Our sweet Hope turned 23 months on October 30th!
I will be completely honest - I am so relieved that the monthly photo shoots are over. I remember being equally relieved when they were over with Brian as he turned two as well. At this age, they are just too busy to sit for a picture. And every one you get turns out blurry or they're only half in the frame because they started to run as you started to snap the photo! But ahhhhh.... now the posed photos are taken on birthdays and half birthdays. That's twice a year with a beautiful six month recovery period between events. Because trust me - these photo shoots sometimes turn into events. Ha!
I'm slightly exaggerating, of course. I love taking pictures of the kids - especially on their special days. Brian and sometimes Ed get into the fun and act as my assistants - jumping around behind me to get Hope's attention or try to make her smile.
And sometimes - it really works!!
Hope grew up a little this month. She is getting more mature and interactive, which has been a lot of fun. She's still very busy and likes to get her hands on things and sometimes gets her hands on something you don't want her to get her hands on. That's when she runs away and I chase after her - which reminds me why I'm glad that we don't leave the house all that much.
Her play has changed a lot! She will sit down with me and "read" books - pointing to pictures and telling me what they are. She loves to pretend to mother her dolls - putting them in a cradle, covering them, burping them and then throwing them to the floor. (We'll need to work on that before she goes off to school.) I brought out Gavin and Brian's old "Signing Time" DVDs and she enjoys watching them and picking up some new signs. She knows the basic signs for please, more and thank you... and today we were working on drink and play.
Hope is a thinker. She studies you when you're saying something or doing something like she's soaking it all up. Next thing you know - she's trying it herself!
Her vocabulary has increased a lot this month! And she's starting to put words together to make little sentences. It always thrills me when she does things like this - making sentences, pointing to things in books and naming them - as I remember these were "markers" when therapists would come to the house to assess Gavin or Brian. I feel like I subconsciously breathe a sigh of relief - like she has passed some kind of internal test with each "milestone."
One tiny thing that is bugging me is her sudden rejection of foods she's been eating forever - like chicken!! She loved chicken!! I am hoping and praying that she doesn't turn into a super picky eater. I mean, if she does - she's out of luck. It's a miracle that one meal is made - I'm not about to make another for anyone. We've been extremely lucky so far - Gavin did and Brian will eat anything we put in front of them. I'm sure it's just a phase. I say that about everything.
One thing that has remained consistent with all of our children is sleeping. I was blessed with another great sleeper in Hope. If I say, "It's time for your rest!" during the day - she takes my hand and skips to the stairs. And she is ready for bed at 7 with Brian and we don't see her (or her big brother!) until the morning. Sometimes she's still sleeping when Brian heads to the bus stop at 7am! I am so grateful that I have good sleepers - and I know how lucky I am, trust me.
Hope loves to be independent - it's her favorite thing. From putting her shoes on (or my shoes, or Brian's or even Daddy's!) to telling you when she has a dirty diaper to climbing into her highchair or stroller or carseat to using utensils, she is on the case. Oh, and remember that "screeching to hear her voice" phase? That came and went... proving what I always say: nothing lasts forever. Everything is a phase and that one was short lived.
The other day we took the kids to a little deli nearby that we love.
Ed and I were laughing about how we've changed. When Gavin and Brian were Hope's age - you wouldn't have caught us EVER letting their hands touch a non-covered restaurant highchair or table. And oh my goodness - we would NEVER have let them eat food that had touched the table. But listen - we're older now. And Hope is faster than both of us. And honestly, sometimes it's all about survival. And watching her thoroughly enjoy eating because she is in charge is kind of fun (until we have to clean up the floor below - but it's all good).
So we let her have at it - and we sit back and all smile and laugh as she entertains us with her hilarious and happy personality.
Because there's one thing you should know about Hope. This girl is always happy.
Happy 23 months, Hope!! One more month until you're TWO!