Absence makes the heart grow

What is this? A blog post, you say? Surely, hell has frozen over due to all the flying pigs and whatnot! Well, hell is actually nice and warm, and I’m in it. Muscatine, Iowa. For 6 days. Without my Boo Bear. Or my sexy husband. And, no, I’m not on vacation!!! I am in Iowa for work-related training, and although it could have been made somewhat enjoyable by the prospect of some well-deserved and long-overdue alone time, I am unfortunately stuck sharing a room with a coworker from our Jacksonville office. That snores. Fun times. 

However, in the spirit of making the most out of turning lemons into lemonade while the sun is shining, I am determined to use the free time I have here to do all the things I “don’t have the time to do” when I’m home. Like wash my face before bed (sorry, sister!) And get some cardio in before my morning shower. (Still playing that by ear….) AND write a blog post!

Really, I wanted take a moment to record for posterity my first real amount of time spent away from Addison. There was that one time, roughly a year ago, where she spent the night with Papi and Abuelita so I could get some thesis work done. That time I cried all the way home from work because I felt like I was abandoning my child. And that was one night. Now, I’m abandoning my child for five nights, and I’m very far away, so I can’t come running to her if something is wrong. I think I’ve written enough about my constant state of worrying that you should know what this has done to me emotionally. My boss has asked me about 20 times over the past two weeks, “Are you stressed about the trip? You seem stressed.” YES, I’M STRESSED! DON’T YOU KNOW ME AT ALL????? But he doesn’t read my blog, so he doesn’t really know. Thank God.

Despite the melodrama in the previous paragraphs, I’m actually handling things pretty well. I did cry while talking to my sister on the phone earlier today about the fears I have related to my trip (namely, me dying in a plane crash and never seeing Addy again, Addy dying from something horrible while I’m far away and have no way of getting to her, Addy crying for me every night and feeling like I’ve abandoned her. You know, typical psycho mom stuff.) And I teared up when I left Aaron and Addy at the airport. But that’s been the extent of it so far.

I’ve sent a lot of texts back and forth, gotten a picture, and I’m feeling pretty good. The kid’s got an awesome papa, two fat cats (one indoor, one outdoor), 4 grandparents, aunts, uncles, and a million other people who love her within a 20 mile radius. She’s going to be fine. Aaron’s already taken her to the Junior Museum, and he’s taking off work on Thursday and Friday so they can have fun together. He probably fed her ice cream for dinner and let her run around the house naked. The kid is having the time of her life!

As for me? I’m going to sleep the sleep of a tired mommy who hasn’t had a bed to herself in over 3 years. And also had a margarita at dinner. That never hurts….

About weaning and sleeping

I’ve been looking back at some old blog entries, and a lot of those entries covered the topic of sleep and the topic of nursing, so I thought it was the perfect time to update the ol’ memory bank on the topics. Back in late October, Aaron and I were pretty fed up with Addison waking up about 5 times a night. I was especially fed up because even when Addison was sleeping, she was basically surgically attached to one of my nipples. And it wasn’t like there was any eating going on – basically, I was  a human pacifier. At some point, we decided that we were going to wean her, and to do that, we would start putting her to sleep in her crib at night (I think that was precipitated by a really rough night trying to get her to go to sleep and Aaron said, “Forget it! She’s going to the crib!”)

Addy went to sleep really easily in her crib for the most part. We’d lay her in there with all the lights off except for her night light. (It’s important to note that we had already converted her crib into a toddler bed in hopes that she would play on it during the day and start to like it.) We’d sit on the floor next to her, and I’d sing a few songs to her. She’d say, “Twinkle!” so I’d sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” Or she’d want to sing “Sunshine” (“You Are my Sunshine.) A lot of times, she’d want to sing “Barney” – “I Love You, You Love Me.” Now, I know most people hear that song, and it makes their skin crawl. Addy made me love that song because when I’d sing, “With a great big hug,” she insisted on giving me a big hug, which was followed by a giant smooch when we sang, “And a kiss from me to you.” I’m sorry, but that shit is precious, and if you don’t agree, then you are heartless.

So, anyway, we’d sing some songs, and then Addy would fall asleep. Sometimes she would sleep in there for an hour or two, sometimes less. For the first few times, one of us would go get her when she woke up and started to cry. We’d bring her back into bed with us, and even though I had the best of intentions to cut her off of the “ums,” she would beg for the goods, and I was sleepy, and I felt like I was emotionally scarring her, so in the middle of the night, I would give in and nurse her.

