Thursday, February 26, 2009

Matt had a meeting first thing this morning, so Avalai and I had some "girl-time". We had cereal, read books, and danced and jumped with Imagination Movers. She loves that show, and it's great for getting kids to interact and exercise. She even let me hold her and cuddle her for a few minutes...which is a rarity. It's so funny how many kisses and "I lubboo's" I get when I really spend time with her and don't try to get something else accomplished while I'm half-way watching her.
Since it was finally a little warmer today, Matt & I took her outside to literally "run" around. She just looooves the freedom and fresh air of the outdoors. She ran the full length of our deep yard several times, just giggling with glee! Kicking leaves, picking up pinecones, playing peek-a-boo around the shed...she's delighted at all things outdoors...except getting dirt of any kind on her hands! Oh...that stops her in her tracks...and she stares at her hands and tries to shake off the dirt. She's pretty motionless until we come over and wipe them off for her.
Oh, and she was toting her little Baby Einstein caterpillar around the whole time. Needless to say, he needs to go in the washer now. Poor thing hit the ground during a few of her tumbles. It's so funny to hear her say caterpillar. Most of her words are really clear...but for her little colorful friend she says more like "patta-pitter-pilla" It cracks us up every time!
The biggest problem with going outside? She never wants to go in...and the waterworks turn on Matt always promises something like watching Elmo to help her transition back into being cooped up inside.
We got the new potty today, and she was excited to sit on it, and says "Pee-pee, potty" but hasn't quite gotten the concept of how to "release" yet...but we'll try first thing in the morning. When I went to put her diaper back on, she said "Dipe back on?...Nope!" She cried when I insisted that she had to wear a diaper. She's kind of like that. Happy and excited one minute...then tell her to, or make her do anything she doesn't want to do, and it's instant tears for about 2 minutes. We don't let them phase us...we distract her with other questions or interests and she's back to her happy-go-lucky self again.
Lately bedtime has been a huge chore! Oh, if only we could get Avalai to go down to sleep easily...then we might be able to get a few things done ourselves before we turn in for the night. She just doesn't want to give in and tonight it was an hour and a half from when she went to bed at 9 til she finally gave in. I feel bad because I kind of understand...I can't fall asleep easily without watching tv til I can't keep my eyes open anymore. Without tv as a distraction, my overactive brain gets in the way of the calm drifting into sleep that I think you're supposed to have. So I hope she doesn't have a similar issue with sleep. We always turn her music on to help lull her into sleep, but she often just wants to sing with it!
Well, Matt & I finished watching our Tivo'd Survivor, and there's more work to do before we can sleep, so until tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Today Avalai was more fussy I guess...or at least more moody because of her teething.
She's been fighting sleep lately, which is kind of crazy since she's yawning and rubbing her eyes all the time.
I picked her up at about 4:45 and took her with me to pick up Kim and run some errands and pick up bogo free Quizno's. I reminded her of who Kim is...(they've met before several times) and she quickly was saying "Hi Tim" ...We'll have to work on the "k" :)
When we dropped Kim off at her house, she invited us in to see their renovations...and Avalai quickly spotted her cat "Snickers". Oh that poor cat was not thrilled at the attention he was getting from Avalai. She was yelling "cat, cat, cat!" and meowing as she chased the poor thing around the house. He tried to hide under the table...she climbed right under there after him. Trying to pet his tail and then putting her face right up to his...he would eventually growl and run off as she said "Oh no!" and chased back after him.

...I'm coming back to this one and editing, because as I was typing last night, Avalai woke up screaming...and I rushed up to see if she was ok...(she sometimes pokes her foot in between the rails and then when she rolls gets stuck, and she squeals...) and she was sitting up screaming with a nightmare or her teething I guess. So...I'm not usually able to snuggle with her, so...I took the opportunity...and capitalized on her grogginess...and we snuggled as I rubbed her head and she played with my hair until she fell back asleep. That only works when she's half asleep :) But it was precious. Worth not getting the rest of my work done for. :) more thing I wanted to mention on this post...for the longest time we wouldn't let Avalai do stairs by herself, and we ferociously kept her from the tops of staircases. She just didn't easily grasp the concept that it went down, and she would fall. She would just walk up to stairs and nearly keep walking as if there were an invisible flat floor there for her to walk onto. Thankfully this became apparent to us when she was atop single step-downs on a couple of occasions. So we caught her and it would have only been a one-step fall. But that got me paranoid that she would treat steep staircases the same way. So, although Mom taught her how to climb up stairs when she was 14 months, and we would let her climb up them ONLY if we were following directly behind her as she went, we ALWAYS carried her down any stairs until she was about 19 months.
I finally decided that we should probably teach her a safer way to go down stairs...mainly to protect her if she somehow got away from us and faced that situation. Soooo we several times showed her how to sit down, and go down one step at a time while she was seated. She loved the idea of course, and soon wanted to do it all the time. She'd run ahead of me, and I kept reminding her..."Sit, Sit! Wait for me!" well before she got to the edge of the stairs. She proved to be a good listener and always obeyed. And in a couple weeks, I could trust her to better handle it on her own. I still want her to wait for me and I go down first and back down to be sure she doesn't slide forward and flip on our slippery stairs...but...she knows the drill and is very faithful to drop down to a sitting position a couple yards from the stairs sometimes and then scoot down the hallway to the edge of the stairs.'s become normal at home since we have two staircases, but when we were heading out the front door at Kim's house...we were talking, and she opened the door slowly, when suddenly I hear "plop" and thought Avalai fell somehow...well, she had come around from behind me, and since she saw the single little half-step onto the front patio coming up...she had plopped down and was scooting her little bottom off that mini-step. As I was cracking up and trying to explain her actions to Kim...Avalai continues to scoot across the entire porch until she comes to the final single little half-step that dropped down just a bit to the front yard.
