Is it really possibly that my sweet, baby girl is halfway through her second year?! Hands down, this has been the fastest year and a half of my life. Slow down, time...slow down! Though I continue to be amazed at what complete and utter joy Claire has brought to us these past eighteen months!
As far as we're concerned Claire is definitely the funniest toddler ever! She's got personality oozing from every ounce of her and is generally a very happy, loving, independent, goofy and curious little girl. She loves kids and loves getting dirty! One particular change we have seen lately is how bashful she gets around strangers or people she doesn't see very often. She will eventually warm up, but initially, she burrows in to mommy or daddy and plays really coy with people (her Mama was the same way ;). She's got the best smile and flashes her big, cheesy grin when I say, "cheese!"- it's to die for!!
A few of Claire's favorite things right now include: Her Baby Signing Time videos (she is seriously obsessed!), orange juice, her "babies", balls of any kind, bath time, being outside, bubbles, water, swimming, water (you get the idea!), her blankie, all berries, Abby, gardening, being tickled and dance parties with Daddy (girl has got some moves!)
We have been really amazed at how much her vocabulary has exploded these past several weeks! Some of her most common words right now include: Mommy, Daddy, please, thank you, cracker, pool, Abby, baby, cheese, cookie (we're blaming Grandma for that one), juice, no, go, up, down, night night, bath, shoes, though she mimics everything and creates her own versions of words like "blanket", which she calls "kiki" and "water" as "wawa". It's been so fun for us that she can communicate what she wants and needs with us beyond signing (though signing is still a large part of her communication). But it's true what they say, just when you start wondering when kids will start talking - Bam! - they never stop!
At sixteen months we transitioned Claire to a toddler bed, after she scared us half to death with her crib-climbing skills. I was a little nervous it might be too early, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions we've made! The transition was incredibly smooth and for the first time in her life, Claire willingly goes down for naps and bedtime on her own. See, she's always been a great sleeper (once she's down), but it was the getting her to sleep that was so difficult for us. Apparently the freedom that the big girl bed gives her was just what she needed. We have also started potty training after she began expressing a lot of interest in going to the bathroom on the toilet. So we bought her a big girl potty and set it in the bathroom, just to let her become familiar with it. Though she's already had several successful attempts! And she now tells us "poo poo" when she has to go or after she's gone in her diaper, so we're hopeful that means she might be ready for more intentional potty training soon! Hooray!!
Of course, with a toddler comes the unavoidable and occasional tantrums...yeah, those are not so fun. One second she's happy as can be, but tell her "no" and in two seconds flat you might see that sweet little girl face-down on the floor, crying. We have got ourselves an opinionated little girl and it has certainly tested and grown my patience!
We still have an excellent eater and a great sleeper (8 to 6:30-7)! We are officially down to one nap (10 to 12:30-1), wearing 24 month clothes, size 6 shoes, and are still nursing a few times a day, (though they are very short sessions).
Claire Elizabeth, being your mama is the most fun, exhausting, amazing, challenging and yet the most rewarding thing I have ever done! I cannot imagine my life without you and will continue to savor each and every precious drop of each stage you are in, as I'm learning that it all passes too quickly. Happy half-birthday, darling girl! Mommy and Daddy love you so much!!
Height: 35 inches (100th percentile)
Weight: 27.4 lbs (90th percentile)
Head circumference: 19.02 inches (91st percentile)