(By the way, I write these mostly because her baby book no longer has a monthly page. So, writing her new skills down every couple weeks is a way for me to have it saved for both of us).
- New words: mitten, neck, keys, flower. She is also working on mouth, eye, and ear. If you count words like baa, moo, and whoa, Natalie now says 60 words.
- Sometimes when we are talking about making a choice, Natalie will put her index finger to her mouth and go "hmm."
- Natalie asks for my keys and then tries to get them into the door handle of the front door.
- Sometimes, she will make a big production out of saying goodbye. Especially for Daddy. She'll say goodbye, see ya, and blow kisses. Recently at the library, I asked her to say goodbye to friends at the library, and she went back and said goodbye, see ya, and waved.
- Speaking of friends, Natalie has been interacting some more with the two little girls we see the most (one at play group who shares her birthday, and our little neighbor from across the street). Today at story time, she was very excited to see her friend arrive. Yesterday at playgroup, she had fun screeching when her friend peekabooed at the end of the tunnel.
- Natalie didn't really play with walkers as she was learning to walk. But, the last few days, she has been interested in putting dolls or kitty in her stroller or high chair and then pushing them around the house. She mostly can figure out how to get it unstuck if she runs into something.
- The other day, Natalie took one of her little plates and put a toy tomato on it. She then carried it over to her picnic table, sat down, and pretended to have a meal, including blowing on it.
- She calls snow "cold."
- She continues to be interested in babies when we see them. There were a lot of babies from three months through crawling at story time today.
- She has learned to put her head down on the bed and look back through her legs. She only does it on the bed though.
- Working on walking down one stair. Small stairs (like two inches) she can do alone, but larger stairs she holds my hand. She has also run off the edges of furniture twice in two days.
- She can put a sock on her hand like a mitten. She is working on putting her arms into shirts, her shoes on, and her legs into pants. Still needs a lot of work, but she can easily get one arm in her pants.
- She has learned to lean her head into the face cloth before I pour the water over her head to rinse out the shampoo.
- She is working on washing her hands. She will rub them together and rinse them, but often not enough of one or the other. Twice now she has washed her hands at the library as I held her up on my knee.
- Sometimes its sounds like she is repeating things we've said a lot, such B, D, 2, or 3, or parts of songs.
Just so people don't think things are always roses around here - A list of the top things Natalie does that drive me crazy to varying degrees. Of course all of them are perfectly normal 17 month old behaviors:
- Dumping things that aren't meant to be dumped, mainly bowls of food or her crayons.
- Trying to walk away from her table with crayons and refusing to put them down.
- Kicking me. Something about it has always bothered me, but now more so because I worry if we don't get it under control how she'll kick me hard later in the pregnancy.
- Refusing to eat what has and only wanting my food.
- Crying over diaper changes or putting her arms through sleeves when we've done it a million times.
- Hitting computer keys over and over when I hold her in my lap at the computer. She loves the window key, and today she put Mike's computer into hibernate and had a fit.
- That she won't sit for the story at playgroup even though the other kids her age often do. And that she doesn't play along with the games at story time even though she does at home.
- When she cries and I can't figure out what she is trying to tell me.
- When she gets frustrated with something after barely trying.
- Her waking up at 5 am now that she is over her sickness. And, then her acting tired all morning and falling asleep in the car on our way to activities.
Things have been back to normal though since Tuesday. (Monday it snowed so we didn't go to play group). Saturday I went out for a couple of hours to get library books alone (no worrying about what Natalie was climbing), then to buy her spring clothes and maternity jeans for myself. (I don't really need them yet, though I've wondered if they would be more comfortable. But I bought them now because I worry they will be gone by the time I do need them, replaced by capris and shorts. There was only one pair in the store in my size, so I guess it was good that I went when I did). I also had an hour alone in the house to clean, which was really nice. Mike took Natalie out to do the food shopping so that I could have this time alone. He was feeling a bit sick, but thought after the week trapped with her in the house that I deserved some time out alone.
