Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Leaps and Bounds

Ana. Our little girl. Girl. Not baby. Girl. She has spent this past month amazing the heck out of me with all she's doing...and saying. And it's all happening so fast. I'm afraid to blink for fear of missing something. So where can I possibly start? Well, we've hit a couple of milestones this month so we'll start there.

To begin with, she got her very own big girl bed (complete with the ugly railings that take away from her oh-so-cute quilt comforter). We're leaving it on the floor for now to avoid any huge falls and fear of heights that may develop as a result. She wasn't exactly thrilled about it at first but by day 3 it had won her over. I think she loves the freedom of being able to get up if she wants to. The first day that she actually slept in it, as I was expecting the usual "Mama! Mama!" wake up call, she made no noise when she woke up. When Maddie finally woke me up at 8am I ran to check on Ana bracing myself for some kind of disaster. But instead I found her sitting on her big girl bed reading a book. Oh, the sight. I stood there one proud mama imagining the quiet mornings that lay ahead of me while my sweet girl entertained herself with books until I woke up. Fast-forward to two mornings later......"Mama! Mama!" Yep, it's back. Oh, well. The important thing is that she's in her big bed and she actually sleeps in it. Milestone, check!

Next, she's all about letting me know when she's gone potty (as previously posted). Coming from a kid that never, I repeat NEVER minded a dirty diaper, this is HUGE. I thought for sure I'd be sending her to Jr. High with size 12 Huggies on her bottom. Milestone, check!

Now, on to her latest and greatest. This kid has been doing leaps and bounds with her vocabulary it is absolutely amazing. She'll repeat pretty much anything (Anthony has been warned) and tells us things we don't remember even teaching her. Though she'll repeat you all day long she likes just as much to tell you things she knows herself. She's constantly pointing to everything and telling us what it is. I love to hear her say new words and repeat the old ones. But more than that, what I really love are the phrases she says. The "Oh, maaan!"s and "Mommy knee a mess"s. I love that she's putting it all together and she knows exactly what she's talking about. Instead of "milk" now it's "more milk please". And oh how I love that she can now put her little personality into words. That is the Best! When she's feeling particularly goofy she'll do something, laugh, and then say "oh, silly!" When she tickles you she'll say "tickle, tickle, tickle!" or "getcha! getcha! And when she really likes something it's "oooooh, nice!" She's even found a way to "personalize" what she calls me. Up until recently it had been "mama". Suddenly, out of nowhere, she begins to call me "mom". Not "mommy", "mom". What? Is she 14 now??? Is she going to start calling me "Mrs. U" next? So the other day Anthony told her not to do something and guess what happened? An upset little Ana came running to me with the sweetest "mommy" I've ever heard. Hey, even if it comes only at her convenience I'll take it.

So on top of all this, Ana's been singing the alphabet all by herself up to the letter "G" and will start saying letters any time she sees some writing (on a shirt, etc.) She's also counting with me, get this, in both spanish AND english (what?!?!). It's crazy. She does the numbers by herself up to three but prefers to count them with me (i.e. I say 1, she says 2 and 3, and so on). Oh! And colors. For a little while there everything was purple. Everything and everyone. Well, my little miss has graduated from that. She's now into pink, yellow, and orange. Green and blue come and go but she's getting it. And the other day I went to get her and as I changed her diaper she pointed to my necklace and started to say "circle". This kid's even doing her shapes! Come on now!!!

As if this weren't enough, Ana's big making huge strides in the big sister department. She has become soooo sweet and gentle with Maddie. Maddie spits up, Ana's right there to clean her up. Maddie's crying, Ana's right there's to see what's up and then is certain to come tell me "Maddie crying!" She'll give Maddie her pacifier when she thinks she needs it and is just full of hugs and kisses for her. I gotta say, this may be the best milestone of all for me right now because I was beginning to wonder if we had caused Ana some permanent damage by giving her a little sister. Boy is this one a relief.

See what I mean that I'm afraid to blink? It's like her little brain has retained all of this stuff and, almost all at once, wants to let it out. The last few weeks have honestly been some of the best. I love watching her grow and learn and become more and more of her own little self. She knows what she likes and what she doesn't and isn't afraid to tell you "no" when she just doesn't feel like it. I know that's typical of a toddler but with her it's never a defiant "NO!" It's more of a "no, thanks". And we've learned to respect that. Ana's taught me a lot and one of the biggest things I've learned is what a true wonder it is to see her blossom. This has seriously been, by far, one of best things about being her mom.

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