A Year & A Half

My sweet little cheeseball is 18 months old tomorrow. A part of me thinks, ‘Well of course she is!’ but another part of me is like, ‘HOW HAS SHE SURVIVED A YEAR AND A HALF. OMG HAVE WE REALLY BEEN PARENTS THAT LONG? WHY IS SHE BOTH THE DEATH OF ME AND ALSO ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!?’

I think the latter is how I know I’ve been a parent for 18 months. Lol

I’m going back to the formula I used for her 3/6/9/12 month posts. And looking back at those… WOW so much has changed. As expected, of course.

Nicknames: Moo, Noodle, Poodle, Moo Poo

Stats: She was just over 26 lbs. at our ear infection visit this week (84th percentile). I’m not sure on height- I will update that after her wellness visit.

Likes: Holding my hand, Mickey Mouse, torturing the dogs (we discourage this), playing outside, playing on the steps, daycare, eating, and getting tickled/tickling her dad and me.

Dislikes: Timeouts (for torturing dogs), having the snot cleared from her nose, when I walk away from her, being denied food for any reason (including the fact that it’s not cooked or cooled or prepped yet), and loud, sudden noises.

Sleeping: On a good night M goes down around 7pm and wakes up around 7am. She takes a 2 or 3 hour nap around lunchtime. But she still sometimes wakes up around 12 or 1am and needs to be held for an hour or so. I blame it on 18mn regression and the ear infections that won’t quit and her new clinginess.

Eating: Dang near everything. She used to reject fresh fruits and veggies but since we started at daycare she’s been good with just about anything. M loves snacking because she’s her mother’s daughter. LOL

Development: I love her brain. She’s so clever and ornery. It will probably bite me in the butt someday, but she’s incredible. Physically, M can walk and run, dance and jump. She climbs on EVERYTHING and is so fearless. We have the bruises and skinned knees to prove it. (K swears she’s going to give him an actual heart attack one of these days.)
M says a few words and will repeat things back like a parrot. She can identify almost all her body part, makes several animals sounds, easily identifies friends and family when you ask her to point them out, and will spend several minutes examining a new item or toy to figure out how it works.
She has such a busy brain and I can tell she learns by watching. She also seems more logical and less creative- which surprises me!

Personality: Moo is the funniest person she knows. She’s a little shy, but she’ll wave to anyone. (High fives and snugs (hugs) are reserved for those closest to her.) She’s still relatively quiet in public and then super chatty once we’re in private. It cracks me up.
She is skeptical of new things. She loves greeting her dogs in the morning. She is a creature of habit and will answer yes or no to questions. She’s very sweet but also very mischievous. She is queen of the side eye and knows how to make that innocent puppy dog face right before or after she misbehaves.

Travel: We took M to the NASCAR races in Bristol, TN. We stayed in the camper and my parents came along, too. She did SO well in the car. We’ve done a few camping trips since then, but nothing long distance. We have a family trip later this summer and I’m hoping to head down to Tampa with M to visit my bff.
We’ve just started taking M to restaurants again and she does so well. I’m glad COVID didn’t cause too much damage as far as behaving in public goes. She also went to her first wedding! M is a people watcher so as long as there are people around, she’s entertained.

Mom’s Summary: Being a mom is tough sometimes, but it’s the most natural thing in the world now to be M’s mom. (17 months and 3 weeks ago I would have been singing a different tune- hold on, new mamas. It gets better!) I have never been a “kid person” but spending time with M is the best. I’m sad when we’re apart- even when one or both of us need the break. It’s a unique feeling to be someone’s favorite person in the entire world- their home, their safe space, their comfort object. The dependency is stifling sometimes, but I know it won’t last forever and it’s perfectly normal. I am really enjoying this stage with Moo, even with the occasional temper tantrum.

I cannot believe that my next official M update will be her second birthday. What the hell is happening and where did my squishy newborn go? 😭😭😭 Sigh.

Coffee Talk

We haven’t had a Coffee Talk since June 2020 so I’d say we’re way overdue.

