Aug 26, 2011

It’s Amazing Being a Parent

Becoming a mother has been one of the most amazing experiences in my life. Watching London grow and learn is a highlight of mine every day. It’s hard to think that just a year ago she was just under three months old. We’d travelled to Minnesota where she spent hours entertaining my grandma cooing and wiggling around in one spot on the floor. And that was so fun. But not as much fun as the last month seems to have been.

London has made leaps and bounds in her growth, both physically and developmentally. On the physical side, I swear she’s grown another inch. Pajama bottoms that we used to have to roll up at the waist so she wouldn’t trip now fit perfectly. Most of her 12-month old t-shirts are too small to pull over her head. Overall, London just looks bigger and her personality is really shining through. Just the little faces she makes and how she knows where things are to tell us what she needs is amazing.

Developmentally, she made leaps and bounds eating and comprehends so much more. London’s gone from eating jarred food to soft big people food, chewing like a champ, even without any molars yet (those are on their way I’m sure, judging but her grumpiness sometimes).

Forget trying to eat without her – if she sees you eating, she is right by your side begging for a bite, almost grabbing the fork out of your hand. And she’s started to try and use her own utensils versus being fed by us. She is all about independence when it comes to eating and takes great satisfaction in being able to put her own food in her mouth – she’ll even get mad if you try to feed her. She loves mac and cheese and her Gerber veggie crisps, but also isn’t picky and will eat whatever you offer. Tulley has quickly learned to be at London’s side the seconds food comes out, especially with the veggie crisps. When she wants them, London runs over to the side of the fridge, which is where we normally try to hide the container from her sight. If she wants a bottle of milk, London runs to the side of the sink where the cabinet is that holds her bottles and sippy cups and then follows you to the fridge to make sure you’re getting her milk. As soon as she sees the milk she runs and lays down on her soft Disney princess blanket and waits as patiently as possible for a 1 year old for the bottle to arrive.

We take the veggie crisps with us when driving, in case London gets hungry or cranky. When she does, I hand her one at a time. When she’s ready for another crisp she raises her hand above her head so I can see it over the car seat and makes a little murmur, like she’s saying “More please”. It’s completely adorable.

London also likes to walk around when permitted, but will hold your hand when asked. This is good as she is getting heavy – my hips can only handle her sitting on them for so long now. It’s great too, because in the morning when I’m loading up the car, she can walk outside on her own and wait for me clear my hands to put her in the car seat. She also knows what bath and bed mean and high-tails it to the gate when you ask her if she’s ready for one or the other. Some nights she really is just ready to go to sleep. She’s great at climbing up the stairs and yesterday, when we let her try she decided sliding down a few steps was her best option versus trying to walk.

She’s gotten a lot better with all the animals as well and loves animals in general. Tulley is still her favorite, followed by Jake. She knows not to bother Melody, and quickly learned it was not ok, nor funny to push her ride-along princess push cart into Melody. Melody tolerated it well, we sent London to her Bumbo chair for time out since she can’t get out of it on her own and this infuriates her. We make her sit in it long enough to get upset and calm down, which is usually about two minutes. With Tulley she knows she can crawl all over her, cuddle, hug and kiss, as well as pat roughly. With Jake she knows to pet softly and tries to cuddle with him as much as he will tolerate. I caught her trying to sit in her new toddler-sized chair with him the other day when he was sleeping in it. Pictures to come, I promise.

The transition to the new daycare has gone amazingly smooth, too. I don’t know if it was the small amount of exposure she had at the previous daycare, or the time she spent with Kim, Kaley and Paige last week, but by Wednesday, when Cameron dropped her off, there were no tears. I think it does help that she is with only kids her age, and only three others. Plus, the room the Froggy group is in, has no windows so when the lights go out at napping time, its nice and dark. The only light comes in from the next door infant room which has a half door separating the too. She’s also sleeping on a cot there – this will be great when we transition her from the crib to a toddler bed.

My favorite thing about all this growth is the couple of art projects I’ve received. She made a butterfly hand painting at the previous daycare and has used crayons at the new one. It makes me want to run out and get her some crayons, finger paint and paper to encourage her artistic side even more.

And while Cameron and I are amazed everyday, we also get a little sad, realizing how big our little girl is already. I can only imagine the changes we’re going to see over the next month and year.

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