Changing Tastes…

I love how fast things change as a young toddler develops. A couple weeks ago, I posted Gelato’s 14-month update. Now that he’s 14.5 months old, so many things are different! In just two weeks!

I want to capture his interests right now so that I can remember him THIS way. He is such a funny little guy!

Gelato does not like Baby Beluga any longer. If I bring it out, he says, “No, Bu-ga! No, Bu-gah!” He pushes the book away. He was really into Margaret Wise Brown’s I Like Stars for about a week and a half. That’s all he wanted to read. He’d say, “Stars? Stars? Read-ee? Stars?” But now he’s so over it. He also had a couple days of being really into “A B C?” Which stands for Dr. Seuss’ ABCs. That book is old hat, so he has moved on to a book called Who’s Hiding? It’s about a mama owl who is looking for her baby, and Gelato LOVES opening all the flaps. He calls it, “Ow-el? Ow-el?”

He loves to wear necklaces. My little guy just adores necklaces. He walks around with about five of Hula Girl’s dress-up necklaces (think pink pearls, sparkly blue beads, purple butterflies, etc.) strung around his neck. Fortunately Hula Girl inherited about a million necklaces from our neighbor before we moved, so there are plenty of necklaces for both children. He will come down the stairs, walk to the dress-up “closet,” and stand there saying, “Neck-iss? Neck-iss?” until I finally get him some. Never just one. If he can’t wear a necklace, he will find his special blue ribbon and drape it across his shoulders, behind his neck. If it falls off, he will stop and pick it up and re-drape it before moving on. I think this is such a silly and cute little phase. I kind of want him to keep it until he’s four or so.

Gelato loves apples. Like, apples are his very favorite food. He will walk around with an apple in his hand and eat the entire thing, down to the core. I bought him an apple in the grocery store a while ago just to keep his tummy from eating itself alive while I rushed around getting last-minute ingredients for our (very late) dinner. The clerk thought I was nuts for buying him an apple, saying, “He’ll never eat that. You should get him chips or something.” When I went back through her lane 15 minutes later, he had eaten about half his apple, and she was pretty much in shock. “He did eat the apple? That’s amazing. I have never seen a kid eat an apple before.” Um, what? Anyway, apples. He also likes applesauce. He calls it, “ap-poh AHS? Ap-poh AHS?” Today he found an applesauce cup in the fridge just before lunch and asked for it. I told him he could eat it at lunch, and let him wander with it a bit. I was surprised when he wasn’t following me and whining about eating it. When I stopped to look at him, I saw he had bitten a hole in the foil and was slurping it through like a smoothie. “Mmmm, Mummy! Mum! Mummmy!!!”

I am currently weaning Gelato. He used to nurse four times a day: 7, 11, 3, and 7. I have slowly dropped one feeding a week, so that now he is only nursing at bedtime. Next Friday will be the last day I nurse him. I am so sad about it, but so happy all at the very same time. I love that I have nursed both my babies until 14.5 months old, but I really feel like that’s about my limit. 🙂

Gelato is a little independent guy. He does not want to be held or pushed in a stroller; he wants to WALK. He doesn’t want to walk with me, though, so he tries to wander. Too bad for him when he tries to wander and I don’t let him. He can also be a bit disobedient at times. ‘Tis the nature of the age, I suppose. He is truly a toddler now- when I tell him to come, he grins, turns, and RUNS the other way. Goober.

All in all, Gelato is just a delight. Still.

Oh, and one more story. The other night Gelato was told a firm, “No, you may not throw your food off your tray.” I removed his dinner. Hula Girl clapped and shouted, “Hooray! [Gelato] got his first consequence!!!!!” It was hilarious.

Just Me and My Boy

Today has been a treat for me! Hula Girl took off after breakfast with Grampy. They were supposed to go camping this weekend, but given the low of 21 degrees and the 25+ mph wind speeds with snow flurries expected overnight, they decided to just set up camp at Grammy and Grampy’s house so they could go in if it gets too cold. I should say when. 🙂

Anyway, with Hula Girl gone, I have gotten to spend a lot of one-on-one time with my Little Man, and it’s been so very fun! We’ve spent a lot of time doing really low-key activities and taking it way slower than we normally do with a rambunctious preschooler around.

We started the day a touch later than his normal 6:45, at 6:55. I went in to get him up and nurse him, then he brought me a few books and asked me to read them: “Read-ee? Read-ee?” He is really into dogs and polar bears. When he sees a dog, he will put his little palm down on the page so I can’t turn it yet. Then he puts his other fist down with his pointer finger out and taps his finger on the picture a few times, looks up at me, and says, “Doggie. Woof, woof.” I always affirm him, “Yes, that’s a dog. You found a picture of a dog.” When he finds a polar bear (there are several great illustrations of polar bears in the “Baby Beluga” book), he points to it and says, “Doggie? No. Bay.” Then he taps it several times and says, “Bay. Bay. Bay.”

After reading, I showed him some options of clothes he could wear for the day- a pair of polar bear jammies or a union suit with dogs on it. He smiled really big at both choices, but in the end he settled on the union suit. We went downstairs where it was freezing because my husband is related to polar bears and keeps the windows open until it actually snows. Then Grampy came in and played with Gelato for a while. We ate oatmeal for breakfast, and Gelato asked for more by signing more and then saying, “Eep-meal? Eep-meal?” He also wanted milk and asked for “milt!” When Grampy had a cup of coffee, Gelato asked to “Mell coppee? Mell coppee?” and then wanted to taste it too. We didn’t allow that!

He went down for his nap just before Hula Girl left, so I had some time to catch up on blogging and Facebook. When he woke up, I nursed him; then he said, “Toys!” so I put him in his pack-n-play for roomtime. He played for a while and I got to take a shower. A nice, long, hot shower. Perfect for a windy cold day!

When I went to get him from roomtime, he saw my hair was wet and said, “Peel hay? Peel hay?” I let him feel my hair and told him, “My hair is cold and wet.” The he felt the other side and said, “Ood? Wet? Hay ood wet?”

