Listen to the Ali on the Run Show!
- August 6, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 269: Ali & the Experts with Laura Parrott, Career Coach
- August 5, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 268: Jenny Simpson
- July 29, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 267: Catching Up with Emily Halnon
- July 26, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 266: On the Record with Mario Fraioli, Host of The Morning Shakeout
- July 22, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 265: Catching Up with Chris Heuisler
I swore I wouldn’t say my child’s age in months after she turned one. (“My daughter is 68 months old!”) But here we are. Generally, when talking to people in real life, I’ll just say she “turned one in October.” But for the sake of short, clean titles, it’s just easier to go with 15 months.
So! Annie turned one in October! She’s 15 months old!
And this age, I’ll tell ya, it’s the best. It’s fun. She’s so chatty and happy. She’s a real person! The star of the show.
I’m really grateful that Annie is a happy baby. She almost always wakes up smiling and talking to all her friends in her room. (We recently started letting her sleep with two stuffed friends in her crib. It’s usually her “baby” and Lucy Lamb, whom she calls “Lala!”) Then, when I go in to get her, she’s all smiles. We open her blinds together — I count “one, two,” and then she says, “three!” — and then she points at the framed photos on her windowsill and yells “mama!” That means she wants to see the photos of me and Brian and Ellie (from when I was pregnant). It’s a cute morning ritual.
Annie has always had a happy temperament, which has made first-time parenting much easier. (The struggles I had early on were never about Annie — they were always about me.) She’s good in the car, thank goodness, though she does have this new habit of throwing whatever she can get her hands on (a book or stuffed animal, for example) and then yelling when she can’t get it back. We are working on learning consequences! Kind of.
She’s a good eater, too. I wish she loved vegetables as much as she loves fruit and cheese, but I’m optimistic. We offer them constantly, and mix them into other things, so I’m hopeful she’ll learn to love carrots and broccoli and brussels sprouts! She’s also a willingly adventurous eater. She’ll try pretty much anything. It’s nice going out to eat and not feeling like we always have to pack a meal for her. We can find stuff on the menu that she’ll eat, and usually offer her whatever we’re having for her to try, too.
And she’s a good sleeper. Grateful grateful grateful for that!
Annie’s days revolve around playing, napping, and eating. A typical weekday would be waking up around 7 AM, having a bottle of milk (we started giving her Ripple when she was around 13 months) while we cuddle on the couch, and then playing for a while and taking Ellie out for a short walk. Morning walks are usually in her car — she loves her car! After Stef, our nanny, gets here at 8, Annie has breakfast, and then they usually have a playdate in our building’s playroom. (An amenity that’s really coming in handy in the winter!) She goes down for her first nap around 9:30 or 10 AM, and usually sleeps until around 11 AM. Then it’s playtime! This is when she and Stef usually go to classes, like music class, a puppet show, or gym class. After that, it’s lunch, and then home for the afternoon nap from 2–3 PM. Ish… Then it’s me, Annie, and Ellie for the rest of the afternoon and evening. When Annie wakes up from her nap, we either run errands or play around the apartment or take Ellie for a long walk. Sometimes all three! I swear we use that time to grocery shop three times a week… Then it’s dinner at 6 PM, followed by bath time, PJs, and her nighttime bottle. It’s usually lights out between 7 and 7:30 PM.
She’s a really good independent player. She loves to read, and she’ll just sit in a corner playing with her toys or reading her books. She doesn’t need or want to be entertained all the time, which I think is cool. I was like that as a kid, too!
She has six teeth — four on top, two on bottom — and I’m convinced, based on the past few nights with spontaneous wake-ups crying, that a few more might be on the way.
And she loves other kids! She loves pointing at kids, no matter their age, and yelling, “baby!” She especially loves kids a few years older. She was obsessed with Tyler and Abby, and loves the kids our nanny watches in the afternoons in Hoboken (sometimes they get to have play dates!). She’s definitely a people person.
