25 Months-Routine, Personality, and Things for Us Parents to Keep in Mind

So, Hula Girl is getting smarter and more “real-person-ish” every day. I have to say, I am really loving this stage in her life. Even though it’s really difficult because she’s still learning her boundaries (and pushing the ones she knows are in place), she’s starting to settle into a calmness/obedience that wasn’t readily seen before now. I should say she’s always been quite obedient and relatively mild, but now it’s even more obvious to me.

Our daily routine is still quite similar to what it was a month ago, but she can handle a bit more flexibility. It’s fun to see her gaining that flexibility as she gets older. I get her out of bed at 7:45, and we spend 15-30 minutes in her room getting dressed and cuddling while she drinks her milk. Yep, she still has all her milk while cuddling with me in her chair- I LOVE this tradition and I hope to keep it up as long as possible. I also like that she doesn’t just drink milk at meals and then not eat food. 🙂 On Mondays, we wait in her room so we can see the trash truck come by. She stands up on her windowsill (I  hold on just behind her) and watches in awe as the garbage collector moves the bin, empties it, and puts it back. He has noticed us watching, so he always makes sure to wave- Hula Girl loves it. “Hi, gabbage mayn!”

After milk and cuddles, we head downstairs where Hula Girl plays for about 10-15 minutes while I prepare her breakfast. She would think she’d died and gone to Heaven if I served her a fruit smoothie every day. However, we do a lot of different things like omelets, scrambled eggs, hard-boiled eggs, toast, waffles, pancakes, cereal, yogurt, and of course, FRUIT. She really loves breakfast some days; other days, she picks like a bird and declares herself finished after two bites. Either is fine with me. She asks to be excused from the table (and we have had very much success with this- she rarely tries to get out of her chair before she asks anymore), and at breakfast, I let her go before I am done. We end the meal when she is done regardless of what she’s eaten and then she doesn’t eat again until snack time. So if she’s hungry before then, it will help her learn not to “finish” so quickly next time!

Breakfast is always followed by a visit to the bathroom sink, where we wash hands and brush teeth. She’s still too short to turn on the tap by herself, so I always have to accompany her for washing hands. I also make sure to go with her because she can reach her toothpaste and unscrew the lid, and she’d have toothpaste for breakfast if she could. Blech.

Then we get ready for our day. On days we go out, we make sure to go potty and put on sunscreen as necessary before we leave. On days we stay home, we put sunscreen on and head out to the backyard for at least an hour. I sit in the shade while she uses the water from her water table or baby pool to water everything in the backyard, living or nonliving. She loves her rock box and digging in the dirt. She also really likes to try to drink the water from her water table and her pool… which is NOT allowed. She’s getting better at using her water bottle appropriately.

On days we stay home, we find ourselves having some extra time after outside time, so we come in for a snack and then we do sensory-type activities like play-doh and rainbow rice. Occasionally we’ll even take a bath (if she got super muddy or sweaty outside). Then, at 11:30, whether we’ve been home or out, she has her second cup of milk for the day while we cuddle in her room and then she has roomtime until 12:15. I prepare her lunch during that time while I listen to her over the monitor. She says some pretty cute things these days. Another post tomorrow on this!

Lunch is at 12:15, and nap follows pretty much right after lunch is over. We typically serve things like hummus on a rice cake, grilled cheese, beans, veggies, more fruit, leftovers from dinner, etc., at lunch. Lunch is usually her best (read: most predictable) meal of the day. She will eat a lot at this time. Just like breakfast, lunch is followed by hand washing and tooth brushing. Then she kisses her ponies goodnight and troops up the stairs with her pink blankie for nap.

She has been sleeping about 2.5-2.75 hours for each nap. This is definitely not the same amount she HAD been sleeping, but it is working for her these days. As long as she doesn’t wake up crying, I know she’s had a long enough nap. Sometimes she wakes after only an hour and a half and is crying. Then I go in and check on her and tell her to go back to sleep. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t.

