Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Oh Karis, how did you get to be 18 months old? Trevor and I looked at some pictures of Karis at about 7 months old and I could have cried. Where did my little baby go? I say that to some people and the frequent response is, "Time for another one!" Well, sure, we'd gladly welcome another baby, but I really would love just one day with my baby Karis. I mean, look at those squishy cheeks, wouldn't you want to have her back for a day?

I recently read this quote from Brideshead Revisited, I thought it was an apt statement for what I'm feeling now: "These memories, which are my life - for we possess nothing certainly except the past - were always with me."  These memories will certainly be with me forever, and I'm so thankful to be able to relish in the past and look forward to the future (and hopefully enjoy the gift of the present).

Our 18-month-old Karis is thriving and amazes us all the time with all that she can comprehend and communicate. She's turning into quite the snuggler and gives the best hugs and kisses. She loves to go "up" Her recent favorite song and activity is doing the sounds and motions to "The Wheels on the Bus", in particular the "beep beep beep" part, during which she pats her ears. Speaking of patting ears, she's learning "gentle" and her sign for that motion is gently patting babies' ears. Oh, and speaking of babies, she loves babies and points them out when we're anywhere near one - and when I point at pictures of Karis, she of course says "baby!" Lukas, affectionately called "D", remains her faithful playmate and favorite person - today she was chasing him around and tackling him in an effort to envelop him in a hug. I did, however, catch her kissing Everett at church on Sunday.

Karis loves to shop and is always delighted to run errands (I'm thankful!). She charms everyone with her bright eyes and sensational smile - we hear a lot of, "what a cute little guy!" to which I politely explain that Karis is a girl with little hair and a cute green coat (with pink hearts!). She's starting to have clothing preferences, can unzip her coat, and brings me hooded sweatshirts and pleads, "pease" to have me put them on her. Her favorite toys seem to change by the day - last week she enjoyed carrying an old remote around and holding it to her ear "talking" on the phone. Later she used the same remote to put on deodorant (after watching Trevor apply his). We enjoyed that one! This little girl has personality, she keeps us on our toes.

This week has been pretty significant in our little world, it's held our first days of absolutely no nursing. I'll be honest, it was rough on all of us - Karis and I are somewhat active (perhaps tightly wound at times) and nursing really was a calming, connecting part of our morning routine. We've both been a bit disoriented, and I realized that both Karis and I really don't handle transitions very well. Ironically, it just so happens that this age and stage of life there are transitions around every corner . . .  so, this is a time of character refinement for sure, as well as tapping into creativity for distraction and ways to make change more palatable for us both. We're spending lots and lots of time playing on the floor and reading books and basically trying to entertain each other. It's a good season and we're all learning together. I'm also loving watching Trevor and Karis bond in new ways as he always finds new ways to make her laugh.

I just read this verse, however, which has called the no-nursing decision into question (along with some pretty weird and wild days around here): Psalm 8:2 "Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength." I felt so sad when I read that, and doubted what we're doing. I pray that this is the right decision, it's hard to take something away from Karis that seemed to fill a need in her life for security and comfort.

And yes, I know Karis is a toddler, not an infant - but seriously, I didn't think the "end" would be like this! Karis is getting to enjoy her pacifier more than usual, eating lots of raisins (a treat!), playing tons of the "beep beep" song, reading lots of books and spending a good part of the day in my arms or lap.

I recently read a book that affirmed some of the angst Karis and I seem to feel at times: Your One Year Old: Fun Loving and Fussy. I appreciate resources like this one, and even more so I'm thankful for real-life-resources (read: family and friends) who empathize and encourage through the times of change and adjustment. Karis really does continue to be a true joy, her zeal for life is contagious, her range of feelings helps me to realize my own, her curiosity and delight in the smallest things is a marvel, her understanding and compliance are astounding.

I remember when I was young I always wanted a monkey - well, I think I got my wish. Here's my monkey! Karis still loves to climb and can now easily get up on the coffee table and on our kitchen chairs, where she likes to perch and have a sip of milk and her cheerios. She can almost climb up on our bed without any help, and I should start timing how long it takes her to scamper up and down the stairs. She also LOVES to run, my parents discovered that while watching her at a hotel while I was in a wedding a couple weeks ago - she just about ran her legs off doing laps up and down the hall.