To My Hula Girl: The Past Seven Months

Dear Hula Girl,

Your baby brother is seven months old today, and you are starting your day the exact same way you did on the day of his birth. Grampy is here and he is reading to you on the couch after the two of you enjoyed a special breakfast of oatmeal with honey and chocolate chips. I remember that morning seven months ago very clearly. We had called Grammy and Grampy the night before and asked them to come down to our house because we were pretty sure it was going to be time for us to go to the hospital. I went for a long walk early in the morning and then sat down on the couch watching you and Grampy read. I took several pictures of the two of you snuggling together under the quilt that your great aunt Anne made for you. Then I went upstairs to rest for a while… and then it was time to go to the hospital! We said goodbye to you and gave you lots of hugs and kisses. You had no idea what was about to happen; you were just excited to spend the day with Grampy.

Back then, you still seemed so very much like a toddler. You were two days away from being 26 months old- still a very young two-year-old. You were unable to dress yourself at all, you were unable to reach things on the countertops, you were unable to brush your teeth, you were unable to reach the sink without a step stool. What a difference seven months can make! In the past seven months, you have grown physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Daddy and I (and all of our friends and family) are constantly amazed at the new things you can do and the incredible things your mind dreams up.

Now you can get dressed completely by yourself. You do need help getting oriented sometimes (those arm holes are tricky- they like to hide behind your back!), and it’s not uncommon to see your waistband rolled over on itself. But you can do it!

You can reach everything on the countertops. Everything. And if you can’t reach it, you’re learning that you can get creative to make a way. This is scary for me. Your daddy was a climber, and you seem to be following in his footsteps! In fact, the other day I found you in the bathroom sink, squeezing toothpaste onto your toothbrush. Well, at least you hadn’t eaten all the toothpaste (another current favorite pastime of yours).

Speaking of toothpaste, you got a new toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste when you visited the dentist in January. Since you had just received a new toothbrush for Christmas, I told you you could use your new one in March. On March 1 you were clamoring for your new toothbrush and toothpaste even before you got out of your crib in the morning! You are still so very excited about your new toothbrush, and you love to brush your teeth. I make sure to brush your teeth first, just so I can get all the germs out, but you love to “practice” for very extended periods of time afterward. I think you’d probably watch yourself brushing your teeth for an hour or more if I let you. It is good that you have taken my advice seriously and learned not to swallow your toothpaste. Now that you have “real” toothpaste (it actually contains fluoride), I have had to watch you very carefully. You do like to eat toothpaste. What kid wouldn’t? Toothpaste nowadays tastes like candy.

So many other things have changed, too. You have grown three inches taller. You have lost a lot of your baby padding. You have learned to speak so very well. Your mind is full of creativity and your imagination is just exploding. You are getting less wary of others. You are learning to play with other children rather than just watching from the edges. You express your feelings and you work so very hard to make sure we understand you.

At night when Daddy and I tuck you in, we have a very specific routine. We read you a story, I carry you to bed, we turn off the light, you put “Mr. Sun” to sleep, Daddy prays, I pile your Daisy bear and your blankies on you, I say goodnight, Daddy says goodnight, and then we leave. When I carry you to bed, you tell me what you are that night: a big big big jingle bell, a big big big pumpkin ball, a big big big flower, or a big big big pearl. If you’re a jingle bell, we sing “Jingle Bells” of course! We always stand and hold each other in a family circle while Daddy prays. When I say goodnight to you, we blow a kiss, sign “I love you,” say, “I love you,” and then when I say, “Goodnight, Little One,” you respond, “Goodnight, Little Mommy!” So funny and so sweet. And of course, you always remind me and Daddy that you want to have your pink vitamin and some milk in the morning. Just in case we forget to give you your milk that you’ve had first thing every day for the last 33 months straight.

The very best part of seeing you at this age is observing the way your heart is opening up to the wonders of God’s creation, and to the glory of God as healer, maker, friend, helper, and Lord. It gives me joy beyond measure to hear you pray when you’re nestled in your cozy crib at night and Mommy and Daddy have left the room. Your sweet voice speaking your almost-three-year-old concerns to God in the darkness melts my heart and makes me certain that God’s got some big things in store for you. I wish I could tell you to trust in Him the way you do now for the rest of your life. That will be your decision to make, but nothing would make my heart gladder than to know that your relationship with Him is one of utter dependence and peacefulness that comes from casting all your cares on Him.

Oh, my girl. I am so proud of you and the big lessons you’re learning. You are sweet, funny, nurturing, exuberant, inquisitive, and joyful. You are never quiet for long. You have energy enough to power New York City for fifteen years. You throw your heart behind every little thing you do- whether it’s dragging Grampy’s suitcase to the front door (while calling, “Doooooon’t fooooooooooorget yoooooooour waaaaaater boooooottle!!!!”), having a breakdown because I moved your Candy Land piece a half-inch, or squirming around to find that ever-elusive armhole. You’re passionate, lovely, honest, and beautiful. I am so blessed to call you my daughter and so very thankful that God chose me to be your mommy.


Mommy (a.k.a. Daddy/Ms. Clavel- what can we say? Your imagination dictates that I am several different people all day long, depending on whatever game you’re playing at the moment!)

Just Pretending

Well, friends, my little girl is growing up. It still amazes me whenever she hits a milestone like this one. I had an emphasis in human development in college, so I took a few extra psychology and child development classes. Plus, as you know, I read and research like it’s my job. (Hey, it kind of is. A stay-at-home-mom has to be on top of things, too!) So whenever Hula Girl goes through phases or stages or hits particular developmental milestones, I am rarely surprised. I prepare for the “bad” ones (tantrums? emotional wreck? whining?) and look forward to the “good” ones (speaking clearly? using imagination? playing independently by choice?).

This one is probably my favorite “good” one so far.

A few days before Christmas, Hula Girl and I were sitting at the dining room table during dinner and she turned and looked at the Christmas tree. She turned back to me with a huge grin on her face (the one that shows her dimples best) and said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if there were a monkey hanging upside-down in our Christmas tree?” I cracked up. She has never before come up with a scenario like this. Sure, she’s laughed at several of the ones Jonathan and I have presented to her, but she came up with it all on her own! So funny.

The next day she and I took an afternoon trip to Old Navy. As we were driving out of the parking lot on our way home, she informed me that she and Daisy (her favorite stuffed bear who, by The Velveteen Rabbit definition*, is REAL) are fawns (yes, she knows that baby deer are called fawns). Then she informed me that her purple-flowered blankie is also a fawn. I told her, “Your blankie can’t be a fawn! It’s a blankie!” to which she replied, “But Mommy, I’m just pretending!”

Boom. Just like that, she started to pretend, and suddenly our world has gotten lots bigger and changeable. Daddy is no longer just Daddy. He is a horse, a gorilla, a dinosaur, and a dance partner. Her dollhouse hot tub is not just a hot tub (yes, her dollhouse has a hot tub, lol); that hot tub is now an air guitar.

And it’s not all about imagining things are different from what they are. No, suddenly she is able to PLAY. The way I remember PLAYING. She is a Mommy to her babies. She is a Doctor who gives shots. She cooks in her kitchen. Her dolls ride horses. Every stuffed animal has an opinion and is asked for that opinion (which is then supplied by the asker) several times a day.

She is involved in her own little world about 90% of the time now. In fact I was noticing how very quiet things seemed in the kitchen the other day- that’s because Hula Girl was quietly playing with her dollhouse instead of standing next to me trying to take things off the countertops. I had heard that this milestone comes, but I didn’t expect it so soon, and now that it’s here, I kind of miss my kiddo. But not so much that I’m going to complain! 🙂

*In The Velveteen Rabbit, the Skin Horse defines REAL: “Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand… once you area Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.” I LOVE this quotation.

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


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.


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.


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


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!


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.


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.


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’s Special Or-mee-nents

Two funny little scenarios from our day, both involving Christmas tree ornaments:

1. Hula Girl walks up to me and shows me a random ornament from our tree. Jonathan and I have had this ornament since the first year we were married, but it came in a bulk pack of silver shatterproof ornaments (read:inexpensive and not-exactly-high-quality). She says, “This is a very special or-mee-nent to me.” I asked her why. “This is the or-mee-nent I got when I got married.” I asked her who she married. “This boy who was a baby but now he is old. And this is our very special or-mee-nent from our wedding day.”

2. Hula Girl decides she is done with dinner and wants to feed the rest of her food to her stuffed owl (borrowed from the library). I told her that owls don’t eat people food. She asked what they do eat. I told her they eat moths and mice. I took a huge risk in telling her they eat mice-she loves mice. So she gets down from her chair, walks over to the Christmas tree, and starts “feeding” the owl her special collectible ornaments- all of which have mice on them. So glad she thinks that highly of them.

