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

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Holland | 14.5 Months

Holland Claire...

...Has finally taken a few steps!  She is so cautious that four steps is her limit before she sits down and continues crawling.  Regardless, it's something so we'll take it!  Her favorite mode of transportation is speed crawling or cruising around the house.

...Is the neatest Haynes child.  She will get every last toy out of the basket but always puts everything back before she moves onto the next thing.  The same is true for an individual toy with small parts.  If only she could teach Jude & Sloane to do the same...

...Gives the sweetest hugs!  She puts her arms around your neck and squeezes - it is the greatest feeling in the world!

...Weighs 1,000 lbs.  I honestly don't know how much she weighs but she is a tank.  I carry her all of the time and my arms are so sore by the end of the day.

...Still naps at 10a and 2p.  Summer has been quite busy so there's been a few days when she only gets one nap.  She handles it well but I can tell she still needs both.

...Loves mimicking her brother and sister.  She dips her fries in ketchup, her bread in olive oil, and wants a taste of everything they're eating. She claps when they do something exciting, laughs when they laugh, blows her nose when she grabs a tissue, and waves bye if she sees/hears them saying goodbye to someone.  She also loves to give high fives.

...Is the opposite of a picky eater! Holland is willing to try and eat almost everything.  PRAISE THE LORD.  I generally would not consider her a laidback baby but she sure is easy to please when it comes to food!

...Is so emotional.  She's very black/white - there isn't a lot of grey area.  She is the happiest baby and then she is NOT having it and will let everyone know all about it.  As long as she's the only one in the room she is just fine entertaining herself and can do so for quite a while.  However, if anyone else is in the room she demands their complete attention.

...Says a few words regularly: Dada, Bye, Papa, Gaga, Hi, Ball, and (most recently) Mama.  But she mostly calls me Baba (again, I'll take it).  We're pretty sure she says "thank you" as well but it's harder to understand.  She has a southern French accent... and I don't mean Provence, France.  I mean a Texan who moved to France.  It's hilarious!

...Has 12 teeth.  Her molars are completely in and it looks like the incisors are about to pop through any day.

...Shares a fun tradition with me that I look forward to every night.  After she nurses I put her in her crib and then kneel down right next to it.  Then we "talk," hug, make silly faces, and sing for another 5-10 minutes before I leave the room.  It's usually when Michael is reading to the big kids so the house is quiet and it is the sweetest time with my baby.

...Still cries like a baby if you tell her "no."  It all happens in slow motion.  You say the word and she looks at you with the saddest eyes, her lower lip trembles, eyes squint, and the crying begins.

...Loves our rocking chair.  Her favorite thing to do right now is climb on things and the rocker provides additional entertainment once she's climbed to the "top."

...Recognizes eyes, nose, mouth, and feet.

...Doesn't want to sit still for a book but will tear one apart in less than 60 seconds if you leave it out.

...Loves the water!  Jude & Sloane have been in swim lessons and Holland is only happy if she's in the water with them!  Lots of dunking her head in the water and popping up with a big grin on her face!

...Has dark blue eyes and light brown curly hair!  The curls are coming in quickly now (in the back) and the color seems to be staying.  She's wearing mostly 18-24 clothes and size 4 diapers - probably time to move to size 5.

...Is such a people person.  She will be in a terrible mood but if a stranger at Target smiles at her she turns on the charm.  At the same time, she also gives some of the judgiest looks so watch out!

...Observes everything.  While she may be timid to do most things (ahem, walk), she doesn't take her eyes off of what is going on around her.  She's a sponge!

...Still nurses a few times a day.  That was not my intention but here we are.  We will definitely reach the goal of still nursing on the flight to/from Florida.

...Is looking more and more like her daddy.  Neither of us really see it but everyone else does!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Holland's First Birthday Weekend

The day before Holland's birthday we visited the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden so we could tiptoe through the tulips!  We had lunch at Restaurant Degolyer and spent the rest of the time enjoying the gorgeous grounds. It was such a fun day!


On her actual birthday we had a small family party for her.  I went with a tulips + gingham theme for the weekend and was so pleased with how everything turned out!  It was sweet and simple... and I think she loved it.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Jude & Sloane

Because tomorrow is their last day of pre-K and because I want to remember every detail. 


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