That thing that I have been holding off for, hoping and praying that that day will never come, has happened. It’s like a light has turned on and a whole new world has appeared. I knew this day would come eventually. The day that I realize my little 8 pound 4 oz. baby is no longer a baby, but a real little girl. So many emotions are swirling around in my head. I am sad that you are growing up so quickly, excited to see what each new day will now bring, and eager to watch you learn and play with us in new ways. I am one proud Momma. You have been learning words by the day and are (briskly) walking around the house. You seem so much more cheerful than you have ever been, I think because you are learning to communicate with us in a different way. You are pointing to things and saying their name – ‘Car, Popa, Da-Da’ – and you are making the cutest sounds when you see and do things – ‘woof woof, beep beep (when you back up!), wow! whoa!’. You official first official two-syllable word was ‘Danger’. Not Mommy… Danger! The surprises just keep coming with new words every day! I just want to jump inside your brain to see what you are thinking. Putting names and words to physical things that you see is so exciting for all of us.
Right now, your favourite thing to play with (by far), is anything that have wheels. You love sitting on Daddy’s tractor, Popa’s lawn mower, Sara’s Fisher Price cars, Momma’s new Tiguan. You head straight for Uncle Kenney’s wood trucks, Sara’s box of cars, and your little toy car that Rubie gave you for your birthday. If you are sad, sitting in Daddy’s big truck behind the big wheel instantly cheers you up. Every single car you see, whether sitting in Granny’s porch or strolling around Westport, you point and say “Car” (which sounds more like “Cah”) with a huge smile on your face. I have no idea where this obsession with vehicles came from, maybe Uncle Kenney has secretly been talking to you about them, but I love it! It really is amazing to see you connect words to physical objects!
I know its kind of odd to say, but I think I already miss your cute bum scoot. It was so unique to you. Thankfully I have tons of videos to remind me, but they just aren’t the same. You are barely on your bum-bum anymore, opting to pop up as fast as you can and take off like you are starting the 100m dash. You started out the month pushing the stroller as we walked down the street, and now you just stand and take off! You are so much stronger, and way more steady on your feet than you were a month ago. Lumpy grass is no problem for you now. You’ve found your balance and are now taking risks! Lately we’ve been eating dinner outside at our new table. After dinner we let you down to play in the grass. This is the first time that we have sat and watched you wonder around the yard, adventuring on your own. It is such an unusual feeling. For your entire life, you have never ventured further than 5 feet from us, but now you throw caution to the wind and run away. I cannot bring to words the feeling both Daddy and I feel as we watch you explore. Everything is “WOOOOOWWWW!” and “WHOOOOAAA!!!” You run to the fence, then to the hammock, then to the pretty flowers (which you now sniff!), and then to the gravel driveway. You often opt for the gravel over the comfort of the grass. You love digging up the rocks and throwing them behind you. You would do this for hours if we let you. When I come over to play with you, you take my hands and make a cup, dumping rocks into my hands. Then, just as soon as they are in my hands, you pull my fingers down, dumping everything. You giggle, and we do it all over again. Outside is a whole new world now that you venture on your own!
You have really started loving your stuffed animals. To this point, you haven’t taken a huge interest in them, but you are so in love now. It started with your soft pillows – hugging them to sleep, lying your head on them on the kitchen floor, cuddling up on K9’s big pillow while at Granny’s – and now you do the same with your animals. We no longer wake up in the mornings to your “get-me-out-of-this-crib-now” cry. No! We now are softly wakened by your gentle voice discussing your sweet dreams and plans for your day with your cuddly animals. On the weekends, Daddy and I just lay in bed listening to your conversation. It is the sweetest thing! We eventually go in (Daddy sings his good-morning song… or tries to anyway!), and line up all your animals so you can hug each one before we go down for breakfast. I love this new morning routine. It is so relaxing. So soothing.
Momma has been debating on hiring someone to come in to clean the floors and bathrooms every few weeks. Between work and everything else I do, it is hard to find time to actually sit down and get some cleaning finished. That is, until I discovered that you inherited Granny’s cleaning genes!! Give you a swiffer and a wet washcloth and we are set! You do laps and laps around the house pushing the Swiffer. Last night you were even down on your knees cleaning way behind the couch! I mean legitimately cleaning back and forth. You are the greatest little helper, let me tell you! You love to dust too. We give you a washcloth and you go around the house wiping all the surfaces clean… and you actually enjoy it! Granny is pretty darn excited that someone in her family likes to clean like her (apparently Uncle Kenney and I didn’t get that gene)! I really hope you keep up this passion. It could really come in handy in the future!
