15.

Hi Annabel, it’s your mom. Yesterday (well it was yesterday when I started this post) you turned 15 months old. I wasn’t so good about writing monthly updates when you were a baby, but now it feels like every month there is so much to say about your development, and I can’t bear the thought of forgetting all of this, so I write it here. Maybe one day you’ll be curious as to what you were like as a 15 month old, so here’s what you’ve been up to the past month…..

I decided to fully wean you when I started a new medication because it can be transferred through breast milk. It was time (for me) and I was ready to do it, but never seemed quite able to fully pull the trigger. You were down to one nursing session a day (first thing in the morning), so it wasn’t really that drastic of a change, but those first couple of days were still a little rough. Probably more so for me than for you, but we both made it through and I don’t think I scarred you for life. For the next several weeks, I continued to give you a bottle of milk before bedtime because you seemed to need it and I couldn’t bring myself to take the bottle and the nursing away from you at the same time. Now you seem ready to drop the bottle at night, so you haven’t had it in several days and seem to be fine with this. I still rock you to sleep at night, but even that seems to be slipping away. Some nights I can tell that you just want to lay down (on your stomach), so I’ll put you in your crib. You don’t want me to leave the room, so I lay down on the floor next to your crib (sometimes with my arm between the bars) and you quietly settle in and fall asleep. You don’t need to be touching me, you just need to know I’m there, which leads me to my next thing…..

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You are such a mama’s girl! There have been times when I’ve questioned if you’re not too attached, but then I remember that Gigi said I was the exact same way. And Pawpaw never lets me forget that I never wanted him to hold me. I always wanted my mom. As do you. You’ve always had a great bond with daddy, but you’d almost always rather be in my arms if I’m in the room. And sometimes when I need daddy to take you so that I can do something, you scream so hard and it breaks my heart, twice over. Once for you and once for daddy. The doctor confirmed that this is totally normal and that one day the tables will likely turn and you will be a complete daddy’s girl.

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Not only are you a mama’s girl, but you are also quite the little mama yourself. Over the past month, your love of babies has only grown. All of your stuffed animals are your “babies” and you take such good care of them. There are times when you just want them to surround you so that you can take turns patting all of them. You take this task very seriously and remain very concentrated as you rotate patting each of their backs. And it’s always their backs. Sometimes you want me to pat them as well and will put them in my arms, but get really upset if they are facing the wrong way or are upside down.

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Babies aren’t the only thing you pat though. The other morning as I fed you breakfast, you placed your muffin on its side and began to pat it saying, “nigh nigh”. The next day you cradled a bottle of lotion in your arms and began to pat it. You crack me up. But that’s who you are, loving and nurturing.

You’re also still very careful and cautious. You rarely step off of a curb without turning to reach for my hand. I love this because I don’t have to worry that you’ll just go barreling down a flight of stairs. You always stop. The same cannot be said for the street though and I’m working hard to teach you that you can’t just run out into it. But when I use my most stern voice to tell you “NO!”, all you do is laugh. You think it’s a game, and that makes me very nervous!

You are still doing sign language, but have started to say some of the words with the sign. As you learn the word though you seem to drop the sign, which of course is fine. You’ve learned to say “all done” so you don’t wave your arms in the air as much to tell us when you’re finished eating. You just repeat over and over “ah duh” until we get you out. But you’re pretty clever and have figured out that that phrase can be used appropriately in different circumstances. You now say “all done” (well, your version of it) whenever you’ve been in the stroller too long, when you want out of your car seat or when you want off of the changing table when I’m changing your diaper. You’ve also started saying “bye bye” and pointing to your bedroom door when you don’t want to go to bed, or when you’ve woken up for the day. Little stinker.

Waving your arms and saying “all done” in the stroller!

After almost an entire month of you waking up between 4:30 and 5:30 everyday, we decided to push your bedtime back to 8:00 pm. We had never tried it because I’ve read that that usually isn’t successful. It’s been less than a week, so it’s hard to say for sure, but so far it’s working! And it must be said, the world is a much more beautiful place when I don’t have to see it everyday at 5:00 am! Please keep this up.

I’ve had so much fun with you in the last month, Annabel! Quite simply, you are the light of my life.

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