Summer is perfect and yet so fleeting here in Wisconsin. So we try to stuff as much outdoor fun as possible into three months. I’m sure this will be even more intense once the kids are in school. I’ve realized … Continue reading
Last weekend we were at my parents’ after our niece’s birthday party, and Corban helped his Papa with a little gardening. I’m torn about how much gardening to do this year. It’s a lot of work, so I’m tempted to … Continue reading
Our dear niece Isla turned one last week and over the weekend we attended her birthday party on an especially sunny, warm spring day. So beautiful, in fact, that the party was held outside! (Not something to be taken for … Continue reading
Throughout history, food has served as much more than physical nourishment for mankind. Sharing a meal with others is a bonding experience, a sign of hospitality and respect and a way to show love. Cuisine is a huge part of … Continue reading
At some point while I was busy playing silly games, wiping away tears, dancing around like a crazy person and kissing her soft head, Mara became a full-blown toddler. It hits me over and over again, but it did again last night as she walked over to the step stool to wash her hands after dinner, chatting to herself and needing very little help from me: she’s not a baby anymore. (Cue the waterworks.)
I struggled to differentiate personality traits between Corban and Mara when she was an infant, but over the past six months or so Mara’s distinct personality has emerged loud and clear. Key Mara-isms:
She loves dancing and has impressive rhythm (no idea where that came from) that gets put to use when she hears any music, including random background songs, tunes from musical toys or the singing of her family members.
She loves to talk, and is picking up new phrases right and left. Last night it was, “Where’s my purple?” (Her purple pacifier… a.k.a. the glow-in-the-dark one–genius invention.) She went through a recent phase where she very clearly let us know everything she wanted (“I want milk!” “I want ‘fier!” (pacifier) “I want baby!”).
Speaking of wants, Mara certainly is persistent. I never would have guessed that the laid back baby who snoozed and smiled through her first 10 months of life with nary a whimper would stand up to her brother so fiercely when he takes a toy from her, or slam her body to the floor, flailing her limbs in defiance, when she’s forbidden from playing in the cleaning supply cabinet. Yes, she’s really a toddler now.
Speaking of pacifiers, while going through pictures from the last few months, the obvious has become even more obvious: she almost always has a pacifier in her mouth. She loves that thing, and her pink crochet blanket. Time to start cutting back on the daytime paci usage.
Mara has always been snuggly and, to my delight, still loves to cuddle. She’s still a mama’s girl and we enjoy lots of affection (as do her friends).
My theory is that because she was so happy to be held and carried, she didn’t crawl until her first birthday, and then didn’t walk until shortly before 15 months (which I realize is not abnormal, but seemed late compared to her peers). But before long she was running, and now she keeps pace with Corban and all his shenanigans.
She still is cool with being worn in the Ergo carrier, which was very handy when we went on vacation to Hawaii in January. She got to ride along on many hikes and walks and see some pretty spectacular sights.
She even snoozed on Peter’s back while he skiied (at home–not in Hawaii).
When she’s tired, she’ll just lie down on the floor or ground with no regard for her surroundings.
Mara loves to get dressed, get her socks and shoes on and wear random items. Her most ridiculous quirk: wearing my underwear around her neck like a necklace. She does this all the time. I’ll spare you a photo.
Mara can be quite fearless and independent in certain situations. For example, she sees a slide and she goes for it. Sometimes 10 times in a row.
She loves to sing and amazes me with how quickly she picks up on songs — both melody and lyrics. “Let It Go” (of course) was the first song we recognized her singing many months ago. Her theme song, “Miss ‘Mara’ Mack,” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” are other popular ones. I did a double take when she started singing (without lyrics) “Into the Woods” the other week (Corban and I sing, “The woods are just trees, the trees are just wood,” and she picked up that tune). And yesterday it was “This Little Light of Mine.”
Since I already sound like a gushing mom, I might as well continue. I am thoroughly delighted by Mara’s artwork. We color and paint with watercolors regularly, and I want to frame all of her work as serious abstract pieces. It must be that 18-month-old lack of inhibitions that makes it seem so not contrived. (Feel free to smack me next time you see me for making serious comments about a one-year-old’s artwork.)
Although she’s not small (by any means) for her age (around 80th percentile for height and weight), people often think Mara is younger than she is. Chalk it up to the hair–or lack thereof. She’s got the baby mullet in full force. Those wisps are so soft, though!
Some highlights over the past few months…
Flower girl in Uncle Noah and Aunt Lindsay’s wedding.
Enjoying some nice, spring weather (today it’s snowing, though…).
Hawaii fun (separate post to come on that).
Serving as Corban’s watercolor canvas.
Fun with friends visiting a couple weekends ago.
Winter hiking (more babywearing for the win).
- “Where is Baby’s Bellybutton?” book
- Pointing out and naming body parts
- “The running game” (she and Corban start by the front door and race into Peter’s outstretched arms in the family room)
- Sitting on the potty
- Snuggling “babies” (stuffed animals)
- Duck, duck, goose
- Ring around the rosie
- Playing “show” (singing/dancing with a toy microphone behind our puppet show curtains while we watch)
- Playing outside
- 25 pounds, 5 ounces
- 33 inches
- Size 4 diapers (cloth diapers during the day)
- Size 18- or 24-month clothes
- Size 5 shoes
- 1 afternoon nap
- 7 p.m. bedtime and 6:30 a.m. wakeup
I have several things I have been wanting to write about for the past few months, so I’m just going to catch up in chronological order. First on the docket: Corban’s 3rd birthday party! (Yes, it was back in December, but… time flies!) … Continue reading
In year’s past, I’ve hung the Christmas cards we’ve received with ribbon on our kitchen cabinets. I loved being able to see the smiling faces of our friends and family and the beautiful holiday designs of the greetings they sent, but … Continue reading
Three years ago today, my favorite little boy came into the world. On Corban’s third birthday, the biggest thing on my heart is overwhelming appreciation. Appreciation for God’s loving creation. For the incomprehensible detail of our bodies, minds and hearts. … Continue reading
Blame the early deadlines at work (we were taste testing holiday cookies in October) or the mini polar vortex, but I’m totally in Christmas mode. My minimal fall decor didn’t last long this year, but I do want to share … Continue reading
Mara turned one on September 1, so from the day she was born I knew her first birthday party theme would be easy: golden birthday! I made the poor girl a gigantic, glittery, gold tutu (just tied strips of tulle … Continue reading