I brought him down for lunch, which was pizza leftovers from last night. He said, “Peeta? Peeta? Eat! Eat! Hungee! Peeta!” (I wonder if he’ll like the Hunger Games books!) He ate two entire slices of pizza (same as I had). I gave him some pieces that were still quite hot. He felt them and said, “Arm! Bow, bow.” Then he blew on them. He also had a kiwi, which he still doesn’t like. He ate about two bites and then handed the rest to me. When he was all done with lunch, he said, “Down? Walk?” I told him he needed to tell me he was all done, so he did. He just has the sweetest little voice when he says, “All done!”

When I put him down he went and grabbed his shoes and said, “Oos! Out-ide! Walk!” So I bundled him up and took him outside. The first thing he said was, “Ood! Ood!” I told him yes, it was cold and windy. “Eendee,” he replied, as he nodded his head several times to show he understood. Then he walked all around and picked up rocks and sticks and followed the neighbor’s dog. Finally I was too cold, so I brought him back inside.

I decided to bust out the rainbow rice sensory bin, which hasn’t been used since Hula Girl was 2.5. He thought it was great fun to pluck out the kidney beans and place them in the scoop one at a time. Then he thought it was fun to pretend to eat them by putting it up to his mouth and saying, “Mmm, Mummy! Mmmm, Mummy bean!” And then he thought it was hilariously fun to place the scoop on the floor and then tell himself, “Oop on beket,” and then move the scoop back onto the blanket. He giggled at that one for sure.

When it was time to clean up the rainbow rice, I got out the broom, and Gelato insisted on sweeping for me. He did a terrible job, but for a not-even-14-month-old, it was awesome. I left it just the way he did it and cleaned up the rest (aka the bigger mess) when he went down for his nap. After he was done sweeping, it was nap time, so I asked him to go upstairs. He went to his room and pushed the button to turn on his heater, then walked over to the curtains and tried to pull them shut. I thanked him for his help and proceeded to put him down from there.

He really is one independent, helpful, communicative little guy. I am so thankful for the opportunity to spend time with just him this weekend. It really helps to slow down and be able to show him how much I enjoy him!  I can’t wait for this afternoon- we’re going swimming at the Y. I think it will be way more fun since I won’t have to keep an eye on Hula Girl, too. I can just let him walk in the toddler pool and climb all over the pirate ship- I’m sure he’ll want to do the slide, too. But I am not ready for that one yet… at all. No slide today. 🙂

Sudden Snuggler

Gelato at thirteen months plus a week and a half or so:

Oh my goodness, is Gelato a snuggly little guy these past two days!?!?! This is a HUGE exciting thing for me because that little boy does.not.stop.moving.or.hold.still. Ever. But the past two days he has been clinging to my leg and burying his face in my shoulder and giving my arms huge sloppy kisses and trying to bonk his head into my face at any spare moment. It’s SO cute. Yesterday it wasn’t so cute because he was also crying and whining a lot. He’s getting a couple of teeth. But today they weren’t bothering him so much, so I got a lot of goofy grins and happy squawks instead.

He has also been really cuddly with Hula Girl, which she EATS UP. Girlfriend is HUGE on touch (Pretty sure it’s her #1 love language), and it’s killed her that he doesn’t like to snuggle very much. She just wants to hold his hand and cuddle him like she did when he was little- but he doesn’t want anything to do with it. But the past two days, he will literally run into her and topple both of them over just so they can roll around and cuddle. He even came over to her bed at her naptime just to give her giant kisses on her eyes and nose. She about died out of sheer bliss.

Gelato’s second favorite activity is talking. Little Man talks all day, every day. He greets me with, “Mo-neen!” when I walk in his room. He wants to “wa! wa! wa!” everywhere we go. He grabs his “oos? oos?” and wants me to put them on his feet for him. He brings me “boo!” and wants me to “read-ee? read-ee?” He tells me when he’s “Hun-ee,” and wants to “EAT! EAT! EAT!” He hears a “doggy” saying, “Woof. woof. woof.” He tells me when he wants some water to “dink, dink, dink.” He can mimic anything we say and he spontaneously says new words every single day. Along with the words listed above, here’s what I can think of off the top of my head: [sister’s name], door, closed, open, ball, truck, car, toys, dance, happy (SO cute), night night, nurse, cup, spoon, rock, horse, phone, bye, banana, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, cheese, apple, applesauce, did it!, help, Mommy, Daddy, Riley, gentle, tickle, peek-a-boo, Ama, Papa, fan, noise, shh, climb, up, down, swing, swim, inside, outside, potty, tub, teeth, stop, and go.

Gelato is ACTIVE. He is a huge climber, and I tend to let him climb. If he can get up, he can get down. It takes a lot more time and infinitely more coaching to get down. But I let him do it. Two days ago, he climbed up to the top of our inherited playset in the backyard. Just wait until I show you a picture of that one. The rock wall (?!?!?) he climbed is over six feet tall. Kid’s thirteen months old. And he climbed to the top of a sixish foot rock wall. Ridiculous. (I need to point out that even though I LET him do this, I was also holding my hands about 2 centimeters from his body the entire time. I didn’t touch him, but I was READY. He does not get to adventure out on his own… yet.)

We’re still nursing. Gelato actually skipped two nursings one day when we were in California because Jonathan and I had taken Hula Girl to the beach (another post) and we left Gelato with Ama for the day. He did really well with it. Didn’t drink any milk, drank a ton of water, but still took good naps. I am pretty sure he’s never going to really like milk that much. Fine by me. He LOVES yogurt and cheese. And there’s always ice cream….. ha!

