Thursday, December 25, 2008
In preparation for the movies, we of course had to bring the appropriate movie snacks. Like any good dad, I decided that these should be water, fries, and M&Ms. Lilly and I stopped by the local Fish&Chips shop and picked up fries. The movie theare took care of the rest. With a constant supply of nibbles, Lilly sat next to me from the previews until the credits and seemed to enjoy every minute of it. After the movie, we went to the park for a celebritory ride on the swings. I think that I am now set to have a movie pal for any of the blockbuster G-rated Disney or animated movies to come.
I worry about everything. Why is the ceiling leaking when it rains? How am I going to have the time to clean the house? The economy - is my job safe? Will we have enough money to make it through? What job will Jon take when he finishes residency in 18 months - what city will we end up in? Is the fridge working right? Will our house fall off the cliff? Will it rain too much this week? Will it be too sunny so that we get burned? Should we eat in or out tomorrow, and if we eat in, what should I cook, and if we eat out, where? And what do I order? Should I be concerned about why the ants are headed in a straight line on the deck right towards the house? What if I get in a car accident? When am I going to clean my car out? Does Jon really love me even when we fight? And what is that crazy sound on the window - a bird or a burgler? Am I going to get enough sleep tonite?
Yet tonite, even with these worries playing on repeat in my head, I have a bigger worry that trumps it all. Why does Lilly's tummy hurt so much?
She's had really bad symptoms of a stomach bug for 3 days now, and I just wish I could take it all away from her. I know I always worry about everything relating to Lilly; she is my baby girl and I never want her to hurt. I worry that she's getting too dehydrated, and she won't drink pedialyte, and what if she needs IV fluids? And I worry about it being something bigger, what if this is a sign of something more serious? Because while everyone always says "don't worry about it, it will be fine," what if it isn't? It's not always fine, not for everyone. We learned that the hard way when we lost a dear friend 6 months ago, an adorable child who passed on way too early. This little boy was amazing, and although "God always has a plan," sometimes it's just not a fair plan and it just makes me worry that something might happen to my little angel.
So I worry. I worry that Lilly's tummy might not feel better soon. I worry that she didn't have a good enough Christmas because of her tummy pain, even though she loved having her cousins Lyndsey and Julianne and her Aunt Colleen here to play and dance with. I worry as she's tossing and turning tonite while her tummy hurts. I worry that she won't eat enough saltines and water tomorrow. I'll worry that she'll want to drink milk and it will upset her tummy more. I'll worry while she's not herself, until she's back to feeling 100%. And then I'll find something new to worry about.
The answer to worry is prayers, and faith that God will take care of us. Easy to say, but hard to do sometimes, when it feels so much easier to worry. So send some prayers Lilly's way, that she feels better soon! And an extra little prayer for her mama's constant worrying.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
She watches Baby Signing Time videos occasionally to learn signs, which are taught with catchy little songs. When she flips through her dvd book, she points to the Elmo ones and signs or says "Elmo" and then points to the Baby Signing Time dvds and signs or says "Baby" and/or "Time." There is no picture on the Signing Time dvd, just the words, but I figured she's seen it enough so she knows what her favorite dvd's look like.
Well yesterday she accidentally ran into the bike that she's getting for Christmas (not the kind with pedals, but the kind where they scoot around with their feet), which I had forgotten to hide, and she was so excited, signing and saying bike. Then she looked at the tag, which said "Baby Factory" (the NZ store that's like a tiny version of Babies R US) and signed "Baby." Seriously? She can sight read the word "Baby"?
I was kind of shocked, but she kept pointing to the tag and signing it, so I guess maybe she can read, at least that one word. Crazy huh?! Guess we're doing something, right, but wish I knew what it was so we could keep doing it!
In other news, we had a major catastrophe yesterday. Lilly's favorite thing in the whole world, her portable dvd player, died. It's not just a dvd player to her - it's her security blanket, the thing that makes her happier than anything else in her life, including her parents. It doesn't even have to be on, she just wants it near her (although obviously she prefers it on). We got it for the move over, since it has a 12 hour battery (and the flight is 12 hours, so it was for the "just in case she's so crazy that we need to entertain her the entire time" scenario). And while she has a Baby (Cabbage Patch) that she loves, and toys she prefers, this dvd player wins the contest hands down as being her favorite thing ever - she even waves "bye bye" to it when we turn it off.
