, in fact, I’ve not wanted to eat sweets a lot of the time. I’ve craved sour and other strong flavors- this week mostly goat cheese and balsamic vinegar. So I think this one goes to the girl category.
Morning sickness- the tale says that more morning sickness means a girl. In which case, I’d like to say that this is the girliest girl there has ever been. Because at 17 weeks, I’m still dry heaving every morning. It’s pure misery.
Skin- the myth is that if you’re breaking out, it’s a girl (because she’s “stealing your beauty”) and if you’re not, it’s a boy. I’m not glowing (unless you count the excessive sweating all damn day), but my face is totally clear. So again, boy. And my skin was similarly clear with Eli (to be fair, and so not to brag because I take absolute shit care of my skin, I have always had relatively clear skin and this is largely due to wonderful and entirely fortunate genetics. Please don’t hate me.)
The ring test- Tie a ring on a string and hold it above your belly. The tale says if it swings in a line it’s a boy, if it swings in a circle it’s a girl. I’m putting absolutely no stock in this test because it sounds completely ridiculous (because all the others make so much sense, I know), but also, I did it with my 8 dollar Target ring (my wedding ring does not fit right now) and on a necklace chain instead of a string. For what it’s worth, it swung in a line, so, boy.
Family predictions are overwhelmingly girl, with the sole exception of my dad who says boy. My grandfather, who predicted that Eli was a boy from the very start also says girl, with great confidence.
The final tally is, girl 4, boy 5. Interesting. The same tests would’ve favored boy 7 to 1 with Eli (didn’t do the scientific ring test with Eli, tragically), so it’s definitely interesting.
Regardless of the outcome, I’m so ready to know. Guesses?
A little over a week ago, I was talking to my sister on the phone on the way to work (hands free, no kid in the car), as we often do on the days we’re both commuting. We were discussing how annoying it is to spend 45 minutes to get ready and look presentable and how we both wish we could cut down that time. And I started to consider getting a haircut. A major, major haircut.
I spent my downtime that morning looking at various short haircuts and trying to decide just how drastic I wanted to go. By the end of that day I had made up my mind. I wanted it short. Like really, really, really short.
And so the next day I went and got a haircut. When I told the hairdresser what I wanted and showed her pictures she gave an involuntary “whoa” and then told me that while it was a pretty significant change that she felt I could pull it off. And as I’ve been told about a hundred times in the last week, apparently that is not true for everyone (which I’m not entirely sure I buy. But I’ve never been a great judge of style, so).
And 45 minutes later my hair went from this:
Neither of those pictures are from that actual day because I forgot to take a before picture and I didn’t like the way it was styled initially and needed a few days (okay, a week) to figure out the ways I could do it and liked it, but now that I’ve gotten to that point, I’m mostly happy. I can sometimes get away with second day hair, but only when I don’t care who sees me, because it’s definitely not the best. But I can go from wet hair to completely finished in 7 minutes flat, so honestly, it’s really not much of an inconvenience to have to do it every morning.
Eli has adjusted well, which was one of my worries since this was a huge change. When I walked in after the hair cut, he looked at me kind of strangely, walked over to me, touched my hair, drove a car through it and was fine. He does like to touch it, but he always loved to touch my hair when I wore it down before, so that’s no big surprise.
The response has been mostly positive. A kid at Eli’s daycare walked up to me and said, “you cut your hair” and when I replied affirmatively, she looked at me and said, “why?” It was pretty great. I also had a 4 year patient get super excited that I cut my hair just like theirs, which would be entirely adorable except that patient is a 4 year old boy. So, win some lose some.
I’m relatively happy with it overall, but as of now, I’m undecided if I’m going to continue to cut it this length or do the very, very gradual grow out. It hasn’t even been 2 weeks yet, so I have some time to make that decision. It may have been a rash pregnancy decision, but aside from a few hours of regret here and there, it doesn’t yet seem to be a bad one. Hair always grows back and sometimes, so I hear, change can be good.
Last week, for my husband’s birthday, I sent my him to New York to see the opening night of his brother’s off Broadway show (Kung Fu, for those interested). He was gone for what felt like an eternity (6 days!) and finally came home on Tuesday. It wasn’t until that day that I realized that for the first time since we had Eli, I had actually slept well without my husband. I credit this to a lot of things, therapy, PTSD medication and Unisom, but whatever the reason, I was feeling really proud of myself.
