Dear Lila: You’re 15 Months!

Dear Lila,

It makes me sad to say it, but you are no longer a baby. It seems like overnight you have morphed into a full-fledged toddler – and I must admit, I love it! Every where I take you people ask “how old is she?” and when I proudly respond that you are 15 months, they always say “she is soooo cute!”

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You finally started letting me do your hair without yanking the hair tie out immediately. You have really thick hair, but it’s grown in at different paces, so pony tails take some finesse on my part. It seems like once you have your hair up you suddenly morph into a little girl vs a baby.

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Your language has exploded and you are talking a ton. Doggie, woof woof, mommy, dada, baby, milk, bye bye and yes are all some of your many words, but your favorite word? “NO!” Yes I couldn’t believe it when you started with the NO’s because we don’t really say that a lot, but you figured it out and like to let your will be known!

Of course, out of all your words, “Mama” is my favorite.

You mastered walking last month and now happily toddle along. You are getting more and more confident on your feet and have even started walking down stairs at the park. You are still a big climber and will often use random objects, like the laundry basket, to get some leverage to climb higher and higher.

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I take you to the park pretty much every day so you can enjoy the outdoors. You like to swing, climb, slide, eat grass (when mom’s not looking), but once you spot a dog, you have a one-track mind to PET. THAT. DOG! You’ll say “dodee, dodee!” or “Woof woof!” as you walk over to pet it. (here you are with Aunt Amy petting a dodee)

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Now that you’re older and talking, it’s been so fun for us to have “conversations” with you. Last night we went out to get Mexican food and on the way home I asked you “Lila, did you like your dinner?” You said “Yeah!” Then 10 minutes later I asked you the same question and you said “No!” I guess you must have changed your mind? :)

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Every day with you gets more and more interesting little bug. You are growing up right before our eyes and it’s just the best thing I have ever seen. You’re our independent, confident, curious, happy girl and we love you to bits.

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Good Mom Bad Mom

So far motherhood has been a teeter totter between feeling like I’ve got it together to feeling completely inept.

Last week was a good example. We drove four hours to San Francisco to see my parents who were in from Ohio staying with my sister. Lila did great in the car and was a happy, calm baby the whole first day. That night though, I think all the change of routine caught up with her and she was up fussing every 2 hours, which is very rare for her.

The next day I was totally exhausted, but excited for the evening. We were going out to a brazilian steakhouse for my dad’s birthday and it was the first night out without baby. My sister had arranged a great baby sitter from my niece’s daycare and I had pumped and brought along a bottle to leave with her.

About a half hour before the babysitter was to arrive, I took the bottle out of the refrigerator to bring it to room temperature. And it was completely rancid. Apparently there are a lot of rules about storing breast milk that I had no clue about, so when I transported it in the car four hours and then re-cooled it, it turned the milk sour.

I felt like such a loser as a mother. How did I not know this about breastmilk? What was my baby supposed to eat while I was out??

Totally defeated, I told everyone I would just stay home from dinner. But my sister jumped in and put together a game plan that involved a last minute feeding and supplementing with some of her frozen milk. Part of me felt guilty that I had to give her someone else’s milk, but frankly, I needed a night out.

I think Lila can tell when I’m feeling down about my abilities as a mother, because as soon as I feel pretty low, she will have a great few days. Sure enough, when we got back from dinner, the report from the babysitter was that Lila slept like an angel the whole time. And for the next four nights she slept eight hours or more!

It’s so true when people say motherhood is the greatest and hardest thing you’ll ever do. I have never second-guessed myself as much as I have during these first few months of Lila’s life. I’m constantly worrying that I’m doing it all wrong.

Deep down I know I’m doing the best I can and that I’d have to work pretty hard to mess her up too much at this age. I think the stress just comes from the crazy amount of love I feel for her. I love her so much that I want the absolute best for her. I want to give her MY best.

Because she deserves it.