Fortunately, Aaron stepped in. Many nights when Addison woke up, he would go into her room and put her back to sleep. He figured out pretty early that she would go back to sleep faster for him than for me. He also figured out that if we were ever going to get her weaned, he’d have to play a major part in that. Some nights he would just sleep on the floor in her room to keep her asleep and happy and away from me. Other nights, I would go in and lay in her room. She would often wind up on the floor with us when we were pulling night duty, but for whatever reason, she wasn’t as quick to want to nurse when we were in that situation. I think it was partially because I had the boobs on lock-down, and also because she associated being in bed with me to nursing, but on the floor was a new thing that she didn’t associate with nursing.

We had Addy sleeping in her crib for about three weeks. She never slept through the night without waking up multiple times leading to one of us going into her room to finish out the night. If she came into the bed, she would want to nurse. But over the course of those three weeks of not sleeping in our bed, she stopped asking for “ums.” I don’t know the last time I nursed Addison, and I’m kind of glad that I didn’t know it was the last time, because I think it would have broken my heart.

We hit a crossroad when we went to visit Aaron’s family for Thanksgiving. We were staying with Aaron’s Aunt and Uncle, and Addy was in the room with us. We decided to just let her sleep in the bed with us and see how it went. She never once asked to nurse, and she slept like a champ the whole night. We were both actually really happy to have our little snuggle bunny back in bed with us AND to be getting a good night’s rest.

When we got home from Thanksgiving, Addy was no longer going to sleep easily in her crib (no surprise there) and we brought her back into bed with us. Since then, she has slept with us every night, whether in bed with us or on a little pallet next to our bed. We’ve actually been having a few issues with night terrors, but aside from that, we’ve all been sleeping much better most nights. There are still nights when one of us will wake up with a foot in our back or a hand in our face. I woke up two nights ago with Addison’s leg draped over my shoulder and her smelly diaper in my face. How does that even happen? We’d probably sleep a lot better if we had a King size bed, but really, it’s working quite well.

Also, I am reallly, really, REALLY enjoying not nursing Addy anymore. My goal was to make it 12 months, and I did that while working and finishing Grad School. Addy finally stopped nursing completely around 21 months old, which I think is pretty darn admirable. We’re still close as peas and carrots, but now I don’t have to worry about having more than one glass of wine (which I’m enjoying IMMENSELY) or taking some cold meds when I’m sick. Nursing Addison was one of the best things I ever did, and I am so, so happy I did it. But its time had come, and I’m happy we’ve moved on to another stage of her life.

L-O-V-E

It’s been almost 6 months since my last blog post. I feel like I’m confessing or something. “Forgive me, Addison, for I have sinned.” I still don’t know how I graduated from school (FINALLY!!!!!!!!) which gave me more free time, but somehow haven’t had enough time to blog. I used to blog a lot at work, but now that I have a “real” job, there’s no time for that. And it’s not because you don’t do anything worthy of blogging about, that’s for sure! One of my professors told me that people usually are depressed after they graduate because it’s a big change, and I think that was true for me a bit. Maybe I was just boycotting writing in general after finishing my thesis. Who cares? Here I am!

In honor of Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I thought I’d write about some things that you LOVE. Tops on that list, Barney. Still. You watch Barney at some point every day. Most mornings, you’ll watch Barney videos on my iPhone in the car. Most afternoons, too. And I’m really, really okay with it because you’ve learned so many little songs that you sing from Barney that I can’t really be mad. You know “BINGO!” and “Old McDonald” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Mr. Sun” and probably at least a dozen others. You also know every word to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” (because of this video) and to “You Are My Sunshine” (because I sing it to you a lot.)

At some point, you learned “Happy Birthday.” For about a month, you wanted to sing “Happy Birthday” non-stop. Every time you’d see a candle (any candle, not just candles on a cake – votive candles, pillar candles, prayer candles) you’d say, “Happy Birthday!” And then we’d sing the song, and you’d blow out the candle. You still love to sing it, and every time we sing “Happy Birthday” to a different person – usually not to you. Auntie and Anna are two of your favorites, and Grandma and Kenny make appearances. Tonight, you wanted to sing “Happy Birthday” to Tia. You usually don’t want to sing to Mommy or Daddy, either. Rude.

Speaking of Auntie and Anna, they are two things you LOVE, too! You’ve been spending every Wednesday with them, and aside from deciding that your mission in life is to boss Anna around, you guys have a lot of fun together. The two of you will spend a good amount of time jumping in Anna’s crib, and you’ll dance and watch television. A lot of the time you go out to see Nana, and she teaches you songs and you give her lots of hugs and kisses.

