My word, last month seems like forever ago! I just looked over my last post about Stella and it's amazing how much she has changed over the last month. I didn't realize how much she is doing now that she wasn't doing just a month ago. This raising kids is crazy business. So, what is Stella up to? Well, let's have a look-see.
Stella is busy. Always busy. Though, rarely do we find any one thing that keeps her occupied for more than a few minutes. She mostly keeps busy exploring and making mess after mess after mess. Here she is, very satisfied with herself, after climbing up on Scout's kennel and retrieving a sleeve of girl scout cookies from the counter all by herself.
She thoroughly enjoys her time at the Little Gym and is getting braver on the balance beam.
She loves her little class and I love that, for the hour or so that we're gone, she's not making messes at our house. It's a win-win. Win.
Her vocabulary has grown a lot this month. In fact, she tries to mimic a lot of the words we say. She now says cheese, puppy, hi (and she finally waves!), please (along with signing it), hiding, hungry (along with signing it), ball, and home. She has also finally started signing thank you. She did learn one more word this month that we're all very proud of - Cougar. I put her BYU shirt on her one day and she looked down at the design and pointed at the cougar. So, I told her it was a cougar on her shirt. She smiled, pointed at it again, and said, "googah". Throughout the rest of the day, she would occasionally look down at her shirt, point to the cougar, and say, "googah". Even now, if she sees the shirt, she'll say it. It's awfully cute.
Stella also got sick this month. And she felt lousy! She has gotten a number of colds before, but it's never really slowed her down. Aside from snot coming out of her nose and waking up in the night, you would never know she was sick. But the bug she got this month had her down for the count. She had a pretty high fever that was off and on for a couple days and when it was on, she only wanted to sit on my lap and do nothing. Poor girl. She also was exhausted, so she slept a ton (which, of course, was awesome). And her appetite was almost non-existent. I took her to the doctor because she had had some episodes of really rapid breathing during the fevers, so they wanted us to follow up with her doctor. He could see her throat was red, so the poor girl had a sore throat, too. It was a sad couple of days, but she actually bounced back pretty fast.
She seemed to be feeling much better on gym class day, so I decided to take her. She got really excited when we got there and she did have fun, but it may have been a bit premature. Her energy level wasn't quite where it normally is. Obviously, she was still recovering.
I mentioned last month that Stella had gotten her first goose egg. I think it was the opening of Pandora's Box. This month, the bumps and bruises have come fast and furious. The worst one was when she knocked one of her front teeth loose on the shopping cart at the grocery store. I didn't think she had hit it that hard, but when I looked at it it was bleeding and when I wiggled it, it moved a little. Not a lot, just a little. We're hoping that it was so little that the tooth won't die and turn dark. So far so good.
Speaking of teeth, Stella finally got her last canine in and is now done teething until it's time for her two year molars. This is great for all of us because it means she's sleeping much better at night. In fact, she's slept through the night pretty much every night since the tooth finally came in.
Stella LOVES being outside. She has a great time at the park, but mostly because she's outside.
Since the weather has warmed up, we often go outside for a little bit when we're at my parents' house. Stella loves checking out the yard and everything in it. She recently discovered Bruce, the fake owl that I bought to put in the yard when we lived there. Bruce was supposed to scare the squirrels away. He did not. But, now he's a good friend for Stella to carry around in the yard, so I guess he wasn't a total failure.
I recently gave Stella her first bubble bath. She was a little confused when I first put her in, but she warmed right up to the plethora of bubbles and had a great time. I made the mistake of trying to give her a bubble beard. When I put the bubbles up to her chin, she thought I was trying to feed them to her, so she promptly began scooping up bubbles and shoving them in her mouth. I thought after one scoopful she would quickly change her mind, but she happily spent the rest of her bath eating bubbles.
This month, Stella decided that she wants to help me vacuum. She insists on holding onto the vacuum handle while I do it. Since she's under three feet tall and doesn't have a very long reach, it was taking forever to vacuum with the short little passes we could do with her holding onto the handle. So, finally I just picked her up, put her on my hip, and let her hold onto the vacuum handle while I vacuumed away. And that's pretty much how I vacuum now. It actually works out because it keeps her out of the way and I get an excellent workout pushing the vacuum while lugging around a 25 pound child.
She has shown this month that she is a very strong-willed little girl. Unfortunately, I'm a pretty strong-willed mom. So, the battles of wills have begun. They almost always occur at mealtimes. Most of the time, Stella is actually a pretty easy-going little girl. But, it seems she has chosen food as her vehicle to assert her growing independence and she can get very finicky about what she eats. She will just decide that she's not going to eat something (regardless of whether she actually likes it or not) and the battle ensues. Good times.
Most of the time, Stella seems to just go about enjoying life. She's a happy little girl and very curious. She has her moments (usually when she's tired) when the smallest problem becomes the biggest crisis ever, but usually she just has a good time figuring life out. It's fun to watch her. And she has a very contagious smile.
Now that Stella is eighteen months old, she's finally ready to go to nursery at church. I've been taking her for the past month and staying in there with her to try to get her used to being there and getting to know the nursery leaders. I think it's helped, but I fully expect her to completely freak out when I drop her off this Sunday. Although the glue that has bound her to my hip practically since birth is finally beginning to weaken a little, she's still firmly attached to me. I'm hoping this is one of the ways she'll change a lot over the next month. She's so great!