The latest photo album is up on Flickr HERE.
It’s hard to start from where I left off three months ago as these past few months feel like a mini lifetime really! Three months ago we were prepping for our move across the country and I could tell that Luna was really feeling all of the changes. She has always been very sensitive to change, whether it is physical, mental or emotional so there was no way that she was going to go through a cross-country move without issue. Thinking about it now the poor kid had a couple of life-changing events happen within 6 or so months of each other, first the arrival of a little sister, then a move. Neither of the events being traumatizing of course, just a bit of an upheaval in the world that must have seemed a lot simpler before!
Ah, two years old… A milestone for Luna and for us too! No longer a baby, but a child, growing so fast and changing on a daily basis. I remember writing about some of the everyday difficulties of raising a high needs baby and toddler back in January, and also mentioning how communication is the key to helping a toddler avoid a tantrum. And it’s very true – I have found that once Luna actually started speaking real words we actually noticed a significant decline in her tantrums and outbursts. Not that they have stopped happening, but there are so many more times when I can actually talk her out of a pending eardrum-shattering scream. It all kind of clicked a month or so ago and now words are pouring out, things that I don’t even remember teaching her but that she picked up somewhere along the way. It’s a whole new world for us all and so much fun! Like when she opened a box of toys and exclaimed “oh my god!” in my voice, or when I ask her what she wants to wear and she responds “pink!”. She can now tell us that she wants her auntie to come back and that she wants to watch Peppa Pig, or that she wants to go to the park, or drink water, or eat a cookie. We have a long road ahead of us of course, but I’m so happy that we are seeing some progress!
We had Luna’s two year well child check-up this week and for the first time in, well, ever, she let the doctor examine her without screaming. We have obviously changed doctors and Luna’s new doctor listened to my concerns about her not handling doctor’s appointments very well and was so gentle and attentive that she actually stayed calm. She wasn’t so calm for the weighing and measuring portion of the check up, and the assistant wasn’t very helpful, so we ended up getting a measurement that was way too high (35.5 inches long!), but her weight was about right (I weigh her with me at home). In any case she now weighs a little less than 25 lbs and measures just over 33 inches. She’s not a tiny toddler anymore! But she is definitely still very much underweight and we have to go in for some routine and not so routine blood work just to rule out any thyroid or blood sugar issues. But, as the doctor said, it is most likely just the way she is and we aren’t worrying about it. She’s shot up over the past few months and although she’s so picky about her food, she still nurses around the clock, so I know she’s getting the nourishment she needs. She definitely has more than enough energy anyway!
As you can probably see from the photos Luna has beautiful curls, and I have had a hard time working out what to do to keep them from becoming a tangled mess. Combing them out has always been a nightmare, and even when I tie her hair back it is still all knotty when she wakes up in the morning! After one particularly horrid combing out process where I had to actually leave globs of hair conditioner in it for an hour and then comb it out amidst bribes of going to the park with cookies if she let me finish, I realised that I needed to brush it without fail every day, even if she screamed… But now it is long enough to be braided and it has changed our lives. One or two braids before bed and no more knots! And it looks so cute too, my little Pippi Longstocking! It’s amazing how fast baby hair grows too - it will be all the way down her back by her next birthday. I had long, long hair for most of my youth, and even though it annoyed me in my later teens, I definitely don’t regret it now. Of course we are going to have to cut her hair at some point, and if she wants short hair then she will have short hair, but I am totally going to have fun with it before that happens!
Talking about birthdays… I am really happy with how this one went! I made a pink cake with white frosting and drew a big goth Peppa Pig on it in black and pink icing. I used to love baking cakes for birthdays and realised how much fun it was again. There I was, all alone in the kitchen giggling to myself at 11pm while everyone was sleeping, drawing this ginormous Peppa Pig on a cake. And it actually turned out OK as she recognized Peppa! For once I didn’t feel like I had failed on the whole Pinterest worthy mummy thing (ah who am I kidding, I couldn’t care less about all that!). Cesar and I put her little red tricycle together and added an old-fashioned horn to it (regrettable addition if you value your ears). I snuck out in the morning with my mother and got some balloons and treats and we had a little birthday party for Luna when Cesar came home from work, including of mini burritos made of her favourite foods: cheetos, guacamole and black beans. She also had a surprise visit from all of her new friends who sang Happy Birthday to her. She took everything surprisingly well, no tears and a lot of laughter, even though she was a little overwhelmed at times! My mother always used to make sure we had lovely birthdays so I hope I can pass that along to my little ones. Especially my cake decorating skills! (Kidding).
I’m very proud of how Luna has worked her way through all of the changes over the past few months. Yes, children are adaptable beings, but that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy! Going from being with her mummy 24/7 to having to share that time with a little baby, and then having more people around her hasn’t been a picnic in the park for her. But she seems to be navigating through it all quite well. Yes, she still has some pretty epic tantrums, and yes she does get upset and even aggressive if Aurora dares to touch her toys, but those moments are also peppered with happy, sweet and adorable times of play and hugs and conversations. She is now learning how to deal with the fact that Aurora can move around all by herself (and very fast too), so the concept of sharing is becoming more of a reality. “NOOOOOOO BEEBEE” has become a constant phrase in this family, either followed by her patting Aurora on the head affectionately or kicking her in the chest. I’m sure they will learn to play together one day. It won’t be much longer before Aurora is the same size as Luna anyway, and with the way she is intent on standing up and walking, they will be running around together before long!
It’s been wonderful to see her get to know her Grandma and Auntie on a day to day basis (and this goes for everyone really). I didn’t realize how much we were all missing having family close by until we moved. I think Luna will always take a little time to get used to “new” people, and it takes a while for her to be completely comfortable, but once she is she doesn’t forget! I was also able to leave her with our friend Tiffany for a few hours while I went to the dentist, and she only cried a little when I left. And while we did have very supportive friends back in NYC, it really does make life a little easier having family close here. And of course it’s so heartwarming to know that my kids will grow up having their grandma, aunties and uncle close by.
And now for the next steps on the journey, actively moving towards full potty training (she’s in pull-ups and knows what a potty is so I just now have to encourage the use of it), learning the alphabet and building up Luna’s vocabulary. Possibly even getting her nursing sessions down to a couple a day for my own sanity. We are currently reading The BFG together and it reminds me of how obsessed my little brother was with it when he was young. It’s like revisiting an old, old friend. Reading all of my old favourite children books, Dahl and Blyton amongst others has been inspiring me to take those ideas I had when Luna was born and really do something about it!
So… I’ve been writing these posts for two years now, and I have found that what I have created is better than any baby book, and will therefore be making a book for each child out of each post, including the photos. But this also means that, apart from yearly posts, from now on I will not be posting on a regular monthly or every three month basis for Luna anymore, but more on a random basis, after a big milestone or change, or just because I feel like it. It feels so bittersweet, looking back on the past two years, remembering the blur of those first few months, never sleeping, ever, watching her grow and change and become this little being who is so unique and special. This won’t ever stop of course, but sometimes I would love to stop time for just a little bit and hold these moments for a little bit longer.