Photo album is HERE. (I literally went through thousands and thousands of photos to narrow these down!! A few were taken by my mother).
I meant to do a 15 month and an 18 month summary but time just got away from me, and I ended up just telling myself that an 18 month and 2 year one would be fine! And even this is delayed as Aurora will actually be 20 months old in a week! Time really does fly when you have two rambunctious toddlers and another child arriving in a few months…
Aurora turned one on August 29th 2016 and 18 months at the end of February this year, so basically these past 6 months have been full of autumn, holidays, winter and a lot of rain. So much rain that when I was going through thousands of pictures for the photo album I had forgotten how nice the weather had been back in the autumn, and how the creek running through the garden had actually breeched its banks multiple times, and that it rained so much that there is officially no longer a drought in California now! Both girls got to jump in a lot of muddy puddles on many occasions (thanks Peppa Pig), although I think Aurora will probably enjoy it a little more next winter! On top of the holidays we also all went to a two day rock/metal festival (Aftershock) at the end of October, an air show, had a visit from an old friend in France, and also went on a road trip down to Monterey for a few days with my best friend. We got to see my brother and sister-in-law twice, and my sister went back to Europe for three months and has been living with us since Christmas as she will be leaving again in a few weeks! And of course, the biggest news is that Luna and Aurora will be welcoming another sibling at the beginning of July (or the middle if this one goes the same route as the other two). So, by the time Aurora turns two at the end of August we will have three children under 4 (and that’s it, I promise you!).
Aurora is growing so fast! She’s about 29 lbs now (give or take a few oz), and well over 30 inches in height. She keeps up with her sister quite easily now and they tend to chase each other all over the place. She loves to run round and round things, especially around trees and the table, yelling in a high-pitched voice and laughing like a maniac. She also loves to play calmly by herself, stacking blocks, cuddling her teddy bears, creating dinosaur kingdoms, until Luna comes to disrupt everything, they fight, and then I hear the loud exclamation of “Sissy MEAN!!!!” She’s also a HUGE fan of books, will sit happily on a chair browsing through a book, talking to herself.
She’s doing well in her talking, picking up new words every day, talking to us in a mix of babble and real words, repeating things and chattering away like mad. Her favorite words are “more”, “mama”, “dada”, “kai” (my sister Karli), “nana”, “Bria” (the dog), “meow meow” (tends to work for both cat and horse), “HaHa!” (yes, cat, dog, animal), “beebee” (baby or child), and “mean”, but she says many more, including “I love you” when she feels like it. Oh, and of course I forgot “No”, her absolute favorite word of all time! She probably picked that up from Luna… It’s always been her favorite too! Technically it’s super easy to say and has a great meaning, so why not really? I hear a lot of “NO MAMAs” all day long! She has great comprehension too, and really seems to understand everything we say to her and responds accordingly. A lot of that could have to do with her easygoing nature too, something that hasn’t really changed since she was a new born. She just loves to smile, and while we have seen the appearance of a tantrum or ten, she responds well to a time-out of 30 seconds, and gets bored of it really fast, moving on to something more fun.
She loved the music festival we went to, spent a lot of the time in the Ergo with me, danced to Korn and Ghost, and tolerated the long days in the sunshine really well! That said, this year we are planning on going with the newborn only, as it will be too much with two crazy toddlers too, and I don’t think anyone will appreciate it. We were very, very lucky as one of the promoters saw us with the kids and actually gave us VIP access passes, which meant we were able to really relax and enjoy the shows from a great area – without them it wasn’t as fun! I know some people don’t agree with having kids at concerts, but I don’t see the issue as long as they have ear protectors and are not being thrown into the mosh pit! The same goes for air shows, and I saw tons of kids there, hearing protection is a must for anyone!
Aurora wasn’t a huge fan of the beach at first; she seemed to really dislike the sand, but after the first day that seemed to get better. We had an amazing couple of days discovering spots that I had never seen before, breathing in the ocean air, and just enjoying some family and best friend time. I honestly wish we could live nearer the ocean as it’s always been a dream of mine, and if I could walk on a beach every evening of the year I would be the happiest person in the world (and I’m not picky about my ocean or sea either). I look forward to going back now that Aurora is a little older, hopefully she will enjoy the ocean more too!
Thanksgiving and Christmas were just wonderful, our first holidays altogether with my family, and Aurora’s first ones that she may remember a little (hopefully). She has a great appetite and will eat anything really (although we maintain a vegetarian diet), and she ate loads of everything during both meals! I'm still nursing both girls, but I will be posting more about that subject later this week. The girls both opened presents together and let me dress them up festively so to speak, and we spent time dancing to Wham! and other Christmas songs. I’m so glad that by the time Christmas rolled around my first trimester nausea had waned a little and I was able to eat. Our Christmas dinners are always so fabulous, and always remind me of when I was a kid too.
Anyway, what else can I say? Aurora is growing into such a big, beautiful girl, so happy most of the time, extremely affectionate and just a delight. She wakes up next to me every morning and gives me a big smile and hug, and that’s basically how she attacks most of her days! It’s quite amazing really, as she was born only 16 months after her very noisy and demanding sister, and instead of being just as demanding, remains calm and easygoing most of the time. That’s not to say she doesn’t make herself heard, but she does so in a way that doesn’t usually involve tantrums. We aren’t in the terrible twos yet, and she hasn’t had to deal with a newborn baby either yet, so we will see if anything changes in the next few months… In the meantime I just want to enjoy all of these moments and hopefully won’t feel too guilty about making her into the middle child. I also noticed one thing while sorting through all of the photos… There are so few of me and Aurora together, just the two of us. I am usually the one taking the photos but I really need to make the extra effort to BE in the photos too. I don’t want to regret that later on. After a difficult pregnancy with Aurora and a lot of extra weight I felt so self-conscious, and even after losing all the weight I was still reluctant to be in front of the lens. She’s so photogenic too, just like her sister. They are so different but so similar at the same time, it’s such a pleasure and a blessing to watch them grow up together.
The sweetest of little faces, playing together one minute, shouting at each other the next. Luna still calls Aurora "Baby Rora", I wonder if that will change when the new baby arrives?