A few of my favourite Avery-isms right now

The way she exclaims, “woooow!” at things that impress her. Example, our new neighbours put up a fence dividing our back yards over a weekend we were away, and when Avery walked into the back yard to see it for the first time, she said, “wooow!” with such a sense of awe and wonder. Seeing me cleaned up and dressed up also gets a “wooow”, which says something about how I usually look…

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How she kisses my “ouchies” so lovingly. Since we started “kissing it better,” she finds any little red mark on our skin, says “ouchie,” and kisses it better. This started in earnest with hand-foot-and-mouth disease when we all had a lot of ouchies 😣

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Just started saying “love you” in response to us saying “I love you.” But she’s also in a repeat-after-me phase where she repeats pretty much everything we say, so she might not know the meaning of it yet.

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Although she knows the word “outside,” she still usually asks to go outside by saying “boot, mit, hat?” Even though we’re in sandal (and definitely not mitten) season right now… She does the gestures of putting on boots and mits and a hat, too. It’s cute.

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She tickles us. She wiggles her fingers all over our bellies and laughs and laughs at the hilarity. I hate being tickled – I freak out and instinctively will punch or kick someone who is tickling me. But when Avery does it, somehow it’s cute.

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Naming her toys. I’ve been waiting for the day when Avery would be into playing with animal figurines. That was always my fave as a kid. Not only is she super into her animal figurines now, but she named one of them, ALL BY HERSELF! She has been really into horses lately (her grandma has horses), so I surprised her at daycare pickup one day with a plastic horse figurine (Tractor Supply Store has great ones), and as she accepted it she said “wow, horsie! Umm, Apple!” Apple is the name of one of the horse’s at her grandma’s place. The toy didn’t really look like the real Apple, but she decided that her toy horse needed the name. When you ask what her horse’s name is, she says Apple.

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Day in the Life with a 20 Month Old

It’s time for my every-5-month DITL post! Here’s a taste of what my life is like as a part-time WAHM (work-at-home-mom) with a 20 month old toddler.

5:00am Avery woke me up with a demand to “EAT!”. I looked around me and realized I was in her bed (oops, must have fallen asleep in there after a middle of the night wake up). She was pulling at my shirt hoping to get milk. Although we haven’t offered morning nursing for months now, she’s been sick, and she always wants it more when she’s sick. But I offered her a banana instead, and so downstairs we went to get a banana at 5am.

We played and fed the cats and let the chickens out and ate breakfast and washed dishes and watched some Paw Patrol and coloured for the next 3 hours. I’d rather not have the early morning wake ups because I’m so tired, but at least we have a leisurely morning together before daycare starts. I drank half a cup of yesterday’s coffee, and didn’t get around to finishing it.

My wife stayed home sick today, so she watched Avery while I was able to shower before daycare drop-off, which was a nice treat. However, Avery screamed for mommy at the bottom of the stairs the whole time. She’s all about her routine and doesn’t like it when we mix things up.

Despite having 3 hours to get ready in the morning, in the 5 minutes before we had to leave Avery spilled a cup of almond milk on herself and on me and all over the couch. She freaked out over being wet. I changed her pants. Then she pooped. I changed her diaper. Then we had a disagreement about what shoes she would wear. Typical morning with a toddler.

She was emotional at daycare drop-off. She hasn’t cried over it yet, but her lip quivers and she doesn’t want to let go of me. It’s weird, because she has ALWAYS loved her daycare, and nothing has changed there. I think it might just be because she’s still not feeling 100% better from her last bug.

8:30am On my way home I picked up my wife’s dry-cleaning. I also got a mother’s day card for my wife and could only find one card written for a wife that didn’t say inside it that it was from a husband. WHY. Why can’t they just leave the sender out of it and let them fill that in by themselves?? Anyway….

Yesterday our damn cat ripped a hole in our duvet with his nail and tiny feathers had been puffing out of it all night. I sewed up the hole when I got home and then threw it in the wash. I put away a load of laundry. I stripped and remade the bed. I vacuumed the upstairs because there were tiny feathers EVERYWHERE. I cursed the cats.