You LOVE giving hugs and kisses. You’re the best about giving them randomly without anyone even asking. Sarah hardly ever wants you to giver her kisses, though, which used to make you sad. Now, though, you’ll just say, “Yaya no quiere” when she refuses your kisses. And after about 90% of your kisses, you’ll wipe your mouth off and say, “chew baba.” “Baba” is Spanish for slobber, and I have no idea where the “chew” part came from.

You LOVE yogurt. You have had five yogurts in a day before. You would probably eat at least 8 if we’d let you. At least you’re getting calcium somewhere. You’ll drink the occasional glass of “choco” – chocolate milk, and those two things are your only source of milk anymore because we stopped nursing! We pretty much stopped cold turkey in November and haven’t looked back. Well, that’s not totally true. I’ve had a lot of moments where I miss having that time with you, and you asked for “ums” multiple times a day for several weeks until you got used to it. The up side of no longer nursing is that now you sleep a lot better at night. You’re still our little snuggle bug, which I love (Daddy has a love-hate relationship with your snuggle-bugness. Depends on how much you tossed and turned the night before.)

You also LOVE your grandparents – Grandma and Abuelita are at the top of that list. Papi learned that if he said the word “Grandma,” you would search his house for 10 minutes looking for her. Also, he said that every day, you’ll come sit on his lap, cover his eyes and say, “Where’s Grandma?” No idea what that’s about, but it cracks him up! You love your Papi, too. He’s still working in Maryland three weeks at a time, but when he comes home, you make up for lost hugs and kisses. He’s said that he’d be rich if he had a dollar for every time you say “Papi” every day. And of course, you love Grandpa. You say “Brampa” instead of “Grandpa,” and “bi-tar” instead of “guitar” – Grandpa lets you play his “bi-tars” and his keyboard all the time.

There are so many more things that you love (tea parties and washing dishes and painting and sliding and swinging), but I’ll have to write about those another time. I promise!

I love you so much, Diddle.

Love, Mommy

On Worrying…..

I worry. A lot. It’s probably what I do most every day. Worry if Addison will wake up and cry when I get out of bed for my shower. Worry if I’ll be late for work. Worry if I’m totally screwing things up at my new job. Worry about how much money I have in my bank account and which bills I have that are past due. Worry about all the things I need to do at home, which ones I should do first, worry about which ones I don’t get done. Worry that I don’t spend enough time with Ringo. Worry, worry, worry. And it’s not just about myself and my life. I worry about my sister constantly: how’s Anna behaving today? Did she have a good night last night? Is Melissa having a good day or is she having a hard day? I worry almost every time my phone rings: Who is calling me? It’s Melissa, or my dad, or my husband. Why are they calling me right now? Who is dead? Who is hurt? My dad has been working in Maryland for 3 weeks at a time for the past few months, and that has only added to the things I worry about.

Of course, I worry about Addison the most.  When she was little, I was always worried that she wasn’t breathing. That’s one of the big reasons she slept with us: when your kid is sleeping soundly on your chest, you don’t have to worry if she’s alive or not. And I’ve always worried that something will happen to her. My rationale (okay, that’s probably not the right word, because it’s not very rational) is that Addison is perfect. Beyond perfect. She’s beautiful, and she is the sweetest, funniest, smartest, most angelic (usually…) little think on this planet. She’s barely ever been sick, she’s hardly ever in a bad mood, she’s obedient, she loves the living daylights out of her family, and she’s everything I ever dreamed of having for a child. And since she’s absolutely perfect, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m waiting for the flip side. It can’t all be perfect and wonderful forever. I joke that I’m enjoying Addison as much as I can now, so I’ll have these times to hold onto when she’s a teenager and she hates my guts. I actually worry more that she’ll never be a teenager, that something will happen to my sweet little angel and I will never, ever be able to recover from it. I don’t know if it’s because  I’m overly paranoid, if it’s PTSD from the whole episode with my mom, if it’s part of being a mother, or if I am totally off my rocker.

Now, the point of this little public exposure of my insanity? Every so often, I am reminded of how lucky I am through others who are not as lucky. One of my favorite blogs is written by a woman who found out her child had Down Syndrome only after she was born. Her daughter, Nella, was born maybe a month before Addison, and they actually look a LOT alike to me, Addy and Nella. Finding her blog was like a punch in the stomach: that could have been you. Despite the scary and surprising beginning to her life, Nella is a perfect little baby, and cute as a bug, as can be seen on her blog.

