Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Twenty-One Months Old

Each month when I write these little reviews I try to think of what has defined the month; a thing or two that really sets one month apart from the one before it. I didn't have to try very hard this month: this has been the Month of No.

Pearl has been saying no for a while now, but this month rather than the sweet, matter-of-fact little "no" she would utter before, this month she has been yelling the word, sometimes flailing arms and stomping feet and shaking her head to really emphasize that she means NO! and often repeating it, a string of no's one after the other after the other.

It is sometimes amusing, sometimes frustrating, especially when she is refusing something necessary (getting dressed, putting a diaper on, etc, etc).

How I Love My Little Girl!

Her language acquisition continues on in other ways as well. She is using names more... rather than just using them as identifiers, she will say, "Mama, sing a song!" or, "Nest Eye fell down!" or, "Mama! Nee hep!" (need help!) One phrase I hear a lot is "Stuck! Nee some hep!" She has started missing her father and I when we leave, and will say, "Go find Daddy!" She talks about things she remembers, too - kicking the snow, seeing a cat jump over the fence. It is neat to see her putting little sentences together, picking and choosing words to get her point across. She still jabbers a lot of stuff that I cannot understand at all though!

On Her Computer

She makes up her own little songs and sings about the cats, about her little alligator toy. "The Wheels on the Bus" and "Bye-Lo Baby" are her new favorite songs this month. "The Wheels on the Bus" really cracks her up and it amuses me to no end to hear her say, "Move on back!" and watch her do her approximations of the hand motions. Once while we were singing it she sneezed and so I added the verse of "Pearl on the bus goes ah choo, ah choo, ah choo!" and she has since added it to her rendition and I will hear her singing it every now and then as she goes about her little toddler business. Sometimes when I am sitting at the computer listening to my music, she will come up and insist we listen to Dan Zanes! Or Caboose Song!

Pearl seems so bright; I love teaching her and seeing her learn. She knows some shapes - moon (crescent), star, circle, square... and most of the colors... blue and red still throw her a bit. She is mastering feeding herself with a spoon and is trying to put on her own shoes and socks. (She is quite adept at taking them off and the other day she took her shirt off by herself for the very first time!)

Here Ali, Have a Rock!

Sleep has been pretty rough lately. For the first half of this month it was hard to get her down for the night but she slept okay after that (once I got in bed to stay, anyway), and the next half she went to bed early and easily but also woke up at an ungodly hour. I blame teething. She got two new teeth this month, or so I thought. One has since disappeared so it either receded, or I am crazy and imagined a new tooth to give some meaning to the night-time chaos.

On a Bench, Among the Trees

Pearl ended this challenging twenty-first month with a bang: while we were outside this morning, she ate some little green pellets that were in some soil leftover from repotting a houseplant. I managed to fish one out of her mouth and then got to call the Poison Control Hotline for the very first time. (May it be the last!) I was told that it was probably fertilizer and wasn't enough to be toxic, and just to watch her for a while for an upset stomach and mouth irritation, not to let her sleep on her back, etc. I figured she would be all right but I wasn't sure what those pellets were and safe is definitely better than sorry.

I know I said that Pearl's obsession with saying no is what stands out about this month, but that isn't what pops up in my mind when I think about who she is right now. The image of her in my mind right now is of the little girl who sees the moon and stars in the light reflected from the lamp onto the ceiling, who tells me that donkeys say "honkey", who waves back to vines and leaves blowing in the breeze; the girl who is the most beautiful thing in the whole wide world.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Somewhat Grudging Elimination Communication Update

A week or two ago (heck, maybe even a month by now...), Sarah asked how things were going in the elimination communication department, and I've hemmed and hawed and avoided answering because it isn't going very well at all, for several reasons.

For one, Pearl popped out two canines (bottom right then top left) in one week. Whenever she is teething, both her sleep patterns and willingness/ability to go in the potty up and go on vacation apparently. For a while it was going really well and she was telling me when she needed to poop, and going in the potty, and saying that she was going peepee as she peed... which was sometimes in the potty. Then she stopped saying anything at all! That was pretty frustrating. But now, a few days since those teeth first made their appearance, she has resumed telling me when she needs to poop, and she is now coming to me right after she's peed and pointing at her diaper and saying she is soggy.

Another challenge I'm facing is that she has fallen in love with saying 'no'. Now, sometimes she doesn't really mean no. I can ask her something and she'll say no but if I'll ask her again she she'll happily comply. In regards to pottying, that makes hard to tell, when I ask her if she needs to use the potty whether her answering 'no' means that she doesn't need to go potty or if she doesn't want to go potty. I do not feel that I should be ignoring what she says and just setting her on the potty anyway in this instance; however I do wish for her to understand that she should pee in the potty. So I usually respect her no, but if I think she really does need to I will go ahead and move toward getting her on the potty... backing off if she protests.

I will admit that I'm a little bummed that she isn't going on the potty more, on her own more. I fully believed that practicing elimination communication would lead to being out of diapers early; I thought we'd be saying goodbye to diapers at about this point. But we've been through several setbacks just like this before so I'm trying not to be too bummed. (In fact I have a suspicion that once she has all of her teeth in, that will be it, we'll be set. Can't wait to see if I'm right!)

There is another obstacle... pants! She will NOT tolerate pants around her ankles! It's kind of cute and amusing and frustrating all at once; she whines and tugs at them until I pull them off. I'm going to try to keep her in skirts and dresses over the summer and let her go nakeybutt a lot so that she can get on the potty on her own without messing with pants.

On the days when it isn't going so well I do feel discouraged and wonder why I bother... but on the whole I still feel it is worthwhile, and I think we will do it with our next baby, too. This most recent setback has reminded me that Elimination Communication is really a process, not a training method. It is in itself what we should be working towards, if that makes any sense at all.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Girl, A Bike, and A Duck.

A Girl, A Bike, and A Duck.

Pearl wanted to ride her bike and carry her rubber duck at the same time but she kept crashing... She needed a basket! So I thought about what I had at hand and fastened an empty Earth Balance tub to her handlebars with a rubber band... took less than two minutes and she has been happily taking road trips around the house with her ducks since.

Also, that is the most colorful outfit she has ever worn. She is responsible for the vest - one of her grandmothers purchased it for her at a thrift store and she adores it! In fact, she is wearing it right now. It is embroidered with a scene of two girls on a farm.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

This is Not a Valentine

~* More letters this week at Mama Says Om *~

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Two Potties Are Better Than One!

Two Potties!

Still half asleep, I brought the bedroom potty into the living room after dumping it out the other morning and Pearl thought that was the neatest thing ever. She had just peed but she sat on one potty, said, "Another potty! Pee pee! Pssssspssspssss..." then she demanded a book. Then she switched potties. Then again, and again, and again...

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Q. How Do You Know When You've Been Stuck in the House With a Sick Toddler for Too Long?

Taking Her Temperature

A. After your husband returns home late in the evening and as he is on the couch sitting next to the toddler, telling you about his day, you wander over to the laundry basket, pick up a clean flannel washrag, walk over to the couch, lean over, and quite thoroughly wipe his nose, until he squawks, "What are you doing?!"

Oops, wrong nose!


Thursday, February 01, 2007


We actually got enough snow to play in this time around - just a few inches, but this is the best snow we've had in a long time. Pearl had so much fun tromping around in the snow for the first time, kicking it with her little shoes!


Help Me!

Snow on Bamboo

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