Letters to Elle: November 2012

Dear Elle,

You are now 13 months old.


You may notice that the date is well-past the 14th, which was the target date for writing you a letter each month.


However, what you won’t remember when you’re older (but you’re well aware of now), the changing of jobs and the demands of Mom’s new job have meant that I’ve been SUPER busy and going, going, going all the time. Which has meant that I have prioritized things and blogging became one of the things that got de-prioritized.


But in my  head, I’ve been writing to you every night when I fall asleep, when I rock you, when we’re playing some silly game, when I am at my wit’s end because I can’t get through to you.


And yes, all of those things are happening in our lives.


You have begun this thing where you wake up SCREAMING at 3 AM (or some other completely inopportune moment of the morning) and are inconsolable for a long, long time. This past month or so has certainly been the most challenging time since I became your Mom but is also incredibly fun. But challenging, too. Did I mention challenging?


I have gone to blogs, to sites, to try to find HOW to discipline a toddler who is just 13 months old. Unfortunately, it turns out that a girlie your age doesn’t really GET discipline because your whole world is so new, and expanding so much every day, that it’s nearly impossible. So, redirecting it is. It’s sort of tough to get used to, for both your Dad and I, but we’re working through it.


Speaking of, your Dad was working CRAZY BUSY hours the last month or so, which was good for our bank account but not so great as it was also Mom’s busiest time at work too. It meant that you spent more time than normal with Grandma’s and Grandpa’s. And had several overnights with them, too.


It is getting incredibly hard to take you out places – maybe if we went more toddler-friendly places it wouldn’t be so hard, but you’re not content to chill in a stroller, you want to go and be up and moving and seeing and finding and getting into, well, everything. So, it’s been a lot of time around home when we are together.


You got a bad stomach flu and we had our first puking incident, too. Which was less than awesome. Only, as I caught your puke in my hands, I felt as though I’d crossed some mommy-threshold into the ‘club’. So, you were sick and I had my BUSIEST time of work. Literally, the stretch following your puke, those four days are the craziest for me. Which meant that I wound up sick on the Thursday/Friday of the weekend at work. Somehow I pulled through and only when it was all said and done, Monday did I finally find a way to rest and relax a little bit before it was Midnight Madness/Black Friday and I worked 16 hours straight. All in all, way too much stress. Somehow we made it through and next year will be different, but you hung in there. I felt a lot of guilt because I wasn’t able to be the Mom I wanted to be, and add to that your Dad was working so much…it was just a lot and I’m uber-glad that it’s over.


You’re teething, I think. Molars maybe? Or something. I can’t tell what the deal is. I think teeth.


Because you’ve been acting so finicky and not yourself, I finally took you to the doctor on the Friday after Thanksgiving (they were open!) and you had a tiny little ear infection. So, you’re on antibiotics now and seem to be more and more yourself everyday (which actually means more work for me, but I’m glad to have it now!).


Speaking of Thanksgiving, it was pretty low key since I had to work that night. We went to Grandma Wendy’s and we went to Aunt Jen and Uncle Rick’s, too. And since you were still recovering from feeling so ucky, you and Dad hung at home and slept while I worked. We celebrated with Aunt Jill, Uncle Mike, Ryan, Logan, Uncle Trevor, Ashley, Aunt Jody, Uncle Steve, Brittany, Uncle Bill, Grandma Carrell, Grandma and Grandpa and us. It was a nice day.


As our dish to pass at the Thanksgiving at Grandma’s house, we took noodles from Zehnder’s in Frankenmuth. While your Dad showered, you and I headed to pick up our dish. Zehnder’s was NUTS on Thanksgiving which is bizarre to me, but it was. And I ordered a full pan of noodles (way too much by the way). Only, what I didn’t contemplate was how I was going to get both you – a crazy toddler with a mission-possible attitude – and a full pan of hot noodles across the restaurant, up the stairs, across the parking lot and into the car without losing my mind.


Thankfully, we were thankful for the nice guy that worked in the kitchen who helped us out and carried the pan to our car with us. Thankful for the little things we were that day!


You are climbing EVERYTHING in sight. The couch, which you run back and forth on. The hearth at the fireplace. Chairs, babies in your room at school, the coffee table, stairs whenever you find a way to make a break for it. As bad as it is, we try to take precautions, but we’ve ‘let’ you fall a few times. Doesn’t matter, you don’t seem to equate the falling with the climbing.


We have tried to get family photos taken for about a month now — which is a joke. You are so darn busy and challenging to photograph now. It is largely why there aren’t more pictures posted to facebook of you — there’s so little time to click away when you need to be chased or cajoled into doing whatever it is we’re trying to do.


You still LOVE school and your teachers, which is so nice. You actually were sad one day recently when I picked you up. It makes me feel slightly better that you love it there. The other morning, when dropping you off, one of the little boys was ‘making eyes’ at you and was SO HAPPY you had arrived. It was slightly terrifying – and I haven’t told your Dad. He can discover that little budding romance on his own and we’ll see how he feels. I’m pretty sure he’ll want to throw up.


Today, even, you found my lipstick, took the top off and tried to put it on your lips. You love makeup and things that I do – you like brushing your hair, brushing your teeth, putting on makeup. You also love books – flipping the pages, reading them. You’re really beginning to babble a lot and you’ve introduced inflection now. Take counting, for instance. You make the sounds like you’re counting, but the words aren’t right, you’re just jumbling sounds around. But you make the right intonation when you’re counting. Or with ABC’s. You aren’t saying words exactly, but close. You also LOVE to dance. So, we dance a lot more around here now. Even your Dad does a little move or two every now and then which cracks me up.


You very much enjoy slamming cabinet doors and going into rooms we’d rather you not go in. You are beginning to sort of put yourself to sleep – we rock a little bit and then lay you down and you’re good to go. It’s kind of a relief. You’re sleeping better and you’re now up to 21 pounds! We’re headed to size 4 diapers once we run out of these!


You remain in 12 month clothing, which is good because we have lots of outfit options to choose from, but it always weirds me out a little bit that you’re still at least a couple months behind what size clothes the stores say you should be wearing.


Tomorrow I have the day off, so I’m taking you to daycare so I can go do some Christmas shopping. I’m (semi-guiltily) looking forward to a day doing EXACTLY what I want, when I want, where I want, with no one else. I’m even looking forward to sitting and eating lunch all alone. It’s going to be fantastic and revitalizing.


So, anyway, back to you – you’re busy, you’re a lot of work and the last 4-6 weeks have probably been the most challenging I’ve had since becoming a parent. But, thankfully (hello, November!) we have a great ‘village’ and support system. I don’t know what we’d do without them.


I’m so glad that of all the Mom’s in the world, you picked me to be yours. It makes my heart ache sometimes the way that I am capable of loving you, without really realizing how much I love you. And that love’s growing bigger, as you do.


Keep filling me up, girlie.






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