Welcome to Toddlerville:

Population millions, but since you are a toddler, no one else exists in your world.

Just a little egocentric humor there for you! Miri has been studying the Toddler Handbook, and has just gotten to the chapter about transitioning to one nap a day. Although I think she skipped ahead a bit, because instead of “transitioning” she just went ahead and dropped that morning nap like a hot potato. For months, she napped like clockwork: About two hours after waking up, she would have her bottle and drift off to sleep with nary a peep, sleeping for up to two hours. But suddenly two days ago she decided to rage against the morning nap: she took her bottle,(with heavy eyelids), and I put her down in her crib. She played a bit and babbled to herself, then got annoyed and started crying,  stood up, threw all the binkies and all the lovies out of the crib, then carried onso me more. No amount of binky replacement, more bottle, or more rocking could convince her to sleep. So now I’ve been putting her down at noon, after an early lunch, and she goes down easily then snoozes for a couple of hours. Morning naps are for babies, apparently, and this 13-month-old is not that kind of baby. This is all fine with me except that now I have to rethink my entire world view (yet again). Well, maybe not my world view per se, but my daily routine at the very least.

In honor of embracing her toddlerhood, today Miri had her first Cheerios. They were a huge hit.

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She really does have her own bed, but this one is so much cozier.

There she goes

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About a week ago, inspired by the sunny California weather, Miri stood up and walked across the room. After her initial drunk-stumbles, she came to the conclusion that this walking thing might be even more efficient than crawling. I’m not sure who’s more proud, me or her. I’m a little embarrassed that I was actually worried about her not walking yet…but I guess that’s my job as her mom. Now I’ll just have to find something else to worry about. It blows my mind that a year ago, she couldn’t even hold up her own head, and now she’s running away from us in search of adventures.

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I’ve also realized how my perspective on babies and kids has changed. I used to see little kids in terms of what they couldn’t yet do. For a example, a little toddler stumbling around wasn’t very coordinated or able to run yet. A babbling baby couldn’t talk yet. But now after spending a year watching Miri turn into this little person, I see kids in terms of what they couldn’t do yesterday. A little toddler stumbling around is taking her first steps that she couldn’t do without holding on yesterday. A babbling baby is trying out new noises that she wasn’t able to make yesterday.

No matter where her adventures take her, it’s always nice to reach up and find Daddy ready to help..

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The magic of poutine

I’m of two minds about Miri’s walking: one, she can walk whenever the hell she wants to walk, whenever she’s ready. She’s fine, and normal, and it’s no big deal. No one ever didn’t get in to MIT because they weren’t walking by 12 months. But then the outside world (i.e. other mombies and babies) encroaches on my bubble and I see other babies younger than Miri walking, and their mamas smugly say, “Oh enjoy it while you can! Because once they’re walking…” and I wonder if Miri is going to be like the family in Turkey that walks on all fours.

Today I was putting away clothes in Miri’s room and she just wandered in, then continued walking across the floor like it was nothing. About twelve steps. I think it was the poutine she had for lunch. That stuff has magical powers.

Speaking of food, I’m having internal conflict between the me who doesn’t share food and the me who is so proud of Miri eating everything. Yesterday for lunch she devoured a veggie masala burger with hummus, then had a chicken verde tamale and some California rolls for dinner. For lunch today we shared poutine then she stole some tomatoes and avocado out of my salad. She is the only person in existence who can reach over and take food off my plate without even asking and not get the side-eye from me. Because Rose doesn’t share food. To be completely honest, the best part about her eating everything is that it makes less work for this Lazy Mom. But it’s also pretty cute watching her deconstruct a sushi roll. I’d show you a picture, but, that would be a photo of a baby with food on her face, and I don’t do that.

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Letters to Miriam: One year old

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Dear Miriam,

You have just completed your first trip around the sun, you have been on this planet with us for one complete year. You were born last year on this day,  and you made me a mommy, you made Dada a daddy, and we became a little family. This past year has been the best year of my life so far, getting to know you. I suspect it is just going to get better and better. I’m at a loss for writing a birthday post without devolving into cliches: time goes so fast, whatever stage you’re in is my new favorite, I can’t imagine my life without you in it (insert Lifetime movie dialog here).

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You’re on the verge of walking but you’re not too sure about it. You are such an efficient and fast crawler that it’s still your favorite way to get around. But over the past few weeks you’re starting to enjoy being upright more and cruising around the house, always with one hand on the wall or furniture. You love running around while gripping our hands, sometimes barely holding on, but you just like knowing that we’re there.

