Thursday, September 13

twenty-three months.

Baby, you are now officially sleeping through the night! This is big news, considering the sleep deprivation of the last two years. We had a little bout of regression when you learned that coming out of your room and crying for me would get me out of bed to nurse you. Since we already knew for a fact that you could put yourself back to sleep without me, we decided a little nudge in the right direction was appropriate, considering your age. A few nights ago, we adjusted the baby monitor, made sure your best animal friends Bird, Baah and Pooh were close by, and closed your door for the night. You cried for a few minutes on the first night when you woke at 2am, realizing that you couldn't go to the top of the stairs to call for me. I got out of bed and almost went in to see you, as I don't believe in allowing children to "cry it out," but you settled down quickly and had a nice long conversation with your animals before falling back to sleep on your own! Now, you are going to sleep at 9pm and sleeping for up to 12 hours!

Aside from learning to soothe yourself to sleep, you're trying out all sorts of other new things too! You had your first experience swinging on a real swing recently, during our town's Oktoberfest. After a few minutes of help and practice, you were able to hold on all by yourself while we pushed you gently. As you swung, you learned to say, "no baby - big girl!" You can buckle yourself in your kitchen chair. You can put on your own socks, slippers, sandals, and sometimes pants. You really enjoy choosing your own clothes to wear, an activity which generally ends with you running around with three layers of clothing on. You still haven't gone through the "I want to be naked" phase, nor do you try to take off your diaper. Your favorite thing to wear is pajamas, particularly your silky Elmo ones.  

I've had a pretty bad case of seasonal allergies lately and you've been very sensitive to my well-being, asking "you okay?" every time I blow my nose. You've been feeling a bit under the weather yourself, now that your 2nd year molars are making their way in. Regardless of that, you are still eating quite a lot and nursing a bit less than in the past. We recently discovered that you love pomegranate seeds, and you ask for a "taste?" of new things. Your other current favorite foods include cheese and bean quesadillas and apple cinnamon cheerios with milk.

Lately, I've been trying to involve you more in the process of cooking. If I ask whether you'd like to sit in your chair and help me chop vegetables, you squeal with glee and run for the kitchen. We play music and you sit there watching me chop, naming vegetables and asking for tastes of them. Last night, you did a great job helping me rinse thinly sliced leeks in a bowl of water. Since we're on the topic of kitchens - you are now taking the full initiative to clean messes that you notice such as crumbs or spills all by yourself with a dish towel from the kitchen. You also love to haul the big broom out to sweep things about on the floor. After flies started to frequent our house in the summer, you quickly learned, "shoo fly!" and how to whack at them with a towel. 

Last night, you shocked me when you decided that you were ready to sit on your potty. I have been asking whether you'd like to sit on it every time before bath time, and you've always been adamant about saying, "noooo..." Last night you sat on it for several minutes, not wanting to get off as you tried to make peepee. I am tempted to start helping you learn to use the potty (by the way, I really dislike the term potty "training"), though I am hesitant considering that your little body is already adjusting to a new sleeping pattern right now. 

It's worth mentioning that your favorite things to watch are "Mowgli!" and "Lil Beah!" (The Jungle Book and the show Little Bear.) You are now so in tune with the world that you find things in the movies hilarious and you act out animal noises and sing along with the songs. You are also really enjoying our art and sensory projects that involve coloring, gluing, sorting and more. When we start the weekly homeschooling preschool we've planned with our new friends here in Germany, I just know you will love it! You get so excited about a "fwriend" coming over for a play-date, so I can only imagine the level your enthusiasm when we start getting together with four of them at once!

The last few weeks have been so full of your bright energy and smiles. It seems that so often these days, you do or say something new that causes your Papa and I look at each other with proud smiles, as we share in the experience of your growing. We love you.

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