Saturday, June 30, 2012

Everyone Holds Elaina

A couple of weeks ago, while we were on the farm in Iowa. Elaina got so much cuddle time with everyone that she had a bit of an adjustment when we got home. She would prefer me to hold her all of the time. And I really wouldn't mind, if it weren't for the hundred things to do throughout the day.

Uncle Samuel.

First cousins once removed, Elizabeth and Anna.



Great Grandpa Moses.

Great Grandma Moses.

Great Great Aunt Nancy.

Great Grandmother.

Great Aunt Vicki.

Uncle Samuel (and Great Great Aunt Nancy).

Uncle Daniel (and Chloë).

Aunt Katie.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Two Years Old

I won't go on and on about how I can't believe my little girl is 2. But to be fair, I really can't believe how big she is.

She's very grown up in so many ways. It's a lot of fun seeing the things she has learned. She is very observant, and is always surprising me with something I didn't know she knew.

One of her favorite things is drinking coffee or tea or cocoa. Of course we dilute them all with lots of milk, and she thinks it's the best thing in the world to get to drink out of a pretty ceramic mug or teacup. She's always very careful and dainty with her sipping, and makes sure to make lots of joyous slurping noises.

Chloë is usually very good at explaining herself. She's learned a lot in how to be polite. Sometimes she gets excited and forgets her manners and yells "this!" when she wants something. All I have to do is look at her with my "excuse me?" raised eyebrows, and she says "may I please have a cookie?!" I am careful to praise her for asking nicely, even when the answer is no. Usually she does well being denied a treat, but sometimes she will just burst into tears. I tell her it is okay to be disappointed, but that she may not be fussy or angry. The best way to avoid these situations is to not let her see me eating my cookie (or brownie or chocolate or coconut ice cream). Which means sometimes I have to hide in the pantry or wait until her nap.

She is also very good at asking for forgiveness when she disobeys. She was coloring on some paper after lunch yesterday, and touched her pen to her plate for just a second. She looked up to see me shaking my head. She quickly said "Mama, please forgive me for not obeying and drawing on paper." Of course she meant not drawing on paper, but I knew that. When she says that many words together, her speech is very choppy, with abrupt breaks between each word: "Mama... Please. Forgive. Me. For. Not obeying... And drawing. On. Paper." A few weeks ago she drew on her arms.

Speaking of coloring, she is quite the little artist. Instead of crayons, she usually prefers to draw with a pen since it makes nice clean lines. She'll hunch over her paper, gripping her pen perfectly, and making little collections of marks. She happened to draw a perfect W the other day, and looked at it and exclaimed "dubba-yoo!"

She is becoming more and more indpendent, and wanting to do things by herself. We usually hear "I do it!" or "I got it!" when we offer to help. And of course we hear the word no a lot, although she is getting better at remembering to say "no thank you."

Chloë sings all the time. Her favorite song is definitely the ABC song, although she doesn't quite have it down.

She calls them the "BBC"s, and my favorite part is "H, I, luh luh luh luh P." And she still can't say the F or V sound, so F is always S, and V is always Z. But that's okay.

Besides her ABCs, she also good at her basic colors. She even knows turquoise. But sometimes she still calls yellow "blue." I'm not sure if she has some sort of yellow-blue color problem (is that even a thing?), but she does really well besides that. She was playing with her ABC magnets the other day, and grouped them by color.

She loves her pockets. Even when she's sleeping.

She had her 2 year check-up last week. At least the first part of it, anyway. The nurse weighed her and measured her, and Chloë was very calm and patient (she weighs 25.5 pounds, and is 33" tall). Then the nurse left, and the doctor came into the room. Chloë burst into tears and was nearly hysterical trying to climb on my lap. I had never seen such a reaction from her, and I really couldn't make any sense of it. It had been 6 months since our last appointment with him, and she wasn't very fond of the stethoscope or the otoscope then, but I couldn't imagine she would have even remembered. So after a few unsuccessful minutes of trying to calm her down, I gave her my iPod to play with, and the shrieking subsided. So we had Elaina's brief appointment, and I thought maybe Chloë would be calm enough to at least let the doctor say hello, but she would have none of it. So we decided we wouldn't push it and have her traumatized, and re-scheduled her appointment for next month. I still can't quite figure it out. So I've been showing her pictures online of the doctor ("nice doctor!"), and I got out my stethoscope so she could see what it is. We'll see how next month goes.

She likes being outside, and getting wet is a major bonus. She gets really excited any time she gets to wear her "baby suit."

She still thrives in her role as big sister. She likes to run up to Elaina and yell "Hi Elaina hi Elaina hi Elaina!" and then make silly noises and faces. Elaina thinks it's great fun. Chloë is very eager to help me console Elaina if she is being fussy, and rushes to her side to offer her a binkie, or pat her tummy. Sometimes she just says "it's okay, Elaina. It's okay Elaina."

I have a 2-year-old.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Vocal Baby and Sleeping Toddler

Elaina loves to explore her vocal cords. I love her octaves here.

We went out for pizza for a late lunch yesterday with some friends before Chloë had napped. She'd never done this before.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Second Birthday

While we were in Iowa, we had an early birthday party for Chloë with all of my family, the great grandparents and a great aunt and a great uncle.

Mimi made a carrot cake, which Chloë loved.

Elaina really wanted to try a bite of Papa's cake.

Bryan, Great Grandmother, Great Grandma and Grandpa Moses, and the birthday girl.

Chloë was tired of smiling for the camera, and just wanted to eat her cake.

She opened a few presents: a toy pistol, some books, some party dresses, and a beautiful little silk scarf.

We got home from our trip at 3 am on Chloë's birthday, but we still managed to get up and have a special birthday breakfast of bear pancakes.

When Bryan got home from work, he brought home a special dragonfly birthday balloon. We just happened to be outside waiting for him to come home, and when he pulled the balloon out of the car, Chloë jumped up and down and clapped her hands. I think she liked it.

We went out to La Casa Lopez for a little birthday dinner, and she even got a special Mexican birthday song.

Then on Sunday, we had another birthday party with Bryan's side of the family. Jessie and Kaleb are still in Florida, but everyone else was able to be there, including the Klejwa great grandparents, the Beckers, and Daniel.

Aunt Laura.

Aunt Christa.

Great Gramma holding Elaina and Great Grampa.

Chloë, Bella, and Eva.

I made her a chocolate birthday cake with pink buttercream frosting.

This kid has had lots of practice blowing out candles and tearing wrapping paper. I'm pretty sure she's under the impressions that birthdays never end.

She got a toy kitchen and a pretty pink tricycle (which we failed to get pictures of), among other things. She's been quite occupied this week with all of her new fun things, only a few of which make lots of annoying noises.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Walking the Tracks

Whenever I visit Iowa, I always enjoy walking the tracks. This is the railroad that brought my great great grandfather to the land that he made home.

Chloë enjoyed it too. She helped Papa put pennies on the tracks that we later retrieved after they'd been flattened by the train. She also collected some pretty rocks and picked up the heavy railroad spikes.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Grandmother and Elaina

We just returned from another wonderful trip to the farm in Iowa. Elaina Halcyon, 4 months old, got to meet her Great Grandmother Halcyon, 92 years old.

More pictures to come.