Monday, September 13, 2010

This Would Be The MASSIVE Post: PART I of II

Our baby girl is nearly 18 months old. On a daily basis she's doing and saying new things and she's just blowing my mind away with how fun and clever and sooo way CUTE she is. It's unbelievable how quickly she's picking up stuff. Over a month ago, she reached the point where we can ask her to say something and she'll valiantly give it her best effort to repeat the word.

A couple weeks ago, she began saying the following things with perfect clarity:
No way - - this one is absolutely adorable
Nope - - this one is equally absolutely adorable
Night-night - - this one is also equally absolutely adorable
Again please - - " "
Fruit leather - - " "
Well, actually, that last one is not yet spoken with perfect clarity, but I love it whenever she tries.
And what I love most is any and all unsolicited "Thank you Mommie"s - - Yes, this one, most of all, melts my heart to pure, utter gooey, lovey-dovey mush.

Over the summer she discovered Elmo - - Can I say Elmo is like baby crack! She adores Elmo, although she's only ever watched Sesame Street once while we were in Iowa visiting my parents. That and a YouTube video of Elmo singing his ABCs with the ever-so amazing India Arie. Yeah, I've shamelessly whipped that one out on my Blackberry a few times in order to save me from a couple public toddler-meltdowns. Elmo is magic! And the way she --or any toddler-- says his name is just pure cuteness!

My honey-man speaks French most of the time to our lil' chica unless others are around, and sometimes that'll include me, in that he'll speak English to her for my basic understanding as to what's going on. We've learned there are a few things for which she favors the French terms over English, like hat, singing, and whenever she asks to call someone on the phone. There's a lot more she's says in French, and we're certain there's a lot she's trying to say in French, but we haven't figured out all of it. And there's a number of other things she can say in French, but she'll prefer to say them in English. If she's dealing with her father though and I'm not around, she'll use her French. And of course there are still many times she's using certain sounds repeatedly, but neither of us can figure out what she's trying to say, English or French.

She loves it when I sing to her and it could be anything: The Beatles, Laurie Berkner, Bee Gees, Audioslave, anything! PLEASE NOTE: I am not a particularly good singer. At bedtime, there are a few select songs I'll sing to her without the music playing. With her little reading lamp on, we'll first sit and read three to six (or 10) different books, and thereafter, lights out, we'll sit rocking in her glider chair before I set her in her crib for sleepy time. In the dark, as I sing to her, she'll say either 'more' or 'again' a mere second or two before the song ends for me to continue singing. And sometimes when she's had enough, she'll tell me 'Bye' once I'm done with a song, which means she's ready to be laid down to sleep - - Although she now knows how to say Night-night and will say it, she always ends our goodnight hugs and kisses with 'bye', nonetheless. She could be totally drowsy and half asleep, but as I lay her down, she'll enthusiastically pipe up, 'Bye Mommie.'

Speaking of bedtimes... We've successfully pushed our sweet potato's bedtime to 7:30pm! Plus an occasional 8pm bedtime inserted here and there is now do-able without major consequences for everyone. Yes --finally-- getting her to bed later actually results in some time during our weekday mornings to get ready for work without our squealing, squawking, very hungry toddler underfoot as early as 5:30-6am-ish. And weekends now? By Friday night, she's beat after a long, busy week, just slaphappy tired, so she'll wake up Saturday morning around 7:30am, which is bliss for us compared to her 5:30am-6am wake up calls of only a couple months ago. Last weekend, she slept until an unheard of 9am! CORRECTION: Now I don't know how this slipped my mind, but she actually slept in until 10AM! Yup, miraculous!
However, if more than a couple late weeknights happen, we wind up having to wake her in the mornings in order for us to have her ready in time for us to leave for work. And she winds up very overtired; by Friday she'll be a noodle. Although she's general chipper as could be whether she wakes up on her own or not, no matter how cute and perky she is to see me standing above her crib, I don't like waking her. By the end of any weekday for which we've had to wake her in the morning, by dinnertime that day, she has to be in bed by 7pm, no later. She really needs her sleep.

On Saturdays for the last month, we fully expect hour lil' chica's afternoon nap to last for two n' a half hours, minimum, if not three full, long hours. And after a two-week long break from daycare in August, the Saturday afternoon nap has become sacred in our home. Without it, the rest of the weekend can be a bit of a challenge.

She really loves dress up. There's been several times I arrive at her daycare to take her home and although dress up play has ended over an hour ago, all put away, she'll still be wearing the fireman's jacket or the gardening boots. We dug out her Halloween costume from last year - a brightly colored dragon suit and we joked she was Smaug, since her big bro dressed as Frodo. So yeah, we have the dragon costume out and accessible and she loves to wear it, complete with clawed mittens and horned headgear. Although it fits for now, we're certain she'll be out of it before Halloween this year.

The record thus far for the longest amount of time she's kept her piggy-tails intact: 1 hour

She says her brother's name very clearly now, although she'll occasionally get a bit lazy about it and it'll sound more like she's saying 'babe.' So yeah, she'll ask for her brother and point him out in our family photos, shouting his name. And when he's on the phone, she'll call out his name, shortly followed by his step-dad's name - - she loves and adores the boy-O, but she loves his step-dad as well, almost like she's got a crush on him, no joke. Correction: She DOES have a crush on him. Sometimes she truly swoons over him, as if smitten. Well, and to be even more truthful, she just seems to generally like the guys. It's nothing we've either encouraged nor restricted in any way. She just really likes the boys. She'll be a bit shy, outright coy, and then next thing you know, she'll either go ahead and climb up into their lap or she'll ask to be picked up; she butters 'em right up. But women? She honestly doesn't warm to women as quickly as she does the boys. It's just a fact. We had a friend in town this weekend, someone she hasn't seen since she was 4 months old. By mid-evening, she was asking to sit in his lap and lounging on him as if he were her very own chaise.

Okay - I'm not done with this post... To be continued, yes. I've simply got to get myself to bed. I can't keep my eyes open any long due to the muscle relaxer I took two hours ago for my back which has been threatening to act out - - I'd thrown in out nearly a month ago is all, and I can't afford to throw it out again, not anytime soon. G'nighty night for now.

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