Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Life With Nia: 18 Months (and Remembering Whitney)

I had wanted to get this post up on Sunday, Nia's actual birthday, but I was in such a funk after hearing about Whitney Houston's death. Growing up we didn't listen to secular music in our household so I don't have memories like Mr. Love Bird does of having her albums around the house, but I still remember hearing her music and seeing images of her everywhere. To me Whitney Houston was my black Barbie doll come to life and I wanted to be her.

I was cooking dinner when I happened to see the news of her death on Twitter. I told Mr. Love Bird who wasn't the least bit surprised but I tried to resume cooking dinner but a wave of sadness hit me and I started crying. Mr. Love Bird came over and hugged me and I sat down to get myself together.

It's so strange to me because I was so busy when Michael Jackson died as we were in Puerto Rico on our way to our welcome dinner when the news came through so I felt as though it were surreal, but now with Whitney I felt the full sadness head-on.

One particular memory I have of Whitney's music is singing One Moment in Time in school. Being a young person and hearing these words was so profound to me:

I've lived to be
The very best
I want it all
No time for less
I've laid the plans
Now lay the chance
Here in my hands

I've been listening to Pandora's Whitney Houston station, and I think Nia's ready for me to return to playing her kiddie music, so I'll stick to playing Whitney's station when she's sleeping. 

About our Lil Love Bird . . .

Last month we were taking a break to visit my mom in Baltimore and Grandma Mary who was in town from Ohio. When we came back we indeed packed up and are in the midst of settling in. Nia's loving the extra space and has been doing well adjusting to having her own actual room with a door! She was waking up at 3:30 a.m. on the dot for the first week but quickly started sleeping through the night again. 

Here's the official update:
  • Toddler's Weight: Nia's 18 month appointment was yesterday and she's 23 lbs 3oz; still a lightweight!
  • Toddler's Height: Nia's 33 1/2" - I can't believe she's nearly 3 feet tall! I wonder where she gets that from???
  • What size of clothing does toddler wear? She can still fit some 18 months tops, but 24 months fits perfectly and her round tummy is filling out nicely at last!
  • Any milestones toddler reached during the month:  
    • Potty training is coming along! She went #2 for the first time a week ago and keeps telling us when she has to go.
    • Still nursing but eating more protein at last; we've had some struggles in the past but she's trying more meat, nuts, cheese and yogurt consistently
  • Special outings toddler had during the month:  
    • Just moving over the river!
  • What are your thoughts about the past month? Nia's adjusted well to the move and is looking and sounding more like a big girl everyday. She is extremely passionate and full of love. I adore how she hugs and kisses me randomly and now says, "I love you!"
  • What was toddler's routine? I mentioned above some challenges we were having when we first moved but now Nia's in bed around 8p.m. and sleeps until about 7a.m. STRAIGHT THROUGH! A dream come true! We've taught her not to whine and cry when she wakes up but instead to just say, "Mama" or "Daddy." With the cold weather and me in a boot still from my fall we haven't been out exploring but I'd like to try the Little Gym nearby and/or find a playgroup. The local library is close so I'm hoping they have storytime (we tried going a couple times but they were closed  - they have strange hours). During the day we sing and dance a lot and she helps me around the house. She's very interested in the refrigerator and pantry so I keep her involved in mealtime. Naps are a challenge and she tends to fall asleep while we're out (lately it's been back and forth to dr.'s offices) and she wakes up as soon as we get home.
  • Reflect about the highlights of the month:  
    • As I anticipated last month having more space and a closer commute for Mr. Love Bird has made us have more family time and a more home-like environment; being away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan has given us peace
  • Did any big changes occur? 
    • Having her own room at last; she's savoring her independence and I love walking by her room peeking in on her talking to her stuffed animals, reading or coloring
    • Getting comfortable with her potty
  • What are toddler's favorites - toy, food, person, etc... 
    • As I mentioned last month she's still all about Elmo and her dad!
  • What I'm looking forward to?  
    • Learning to properly braid Nia's hair; it's best if I can get conditioner in it then rinse after 5 minutes and style, but most of the time she doesn't have the patience. I do little puffs but want to braid like my mom's done. Lots of tears are produced if I try. 
    • Teaching Nia  - she's still interested in her colors, letters and numbers so I think it's time for mini preschool lessons. She has a couple workbooks so we'll see how it goes!