One Year with Amy Jane

One Year with Amy Jane

If you're thinking, "Hey, wasn't Amy Jane's birthday almost a month ago?" then you would be correct, but the four weeks since her birthday have been super crazy (including two full weeks that we were out of town) so I am just now getting around to this post that all six of you care about. 

However, even if it's only for my own personal record/memories, I like writing this stuff down and having it to look back on. I love that if I want to (even though I rarely have) I can reread posts from when Alice was a baby because there are SO many little details that I have forgotten already and if I know one thing, it's that my memory and brain cells are depleting at an even faster rate these days. Not to mention I have definitely had some the typical mom guilt for over-documenting my firstborn and slightly neglecting to do the same for my second baby. I mean, yes, there's been a pandemic. But still. 

It's so crazy to me that this baby is one. In some ways the year, Covid and all, flew by. Other times, it's hard to remember life before Amy Jane completed our family (yes, I said completed, as in finished, as in done, as in no more children, Mom). I think my transition from one to two children has had its own unique and unexpected learning curve since so many tools in my parenting toolbox (Chick-fil-A playground! Y childcare! Story time!) have been taken away... it feels like the tools and the box itself all got tossed in the trash. But, alas. We have made it and through all the insanity and uncertainty of this past year, Amy Jane (like all the 2020 babies!) has been the constant, joyful sunshine we needed. I've said before that it's a bummer that her first year of life will forever be inextricably tied to this horrible virus, but she's literally kept me sane on a lot of days when that felt impossible. So, thanks for joining us, little bean.  

Weight/Length: She just had her 12 month checkup so I actually know this! For a few months we were concerned about her weight gain (or lack of it, really) and finally realized that actually she just wanted to be eating solid food at any and all moments of the day. HA! So she's 18.5 pounds and 31.5 inches long, which for reference is 2 pounds lighter and 2 full inches longer than Alice was at 15 months. She's a string bean like her daddy! She's finally back on the growth chart at 17th percentile for weight and--unsurprisingly--96th for height. It's such a relief to know she's growing like she should!

Nicknames: Bean. Beanie Baby. Sweet Potato. Sissy. Sisert. 

Sleep: She's doing great! Still sleeping about 12 hours at night and taking a good nap in the afternoon. She's been an angel sleeper almost from day one and I would love to take credit for that but I can't so don't come at me with your pitchforks. It's God's gift to me after my epidural didn't work. 

Eating: We made it to one full year of nursing and as of last week she's officially weaned! I'm not sad about it (goodness, it was hard this time around, probably because of her crazy sister trying to destroy my home while I was completely helpless to stop her for 30-40 minutes at a time) but I'm proud to have done it for a whole year because I wanted to quit after like a month. šŸ˜Š Meanwhile, her appetite rivals Alice's and she eats literally anything and everything. Stir fry, green beans, sweet potatoes, and rice have been some of her recent favorites. Also it's pretty impressive what she manages to put away considering she still has zero teeth. 

Clothing: She's all over the place depending on style and brand, but mostly 9 months and some 12 months. I just put away a bunch of 6-9 and 6-12 month things. Separates are tricky so she wears a lot of dresses!

Mood: We were just laughing today because she's so happy and LOUD at home but when we go out she mostly just stares at people with a judgy look (honestly, same šŸ˜‚) and refuses to smile. I think it's just a remnant of the first few months of her life when she barely saw another soul outside our house. She is super smiley and giggly most of the time but lately she's started SCREAMING this horrid piercing scream when she doesn't get what she wants (which is almost always food and/or freedom to crawl around and find things to put in her mouth. (so, more food). 

Loves: Her sister, especially when Alice yells things at her, which Amy Jane finds hilarious and I... don't.

-Her daddy. She does a happy dance and squeals his name when he gets home every day!

-White noise. Why I didn't use this with Alice I don't know but it's a lifesaver.

-Riding in the stroller (and now shopping carts!)

-Taking bubble baths with her sister

-Eating. Always.

Doesn't Love: Waiting for food.

-Lack of attention (fortunately this is rare).

-Riding in the car

-When her big mean sister steals her toys

-Alone time (she has a lot to learn)

-Almost anyone besides her parents holding her (we're working on it. Again- covid baby!)

