16 Month Motherhood Update

(Outfit Details || Romper | Slides | Hat | Harper’s Romper | Harper’s Shoes | Harper’s Hat)

If the above photo doesn’t explain where we are at the 16 month mark, I don’t know what will…. we’re in the throws of toddler life and while it has its ups and downs… it’s certainly one of my favorite ages so far. I find myself looking at her everyday and in disbelief at how much she has grown, and at how much of a little girl she has become. She makes the most intense eye contact and then starts to laugh…. she tests limits  (just today I gave her two choices… hold my hand while we walked in the parking structure, or else I would have to hold her. She acted like she was going to hold my hand several times, and then just stood against the wall, staring at me….. I bet you can guess that I ended up carrying her the rest of the way….), and she melts my heart on a daily basis. Motherhood is crazy. Just when I think I don’t know what I’m doing, that I can’t do another hour of it… she goes and does something that cracks me up… or makes me just grab her and hug her from laughter…..

Ups and downs…. frustrations and laughter… that’s how I’d define toddler life….. and here are a few more insights into our past month……

Favorite Part: I am loving her increased ability to communicate with us. While we don’t have a wide vocabulary yet, her ability to come, grab my hand, and tell me what she wants is so sweet… she still signs, but we’re working on fading those out and replacing them with words (we’re pretty much accepting any approximation at this point… hoping to shape it as she matures…). She can say “ball” “doll” “up” “ momma” “hi” “bye” “daddy” “granddaddy” and we catch glimpses of other words here and there (of course, those words I mentioned are not as clear as I wrote them….). We really try to talk to her a lot when she wants something, and spend time labeling items around the house. I know the non-stop chattering will start someday…. so, maybe I should enjoy the quiet while it lasts?? Kidding…. 

Least Favorite Part: While I love her little personality, the stubbornness can be a big challenge. Sometimes simply changing her diaper is a full on wrestling match (I mean…. if she’d like to change it herself, by all means, she’s free to do so….)… and sometimes that same stubbornness leads to some interesting tantrums (I didn’t realize the whole “lay on the floor and flail around” was so innate…. she certainly didn’t learn that from her parents….). I’d have to say the worst was in Trader Joe’s when I thought it would be cute to let her push around one of the smaller shopping carts (we had been running a lot of errands, and I felt bad….). Mistake. She wanted to go her own way, didn’t care who was in the way, and when she tired of that, she desperately wanted to push the big shopping cart… only to get tangled in the wheels….. Needless to say that shopping trip ended quickly…. and it was a struggle to get in the carseat (I’m still amazed by the strength such a tiny human can have… and the ways that she can contort her body….). While I could live without the tantrums, they’re also a part of what makes her unique… and sometimes I can’t help but chuckle under my breath…. Hopefully that same tenacity will get her far in life. 

Her Favorite Things: Harper loves to play outdoors…. running (okay, sprinting), digging in the dirt, putting rocks in her mouth…. spinning in circles…. splashing in the puddles and water… and all I can think is that I got what I deserved (I was never a “let’s just sit here” kinda kid….). She loves Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (the only show I let her watch… I actually love it too…) and the soundtrack to “Goldie + Bear.” She’s pretty much obsessed. She’s starting to show a preference for certain stuffed animals (her current favorite is a doll she got in Mexico) and loves this book before bedtime. She’s also pretty much obsessed with water bottles (likely because she sees me with mine all the time) and her current favorite is this one. 

Eating: This girl has an amazing appetite. She eats everything. For breakfast I usually make her some of these pancakes and some raspberries and blueberries… then she is typically still hungry, so she has a little bit of this Perfect Bar. When she wakes up from her nap, she usually has some string cheese… and then for lunch I make her a variety of things (grilled cheese, peanut butter sandwich, veggie burger, chicken nuggets, quinoa pasta, veggies, fruit, avocado…..), then her afternoon snack is usually one of these little bars (sometimes these bean based cheerios or these cheddar bunnies) and some dried cranberries. For dinner she eats what we have, which is nice that we don’t have to make several meals. I feel lucky that she’s a pretty good eater. 

Last month I chatted about her throwing food. While it still happens, I’ve found that it’s not as frequent as it used to be. She’s getting better at telling us when she is finished, so we immediately remove her plate of food. She’s been practicing using these utensils, and seems to enjoy it (although, it does take much longer when she’s using them….). 

Sleeping: Well, we’re still holding onto that morning nap. I keep saying it’ll be gone by next month…. and then next month comes and she’s still taking it. I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts… because I’m starting to realize how nice it is to have that morning break to get a few things done. She can miss the nap though, and when that happens we just shift her nap schedule around. In all honesty, I think it’s me who is holding onto it more than little miss. Maybe next month it will be gone…

Illness: I consider Harper a pretty healthy little girl…. having only caught one cold since she was born. Yet, when we got back from Cabo, she came down with a pretty bad head cold. We used this humidifier and nasal aspirator ,and it seemed to provide her with some relief. 

One thing that came from her cold were a couple all-nighters… and it brought me back to those first few sleepless months. This time around though, I found myself cherishing the moments of holding her and rocking her back to sleep…. holding her a little bit longer… knowing that it would only be a couple of nights… and knowing that those moments won’t last forever. It was a silver lining in seeing her sick. 

The Cutest Thing She Does: It’s hard for me to pick… because just last night she started actually waving hello and I think it’s just adorable. Prior to that though, it would have to be that she takes paper towels and cleans up… I guess she really is watching every single thing that we do… and closely….. Oh, and I also love this thing she does (if you follow on instagram you’ve seen it) where she runs in those house, and then quickly peeks her head out, says “Byeeeeee Deeeeee,” and then quickly shuts the door again…. she does this over and over again….. annnd, when I’m holding her and paying for something at the same time, she likes to hand over my debit card. It’s too cute. She waits patiently, and then when the cashier holds out their hand, she gives it to them….. a natural shopper. 

Marriage: As I mentioned a few posts back, TJ and I had a parent’s night out with a girlfriend and her husband…. it was a blast… and always so good for the marriage. We spent time interviewing babysitters and found an excellent one who we feel incredibly comfortable with, and who Harper loves. We’ve been getting back into the hobbies that we valued so much before we became parents… mainly going to a spin class together and getting breakfast after. It’s usually only about 3 hours, but it’s something we have both come to look forward to every week. I think it’s so important to make marriage a priority… everything runs more smoothly when the marriage is rock solid. 

Fitness: I’ve written about it before numerous times, but I am loving the Tone It Up workouts. My body responds to them, and I feel challenged… and it’s something different everyday, which I love. We also invested in this baby carrier so that we could go on family hikes together (another hobby TJ and I had before Harper was born). It was such a great experience being able to have her tag along on something we enjoy so much (she eventually took a little nap as we got further into the hike…). We’re hoping someday she’ll love walking with us (or, likely running ahead…..). For me, it just feels good to get back into a groove. 

Favorite Products: We’re currently in the process of switching carseats, and are looking into this one (we were very happy with our first Nuna carseat). This high chair has been an excellent switch from our Boon. I love the modern design, and that it will grow with her. This bathmat has been amazing, since little miss loves running around in the bath. For her colds, we used all Little Remedies products… the nasal drops were the best. 

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