Colette: 22 Months

Another month already and now we're starting to plan her birthday party in May! I feel like she's doing new things every day. Just yesterday she was able to pull her rain boots on all by herself. She's also turned into a 2-year-old pretty much overnight. She wants to do things herself, gets very determined about having things a certain way, etc., but if it's a battle not worth having -- like wanting to put her favorite jacket on when it was actually warm -- then I'm fine giving in. She's become a bit more distracted when eating, though still eats more than enough. And I'm so excited her language seems to be progressing, I feel like we may be at the cusp of really starting to talk.

She's continued to enjoy her classes and some of her favorites from last month are still present. She loves the trampoline and big balls (basketballs, etc) at MyGym but I also see her balance and coordination overall improving. She likes to walk on balance beams and try any of the special activities they have. She's also doing so much better following all during 'surprise time'. Each child gets the surprise of the week -- a cone, hockey puck, pom pom, etc., and then the teacher leads the group in different movements with that things. At first she didn't do much of it at all, but now she's getting the hang of it. Technically her class is for 23 months to 2.5 so she seems to be right on track.

At the Stretch preschool class, she still loves the baby dolls and everything to do with them -- putting them to bed, feeding them, wrapping them up in blankets. She has tried some of the messy play activities (painting, cornstarch mix, etc.), but overall as soon as she realizes her hands are dirty, she gets concerned about that and wants to wash them. It's funny, because overall she doesn't seem to have an issue with getting dirty or having stuff on her hands, loves playing in the sand, etc., but I feel like it's times these new experiences that she's confused by the dirty hands.

I'm starting to consider putting her in swim lessons. I think for a while there, she was so advanced in the water, and she is still very comfortable for her age, but when I take her to the pool, we have the shallow end to play in since the other end is for swim lessons, and while she loves going under water, jumping in from the side and is capable of 'swimming' a few feet, I'm noticing that she's getting so comfortable just playing around and being able to put her feet down, that she's not trying to actually swim and keep herself up. I don't see committing to swim lessons heading into the summer since we'll be gone for a few weeks, but it may be time to get her some instruction in a class. I haven't been too impressed with the options at JCC and La Petite Baleen though so not sure what I'll decide on.

EAT: Nothing new here, besides that she's getting distracted more so doesn't want to sit for as long as she has in the past. Sort of dreading all the eating out we'll have to do in Hawaii since restaurants really haven't gone well lately and I feel like we're in this phase for probably another 3-6 months when sitting still and waiting for food, even with distractions, is pretty hard. She'll eat a side vegetable here and there but that's still the area she could improve on the most. We had salmon for dinner last night and I got .86lb for G and C to share as Dave and I were having black cod -- more expensive and G won't eat so got the cod just for the two of us. G and C finished all the salmon and both would've eaten more.

SLEEP: Thankfully no major changes as I did notice one of her lower 2-year molars is coming in on the bottom, but so far, so sleep issues. Her naps still are short, but usually 1.5 hours, rarely longer, but occasionally shorter. When she doesn't take a good nap, she does tend to sleep in later, as late as 8am, the next morning. I started a new thing where I tell her that if she's going to whine and cry, I'm gonna take the books out of her bed and she's at a point where she can really understand that now. The first day or so, I go back in if she's whining and ask her if she wants me to take the books away and she grabs them all and shouts, 'no!' and calms down. Only once did I have to actually take the books away, but now, maybe two weeks into this, she does much better going down for naps and bedtime and if she is actually whining or crying, I figure it must be something else that's wrong and I go in. She's also gotten better about not ripping books so she's now allowed to take in some of the non-board books. We also got her a pillow for her bed, which she's taken to nicely.

PLAY: Colette continues to play really well independently most of the time, but she'll also come and get me when she wants me to do something with her. She'll come and try to take my hand and bring me to what she wants. And if I'm on my phone, she shakes her finger at me saying 'no! no! no!' and tries to bat it away ;) She's in to copying other people, so she likes to pull up the little step stool so she can sit at the counter stool, often with her little leapfrog laptop as I often sit at the counter on my own laptop. If the boys are around, she likes to sit in one of their seats at the table to eat. She still enjoys reading and though she often closes the book mid-story and adds another book on top, her attention span is getting longer and if it's a book she's likes, she'll sit for the whole thing. She likes Yellow Copter, Red Truck, several Airplane books, Llama Llam Gram and Grandpa. I often find her in her room in the chair or on the bed (or on William's bed downstairs) with a big stack of books and she'll sit there for awhile reading. She loves pulling up a chair next to her dollhouse and doing all the dolls and characters, opening the doors, giving kisses, taking a bath, etc. We have far too many characters and every night I put a bunch of them away in the drawer, but every morning she likes to take all of them out again. She likes to build with blocks and will do duplos or bristle blocks for awhile. Collecting stuff from the play kitchen and loading up her baby carriage to push around is also a favorite activity. Usually she plays very well on her own, although lately she's been wanting to play outside. We've had a lot of rain so that hasn't always been an option and when we do play in the backyard, she just keeps wanting to get out one thing from the bin and then 30 seconds later, drag me over to get out a different thing, and so on and so on. So definitely not my favorite activity. Despite knowing very little about princesses, she loves wearing her one princess dress and requests it any chance I ask her what she wants to wear.

TALK: Progress every day here. New words, and we're just starting to get more of the full word. She can say words starting with 's' now and sort of with 'c' (sometimes it comes out as 't'). We're really working on her being able to say 'Coco' but the closest we got is 'toe'. I heard her say 'slide' today, or a version of it that definitely included more than one sound. 'Outside' is her new word and she definitely gets the two syllables there 'ow-side'. With two months to go until age two, I hope the progress continues and by her next doctor's appointment, I'll feel more confident that she's on track with her talking.

POTTY: I would've hoped for a little natural progress here, though I haven't been pushing it at all. She even pooped in the bathtub last week which hasn't happened in forever and I try to put her on the potty before bath time, but she hasn't really gone more than a couple of times total.

Colette: What a big girl you are! You don't need much sleep, but I'm grateful that despite the short naps, you sleep soundly at night. You're filling your body with so much good food every day and are excited about all that there is to explore in the world. You're talking so much, constantly making sounds even though they're not clear words, but when you do try to tell us something, there's so much progress being made. It's so fun to hear your little voice especially as you speak words that we can understand and there's such a satisfaction on both sides. You've definitely become a 2-year-old in the past few weeks and get very upset when things don't go your way. There are certain things that just have to be done a certain way and I try to indulge you when it makes sense. You still have plenty of room for improvement when it comes to communicating your frustrations with other kids and will usually just grab toys and do your loud grunt to get what you want. Often times, you're really good about sharing and will offer things up on your own. Other times you get very possessive and there's no chance you're going to give it up freely. Typical toddler I guess. We have some fun things coming up in April, starting with a trip to Hawaii. It will be so fun to be back with you here, especially with how comfortable you are in the water. I'm a little bit worried that Dad and I need to leave you for back-to-back 4-day weekends in April, once you'll be home with your brothers and the next time Dedee and Papa will be just with you. You were pretty clingy at your classes last week after I had been gone for the weekend so we'll see how it goes, but I know you'll be in good hands. After all this travel is over, the countdown will be on for your second birthday!

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