Alice Juliet- 18 Months

Am I celebrating my baby's half birthday? Yes. Am I spoiling her and probably setting her up to be an adult who subjects her friends to an entire "birthday month" and expects gifts for weeks at a time? Maybe. Am I sorry about this? A little, but I'm doing it anyway. =) 

My sister told me that I can't keep doing this half birthday thing because I'm raising her to be an insufferable person (perhaps) and of course I won't do this forever but I am unapologetically celebrating her 18-month "unbirthday" because I feel like this is such a milestone between ages 1 and 2. She has changed SO much since her first birthday and I want to have a record of all her growth and development at this age (plus, you know, I'm obsessed with her and I love sharing her adorable pictures. =)

Weight and Length- she's about 28" long and only 21 pounds (she's weighed around the same for several months.) She'll be long and lean like her daddy, apparently! =) And she doesn't have the same chunkiness that she did as a little baby but she is definitely still a squish! I love it. 

Nicknames- Al, Ali Cat, Jolly Holiday, Princess Pie, Lucky (thanks to her movie obsession), Fatsy Patsy, Chunkers, Alice from the Palace

This is why we call her Lucky. =)

Sleep- 12 hours a night (I know, you can hate me. I don't deserve such a gift.) And her napping is still spotty at best but we're beginning to try one nap so hopefully she'll consolidate all her little cat naps into one good long one. Fingers crossed! 

Eating- she's eating almost everything we do (except spicy food of course, and very few sweets) but she loves sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, string cheese (EVERY day), yogurt, oatmeal, green beans, etc. She isn't really picky! The only thing she just refuses to eat right now is oranges. And (I share this shamefacedly) she would eat french fries every single day if I let her. But, who wouldn't? 

Clothing- she's in almost exclusively 18 month stuff. Some 12-18 and some 18-24. I'm pretty much done with onesies (getting them snapped while holding her down could be an MMA category) and she's in dresses most of the time anyway because they're just so easy. And adorable. =) 

Mood- she definitely has a stubborn streak and likes to, shall we say, express her displeasure when she is not allowed to do something like chew up paper or eat indefinitely or toss my coasters around the living room. But she remains one of the jolliest babies I've ever seen. She's super friendly (but only from a distance- don't expect her to willingly let you hold her!) and loves to wave at anyone and everyone. She is so sweet and happy almost all the time. (Almost. =)

What a time to be alive!

So happy to be swinging

Amused by the big kids at Chick-fil-A

"Alice, let's brush your teeth!" 

Loves- playing outside

musicals (this makes me so very happy)
Mickey House Clubhouse
Mickey and the Roadster Racers
eating string cheese
eating, period
drinking with a straw
waving at strangers
being tickled
bath time
playing/wrestling with her daddy
reading books
the Moana soundtrack 
being scared (I jump out and startle her all the time and she thinks it's hilarious.)
brushing her teeth
Doesn't Love- naps (whyyyyy)

being in her car seat or stroller for long
being away from me (at least initially)
her pediatrician (he's the sweetest man but she weeps at the sight of him. ha!)
FaceTime (she's into it for like two seconds and that's about it)
being restricted (aka being kept safe, since apparently it's her number one goal to pursue danger)
crowds/being surrounded by too many people 
getting out of the bathtub. She would turn into a raisin if I let her. 
not being able to express herself. (Go ahead and learn more words, babe!)

For the doubters who wonder if she's ever grumpy... um, yes. =)

What I Want to Remember/Milestones- ugh, so many things! She finally has most of her teeth (if you remember, she didn't get any until right before her birthday and only had that one and a couple more for a long time.) She started walking in December and has never looked back- she's practically running now! #terrifying One of my favorite things is that she absolutely LOVES musicals. Her two favorites are Singin' in the Rain and The Music Man. Judge away, but having those downloaded on my phone has saved many a shopping trip from going completely off the rails. (#sorrynotsorry) And it's always fun to explain to strangers that yes, my baby is glued to a movie made in 1952. =) Also, the CUTEST thing she's doing these days is waving at the screen when a movie is over. Stop it. So adorable. And her favorite word, besides Mama, is definitely "book." Everything is "book." And when we tell her that it's time to brush her teeth, she immediately gets a huge grin on her face and then opens her mouth super wide and sticks her tongue out. Weirdo. =)

Driving each other crazy at the mall =)

What I'm Looking Forward To- Easter, her baby dedication, and definitely Auntie Amy's wedding so she can meet so many more aunts, uncles, and cousins! I'm also really looking forward to her talking and being able to communicate more. I may regret those words but for now it's true. =)

Me- I'm feeling really good, at least personally. Losing weight and keeping it off and also maintaining a consistent workout routine for the past several months has made a night and day difference in my energy level and even mindset for taking care of her during the day. I'm more active, more likely to play with her, more likely to swing her around or have an impromptu tap dance party while watching Singin in the Rain for the millionth time. =) I actually saw a video from this time last year where I was jumping up and down in front of her crib to make her laugh and I could hear myself gasping for breath between each jump. So embarrassing! Ha! But I am grateful that I've been able to keep up this new lifestyle since it makes me a much more fun mom. =) And, you know, modeling good healthy choices and all that jazz.

Otherwise, I'm turning a corner into a new "era" with Al and it's challenging. I've learned that being a mom means learning a new skill set, getting good at it, and then leaving it behind when your baby goes on to the next stage, rendering your previous skills useless. =) We're in that early toddler stage where she's big enough to make messes and get hurt but not quite old enough to understand all of my instructions (and definitely not able to express herself clearly to me.) As she develops verbally that will improve, I'm sure, but for now I'm just trying to consistently discipline her (as age-appropriately as I know how) in the major areas that I'm concerned with at the moment (aka obedience and also, you know, not screaming like a pterodactyl. #facepalm) 

But even with the toddler years well underway (yikes!) I am loving so much of this age. I love watching her get excited about new things, and seeing her laugh her head off at the silliest things, and agreeing with the many, many people a week who tell me how pretty she is. =) 

Those baby headphones? Stop it. 

Sassy pants.

Mama's girl <3

I can't believe my baby is a year and a half old. I just can't believe it. It's flown by but I also can't really remember what I did with myself before she was born. (Alone time? What's that?) She's just the best, sweetest, funniest, prettiest, cuddliest little squish and we love her more than anything. A very merry unbirthday to you, Alice from the Palace! 

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