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[ad] Today I am dreaming of Christmas parties. Anyone else? We’re only halfway through the month and we’ve already had more family gatherings than I can count with so many more to go. And Christmas parties in the Bartlett household means photos…lots of photos. But I just didn't feel very photo-ready thanks to my grays (and yes, I had A LOT of grays). So I picked up @zotosprofessional hair color at @sallybeauty and these days I'm feeling gorgeous, confident, and ready to take on the holiday photos. Today on the blog, I'm sharing how I get myself photo-ready as well as what I plan to wear to this year's Christmas party! #MyAgeBeautiful #sponsored #linkinbio
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[ad] Today I am dreaming...

I've been a bit MIA lately. Why you may ask? Well, because I've been half on the struggle bus and half working on a rather large project that I've had in draft mode for far too long. And I am SO excited about it. I literally woke up the other day and decided THAT was the day I'd get started on it and I've been hooked on it ever since. If you're a mom in Southern Maine, you won't want to miss this! So be sure to sign up for our email list via the link in my bio so you can be one of the first to know what's going on.
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I've been a bit MIA...

Well, it's officially the day Zack and I have been looking forward to for a couple of years now. While we've already unofficially been "moved on" from military life for a couple of months now, today it's official that Zack is no longer an Active Duty Marine and I am no longer a military spouse. The first big chapter of his adult life and our life together has officially ended. It's scary almost when you've been living with all the stability of a lifestyle for so long. A stable job, stable income, health benefits, a home. It's been a challenging couple of months as we get more settled here in Maine and figure out the next step for our little family. But I know we have so much to look forward to in the next year and it's refreshing to know we have the opportunity to start over. I am so proud of this guy and I can't wait to see what the next chapter of our life has in store for us. •
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Well, it's officially the day...

This mama is on the struggle bus today. This morning I spent over an hour searching for Allie's sippy cup of milk only to find it in the shower...where I looked 5+ times considering that's where she was playing while I got ready for the day. I then got the incorrect order from Dunkin and to make that even worse, it was pumpkin flavored...and if you know me, you know I cannot stand anything pumpkin flavored so I couldn't even suck it up and drink it (shoutout to @mwhited8195 for bringing me the correct drink order!). Nap time wasn't any better. A solid 40 minutes of crying before Allie finally went down...then she woke up 30 minutes later 🙄 And now I'm scrambling to get everything on my to-do list done so we can officially launch Blogmas tomorrow 😬 It's been a morning and I'm about ready for my own nap at this point. But at least it's Friday? 🤷🏻‍♀️😂
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This mama is on the...

It's yet another snow day here in Maine. The last winter I spent here was in 2015 and we maybe had three snow storms all winter. This year, we've had 3-5 just in the last couple of weeks 🙄 I'm already homesick for beautiful and warm North Carolina summers 😔 anyone else here who hates winter? If you need us, Allie and I will be curled up inside with some movies and a never-ending to-do list. #bloggerlife •
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It's yet another snow day...

Blogmas starts in T-5 days! I've been working so hard on producing awesome Blogmas content these past couple of months so I'm super excited to finally start sharing it with you all this weekend. Today on the blog I'm sharing a quick breakdown of Blogmas 2018, what you can look forward to on Mainely Keating, and 25 blog post ideas for those of you who want to participate in Blogmas as well! You can find the link to the full blog post in my bio! •
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Blogmas starts in T-5 days!...

Allie’s 18 Month Update

Allie's 18-Month Update

Oh man, it has been FOREVER since we’ve done an update on Allie on this blog. The last one we did was when she turned one and now she’s 18 months. It’s crazy how fast these last 6 months have gone and I cannot believe we’re already 6 months away from her SECOND birthday. How insane is that?! It kills me! But it’s super exciting to be back here with a new update for you all.

