I have always disliked January. After the excitement of the holidays, it is always such a letdown. And it is always cold. And dreary. And too hard to get back into a routine. This past January was certainly no exception, but it was so much fun compared to how this February has been. We have been so busy with school and soccer and drama classes. The weather has been cold, which wouldn't be so bad if we weren't having to spend so much time outside. Not to mention the fact that we had "Fake Spring" during the first week of the month with beautiful blue and sunny skies and 70 degree temperatures. But now it's cold. All the time. And I've had a cold for what has seemed like weeks. February is kicking my butt.
And so is this little butt...
If you were to come over to our house on any given day, this is what you would see. Because, really, diapers? She can't be bothered with them. And she has figured out how to take off almost every item of clothing she owns (yes, even onesies!). The only things she can't take off by herself are some long-sleeve/long pants thermal onesie pjs, and she only has 2 of those. It took me about a week of walking into her room after her nap to find her diaper and pants next to her crib and her sheets soaked before I figured out that she should probably be wearing them at naptime too, so you can imagine how much laundry I'm doing these days! We've started tinkering around with potty training, but it's really hard to be consistent with our schedule. I really need just one full day of not having anything to do or any place to go and after looking at my calendar, I think I should be ready sometime in the summer of 2026. As long as she's not busy doing something else...like getting ready for college!!
Of course, I kid. Diapers aren't cheap and it will be nice to not have to buy them anymore. But, while I'll be really glad to have her out of diapers, I will also be very sad that my baby is too big for diapers. Because I know, from personal experience, that being too big for diapers leads to being too big for other things. My baby is growing up way too fast. While each new stage is exciting, she's leaving behind a piece of babyhood that I'll never get to experience again. As relieved as my exhausted self was when Ainsley started sleeping through the night, there was a part of me that knew I was going to miss the quiet nights spent snuggling up with her in the big, comfy chair, feeding her a bottle and smelling the top of her sweet head.
On the flip side (and to briskly change the subject before I start crying!), Ainsley is doing some pretty cool things. Her vocabulary has exploded recently and I can't even begin to count how many words she is saying. She has even started to string a few words together. "Baby. Stairs. Down." means she wants to take her baby downstairs with her now. (But don't try to hold her hand on the way down...she's much too big for that, you know!) And when I ask if she would like some carrots for dinner and she shakes her head and says, "MO!", what she really means is "Lady, there is no freakin' way I'm going to eat carrots and if you put them on my plate, I will scream." You get the idea.
She loves being outside and can even go up the ladder and down the slide at the community playset all by herself. She loves to sit at the table and draw pictures with pens and pencils while Jack does his homework. And she can often be found doling out hugs and kisses to her siblings, and even us parents, without even being asked to do so. She'll sit in my lap and look at books for hours and she loves it when Jack is home so she has someone to play cars and play ball with. Sometimes she gets frustrated because she's just not big enough to do all the things I know she wants to do. And sometimes her need for independence wears us both out. But it's awfully fun and I wouldn't have her any other way.
So, this started out as a post about how I'm not too fond of February and evolved into a nostalgic, weepy bit about my baby growing up. See? February is so kicking my butt that I can't even maintain a cohesive train of thought! I'm so glad this month is almost over. Then it will be March and March in the South brings sunshine and warmth and happiness. And you'll be able to find us at the playground. Ainsley will be the one going up the ladder and down the slide, displaying no fear or trepidation whatsoever. And I'll be the one standing at the bottom of the ladder, trying to smell the top of her sweet, little head each time she climbs up.