Coco is 2 1/2!

Just before Thanksgiving, Coco turned 2 1/2. She's turning into such a little lady with tons of opinions, preferences and ideas of her own. She's generally very comfortable and warms up quickly at all of her classes and has no problem being dropped off. She does randomly have days she wants me to do more with her instead of exploring on her own, and when we tried a ballet class last week, she was a bit clingy, but by the end, could hardly wait her turn for her time to dance by herself in front of the class.

Definitely in the last month or so, she's had some stronger 2-year old opinions and reverse psychology is really the best approach with trying to get her to wear a certain pair of shoes for example... 'You can wear the gold or the silver shoes, but definitely not the brown' and she will 100% only want to wear the brown. I have so much fun buying girls clothes and definitely have gone a little overboard so trying to reel that in again, but she enjoys opening the packages as much as I do. She'll tell me what she likes and what she doesn't and I'm fairly successful at still choosing her clothes for her, though I am trying to give her more control by asking if she wants to wear a dress or pants (which she inevitably answers 'a dress AND pants' as she'll often answer 'I want ALL!!!' to similar questions). She has some favorite dresses that I need to hide if the occasion isn't appropriate and thankfully she's never been allowed out in one of her dress-up costumes so she doesn't know that would be a possibility.

Her hair is getting so long and despite Dave's request to cut it, I'm not quite ready to. She does pretty well with me brushing it, though lately she'll start saying 'ow, ow, ow' before I even start brushing. I ask her what kind of hair she wants and her favorites to request are 'long with a bow' or 'a witch's braid' (or sometimes 2 braids). She still has that typical toddler hair -- quite fine and silky and tons of flyaways so I've been testing out a few new products trying to keep her hair looking halfway decent 30 minutes after doing it. I've also been pinning different hairstyles to try and have made progress on my French braids. She let's me braid it and is usually just playing while I do it so we'll see how long that lasts. She'll need at least a trim at some point in the near future but if we take off more than a couple of inches, the curls will be gone for good.  

Despite me dropping our MyGym class a few weeks ago, she really loved it and enjoys classes with a lot of movement. She's on track physically but certainly not on the advanced end of the spectrum as far as coordination and gross motor skills go. She can climb up and down a ladder but still occasionally gets stuck and doesn't really know where to put her hands or feet to get up or down. I was impressed at our last MyGym class though that she was able to run across the 'hot dog' without any help so her balance is pretty good. She's been into balls lately and enjoys playing catch with Dave. I've looked into soccer but haven't found a class to fit into our schedule yet.  As I mentioned, we tried a drop-in ballet class and liked it better than the trial we did on her second birthday, but doesn't totally get what they're doing. On the other hand, the other kids clearly had been coming regularly so hard to compare. I did 'win' a month of ballet classes at the boys' school auction so I plan to try out Tutu School again after the holidays.

She's loved her Rabbit Hole class, as well as art class and both teachers recommended she move up to the next preschool class. That would be a 2-hour drop off class at Rabbit Hole which doesn't make much sense for us since it's on the other end of town so it would be too long to stay nearby but too far to go back and forth. But we'll see, maybe as we get closer to her birthday I would consider it. I wanted her to have some drop-off options but also want to have these last months with her before starting preschool in the fall. She's already doing a toddler art class that was drop-off for her as she's ready, but the teacher said she's ready for the 1.5 hour preschool class that's drop-off for all and just a few blocks from us so it should be perfect.

Coco has been spoiled by having Dave home the last few months and loves to play 'going to the ball' which involves dressing up along with all of her stuffed animals. She also loves to take her balance bike out with Dave, but she really doesn't have the hang of it yet so I don't think it's much fun for him ;)

Coco can still play for hours at her dollhouse, setting all the characters up a certain way and having ongoing conversations between them. I feel like I'm with her so much, and a lot of the time I spend with her is when we're out of the house, that I rarely 'play' with her when we're home. Thankfully she has Dedee, Papa and Dave who are great about giving her their undivided attention when they're with her, and really play with her. She's used to me needing to get things done when we're home that she rarely asks me to play and just does her own thing. As much as she loves all her classes, I have to tear her away from her toys (mostly dollhouse and figurines) to do anything else. She always asks, 'Can I play for a minute more?' It's been nice to be able to leave her home for things like school drop offs or other quick errands so she has had more time at home.

