State of the Hazelnut: creeping up on 14 months old. Walks everywhere – she learned right around her birthday, officially. She had this awesome shuffle for a week or two – she’d kind of skitter along with her arms held up and out, like a zombie gorilla in a hurry.
That only lasted for basically the week we moved – so Sherry (MIL) and Miranda and other folks all got to see it. It was so cute. SO CUTE. Now she walks like a normal baby – speedy, a little unsteady, hands filled with things she isn’t supposed to have.
She is sleeping a lot better these days, thank goodness. She usually goes to bed around 8:30, and it’s super easy – just fill her up with warm milk and see ya later. Sometimes she sleeps all the way through to 6:30 or 7:00, but she often wakes once or twice (though Kevin has been handling most wake ups, bless his soul).
Hazel can say lots of words, I don’t even know how many anymore (though of course most of them aren’t easy to understand if you aren’t around her a lot). The funniest are when she nods yes to questions, like an actual PERSON – why YES, I do want some milk – and says/signs please desperately when she wants something. It just seems so RIGHT – like she totally, completely gets what those words mean, all the context and implications – I know she doesn’t, but it just SEEMS like it. Like, oh, you polite little baby, can you teach your sister to say please? And Hazel nods, all, “sure mom!” Also funny: when Hazel parrots Eliza, especially if Eliza is being territorial – she’ll grab a toy and say “mine!” and Hazel will say it back, and Eliza will be like WTF, and escalate what she perceives as a fight, while Hazel is all “yes! I’m doing a trick, and Eliza is rewarding me! MINE!”
Haze continues to love me kind of a lot, even though she is weaned now. When I get home from work, she drops whatever she is doing so she can chase me around, squawking indignantly, until I pick her up. It’s very sweet, and also quite loud.
Speaking of weaning, couple things: first up, I didn’t get the rollercoaster of weaning emotions this time, huzzah! I remember when I stopped pumping with Eliza, I lost my MIND. I had to have a scheduled sit down with Kevin so I could confess that Eliza (6 months old) didn’t like me at all, never would, nothing to be done about it. Kevin was like “……. … ……. hm.” This time? No big! Except, second thing: I got a clogged duct four or five days after I quit nursing officially, and I couldn’t massage it out, so I figured I’d get Hazel to take care of it. She looked at me like I was INSANE. Like, mom, what the hell do you expect me to do with that? It was as if, POOF, that whole year of nursing (976 HOURS, plus whatever I failed to track!) was totally GONE from her brain, just like that. I know babies obviously don’t remember nursing forever, but it was just AMAZING to see how quickly she forgot. FIVE DAYS. I’ve left her for almost that long on a work trip with no issues! How on earth. (I will say that this is preferable to her continuing to chase me around and pulling on my shirts, etc., which I know some people deal with for a long time.)
State of the Eliza Bear: 2.75 years old, delightful and INSANE. The good: she is SO interactive and talkative and fun. She gets excited and talks a mile a minute, but only sometimes – she can often be quite stoic, still. She practices making faces in the mirror, or on command when I ask her to do angry eyebrows or whatever, and it’s hilarious. She gets briefly obsessed with things – recently, the show Super Why, which she loved fiercely after her first viewing. She spent a couple of weeks insisting “I not Yiza, I SwipperWhy,” and made us sing all our normal songs with Super Why inserted into them (“You are my sunshine Super Why, my only sunshine Super Why…”). She had her first imaginary friend, who stuck around for several days before she lost interest – his name was Summer Night, after the summer night setting on her white noise machine, even though she is scared of that setting. She loves playing with the little girls who live next door, especially Lily, though “playing” consists mostly of us forcing them to take turns (“set a beep beep!”) with some coveted toy. She likes to do puzzles, and play Toca Boca games on the iPad. She plays with Hazel now, at least some of the time (though obviously also still doesn’t want her to touch her toys, most of the time). She wants to play outside, all the time, and she wants Alyssa (our nanny) and Junie B (her dog) to be present, always. Junie B is probably her favorite thing in the whole world, and always the answer to “did you have any dreams?” and “what did you do today?” Alyssa is a close second. I’d be jealous, but she also gets excited when I come home from work, and she’s snugglier than she used to be, and also she’s right – Junie and Alyssa are pretty great.
The bad: well, she’s almost three, so boundary pushing, experimenting with when she feels like listening and when she doesn’t, and you know, she’s not terribly empathetic yet (shocking!). Getting her to eat dinner is often a struggle – she claims not to yike whatever we are having before she even yooks at it, and wants to get down and play. We are working on her sitting with us until we are done, and getting her to understand that dinner is her last shot at food for the day. We’re also working on apologizing without cracking up, when she hurts someone, because come on.
The ugly: oh my word, this girl can fight sleep in a way that I actually ENVY. (Well ok, if she could fight it a little more QUIETLY, I would envy it.) Bedtime has been truly awful, most of the nights over the last …. three months? six? A while. I’m hoping that gets better soon, and in the mean time, I’m trying to look at it as an opportunity to work on my patience.
Life with two little kids is super hectic right now, but really fun. We are sort of limited in the things we can do, as far as adventures go – we can’t just take the kids anywhere we want, and do whatever, like we did when Eliza was Hazel’s age. Car trips are kind of a downward spiral of reactionary yelling from the backseat, and sleeping away from the comforts of home is… more terrible than sleeping at home. Ditto eating at restaurants. Bedtime starts early, and naps are important. There are a lot of hurdles when we venture forth, basically – sometimes it is worth it to jump through them, and sometimes it isn’t. But I feel like we are getting closer to the end of [this] tunnel, to being able to step out of our routine a bit and try some things. (This is a vague, rambling paragraph that basically boils down to: when can we go camping again without wanting to die?)
We took the ladies to Half Moon Bay on Sunday – about half an hour away – and looked at the ocean, and then because they were doing well, drove down to Santa Cruz to have a look around. They did better than average in the car, and Eliza thought the ocean was pretty cool.
It made me so excited to head back to Tybee soon and see how the ladies do with an ocean they can actually play in. I know that trip will have a lot of challenges (please let them sleep, and please no stomach bugs), but I am so, so excited to see my kids play with their cousins, and for their grandparents to get to see them for days on end. And if the trip goes poorly, I will just watch this video repeatedly until we make it through.