After she gets up from her nap, we come downstairs and have a very small afternoon snack. We tend to do quieter activities like looking at books and coloring during this time- she wakes up from her nap in a lazy mood most days. Then at 4:45, we head back to her room for her final cup of milk, snuggles, and her second roomtime of the day, which lasts until about 5:30, when Jonathan gets home. She spends time with Jonathan until dinner (6:00).

Dinner is often touch-and-go because we tend to serve foods geared more toward our adult palates than to her “toddler tooth.” I do try to put at least something I know she’ll like on the table (and often I’ll provide it as a side dish just for her). This is the most difficult time of day as far as training goes right now. First, since we’ve required her to remain at the table until we’re all done eating, she is constantly asking, “Mommy done eating? Daddy done eating?” We’ve also started requiring her to say, “Excuse me,” when she wants to talk. We are very consistent with this most of the time… now it’s just a matter of her getting consistent, too. I have no doubt it will come with time. She learns things quickly. Dinner is, as all meals are, followed by tooth brushing and hand washing.

After dinner we spend family time together- going for walks, playing in the backyard, etc. Then she and Jonathan calm down by reading a book and cleaning up her toys while I head upstairs to draw her bath and get her room ready for the night. Bedtime routine is something that’s very important for us, and I have been pulling myself out of it more and more as this pregnancy has worn on just in case I have to be tending to Gelato during her bedtime routine when he first arrives. She and Jonathan are pretty much independent from me at bedtime now until the stories and prayers. I wouldn’t miss prayers and kisses for anything.

One quirk about her nighttime sleep that just doesn’t seem to be getting better is her penchant for staying awake long after we put her to bed. She knows, recites, and practices her sleep rules before every nap and bedtime (Lie down, close eyes, be quiet, go to sleep), and at naptime she’s asleep within 10 minutes. But at bedtime… well, that’s another story. She will go down around 7:45 and stay awake until 8:30 or even 9:00. She talks and sings that whole time, and we can hear her processing her day. Sometimes she’ll even place “phone calls” to her relatives and tell them about what she had for dinner and what the kids at storytime did that day. So funny. I have decided not to stress out about this phase- I have heard from many many moms that it is, in fact, a phase, which will end… sometime.

Hula Girl’s personality is showing up more and more each day. She is a very routine-oriented little girl who has a deep passion for anything pink, sparkly, fluffy, and soft. She loves other children and will make it a point to stop, approach them, and say hi, no matter where we are or what we are doing. She loves rocks and ants. Her memory is insane. She is very smart and is very determined that once she learns something, she is right about it and has no hesitation about correcting anyone who says things “wrong.” (Yes, it could be said that we have a two-year-old know-it-all!) She has a way of changing her tone of voice that will guarantee a laugh out of anyone at any point in time, but she doesn’t use it in a manipulative way. I used to think that she’d be categorized as a “spirited” child but now I think she’s more “textbook” or possibly even “angel.”

A very strong trait of hers that is absolutely beautiful to see is her major major major compassionate heart toward…everyone. She simply cannot stand to see someone else crying without trying to offer assistance. She constantly changes her tone of voice to one full of empathy when someone gets hurt. She points out other children who are upset or hurting and asks me if they will be okay. She simply cannot and will not move on in her day until she sees resolution. So when we go to the Y, if a child is crying in the locker room, she must stand and watch and perhaps say, “It’s okay, gee (girl), it’s okay, gee! Mommy, daht gee ees dyding (that girl is crying)!” Then I have to assure her that the girl will be okay and that the girl’s mommy (or whomever) will take care of her. She talks about the “gee dyding at Y” all the way home. And sometimes she’ll bring it up again as she’s falling asleep at night. Girl can’t STAND to see anyone hurting.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Even she has her areas of weakness (which, like so often happens, coincide with her areas of greatest strength). Her routine-orientedness causes her a lot of worry and frustration when things aren’t exactly right. For example, when I leave her room at roomtime, I must remember to take her milk cup with me. Otherwise she will spend the entire roomtime crying and pounding on her door, begging, “Mommy mum take my milt cup, meese!” And that’s just one small example. I caution anyone who ever watches her to remember to put socks on her feet prior to every nap and every bedtime- or else you’ll hear about it for days!