I was a little dismayed at the grunge I was sure that she had added to her outfit as she had scooted along the dirty stone patio, but it was just too funny to be upset. And she was doing exactly what I had taught her about steps. I was strangely proud of her obedience and recognition of the situation!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm so awful at keeping up with the documentation of the daily ups and downs of life. And since Avalai's almost 20 months old now, I feel guilty for not recording all of her amazing growth thus far.
So, I'm determined to do a better job of recording all the cute words, hilarious moments and wonderment of her toddlerhood yet to come so that she can look back and read about what a wonderful child she was!
Our little word-whiz has an amazing vocabulary! She probably knows 300 words, and will quickly repeat most any word you ask her to.
She's just begun to do a lot of pretending. Like finding a stray washcloth and pretending to wash her big bunny...or pretending to drink from an empty cup, and then feeding her little monkey some of the invisible liquid.
I just a couple days ago told her about her "Little Piggy toes" and she insisted that I repeat the rhyme several times that evening saying "Again" as she giggled. Of course she loves the end part. So, today while I was in the shower (she often plays in the bathroom as I take a shower so that I can keep her out of Daddy's hair for a half hour) she kept saying "Foot, Foot" and I didn't realize what she was getting at, and I just said, "You're right honey, that's mommy's foot." After her repeated pointing out of my foot...she finally said, "Wee, wee, wee, wee, wee, wee, ..........home" skipping the words in between. So I finally got it, and put my foot up on the side of the tub as she pushed the curtain back and was trying to do the little piggy game with my foot. She didn't get all the words right of course, but she would touch one toe at a time down the line from big toe to littlest one, and would end her babble with "Wee, wee, wee, wee, wee, wee, ..........home" and lots of giggling. It was such a sweet, cute example of what a sponge she is. Soaking up any info we give her, and wanting to repeat it herself!
Even funnier was when she saw Matt without his shirt on (which isn't that common actually). He has some hair that's kind of thicker on his stomach, and there are some areas that are thinner than others...I guess you could say it might be in a horizontal stripey pattern...
Avalai definitely thought so. She pointed right at his stomach and said "Zeeba" and smiled, then said it again! And she definitely knows exactly what a zebra is! In fact she knows most every animal she loves critters of almost any kind.
She saw squirrels like twice in our yard from the window...and for weeks whenever she looks out the window she calls for them "Curr-ell, Curr-ell!" As if they're going to hear her and come running!
Oh, and although she's been able to say "dog" since about 8 months (I guess it initially sounded more like "Dough" then by 10 months became "Doag", then by about 12 months became "Dog" or "Doggie")...and since about 8 months she's been able to do an "erf, erf" kind of bark...she stayed for two days in a row with our neighbor Cathy Deluca whose dog Avalai is always intrigued by...and she knows his name is Rudy. Well, after actually being around the big yellow lab for that amount of time...she's decided that a dog doesn't just go "Erf, Erf." Now her little barking sound is followed by a lengthy, tongue-hanging out pant as she says "Heh, huh, heh, huh, heh, huh" She had to have picked that up from him because we never told her that!
She had fun playing with Little John Dicarlo when we went by the Dicarlo open house this afternoon. He's 2 and a half, and was very good with her, considering that she was shadowing him everywhere! He shared his "tomato pie-pizza" with her. She was over his shoulder saying "Pizza, pizza...peeeeeez!" So, he turned and let her take a bite of his! I cringed a little at the germy aspect, but it was done, and kind of cute. And it was nice of such a little guy to be willing to share. She of course showed off her back bend stretches, and her ostrich move. She always knows that those antics can impress a crowd, so she pulls them out often when we're in a group.
We got a couple new books from Ollie's. One color book about penguin Rob, and one touch and feel book about things on a farm. She loves them both of course!
We dropped in on Jenny and Leland tonight too. Since we were out already and we haven't seen them in over a week...and...Avalai asks about them all the time! They've got their house looking great! All the big projects are out of the way, and only little touch ups needed. Anyway, Avalai was overjoyed from the moment we told her we were heading to see them. She loooooves her Aunt "Nenny" and Uncle "Neenand"! And even Chia whom she was calling "Sheerah" tonight for some reason. She loves to run down their hallway, and into every room. She's such an explorer. She found Leland's deoderant "noerant" as she says...his tweezers...the battery cover to the remote... It's amazing how kids just find everything! After lots of spinning and dancing and laughing and running, we headed home to get her to bed. And she was saying "Bubbye Neenand, Bubbye Nan Nenny" throughout the car ride home!
She surprised me and told me right after she did a poopy diaper tonight. She normally denies it if you ask her. I hadn't even asked, and she pointed to her bottom and said, "poopy". Good thing I ordered the new potty chair from Amazon today. I think she may be ready to start. And we're ready to stop buying diapers!
We talked to Matt's dad and my mom today. It's nice that they appreciate all the pictures we send. It makes me feel like all the time and effort that goes into taking them, sorting them, editing them, and posting them is worth it. It's the best way to keep all our family and friends up to date with how fast she's growing, and the vast range of her silly...exhuberant...and somber expressions.
Oh...and Avalai decided that she did NOT need a nap today. Although we put her up in her crib twice for an hour each time...she cried for a short time and them gave up and talked to her animals, read her books and sang the entire time! Not a wink of sleep for our crazy girl! (She usually does all of that before a nap, but for like 20 minutes before she dozes off). So, bedtime was a little easier tonight. She was absolutely exhausted. As are we now that it's 1:45 am. Hopefully we can get to bed earlier at least a few nights this week.
...Until tomorrow... goodnight.