Hula Girl, Age 2

Yep, she’s two. She’s at the age where people can ask her, “How old are you?” and she coyly buries her head in my shoulder/leg and grins a bit while answering, “Two!” She’ll even hold up two fingers if she knows the person well enough!

I have been amazed at the many small but meaningful changes that have happened in the past couple of weeks. I really like having an older toddler… and I am enjoying it more every day! Let’s get down to business:

Current Schedule:

7:45 up, get dressed, drink milk while cuddling and reading
8:15 breakfast
8:45 brush teeth, chore with Mama
9:00 get ready (sunscreen, potty, clothes, shoes)
9:15 go outside/head out in car to whatever activity (about three times a week)
10:15 small snack/come inside/activity
10:30 inside play (with me, without me, whatever)
11:30 drink milk while cuddling and reading
12:15 lunch
1:00 nap
3:30/4 up, snack, play
4:45 drink milk while cuddling and reading
5:00 independent playtime
5:30 Daddy’s home- play with Daddy
6:00 dinner
bedtime between 7:15 and 7:45, depending on nap quality

Sleeping:

Naps:
We had naps down to a science for several weeks… but then around 22.5 months, so in the middle of April, Hula Girl started having really weird sleep issues. She’d fall asleep for her nap just fine but wake an hour into it screaming for me. Or she’d take 30-45 minutes before her nap asking for anything and everything under the sun that she thought would keep me in her room. After about a week of nap shenanigans (I waited just to make sure this was a behavioral issue rather than illness), we buckled down. We introduced “sleep rules,” which I have posted about here (you can also read a more detailed discussion of her sleep challenges in that same post). We stuck to a rigid routine and let her deal with the rest. Just this last week (so about 2 months later), she started lengthening her naps again. Insert sigh of relief!

Nighttime:
Just when naps went wacko, so did nights. My daughter has always slept 12+ hours every night, since forever, barring times of sickness. Suddenly, we started having nights where she’d sleep anywhere from 9-11 hours. ONLY. She chats and sings and laughs with herself every night for about an hour, sometimes two. I know it’s developmental to do this at this age. She is verbal enough to process her entire day as she falls asleep… but really, two hours??? And then she started waking earlier and earlier in the mornings. I thought perhaps it was due to the earlier rising of the sun, so we went out and bought yet another layer of room darkening supplies. To no avail. Nothing has changed here, sorry to say. I am glad naps are lengthening out, but I’d like nights to do so, too!

Nutrition:

Milk:

Hula Girl has been fine with whole milk. We have cut down her intake to 15-18 oz each day, per pediatrician recommendation at her 18-month appointment. However, I have been researching (what?! me, researching!? do I even do anything else with my time?!) and I have decided it’s a good decision to switch her over to another type of milk. The visit to the pediatrician yesterday (even though it was TERRIBLE) really helped me make up my mind. That, and posting my query on my favorite online Mom’s group and receiving lots of feedback. So we’re going to sllooooooowwlllyyy introduce and transition Hula Girl to coconut milk. Slowly meaning, she had about a tablespoon of it on her cereal this morning, and we’ll do some more next Thursday. And then the following Wednesday, then the following Tuesday, etc. I just want to make sure that I catch any slight symptom she might show if she is allergic to coconut.

Eating:
Hula Girl has gotten more picky. That’s not to say that she won’t eat most things; I just mean that she has distinct preferences and rarely finishes any of her veggies or meat. She’s also starting to show preferences for some fruit. She won’t eat much cantaloupe any more. She eschews kiwi. But give that girl a watermelon, and she’ll be occupied for hours!

We’re also dealing with a bit of mealtime mania as she’s constantly begging to leave the table. She is not allowed to leave unless she’s been excused. However, she has turned this into, “May I be dood from table? Yes, you may.” She excuses herself and then feels upset when she’s in trouble for leaving the table! Haha! Our most common form of correction in this case is to end the meal when she leaves her chair. I definitely don’t like to do it, but I don’t show her how bad it makes me feel. I just give her a hug and comfort her when she screams, “[Hula Girl] want more!!!”

