15 Month Motherhood Update

(Harper’s Top, Leggings | My Sweater)

It feels as if the time between my monthly motherhood updates gets shorter and shorter… maybe it’s because Harper is like the energizer bunny and never stops (which means I don’t either….), or, because so much changes in such a short amount of time at this age. Either way, she’s another month older, which means another update. I’ve formatted things a little differently this month…. hope you enjoy!

General Thoughts + Feelings: I’m not sure if it’s because she is turning into such a little girl, or the fact that I fall in love with her personality more and more everyday, but I find myself holding her a little longer at night, knowing that the days are numbered when she’ll actually ask to be in my arms (I mean, I know I have a while, but in the grand scheme of her entire life…. it’s limited). I feel as if that’s the perspective I’ve been taking this entire month… everything is temporary… the good, the bad (like not going to the bathroom by myself… ever… haha), her preferences, her dislikes… it can all change day by day, week by week… sometimes it’s a phase, and other times it’s not. Yet, that very outlook has helped me to be a more present mom…..

This month in particular, I have found it so amazing that I have been blessed with this little girl… that I have been given the responsibility to help her grow into a happy, confident, compassionate, and empathetic woman. Do I get it wrong sometimes? Yes, of course. Am I always wondering if I am a good mom…. or if I did it all right? Every single day. A part of me wishes that I didn’t have those thoughts…. but a part of me knows that they are par for the course. Something I will always think about… even when she’s all grown up……

Favorite Part/Most Challenging Part: I’d have to say one of my favorites of this past month has been her increased interest in a reciprocal relationship…. when she comes up to me, grabs my hand (willingly….), and shows me something she is fascinated with it absolutely melts my heart. It’s as if she sees me as a safe base…. she can explore, and come find me when she has something exciting to share. Which, as a mother, is always my ultimate goal… for her to feel safe to explore her surroundings independently and always know that I am there for her.

On the flip side, I was just having lunch with my parents and Harper the other day. I mentioned that the throwing of food has to be, hands down, my least favorite part of this age… and then, she threw her food (well, at least she didn’t make a liar out of me, riiiight??). We’ve done a lot in attempts to minimize this behavior…. and using a little plate + bowl seems to help somewhat. I’m going to start redirecting the throwing…. when she looks like she is about to throw the food, I am going to provide her with a second bowl that she can “throw” her food into (as opposed to the floor)…. and I am also going to start with smaller quantities of food on the plate…. she might be throwing because she is “finished…” (although, she does know how to sign “all done….”). I recently ordered this placemat/plate and hoping it will work too! I’m also starting to work with her on using utensils. Wish me luck.

Newness: At this age, there is so much growth! She has started to talk in a purposeful manner. Her favorite words are “hiiiii,” “biiii,” “dadeeeee,” “dogeeeee,” and “owwww.” She loves to combine “biiii dadeeeee” when TJ puts her down at night, and when he leaves in the morning. It’s adorable. When we’re on walks, she identifies all dogs and becomes super excited. I hear “mommmmma” when she’s crying…. go figure, right?? She’s also obsessed with airplanes. Whenever she hears one, she immediately stops, looks up, and points with excitement.

We recently took her to get some ice cream for the first time (if you’re local check out A La Minute… organic and so good!). She was hesitant at first because of the cold… but once she got used to it there was no stopping her.

She throws tantrums like any toddler…. but to be honest, I find them slightly comical. The act of intentionally lying down on the ground and crying makes me chuckle….. I typically try to redirect her, validate her frustrations, and let her know that it will all be ok (even though she clearly thinks life has ended in the moment….). We are getting some outright defiance (this might be a strong word choice though)… and limit testing… which is all to be expected. For me personally, I try to follow Erik Erickson’s stages of development to put all her behaviors into perspective, and provide me with a guide as to how to address them. I use “if, then” statements, along with “when, then” statements, to let her know that if she chooses a behavior, then x,y,or z will happen. It seems to work, and I can see her processing what I am saying. Example? She loves to eat dirt (the OCD in me cringes….) so I let her know that if she continues to put the dirt in her mouth, then we will have to go inside for a little while. I’d say about 70% of the time she makes a different choice… and the other 30% results in us going inside (#QueTantrum).

Napping: Last month I mentioned that we might be at the point of making a transition in Harper’s nap schedule. Her morning naps have started to become shorter…. and she’s fighting her afternoon naps. So, yesterday I had a mom’s group in the morning and she missed her morning nap (which typically always happens when I have the group). In the past, it has resulted in disaster. Yesterday though, when I went to get her, she had a big smile on her face…. and did really well the rest of the day (I mean, the energy she had was unreal…. I was exhausted by the time her nap rolled around). Since she missed her morning nap, I shifted her afternoon nap to 1:30 and she slept until 4.

In all honesty, I have been so hesitant to drop the morning nap. Mostly for selfish reasons. It’s when I shower, return e-mails, and get a small break. Yet, I know that with the transition to one nap, we will be able to do more exploring in the morning hours… and that there will be a longer break in the afternoon. Given that she is transitioning to one nap, I will likely let her sleep a little longer in the morning and not be so strict with a wake-up time. I’ll touch base next month and let you know how the full transition goes.

Self-Care: When I think about what I want most for Harper, it’s a safe, secure, and happy home. Which, I know starts with me (and of course, TJ). That being said, self-care is absolutely the best way for me to be a present mother, who can help to facilitate that kind of home environment. It’s so hard to ask someone to help with your child… I feel guilty… as if I should be able to do it all. Yet, in the end, when I’m not taking care of myself, I find that I am drained, less patient, more irritable, and not the kind of mother I want to be. Given that, TJ and I have talked about ways to make self-care, and relationship care, a priority. Whether that’s a morning SoulCycle class solo or together, or a night away with our friends or just the two of us, or grabbing a glass of wine with a few girlfriends for happy hour…. we have invested and found ways to make self-identify, self-care, and relationship care a priority. As a result, it’s a happier mother, happier marriage, happy home, and happy baby…. which, as a mother, is my ultimate goal. It’s like that cliché saying that people refer to about always putting on your oxygen mast first. What good are you to those around you if you’re running flat (or, kind of like a carbonated drink that’s lost it’s fizz… who wants anything to do with that??). 

Fitness: This ties in closely with self-care, but it’s always been an integral part of my life… and one I had to make accommodations to postpartum. This past month, we started to create HIIT workouts outside, at parks, and let Harper run around. It’s a great way to get the entire family outside… also, some of that park equipment makes for an excellent workout.

Favorite Products: There have been a few new products over the past month that we’ve loved. My parents recently bought Harper this water tray for their backyard and she absolutely loves it. Like, that’s all she wants to do. She really loves touch and feel books…. some of her favorites include this one, this one, and this one (she’s also started mimicking animal noises because of this book….). She has a lot of little stuffed animals, but as of late has taken a liking to this super soft little bunny. These sandals have rapidly become one of her favorite pairs of shoes. I was nervous that she would have a hard time walking in them… but she runs with ease. I use these snack carriers to bring along little treats when we go on outings. We’ve loved using this toothbrush (as she’s teething like crazy… already has two molars!) and I recently bought her this wearable blanket to use over these pajamas (I just get so worried about her getting cold….). We’ve been going to the park several mornings a week, right after little miss has breakfast. I’ve personally been living in these grey leggings and these black leggings on these mornings. This blush hoodie is an easy piece to grab and toss on when we’re heading out the door…. and I pretty much wear these kicks every morning out with her.