Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sally Grace at 13 Months

This girl.  She is something.  She is as cute as a button, and when she is sweet, she is super sweet--but she’s also turning into a bit of a spit-fire.  If you have to take something away from her (you know, like a permanent marker that she somehow found or a computer charger that she is sucking on), she throws a truly fantastic tantrum.  She screams like you’ve just murdered her best friend, throws her head back like a tomahawk, and crumples to the floor in rage.  That forceful head-throw has nearly broken my nose a couple of times when I’ve been holding her as she’s freaked out.  Ouchie.

Honestly, she has been a little cranky this past month, and for the first time in her life, I've had entire days when I feel very exasperated with her. She wants to be held pretty much constantly when we are home and hangs on my legs whining and crying whenever I set her down.  We've had to resort to the hiking backpack on several occasions so I can simply chop some vegetables.  She's not this way every day, thank goodness, but it seems to be much more often than when she was younger, and it is exhausting!

She seems to be more cheerful when we are out-and-about, but the problem is getting anywhere.  The carseat is her prison, and she starts screaming, kicking, and writhing away the moment that she sees it, even before I buckle her in.  Once she is buckled in, it's often non-stop howling from the moment we leave home until we reach our destination.  This makes long drives (and even short drives to the grocery store) extremely unpleasant for everyone.

Good thing she's so stinkin' cute!!  We will hang on through this cranky phase (and pray it's a phase and not a long-term "pay back" for the fact that she was such an easy infant).

She started walking about a week after her first birthday, and those first few wobbly steps quickly became more stable.  Walking is now her primary way to get around, and we rarely see her signature bear crawl anymore.  Sniff.  But I love seeing such a tiny little human toddling around.  She is still small for her age (17.5 pounds—about 15th percentile for height and weight), so people are always surprised to see her walking.  She has teeny feet (size 3-6 months still!), and they are so narrow that no baby shoes stay on.  I’m not sure what to do about that now that she’s a walker and really does need a decent shoe for her adventures. I am on the hunt for the perfect tiny baby shoes.

Speaking of shoes, one of her favorite things is to try to put them on her feet—whether they are her shoes or Dad’s shoes, she knows they belong on feet and tries diligently to make them fit on hers.  Cutest.  She has good hand-eye coordination and loves to put lids on markers or sippy cups.  She could sit and put a lid on and off a marker for 15 minutes without losing interest.  It always surprises me that she can grasp such tiny objects and even put them together correctly.  Maybe she got this from her dad and will be a pediatric dentist working in tiny mouths someday. ;)

She's a climber.  She loves climbing stairs, and she can climb up onto Noah's bed and even into the minivan somehow.  She will not sit still for even five minutes to watch a Baby Einstein or Sesame Street.  Noah loved Baby Einstein when he was her age, and I sometimes let him watch it when he was grumpy and I needed to make dinner.  No luck for Miss Sal, so hiking backpack it is!

She wiggles away from me when I change her diaper and makes a beeline for the door.  Luckily, she loves the game peekaboo, so if I don't have the energy to chase her, I just put the clean diaper over my face and say "Where's Mommy?"  She can't resist and comes running back to lift the diaper off my face, and then I capture her and strap that diaper on before she can escape again.

She says a couple of words: Noah, Dada, Hi, and Uh oh!  I hear “Uh oh!” all the time when she drops food off of her highchair or drops her cup.  It never fails to delight me to hear her little voice learning to communicate.  She still doesn’t say Mama, the stinker!  (Or as Noah says, “Little Stinkerson!”)

She finally got another tooth shortly after her first birthday, and I miss her darling little snaggle-tooth smile.  But having two teeth has opened up even more possibilities as far as food goes, and she is still an amazing eater.  She will eat anything, including spicy and exotic foods.  I hope she keeps it up!  (And maybe she has a mouthful of teeth coming in?  Could that explain the incessant crankiness?)

Her willingness to eat anything and everything continues to get her into trouble when we are out in nature: when we are camping, spending time at a lake, or even just pulling weeds in the garden, she eats handfuls of dirt, mud, leaves, sand.  It is disgusting!  I have no idea how she can stomach it, let alone go back for more! 

My saving grace on her fussy days is that she has turned into a great napper.  She takes two long naps a day, and when she wakes up, she often just plays in there for a while until I go to get her.  It's a dream.

