Our darling Gracie,
I’ve been preparing to write this blog post for several weeks by keeping a list on my phone of all the words you now say. You’re vocabulary has exploded recently and you’re up to almost 60 words. We just had our first exchange where you know what you’re saying but I do not understand, so you yell louder and more insistently (but I still don’t understand). We’ll get there, peanut. Keep communicating with me.
Speaking of which, you are a tiny peanut. At 18 months, you’re just beginning to outgrow your size 12 month clothes. Mealtimes are becoming more complex, trying to find a balance of foods I know you’ll eat with new foods to introduce. Like your brother, you’ve shown an affinity to mushrooms, broccoli, and cheese in particular. Even if you say you’re done, you love to eat what other people are eating! You’ll gladly crawl into an available lap and eat off our spoons if we let you—and we usually do, especially if you ask nicely. You sign please and say “biece” and even say “ah doe” (thank you) unprompted. You still breastfeed throughout the day, and especially before sleep.
You slept through the night 5 nights in a row last week, but then you sprouted four teeth. Our recent middle-of-the-night feeds now include your queries, “Rock? Book? Bubba? Dada? Milk?” I love to hear you talking and I love your love of reading . . . but 2AM isn’t the time! So we have a little ground to make up at nighttime, but we know you can do it—and I am so grateful for the longer stretches of sleep when they do happen.
You and Jack are now sleeping in the same room, which usually works out just fine. He’s generally quiet enough (he goes to bed after you) and you’ve only woken him a couple times. When you do wake up in the night, you like to make sure he’s still there.
You have three obsessions: Jack, babies, and the song “Let it Go” from Frozen. I’ll get to the first two, but as for the last, about two months ago, you randomly pointed at a picture of the Frozen characters and shouted “Doe! Doe!” (Go, Go). I didn’t even know you knew what that movie was!
You and your “Bubba” are becoming such sweet friends. You are such a resilient girl and can definitely handle yourself with that rough-and-tumble brother of yours. I love to watch you get him, too! Your signature move is tackling him then bouncing up and down on his back while he laughs/tries to breathe. You can totally hold your own, girlfriend. When the two of you tickle each other, the world’s best belly laughs fill our house (and my heart, too). You are desperate to be like him, including insisting on “booping” on the “botty” (which means you sit there and grunt like Jack but nothing happens).
Beside Jack, you also love “beebees.” Pictures of you or Jack as babies, books about babies, my Instagram feed which is filled with babies (go figure), and babies in the flesh, too. We’ll be in the grocery store and you’ll spot an infant car seat nestled in someone else’s cart and without even seeing the baby inside, start pointing and shouting “Beebee! Beebee!” Tonight at church you lunged from my arms to jump into another baby’s carseat with him—he is also only 9 weeks old. You have two baby dolls that you carry around, hugging and patting. I love to watch you love babies, Gracie.
You also love people in general, and are truly affectionate. We just taught you and Jack how to do a 4-way family hug and kiss (picture arms grabbing necks and faces all squished together), which you both delight in.You’ve been giving “real hugs”—laying your head on our shoulders and squeezing us with your arms—for at least a month. I’ve seen you give spontaneous hugs to everyone here at home, plus caregivers at day care.
One of your caregivers at day care left this past week—the one who’s been with you since you were born—and I know Jack understands what’s happening, but I don’t think you do. I cried when we said goodbye to her on Thursday—we will miss her terribly. We are so grateful for the remaining caregivers who also love you and take such good care of you.
You’ve just begun showing some separation anxiety, and I’m afraid it popped up after we returned from our week in Europe this past August. Drop-offs at Sunday nursery have gotten harder, especially because Jack moved up to another classroom. It’s a testament to your easygoing spirit, though, that the nursery worker tonight exclaimed, “Grace! You’ve never cried before!” after I handed you to her and your lower lip gave way. Generally speaking, you’re still incredibly laid-back, go with the flow, and only object when you have to be restrained in your carseat.
I can’t wait to see where this next year takes you!