17 Month Motherhood Update

If that photo above doesn’t sum up our past month, I don’t know what will. Little miss is full of energy and always on the move. I remarked yesterday, when we were at the beach, that she was the stillest she’d been in a while…. when she was pouring sand into her little pail. That lasted an entire 10 minutes…. I almost didn’t know what to do with myself. Joking aside, I can honestly say with each month that passes, I am constantly amazed at her development, and the changes that can happen in a mere 30 days….

So, instead of me rambling on anymore than I need to, I’ll just get right into our 17 month update….

 (Bathing Suit)

Favorite Part: Hands down it has to be her developing personality and watching her cultivate her own interests. I remember being at the doctor’s office for her check-up, and being asked if she can stack blocks. I was slightly caught off guard. I actually didn’t now if she could stack blocks, and then immediately felt like a negligent mother…. I thought to myself  “She needs to start playing with blocks.” When I took a step back though, I realized that her interests were far beyond block stacking. She loves interacting with people… participating in everyday life…. which, to me, is much more important than her ability to stack blocks she won’t care about in 2 weeks (by the way, she can….). Watching her develop these preferences, and watching her become a unique individual, has been one of the biggest joys for me.

Most Challenging Part: I am always slow to warm when it comes to change. Given that, my biggest challenge this past month was getting used to the new sleeping schedule with one nap. I always used the morning nap as an opportunity to get ready for the day ahead, and with her running around, getting ready turned out to be slightly more challenging than I anticipated. I found myself getting frustrated more easily, which led to some major mom guilt. I ended up figuring out a way to manage it all, which I’ll share later in the post…. but, it just took me some adjusting and getting used to.

Oh, and let’s be honest here, toddler tantrums aren’t easy…. they’re draining and exhausting. So those make my list. Hands down.

(Tunic, Shorts, Tote, Hat, Harper’s Romper via Rags to Raches, Hat)

Funniest Moment: Oddly enough, when she tests my limits, I have a really hard time not laughing. Example? We were out at lunch today, and she was playing with my wallet and started to put the contents in her mouth. I gave her a positive statement to let her know what my expectation of her was (which she fully understands)… which was to not put the items in her mouth….. she looked right at me, put it in her mouth, and started smiling. My mom and I both had to look away from laughter. Her little firecracker personality, while exhausting at times, provides me with so much humor.

Her Favorite Things: As I mentioned above, she loves personal interactions. When we go anywhere that requires I pay, she insists on handing over my debit card, receiving it back, putting it in my wallet, and then accepting the receipt. She’s obsessed with cleaning up after dinner (not sure how long that will last….). Each night TJ stands in the kitchen and I stay at the dinner table. I had her an item and she excitedly takes it over to TJ. Putting things in the trash is her jam…. as is emptying out the cupboards and putting everything back. We don’t really watch much TV but “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” (which is a great educational show for social/emotional development) and “Goldie + Bear” are her two favorites… mainly because of the opening songs.

Eating: This past month it seemed her appetite decreased. Don’t get me wrong, she still eats, but not as much as she used to. At first I was a little concerned, and then figured that there is likely something going on in the growth cycle where she doesn’t need as much. I was asked a few times what I feed her. She pretty much eats whatever we are eating. For breakfast, she loves these waffles (which literally take 5 minutes to make, and I add 1/4 cup oat flour and take out most of the protein powder), as well as eggs, turkey bacon (I make sure it’s nitrate free and organic), raspberries, blueberries, pancakes, and toast with almond butter. For lunch, we have a few options. If we’re out and about where I am running errands it’s typically an almond butter and banana sandwich, string cheese, and some cantaloupe (which I have pre-chopped in a snack container). When we’re at home, she loves these veggie bites (or the veggie burger) with avocado and broccoli, or I’ll make her a grilled cheese sandwich with a side of fruit and avocado…. or lentils, quinoa, green beans, and cottage cheese…. or grilled chicken (if we’ve made it from the evening before) with some cheese and fruit, or some turkey slices with peas and pasta, and sometimes a quesadilla with black beans and bell peppers… and for dinner she eats what we have…. salmon, shrimp, chicken, asparagus, bell peppers, mushrooms, she’s warming up to sautéed spinach, sweet potatoes… we all eat together, so I don’t have to make several different meals, which I think makes the process much easier. I shared her favorite snacks in this post.

She’s still working on eating with utensils, but she loves drinking out of a regular cup…. with supervision of course… or it goes everywhere!

Sleeping: Well, we finally dropped the morning nap. I had a lot of suggestions as to how to go about it, yet I ultimately chose to go cold turkey. One day, I just decided to head out and power through the nap-time. Every child is different of course, so that worked for us. It’s definitely been a transition though, more for me (as said above). I always said that I couldn’t wait until she was down to one nap because then we could head out in the early morning…. yet, I ended up falling into a great routine with two naps, that made it a little more difficult….

