Two and a Quarter: An Update

Yesterday Annabel turned 27 months. Two and a quarter years old. Two years, three months. Whatever you want to call it.

When I stopped posting monthly updates, I decided I would try to do them every three months. So prepare yourself for a monster update because this one will be long! I didn’t consider how difficult it would be to squeeze three whole months of stuff into one post, so bear with me. Or skip this one; whatever you need to do.

So.

It’s been a busy, busy three months and Annabel has grown and changed a lot. And in a lot of ways she hasn’t changed at all. Here are some of the highlights.

She has a memory like an elephant. Which is to say, she has a very good memory! It’s been almost six months since Annabel got her first (and only so far) haircut and was given the little pink bow you see in this picture:

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However, last week we were in her room and she pulled that bow out of her basket. She started chattering about getting her hair cut and asking, “Mommy, remember I got my hair cut?” I wasn’t paying very close attention and absentmindedly answered “yes, Annabel”, thinking to myself, what are you talking about?! I thought it was so random that she was talking about getting her hair cut when it had been so long ago. Then I saw that she was holding the bow and it finally clicked. It was crazy enough to me that she remembered the hair cut at all, let alone the bow that they had given her.

I think she’s just started to understand the concept of memory as well. She’ll frequently start questions with “remember when…?” and then proceed to bring up something from the past. She knows that “yesterday” and “last night” and “last week” are all in the past, so she’ll usually say something like “remember when _______  last week?” even when it happened a month ago or yesterday or whenever.

She’s starting to outwit me.

This has been happening more and more often. I’ll try to think of a clever way to tell her “no” without actually saying that word, and she’ll figure out an even more clever way around it. About a month ago (or something like that…turns out I’m not too good with remembering whether it was a week or month ago either), Annabel wanted to take her baby out for a ride in her stroller. But it was a little chilly out and was beginning to rain, and I had zero interest in going outside. So I told Annabel something along the lines of, “No, it’s raining outside. Baby doesn’t want to go out in the rain. She’ll get wet!” So Annabel thought about it for a minute, turned around, and plucked baby right out of the stroller. She set her down, looked up at me, and said, ok. Like, problem solved, Mom, now let’s go!
Er, you weren’t supposed to think of that!

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It’s great to see her doing some problem solving, but it’s making it much more difficult for me to outwit her!

Along the same lines….

She’s becoming an expert negotiator.

When I tell her that we’re not watching TV right now, she’ll say “I’m just going to watch onnnnne episode of George!” She still loves Curious George, and we recently added Clifford to the mix as well. Back in October I bought her a Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD that she asks for pretty often. Only she doesn’t say, “I want to watch it”, she always says, “I want to learn my ABC’s!” How am I supposed to say no to that?! So more recently, she’s been watching that video about 2-4 times a week. It’s just 30 minutes, which gives me time to cook dinner, and I figure she’s learning, so it can’t be all bad. Speaking of which….

She practically knows the entire alphabet!

I attribute this achievement primarily to the video mentioned above, though I do try to work with her whenever I can. She can sing the whole alphabet song and can identify almost all the letters of the alphabet, with the exception of 3 or 4 that always trip her up. She can also tell you the sound that every letter makes, even the few that she can’t always identify by sight. I really started to realize that the video was helping her to learn when she was sitting on my lap recently and I had my own book in my lap. She looked down and started identifying all of the letters! I was shocked because I had never gotten to “T” with her since I’ve been doing a few at a time. Since then, she’ll pick out letters everywhere. So cool.

She can count to 10.

She’s really into counting things these days, even though she’s usually just reciting the numbers and not actually counting things. The important thing is that she thinks she’s counting. She can’t identify the numbers themselves, but she loves to sort things while “counting” them.

She’s sometimes a terrible two year old.

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I don’t know how else to say it. We have hit a point where every day usually consists of multiple tantrums. This is exhausting and frustrating, but also completely understandable. I know she’s not just being a brat (usually). Everyday she’s learning so much and wanting to explore her world. Unfortunately, I get in the way of that exploration a lot and she can’t understand why. I can’t let her run the water in the bathroom sink for an hour because she wants to “wash her hands and brush her teeth” play in the water endlessly. But she doesn’t know why. She can’t understand things like “wasted water” and “water bills”, so in her mind, I’m just messing with her fun and personal hygiene. I try my best to come up with reasons that she can understand, but I find it to be difficult at best in most situations. So we butt heads. And it sucks, the end.

She wants to pick everything out by herself.

As part of this whole learning and discovery thing, she’s really at a point right now where she wants a little bit of control over many aspects of her life. Obviously she can’t control too much right now, but she’s figured out that the one area she can is in picking out her own stuff. This can be her spoon, fork, clothes, muffin, or really anything where there are multiple options. She’ll always pick the bowl on the very bottom of the stack, and when I’ve given her something without first letting her pick, she’ll almost always end up “picking” the one I had given her to begin with. Ah, toddlers. Gotta love ’em!

She never stops talking.

Her speech is unbelievable. She regularly strings 6-8 word sentences together back to back. It feels strange to even write about her speech development at this point, because she talks so much that I’ve almost stopped paying attention to how much she talks. There’s really nothing that she can’t tell us at this point, which is pretty awesome.

And now, these are a few of her favorite things:

Her rain boots. Wears them everyday.

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Her dollhouse. This was a $30 garage sale find that I bought for her playhouse. But I think it’s going to end up staying at our house because she loves it so much.

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Arts and crafts. I’ve never been good about doing this routinely with her, but back in October, we had our play group over to our house. We did a Halloween craft, and ever since then, she’s been all about coloring and painting.

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Animals. She loves them all.

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Books. This list is obviously not in order of most loved or this would probably be first. This is a girl after my own heart. She absolutely LOVES to read, both with us and on her own. I recently set her up on our bed with a basket full of books so that I could clean our bathroom. She stayed there for at least 30 minutes flipping through every last one….and giggling to herself:)

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She also enjoys reading in her stroller and car seat….

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…and has recently taken up reading my books as well!

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Picking flowers. While I was in Asheville, she and daddy spent some time and Mimi and Pa-pa’s where she discovered that flowers are just for looking at–she can pick them! Ever since them, she spots them everywhere we go and always wants to pick them.

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Being silly.

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“This is my jacket hat, Mommy!”

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Chocolate. We keep a stash of Dove chocolates, which she asks for most days. However, I try to keep them as “treats” so she doesn’t get one every day. But if she’s really good at the store or eats a really good dinner or something like that, she’ll get a chocolate.

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Sad that it’s all gone!

My phone. We’ve downloaded several educations apps and she knows how to get to all of them on my phone. While this can be annoying when we’re at home, it comes in really handy when we’re at he grocery store or in the car and she needs a distraction.

Daddy’s shoulders. She always appreciates a ride on Dad’s shoulders!

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Our yoga class. We only go 2-3 times a month, but she loves going to “loga”, seeing her friends, and stacking the blocks!

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Sometimes she even practices her moves at home.

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Her friends. Once a month we have a scheduled play date with our neighbor friends.

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She found a book buddy:)

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We usually end up playing in the front yard between play dates, and ever since we lost half of a fence post, she’s really enjoyed peeking into her buddy Landry’s backyard, haha!

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It’s impossible to capture 3 months of Annabel in one post, but this is at least something to remember this crazy time by. I can’t believe my little lady is well on her way to being two and a half, but it sure is fun to get to know her more and more everyday!

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This parenting gig is harder than I could ever have imagined, but also more rewarding and fulfilling than I ever hoped it could be. Thanks for taking me along for the ride, ABK!

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