On a totally different not, we got in a fight last night about one of my worries about the pregnancy. As I wrote before, there isn't much acknowledgment of my being pregnant in terms of what I do around here. Even though I've been nauseous and tired, I've still done everything I did before, excluding carrying the laundry down the stairs. Last night, I cleaned up the kitchen a bit, cooked dinner including setting the table, cleaned up everything, set up breakfast and Natalie's room for bed, and made Mike's lunch. Then when I was tired and feeling my cold and kind of hoping Mike would maybe suggest that he had bath alone, he gave me a hard time, leaving me to do her poopy diaper and clean up toys while he ran the bath water and worked on our crossword. Not a shining moment for him. When I tried to explain why I was mad at him, he got mad at me. He's worried about when the baby arrives, while I'm worried about being 8 month pregnant in July with a 22 month old and him not realizing I can't keep doing what I do now. In some ways, I'm being unfair wanting him to notice what I need and act on it, rather than telling him. But, as I told him, telling him that I want to not do bath so I can rest feels selfish. Can I push through and do all my usual things? Probably. Single moms do it. Woman in rural counties do it. Underprivileged women years ago did it. Should I have to? I don't think so.
At the same time, I do feel guilty about making him mad in retrospect. He is working hard to manage his stress right now and be healthy for when the baby arrives. He also has some stressful things coming up at work. Now isn't a good time to be picking a fight with him, though I wasn't consciously doing it at the time. I feel like in this next week, no matter what he does, I should just let it slid. But, I must say, at the same time, I understand that he is focusing so much on how he is feeling and being well for the family, but because of that, much like my pregnancy with Natalie when he felt ill, unless I complain, not much attention is paid to how I'm doing and what I might need because I am pregnant. I still sometimes wish he could spend a full day with Natalie without me, or even a weekend, so he could see what it is like caring for her alone pretty much all day for multiple days. Watching her fall down on the floor in a tantrum and not know why she is mad. Strapping her into the car seat her that damn winter coat up to four times a day. Picking up split food, toys, sippy cups, books, keys, and anything else she can get her hands on. Deciding what she should eat, wear, watch, and do and when, and balancing that with what I actually feel like doing. Mike by no means is a bad father; it is simply a time issue that makes it this way. He only sees her for maybe 30 minutes in the morning, and then about two hours in the evening. On weekends, I'm almost always around. In compairson to me, it is rare that he is alone with her. I understand that is what I signed up for as a stay at home mom, and generally I find with this. Its just that I wish he could get a better understanding of what it is like caring for her a full work day alone five days a week. Taking her to the grocery store for a couple hours, giving her lunch, and putting her down for a nap isn't the same experience. I shouldn't complain because I know I have it good, but just nights like last night do make me feel unrecognized, especially when you add to it the cold and the pregnancy.
But, there is good news! It is only a week until Mike's mother comes for a week long visit! I'm super excited for her to see how Natalie has changed and to just have an extra pair of hands around the house all day! Then, after another normal week, Mike will be going on his trip and my sister is coming to visit for a week! So, it will be another week of having some excited to play with Natalie and another pair of hands here all day long. We are going to cruise into the second week of April so fast! And, the ultra sound where we find out the baby's gender should be right after Mike gets back from his trip! I could also start feeling the baby move any day now since it is a second pregnancy, though I'll probably feel closer to the end of his mother's visit.
I'm hoping that by the time these two visits are over we are into some nicer weather here, especailly that I can say goodbye to Natalie's coat that makes getting her in and out of the car such a hassle. (It has nothing to do with Natalie's behavior. Its the bulk of the coat matched with how tight we have to keep the straps for the car seat to still be safe). With Mike going away, I feel like I should be worried about missing him, but with my sister coming I'm not. That makes me a little uncomfortable. But, when I think of it now, we really don't see that much of each other when he is at work, then we are getting things done before Natalie's bed time, then I fall asleep most nights afterward. I feel like we've been distance because of all that, but there isn't much opportunity to change that. Even with an awesome baby sitter on hold, we have a hard time finding time to use her. In the last four weeks, first the baby sitter was sick, then we went to MA, then we were sick for two weekends. By the time I even got to think about maybe us going out this weekend, it was already Thursday and seemed like too short of notice.
We are now in week 15 of the pregnancy (officially 14 weeks, 1 day). That means that my symptoms should calm down for a bit. I agree that my nausea and tiredness have been less frequent, but still here. Hopefully that alone will make the spring an easier time and allow Mike and I some more time to reconnect before the hard last trimester (in the middle of the summer again!) and arrival of the baby throw us into a crazy whirlwind.