It’s official – our baby is gone and a talkative, energetic, and loving toddler has replaced her. You are constantly on the quest of knowledge and everything that you learn continues to astound us. This month your vocabulary took off and you are now saying over 40 words, and even put together a two word sentence (“more berries!”). It’s not even what you say that truly astounds us, its what you clearly understand – you seem to understand practically everything we say and at this point are pretty good at following orders, although when you have your mind set on certain things (like climbing onto the table), nothing we say can change your mind.
You became engrossed in learning this month, particularly when it comes to books. You don’t like any book though – you still won’t sit through a full storybook. You prefer books with pictures or flaps, particularly your First 100 Words book, First 100 Animals book and your First 100 words tiny books. You want to flip the pages and love to hear us tell you what each object is. You’ve learned to say a lot of new words this way and show us you know more than you can say by pointing to objects when we ask you to. You’ve even memorized some of our lift the flap books and start to make the sound the animal makes before we even lift it up (the monkey in particular). Another favorite is for you to go search for the same animal in the room when you see it on the page of the book – you have a stuffed frog, moose, bear, dog and a toy giraffe, all of which you’ll bring to me when you see one of their friends on the page.
You LOVE dogs. You can’t say “dog” – instead you say “da-da” or more often, simply will bark when you see one or hear one. I strung all the christmas cards with ribbon on the wall and you were obsessed with the ones with the dogs. I’d give them to you and you’d carry them around the house barking and pointing to the dogs. You’ve picked up saying “nice” when you pet a dog and also say “nice” and pet me, your dad, yourself or anything else you think is being “nice” (and sometimes it’s more of a hit than a caress).
You are learning more about your body and body parts. In addition to nose which you learned last month, you now know how to say and point to teeth, eyes (and we know to watch out when you say “eyes” becuase it means we’re about to get poked in ours), and ears. You also know where you belly button is and think it’s pretty cool.
You also learned your friends and family’s names this month and can point to and say Jack, Beau, Josh (your uncle), Boo, and Nana in the Christmas cards. You can point to Kairi and Claire but can’t say their names yet. You also know how to say your own name, although it sounds more like “Ne-yena” than Siena. You point to yourself proudly and say it when we say “who are you!?” or when you see yourself in the mirror or in a photo. You like to point out your mama and dada in photos around the house as well.
You learned to like some new foods this month, including beans, and have learned to use a fork and a spoon, though it’s not always graceful and it’s always messy. Your favorite foods are guacamole, greek yogurt, eggs, bananas (you eat an entire banana when you wake up in the morning with your milk), berries and sweet potatoes. I started putting ground turkey into your veggie egg frittata that I make you weekly but that’s the only meat you will eat. And I’m happy to say that you are OFF the bottle, although we had to move to a new kind of sippy cup (one that is more of a transitional cup with a spout) to get you there. You still drink water out of the 360 cup but won’t drink milk from it. Our next monumental task is to cure you of the pacifier as your doctor said that it’s easiest to get rid of it before 18 months. We try to just give it to you at bedtime, in the car and in the stroller but when you’re teething you beg for it so it’s hard to say no!
You’re still incredibly active and don’t sit still for long. You love the playground and demand to go “wee” (swing) daily. We make it to the park about five days a week and your’e also learned to go down the slide all by yourself. You usually go down on your belly to make it a little safer which makes me happy. Once you even went down the tallest slide in the park by yourself before your dad could stop you! As we’ve always known, you’re a thrill seeker. We signed you up for gym class again, this time in the class with older kids (you were the oldest in your class before) and I look forward to seeing how you explore and grow. Your walking has nearly turned into running and you can walk as fast as I can! You are also getting better at stepping up onto curbs or steps with little or no assistance. Oh, and you now run across the bridge at the park which scares me every time!
This month you decided to start only napping once a day about half the time. Before this, you napped 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. and were pretty consistent at napping 3-4 hours in total between the two naps, which was great for me since I work during your naps! But lately you often take a longer morning nap (2-2.5 hours) and then resist the afternoon nap (which means you’ll often go to bed earlier). If you’ve slept less in the morning you’ll sleep in the afternoon. Now that the holidays are behind us, I’m going to give in and transition you to just 1 mid-day nap every day. It’ll mean less time to work for me, but that’s ok! You’re growing up and I’ve got to change with you.
This month was really fun as we celebrated your second Christmas. You sat on Santa’s lap and weren’t scared at all (you don’t seem to have “stranger danger”) and we bought a Christmas tree and you shockingly didn’t even mess with the ornaments or gifts that much. We spent a lot of time with family and you were spoiled by all your grandparents and aunts and uncles. Along with some smaller toys, you got a play house, a little picnic table, a bike (that you won’t be able to ride for a few months), and a slide with a basketball hoop attached. Your favorite toy of all was the toy stroller – you love to put your stuffed animals in it and push them around the house. And the best Christmas present of all? You are getting a new cousin next July thanks to Aunt Claire and Uncle Josh!
Siena, you continue to amaze us and your dad and I fall in love with you more every day.
For my own reference, here the are words you say (plus more I’m sure I forgot): more, door, berries, eggs, toast, the tree, moose, frog, da-da (for dog and whines), wa-wa (for water), mama, dada, baba, cheese, grandma, nana, Ba-Boo, thank you, night night, bye, hi, nice (while petting you), “wee” (for going down the slide or swinging), please, Beau (her friend!), Josh (her uncle), eyes, nose, teeth, keys, fish, boat, duck, shoes, bath, toot, pee pee, no, and Siena (which sounds more like “ne-yena”).