Then Thursday night, I drove down to San Diego for a mini blog conference Friday morning, which I will definitely share more about soon. I hadn’t planned to stay the night, but the combination of horrible weather, persistent morning sickness and an 8am conference call made driving down that morning not the safest option. And again, I slept alone and I slept fairly well. I never sleep as well at hotels as I do at home, but it was one of the better experiences I’ve had this past year.
And then Friday night happened.
It was around 7:30 on Friday night. My husband was upstairs giving Eli a bath and I was sitting on the couch reading an article on my computer. Our sliding glass door was closed, but the blinds are open, as they often
are were. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw something in the sliding glass door and I heard a tapping, but we’d had such crazy wind and rain all day, I didn’t even look up.
And then it happened again, except this time the tapping was louder and I could see there was clearly something there. I stood up and gasped. We have a patio in front of our apartment with a 5 foot tall wall around it. On that wall was a man, my guess is a teenager, in a black sweatshirt and black ski mask, squatting and tapping on the glass. When he saw that I saw him, he made a strange noise (bird like? I don’t know how to describe it) and tapped again.
Without flinching or screaming or even moving quickly, I walked up the stairs to my husband and told him that there was a man on our patio wall in a ski mask, tapping on the glass, and what was I supposed to do? He looked at me like I was insane and told me to call 911 because apparently that’s what someone not silently freaking out would do? And then we realized both phones were downstairs, so I had to go back down the stairs, where I did not look to see if the ski mask man was outside and called 911.
From there we met with a deputy (sheriff, I guess?) and a helicopter was sent out. Since no crime was officially committed, besides scaring the ever living crap out of me, they told us they wouldn’t be following up with us, but the helicopter had spotted 2 people who potentially fit the description and they’d follow them and see if there was anything worth doing. And then they left. And that was the last I heard about it. For all I know the guy is my next door neighbor and the police has no idea.
This person never entered my home, but I cannot shake the violated feeling that I have about what he did. I can only imagine that his whole intention was to scare me, which he managed, but he also really, really pissed me off. I no longer feel safe in my home. This person was able to climb up on my patio wall, unnoticed (even though there are 5 surrounding apartments), tap on my window and walk away unseen at 7:30 at night. How much more difficult would it have been for him to jump the wall and break into our apartment? To make matters worse my husband said that while I was gone Thursday night, someone walked up to our porch very late (like midnight) lingered for a second, and walked away, so it’s possible that this wasn’t an isolated event.
I worked really hard to not let anxiety keep me up at night or rule my thoughts and this person has undone so much of that. I feel like though he never entered my home, he’s intruded violently in my mind, and I’m so angry that I let him. I’m mad that he got what he wanted and that now I’m scared to be alone at home with my child. I’m mad that I’m absolutely terrified of sleeping here without my husband and that he has several planned conferences that will force me to face that few in the next few months. We are fine, our stuff is fine, but my sense of security is damaged. I know it will recover, I have all the tools to manage this, but I just shouldn’t have to.
And I’m really, really mad about it.
I was going to write a post today about people being stupid about politics because it’s been a while since I’ve offered a liberally skewed rant and really you can never have too many of those, but then this great thing happened. And so I’m going to share this video of my son because it is far more entertaining than any rant I have to offer.
When I decided to take the video, I just thought it would be cute to record the way he pronounces different animal sounds because they’re constantly evolving and I love them so much. And then on a whim, I asked him the last question and basically I haven’t stopped laughing since.
To be clear, I did not teach him this, nor did I encourage it, but it’s pretty much the best thing ever and I’ve bookmarked this video for all eternity.
(It’s a little dark, turn up your speakers, and maybe hide your kid and your wife)
Depending upon how you count it, I either made it to the second trimester 2 weeks ago (developmental timing?), last week (normal math) or this week (weird math). I don’t really care how you count, I am just glad to be moving to this next phase and running away from the last one.
I can’t even begin to explain how different this pregnancy has been. I don’t want to categorize it as bad, because I know that in the global scheme of pregnancies, it’s not bad. I haven’t had to have IV fluid, I haven’t needed a trip to the doctor besides my normal check ups, no bleeding or scary complications, several normal wonderful ultrasounds. I mean, this is not bad. It’s just so different. And I think what I’ve realized is that it has felt very difficult to me because I was not prepared.
With Eli I was vaguely nauseous a few times in the first trimester, had contractions through the entire third trimester, was homicidal the week before he was born and had a relatively easy labor and delivery. And that was it. It was easy. The contractions were obnoxious, but once we realized they weren’t doing anything, they were just an inconvenience. No real nausea, no real fatigue, not one single headache. I thought I was born to be pregnant.