These past 6 months have been insanely busy for our little family. Shortly after Allie’s first birthday, she and I flew to Maine to visit family for a week which was so much fun because Allie hadn’t met everyone yet. We then spent the summer exploring San Diego and soaking up the sunshine and warm weather before moving back cross-country to Maine in mid-September. Zack got out of the Marine Corps at this time as well and his contract officially ends December 1st so that’s been a tad on the stressful side here.

It’s all been a huge adjustment for our family and to be honest, we’re still not 100% sure what our next steps are at this point in time. I’m sure there will be lots of updates along the way as we tie up some loose ends and get everything sorted out. In this time, our little girl has grown and changed so much since her last update so let’s get right to it (also, I’m quite sorry if this post is very photo-heavy! It’s been 6 months since our last update and I just couldn’t narrow down the photos)!

Allie's 18 Month Update

Allie’s 18 Month Update

Weight:

She’s now roughly 24 pounds (*we did not have an 18 month well visit so this is going off our home scale).

Height:

She’s now about 34 inches tall (still the 99th percentile). She’s grown 4 inches since her first birthday which is insane to me!

Sizes:

She’s still in size 4 diapers and in clothing, she’s wearing 24 months, 2T and 3T. It really varies depending on the clothing item and brand. She even has some coats that are 18-month sizing and are still big on her. So it greatly varies.

Eating:

As mentioned in her 12-month update, Allie has been completely off formula since she was 11 months old. She still eats just about anything and hasn’t developed any weird habits or pickiness toward certain foods. We continue to offer her new food options and she just recently tried chocolate milk and a few candies which she obviously loved.

Our only “problem area” right now is with her not finishing her meals. It’s a hit or miss lately so I’m not sure if it’s because of the move and being away from our own home or what it is. But we’re taking it one day at a time and continuously offer her snacks to try to make up for it as well. She’s not losing weight or anything like that so for now, we’re just making sure she eats enough throughout the day even if it’s not a full meal. But we’re still overall doing very well in this department.

Allie’s 18 Month Update

Allie's 18 Month Update

Allie’s 18 Month Update

Sleep:

It’s been a little rocky here and there since her 12-month update, but overall I feel we’re still thriving in this department. You can read more about her sleep in our sleep training post I did a couple of weeks ago, but I’ll give a quick recap.

As some of you know, Allie and I flew to Maine from California over the summer to visit some family. During that week, we got very off track with sleep (she refused to sleep alone and this mama was way too exhausted without Zack around to listen to the crying) so I figured we’d fix any bad habits once we were back home in California. It didn’t fix itself…

RelatedHow We Sleep Trained Our Toddler

At 15 months (about 1.5 months later), we decided it was time to re-train her in the sleep department which you can read more about here. She was “fixed” within 48 hours and has been excellent ever since. We then moved cross-country a couple weeks after that and she did phenomenal during the drive and sleeping in her pack n play in hotels. It was a slight adjustment once we arrived here in Maine but she still sleeps great in her crib for both nap time and bedtime. These days she actually gets excited to go to bed which makes life so much less stressful.

She still goes to sleep at 6:30 pm and wakes up between 6 and 7 am and then she still has a solid nap from 11:30 am to about 1/2 pm. The only change here is that her naps are now averaging about 1.5 hours as opposed to 2-2.5 hours, but that’s not a biggie.

Allie’s 18 Month Update

Allie’s 18 Month Update

Personality:

Stiiiiiill a love bug. She now knows how to give kisses and hugs which we’re absolutely loving. She’s constantly coming up to us to give us hugs or kisses. She loves being close to us and cuddling which makes me so happy. Back when Allie was first born and I started talking about our choice to formula feed, I remember getting comments about how much “less cuddly” she’ll be because of it and how we won’t have the same kind of bond as those who breastfeed. Well, I can say with confidence that Allie isn’t any less cuddly nor does she love me any less for having formula. So if anyone is concerned about that, rest assured, your little one will be just fine!

Another thing we’re loving is that she’s so eager to help. We’ve promoted “chores” from the get-go with her by including her in cleaning up her toys and throwing things in the trash. She’s now at an age where she loves it. She loves helping and being included in those things. She has no problem cleaning up her blocks when I ask her to or wiping up spilled milk with a paper towel (and tossing the towel in the trash afterward). She’s excellent in that department and we really enjoy it.

