2014 is clearly not going to be the year for blogging based on our current slow progress. I'm only six months or so behind on posting best monthly photos. Until I have a chance to get caught up on that, here's an update for Vivian, who's 21 months old now. See the entire gallery of giraffe photos here.
Vivian remains a delight at 21 months. She's got a ton of personality and very clear opinions. Vivian loves garbage trucks (still called "gar gar" by her and now Theo), diggers - preferably ones "working", cats, dogs, the colors pink and green, Thomas the train, stuffed animals and Legos. She has adopted the glittery clownfish as her lovie, and carries it around the house most of the day, having him sit with her or read books or pushing him in the wagon, which is also also a favorite toy. My only concern with her choice is that we don't have a back-up just in case he goes missing. (We have two jezs for Theo to prevent major problems, and also to keep them somewhat clean as we can wash one and substitute in the alternate.)
Vivian has an entire artillery of words. She's putting two words together on a fairly regular basis, often adding please to an request such as milk or eat or up, and has even put three and four rounds together on occasion. She can and will say just about any word, and is very good at repeating. She also loves to sing, repeating words and tunes in that manner. She's learning her letters, and knows V for Vivian, T for Theo, G for Grandma, D for Daddy, M for Mama, and O for octopus fairly reliably. She's also learning colors, and has pink one hundred percent covered. Purple, green, brown, black, and yellow are also fairly reliable. She's still working on red and orange and doesn't have a clue about the finer variations such as gray. Interestingly, she uses the Polish words for colors and objects where she knows both languages interchangeably which can make understanding her a bit more challenging. Theo recognized the Polish for things like colors and object but has never shown any initiative in using them unless we've used the Polish word exclusively for an item (such as jez for hedgehog and mleko for milk).
Vivian has definitely entered a bit of a shy stage with other adults. She likes people and is generally still very outgoing, but even at her regular weekly class will sometimes hide when adults speak directly to her. She has taken to throwing things when she's angry, which is almost always over Theo having Mama's lap. She gets a time out in the hall for one minute, although she often comes out before her time is expired saying she is all done with whatever behavior got her there in the first place. She gives comfort via pats and shows gentle touches as a way of apologizing and is working on fine-tuning the word "sorry".
Vivian loves to play, and does so by herself quite contentedly. She can read books to herself for twenty or thirty minutes no sweat. She also can play for quite a while (thirty minutes or more if there is no one interrupting her) with Legos, building "towers" and "stack" and things that are "tippy". She loves assembling the wooden train tracks and driving trains around. In particular she likes the hills and tunnels. She definitely has a strong preference for Thomas (unlike Theo who will take any wooden train quite happily), but it's specific to Thomas and doesn't include any of the other characters.
She still loves stamps and art. She will demonstrate her art (usually markers or stamps or both) and say "make" as in "look what I made". She also loves getting stamps on her hands and belly though this is less frequent as we attended fewer activities where those are given out.
Vivian still naps twice a day most days, though she can easily go with only one nap. She takes one in the morning and one in the afternoon concurrently with Theo. She would be reliably on one nap but the difficulty is in arranging Theo's pick up from preschool two to three times a week. We fetch him around 2 and it's easily 2:20 or later by the time we get home, and even later still by the time I get them both down to nap. She can't make it that long without a siesta in the morning, which has moved to 9:30 or more often, 10. On Mondays when she also has class she doesn't get that morning nap, and this week for the first time she made it until the afternoon nap session without falling asleep in the car. I imagine the morning nap isn't going to hang on much longer.
Speaking of naps, I separated Vivian and Theo last week. Neither one liked the idea, but it's definitely resulted in much more well-rested children and mamas. When they are together in the afternoon in the same room they play for up to three hours and don't sleep a wink. Since they both still need the rest, I set up the pack and play in our bedroom and Vivian naps there in the afternoons now. Both kids fall asleep sooner and more reliably and sleep better.
Overnight they share a room quite nicely, with no issues falling asleep or much interference. Vivian is still asleep most nights before 8 p.m. (they are typically in bed by 7:30) and up with Theo a little before 7 in the morning. We don't get them up before 7 a.m. so I don't know the exact amount she gets, as she is much quieter when waking than Theo.
As for eating, Vivian still likes to eat most things. She is getting a little suspicious of items that look different. For instance a cheese quesadilla (one of her favorites, second only to macaroni and cheese) with black beans in it is quite likely to refused. Likewise macaroni with vegetables such as peas added is not favorable either. She loves to dip things and eat whatever Theo is getting, and still usually finishes up his portions in addition to her own. With cereal like Raisin Bran she has taken to sorting through it and eating all the raisins and leaving the bran. She still loves "fish" (goldfish) and cheese immensely. Cookies and candy are very familiar to her and she loves both, as well as the m&ms she gets for sitting on the potty and jelly beans which are also not uncommon in our house.
Vivian is very independent. She loves to do things herself - everything from picking her own clothes, dressing herself, climbing into her booster seat at the table, and getting into the car. She loves to walk and climb. She often removes her socks and shoes during car rides and the consequence is that she doesn't get to walk once we arrive. She picks her pink pants (she has two pairs of pink leggings) consistently if they are clean, and looks for pink shirts (she only has two). She adores her robot shirts as well, though she seems less enthused about actual robots or robot toys like the robot blocks we have. She always picks her own shoes (she has five or six pairs to choose from currently and with the number of hand-me-downs we have, that will only go up as her feet grow) and jacket. Her favorite jacket is the green fleece by far. For shoes she seems to pick based on outfit or mood as that definitely varies from day to day.
Vivian had a double ear and eye infection early last month despite the fact that she showed no signs of illness. The only reason we found out was because her eyes got all gooky and stayed that way for several days so we went to the doctor. She sits on the potty multiple times a day though it's rare for anything to happen. She still has only 12 teeth - four on top, four on bottom, and four canines. I keep thinking there are more coming but have yet to see any real evidence except for an occasional night where she peeps (highly unusual for her) or some redness in the her gums.
Overall Vivian is super fun to spend time with and she really loves playing with her brother, particularly participating in the myriad of games he invents. She also enjoys play doh and playing in their kitchen. Her newest word is "worried" and she usually tells us that she's "worried" about Roomba or the vacuum cleaner or the neighbor's dog Rocky barking (which is amusing since I've never heard him bark). She knows "loud" and to put her hands over her ears and "bright" and how to cover up her eyes.
We're barreling toward her second birthday and we can't wait to see what her next year brings!