One week into the new year you came down with a terrible flu/cold bug that lasted over two weeks and eventually turned into an ear infection. I don't want to dwell, but I think it's important to leave an accurate memory of things... Your Dad and I both caught the bug from you and taking care of a miserable toddler while being miserable yourself is the hardest thing I think I've ever done.
You had a fever that came and went for 12 days before we were able to start you on antibiotics for the ear infection and during those 12 days you spent all your time doing one or more of the following: clinging to us, crying, or snoring loudly with your sweaty head pressed into my neck and then crying when put down to sleep in your crib. We are SO happy to be in better health now that the month is coming to a close, although I will say that we are all three still a bit shy of 100% when it comes to night time coughing.
In non-illness related news, you met your baby cousin Hannah this month. Her Mom (my cousin Sarah) and Dad brought her down to visit from Alaska and after talking about her Christmas picture for almost a month, you were very excited to meet her in person. It's possible that you won't get to see her again until she's your age now and we all go to Hawaii next year with our extended family.
You made a few changes to your eating routine this month. Midway through your cold, Grandma B came to visit and made us chicken noodle soup from scratch. It was one of the only things you would eat (except for "pops!" - Popsicles) and for some reason you were only happy being fed soup while sitting in one of our kitchen chairs like an adult. A day or two later, I tried to serve you a meal in your highchair, but when I turned around to pick you up and plop you into the chair, you instead ran to a regular chair and tried to climb it while saying "sit!". I took the hint and you have now graduated from high chair to booster seat. You seem much happier and more willing to stay put through meals now that you sit at the table like a big kid.
You have also been working on eating your food off of a plate, rather than everything being on your chair's built-in tray. You only sometimes pick up the plate with your dinner on it and tip the whole thing upside down. Just last week you started eating cold cereal (with milk) for breakfast. You actually do really well getting the spoon to your mouth with cereal and milk still on it, which is a pretty major development. Granted you also reach in with your fingers to fish out the "manas" (bananas) and "boobays" (blueberries), but still! Using a spoon is tricky business and you are making great strides.
We started taking a toddler music class this month, and from the one class you attended before falling sick, I think this is going to be fun for you. We pranced around with scarves, beat drums, and sang songs about all sorts of things. Your favorite was the welcome song that the teacher sang where she included each of the kids' names into the song. You stood in the middle of the circle while most of the other kids sat in their parents' laps and seemed to think it only fitting that everyone in the room should be singing your name while seated in a circle around you. You love to dance and have started to quietly sing "Sataaa" to the tune of Raffi's 'Must be Santa' at random moments while swaying from side to side. You also frequently stop what you are doing to say "widdle" (wiggle) and then you do a funny little shimmy move.
You've started going to bed SO happily this month and while sleeping through the night hasn't quite returned to normal since recovering from your illness, we're getting there. At night (after blowing your Dad a kiss or 10), we say "ni-ni" to your baby and you love kissing her with a big smacking noise. Then you become very concerned about tucking her into your crib with a blanket ("blantet") and after reading your 3 stories, you happily get plunked into your crib and talk quietly to baby before dropping off to sleep for the night.
You've started requesting that I put your hair in pigtails by pointing at your head and asking "ponies?" almost every day. They start looking a little droopy after riding in the car and napping, but you don't seem to mind. Your other charming activity includes you saying, "Cookie, eat" while pointing to your mouth. This happens at any time of day, typically starting at 8am. When I say no or offer you something else, you look at me with the saddest expression and say "Peeeese?"
In other talking news, you've started saying thank you, but it sounds like "foutou" or "fantoo" and it cracks me up every time. Thanks to your illness you also learned the words kleenex (keenex), tissue, medicine (me-acine), and because of your humidifier - steam (sheam). You are very talkative, frequently answering non-leading questions with answers other than yes or no, and making choices/demands for your meals and snacks. In addition to knowing most of the words for your clothes (shirt, shoes, pants, coat, etc), you also have most body parts down, many animal words, and you have most of the words for the foods you like eating - raisins, pirates booty (pooboo), goldfish, peanut (for peanut butter), toast, soup, eggs, noodles, cheese, strawberries (saberries), bananas (manas), and of course cookies. You learned about ice cream recently when your Grandparents took you to the drive thru at Dairy Queen and wow, I thought you might never get enough. Your Dad and I are suckers for sweet treats so I'm worried I'm a bit lax about letting you enjoy dessert, but given how skinny you're getting these days I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.
At your most recent doctor's appointment for your ear infection you had grown a bit over 31 inches, but had barely gained 4 ounces since your 15 month appointment. Physically, you are definitely turning into your father's daughter, temperament-wise I'm told by others that you're all mine. You love to act overly surprised at things for an audience, gasping and holding your hand to your open mouth and waiting until everyone is watching. You do this every time the tree outside our dining room scratches the window in the wind. You also love to hold your hand out to us and point at it saying "boo boo" and when kiss it, you immediately hold out the other hand to show us your other boo boo. This happens so often that your Dad finally asked you the other day if you have chronic pain in your hands. You love to be a helper in any way you can and love the praise that follows, patting your chest and saying, "helper". It certainly seems like you received a double dose of charisma and pride while baking in my oven.
Let's hope your next month brings some health and sleep back to our lives.