I’m tired of fighting with this blog

Yes, I am once again woefully behind but once again, I’m not willing to sit for an hour trying to upload photos only to have the internets not cooperate and not load any of my pictures of you, kitten. I’m so over it. That being said, I’ve definitely been neglecting keeping up on the “you-isms” of late. There is so much funny happening right now that I need to start documenting more. So here goes, a snippet of you over the last month:

* I have gone from being “Mama” to being “Mama Bria”. At first I was a bit irked but then your Mum reminded me that this is how we refer to all the other mamas that we know and you’re only categorizing me in the same way.

* After wondering if you would ever start singing, you started singing on our trip to the east coast in October and haven’t stopped since. You have several songs memorized and you love to sing them over and over and over again. “Jack O’ Lantern”, “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain” and “Deedle Deedle Dumpling” are three of your current favorites but you also love “Happy Birthday” and have just recently learned “Jingle Bells” as well.

* You also have many many books completely memorized. We’re not talking board books here. We’re talking 20 pages with lots of words on each. Your all time favorite that you repeat on a loop? “Mama Always Comes Home”.

* Even though we attempted to introduce a little bit of video time to your repetoire during our plane rides in October, you still have zero interest in any media that isn’t a home movie of yourself.

* EVERYTHING gets repeated. Luckily, Mama and Mum are fairly careful with our language but you still manage to repeat and then claim some pretty hilarious phrases.

* Your obsession with your babies continues. You seem to have a growing collection and prefer to take them everywhere with you though Mama generally makes you limit it to one or two per outing. You have a sling and Ergo for your babies now and you like to wear both simultaneously.

* You also love to pretend to be a baby who whines/feels sad and needs either a pacifier or a diaper change. Your favorite game is for me to lay you down and pretend to take off your poopy diaper. Then you run away calling yourself “cousin Avery!”. Mama then must pretend to wipe you and put on myriad ointments before putting on a new clean pretend diaper. The minute I’m done, you claim to have another poopy diaper and the whole thing begins anew. Hilarious.

* You’ve started thanking people for everything in the most sincere way imaginable. Every time you’re given something you like or served something yummy, you always request to go back and say thank you. It makes your mama melt just a little more every time.

Every day I wish I could run a 24 hour video of you. So precious. So witty. Such trouble in all the best ways possible.


Party day, Part 1. Quiet present time with family before the big party begins. Discovering her new sandbox and goofing off with the grandparents.


Morning of the birthday party. Helping Mama “clean” the beater.

Morning of the birthday party. Helping Mama “clean” the beater.


SPD

Before having a child, I often wondered how I would cope if I ended up having a child with special needs. Downs syndrome for example, or autism. Our daughter has always seemed not only normal but somewhat advanced in many areas of her life (pottying, signing, body agility, etc.) but there has always been a small thing that until more recently, we hadn’t quite nailed down its origins or cause.

From the time Arlo was born, she HATED the car and the stroller. Toward the end of her first year, she got more comfortable with the stroller but then we tried getting her onto a bike. Forget it. Massive meltdown. Then, as her language came, we’d get screams of “too bumpy! too bumpy!” and then also, sometimes coupled, sometimes not, “too windy!”. She hates having her hair touched. At first we thought these were just experiences that she needed time getting used to or that these issues were something she’d eventually outgrow. We started wondering if there was maybe an underlying issue with her ears causing pain as she sometimes claimed to have when put into one of these scenarios.

Although I started to suspect it, at her 2 year appointment, after talking and an examination of her ears, our pediatrician confirmed that he believes Arlo to have Sensory Processing Disorder, or SPD. Luckily, she excels where many kids with SPD do not. But instead of the idea that she’d outgrow these deep traumatic experiences and fears, our pediatrician said instead that it would just in fact get worse over time if we didn’t start implementing small therapeutic measures to help her cope.

It all feels a bit overwhelming but I feel fortunate in so many ways. Fortunate that I can stay home with her and help shield her from things that other people might just tell her to “get over”. Fortunate that we will hopefully be able to figure out a way to get her some occupational therapy and some at home tools to help her learn better coping strategies so that she can feel safe and confident at the same time.

We ordered ear muff headphones for her which will hopefully help with things like wind and louder noises.

I mostly feel so sad when my otherwise happily playing daughter is all of a sudden stopped dead in her tracks with fear, clutching her ears and screaming because Whole Foods has a stupid loud and forceful fan at their entrance or any other scenario such as this.

I envision a day where we’ll be able to strap her into the bike trailer and make our way across town with a happy and chatting kid in the back instead of having our brand new trailer collect dust in the garage.

I’m thankful for a society where a child can be helped through such a thing instead of just being told that they are weird or silly for being afraid of such things. I mean, we all have SPD to one degree or another but when it affects your day to day ability to function, it’s nice to know that there are people there to help you.


"Arlo!"

Alright, I know I’m dreadfully behind in this game of blogging catch up but I must pause for the night. But first, a little story.

You’ve called yourself by name for at least 6 months if not longer now though you’ve always referred to yourself as “Ay” (eye). We always assumed it was a combination of your name and the usage of “I” to refer to yourself. Well, you were sitting in my lap nursing late this afternoon and out of nowhere you unlatched, looked up at me and said “Arlo!”.

It’s funny the things that make you beam with pride as a parent. In the larger scope of your life and the world, I could care less that you can properly say your own name but in that little sliver of time, I could not have been more proud of my only child, naming herself with her own pride shining through her radiant face.

Arlo. My daughter. My love.


Oma and Opa brought Arlo her own electric toothbrush so she could brush just like them. Although she never protested to brushing too much, she is definitely much more enthusiastic about it now!


Oma and Opa came to visit to help celebrate Arlo’s 2nd birthday. Arlo and Oma spent the first day cooling off in the pool.


Tattoos, baths and babies. Oh, and Arlo has a new “smile” technique. If you actually want her to smile for a picture, just don’t ask her to do it lest you end up with a dozen pictures of this face :)

Tattoos, baths and babies. Oh, and Arlo has a new “smile” technique. If you actually want her to smile for a picture, just don’t ask her to do it lest you end up with a dozen pictures of this face :)


Arlo thought the babies shouldn’t have to take turns on the potty or perhaps was feeling like building a tower. Either way, Tia, Cate and Gabe managed to all use the potty at the same time. At least we don’t just play with potties around here!

Arlo thought the babies shouldn’t have to take turns on the potty or perhaps was feeling like building a tower. Either way, Tia, Cate and Gabe managed to all use the potty at the same time. At least we don’t just play with potties around here!


Arlo is quite the little gymnast/acrobat/daredevil. This is one of her favorite moves that she coined “hangin’ monkey”. Her tiny hands barely wrap around the bike rack but she holds strong and swings like crazy.

Arlo is quite the little gymnast/acrobat/daredevil. This is one of her favorite moves that she coined “hangin’ monkey”. Her tiny hands barely wrap around the bike rack but she holds strong and swings like crazy.