Photobucket

Other people have children with more life-threatening issues. I found out about the Powell family today. They live in Havana, where my dad lives, and one of their 20-month twin boys has a brain tumor and cancer and is currently battling it out at a local hospital. He had the brain tumor removed, but they’ve found abnormalities on his spinal cord.

I found out about another family today, too. A family who lost their little girl, Ruby Jane, to liver failure. Ruby Jane was born 4 days after my niece, Anna, on January 5, 2011. She died on Thursday, August 11.

Looking at the beautiful pictures of her on her mom’s blog makes me feel a kind of sadness that I don’t want to dwell on long enough to describe. If I think about that kind of sadness, I can get sucked up in it, and go down in a thought spiral that leads to me wondering Why have I been so lucky? When will it happen to me?

So, what is my point, exactly? Well, that I’m a crazy person. And also, that I’m a very, very, very lucky person. I have been giving amazing blessings in my life, and I don’t know how or why, and that knowledge and the knowledge that other people are struggling, are watching their babies get sick and die, makes me grateful that I have my perfect little Addy, and it also makes me hurt for them in a way that almost totally consumes me. So, I wanted to use my voice, my tiny little platform, to remind everyone to be thankful, too, and also to think about these people who aren’t as lucky as we are. I encounter people every day that have plenty of time to complain about things that aren’t going right in their life. I hope that today, you’ll take some time today to be thankful for the things that are going right. And while you’re at it, take a minute to send your prayers, or positive vibes, or whatever you believe in to these little babies and their families. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Luck Got To Do With It?

I wrote this in March, and I’m not sure why I didn’t post it then, but I saw it today sitting in wait on my blog dashboard and wanted to post it now. Better late than never, huh? 

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, which is something I don’t know too much about because I’m not Irish and I’m not Catholic, and I’m pretty sure it has to do with two of those groups of people. And beer tinted green. However, I do know that today is the birthday of one Frances Anne (Schmidt Blaho) Kautz, my step-mother-in-law. That’s a lot of dashes in our relationship, which kind of trivializes it. But Fran is so much more to me than a bunch of dashes.

Many of you know that Addison is “Addison Frances” because of Fran. Aaron and I always knew we would name our one (and ONLY) child Addison. When Aaron and I found out we were going to have a baby, we decided right away that if it was a girl, we wanted to make her middle name Frances as a way to honor Fran. We did this because we wanted Fran to know that even though she isn’t blood related to Addison, she was going to be an extremely important part of her life. Also, we wanted Addison to have the name of someone who could serve as a wonderful female role model for her. Finally, we wanted Addison to serve as a legacy for Fran. We knew that not having children was one of Fran’s disappointments in life, and we hoped that in a small way, having Addison named after her would help to fill that spot that was missing.

When my grandparents moved my mom back from Pensacola, Fran was thoughtful enough to invite the three of them over one afternoon a week to visit with Addison while I was at work. This gave them all time to visit with each other (which I know they enjoyed), of course it gave my family time to see Addison, and it also took that responsibility off of my plate, which made my life much easier. The funny thing is, I had thought about asking Fran if my family could come to her house and see Addison, but I didn’t want to inconvenience her, so I didn’t bring it up. She suggested it all on her own. I am so thankful that Fran was willing to give up her quality time with Addison so my mom could see her. I think it gave my mom a lot of peace to know that Fran was filling in where she couldn’t and helping me with Addison.

Now that my mom is gone, Fran has essentially filled that role for me. She’s cooked a TON of meals for us, she’s been the go-to babysitter for us in times of need, she’s brought us groceries and medicine when we were sick, she buys us sweet little gifts from time to time – all things that my mom would have done. If I need something, I know that I can call Fran, and she’ll be there in a heartbeat.

Before having Addison, I knew that I was lucky to have Fran in my life. After having Addison, I have realized that it is more than luck that brought Fran and I together. I know that not having children was not part of Fran’s plan for her life, and losing my mom when she was only 49 was something I never could have imagined growing up. I’m not a religious person, but I believe in a higher power, and I know that thing, that being that guides our universe had already worked all of these things out for us. I’m not Irish, and I’m not Catholic, and I definitely don’t like green beer, but I’ll always celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as one of the luckiest days for me because of Fran, one of my life’s biggest blessings.

