I can’t quite believe it but then again I can. Our gorgeous girl really isn’t a baby anymore. She’s a 2 year old bundle of lovely mischievousness.
Little Miss at 23 mths
It’s hard to believe but our little lady is almost a 2 year old. She is growing up so fast lately and while I normally just do an update every 2 months, she has already changed so much in the last month that I want to record it all, as I can see her being very different again by the time she turns 2 next month.
The most important thing I want to record is her speech. As with last month she is chattering away constantly and she obviously means what she says (even if we haven’t a clue) but there are more and more recogniseable words and they are so adorable. She says ball, shoe, chick, chair, share, book, hat and “it’s too hot” in addition to “I wan dat” and “It’s all wet.” She also makes some amazing animal sounds, for a long time she has done a great lions roar (and a fab pirate’s arrrr, thanks to her pirate loving big brother) but she now makes fab noises for sheep, cows and pigs too. She even mooed at a van that had a picture of a cow on the other day haha. She also loves numbers, and though the only recognisable one is 2 she loves to imitate counting, pointing at things and saying ah, two, bar, jee, da. She’s also very cute with hide and seek and she loves joining in with that. She doesn’t really even cover her eyes properly but loves counting then looking for people haha.
Much as I haven’t been in a rush for her to start talking (as I know she won’t stop when she’s started) I will be glad to say goodbye to the grunts and whines to indicate what she does or doesn’t want!
She has shot up recently too and I think I was in denial about how much until I put her in a pair of leggings that only reached her mid calf haha. Definitely growing up. We’ve had some interesting time with clothes in the last month though. Largely due to the heatwave we had she spent a lot of time running round in the back garden naked and enjoying the paddling pool… Which has led to a slight aversion to clothes. She just doesn’t want to get dressed at all some days, and spends ages trying to pull them off. Thankfully she hasn’t mastered that skill yet as it definitely isn’t warm enough for nudity anymore!
She also has a serious aversion to shoes at the moment. I’ve had her feet measured about 3 times in the last month and keep checking her toenails to see if there’s a problem as she just keeps moaning about them and wanting them off! With her boots and wellies she can get them off herself and no matter how many times I’ve put them back on they have come off again so she has spent a lot of time running around our local area in socks I’m afraid. With her actual shoes she is less good at getting them off herself so thankfully I can get her to keep them on.
One thing she doesn’t have an aversion too is a good hat though. For my little lady shoes may be optional but oh a hat is essential haha. She rarely leaves the house without a hat on or a hood up, regardless of how weather appropriate her choice is hehe. She does look cute in a hat though so she gets away with it!
Another repercussion from all the nudity was that she started weeing a lot in the paddling pool. As our girl has never liked being in a wet nappy and now walls around holding her crotch and moaning if she has done a wee, we thought we would try and introduce the potty. She basically sat on it for a bit then got up and wandered into the paddling pool to do a wee. She does the same in the bath now. We have a special seat for the loo and she likes to sit on it before bathtime at night. But she just sits on it then gets off and does a wee in the bath haha. So we are trying to pick her up when she starts weeing and put her on the seat as at the moment she clearly has more association with weeing while standing in water than she does with sitting on a potty or a loo. She’s still so little though so I am not in a huge rush. I know many girls are potty trained by around 2 but Monkey wasn’t until he was about 3 1/2 so while we will encourage her I’m not going to push her if she isn’t ready.
Food has been interesting lately. With some absolutely mahoosive meltdowns at the table and the complete refusal of some foods. After eating a cheaper brand of beans at my aunts which were apparently not to her liking, madam now refuses all beans and any meal with them in. Which is such a shame as I used them to encourage her to eat other meals too (not always very successfully mind you but at least she would eat the beans) but not any more. Sometimes it was totally unspecific, she would barely look at the food and the screaming would start. So even food she actually really likes was being refused just for the sake of it almost. Oh and the screaming and the writhing to get down from the table. Such hard work. Other times so will dissect the food that again I know she likes. Pulling it apart or mashing it all up. I try and ignore as long as she is eating something but it is so hard. This last week has been a bit better so I’m hoping the upward trend will continue. I am also comforted by the fact that Monkey was very similar at her age but as at least grown out of it now and with the right encouragement he eats pretty well. So I am hanging on to the hope that this is just a phase that LM will grow out of!
