This photo book challenge is getting the better of me and has made me completely neglect this blog. And while we passed the halfway mark (I have until the end of May) I only finished four months of the year. I like to keep things exciting, you see…
But let’s move to today’s topic: an update on life with my
baby toddler. I still can’t get my head around how this tiny baby grew into such a big girl. (Today we were shopping and when we saw some newborn onesies we just couldn’t imagine they would fit any human being!) But although time is racing, we seem to have already forgotten how life with a newborn was. One thing is for sure, though: Being a parent became easier ever since we left that newborn stage, and at the moment we are having so much fun with Maria.
We spent Maria’s 13th month with my parents around, who arrived one day before Maria’s birthday in New Zealand and stayed for a month. They got Maria a stride & ride walker, which turned out to be the perfect gift. Maria LOVED it and has been busy with it the entire month. We saw her skills evolving from carefully pushing it and not knowing how to turn it into almost running with it and pushing it with one hand while carelessly holding something else in the other hand.
An exciting moment was when, just a day after she was 13 months, Maria took her first steps! She had been standing without holding on to something for a while, but last week she actually walked from one place to another. That day, whenever we put her down, she would walk a few steps to us. The days after, however, she didn’t walk anymore. She would just stand there, hesitating whether to walk or not and eventually decide to crawl instead. Today we tried again and boy did she walk! She seems to be able to walk but is just very cautious, while at the same time she wants to practice and show her new skill. It’s just too cute…
At 13 months, Maria seems to become more and more destructive! She enjoys banging objects and throwing things. The more noise she can make the more fun she has, it seems. When she is done eating she throws her food and utensils on the floor and bangs her head against the back of the high chair. Apparently, it’s all part of their development.
While my parents were visiting, we made several trips and did lots of walking. Maria spent a fair amount of time in the stroller. I also took her on my back several times when we went on a hike, and Maria seems to be happy in either. It is unbelievable how patient and easy-going she is. Even on days when she hardly sleeps she is happy and smiling most of the time. When we are home she enjoys playing by herself with her toys, boxes, empty water bottles or anything she gets her hands onto; when we are out she sits patiently in her car seat, stroller, or high chair.
A huge relief is also that she started to go to sleep without fuss around the time she turned one, and sleep has been pretty good (*knock wood*). Maria mostly wakes up once during the night for a feed and has one good 1.5 to 2-hour nap during the day. As the days are getting shorter and sunrise later, she also wakes up a little bit later in the morning. When my parents were here she slept through the night on several occasions, but she hasn’t since they left. I really don’t know what makes her sleep through the night, but I am convinced it is no coincidence that she did when my parents were here, especially because the same happened in November when they visited us. I keep telling myself it will happen again at some point, and for now I don’t want to sleep-train her. So whenever she wakes up and cries I give her a feed, although I know she is probably not hungry but just looking for comfort.
Talking about food, Maria’s appetite grew overnight! She now eats a good quantity of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner most of the time. In between these meals, she usually has one or two snacks as well. I figure she needs the energy for all the crawling and talking!
I will now leave you with a few more photos of our trips and try to post more about some of them very soon.