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Sweet 16 (and a half months)

I wanted to post this weeks ago, but life gets busy. Leia will be 17 months on New Years Eve and it blows my mind. I know I’m stating the obvious – someday she’ll be 17 years old, 27 years old, etc – but the shock of how quickly time passes never wears off.

Taking pictures for our Christmas cards

Leia, you are such a fun, active, cuddly toddler. Definitely a mama’s girl, you’re attached to my hip (or boob) more often than not. Sometimes you’re a social butterfly, greeting people at the store or sharing your toys with a new kid at the park. More often it takes you a little while to warm up to new people (and people you don’t see often) – you’re not afraid to let them know you need some space! This time is so short, and someday you’ll have a hard time believing all you needed to make the world okay was for me to hold you. One day you will be too big for my hip, but I will always be there for you.

Taking pictures with Dad

The teeth are coming! This month your top two teeth came in and this morning I found a molar. I also see the teeth next to the ones on top coming up. This might explain the all night nursing sessions. Sometimes you wake up shrieking, and it breaks my heart. I’m sorry teething is so terrible, but I promise you won’t remember it in the long run.

You love rubbing lotion on your skin and mine, pretending to spray yourself with sunscreen or the leave in conditioner. I don’t have a lot of beauty products, but when you get into my makeup bag you’re all over the brushes. My favorite is when you brush my face. The kitties aren’t as thrilled with being brushed, or being rubbed with lotion.

You love the bead necklaces I got as party favors, and put them on at least once a day. Then you put them on me. You wear them when we go out every now and then which means you wear more jewelry than I do, ha.

Sprawling out on the couches at Fashion Valley mall

Favorite cartoons: Bubble Guppies, hands down. You were on a SpongeBob kick for a while. Not so interested in Sesame Street or Cat in the Hat at the moment. When I make breakfast you’ll bring me the remote and say “bubba bubba bubba.”

Coloing the book about staying at Grandma's house

Favorite books: Pat the Bunny, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, There’s A Wocket in my Pocket, Mr. Brown Can Moo, Moo Baa LaLaLa!, the ABC book from the Museum of Art – I love that you love reading. We read in the morning after breakfast, and throughout the day you’ll flip through books or bring them to me and crawl into my lap and turn the pages. You’re so smart, and can point out most of the things I ask you to find. You love any book with animals, so you can make the sounds they do. Sometimes you hold my finger and point to the objects as I count or name them, teaching me as we read.

A crispy green bean at P.F. Changs.

Gogurts and cartoons with Caleb

Favorite foods: Changes all the time. You’ve morphed into a picky eater, which is pretty normal. You’re growing perfectly (22 lbs. and 32.5 inches) so I try not to micromanage your daily eating habits. You love frozen “gogurts” and eat 3-4 a day, must be because they feel good on the gums. You’ll usually eat chicken, ground beef, pasta with tomato or cheese sauces, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, cheese, berries, clementines, little green trees (broccoli), crackers, homemade banana muffins. Sometimes you’ll eat beans and rice. One morning you devoured a wheat waffle with peanut butter, hasn’t happened since. You’ll gladly share a cookie or a few french fries with me. I swore up and down you wouldn’t get junk food until, I don’t know, grade school? But the reality is if I eat it sometimes I don’t mind if you share. No interest in milk, unless it comes from the boobs. Finger food is less appealing, as you’re getting pretty good with a spoon and fork.

One of my favorite things is watching you cook or eat pretend food. When we’re in the kitchen you’ll use the whisk to stir things in the big silver bowl then scoop up a bite with a big spoon. You’ll offer me a taste too. I tell you you’re a wonderful chef and ask you for your secrets to the perfect soup or casserole. The ziplock bags and straws are an endless source of entertainment – you pull them out of the boxes and spread them around in the bottom drawer (or the floor).

The goat says....

Words and Sounds: Mom, Bob and No/Nah are probably the three words you say most often. Bob is usually a reference to the boobs. You make the “Ba” sound for balloons and balls (two of your favorite things). Animal sounds are fun – meow, woof woof woof, baa, moo, neigh. You snort for a pig and say vroom for cars and trucks.

We were riding in the car when I heard the doors lock, then unlock. For a split second I considered the possibility the car was haunted (don’t laugh!), then the more realistic idea that I had some electrical problem. Then I looked back and saw you had my spare car keys and were pressing the remote buttons. I laughed the rest of the ride, which made you laugh, which made my whole day.

You can open doors all over the place. One of your favorite things is running and hiding from me then squealing when I knock on the door and say “Hello? Has anyone seen Leia? Is she in here?” then open the door slowly. Speaking of running around you’re pretty good at getting up and down stairs, on and off the furniture, etc. You can climb the chair and get onto the dining room table at Grammy’s house which gives us all anxiety. You like to get on top of the ottoman, spin around scoot to the edge and fling yourself backwards. I definitely think you’ll enjoy a gymnastics class when you get older. You love flipping upside down, spinning around (sometimes with a bucket on your head), and the downward dog yoga pose.

Sneaky sneaky! You do this hilarious and adorable thing I call “creeping” – you hunch over and tip toe ever so slowly with a sly smile. I say “Leia, are you sneaky, sneaky, where are you creeeeping to?” and you’ll throw your head back and laugh. Those full belly laughs are wonderful, priceless, they keep me going on a rough day. You like to come up behind me and tap my back when I’m sitting on the floor. Then I grab your hands and pull you up onto my back and we run around the house like you’re my superhero cape.

You’ve gotten wise to my escape moves. When Grammy comes over in the evening it usually means Mom is going to the gym. A few times you’ll grab my shoes and run around in protest. Most of the time you just scream and cry and grab my leg. But Grammy has assured me that a few minutes of tears after I leave and you two end up having a great time.

Helping me address envelopes

My little artist! You love coloring – pens, crayons, paintbrushes, they’re all great. You hold the pens and crayons very well and scribble on the books more than the walls now. You enjoy standing on the chair pushed up against the desk and organizing all my papers.

People have asked if potty training is on the horizon. I don’t think so. I don’t mind diapers, they’re convenient. You do like to flush the big potty, and when I go pee you always demand a few pieces of toilet paper and will pretend to wipe your butt. So I’ll probably buy you your own potty for Christmas and see how things go. But really, no rush.

Taking a nap.

Right now you’re sleeping in the bed we share, probably taking up 75% of it, spread out like a starfish. The cats take up another 20%. I’m content with our cozy space.

You are the greatest joy in my life little Leia Olivia, I love you.

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