Tess turned 18 months old on January 31st. This month covers her 18th month of life which was from Dec 31 - Jan 30th!
Eating: The BIG news this month is that Tess is officially DONE with breastmilk! It's crazy to me that I had SO MUCH in the freezer when I weaned her back in September. I gave her 3-5 oz a day of the frozen stash and she made it to just a few days shy of 18 months old. There are SO many benefits to breastmilk so I chose to spread it out rather than use it all up earlier. She did fine with the transition to regular (organic) whole milk and seems to enjoy her milk more now that the breastmilk isn't in it!
Last breastmilk sippy!
Of course being named Tess her eating habits have given her an easy go-to nickname "Messy Tessie" Girl can GRUB but she can also make a mess doing it. The mess doesn't bother me at all though b/c it's ALL on HER. Britt is 4 and her meal mess is everywhere. On the table. On her chair. On the floor. It's a nightmare (working on it!) but Tess's mess is confined to her body. WAY easier to clean!
The new thing for Tess this month has been necklaces. She's obsessed (and I love that the ones we have disconnect so I don't worry as much about choking) and she's so cute wearing them to eat!
She's a little neater when eating out :)
Tess loves to copy her brother and sister! She does SO great with bowls and I'll probably introduce a plate soon!
Sleeping: This month I introduced a blanket for Tess. Her room runs SO COLD that I felt it was needed. I wasn't as worried about her with it as I was with Britt. I think Britt scared me so much b/c she was a belly sleeper. Tess is more all over the place! Tess also isn't a SOLID sleeper. We will still hear her waking for a few minutes at around 11:00 and then she usually wakes up at like 6:10 and stays happily in her crib until it's time to get up. Girl just doesn't need much sleep. I envy her b/c I NEED my 7-8 hours to function but I bet she'll be the type of adult who will stay up late and wake up early and be good to go!
The blanket has been super cute as she LOVES when I cover her all the way up with it and she'll lay there perfectly still and then pull it down to surprise me. She played peek a boo with it the very first time I gave it to her ;) It reminds me a lot of my childhood. My dad would always pull the blanket up WAY over my head and then tuck it under my chin. I remember laying as still as I could b/c I didn't want him to check on me in the night and have his feelings hurt that I messed up the blanket :)
For the most part, the blanket ended up at the end of her crib and went unused but then one night I saw she was using it! She doesn't us it every single time but she seems to like it!
This month Tess was cutting her 4 canines. YIKES. Out of all three kids Tess has gotten her teeth the quickest and also has the most crowding. I think it makes it more painful because there isn't enough room for the new teeth. She woke a good bit in the night this month and cried out which is NOT normal for her. Often she'll wake and just fuss a bit but this was a different cry and we decided we needed to go in and comfort her. Not gonna lie, while we were exhausted over it, we also enjoyed it :) I have the BEST Daddy for my husband :) I loved laying and watching him over the monitor while he worked his sleep magic! I also loved going in myself a few times. When I picked her up she smiled up at me and it was just the most precious thing ever!
A lot of people hate on sleep training with infants and something I always say to them is that I'd rather train them young than wait and have to do it when they can call out to me. Tess is at that point where she will say "Mama! Mama!" if she's ready to get up and I know if she wasn't already so well sleep trained that it'd be SO HARD to train her with her calling out to me!!!
On Jan 16th I officially dropped the morning nap. I've said from a YOUNG AGE that Tess is a low sleep needs baby. Y'all. She could have dropped the morning nap ages ago. I hung onto it for ME. I like having that solid time in the mornings when the kids are at school and I like having that solid time WITH the big kids solo when they are home. I just love me some morning nap :)
But I knew it was time to be done as she wasn't sleep well at all for either nap, plus we had early morning waking issues and middle of the night waking issues so I assumed all of that must have had something to do with the morning nap needing to be dropped.
