2 years – whoa!!
Today I’m sharing an update on how my favorite little lady and I are doing at the 2 year mark. Read on to learn some of her current favorite things, plus answers to your questions (like: do we want another baby?, are we switching Riese to low/no fat milk?, have we started potty training?, etc.).
For the past few weeks, Riese and I have been playing a game. It’s a very simple game but it’s my most favorite game ever because it involves cuddles.
Riese runs – sprints – to the front door, via the kitchen, leaving me sitting on the living room floor.
Then she turns and sprints back, cackling madly, while I wait with my arms open in a hug.
When she gets close enough, she launches herself directly into my arms, not slowing even a tiny bit before completely crashing into me.
Half the time the force of it knocks me flat on my back, with her in my arms, both of us laughing madly, my heart expanding more than I ever thought possible.
It’s moments like these that you wish you could bottle up and save; moments you wish you could re-live just when you need them.
And it’s moments like these that I know there is absolutely nothing in the entire world I’d rather be doing than what I am in that moment.
This is 2. And it is so fun, you guys.
Are there tantrums?
Is my patience tested?
Are there days where I count the minutes until Matt gets home?
But moments like that game make up for all of it and more. This business of motherhood is so hard, but so precious. And I feel so lucky to be in the midst of it.
The last time I did a Riese update was at 19 months, which feels like forever ago already!
The main difference now is that Riese is doing so much more talking – stringing together multiple words into often near/complete sentences. She does a lot of repeating everything we say, too – it’s funny hearing random phrases we say a lot come out of her mouth just how we say them!
I think the fact that she can communicate a bit better now has helped with the tantrum situation – at 19 months we were having a hard time with lots of full on tantrums, but that seems to have calmed down thankfully. She still tests us, of course – as she should at this age! – but it doesn’t feel as constant as it did over the summer, and we’ve been able to help her to communicate with us when she gets frustrated which helps a lot to stop the situation from escalating.
Riese also seems very susceptible to getting hangry (so am I, so this makes sense, ha), so if she’s kind of a hot mess in general I can usually guess she’s gotten a little too hungry and we need food ASAP… or that she’s tired! Staying on top of the food situation by giving her protein and fat rich snacks (vs. snacks that are just carbs) helps a lot here, and I try to be proactive and make sure she takes breaks when we are out and about to eat, or to give her a snack before we do something that might take awhile (like a music or baby gym class or a playground playdate).
I talked a lot about food in my 19 month post so you can check that out to see toddler food ideas because not much has changed… we still usually just give her what we’re eating and if she eats it, great, if not, that’s fine too. We follow a schedule/routine (more on that below), but keep it flexible as needed because some days she’s hungrier than others or wants to eat sooner than other days, and that’s fine.
Here are some of Riese’s favorite things right now!
- Saying “hi _____” to her friends – this is sooo cute. She seems extroverted like me… she’s usually happiest when we are out and about!
- Babies – both real and her little doll
- Walking with this tiny stroller – she LOVES it and it was super cheap… best investment. It even has a tiny sun shade, straps to hold stuffed animals/dolls in, and tiny basket below for storing toys!
- Trucks and cars
- Fit-together blocks
- Music (we started going to music class this fall and she loves it – we are constantly singing all the songs and the CD has been a lifesaver for the car even though listening to it all the time kind of drives me and Matt crazy)
- Climbing + jumping – this makes sense because she skipped the whole “sit and chill in your lap” phase and instead spend her entire first year jumping up and down in our laps. She’s OBSESSED with jumping.
- Peek-a-boo – she will scream “ISEEYOU!!!”
- Building forts to hide in/under
- Reading books – she has started to have a little more patience with sitting through books now which is fun. Her current fave is the brand new Good Night Little Blue Truck book! She has started looking at books on her own now more occasionally, too – she loves books that have flaps to lift up.
- Alexa – she loves asking Alexa to play music for her. Alexa doesn’t quite understand her yet and respond, but she is close… we told her Alexa only works if she says “please” so we always hear “LESSA! EASE!!” 😉
- Helping: putting laundry in the washer and the hampers, throwing away trash, “sweeping”, wiping off counter, and cooking – she really loves her “kitchen helper“! She can climb in and out of herself and stand at the counter and help us. At first she only wanted to be in it for a second before getting bored, but now she’s really loving it and actually asks to get in it and “help” whenever we are cooking.