What I Want to Remember/Milestones: Well, her Baby Yoda birthday party was pretty awesome. It all turned out exactly how I imagined in (thanks to Gigi) and I just loved it. She looked so cute in her little Yoda ears and it was unique and funny and perfect. We got to spend time with all the grandparents and some other family this past month, which was fun. She's kind of walking... more like pulling up and stumbling from one thing she can hold onto to the next. I think her record is six steps and honestly I'm fine with that. She flew three more times this month and did pretty well (thankfully her little screaming trick developed mostly after those). She can say yeah, mama, dadda, Papa, Gigi, Nana, and (we think) sissy. I love her long, wispy hair, giant eyes, fake laugh (the one she does when the rest of us are laughing and she just wants to join in), the funny way she says "daDA" when she's excited to see Jonathan, her bed head and huge smile in the morning, her blowing kisses... I look at her at least once a day and wish I could freeze time. She's just so sweet.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Easter next week for sure. This really feels like Amy Jane's first Easter because last year we were in actual quarantine and it was all online but this year she'll also be old enough to look for eggs (with a little assistance!) and I know she and Alice are going to have so much fun with that. Also, SUMMER. Well, not the heat or humidity or bugs or desperation. But pool days and having Jonathan home? YES. I have a few ideas/plans for this summer and I want it to be really special. Other than that, we're just kind of on a hamster wheel over here with nothing much coming up. 

Me: Ah, the million dollar question. (NOT. But wouldn't that be nice??) I am okay. The last few weeks/months have been hard for several reasons, mainly that between weaning, switching birth control (tmi? sorry), traveling, and just stress my hormones have gone full-blown CRAZY on me and the physical and mental toll has been pretty significant. Things have taken a turn for the better just this weekend actually so I'm very thankful for that and crossing my fingers that it stays that way and this isn't a fluke. Also, it's the thick of golf season (Jonathan is a coach) so I have a lot of really long days alone with the girls right now (and for several more weeks) so that's challenging. There's a loneliness to stay-at-home motherhood that is present no matter what but the regular human/adult interactions that I was able to have through the gym or whatever are no more so I think it's getting to me more than usual. (Although there are probably childcare workers at the Y who aren't sad they don't have to have awkwardly long conversations with me anymore.) 

Anyway. I'm fine. March is always a weird month that seems to stretch out forever even before the Demon March of last year (no offense, Amy Jane, as it is your birth month) and that I want to end inexplicably since that's only ushering in hotter temperatures that I am in no way prepared for. I've been reading a lot, as usual but this is the only thing I've really written in weeks and honestly I don't feel the pull to it like I usually do. I think I'm just not in a season or rhythm of output right now and that's totally okay. Somehow I think the internet will survive without more of my content/"charm, wit, and sparkling dinner conversation." (If you understand that reference there's a solid chance we will be best friends.) 

I wanted this to be more celebratory of Amy Jane and reflective of life with two girls and a lot of other things, but it is what it is. I can share those things another time. But I truly did want to acknowledge the gift of this sweet little baby and the perfect timing of her arrival (in more ways than one!) and the absolute delight that she is to us every single moment. Jonathan is a total sucker for her, Alice is obsessed with her (dangerously, sometimes šŸ˜‚) and I kiss her about a million times a day and never get tired of it. 

We love you, Amy Jane. Thanks for being in our family. Please stop screaming. 

Amy Jane- 10 Months

Amy Jane- 10 Months

I'd just like to start by saying that poor Amy Jane's entire lifespan has coincided with the existence of this awful pandemic, so every month that passes marks not only all the joy of having her with us but also brings feelings of, "Holy cow, how in the world is this still going on?" regarding all things Covid. Sooo... it's a bit of a mixed bag. But of course we are more grateful than ever that she's been around in all this madness. It's been the perfect medicine (no, baby smiles are not actual medicine, lest I get flagged by the fact checkers for saying so. But aren't they??) 

Here we go!

Getting a picture of this wiggle worm is a struggle these days, hence the blurry feet. (Blurry Feet sounds like a weird indie band name.)

