Advent Calendar 2017: Dec 19th - An update on the baby's world
Dec 19th – Speaking of… what the kids are up to. Today, the baby.
I’m going to hold back on putting the kids’ names all over this post, I’ll call our boy Batboy and our girl Batgirl. Because, Batboy is all Batman, all the time, and when you sing the beginning of the Batman theme song...Dunu nuhnuh nuhnuh nuhnuh nuhnuh nuhnuh... she says "Batman!".
Today, an update on our Batgirl.
Batgirl has grown SO MUCH since we left. There are lots of pics on Instagram and Facebook, if I post pics tonight I'm going to never going to get to bed.
She walks and runs and climbs confidently. She grew through two sizes of clothes before we received our container. She’s learning more and more words every day, especially after seeing her almost same-aged cousin talking up a storm. She is loving in such a sweet way! She kisses all the things she loves, in pictures, figurines, and most adorably, her mamas. When we left Portland and for most of the summer she wouldn’t let anyone hold her except us, our two nannies, or an occasional pregnant friend. The last one was always interesting! Over the summer she became more accustomed to Cora’s dad and a few relatives, but only for short stints. After being here a couple of months she’s become much more interested in other people and lets a few others hold her. She loves our neighbors and misses them when they are gone. She’s SO excited to see her baby cousin in Finland and regularly hugs Batboy. He says… “Get a picture, this is really cute!”
She loves animals, particularly dogs, cats, and monkeys, loves babies, and loves to watch Batboy bounce and jump around. She dances to music and sings a little. She likes to bang loudly on the piano and wants to play guitar with me but just holds her hands on the strings. It’s really cramping my catch-up-practice to play with my cousin, sorry, Gus! One of her favorite songs is Cielito Lindo, just the refrain. I’m not allowed to sing the verses; I’m pretty sure it’s the “Ay, yi, yi, yi.” Because she loves it so much I’m singing it all the time, and I was blown away today when Batboy, very quietly, sang the whole verse with all the words just right, even sounded like real Spanish. Be still my heart! He is VERY shy about singing.
She is running in that super cute, sure-footed, strutting toddler way; she loves to climb all the things and is not learning from the times she falls. Nothing serious, but it just makes her want to get it right the next time, so after a cry and a cuddle, right back up. Musse… this is all your fault. I cannot let her into the kitchen alone because she wants to climb all of the chairs and after her last growth spurt, with a stool she can easily carry on her own, can reach all of the counters. NOOOOOOOOOO!!! She also likes ice-covered play equipment. Oh help. One day that determination will not be a death trap and I’ll be glad for it!
She still loves food but not quite as enthusiastically. Which means less cleanup for us, and that’s ok with me. She still tries and eats more variety than Batboy. She isn’t putting everything in her mouth like she used to, which is a relief, but we still aren’t in the clear for small pieces. She also primarily likes to smash and crash Batboy’s creations or games, so small pieces or not, we have to find a way for them to work in separate spaces a lot of the time. She’s also loving buttons that do things, light switches, remotes, computers, phones. She isn’t fooled though, you give her a decoy and she just looks at you like “I’m sorry, what is THIS?!?”
Sibling rivalry is real, she is FIERCELY jealous. She doesn’t want to share most anything, from her mamas to the toys she knows are hers, or anything that has been hers at one point. The worst of them all though, is when one of us holds another baby. Pure betrayal. Batboy is one thing, he seems to have established his place in her world. Anyone else and she breaks out the talons and teeth. She’s completely in love with our neighbors, especially their Mommy, and Batgirl even gets mad when Mommy holds their youngest daughter! Hopefully this leads her to a life of loving fiercely and not hoarding….
She loves the cold weather and enjoys going for a good walk. She’s had the chicken pox this last week and has been cooped up and could not wait to get outside. Over the summer her favorite place to sleep was in her swing on the porch at the island. I wish we could do that whole “sleep in the pram outside in winter” thing that the internet loves to report on. Sadly, we have no balcony and it’s not something people do, leaving their babies unattended in the courtyard. We had hoped to try it, it works really well for her Finnish cousin.
She stopped eating books and now lets us read them! Yahooo! Some of her favorites are “Duck and Goose, Goose needs a hug”, “Mommy, Mama, and Me” (Thank you Abby!), Mumin (the baby versions), “Eight Silly Monkeys”, and books with babies and animals.
She is funny and silly. She cracks jokes, loves to laugh and has the best smile. It’s hard to capture in photographs, but it’s getting more and more common. She says a lot of small words in Swedish and English. More than just Yeah! now… though she still says that too. Yeah! was one of her first words… it took many more months to get No in there. I love that. One that cracks us up…even in her sleep she calls out “Prut!” ( it means “toot” as in fart…) when she farts. Sometimes “Stor Prut” (big fart). As a baby, it’s adorable. Less cute when her brother does it at the dinner table… how quickly that happens!!
We don’t have the same amount of one-on-one time that we had with Batboy since he was an only child for those first few years, but we try to make sure she’s getting plenty of books, puzzles, color matching, shape sorting and outdoor play. She loves all the wooden puzzles we had in the container (thank you Julie and the Teleki family! They are still being adored!). She does not like to sit still, whether in a car seat or at an activity. Every now and then they wake up crazy early and we try to put on the TV… she’s immune. She enjoys it but like Cora, she can have it on in the background and keep at being busy and everywhere and into everything. Batboy and I become zombies.
We think that preschool will be a lot of fun for her. She seems to be saying in her own way that she’s ready to make friends and get out of the house a little more. Soon, baby, we are all ready. Soon.
She’s grown up so so much, it’s just crazy and so much fun. I love 18 months plus. It’s the BEST… for me anyway. We’re having fun, and what a special time that I get to be home to enjoy it. The best. I mean, I’m going to get to experience the crappy sleep routine whether I am working or home, but to get the fun silly parts too… priceless. And Swedes regularly keep their kids home until this age because they can. What a gift!