20 Months Young!


Happy 20 months today, Harmon!  Leaving the baby-teens behind!  In the past few days it seems like you’ve suddenly crossed an invisible threshold from baby to true toddler.  I realize this is my fourth go, but I feel like I’ve never had a toddler before for some reason…you are  veryveryveryVERY good at leaving a path of crazy in your wake despite your overall quiet & timid nature.  In fact, one of your favorite things right now is to empty every single playing card from the giant storage bag all over the living room floor—all these cards used to be in their own decks & spaces until someone rendered that organization pointless. 😉  I am very, very, very, VERY tired by the end of a day.  Bone-dead tired, body & soul, but, Harmon, you make our family complete & we couldn’t imagine life without your tiny hobbit ways!

More likes at 20 months…

  • MAMA!!!! I don’t need to elaborate.  Love you!
  • BALLS! You want all the balls in the entire world, I think.  You love to kick balls & catch balls & you’re still creepily good at catching any size ball that is tossed at you.  You probably need to be a keeper in soccer.  Or attend a bunch of baseball games & start a foul ball collection.
  • CHIPS! Oh my goodness, you are still an addict for chips, but since your diet is no-dairy and no-wheat, tortilla chips, Fritos plain corn chips, and Lay’s Poppables are about all you can stomach.  And with only SIX teeth still (less than 1% of kids your age have six teeth, by the way) eating anything is tricky, let alone something like a hard chip.  We give you tiny, tiny bites or chew them up mama-bird-style for you (I know, I know, gross, but it works).
  • HOLDING! By this I mean you want to hold all the babies yourself & all the animals on our Iowa hobby farm.  You say the word “hold” very well & clearly & ask to “hold” stuff all the time.  When I stopped watching my daycare baby “Sissy” (who, at 6 months of age, was heavier than & almost as tall as you!) you lost your chance to “hold” a baby on a fairly regular basis…you’ll just have to wait for Auntie Ellie’s next little one!  Hopefully by then you’ll be bigger than the average 9 month old & can actually do all this “holding” you think you’re doing! 😉
  • OUTSIDE! You would live outside in our yard if we let you.  You especially like to climb up & down hills, but have a particular fascination with the dirt hill in front of the chicken coop.  The hill that is full of chicken poo & dirt & old stumps & too steep for your abilities…of course that’s the hill you like the best. xo
  • CARS, the movie! You only actually seem to like watching the opening sequence wherein the cars race around the track & Sheryl Crow sings.  Then you lose interest.  You also like the movie Moana to an extent—if someone is not singing onscreen, however, you’re done, which brings me to…
  • MUSIC! You are still our little music man!  Makes me so happy how much you love music.  You love to dance & bob your head & shake your bum to music of all sorts.  Hopefully we can get you enrolled in a toddler music class this fall…how are you that old already???
  • DEER! You LOVE looking at deer in the yard out the windows.  Birds, too.  You like to listen to birds when we’re outside & you’ll cock your ear & point up.
  • BIKING! Daddy fixed the baby seat on the back of my bike up & now we take you for rides up & down the long driveway on a fairly consistent basis in the afternoon/evenings.  You seem to relish it despite the scenery repetition.

More random likes: picking out your clothes from the bottom drawer of the dresser, throwing away your huge morning diaper after being changed & then high-fiving me, sucking on ice in a rag (like your sister June who taught you to do this!), picking grass clumps from the garden while we weed (you like to help!), wiping the floors with a wipe (again, being helpful to mama),  listening to books (favorite books tend to be about chickens, trucks/cars, animals), blowing the dish soap bubbles all over the kitchen, going upstairs to play in your siblings’ rooms (I think it really bugs you that you can’t go up there whenever you want), climbing up & on & all over stuff—you’re a climber!, petting the cats—usually while sitting in a dirt pile, wearing hats & socks & shoes (because you think this means you’re going outside), putting lotion on your face all by yourself (due to your eczema, you have a lot of lotion application going on 24/7), banging on smartphones/iPods/iPads/laptops—but watching home videos of yourself & your siblings is your favorite technological pastime.