Medical:

Reflux:
No incidence of vomiting in the past couple months. Yay!

Constipation:
Nope, nothing here, either. She will occasionally miss a “session” but she’ll make up for it in volume the next time. TMI?

Eczema:
We have some spots here and there. Her knee-pits tend to get red and yucky frequently. It’s pretty hot here these days and she gets sweaty there.  But it’s nothing a good dose of hydrocortisone can’t fix in a jiffy. We continue our regimen of Aquaphor baby wash and Vanicream lotion every night. Wax on, wax off.

Blocked Tear Duct:
Hula Girl’s eyes are beautiful… even more so now that the left one isn’t leaking fluid year-round. The antibiotic/steroid ointment plus massage plus benadryl cleared it right up. And we’ve had no issues since!
Teething:
We’re still waiting on those 2-year molars. I haven’t seen any evidence of teething pains yet. We check her mouth frequently, though. Once the two-year molars are through, we’re done with teething!!! (Just in time to start teething all over again with Gelato!)

Milestones:

Locomotion:
Hula Girl is still a mover. And her skillz have improved greatly. I am no longer afraid of plopping down in a chair in the backyard while she clambers all over her climber/slide thing. She’s also really into going outside barefoot these days. What can I say? That’s pretty cool. She’s not weirded out about grass touching her feet, but she definitely prefers cement or the pebbles in her rock box. She complains that the grass is too cold sometimes. 🙂

Language:
Hula Girl is now pretty easy to understand all the time. At least for me and Jonathan. Her Ama really understands much of what is said, as well! However, she speaks so quickly that many people miss what she’s saying, and she has to repeat herself.  I try my hardest not to translate directly for her, but if someone’s really struggling to understand, I will find an indirect way to communicate her point. For example, she loves to tell Jonathan what she’s having for lunch when we talk to him at lunch. Within the span of two seconds she’ll say something like, “[Hula Girl] having mah-mah-no-nee and deese and bapes and mimeapple and dado Daddy.” So I will have to say, “Yes, [Hula Girl] is having all that, but I’m having the macaroni and cheese only. I am not having grapes, pineapple, or avocado.” I like to preserve her self-respect (yes, Hula Girl, it’s GOOD for you to communicate on your own)!

She’s also starting to be able to talk about things without knowing their names. For example, this morning we were in the backyard. She was over on her slide, and then she started walking behind the juniper trees, past the rock box, on the cement, and around the gardens. I asked her, “What are you doing?” She said, “[Hula Girl] watching daht.” I was like, “What’s that?” “Daht. ” So I looked and looked, and finally spotted “that”- a lizard. “Oh, you’re watching that lizard.” “Yes, [Hula Girl] watching daht eezeed.” I like the way she incorporated the word “lizard” without even flinching. As it should be with learning! 🙂

Other
Hula Girl is demonstrating so much empathy lately. She really does care about all people. If anyone is crying within earshot, she will immediately stop what she’s doing and make a sad face at me and say, “Baby boy dy-dee?” Then she’ll go over to the baby boy (or whomever) and say, “Okay, okay, baby boy, non dy-dee!” I have no idea where she came up with the idea that she should say, “Don’t crying!”… because we never say that when she’s crying. In fact, when she’s crying, we tell her, “It’s okay to cry!” But she really does want everyone to just be happy all the time. She gets very worried if someone is crying or hurt. I stubbed my toe in her room the other day, and she stood in her crib and said, “Yoddy, Mommy! Mommy eet?” I said, “It’s okay, I am hurt, but I will be okay!” She always feels the need to say sorry, even if it wasn’t her fault. I think she learned that because we tell her we feel sorry that she’s sad or hurt or whatever. Sweet Girl.

Oh, random- her weight is 27.5 pounds, and she’s 34.5 inches tall. That puts her in the 50-75th percentiles in both categories. I can’t recall what her head circumference was. Oops.

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