Gelato is still not much of an eater. Although I say he has foods he LOVES, he only eats a small amount of them compared with the amounts his sister ate at his age. Some days he surprises me, like yesterday when he ate two whole adult-sized pancakes plus a cup of blueberries for breakfast. That’s like a week’s rations, folks. Even when he’s acting cranky and whiny and says he’s hungry and wants to eat, he usually eats about a 1/2 cup of food altogether and then he’s done. He’s a pretty small little guy, I guess, but to see how much he does and compare that to how much he eats makes me worried he’s not getting enough. But I don’t push it. I just offer whatever we’re having and if he doesn’t want a lot, he doesn’t eat a lot. He sits at the table with the family and we wait until everyone is done. He has good manners and doesn’t fuss to get down. Usually.

Everyone always comments on how happy he is. He truly is happy, and he has this little squint wrinkly nose thing that he does when he’s trying to get people to smile back. It makes him look like a total goofball, but it’s adorable. Everyone smiles then and comments on how cute he is. Even when we were traveling to California and we’d been up since 5:45 am and he had to sleep in his car seat on the airplane and in the car, he didn’t cry once all the way through the shuttles, trains, cars, airplanes, airports, rental car offices, or on the drive to Ama and Papa’s house. (He also met and wooed a Swedish girl who looked the part- white blond hair, slim, beautiful. She was about 25 years old and she let him play with some animal app on her iPad. It had music [his third love] and he thought that was GREAT. The only word she knew in English was “dance” and boy did that come in handy. Gelato danced to the music and she laughed and cooed away in Swedish. They kept each other company for an hour in the rental car office. Thank you, Swedish girl!)

Gelato in three words: energetic, opinionated, happy

I love having a son.

Gelato Is One!

Here’s the long-overdue 1-year-old update post! I’m actually kind of glad I waited since he’s just started doing a lot of really cool things in the past week or so, and I would have missed talking about them in real-time if I had been on my game. Yay for procrastination! To be fair to myself, I did choose to wait because we couldn’t book his appointment until today. So yay for back-to-school checkups??

Anyway, before I proceed, here’s my OLD post describing Hula Girl at the same age. So fun. But let’s get on with it!

Current Schedule:

6:45 up, nurse (he wakes anywhere from 5:45-6:15 but plays in his crib until it’s actually time to wake up)
7:30ish breakfast, then play
8:45 go for walk in stroller
10:15 nap
11:00 up, nurse
11:15-11:45 independent playtime
11:45 walk
12:15 lunch, then play
2ish nap
3:30 up, nurse, play
5:15/30 dinner
6:15 bedtime routine (bath, lotion, jammies, nurse)
6:45 bedtime

Sleeping:

Naps:
Gelato has become a napping extraordinare! After months and months and months of crazy naps, it is nice to see him sleeping a nice long time for both naps. I can count on 90 minutes, at least, for every nap. Ahh. He still likes his room to be nice and warm and he naps in fleece jammies with a t-shirt and diaper on underneath.

Nighttime:
Gelato is a bit of a touchy night sleeper. We live in a duplex right now and anytime our neighbors move or breathe he startles awake, whines a bit, and goes back to sleep. I might be exaggerating a bit, but he has always been like this. I wonder how long after we move he will stop waking in the 10:30-11 time frame (usually when our neighbors get home and open their garage door, which is almost right under his room). Other than this normal disruption, he sleeps through the night every night with no issues.

Nutrition:

Nursing:
Still nursing 4 times per day, with no end in sight. He has broken the skin a few times, so we’ve had to get creative about nursing positions. Otherwise everything is normal.

Weaning:
Ha! Boy will never wean. Maybe. Or maybe I will finally lose it and MAKE him wean. I am pretty done, myself. He made it this far, and I’m ready for the freedom of going to IKEA with my mom for a day. He does drink water from any kind of cup or bottle now, which is encouraging. Maybe we’ll get somewhere this time around. Last time I tried introducing milk in a cup, he drank about a half an ounce and then smiled at me. We’ll get there. We’ll get there.  I mean, we’ve gotta get there. Right?!?!?

Eating:
He’s a good little eater. No complaints. Faves: bananas, peas, plums, cheese, and eggs. Dislikes: nothing.

Milestones:

Locomotion:
Gelato learned how to walk walk in the past few days. He toddles across the whole room, leading with the right side of his body like a tall crab. He puts his little fists up next to his ears, squinches up his nose, and smiles while he goes. Devious little look, actually!

He is a climber. Much more so than Hula Girl ever was. Jonathan was a climber, too, and man, it’s TIRING. Gelato is constantly climbing on anything he can scale- couches, chairs, me, shelves, the stairs, you name it. Yesterday he climbed on top of Hula Girl’s picnic table outside and fell off, landing on the top of his head on the rocks. He didn’t even cry more than about 10 seconds. Then he got up and went and climbed the chain-link fence that’s around the backyard.

Gelato does not stop moving, ever. Ever. And he’s speedy. And brave. It is a lot of work to monitor his movements, especially since our house is not 100% baby-proof (intentionally so- I like to train my kids to obey when they hear “no”). Fortunately, Gelato has a big sister who likes to watch and tattle just a lot bit. 😉

Language:

Gelato is a talker. He is not a listener. But he learns a lot, too. I think he’s a great example of a child who absorbs information without being explicitly taught, but who is also self-confident enough to really interact with his environment. Things don’t happen TO him- he makes things happen. That kind of kid. A lot like his Daddy, actually- gregarious, funny, charming, and very outgoing. 

I have recently detailed his talking and a lot of the things he likes to say.

I almost forgot to mention something else that’s so adorable- Gelato LOVES to sing! If Hula Girl and I are singing a song, he will join right in! Lots of “Yaaaa, baaaaa, daaaaaa, maaaa, dadada!” So adorable. Hula Girl’s ballet music includes a song with the words, “Ho, ho, ho, here we go, galloping and galloping away we go!” Gelato loves that song and sings, “Ho, ho, ho, eeee, yaaaaaaa, go!” He wavers his little voice to try to match pitch and his tone isn’t half-bad. It’s really cool to see him love music and singing the way he does.