A few things you do NOT seem to like: WATER.  You don’t like swimming pools, sprinklers, showers, lakes, or even the bathtub if mama is not bathing with you.  You will not sleep for long without mama or, frankly, sleep at all.  We co-sleep all night & you continue to nurse all night long, so much nursing, in fact, that my period has still not returned, but you’re so very tiny & eat so very little food that breastmilk is probably 50% or more of your diet, so I’m not doing anything to wean you yet.  You won’t nap for very long, which drives me crazy, & you still require two naps a day, which is also driving me crazy.  I’ve tried moving you to one long nap in the afternoon many many MANY times & we’re making no progress.  One nap doesn’t work yet.  Teeth-brushing practically puts you into a tantrum.  Hair-brushing is pretty awful, too, but this seems to be a common theme in this family.  The car seat is also your nemesis.  Riding in the car is generally a very bad thing in your world.  Now that Coralee can drive herself to school and sports on a school permit, however, life in this department has improved a hundredfold for you!

I’m not sure on your stats, I’ll try to weigh & measure you this week & update this post.

Words: You are not talking much, but your babbling seems to be exploding suddenly.  You will try to say most any word we ask you to say, but everything still sounds pretty much the same.  You can make a lot of animal noises—roosters crowing, cats meowing, dogs panting.  You imitate a baby bawling really well (daycare baby helped immensely with this).  You say mama (finally!!!), dada, hold, iwantdat (“I want that” garbled together), datway (“that way”), wawa (water), baba (bottle of almond milk).  You smack your mouth to indicate you’re hungry or when you just want something badly.  You’re actually quite good at communicating in a nonverbal manner.  We can usually figure out what you want without any words…I’m wondering if this will make your speech delayed?  I guess we’ll find out.

Something cute you started doing this week is keeping your head/gaze fixed forward, while rolling your eyes to the side.  Gives me a headache to do it, but you seem to love doing it & usually laugh at yourself when you’re done.

Love you, tiny hobbit!  So very glad you’re here!

 

Harmon’s Favorite Things: 14 Months 

Another edition!  Another month gone…

a) Harmon is still very VERY much a musical little guy.  He likes playing Coralee & Merritt’s old school recorders (walks around the house tooting away), but I couldn’t locate either recorder for the photo so I used an old loon call of mine from when I was a kid–he likes this, too.

b) These are June’s socks.   Since the beginning of the school year Harmon has enjoyed swiping June’s socks off the floor as she gets dressed in her pants/shirt…it’s become a fun game between the two of them made all the more entertaining now that he can walk!  Suffice to say, June wastes a lot of precious time in the mornings sometimes with her baby brother & her socks…

c) Harmonica!  Harmon continues his love affair with this instrument.

d) “A Day at the Beach” is a book my Grandma Darling (paternal grandmother from Texas) gave me when I was a toddler/preschooler.  Harmon found it on the bookshelf & has decided it is his favorite book at the moment.  He doesn’t really want us to read it to him, he just likes to carry it around & occasionally sit down to flip through it.  He has also thrown it in the bathtub…not cool, little man!

e) Used dryer sheets…I do not get this obsession, but it continues this month.

f) My knitting notions bag–he loves emptying this bag so much he was swiping it off the bed as I took the photo!  He especially likes to unravel the knitting tape measure & drag it around like a puppy on a leash.

g) Brushes.  He loves to brush his hair.  He will use anything to do so, but we try to promote using the actual tool for the job.

h) A PLAN toys pull-along dog.  For a few days recently he was very much infatuated with this toy–not pulling it, just playing with it and pushing it.  He’s lost interest now.

i) Real shoes!  Harmon finally needs a real pair of shoes for leaving the house & he very much enjoys it when we put the shoes on his feet.  Hope it lasts!  He has TINY feet, however, & I had a little trouble finding non-crib shoes for his mini feet.  Went back to my old standby for baby shoes–pediped.  Merritt wore this brand as a toddler, too.

j) Coralee’s knit cat ‘Bubbles’–both Coralee & Merritt have one of these large knit cats.  Harmon likes hugging both & dragging around the house.

k) Doll teepee.  This is June’s toy to go along with her Native American wooden dolls.  It has a handle on top & Harmon likes to carry it around, kind of like it’s his purse.

l) Balls of all kinds, but especially golf balls.

m) Old school “My Little Pony” combs remain a favorite.

n) Wild Kratts!  Well, the theme song to [PBS show] “Wild Kratts”–he dances & shakes his torso whenever he hears the theme play.  He carries the DVD cases around & says “Wha wha.”  His siblings LOVE this show more than probably any other show & Coralee’s 14.5!  Merritt’s almost 12!  Science never gets boring, thank goodness. 🙂

He fell asleep in his carseat once clutching one of his recorders.Pardon the poor quality photo [this post is full of these, unfortunately]–more recorder love!Dryer sheet love.

