Every parent is overly excited by the simplest acts their child can perform. I'll admit to bragging about, well, everything. I remember when Ayla first started to vocalize. Even a whale-like noise at 2 months was enough for me to pull out the video camera. And then there was chewing food! And sitting up! And standing up in the crib! And taking a dirty diaper off in the crib! Even if what they have done is mischievous or disgusting - I secretly think it is awesome.
So what's new with Ayla?
- She lives in the world of pretend. Right now, she is sitting on the couch and laughing hysterically at herself and all of her "friends" (small plastic animals). Some are babies, some are mommas and dadas, and they are having a lively conversation. At any given moment, Ayla is either Snow White or Ariel or Sleeping Beauty. Yesterday she woke me up with "true love's kiss" as a prince. So far, she isn't very gender specific. :)
- She has been potty-trained during the day for over a year now. We've graduated to taking naps without diapers and I see promise for nighttime too. She has now taken to the habit of taking off a wet diaper in the middle of the night and getting up to go to the bathroom. It is VERY strange for us to hear a toilet flush after both kids have been put to bed.
- She wants to do everything herself. Getting dressed, brushing her teeth, pouring out snacks, opening the little Babybel cheeses, taking medicine, etc. It's definitely a lesson in patience for me.
- She loves to draw and paint. She is also becoming adept with scissors. But she demonstrated that by cutting her own hair today.
- And man, does she know how to express her feelings. The most popular phrase right now is "I'm frustrated. This is unacceptable!"
- On the other hand, she has the strangest terms for talking about affection. About once a day, Ayla will put her arm around me and say, "Mama you're my friend." That one makes sense. But when she really likes someone, she calls him or her a grandpa/grandma. She doesn't even call her actual grandparents by those names!
- After months of pushing her bike out on the sidewalk with her feet on the ground, Ayla has mastered the pedals. I can't wait for next summer to get her going on a bigger bike.
- She counts to eleven. After reaching eleven, she starts randomly spouting the numbers over again, "three, seven, three, four, one, five".
- She tolerates Jackson's presence most of the time. He can play with toys, as long as he doesn't interfere with her plans. There is a lot of pushing and the words, "Jackson, NO!" echo through our house. But when he is hurt or crying, she instantly becomes a loving sister, full of kisses and hugs. I'll take it when I can get it.
- She has always had a wonderful appetite - barely ever turning away a food. She loves vegetables and fruits, seafood, etc. But every time I put any effort into dinner, she refuses to eat it.
- But most importantly, she has a great sense of humor. Her favorite game to play with me is sticking out her tongue and dramatically leaning in to try and lick me. It's worse than tickling, knowing that she will full on lick your face.
Here she is, after stuffing two balls in her dress and showing off her new "bikinis"!
And how is Jackson?
- He has twelve teeth and there are more on the way. He's been drooling continuously for the last nine months. He also knows how to use these teeth as a method of defense.
- Along with walking, he is dancing. I'm not exaggerating - he twirls, he bounces, he shakes his booty. I'm just waiting for his first break-dancing move.
- He regularly says, "Dada, Ayla, baba (bottle), uh oh, and hi". Please take note that Momma is NOT one of his top words. For the words he hasn't quite gotten yet, he is learning sign language. Over the weekend, a friend Sara taught him the sign for "more", as in "give me MORE food already!" and he's been using it at every opportunity.
- He climbs UP the stairs. Only up. This means he spends a lot of time at the top of the stairs frustrated because Ayla has left him there....again.
- His first real attachment to a toy has been a talking babydoll. It gurgles and purrs and he absolutely LOVES it. His face lights up like it Christmas and hugs it close, patting it on the back. I know he really loves it because he tries to hide it from Ayla, the smart boy.
- He always uses a fork at mealtimes.
- He is very interested in the cats, much to their horror. He enthusiastically pets and grabs big chunks of fur - Dragonski is the biggest glutton for punishment. The other cats flee instantly when he points at them, but she sits there, hissing. Whatever.
- He is the master imitator. If Ayla had a shadow, it's name would be Jackson. I am constantly amazed by what he understands.
- No one is allowed to use a cell phone, computer keyboard or remote control without his involvement.
- He is extremely cute and knows it. When I scold him for anything, he turns on his charm and smiles, waves, blows kisses - basically anything to break you down.
- Jackson is an accessory man. He loves necklaces and scarves. I think the word love is an understatement. I have a feeling that someday he will be picking out my outfits.