Interests:

 Gelato’s favorite activities include:

  • playing under the dining room table- if he finds a few crumbs, score!!!! snack time!!!!
  • pushing the back door open and shut
  • walking around the house pushing his walking toys or boxes
  • tossing balls all around the room
  • clambering from one  end of the couch to the other
  • munching on rocks, leaves, sticks, and grass outside
  • swinging (any time he sees the swing, he gets a really sad puppy dog look on his face and says in a sad voice, “Wing? Wing?”)

Doctor Visit:

This morning’s checkup was pretty ho-hum, in a good way. Nothing to be concerned about, nothing abnormal. Gelato is actually on the very small end of the spectrum for boys his age. He’s in about the 10th percentile for all three measures. He’s gaining appropriately for his age, so we’re not worried.

We discussed possibly starting him on goat’s milk instead of cow’s milk. The doctor suggested soy milk for him, and I said, “Um, I wouldn’t ever give soy to a boy.” She thought I was nuts.

We also turned down vaccinations again (I’ll do a post on this soon), and the doctor (thankfully) didn’t push the issue this time.

She reminded me to keep him rear-facing until “he squirms and kicks and throws a fit about it.” I told her we rear-face until the weight limit is reached and that our carseats’ weight limit is 45 pounds. She was delighted.

Having a boy is so much fun. It is way different than having a girl, but neither is better. Gelato is such a sweet guy- always happy, always laughing, always talking and singing. I am so grateful for his little self and I can’t wait to get to know him better as he really develops in the next year or so! 

Natural Consequences 1, Hula Girl 0

So. This morning Hula Girl was waiting downstairs while I went upstairs to get her a cute outfit for storytime. I wanted her to look extra special since, after all, it is VALENTINE’S WEEK! (Yes, Valentine’s Day is awesome and I have always liked it and now that I have a house that I can decorate in PINK for at least a month a year with a legit reason, well, it’s even better.)

As I was coming back down the stairs, I heard Hula Girl start to gag and cough a bit. I figured she had eaten something awfully bad for a toddler to eat, so I stepped up my pace. I realized that we had just painted her toenails, and she has always had a fascination with the nail polish… what if she drank some?!? I started to sprint down the stairs two at a time. Then I heard, “I am going to YO UP!” (That’s toddlerspeak for THROW UP.) Three at a time.

I finally found her in the kitchen (after about 4.2 seconds since this all started, but it seemed like 4.2 hours because when your kid is gagging and coughing and crying about throwing up, time sssslllllloooooowwwwwwsssss dooooooowwwwwwnnnnnn and you can’t move fast enough no matter how hard you try). I asked her what happened… and then I looked down. And I cracked up. And took a picture, naturally.

Yummy.

Yummy.

 

Her breath was atrocious after this incident. She kept telling me that the basil made her sick. She calls all spices basil. I am so glad this was the culprit, and not the red nail polish. Sheesh, I really need to do a better job of keeping my kitchen counters cleared off. 

Hula Girl- 2.5 Years Old

Where to begin? My girl is great. She is absolutely delightful, yet her behavior can be absolutely and jaw-droppingly frustrating at times! What can she do? She’s 2.5! Every moment is full of excitement, drama, and emotion! Every new discovery is the coolest thing ever! Every disappointment is utterly heartbreaking! Every scrape, bump, bruise, or fall, real or imagined, induces the worst pain she’s ever known! And, oh! When Mommy says no… 

Since we only do yearly visits for well-checks now, we’ve only got rough estimates on her growth. She weighs 32.5ish pounds and she’s 36ish inches tall. That puts her between the 75th and 90th percentiles for weight and at the 50th percentile for height. I have all her monthly heights marked on the inside of a closet door, and she shot up between 27 and 28 months, but since then she’s only grown a quarter of an inch.

Here’s the typical rundown:

Current Schedule (you’ll notice this is pretty much the same as it has been; we adjusted 30 minutes earlier for DST):

7:00 out of crib, milk, get dressed (maybe)

7:15 go downstairs, play while breakfast is prepared

7:45ish breakfast

8:15ish play indoors (project, reading, toys, whatevs)

9:30ish roomtime

10:30ish play outside

11:15ish play while lunch is prepared (she usually runs around singing and being silly)

11:45/12ish eat lunch

12:30ish nap

3:00ish snack and roomtime

3:45ish sibling playtime (closely attended by Mommy)

4:30ish help with dinner and free play

5:15ish dinner

6:ooish family time

6:30ish bedtime routine

7:00 in bed

Eating

Hula Girl has stopped eating. Today, for example, she ate one piece of French toast, a 1-inch chunk of cheese, 1/4 cup of corn, 10 or so Cheddar Bunnies, 4 bites of macaroni and cheese, and 10 bites of mushrooms. That’s it. All day long. I’m not sure what’s up with her, but she’s been low in the appetite department for about a week now. She won’t even eat her all-time favorites, like clementines and Bunny Grahams. Weeeeeeird.

Sleeping

Naps are getting better again! And so are nights! So, she’s actually falling asleep within 15-30 minutes of bedtime and waking around 6:30. So, about 11 hours of nighttime sleep. Then she is actually taking her full 2.5-hour nap (and sometimes even extending that nap a bit!), so we’re back up to the 13.5 hours of sleep each day! Yahoo! She has a much better attitude when she’s well-rested. And she rarely gets sick. Booyah. As a side note, she has 3 out of 4 of her 2-year molars in. I think this is greatly contributing to her improved sleep.

Behavior

Can we say “testing”??? I’m going to leave it at that.

Attitude

Hula Girl’s overall attitude is happy-go-lucky, chipper, gleeful, and fun. However, we are starting to see her protesting (with a very annoying WHINY voice) several times each day. We’ve handled it by telling her that we can’t hear her when she whines. Then I will  tell her she can try again when I count to ___. So I count to that number, veeeeeeerrryy sloooooooooowwwwllllyy, and then tell her it’s okay to ask again with a “big girl voice”. That does the trick. After reviewing several of my posts on her monthly development, I have come to realize that even though these little annoyances seem like they last forever, they’re really over within a month or two, so I have no reason to be concerned. Just consistent! 🙂 I have a feeling Hula Girl is going to be even better at counting by the end of December!

