December and January kick my rear emotionally. Three of my babies have birthdays, another hits her half birthday a few days later. It's like a constant barrage of reminders that they are growing up too fast. I apologize in advance for another giant mush-ball post about my babies (there will be a lot of them this year).
Parenting is overwhelming sometimes (okay, like, a lot of the time), and I certainly have moments where I wish they would be more responsible, less likely to draw on the wall or paint the toilet seat with bright red nail polish (it doesn't come off!), that they wouldn't feel like they need to be in the bathroom with me, or that they might for once clean up after themselves without me having to loom over them.
For the most part though? I absolutely and unequivocally love the "little". When the world is new, and the hardest thing in your life is emotionally coping with mom telling you that you may not have a cookie. They aren't jaded, they still think I'm reasonably cool, and they see the best in everyone.
I try so hard to drink it all in. To take joy from everything. To laugh at the newly decorated toilet seat. To relish the early mornings when I'm tired but they come running to me still with such enthusiasm for their morning snuggles. I want them to see they are so wanted. Write it all over my face. You are SO wanted. I am SO excited to see you, even if you kept my up all night.
I never imaged being without a baby in the house. Harper is 18 months old today. She has an opinion and a vocabulary to back it up. Her chubby thighs are beginning to thin out from running and climbing. Her soft shoulders and chubby tummy are starting to change- build muscle- and are no longer pure dough baby. She is headed directly toward full on toddler, and I am watching the baby slip away. Normally I'm growing a sibling at this point... but since she is our last, it's a whole new adventure to know her firsts are also my last firsts.
She's already so desperate to be a big kid... I imagine I won't be able to contain the baby for long. She's the beginning of a new chapter, the closure of another. She's can out sass her sisters and is as sweet as honey. She's as daring as the boys and as smart as they come. She wants to know what everything is- and can say most words she learns very very clearly. Her favorite word is No. She love love loves her daddy, and knows if mommy or daddy says no she can go work one of her siblings to try and get it (watch out little stinker!)
She thinks nursing is still the coolest. She's my most selective eater yet, and if it isn't chicken, cheese, pasta, avocado or something frozen she probably won't eat it. It will be interesting to see if she keeps that or starts to explore more.
She loves to be held and not always by me. She reverses into our laps to sit down- we've taken to saying "beep! beep! beep!" like a truck backing up when we see her spin around to sit down. She loves music and to sing. Her favorites are Itsy Bitsy Spider and Bunny, Bunny. She counts to 2, holding up her fingers then says "shush!" and is really good at shouting the parts of the alphabet she knows. She can command the siblings to move the remote "Down! Up! Side! Side!", and very suddenly loves Mou-mou (Mickey Mouse).
I am so thankful for the invention of the smart phone, because I chronicle the day to day so much better with it, both in videos and still images, and she won't wonder why, as the 5th, she has less pictures- because I take a LOT. I am sure in the days that come, there will be much mischief making, and I will try my hardest to laugh through it (and remember to take pictures before I clean it up), because soon enough it will be gone, and my walls will be cleaner, as will my floors, but it will come at the cost of the "little".
Happy Half Birthday Harps.