The tough thing with having multiple kids is that you can't always revolve LIFE around ONE child's needs. This is the case with Tess's schedule. Typically when you drop the morning nap it's recommended to move the afternoon nap earlier to give them time to adjust. But I have to pick up Britt at noon which means we aren't home until 12:25 ish and I feed the girls' lunch at that point so they go down together at 1. I did debate feeding Tess prior to picking up Britt and then just putting her straight to bed when we got back from school but I knew it'd be a big hassle with an already rushed time of the day so I didn't.
Instead...I dealt with THIS on a daily basis for awhile. No matter how much noise I made (and y'all I brought a legit WHISTLE in the car with me!) she'd fall asleep and be asleep HARD and then not sleep well at all for that afternoon nap. I even went to the Babywise groups on FB to ask for help (which I rarely do). I got lots of great ideas to help keep her awake! The ones that worked best were a wallet full of old cards (empty Disney gift cards haha) and a snack cup. I don't love offering a snack but it worked!
Except you can see here she even HAD a snack cup and still fell asleep!)
Even when I could keep her awake in the car, she still didn't nap so great for that afternoon nap. It made NO sense to me. Usually dropping the morning nap means a LONGER, FULLER afternoon one. But not for Tess. She may benefit from bumping bedtime later but if we did that then we wouldn't be able to play boardgames with the big kids and that time is important. So we make it work! I did find that over time the afternoon naps got better and I do think it was probably part of the adjustment period from dropping the nap. Sometimes she wakes at 3 and fusses then goes back to sleep until 4. Sometimes she wakes at 3 and is AWAKE and never goes back to sleep. And sometimes she naps solid until 4! It's a guessing game as to which will happen each day!
Usually Tess ALWAYS wakes happy but this month she struggled with those teeth and was a little grumpier when waking. Britt is a very grouchy waker so I'm nervous Tess may be following suit. I've started turning on her light and I think it helps her adjust some rather than just going in and getting her up. I always walk in cheerful and saying happy things and that tends to help too :)
Although she stopped being as happy when she wakes, she started being WAY sweeter when I tuck her in! Super super cuddly, nestles her head into my neck and gives tons of kisses!
(of course a big sibling always get a smile!)
Schedule: Once we dropped the morning nap here's her schedule:
6:45-7:00: Wake for day. Breakfast (no more breastmilk sippy either!)
9:30ish: 35 min of independent playtime
10:05: Movie time (best thing I could find to help her stay awake and happy while adjusting...VEGGIE TALES for the WIN!)
4:00 Up from nap (often awake much earlier but I leave her until 4)
6:45: Ready for bed, story, prayers
7:00: In bed for night
Potty: I mentioned that I briefly started potty training Tess in Dec but then I stopped for the holidays. I kept her in a pull up throughout the holiday season and still took her to the potty often but she NEVER went in it. I didn't stress it and figured I'd just keep the pull up routine going and wait it out.
On Jan 11th she kept acting strange and was asking to be passed back and forth from Zach and I and I realized she was pooping. It's like she was trying to TELL us she was going. The next day she kept tooting and asked to go to potty (although she didn't go)
That Sunday, Jan 17th she peed in the potty for the first time in ages! We had a few more times of that and I could tell it was time to put her back in panties. We put her back in the panties on Jan 26th (so 5 days shy of 18 months old) and we haven't looked back! I will have a MUCH more detailed potty post coming soon :) Doesn't she look so grown?!?!
Day 1 in panties...check out the accident count haha
Potty themed you tube videos are the JAM!
Independent Playtime: Tess struggled this month with independent playtime. I swear while I was living the month it didn't feel like it was super rough but man I feel like writing about it Tess really had a rough go! Those teeth must have been to blame!
I know she's at the right age (technically she's on the older end of the range) to move from the pack and play to room time. Casey said Carter started struggling with the pack and play and when she switched to room time it really helped so I thought it might be time. Zach attached her dresser to the wall for me and I pulled out the big baby gate thing we have so I could keep her contained in her room (I don't feel comfortable closing the door!).
The first day we tried it, she did awesome! But that was about it. After that she kept being SO SNEAKY and figuring out how to get out of the gate haha! I ended up taking a big break from independent playtime due to potty training but once she was ready to go back at it I went back to the pack and play and plan to stick with it as long as I possibly can :) She does great with it now!
