Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Madeline is 2 1/2 years old!

It's Saturday. I'm only three days late with this post. Not to shabby if you ask me!

Update posts are a priority for me. Although I am keeping a baby book for both my girls, this blog is very important part of my record keeping as they grow. I love that I can blog about the little things they do, the funny things they say, the places we visit and the friends they have on a more daily basis. I also rely on this blog as a place to record the larger milestones they are reaching so these updates are important to me and I hope, some day, the girls will appreciate the time I took to record this information for them.

So today is Madeline's half birthday. I can't believe she is two and a half. TWO AND A HALF!!! Before Lydia was born I still saw her as my baby. (Honestly she will ALWAYS be my baby.) But now she seems so grown up. I know she is in a huge period of growth, both physical and intellectual, but seeing the two of them each day makes me realize how BIG Madeline really is.

Doctors don't do half year check ups so the stats I have are based on our home scale and crude home measurements. Madeline is about 33 pounds and ___ inches tall. Although there is no real scientific basis to my observations, I believe she is about to go through a growth spurt. Her cheeks are really chubby and she is eating a lot of food. Next she will get clumsy and finally she will grow taller. It is her pattern and I have every reason to believe she will be much taller by Thanksgiving.

Gross Motor:
Madeline scares me every time we are at the park. Our favorite park, near our house, has a "rock wall" that is about 10 feet tall. She climbs right up without much hesitation most days. She is steady on her feet and has started scooting her "bike" around the playroom. (It is a four wheeled ride on that you have to push with your feet.) She loves hopping up and down, or 'jump, jumping' as she calls it. She can briefly stand on one foot and has even tried hopping on one foot on occasion. She runs with ease, climbs and descends steps without problems and is always, always on the move.

Fine Motor:
Madeline likes to draw but has been getting frustrated recently because she can't make her drawings look the way she wants them too. She is upset that she doesn't have the skill to draw a smiley face or a cake or a tree and asked whoever is "drawing" with her to do it for her. I am working on letting her just mark up a page and tell me it is whatever she wants but she is really focused on making a picture of something. We'll work on that.

She can use a fork, spoon and even a knife, but has reverted to using her hands recently. Not sure why, but with the addition of Lydia, I'm not pushing too many rules right now. At least she is eating.

We tried kids safety scissors a few weeks ago and that was also very frustrating for her. I told her we would try again when she is 3. We may not wait that long, but at least she isn't asking to try and then getting frustrated all the time.

Last, I know I need to break out the play dough, but I honestly can't deal with the possible mess right now. Maybe in a few more weeks when Lydia is sleeping at night more and I am a functional and rational human being during the day. That way I may actually have the patience needed to use play dough with a two and a half year old.

What can I say about Madeline's language skills.... other than I think they are better than mine. Ok, not really, but she amazes me with all the words she knows and how she uses them every single day, correctly. In the last three weeks she has begun using more adjectives and adverbs in her sentences. While spending the night at my mom and dad's she busted out this jem of a sentence: "I can't see my kiki*. I can't EVEN see you!" EVEN... even... that is some complicated wordage there.

*Kiki= her blanket which is her special lovey.

Our latest lessons in language have been learning the difference between a need and a want. Madeline is constantly telling us she needs things: like knives, and power tools, and chocolate. We are trying our best to teach her that although she might want those things, she does not need them. She is starting to, on her own, differentiate between what she needs and what she wants. Although I know she is 2 and that is a lesson that will take many years to actually learn. (At the age of 30, I may or may not have learned the difference between needing and wanting chocolate myself.)

Social Development:
Madeline's ability to handle stressful social situations has been tested in the last month or so. Even before Lydia joined the family Madeline was starting to realize that something was going on in her world. She started with minor acting out and an increase in whining. Once Lydia arrived she started testing the limits with full force. The first full day the four of us had a home was difficult for Madeline and she spent most of the day in tears and throwing herself on the floor. Although the words "you've ruined my life" were NOT uttered by Madeline her actions were most defiantly an indication of her very strong feelings about the subject.

She loves introducing her sister to anyone who walks into the house and is very very protective of her sister. When my grandma was holding Lydia Madeline walked up to her and said, "Ma, be careful and hold her head." This to a woman who had 8 children, has 14 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. She has also been very concerned about people coming into the house and leaving with her sister. For the first few days we were home every time someone would leave she would remind them they couldn't take her sister. She even woke up with a nightmare one night last week, mumbling in her sleep about someone taking her sister away. I guess it is safe to say she has Granny and my pension for worry.

The photos throughout this post were taken yesterday. I asked Madeline to show me what certain emotions look like and I took a photo. She is so animated and I love her faces. She is certainly an emotional and dramatic little star.

She loves performing for all of our visitors and has been known to break out in song and get a whole room full of people to pay attention to her. She is gracious however and after she demands you clap for her she always says thank you and takes a bow!

What is better than that face? Uh, nothing!

Her Role as the big sister:
Madeline loves Lydia. For the first few days we were home she was very interested in everything baby. Not only did she want to know where Lydia was at all times but she wanted to know what we were doing with her and what all of her cries meant. She has calmed down a bit, but is still very interested in how Lydia eats (nurses) and loves giving her kisses.

She has been regressing a bit and asking us to wrap her up, carry her, and feed her like a baby. Just yesterday (or was it the day before...) she asked to nurse again. She hasn't nursed for over a year and a half so of course this was a surprise to me. I explained that she got her food like that when she was a baby and now she eats big girl food. She seemed satisfied with that answer but still wanted me to hold her like a baby.

Other than one incident where Madeline tried to pick Lydia up on her own Madeline has been very gentle with Lydia. (Not that her picking Lydia up was rough, it wasn't, it just isn't what we want her to do with her sister.) She loves giving her kisses and wants to sing her songs while we change her diaper. Madeline is also very concerned when Lydia cries and in the last day or two has come to get me every time Lydia makes any noise and informs me Lydia is hungry and I should nurse her. Totally adorable.

It is amazing to see her as a sister. I worried that she would be ruined by the addition of our #2 and although there have been challenges she has really shown us how great a sister she is going to be.

I think that wraps it up. Madeline is growing up fast. She is still giving us nap time troubles and is asserting her independence in new and unusual ways. Even so, we love her more every day.



Gina said...

This is too cute. I might have to do an update on Logan soon. My husband and I both love the name Madeline. Sounds like your Madeline is quite advanced!!

bridget said...

You say she's eating a lot of food and that her cheeks are you think she is storing food in her cheeks like a chipmunk? haha! She's definitely a cute kid.

Michelle said...

Impressed that you managed to do such a long post. Great photos!

Molly said...

Fabulous post kiddo! And I love the photos. You hit all the good stuff, and made the challenging stuff sound manageable, which of course it is. :) You are so right, she's a good big sister and as she evolves in that role, she'll get even better. Thank you for the addition of these two sweet little girls to our family.