Anyways, when I picked her up from school yesterday, we had to run some errands on the way home, so I brought it along for a nice surprise in the car. When we got back in the car from picking up milk, she sat in her seat, expectantly waiting for it to turn on. But all we got was an "Error Ho3" across the screen. I kept turning it off and on, with no success. Luckily she was eating a Gingerbread man and was slightly distracted, but was really annoyed when I put it away and got in the front seat. I mean, while she doesn't usually have it in the car, if it IS in fact in the car it should be on and entertaining her, correct? (In her mind, at least.) But I turned on the High School Musical 3 soundtrack and she survived the ride home.
I was seriously worried though. What would we do without this thing in her life? I mean, she *named* him. She calls him LaLa. We can't survive a long drive or plane ride without him. Plus, he's irreplaceable, at least, for now. You see, US dvd players have a region code of 1, and they will only play US dvd's with that code. The dvd players in NZ have a region code of 4, and will only play NZ/Australia dvds. So, if we got a new dvd player in NZ, it wouldn't play all her dvd's that we brought from the US. Plus, it would be twice as expensive, because everything costs more here. So I had to figure out a way to fix it.
Once Jon got home, I took apart the entire dvd player, and with the help of a few websites dedicated to fixing these things, figured out that the motor was stuck and I just had jiggle a few things before it was actually working again. Of course, I had to take it apart and put it back together (including unscrewing and rescrewing the 13 screws) about 5 times in order to finally get it to work. But wow, I can't believe I could actually fix something electronic!
So, it was a good day for Lilly and her mommy. Lilly can read (1 word) and her mommy is applying for jobs at the Sesame Street Fix-It Shop. How hard can it be to fix a toaster, anyhow?
Monday, December 15, 2008
We've been here for 6 months and by now I know the question everyone has been wondering: where are all the sheep videos? Well here you go, courtesy of our trip to Sheep World in October when my dad and nephew Tristan came to visit. Lilly & Tristan were adorable feeding the sheep... but then they had me feed something a whole lot bigger (still not sure what it is). Enjoy!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
If you've never been in this position, you can't even imagine the emotions. Aside from being told that we should get an amnio (we didn't) and think about our options (which were inconceivable to us), we got no further information. At 3 months pregnancy, we knew there was a 1 in ten chance, that days later reduced to 1 in less than 5 (and was originally 1 in 1200 before the test), but we knew nothing else. Jon remembered his short lecture in med school of possible higher risks for kids with DS: possibilities of heart defects, alzheimers, etc. I remembered watching the show "Life Goes On" as a child and thought that kids with DS were isolated in special education classes and never leave home as adults. Our only additional knowledge was that pregnant women are very routinely tested to see if their child has DS, and the majority (92%, we later found out) end up aborting if the results are positive.
This fact alone, made it a traumatizing day. We were the chosen couple, that surprised the doctors because of our young age (we later found out that 80% of kids with DS are born to women under the age of 35, although the risk of having a child with DS over 35 is higher), and no one knew what to make of the situation. We knew no one wanted the results we got, and were completely shocked ourselves. And yet, it somehow made sense. We had prayed since we got married that God would let us know when it would be the right time to start a family ("Dear God, please let us have the right child at the right time"), and knew we would be great parents to any child that was given to us. But it was still a complete shock, for the sole reason that we were told something was "wrong" with our child and everyone was so sad, including us.
It is the most traumatizing day of my life, but for a different reason. I get so sad, thinking of myself on that day, crying and wondering and confused and unsure. I get so sad, because on that day, we didn't even know what we were sad for. I wish I had known what our future would hold for us. We have the best little girl in the world, who is not only beautiful, but smart and funny and probably one of the most influential toddlers on the planet, except for Suri and Shiloh. She continues to amaze me with her abilities and humor and passion for life. I've learned so much from her, and because of her, and with her. She is like seeing rainbows in every situation.
