Wednesday, December 10, 2014

22 1/2 Months

It's been two months since my last Maleah update... and, sadly, this will probably be the last one before the big Maleah-is-Two post!!! 

I have to say, I am so glad I have written out all of these posts! I go back every so often and read from the very beginning. Sometimes it feels like life is just racing and I can barely keep up and it's nice to know that while time may be marching forward, my memories are not fading. 

I have no idea how much Maleah weighs since we have not been to the doctor since July (praise God!). I think she's in the 27-28 pound mark and she's probably 33-34 inches tall. All I know is she looks really little in certain moments and other times I swear she looks 18!

Maleah's days look something like this:

6:45 - wake up, sippy of milk
7:15 - leave for school, listen to Veggie Tales, Frozen, or Taylor Swift on the way 
7:40 - eat breakfast at school - lately her go-to is a Nutri-Grain bar. I absolutely hate them,                 but she asks for one every day and the only other thing I can get her to eat lately for 
            breakfast is a biscuit or muffin!
9:30/10 - mid-morning snack
11:30/12 - lunch, sippy of water
12:30-2:30ish - nap
2:30/3:30 - afternoon snack
5:00 - I pick her up from daycare! Happy!
5:30ish - Get home, cook/serve dinner
6:00-8:00 - play, read books, do art... whatever we want!
8:00 - bath, books, milk... in bed by 8:30ish

We have finally grown {somewhat} accustomed to Blake's new work schedule. As I have mentioned before, he now works three nights a week as an athletic tutor on campus. Since eating dinner together is a priority to us, I have really had to figure out how to make it happen when Maleah and I get home at 5:30 and Blake has to leave at 5:45! One of the other nights he works is a Wednesday, so we actually go out to eat together (or eat at our church) and get to spend some quality time as a family. The other two nights, Blake usually cooks or reheats something I have already prepared (like soup or quiche). I clean up after he's gone which is sad because I hate cleaning up the kitchen, haha! But I'm so glad that we make an honest effort at spending time together on those busy nights.

The other adjustment to our schedule has been Thursday mornings. Lately Blake has kept Maleah home for an extra hour or so to spend some time with her since she doesn't get to see much of him on the weeknights. He gets her ready and takes her to school. This is also nice for me because it means I get to leave a little later for work.

I am SO glad Maleah is such a good eater! I really hope her good eating habits continue. Over the past couple of months she has experienced a new food: POPCORN. She LOVES it! I, too, love popcorn so I'm always happy when she wants to share a bag with me! A few nights ago we were watching television in the living room after dinner and she said, "Light off". So I turned off the lights. And I really should have seen it coming... but her next request was "Pah-corn?"! This is our new favorite thing to do!

I have made an effort over the past month to start cutting down her milk intake. This kid seriously loves milk (like her mama) - so much so that I haven't really let her have a lot of cheese or yogurt (two other things she loves). So I decided to try to cut back on her milk intake so that she could enjoy other dairy products without hurting her tummy. I try to only give her two cups of milk a day - one at breakfast and one at dinner, and I offer her half a sippy of milk before bed. I would like to start working towards eliminating the bedtime milk in anticipation of potty training, but there's no rush. She's been eating Stonybrook Farms YoToddler! yogurt and enjoying some shredded cheese during her day... and apparently those things make her very happy!

Potty Training
Speaking of... I'm really not in a rush to potty train. Mainly because I know it's going to take a lot of work! I think she is definitely showing some signs of readiness, so we might try giving it a shot over Christmas break. Just depends! If not, I think we will work with her over Spring Break. We will be home all week during both breaks so it seems like a natural opportunity to stay home and work on it. I'm thinking that during Christmas break, I might just try several times to actually get her to go in the potty so she realizes what it's all about. And I might bring out her little potty seat to put in her bathroom so she starts getting used to seeing it and using it. 

Over the past month, Maleah had another huge spurt of language development. She went from just piecing sentences together to now saying 4 and 5 word sentences, at times. One afternoon in the car, she kept saying something and it took several times for me to understand, but she was saying "Let me see that phone!". I started cracking up when I realized what she was saying!!! She is also getting better about saying what she wants (instead of just being asked yes or no questions) and she can even sometimes say what might be bothering her. 

I haven't done a great job of working on shapes and colors, but we're trying! She can identify a circle and heart... that's good, right!? And a star! So that's three shapes. So far she hasn't mastered any colors, but she's getting there!

And she repeats everything. EV-ER-Y-THING. 

Thankfully the past two months have been mostly free of serious discipline problems. I have been firmer with her when necessary, but for the most part she hasn't needed too much serious correction. We have had a few fits that resulted in her having to sit in her room, but nothing terribly crazy. She has started hitting (and kicking) more, which is always a challenge to discipline... do I spank her to teach her hitting is wrong? I think not, so I just grab her hand (or foot) and tell her "NO hitting/kicking" and to "be gentle, use gentle hands". Generally she pulls back and hits you lightly, then just brushes her hand against you, then goes and hits random objects instead of you. So...... that sort-of classifies as progress!

The past few months have been hard on us, with Blake starting his new position. Sometimes it feels like all we do is work, come home and work, go to sleep, get up and do it all again the next day. It's hard to see what sort of impact we are having on our daughter - the most precious thing in our life! Some days I feel horrible for having to go to work. But, then I think about my relationship with my mom... who worked outside of our home. We are super close! And I know that while time is fleeting, I am making the absolute most of every moment with Maleah and, hopefully, we'll have a healthy and close relationship as she continues to grow. 

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