Weight/Length: She's right over 15 pounds and about honestly I'm not sure how many inches because I normally write that down in my phone but I didn't and it's on the chart thing from her last appointment but I am too lazy to get up and find it. (That sentence was so boring I nearly fell asleep typing it.) Her weight gain was a big concern for several months but she's finally back on track as of her last checkup so I'm greatly relieved (and greatly ready to be done nursing, but don't tell her I said that). 

Nicknames: Sissy, Sisert, Toodles, Sweet Potato, and Bean. Always. (Also we have a variety of cheers and chants and songs that we insert her name into like the normal people we are.)

Sleep: She's still sleeping really well... not quite as long as she used to but I'll take what we are getting! She's not a great napper but I kind of expected that since Alice wasn't either. 

Eating: She's still nursing 4-5 times a day (which I'd like to cut down soon but didn't feel comfortable doing until we got her weight back on track). She's eating ALLL the solids we give her including any table food she is lucky enough to receive (that totally sounds like we're feeding a puppy). She recently "chewed" (with her little gummy toothless gums) several small Chick-fil-A fries and had a wonderful time doing so. I'd like her to get better at picking food up and feeding herself so we'll be doing a few more little finger foods here soon.

Clothing: This poor child. She is all over the place in sizes. She's long, so pants that fit in the wait are like capris on her, but if we get the length right the waist is usually falling down! Six month things are getting too small, a lot of 9 month stuff is big, but 6-9 is working pretty well! It all just depends on the brand... I have bought her a few pairs of 6-12 month leggings from Old Navy that fit great but the 6-9 month jeans I just got her from Target are enormous. She's just so petite! 

Mood: She's so happy!! She's always been a good baby but I'd say there's been a definite switch in the last couple months and she's more content than she was before. She is less sensitive (I think) and also really happy to be mobile and "involved" in what her sister is doing and able to move around and get her own toys and that kind of thing. She really is easy to have around! 

Loves: Playing with (chewing on) her toys

Flipping through books


Bath time

Riding in the stroller (she can be buckled in instead of riding in her car seat now and she's obsessed)

Seeing her daddy


"Chasing" Alice (I face her outward and run toward Alice growling and they both think it's the funniest thing in the world

Doesn't Love: the car (still!)

Being wet (who would?)

Keeping her bows on

Being ignored/left alone for too long (same, girl)

When Alice steals her toys

Wearing socks

What I Want to Remember/Milestones: Oh, so many! We got to see family at Christmas and of course passing her around as the baby of the cousins is so fun. She is pulling up on everything and is super grabby. Also, a climber. (Heaven help me.) She started waving and clapping, continues to do the worm instead of crawl on all fours most of the time, and loves trying new foods! 

What I'm Looking Forward To: Honestly, I'm having a hard believing that we're this close to her birthday. I know that's a cliche, but I think the fact that she's so little and also the absolutely bizarreness of the passage of time this past year have combined to make it incomprehensible to me. Anyway, I have settled on a theme for her party (whatever that looks like) and since her birthday is exactly two months away I'm trying to get a jumpstart on the plans. Other than that, I'm just looking forward to her continuing to grow and develop and amaze people with her giant eyes! =) 

Me: I'm okay! It's a weird time of year for me because I simultaneously want to plan and dream and make all the goal lists and have an existential nervous breakdown about the state of my life and career (hahaha) but ultimately, underneath all that angst, I am feeling pretty secure in the knowledge that in this season of life I am just going to have to hunker down and be a mom of little kids and that's okay. It's more than okay! I was just thinking tonight that even though I do need to find a job eventually, the thought of going back to work and answering to someone after over 6 years of not doing that is crazy. I mean, my current bosses can be demanding but at least they can't reach the remote, you know? I can just keep rolling along, reading excessively and sharing books and writing here and there, but my girls are my focus right now and I'm making peace with that. (That sounds terrible. You know what I mean. Or maybe you think I'm an awful mother. Perhaps you're not wrong. But I think I'm fine.)

I'm planning on writing some more words soon about my word of the year and its many iterations (don't you love coming up with a word that can mean so many things?) but until then I will be sneakily throwing out (into the trash or into my mouth? I'll never tell) the last remnants of Alice's holiday candy one handful at a time. Sshhh.