Language

Kid can talk. And talk. And talk. And sing. And talk. And tell a story. And talk. And tell me every single little thing she’s doing and thinking and saying and singing and worrying about and wondering about and wanting and deciding all day long. Oh, and she talks a lot, too.

Her enunciation is getting very good. She still says /y/ for /r/ /s/ and /l/. She still says /t/ for /k/. Therefore, she “YOVES TUPTATES!” As evidenced by her mini Christmas tree, which is covered in pink, purple, and silver glittery balls and-yes-cupcakes. I can’t believe they even make these ridiculous ornaments. But when I saw them, I knew they had to belong to Hula Girl. They scream Hula Girl, in fact. I digress.

Interests

Hula Girl’s interests are diverse. Her very favorite thing to do, still, is to read. As soon as she gets downstairs in the morning, she crows, “Yet’s Yead a Booot!” As soon as that one’s done, “Anunna Booooot!”

She loves talking about her family. She will ask me where Grammy, Grampy, Great-Grandma, Ama, Papa, Nay-Nay, and Daddy are all day long. In fact, I have answered that question so many times that now I ask her where she thinks they are. And guess what!? They’re all on the moon right now. And the moon is white because it’s covered in snow. So there ya go.

Marriage has been a topic of interest lately. As previously mentioned, Hula Girl has a special ornament that she has declared the ornament from her wedding day. She has also decided that when they get old enough, she will be marrying Gelato. I’m thinking it’s because he’s the only boy she knows who’s not taken. 🙂

She is still very eager to help her little “Bo” (bro). She is very compassionate and always wants him to be happy. He is. She makes sure he has toys and that I change his diaper frequently.

Hula Girl received a keyboard from our landlord for Christmas last year. (I just realized it’s been a year since we got that thing; those batteries sure last long!) She loooooves to play music on that insipid, obnoxious, LOUD toy! It will play a number of familiar tunes, like “She’ll be Coming ‘Round the Mountain” and “Polly-Wolly-Doodle”. Of course, Hula Girl thinks it’s utterly important for me to know exactly which song is playing at all times, so as soon as any new song starts, she runs to wherever I am to inform me of the title of the song. As if I’m not the one who taught her.

Christmas. What kid isn’t obsessed with Christmas from Thanksgiving on? Fortunately, she’s just excited to have Santa wake her up in the middle of the night so she can pet the reindeer. Yup. Who needs presents? How disappointing it will be when she realizes that Santa likes to operate in stealth mode.

Quirks

Still loves those fuzzies… though not as much as she did before the caterpillar incident of 2012.

Has taken to biting her fingernails (and her toenails). Any ideas on breaking this habit? It’s horrible- she will bite until she bleeds.

Related to the above, she no longer likes to wear socks. This is truly weird for her.

Whenever she’s trying to get her way, she will tell me something like, “I’m going to go get a book so we can read, okay?” All the while she will cock her head to the left and nod it quickly and keep her eyes wide open. It’s very comical. I must nod my head a lot to try to get her excited about things. I will say this: I don’t add “okay?” to the end of my statements. She does that on her own. 🙂

Hula Girl – 28 Months

Hula Girl is 28 months old, or two-and-a-third years old, today. Only two thirds of a year left until she’s THREE. Yipe.

Current Schedule:

7:45 out of crib, milk, get dressed (maybe)

8:00 go downstairs, play while breakfast is prepared

8:15/30ish breakfast, followed by hand-washing and teeth-brushing

9:00ish play indoors (project, reading, toys, whatevs)

10:00ish roomtime

10:45ish play outside

11:30ish play while lunch is prepared (she usually runs around singing and being silly)

11:45/12ish eat lunch, followed by hand-washing and teeth-brushing

1:00ish nap

3:30/45ish snack and low-key activities

4:00ish sibling playtime (closely attended by Mommy)

4:45ish roomtime

5:30ish Daddy time

6:00 dinner, followed by hand-washing and teeth-brushing

6:30ish family time

7:00 bedtime routine (bath, potty, lotion, jammies, stories)

7:30 in bed

Eating

Hula Girl has started doing better at the table. She is no longer thinking it’s a fun game to leave the table as many times as possible in one single meal. Her new thing, however, is to say, “I want something else.” She says it in a very demanding voice. The funny thing is that she doesn’t get “something else”… ever. I simply say, “Well, we’re having ______ right now. You can have something else at your next meal.” She then eats whatever I’ve given her, and usually asks for more. She’s not super picky these days, which is nice. Lunch is by far her best meal of the day. I am starting to cut down on her snacks. She was getting one in the morning and one in the afternoon. However, she stopped eating as well at meals, so I cut out the morning snack and I have reduced her already-small-to-begin-with afternoon snack. Yesterday she had two slices of cheese for her afternoon snack and that was it. She ate a very healthy-sized dinner last night.

Sleeping

So, night sleep is better. We finally stopped the middle-of-the-night scream-a-thons. However, her naps are suuuuuuuuuuuuck-y. She has not slept past 2:15 in about 2 weeks. That means her naps are less than 1 hour 15 minutes each day. I am considering moving her nap back in the day to around 1:15 to see if that helps her sleep longer. ‘Cuz the shorter nights plus the lame naps are only going to get her overtired. Sheesh. I can’t wait for her to stop napping. And then when Gelato stops napping, I will throw a party. Yes, a party.

Behavior

Hula Girl’s behavior is back on track. She’s kind of settling in and it’s normal for her to have a little brother now. It also helps that Gelato is not having short naps requiring Mommy-intervention several times a day. I can spend extended amounts of time with her and not feel nervous about having to stop whatever we’re doing and run upstairs at the drop of a hat. This means she has much less unsupervised time as I can plan to put her in roomtime at the appropriate times during the day. Hallelujah.