18 Months

Dear Diddle,

Where to start???? Obviously there’s been a big ‘ol gap in the blog posts. Not because you haven’t done anything worthy of writing about (you’ve only gotten cuter and smarter! No surprise there…) but because Mommy has been BUSY. I was doing an okay job at keeping up with everything, squeezing in blog posts once a month between working part time, working on Grad School, and being a wife and mommy. But then our schedule faced a DRASTIC change at the end of April – I got a REAL job! That alone is one of the most important things to happen to us in the last year. You don’t understand any of this, but the economy is really, really bad right now, and it’s very hard to find jobs, much less good jobs. That is especially true in Interior Design because it’s closely tied to the housing market, which is one of the areas that has been hardest hit by this economic downturn. (Are you sleepy yet? Maybe I should read this to you later tonight and see how long it takes for you to pass out. New Mommy strategy – bore her to sleep!!!) So the fact that I got a full time job, that it’s in Tallahassee, and that is actually a job as an interior designer and not selling furniture or something is nothing short of a miracle!!!!

With the awesome new job came an even busier schedule: 40 hours a week at work, a night (maybe two) a week where I would work on homework for 3-4 hours, and weekends full of even more schoolwork, sometimes 20 hours over a weekend. And just when I started working, school was getting harder and harder. So something had to give, and it turned out being (among other things) posting on your blog.

It’s so amazing how much you’ve changed over the past 4 months. I read your 14 month blog post just now and was seriously SHOCKED at how different you are now. You’re still the sweetest thing around, and you still give lots of kisses. You’ll wake up in the middle of the night sometimes, sit up in bed, land a big smooch on my lips, and say, “Mommy!” It’s like it just makes you happy to know that I’m there. And why I’m more than a little reluctant to make the switch over to you sleeping in your crib. I mean, middle of the night exclamations of love are a little hard to turn down.

But other things have changed a LOT! Four months ago, you had just started saying, “Agua.” Oh, boy, have you added to your vocabulary, both Spanish and English. You say mas (and more), you say ojo, oreja, nariz, mano, si (you never say yes, it’s always “si,” but you say it like you’re Castillian, with the “sh”: “shi.”), huevo, pan, mimi (which is kind of slang for sleepy) and I can’t even remember what else you say in Spanish. It’s a lot. And you understand even more. Abuelita can tell you long, complicated directions in Spanish, and you’ll follow them. Oh, yeah! You say, “Corre!” which is “run!” That’s because you’ve heard Abuelita say it so much to Sarah when she says she needs to go to the potty. Which reminds me, you also say, “caca.” You say it for everything. If you pick up a piece of paper on the floor? “Caca.” A ball of kitty fur? “Caca.” Even if you only have a wet diaper, you point at it and say, “Ewwww. Caca.” That’s Sarah’s doing, because she is obsessed with being clean, and some of her little tendencies have rubbed off on you. The good side of that is that you’ve seen her being potty trained, so you’ve wanted to mimic that, and it’s been pretty successful so far! We’re not going at it full-throttle, but you will go pee on the potty every morning right when you wake up, and lately you’ve been better at telling us when you have to go pee during the day. Twice we’ve gotten you to go poop on the toilet, but most of the time you start running to the bathroom saying, “Corre! Corre!” and when we get there, you’ve already pooped. So, you understand what the toilet is for, which is great! Baby steps! (And I’m realizing that you’re going to HATE me for that last paragraph when you’re older. Oh, well!)

You’re sitting on the floor right now eating a snack, and reminding me of some of the other words you can say: color, grape, cheese, ball, um or ums (that’s what you say when you want to nurse), sit (which unfortunately, thanks to your Castillian “s” sounds like “shit”), shirt, meow, kitty, foot, shoe, sock, bye bye, you can kind of say Grandma and Grandpa, Anna (but you say it with a soft “a”: ah-nah), brush, Auntie, Yaya (for Sarah), Mantha (for Samantha), and Barney. Yes, for the purple dinosaur. You still love that giant bastard. And I’ve almost, almost forgiven him for being so obnoxious because he did teach you to do something really, really cute. Thanks to watching Barney, you will do the motions to the song, “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” You’ll clap, stomp, and shout, “Hooray!” and when they say, “then your face will surely show it,” you put your fingers on your cheeks and make little dimples. Frigging PRECIOUS!!!

You can practically run now, you can easily climb up on things, and you’re pretty fearless. You act very much like a tomboy, but you’re still very girly, too. You’re the perfect mix. You love the water. I asked you one day if you wanted to go outside and play in the water. You looked at me almost in shock, as if you were thinking, “Surely, she’s not suggesting we do something so wonderful as play in the water?” and then you asked, incredulously, “AGUA?” The fact that you understand water and agua are the same thing just adds further proof that you are a GENIUS!

