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Monday, February 6, 2017

26th Month Update and Schedule

It is simply amazing to see my daughter learn so much in so little time. Caroline is now 26 months old, and she is so different from even her 24 month old self! Her language is off the charts (doctors and teachers that we meet say she's easy to understand and well beyond what's typical), and I am so impressed with her reasoning skills. She has risen to every expectation we've ever set for her and she is simply thriving. Don't get me wrong, she has her terrible 2 moments and can throw a good tantrum... but she learns from each moment and really seems to comprehend what we are telling her.

She went through a pretty rough "I need Mama" for everything phase, and she came out the other side with amazing understanding of what I was trying to teach her, and I came out of the phase with some new tactics to use and add to my toolbox. The biggest change I see in her over the last couple of months, is her ability to know what she should be sorry for, to know what she's thankful for, and to be able to express ideas like this on her own with little to no prompting. It is amazing to me, that a 26th month old can say things like "Thank you, Mama, for making my dinner", or "Sorry for throwing the toy, Mama". She makes us laugh every day with the things she says. I asked her the other day how her milk was. She replied with "It's not terribly bad". We just die laughing at these responses from her. It is so amazing to be a part of her world right now!

Schedule


Not much has changed with her schedule. She has a slightly earlier bedtime right now (6:50 instead of 7:15 for starting the bedtime routine). Overall she's just been a bit more cranky this month, and more sleep is helping her. She's consistently going down for her nap at 12:30 now. She reads for about 30 minutes, then sleeps, then reads again. For a more in depth look at our days right now, check out the recent post: A Day in Our House.

7:15 am wake and drink milk
8:30 am breakfast
12 pm lunch
12:30-3:30 pm nap (I no longer wake her), milk when she wakes
5:30/6 pm dinner
6:50 pm bed

Eating
  
Breakfast and lunch are HUGE meals right now. I swear, Caroline would eat 2 full peanut butter and jelly sandwiches if I gave them to her. She cleans her plates and asks for more. I can't give her enough food! Then comes dinner, and she pecks at it most nights. I can't blame her, though... she's eaten enough for two days during the first two meals alone! She's loving spicy food, now! She says, "this is spicy", and then asks for more. She knows to "chase it with water", or eat other foods, to help calm her mouth down. She has mastered eating cereal and milk. Once she's eaten the cereal, she picks up the bowl to finish drinking the milk (I felt this was an important skill to teach her LOL). She often avoids using her fork at the table, but she usually complies with our requests of her to use it.

Sleeping
Caroline's sleep has been great. She continues to go through very short phases of trying to delay bedtime (potty excuses, asking to be tucked in again, etc.). These phases are short lived and often end quickly when my husband and I get back to being consistent (I admit she sucks us in for a tiny bit).

Caroline requested to no longer wear pull ups during her naps and at night. My plan was to wait until she was waking up dry, so I was reluctant to do nap and night training quite yet. She insisted and really seemed to want this, so I went with the flow. We did nap and night training for over a week. For the most part, she was waking up wet in the middle of the night, and it was simply disrupting her sleep. I must say, however, that as soon as we stopped (because it was impacting her sleep too much and didn't seem worth it), she started waking dry from her naps 90% of the time, and is dry about 50% of the time in the mornings. I'm amazed! It is NOT high on my priority list, and she's ok with wearing pull ups again, so we've stopped the training in order to catch her up on sleep again. Seems like she'll be self training sooner than later, however, as a result of our attempts!

Wake Time
  
One of Caroline's favorite things to do right now is playing with other children. If she sees other children at a playground (not too many- one or two is good LOL), she eventually makes her way over and has a BLAST with the other kids! She does things that she is reluctant to do with just me around, and seems so happy. She interacts with other children very well, and really seems to light up. In fact, we are bumping her up to two days of school next school year partially because of this observation. She just really seems to like being around other children, and I think she'll really enjoy two half days of school!

Gymnastics is still going great, although we've run into a slight hiccup. Caroline is excelling at her the skills and loves going to gymnastics. There is a pad on one of the balance beam legs that is ripped and bothers her. As a result, the last two weeks of gymnastics, she won't do anything. She is so fixated on the pad that she refuses to do any of the activities. I am hoping this phase passes quickly. We've tried several tactics, and so far none are working. We'll see what happens this week!

Related to the above, she notices details and is very observant. She notices when a milk jug isn't sitting straight in the grocery store, and insists on fixing it. She notices every outlet in every room we are in, notices fuzz on the ground, and so much more. She doesn't miss a thing. This behavior rarely impacts her at the level that it is currently at gymnastics, however.

Her memory is also amazing. If I tell her we'll do something later, I better mean it! This girl will hold me accountable! LOL She "reads" her books on her own before and after her nap. She knows exactly what words and ideas are on each page of a book she's only heard once. She pays close attention and then loves practicing on her own.

She has a "Today is..." chart in her room now. She loves filling out the chart each day and learning about days of the week, seasons, months, the date, and the weather. If I ask her what day she goes to school, she can tell me the day of the week without hesitation!

Her favorite toys this week (haha yes it changes that quickly), are a button puzzle, and a Daniel Tiger trolley with characters.

