Thursday, January 10, 2019

Holland | 21 Months

I read the first few sentences of my last blog post (written in JUNE) and was so overwhelmed with guilt I stopped.  I'm going to pretend there is nothing wrong or embarrassing about waiting an entire six months to write an update on Holland.

Oh, Holland Claire.

She is the funniest, most spirited child.  She is still very black or white.  She is giggling, dancing, and (her version of) twirling, or she is angry and yelling "No!" at the top of her (very powerful) lungs.  There is no grey area.  The Haynes family is used to living in the grey area.  Needless to say, she brings so much excitement to our lives.

Holland goes to Mother's Day Out four days a week and has a babysitter on Fridays.  Her teachers say she is the neatest child in the class, always picking up trash and putting away toys.  Again, nothing like her older siblings (or me, if I'm being honest).

Her comprehension is phenomenal.  We can give her three step commands and she completes them correctly.  She mimics each of us and picks up on things quickly.  And oh how she wants to be just like Jude & Sloane.  It's a little heartbreaking when she realizes she can't do everything they can.  Sometimes she learns the hard way, other times we have to tell her NO.

One of my favorite Holland antics is her response when we say NO.  A few months ago she would burst into tears and throw herself on the floor (see "black or white" above).  Now, she puts her arm above her eyes as if to shield them from our view.  She looks down at first and then she cautiously looks up to see if you're still watching her.  And then... she smiles.  And her smile will melt anyone.

Life wouldn't be normal without me worrying about something and for Holland it's her speech.  She says about 15-20 words right now as well as a few phrases but I know she should be saying more.  I realize every child is different and I don't worry too much because of her comprehension, but the last week or so we've made a concerted effort to really work on words.  She's picked up a few in the last couple of days so I'm hoping that continues.

Holland adores baby dolls.  She has a few she carries around the house, constantly rocking and shushing them.  Sloane never cared for dolls so this is new to all of us and is so sweet to watch.  Her other obsession is shoes.  Her shoes, my shoes, Michael's shoes... any shoes.  She loves them!  I've caught her in Michael's size 12s as well as my high heels and she manages to walk just fine in both.

Her favorite songs are Itsy Bitsy Spider and Skinnamarink.  She does the hand motions and claps when you finish.

Everyone says she looks just like Michael.  I don't really see it but I'm just fine with people thinking it.  Her hair is still a medium brown (with the cutest curl in the back) and her eyes are a deep blue.  She wears size six shoes and size five diapers.  I'm not sure what she weighs but she's quite the chunk!  She's very busy but a great snuggler if she ever needs a break.

My original plan was to quit breastfeeding once we got back from Florida (August) but it continued until.... last week.  For the last few months it's been infrequent but she started waking up at 4a and it was always the quickest/easiest way to get her back to bed.  I'm glad it worked out well for both of us and I know we were extremely fortunate to make it as long as we did.

Dear Holland,
Sweet girl, you are such a bright spot in my day. I was nervous about going back to work, scared we'd lose the bond we created in your first 15 months.  Fortunately, you seem to be thriving at school and we're as close as ever.  I get so excited walking into MDO each day and scooping you up.  Of course, I immediately have to put you right back down since you insist on grabbing your water cup, saying goodbye to the directors up front, and walking like a big girl to the car.  I know there are plenty of moments at home when you'll demand I hold you so I tell myself to be patient.

I love to watch you learn.  If Jude or Sloane does something new, you watch them with such interest.  Their eyes, their hands, their mannerisms.  And then you slowly stand up and repeat what you just witnessed.  Clumsily at first, but you try again and again until you have it mastered.  We have to remind them to be careful what they do in front of you because - for better or worse - you will do it as well.

I call you Holland the Ham because you are so full of life at home!  I pull out the camera and you put your hands on your hips, stick out your belly, tilt your head, and grin.  Interestingly enough, I wonder if you might be a bit shy.  We were at basketball practice the other day and I was telling some moms about your latest antics.  When I asked you to show them, you put your hands close to your chest and gave me a stoic face.  They asked you several questions and you shyly smiled but kept your distance.  I'm so interested to see if this is a phase or a brief glimpse into your future!

You are still a fantastic eater.  Right now you're a huge fan of yogurt, strawberries, graham crackers, and applesauce.  You also love pizza, peanut butter, pancakes, and mashed potatoes.  Carbs and sweets are your favorites so while you may not look like me, you have my taste in food!

There are so many things I want to remember about you at this age.  If I ask for a hug and you say no, I make a sad face and you drop everything to run into my arms and make it all better.  You love getting into our closet or shower and wreaking havoc on both.  You adore being outdoors and want so badly to go down the big slides by yourself.  There is nothing I love more than nuzzling your neck and kissing your cheeks.

Holland, I know you're getting so big but I still think of you as a baby.  I will carry you until my back gives out and I will make excuses for you long after I should.  You are so very strong and independent - I know you don't need me like I need you but I pray you'll let me believe you do just a little bit longer.

I love you, sweet Holland Claire.

Love - Mom







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