Lillian had an absolutely fantastic Dr. Seuss themed birthday party.
We had it in a park and all of her family and friends were there. She even had a large group of baby friends who came to play, chew on her toys and roll in the grass with her. And she soooooo knew it was a party for her — she waved at everyone as she saw them.
Here are a few quick pictures from the party:
So now that the birthday excitement has died down and life is somewhat back on track (it has been a very busy few weeks), Lauren and I have had time to sit back and realize what a total transformation Lillian has made into a toddler. Last night’s outing was a perfect example.
We went out to get a quick bite to eat at a mexican restaurant. In months past, we would have ordered, sat Lillian down, entertained her, and then broke up her food into pieces for her to eat. There would have been many many breaks in our eating to put more food on her plate from our big plate, give her a drink, etc. Somehow, somewhere things have changed.
After we sat down, Lillian and Lauren babbled to each other, giggling and laughing until we got our food. Then, Lauren took Lillian’s cheese quesadilla and cut it into strips and put the quesadilla, rice and beans (the entire portion she was going to eat at dinner) on her plate in front of her. And then something amazing happened — she calmly, slowly and nicely ate dinner!! There wasn’t a mad dash to stuff food in her mouth. There wasn’t whining for more food (since it was all in front of her) and she meticulously ate bite after bite, pausing to take a sip of her drink. She took bites of the quesadilla strips, small palmfuls of rice and beans (which is a HUGE step since she typically jams so much food in her mouth she can’t chew), and she even stopped to babble, smile and play with us.
It was like dining with another human!
Anyone with a kid can tell you that dining out when they are young can be hectic (frantic, panicked, stressful), but last night was wonderful. We all finished our meals (except for Lauren who took some home), cleaned up and left. We both sat in the car in shock on the way home.
But not everyday is like that… oh no!!! Some days, there are throw-yourself-on-the-floor-and-cry temper tantrums, mine mine mine mine mine afternoons and mean faces galore. She has perfected a little expression that is 20% silly, 70% mean and 10% cute. Anyone is suseptible to this face and it can occur at any time. Recently she has thrown in a few glorious biting attempts, most of which are quickly thwarted. Lauren, my mom, her mom and I are all reading the same toddler book so we can literally be on the same page with handling this lovely, changing beast. Since we are the ones who spend the most time with her, we want to make sure we are all reinforcing the same things. Some of the techniques have been effective so we are pretty happy.
Life with a toddler is definitely interesting. She has no fear whatsoever, so we are constantly waiting with open arms for her to fall as she stands on things to climb or takes running steps across the floor with nobody to catch her; but she also scares easily at loud noises — and interesting addition to our household during football season. We are trying to get her used to loud cheers, claps, etc. so we can all enjoy an animated game. She is totally goofy and has a laugh that I want to bottle up and keep forever. It is infectious. And she is a sweet little kid, happy to give out slobbery kisses, hugs and chewed up food to anyone who wants some.