Life with Indigo: 2 Years Old
Hello guys, today I want to share with you some glimpses of my mom life as my baby girl just turned two!! It's hard to believe this once flesh of mine is hitting two, and now our second baby is due soon, all the flashbacks are just like deja vu. This doesn't only remind me how quickly the time flies but also how I started chasing my photography dream just a few months after her birth. That's why I put this image at first, hopefully she will never forget to reach the stars.
As her naps are all over the place, so I won't share with you our routine anymore. I want to share with you what I found out about her at this stage from our every day life and some thoughts about work/life balance. I know it's not much about my photography, but I love reading what other moms doing with their toddlers myself. #googlefreak So here we go!
Let's start at the easy one. We are so blessed to have such a healthy child that she rarely got sick in the past 2 years. (Well, never been to childcare helped a lot) There were many times that we got sick and she was totally fine. She's a heat machine and probably has never worn more layers than me.(I am a pregnant woman who's cold all the time) She used to be a little piggy and eat crazy fast. Hubby used to joke about her as a little Buddha because she looked so chubby before. We did have feeding struggles when she was about nearly one, because she wanted to eat by herself. We gave up spoon-feeding her after that, and let her eat the food her own way, just put down a drop sheet underneath the highchair. It's hard sometimes because she made such a mess and as a full time mom, definitely can get agitated as we have to do it EVERY meal time EVERY DAY. But it got breezy for a while, because she ended up really enjoyed exploring her food and always tried a few bites at first before hating them. Now she got picky, it has to be gourmet I think. After a week of she going to bed hungry and woke up early in the morning, I decided to do some short order cooking on some days and freeze some for more variations. It makes life so much easier because I can make sure there are some nutrition rich meals down in her tummy on some days, and some days I can just get lazy.
Currently the sneaky ways to get her to have more vegetable intakes are green smoothies, fritters, dumplings, and some muffins. She also loves risottos, so I usually would grate something in but avoiding everything in the bowl is only one colour. (means no curry!)She likes to see there's something she likes in the bowl and pick they out first. I tried very hard to offer more varieties, so some days if I cook something particular for Indigo, I usually have no extra energy to cook dinner for hubby and myself. I am pretty lucky that he usually will whip something quick when he comes home, or we get a take out. The other thing that I've learnt is the portion of snacks and timing. She used to eat a lot of snacks but still finish her meals in a flash, but I think their growth start to slow down a bit so if she has too much snacks or too close to meal time. She won't eat much at all. It's amazing how their little bodies change over time.
Comparing to her diet, to get her sleep longer is way more tricky. Apart from the reflux in the first year, we haven't seen anything bother her much, including teething. She's one tough cookie for sure! However, rarely wakes up at night doesn't mean she sleeps long. I guess life is pretty fair. In average, she sleeps about 10 hours at night and wakes up happy and ready to start the day. She yells out "breakfast" with excitement every morning, and breakfast is seriously the easiest meal of day because she almost finishes it in 10 minutes every time.
And you think maybe she will sleep longer during the day? Oh no no no, her naps could be as short as 20 minutes to 1.5 hour. If she didn't nap long or missed a nap, she's usually still fine to deal with. Thanks to the amazing climates in Australia, when I didn't have much braincells or energy to cope, fresh air outside always make our day more easier and pleasant.
There were some wacky behaviours that interrupted our sleeps a few weeks back, such as she took off all her clothes and sleeping bag and cried out for help. We decided to put her sleeping bag backwards so she couldn't zip down herself. That definitely restored our sleeps but if she didn't eat well at dinner, she would be up at 4am due to the hunger.
Oh my god, this can go on. Who would know my first 2 years of motherhood are basically all about EAT & SLEEP.
I honestly can be a bit overly enthusiastic (#uptight) on Indigo's play. As soon as my maternity leave started, I spent hours and hours on what toys works best for a 2 years old. Seriously, finding right toys are so darn difficult, sometimes what the recommended age doesn't really work and these toys can be quite pricey too. (Say some fancy play kitchen and jumbo magnetic tiles) Not too mention we live in a 2 bedroom units and I couldn't afford doing too much experiments. At the moment I believe she's into pretend play most, like using cups making "coffee" for us or holding doll's hands walking together, etc.
I also tried to cut down her screen time lately. I had to admit it's difficult when we just started this as Peppa Pig is probably the best babysitter while travelling. But I am doing this for a few reasons:
- Independent Play- Time management is essential for running a photography business and being a full time mom. As Indigo gets older, my work time and energy level decreased dramatically during the day and I really tried to implant this to our daily routine. I found that screen time did make her focus less on toys.
- Toy Rotation- This supports independent play and kids at this age learn from play. I was struggling to get her interested in toys rather than messing up books and drawers.(in every room) Living in a small apartment and a baby on the way, I seriously can't deal with this chaos all the time.
Now even we gave up the independent play due to some incidents (poops involved #TMI), the days doesn't go as slowly as she was 18 months because there are getting more things she can do or we can do together. Now all the toys and books are refreshed every now and then (thanks to the toy rotation ideas from Pinterest), and I really don't mind reading her more books as she starts to communicate better by learning more vocabularies from it. It's not easy for a kid this age in a bilingual environment as they do get frustrated frequently when we just don't know what they want to express sometimes.
We don't always read from the lines either, her attention span is way too short. Now her and our favourites are the books with many animals and objects that she can point and find. It's like a little game and she's learnt so much words already even she still couldn't pronounce them properly. Baby steps, right?
A few weeks ago, if you asked me I would brag about how adorable and sweet about her as a toddler. She giggles all the time, likes to make friends, and oddly she hasn't have as much tantrum as people said about terrible two. But recently she started to have some aggressive behaviours like wrapping her arms around other kids tightly, pushing, shovelling and sometimes hitting. (usually my face and it hurts)
It's hard to accept that my cheerful child turned into a little monster in public, and my findings online didn't make me feel much easier. Guess it's still early in this journey, and this mom still need lots deep breath to do along the way.
By looking back past two years, I am still amazed how much she has learnt, experienced and adapted every day. Now she's going to preschool one day a week after her second birthday, soccer class, new coming baby brother, big girl bed and potty training sometime soon. Sometimes I am not sure if it's me need to adapt these changes or her, and she seems just as little as a baby to me like 2 years ago. Kids are the best reminders to us that we thrive on changes sometimes, don't you think?
So this basically is what my mommy life look like and do you have the same struggles/findings with your little kiddos?
Stay and grow