So I get sad thinking about that day. That newly pregnant parents, with no information, feel devastated without even knowing what they're facing. Before they know it's a girl or a boy or a princess or a jock, before they look into their precious baby's beautiful eyes and see their mischievous smile, they know something they interpret as being "bad." And the doctors and professionals... well I know they do their best but I doubt most have had much interaction with a child with Down syndrome.
If I could rewrite history, I wouldn't have that doctor give us the news in such a depressing manner. I wouldn't be referred to a high risk ob and a geneticist. I wouldn't have that couple worry about their baby growing inside them, feeling helpless and confused.
Instead, I would take them on a tour of a two-year-old preschool class, with 10 beautiful kids and 2 teachers singing songs and dancing. They would do funny little movements that went along with the words of the music, touching their toes, stand up, sit down, shake, having the best time. Then the kids would listen to storytime, and the teachers would tell the kids to go into the bathroom and wash their hands for lunch. The kids would all do so independently, then run back into the classroom and sit at the table. Two little girls, both with long brown hair, inseparable, laughing, would look for the placemats with their pictures on them, and happily sit next to each other. One of these little best friends would have an extra chromosome, but no one in this class notices or cares. All ten toddlers would sing and do the signs for their "grace" song, before digging in to a well-balanced meal. Afterwards, the children would rest for naptime, with the most adorable kid in the class snuggling up to her Raggedy Andy doll as she falls asleep. I would tell the parents, one of these children will be yours, and the parents would not even think to be sad; all the children look so beautiful and happy and secure and well-loved.
December 22, 2005. It was a sad day, but it got better. We had faith in God that His plan for us would be amazing, no matter what. Six months later, I gave birth to our daughter, and she was so beautiful we couldn't even believe it. And her presence in our home each day since has been a wonderful adventure. But I can't help thinking, the sadness of that day didn't have to happen.
Our life is not a sad one, not one to be feared. It is so full that sometimes I think my heart will burst with love for my daughter. I laugh so much at her antics, I can't even remember how quiet life was without her. I get the most wonderful hugs and kisses from her, and of course she remembers to pat me on the back when she "cuddles" me. I wish, 3 years ago, that we had known what we know now: and if we had, instead of crying, we would have been overjoyed. She was made for us, and us for her, and for that I am forever grateful.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
We pictured Lilly having the same experience as Annie. Getting ready and all excited for the big show, getting in the car singing the whole way, walking into the theater and being so excited, looking around in wonder and anticipation for the big show. Sitting in her seat between her two favorite people, in awe of the experience, and having it be one of the best moments of her life.
Then reality hit us, and we realized she's 2. And everyone we talked to warned us that she'd want to talk too much and too loudly in movies, and she'd get restless sitting there for too long. She would be bored and last just a few minutes. While she loves High School Musical 1 & 2, she wouldn't know the music yet to HSM 3 so it wouldn't hold her attention. We wouldn't be able to fast forward through the "boring" talking scenes like we do at home. The screen would be too big and the sound would be too loud. A tall person would sit in front of her and she wouldn't be able to see.
So many times with Lilly, Jon & I want to do something with her, and then we think: are we really doing it for her, or for us? Because in a perfect world, she would go and have the best time in her little life, but is she really too young to appreciate the experience? Are we just being selfish for wanting to take her, when she probably won't enjoy it at all?
Through Lilly's nap, Jon and I debated and argued, trying to figure out what to do. It was a beautiful day outside, and we live right on the beach; should we walk down and do something we know she'd appreciate instead? Or maybe go next weekend to the 9 am show, where she'd be less likely to bother other people if she was a complete nut in the theater?
But Lilly woke up in a good mood, and we decided to get in the car and try it, as long as we knew that if she hated it, we'd leave immediately. We packed her High School Musical backpack (thanks to my parents!) with crackers, mini m&m's, and water. We dressed her in a teeny-bopper outfit, a pink polo shirt and green/pink plaid bermuda shorts. We turned on the HSM soundtrack as we drove over, and she danced and sang the whole way over. So far, so good.
