Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Aurelia Ann: 18 months

Welcome new readers! If you're new to Breaking New Ground, as many of you are, be sure to head over to the "about" page to get to know a little bit about my family. This post is an update on my youngest child as I like to keep record of their ages and stages here to share with family and friends, connect with others in our similarities + differences, and to look back on over the years. 

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In my book, little ones are still "babies" until they turn 2. However, I think with Aurelia being our last baby she might stay that way for good. Growing up we were neighbors with a family that called their youngest "Baby" almost exclusively and as she grew well beyond the title, now I can see why it would stick. All my kids will always be "my babies" but knowing this is our last little one makes all the stages she passes through so bittersweet. I keep clinging to the fact that we will hopefully have plenty more neices + nephews to satisfy the baby fix in the future. I'm also really enjoying this thing called sleep. I'm sure there will be sleepless nights for plenty of other reasons in our future, but coming out of the sleepless nights stage of having a baby is rather nice.

Previously, Raeli has been all over the map in terms of sleep. I have an entire post dedicated to our journey to get our babies and kids to sleep coming soon. Aurelia struggled with sleeping at night when she should have been able to, which was the same for our sons, but getting each of them to the point they could sleep was very different. Now she sleeps well and wakes happy, so we do too!

Aurelia is going through so many new things right now, it's been difficult to keep track. She just had 3 out of 4 of her "two year molars" come through, it was not a happy experience for anyone. We are really dreading the time when the 4th one decides to make it's way out.

Lately she has been our kiddo in the "spotlight" because her brothers refuse to have their photos taken. I want to respect that, and also, they run away if I there's really no fighting it most of the time. Sometimes I can ask Malakai really nicely to comply and he will, but usually with a very cheesy posed grin. Desmond usually needs bribed, with snapchat. Yes, my 4 year old asks if he can snapchat. Thanks to my twenty-something brother who introduced him to all the crazy options it has for photos and videos. The only people I'm connected to on snapchat are my mom and brother, so it's not as weird as it sounds. For those of you who have noticed that Raeli appears 3x as much as the boys do on social media, now you know why!

Her most recent accomplishment has been verbally. She has been pretty quiet for a long time, she signs when she's "all done", wants "more", and to say "please". She blows kisses and waves her good-byes and dances every time there is even a hint of music (like running over to dance to theme songs whenever her brothers are watching a tv show). She nods and shakes her head to answer questions. She has had a few words here and there but she's finally starting to use them more and try out new ones. She hollars "HI!" most mornings when she sees our favorite neighbor, Amy. She has recently started saying "yeah" and nodding her head, she grunts "uh-uh" while shaking her head no. For the longest time she's been saying "dah-dah" for dog, and subsequently any other animal. When you ask her what sound they make, she makes a sound like a cat hissing. It's pretty hysterical. She is trying to say more animals names and sounds, but when she gets excited she still points and yells "dah!"

{looking at the flamingos at Wildlife Safari}

One of the sweetest things she's been able to do, is follow directions. When she is asked to go get something or do something she usually complies correctly. We moved her changing pad to underneath the dresser and I started asking her to put it away, now she does it on her own after nearly every change. She likes to "clean up" and "put away". She also likes to go get books or toys and is so proud when she gets what you've asked for. She helps me unload the dishwasher by handing me all the plastic utensils out of the basket. It takes much longer, but it much more fun than doing it on my own. 
{mama's sweater + some sassy red shoes}

Aurelia loves shoes and has to have them on when she gets a hold of a pair. Last week Mima (my mom) gave the kids an early Easter gift of slippers and she adores wearing hers. Her newest obsession is coloring. Desmond has a table set up for our homeschooling time, which we usually do when Raeli is napping. There is a small bucket of crayons and paper set out, she will sit and color for 20-30 minutes, sometimes longer! She loves to look through books and babble her own little story as she turns the pages. 

As the youngest, and the only girl, she's predictibly grown into quite the little sass. Since she doesn't use a lot of words (so very different from her brothers at this age!) she tends to scream and protest when she's misunderstood or wronged in some way. We are definitely working on getting her to speak in effort to stop this behavior! She can totally hold her own with her brothers, and her scream does serve her well when they are not being gentle or kind towards her. 

It is so fun to watch Aurelia grown, to see how she's similar to her brothers and embrace how she's different. She'll be a baby for at least 6 more months, but she'll be my baby for always.

{ain't no party like a toddler tea party...}

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