EAT: Favorites haven't changed - pork chops, salmon and really any meat or anything that anyone else is eating. She's known for eating half of whatever my mom brings, or taking most of my dad's lunch when I bring him something. She's still a good eater overall and I wouldn't say she's getting pickier, but more preferences are coming out. She doesn't like any fruit in her oatmeal or cereal (though will still eat it separately, thankfully). She likes to sprinkle chili flakes on her pizza and does fine eating it, but other times will say something is 'picey' even when it's not. 

SLEEP: Coco is napping maybe 4 times and week and for the most part, that seems to be working well. On the days she naps, she takes much longer to fall asleep (often awake until 8:30) whereas if she hasn't napped, she'll fall right asleep at 7pm and often sleep later the next morning. I don't think we're close to dropping the nap, but napping every day is too much. We've been lucky to play around with this with schedule having Dave or my parents around for some of the nap times.

TALKING: Coco is a chatterbox when she's comfortable in her space but still has plenty of sounds she has trouble saying. She can't say ch- at all (no choo choo, instead koo-koo). Ts are hard too (train sounds more like krain or tree is kree). She can say Santa and I think other words that start with S followed by a vowel but words like snake are 'nake'. She will repeat the 'ssss' sounds and then 'nake' but can't string it together. Even words like 'dress' have a guttural sound, now that I'm thinking about it more, it sounds like she has trouble stringing sounds that don't flow. Juice is 'goose' too. We can understand her and most can, I think. I always try to repeat what she says back to her with the correct pronunciation but we'll see if she's able to figure it out on her own.

POTTY: The saga continues... she's still in diapers and we don't have plans to change that but I chatted with a friend who's son had a similar issue and she gave me some good tips - switch from whole milk (and it was time to do that anyway) and start doing magnesium chewable kids vitamins, over the daily dose. That combined with what we've done since October with daily prune juice and/or prunes has really made a difference in consistency and her ability to 'let it all out' versus holding it in. I'm hoping if we break that cycle, then we can eventually try potty training again and hopefully with success this time.

STATS at 2.5
30.6lbs  - 27lbs 6 months ago
37.5 inches - 34 inches 6 months ago (though I think she's closer to 37)
Teeth: all 
Diapers: size 5
Clothes: 2T
Shoes: 7/7.5 - size 6 6 months ago)

Colette: Two-and-a-half! Time is flying by and you're getting bigger by the day.  In many ways you seems like such a big girl -- when you're at the park or some of your classes with kids a year younger, you seem SO big -- but then there's other times I think about things like preschool and can't believe you're already going to be going in the fall. George had his 'family book' out from preschool the other night and I remembered back to when we were making it, just a week or two before you came home from the hospital. You'll grow so much more in the 9 months until preschool starts but it's hard to think of you putting that book together with me anytime soon. You really try to be one of the big kids and are constantly asking, 'Can I come too?' or 'Can I have a turn?' or 'Can I see?'. You just want to be a part of whatever we're all doing. We started doing 'dinner host' this month where we take turns saying grace and doing our rose and thorn and any mention of dinner host and you start shouting, 'I'M dinner post!!! I'M dinner post!!!'.  People always comment that you look like a doll and that hasn't changed. Big, dark eyes, rosy, full cheeks and the curls too. You've started waking up, both in the mornings and after nap, in a bit of a mood, but otherwise are generally pretty happy. You get excited easily and often tell me 'I had a fun time' after we leave one of your classes. You love your time with Papa and Dedee and have gotten so close to Dad over the past few months when he's been home even more during the week. For a bit last week, when I would tell you 'I love you', you would say, 'I don't love you, I love Dad' but thankfully after a few days you replied, 'I love you so much!' which made up for it. Dad also explained that you guys sing Skid-a-ma-rink a lot with the 'I looooove you' at the end so that's where it may be coming from. Now you're in a phase of 'I want Dad to get me out of bed' etc so I just pray that doesn't last as long as the boys' phase did. You still want me for plenty of things so it's already nowhere near as bad. I knew I always wanted a girl and I don't know whether it's  how far you've come, the fact that I've gotten to 'enjoy' it a bit more this time with just one or just the person you are but having you around is the absolute best. You bring so much joy to me and to each person in our family. You're the boys' #1 and you make Dedee's world with your excitement to see her every time she comes. While it's true that the days are long, I'm already sad that you'll be off at preschool every morning in the fall. I'm looking forward to all our adventures together in the next six months, then a fun summer before your school experience starts. We love you! Happy 2.5!

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