Another issue is that she is very inflexible about the names of objects. For example, today she was wearing a tank top. I asked her to help me take her shirt off. “No, Mommy, nank bop!” We have been working on acknowledging her correct words for things while modifying her viewpoint- “Yes, you are wearing a tank top. A tank top is a type of shirt. Let’s take off your tank top shirt.”

While she is sometimes disobedient to the point of trying to just say no to me, she is also very malleable and is quick to listen and obey. We continue to play a lot of games that require her full obedience, and I am very consistent about doling out logical consequences when things don’t go well. She is beginning to give me an unprompted, “Yes, Mommy,” each time I call her name. She will then turn and look at me and say, “Yes, Mommy,” again after I’ve given her directions. When she does so, I praise her for listening to me. Then when she follows through I praise her for obeying. We talk a lot about listening and obeying and what those two skills look like. She is often quick to remind me that we must listen and obey God, Jesus, Mommy, Daddy, and _________ (insert name of anyone we have mentioned in the past 24 hours). The best thing is that she understands that she must obey Mommy and Daddy because God and Jesus tell her to do so.

 

Jonathan and I have recently become aware of a little trait of hers that will need a lot of shaping and monitoring as she grows. Hula Girl is a follower. Even though she’ll initiate the playing/interacting with other children, she will never actively take the lead. Even when the child is months younger than she is. She will always stand back, watch, and then follow the other child(ren). This has worked to our benefit occasionally. For example, she has two little friends that she sees at weekly storytime. They are three and five years old, and so they set the example for how she should behave during storytime (and they set a very good example, kudos to their mom). So Hula Girl is getting a great “education” from these girls. However, she also watches and learns about other kids’ behaviors that are not-so-desirable. I will say that the majority (like, 98%) of the time when she sees kids doing something “questionable” she will ask me about it first. For example, she saw a little boy running in a store the other day (like, he was running away from his mom). She said, “Daht boy ees yunning in stoy (That boy is running in store)?” I said, “Yes, he is running in the store. You’re right.” She then asked, “[Hula Girl] may yun in stoy, too?” I answered, “No, you may not run in the store. You may walk by yourself or you may walk and hold my hand. What do you want to do?” “Alk by yelf.” Okay. Cool.

So obviously we have to keep a close eye on her and monitor her surroundings and influences. I think it’s healthy for us to address her questions and desires about following the examples set by other kids. I see us having a lot of “Why does this kid get to….” conversations in the future. Honesty and consistency will hopefully be our best tools when dealing with this type of thing. I’d rather have her follow good examples set by her peers and adults around her, and feel safe enough to ask us about the poor examples before following them than to have her just go through childhood fearing our reactions and learning how to be sneaky about disobeying. Of course, at this age, it is as simple as restating her boundaries and then offering a couple of safe choices within those limits. I am, however, really enjoying the mental stimulation that accompanies these larger issues that are cropping up as she is getting older. It’s also nice to have a husband who is keenly interested in discussing these matters with me and deciding how to handle things together!

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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.

May I be Excused?

More Hula Girl cuteness for posterity’s sake:

  • She has learned to ask permission before leaving the table. A couple weeks ago, she learned how to undo the buckle on her booster seat, leaving her free to climb down whenever she felt the urge to leave the table. However, Jonathan and I have been quite strict and have not allowed her to leave the table until a) at dinner, all parties have finished their meal, and b) she has asked permission to leave. We use the phrase, “May I be excused from the table?” So now we hear every night, “May I be dood at ba-boh? Meese?” If it is not time yet, we say, “No, you must wait until everyone is done eating.” The best is when she asks to be excused from the table, receives permission, and then says, “No, deel eating,” and takes a few more bites. What, were you just testing us!? Silly girl. But I am rather pleased that we’ve started getting her in the habit of asking permission and waiting for all to finish. It just seems nicer when families hang around and finish together rather than hogging and dispersing.
  • She understands all prepositions, but generally uses “at” in place of “to,” “from,” and “for.” She also puts everything in present tense. For example, “[Hula Girl] and Mommy diving inee car at playnound?” (“[Hula Girl] and Mommy are driving in the car to the playground?”) Another example, “[Hula Girl] give dees at Yahdee!” (“[Hula Girl] gave a kiss to Riley!”)
  • She is starting to memorize and sing/recite even more songs and poems. She is even able to correct Mommy and Daddy when we make an error. For example, there is a song which goes, “Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him in the morning, praise Him at the noontime…” Jonathan made the grievous mistake of singing, “…praise Him in the morning, praise Him in the evening…” last night. This lack of understanding was greeted with nothing but pure frenetic desire to make sure Daddy knew the correct way to sing it: “No, ‘pase eem inee eveneen,’ Daddy! ‘Pase eem inee noonmime!'” (“No ‘praise Him in the evening,’ Daddy! ‘Praise Him in the noontime!'”)
  • She never stops talking when she is awake. This includes talking all the way to… oh, 8:40 last night (after we put her down at 7:30). Some of her conversations with herself are list-making: “Ama, yeah! Papa, yeah! Nay-nay, yeah!…” “Wum, two, eee, oh-ee, ix, no, wive, yes, ix, weven, eet, nine, tennnnnnnn. Yeaaaaaaaaaaah.” Other conversations review things from her day, “Ed yight, BOP! Yeh-yoh yight, yo nown! Neen yight, GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” (“Red light, STOP! Yellow light, slow down! Green light, GOOOOO!”) “Where are you, [Hula Girl]? Inee ma-oom? Yes. Mum out!” (“Where are you, [Hula Girl]? In the bathroom? Yes. Come out!”)
  • She is learning to enunciate /s/ very well. She always responds very clearly, “Yes,” when asked a question whose answer is yes. Just today she was working hard on saying that we were driving by other people’s houses: “Diving by udda pee-pohsssss ousssessss.”

 

23 Months- Noteworthy Stuff

Hula Girl is officially 23 months old today! That means she’ll be two soon. Yikes. I am ready, but also not ready. I sent two pictures of her to a friend today- one from a week ago and one from a year ago… what a difference a year makes!

As you know from yesterday’s post, we are going through major sleep wackiness right about now. Actually, we did get a fantastic 3.5-hour nap yesterday. There were several variables that went into that nap, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be replicated today. First of all, I forgot to close one of her windows. So she had fresh air, outside noises, and the clack of the blinds to keep her company… whoops. Secondly, I spent a good 30 minutes in her room with her before her nap, reading book after book. Third, I implemented some of the things from yesterday- reviewing the “sleep rules” butterflies with her and reminding her that I am not leaving, I am just going to my own bed to nap while she naps. I also reminded her that I will be back when naptime is over. But today I got her down for her nap later than I wanted to, and from the way she was acting, we’re due for a short nap again. She was Miss Crabby Pants all morning. Probably because after yesterday’s fabulous nap, she stayed awake until almost 9 p.m., singing, laughing and talking to herself in her crib. I just can’t win.

On a positive note, Hula Girl has been very into songs, stories, and chants lately. She loves to sing her own versions of songs to us (hand motions included, as always). I love listening to her sing in roomtime. She sings along with her kids’ Bible songs CDs that we play. Yesterday’s song was “Zacchaeus” and she sang, “You…mum… nown!!!” over and over last night while she was falling asleep. Whenever she hears the song about Jesus knocking on our hearts, she runs to the door and “knock, knock, knocks!” She can also recite some of her favorite simple stories, and often tells stories as she’s sitting at the breakfast or lunch table or falling asleep. And chants- don’t give that girl a catchy phrase unless you want to hear it over and over for days. For example, today I said, “Yes, indeedy!” in response to something she asked in the car. She then insisted on hearing me say, “Yes, indeedy!” over and over again all the way home. During roomtime, all I heard was, “Yes… in… deeeedeee!”

