You're 20 months old!
This month was full of ups and downs as you learn your independence in this world. When you're in a silly mood, you bring me to my knees in laughter. My heart melts with your cuteness. When you're mad or throwing a royal tantrum, whoo boy! You can kick and carry on with the best of them. It seemed like there were more tantrums than usual this month - definitely not my favorite.
There were several milestones in your development this month. For one, you dropped your beloved baby bottle like it was no big deal. One day in early April, you refused a bottle of milk at nap time, then at bed time, and bottles were no more for you just like that. I worried you'd never give bottles up and fretted over ways I'd eventually have to take them away from you, so I was shocked when that chapter of your life ended with such finality. Since dropping the bottle, settling down to sleep has been a challenge for you as nothing seems to comfort you like a bottle used to. We're slowly making progress toward you falling asleep on your own again. In the meantime, I spend lots of time standing over your crib with my hand on your belly until you fall asleep.
One thing that has helped you sleep better is altering your routine to one nap a day. I could tell you were probably ready to cut down to one nap just after you turned 19 months old. You'd fall asleep easily in the morning from 9:30am - 11:00am, but a difficult time resting in the afternoon. It was too hard on you to stay awake from 11:00am - 7:00pm, so I've gradually moved your one nap to mid-day. This week, you've been sleeping from 11:00am - 1:30pm and going to bed by 6:30pm or 7:00pm.
You're very into "high fiving" and instinctively hold up your hand when you've done something right. If you correctly identify an object like "ball" or the color blue, you hold up your hand like "put it here, mom!" Random things are comical to you this month, like when I say "crap!" when something doesn't go my way. It's probably not the best word for me to say, but I'm trying to avoid curse words around you and for some reason, "crap" is the word that comes out of my mouth. Whenever I say it you laugh uncontrollably, like it's the funniest thing you've ever heard in your life.
My favorite moments are when you stop what you're doing, put your arms around me and give me a great big hug. I love these unsolicited moments where I know you were thinking about me and give me a physical sign of your love and affection. If we ask you for a kiss, you'll turn your cheek and wait for us to kiss you on the cheek.
This month, you visited three new states - Georgia, South Carolina and Iowa. We took a last-minute trip to Savannah, GA and stopped for a day in Hilton Head, South Carolina to escape the unseasonably cold spring weather Minnesota was experiencing. You loved every minute of our travels and were such a good little girl on the plane ride, while sightseeing and sleeping in your own toddler bed at night. We also took a trip to Des Moines, Iowa this month to visit friends of mine and while it wasn't your first time setting foot in Iowa (we've driven through a handful of times on our way to Nebraska), it was your first official trip to the state and therefore a new state for your bucket list.
When the weather did finally warm up toward the end of the month, you had a blast playing outside. I'm amazed at how developed your playground skills have become over the winter. You're a little monkey at the park by our house, often times following the older kids down the bigger slides and tunnels. You have absolutely no fear, for better or for worse.
You received your first haircut this month and - poof! - changed from baby to a little girl. It's for the best now that your bangs don't hang in your eyes all the time, but I can't help do a double-take every time I catch a glimpse at the big girl you're becoming.
In the last few days, you've begun to insist on walking alongside me while out and about town. I hate to brake it to you, little girl, but one-year-old's can't very well walk in parking lots by themselves. This is a prime example of your budding independence bursting through. While I do appreciate your willingness to do things yourself, I also must protect you in the safest manner possible. Now that spring is here and it no longer physically hurts to be outside, we'll continue to practice the rules for how to behave outdoors. Oh, toddlers. It's always something ....
Now that the weather is warming up, I do look forward to watching you discover the outside world around you. I foresee many happy days at the park and memories in our backyard blowing bubbles. Never a dull moment with you, Tory Bean, and I wouldn't have it any other way.