One Year with Amalia

DressBasket / Rug / Monthly Milestone Cards c/o

I can’t believe that a year ago this morning at 8:02am, I met Amalia for the first time. She was tiny and purple and screaming and I had no idea what to do. I was scared… like really scared. And I didn’t think I would survive that first sleep-deprived week let alone the first month. Yet here we are a year later. Anel and I have (some of the) things (pretty much) figured out and our new life as parents finally feels normal.We’ve settled into a nice little family rhythm.

Of course new things come up all the time that throw us for a loop, but the everyday minutiae we have figured out and that feels really good. I feel really proud of us for surviving all of the trials and tribulations of year one and coming out of it stronger and happier than ever before.

I’m also pretty psyched that I don’t have to take these monthly photos anymore because let me tell you, they are not the faint of heart! If you can get a toddler to sit still for 0.5 seconds to get a non-blurry photo, you deserve a medal. Luckily I had Anel’s help to distract her this time around which is key. If I’ve learned anything in the last year, it’s that the art of distraction is your friend as a parent.

So here is her last monthly update. I’m literally sobbing as I write this and am not sure why. I never realized that a birthday could be so emotional, but thinking about how much she’s grown and how far we’ve come really gets me going these days. I look back at photos of her as a newborn and I can hardly believe that she’s the same kid.

My next update in this format will be at 18 months, and I have a feeling it’s going to be a crazy and exciting ride. And scroll all the way down to see all of her other monthly photos. It’s fun to see how much she’s grown in one place!

Milestones this month

Taking steps- Amalia is definitely not walking yet, but she’ll take 2-3 steps and then squat down which is a good start! We’re not trying to rush her to walk because we know once she does it’s game over. But I’m also excited to see her move around in a whole new way.

Climbing stairs– Although she can’t walk yet, she knows how to climb up and down stairs. Anel is way more patient than I am and has calmly taught her to do both. We have a small step down from out kitchen to sunroom so it was important that she learn this early on. He’s now teaching her how to climb down backwards from the couch!

Melt downs- As mentioned above. FML.

New words- She has a slew of new words and tries to mimic what we’re saying or singing a lot more now. My favorite is how she yells “duhhhhh” when she’s finished eating. Translation: Done.  She also has new tricks like doing the motions when we sing the wheels on the bus. It’s all very exciting and cute to watch.

Sign language- We have not been super on top of teaching her baby sign language but at school they do the sign for more so we try to do it at home too. She uses it when she wants more food or a book read to her again.

Weaning off of formula

You can read about how we started weaning off of formula in last month’s update but we’re on only goat’s milk now (read why in the same post) except for two ounces of formula before bed. We found that when we cut it completely she would wake up early and starving so that’s where we’re at for now.

Bottles vs Sippy Cups

Amalia still uses a bottle in the morning and at night. For her 11am goat milk, she uses a bottle as well but we’re going to transition her to a sippy cup in the next few weeks. We just dropped her 3pm milk and just finished our switch from formula, and I didn’t want to give her too many changes at once. We use this sippy cup right now for water, but if there is another one that’s better for milk transitions, send your ideas my way please!

HER SCHEDULE

A lot has changed in her schedule this month. She only takes one nap a day usually (sometimes two on weekends) and she’s down to three bottles per day.

6:45-7:15am- Wake up
7:15am- Bottle 1- 5oz goat milk (plus probiotics)
8:00am- Breakfast. Here are some of her favorite breakfasts.
8:30am- Off to day care (on weekdays)
11:00am- Bottle 2- 5oz of goat milk
11:15am- Nap
12:45pm- Wake up
1:00pm- Lunch- I’m working on a post about what I pack for her school lunches!
3:00pm- Snack- We cut her third bottle this weekend and she seems to be doing fine without it
4:30pm- Day care pick up (on weekdays)
5:30pm- Dinner
6:00pm- Bath
6:20pm- Bottle 4- 7oz of goat milk mixed with 2oz of formula, then right to bed
6:40- Asleep

HER DISPOSITION

The biggest change this month has been to her personality. The bubbliness and enthusiasm hasn’t faltered but I think we’ve also gotten a taste of the next few years. She threw her first tantrum and I was totally thrown off guard. I refused to read her Jamberry for the (literal) 15th time in a row and she screamed and laid down on the floor and started kicking.