We got to the local mall where the movie was playing, and she could anticipate something good was up. We got her out of the car, and she was excited. We kept pointing to the HSM characters on her backpack, but we honestly had no idea whether or not she understood. We got in the ticket line, and Lilly was excited, waving to everyone and smiling very big. We were going to try to go in after the previews were over, so she wouldn't have to sit so long. But, we had arrived too early. We killed about 5 minutes outside the theater, where she danced around, but then she started walking into the threater, so we gave up and decided to go ahead and find our seats. (By the way: in NZ, they assign seats to you when you buy the tickets, so you can't just sit "wherever," although you can have input to where the seats are when you purchase.) We had asked for aisle seats, because I was certain she wouldn't last more than 10 minutes. The theater is relatively new, and the seats were huge, with an armrest that comes up to combine two seats into one big one. Which was nice, for the 3 of us, because we ended up just taking up 2 seats and having Lilly sit in between us.
She was excited when she sat down - but of course, she's always happy to sit with mommy & daddy. The previews were just starting, and we knew that it would be 15 minutes before the movie would even start, and then the movie itself was 112 minutes. My panic attack was just about to begin, thinking about Lilly sitting still for 2 hours, when the first preview started and my daughter's mouth dropped to the floor - she was so impressed by the huge screen and the cartoon characters running around, and the loud music - she started dancing and clapping. At one point, something fell on one of the characters, and she did a big "Oh!" and put her hand on her cheek in surprise. She watched all 15 minutes of previews with a huge smile on her face, and I started to relax.
Then the movie began. The music started, and Zac Efron's huge face showed up on the screen. My daughter was thrilled. She started dancing hard, and smiling, and singing, and eating crackers (of course), and snapping her adorable little fingers. For the next 112 minutes, when she wasn't laughing and dancing, she was watching in awe and amazement, with her hands on our legs, or sitting on my lap, or her head on our shoulders. It was the absolute coolest moment of her life. Jon and I sat there, watching her expressions for a good part of the movie. We were so proud I think our hearts almost burst; and I was teary for most of it. It couldn't have gone better.
Life doesn't always go the way you plan it with a toddler, but when it does, it is amazing. As we walked out of the theater (and back in and out 3 more times, as she had to keep going back in to do "one more dance" before leaving for good), we felt so very blessed by our amazing charismatic little angel. The magic we felt in the theater, attributed to Lilly's enthusiasm, was incredible. I don't think a person has ever enjoyed HSM3 as much as Miss Lillian Grace Sherman.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Lilly also likes coming up to us and shouting "NOOOO" at whatever we're doing, and also shouts "NOOOO" when she peeks through slightly open doors, or between the bars of her crib. At school, a little boy was moving the carpet square, and she kept patting it down (on his arm) to get it back into place. She also checks all the light switches, to make sure they're all "off" (or sometimes "on"), and opens the dryer to make sure there's no laundry waiting. If the TV should be off, she turns it off (signing all done, by the way), and if it should be on, she turns it on. If it's on the wrong channel or setting, she adjusts it (correctly, I might add).
Lots of violations going on in this house; hopefully Lilly will let us off with just tickets.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
But back to the trip: After settling into our room at the new hotel, we went for a walk to view the Sofitel and Sheraton hotels. Then we sat at the hotel lounge and drank local beer "Fiji Bitter" and "Fiji Gold" and Lilly ate a fruit kebab, while we listened to a local Fiji band. It started raining, so we went to Port Denarau for dinner on Thursday night, on the Bula Bus. The Bula bus is an open vehicle, with a festive atmosphere by everyone on it, and Lilly loved looking out the open sides and waving at everyone we passed by. The 2 year old next to us stuck her foot out and lost her shoe so we're glad Lilly didn't get any ideas!
We woke up on Friday morning, and ate at the free buffet breakfast at the resort. It's amazing what a presentation they put out! Although the Shangri-La buffet breakfast was impressive, it was nice for a change of pace, and the Westin even had champagne for mimosa's. After breakfast we put our swimsuits on in time for it to start raining; so we jumped on the Bula Bus and went to tour the other hotels - the Radisson and the Sheraton (who happened to have a bunch of musicians playing when we got off the bus). By this time the sun was out again, so we went to the pool. We ran into friends of ours from the Shangri-La who have a 1 year old little girl, and later on we ran into other friends who have 2 kids from the Shangri-La. It was such a funny experience to "know" people in Fiji! We also kept bumping into a few Americans who we had met at breakfast, throughout the day.