This week our a/c at work stopped running so if we were having coffee I would be drinking something iced or frozen 😁

If we were having coffee… I’d ask what your plans are for the holiday weekend. I swear… the days run together now and holidays (and birthdays and anniversaries) completely sneak up on me.

This weekend I’m having a garage sale on Fri. & Sat. Kyle is playing in a cover band on Friday night. I think friends are staying over that night, too. Monday my parents are having a Memorial Day party with their friends (& us). It will be a busy weekend.

If we were having coffee… I would tell you how much I’ve missed you. I miss blogging and reading your blog. With work and parenting and my p.t. freelance job… I just don’t have the time or energy or creativity to spare. I hope this balance shifts soon. I miss this space. A lot.

If we were having coffee I’d have to vent a bit… I’m not fully comfortable ditching my mask just yet, but I don’t hold it against people who are. That said, if the business you are entering has a sign that says masks are required, then you need to WEAR YOUR MASK. /end rant

For the next SUYB link up I think I’ll have three books finished. (RIGHT?? Yay!) So obviously I’m an avid reader now. I kid, but I have been thinking about joining the Book of the Month Club. What are your thoughts on that? Is it worth it? Is there a better alternative? Is it a waste of money? If we were having coffee I would definitely pick your brain on this.

If we were having coffee you might ask how M is doing. Can you believe she’ll be 18 months next week? A year and a half. I cannot handle it. She’s been very clingy lately, but she’s also a ton of fun. She’s goofy and giggle, and climbs like a monkey, and honestly has very little fear. (GULP.) She started going to daycare about two months ago, twice a week. I think she LOVES it. She’s learning to play with others and she’s so chatty on the car ride home- then sleeps like an angel at night. A true win for everyone. (And I get a day or a half day a week ALL TO MYSELF!)

Chances are we’re now out of coffee. Lol. Before we part I’d ask if you have any travel plans? I know some people feel safe moving around and some don’t. We have a few camping trips planned and a family trip to Michigan later this summer. We’re also tossing around the idea of a visit to Tampa (to see Aub and Meg!) and a fall visit to my favorite place- Williamsburg. What about you?

And with that… I need to go price some items for the garage sale. And get more coffee. Have a relaxing weekend!

An Extraordinarily Normal Weekend

I know the CDC is still making recommendations and states are revising their masks laws, but this past weekend was the most normal I’ve felt in such a long time. It was lovely and revitalizing and had me feeling warm and fuzzy and overwhelmingly grateful by Sunday night.

On Saturday one of my best friends in the whole wide world got married. I was her matron of honor and spent a large part of the weekend with her and her wonderful family. (They’re the kind of people you just enjoy being around; always laughing, always kind.)

My other best friend was the maid of honor and she stayed with us. Having her and her fiancee in the house was icing on the cake to a weekend-long celebration.

I know times are still weird. Honestly, Moo ended last week with a COVID test and if it’d come back positive, our weekend would’ve looked very different. But she was negative and we deduced that a double ear infection was the cause of her sickness. She now feels better and was even able to attend the wedding until grandma took her home for a sleepover.

And don’t get me started on the wedding day. So much love and peacefulness and celebration. I don’t think there was one single moment the bride would’ve changed- it was a perfect day.

We literally danced the night away. K and I were the last ones out of the venue- haha. I had such an incredible time. I think all the guests did.

It was weird to have a day that just felt so NORMAL. I think almost every guest was vaccinated. We wore masks when around the food. People were seated in pods but free to get up and move around. There was dancing and toasts and cake and lots of alcohol. It was such a normal, great day.

My soul didn’t know I was missing all of that until it was over. Sunday night I was folding laundry in our room, thinking about how nice it was to have a normal party with little reservations.

Today I wore my mask to the grocery store. I have not throw all caution to the wind and I know there is a time and place for intimate gatherings… but I hope that you’re able to have a little taste of normalcy soon. It feels so, so good to just relax for a moment and soak in the closeness of others. And that’s coming from an introvert.

Congratulations, Kayla and Connor ♥️ I hope you’re enjoying the hell outta St. Lucia.