Dancing. You love dancing! You hear one little tune and your head starts to bop. You wiggle your little bum and clap your hands. Your smile is so contagious. We have started singing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Patty Cake, Patty Cake” on a regular basis. You now have the “roll it” action down. Your musical puppy also sings patty cake. You like to take him along for rides in the car and one day when I peeked back at you, you were rolllllling and rollllling and rolllllling the dough while you puppy sang to you. I couldn’t believe it!
You have been going to an overnight at Granny and Popa’s once a week. They are loving every moment of it. Every week when we pick you up, you have learned something new… Once week it was “car” whenever a car drove past, the next you were walking non-stop, the next you had found the cookie jar (and won’t leave its side until you get one)! You stayed over night during a huge thunderstorm. You didn’t enjoy it very much, so Granny cuddled you all night long, keeping you safe. Olive, you are bringing so much joy to their lives. They just cannot get enough. They have been telling me some funny stories. Granny was in the kitchen making dinner one night so she said to Popa “you are babysitting Olive”. You two went out to the sun porch and started playing. I think you must have tired poor Popa out because the next thing you knew, Granny heard Popa snoring and you were at the top of the stairs! Boy, was Popa in trouble!! You are so quick!
You have spent some days with Grandma Blair while Momma and Da-Da were at work. You have so much fun baking and playing and walking with Grandma! One day you made jam and another day you learned how to play the recorder! I got a video while I was working and I had to watch it over and over and over again! You also love to play their piano when you visit. Your songs are a little to be desired, but if you keep it up, I’m sure you will be playing like Auntie Jamie some day! One night after work, Momma and Da-Da went down for supper. After dinner we all laced up our shoes and went for a walk along the road. It walked the entire way zig-zagging from one pothole to the next! I just can’t get over how far you can go now. To think that one short month ago you could only take 4 or 5 steps! You are growing so quickly!
- Food. More food: You love blue cheese on your steak, cherry pie, lavender ice cream, mussels (still!), corn on the cob, pears, peppers, beans, granny’s chocolate chip cookies, milkshakes… Pretty much everything except tomatoes (still!)
- You are saying – Da-Da, Ma-Ma, Popa, car, woof-woof, Hi!, Ray, Joe (we will have to discuss this! You aren’t going to be calling Popa Joe – but right now it’s cute!!), beep-beep, wow, whoa, danger, yoga, ball, boat, more. Every day a new word!
- You have 11 teeth (that we now of). You still have yet to fuss, even now when your molars are coming in!
- We think you are about 23lbs. With all this moving, you aren’t gaining weight, but you are stretching up. Those (big) creasing are slowly stretching out. Another sad sign that you aren’t my little baby anymore.
- You made a trip to the Delta Fair, although you were big enough to go on the rides. Daddy walked you around the midway while Momma worked the gate for the skating club!
- Momma finally got her new car. You are now cruising in the back seat of a Volkswagen Tiguan. It is way roomier than my poor little Mazda 3. You are getting way better views now!
- You are just so cheerful and smiley. You say “HI” and give a big wave to everyone in the grocery store.
- Daddy installed a brand new big girl swing between the trees in the front yard. I must admit, I was a little nervous when we first put you on, but you knew to hang on tight. You love your nightly swings… Smiling beaming from ear to ear as Daddy pushes you higher and higher (sometimes too high for my liking)!
- You love wearing you hair in piggies!
- Daddy found his old motorized Jeep, so of course he had to get it out for you… but first he thought he had better soup it up a bit because apparently you now have the ‘need for speed’. Your little Jeep now has a full sized car battery inside. You are a little afraid of it (because, lets face it, you don’t really need to be doing burn outs at 17 months), so Daddy makes sure he drives it around the yard just to keep it warmed up. I don’t really know how he manages to squeeze his entire body into that little seat, but he does, just to make sure he can show you how it works! Priceless!
You still look like my little baby when you sleep. I stare at you, so peaceful. I hold your little hand as if it were the first time, because I know once you wake up, you will want to explore on your own. When you wake, I see you as you are every day, in each moment, changing and growing and developing into your own individual personality. You’re such a sweet person. I’m so lucky to know you.