Lilly & her favorite babysitter at the kids club.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Lilly got painted at the kids club - two tattoos on her arms, a flower on her cheek, and fake eyebrows! (Kind of scary!)
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
On the first page of the calendar is a "Down Syndrome Creed" which I thought was worth posting here. It has an unknown author.
My face may be different
but my feelings the same.
I laugh and I cry
and take pride in my gains.
I was sent here among you
to teach and to love
as God in the heavens
looks down from above.
To Him I'm no different,
His love knows no bounds;
It's those here among you,
in cities and towns
that judge me by standards
that man has imparted,
but this family I've chosen
will help me get started.
For I'm one of the children,
so special and few,
that came here to learn
the same lessons as you.
That love is acceptance,
it must come from the heart;
we all have the same purpose,
though not the same start.
The Lord gave me life
to live and embrace,
and I'll do it as you do,
but at my own pace.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I've been trying to get some insight into my daughter. Is she the way she is because she's an only child, because she has enhanced chromosomes, or because she is a Princess? Because she takes after her mommy, or her daddy, or her absolute hero, Elmo? Is she half sweet and half, um, not-as-sweet, because she is in her wonderful and terrible two's? Probably a little of all, and a little of none - she's pretty much always been her own person.
If you asked me yesterday, I would have told you that she was driving me crazy. In fact, I wrote a blog about it, but decided not to post (it was definitely the end of a long day, and her mommy was at her limits a little as well). In this blog that I didn't post, I described at length the "flop and drop" - her version of a tantrum. When she wants to go somewhere and we try to stop her, she flops and drops. When it's time to go into her classroom and she doesn't want to go, she flops and drops. When she doesn't want to go to bed, she flops and drops. When we're out shopping and she doesn't want to sit in the stroller, she flops and drops. It's half adorable and half infuriating - especially because sometimes she's so overdramatic that she throws her head backwards and hits the floor. (She gets even more mad when she's sitting on the soft bed and does this move - because when she falls back in true "drama queen" style, she anticipates getting hurt - and when she doesn't, she gets even more frustrated.) We've gotten to be pretty good at anticipating when this is going to happen, and catching her before she hurts herself; but the real problem is that she's 2, she wants to explore, she wants her own way, and she will completely protest if she doesn't get her way. So yesterday, if you had asked me about my beautiful precious daughter, I would have said: Lilly is driving me crazy!!!
Lilly must have sensed this. Because this morning, she woke up in a wonderful mood. She was sweet and funny and chatty and adorable. She sat patiently while we got her dressed, and let me put her hair in pigtails. We ran to the bank and she charmed everyone. She went to school easily, and sat on the potty when she got there. We went to the park and she played nicely on the swing, laughing the whole time. We sang the ABC's (which usually she *hates* - don't know why!), and after she had "one more turn" on the swing, I told her it was time to get off and go back in the car - and she hopped off and jumped in my arms. She was pure magic today. She had music therapy, and charmed the class with her dancing and participation. She was an angel.
I can't help thinking - who is this child and what has she done with my daughter??!!
But then I remembered... she's a Gemini. She's the twins; the split personality. She is half completely charming and half tempermental. The following is a list of traits for a Gemini - she is absolutely the person described below:
Characteristics considered positive
Characteristics considered negative
playing of mind games
Architect, archaeologist, comedian, teacher, model, playwright, diplomat, public speaker, singer, author, psychologist, poet, musician, journalist, lawyer, movie writer or director, debater/politician.
