After Gracie turned a year old I felt like the monthly updates naturally stopped (at least for us) so while I haven’t been keeping as many internet based notes, she is continuing to amaze us on a regular basis. I’m sure part of this is because when you are thinking about having a baby, and pregnant with said baby, you think about the baby. I bypassed any product or book made for the 12 month and up crowd (ok, besides some toddler utensils) and focused on what to expect (or…deal with?) in the first 12 months. Gracie has far surpassed that research and sometimes I think we are playing catch up.
(On that note, the companion to my ever-favorite Baby 411, Toddler 411, is a god-send for all your 9 pm questions about “huh, is this normal?”)(Amazon links affiliate, buy/borrow however you like obviously)
Gracie is a very verbal kid- we estimate she adds a word a day to her vocabulary bank. This week she surprised us with “several” (repeating Dad, but using it correctly), medicine (poor girl is on antibiotics for an infected stye in her eyelid, nigggghtttmaaare), napkin, pie, cake, and brush. She has a few small sentences “bye bye, school”, “daddy home”, “Gracie do it”, and my ever favorite “hush beagle, hush, sit down” which, uh, where did she get that one? (Her pronunciation of beagle kinda sounds like bagel and it is as awesome as you might imagine). She is obsessed with “ceam” (cream) for her boo-boos and doesn’t care if the cream comes in the form of coconut oil after her bath, diaper rash cream, infected eye stye cream, or balm for her chapped cheeks- any ceam will do! For a long time she declared anything “boo” (blue) if you asked, but this week she decided she was over the generalization and that the world was full of colors. Now she tells us when things are white, brown, purple, pink, green, blue, yellow, orange, or my favorite, black. Mostly because about half the time after she points out something black she busts in a toddler rendition of baa baa black sheep, like, “yeah guys, let me circle that right back to my favorite song”. She loves singing and sings us her versions of many classics like the ABCs, Wheels on the Bus, and Row Row Row your Boat. She knows about every other word and fills in what she doesn’t with sounds that match closely enough. It is charming if you are her parents, people at the playground might think otherwise.
Restaurant coloring A photo posted by D (@d.chicago) on
Speaking of the playground she loves to visit the “whee” (swings and slides) and I’m hoping this winter we have enough mild days that we can bundle up and let her run around. They have an indoor playground at school with slides and stairs, but it is off-limits to the under-two crowd and she is counting the days until she is allowed up to the top. She loves “cool” (school), her teachers, her classmates, the food, the activities. She sometimes protests coming home if I pick her up during a dance party or ring-around-the-rosie (perhaps they’ll rename it ring-around-the-ebola-fever)(I’ll be here all night) session, some of her favorite games.
She loves to request “Elmo” on the tv but all she really wants is to watch Elmo sing one song and then she is over it. Fine kid, the American Academy of Pediatrics supports you in this screen distate. She loves reading books, particularly ones involving llamas, pigs, or dinosaurs. She has an extensive pajama collection (mostly hand me downs from her friend Colin, boy pajamas are just as adorable as girl pajamas) and spends a lot of time every night debating the merits of monsters (mahn-sers), pumpkins (punkin), cars, bears, or dinosaurs (dinsaah). Monsters are a clear winner every night and she is a sad sack of potatoes when they, or her bee blanket, are in the wash.
Piggie and Baby love are at an all time high around our house, the illustrious stuffed/baby doll duo travels with us everywhere, wears her tutu, and are witness to all of our shenanigans. Santa Claus has taken note and some fun accessories/play items might be arriving to make their days even brighter.
Shh, Piggie sleepin A photo posted by D (@d.chicago) on
I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention that for all of her awesomeness, Gracie is also 100% toddler, and has her moments as such. Eating out is a bit of gamble (if we miss our window of opportunity we forego it), she eats very well at daycare and by the time she gets home at night dinner is a crapshoot (she often has fruit, yogurt and granola for dinner, which I justify by the fact that she has a hot lunch with vegetables every day and just isn’t interested in a full meal nine times out of ten), she’s dumped a cupful of water out of the bath and into my lap on more than one occassion and she is familiar with the Penalty Box also known as a small throw rug where she has to sit in time out when bad behavior strikes. Nine times out of ten it is for playing with the DVR after being asked not to, or not bringing back a phone or remote she’s attempting to stash in her dirty clothes hamper. She doesn’t like it when it is time to go- the park, the zoo, home, the store, but generally calms down with some song singing and distraction. She loves to “hep” or help with everything and heps me unload the dishwasher, put toys away, put dirty clothes in the hamper, feed the dog and put her cup on the kitchen counter.
She is a total joy in our life and we are delighted by her antics daily. While we were not busy imagining the toddler days as we waited for her arrival into this world, I wish I’d had a glimmer of how awesome life was going to get with each passing stage. Each one has its highs and lows, but every new set of highs makes us shake our heads and think “man, aren’t we lucky?”