The good news related to food is that she has been doing really well with the move to cutlery. She still eats with her fingers most of the time but when she does use cutlery she is doing so well with it. She’s really got the knack of scooping her brother’s her brother’s leftover porridge out of his bowl and eating our poached egg and toast from Mummy and Daddy’s fork! 🙂
Another big change recently was that we moved her from a cot to a big girl bed. It was something I was really nervous about, but with her brother moving from his toddler bed to a big bed it made sense to do it now. So we made the change and prepared for the worst. Which basically meant hubs was to deal with it while I sat down with a wine glass. We read her story and put her to bed and waited for the inevitable patter of tiny feet getting out of bed again. But they never came. She kicked the wall a bit and wriggled about and went to sleep. For the whole night! I couldn’t believe it! She was still in her bed the next morning and waited for us to come get her before she got out.
I’ve been waiting for the bubble to burst ever since, but it hasn’t. She’s been such a good girl and she just loves that bed and was clearly ready for the move. She fell out a couple of times the next day bless her but even got herself back in the last time. The other issue was that she has discovered the socket next to her bed where the monitor is plugged in so she has turned that off a couple of times. We’ve covered it over though and so far no more problems thankfully. She loves her bed, yay!
Now that her brother has started school it is nice I can concentrate on this little lady a bit more and do things just for her rather than trying to accommodate them both at the same time. I’ve started taking her to a gymnastics group which so far she loves and it’s just lovely seeing her play. Her fine motor skills are really growing and this week she has mastered hanging monkeys from the tree on the monkey games she loves. She was so proud of herself with that!
She’s such a girly girl and given that I’m not I have no idea where she gets it. She loves dolls and playing with people and houses and things. She also massively loves pink and if you sit her down with crayons she will get all the pink ones out and lines them up or just holds on to them which is lovely. She is getting into actually drawing though and is doing really well with holding pens and pencils. She also loves bracelets and bangles and anything sparkly too which is very cute. On the flip side though she absolutely loves climbing and is obsessed with balls, particularly kicking balls at the moment. She’s incredibly active and is constantly wanting to get outside to run, scoot (albeit a bit slowly still) , climb, and she has even wanted to sit on her brother’s bike a lot lately,cheeky madam! She loves books and constantly wants a story to be read to her and as she likes people toys she also loves all her brother’s lego and the little people in particular.
She’s also a massive show off and loves attention. Whenever any family comes round she gets hugely excited and goes into serious show off mode, being ultra cute and running around like a loon. She’s already learning to love the school run too for the attention she gets from other mums in the playground while we wait to pick her up. She adores all Monkey’s friends too and desperately wants their attention to… Which they usually give her haha. Her extremely loud greeting hasn’t changed either and she does it to anyone she is happy too see or wants attention from now. Loud girl! (See this post to hear for yourself!)
On the whole I think she is doing so so well and while she drives me potty at times with the toddler tantrums and whinyness I do generally adore her and I can’t quite believe my baby girl is going to be 2 soon!
Fun Outdoors in the Sun
We have had lots of warm weather lately and it has been really lovely to get outdoors and have some fun in the sun. Monkey, and I’m sure most kids, just love being outdoors, running around, exploring and doing all sorts. The great thing is that there are so many ways for them to play outside without having to spend any money.
This is just a few of the things we have been up to outdoors while the sun has been shining!
Playing in his new playhouse! A good old second hand purchase from ebay, and a slightly early birthday present for Monkey which he loves!! Lots of peepo and playing house. Hours of fun in there at the moment, and a nice shade spot if the sun gets too hot 🙂
Playing in sand and water next door with his friend
Popping out for an ice cream on his trike! As Monkey would say, Um Yum!