Allie also looooves books. This is another thing we’ve always promoted from the start. We don’t do iPads and all that with her at all so we’re constantly buying her new books. She could sit on the floor and listen to every single book we own and not move a muscle the entire time. It’s easily her favorite activity and she’s always handing us books to read to her throughout the day. So if anyone has any book recommendations, I’d love to hear them!

Lastly, this little girl is such a sweetheart. She had her first trick-or-treating experience last month and this girl tried so hard to give people her candy every time we walked up to a new house. She had caught on that people were handing her candy as they opened the door so after a few houses, she started to give out candy too. I loved it. These are the traits parents need to be nurturing and instilling in their kids. I want her to be just as giving and sweet as a grown adult as she is as a toddler.

Allie’s 18 Month Update

Allie’s 18 Month Update

Milestones:

She talks! This is easily one of the most exciting milestones she’s ever had. I’ve been waiting for this day for so long and I’m absolutely loving it. She’s not saying sentences yet, but she repeats practically anything and everything we tell her to say which has been so fun!

I’ve had a few people comment on the fact that Allie wasn’t talking yet and while I wasn’t worried in the slightest, it’s a bit of a relief knowing she’s starting to talk now (mainly because I really didn’t want to deal with a pediatrician insisting she needed some sort of speech therapy or something. Nothing against it, but we weren’t going to be going that route). She currently says please, thank you, hi, bye, baby, uh-oh, ouch, oops, puppy, shoes, hat, Gigi (her great-grandmother), Jack (her puppy dog), daddy/dada, cheese, trash, etc. Still no mama, but hey, at least she says please and thank you. I’ll take that!

Another big thing she’s doing is climbing. On EVERYTHING. I think this started at around 14 months or so. She finally figured out how to climb up onto our couches and now she climbs on anything and everything. She loves it, but we’re now working on teaching her not to play on the couches and bed. We’re teaching her that we sit when we’re up there. It’s a work in progress. Some days she listens and other days we have to put a gate up to block her off from furniture ha!

I’m also super excited to say we are pacifier free (does this count as a milestone? haha)! We dropped the pacifier at 15 months when we jumped back into sleep training and I couldn’t be happier with how easy it was. I’m not a “transitions” kind of mom. I’m more of a cold turkey kind of mom. So we just tossed them in the trash and never looked back. So I’m happy to not have them in our lives anymore.

Allie’s 18 Month Update

Best Moments:

Can I say all of them? Because I really do adore the toddler stage so much.

First and foremost before anything else, I think one of our best moments was Allie and I visiting Maine over the summer. She was 13.5 months at the time and she and I flew to Maine for a week so she could see and visit with family. She hadn’t met everyone yet since we lived so far away at the time, but my absolute favorite moment from that trip was her meeting her great great grandmother. It was incredible to get a photo of 5 generations. That’s such a rare thing to have and I am so thankful we were able to have that.

When we arrived in Maine, Allie and I both participated in our first 5K. It’s been on my bucket list for quite some time now so it was super exciting to be able to do that with Allie. We have another one scheduled for the first weekend of December which I’ll be sure to share with you all (it’s a good one!).

As mentioned above, Allie is also finally saying some words which is so incredibly exciting. That has definitely been one of the best moments since her last update. I love hearing her talk and can’t wait until she’s at an age where she’s telling me stories.

Allie’s 18 Month Update

Another high point was Allie’s “first” Halloween. It was technically her second, but it was her first time trick-or-treating. She’s still not quite old enough to eat much, but we were super thankful to have gotten a lot of snack-style foods in her basket which worked perfectly. She had some crackers, hot cocoa, cookies, pretzels, etc. so they were nice treats that she could actually eat AND it meant less candy that the two of us had to eat! ha!

