Hello, friends. I can’t believe that October is halfway over. I am savoring each beautiful day. October is my very favorite month of the year. I love it so much that my heart soars throughout this wonderful month. Each day, I take the babies for long walks and we take in the stunning colors of the changing trees and the gorgeous smells of the earth as the season transitions. It’s the perfect time for campfires and hikes and all of my favorite things. It has been a month of great changes for me — highs and lows. Through it all, there has been so much magic. My heart is full and grateful.
“In October any wonderful
unexpected thing might be possible.”
–Elizabeth George Speare, The Witch of Blackbird Pond
This afternoon after a walk in the warm October sun, I was inspired to create another freebie for you all. This time it is a piece of printable wall art. It will fit perfectly inside of any standard 8×10 frame. There are two versions, one if your frame has no mat and one if your frame has matting. Just click the desired link below, download, and print.
I hope that this piece adds a bit of warmth and magic to your space. If you do print it and hang it, I would absolutely love to see a photo! You can email me at denabotbyl [@] gmail [.] com. I would be so grateful.
Growth & Appearance: You are about six months overdue for a well-visit. Just keeping it real. There are a lot of reasons for this. The two primary reasons are that 1. I don’t like the way that the pediatricians make me feel when I tell them that I’m spacing out your shots and 2. Life has been a little bit bat-shit-crazy-insane lately (always? just me?) and you and your brother are regularly sick, so we see the pediatrician plenty enough as it is.
All of that, simply to say that I’m not quite sure how tall you are or how much you weigh. What I do know is that you’ve outgrown most of your size 18-month clothes and you fit comfortably in size 2T, and even then you’re starting to push the limits on a few of those pieces.
So, in my book, you’re as healthy as a horse and you eat like one, too. But we’ll get to that in a moment.
Sleeping: Since so much time has passed since your last update, a hell of a lot has transpired and I couldn’t hope to note it all. However, the most notable change, is that between 15 and 16 months, you stopped nursing and started sleeping through the night. If this were a game show, this is the part where the horns would blow, balloons would fly, and confetti would fall from the ceiling.
Up until the very last night that you were nursing, you woke up every 45 minutes through the night. Yes, you read that correctly. Every forty-five minutes. All night, every night. When I finally weaned you, I didn’t have very much discomfort/leakage which goes to prove that you were, indeed, comfort nursing (i.e. using me as a pacifier). After the second night without, you slept a straight twelve hours through. Clearly, you were ready and, needless to say, so was I. We both benefited greatly from the change and the whole new world of uninterrupted sleep.
These days you generally sleep straight through the night between 10-12 hours. However, if you are sick or teething — which, let’s face it, happens a lot in the world of toddlers — you tend to wake up throughout the night and require lots of cuddles to get back down.
As for napping, you typically take one nap a day which lasts between 30 minutes and three hours, all depending on how tired you are and how quiet and dark the room is. For awhile, you would only nap in the car and I spent a solid six months driving around for an hour or so each day so that you and your brother would sleep. Now, you’ve started napping in your crib and your stroller most days which is a huge relief.
Eating: As I alluded to above, you eat like a horse that got loose in the grain bin. I’ve never seen a little girl eat so much. I don’t know where you put it! Although, admittedly you do have the sweetest, roundest Buddha belly around. You love all of the food. You favor salty/savory foods over sweet, unlike your brother and your Papa, but just like your Mama. You’re an amazing eater, really. There isn’t much that you won’t eat and you eat in large quantities. You can easily pack in three bowls of spaghetti at one sitting.
Development: I thought that you were behind Roman developmentally, but when I looked back at his update from this age, I see that you are right on par with him. You are smart as a whip. Your vocabulary expands daily. You are strong and agile and pretty damned fearless. You tackle any obstacles in front of you and it’s amazing how you differ so much from your brother in this regard. He wouldn’t even go near a step until he was at least two-years-old. Meanwhile you can make it up a flight of stairs in a flash.
Favorites: You don’t have very many favorites, per se. Like your brother, you never attached yourself to any one object like a blanket or stuffed animal. You treat all things equally, although you do like to have something in your arms while you sleep. As far as food goes, you love rice & beans and spaghetti. You will eat any type of cheese that is put in front of you. You also love potato chips and french fries. You still don’t really give a hoot about TV, much to my dismay. However, you have just in the past few weeks taken a liking to Sponge Bob and you will sit and watch that for a few minutes which is about the longest that anything, ever, has kept your attention.
Dislikes & Behavior: Speaking of keeping your attention… it’s nearly impossible to do. You have the attention span of a fly. You are constantly moving from one thing to the next. Up until the past month, there was no such thing as independent play for you. Your days of “high needs” infanthood have blended into your days of high needs toddlerhood. I have a whole lot to say on the topic, but I’m going to save it for another post. Suffice to say that you are my little handful. Still, you have come a very long way from those newborn days of crying eight+ hours a day and sleeping no where except my arms. You are gaining some independence, little by little.
You are my silly, funny, wild girl. You give the biggest hugs and the sweetest kisses imaginable. You are so beautiful and so smart. I love you, Marina Grace, now and always. xo
A few weeks ago, we took a little trip to the New York Renaissance Faire. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, then you know it’s one of my favorite places in the world. I’ve been attending the fair each year for as long as I can remember.
On this day, the babies were being a bit *ahem* high maintenance, so I didn’t get too many photographs. Still in all, it was the most gorgeous autumn afternoon and we had such a wonderful time. Watching Roman’s expressions on the dragon ride (see also: PURE ELATION) was one of the greatest experiences of my life to date. I seriously was smiling so hard I thought that my face was going to break. Goodness, I love motherhood.
As usual, the day was full of magic, adventure, good food, and incredible talent on the parts of the actors & artisans. Enjoy the snaps from our day. xo
Just for fun, here’s a look back at past Renaissance Faires:
I am so blessed to have been through the miraculous experience of giving birth twice now. My perspectives on motherhood have changed a little bit, but many of the thoughts & emotions that I felt from the very start have remained the same. In my last post, I wrote that although “I have gained some small measure of confidence along the way, deep down, I am still scared all of the time — always questioning each decision that I make. Am I doing the right thing? Is there a right thing?”
That uncertainty and fear remains, it will always be there to an extent, I am certain. However, I have been working really hard on letting go and letting God. Reading back on my words from the past, I recognize that I have come along in my journey. Gratefully, today, faith plays a much larger role in my life and that faith allows me even more confidence in that I am making the right choices for my sweet little ones.
Speaking of choices, if you happen to be researching cord blood banking for yourself, I encourage you to check out LifebankUSA, a cord blood bank, that is a leader in stem cell banking. Cord and placental banking upon your baby’s birth offers promising opportunities for the treatment of diseases and injuries that your child may experience later in life. It is a fascinating opportunity for parents to consider. Science is truly amazing and each step that we can take as parents to give ourselves peace of mind is a wonderful thing.
Thank you for reading, friends. As always, I am sending you love & light. xo
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Happy Friday, friends. A few days ago, I was searching for a new desktop background. I was hoping to find a calendar with some beautiful autumn watercolors, but the only ones I could find were very outdated. So I decided to make one myself. I thought I’d share it here for anyone else that might be interested.
Let me know if you like it and if you’d be interested in me creating more freebies like this in the future!
To download simply click the link below that best suits your screen size. Then right click and choose ‘set as desktop background.’ Enjoy!