Playing in our newly renovated back garden – having fun in the sand pit
And, slightly random, but after giving the buggy a good scrub I left a sponge out there and now Monkey lives giving the floor a clean, hehe 🙂
We also got the paddling pool out at the weekend, and I think the water may have been a teeny bit cold for him as it was a bit of a trauma at times, but he did have fun in there too! (Though I think Daddy got more wet than Monkey did!!)
There’s also just been some general running about with a ball now that we are actually allowed to go on the new grass!
And of course, some fun picnics and playtime at the park!
Out & about in his new hat!
Monkey’s favourite colours are Red and Yellow. Wherever we go, whatever we’re playing with – he always makes a beeline for all things red and yellow, it’s very cute though ever so slightly repetitive!
His lovely Granny, on seeing some colourful wool recently, decided she just had to make Monkey a red and yellow hat! He’s never really been one to be persuaded into wearing a hat, unless it is absolutely freezing outside, but she thought it may be worth a go! It’s not really the time of year for a wooly hat, I know, but she thought if all goes well we can try in the winter.
Anyway, she is a genius, because he loves this hat, literally LOVES it. The hater of hats loves wearing this hat. Even in the current warm weather. We went for a walk around the local area last weekend and he insisted on having the hat on pretty much the whole time. He seriously loves this hat!
We had a lovely walk (You’d be excused for thinking it was mid winter but it was just a break between downpours so everywhere was wet and though a little chilly, it was not cold enough for wearing a wooly hat lol!) and Monkey spent some time on the trike..
..some time walking with a big stick he found..
…and we had fun running up and down and around big tree on a slight slope. We walk past this tree all the time but I’ve never really shown him how you can run around it playing peepo, and well, he loved it so we were there for a while!
We had a lovely little walk and the hat is a definite success! I am now on a mission to find him a red and yellow sunhat as clearly the favourite colours override the dislike of hats!!
Messy Play with Shaving Foam & Cornflour
Ages ago I saw that Karen at Let Kids be Kids had a fab idea for making indoor snow using shaving foam and the wonder that is cornflour. We’ve not really used shaving foam yet in our messy play so immediately pinned it and decided to have a go too. I even bought the shaving foam and bits ready, but you know things get busy sometimes, and it just never happened. I also knew it had to be at a time when I was fully committed to Monkey getting really messy, and to dealing with the clean up afterwards! Possible one of the reasons for not attempting it.
One rainy day recently I mentally geared myself up to do it with him…. then we got an invite out with a friend and her little one, and as I like to have company and get out as much as possible, we jumped at the idea. But having geared myself up for the messy play I was slightly disappointed that it wasn’t going to happen.
I have been trying to give Monkey an activity to do every afternoon after his nap at the moment, as we were finding he was sat in front of the TV snacking and then not wanting to eat his dinner, whereas if I keep him occupied he forgets about snacking and can then hold on until teatime/ The problem is that at my current point in this pregnancy I am absolutely shattered in the late afternoon, around 5 pm ish, and sometimes have dizzy spells, so it can be a bit tricky keeping him occupied when I am at my lowest ebb.
But that afternoon I went it for it. We came down after a few stories in his bedroom after his nap, and decided to get stuck in. I decided the kitchen was probably the safest bet for this activity, with the foam element, as at least we were near a sink and various towels etc! I’d also asked daddy to get the baby bath out of the loft as I thought that is a good size as a tub for him to lean in and get stuck in with.
We started off with foam, which Monkey really liked the feel of (I just used a value brand for cheapness).
We then added a load of cornflour. I was a bit vague on quantities so just added more and more gradually, talking about how it felt each time. (Me doing the talking, Monkey isn’t at that stage yet – when I sked him how it felt I got his current favourite answer to everything of “I don’t know!”)
