Dear Lyra,

Happy 19 month birthday!

This month, more than most, really flew by. Suddenly summer is over and it’s fall again and time to start planning for the holidays. I turn 35 soon, which feels like a Pretty Big Deal so I’ve been doing a bit of life inventory — checking in with myself about my daily routine, my goals, priorities, and all that boring adult stuff. The good news is that I think everything is alright. I could definitely eat better, exercise more, and get less stressed about work, but I spend most of my time feeling pretty happy and productive and appreciated. I really can’t ask for much more than that.

It feels like we’ve really found a rhythm to this life and everything is less of a struggle. This may be because you are one-and-a-half, also known as the sweet spot between infancy and terrible twos. You are a complete chatterbox, which is both adorable and also means that you are pretty good at communicating what you want. You’ve started to tell little stories about things that happened in the past so we are able help you process them. For example, almost every day you tell this story while pointing to the bottom of your foot, “Dzee (bee). Mah-yee (Molly).” And I tell it back to you like this, “You stepped on a bee when you were at the park with Molly. It hurt a lot. Ouch! But Molly gave you a big cuddle and a kiss and now it doesn’t hurt anymore.” And you say, “Yeah. Dzee. Mah-yee.”

This month we participated in a third study at the Berkeley Learning Lab. You have your “PhD” now! This study was testing your expectations of cause and effect by letting you play with blocks and boxes of varying shapes and colors. If you put a block on top of a box of the same shape, it made a sound. You seemed to figure it out pretty quickly but you had some toddler-moments when the researcher tried to get you to demonstrate on command — “No!” and throwing blocks and running to the other side of the room. It was pretty cute and I’m guessing also pretty typical. I had to resist wanting you to get all the answers right, even though I know that’s not the point. (I’ll need to work on that before you start school!). At the end of the study, the researcher told me you speak a lot more words than most kids your age, which I suspected but was cool to hear from an expert.

This month your naps have gotten worse. It’s typically a struggle to get you to fall asleep and you often wake up after 30 minutes. Sometime you refuse to sleep at all. I think you are almost ready to drop to one nap per day. But based on your history with sleep, I suspect it’s going to be a long and difficult transition. On the bright side, even when your naps are terrible you still go to sleep easily at bedtime and almost always sleep through until 7:30 or 8:00 (hallelujah!). There were a couple nights when you woke up and fussed a bit and one night when Dada had to check in and rock you back to sleep. It’s hard to believe that would have been completely normal just a few months ago. Thanks goodness this little regression only lasted a few nights!

A couple days ago we took a hike with Katherine and Tony down to Pirate’s Cove. It’s a pretty short but tough hike from Muir Beach, up a mountain, and down to a secluded little beach. You are about 25 pounds now and your Dada carried you the whole way. It was a pretty good workout. You and Ada got so excited at the beach. There was a lot of running in circles and screaming and barking. We should really take you two to beaches more often.



P.S. I have to mention that you have the most beautiful hair — shoulder-length sun-bleached silky blonde waves. Strangers complement it all the time. It’s gorgeous and thick and bouncy. And it makes your 95th-percentile head look even more enormous, in a cute cartoon character sort of way.

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