Then I hurriedly tidied up all the toys all over the house that Avery didn’t have time to put away before daycare (because of the milk spilling and last-minute diaper change). My wife was in the bath from the time I left until the time I finished the morning household tasks. I couldn’t help but feel a little jaded (even though I want to care for her and let her rest so she feels better) because I was just as sick 2 days ago and I DID NOT get a break. But it all comes out in the wash because I never have to sit in an office for 8 hours a day doing work that isn’t always inspiring.

9:30am Pulled out my laptop and sat on the deck in the sun and got to work. I’m working to get ethics approval for my dissertation research right now. After 2 reviews by the ethics board, I have a few more small changes to make to my application and then I expect to get that golden ticket to go ahead and start programming my data collection materials.

12:00pm Left to pick up Avery from daycare. She went down for a nap as soon as we got home. Wife was napping too, so I headed outside for some garden therapy. I got our outside water turned on for the season, planted a second sowing of peas and carrots, tended to the chickens (who were being ridiculous all crowding into one nest box), and topped up some gardens with compost. My hands were dirty, my lungs full of fresh air, and it was wonderful.

When I came inside my wife was awake and we cuddled on the couch and watched an episode of our newest Netflix show, Peaky Blinders. Afternoon grown-up tv is a rare treat these days!!

2pm Avery usually has an hour-and-a-half long nap these days. Right on cue, she woke up asking to eat. I think she’s going through a growth spurt. We immediately went outside and played at her water table, went for a walk, coloured on the deck with sidewalk chalk, and went for a bike ride with Avery in the child seat on the back of her Mo’s bike. She had so much fun that she was really upset when we had to stop, and she refused to take her helmet off.

4:45pm I headed to the kitchen/BBQ to make dinner and wash the day’s dishes. I spent the next 2 hours in the kitchen with a 20 minute break to eat. Avery gets steal cut oats every night before bed, and they take half an hour to make. She also requests fresh hot tea (mint tea) to take to bed with her. While I cooked and cleaned my wife played quietly with Avery. When it’s time to eat the oatmeal we always watch something calm on tv – either Puffin Rock, or lullabies on YouTube. Tonight she requested Puffin Rock.

6:45pm It was bathnight for Avery. My wife and I both participated in bath time because we’re trying to do less dividing and conquering and more team work. I put Avery to bed, which is now one of my favourite times of day. We snuggle in her bed while she nurses to sleep, usually for 45 minutes. It’s peaceful, relaxing, and a great way to reconnect after a full day.

8:00pm Since we’re both under the weather, my wife and I watched TV in bed and were asleep by 9:30. Our evenings are usually pretty uneventful because our days are exhausting.

And that’s it! A day that was full of little things: work, errands, playing, cooking and cleaning, ended with a lot of nothing. Laying in bed, recouperating, getting ready to start it all over again tomorrow.

Dirty

Avery’s new word of the week is “dirty.” Her rainboots recieve the most critcism about being dirty, and although I try to explain to her that dirty rainboots is a good thing – a sign that she had fun splashing in puddles – she freaks out over the dirt and wants them washed.

There’s also a lot of dirt on our floors right now because I’ve been too sick and tired to vacuum. If Avery’s barefoot, every so often she’ll sit down and hold her foot, inspecting it just inches from her face, whining “dirty!”

I hope she’s just exploring ways to use her new word, and she won’t actually continue to be so averse to dirt. For a kid who dislikes dirt so much, she sure is a magnet for it!

Ripley’s Aquarium

Avery’s sick right now with yet another daycare virus, but thank goodness the virus held off until after our weekend trip to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto. We took Avery’s cousin as a gift of an experience (instead of toys) for his 2nd birthday. The two toddlers totally fed off of each other’s excitement and were completely wild and untamable for the entire two hours we spent there. They got into screaming matches at the fish, Avery became a “runner” and made us wish we had one of those backpack leashes, and she also showed bravery and confidence that we hadn’t seen before. They were both so far out of their shells that it took sheer exhaustion to rein them in again when it was over.

