I chose this to be the theme for Chaselyn's second birthday, and quite frankly I don't think any other theme would capture our little girl any better. Chaselyn is our uber-girly little girl, but at the same time, she loves to run around outside and watch some "feetball". Chaselyn is constantly obsessed with shoes. Whether she's picking out some from her collection or finding some fun sparkly shoes in Mommy's closet, she loves to have things on her feet. Just a few days ago, she even branched out and tried to pick some shoes out for me. While trying to get ready for the grocery store, I couldn't find my shoes. My trusty personal assistant went to my closet and promptly brought me a pair of dressy wedges that I've only worn about 3 times in my life and said "Mommy wear this." She's particularly fond of these particular shoes because they are the tallest shoes I have and one of only a few pairs that I restrict her from playing with. On the other hand you should have heard the pure joy in her voice and seen the excitement on her face when her Daddy brought home a football shaped balloon for her party. I wish I would have had the camera ready. Granted, she's been asking me for one every time we go to HEB since the beginning of football season, but it was amazing to hear her so joyous.
By the time she turned 18 months old, she was already a big sister. And I swear to you, somehow she knew that meant she was more mature. In just a few short weeks, she grew taller, and just started morphing into a little toddler. She started asserting her independence. She began asking for specific things. She started forming sentences. A truly amazing transformation came along with her new role of big sister. And since then she's continued to grow and learn to care for her little brother. She really likes to help Mommy. She's a fantastic pacy finder and she can even give the pacy to Jacob if she wants to. She can find toys, blankets, diapers, and wipies in a flash. She also loves to love on Jacob. Lately she's been mimicking my form of showing love by "Squeezing my Jacob". She's kissed his owies. She hugs him to make him feel better. She also tries to comfort him by yelling "Jacob. Ok Buddy." while continuing to concentrate on whatever important task she is trying to complete. I think she may have heard and seen this behavior modeled by someone else except this someone else usually says "Jacob, you're ok Buddy."
It is unbelievably fun to learn along with Chaselyn. Seeing her develop problem solving skills, expanding her vocabulary, and learning basic identification of letters, numbers, shapes, and colors, is just an fun road to walk down. You can see her joy when she gets something right. You can see the wheels turning in her head when she's trying to figure something out. You can hear the frustration when she's trying to say something and the words just won't come out right. You can feel the love in her heart when she gives you a squeeze and gives you a little pat on the back.
So, let's get to it, what is Chaselyn up to these days?
Sleeping: Chaselyn sleeps like a champ. Usual bedtime is around 7:30pm and we generally don't hear another peep out of her until around 7:00am. Naptime is around 11:30 and generally lasts about 1.5 hours. I don't think naps at school are quite this long. She has on a couple of occassions woke up screaming from what we can only figure to be bad dreams. This makes us very sad. What kind of bad dreams does a toddler have?
Playing: Chaselyn absolutely LOVES to play outside. She likes to pick up rocks, acorns, and leaves. Inside she loves to color and is getting pretty good at it too. Reading is a favorite too. But more than anything, I would say she likes building with her Duplo blocks best. Several times on the way home from various places she has asked to build when she gets home. She builds houses and big towers. I think she likes building towers with Daddy the best. She's just now starting to interact with other kids while playing. She enjoys playing on the playground at school and had a blast running around in the backyard with her friends at her birthday party. Learning to share is a current battle. Like many 2 year olds, her favorite word is "Mine."
Edumacation: Chaselyn is already working on letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. Her alphabet sounds something like this: "My Baby C's. A-B-C...lmno-P!...Y-Z. Sing me."
And her numbers sound like: "1,2,6,7,8,10!"
She can generally identify circles and squares and anything else is usually also called either a circle or a square.
She is very good at matching most colors. Meaning that if you show her a red block and ask her to find another red block, her success rate is fairly high. Just playing the what color is it game, she's pretty good at identifying red, brown, green and orange.
Pushing: The limits that is. Chaselyn is quickly developing her sense of boundaries and pushing Mommy to the furthest millimeter of her sanity. Learning to reason (or better yet avoiding trying to reason) with a 2 year old is quite a hard leap for the logical minds of the grown-ups in the house. Chaselyn can pick between two things, so if you say "Do you want to keep shopping or go home?" You better be ready to enforce it on the rare occasion she opts for going home. Also surprisingly she'll still put herself in time out sometimes. She knows when Mommy is upset and she'll say "No Ma'am. Timeout." to herself and go get her little step and sit in the corner. However this is generally for offenses that I wouldn't really require a timeout. When she really needs a timeout, she tends to go pretty easily, it's just a matter of getting her to sit still for 2 minutes.
Sistering: Chaselyn is a super helper around the house. She will do nearly anything she can to help most of the time. She loves tasks like putting Mommy's shoes in the closet and helping switch over the laundry. But above all she can retrieve anything Jacob needs. Blankets, diapers, wipes, paci, toys, anyting just say the word and she's running to find it. Sometimes she'll even get blankets, paci and toys for Jacob without prompting. She loves the little guy. She gives him good night kisses and hugs. She reads to him. She squeezes him to within an inch of pain. She plays with him as much as she can. And they have some of the cutest little laugh offs you've ever heard. Peek-a-boo is another favorite sibling game.
Loving: The love of a little tot is so amazing. "I lodle you Mommy" is so sweet. Especially when one of the first times you hear it it's being shouted through a paper towel roll. Though you aren't quite sure if they know what it means or why they do it. When your little one hugs you back for the first time or gives you a kiss to make you feel better it's truly a special moment. Since Chaselyn is currently into counting, we've found that if we count how many kisses she gives us, we can usually get a lot more out of her. And we also ask for extra squeezes in her hugs. But the most amazing dispaly was about a month ago when Stanton and I were battling some sore throats and utter exhaustion. Chaselyn told me to lay down on the couch, she got a blanket and told me to feel better. And when I told her that my head hurt she gave it a kiss. So caring and loving. :)