Today happens to be a certain someone’s 2nd birthday and we have about enough developments, milestones, phrases, favorites, opinions and preferences to share as there are sprinkles on a birthday cupcake…but since we’re a teeny tiny tad bit behind with this post, we’ll just hit the highlights…I’ll save my getting all sappy until her 24 month photoshoot (coming soon!). 😉 You’ve been forewarned.
Over the last 3 months Gabriella has become quite an independent, well-mannered, fun-loving little girl. Her laughter is infectious, her smirk is contagious and her conversational skills are more advanced than some adults I’ve met. She questions everything she sees and studies everyone to the point where I’m pretty sure she is a better judge of character than the rest of us. Her appetite for fruits and vegetables still makes this mama so proud. 🙂
Here are some of our recent conversations:
- “Mommy, I need a napkin. I made a mess.”
- “Gabby, do you want a bite of Mommy’s dinner?
- “I not finished chewwwwing.”
- “Do you want another cookie?”
- “No, it’s not a cookie Mommy, it’s a gaaaaaham cracker.”
- “Morning Rieeeeeese! She tired. She no getting up.”
- “Ok, Gabby, Mommy needs to open the oven. It’s going to be really hot…”
- “I stand over here and cover my eyes.”
- “Love you. Night, night. See you ‘morrow.”
- “You look like a little marshmallow, Gabby!” (while getting her snowsuit and puffy jacket on…)
- “I not a marshmallow…I Gabriella.”
And with that, here’s our G-Strausy, who seems way too grown-up all of a sudden.
You may wonder why G’s photo this month was taken while standing by the front door and not in front of our regular fabric backdrop. It’s really a simple answer…it’s the one place she stood still and cooperated for more than a minute, since it meant she got to “help” daddy dig out a bush. Anything to be out in the fresh air!
- We’ve moved onto sentences around here. I’m a bit confused. No one warned me that 20 months after having a newborn baby, I’d have a
walking running, talking, communicating little lady.
“I want some milk please!”…”Daddy mowing the lawn?”…”Riese is excited!”…”Where’d the doggie go?”…”Gabby want to hold it”…
- Gabby sings and dances on her own in the car, on walks…no music necessary! She’ll break out into song anytime, anywhere! New favorite songs include Hot Potato (not the nursery rhyme you think…we found this really catchy song and G loves nothing more than bouncing around the house to it! I’m warning you now…it’s catchy and fun and it’ll be stuck in your head too – you’re welcome!), Frere Jacques (aka Are You Sleeping?)…and yes, she sings both the French and English parts, skid-a-marink, 5 little ducks, ABCs, and Twinkle, Twinkle.
- Gabs eats Honey Bunches of Oats cereal with mommy in the morning before work/school. For some reason, this just makes me feel like we have a 14 year old.
- G Strausy spent quality time with Aunt Raq and Dave for a full 48 hours as Mommy and Daddy went away for their 5th anniversary. A great time was had by all!
- And last but not least, it’s been about 6 weeks since we started potty training Gabriella and we’ve all learned a lot. Namely, there were so few accidents, G’s set the bar pretty darn high. Anything is possible if your toddler sets her mind to it…and your dog is there to help along the way. (Long story short: Gabby felt most comfortable using the potty when she could “show Riese!”…) Waiting until you’re done with the 3-day blitz and THEN going public with your success, is absolutely the right thing to do. Not having to worry about dirty diapers is kind of the most liberating thing ever. Finally, if you’re in the midst of it or about to start sometime in the near future, we can’t recommend this reading material highly enough: oh crap. potty training.
So, we’re definitely a month behind with our G update…but by no means lacking in fun developments! This girl of ours loves to converse and express herself in so many different ways these days: dancing, asking, demanding, testing boundaries, showing love, learning manners; the list goes on and on.
This photo isn’t one of my favorites of all time, but it is adorable in its own way. She’s finally realized what it means to say “cheeeeese” and stare at the camera for 0.00002 seconds. I’ve learned to snap that shutter button NONSTOP to get a shot these days!…can you tell? 🙂 Maybe one day, she’ll enjoy standing still for a monthly photo. That’s all Mommy wants. 😛
- Gabby sings and dances to music in the car (Yay for Caspar Babypants CDs to keep us relatively sane as we memorize kid songs!)
- She says “no!” and knows what it means – the “best” part is when she acts out to see how we’ll react.
