Monday, June 28, 2010

2 years, 3 months

Hi darling,

I'm so sorry I haven't updated this in so long. When you're awake, I spend most of my time chasing after you, and when you're asleep, I try to get to the gym or tidy the house or grade papers or one of a thousand other things.

I have been recording a lot of what you do and say on my other blog, but I had a goal with this one, and that was to dedicate it to you and your progress so that someday you could read all about yourself if you choose to. Anyway, I'm sorry. Writing once a month isn't too hard to do, and I should make an effort to keep it up.

Well, the big news today is that we just got back from our annual trip to Eugene, Oregon. Everyone in our family commented on how tall you are, how beautiful you are, and especially how smart and verbal you are. I think your speech has changed and improved even in the last week. You use complex and compound (and compound-complex) sentences to express your ideas, you can tell little stories, you have funny new intonations... You suddenly sound incredibly... conversational. Today at the post office, you asked some stranger "How's it going?" She answered, "I'm pretty good, how are you?" You said "very well." While we were in Oregon, you asked why we couldn't see the crescent moon. We explained that sometimes we could see more of the moon than others. You said "Oh, well, I think it's broken. I think a monster took a bite of it." You've also gone from the typical two-year-old demands of "I want gum!" to "Can I have something? Well, I was thinking about gum." (Not that you don't sometimes still fuss and demand.)

You are also exceptionally interested in hearing other people talk and tell stories. You insist on us telling you stories all the time, and have on several occasions, right after I've kissed you goodnight, grabbed me and insisted, "talk to me!" You also demand to know what everyone is saying in the songs on the radio, and why they are saying it. Today we had a long conversation about why someone might hang their head, what they might have done to make them feel sad or ashamed, and how they might need their mommy to help them feel better. I sang you a snippet of "Hello, Goodbye" the other day, and you had a whole theory as to why the girl might tell the boy goodbye and no, and that maybe she didn't want to go on a date with him. You have strong feelings about "Tell Me Why," and you really want to know why the girl cried. I find this attention to lyrics especially interesting, because I am so interested in lyrics myself. People are always saying "Ooh, I love the way they use the zither in that song!" and I'll be like "the what?" But I know all the lyrics by heart.

We met your newest cousin (or first cousin once removed), Aidan, on this trip. He is 7 weeks old, and he waves his little hands around, occasionally getting them in just the right spot to keep his pacifier in, just as you did. But the contrast of how you move now is startling! Everything you do is so intentional. You insist on climbing up into your carseat by yourself. You put your shoes on and try hard to get the strap into the buckle. You can put Barbie shoes on -- not consistently, but often, and you do NOT want help. I even watched you in half-sleep one night as you tucked a doll into the crook of your arm, pulled the blanket up to your chin, and adjusted the pillow under your head. It kind of blew my mind -- just one year ago, we put you to sleep in a fleece bag because you couldn't pull up your blanket if you kicked it off by accident. Now you're practically making the bed.

One day a few weeks ago, I came home after you had spent some time with your dad, and you were both singing a little song. It was simple -- three descending "mmms," then a name like "Little Bear" or "Mama Bear" or "Papa Bear." I thought your dad had made it up and you had picked it up to copy him. Then you were singing the "helping hand" song, a song that neither your Grandma nor I can explain where it comes from. It always has the same melody and the same, slightly indecipherable, lyrics. I finally became convinced you had simply made it up, and I was telling your auntie that, when your dad piped in and said you had made up the Little Bear song, too. I'm sure many kids make up their own little songs, but this sort of makes my head explode, too. You've made up your own songs? I mean... wow.

You are the reigning queen of loopholes, by the way. We told you you couldn't say "go away" anymore, and that you'd have a time-out if you did. So you started just saying "go," then looking at us slyly. Sometimes you got to "go ahhh...." but then stopped. Then you started saying go away again, but you insisted each time that you hadn't been telling US to go away -- you had aimed your ire at Max, the imaginary elephant. You couldn't get in trouble if you weren't saying it to us, right? When we caught on and outlawed saying it even to our imaginary compatriots, you made up a third song. "I'm singing go away, go away, go away." Yeah, we banned that song. For a while, you tried other variations on the theme, like "Mo amay" and "fo afay." Then you started saying the "rain, rain, go away" rhyme, but really punching the "go away" part. Sometimes we have to work hard to keep a straight face at just how clever you are.

Well, you're awake from a nap now, and you are "doing some work" on a Barbie shoe. I'd better return to my normally scheduled life.

I love you more than you could ever imagine.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

23 months!

Holy cow, I can't believe how fast the time passes.

I think the most interesting recent development is that you are telling jokes and playing pranks. For example, you've had your "one-two boobie" joke for months, but recently you asked what a babysitter was. Grandma explained, and you asked "Are you going to sit on a baby?" Grandma laughed, so you keep asking "Are you going to sit on a baby?"