Talking, the unusual, teaching, learning, different things in life, having multiple projects all going at once, traveling, making jokes, jet-setting
Feeling tied down, losing, being wrong, being in a bad situation, mental inaction, being alone, not getting credit for one's successes
So, while I can't say that I totally believe in "astrology," this is too completely accurate about Miss Lilly Lou to be wrong. My little Gemini.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
But what she likes, and her latest "tricks," seem to change faster than I can record them. Two months ago she couldn't get enough of reading Madeline and watching High School Musical. A month ago she was obsessed with the book "Pajama Time" and the movie "Annie." And now it's a book about the animals in the jungle (that Aunt Janie & Uncle Mike gave her!) and the movie High School Musical 2. Same with her favorite foods - she only ate crackers & rock melon two months ago, only ate bread & apples a month ago, and this month she's actually eating actual food. This week alone she's tried a variety of raw vegetables - yellow pepper, cauliflour, carrots (we realized finally that she didn't like cooked veggies - just like her mommy used to hate them!), and now loves pears, grapes, pizza (especially the crust, just like her mommy!), risotto, and spaghetti. She's been a full time walker for the past month or so, which is amazing to watch, although towards bedtime she's exhausted and walks like a drunken sailor. She is still dancing all the time, with new hilarious moves that we love to watch. She's pooping every day on the potty (TMI?) and is peeing as often as we put her on - and is signing "potty" about half the time to let us know she has to go. We're waiting until Christmas break to completely potty train her, as she'll be home from school for 3 weeks; she'll be 2 1/2 then.
She's still really popular at school, and she loves her friends as much as they love her. She gives them huge hugs when she leaves at the end of the day, and kisses her favorite friends. She's become clingy when I drop her off though; but loves it once she starts playing.
She's drinking out of a sippy cup or straw most of the day, but at night she drinks water out of a big girl cup when she brushes her teeth. She's nice about us letting us have "our turn" with brushing her teeth, but only for about 15 seconds - but she brushes them well on her own.
She has a kid-sized table and chairs that we bought last month, and loves getting a puzzle or play dough or a snack and sitting down in her chair. She also has her first tea set and loves "pouring" me tea, and we "Cheers."
She also has a comfy chair that she sits in while watching Sesame Street. When she's done watching TV, she goes over to it, turns it off, signs "all done" and walks away.
Two days ago I wanted to see the election results (which were on around 5 or 6 pm NZ time). I turned on CNN (our TV is NEVER on by the way except if Lilly is watching one of her shows, so it was the first time she's really seen something non-kids on the TV). Lilly was watching an elmo DVD in the dining room on her portable DVD player (don't judge!) while eating dinner. She saw me watching the other TV, and wanted to go with me to watch. Just then, Barack Obama started his speech (and let me also mention, living in NZ, we were not really exposed to the election as much, especially since we don't watch tv here), but watching him I got tears in my eyes - it's been said a million times, but what a historic moment. It's also the first presidential election of Lilly's life. So I explained to her that he was just elected president, and she got down, walked to the TV, and started kissing his face. Already a little emotional, this melted my heart. And then she sat on my lap and watched the entire speech, getting up a few more times to kiss him more. (And when it was over, she went right back to dinner & Elmo!)
Her Baby (a baby Cabbage Patch doll that Audrey gave her) is still her favorite thing to play with, and she loves putting her to sleep, feeding her, hugging her and giving her kisses, and reading her books. Sometimes Baby is bad and she pats her a little too hard when putting her to bed!
When she's tired at night, she loves her story (or two) being read to her, and then reads it once or twice back to us in her own variation of English, babble, and sign. Then goes to turn off the light, turns her own cd player on for her nighttime classical music, and walks to her crib, patting the mattress. She's ready to go to sleep!
For Halloween, it wasn't a big holiday here. We had her boyfriends (twins her age) and their little sister, who is almost 1, over for a Halloween party. But Lilly didn't want to get dressed up. For the first time, she didn't want to be a princess! I gave her the options between Cinderella and Belle, and she refused. And cried and cried. Finally I gave her a Twix to bribe her to get the dress on - except - well - any good mom would realize that she'd get chocolate all over the dress. Oops! But at least she was happy finally!
