Thursday, May 16, 2013

It's good to be appreciated

Between bites of goldfish crackers, Addy and I had the following exchange, verbatim:

Addy: "Pass my water please!"
Me: "Here you go" (hands water to her)
Addy: Thanks mom-mom!"
Me: "You're welcome. Thank you for being polite!"
Addy: (stops chewing and gets all serious) "Thank you for always changing my diapers, mommy." 

Well okay, then. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Totally Cute Tuesday

My wiggly, hyper, busy-body girl is all cuddles today, and I'm loving it! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Playroom reading nook

If you're on Pinterest, you've probably seen at least one variation of the awesome idea to use little wooden spice racks from IKEA to hold children's books. The spice racks are only $4.99 a piece, and can hold a handful of books forward facing. When I first saw them used this way about a year ago, I decided I wanted to put some in the playroom. A big chunk of Addy's books were on a traditional 3-shelf unit in the playroom, but she rarely looked at them. I thought that breaking them up into smaller "piles", and turning them front-facing would entice her to read more while in the playroom, as opposed to just in her bedroom at bedtime. Unfortunately, IKEA in Pittsburgh has been out of stock for quite some time (probably because of all the Pinterest addicts like myself), but I was finally able to pick them up this past week. Here's the finished playroom reading nook:

I was right - the new setup definitely entices her to spend more time reading in her playroom! Unfortunately, she feels the need to take out every single book from the five racks and place it on the floor. Each book must not overlap another, and they must all be on the floor before she begins reading.

That's not exactly what I had in mind, but whatever. My kid is weird sometimes. When she puts them away, it's fun to watch her figure out how to layer the books in the racks to get them all to fit again. I see it as a good little lesson in problem solving and spatial organization!

Friday, May 10, 2013

L is for...


Addy's language development is by far my favorite part of age 2. Every single day, she will say at least one new word or phrase that takes me by surprise - and usually has me laughing. Language is yet another area where I really have no benchmark or idea as to what I should reasonably expect from her, but I have been told by strangers on more than one occasion that she speaks very well for a 2.5 year old. And we've definitely entered the stage where she.does.not.shut.her.mouth. It's nauseating sometimes. I used to see kids with their parents where I work with something like the following exchange:

Kid: "This is an orange cart. Mom, this is an orange cart. MOMMY! Look, this is an orange cart.  MOOOOOOOOOOOOM!"

Mom: "WHAT?!?"

Kid: "Look, it's an orange cart."

Mom:  *sigh* "Yes, honey, it's orange."

I used to think to myself, "you know, you could just acknowledge them the first time and avoid the whole situation..." But now I TOTALLY get it. If I acknowledged every single thing Addy said all the time, I would never be able to complete an entire thought in my own head. Or finish any sentence with any other person. Sometimes, you just HAVE to ignore them, secretly hoping that they will just shut up and walk away. But they don't. They're relentless at 2.5 years old, I tell you!

I can understand about 99% of what Addy says, while I'd estimate my husband gets about 85%. I usually know what she's trying to say, even if she's saying it wrong; I correct her, and we go on our way. With everyone else, she's actually forced to keep trying until she gets the pronunciation right, or at least pretty close. It's hilarious to watch this, too. She'll pause, crinkle her forehead, sometimes get a little frustrated depending on how many times she is asked to repeat it, and she'll overexaggerate the syllables. This happens the most with words containing the letter L. She usually skips over the L sound, so when she realizes that she has to say it, she tries so hard to get her tongue movement right that she ends up double or triple saying it. Example:

Word: Franklin
She says: Fwankyen
She tries harder: Frankyen
She overtries: Frank-el-el-in

I love watching her mind work on making the words sound right, and the smile of pride that she gets when the person finally gets what she's saying.

Of course, her budding use of language is forcing me to watch what I say, too. I'm not going to lie, the F-bomb has unfortunately slipped out of her mouth on two occasions, and I know she didn't get that from her father. After she said it in front of company, I've been much better about my usage (for the record, painting the living room walls with a toddler around is not a good idea).

Here's a few details about her current language usage/learning:

  • Lately she precedes a yes or no answer with "Um", like a valley girl. "Um, no."
  • She does a very good job of using context clues to help others understand what she's saying if she's having an extra difficult time forming the words
  • She's good with sentences, but sometimes on longer than usual ones, she has to pause and think about the order of the words. Or, she'll say it kind of jumbled first, then pause and say it again correctly
  • When Matt gets home from work, she usually gives him a narrative of the day (sometimes it details a previous day, but it's still cute)
  • She's constantly describing everything she sees from her carseat, and wants confirmation that it's all correct
  • Anytime she leaves the room with a purpose (such as to go find her purple water cup), she announces, "I'm going to get my purple water, I'll be riiiiiight back."
  • She consistently uses singular and plural forms correctly, with little exception
  • She can recite a multitude of nursery rhymes (though not very clear on the words, moreso the tune)
  • Everytime we get home from having left the house, the first two minutes are filled with her repeating where we went, what we did, and how we are now home
  • She's an extrovert, and she's starting to hold conversations with complete strangers. They generally look at her like she's crazy, because she decides on the oddest things to tell them, like how Heidi and Dexter sleep on the couch (our cats), or that she went to the big playground with Max and Emmett and it was big and she went down the slide, and she fell, and it was big.....blah, blah, blah. She gets excited talking to strangers, so this is actually when it's most difficult to understand her, hence the strange looks and blank stares, or manufactured replies ("Oh my!" "Really?" "Wow..")
  • We have about 5 instances similar to the orange cart example each day. Whoops!
I absolutely love being able to hold a full conversation with my daughter. I only wish I'd done a better job of keeping track of the truly hilarious things that have come out of her mouth!