|At the bird park|
|Having a heart-to-heart with Frida|
|R wants to look something up on the computer|
|At the Lantern festival|
|Blurry but cute because she's so delighted w. the lanterns|
|At gardening class|
|Working on fine motor skills|
|With baby pretending to be a mommy|
R is still changing every day, but the pace of change has slowed a lot and differences from month to month don't seem as big or dramatic as they used to. But I will keep doing these updates until she's two, since there's still a few very important developments to come.
R's personality hasn't changed that much: she continues to be extremely social and confident (is she really my child?). Her social skills are actually pretty good for a toddler: as long as the other child is willing to reciprocate, she will share, take turns and is rarely aggressive (though she will definitely defend her interests if necessary). She's also quite good at getting both other children and adults to do what she wants. Even if she doesn't use force and can't really talk, somehow R always manages to get others to share snacks with her, push her in the toy car and so on.
Last month R was tiring me out with her boundary testing and defiance of authority. This is still sometimes an issue, but for the most part she has accepted that I am the boss and that the rules cannot be broken. Tantrums are much less frequent, and when they do occur they are pretty mild. I feel like R understands her place in the world better, and now that our relationship has stabilized, we can enjoy each other more. She really is so much fun! and we get along wonderfully the vast majority of the time (much better than I do with many other people: there is something to be said for training your own companion!).
R's physical skills are still developing nicely. She can run, hop, climb (short) ladders, stand on one leg, go up stairs by herself (though usually she needs to hold the wall/stair rail), throw and kick. She can also use crayons and do puzzles (finally!), take off her own diaper, shoes, socks and shirt/pants(the last with help), and use cups and spoons with ease. Her cognitive skills are improving too, as she can now generalize (connect pictures with the real thing, class similar objects together) and her memory is much better (nearing adult capacity): sometimes this is unfortunate, because she will remember things I don't want her to. I have to keep my word all the time now!
The biggest change this month was in speech, though again it wasn't that dramatic. She is speaking more, now not just to protest or give orders, but sort of conversationally (like saying "Rain!" to point out the weather to me). She can also follow multi-step commands (like "Go to the kitchen, get a cup out of the cupboard, and bring it to me").
Sleeping and eating continue to be pretty problem-free. Overall, being a parent is a lot of fun these days, and I generally find it both easier and more rewarding than previously.
Temperament: Cheerful, energetic, curious, extroverted
Things I Could Do Without: You are on the go, every day all the time. Usually it's fun but sometimes I wish you had an off switch!
Item/Toy We Love the Most: Your new baby doll and stroller. Watching you pretend to be Mommy is pretty much the cutest thing ever.
Item/Toy You Love the Most: Your new baby doll and stroller. She is the first thing you look for every morning or whenever we return home (if you didn't insist on taking her with us).
Things I'm Loving Most Right Now: Your talking! You are starting to have real conversations with us, pointing out things you find interesting, remembering past experiences, talking about your feelings. It's still very simple stuff but I am delighted by every little bit of progress.
Things You're Loving Most Right Now: Going to preschool; watching TV programs (Dora, Mr Rogers and My Neighbor Totoro); reading books (you want to read your favorites over and over and over); getting out and exploring; playing, with me, your father, other adults and children.
Foods You Like: French fries; gummy candy; baked beans; most fruit, especially mangoes; parmesan cheese. You don't really like meat or most cheese that much, probably because we don't eat them very often. You aren't picky but your first reaction to new foods is now rejection (we usually have to eat it in front of you with obvious enjoyment in order to convince you to taste it, for instance).
Sounds/words: No, yes, Mama, Daddy, my, mine, baby, Frida (your BFF), Paul (your best friend from school), Dora (the Explorer), ball, book, gummy, bubbles (used both for soap bubbles and sparkling water), diaper, brush, bear, dog, bird, blubblub (for fish), Hi!, bye, grrraw! (for lions and tigers), open, car, rain, eye, teeth, uh oh, whee!, wow, bus, bath, water, what is this?, look at that!...You also picked up some signs from Frida (I am way too lazy to have ever done this with you, but Frida's mother is more dedicated so Frida knows quite a few) and use them for "cookie/food" and "listen".
You are definitely trying to learn to talk now. One of your favorite activities is to point (either in a book or at actual objects) and ask "What is this?" You listen very carefully to the answer and often repeat after us ("It's a spoon." "Spoon.") Funny because we've never tried to prompt you to do this: I suppose it's just an innate drive.