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This is embarrassing to admit…Harmon is ridiculously obsessed with chips.  Ugh!  His dad is sort of a chip-aholic.  We don’t eat chips everyday or anything like that, but Harmon has developed a very bad habit of wanting chips.  If we’re shopping & he sees a bag on the conveyor belt, he goes nuts reaching for the bag, whining, etc.  He still only has one tooth so the only way he ever gets chips is if I chew one up for him first.  Needless to say, chips are no longer making an appearance at any of our meals & no one is allowed to eat chips when Harmon is awake anymore.  He was kissing the bag in the above photo.

He loves being in our master bathroom, even in the dark.  I think he likes throwing things in the empty tub & shutting the door mostly…he also likes to play in the hanging cloth diaper bag (yuck!) & in the trash bin.  We’ve moved the trash now due to him emptying the contents into the tub one afternoon.  He thought it was very funny!

Balls are very entertaining.

img_83551I included these photos to show him with the doll teepee, but I snapped the photos because the ribbed waist of his Balloon Baby Pants had gotten so stretched out one day that it just fell down!  He couldn’t figure out what was going on, it was hilarious.  He finally just took the silly pants off.

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img_83071I couldn’t end with those crazy pants-falling-down photos so I just threw in this napping photo.  He is taking a longer nap now (HOORAY!), but still taking one in the morning & again in the afternoon.

Other new things this month include learning to give “kisses” or “smooches” & saying “muah!” when he does so–it’s adorable!  Coralee taught him the “muah!” part. He also walks around with his arms stretched out to the sides when he wants a hug or to be picked up.  He walks quite well, but no running yet.

He can say mama, dada, wow, bye (he said that for the first time today!), and he makes the cock-a-doodle-do sound when he sees a chicken out the back porch windows or hears one of our roosters crowing.  When he wants something he smacks his mouth–this has meant “I want that” for several months running now.  It used to just mean he wanted to nurse, but now it’s a general “give me that”!  He babbles constantly at home.  He’s quite shy when we’re out & about, but hollers loudly unabashedly if he wants something.

Meal time is still incredibly tricky due to his dairy allergy (we think it’s an allergy at this point–I still mean to blog about it) & his one lousy tooth!  He needs some teeth!  A second bottom one is in the works, but as Brian pointed out last week, he needs some on top, too, if he’s going to chew better.  I’m sure it will happen soon & then I’ll miss his gummy smile.

We have a very VERY bad problem with boxelder bugs in the house this winter & Harmon has decided finding one crawling on the floor is a real “treat” & tries to eat the buggers–GROSS, I know!  And probably dangerous.  I have to be very vigilant.  I spend five minutes or more every morning looking for bugs on the floors & subsequently squash them or pitch ’em back outside into the cold.  I hate those things.

~ ~ ~

Happy 14 Months, Harmon Hunter!

First Tooth Lost!

June lost her first tooth last night after working ALL.DAY.LONG to pull it out!  She was determined to lose it ASAP in order to share about the experience at school.  She kept telling/asking me to pull it out for her which I gladly would have done, but she clearly needed no help.  She wiggled and twisted for hours, exasperatedly telling us how badly she wanted it out NOW.  And then all of sudden it was out!  It didn’t even bleed it must have been so close to falling out.  This is the earliest any of my kids have lost a tooth and Harmon Hunter (who turns one year old this week!!) still has ZERO teeth!  So crazy.  We took all four kids to the dentist yesterday (I thought Harmon would have a mouthful of teeth by one year of age, oops) and everyone with teeth is cavity-free.  (Coralee has a congenital hole in one of her adult molars that we’ve known about forever that will be filled permanently if the tooth ever manages to rise completely above the gums, but we don’t count that.)  The dentist didn’t even look at Harmon, for obvious reasons.  Hopefully he’ll have a mouth full of chompers in six months’ time when we go back.  The Tooth Fairy left June a nice handwritten note rolled up with 5 one-dollar bills & tied with some lovely purple baby alpaca. 🙂