What I Read…

I skipped last month because I only had one book read. This month I have two total so WATCH OUT WORLD.

Linking up with Steph and Jana today for some book talk! #ShowUsYourBooks

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett | Mystery | ★★★/5
I’ve never seen this film, but I still “saw” this entire novel play out in my head in black and white. I don’t know what compelled me to pick this one up, but I enjoy a classic mystery. It was ok. Honestly, there were no likable characters, haha. But I think they’re all supposed to be a little seedy. Murder, theft, lies, double-crossing… All the things that made the 20s/30s what they were. Lol

One and Only: The Freedom of… by Lauren Sandler | Nonfiction | ★★★★/5
I don’t read a lot of nonfiction, but the podcast I occasionally listen to recommended this book (& then interviewed the author). It was most definitely informative, but it’s written by an only child who has an only child… so I wouldn’t call it objective. That said, I learned a lot and I was able to use facts and take time to reflect upon my own feelings. If you’re on the fence about children or the number of children you’d like, this is a good book to add to your shelf.

Moo Reads!

Moo asked me to share some of her recent favorites, too.

Babies on the Farm by Ginger Swift
M is starting to recognize and care about the sounds animals make- especially farm animals. This book is very cute & follows the cutest little baby goats.

Disney Baby My ABCs by Walt Disney Co.
I love that each letter/flap works independently so M can pick which ones to lift and we don’t have to go in order. (I think when you learn letters in order you run the risk of HAVING to say them in order.) I dislike that the crocodile is associated with the C on the cover but he’s NOT the character for the C inside. Small complaint, but it gets me every time.

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
I know this is a beloved book by many (and probably hated by many, too, lol). We got it from Dolly Parton’s program. I love this story. I love the rhyming and the fact that mama llama lays down the law and tells little llama to cool it. Haha.

I’m in the middle of two other books and patiently waiting for my library to give me a long-awaited one… so maybe next month I’ll have two more books. Or THREE if I’m feeling crazy.

I’m Not A Lot of Fun to Be Around

This week M was diagnosed with an inner ear infection. (It’s her second one ever.) We’ve been having some rough nights so I’m actually relieved to find out there’s a reason for the sleeplessness. This ear infection follows a few weeks of the stomach flu (for all of us), insane allergies, and sickness amongst our extended families. Add lack of sleep, missed days of work, and backyard battles between Bristol and the groundhogs… and you’ve got a very grumpy Audrey.

I’d love to say I’m holding it together with the grace of a good Christian Pinterest-mom, but I am very much not. I apologized to K and said, “I know I’m not a lot of fun to be around around.” He informed me that I wasn’t wrong.

How does Joanna Gaines do it? Believe me when I say I am not jealous of her- five children and a home/media conglomerate is not my dream. But is there a Hearth & Hand collection of boxed Gaines-energy…? Because I’d like to order a set.

I have my strengths but I have my weakness, too, and sometimes they shine bright like a diamond. I feel like I’m dropping the ball more often than balancing it. *And it’s a boulder. It might just be a weird stage of pandemic life. I hope it’s just a weird stage of pandemic life. Or maybe this is the new normal as a mom of a toddler who doesn’t sit still EVER.

My kitchen is messy. Our toilets need bleached. I don’t know the last time M “brushed” her teeth. The dogs are behind on flea & tick AND Enzo has an infection. PLUS the deep freeze lost power and I need to scrub the rotten blood out of it. Not to mention the garden beds have weeds, the vacuum is collecting spider webs, and there are actual spiders that M enjoys watching living between the glass and screen in the windows.

I’m like a less glamorous, mildly disgusting Morticia Addams.

Then, this week, someone told me that they think really highly of me.

And it caught me completely off guard.

I try to be very real online and IRL. I try to share the dirt as often as I do the highlights. So… it was just an incredibly flattering compliment from a distant friend (who is equally more so killing it out there in the world).

And so, even if your porcelain bowl is a little more marbled, please know that someone out there thinks you’re doing a swell job. Maybe it’s your spouse, maybe it’s an internet friend, maybe it’s your cat. But someone is cheering for you.

Have a super weekend ❤️