- You're wearing size 12-18 month clothes.
- Your appetite has lessened significantly. Eating (in your high chair, particularly) is not a motor activity, and it isn't all that interesting anymore. You'll just pick at your food at some meals, clearly not hungry. You still enjoy cottage cheese at lunch time, though not nearly so enthusiastically. You have your preferences, and they change daily. You don't seem to be suffering, though.
- The current bedtime routine is to play outside for about 30 minutes (usually including some combination of tossing around a football, blowing bubbles, playing in the truck bed, taking a walk, petting the cat, etc.) immediately after dinner. Then, you get into your swing while you eat a cheese stick...an effort to make sure you have a full tummy before bed...lest hunger be a part of your poor sleep. You recognize the routine and often reach for Mommy when you're ready to be done swinging and head inside. You've stopped fussing as we change your diaper, put on pajamas, and nurse, and you let yourself go to sleep very easily with little to no crying once we leave the room. Big girl!
- But then, it gets hairy. Sleep has been rough lately, to say the least. For all of us. Although you've been going to sleep relatively easily, you wake-up quite consistently around 2:30 a.m. (although it is sometimes much earlier), screaming furiously. We've attempted to let you cry it out, but that's difficult to do in the wee morning hours when Daddy has to work the next day, and honestly, you're very stubborn and don't give up the fight easily. So, Mommy has been bringing you out to the couch when this happens every single night. We push over the ottoman to make a bigger sleeping surface, and you nurse, and then you almost always drift back off to sleep very peacefully until 6:30 a.m. or so. It's been unpleasant and we're going to have to figure something out soon.
- "Bay-bee" (baby) is one of your new favorite words, and you point out babies in books, and children at the store. You also point to and touch Aunt Rachel's tummy (your cousin is in there!) with the same exclamation. And, it's quite adorable.
- You recognize elephants, too, and when you notice one in a book or at the zoo, you lift your arm up like the elephant's trunk and make a little elephant noise. Precious.
- You have really begun to interact with your books, paying more and more attention to the illustrations and remembering pages that are your favorite. You'll turn the pages quickly to get to the parts of the story you prefer. Particularly when reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"...you love the "bea-uuuu-tiful butterfly" at the end! And you get excited about the "zizzer zazzer zuzz" at the end of Dr. Seuss.
- The neighborhood cat usually comes over to visit whenever she sees us outside. You squeal with delight when the kitty lets you pet her, and we say "soft touches...be gentle...stay calm". You are such an animal lover!
- You've had a few minor tantrums...really, just beginning to test the limits of your independence. Pulling clothes off the hangers in Mommy's closet after and during being told 'no'...repeatedly walking over to and upset not to be able to play with the frozen chicken at Walmart...trying to eat Royal's food. We're learning some things together.
- You've spent some fun late-summer afternoons playing in the sprinkler at Grandpa and Grandma's house! You particularly seem to enjoy filling up the little buckets and empty cans with water. It's fun for Mommy to see you playing in the same yard that she did.
- You really like television.... You figured out the power button on the remote months ago, and now you turn it on all by yourself, usually right after you wake-up (on the couch). It holds your interest for a little while in the mornings, and then you're off to explore other things. We turn on PBS again in the early-evening while Mommy gets dinner started and that seems to be a good wind-down activity for you as we settle into the evening routine. You seem to like "Daniel Tiger" and "Curious George" the most.
- You've discovered coloring! And, Play Dough! Play Dough lost its appeal a bit after you learned that it isn't for eating, but you still enjoy it. And you pull out the crayon box almost daily to scribble in your coloring book for a while. What fun we'll have together in days to come!
You are growing into a little girl before my eyes, Emerson,
and I could not be more proud of and constantly amazed by you.
I love you so very, very much.