Nora is now actually 25 months old, but we're going to still call this the 2 year update. There is so much to report that I don't even know where to begin and I'm sure I'll miss some things! I'm just going to be up front and let you know I'm going to brag in this post. Hope you don't mind.
She is such a fun kid! She repeats anything she hears, so while you have to be careful what kind of environment she's around, she's also really funny. Some of her favorite phrases right now are "Oh boy"(via Micky Mouse), "let's roll" (via Super Why), "seat belts so we can be safe" (via Dora) and "no way, Jose" (that's us). So far she hasn't come away with any unsavory phrases, for which I am thankful.
She is still tender hearted and wants to please. Sometimes she's a little stubborn and tests us, but in the long run, she wants to make us happy.
She knows A LOT.
- She knows the difference between big and small.
- Whenever we drive she delights in telling us "red light stop" and "green light go".
- If you point to a smiley face and ask her how he's feeling she'll tell you happy and recognizes sad as well.
- She can sing the ABC's almost all the way and is beginning to recognize some letters.
- She can count well into the teens and recognizes numbers when she sees them. She has also recently begun to be able to count items. Before she would just count as high as she cared to, now she assigns a number to each item that she's counting and stops when she runs out of things to count.
- She knows all the standard colors including: black, white, brown, red, blue, yellow, green, orange, purple, and pink.
- She knows several shapes including: square, rectangle, triangle, circle, oval, diamond, heart, and star.
- She is showing strategic problem solving abilities. She is better at puzzles every day. There is one game on my phone I let her play occasionally and she is able to do an 8-card matching Memory-type activity on it.
- Her fine motor skills are getting better--she can now put the straw back into a juice box, holds a crayon/chalk/marker/spoon/fork well and (sadly) can navigate my iphone pretty efficiently.
- She can understand simple games like toss and chase (in various forms)
- The above isn't that new, but the fact that she now plays these games with other children with no adult initiating or facilitating the activity is. Parallel play is quickly becoming a thing of the past. She is starting to pick up on taking turns, though sometimes she still feels it should be her turn every time. Today we were at a softball game and she approached two young boys playing catch and asked for a turn. They graciously let her play (one boy was probably a year older than her and the other 3-4 years older) and she did well understanding who to throw it to each time (the littler boy showed her) and taking turns. Neither the boys' mom nor I assisted in this interaction at all.
- She is showing lots of independence. She doesn't usually come out of her room until she's hungry in the morning--she just reads books or plays with toys or colors till we come get her. We had 3 bounce houses at the park this past weekend and she gladly travelled from one to the next without a care as to where Zach or I were for several hours on Sunday afternoon. (We, of course, always had an eye on her from nearby)
- She repeats prayers with us (we'll say a phrase and she'll repeat) and can say a simple mealtime prayer herself, "Jesus, thank you for food. Amen".
- She knows a ton of people's names from church.
- I can't even begin to give you an idea of her vocabulary. If she's heard a word, she'll use it. She's making more complete sentences every day. She still gets some sounds mixed up, but that's pretty typical for a few more years now, right? Our favorite ones that she mixes up are "f's" sound like "b's"--"fish" comes out "bish". But "th" sounds like "f"--"Kathy" is "Kafee". She sometimes adds letters, too, or doesn't realize when something is 2 words. It took me several days to figure out what she wanted when she said "Caribou". She was saying "Carry you" and she meant "Carry ME".
- She does not eat beef well, eats chicken OK, but loves pork. Sometimes she's a big fan of fish as well, but you have to catch her on a day she's in the mood for it. She loves all fruit. She likes just about every veggie (exception: zucchini), but she is more selective about veggies as to what she is in the mood for on that particular day. Tuesday she may devour her weight in carrots, but Wednesday she won't touch them. Basically if you put it in front her, she'll give it a go (exception: eggs). She's even eaten Mongolian barbeque, tuna salad, Chinese and a whole host of other foods that most toddlers reject.
- We have settled on almond milk for her and that along with limiting her dairy, banana and rice intake has almost completely solved her bowel issues. These foods aren't eliminated, but they are closely monitored/moderated. Stress seems to affect her bowels as well, so being away from home or having all different house guests binds her up some. I'm afraid she has her Mommy's tummy.
- She loves music and loves to sing--she is picking up on songs more easily now and sings songs from her favorite TV shows and from church. I love to hear her singing songs from church.
- She enjoys sidewalk chalk, riding her trike, playing kitchen, playing in water in the sink ("wash dishes"), LOVES our cat, likes coloring and would watch TV all day if we'd let her.
- She does not like getting her hair wet/rinsed, big or strange animals, sharing or loud noises (she thinks our neighbor's muscle car is scary). She also gets frustrated somewhat easily (much more easily at meal times or when she's sleepy), but remains pretty easy to calm down. It's usually possible for me to get her to tell me why she's crying and I can usually correct it (she wants a fork instead of a spoon) or reason with her (you get to have fruit snacks, but you need to eat a few more bites of your sandwich first).
- She's starting to understand our baby a little more. She occasionally talks about it and rubs my belly--the other day she even asked to kiss the baby. We've discussed giving the baby some of her things now that she's a big girl and doesn't need them.
Her eyes have remained blue like her Daddy's and her hair is curly as the day is long. It's a little tough to deal with, but it's beautiful and I wouldn't change it.
She would brush her teeth 5 times a day for 30 minutes a piece if we'd let her.
She is still a sleeping champ. She usually sleeps about 12 hours a night and is bouncing between 1 and 2 naps depending on the day. If she wakes up early she'll just play in her room till she gets tired again and then lays back down if we haven't come to get her yet. If it's not a day that she needs to go to the sitter I usually leave her be until she calls for us. She let me sleep till 9 on Saturday morning!
She got her first throwing up stomach bug a couple weeks ago. It was so sad. She didn't understand what was happening and hated us putting the trash can in front her her to throw up in. The only upside to a sickly little one is all the cuddles. Thankfully it only lasted one evening/night and then took a few days to get her energy back.
So that's the (extremely long) 2 year update. I'm so proud of our wonderful girl and am just loving watching her grow even though it means her growing out of the baby phase. That's OK, she'll always be my baby!