A brief anecdote about her awesome behavior: Yesterday when we went to Gelato’s 2-month checkup, the pediatrician made a face when she walked in the room and noticed Hula Girl was there, too. It looked like she was thinking, “Oh Geeze, she brought a 2-year-old, too. This appointment is going to be hectic.” Well. Hectic is not the way Hula Girl adds to appointments. Cuteness, sweetness, helper-ness, and kindness- these are things she adds. Hectic just isn’t in her. She is an obedient girl who knows the rules and understands when it’s time to ask for Mommy’s help (unless Daddy just got home and she is keen to have BOTH parents’ undivided attention). Anyway, Hula Girl spent the majority of the appointment looking out the window and singing quietly to herself. Then I put Gelato on the ground (on a blanket!) so I could finish talking to the doctor, and Hula Girl jumped down and talked to him to keep him from fussing. The doctor was impressed. She said, “Oh, are you going to talk to your brother so that we can finish talking? That’s so kind of you!” And when the doctor left the room (after witnessing how Hula Girl followed my directions and re-packed the diaper bag all by herself (as I comforted a screaming, just-had-shots baby), she smiled and said, “Bye [Hula Girl]! It was nice to see you today!” Heh. My good girl.

Attitude

I wrote this about her last month, and it still rings true today:

Sunny, chipper, happy-go-lucky, giddy, gleeful, no-flies-on-her. That is exactly the way I would describe my little Hula Girl. She loooooooves to sing, dance, laugh, play, create, joke, invent, explore, explain, hide, seek, chase, read, and snuggle. Her primary concern in the day is whether or not Mommy and Daddy are happy, too. She rarely has a moment where she feels grumpy or mad. She does not stay grumpy or mad longer than about twelve seconds. She takes correction with a smile and says, “Okay, Mommy! I won’t do that again!” She is unstoppably carefree and delightful… and it’s catching. Spend one hour with my little drop of joy, and you’ll feel lighter for a week. I adore this quality of hers.

When she DOES get upset or hurt, she is quite loud and everyone will know it. Make no mistake, she wears her heart of her sleeve. Gotta love that. However, I am aware that I need to be helping her determine when and how it is appropriate to tip her cards. I don’t want her heart getting smooshed.

I will have to do a separate post on her language skills and other attributes. I am out of time today!

Hula Girl- 27 Months

Hula Girl is 27 months old, or two-and-a-quarter years old, today. Here’s some info about her:

Current Schedule:

7:45 out of crib, milk, get dressed (maybe)

8:00 go downstairs, play while breakfast is prepared

8:15/30ish breakfast, followed by hand-washing and teeth-brushing

9:00ish play (usually outdoors)

10:00ish craft/art/project (coloring, play-dough, painting, etc.)

10:45ish roomtime

11:15ish play while lunch is prepared

11:45/12ish eat lunch, followed by hand-washing and teeth-brushing and pottying

1:00ish nap

3:30/45ish snack and low-key activities

4:45ish roomtime

5:30ish Daddy time

6:00 dinner, followed by hand-washing and teeth-brushing

6:30ish family time

7:00 bedtime routine (bath, potty, lotion, jammies, stories)

7:30 in bed

Eating

Hula Girl has NOT been the world’s best eater this month. She is still learning to stay in her seat at the table. She is also learning when it is and when it isn’t appropriate to just get up and leave the table, saying, “I need to go peepee and poopoo.” But every meal is interrupted by a potty break. Whatever. It is annoying when she then wanders all around, delaying her return to the table. We’re beginning to really crack down on the “only leave the table once during a meal” rule, and we have also started setting a timer because that girl will STALLLLLLLLLLLL. If she’s not done by the time the timer goes off, her food is removed and we declare the meal over. Cue tantrum. But hey, it can’t REALLY take 45 minutes to eat a quarter cup of peas.

Sleeping

This is actually starting to get better. She is not staying awake for hourS on end… maybe only 30-60 minutes every night. And she’s starting to sleep closer to her wake-up time. We have had some middle-of-the-night screaming for Daddy episodes because she really doesn’t like the feeling of a wet diaper, or her nose was running and she needed a tissue. We tied a handkerchief to her crib rail, eliminating the runny nose thing, but we’re not exactly sure about the wet diaper thing. I actually think her night wakings are just due to the fact that Gelato is here, and his presence is more and more felt in our house as he gets older, less sleepy, and less predictable (growth spurt). Hula Girl has also had some struggles going to bed at night. Some evenings, it’s obvious that she’s just plain overtired, because she’ll scream to wear different jammies, but then refuse to take off the ones she’s wearing to put the other ones on. She just doesn’t know which way is up, and the best thing to do in that circumstance is to pray, kiss, and leave. She goes to sleep within five minutes. Poor girl. Naps, however, are golden.

Behavior

heh. Terrible twos? Yup, I think so. Not all the time. Only when her new molars are hurting her. We are just waiting and waiting for them to break through. We can see one right under the gum, and she’s drooling and chewing up a storm. But she’s obviously in pain from them sometimes. We’re also seeing some behavioral issues due to her extra freedom. She gets to roam a bit more freely than ever before when Mommy has to go running upstairs several times a day to get Gelato up, down, or resettled. I try to give her an activity to do that will keep her occupied (and the house untrashed), but I have frequently found her getting into things that she knows are off-limits. Thank goodness for toddler-proofing.

When I can spend plenty of one-on-one time with her in the morning and make it super positive, the rest of the day seems to go much more smoothly. When the mornings are rough (ie, brother isn’t going down for naps easily or he wakes unexpectedly and Mommy reacts in stress rather than grace), the whole day is grueling for both of us. I know that my own behavior directly influences hers, so I try my best to stay positive, stay forgiving, and keep in mind that she’s really only two and can’t be expected to act any older. ‘Cuz that just wouldn’t be fair.

