Natalie ~15 Months~

Dear Tally-yo,

You are 15 months old now. One year and a quarter. You have passed through so many milestones and are easily on your way to more. You had your 15 month well child exam yesterday, you haven't gained weight since your last visit, but that is normal, you have grown about an inch in length/height. That puts you are 20.5 pounds and 31.5 inches. Tall and skinny was the description of the nurse. But hey! That is just like Rhayn and me. And I still think you have perfectly chubby thighs, of course you never were a "BFB" like Gwen was, but you held your own in the chubby baby category.

You had a 3-in-one vaccine, too, the DTaP, polio and Hib shot. I know lots of people who don't vaccinate, but I know that, for us, it is the right choice. I have read and studied about it, and at the school the girls went to before I received a lot of crap for vaccinating (I think it would be the opposite here) but when that pertussis outbreak happened in your sister's class in the fall/early winter, I was thankful for that vaccine and that none of you got it. I watched the pain in those kids' eyes and how hard it was on the parents. I get that not vaccinating is a families choice, but that cemented my choice so clearly.

You hate the doctor's office with a passion. They touch you and you cry, they look in your ears and you cry, you do not want to be there. Luckily this time, you are still small enough that I could manhandle you while they looked in your eyes, ears and mouth. Hopefully you will get over that hatred. I know it isn't strangers, since you have no qualms with climbing into strange peoples' laps at the library. I wish I could figure out what it is. 

There are still only 8 teeth in your mouth, but that first lower left molar is *almost* through. I can see and feel it. I'm sure you can, too. In fact, it may have even broken through in the night last night, that is how close it is to breaking the gums.The lower right one is swelling as well. This has never stopped you from your love of food. You can (and will) eat anything and everything, including the mushrooms (or whatever you like best) out of my food.

 Nursing is still a top priority to you, when we are home (or if you are tired). I love that... most of the time. Sometimes I wish we were all done nursing, but I know it is a short lived feeling, and I will be so glad to have had this time with you. When all you really need is me.

You can communicate your needs/wants fairly well. You have a few words, thank you (kain oo), mama, daddy, sister (dihder), hot (ot), up (ot), Lily (ihlee), bird (buh), pretzel (wet uhl), Hi, uh oh, and ow. You can sign milk, please, more, all done and up. You wave bye bye, clap your hands enthusiastically and can point to your nose, toes and hair.  You still make "uh uh uh" noises when you want something and can't figure out how to express those wants.

This month you started running and climbing. You love to sit on the back of the couch and watch the birds in our front yard. You can walk very far before you get tired but you still love to be carried in the Ergo. Many days you will bring me my shoes and your shoes and we will put them on, just to walk around outside in the cooler morning air. If we were in Phoenix still, this would be even more rare, because the "cooler morning air" there was still in the 90s. Here, it is often in the 70s when we take our morning strolls.

I think you are more aware of the world around you than your sisters were at this age. Probably because they are always pointing out a lizard or bird or something to you. You look for and pick flowers. If you get close to the tomato plant you pluck a green tomato off and eat it (probably because you often see me do the same, only I do it with mostly ripe ones, before the animals get them!)

My dear, not so sweet baby girl, you are so much fun. But you are also a huge pain. You cry more than the other two ever did. Daddy and I can't believe how much you cry. You want things 5 minutes ago and hate when we tell you "no". I thought at some point it would stop, the bottom lip jutting out right before you start bawling just because we said "no" to you. It hasn't. Sometimes I still crack up when it happens.

I haven't been very good about writing these monthly newsletters for you, and for that I feel badly. It has nothing to do with you, my sweet Tally, and everything to do with me and the place I am in my head right now. I do love you every bit as much as I love your sisters. Don't ever think I don't.


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