It is a great combination but I think I ended up going too far with the cornflour, as it ended up more like sand with the consistency of cloud dough rather than snow, not that there was a problem with that! He was loving it and at this point it all got tipped out of the bath and onto the tuff spot and covering himself in it! I used a can of shaving foam and nearly a whole box of cornflour, whereas maybe if you stopped at half 0r 3/4 of a box it would be better.
This was also the point daddy came home and joined in the fun. We wanted to show daddy the fun with the shower foam too so we got out another can and sprayed some more foam.
Then we decided to add some liquid food colouring – we tend to use the gel stuff for baking these days so it was really going to waste otherwise.
Then daddy was making Monkey giggle by dropping big lumps of foam from really high up and making it ‘splat!’ in the bowl. Lots of good fun.
So it didn’t exactly go quite to plan, but we really had a lot of fun – especially Monkey, though Daddy was happy he got to join in when he came home too 🙂
Play time with Uncle Marky
Every other Friday afternoon after work, my little bro pops round for a play with his nephew. He’s quite lucky in that he finishes fairly early and only lives round the corner from us so he often pops over from about 4pm. His name is Mark and as a kid, and as he is 4 years younger than me, and 6 years younger than our big bro, he was always known as Little Marky. As he grew up he lost the y off the end of his name, but somehow, since becoming an uncle, the y has reappeared and he is Marky once again – but this time he is Uncle Marky.
Monkey loves his Uncle Marky and loves it when he comes to play. He loves all his family but having Uncle Marky come round so regularly is so lovely for them both. I have to say I love it too as I am usually flagging in the afternoon and love having someone else to play with the little Monkey. He quite often naps till nearly 5 most days so every other Friday I try and put him down a little early, or I get him up early to maximise his playtime!
Here is a few snaps of them at play on his recent visit. Such cuties together!
Ducks, Steam Trains and Boats!
Last weekend, after a quick trip to buy some fence paint we decided to stop off to feed the ducks. Somehow I’d manage to overbuy on bread and we had some going to waste so decided the ducks should have it. Rather than go to our local country park, which we visit pretty frequently, we decided to pop to another spot. It’s not far away but we haven’t been in all of Monkey’s life so far! It’s a bit quieter than our local park, has no play areas etc, but is has some other lovely things to see.
So we fed the ducks and the geese, and one beautiful swan! Monkey loved feeding the ducks but did get a bit nervous of the geese. The ones in the lake weren’t too bad but the ones on the ground are probably bigger than he is so I can’t blame him for being scared of them! I got bitten by a goose as a kid so I’m not a huge fan of them, though obviously I don’t want Monkey to know about that!
We soon used up all of out bread, and we had literally just finished it all when a mummy duck appeared with her ducklings! 🙁 We were so disappointed that we hadn’t saved any for them, but hey we didn’t know they were there. They were so cute though!
We are really lucky in that we live near the Nene Valley Railway which runs steam trains, and this spot has one of their stations. We had finished feeding the ducks when we caught a ‘choo choo’ in the distance, a train was on the way! We jogged over as quickly as we could to see the train up close, and Monkey loved it!
By the end he was shouting “choo” “choo” which was very cute! At some point this summer I think we’ll take a train ride with Monkey, it just goes up and down and into the city centre so wouldn’t be too long a journey, but so lovely to go on an old fashioned steam train!
After the train disappeared from view, we crossed the track and over to the river, where there is a huge lock. The noise at the lock is tremendous and Monkey loved it, ad kept shouting at the water lol!
We were in luck as there happened to be a boat going through the lock when we got there! We missed the beginning bit but daddy was trying to explain to Monkey about how it works, not sure how much he understood though!
It’s a really picturesque spot and above the lock the river is so tranquil and peaceful. I can’t believe we haven’t been there in so long! As a kid I used to cycle there all the time and it links up along the river to our local country park. I’m sure we’ll go there a lot more as Monkey gets older.
On the way back we had a quick game of pooh sticks through the lock, which was quite amusing as the sticks kept getting lost in the torrent!
Then, as we were walking back, the train came back on it’s return journey!
