Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Snapshot: My Kiddo LOVES Horses

After her pony ride, the man tried to get her off and she said "I am not done yet."  So he gave
her another trip around the loop.  She said "thank you."

Fearless around animals, she put this goat into a headlock to try to get him to eat from her hand
and she reached through all of the bars to pet the horses in the pens too.

Abigail just loved the horses, even after her pony ride time was over she just wanted
to be with them.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Still Getting Caught Up on the Fun Stuff... blogging, writing in Abigail's journal, working on Shutterfly books, and spending time with my favorite photo editor site.  Right now I have one kiddo who is napping and one husband who is baking bread (that isn't a euphemism for anything) so I am going to squeeze as much out of this hour as humanly possible!

Near the end of July, Abigail started to babble in some mixed English/ toddler language and for the first time in a long time we didn't always understand what she was saying.  We didn't know if it was the impending move to Virginia or if (as many of our more experienced parent friends had told us) she was about to have another breakthrough in her language development.  As it turned out, it was the latter; her nonsensical babbling segued into more developed sentences and advanced ideas.  Suddenly 12-15 word sentences full of feelings, ideas, empathy, and curiosity about the world started pouring out of her mouth.  For example

  • She noticed a Band-Aid on my thumb and I told her that I wasn't being careful and had cut myself with a knife.  She patted my back and said "Mama I am sorry you cut yourself with a knife by accident." (12 words)
  • I was tucking her into bed one evening and she was thinking about animals. She said "Do Lion Kings live so far away you have to ride an airplane to get there?" (16 words, and Lion Kings are just lions)
  • We have also been hearing a lot of "Mama/ Baba, I have a great idea...." and "Mama/ Baba, can I ask you a question..." and "Mama/ Baba, I want to say something important..."  although all 3 of these have been followed up with a giant "roar!!" when she realized she, in fact, didn't have an idea or question.
There are other new things for Abigail since we have moved.  She has watched her first full-length movie without interruptions or breaking it into parts.  The movie was Shrek and on a particularly hot day we did let her watch it two times through without feeling too guilty.  She would watch it every day if we allowed her.  
Abigail also has become pretty adept with chopsticks.  We taught her how to eat raisins first and she was pretty proud of herself.  
Abigail showing off her raising eating skills with her chopsticks

For a few weeks, Abigail decided that she did not like going to school.  I don't know if she simply preferred to lie on the couch and watch Shrek while Lar and I worked on the house, or if she just really wanted to keep us in her sight because she was still freaked out from the move.  At any rate, after having my crying child pulled from my leg by a daycare teacher while she screamed bloody murder "I WANT MY MAMA", I went to the library for books on separation anxiety in tots.  We hit on Llama Llama Misses Mama and it was a winner.  We read it 5-6 times the first afternoon and she loved it and really related to the story.  The next day before school we read it a few more times and when I dropped her off I said "What does Mama always do?"  and she said "Mama always COMES BACK!!" and that was pretty much it.  We repeat that mantra every morning, but she is okay with getting dropped off.  I love when I pick her up and she yells "Mama!  You came back!"  Now we just need suggestions for a book to help her with her new sleeping anxiety because sleeping in our bed can't be the best solution.  (Leave a comment if you have a good book to recommend!)
Abigail making use of my pillows.

Then there is the little obsession Abigail has with horses.  It has been growing steadily all summer.  My parents' farm is next to a man who boards horses and has his own Belgian draft horse, Dutchess.  The man is a wonderful guy who lets Abigail feed Dutchess all the apples and carrots she wants and sometimes she gets to ride her.  (One day she had a snack bag of apple sticks that she refused to eat because "they are for Dutchess.")  Sometimes Abigail will be sad and we'll ask why, thinking she is worried about global poverty or something, only to hear "I miss my Dutchess".  When we see horses in fields driving around NoVA (which is common), she screams with happiness.  There were 6 or 8 toy horses at Michaels and we told her she could have one; she selected the Belgian draft horse.  
Abigail on 'her' horse, Dutchess

One last story that I love, so stick with me.  One morning, Abigail woke up at 5:something o'clock so Larry took her downstairs and gave her some hot milk (she lives for hot milk- even on 100 degree days, but we have to limit her to 35 oz per day so she will eat other types of calories because it is crack to her).  A little while later I hung out with Monster so Lar could go back to bed (it was still before 7 in the morning).  She and I had this conversation:
  • A:  "Can I have some hot milk?"
  • me: "Did you already have some with Baba?"
  • A:  "Yes."  (and snuggles up against me for a minute)
  • A:  "Mama?  Can I please have some hot milk pleeeeease?"
  • me:  "Not if you already had some.  Thank you for telling me the truth, but I will only give you cold milk now."
  • A:  "But I want hot milk."
  • me:  "I am very sorry.  I will give you cold milk."  (She sighs heavily and throws herself back into the couch against me.  A few minutes pass and she is very quiet.)
  • A:  "Mama?  Can I have cold milk, please?"
  • me:  "Yes.  Let's go into the kitchen."  (We went into the kitchen, she sits on a stool, and I pour a cup of cold milk and give it to her.)
  • A:  "Thank you."  She takes the cold milk, waits a beat, and slides the cup back across the table to me saying "Can you please put this in the microwave for me, please?" 
I was SO proud of her problem solving skills and creativity in that exchange!!  Imagine what she will be like at 12 or 16 if she is like this at 2!!