Also, the other night I was walking in your room and I stepped on something hidden under your rug. I yelled "ouch!" I looked under the rug and there was a parasol. I pulled it out and set it aside. The next morning, "ouch!" again. I looked under the rug and there was the parasol. Apparently, you got into the car with Grandma and said "I put the umbrella under the rug again." Last night I asked you to tell a friend of mine what you'd been doing, and you totally admitted it: "I put the umbrella under the rug. Mama stepped on it. She said 'Ouch.'" Little prankster.

You are interested in longer stories now. You make up words. Like, you'll say, "Bazoop! What did I say?" You also think it's really funny to pretend to be a baby. You rarely grin wider than when I agree to feed you, or you crawl on the floor announcing "I'm a baby! Ga ga goo goo!"

You like the name game a lot, and I'll catch you singing "Boompah boompah bo boompah banana fanna fo foompah."

You try to help, like moving clean laundry from one pile to another as I fold it. You also helped put laundry in the washer once. And you like to pull shredded paper out of the shredder, then get the broom and sweep it around.

You're really excited that we can put pigtails in your hair, and you frequently ask for pigtails. You have also gotten a lot more interested in your wardrobe, and you'll ask to wear a particular outfit.

You're still an enormous eater. I think your new favorite food is mortadella, of all things. You're so active, though, that you burn off all that energy. In fact, you're still only 28 pounds. But you just hardly ever stop moving, bouncing, running, climbing...

As for nursing, it's on its way out. On Monday, you didn't nurse at all. You now nurse for just a few seconds before getting distracted. Or you'll tell me "Mama, you don't have any booby milk!" Until a few weeks ago, you still said I had milk, so I think it was the day without nursing that helped dry up my milk. I've planted a few suggestions about how big girls don't nurse, but I'm not pushing you. I also decided to stop taking my herbs when I run out this time, whether you're done or not. At this point, I think it's much more about comfort than milk anyway.

Next month is your birthday, and of course I've already gotten all your presents. Daddy and I are really excited about the stuff we picked out -- a ballet outfit, recycling truck, tool kit, a book called Flotsam, and a play tent.

I love you tremendously,

Monday, January 25, 2010

22 months

Well, Zadie is 22 months old today. She has been more interested in potty training, though it's not at all consistent. A few days in a row, she won't have a wet diaper at all, and the next day she refuses to go anywhere near the potty. Weirdest of all, she seems to be holding her pee as long as she can to avoid going in her diaper or in the potty. I bought her some pull-ups, because poopy panties are pretty gross, so we can't really put her in panties full-time yet, but I didn't really like the expense or the earth-unfriendliness of the pull-ups, so I bought a few new cloth diaper covers. She can take as long as she wants to get fully potty-trained.

She got a HAUL for Christmas, including a pedal-less bike and a trike. Unfortunately, she can't reach the pedals on the trike or the ground on the bike, so she's not really motoring yet. Her favorite activities right now are going to Bounce Town and Art Beast, coloring, watching PBS kids shows, reading books (we got a bunch of great new ones at Christmas and on our trip to Santa Cruz), and playing with her xylophone and tea set. She also loves her Legos.

She is still really into girly stuff, playing with my jewelry, putting on my "fancy" shoes, asking for barrettes in her hair, and wanting her fingernails polished.

She is a big eater, and she LOVES smoothies, bacon, eggs, noodles, rice, and beans. She ate a whole kids meal at a Mexican place last night - a taco, beans, and rice. She also ate about half the chips and salsa, although she kept insisting "I don't like it very much... Push it here, I want some more."

She's kind of entering that terrible two phase. Most of the time, she's a ball of fun and sweetness, but she occasionally just... freaks out. She'll scream "I DON'T WANT SHOES ON! I WANT MY SHOES ON!" That kind of thing. There's just no pleasing her. Of course it's worse if she's tired or hungry. She has taken to telling us to "shoo." She even told me "I don't love you, Mama." Apparently she inherited my ability to say really hurtful shit. I know she doesn't mean it, though.

She is so much more coordinated these days. Like, she made a painting the other day that looked really intentional. Of course, she still trips right over her own feet a couple times a day, too.

She's also getting so big! For a survey about her health care provider, I just checked to see how tall she was, and she's 2' 9". All her old dresses are mini-skirts now. And looking at pictures from only a few months ago, it's obvious her hair keeps growing and growing! When I pour water on it in the bath, it touches her shoulders, although when it's dry it's so curly that it doesn't even touch the nape of her neck.

She's still nursing, although not as much as before. She backs off a little bit all the time. She'll even forget to nurse at her usual times completely, then when it's time for me to go to work or her to go to bed, she'll panic and be like "I need booby time!"

She took a Spanish class before Christmas and still runs around the house screaming "Arriba! Abajo!" There is another Spanish class coming up and a dance class, both for kids her age, so I'm hoping we can get her into one of those. I think she'd enjoy either.

Well, as you might be able to tell, I'm distracted by my very active toddler. I'd better go. I can't believe she's going to be two in 8 more weeks! I have a birthday party to plan...