Toddler Talk

Avery’s not forming sentences yet at 19 months old (well she is, but they’re in baby-gibberish), but she’s beginning to say some pretty cute things. Here are my top 5 favourite cute things she’s saying these days:

1. “Ay-ah, teet!” (Which means Anna, treat!). She loves giving the cats treats, but one hides upstairs while the other tries taking them out of her hand. So she runs to the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs holding one reserved treat above her head away from the greedy cat, and yells for Anna to come down and get her treat.

2. “No”. It’s not the fact that she’s saying it that’s cute – it’s how. The upward and then downward inflection makes her sound desperate to be listened to. Also cute, we heard her talking in her sleep over the baby monitor the other night: “nOo. nOo. nOo.” I think she was probably having an innocent dream that we were making her put her shoes on or something.

3. She says whale like, “way-oo.”

4. She says mommy like “muh-yee.”

5. And a truly classic in toddler talk, she says please like “pwease.”

Daylight saving time had nothing on us

Sleep has been so messed up lately that we didn’t even notice the daylight saving time change.

My mom did bedtime on Friday night because my wife and I were out on a date until 11:30 (cue applause). It didn’t go great… It’s the second time my mom did bedtime, but the first time she did it there was frozen milk to offer in a bottle. This was the first night Avery had to go to sleep with absolutely no milk. Apparently there were lots of tears, and she finally fell asleep at 9pm. She woke a lot through the night and wanted long cuddles – she clearly missed us. I felt really guilty.

She continued her 4:30-5:30am wake ups over the weekend.

On Saturday night she was awake from 11:30pm until 3am, trying valiantly to get back to sleep without nursing. She tossed and turned both next to us and on her own, she sang to herself, she played quietly with stuffed animals, but finally she started to lose her patience at 3 (as did we), and I nursed her to sleep (it took just a few minutes, after hours of trying on her own). And then of course she was up for the day at 5am.

On Sunday she begged to go for a nap at 9am. We had a friend’s first birthday party that day over Avery’s usual nap time, so we thought an early nap would be ok. She slept for 30 minutes. She was so exhausted that by the time we got home from the part she slept for 3 hours. She woke up at 6pm. Never a good sign for bedtime.

She went to bed at 9pm, and although she only woke twice through the night, I was so tired that I fell asleep sitting on the floor next to her bed both times and now I’m super stiff.

This is nothing too out of the ordinary for us, but the tough sleep stints are always hard. I know it will be over soon enough, and I just have to cling to that thought.

Anyway, we barely noticed that daylight saving time was occurring. I’m not sure if that’s better or worse that having to deal with transitioning a schedule-rigid kid to a different bedtime and wake up time… Either way, we’ve always had bigger sleep-fish to fry than to worry about a time change.

We’ve joined the Paw Patrol fan club [insert eye roll here]

We try to curate what Avery watches on Netflix. We don’t have cable, so it should be easy to make sure she only watches shows we’re on board with. We have nothing against Paw Patrol, really, besides the fact that it’s kind of annoying to the parents… And I suppose we also dislike how the characters always win at everything – losing isn’t an option. We want Avery to see examples of people failing on their first try. We want her to not be afraid of or stunned by failure. Anyway, we’re not against the show, we just prefer that she watch other things.

But somehow we have a Paw Patrol addict on our hands. Her great-aunt got her some Paw Patrol books for Christmas, and while visiting her cousin she was exposed to the show for the first time. When I was scrolling through Netflix to find Llama Llama, Avery was looking over my shoulder and spotted the Paw Patrol icon. We gave it a try. She grabbed one of her Paw Patrol books and excitedly pointed from the book to the TV. And with that, she was hooked. Now whenever she pulls her book off the shelf, she points to the tv and says “Paw? Paw?”

We’ve started watching it every morning before daycare while I make breakfast and feed the cats and fuel up with coffee.

Does anyone else find it kind of annoying for the parents?

Does anyone have good kids show recommendations?