I've been putting off writing a Liesl update for a long time because she has grown and changed so much since she turned one, and I knew it would take me FOREVER to write. Free time is a luxury at the moment; this kid is busy, busy all the time and has a knack for finding the most dangerous activities. So I'm going to write this as quickly as I can, so I can maybe work out and do a little bathroom cleaning before nap time is over. : )
For a refresher, I went back and read the post I wrote six months ago when Liesl (a.k.a. Birdie, Liesl Ann, Liesl Bird, Birdie Ann) turned one, and, oh lord, I thought she was full of personality back then! I had no idea! She is now talking up a storm and copying pretty much every phrase we say. She knows EXACTLY what she wants most of the time, and has no problem letting us know. She is so sweet and kind-spirited, and she's generally very good at sharing. Now that she's a little older and more aware of who "her people" are, she isn't quite as smiley and talkative as she used to be with strangers when we're out and about. But she's a happy little firecracker at home! Her listening skills are typically pretty good, and she loves to follow instructions, like, "please throw this in the trash" and, "get a blanket and put baby night-night." Like many kiddos her age, she's a boundary pusher, so it's taking lots of creativity, patience, and persistence to help her distinguish between safe/acceptable behavior and dangerous behavior that isn't "okay." She's a climber and an adventurer, so I do my very best to make sure she has opportunities outside every day to exercise her need for exploration and physical activity.
I've been astonished at how much she remembers lately, from what we talked about and saw days ago, to letters and numbers and names. There is so much going on in that little head all the time.
She does become frustrated very easily, and it doesn't take much for her to lose her patience - I know a lot of this is her age and the struggles with communication that come along with this time of transition from baby to toddler, but it's also obvious that some of it is just her personality. With a lot of practice and reminding, she's doing tons better asking for help instead of just becoming upset when things aren't going her way. Her toys must sit "just so," and sometimes her dexterity and understanding of physics don't mesh with her expectations.
I remember when she was tiny dreaming about the days when I would be able really understand who she was and how she felt about things. And now that she is able to communicate and comprehend her emotions and ideas, I'm loving it even more than I knew I would. It's such a wonderful thing to talk WITH her instead of TO her. She gives the best hugs, and she loves to "sit with Mama" (briefly) and walk to the playground holding hands. I'm proud of her and her joy for life and desire to learn every single day. And I have no doubt her curious, kind, free, strong spirit will serve her well her whole life.
Liesl loves -
- Whole milk! It's a struggle to get her to drink water/juice these days, but she'll chug milk. The doc says we have to cut back because dairy can block the absorption of iron.
- Puffs, blueberries, cheese (especially on quesadillas!), watermelon, sweet potato crackers, FRIES (sweet potato and regular), Annie's gummies, and ice cream
- Books! Lately she's been into the Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit Collection that the Mister's grandparents gave him when he was little.
- STUFFED ANIMALS!!! She loves them all so much and most of them have names. Her faves include her elephant and a little pink bunny she calls "Foo Foo."
- Climbing, particularly on the bar stools and the couch... and throwing things behind the couch (which is a no-no.)
- Listening to music in the car (lately she only likes female singers), dancing, and singing "Row, Row, Row" and "Baa, Baa, Back Seep (Black Sheep)"
- Bath time and going to the pool
- Playgrounds - her favorite one consists of bug statues that are made for climbing and sliding, and she calls it, "play with bugs!"
- Animals! Especially dogs, horses, and bunnies
- Making animal noises and, very recently, putting them in sentences - e.g. "Hank says, 'woof woof!'" "Cat says, 'meow.'"
- Being outside
- Facetime and Snapchat
- Dave and Ava (iPhone video app)
- Hiding in cabinets
- Her pull-along dog, Digger
- Sitting down randomly in stores and on sidewalks... If you ask her what she's doing she says, "sitting," like, "duh, Mom."
- Playing in the nursery at church
Liesl does not like -
- Being confined in anything (stroller, car seat, shopping cart) - she'll tolerate a high chair only while she's eating.
- Shopping (obviously, since she hates shopping carts)
- Sitting still, especially during diaper changes
- Being held for long periods of time
- When her stuffed animals don't sit the way she wants them to in her stroller, on chairs, etc.
- Being away from Mama... except for in the nursery at church - it's magic.
- Naps and bedtime (she fights sleep with everything she has.)
We were sleeping through the night pretty consistently until her and I went on a two-week-long trip back East last month. Although the time with family was definitely worth it, we've been struggling with sleep ever since. I'm sure she'll regulate eventually - we're slowly getting there.
Her hair is long enough now to have a little curl on the ends and is mostly light brown with some touches of blonde from all the time we spend in the sun. It definitely still has an auburn tint in the sunlight, but isn't as red as it used to be. Her eyes are blue with flecks of green and gray.
I've heard from tons of folks and can already tell that these early toddler years are going to be a blast. She's a little sponge right now, and every day is a new adventure. Even though the infamous "terrible twos" are approaching, I have a feeling there will be much more good than bad with our Birdie in the next few months. Being her mama is the very best.