"I should not talk so much about myself if there were any body else whom I knew as well."
-Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

21 Months

I have reached the point that when someone asks how old Eleanor is, I respond with, "She'll be two in July."  No more "X months" answers.  But this is my blog and I'll post monthly updates if I want to.

Eleanor at 21 months:
  • Weighs 24 pounds 
  • Wears a 24 month or 2T size clothing and is still somewhere between a size 4 and size 5 shoe (also, she LOVES shoes.  She wants them all.  It's not uncommon to wear 3 or 4 different pairs of shoes in a day.) 
  • Favorite foods: Teddy Grahams, pudding, scrambled eggs, yogurt
  • Favorite activities: playing outside, taking bubble baths, spotting airplanes in the sky
  • Newest skill: jumping.  She can bounce like a pro on the little trampoline and is getting so close to jumping on solid ground.   She gives it her all and has even gotten both feet off the ground a few times.  We all cheered like she was an Olympian. 
  • Talks and talks and talks.  Also, she is loud.  So loud.  I don't know if I'm supposed to be counting how many words she has at this point or not, but it would take a while.  I'd say a couple hundred, at least.  Frequently puts 2 and 3 words together, sometimes more.  Girl's a talker. 
  • Identifies and names the following colors: Blue, Green, Red, Black  (Sometimes: Purple, Pink, White)
  • Drinks from a cup all day.  Still gets a bottle of milk in the evenings, but we've discovered that she only wants to do this if Drew & I are around.  If she's with someone else then she won't even consider the bottle.  So it's pretty much a comfort thing and I'm letting it happen because she's my baby.  Don't judge. 
  • Favorite items: her blanket, Minnie Mouse, pacifier (mainly when she's tired or fussy)
  • Mommy's favorite Eleanor trick this month:  has added the donkey to her long list of animal sounds and has the cutest "HeeHaw!" I've ever heard
I took these photos of her outside yesterday.  She had an afternoon bath because, well, why not?  She was wearing a t-shirt and diaper and her hair was still damp when we went out to check the mail.  I should have known that she'd want to stay outside.  I grabbed the camera.  (The scratch on her head is the remnant of a tumble she took on the playground last week. Playing hard is hard work.) 

And a video.  This one is from my new camera, so the quality is better, but it still won't work if you're reading from a cell phone.  So either switch to your computer or just imagine 5 second of Eleanor jumping and falling down on the sidewalk :-)

Pictures and Stuff

I'm lagging behind on posting here.  Same story, different day. 
I've been reading a new parenting book that seems to have given me some useful tools.  The author is Janet Lansbury (she was a student of Magda Gerber) and her whole idea is respectful parenting.  I wasn't so sure what to think of it.  About half the time when I'm reading it I'm thinking, "What a load of...", but it has also given me a different perspective from which to view this whole parenting gig.  For one, I'm making it much too complicated.  I can talk an issue to death (it's a talent, really) and nobody appreciates that, especially a toddler.  While my brain knew that reasoning with a little one was silly, my stubbornness just wanted to talk her into behaving.  Ya know, to make her see the error of her ways.  Given how I've shared my frustration in the last couple of months, you know how well that was working.  So I've been doing my best to take it down a notch or two.  Keep it simple.  Don't talk it to death.  Specifically, when Eleanor is feeling frustrated or upset (and acting like a maniac), I try to keep it to two sentences.  First, I acknowledge how she's feeling and then state what is happening.  Example: "I know you are feeling frustrated because you didn't want to leave the park.  It is beginning to rain and we are going home."  Really, when I was reading about this method I rolled my eyes, but I was also willing to try anything.  From what I can tell, parenting 'experts' differ on if adding "okay?" to the end of that is good or bad.  I'm finding that with Eleanor it absolutely helps.  It doesn't mean that she gets to change the plan, it just means that she gets to acknowledge the plan.  Even as I'm typing it, it seems far from what is natural to me, but it is working.  It isn't a magic pill, but it is definitely working.  She's strong willed (like her momma) and having her feelings acknowledged, but knowing that I'm maintaining boundaries & rules seems to be much more effective than what I was doing.  Along the same lines of keeping it simple... I have to keep my cool.  When she used to rear back to hit the dog, I would overreact, get on to her,  and then go in to how she needs to be nice to the dog and not hit and just be gentle and...  Geez, I'm getting on my own nerves.  New plan.  Intervene if I am able (or stop her as soon as it happens) and simply state, "I will not let you hit the dog."  Then don't let it happen again.  Remove her from the situation or remove the dog from the situation or whatever needs to be done, but state that I won't let her do it and then don't let her do it.  Simple.  No argument.  She knows she needs to be nice, I think she just likes to get a reaction out of us by doing such things.  Taking out our hurried reaction takes away the fun.  Keep it simple and very clear.  So yeah, you can imagine that it is often difficult to remain unruffled, but it absolutely helps. 
I've also been making a point to slow down.  Sometimes we are in a hurry, but sometimes I'm just impatient.  Slow down, let the girl walk.  Let her pick up a rock or touch a flower or look at the clouds in the sky.  It takes longer to get there, but I'm always amazed at how she responds when I slow down and let her be a big girl.  The journey is often such fun... and you get to stop and take notice of your shadows. 
 Want to know what else I've been doing to get better at the momming thing?  Praying.  A lot.  I was feeling pretty out of control just a few weeks ago.  Yes, I've learned some new skills that seem to be helping, but I'm also 100% certain that God has intervened.  I didn't hear His audible voice, but I'm pretty sure He said, "Girl, you seem to be struggling here.  Calm down and let me help."  Thanks be to God. 
We took Eleanor to the Amazeum in Bentonville a couple of weeks ago.  It was fun, but it's a bit over stimulating and I think that Eleanor will enjoy it even more when she gets a bit bigger.  Here are a few photos from the day. 

 Eleanor showed off a little at this station by naming all the shapes.  I tried not to be cocky, but I was feeling like the parent of a toddler genius.  Lol. 
 Bath time.  It's a favorite lately.  Even better than bubbles?  Bubbles AND a tab to turn the water blue.  Squinty smiles all around! 
 Sometimes dinner is hot dogs & mac and cheese.  Sometimes dinner is a steak from the grill and a nice bottle of wine with these loves.  (Side note: that toddler drinks apple juice.) 
 You know I love messy eating pics.  Spaghetti = Good 
 Playing the cake pan drum. 
 I feel prettiest in natural light.  If something ever happens to me and you all have to put a picture of me on the news, choose one of me sitting on the porch. 
 New shoes :)
 How's this for a look?  To be fair, the sun was in her eyes, but she was also having a 'moment'.  (Also, she's finally getting to wear the denim jacket that Jan made for her last year.  Adorable.) 
 Pudding.  Good. 

On Saturday night we did a scavenger hunt with some of our friends from church.  Out of my comfort zone, but totally fun. Elizabeth, me, Drew, Crystal, Greg. 

 Crazy hair, don't care. 
She's attached to Minnie Mouse lately.  She's started wanting to sleep with it (which is adorable), but she also wants to eat with it.  In the mornings I haul Eleanor & Minnie to the kitchen table and Minnie sits in Daddy's spot while Eleanor eats.  
 Playdate with Daila & Lucy

Eleanor loved the music time today.