Colette: 21 Months Old

Now when people ask how old Colette is, I say, 'she'll be two in May'. It really is coming up quick, especially when this post is now several weeks late. We've been having so much fun at all her little classes; there is definitely a reason why the class opportunities open up around 18 months -- they're totally ready for more. People constantly comment on how expressive Colette is. Though she's added so many words in the last month, even when she's not saying 'words', she's constantly making sounds, expressing frustration, excitement, etc. It really is entertaining. I can usually tell when she's finally fallen asleep because she finally stops talking.

She's had fun exploring the Presidio at her outdoor class and I'm learning more and more about her personality through these classes. She's pretty adventurous and has no problem going off on her own, isn't too concerned about where I am. She loves stomping in puddles, picking up sticks and petting banana slugs. She's not really into getting her hands too dirty though, even at her preschool class they'll put out cornstarch and water mixes or similar mixes to play in. She will try it, but always looks at her hands, then tries to wipe them off. We reassure her it's okay to have her hands dirty but she usually just keeps saying 'wash, wash'. We have MyGym on Tuesdays and it's worked out pretty well despite the drive and parking. She loves the class, does okay at circle time but especially likes the stations they set up to try different tricks with the teachers' assistance. She loves the trampoline, the swings and putting balls in the little basketball hoop. She's also a great helper putting the swings away back in the storage room.

On Wednesdays, we go to a class through Parks and Rec which is basically a bunch of toys, ride-on toys, jumpy house, etc in a rec room. They also have an arts and crafts space and a separate room with a play kitchen, dress-up clothes, etc. It's a big space and a big class, probably 50 kids, and a group of my mom friends are in the class too which makes it much more fun to go. Coco is super-independent there and I'll usually see her ask another mom for help getting into the bouncy house or climbing up a ladder if she can't do it herself. They do a circle time at the end with songs, music and then do several runs from one end of the gym to the other. I have the funniest videos of her trying to figure out what to do and now she has the hang of it. A few weeks ago, she even waited for her friend Violet who didn't want to run. So cute!

We're in a good routine and Colette has adjusted well to each of her classes. Coco warmed right up to the little preschool class we do Wednesday afternoons -- many of the kids joined at the start of the year but we joined midyear. I wouldn't say she plays 'with' the kids all the much, but I can tell she loves being there. She's 'all girl' though and goes straight for the feeding station with bowls, spoons and lots of stuffed animals. Last week they put out doll cradles and she spent 20 minutes making and re-making the beds. She also likes the book nook and taking all the books off the shelf and laying back on the pillows. She always tries most of the other provocations but spends the most time in the feeding area.

EAT: I know we're heading towards the point when many kids start getting pickier so I'm trying to stay consistent but so far she hasn't gotten much pickier. She never ate everything anyway -- was never much for vegetables and still isn't, but she did eat broccoli both raw and roasted so that's a huge success! As far as quantity, she still eats a ton and that really hasn't changed. Occasionally when we were on our trip a few weeks ago, she didn't eat much at a meal, but when we're home, she's very consistent. A big breakfast, ready to start working on her lunch by 10:30, sometimes a second lunch around 12, afternoon snack and dinner ranges from solid to huge. She stopped eating pears so one morning that was all I offered for snack and she finally just gave in and ate the whole thing since she was hungry. I think that's the approach to avoid picking eating or at least what I'm gonna attempt. The boys, George in particular have slipped into being pickier so we're gonna work on it all around.

SLEEP: Besides some early mornings in Vail, she's been sleeping well for the moment, though I keep reading about kids sleep getting off around 2 so just waiting for that. Naps are not great. Occasionally she'll sleep 2 hours, but often 1.5 is norm, though an hour or less unfortunately isn't that rare either. She wakes up grumpy and needs more attention for awhile. But overall, she just seems to need less sleep, sort of like George.

PLAY: She's playing so well on her own now and though she does like playing with blocks and some of the boys' toys like the castle, maganatiles, etc., in general she likes more traditionally 'girl' stuff. She loves her dollhouse and plays well by herself moving the dolls to the different areas, walking through the door etc. She was so cute one day, making each doll kiss another doll. She likes pushing her babies around, draping her purse over her head and getting her keys out. Playdough has been fun lately and she starting to get the hang of that. Reading has been much better in the last month too, she definitely can listen to books for longer and I think I can start weeding out more of the baby books finally too. I'll often find her with a stack of books sitting in the chair in her room reading. Cleaning is still a top activity and if she sees me wiping the table, she always runs over for a sponge and paper towel to do it herself. Playing with one of her two farms continues to be a hit too. I try to keep her upstairs more because she definitely gets into the boys' stuff downstairs. They're into little legos or building extravagant vehicles or buildings with magnatiles but if she's down there, she'll obviously wreck anything in her path.

TALK: A few weeks ago, I sat down and listed out all the words I could remember her saying. I wanted to keep track as we head towards 2 and her 2-year old appointment so I can share with the doctor all the specifics. She actually says a lot of words. I think I tracked close to 70 and she's added more words in the past weeks. She doesn't say the whole word and is still just saying the first syllable of most words but I think the key thing is that she's adding words. I've noticed her just starting to say more 2-word phrases too, not often, but definitely here and there, though still just the first syllable of each word. I'm anxious for her to start talking more, but feel confident that she is definitely making progress each week.

POTTY: She actually peed in the potty! We were in Vail and I asked her if she wanted to sit and she did and after a bit she finally went! This was almost 2 weeks ago and we've tried a few times since and haven't had any luck but are starting to talk about it more and ask if she wants to sit. I don't think she's ready for potty training yet, but I'm hoping this summer after our trip to Cincinnati she will be as it will be a good stretch of time before we need to travel again. We'll see!

Colette: What a fun month we've had! It's been so great to see you in your different classes, exploring everything and being around new kids. You warm up so quickly and so obviously excited about everything, people are constantly commenting about what great expression you have. You love to shyly give hugs to your teachers, and often to any other moms or caregivers sitting down in our various circle times before leaving class. You're so active but -- at least with me -- play really well on your own. You are starting to want me more engaged, taking my hand to walk me over to what you want me to see or do. If I'm on my phone, you'll shake your finger and start saying 'no, no, no' until I put it down. I feel so lucky that I was blessed with a girl and as fun a girl as you. You love choosing your close, always ask for a necklace, have all kinds of opinions about your shoes and jackets and seem like a natural caregiver. Beyond that, you're strong, opinionated and don't give up easily. A great combination for a girl I think :) You were great on our trip to Colorado and I had fun exploring Vail with just you while the boys were in ski school. You draw attention wherever you are, not just for how you're dressed, but just in general for how 'talkative' and expressive you are. It's odd to have you not be the baby anymore, but instead I have to look out for little kids that you may be pestering or stealing toys from. You're not the best at sharing, grab stuff away often and just point to yourself and keep saying 'mine, mine' if you're trying to get something. Come with the territory for being a toddler I guess!

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