Bath time beauty!
She's showing more of an interest in coloring...
The only ISSUE with the coloring is that she's my first child to attempt to draw on random things...
She LOVES to RUN into my room and get into my pen drawer and sneak off with pens and markers and highlighters. Not. Cool.
Tess is a quiet, quick and sneaky toddler. She's not one that pitches big fits (praise the LORD) but she's the one I have to REALLY keep an eye on. I think it's a lot to do with being third kid. She sees her older siblings do things and she wants to do everything they do. If she goes missing I know I can find her either in my pens in my room or in the bathroom brushing her teeth!
And not always with her own toothbrush haha
We try to keep doors shut but with two older kids it's a tough thing to remind them to do. I've moved all the toothpaste up to a higher cabinet that she can't reach!
My FAVORITE Tess thing this month is her obsession with "lipstick." I get lectured on a regular basis by Casey for not wearing lipstick. I have always despised it! As a kid I wouldn't kiss family members who were wearing it. I just have never liked the way it feels and I tend to lick my lips a lot I guess b/c when I do wear lip color it's always gone just as fast as I put it on. Anyways. This lipstick obsession of Tess's just simply proves that some things are just IN US. Girl is a girly girl who loves her lipstick. Aunt Casey will approve for sure :)
She randomly got ahold of some small chapstick of Britt's and knew on her own how to open it and apply it and put the lid back on and she carried that thing around with her and was MAD when I finally took it away. It's really so, so, SO cute!!!
You know how I mentioned Tess quiet? And fast? And pretty sneaky? Well what makes that combo even more dangerous? Girl can CLIMB. She has learned how to get up on the couch which is also a dangerous combination for a toddler who is potty training haha.
This picture cracks me up. She's celebrating her victory climb bahaha
Carter spent the night this month with us and it was an encouragement to us to have them spend more time together. She always copies Kye and Britt but having someone so close in her age around was HUGE. She started saying a lot more words b/c he's more vocal and she started folding her hands in prayer and whispering a prayer out loud b/c he was doing it at bedtime! SO ADORABLE!
Tess is a little performer like her big sister! Not only can she break it down but she also can bust out a tune! Britt doesn't mind the slobber all over her microphone ;)
Zach and the kids invented this game on our back porch where they roll a ball on our table and see who can make it in the center spot. This game is like the JAM for our kids right now. Tess even loves it and has some skills! They will miss this table when it's gone once our outdoor kitchen is complete ;)
She also LOVES to swing!
At some point I got these little peg games from one of my parents. Maybe my mom? Or I may have found them in one of my dad's storage units! But anyway I've had them forever. From my childhood. And ALL three of my kids LOVE them. And what's funny is they all think they are cakes? I guess the pegs are the candles? It's been a game since Kye was a toddler. It's great eye hand coordination and I'm impressed Tess is able to put all the pegs in the slots on her own already! I do have to watch her closely b/c she will try to sneak them in her mouth though. Again...sneaky girl! It's funny b/c Kye is almost seven and JUST NOW realized the boards and pegs are actually games and not "cakes" haha.
She did all of these on her own!
It makes my heart so happy to see her play so well independently! She LOVES Little People stuff and especially putting things in other things and then taking them back out. Toy vehicles are among her favorites, especially ones that make noise. And like her big sister she loves SMALL things. She will walk around carrying multiple small objects in her arms. Britt likes to hide stuff and Tess likes to find it all ;)
By far though Tess's favorite "toy" is a box of little board books she got for Christmas. It's a set that came with 12 Frozen themed little tiny books and she LOVES it. It's not as much about the books as it is about the box they came in. It has a little handle on it and she carries it around everywhere and sits it down, takes the books out, then puts them back in and closes it again. I've had to tape up the box to keep it together for her :)
I already mentioned the teething battle this month. Along with that misery Tess is also entering that toddler phase where she doesn't get what she wants and she complains about it! She doesn't pitch full on fits (at least not yet...) but she will fuss a bit and it's not a beautiful site! I'm hoping maybe Britt will be out of the fit pitching stage (ha! wishful thinking!) before Tess begins or things could get mighty interesting around here!