I think part of the reason that she loves naptime is that she is only allowed to have her pacifier in her crib.  Ryan the pediatric dentist says that pacifiers are bad for kids’ teeth and mouth development, and he would prefer that she never use it—but we compromised and decided that she can have it in her crib.  (Maybe we didn’t compromise; maybe I told him that when he is the stay-at-home parent, he can choose to hear his baby cry when she is trying to fall asleep, but I am going to give her the darn paci!)  The pacifier is a tough one because I don’t want her dependent on an outside object to soothe and I don’t want to face huge battles in the future when we take it away, but she is still so young—I really don’t think it’s a big deal.  Maybe I should defer to Dr. Dad, but I'm not going to.  It’s so crazy to me that she didn’t even start taking a paci until 11 months old because now she loves it.

She will not—will NOT—keep a bow in her hair.  I have tried all sorts of tiny clips, non-budge headbands, everything I can think of.  Nope.  And unfortunately, she’s got a bad case of “helmet hair” going on, so she looks a little urchiny much of the time.  She has cute curls in the back but stick straight bangs in the front.  We’ve been trying some tiny pigtails this month, and they are super cute and she will actually leave them in, but she’s such a mover that it’s nearly impossible to pin her down and get the pigtails in!  Honestly, I’m too tired to fight the fight most of the time, so helmet hair it is.

She enjoys grocery shopping with me and chomps on a green pepper while we shop (not kidding).   She’s a curious little people-watcher.  I should get her out of the house more often, but I dread the drives. 

She especially loves other tiny people, and when she sees babies about her age, she often walks right up to them and wraps her arms around them.  It's so funny because she's not really a snuggly baby (she's too busy) but when she spots other toddlers, she just wants to cuddle them.  She is especially obsessed with her cousin Lucy who is just six-weeks younger than she is.  Those two are always hugging, wrestling, or trying to suck on each other's noses.  The last time we were with them, Sally walked up behind Lucy, wrapped her arms around her waist, and laid her head on her shoulder.  Ummm, sweetest!  

She loves little chairs.  If there is a kid-sized chair anywhere in the vicinity, she is the first to run and plop down on it.  We went to a church activity at a local lake last weekend, and as we were all cleaning up at the end of the night, I looked over and saw her just chillin' in a kid-sized lawnchair, taking in the scene.  She had her pacifier because I was tired of her eating mud, so she was in heaven!  She sat in that chair surrounded by the bustle of people for almost thirty minutes.

She loves soft things like her linen blankies and the doll Grandma gave her for her first birthday.  She loves the bath--the warm sudsy bubbles, the splashing, the pouring water out of a cup. (Don't take her out of the bath before she is ready or the tomahawk head-throw will commence!)  She loves bottles of warm milk, stacking plastic rings, and her rambunctious older brother.

She also seems to enjoy slap-stick style humor: she bursts out laughing when anyone trips or accidentally whacks their head on a cupboard in the kitchen.  It's so unexpected to hear her guttural chuckle come out of nowhere, especially when you know it's at your expense. So hilarious.  She has a contagious laugh--it is really low and gremlin-like, and it is so surprising coming out of such a dainty little girl.

Just this week, she started giving kisses.  I have always said things like, "Can Mama have a kiss?" or "Give me a kiss!" before I smooch her.  This week as we were walking out of the grocery store, she was sitting in the front of the cart facing me, and I said, "Can I have a kiss?" and leaned forward to peck her soft cheek, and she surprised me by leaning forward and gently kissing me first.  Insert heart bursting!!!  Then today, I was sitting on the carpet with Noah helping him try on his new winter coat, and he said thank you and leaned over to kiss me (sweet boy), and Sally was walking by and saw him do that, and she stopped in her tracks and looked concerned, like, "What am I missing here?" Then she ran over to me and gave me a smacker on the lips!  Totally made my day!

 Oh I love her.  In spite of her fussing lately, I just want to eat her up every day, and I can’t imagine life without her.  As I was rocking her before bed the other night, I told her that I can remember when, just over a year ago, she was kicking around in my belly.  I was so sick, and it was so miserable, and she was so worth it.  


  1. What a darling little peanut! FYI, my sister was TERRIBLE about the car seat. I have memories of her doing "the backbend" while my mother literally had to use her knee to brace my sister in the seat while quickly strapping her in. Do what you have to. Would music help? A toy that suctions onto the window? I think Fisher-Price has one of those with a wristband rattle -- baby shakes her wrist and the rattle makes the toy light up/make noises.

    They grow so quickly!


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