To answer the most popular question since she turned one: No, she’s not walking yet! She’s an insanely fast crawler, and she loves walking with her walker. She also loves walking with Brian or me holding her hands, and she’s so fast! But the second we try to let go, she will fling herself onto the floor and cry. She’s not ready to let go yet, and that’s OK! (It’s just funny, because we’re barely even supporting her! It’s totally a comfort thing for her.)
Mostly, Annie just wants to be with Ellie. She’s obsessed with Ellie. She calls her “E!” and just wants to be with her — or on her — at all times. If we’ve been out of the apartment, when we get back to our front door, Annie starts screaming “E!” She’s just so excited to see her. In the morning, she calls for her. And we’ve been working on “nice!” so that Annie understands how Ellie likes to be touched and pet. It’s a very sweet bond. One that Ellie mostly tolerates.
And yes, Annie throws the ball for Ellie! It’s her favorite thing. It doesn’t usually go far, and it rarely goes where she intends for it to go. But she throws it with enthusiasm and a giggle, and it’s the sweetest thing to watch. When Annie sees a ball, she’ll say, “Ball! E!” And then pick it up and throw it for her.
Now, to answer YOUR questions, submitted via Instagram Stories! (I’ll try to keep these answers short! If you have any more, head to the comments section below and I’ll respond there.)
“Are you guys still doing two naps or one? Transitioning to one here…change is terrifying.”
Two naps! I intend to keep her on two naps as long as I possibly can! And for now, it’s working well. No signs yet of needing to change it up. (And agree, change is terrifying! Sending you lots of luck and love with the transition!)
“Has she listened to the Annie soundtrack yet?”
“All about sleep! When she was younger and now…what worked/what didn’t?”
Now, at 15 months, Annie sleeps roughly 12 hours per night, plus two naps during the day for a total of 2–3 hours. (The life!) But she wasn’t sleeping 12 hours by 12 weeks, and screw those books and those people who swear “it’ll happen” or that you just need to “read this 250-page chapter book” in order to get there. What new parent can sit down and read those sleep books? No. I do recommend the Taking Cara Babies newborn class. I loved that I didn’t have to read a book. I watched the videos while Annie napped, and I learned so much. The biggest thing for me was learning the difference between stirring and actually waking. Turns out, Annie wasn’t waking up a lot of the time. I just thought she was because she was making little sleep noises. Oops! (Cara’s blog also has tons of great, helpful, short posts with lots of sleep-related tips and advice.) What didn’t work was stressing over sleep to the point that I had debilitating anxiety. I’m not sure I could have changed anything about that, but here we are! We got through it! (Sleep was also a really sensitive topic for me early on. I felt like every single person on the planet — including people I didn’t know or had never met — asked two questions. “Are you breastfeeding?” “Is she sleeping?” And I had to answer, “No, we tried, but it didn’t work, so I’m exclusively pumping, which is a term I hate, but I feel like I should try, and I don’t know, it’s been really stressful, and blah blah blah blah blah blah no one wants to hear all this.” And then I had to answer that no, she wasn’t sleeping 12 hours yet, but she’s only seven weeks old, and I don’t expect her to, and yes, I’m exhausted, but she’s a BABY, and we’re doing our best, and I feel like a bad mom because my friend’s baby is eight weeks old and sleeps from 8 PM until 8 AM every damn day.
Are you glad you asked that question?!
“What’s your plan with bottles? We still give two a day, to doctor’s dismay. He’s 17 months.”
We’re also still giving two a day: one in the morning and one before bed. I need to transition her to the sippy cup. I know. I just…haven’t yet. (Same, re: pacifier. Just…haven’t.)
“Is she getting a sibling?”
Someone always asks! Someday, I think that would be lovely! But right now, or anytime super soon, no. I am not there yet. I am not ready, or even thinking about it.
“Favorite toys and foods! I need to step up my game!”