I should address the fact I’ve been MIA for over six months here on the blog…I can only blame a tornado in July that took out the area’s only cell tower that our service provider uses (apparently) and the fact that we live in rural Iowa and cellular data is our only internet access.  Oh, also, Harmon requires every bit of me.  Every.bit.  I am very tired.  I will post a one-year update for him soon, once we take his one-year photos.  I promise it will be worth it, so I hope I haven’t lost all my readers!  He’s very cute!  A tiny tiny little man at 16lb.  See you back here soon!

Halfway!

Harmon was six months on the 1st of June!  I waited to post his six month photos until after his 6-month well child check today.  He weighed 13lbs 8oz on June 1st & today at his appointment he weighed 13lbs 12oz & is 25.5inches long.  His height is hovering just below the 5th percentile for breastfed babies & his weight is under the 1st percentile.  During the last two months I have fretted & worried non-stop about his weight.  I’ve taken him to the lactation clinic multiple times and tried all sorts of ways to try to get him to eat more (& thus gain weight faster)…but, basically, it all boils down to Harmon is just a small person!  He also has a dairy/soy intolerance.  It’s been about two months since I’ve given up eating any dairy at all & we’ve noticed a marked change in his personality, sleeping habits, and gut issues.  His poos are no longer green!  His eczema isn’t raging red!  Life is good!  But, boy oh boy, do I ever miss dairy…I’m a total cliche…I’m from Wisconsin & my favorite food is cheese!  This no-dairy diet, however, sure is good for weight loss.  I’ve never dropped so much weight so quickly in my life.  (I’m fairly certain I’ve blogged about this before, haven’t I??)His hair is getting thicker, but it’s still mostly fuzz.  Sometimes it looks blonde-red & other times a very light brown.

 

We visited the butterfly house at Reiman Gardens in Ames last month as part of June’s birthday gift (June LOVES butterflies!).  I think Harmon was watching the butterflies flit past him in the carrier a few times!

June continues to love her brother “so much” & often a little too much…but Harmon seems to tolerate her antics better every day.

Harmon has been my helper at the nature center in Buchanan County several times now.  He’s a very well behaved volunteer. 🙂
In the morning from about 4AM until 7ish he fusses in his sleep a lot & has to be rocked, bounced, nursed, etc to get those last few hours of sleep in, sleep we both need.We’ve taken to calling him our “Hobbit” due to his small size.  He is so very tiny!  And so cute!  Coralee, Merritt, & I all finished reading The Hobbit recently & watched the Peter Jackson trilogy, so we were mostly influenced in that regard with his new nickname.  We also call him Harmie, Harmonica, HARmione (like Hermione), Little Man, & Little Jerry (he looks like my dad sometimes, we think).We visited the local ER on Memorial Day weekend for what I thought was a choking incident.  I had Brian call 911 as I was convinced he was choking on something (a toy?)–he quit breathing, he was gagging, it was all incredibly scary!  The EMTs checked him out & felt it was not an emergency situation (the incident that prompted me to yell at Brian to call 911 only lasted like ten seconds), but that we should have an X-ray done to rule out anything being swallowed.  Nothing showed up on the X-ray save for a lot of gas…the on-call doctor kept commenting on how much gas he had in his stomach & that she could hear it with her stethoscope, too.  I believe Harmon does have some issues with acid bubbling up & since the non-choking choking incident he has done this no-breathing/gagging thing several more times…scares the dickens out of me every time, too.He was in a fairly good mood despite being up way past his 7pm bedtime.  Poor little man!He’s wearing a tee (above) that I wore as a baby from Matagorda, TX.  My dad was born & grew up in Matagorda County.  I hope we get to take Harmon (& June!) to the beach in Matagorda someday.  My older kids ask to go again all the time.Merritt & June have had swimming lessons every morning for the past week in town.  Harmon & I hang out in the car mostly due to the HEAT around here.  A heat index of 100’F is too much for a baby!Harmon & I like to hang out on the back porch in the morning before the other kids wake up.  We listen to the birds & have our coffee & toast with mashed avocado on it.  Harmon has been “eating” little bites of avocado, carrot, & potato for about a week now.  He’s not really into it at all….mostly he spits it out or wipes it all over himself.  His feet in this photo crack me up, for some reason.  Those toes!  He is very good at using both his feet to manipulate toys, actually.  He also continues grabbing things with his left hand much more so than his right.  His right is what we call “the beater”–he hits/bangs/beats on stuff (my back!) with his right hand a lot.  June used to pat people who picked her up on the back, too, like Harmon has started doing to me now. ❤ ❤ ❤