Her enunciation is getting better and better. She still can’t say /r/ or /l/. Her /r/ sounds become /y/ and her /l/ sounds become /ee/, /y/, or /d/, depending on where they fall in the word. For example, our cat’s name is Riley, and she calls him “Ya-dee”. She calls lions “yi-yons.” She says little “eedee”. She has just recently started adding in /t/, /v/, and hard /g/. This doesn’t mean that she can say all things super well. She speaks very fast (“veyee wast”) and I frequently have to ask her to repeat herself. But she is getting better and better, and I almost always know exactly what she’s talking about nowadays.

Hula Girl’s appetite, for the first time in her life, leaves something to be desired. She has not been into eating very much lately. She’ll still eat a variety (pretty much anything we put in front of her), but she’ll take like one or two bites and declare herself all done and ask to be excused (“scuze?”) while climbing down from her booster seat. I am not super concerned about this. She is thinning out considerably, does not ask for snacks, and is not consuming terribly large portions of milk. I see no reason to get upset and create yet another battle of wills. If she says she’s done, okay, she’s done. I take her plate. In the event she tried to come back and eat more later (“hummingbird feeding”), I would not allow it. She’ll learn quickly enough that eating is to be done at established mealtimes and snack times.

I am considering switching Hula Girl’s milk to coconut milk. Most pediatricians recommend whole milk until 2 years of age (well, obviously after breastfeeding is over), but at 2, it’s generally okay to switch to 2%, 1%, or even fat-free… whatever the family drinks. Not being a milk-drinker myself, I couldn’t care less whether or not she actually has any more milk ever again in her whole entire life! She had the fattiest stuff at the right time, and now we don’t have to be so incredibly worried about brain development anymore. I am also concerned that dairy milk contains so many antibiotics… that can’t be good for a human. (I’m even considering just going straight to coconut milk for Gelato when he turns one, just because of the antibiotics… yuck!) Anyway, coconut milk has more calcium than dairy milk (yes, it’s added, but it’s still more), and it has the right amount of fats. Plus it’s darn tasty. We’ll see what her pediatrician says at her 2-year well-child visit in June.

Hula Girl is, as always, a climber. I am now having a hard time taking her to the park alone because I can’t climb up the metal ladders after her to ensure her safety. She hasn’t gotten it down perfectly yet, so I know she could fall at any second. It’s tough because when I go with her, I have to stop her part-way up each of the structures and insist that she tries something else for a while. When Jonathan takes her, she can climb as high as she wants and he can follow along just below her. I don’t believe in helping her climb at all. We do not touch her unless she slips off or misses a rung and will actually hit the ground unless we step in. If she’s low enough, I actually just let her fall. Better for her to learn from her mistakes than to be over-confident in her abilities. But I am glad that she’s learning to climb so well this summer, so that next summer when I have both of them at the park alone, I will not have to watch her so carefully. Another area where she can clamber well is on those foam play surfaces inside malls. She can get her little toes to grip any incline and hoist herself up to the top in record speed. I am seriously keeping in mind that she can join the Y’s rock wall climbing club when she’s six. The only downside to this talent is her propensity for climbing things she oughtn’t… such as the hope chest, the back of the couch, the dining room table, the baker’s rack, her dresser, etc. Fortunately she’s got the sense not to try to climb out of her crib. I have seen her considering it a few times, but then she looks down… and loses her nerve. (For now.)

Okay, there’s a good update for you for this month. Next month, it will be a YEARLY update. Whoa. And tomorrow will be a THIRD TRIMESTER update. Whoa again. Time is a flyin’.

 

Another Sugery Update and 22 Months

Yep, I’m combining my Hula Girl topics here. Just want to play a little catch-up. I will be posting details about pregnancy and Gelato tomorrow, at 24 weeks.

