It's so hard writing about Lilly because she changes week to week. Of course she's always gorgeous, adorable, manipulative, sweet, hilarious, and the Best Thing About My Day. And so much more than that.
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!