Harmon has a friend a few miles down the road who was born three weeks after him!  They like to hang out together while his mother & I “knit”…Merritt says we mostly just “yenta” like the mom on the American television show “The Goldbergs.”  He is completely correct, of course, but I will continue to say “I have knitting tonight” at least once a month. 😉Sometimes I catch him playing with his feet & cooing in bed in the morning after sleeping in a bit longer than me.  He likes to watch the ceiling fan, too.He looks just like my dad in this photo, I think!

He began sitting up unassisted on June 9th!  Yeah, Harmon!  He also started saying “ba-ba” on June 11th & has been practicing his one & only “word” ever since.June likes to sing to Harmon.  Right now her favorite song is “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles.  When I was pregnant with him she sang “Beautiful Boy” by John Lennon to my belly all the time.  We also have found that practically since birth he enjoys listening to “Bad” by Michael Jackson.  If he’s freaking out in the carseat, the kids will blast that song on my iPhone & he usually stops his fit.  He definitely likes music.  He also loves love loves his mama.  He’s a total mama’s boy, no doubt, but is very interested in what is happening around him at all times, too.  Just don’t take him away from his mama! 😉

You’re halfway to a year, Harmon Hunter!  Happy Half Birthday!  You keep being you, our little hobbit!

High Five!

High five, Harmon, you’re five months old!  And you’re so handsomely cute!  (I’m not sure if he actually is handsome, but I’ve had several strangers tell me in the past week that he is a “handsome boy”.)

So much has changed as of late.  I took Harmon to a lactation consultant the day after he turned five months & she agreed with what I have been suspecting since his four month well-child check–he has a milk soy protein intolerance.  We will have him officially tested at his six-month check, but for now I have cut dairy entirely, even “hidden dairy”.  It’s been three weeks since I cut most dairy & one week since I went cold-turkey & I can definitely see improvement.  [WARNING, TMI ahead!]  His stools are finally becoming seedy/yellow again, he no longer has constant diarrhea, his eczema patches on his torso/legs are no longer flaring angry raised red, & he’s napping better!!!!  The last week he has steadily been building toward consisten 1-2 hour naps 3X per day!  Miracles do happen!!!! 😉 

Harmon remains a tiny tiny person.  I think now that I’ve completely cut dairy & he’s not pooing 24/7 anymore, he will begin to gain weight better.  At five months he weighs exactly 13 lbs–2nd percentile, yikes!  So he’s slipped a few percentiles since his birthweight.  He doesn’t appear tiny to most people, but when you pick him up, you realize it instantly.  I thought this photo & the previous one illustrate his smallness fairly well. He loves looking at our vast collection of laminated pocket guides.June continues to LOVE her brother so much.  Harmon remains a bit leery, but he does laugh at her antics sometimes.He still likes to support himself up against furniture.  Finding toys in the baby toys bin is one of his favorite pasttimes, but he does get frustrated fairly quickly if he can’t reach what he wants.  He can roll from tummy to back, but hardly ever does….he just fusses on his tummy.  No sitting up, no scooting, no crawling.  I can still lay him down & he goes nowhere, but he’s not usually happy about it!  He prefers to sleep on his side.  Getting to sleep around 7PM at night involves a lot of bouncing; nursing doesn’t do the trick anymore.  He rubs his face on everything when he’s starting to get tired.Mama’s savior!!!  I usually prefer a little coffee with my heavy cream, so cutting dairy nearly did me in until I found this gem.Harmon loves his feet.  He also prefers hard toys over soft & everything goes in the mouth usually with his left hand.  My dad & his sister are left-handed & there are zero left-handed kids/grandkids in our family so a lefty would be awesome!  I realize it’s too early to tell, but I’m not imagining it that he does seem to use his left hand a majority of the time right now.  He’s still solidly a mama’s boy & sometimes tolerates Coralee, but he’s got major stranger anxiety.  He likes to sit on my lap on the back porch & just watch what happens in the backyard.  He loves sucking on the bottom of cold glasses, but he’s still exclusively breastfed.  Eating when he’s away from the house, however, is practically impossible unless he’s in the Tula.  Too much to see!  I also think he’s just a creature of habit & does not do well away from his routine.  He basically doesn’t eat when we’re away & then makes up for it all night long.  He is most content when I’m carrying him around the house, looking out the windows…going for walks is hit or miss.  He doesn’t like wind AT ALL.  Gets really fussy when the wind blows on him in the carrier & usually develops the hiccups, too.  Car rides are absolutely his least favorite thing.  He screams, cries, bellows, fusses…never sleeps.  Our 14 hour trip to Colorado this July is going to be interesting… But he’s my sweetie!  I wish the days would stop racking up so quickly…