You are also really, really well-behaved. You don’t cry very often, you’re always very polite and say, “thank you” all the time (which sounds like “chain choo.”) You’re getting much better at saying, “please.” We had an issue with that the other day which led to Papa starring in an episode of Daddy Discipline Smack Down. But it was effective, and you’ve figured out that saying “please” is a required part of getting something you want.

There’s so much more I could write about, but I’ll save it for later. Bottom line: you’re on an 18 month streak of total freaking awesomeness, and I LOOOOVE you!

Love,

Mommy

14 Months

Dear Doodle,

That time again already? I’m starting early this month, so maybe I’ll have this letter posted before Easter. We’ll see…..

Okay, proudest moment this month: you and I were unloading from the car down at the dock because we went to see the super moon with your grandparents. Papa stayed at home because he’s a party pooper he was tired from fishing that morning. And in his defense, he had also spent a lot of time grilling us a delicious dinner. (I really just wanted to use that line through the text thing. So clever.) So you and I drove down to the dock. We didn’t walk because I learned my lesson last time: full moon is not necessarily equal to beautiful moonlit walk when your neighborhood has approximately 1.3 million trees. It was creepy.

So, we arrived at the dock, I got you settled into your sling, and then you pointed to your water bottle sitting on top of the trunk and clearly said…….

“Agua?”

I didn’t catch it until a few seconds later because it just floated out of your mouth so naturally. You pointed to your water, you used a word to request that water, and that word was in Spanish!!!! It was like the angels from heaven that are in charge of making genius babies had come down at that very moment and surrounded us with their glorious light. I was so freaking proud of you, kid! I was also reminded of how lucky I am that you get to stay with your Abuelita every week who not only loves the stuffing out of you and gives you all the homemade tortillas you can eat, but she also is teaching you Spanish. That is SUCH a blessing!

The cutest thing you’ve been doing lately is giving kisses. You pucker your lips up and push them really far out, then lean in waiting for your intended co-kisser to respond to your request. It is sooooo sweet! You’ll just be sitting around, doing nothing in particular, and then come up to one of us and give us a kiss. Aaaaaah, heavenly! During dinner or lunch, you’ll stop mid-bite, look over at me and your papa or at your grandparents sitting across from you and make the kiss face and then just laugh and laugh. Heart. explosion.

Being around you is like being on some powerful, delicious drug. If we could bottle your essence and sell it, number one, we’d be really, really rich. And number two, I think there would be no more war. How can you be angry and blow things up when you’re surrounded by the most delicious baby who ever lived?

You can say several words besides “agua.” Ball is a frequent one, and you say, “Papa” and “Dada” to your dad. Of course, you say “Mama” to me. You’ve started doing this thing where you do your squint smile, then wave your little finger back and forth and say, “no, no, no.” You picked that up at Abuelita’s. You started doing it just out of mimicry, then realized it made Daddy and Marisol laugh their asses off and kept doing it. Your dad and I are split on how to handle it: he thinks we shouldn’t encourage you to tell people, “No;” I think it’s hysterical and don’t discourage it at all (shhh, don’t tell!) So, when you start telling ME, “No,” I guess I’ll be getting what I deserve! But, seriously, it’s HILARIOUS!!!! Sue me!

You stopped taking bottles last month, which means I got to stop pumping!!! Yay!!! Abuelita tried and tried for days to get you to drink a bottle, and you just weren’t having it. I kept pumping for a few weeks just in case you changed your mind, but you’re done with it. You’ll still nurse several times a day when you’re with me, but expressed milk is no longer on the menu. Neither is cow’s milk. That is literally the ONLY thing you won’t eat. You tried to eat a piece of cat food yesterday, for god’s sake, but you won’t drink milk! And we’ve tried EVERYTHING: warm milk, cold milk, milk with chocolate syrup, milk with strawberry syrup, milk with pancake syrup, milk with a cinnamon stick in it, whole milk, skim milk (which I know is pointless for a kid your age, but I was just testing). You don’t like milk. And you’re still a tiny little peanut and you should really be drinking your milk in this stage of your development, but what can I do? But if that’s our biggest problem, how can we complain?

Milk drinker or not, you are the light of my life, and I love you to bits!

Love, Mommy

P.S. Your hair is starting to get little curls in the back which makes me deliriously happy!