You’ve learned a lot at daycare, and can sign “all done,” “more,” “eat,” and “milk.” Suddenly I’m realizing how much you understand too…when I tell you that we’re going to take Ardie for a walk, you hurry over and grab his leash from the basket near the door. You love mealtimes, and I haven’t found too much that you won’t eat yet. Butternut squash is a definite “no,” probably because of the texture. But you gobble up your curried chickpeas, teriyaki tofu, sweet potatoes, ravioli, avocado, bananas, cheese, and any kind of fruit.

Pizza crust!

Pizza crust!

And a new favorite this month: cake. You had your own little carrot cake on your birthday, though the frosting was a bigger hit than the cake itself. Grandma bought you a chocolate and vanilla cake for your party at her house and I think you would have eaten the whole thing if we’d let you.

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It was great seeing the family all together for your birthday, and you had lots of fun exploring Grandma Rivett’s gardens and pointing out what she’d missed when child-proofing.

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Note the tippy-toes. She can reach higher than you think!

It was a great birthday, the first of many many more. I’m going to keep making you cakes and putting funny hats on you and making your day as special as possible as long as you will let me. Okay, so the hat thing isn’t going to last…

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Not sure if this was about the hat or my singing…

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Presents! New friend Flora the Fox supervises play with Mega Blocks.

 

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So happy birthday little girl! I hope you had as much fun as we did. This is the last of my monthly Letters to Miriam posts, from here I’ll be writing a letter to you every six months. I’ll still be writing other blog posts and updating as frequently as I can, but you’re keeping me so busy that it’s getting hard to write a letter to post every month!

 

Facebook, it’s you, not me

I’ve recently discovered that if I abandon Facebook for 48 hours over the weekend, I am generally happier, less ragey-against-stupid, and I probably pay more attention to my family. I’m not sure what irritates me more: people’s ignorant comments or my husband’s attempts to censor me (to be fair, he is probably justified in trying to stop me from spewing snarky diatribes all over FB). For example, this morning, I was poised to eloquently request that Christians stop playing the convenient Victim Card they love to flash in lieu of true humanitarianism…perhaps my wording would have been a tad harsher. Ah well. I did delete FB from my phone, though not before I changed my profile pic to the Arabic letter alif for atheist. I now realize it should have been a kah for kafir but I didn’t want to offend my Muslim friends.
In other FB rants, sunshine, unicorn dust and extra water will not clean your poopy cloth diapers, crunchy mamas. Bleach and detergent are your friends. Your baby’s bum will thank me.

Ear infections and other myths

A few days ago, Matt said that he suspected Miri had an ear infection. I was a little shaken by this, as she’s never had an ear infection. I have always assumed that ear infections, like teething, were just excuses that parents made for their babies crankiness. And so far, Miri is weathering teething like a champ, so I figure it doesn’t really hurt that bad *ducking*. Miri was tugging at her ear a bit, and as she’s been picking up various daycare viruses all month, so I took her in to the pediatrician just to have a look. Fortunately, both ears looked fine, it was probably just a bit of congestion clearing up from one of her many viruses over the past month. This kid is actively challenging my entire believe system. What’s next, she’ll be telling me god ISN’T dead?

She’s already busy writing her manifesto.

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Letters to Miriam – Eleven months old

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Dear Miriam, you turned eleven months old on Bastille Day this month! And what month it has been. You had your first sleepover with Grandma and Grandpa, your first illness and trip to Urgent Care, first splashing in your kiddie pool, first Forth of July (slept through it).

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You also started daycare! I’m so grateful that you got to spend so much time at home with Grandma and your nanny K. I’ll admit it, I cried when Grandma left after her last regular “shift” with you, all of your milestones and events are so bittersweet! But you are having so much fun at daycare, playing with your little friends and your teachers. You are busy busy busy, constantly moving and exploring. Daycare is perfect for you because the whole room is “safe,” you can cruise around and touch everything.

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You aren’t very interested in walking yet, but I think it’s because you’re such an efficient, lightning-fast crawler. You’re so fast I don’t think your knees fully touch the ground sometimes. You do love to cruise around with your walker, but only until you see something more interesting and have to zip across the floor to touch it.

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You sleep through the night, 12-13 hours at a time, and are exhausted at the end of the day when you go to daycare. Your little mind is expanding in leaps and bounds and I’m astounded by how well you understand what we’re saying! We’ve been teaching you the sign for “all done!” at meal times, and you laugh when you wave your little hands in the air and say, “Ah dah!” You definitely have your own personality, and it’s very sweet and funny.  Your favorite toys these days are not toys: cups, bowls, balls, remote controls, cans and bottles filled with dried beans, pretty much anything that isn’t supposed to be a toy. You love handing things to us. When I come in to your room after naps, you smile and the first thing you do is hand me your lovey.

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