Attitude

Sunny, chipper, happy-go-lucky, giddy, gleeful, no-flies-on-her. That is exactly the way I would describe my little Hula Girl. She loooooooves to sing, dance, laugh, play, create, joke, invent, explore, explain, hide, seek, chase, read, and snuggle. Her primary concern in the day is whether or not Mommy and Daddy are happy, too. She rarely has a moment where she feels grumpy or mad. She does not stay grumpy or mad longer than about twelve seconds. She takes correction with a smile and says, “Okay, Mommy! I won’t do that again!” She is unstoppably carefree and delightful… and it’s catching. Spend one hour with my little drop of joy, and you’ll feel lighter for a week. I adore this quality of hers.

When she DOES get upset or hurt, she is quite loud and everyone will know it. Make no mistake, she wears her heart of her sleeve. Gotta love that. However, I am aware that I need to be helping her determine when and how it is appropriate to tip her cards. I don’t want her heart getting smooshed.

Language

This.girl.never.shuts.up. Unless she’s sleeping. But if she’s awake, she’s talking. Constantly constantly constantly talking. Or singing. Even if there’s really nothing to say, she will be over there describing everything she’s doing, thinking, feeling, or remembering. She is constantly asking questions and working to hone her grammar. Yes, she consciously works to make sure her grammar is good. My two-and-a-quarter-year-old is working on learning the difference between “she” and “her” and she will say a sentence using one of the two and then look at me questioningly to make sure she got it right. And her pronunciation is amazing now. She only needs to work on /s/,/r/,/l/ and /k/. but she has every other sound down pat.

Here are some of the funny/sweet/amazingly thoughtful for a two-year-old things she’s said lately:

“Where is Uncle Jeremy….’s house?”

(Looking at the [decorative] old window we have hanging on our dining room wall) “Why can’t I see through that window?”

“[Gelato] is not hungry but he is crying. [Gelato] needs a fuzz!” (Apparently she knows that fuzzes comfort her, and she thinks they will comfort others as well!)

“Mommy, sing that ‘female deer’ song, please!”

“I want to snuggle in bed all day long!”

“Don’t cry! I’ll burp you!”

(As she pulls up Jonathan’s shirt) “Do you have nipples? Let me see your nipples! Oh, Daddy! Nurse me, please!”

(As she points southwest) “That’s southwest!”

“Daddy, are we going on a father/daughter date?”

Caring

Ever the sensitive girl, Hula Girl has continued to show great compassion and caring toward everything. Her latest way of showing kindness is by burping things. She will walk around the house burping baby dolls, cell phones, combs, pillows, ponies, Mommy, and Gelato (when he is awake). She also loves to put her “baby”to bed every night before she gets out of the bath. She’ll go through her entire bedtime ritual with her baby, down to making sure the baby has heard her four sleep rules! Such a little Mommy.

Quirkiness

She still loves fuzzes…

She has an obsession with smelling things. Coffee, feet, ANYTHING in Mommy or Daddy’s hands, Gelato, Riley, flowers, rocks… you name it, she walks up to it and sniffs.

She still has a desperate need for socks on her feet.

She loves to choose her own clothing. Her favorite outfits include more than one skirt at a time, tights, crowns, butterfly wings, a hat, and anything teal. Oh, and if she’s wearing undies, they MUST match. (However, her socks do not have to match- each other OR the outfit.)

She does not like the lawn mower. She thinks it will eat her up, so she MUST be sitting on my lap while we watch Jonathan mow the lawn together.

Big Sister

In her newest role, Hula Girl excels. Never was a little brother loved and worried about the way Gelato is. Hula Girl absolutely adores him and constantly wants to be near him. Her least favorite part of the day is when I have to take him back upstairs and put him down for naps. Her favorite part of the day is when I ask her to hold/kiss/hug him. She complies with gentleness and glee! I can’t wait to see their relationship develop as they grow!

We love her. So very very much. She has done very well this month with all the changes in our family’s life and home. She makes us proud and glad to call her ours!

 

 

Refusing Breakfast

So today my little Hula Girl pulled a stunt she’s never in her life tried. She refused to eat breakfast.

I went in her room at 7:45 with her cup of milk. First she informed me that I needed to turn on the light. Then she told me, “[Hula Girl] ees HUNNY, Mommy. [Hula Girl] want eedoo nack.” (Hula Girl is HUNGRY, Mommy. Hula Girl want little snack.) I told her that we would have her milk and then we’d go downstairs for breakfast. She said, “No bock-bah, eedoo nack.” (No breakfast, little snack.)

I distracted her, she sucked down her milk, then she went downstairs in search of Daddy so she could tell him goodbye before he left for work.

Fast forward 20 minutes or so, and I set a plate of cinnamon sugar toast (delightful treat!) and grapes before her. “[Hula Girl] want eedoo nack intead.” (Hula Girl wants little snack instead.)

I told her she could eat her breakfast or nothing. Then I told her that if she decides to leave the table, breakfast is over.

She left the table. Breakfast was over. I stuck the food in the fridge, because I had a premonition that told me I should keep it ready, just in case.

She drank about 3 sippy cups’ worth of water this morning. At about 9:00, just when I started to get ready to leave for storytime, she said, “[Hula Girl] ees HUNNY, Mommy.” (Hula Girl is HUNGRY, Mommy.) So I pulled out the toast and the grapes and set the plate in front of her. She ate one bite, and declared herself done. Again, the food went back in the fridge.

We went to storytime and she was fine. Crabby (I think she’s also got a fever- discovered that in the middle of storytime), but fine.

And then we left. As soon as her bottom hit her car seat, all I heard was, “[Hula Girl] HUNNY, MOMMY! I BE HUNNY! I WANT EEDOO NACK!” the entire drive home. I reminded her that she was hungry because she didn’t eat her breakfast. She agreed.

So we arrived home and I put her in her chair and brought out… you guessed right!… the toast and grapes. And she ate the entire thing. Cold toast and all. And then she asked for more. Nope. I’m not about to let her ruin her appetite for her next scheduled meal!

