28 February 2016

Our Smart Girl Turns Two!

Miss Rose turned two on February 7th. This joyful, smart, spirited, and loving child keeps us on our toes, and has us laughing more times than we can count. Being a two-year-old means it's still difficult to communicate emotions, so we also have our fair share of tantrums. Thankfully they more than balance out with fun times. We continue to learn what works for Rose. Sometimes what works one day does not work the next. I'm always happy to see Facebook posts where my friends share how toddlers are emotional roller coasters. It's comforting to know we are not alone.

Smiling for the camera
Posing for her 2-year photo with her bear
There are so many things to share about Rose as a two-year-old, but I'll try to provide a snapshot.

  • At school, Rose transitioned from the 18mo-24mo old class to the 2-3year class. She's now the youngest, but seems to fit right in with many of her classmates (a few of which are only 1-2 months older).
  • Since Rose is now in the 2-3 year class, the teachers are able to help support potty training efforts. She goes to school in a cloth diaper, but wears pull ups during the school day. She has successfully peed on the potty several times at school (and does it often at home). This week (February 21-29), she pooped on the potty four times and asked to go to the bathroom to pee once. We are not at a point where she asks to go before she needs to. When she goes, she has often peed a bit in her diaper and then remembers to ask. We are getting there slowly, I think/hope.
  • Rose is such a smart girl and her vocabulary is impressive for her age. At her doctor's appointment, she has met all the 2.5 year milestones and has reached several 3 year milestones. One of the questions asked about speaking in four word sentences. Ha! The girl can sing her ABCs, count to (almost) 20, and sing various nursery rhymes and kid's songs in English and Portuguese. She has no problem telling you what's up in more than 4 word sentences.

Singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Singing the Alphabet

  • Rose also knows most of the words to "Goodnight Moon." We read it just about every night and she's got about 90% of it down. Sometimes she forgets that kittens rhymes with mittens and not socks. To her credit the mittens and the socks on the clothes line do look similar. She also still loves Green Eggs and Ham (aka "Sam I Am"), though she has lately been only "half listening" while we read books. She prefers to read her own while we read our books.
  • Our bedtime routine seems to keep increasing in length as Rose learns what strategies will delay her going to bed. Bath, brushing teeth, drinking (water or milk), saying goodnight, singing, and now going potty are all requested at bedtime. She often wants us to sing Rock-a-Bye-Baby (aka "Rock-a-bock-tic-toc"), substituting "baby" for every member of our family. Sometimes she throws in her school friends and teachers too. Where she has learned mommy will give her more time is when she says she needs to go "potty." I always let her get out of bed to try one more time. To her credit, she always goes, even if it is just a little bit.
  • We often struggle with nap time at home. At school, the kids take a nap around 12pm every day. On days at home, it's hard for us to get out of the house by 10am, so getting back by 11:30 to have lunch and go down for a nap is really difficult. We are often getting home to eat at 12:30-1p, and not getting to naptime until 2pm. At 2pm, she's overtired and fights sleep. If Zoe is awake, Rose also seems to fight the nap even more. She doesn't want to miss out on the fun.
  • Rose loves her baby sister and often wants to help care for her. Now that Zoe is 5 months and sitting up on her own, we have started using a double umbrella stroller. The girls love sitting side-by-side and Rose loves holding Zoe's hand as they stroll. It is the cutest! Rose still occasionally will be a little rough with Zoe, but we notice it tends to be when she is overtired.
Rose "nursing" her baby
She loves taking care of her babies the same way mommy takes care of Zoe
Rose walking her baby in the stroller while carrying her backpack
  • At her two-year doctor's appointment, Rose showed significant growth in her height. Between 12-18 months she had been between the 15-20th percentile for height. Now, at 33" tall, she is at the 29th percentile. Her weight has been consistent at the 30th percentile for the past year.
  • I've noticed her strength increase quite drastically as well. She seems to be able to climb places where she could not before, especially in the older kid playground areas. She stands up for herself at the park (and at home), letting other kids know when it is her turn. Unfortunately, she is fairly sensitive if others do not play nice, and is quick to cry if pushed over.
  • Rose is a lover and gives the best hugs and kisses. Most people are very surprised when she says goodbye and gives them a kiss. At school, she gives all her teachers hugs often. Perhaps she knows the way to getting what you want is to shower people with affection.
  • One of her favorite activities outside of the home continues to be seeing Mr Keith at story time at the library. Mr. Keith is awesome and his story time sessions are often way too crowded. But, she loves his songs, bubbles, and the stamp she gets at the end of the session.

 Playing with Bubbles at the Library

  • If Rose has had a good night's sleep and we are calm with her in the mornings (ie not rushing in any way), she will often reward us with her best behavior and will be able to play independently throughout the morning and part of the day. Her babies are her favorites and she can spend a significant amount of time taking them for a ride in the stroller, putting them to sleep, rocking and singing to them, etc. She also sometimes gets really into her books or puzzles. Occasionally she'll opt for riding her tricycle in the house. At night, she loves playing chase around the house after dinner. Usually she prefers that we chase her. We haven't quite figured out the pattern to "clingy" days where she wants to be held most of the morning and struggles to help us get out of the house. We all have our days and Rose has a difficult time telling us why she's feeling down. Parenting on these types of days are difficult, especially since there is now another young child who needs care.
  • Rose is still a very good eater. We try to limit snacks and when we are successful, she eats a solid breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She doesn't discriminate against many foods, but still loves her beef best of all. Meatballs are probably still #1. She will eat various types of fish, chicken, turkey, beef, beans/lentils, and loves my mom's soups. For breakfast, oatmeal with different mix-ins is our go-to staple. We've cut down quite a bit on eggs, mainly since I am not eating them due to Zoe's allergy. If we let her, Rose would eat bread or eat crackers at every meal. She loves when someone has a bagel at breakfast, or a sandwich at lunch or dinner. She also likes dipping her crackers in her soup. Some of her favorite foods are hummus, tomatoes, raisins/craisins, cheerios, sesame sticks, cheese, bananas, grapes, and yogurt. We continue to provide her with kefir milk to drink, and now offer more low-fat kefir than whole-milk kefir since many companies don't offer the whole milk option and the American Academy of Pediatrics says we can decrease the fat content at this age.
Finished a meal and let mommy put in pigtails (that were removed 30 seconds later)
Creating art on a rainy day at home

I could write a long narrative of every little detail we love about Miss Rose, but I'll just share a few of my favorite things:

  • Rose's beatboxing
  • Our eskimo and post chapstick applying kisses
  • How she says "mouse" in goodnight moon "meowse"
  • Rose's bear hugs
  • Singing bedtime songs together