We waved goodbye to the train then it was time to head home for some lunch.
It was a lovely morning and reminded us that you don’t have to go too far for a lovely day out. In fact I have come up with a new acronym for days like this. A DOOOD – A Day Out On Our Doorstep! 🙂
Have you ever had a lovely day out on your doorstep?
Raising a good person
Monkey seems to be growing into such a sweet little soul. He is in a really cuddly phase at the moment and is cuddling everything, toys, books, statues, fish tanks, crisp packets, receipts, crisps. Literally everything he likes gets a cuddle! He is also really generous and often gives out food to his friends and family, and even gave his favourite bus toy to his friend to play with (though she was less happy to share her toys with him!).
He’s also just a pretty good boy. I mean, he’s a toddler so he has his moments and obviously isn’t perfect but on the whole he does listen to us and does as we ask. I wish I could take credit for this, and say it must be down to my amazing parenting (lol) but I think we are just lucky and he has a sweet nature. Hubby says that even his nature comes from us, through his genes, but I don’t think it is that straightforward! And yes, I know this could all change as soon as hits the terrible 2/3s but, well, we will just have to wait and see with that one!
Anyway, I was chatting to a friend a few days ago about one of his cute recent habits, and she said something that surprised me a little, and really made me stop and think. I can’t remember word for word but she basically suggested that we should teach him to be less generous, and one bit I do remember clearly, was that she said “sometimes you have to teach them things that aren’t right” so they don’t get trampled on, or taken advantage of.
It reminded me of a conversation with another friend a while ago who was teaching her little one that if someone pushes him, then he should push them back. Her reasoning being that she was picked on a lot as a kid, and she didn’t want her kids to be picked on.
I was always taught from the old adage of “do unto others as you would have done unto you” (In plainer English, “Treat people how you would like to be treated”) and that two wrongs don’t make a right. I have to say that is always the way I thought I wanted to raise my children. Yes I want them to be strong and confident, but overall I want to raise them to be good people.
The comments from different friends, at very different times, have made me stop and wonder. Am I doing Monkey a disservice. Am I raising a child to be bullied or picked on or walked all over? Instead of encouraging what I perceive to be his gorgeous, gentle nature, should I be encouraging him to be tougher? Am I raising him to be gentle in a world which is tough?
I was pondering this as Monkey and I were wandering out of the supermarket the other day. He had been a really good boy (again he’s a toddler so he had a couple of meltdowns, but nothing too major) and was walking along holding on to the trolley. We were walking at his pace and it was taking a while. We were parked quite far away from the doors, and as we walked through the main trolley area near the entrance, I was thinking to myself whether to walk Monkey all the way back with the trolley after loading the car, or to pop him in the car, and rush the trolley back. I can’t carry him anymore because of my pelvis, and I also can’t rush very easily.
Just then I was pleasantly surprised by a very kind man. One of the trolley collectors saw Monkey and I, smiled, and came over. He then said to me, “I’ll follow you up to your car in a minute, and I’ll bring your trolley back for you.” It took us a few mins to wander to the car so he wasn’t far behind us, and actually helped me load the car, then used his key device to give me my pound back and took the trolley. For no reason other than to be a nice person.
It reignited my faith in people and reminded me of the good samaritan last year who found my purse in a car park, found my address inside, and brought it round to our house, rather than stealing anything. There are good people in the world. There are nice people. There is nothing wrong with encouraging Monkey to be a nice person.
I’m not saying my friends are wrong and I am right, and I’m not saying their children won’t grow up to be good people either. We’re all just doing the best we can and all just want the best for our children. Maybe I will regret my decisions and maybe I will change my mind over time. But, right now, I do feel more confident in letting Monkey be Monkey and encouraging his naturally kind, generous nature. I will stick to my guns and teach him to be a good person above all. I hope that over time I will be able to teach him to be confident enough in himself to not allow himself to be walked all over.