It’s times like these when I am super thankful for the community of moms I have found through my google group. I would not have been prepared or have known what to do in this situation before. Seriously? Keep offering the same old, cold, nasty toast? Yep. I was cringing on the inside, but she ate it. I won that battle. And I won it with a smile. 🙂

Choices, Fish, and Dead Batteries

Last night, I said to Jonathan, “I just don’t know what to do with Hula Girl tomorrow!”

He suggested the same ol’ same ol’: zoo or playground. But it’s too hot for either of those. I mean, sure, maybe if I weren’t 38.5 weeks pregnant… but I am, so those were not options. So we thought maybe Hula Girl and I would hit the pet store and the bookstore. Then I remembered that I really need to get the fabric to finish up Gelato’s nursery walls and Boppy cover. So we added the fabric store to the list.

Hula Girl woke up feeling like a TWO-YEAR-OLD this morning. And what I mean by that is that she wanted to make all her own decisions and do the exact opposite of what I wanted her to do. This was demonstrated clearly when I chose her outfit for her and she screamed and cried for ten(!) minutes about how she wanted to wear the “nank bop” (tank top) instead of the yellow shirt. Too bad for you, girlie girl. I even chose white undies, whereas she would have preferred blue ones. She made that quite clear.

Sadly for her, I don’t accept that kind of thinking. I have been talking to Jonathan lately about how she’s getting more and more choice-addicted. So I cut her off completely. She has officially made zero choices today. And guess what? Her behavior has gotten better and better as the day has gone on. Guess she needed a bit more reminding about who’s in charge. Also, I think she was getting stressed out with the number of choices she was responsible for. Emotionally, she couldn’t hack it, and she was inwardly concerned that she might actually be in charge. (Which, for those of you who don’t know brain development stuff well, can be very traumatic for a toddler, and they begin to act out to try to force the parent to regain control.)

Anyway, we had a lovely morning together after the tank top and blue undies vs. yellow shirt and white undies episode. She did push back on a few decisions I made, but nothing like the throw-herself-down-and-sob-miserably tantrum from the morning. I chose peanut butter and honey toast and strawberries for her breakfast.* After breakfast we rearranged her art/crafts station because she has gotten tall enough to reach the crayons, markers, glue, and paints. Hence her little redecorating spree the other day. I got a fun idea to have her color a picture and use stickers this morning. We haven’t done that at home in a long time. Plus she needs the practice coloring, I think. I generally give her blank paper and have her scribble on it, but I noticed the other day that she was actually attempting to color in individual shapes when we were at the library. Oops! Guess I should give her practice with that, too. How else will she learn to stay in the lines?** So I busted out my major artistic skillz and drew her some fish.

Here’s the final product! Note the ginormous glue globs under the eyes on the left 2 fish!

Crayons, stickers, and glued-on eyes! What fun!

So our day is sounding all hokey and stay-at-home-mom-ish now, right? (How do I fill the day? Crafts? Shopping? Yes!) Well, it gets even better.

After Hula Girl and I completed her fish project, I got dressed and the two of us headed out the car. I turned the key and heard rrr, rrrr, rrr, rrrr, click, click, click, click. Thinking it must have been a one-time-only deal, I turned the key again, and this time I heard click, click, click, click. Boo. Dead battery.

Normally it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal. I would have herded the little Hulameister back into the house and occupied her time with fingerpainting and dancing and general glee and merriment. But, remember folks, I am 38.5 weeks pregnant.

What if I went into labor and couldn’t get to the hospital!? (No, I do not plan to drive myself there, but I also do not plan to ride all the way there in 100 degree heat in the other car. The other car’s A/C is broken.) And then how would we get home once Gelato’s ready?! No, no, no. This will not do. Must.fix.car.

So we walked across the street to see if the neighbors could give us a jump. I was praying the whole time that a) they were home, and b) they knew how to jump a car. I have no knowledge of this. Well, a) they were not home, and b) there are no other neighbors around that I trust. So we went home and called roadside assistance.

Dude came in 15 minutes! It was awesome. He jumped the car and left it running so we could head over to Walmart (AGAIN) to have them check out the battery.

We pull up to Walmart and ask the nice garage guys to test the battery. Yup. Dead. So they go ahead and replace it. Sounds simple, no?

Well, not exactly. See, our car’s battery is down under all the other stuff. It’s right next to the wheel well, in the fender. WHO DESIGNED THIS CAR?!?! I mean, come on! Isn’t the battery kind of something that people try to get to frequently!? Obviously it has poles above the engine where it can be jumped, but it’s seriously buried down there. So of course they have to take off the wheel. And the fender.

An hour and a half of mindlessly wandering Walmart and thanking whoever it was that thought of putting Subway restaurants right inside Walmart and feeding Hula Girl a lunch consisting of things she’s never going to eat again (turkey with nitrates and fake juice, anyone!?) later, we found out that our car was ready. Score.

Hula Girl kept saying to me, “Ay-oh cah is wix! Ay-oh cah is wix!” (Our car is fixed! Our car is fixed!) She was delighted. Weren’t we all?!

And we got home just fifteen minutes late for Hula Girl’s nap. I’d call that pretty successful.

*Peanut butter: I have decided to start introducing peanut butter. Hula Girl has had no problems whatsoever with coconut milk, which I was determined to do before peanuts. Therefore this morning she got her first taste of peanut butter. Like a true member of our family, she said, “Mmm! [Hula Girl] yike meanuh bah-bah!” ([Hula Girl] like peanut butter!)

**Staying in the lines: I was actually kidding. I don’t think it’s important for a 2-year-old to learn to stay in the lines. I actually need to pull out my “art for kids” stuff from college to see what she ought to be doing now. Maybe that can be my next research topic. I generally like her to just do what she feels like she should do with art/craft supplies. Granted, this usually generates no “art” as it were. Just messy hands and lots of miniscule marks on a page.

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