She does excellent pretend play now. She plays out full scenarios with the characters and even says both sides of a conversation for them. "I'm scared, I can't find mommy", "It's ok, your mommy will come back. Let's go find her", "Here she is", "I love you mommy", "I love you too", and on and on! I just love listening to her play. When one of her toys falls over she says "Are you ok?", and even apologizes.


She loves helping to make meals, and enjoys helping clean up.

Her favorite activities are still reading and going outside.


Milestones/Interests

If I ask her what she's sorry for, she can come up with the correct statement all on her own!
"Sorry for throwing the toy, Mama"

Caroline says thank you all the time, completely unprompted. She also makes sure to tell us what she's thankful for! "Thank you for the kisses, Daddy".

She tells us how she's feeling "I'm happy you're home, Daddy". (Insert Mama tears here)

Caroline "read" her first book to me: Jump Frog, Jump. We had just gotten home from the library and she chose a book to read to Mama that she'd never read before. Just looking at the pictures, she went page by page, and told me a story. So adorable!

She is amazing at noticing details. In every book, she stops when we reach the picture that matches the front cover. She tells us right away that it matches!

Caroline can now eat cereal with milk! She is excellent at using her spoon and drinking the milk from the bowl when she's done.

This one is huge: She now blows her nose! She gets a decent amount out. YAY!

Caroline is so thoughtful. She's learned this from her daddy. She says things like "Are you ok, Mama?", and "Go relax, Mama". 

The learning that she's done with IPad apps is simply amazing. I'm literally blown away every time I watch her!

She loves helping in kitchen by getting up on her learning tower (DIY stool).

She knows direction and when we are close to home or a place we go often. I often hear a "yay" coming from the back seat of the car when we turn on to the final street.

Caroline knows when her shows are almost over- even if she's never seen a particular episode before, she can tell by the cues in the show. 

She makes connections to books and remembers specific words. If we say a word, she'll say "Just like in ___ book".

She is now very interested in words. She'll point to a word and say "What does this say?". 

Follow the leader is a new favorite game. I started it to get her moving more quickly and get home from a walk... it's stuck ever since as a must do on each walk!

Caroline knows what she shouldn't do. If I ask her "What shouldn't you do, Caroline", she can respond with "run away", and "not listen to Mama". 

She had a night terror a couple of weeks ago, but hasn't had one since. 

Her favorite color is purple.

Caroline shows empathy and even incorporates it into her pretend play. She'll fake cry, and then state that one of her friends is sad. She'll ask the friend if she's ok, and even give hugs and kisses to make it better.

She's tough. She'll fall and there are rarely tears. We ask if she's ok, and she says "I'm ok" and goes back to what she was doing. 

Caroline says "Please and thank you are polite". She learned this phrase because she was saying "I want ___ now". We've been explaining to her that it is not polite to say now in that way. She responds with "Please and thank you are polite". 

Caroline has a strong desire to please and be nice. As a result, she's very polite all on her own without us prompting her at this point. 

She's now using pronouns correctly most of the time!

Caroline fully understands and uses the words "mine" and "yours" correctly. 

She can count to 10 when she's focused, but most of the time, she's in such a rush she just says "1 6 9 10"

Caroline takes her jacket and shoes off on her own.

She can pull her underwear off on her own now, as well.

When Caroline is playing with other children, she is quick to point things out when they happen. "She bonked me!!!!". She'll say this when a child brushes past her and barely touches her! LOL!

Caroline says hello to other children and adults that she meets. 

She can suddenly do this Mama and baby animal matching puzzle easily! 

Caroline pretend plays mama and baby with her stuffed animal friends.

She LOVES building forts with Daddy.

She loves reading before naps.

She likes to dress like Mama. I ask her what shoes she wants to wear and she always responds "Boots like Mama".

Caroline really enjoys looking at pictures of school. She points to pictures and says names of some of the children in the class.

She made a playdoh creation at school. She was so excited and knew exactly which one was hers. She was so proud to show me!
When talking to the dog, she says things like "Moose please don't lick me", "That's enough, Moose", "Moose, this is my food". So funny!

Caroline likes to pick out what clothes Mama should wear.

She gives THE hardest kisses! She'll grab my face and kiss me so hard it hurts! Love it!

At bedtime, she asks for "One more snuggle, please". 

When her clock turns blue, she now asks for "Two more minutes, please", and then cleans up readily. 

She says "I love you, too" all the time (always includes the too even if she's the first to say it). 

Some of her favorite words are "probably", "actually", "also", "need", "quite", and "now".

She says things like "Let me see", and "Let me show you". 

Caroline has mastered and loves drinking from open cups.

She loves requesting to talk about things and says "I want to talk about ___", or "I have a question". 

She asks things like "What is this?", "What are you doing?", and "What does this word say?"

She knows to wait to talk to Mama and Daddy if we are talking. 

I feel like she is so grown up in the last two months. I always feel like she is learning at light speed, and even though our expectations are high, she always far exceeds them and simply amazes me. So proud to call this little girl my daughter. Excited to see what the next two months bring our way!


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