Lilly loves so many things - airplanes, cars, bikes, dogs, cats, bugs (especially firefly's!), birds, rain, the wind, drawing with a pen, closing drawers, opening doors, and reaching her hand into a bag of potato chips (or crackers or cookies). She's discovered youtube with her mommy, and we find Elmo clips and most recently, the Charlie Brown Halloween special, which she loved. She loves getting undressed, and helps me get her dressed (for example, she trades off her cracker or toy to the other hand when I have to put that arm in the shirt!). She also tries to put on her socks and shoes, but is better at taking them off. She loves brushing my hair and hers, and when we do peek a boo games, putting a cloth over our head and then pulling it off, she looks at me seriously, and wipes the hair out of my eyes, before starting the game again.
She signs "sorry" when she gets overexcited and "accidentally" whacks us upside the head! And then signs "nice" and rubs our face sweetly to make up for it. She says Ta (which in NZ means thank you) any time you give her something. When she has something she shouldn't, and I say "ta" and put my hand out, she gives it to me. She knows right from wrong. (Except she didn't know not to put a carrot in the toilet. And then her daddy didn't know not to flush it. I need to give them both lessons!)
When we pull into the parking lot of her music class, she signs "music." When we get to a grocery store, she knows she can manipulate mommy into buying her potato chips or cookies, if I forget to bring a better snack. She knows mommy is a pushover and tries not to take advantage of it more than she *has* to. She knows daddy is her partner in crime, and she can count on going to bed later if he's in charge! She loves her parents but wishes they were cooler - she rolls her eyes when daddy sings too loud or mommy tries to dance like her.
She hates bathtime - sometimes - because she doesn't want to sit down in the tub. She likes bathtime more if mommy or daddy puts on a swimsuit and gets in with her. She doesn't like getting her hair washed unless she's *really* distracted by mommy's silly songs. She hates showers more than she hates baths - we tried showers twice with her because we thought, if she wanted to stand during the bath, maybe she would prefer a shower? Except, the only time she liked the shower was when she sat down in it! Otherwise we had to sing the "Hokie Pokie" to get her clean and get her to stick her body parts under the shower water!
Lilly has a great life. She is exposed to so much - last weekend she went to the Circus on Saturday and the zoo on Sunday. The week before, her grandpa (pawpaw) and cousin Tristan (age 7) were here for 10 days, and she went to the aquarium, Waiheke Island, Coromandel Peninsula (including going on a mine train and somewhat of a water-amusement park area), and Sheep World. She loves staying in nice hotels whenever she travels, and makes herself at home. She knows how to eat in a restaurant - first we get the drinks (usually either a cold milk in her sippy cup, or water in a glass with a straw, or a "fluffy"), then we wait awhile for the food while mommy gives her fruit or crackers, and then the food arrives and she immediately signs potty, and one of us then spends the next 10 minutes in the bathroom with her - she knows how to get out of sitting at the table! :) And after eating, she usually wants to go for a walk while the other parent pays. It's not always the most relaxing dining experience ever, but she's been out to eat enough times that she knows how to behave for the most part, and I'm not terrified of bringing her to a nice place to eat.
She loves going to church, and knows the routine there as well. She sits well until the homily, when she thinks its her turn to preach to the congregation, so she starts speaking in her loudest voice, so then we usually go outside for 10 minutes. We come back in, and she stands with us when she's supposed to stand, and sits and plays when it's a quieter time. She holds hands during the "Lords Prayer" and then shakes hands with everyone around her during the "Sign of Peace." She waves at other children sitting near her, and during the last 10 minutes tries to make her getaway by running from the side where we're sitting, all the way around the church to the front doors and outside. We follow her, and she usually turns around to come back to our seats. Because she knows its where she's supposed to be. Afterwards, she knows that she gets a cookie with the other kids, while the parents drink coffee.
She loves saying "No" - I can no longer ask her a hypothetical question like "Should we get you ready for school?" Because she'll totally say "no!" And most of the time it's in a playful way, and she laughs. She has the best sense of humor, and is constantly making us laugh. And she knows if one of us has had a bad day, she knows to put her arms around us and give us a big hug or kiss.
Lilly is a good girl, a smart girl, and a beautiful girl. She's my favorite person - and my role model. I love watching her grow up and develop new skills and interests. So that's my Lilly at 28 1/2 months!