I had always heard that the best thing to do when a kid throws a tantrum is to ignore it so I did that even though I was horrified. Within 30 seconds she was up and onto the next thing but I was totally shaken up. I was prepared for this sort of thing down the line but now? It felt too soon!

Since then she’s given mini versions of that a few times but nothing quite so bad. I have been asking friends and family for resources on books and websites and tips on disciplining toddlers so comment below with any recs if you have them.

Besides a few not-so-great moments like this, she’s been pretty wonderful. She’s super curious and her sense of humor grows by the day. She knows how to make us laugh now, and I love that she appreciates a good chuckle as much as her dad.

Her love for books has grown into a full out obsession! A good example is the second I pick her up in the morning, she points at her books and yells “buhhhhhh” until I bring her to her bookshelf to get in some morning reading.

WORST MOMENT

She got a summer virus two weeks ago (that’s a thing, apparently) and spiked a fever of 103 that would hardly budge for three days. She was miserable, burning up, and obviously wasn’t able to go to school so I took three days off to hang with her. The silver lining was that I got to spend some extra cuddly time with my girl but she felt pretty lousy so neither of us fully enjoyed it.

On one of the days we went to the doctor to check her out and they gave her a higher dose of Infant Motrin than I had been giving her. Within five minutes she passed out on my chest, something she hadn’t done since she was a tiny infant. It was so heartbreaking because I knew how sick she was, but it was also a very sweet moment.

As soon as we got home from that appointment she projectile vomited all over both of us, took at 3.5 hour nap and woke up completely healed. It was quite bizarre!

BEST MOMENT

Watching her eat ice cream for the first time over the 4th of July was magic. We were in Newport and had had a long day. She was tired and about to be cranky after dinner but we passed by an ice cream shop and last minute decided to just go for it. We let her point to the board of flavors to “pick hers” and ended up with chocolate peanut butter swirl (note to self, next time go with something that doesn’t stain so easily!)

Anel licked the cone a few times and then held it out for her. She, at first, was scared of it and kept turning away. After a minute she decided to try it and it was game over! She wouldn’t let that ice cream cone out of her site or out of her mouth. It was so funny and cute. I was worried that she’d be up all night because she hasn’t really had sugar before, but she got a sugar high for the next 20 minutes and then promptly passed out for the night.

It was a memory that I’ll never forget!

Earlier that day we took her to the beach I used to go to growing up and just being there with her felt so surreal and beautiful. Anel bought a beach tent so she was able to be in the shade playing with (and eating) sand for over an hour. The whole day was basically what I dreamed about for the entire time that we were trying to get pregnant. To actually live it made me feel beyond grateful.

Read her one month, two month, three month, four monthfive month, six monthseven month, eight month, and nine month, 10 month, and 11 month posts.

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  1. Happy birthday, Amalia! It’s been a pleasure watching your sweet family grow. 🙂

    7.24.18 · Reply
  2. KimberlyJ said:

    HAPPY Birthday to your sweet girl AND happy birthday Mamma. It’s been fun seeing her grow.

    7.24.18 · Reply
  3. Mary Catherine said:

    She is so beautiful!! The first few melt downs are the hardest, but it’s healthy from a developmental perspective, lol! When my kidd started melt downs when they were under the age of two, I would sit next to them on the floor and rub their backs and ride it out. When you start to get into time outs, I read somewhere to never leave them alone, especially when they are young. I found it worked well to sit with them and explain why are sidelined and then don’t entertain any other discussion until you are wrapping up the time out, where you can explain how their actions made you feel or that their behaviour was a no-no’s but reaffirm that you still love them even if you are upset. The article said that leaving them alone sends a message when they are bad you will desert them. That said, one day she may do something that makes you so angry you might need a minutes to regroup. In these instances, I would rather take that minute to myself than explode, which will get you nowhere and them more upset. These are just my thoughts but there are so many good strategies out there.

    7.24.18 · Reply
  4. Christine Matusek said:

    Well done, mama!!! And a happy birthday to Amalia! I’ve loved reading your monthly posts and find them to be SO SO helpful for my little guy. A bunch of my mom friends recommended the book “Toddlers are Assholes” and I have it next on my book list – my little guy (almost 9mos) is a hurricane of a kid, and has started throwing tantrums the second he hears the word “no.” Supposedly, it’s a very funny book while also super helpful.