I was mistaken.
This time around, I have struggled each day for the past almost 9 weeks with nausea. The first 6 weeks of it were brutal, to me. Partially because I wasn’t prepared and partially because I do not handle nausea well at all. I mean, AT ALL. So dry heaving all over my living room, throwing up whole Zofran or stomach bile all over the parking lot, not being able to even take a bite of dinner or watch my child eat a meal was rough. Again, not horrible or dehydrating or scary. Just really, really unpleasant. It is finally letting up a lot and I could not be more grateful. I’m still queasy in the mornings and need to move slowly, but the evenings are good more often than not, and the afternoons are easy. I still haven’t gained an ounce, but I’m not listing that as a negative at all. I have 20 Eli pounds to help cushion this baby, I can stand to not gain a ton.
And then there’s the headaches. Before I got pregnant with Eli, I had nearly constant headaches. They were awful and I spared no detail in whining about them (sorry I’m not really sorry). And then I got pregnant and they just stopped. I mean, completely altogether stopped. My neurologist could only guess that the increased blood volume improved my pressures and that was why, but regardless of the reason, it was amazing. And I told my husband I was just going to get pregnant over and over if they came back. And thankfully they didn’t ever get back to their prior awfulness, but I had some here or there, mostly related to hormones.
And then there’s this pregnancy. Holy hell. I have had almost constant headaches for the past 2-3 weeks. It seems to be primarily the pressure from dry heaving that triggers them, along with the stress on my neck (they’re really cervicogenic more than anything), but dude, they’re awful. I finally resorted to a category C migraine medication on Friday because I was on day 3 of what started as a pressure thing and ended up as a migraine and I was ready to lay down on the freeway and let cars run over me. It worked and has been a little better since, but I’m pretty sure that this baby is made primarily of Zofran and Tylenol.
I’m also visibly pregnant already. My uterus has some kickass muscle memory.
It’s just so very different this time, and I was not prepared for any of it. I am thrilled to be having this baby, and finally starting to feel like I’m slightly in control of my life again, but it’s been really surprising the whole way through. I started having painless contractions this week, but for now I’m just trying to ignore them and take it easy. My hope is that this sort of rough first trimester will pave the way for an easy 2nd and 3rd. That seems likely, right?
Either way, I know that in the end it’s worth it and that I really just need to adjust my expectations. I need to not expect the remaining 25 weeks to be a repeat of Eli’s gestation because that’s not the case, and the sooner I get that fact in my head, the better for everyone. I do have to say that I hope the outcome is the same though, because I have the best little kid ever, and I’ll take 40 weeks of nausea and fatigue and headaches if I’m lucky enough to get another wonderful little person like Eli in my life. He’s beyond worth it and I’m sure this one will be too.
This was one of those months where we only remembered to take the picture like 10 seconds before putting Eli to bed. The whole event devolved into tears pretty quickly and it looks a bit like a drunk monkey combed his hair.
1 year, 8 months and 1 day old!
1 year, 9 months and 1 day old!
(For the full list of pictures from the first year, see here)
Today you are 21 months old. Can we just pause here for a second? I cannot deal with how close you are to 2. The first year flew by, but the second year has been a blur. You are now so much closer to 2 than to 1 and I just can’t believe it.
This has been an interesting month. You are suddenly all about testing limits and boundaries. You do something, get told not to, then immediately do it 10 more times. You will often look at us with a knowing smile, or even say “no no” before you do something you know you shouldn’t. You had your first (and fifth) time out this month and they are equally unfun for you as they are for me.
There have been a lot of highs this month. You started a soccer class (for 18-23 month olds) and it’s just the cutest thing ever. You love the parachute and the bubbles and to kick the balls and balloons. You don’t so much love the sitting down and listening to directions part. You’re also doing a music class one day a week now too and you love the music and the instruments and I’m constantly impressed with how well you clean up and transition. If I could just get you to sit on my lap for a half a second, that’d be great.
You also have just continued to be amazingly verbal this month, bursting with new words and phrases each day. You now say “I love you” which, let’s be honest, is simply the greatest thing that has ever happened. You said “I don’t know” the other night, which was bananas because I didn’t even know you knew what that meant. You say “I did it” all the time (mostly after someone else does something for you) and “dere it is” (whether you found what you were looking for or not). You’re starting to put more 2 word phrases together and you’re just so much clearer lately with your wants, it’s pretty delightful. And you know how to spell your name, just like every 21 month old.
