Because I was running 2-3 days each week during my lunch break, I wasn't able to visit her those days, which was tough on me. To make myself feel better, I tried to remember that although this was less time spent with her, it would help me live longer, ultimately giving me more time with her. Running also gives me such a mood-boost and a lot more energy. I cherished those lunch visits that I did have with her even more.
On the first Monday of the month, I showed to her daycare up around 10:30 am. Her back was to me as I entered the play-yard and I was able to watch her for awhile without her knowing I was there. She was sitting on the ground, watching the kids from the older classes walk by, on their way to the other play-yard. Keeping my distance, I saw her outstretch her arm, palm open, above her head. Several kids walked by before one of them bent down and gave her a high five. A few more passed, then another high five. Bless her heart, I thought, in my Mom's voice. I looked at one of the workers with a huge smile on my face and she told me "She does this every day. Sometimes a whole class will go by and give her high-fives" A germ-a-phobe's worst nightmare, but one of the cutest things I have ever seen, and something I will always remember.
Although she took her first steps on May 17th, she was not a steady walker until June 7th. It was so strange to catch her out of my periphery and see her little head higher off the ground as she walked around the house instead of crawling. Although still frequently falling gently to the ground, this was the first day that she really seemed to walk more than she crawled. And just like that, she became a walker. I love how she keeps her arms in front of her for balance, sort of like a tiny, cute zombie. She is so excited to be walking and seems quite proud of her accomplishment. She now walks all around the house and backyard too!
She loves mac and cheese, so I started making my own in the crock pot. It's so easy, just follow this recipe. I also like food that I can make ahead of time and freeze, especially when it has healthy ingredients hidden inside, like this recipe for toddler banana muffins with flax seed, wheat germ and quick oats. I even made extra and caught my husband snacking on them! I also made her a smoothie that weekend with greek yogurt, milk, flax seed, spinach, blueberries and mango.
We went whale watching that second weekend in June, and the highlight of the trip was when our little one saw a group of sea lions hanging out on a buoy and excitedly exclaimed "dog!" While it was great company with my friend since 6th grade and her family, we didn't really see much of the one lone whale that we trailed slowly while the boat rocked back and forth (Word to the wise: ask your spouse if they get sea-sick on boats prior to booking). We all went to dinner afterwards and I was a bit sad to realize that we would not all be getting again together until August or September because of our summer travels. Around the time we return from Europe, they head up to Alaska for a cruise.
That Sunday, we purchased a couch at Living Spaces and our girl had a blast walking all around the store, exploring each new living room setting with me trialing closely behind. I realized that any place is an adventure for her, not just designated kid's places. She honestly had as much fun exploring that store as she did when we went to Pretend City children's museum!
As the school year started to come to a close, we started to get excited about our summer travel plans to Europe and months of uninterrupted time together and adventures. I do not know how the rest of the world not in education makes it through with just 2 weeks off plus holidays. I've always treasured my summers off, but not nearly as much as I do now with our little Bean.
Father's Day was a time to celebrate having
On June 20th, she repeated her very first word by request. I said "Baby A, say bye." and was shocked when she repeated "Byeeeeeeee!" Right now, it is the only word she will repeat on command. I will ask her to repeat several different words, all followed by silence, until I say "Bye!"
As the school year drew to a close, it was so nice to have several minimum days with her, and to be able to bring her with me to work for our end of the year staff meeting, before taking her to the beach. She did not want to sit on my lap. Instead, she wanted to wander all around the library, where the meeting was held. As our principal was speaking, she toddled by him, eliciting interaction from him and interrupting his train of thought. Everyone commented on how happy she was.
Her being on the go so much has us really nervous about our upcoming flights. We have 10 hours to Heathrow, a layover of a few hours, and then 4 hours to Vienna! When we booked the flights, almost a year ago, she was obviously not mobile! People in business class who actually paid thousands of dollars for their seats (we booked ours with miles) are going to love us, as I pass their seat with her walking in front of me for the 40th time.
Her last day of daycare was June 27th, and I was actually sad that she would not see her playmates again until the end of August. It's amazing to think about the compete 180 I've done, from being so reluctant to leave her there, to not wanting her not to go!
|See ya, daycare! Last day until the end of August.|
My husband is a special education teacher and I'm a school counselor. I don't consider myself to be a behavior export by any means, but he dubs himself as one. Between us, we have seen so many behaviors exhibited by children that are actually the result of parenting, and it starts when they're little. Behavior is created, not innate. I've seen children as young as a year or two be reinforced for "bad" behaviors, when the parent thinks they are doing the opposite and curbing the behavior. I put bad in quotes, because their is not such thing as a bad kid. Adults, yes...kids, no.
For example, many children are only given attention for their off-task behavior. When they are playing nicely, they're ignored. But the second they do something wrong, the parent is down at their level explaining why what they did is wrong (something a baby or even toddler developmentally cannot grasp), with the attention being extremely rewarding and the behavior likely to repeat or even increase. We try to be mindful of this, though so far there are very few situations it is relevant. The only example that comes to mind is that she wants to walk frequently and will sometimes now squirm or whine when we are out and she wants down. I will verbally tell her that I understand that she wants to walk by saying something like "You want down. Soon!" and then I will wait until she stops fussing (usually about 10 seconds later) and let her down. Distraction also works well right now, and there is seemingly nothing that an impromptu game of peek-a-boo can't fix.
At the very end of the month, she slept through the night completely (until 6:45), instead of waking for a 2am or 5am feeding. I think now that she is getting more substantial food, it is sustaining her. At first, it was difficult for me to give her less milk and have more food on hand because I wasn't used to it. But I found I can make things like multi-grain mini pancakes (adding flax seed and blueberries) and have them on hand for when she wakes up. On the 30th, she ate a whole one of these (it was a mini) and only drank 2 ounces of milk which was huge progress for us both! I do worry about what I will do for food while we're traveling (we leave in 3 days!), but our first hotel in Vienna does include breakfast, and I am packing a lot of pre-cut Gerber fruits, veggies, snacks and mini-meals.
Things I don't want to forget about this month: