Our little bean is two and a half now. Even though I haven’t posted much, she has changed and grown so much.
A big thing has been figuring out how to jump off of things. She is a bit of a daredevil sometimes, and was inspired by another girl in her gymnastics class. At the end of class, the kids sometimes get to play in a pit full of foam blocks. A girl had her mom help her up onto a big block so she could leap in to the pit. Seeing this, A wanted up on the block but then slid off her bum into the pit. The following week, though, holding one of my hands, she jumped right in! Of course, now she also likes jumping off her stool in the kitchen, too, so it’s a mixed blessing, but it’s wonderful to watch her try new things and learn new skills.
Today was another milestone: her first tricycle! Hubby managed the “some assembly required” portion of the experience, and then we went outside. We’re still working on using the pedals, but we’re off to a great start!
My daughter has a very well-developed funny bone, and she loves to make us laugh.
It all started a few months ago, when A learned that sticking her tongue out would get a laugh. Hubby and I would return the gesture, and we would all end up in fits of giggles. She also has a great fake laugh which makes her sound like a haughty grandmother.
On her favourite show, Yo Gabba Gabba, there is occasionally a segment called Funny Faces, where the kids who are guests on the show make funny faces for a few minutes, to a cute 8-bit soundtrack. This taught A that she could add to her repertoire, and she started jamming her fingers into her cheeks while sticking her tongue out. Not long afterwards, she started hooking her fingers in the sides of her mouth and pulling her mouth wide, sometimes while sticking her tongue out.
Now she’s added knock knock jokes to her repertoire. It started with this:
A: Knock knock!
Me: Who’s there?
A: A! (her first name)
Me: A who?
A: (her full name)!
Once she felt confident in this one, she started experimenting. Her latest is this:
A: Knock knock!
Me: Who’s there?
Me: Elephant who?
She told this one to hubby on Saturday and he burst out laughing. She was so proud of this one that she has told it a few times since. I agree that she should be proud, and I’m excited that she’s being creative with her humour. She is a very happy, cheerful child most of the time, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
Hubby and A have a new routine: when they get home after he picks her up from daycare, they share a muffin. It’s an easy snack food, she likes muffins, and any time we can get her to eat, it’s a win. Hubby takes special pleasure from sharing meals with A, so it’s a nice way for them to share some time together before I get home.
Yesterday, as usual, Hubby went to A’s daycare to pick her up. Like usual, he chats with the caregiver about how the day went, what she did, if she napped well, and so on. After a couple minutes, A turns to the front door and says, “Bye bye. Muffin.” All this talk was keeping her from muffin time with Daddy, and we can’t have that. 🙂
Over the past few weeks, A has not only been using her baby sign language but has also started using verbal words a lot more. One of the things we’ve focussed on is food words, to give her the ability to voice preferences.
I took A to the grocery store this morning to pick up a few things, and when we came home, she toddled around the kitchen as I put things away. Then this conversaton happened:
A: (picks up a bunch of bananas) Mama.
Me: Bananas. Those are bananas.
A: Mana. Mana!
Me: Very good, they’re bananas. Ba-na-na.
A: (waving the bananas at me) Nana!
A: (Points at the bunch, looking at me sternly) This!
Hubby and I have been using baby sign language with A since she was about 4 months old. We have friends who have used it with varying levels of success, but it’s something we wanted to try, for a few reasons. Verbal language is complicated, and it will take some time for A to really be able to verbalize well. By now she can use several words, but we wanted to give her tools that she could use even earlier to communicate with us. We wanted to minimize the frustration she might feel in being unable to make herself understood.
At this point, A can make several signs: milk, more, eat, drink, change (as in, her diaper), sleep, bye bye, and fan (because ceiling fans are FASCINATING.). She’s even invented her own sign for Cheerios, where she rounds her thumb and index finger (like making the letter “o”) and pinches them together. I’ve seen her waving her hands and fingers around sometimes and wondered if she’s invented another sign that I haven’t figured out, or if it’s the sign language version of babble.
Last night, hubby woke A up for her nighttime bottle, as usual. She woke up a bit more than usual, and I could hear her chattering to him. As he was settling her back into her crib, he was telling her how much he loves her, to have a good sleep, when she abruptly makes the sign for “sleep”, and then “bye bye.” Apparently, daddy was talking too much and getting in the way of her sleep! He came stumbling out of her room, trying desperately not to burst out laughing.
My daughter is a great sleeper. From about 3 weeks old, she would have been quite content to sleep right through the night. Both my husband and I counted ourselves extremely lucky! (“She’s the baby that makes you think that having a second one is a good idea,” we both said.) With her weight gain issues, we had to wake her up for feedings, which seemed unfortunate. Even now, at 14 months, we still get her up around 10:30pm for a night feed. Most nights we can get a bottle into her and tuck her back in without her waking up too much.
During the day, A has been taking 2 naps, one at around 9am and the other around 2pm. She’s been on this schedule for almost 6 months, each of her naps being between 1.5 and 2 hours long. Over the past few weeks, though, she’s been waking sooner and fussing more before dropping off. Her morning nap is nudging back to more like 10am, and the afternoon nap is sometimes only a half hour. Our daycare provider suggested trying one nap, around noon. She slept yesterday for 2.5 hours, and was pretty tired before her nap, but she seemed fine last night. Try again today, and see what happens.
It was bound to happen at some point, i suppose. A has been working hard on standing on her own, and she’s able to maintain it for a dozen seconds or so now. Sometimes she gets so excited that she starts to bounce up and down, which usually ends up with her sitting unexpectedly.
A few days ago she stood up next to the coffee table, a common place for her to stand and play with her toys. She lost her balance and fell down. Unfortunately, on her way down she bumped her head & bit her lip. I panicked – her lip was bloody and I couldn’t tell right away how bad it was. She was upset and crying, understandably. After a cold wash cloth, i could see the two tiny scrapes on her lip matching her two upper teeth. The cold cloth seemed to help soothe the pain, and within a few minutes she was back to puttering around as if nothing had happened.
Over the weekend her bottom lip looked particularly rosy due to the scrapes, but they’re completely gone, the whole thing forgotten now. I felt a flash of guilt when it happened, that I should have been able to keep her from falling, but of course that’s ridiculous. Kids get bumps and bruises, it’s a part of life, and it wasn’t at all serious. She’s quite resilient and forgets about these things quickly, which seems like a good character trait. I suppose we can’t learn to dust ourselves off and move on unless we take a few tumbles first.
The holidays were lovely and long, since I had a whopping 3 weeks off work. I felt a bit spoiled by the break, and loved being back home with A. It’s good to get out and be with adults during the day, but part of me wants to be home to see each and every thing A does and be present for all her milestones.
Now that she’s a year old, A has been working hard to earn the title of toddler. Over the past couple weeks, she’s been trying to stand all by herself. The process usually involves her rocking herself into a crouch. From there, she’ll rock herself forward, trying to use momentum to get her upright. She doesn’t last long, and can sit herself down, reversing the movement she used to get to standing. Falls and bumps are thankfully infrequent.
A’s freestanding record so far is a whopping 11 seconds. She’s trying to stand throughout the day and it’s so exciting to see her trying! Less awesome is the fact that her favourite locations to practice are the change table & the bathtub. My little girl is growing up! I’m excited at the prospect of her learning to walk, and I’m already eyeing the parts of the house that need advanced babyproofing. That will be this weekend’s plan I suspect.
In other milestone news, A’s also said her first word: dog. She loves pointing at our two dogs & saying “Gog! Gogogogogog.” Between our home & her grandparents’ house she regularly sees 3 different dogs so I’m not surprised. One of our dogs gives her a wide berth but the other loves showering A with kisses (which make her giggle) and loves getting pats in return (A’s learning to be gentle with the dogs, and loves handing them their toys).
I’m looking forward to seeing what new words she latches onto next. She’s using baby sign language a little bit, and understands even more, so I wonder whether she’d be inclined to speak words that she can sign, or at least recognize, or whether she’d work to learn words that she can’t already communicate. This is a fascinating time in her life, for sure.
My daughter is in child care through the week while I’m at my shiny new job. One day per week, my parents take A and she gets to spend the day with them. I love that she gets a special day with her grandparents, and that they get to develop a strong relationship with her.
On Grandparent Day this week, they took her to the mall to see Santa. Now, A is pretty shy around strangers, especially those that want to pick her up. Most of the time, she’ll cry. I was a bit apprehensive about how this would play out, because putting her on the knee of a stranger seemed like a recipe for waterworks.
They took A to the mall in the afternoon, with a tummy full of lunch & having had a good morning nap. They waited in line for a half an hour, and pointed out to me afterwards that despite other kids in line who were crying, A stayed calm and in a good mood.
Finally, she got her turn with The Big Guy. Santa must really have a way with the wee ones, because not only did she not cry, she seems pretty happy in her photo. I was half-expecting to get one of those red-faced, tear-streaked sorts of Santa photos. You know, the ones that everyone gets a good chuckle out of, in later years.
Nope, as far as Santa photos go, A’s is great!
I feel wiped today. I wasn’t up particularly late, though I did have a tough time falling asleep. I was busy last night organizing A’s bag, packing her bottles, making my lunch, and laying everything out that I would need today. I knew that 6am would feel pretty early and I wanted to just grab and go.
A slept until 7am, as usual, giving me plenty of time to get ready before rousing her. I dropped her off with Grandma and Grandpa for a day of getting spoiled, and made my way to work.
The new office is great. My coworkers were very welcoming. I was kept busy for most of the day, and for that I’m thankful. I didn’t get to dwell on A’s absence, there was no time. My new job will be quite time-sensitive so there won’t be much time spent gazing out the window, wondering what my daughter is up to.
I was pretty anxious to get home at the end of the day and the bus just didn’t go fast enough for my taste. I came home to hubby cooking dinner and A in her high chair, pushing food around and chattering away. It was lovely to get back to my family.
I will survive being away from A. She will be going to daycare for the first full day tomorrow so I hope she has as easy of a time as today. Grandma and Grandpa will have her one day a week, which is a wonderful opportunity to build a relationship with them. But, as hubby pointed out, daycare will be her first chance to build her own relationship with someone. It’ll be a great experience for her, no doubt.