We got Disneyland year passes this month (thanks to some Christmas gift cards) and we’ve gotten to go several times already. You’re not super enthused (which is fine since you’re free), but you LOVE It’s a Small World and the Jungle Cruise and you thought the Tiki Room was the greatest thing ever. Basically you’d just like us to steer clear of everything in Fantasy Land.
Your likes this month include: the dishwasher, dipping food, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, the kitties, any dog in the universe, Tangled (which you call horse and neigh), actual horses, Elmo, cars and trucks, coloring, going down the slide at daycare, phones, pacifiers, the ABC’s.
Your dislikes this month include: sitting on your parents laps, vegetables, when you can’t have what you want and the second song on the Frozen soundtrack.
This month has been another tough one for me energy wise and it’s really been emotionally difficult. I know you won’t remember this, but I hate that I can’t give you the attention you want and deserve and I know that’s what some of your acting out has been about (besides normal toddler boundary testing). I am so hopeful that the tides will turn this month and I’ll be able to give you more time and energy, but in the meantime just know that I love you so very much and that this has been as tough for me as for you.
You have become even more loving than before this month. You are just head over heels in love with your grandparents, you give hugs and kisses freely for everyone. The only downside to this is that you’re very sad when they leave. Earlier this month your Grandma T came to hang out (you call her Aha ha ha, for some odd reason) so your dad and I could work, and you cried on and off for an hour after she had to leave that night. You have the same sadness when your dad or I have to leave for work or an errand. It’s heartbreaking, but it’s also so nice to be loved so much.
I kind of expected that with age, you’d become less snuggly and more active, but that really hasn’t been true. Last night before your bath, you sat on my lap, head on shoulder and just snuggled with me for at least 5 minutes. I told you I love you and you whispered the same back to me and it was a moment I will hold in my heart forever. The happiness I feel when I’m with you cannot be captured in words, no matter how hard I try, but it is overwhelming and relentless in the best kind of way.
Happy 21 months, Elijah. We love you so very much and can’t wait to see what next month will bring.
Every once in a while, I’ll have a day where I’m nearly overcome with love for Eli. I know it sounds just painfully cheesy and it feels that way too, but there are just days where all I want to do is kiss his little cheeks and tell him over and over how much I love him. Today was one of those days.
I think part of it is because we’re on the downhill side of a couple of tough weeks, behaviorally speaking. Eli is a very typical toddler. He wants to know where his boundaries are and what happens when he tests them. I know it’s normal and it is what he’s supposed to do, but it doesn’t make the parenting part of that any less tough. I know he needs rules and consequences, but sometimes it’s just exhausting to have days where it seems that the word no comes out more than anything else. And where all attempts at positive reinforcement and redirection are laughably useless.
Thankfully, the past few days have been good ones. Ones where we’re still maintaining the boundaries, but he’s comfortably living within them instead of slingshotting himself at them over and over to see how strong they are.
He’s just the coolest little person. Today I asked him what letter the letter E was and I know he knows it because he points it out everywhere and he just said, clear as day, “I don’t know.” He’s never said that before and I didn’t even know he knew what it meant. But he used it perfectly (I mean, aside from the part where he knows what letter E is). He seems to learn new things every day and it’s like every day is a treasure hunt to find the new stuff, to see how he has changed, how he has grown in the previous 24 hours.
When Eli first started daycare, I missed him fiercely. Like, cried myself to work, looked at pictures of him all day and just hated being away. And then we went through a bit of a transition where I really saw the benefit of daycare. We both did well with some time away, with our separate identities and our social interactions. But I almost feel like we’ve come full circle in a way. I miss him now, as much as I used to, but not in a sad way, just in the way where I wonder what he’s doing and saying and I want to be there to see it all. I’m not going to quit my job, but it really makes me feel more grateful for the days I get to stay home with him.
Watching him grow up is truly one of my greatest privileges.
I was warned about the toddler years and while I’ve only gotten the smallest taste so far, I know that the warnings are true. But I also know that the tough parts seem to make the rest of it seem so much better. It’s like, we had a tough week, I had to step up to the parenting plate and now that things have eased, I can sit back and see this incredible person again. I can see how smart and fun and joyful he is and it’s even better than it was a few weeks ago.
Just to put the cheesy icing on the cheesy feelings cake, all day I have been thinking about a line from A League of Their Own. I think in parenting, much like baseball (apparently?), “the hard is what makes it great.” If this is what toddlerhood is I am ready to embrace it with open arms. Even the hard, because the great is really, really great.