Don’t Look Over Here

Hula Girl. Oh, Hula Girl. What a funny little person!

She is honest beyond reason. She no longer lies to me, declaring, “I’m not,” when I am watching her do something I’ve asked her not to do. No, she’s moved on to “Don’t look over here. I don’t want you to see what I am doing.”

Yesterday, I was reading her a book on the couch in the living room and she declared that she needed to go potty. The downstairs of our house is situated with the living room, dining room, kitchen, and two hallways framing the staircase and under-the-stairs storage closet. Does that make sense? Anyway, from the living room, one cannot glimpse the front hallway, where the restroom is found. I heard Hula Girl finish her business, but she didn’t return to the couch. I gave her a few seconds, and then I said, “[Hula Girl], what are you doing?”

“I don’t want you to come over here and see what I am doing.”

“Uh-oh. That means I need to come see what you are doing.”

“I don’t want you to see that I am getting into the diaper bag.”

“You’re getting into the diaper bag?”

“Yes, I am getting into the diaper bag. But I don’t want you to come see that I am getting into the diaper bag.”


Some other things she doesn’t want me and Jonathan to see are things like picking her nose, biting her nails, touching the computer, opening the kitchen drawers, or taking the ornaments off the family tree. But I love that she always tells me exactly what she is doing so I can decide on a course of action before I “catch” her in the act. Most often, she tells me, “I am going to make a better choice,” and then she abandons whatever she was up to before I can even get there. That’s my girl.

Hula Girl’s First Career Goal

Well, Hula Girl has decided what she wants to be when she grows up. She wants to be a doctor, like “Dr. E.”, our pediatrician.

We were doing baths for the kiddos, and Jonathan had Gelato over in his baby tub on the sink while I had my feet in Hula Girl’s tub (gotta get that nice spa feeling where you can, right?!). She was washing my arm with her washcloth, and she told me she was being extra gentle. She was barely touching my skin. Ha! I commented and told her, “Wow, you’re so gentle that you could be a nurse someday!”

She said, “No, I don’t want to be a nurse. I want to be a doctor. I want to be a gentle doctor and I will be very careful when I check your eyes and your ears and your nose. I will be very careful when I put you on the scale. I will be gentle when I listen to your heart. I will be a careful doctor like ‘Dr. E.'”

Jonathan and I just stopped and gave each other amazed looks, ‘cuz, um, we haven’t really ever talked about what doctors do. Hula Girl is getting a doctor dress-up outfit for Christmas, so I thought maybe we would start there. But out of the blue, she astounds us with her memory.

She went on to say, “I will be like Darla (Dr. E’s NP) and I will put you on the scale. Like Gelato goes on the scale on his back. But I will go on the scale standing up. And I will be very gentle and careful.”

I told her that being a doctor is a great goal. My parents always encouraged me to be a doctor… thing is, I had no desire to be one. But now that I see her expressing an interest, I may as well foster it… we all know she’s gonna have to take care of us someday, and she may as well be able to afford it! 😉

On a related note, Gelato showed his first career yearning this evening, too. Perhaps it was inspired by his sister’s declaration. As Jonathan was getting him all diapered and jammied up, Gelato decided he’d like to be a firefighter. Only his declaration was less talk, more action. If you know what I mean. 😉

Hula Girl’s Phrases

Hula Girl says some amazing things. Some are funny, some are profound. All of them sound incredible coming out of her little self. Here are some of the things she’s said lately:

“Mommy, what’s on the back of those mountains over there?” (Um, that one blew my mind. What kid sees mountains on the horizon and thinks to herself, I can only see the front; there must be a back!)

“What yuck [luck]! I found peas in my peapod!” (What luck? What is she, like, eighty?)

“I have yo many beeeeeeeees fying ayound in my eeeeeeeeeees [ears], yes I doooooooooo!” (All sung at the top of her lungs, with a huge grin on her face.)

“What is a Thanksgiving Book, Mommy? [I answer and tell her it’s a book about Thanksgiving. Great answer, I know.] Okay, Mommy. You will give me the book, and I will say, ‘Thanks for giving me the book, Mommy!'” (Wordplay? At 2.5?)

“What is gyo-yee, Daddy? [Confused parents try to guess what she’s saying.] No, gyo-yee, yike you prayed for. [More confused guessing.] GYO-YEE! [Oh, she means “glory” because Jonathan prayed for us to give God glory!]” (Spiritual conversations happening, already!?!?!)

I’ve started keeping a list. I will update you when more striking things come out of that little mouth. She’s amazing, isn’t she?


