Where has the time gone? Leighton is growing and changing every day, and we are just in awe of the little person she is becoming. She is bursting with personality, and I was just thinking to myself the other day that it’s amazing how much joy is bottled up inside that tiny body of hers. I can only hope that it never fades. I never want to forget the funny and sweet aspects of this age… mispronouncing so many words that I kind of wish she’d never get right, her inquisitiveness, her need for Mommy, her big love and big tantrums, and her innocent little belly laugh.
Height + Weight: approx 35″ // 31 lbs
Milestones: The most noticeable change in the past 6 months is just how much Leighton has been learning every single day. She begs me to say the ABC’s and numbers 1-10 in Spanish allll the time. She knows her shapes and colors and is learning to count the teen numbers. She repeats literally everything we say to her, and it’s both adorable and amazing… and also a little scary. We really have to start watching what we say around her now!
One of my favorite (silly) milestones she’s hit is finally having enough hair for a pony tail! She prefers it in water spout form on top of her head so that her bangs stay out of her eyes, and I’d be ok with her wearing it like that forever if she could get away with it. We now call it her “poppy tail” because she has tall hair like Poppy from the “Trolls” movie, which is also a big time favorite right now.
In late January, we started a weekly Parent & Me swim class in preparation for the summer. She absolutely hated it the first time, but after about 5 minutes in the pool the second week, she was asking for “moe-er” after every activity and exercise we did. She told us she’s going to swim like a fish! We are so proud of her for overcoming that fear of something new and learning to love it so quickly.
Some of the biggest news of this season — we registered our baby for preschool! It was a much more involved process than I’d have ever thought, considering she’ll still only be in a 2 year old class next fall (she just misses the cut-off by 9 days). She will be going 2 half days each week to a wonderful program at the church we’re starting to go, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It’ll certainly be a big, exciting, and also kind of sad day dropping her off for the first time, but I have no doubt she’s going to absolutely thrive during her time at school.
Likes: Leighton still LOVES her Little Gym classes, and she seems to learn new tricks every week. Her favorite is the rings, and she stays on them most of the class when they’re out. She has mastered her forward rolls and has learned how to do an assisted backward roll as well. As you can see below, she’s a pro at pulling her legs/feet all the way up to the rings (and the bar) and she’s learned how to do wall handstands, which she loves doing all over the place now. She is such a strong little thing!
She’s just slightly obsessed with “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.” We currently have almost 40 episodes saved on our tv, and she knows what each episode is just by the preview image that comes up. She’s very opinionated on which ones she wants to watch and will ask to see the same one 10x on repeat. Her “hot dog dance” is so animated and could make even the most unhappy person smile.
Dislikes: There isn’t much she doesn’t like these days other than when she thinks she’s going to be left somewhere without Mommy. She’s usually ok after a few minutes, though, so hopefully she will start learning that we always come back to get her just like we say we will.
Other fun stuff: Given her love of gym class, we dressed her up as an Olympic Gymnast for Halloween, and it was the most perfect costume for her. She had a blast during the Halloween season picking out pumpkins, looking at neighbors’ decorations, and trick-or-treating.
The Christmas season was more magical than I could have imagined this year. We saw some awesome decorations around the city, baked and decorated cookies, visited with 3 different Santas, and took a train ride with Christmas characters in Blue Ridge. One of the books we read every night before bed was called “Christmas in the Manger,” and she learned to recognize the Wise Men, Mary, Joseph, and “Bobby Geezus.” We laughed every single time she said Baby Jesus’ name. She also sadly caught her first real stomach bug the day after Christmas, which resulted in us turning around on our drive up to Nashville because she got sick in the car not once, but three times. Oh my gosh, so much YUCK. We both ended up catching it from her and delayed our trip to do Christmas with Craig’s family until after the New Year when we knew we’d all be well. 🙂
At the start of the new year, we finally decided to start “Operation Leighton Eats What We Eat” at home. She’s always been great about eating breakfast and lunch, but dinners have been hit or miss. I was also tired of feeling like a short order cook, always trying to figure out something else for her to eat if we didn’t think she’d like what we’d made for dinner. We still have our nights where she’s not really interested in what’s on her plate, but she knows that’s all she gets. It’s been going surprisingly well for the most part, and she even devoured 4 whole asparagus stalks the other night! Just goes to show that you never know what you like until you try it.
We took a long overdue drive down to Florida in late February to see some family in Tallahassee and visit my hometown (which Leighton had never been to!). A total of 18 hours in the car roundtrip made us all a little stir crazy, but Leighton did amazingly well, thanks to my mom hanging with her in the backseat and giving her ALL the snacks. We finally met my cousin Travis’ little guy, James, who is about a year younger than L. She called him “dat boy” and “Miss Games,” and they had the best time playing together. My sweet aunt and uncle were the best hosts, and we even got to see my cousin Jake play with his band, Taller Trees, on a parents night out with my cousins.
Leighton’s first visit to Arcadia was nothing short of perfect. By some miracle, all of our dearest friends were free to visit with us, including several who had still not met L. We spent a lot of time with two of my childhood best friends and their families, and my faux brother, affectionately called Bubba, even made a last minute trek across the state so we could see him and meet his son. Leighton was showered with fun gifts, we saw a dozen deer in my parents’ yard one night, we shared delicious meals with our family and friends, and L was introduced to the magic of hover boards and running around in the sprinkler with no clothes on. It was pretty much her Heaven, and she definitely did not want to leave. 🙂 It’s so special to have lifelong friends who are like family and who welcome you home with open arms after a long-awaited visit.
Favorite things Leighton says:
-“scawbees” = strawberries
-“gelly and buttah” = peanut butter and jelly sandwich
-has occasionally started calling Craig “Dad” instead of “Daddy” and thinks she’s hilarious
-“shau shau” = when she wants to take a shower
-“hanitizer” = hand sanitizer
-calls Coco her “puppy sisser”
-“gammies” = jammies/pajamas
-calls Chick-fil-a “Kit-ah-lay-House”
-“poke-tee-pine” = porcupine
-says “ill-uh-skay-tuh” for the illustrator of a book (we’re working on author, illustrator, etc.)
-asks “What’s DAT mean?!” when she doesn’t know something
-she’s started telling us “I love you, Mommy (or Daddy)” and it’s heart melting
By far the sweetest and most endearing thing she has said to date is this: She had a sleepover with my mom in February and they were lying on her bed before bedtime. My mom put her hand over Leighton’s chest so she could feel her heart beating. Without prompting, she said “Baby Geezus lives in my heart!” Oh, out of the mouths of babes…