Monday, May 27, 2013

20 Months

Whenever I do these Stella updates, I think about the last month and am always amazed at how much she has developed during that month. It's a little crazy how fast they actually learn things. Like, I would be a pretty amazing person if I was able to learn the amount she learns in a month for all of the months of my life. But, somewhere along the line, the learning slows down. For now, I'm enjoying watching Stella learn and pick up on things on a daily basis.

Let's review Stella's last month. She's figured out how to push a chair over to the counter to watch me whenever I'm doing something in the kitchen. In fact, whenever I start working on anything in there, Stella runs to get a chair yelling, "wash, wash, wash" (watch, watch, watch).

She's also figured out how to climb up onto the kitchen table. She likes to play with the fake lemons in our centerpiece. She also likes to grab the chandelier above the table and yell, "no, no, no" because that's what I always say to her when she does it.

In fact, she seems to find great satisfaction in doing something she shouldn't be doing while saying, "no, no, no" and looking directly at me to make sure I see what she's doing. She likes to tease.

Let's talk about our nursery nightmare (nursery is the class for children ages 18 months to 3 years old at church). As of last month, Stella was going to nursery. She hated it and she screamed when we dropped her off, but we would just drop her off and high-tail it out of there hoping that after several weeks, she would just figure out that nursery was fun and that we would be back for her at the end and she wouldn't scream anymore. After several weeks, she was still screaming, clinging to our clothes when it was time to drop her off, and hating being separated from us. In fact, it had escalated to the point of her being nervous on Sunday mornings while we got ready for church, not liking going to church, being wary of people that she is very familiar with and normally has no problems with, and even flipping out and throwing herself into my arms with hysterical screams at the mere mention of the word "nursery" (we no longer go to the "nursery" for flowers - we go to the flower store). Frankly, nursery had become a real problem that needed fixing. So, we came up with a solution. Stella still goes to nursery... and so do I! As long as I'm there, Stella loves it. So, I just go and sit off to the side in the nursery room and let Stella do her thing. She glances over occasionally to make sure I'm there, but other than that, she has a grand old time. Sometimes Mr. Frisby stays with her instead of me and she's fine with that, too. As long as one of us is there. And, she's slowly getting back to normal with this whole nursery thing. She no longer screams at the mention of the word, but she does still run to me and throws herself into my arms. She still screams when we first go into the nursery room, but I assure her that I'm staying and once she realizes I'm not going anywhere, she gets down and plays and participates. She doesn't seem nervous on Sunday mornings anymore and she's regaining her trust of other people. She still has a ways to go, but we're making progress. And, someday, just maybe, she'll go happily to nursery by herself. Baby steps.

Now for some things that Stella does that we like. When we put her to bed at night, we always say night-night when we lay her down. Instead of saying night-night back, she says "bye" and waves. It's super cute. She's actually become very social and says "hi" and "bye" to everyone. And she's got the cutest little wave. It's very hard to describe, but she just kind of waves her little fingers, but not all at the same time. You really have to see it to appreciate it.

She's also got the whole phone business down - complete with using headphones. She calls it "ohn". I don't think she understands just what the phone does, but she understands what she's supposed to do with it.

She's starting to play by herself more and for longer periods of time and I am THRILLED about this. She likes to do puzzles and she also likes to do her shape sorter. She's got the Tupperware kind with 10 different shapes and she can sit there with it and put them all in herself. I feel like this means she's really smart. Maybe it doesn't really mean anything, but I like to think she's really smart, so I just go with it.

She also seems to be pretty sensitive to sounds. She's learned to recognize airplanes and yells out "aim" (airplane) whenever she hears one. She also recognizes motorcycles both by sound and by sight and yells, "ycle" (motorcycle) whenever she sees or hears one. This is interesting to me because I don't ever recall pointing out motorcycles or airplanes to her before she seemed to recognize them on her own. I often find myself wondering where/how she learned something. And, sadly, I have a feeling I'll be wondering that throughout her life.

She's finally starting to recognize certain animals (before, everything was doggy) and can even do some animal sounds.

She's also doing well in her gym class. She only has a couple more weeks of it, but I signed her up again in the fall since she's been enjoying it so much. Her favorite thing to do there is swing on the bars. I get similar pictures of her every week.

She also likes Gilroy Gardens and we're excited for it to be open every day for summer. Last time we went, Mr. Frisby got to join the fun.

She thinks it's funny to crawl into Scout's kennel. Scout and I do not.

She's also becoming more insistent on feeding herself. It's messy and I hate it because my kitchen looks like this:

But, I'm learning to deal with the mess because mealtimes are so much more peaceful if I just put the food in front of her and let her go to town herself. Mealtimes continue to be the more frustrating times of the day for me. One day, Stella loves blueberries. The next day (after I have purchased a giant Costco tub of them) she won't touch them. She used to love bananas. Now she won't eat them. She likes cheese, but only certain kinds. She'll eat bread if I put each bite in her mouth, but she won't pick it up and eat it herself. Her eating preferences seem to change by the minute and I cannot, at any given time, predict whether or not she will eat something. It seems her only constants are milk, spaghetti, and canned peaches. She has never refused those. And, in spite of these frustrations, she seems to prefer healthier foods, so I try not to complain. I mean, it's really not so bad if your child refuses to eat the hot dog pieces, but downs half a pear. I just have a hard time with the unpredictability of it all. But, I'm learning to roll with the punches.

Stella has recently become aware that it is her hair that's often hanging if front of her eyes and obstructing her vision. She has developed the habit of frantically trying to brush it off to the side and it's really cute.

Her vocabulary continues to grow quickly. She tries to repeat everything we say and she usually does a pretty good job. She still doesn't really do two word phrases except for, "hi Daddy", but she's learning lots of new words and usually uses them appropriately. Except milk. She calls any beverage milk, so we're trying to teach her to call water by its appropriate name.

And that's this month's update. It was longer than I thought it would be. Of course, it takes time to document this girl's cuteness!


MomandDad said...

Cute update Jenni. She is adorable and so much fun watching her grow up.

The Yuan Fam said...

Great pictures!! I hear ya about the feeding thing...what a mess!! But, you're right, so peaceful just to let them go to town.