All that being said, this past week I finally felt a little better about it all. I think I was feeling overwhelmed. Now the morning routine goes something like this:

5:30am: I wake up and complete my workout…. make breakfast… answer e-mails…. then take a shower and get as ready as possible before she wakes up. Before I would do a lot more blog stuff in the morning hours….
7:30-8:15am: Another shift in our schedule is that I don’t keep her to a firm wake-up time. Knowing that she will be up for a longer stretch of time, I let her wake up naturally. The longest she has gone is until 8:30 (and it was on the weekend!!…. that was glorious!). After she wakes up I make her breakfast, which takes about 20-25 minutes… and then we head out for a quick little morning walk…..
9:00-9:40ish: I pack things up for the day, or finish getting ready and she free plays. I have butcher paper with crayons, play-doh (which she isn’t too sure about yet), lots of books, a play cellphone, musical instruments, and a few balls…. she is usually in the bathroom with me though, trying to comb our dog’s hair (since she sees me doing that) or getting into my shoes…. whatever she chooses, it’s imaginative, and I’m okay with it. If I’m in a really tight situation, I will turn the TV on… which keeps her occupied for 10 minutes. Am I a bad mom? No. Did it take me a while to come to terms with that? Yes (still working on it….). In the words of my mom, grandmother, and Aunt “You all turned out ok…. and so did we.”
9:45: We head out for the day. This week we had story-time + songs on Monday, Tuesday was a day at Balboa Island, and yesterday we went to the mall and rode the carousel (5 times….)…. I’m in the process of coming up with some fun toddler activities, so when I have a list I’ll be sure to share them.  I’d also love your ideas as well!! 
Noon: Lunch
12:30-1:30pm: Playtime… we’re usually outside, playing in the water…. or she’s digging for rocks and filling up her sand pail…. or we’re inside having a dance party to this kid’s music record (I listened to it when I was  young… it’s super cute).
1:30pm-3:30/45: Nap (yessssss!!)

We eat dinner around 6, she starts her evening routine around 6:45, and is in bed by 7:15 every night.

Cutest Thing: Hands down the voluntary hugs she now freely gives. This started about a week ago. When we’re sitting at the dinner table, she just loves leaning over and giving TJ and me a full on hug…. and yesterday when I had my back to her while I was making breakfast, she wrapped her arms around my waist and hugged me…. and then again on the carousel today. She’s just a little love bug…… which makes all those limit testing moments and tantrums much more bearable.

Reality: While I feel that I have a lot of positives in this month’s motherhood update, the reality is that at the end of the day, I’m exhausted…. TJ is too… and there are moments where I wouldn’t mind pulling my hair out…. yet, it’s all those positive times that make it so much better! Motherhood isn’t easy…. no matter if you’re a work at home mom, stay at home mom, or working mom…. each has their own struggle, their own guilt that they deal with. While one of the other situations might seem ideal… I think it’s always important to remember that each brings it’s own personal struggle.

Marriage: TJ and I still have regular check-ins regarding how full our buckets feel. I’ve found it to be so imperative to a healthy family environment. When we’re firing on all cylinders, so is the entire family. We’re planning an upcoming weekend away… and have continued with our spin and breakfast dates…. which is always one of our favorite ways to reconnect. Our old sitter ended up moving, so we’re currently in the process of interviewing a few more. I am excited to celebrate the father that TJ is this coming Sunday with a little homemade brunch, and some rest and relaxation by the pool.

Favorite Products: We’ve been spending so much time outside as of late, that I’ve found a few outdoor products that I am loving. I recently tested out Coola baby sunscreen and it’s amazing. Smells heavenly, and it doesn’t make her look like Casper The Friendly ghost like so many others do. It also washes off easily in the bath. The face stick makes application on the face a breeze.

These swim diapers are so much better than having her wear regular ones in the pool. So much more comfortable for her, since they don’t absorb as much water and aren’t as thick.

As far as toys go, I’ve been providing her with crayons, butcher paper, sidewalk chalk (she’s obsessed…. walks around making small markings everywhereshopping cart), magnetic letters (closely monitor this one), bubbles, and a (I’ll place items around the house, and she goes and puts them in her cart….). I also recently ordered her a play pic-nic set… so we will see how that goes.

Oh, and I was at Gap Kids today… and everything was 40% off so I snagged this adorable cover-up, embroidered dress, and tiered tank.

I am also loving Robeez shoes for little miss (a pair featured below). They are super comfortable for her and she has no problem running around in them! She owns this pair and this espadrille pair.

(Tank, Sandals, Harper’s Outfit (sold out), Harper’s Shoes)


  1. Love your swimsuit in the top pic, where’s it from? thanks 🙂

    • Shannon Pulsifer says:

      Hi Stephanie! Thank you so much! It’s old from last year, and sold out…but the brand is Somedays Lovin’

  2. these updates (and your candidness about motherhood) are by far one of my favorite posts, even if I don’t comment often, I read them all! Mom guilt is such a thief of joy sometimes (especially when you are exhausted!) and is easy to forget no one is free of it. Thanks for the reminder and keep crushing it mama!!