Hula Girl seems to be doing well in general. She had a busy, busy week last week, including a few early wakeups in the mornings to get to appointments, shortish naps (and nights) due to overstimulation and overtiredness, and just a lot of stuff going on. It has been nice to be home since Monday, even though we miss Grammy and Grampy.

Her eye is actually still leaking, and not draining down through the duct. I know the ophthalmologist said that it could take a few days post-surgery to really see good results, and I guess the fluid is less sticky/profuse, but I am concerned that the duct was not completely unblocked. Worst case scenario would be that the duct will never be completely unblocked, and that we will just have to be very cautious and watch out for infections. We have seen much less bloody discharge from the eye (absolutely none today), so perhaps we’re on the positive side of the situation and I’m just being impatient.

One side effect of her previous week has been her penchant for sleeping this week. I could tell she was working up a sleep debt and that she was becoming overtired because her naps were generally shorter than usual, and her morning wakeups were up to an hour before her normal time. So we buckled down with early bedtimes and early naptimes, and we’ve really reaped some benefits from that during the past few days. She slept for a 3-hour nap on Sunday (not unheard of, but not her norm), then took a 3.5-hour nap Monday and Tuesday. She even fell asleep flat on her face on the floor during her independent playtime on Tuesday!!! Yesterday (Tuesday) when I woke her from her nap at 4:30, she was groggy and upset that I woke her up. So we did an early bedtime last night, and she actually slept in all the way to her waketime of 8:00 this morning.

Okay, that’s all the surgery update info I will have until our follow-up on Friday. So here’s stuff about her as a 22-month-old:

Potty Training and Early Waking: I have been wondering (and I will need to post this as a question on our Babywise Moms group) if she’s actually been waking earlier in the mornings due to potty issues. I know that the first and second mornings she woke an hour early, she had poopooed. I also know that she’s been waking dry from naps, and does NOT like to use her diaper. (After surgery on Friday, we got her home and she had not used her diaper at all- not even when under general anesthesia- but she went running to the potty as soon as her jammies and diaper were off.) I thought perhaps her early morning wakings were due to her needing to go potty but being aware that her diaper was her only option. Sure enough, when I got her out of her crib this morning at 8:00, her diaper was still dry. Um, yeah, my 22-month-old held her peepee all night. And, MAN, did she drink a lot yesterday. All her milk (16 oz total) plus at least 3 sippy cups of water (so around 30 oz). When I took her to the “big potty upstairs in [Hula Girl]’s bathroom,” she went for quite a while. Hm, I wonder if we need to transition to a big girl bed and put a potty in her room. Yikes.

“Terrible Twos”: Her personality is springy and bouncy and chipper and easy, like always. She has had some moments of “terrible twos” behavior, but those are easily overcome or quickly forgotten. She has been quite insistent on having some things exactly her way, but she’s learning that there is a balance between what Hula Girl wants and what Mommy wants, and Mommy’s desires often take precedence. For example, when we leave the house, Hula Girl sometimes doesn’t want to wear pants (or skirt or shorts) or undies, but Mommy insists.Aren’t Moms a pain sometimes? These moments are fleeting and, like I already said, quickly forgotten in our daily activities.

Eating Habits: Kid loves to eat. She will eat a variety of foods, but her absolute favorites are grapefruits (“day-doopssss”), oranges (“oh-wees”), and frozen corn (“woh-wee norn”). I have found that sometime she won’t eat a particular food that she liked yesterday, and in that case I can just offer it in a slightly different arrangement or style, and she’ll eat it up (hence her recent passion for frozen corn). She has not been into eating meat lately (I’ve heard this is pretty common with toddlers), so I have been working to provide protein in other things, like tofu bites (sick, but cover them in ketchup, and she devours them), beans, cheese, and smoothies (she won’t eat yogurt right now, but she’ll slurp down a smoothie like no one’s business). Occasionally she’ll try a bite of something, make a face, take it out, and put it to the side. This is fine. She is allowed to put any food to the side, and we don’t fuss over it at all. I have seen a lot of foods that were on the sidelines make their way back into the favorites category, and vice-versa. I figure we’ll just go with what her tastebuds are telling her, as long as we just keep offering healthful foods. It’s not like she spits out a strawberry in favor of a cookie. She has never had that option. But she might spit out a piece of zucchini in favor of a tomato. Meh, oh well! We ARE teaching her to say, “No, thank you,” when she takes food out of her mouth.

