1 & 1/2 Trips Around the Sun

Month Milestone

My daughter quietly turned 18 months old this week. I didn’t post about it because I can’t seem to get it together to take her 18-month photo to start the new Picasa album, as if the Picasa album update is essential to me noting a significant month milestone?

A year and half. My daughter is halfway through her second trip around the sun. I’ve been watching her more closely the last couple nights at dinner, taking mental notes on the things she can do in hopes that at this Monday’s pedi appointment I won’t appear to know exactly nothing about my daughter and her development. Sure, she can stack two blocks, use a toddler fork or spoon like a pro to shovel enormous bites of fruit cocktail or shepherd’s pie into her mouth, spin in a circle, color/scribble, give hugs on demand (kisses too with sound effects if she’s in the mood), and she’s even saying lots of words on a regular basis. I just adore that first morning “Hi!” This time I feel equipped to answer the barrage of questions.

I’ve got questions too! The only meat Caroline eats is chicken nuggets and hidden ground turkey in things like shepherd’s pie or tacos. Try as I might to offer her meat in its natural form, she is either unwilling to try it or chews on it for what feels like hours before spitting it out. So Meat? Can I just try some peanut butter already? Also, that little dry patch of skin on her head – is that something we ought to be more concerned about? And the ears. I just made the follow up appointment at Children’s in December. I suppose we should talk about those ears again too. The cold season will be creeping up on us sooner rather than later. I have to say that I am shocked that we didn’t have an ear infection with this latest cold that won’t seem to completely release her from its grip. While we didn’t end up dealing with an infection, Caroline did learn how to blow her nose into a Kleenex. (SCORE!) I hope they will take a quick looksey in those ears just for the heck of it – you never know with Little Miss Stealth Ear Infection.

I am sad that the doc won't likely ask about other stuff though, like can she spin? Can she dance? What's her favorite toy? Favorite book? What does her hair look like blowing in the wind? Does she like to smush sand castles? Is she into shoes? What about hats? What does she sleep with at night? Does she nod her head in reply to every question posed to her? What about her smile - does it make your heart leap? These questions all seem infinitely more important to me than height weight percentages, block stacking and utensil usage.

She says "weeee" when she spins. She bounces her little tush and stamps her feet and we call that dancing. It is the best dancing I have ever seen. Her favorite toys are her dollies and a pink stuffed bear that she has to bring to school each day. Unless you count books, which would mean 100 First Animals would be her favorite, followed closely by The Napping House - loves to find the kitty on each page. How can you describe her hair blowing in the beach air - you can't - but I will never forget what it looks like. Does she like to smush castles - no - she LOVES to. She's very much into footwear often requesting a change of shoes just because. She's constantly trying to wear my shoes and she likes to pick out my shoes for me in the morning. Hats too. Lately she won't leave the house without her sun bonnet and this morning we had a bit of a disagreement when she wanted her hat and I wanted to restrain her curls in a clip. She says "hatt." At night she sleeps with a Nemo, a bunny that plays twinkle twinkle, a bear Steve brought back from a business trip, and a giraffe lovey. Most mornings she kicks them all out of her crib in the time it takes us to rouse from sleep to retrieve her. You could ask her if the sky was green and she would smile and nod enthusiastically. I know - her agreeable nature will not last forever. "No" is quickly becoming an oft used word. And yes, her smile makes me smile with my whole body. Those are the things I will remember about my 18 month-old Caroline. Those are the things about now that I would like to deep freeze and defrost in 50 years.

Rocking Mr. Meat and Potatoes World

I announced at dinner last night that I would like to eat less meat. Mr. Meat and Potatoes did not exactly take this statement well, that is to say he took it very seriously. He immediately thought I was suggesting that I become a vegetarian (and by I, he thought I meant we) which at this time I do not intend to do. I merely suggested that I (not the rest of the house!) would like to eat less meat. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy it; I like a juicy steak as much as the next guy. I just don’t see the need to have it every night of the week. Since my pregnancy, chicken is difficult to look at raw or cooked and meat just hasn’t been my favorite thing in the world. To Steve, this just feels like yet another “out of nowhere” change that I am making in my life, and he is partly right. I say, if you aren’t enjoying something make it better. (actually I don't say that, but I am saying it now!) So in order to make myself feel better about the food I am eating and with Steve being so compromising, we agreed to one non-meat meal a week. I am not talking about tofu, think eggplant parm or pasta with veggies or black bean burgers. Heck, while we’re changing our menu – let’s add a fish in too. We hardly ever eat it because it is so expensive, but one night splitting a filet of white fish would do us (and our bodies) a world of good. If I could only find a way to motivate myself to work out on T, W, Th I would be on my way to a much healthier lifestyle.

Caroline I am sure will be very on board with the non-meat meal since it would be a night she wouldn’t be offered something she ends up spitting out and we all know she loves non-meaty options. Don’t worry Steve, I am not out to turn your precious daughter from omnivore to herbivore, we’ll keep sneaking that turkey in somehow! Just saying though, she loves her some eggplant parm!


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