Riese really helps me to be in the moment – when I’m with her I do my best to ignore/completely put away my phone and just be with her. To be silly, to run around, to play little games and act like a kid again myself. The moments feel so special and so fleeting and I don’t want to miss them by not paying attention.
And now… I asked on Instagram if you guys had any questions for me, so I wanted to address those here as well!
- Do you want another baby?
Lots of people asked this question, which makes sense because I know I’m always curious if others want more kids, too! 🙂
Yes, we do want another child… but I’m not quite ready yet.
To be honest, I feel really overwhelmed at the thought of pregnancy, potentially another C section recovery, and the newborn/first year period a second time. We have a really good thing going right now, things feel manageable and I love having adventures with Riese, we all sleep well (knock on wood), I’ve finally figured out a work routine that makes sense after a LOT of guilt/anxiety/trial and error, and… yeah.
This is also the first time in almost 3 years that I’ve felt like myself energy-wise in terms of workouts/running, and it feels really good – I guess breastfeeding took more physical energy than I realized (we stopped in late June), and it was a long time before I was able to run and work out without pain due to the C section.
Of COURSE it would 100% be worth it, though, and I hope we are fortunate enough to even be able to have another child when we are ready – but I’m just sharing how I’m feeling thinking about it at the moment. I know I’m lucky to even be thinking/debating about all of this, and my heart goes out to those of you who are trying to get pregnant and haven’t, or who have experienced losses. <3
So, yeah. I’m hoping I’ll feel ready soon, and then hoping that when I do feel ready we are able to conceive again. I don’t want to wait TOO long because I don’t want the age gap to be too large. Stay tuned. 🙂
- Have you started potty training?
Riese has started telling us sometimes when she has pooped, but other than that she doesn’t seem to be ready/interested yet. I’m going to get a few hand me down toddler toilets from a friend soon, so maybe that will spark more interest, but I’m not trying to rush it or force it.
- What is sleep/the daily schedule like right now for Riese?
Riese usually wakes up between 6:30 and 7 or so. She has breakfast right away (well, usually – some days she’s not hungry so we wait a bit), followed by a snack around 9 or 9:30 or 10 (depending how early breakfast was/if she seems hangry), and then lunch around 11:30/12. She usually naps from about 1 to 3, but sometimes it’s less. When she wakes up we have another snack, and then dinner is around 6. Her bedtime is usually around 7:30 or so.
- Do you give Riese any supplements?
I occasionally stir a probiotic powder into her milk, but that’s it.
We used to do vitamin D drops when she was a baby but stopped when we introduced cow’s milk at 1 year, since I figure she gets a lot from fortified cow’s milk and other food (salmon, canned tuna, egg yolks, etc.) – and the sun!
- Is Riese still getting whole milk? Will you be switching her to low fat/skim milk?
Yes, Riese is still getting whole milk and she will continue to for as long as she wants to drink milk. 🙂
We drink whole milk when we have milk, too! You can read why in this blog post: 7 Common Nutrition Myths (see #2).
- What advice would you give yourself one year ago?
Ah, this is a good one! Hm. I would probably just give myself a pep talk/some compassion. I’ve struggled a lot with mom guilt, worrying about how to balance everything, wanting to be here for Riese all the time but not able to be because of work, etc., so I would just remind myself that I’m doing the best that I can, and that’s all I can do. And that even though it’s hard to balance everything, I’m doing a great job, and that I will continue to get more confident as a mom as Riese gets older.
I’d also tell myself that a lot of fun is coming – I really love having a toddler! It’s very challenging in a lot of different ways than it was when Riese was a baby, but I think it’s SO much more fun… I just love how interactive she is, and how she puts her whole heart into everything.
Thank you for reading this post, and for sharing in this journey with us!
I will leave you with a few questions for those of you that are parents:
- How old was your child when you transitioned them from a crib to a bed? Riese is still in her crib and we aren’t in any hurry to change this because it’s nice to have her contained… but I’m curious what the average age is here! Riese is still sleeping in a zip up blanket so that thankfully limits her ability to climb out of her crib, which I know is a reason some people switch!
- How old was your child when you potty trained? Curious what the average age is here as well! Any books/resources are welcomed here, too!
- Riese’s C Section Birth Story
- The first 2 weeks
- How we got started with baby led weaning
- Products I recommend for new babies + expectant mamas
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