Growth: Our recent doctor’s office visits have given us a clue about her growth- she weighs 28 pounds and is 33 inches tall. I just used the Baby Growth Percentile Calculator on Babycenter, and discovered that she’s finally not so tall! She’s in the 25-50th percentile for height and 50-75th percentile for weight. That said, my mom and I were noticing just last week how much she’s thinning out. She’s still got muscles like Arnold in her calves, thighs, and buttocks, but her waistline is trim and she’s losing a bit of her baby fat elsewhere. Her torso is quite long (like her Daddy’s), so she’s wearing size 24 months – 3T shirts, while her legs are somewhat short (again, like her Daddy’s), so she’s able to wear size 18-24 months pants/shorts. Silly.

Interests: Hula Girl is interested in anything that equals movement, noise, or boisterousness. She loves climbing, jumping, dancing, balancing, rolling, somersaulting, shrieking, running, bouncing, crawling, slithering, scaling, tumbling, tickling, and tackling. She wants to sing every song she knows and do the motions all day long, especially at mealtimes and in the car. She loves to learn new signs and try them out at random times throughout the day (often she’ll sign things to Jonathan during bathtime and he’ll bring her to her bedroom utterly confused and ask me what she’s trying to say. (“Oh, she’s saying, ‘cloud!'”) Hula Girl also has a passion for books. She loooooves to read and to be read to. Her latest thing is to choose her own stories at bedtime, so she’ll flip through her nursery rhyme book, “No… no….no.. YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!”

Sayings and Vocalizations: This girl has been on a roll with language lately. She is getting more and more precise and eloquent. My mom got her to repeat a 20-word sentence the other day. It’s funny to hear her trying to repeat a sentence. She’ll say the last part first, and then remember there was more, backtrack, and say the full sentence. For example, I could tell her, “Tell Daddy, ‘You’re the best daddy in the world and I love you!'” She would then run to him and say, “Daddy love you…. Best daddy in the world and I love you!” (That is modified speech- hers would really come out like, “Daddy wuh you… Beh daddy inee woh in I wuh you!”)

Along with repeating sentences, she’s been saying things that echo my common phrases a lot lately. Just yesterday and this morning, in fact, she has uttered, “Okay! Okay! Okay!” using the same intonation that I frequently use. I found myself doing it all throughout the day since my attention was drawn, and I sure do say, “Okay!” a lot! She also threw herself down in her crib and said, “Oh my goodness!” (“Oh my neh-ness!”)… too funny.

Hula Girl has also started taking what I say to her and applying it to other children, animals, and inanimate objects. For example, when we apply her Orajel to her gums, we remind her, “No biting!” Yesterday we went out back and found a hill of fire ants. I told her not to get too close to them because they might bite. She said, “No biting, ants!” (“No bibeen, ahn!”) She has also been wanting me to hold/rock her stuffed animals and baby dolls in my arms while singing “Rockabye Baby”… then she will go in another room and do the same. Her version of “Rockabye Baby” is very cute, yet difficult to decipher- “Ock a bye baby inee tee bop/inee win boh dadoh wock/inee bow ake dadoh wah/nown mum baby dadoh in ahh.”

Her favorite bedtime (and naptime) routine has become telling Mommy and Daddy, “Sleep well,” a ridiculous number of times each night. She has to be the last one to say it, and she continues saying it as we shut the door and walk down the hallway. “Sleep well, Mommy, sleep well, Daddy! Sleep well, Daddy Mommy, sleep well, Mommy Daddy!” She’s actually quite good at saying “sleep well” very clearly. No subtitles needed!

 

 

Whew, I think that about covers my little Hula Girl for now. I will keep adding more when I think of it.

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