    7.24.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Ok well the title of that book alone makes me want to get it. Added to my list too!

      7.24.18 · Reply
  5. Amy said:

    Happy birthday, Amalia, but equally as important CONGRATULATIONS to you and Anel! You did it! That first year can be rough.

    We have used this cup to transition eat of our kids from a bottle to a sippy. It comes with a bottle-like nipple and a soft spout.
    https://amzn.to/2LinNMa

    7.24.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Great, thank you!

      7.24.18 · Reply
  6. Liss said:

    I love the Janet Landsbury books for help dealing with toddler tantrums. (My daughter is 19 months so a little ahead of Amalia). No Bad Kids is especially good – my daughter seems to respond well when I implement Janet’s advice for respectfully responding/setting boundaries for toddlers.

    7.24.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Thank you! Going to try it out.

      7.24.18 · Reply
  7. Vanessa Rivera said:

    Happy birthday Amalia! A year already 🙂 I have an 11 month old and it’s been fun reading our updates, and seeing how she compares to April. April turned 11 months just yesterday, and I was already bawling, as she finally took to walking with her vtech walker and blew my mind last night. Enjoy your day!

    7.24.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Congrats!! Just to warn you, over the next month it gets worse with all of the crying!

      7.24.18 · Reply
  8. Becca said:

    Happy birthday to your sweet girl and congrats to you and Anel! Isn’t it amazing how a child’s birthday can be far more meaningful and exciting than your own?
    And for what it’s worth, we like the Nuk learner cup – and I think your tantrum strategy was right on!
    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dsporting&field-keywords=nuk+learner+cup

    7.24.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      It’s so true! And thanks for the cup rec. Buying it now!

      7.24.18 · Reply
  9. Meghan said:

    Happy Birthday, Amalia!!!

    7.24.18 · Reply
  10. Melanie said:

    She is so expressive and adorable! Happy birthday, Amalia!

    7.24.18 · Reply
  11. Lindsey said:

    I can’t believe she’s a year! I’ve so enjoyed your posts. My husband and I talk about you guys a lot, “did you see what Lemon Stripes did about ___” or if we’re about to try or change something, “has lemon stripes done it?” haha it’s kinda funny. Congrats to you and Anel for surviving year 1!! Can’t wait to watch her continue to grow and learn and get even cuter!

    7.24.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Oh my gosh that is so sweet and makes my day! I hope my advice actually works haha.

      7.24.18 · Reply
  12. Lisa said:

    Happy Birthday, Amalia! What type of rubber bands do you use for her ponytails? Does she nap with her pony? It’s impressive you keep her bows in!

    7.24.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Thanks Lisa! She doesn’t nap with her pony because I get worried the hair tie will fall out and she’ll choke on it. But here are her hair ties: http://bit.ly/2uKCwFi

      7.24.18 · Reply
  13. She’s totally holding Jamberry in the 9 month picture too!!! Obviously it’s been a favorite for quite some time haha!

    You mentioned letting her “pick out” the ice cream flavor which reminded me of something I had learned at a MOPS moms meeting a few years ago that really stood out to me at the time. That is when raising kids, think of their life as a funnel of decisions and you want the funnel to be very small in the early years and gradually get bigger as the kid gets older. Meaning don’t let kids make very many, if any, decisions at all. The woman sharing this with my group even said small things, like letting them pick out their own clothes, because then they start thinking at a very young age that they get to decide and by the time they become teens your trying to stuff them back in the funnel instead of letting the funnel open up. I only share this because you have always seemed super open and curious to know other moms experiences, etc, and not because I think anything crazy or weird about amalia “picking out” her ice cream. 🙂

    7.26.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Oh Jamberry has been her favorite from day one. No joke! I could read that thing upside down in my sleep 🙂

      I love the funnel analogy and makes total sense. Something we will for sure keep in mind, thank you!

      7.26.18 · Reply
  14. Alysa L. Morello said:

    Happiest of birthdays to your very sweet baby girl! Congrats to you and Anel for surviving the first year! My husband and I are right behind you with our little one and I always look forward to your posts in anticipation of what may happen next. So, thank you for all your posts!

    7.26.18 · Reply