3 becomes 4!

Harmon is four months!

I did not find the time to blog his third month milestones/photos last month, so I included one of his three month photos below. He’s changed so much! So much less hair, which I am sad about; his hair, especially on top of his head, is falling out/has fallen out & is being replaced by a lighter color. He still has all his baby hair in the back & it is very dark. I’m wondering what color he is going to end up with by a year old…I just hope he has some at this rate!

Three months!

Three months!

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IMG_3652[1]He was just under 12lbs at four months.  Today I took him in for his four month well-child check & he weighed 12lbs 7oz.  He’s in the 2nd percentile for weight.  At 24.25in long, he’s in the 7th percentile for height.  His head circumference is still hovering at the 50th percentile.  Still wearing his newborn Sloomb diapers, but he’s moved into medium Sloomb flats.  A small guy!IMG_3014[1]He cannot sit up & has not rolled even once, but he can hold his weight up in his legs very well!  He did this around 3.5 months!  June was stunned!  I was just plain old worried….not ready for this!
IMG_3657[1]He always has his hands together now like in this photo.  It is most definitely a comfort measure.  Reminds me of my dad.IMG_3658[1]

IMG_3659[1]He helps me wake up Merritt for the early bus around 6:15AM every morning.  Takes a very short nap (like 12 minutes) about an hour after waking up.IMG_3660[1]

IMG_2668[1]June took this photo in the car & I just thought it was cute.IMG_2549[1]Speaking of June, she wants to TOUCH TOUCH TOUCH her baby brother all.the.time.  It’s becoming a bit of a problem, but she just loves him so much.  I just wish she would stop touching his face.  He’s had far too many colds.  Harmon is a bit leery of her, but to be honest, he’s a bit leery of everyone.  He’s very serious.  Very much a mama’s boy.  He just wants his mama at all times & then everything is OK.IMG_3486[1]Hey, baby.  I’d like you to meet my girlfriend.IMG_3487[1]That’s some manicure my sister (June) gave ya.IMG_3490[1]You still there?IMG_3493[1]I think we should see other people.IMG_3656[1]Hanging with mama in the early morning.IMG_3475[1]Celebrating Merritt’s birthday!IMG_2535[1]I found this photo on my phone.IMG_2541[1]

Sleepy pics.  Harmon takes like 4-5 12-minute naps during the day.  Gah!   He sleeps well at night, waking a few times to nurse, so I can’t complain….but, yeah, I do!IMG_2647[1]

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IMG_3653[1]Four months is so sweet! xoxo

Eleven Birthdays!

Merritt celebrated eleven years on Wednesday!  I was 23 when I gave birth to him–I have changed so much since that time!  Merritt brings lots of smiles to our family, lots of laughter, lots of excitement, & lots of parenting challenges, but he absolutely, 100% is making us better parents & keeping life interesting around here. 🙂

Merritt, you are creative, crazy intelligent, a blast to hang with one-on-one, & so very interesting to talk to–I love chatting with you in the morning as we wait for the bus!  I love you with everything I have, buddy, & I am so excited to see what you give to this world in the years ahead!  Happy Eleven Years!  Like your big sis told you, a milestone year!  You can no longer count your age with just your fingers! 😉