He isn’t quite 2 yet after all so who knows how his personality will develop in the years to come! What are your thoughts? Again, no judgement here as I could well be wrong, but I am just doing the best I can!
“I Don’t Know” – 23 months
“I Don’t Know” is Monkey’s latest favourite phrase, and to all of his family, it is the most wonderful sound in the world. He is a fairly late talker, although at not yet 2 it’s not like he is massively delayed, but compared to some of friends’ children who have been speaking since before they were even 1, it has felt like a big delay.
We’ve also worried that it was our fault in some way. We have read books to him since he was tiny, spoken to him about everything, sung songs every day, taken him to groups, done everything we could, and yet we never even had so much as a ‘mama’ or ‘dada.’ When I heard about health visitors praising the parents when a toddler has an excellent vocabulary, I panicked a little inside that in contrast then there must be something we weren’t doing right, fro him not to be saying any actual words.
I was consoled by the fact that he clearly understood so much of what we were saying, and many people said that it may be because he was such an early walker. His speech did gradually change and improve and I stopped worrying so much as I could tell that we were nearly there, though still didn’t know how long that would take.
Then a couple of months ago we were rewarded with his first word “go” and loved it. Since then he has added more words to his list, though not tonnes, but all random really. He still doesn’t really say mummy or daddy in any way shape or form, but he says go, sings row row row (for row, row the boat), says shoo to birds and sheep (learnt that one of the TV I think!) and says a few other words too occasionally, though not as frequently.
Not too long ago he started saying “oh dear” which we thought was lovely and he has now mastered the word “no” whereas he previously just shook his head. We are getting there with yes but it is a bit on and off. Then one day last week I was explaining to Monkey that we were going to collect his friend and that she was going to come in the car with us, as I didn’t want him to get upset by the unusual occurrence. He was looking at me very confused so I asked him “do you understand?” I don’t know why I asked, I wasn’t expecting a response but I always try and talk to him as if he is going to respond. Anyway, he just said three lovely words ” I don’t know.” Just once, but so clear, and my heart melted. He said it loads that day and melted Daddy’s heart too when he come home.
He just says it in the right context every time, you ask him a question and it is met with “I don’t know” in a variety of different tones! What do you want for lunch? “I don’t know.” What do you want to do? “I don’t know.” What does it feel like? “I don’t know.” It really has made us wonder if it something we say a lot to each other, and I guess it must be!
I think it is so special because we have been waiting so long for him to talk, and I guess that because it is more than one word, it really feels like you’re having a conversation, which obviously has never happened until this point! I don’t know whether it feels more magical to us because we’ve waited so long for it, or if we would have been just as soppy about it had he spoken earlier!
Over this weekend we have seen numerous members of our family who have all been treated to the same heart melting sound. There have been tears from a couple of his grandparents, and obvious pride from all his other family members to hear it.
I’ve tried to catch it on video a couple of times, and he does say it here, but well, it doesn’t sound quite as good as when he says it more normally. I suppose he isn’t a performing seal though after all! I actually love his tone the last time daddy asks him in this clip, it’s like “I’ve already told you I don’t know, stop asking daddy!”
Helping Daddy Dig!
Now that the landscaping has finished in the garden renovation, we are starting to think about plants! Money is a little tight at the moment though, so as it was my birthday I asked people for plants and garden centre vouchers, and thankfully, a few people obliged, yay! So we popped out last sunday and bought our first few plants!
Unfortunately the the beautiful hydrangeas are actually a birthday present for hubby’s sister in law, lucky thing, it’s only unfortunate, because I am jealous of them lol! We did buy a hydrangea, but ours won’t flower until later in the year.
Anyway, we realised that before we planted them, we needed to dig over the beds. One is really full of clay, and another is a lot drier, which is slightly bizarre as they are all basically the same but hey ho. So Daddy, with a lot of erm “help” from Monkey spent a while out there digging over the beds, to combine the two a little, and then we will add some compost when we actually plant them.
Monkey had a lot of fun though and needed a good bath before nap time that day as he was covered!