This last month leading up to her twos have been one of my favorites in recent memory! When the holidays ended I was really sad knowing we had to go back to work, and she had to spend long days at preschool again.
Noelle has been a great sleeper ever since we sleep-trained her (except for periods of sickness or the dreaded Wonder Weeks). I thought the transition to a twin-sized bed might disrupt it, but it hasn't. She takes one long nap a day. On weekends, we'll let her nap from 1-4 pm, but on weekdays her naps are a lot shorter due to her being at preschool. On those days, they usually start naptime at 12pm and she usually gets no more than an hour and half's worth of sleep. She still comes back in good spirits most of the time though, but we make sure she's asleep no later than 7 pm.
We find that these days, sometimes she'll try to "stall" bedtime by asking for more water or milk or watch one more round of "ABC's" on YouTube. Then once we get her changed and into bed, she'll ask that "mommy sleep too" and "daddy sleep too." It's really tempting to just lay next to her in her twin-sized bed and cuddle, but we quickly discovered that it just prolonged her playtime. Now we don't do that anymore and just say, "mommy and daddy sleep in mommy and daddy's bed - goodnight Noelle," and walk out. Once we leave, she'll immediately put her head down and drift off.
I used to be really strict about putting her down for sleep at very specific times, but the older she gets the more flexible I am because we noticed she doesn't really get fussy the way she did as an infant. She can stay up til 10pm and be just fine, but we do pay for it the next day because she'll still wake up at 7:30 and be in a terrible mood! She is a girl that needs her sleep, whether she knows it or not!
Here's what her current weekend schedule looks like:
7:30-8 am - Wake up
8-12 pm - Play (and a snack around 10:30)
12-1 pm - Lunch
1-4 pm - Nap
4-5:30 pm - Play (and a snack around 4 pm)
5:30-6 pm - Dinner
6 pm - Bath
7:30 pm - Bed
This is the one area that causes me the most stress. She loves to eat and can eat quite a bit, but it's getting her to eat the foods we want her to eat that's the hard part. We did Baby Led Weaning with Noelle when she was 7-months old, and she was such a great eater back then. There was nothing she wouldn't try. Come present day, it's a completely different story and we're not sure what happened along the way as we've continued to give her a variety of delicious and nutritious foods. One day she just started rejecting them.
She's not a big protein fan, and I've tried to give her all different kinds. She only loves eggs and fish, so she gets those a lot. I usually scramble her eggs with a bit of shredded cheese and top it with a few drops of ketchup and she'll gobble it right up.
She's also become very picky with her vegetables. If she sees anything green, even a speck of it, mixed into her food... she will delicately pick it out and make sure it doesn't touch anything else. Where do kids learn that green = yucky? Her old favorites like broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, spinach, and carrots are all on her hate list now. At least she's still eating her fruits, she'll eat most anything in this department, including: clementines, persimmons, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew.
She loves carbs. She can eat oatmeal for breakfast, pasta for lunch, and a bowl of rice or porridge for dinner every day. It's so frustrating to get her to eat what she should be eating because she'll shake her head, "no" if she doesn't want something and insist that I take it away. She doesn't even want the "offending food" on her high chair tray!
She always seemed a bit advanced for her age in the verbal department. I lost track of how many words she knows, but they seem to be increasing exponentially by the day. She is really good at imitating words too. Her newest words are "rice cake" (we recently celebrated Korean New Year), "cranberries," and "persimmons".
She's also stringing along sentences of about 4-5 syllables. Some common phrases are:
- Ducky eat too. (She always has to have her loveys sit by her while she eats)
- I go bowling. (We took her bowling one weekend, and she hasn't stopped talking about it since)
- I watch numbers. (She loves watching "The Numbers Song" and "The ABC Song" on YouTube).
- And most recently, "I love you, Mommy" and "I love you, Daddy." (My heart melted when I first heard those words!)
Activities and Play
Her favorite activities are riding the carousel at a local park (it's free so we usually go on it multiple times), driving the Push Around Buggy we got her for Christmas, and anything that has to do with numbers & letters. She'll wake up in the morning, and the first thing she'll say is, "ABC!!" - she knows the entire alphabet and her numbers from 1-11. She was recently gifted an Alphabet puzzle and is so good at matching them up. If I ask her to find a specific letter she knows exactly which one to look for. She loves "reading" anything with words on it, and is so proud when she knows a letter that she'll start bouncing up and down on her butt.
I asked her where the Letter P was
Other activities she enjoys are "cleaning" and "folding towels" - she loves taking a towel and wiping down the floors, tables, chairs, and she'll wipe the mouths of all her stuffed animals when she sees a smidgen of dirt on them. I also taught her to fold a towel in half once, and now she does it over and over. After we wash her hands, she will also go directly to a kitchen towel and dry it off there. She is an extremely clean, meticulous little one.
She is still a shy child and doesn't try to dance even if we all do it to get her to imitate us. She'll say, "daddy dance" and "mommy dance," but when we ask her to dance she'll shake her head, "no" and give us her shy look. But she will take her ducky and her bear and have them dance by shaking their hands and moving their bodies side to side. It's fascinating to me that she can be self-conscious at such an early age. I always thought all children were born without that kind of awareness, but I guess it's not true.
I never really characterized my daughter as a "happy baby" because she doesn't give smiles freely and is not easily amused, but it seems like she's really blossomed these past 2-3 months leading up to her twos. She wakes up sooo happy and giggly, and squeals in delight at most things. Days feel like they're flying by because she is in such good spirits all the time. There is a caveat to this though. She is ONLY like this when there aren't strangers around. If we have guests over, she will immediately clam up and act extremely quiet. Her personality is like night and day in the company of family versus in public. Sometimes I wish others could see the sides to her only we get to see.
A low-key 2nd Birthday over Brunch
Tackling Potty Training. I'm dreading it. We tried the 3-day potty training method when she had just turned 20-months, but it was miserable for all of us. I was worried we would turn her off to the toilet completely and traumatize her so we stopped. Taking the advice of other parents, we decided to try again after she turned two. Her preschool helps potty train so I'm hoping that'll make things easier on everyone.
And of course, we'll also need to prepare her for her Baby Brother. He arrives in February. :)
Mrs. High Heels’ Monthly Updates part 4 of 81. How Baby HH Came to Be... by Mrs. High Heels
2. 18-Month Update: No Longer a Baby... by Mrs. High Heels
3. 19-Month Update by Mrs. High Heels
4. Noelle at 2-Years Old by Mrs. High Heels
5. Baby Boy Heels' Birth Story by Mrs. High Heels
6. 1-Month and 27-Month Update by Mrs. High Heels
7. 2-Month and 28-Month Update by Mrs. High Heels
8. 3 Month and 29 Month Update by Mrs. High Heels