In addition to Halloween, our little family did so many fun fall activities as well. I love autumn so much and autumn in Maine is a million times between than autumn in SoCal. We missed it so much. So we took Allie apple picking for the first time which was super fun. We also took her to Pumpkin Valley Farm to pick out a pumpkin and we even spent some time at the Fryeburg Fair.

Lastly, Allie had her very first snow day this month! Our little California baby wasn’t a fan of it at first, but I think she’s starting to warm up to it. We just need to get her some snow pants, boots, and actual winter gloves to keep her hands warm. Once she’s warmer, I’m sure she’ll love it more!

As always, I’m really loving watching Allie grow in general. I know I say that with every update, but it’s seriously one of my favorite things about being a mom. She’s such an incredible little girl and she amazes me every single day. She’s constantly growing and changing and I couldn’t even imagine missing these moments. I love being home with her and being able to experience her childhood with her. It’s incredible.

Allie’s 18 Month Update

Allie’s 18 Month Update

Allie’s 18 Month Update

“Worst” Moments:

Our little family has gone through A LOT of changes these past 6 months since our last update. Allie and I traveled home to Maine to visit family in July, then we did some sleep training in August and moved cross-country in September. We spent 7 days in the car totaling 50 hours and 3,000+ miles. We’ve been living with Zack’s mom since then and as of right now there’s no real plan officialized for our next step. So it’s been one big “worst” moment in some ways.

But knowing all this, I honestly wouldn’t call any of Allie’s “bad” moments that bad. They’ve all been linked the millions of changes we’ve put her through and honestly, I feel that she’s handling them the best she possibly can be given her age and the circumstances.

I think one of the biggest issues we’ve had is in the listening department. It’s been an adjustment going from her only being around me and Zack all day to her being around every member of the family on a weekly basis. So for example, in our home, we don’t give her remoted. Those aren’t toys. But in family’s homes they love giving her any and all remotes they have in their home. So then that makes it more challenging on us when we bring her back home and tell her ‘no’ to our own remotes. She’s just not at an age where she understands why it’s okay for her to have them in one place and not another. So finding that balance has been a bit of a challenge here.

Allie’s 18 Month Update

Allie’s 18 Month Update

Allie’s 18 Month Update

Going off her not listening as well, this also comes with tantrums. So many tantrums. And while I know and understand that it’s super common and normal for her age group (10 years of working with toddlers 12-24 months old), it’s not typical for her to do that. She’s not a tantrum kind of child. Never has been. But I think this really stems from us not being in our home and going through so many adjustments with family right now. So while it’s been really tough there, we’re doing our best to get through it and create as much stability as we can for her to keep her on track with her routines.

Lastly, we have sleep. And while I mentioned earlier that she’s still doing great in the sleep department, it’s also been a bit of a challenge sometimes. Allie is currently sleeping in the same room as us so it makes it hard in the middle of the night because if she wakes up, she can see us. She knows we’re there. So we’re just not able to let her whine/cry it out like we normally would because she can literally see that we’re right there. So, unfortunately, when that happens, she ends up in our bed which totally sucks, but again, we’re making it work.

So while our little family is going through a lot right now, all of these “worst” moments have really just been due to all the changes we’ve been going through. We’re looking forward to getting back into our own home again and really getting her back into a stable routine and atmosphere.

What about baby #2?

Ever since Allie turned a year old, I’ve had more and more people ask about baby #2. We’re currently still in a bit of a transitional period from Zack getting out of the military so there are no official plans of baby #2 as of right now. BUT I can confidently say there will be another Baby Bartlett at some point (hopefully in 2019). Right now we’re kind of just tying up some loose ends and trying to set ourselves up for success there. So stay tuned!

Allie’s 18 Month Update

Allie’s 18 Month Update

Check Out Allie’s Past Updates!

1 Month Update

2 Month Update

3 Month Update

4 Month Update

*no 5 or 6-month updates*

7 Month Update

8 Month Update

9 Month Update

*no 10-month update*

11 Month Update

12 Month Update

XOXO
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