Thursday, May 22, 2014

Happy Birthday to my big 2 year old

I'm almost a month behind in writing this post... and as I start to write it, I went to look at my 21 month post and realized I never wrote that either.  I dream of having more time to chronicle Miss O's life, but honestly it hasn't been a huge priority for me recently.  As Miss O gets bigger, I continue to struggle (in good ways) to find space for me as mother, me as wife, me as employee, and me as child of God in the very few hours per day that we're all allotted.  Sometimes in the evening, I think through a blog post, but I can't bring my fingers to dance over the keys to actually write one.  But today, I'll take the time, since it's been more than 6 months since I told the world about how amazing my little (now BIG) girl is!

Miss O has learned to run.  She's so cute when she does.  She clenches her fists and pumps are arms back and forth and shouts "run run run!" while she does.  Occasionally she giggles and says "gonna get you!" instead.  She's so powerful.  We're also seeing more jumping and climbing than before.  And she can maneuver challenging situations better than she used to-- she's not so afraid to be "stuck" at the top of a step stool or alone while sitting in a big-person chair.  

In the last month or two, she's definitely outgrown her "baby" puzzles- the ones where each piece fits in it's own hole.  I'm struggling to figure out which toys would be best for her next to develop both brain power and fine motor skills.  We've started a little beading (but she needs a lot of support to sustain this task for more than a couple minutes) and we're also doing cutting (with a pair of scissors auntie Heather got us for our birthday).  Miss O also loves painting at school-- I want to be bold enough to get the normal paints out at home, but I picture a huge mess... so we're sticking with water colors for now, for which the mess is slightly more contained.  It's hard for O to coordinate water -> paints -> paper... she sometimes forgets to do the paint or wants to do ALL the paints but no water.  But she's happy while she does it and I don't care about the end product, just the imaginative spirit and the motor task of doing it. 

I wouldn't say that O has become a "picky" eater, but she definitely has her preferences... which are likely played into by my fatigue in coming up with new things.  She'd eat nothing but cheese and fruit if I let her.  On occasion she'll sneak some meats in via lunch meat or hunks of chicken if we have it in our dinner.  And if all else is failing for food, she's really happy with mac and cheese, spaghetti, or home made pizza, so as much as I don't love making grains a HUGE part of her diet, we do a fair amount of them at this point.  Vegetables are more challenging, because of flavor and texture both, I think.  But she loves a green smoothie, so I sneak spinach and kale in that way.  And she doesn't mind pureed pumpkin or squash or sweet potato mixed in with applesauce or tomato sauce or even a cheese sauce, as long as I'm careful with flavors and portions.  So I do that too.  And I figure as long as we're focused on "healthy" for now, then variety of veggies will come as I can reason with her more.

In february, I was pretty anxious about Miss O's language.  I was contemplating getting a hold of a doc earlier than her 2 year visit to try to schedule a meeting with a pediatric SLP who could help me figure out why her "language explosion" wasn't happening yet.  But around the time we went to Panama City Beach (mid-march), the explosion finally started... We started seeing two word combinations -- first basics like "more please" and "no want" and now onto more complex things like "kitty floor" and "booboo hurt."  After models, she'll string 3-4 words together like "mama, more please" or "my yogurt spoon," but these types of things are far more the exception than the rule.  I still feel like she's fluttering around on the low end of normal, but her receptive language is SO excellent and her social pragmatics are good, so I try not to get worried.  Expressive language will continue to come with time.  It's not uncommon for other moms at school to say "she's so little, I forget how old she is," but I don't think it's her size, I think it's her slower speech that makes her seem little to everyone.  There's a boy that is just one month older than her who talks WAY more, and even the teachers say to me, "but he's SO much older..." and he's really not.

The big, exciting news that really prompts me to finally write is that we're officially potty training!  O first expressed interest in the potty at 15 months.  But since I have been working essentially full time, it's been hard to commit to it.  We've gone through phases where we do treats or stickers for sitting on the potty, but I couldn't get anything consistent.  On the rare occasion that I'd begin a potty "boot camp" on a Saturday morning, I'd give up after the 4th or 5th accident in the afternoon.  But about 2 weeks ago now, O had a bowel movement on the potty 4 evenings in a row! So last weekend, I decided to get serious and O had an "unfurnished basement" weekend.  We only had 2 accidents the whole time, and both were while she was running to the potty.

This week, I've been doing unfurnished basement in the morning and evening and letting her do diapers at school (mostly because school doesn't seem to care whether I want to potty train her right now or not... ugh... the topic of a whole different post).  And we haven't had any accidents at all.  We're coming up on 3-day Memorial Day weekend, so I'm hoping to move from unfurnished basement to cloth undies and still be successful.  Then we'll switch to pull ups at school, undies at home... my goal is to never buy another diaper in my life!  We'll see if I'm being realistic or not... :-)

Okay, that's probably about it for now... I'll leave you with these two pics, taken on her actual 2nd birthday.  Not a bad smile, if I do say so myself.

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