This is another unhappy look. She will pull this one and it's like a warning. As in "I'm giving you a chance to give me my way or else I will change to the crying face" hahaha
On the upside she has also started "posing" and saying "cheese!" for the camera. It's pretty adorable, even while not wearing clothing ;)
When Tess was a newborn ALL my weekly/monthly posts pretty much revolved around her love for Kye. They had an instant bond and they still very much do. However, Britt has taken SUCH an interest in her and they have so much quality time together that their bond has become equally, if not more, strong than hers with Kye. This makes me so happy as I never had a sister in my home growing up with me like they have! She really looks up to Britt and I'm hoping that responsibility will sink in to Britt and will help her be the example she needs to be for her little sister. I'm also hoping that Tess will see some of the areas where Britt struggles in her obedience and attitude and will learn from those areas to make better choices for herself. Again, wishful thinking here ;)
Doing Britt's chores with her
Rocking the jewelry just like a mini-Britt
When Britt takes pics of her school work Tess is always right there watching in awe :)
Tess's hair is LONG and a lot less crazy than it once was! She wore her first TRUE pony this month and I had a love affair with little buns for her too. She tends to pull out her bows and the little bun makes life easier when I'm wrapped up with teething issues and potty training!
Sidenote we canceled our home phone service so I let the kids play with the old phones :) They will probably be valuable someday haha!
I love, love love this girl! Even during a rougher month, she's still so precious!
More About Tess:
- With her teething pain she didn't eat much this month. I tried to keep it simple and soothing!
- She really copies her older siblings...she will dunk her banana in her cherrios like Kye does in the mornings and copies Britt with just about everything she does!
- She LIGHTS UP when she sees her Daddy! She adores him!
- She's really starting to communicate with us. She said "ball ball" and pointed outside to let us know she wanted to go outside to play the ball game!
- Her favorite thing is running through Zach's legs! It's adorable and I need to get a video of it!
- She says "mama" and "dada" all the time
- She isn't as cuddly as she used to be. Less generous with kisses and is not interested in holding hands
- She's babbling CONSTANTLY around the house yet in the car she's still SILENT where we will joke that we forget she's there!
- She says "down" and "done" when on potty and is finished
- She will point to cars and say "car"
- She LOVES applesauce and gets super pumped about it!
- She says "door" and also uses "no" appropriately
- She walked away from me and say "bye!" then turned around and came back and said "hey!"
- She loves doing hand motions to songs
- With her necklaces
- Messy Tessie being silly at dinner
- Putting on her own show for us!
- Talking in the night
- Talking on the phone
- Hanging out on the steps with her books
- Putting on that "lipstick"
- My fav of Tess putting on her chapstick! I love it!
- Brushing her teeth
- Applesauce obsession
- Talking to herself and saying "mama" and "down"
- She LOVES to get to wake up her big sister!
- Singing with Britt
- Entertaining her on the potty
- I joked when Tess was a baby that her first phrase would be "let it go" b/c of all the Frozen themed toys Britt has...and GUESS WHAT? I totally called it! First sentence: "let it go!" Here's proof!!!
I know I do a decent job of keeping up with stuff that my kids do, but even I still feel bad when I look back at Kye's summary and see that I kept track of every word he could say. Sorry Tess, I write down a few notable words but otherwise I just know you say a lot of them haha!
Gosh I LOVE looking back at little Kye! To me Carter and Tess are such a blend of Kye at this age! I miss my little boy :) It is always a reminder to me that we need to be consistent in our discipline with the girls. It was WAY easier to be consistent when we only had one child but that's not an excuse!
As usual it's always interesting to me that so often my kids all did things at the same ages! Tess wore her first pony the same month Britt did :) I love looking back at Little Britt too...this was the age where she started to make her CRAZY faces and you can really tell she was going to be a kid with a BIG personality, which rang true! Tess is MUCH more like Kye across the board in her actions and behavior...we'll see if it sticks long term!