Fourteen Months

Our tater tot is 14 months - sheesh maneesh! Toddlerhood is upon us and we love it and it drives me crazy at the same time. Nothing new to report on her eating habits from last month than that she's completely off the bottle and only drinks from straw cups (she hated traditional sippy cups but loves sipping out of a straw - awesome) now. Her sleeping patterns have basically stayed the same except we've dropped the morning nap and she doesn't take her bottle before her afternoon nap - instead her afternoon snack is a cup of milk that she usually drinks while we read books to wind down for aforementioned nap. This week has us debating whether we should move her afternoon nap up an hour or two because she's been so cranky - but honestly I think as soon as this back tooth pushes itself through, she'll be back to her well adjusted self. We may just do a little extra napping until that happens. Cause holy guacamole - she's been such a miserable little soul this week. Partly because teething, partly because she's decided to test every "rule" she's been taught. Oh, I know that I'm not supposed to get into cabinets and drawers but I'm going to open and close them 10 times over while I stare at mom to see what she'll do. Oh, let me stand in the middle of the room and wail because mom took a sharp object away from me. Oh, let me do the opposite of everything mom has ever told me.Yiiiiiiiiiikes.
You may think I'm awfully harsh or demanding of my one year old... I mean how can I expect her to understand what not to do? Well trust me - a one year old knows a heck of a lot more than you think. You know how I know? Because of the opposite side of the coin. She shows me she understands SO MUCH by doing some super cool things these days too.
We're watching her understand when we ask her to pick things up (she's recently started picking up mulch off the carpet and taking it to the trash can because she's seen me do it), she knows what I'm saying when I motion for her to put a book back on the shelf or to get her shoes so we can go outside. She knows exactly who Eli (her stuffed toy elephant) is when I ask her to go get him. She knows. And it's awesome and makes me beam with happiness that our little human is growing up into a little kid. It's why it also makes me a little crazy when she goes and takes out the entire contents of a kitchen cabinet which I've asked her not to do 15 times in one hour. Cause SHE KNOWS.
Watching a little person grow up is crazy cool and we are absolutely loving it, but boy is it hard work. I mean - We're just as responsible in giving her security in knowing she is loved by us as much as we are in giving her consistency in consequences for her actions. Like we're the ones God picked to shape her into the woman she will one day become. WHOA. It's just kind of blowing my mind lately.

In less heavy updates on our little ball of crazy sunshine...
She is quite the social butterfly... I'm really afraid she'll just walk off with strangers one day. Like that's how social she is. We frequent our neighborhood park and more than once she's gone up and hugged a little boy or pulled on an adult's leg or just completely walked off the playground and headed away from me (I'd just like to state that in all instances, I was standing right there or following close behind). Speaking of walking - that's all she does now. I don't remember the last time I saw her crawl. We're trying to teach her that crawling is still the acceptable way to travel on couches and beds... so far, no luck. She tries to run and I think if her little feet would let her, she'd be running circles around the house on a daily basis. As it is - I already feel like that is her routine.... I'm plain wore out come nap time. With each passing day her love of the outdoors and being out in the grass. I think if we lived in a cooler, less humid climate she'd never want to go inside. She likes to help with our garden, by watering the plants the best she can and picking the strawberries and stuffing them into her mouth. She digs in the dirt and carries rocks around and follows squirrels around the yard. She's my little Laura Ingalls. 
She's recently picked up on when people are laughing because something is funny, so she'll let a little giggle out and keep giggling until everyone stops. She loooooves being chased around the house and will usually taunt people by walking up and then quickly turning around and laughing [goober]. Her favorite activity lately is reading, which I'm so happy about. Neither Barry or I have ever been big fans of reading, so we were hoping that our kids would rebel against that nature... at least a little. So we're glad that Belle is interested.
She's trying real hard to talk. She was playing with her rubber ducky this past week and said "duck" a few times. It was so out of the blue, I almost wasn't paying attention to her babbling - I was beyond excited when I realized what had happened! Barry was also home at the time, so he got to hear it too!
This month is the first time we've really introduced tv into her routine. Not that we don't watch tv around her - but we never make a point to point it out or get her interested in it because we're happy with the fact that she's not drawn to it. But with all her activity lately, sometimes I just want to sit on the couch with her... so, enter Veggie Tales. It's the only thing I can really get her to sit and watch with me for more than a couple minutes - and even then, she'll only make it about half way through a show. But it's a nice 15 minute break for us to cuddle on the couch and sing along with Larry the Cucumber.

Having a toddler is super fun, super exhausting and super rewarding so far.
We're both really loving this stage and getting to know our little person as she grows up!

Psst... I update my Instagram with pics of this little human wayyyy more often than I do here. 
So give it a follow if you want to keep up with her crazy antics!


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