I'm telling you, when I volunteered to watch Whitley before she was even born, I had no idea just how blessed I would become. She is SO MUCH FUN!!! At 13 & 1/2 months, she's grasping concepts, vocabulary, and skills at a daily-changing rate.
She's really gotten into books - (much more than my kids did...her preferences with literary pursuits and food choices put my kids to shame!). So, it is Mikayla and I's ambition to inundate her in the world of our beloved "Bear" books - the Karma Wilson series.
She's also getting big enough to be able to (just barely) reach the floor when on her riding toys. We still watch her like a hawk when she's on these - afraid she'll topple...but you can tell she is very proud.
The other HUGE change is her ability to pull herself to a stand. This picture was taken covertly. We had guests over to our house on Wednesday night that resulted in a very late night - when combined with an early morning it meant four hours of sleep. I DO NOT FUNCTION when that happens - I am a horrible, irritable zombie. So, when I laid her down in her playpen (in Mikayla's room), I stealthily laid down in Mikayla's bed. I'm pretty sure my silence and still body didn't alert her to my presence so I was able to watch her go about her new found skill sets and mess around for FORTY-FIVE minutes. (Please, please, please Whitley....take mercy on your Aunt Stephie). She pulls herself up, tries to determine if she could reach over the side, and tosses everything she can out of the playpen, only to lament about her inability to retrieve it. This is entertaining to her for a while, but eventually, she gets bothered and lonely and begins her monologue of yelling "MAMA" and "DADDY" (that tends to break my heart). It curbed my feelings of "nap failure" a bit when Steph reported that her naptime experiences with Whitley yesterday (I requested the day off for a haircut and color...) were very similar (30 minutes total naptime for the day...).
The other not-so-positive skill set Whitley has developed is her Ninja abilities in tossing items out of her stroller without me being aware of it. On Wednesday, she tossed her beloved bunny out of the stroller. It is very special to Whitley - she takes it to bed with her at night and it's meaningful as Mikayla was the one that gave it to her. Oh crud. So, hours later when I finally had a chance to retrace our walking/jogging route from earlier in the day, I breathed a huge sigh of relief at seeing this. Fortunately, a kind soul had found Bunny near the park and placed her on the bench. PHEW!
I don't do "solo playtime at the house" very well, so that means frequent outings. This week, we visited Target which I hadn't been to since they've pulled out their seasonal merchandise. I was a very happy camper....this is something I embrace every year at this time. As you can tell by Whitley's expressions, she wasn't quite in the same enthusiastic mood that I was.
On Thursday, we got a break from the rainy weather (which, consistent with my seasonal moods, actually brings me joy right now). So, we headed off to Lone Pine Farms. As it is near where Stephie works, we stopped in for a quick visit with her first.
I was hoping to redeem our previous LPF experience that traumatized her due to the goats. It was crazy just how much she remembered. While she had fun, she was definitely on high alert. And, when I took her near the sheep (not even going near the goats), she had a "death grip" onto me. Love her cuddles, but not at the expense of her emotional well-being.
I'm pretty sure Whitley's favorite part of the day was the samples of Kettle Corn she got to score from the produce store. (I'm very careful about the choking pieces...don't worry). So, between that and the swing - and just being held as we walked all over a very interesting place, I think Lone Pine Farms has been redeemed.