- Gabriella plays and interacts with her doll Maddy (Madeline!) all the time. “Maddy look!” as we’re driving…
- G will use “here, Mommy”…and loves to give me garbage, stray hairs, food she’s done with.
- G Straus-y’s recent phrases and 2-3 word sentences:
“…try some…” – whenever she sees us eating anything, she wants to try some or have a “bite!”
“…be quiet…” – said mainly to any dog that may bark. She’s completely spoiled thanks to our non-barking dog.
“…come’ere (come here) Riese…move Riese…sit Riese…”
“…nooooo daddy. mommy sing…”
“…mommy coming soon?”
“…wash hands…” – this girl loves to wash her hands. I think she’s learning too much from her mama when it comes to disliking being dirty.
“…you/I should clean it…”
“…pick it up…”
“…brush your teeth…” – from the girl who hated brushing her teeth, now it’s a favorite activity!
“…read book…” – god forbid we go to sleep without reading a book. I love her love of books…or maybe it’s just a smart bedtime stall tactic. 😉
This phase is by far my most favorite and engaging…and I’ve heard it just keeps getting better. 🙂
It’s almost impossible to believe at this time last year we’d only been parents to G for 6 months and had just started giving her solid foods. Now she likes to “dippy, dippy!” everything and anything, as much as possible. Hummus is a favorite condiment.
- This month included our 2nd trip to Maine with L, B, A and L but it was G’s first ever (cue her monthly photo being shot ON location)! She LOVED the beach…even rocky and with super cold water, she waded right in and we had to drag her out! Playing with the sand made her happy as a clam, er, lobster. Kayaking with Mommy and Daddy was also a huge hit! 🙂
- Gabs uses a spoon…and actually gets cereal into her mouth with it! Gabby used to eat her own breakfast, while I ate my cereal next to her at the same time. Well, our little adult-in-the-making now only wants to enjoy MY bowl of cereal with me…and her own spoon. Good thing the Honey Bunches of Oats I buy, comes in a big box. 😛
- The cuddles with Riese in the AM before we leave as if she’s heading out on a cross country trip and isn’t going to see her for a week make hearts melt daily…this happens. every. morning. I can’t get over it. She’ll say “hiiii Riese” in the tiniest voice and lie on her bed to relax before we start our commute. Oh and if Riese isn’t lying down, you can count on Gabriella asserting her alpha-toddler skills and saying “Riese, dowwwwn”. She learns from the way we say it, but I have to giggle whenever I hear it, because she’s so assertive with her; I’m pretty sure Riese is rolling her eyes inside thinking, “is this what my life has come to? I take orders from a girl 1/4 of my size?”
- Who wants to put her shoes and socks on her feet (“feeee!”) when it’s time to go out? G Strausy. She’s ALL about wearing her shoes…only to then un-velcro them in her car seat and then say “uh-oh”, lol. She also even knows the word “sandals” and will pick them out when she wants to wear her yellow outfits…these Toms glitter shoes are uber popular right now in our house. 🙂
- Gabby will ask for things by stringing multiple words together. Sentences are literally on the tip of her tongue? “Open it?” “You should clean it up.” (NOT EVEN JOKING. The girl tells us to clean up spills, dirt, dust she sees…) “Good job, Daddy…more art?” (this emerged for the first time, the morning after we hung up a bunch of artwork in her room).
- “Gabby? Gabby?!” means “please let me sit and watch videos of myself on your iPhone.” Over. and Over. and Over Again. While G is obsessed with iPhone videos of herself as entertainment (they’re the only things she does with the phone…since she only has it while I’m sitting right next to her…) I’m obsessed with NOT letting this become routine and NOT having a child that’s glued to electronic devices, so it only happens for a few minutes usually if we all need a few quiet moments to rest and relax on the couch.
- Riese has a new hand holding her leash at the other end; Gabs loves helping Daddy take her outside.
I can’t think more than 6 months ahead these days since things have been changing so much every few weeks! Here’s to the next 6 month milestone of becoming 2 years old…!?!??!
June marked G’s transition into the Caterpillar Room (toddler classroom) at school…she used to be a Gentle Stork and now all of a sudden, at what feels like warp speed pace, she’s become a Caterpillar?! While there are a lot of new routines to get used to (new teachers, new classmates, new lessons, new foods…), it’s definitely been hardest on Mommy and Daddy. Gabby is a rockstar and makes new friends each day. She also amazes us with all of the new words and social skills she’s learning. As much as I miss the fact that she’s losing so much of her baby qualities, it really is best for her to be in the bigger kid room, you can literally see thoughts forming together as we have conversations with her now!
