Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted. So many things have happened, and yet the days go by, all seeming very much like all the others. Willow loves to help around the house. I dreaded this stage, having heard so many stories of young children's "help" (wiping the filthy rag all over the stove, scooping cat litter onto the floor), and yet it is very much fun and Willow is learning also how to be truly helpful. She is very good at pushing the laundry basket from room to room, and if asked will take it from the laundry room to the bedroom or vice-versa. (Though sometimes she does get caught up with something and leaves it in transit on the living room floor.) Lately Willow loves to take baths, it is one of her favorite activities. She has new bath toys for Christmas as well, from Grandma Shirley and Grandpa Jerry, and also from Cousin Micah (and his parents, Aunt Nicole and Uncle Frank). The other day I was preparing to wash out the tub for a bath, with Willow watching in anticipation, and I said "Oh, I need a cloth to wipe out the tub". As I stood up to go from the bathroom and get my cloth, I turned and saw Willow bringing me a cloth that she had been playing with from the living room. She handed it to me to wash out the tub! I was amazed that she made all those connections, and in such a short moment. She knew what I was saying, and knew she would have her bath once the tub was cleaned out, and she knew not only what the cloth was that I needed but where she had left one.
The week before Christmas we walked to our local Home Depot to get a rosemary shrub that was our tree this year. I wanted something I could plant, and I've been wanting a rosemary. Brent and I and Willow and Alley our dog went to the store, and by the time we were about half way home on about a 1.5 mile walk, Willow had been cooped up in a stroller or a cart for close to two hours. Though it was getting dark we decided we would allow her to walk on her own down the sidewalk for the first time. I think we both thought she would walk a little bit an be tired and ready to get back in the stroller. She walked and walked, and if we had let her I imagine she might have walked the rest of the way home! We picked her up to move things along at different times, and when she would fall we used that as an excuse to carry her again for a few blocks (it was getting dinner time and we were hungry). All in all she must have walked two blocks, which seemed a lot to me for a gal just starting out, and she loved it! Now we go to the park and walk around, as much as we can spare in between naps and walking the dog and getting food on the table... woe is Mama if dinner is late, Willow likes her vittles for sure.
We have been on a very conservative food introduction schedule as well, and were planning to wait (on the advice of our doctor) until 18 months to introduce most of the things folks introduce at 12, such as wheat and dairy. Well, that went out the window right around Christmas. We had been to a series of doctor's appointments to check her weight gain, which was not satisfactory. We began with more nursing and adding goat's and soy milk (neither of which she drank much of), and then adding avocado and a smoothie with protein powder. Those helped more than the goat & soy milk, and she gained enough that the doctor thinks we're now on the right track. But in the midst of all that Brent and I decided to just let go and make it easier to feed Willow, as well as take a bit of the drama out of the situation and give her cow's milk, wheat, cheese, everything except nuts for now. It was becoming a chore not only to find fattening things that she would enjoy (she got sick of avocado after about the third day of me trying to get her to eat 1/2 of one a day), but Willow was beginning to covet our food and refuse to eat hers.
She enjoys cow's milk (though still won't drink even a whole cupful in a day's time), and cottage cheese and grilled cheese, and chicken salad and her smoothies, and also loves to "eat" crackers and cheerios, which usually end up spit out on the floor somewhere. Gross. I am hoping this is a short phase and soon she will swallow what she puts in her mouth instead of spitting it onto the floor in favor of nursing, or worse yet, handing it to me. She also loves ice cream if it is not too cold, and steak. Her Minnesota and Iowa roots show there, I think.
Now I'm going to have to watch what I eat, since I've been making a lot of rich meals like Chicken & Corn Scallop (delicious, by the way, it's chicken atop a mix of milk, flour, and creamed corn, topped with crackers and butter, to be found in the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook), and Broccoli Cheese Casserole.
I am used to carrying her with one hand all over the place, and so is Brent, and he dances with her most mornings while I get breakfast. A while back I sprained my wrist or thumb (I must get to the chiropractor), from holding the gal who is really packing on the ounces! Last night Brent said he had the same thing happen to him yesterday. It looks like Willow is really gaining on us.
Though I still get annoyed and a little worried on days when she doesn't eat much. I am working on letting go of how much she eats and just making the food and putting it in front of her and enjoying the meal, but man, sometimes I get really annoyed when I spend an hour making dinner (a lot of which she is complaining to me about being hungry), and she takes two bites and wants out of her chair. Ahh, yes, the eternal struggles of motherhood laid bare. Somehow I thought it would never happen to me. Ha.