You don’t need to “step up your game!” You’re doing great! Favorite foods are eggs (Brian usually makes her a fancy, Julia Child-style omelet on the weekends), cheese, clementines, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, turkey, chicken…she loves her food. Her current favorite toy is this puzzle. She’s obsessed with it. And she loves stacking cups. She also loves this bus and the little people that come with it.
“Is Annie sad that Flirty Dancing is getting canceled?”
I DID NOT KNOW THIS. I am devastated. Annie will be, too, I’m sure! So tragic!
“Does she have any particular taste in music yet?”
She loves music! This makes me very happy. She loves to dance and if we ask, “Annie, can you sing?” She says, “la la la!” I have no idea where she learned that, but it’s hilarious. As for music, she loves anything with a good beat. And of course, the Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again soundtrack! (She was born to it, after all.)
“Is it hard having a baby and a dog without a backyard?”
I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s hard, because it’s just what we’re used to. But it’s not ideal. I wish we had a backyard. It would be easier and more convenient for so many things, and also would be so fun. But I love where we live, and backyards just aren’t an option right here. We rented an Airbnb for New Year’s Eve that was on something like 40 acres, and it was just AWESOME. Ellie was so happy, and it was so nice not having to make going out for walks a whole thing. Plus, when Brian travels, I really have to plan that last walk of the day for Ellie accordingly, because I have to get her out for one last pee before Annie goes to bed!
“How does she like her jogging stroller?”
She seems to like it! We have the Thule Urban Glide 2 and it’s so fun. I love it!
“Is she really SO HAPPY all the time? I swear no one loves life as much as her!”
She is. I mean, she’ll cry or whine at the occasional thing. But for the most part, she has a really awesome personality.
“Do you have a must-have baby registry list? Products you loved and those unnecessary?”
“What is your favorite noise that she makes?”
This is a funny, happy question! Nothing beats the sound of her looking at me and saying “Mama!” But I love all her little noises. Cop-out answer, but true!
“More about Brian’s dad role and schedule in helping you with Annie!”
During the week, it’s mostly me doing the Annie-related things, since I’m here. Brian will usually try to play with her for a bit before he leaves for work, which is so nice for both of them, but most nights, he gets home after she’s already in bed. On the weekends, I usually go to the gym or for a run in the morning, so he does the morning routine with her and will make breakfast, and then we try to do family stuff the rest of the day and night!
“Is she into everything and / or climbing everything?”
Yes! She loves climbing onto the couch. And then flipping around and getting off the couch.
“A year later, how are things in life that having a baby changed? Work, marriage, friends?”
They are so. much. better. More fun. More relaxed. I didn’t love the newborn stage. I loved the snuggles, but I wish I had planned better with work stuff. I was trying to work the day we got home from the hospital, and the second Annie would fall asleep, for a nap or at night, I was constantly doing. I never gave myself any kind of “maternity leave.” I jumped right back in and put a lot of pressure on myself to keep working at the pace I always had, and I wish I had planned for that differently. So now, things are pretty groovy.
“Would you recommend raising a child in the city or near the city? I’m afraid of the expense!”
I love being near the city! Everything is more expensive, which is hard. That’s the downside. We don’t have a big house and a big yard. But that’s a choice we’ve made, and I really do love where we live. I may think differently when it comes time to enroll Annie in preschool (hooooly $$$), but I think that’s expensive pretty much everywhere! So I can’t advise one way or the other about what you should do. But I will just say that home is where the heart is. LOL. What a bad answer. I’m sorry. The city itself is expensive. Being right outside the city, where we are, is also expensive. But I love that there’s so much for us to do and so much is just a drive, a ferry ride, a light rail stop away.
“Does she ever annoy Ellie?”
Yup! Ellie definitely likes her space sometimes. We’re working on it! Annie just wants to be with Ellie all the time! And Ellie is sometimes like, “Girl, no.” So we just distract Annie with something else, and that usually makes Ellie feel better.
OK! That’s all for now! If you made it this far, power to you! Here’s to the next 15 months, years, and beyond!
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