PS – we’re doing our best to get photos of a non-moving G Strausy…the girl doesn’t stand still!!! In lieu of a super crisp shot, how cute is this fabric? Owls, cupcakes and candies in summer fun colors! Thanks, Wal-Mart! (WHO KNEW!?)
- Likes to play on our bed each morning before going downstairs. She’ll run out of her room and say “Dad-dddeeee?!” as she climbs up on our bed to get a few morning tickles in. This time of day is hands down my favorite with her. She’s SO sweet, chatty, kissable and giddy.
- Sings “itsy bitsy spider…” WITH the hand motions! We didn’t teach her that, so it makes us really excited to know that she’s learning things like this at school! 🙂
- “Swims” on her belly, on the floor…turns out those swimming lessons were a huge success.
- Paints and gardens with Daddy…she’s a natural. “Payteeng!” If she sees any size paint can, it’s all over. “Payteeng!” needs to happen right then and there or a very unhappy Gabriella will ensue.
- Crinkles her nose as she spins and dances across the floor.
- Started brushing her teeth with an electric kids toothbrush and loves it. Not sure why we didn’t buy one months ago for her to try out!
This month we moved! As we said our good-byes to our little home and hello to our new one, we were worried about how G would adjust. Lucky for us she is very resilient and seems to be completely comfortable in the new place. She has wasted no time running around and especially enjoys her new playroom (yes, an update of that room to come). And, when did she get so grown up!?
- This was the month we moved…let’s not talk about that part. Ok, well, maybe just a little bit. We went to Port St. for the last time to grab our cleaning supplies, wipe everything down and well, just say our goodbyes. G ran through each room in circles, diagonally, back and forth, screaming, screeching, and going about her business as if we just took a long vacation and just got home. She opened the fridge and said “aocado?” Looked around and said “em-pa-tee!” She pointed to the bathroom door and said “pahhty?” Motioned to let Riese out to “get bizzz” and asked if Anabelle was around…needless to say, I bawled.
- More food-related words…she seems to love her fruits and veggies again!: mango (namo), tomato (mayto), outside (ousside), leaves (leafff), bless you! (bess youuu)
- Gabby eats the strawberries from our deck planter like it’s her job. She ate 7 of them in one fell swoop!
- Gabster has conversations with herself in her own little language…she’ll point to the wall or a piece of furniture and say “abusahbe Gabby matusahbu bitooleyoo” extremely matter-of-factly. She’ll also have conversations with us that go like this:
“pway? (play) yes? ok!” and before we even begin to understand what she just said, she’s moved on to start to do the actual activity she’s set her mind to. Adorable doesn’t do it justice.
- She’s also begun to realize what being scared feels like and if she’s unsure of anything (most of the time it’s the new dog next door that barks all. the. time.), she looks at us and says “k? k?” until we reassure her that it is in fact “okay”.
- Gabriella started her transition to the “caterpillar” classroom which includes morning circle time and breakfast in the toddler room each day. It’s been quite a learning curve for all of us! After only a week she cried a tiny bit and then when A started dropping her off, she’s cried less and less. Week 2 started with some whimpering instead and she didn’t even make a noise this last time I dropped her off! The best part is, she starts her day with Anabelle and Nathan. 🙂
Gabriella really started to develop her own personality this month. Her opinions are getting stronger and, luckily, so is her cuteness!
- Lots more words are filling the airwaves these days: empty (em-pa-tee), hiding (hieeeng), running (runnee), help (hupp), letters (lehlers), lap (lahp), sit (sitttt), thank you (tuh-tuu), cup (cupppp), hat (hatttt).
- G likes to say hi and bye-bye (to Riese) every time we leave the house and anyone she sees as we pass by in the car. She’ll also say hi to random strangers while out shopping, walking, strolling…it’s the cutest thing. I love her friendliness! I guess we’ll also have to start to teach her not to talk to strangers at some point.
- Gabby now looks for and grabs our hand to go walk to another space. I hope she never stops doing it. It’s like “c’mon, mama, let’s go over here and play together, I missed you 5 minutes ago.”
- Loves blowing bubbles and being outside! Gabs will make it her mission to pick every “flwrrr” she sees.
- Minke and Pop-Pop came down to visit (and babysit) while we attended our first wedding together since G joined us! There was flute playing, fridge cleaning and a friendly stroll in the park. All had a blast and we can’t wait to do it again!