Hula Girl Enjoys her Books

Hula Girl is a creature of Habit. With a capital H. This girl does the Same Thing the Same Way at the Same Time Every Single Day. She asks the Same Questions, she supplies us with the Same Answers, and she Freaks Out if Something is Different. I have, on several occasions, fielded questions about whether or not she’s been diagnosed with OCD. Ahem. No, she’s just two.  In fact, I got an email from Babycenter today, describing this particular phase in every kiddo’s life- the one where they NEED everything to be predictable, routine, normal. They think they’ve got the world figured out, and any variation that causes them to second-guess what they already know causes major anxiety.

All that to say, Hula Girl likes her routine. And she has particular phrases she uses to cue herself in to remember what comes next. So, if you were a fly on the wall in my house, here’s what you’d hear.

7:03 a.m. (whispering) The yun is up! The yun is up! Good moy-meen, Mr. Yun! How did you yeep yast night? Gooooood.

7:15 a.m. (to Daddy) It is time to go down-tays foy my milt!

7:16 a.m. (to either parent, or to the empty room) I yust want to yead.

7:17 a.m. (again, to anyone) I yust want to yead.

7:18 a.m. (again) I yust want to yead.

This continues until someone finally pays enough attention to distract her momentarily.

7:30 a.m. (to me, after Gelato goes down for his first nap) Mommy, yead dis boooooooooooook!

7:32 a.m. (to me) Anunna booooooooook!

7:34 a.m. (to me) Anunna boooooooook!

7:37 a.m. (to Jonathan) Daddy, is my bekfist yeady? Bekfist is yeady nowwwww!

8:07 a.m. (to me) May I be dood from table? I want to wash my hay-ands. And bush my teeth!

8:10 a.m. (to me) Mommy, I yust want to yead.

8:11-9:20 a.m. (over and over, to me) Anunna boooooook!


Not a Baby Anymore

I took Hula Girl swimming on Saturday. It was the first time we’d gotten out of the house, just her and me, since Gelato graced us with his presence outside my belly. So overdue, and so much fun! We went to the pirate pool at the Y, and I wasn’t sure if she’d be hesitant at all, since we haven’t been there in months. But nope! She ran right in, no qualms, and had a blast.

On the way home from the Y, she was talking kind of randomly in the back seat. Suddenly, she got quiet and then said, “Mommy? I am not a baby anymore.”

No, Little, you’re not. And that kind of breaks my heart, to be honest.

Her obsession with all things “toddler” has grown and flourished lately. She grew over an inch in one month, which meant that suddenly, all the fall and winter clothes that fit her in September no longer fit. I culled through her dresser and pulled out anything smaller than a size 3T (!- she’s not even two and a half!!!). She watched me and commented, “Those things are too small for me. Those things are for babies.” Then we went shopping and bought her three new pairs of pants (sparkly jeans, khakis, and stripey fleece) the next day. She proclaimed them “toddler pants.”

She also likes eating “toddler” food with her “toddler” fork. She likes reading “toddler” books and wearing “toddler” shoes (which reminds me, I need to go through her shoe bin as well- her feet are ginormous these days). She likes sleeping in her “toddler” crib (not sure how it is ANY different from a “baby” crib, especially since it’s the SAME ONE she’s been sleeping in her entire life… but, hey…). And she especially likes the fact that she’s the toddler and Gelato’s only a baby.

We often talk about how she can do so many cool things that he can’t do because he’s just a baby. Things like walking, running, jumping, eating, singing, reading, and so on. But lest you feel worried that we’re playing favorites, let me inform you that Hula Girl is doing her very best to teach him how to do all the things she likes to do. I showed her how to “bicycle” his legs and arms to make them strong for walking and running. I showed her how he likes to lift his head when he’s on his tummy, to get him ready for sitting up, swimming, and other skills. I showed her how to gently pat his legs while she’s singing her ABCs to him. I showed her how we can prop him up so he can sit and read with us. She looooooves being “in charge” of him. And he’s not going to be able to get away with anything. Something tells me we’re going to have a lot of discussions related to tattling in our home in the next few years. 🙂

Yes, Hula Girl is growing up. She amazes me with her thoughts, words, and actions. She seems so much bigger and more mature than she was when Gelato was first born. I suppose she really is- after all, now she has the 2-year molars and new pants to prove it. I’ll leave you with her astounding question from this morning: “Mommy, what’s on the back of those mountains over there?”

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


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.


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.


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.


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!

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