I don't have anything world-breaking to say, but the title, tone and topic of the previous post seemed so glum and dour that I wanted to have something else on the blog to look at.
I'm still struggling with depression: it improved, then got worse again, repeat, repeat...Still tweaking medications and other aspects of my life, and hopefully I will find the right combination soon to fully bid this episode goodbye. I started this new medication (actually not approved for use in the United States: I feel very cutting edge taking it) which seems to be helping.
I like blogging, and regret not doing it lately (especially because I also haven't been taking many pictures of R or otherwise recording our adventures), so I am going to try to do it more consistently. I just got a new computer (after R dropped the other one when I wasn't looking) which will I think help.
--My parents just got through visiting me! I was a rather glum host, especially because I came down with the flu their second day here, but overall we still had a great time. Luckily the combination of R's personality and her stage in life mean that she is typically endlessly charming and amusing, up for anything and interested in everything. So as long as she's kept on an even keel (sufficient sleep, regular meals, daily exercise and regular contact with me), a good time is assured.
--R has finally started talking regularly, which makes her seem much more like a regular adult/rational being. She says short sentences ("What happened to Grammie?" or "I want to go home") but mostly communicates cave-man style: "Thirsty" or "More, more!" Her favorite topics of conversation are "homes" (everything/one has a home, including carrots, caterpillars and strangers on the street, and R wants to know where it is and if they are going there) and sharing (or not sharing: R is very conscious of personal property and spends a lot of mental energy trying to figure the rules/her rights out).
--I love R going to preschool and feel like it's a huge benefit for both of us. I get free time and a break from parenting (=awesome!!) and R learns so much there. She says "please" and "thank you" now, even unprompted, though I hadn't started teaching her (I thought I would wait until she could speak better). People talk contemptuously about "outsourcing parenting" when it comes to childcare, but I hadn't thought that I could actually do it successfully.
--R is learning all sorts of things at a great pace (words being the most obvious: she learns at least a couple new ones daily). What's interesting to me about this is that I have deliberately taught her almost nothing (it's been limited to safety lessons for the most part, like walk carefully on wet floors or do not touch the oven). She just picks up everything on her own, from watching me or others: and often she only needs to see it once in order to assimilate it successfully.
The few times I have tried to teach her something (like waving bye-bye when she was younger) have all resulted in very unimpressive results (after maybe 100 prompts and demonstrations of bye-bye, R would do it, only when prompted, perhaps a third of the time). I'm not sure if this is because I'm a bad teacher, or because R isn't especially compliant, but in any case it seemed a waste of time. So for now I don't try to teach R the alphabet, counting or anything else. No idea how other parents find the mental stamina to drill their toddlers! (very, very common here: practically part of being a good parent, actually)