And just like that, another month has slipped away. During those first sleep-deprived months where each agonizing day seemed to drag for an eternity, these joyfully-hectic months seem to be over before they’ve begun.
Poor Abby hasn’t had much face time on here lately – mostly because I’m that mother; you know, the one who never takes pictures of her child anymore. I’ve always heard that the second child draws the short straw; time is limited with two children around and so the second baby is unlikely to have more than a few mementos between birth and graduation. Typically enough, the first months of Abby’s life were intimately documented (both in print and paper). There are pictures of first baths, second baths, and third baths. Every smile, grimace, and sneeze was captured in some state. But these days, she’s just a blur in front of the lens. Her activity, though, I think is only half of the story; when I was in my last year of university (and in the throes of Facebook and keeping up with the social media Jones’), I felt the need to document every single event. One afternoon, on a beach with a few of my nieces, I had an epiphany. Instead of capturing all these moments on film (well, memory card by this point), why didn’t I just live the moment, with a few photos scattered through the day for good measure. That motto has come full circle again; when Abby was a wee babe in arms, I could interact just as well through a camera lens it seemed…but these days, being present in those special moments just seems to trump my desire to get another blurry picture of her pony tails as she zooms by.
Never fear, grandparents…there are a few new pictures below for your viewing pleasure, and a quick recap of the last month in Abby’s life.
We had our first snow this week and Abby loved playing outside in the white stuff, although boots and mittens do cramp her style!
Another big first this month – the start of “daycare/preschool.” Abby is going to spend one day every few weeks with a dear lady from our church. She had her first morning of fun this week, and it was quite the effort to tear her away from her “ironing” when it was time to leave. The lunchbox is really what kills me though – she was so proud of her bag, and insisted on carrying it everywhere. Too cute, and she looks so mature!
A rundown of 20 Months:
Her Mood: We get comments quite frequently about Abby’s happy demeanor, and she is an absolute sweetheart. But girl has serious personality and spunk (inherited from her mother), so I think we can say with certainty that she has entered the “terrible-two” stage. She is easily frustrated and reverts to whining when she doesn’t get her way. Amazingly she has never tried to bite or aggressively strike out at us, which I was warily anticipating. We use time-outs a few times a week, and stern voices; she reacts to both moderately well!
Her Motor Skills: She is at such a fun stage! She runs full tilt; she spins, she jumps, she climbs. She has some pretty talented tiny hands too, colouring up a storm (apricot is her favourite colour, of all things!), reading books, opening and closing box lids and most toys she encounters. She’s getting quite good at stacking blocks and attempting some puzzles as well too. I loved these pictures (blurry, and clearly showing how desperately I need to sweep my floors) of her playing with a keyboard Daddy was discarding. She was so excited to sit down and feel each little key with her tiny digits.
Her Sleeping: We are still happily reaping the benefits of sleep training. While not everyone’s cup of tea, I don’t regret those few rough days of tears at all. Abby sleeps from 7pm-7am, and naps from 1:00-3:30ish (give or take an hour or so). She has been taking longer to fall asleep at night, which I hear is normal at this age. She sings songs, talks to her stuffed animals, and recites her colours (at the TOP of her lungs) until she lulls herself to sleep, and same thing if she wakes up early in the morning. She has a special blankie (from Aunt Kathy Oliver), a soother (her one vice), and whatever crew of stuffed animals she decides to carry along with her.
Her Eating: This has been all over the board this month. When she’s teething, food consumption plummets (sometimes to a tablespoon of food at a meal). My tact is pretty simple: she eats what we eat, but only as much as she wants. I don’t try to force feed or hide extra food in something more appetizing (though I try to make sure there is something that I know she likes at each meal). When she does eat well, she DEVOURS the offered dessert. She has a huge sweet tooth, but I’m okay with that because she gets it in limited quantities (and never gets juice). Favourite foods include: yogurt, applesauce and cheese (staples for most toddlers I think!), potatoes, beets, peas, pineapple, bananas, blueberries, hummus/chickpeas, corn, eggs, fried rice, ice cream and Oreos (see below).
Her Vocabulary: Words, words, words. You are always talking, and this month you really started putting some great sentences together. Things like “all done now Mama,” “help please,” “I want a____.” You can recognize various numbers and letters by sight; you know all traditional animals by name, and a few others (like beaver and platypus). You have just started to sing songs (“joy, joy, joy, down heart”) in the last few weeks, and like to recite nursery rhymes that go something like this: “round, mulberry bush, monkey chase weasel, fun, pop da weasel.” She knows abstract things like “scarey,” “cold,” “be careful.”
Miscellaneous: Abby still refuses to sit down for baths, but tolerates them quite well as long as she can stand up. She can follow so many “commands” now like putting away her toys outside (she has to line them up JUST so), and recognizes every room in the house by name and can toddle there if she’s asked. She is great around the Christmas tree – hasn’t tried to touch it once.
Her Likes: She loves giving kisses and colouring. She likes music and will bounce to the beat. She is very affectionate (at least in an abstract way) about other people, calling them by name if we drive by their house, getting excited before church or a play date. She loves being chased and tickled; she LOVES playing on the guest bed and bouncing on the mattress. Abby loves to watch The Number Train or Thomas the Tank Engine (a special treat once or twice a week); playing outside, playing with zippers/boxes/blocks/books/dry pasta…you name it, she usually likes to play with it.
Her Dislikes: Being told no, eating if she’s teething, sitting in her stroller too long. Her biggest dislike – if she sees John and I hugging/kissing or showing any degree of affection; she starts balling and wants to snuggle right away.
Our little snuggle bun, love sweet, bubba, dumpling – dear, sweet Abby. Here’s to another great month!