Little Miss Independent

With a commanding “Lauren” there is never a doubt when LP wants to attempt something by herself. The steps on our back patio were no exception and she has been scaling up and down them on her own now for about a month. Apparently just walking up and down the steps is no longer enough of a challenge so this past Wednesday Lauren decided to drag her plastic dog Frito up and down them with her. At first, I was very apprehensive about her doing this but she was very insistent and was quite successful at it – under my very close watch…unfortunately it wasn’t close enough. After about an hour of conquering the steps over and over again with Frito in her arms she finally took a tumble down the bottom step. It all happened in slow motion. I’m sure she had to be tired and this particular time she didn’t get her left foot lifted quite high enough so the rubber tip of her sandal caught the concrete and down she came. I lunged to get her but wasn’t fast enough. She never let go of Frito so the first thing to hit the patio was her poor little nose – followed by her forehead. I was certain there was major injury – who could survive that fall without serious marks?! I’m sure my response didn’t help matters – as Lauren started to cry I whisked her inside, holding her close to my chest afraid to survey the damage. Once inside we went straight to the bathroom so I could wash her booboos and what do you know – there was just the tiniest bit of blood right under her nose. And while she did scuff up her nose in a few different places, I was honestly expecting it to be so much worse. After about 10 seconds of showering Lauren with kisses on every single part of her body that she said hurt – I really don’t think she hurt her toes or hair but I humored her, she was still crying. Since the kisses didn’t seem to work fast enough for me, I resorted to bribery.

“Would you like to put medicine on your booboo?”
I asked. LP instantly stopped crying and politely answered, “Yes.”
I asked Lauren what hurt and her response was one simple word, “Nose.”
Once we got her nose cleaned with peroxide, Lauren was very pleased to learn that we had “special medicine” for this type of booboo – Neosporin.
As soon as we were all doctored up, Lauren’s only request was, “Outside.”

I’m so proud of her not letting a little fall scare her off from trying new things…but there are definitely times I wish she was a little less fearless. Here is a picture of Lauren after her topple down the steps.

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Hailey Turns Eleven!

Today was Hailey’s 11th birthday and like every other celebration, I took pictures. Lauren enjoyed the day almost as much as Hailey since she got to go to Petsmart to pick out Hailey’s gifts. What do you know, she was quite excited by some 99 cent squeaky

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balls so we got 4 – one of each color – and then we finally managed to find a plush toy that both LP and I approved. While there, we had to visit all of the cats that were up for adoption, the dogs that were getting groomed, and the birds, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, and fish that were for sell. I honestly feel lucky each time we leave there without an animal. I dread the day when Lauren finally realizes the pet store isn’t like the zoo – you can actually buy these animals and take them home with you. That day might be our last trip to the pet store. After making all the rounds several times I finally convinced LP that we needed to go home so that Hai could open her presents. Check out a few pictures of the birthday girl, click here!


20 Months – What a Jabber Box!

It seems that over the past week Lauren’s vocabulary has easily doubled, if not tripled. She’s not only using the words that she had already mastered more often, but now she repeats things that she hears others say. “Oh boy!”, Man!”, and “Shoot!” are some that are so cute because she says them with the same inflection. She has been saying two words together for some time, mostly an item that she wants followed by please. But she likes to also say, “Go Mama” or “Go Dada” or go anyone really. We now have a game we play while driving in the car – she tells me who she wants to go and we sing, “Go Mama, Go Mama, Go Mama Go.” We replace Mama with Dada, Lauren, Hailey, Grannie, Grandma, Grandpa, Papaw and of course, you can’t leave out the ball. She also completed her first real sentence. Lauren was dancing around while I picked out her clothes for the day just like usual.

She came barreling into her room yelling, “Mama! Mama!”
I responded, “I see you, Lauren.”
She replied with, “I see you, Mama.”
I was so proud and Lauren must have realized it because she quickly followed up with,
“I see Dada.”
“I see outside.”
“I see Hailey.”

I believe that besides Mama, Dada, Hailey & Lauren, some of her other favorite words right now are:

  • Outside
  • More
  • A lot (I guess I say a lot, well, a lot)
  • Alright (another word that I apparently say frequently)
  • Eat

She has so many new words every day now it’s hard to keep track but a couple of new words from this past week were:

  • Popcorn
  • Ladybug
  • Raccoon
  • Star
  • Heart
  • Mulch (yes, we’ve been planting)
  • Rainbow

With all of her new-found jabbering, she’s quite taken with opposites. It all started with “up” and “down”, but it has now expanded to “in” & “out”, “on” & “off”, “hot” & “cold”, “big” & “little”, “new” & “old”, and “open” & “close”.

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When out in public, she’s not nearly as vocal, but the exception would be the Hallmark store. Picking out cards with Lauren has always been fun – she constantly insists on the ones with some type of animal on them of course. She just loves taking out each card, looking it over thoroughly and putting it back but now Lauren reads each card aloud with “Do da do da. Do da do da do da do.” There is seldom a time I don’t hear “awe” from an observer.

Lauren is also learning a lot of her colors. It started with me requesting specific colors of balls that she would recover with surprising accuracy and now that she’s talking more, you can ask her to name a color and she generally gets it right. Her favorite responses are yellow, orange & blue but when she’s in the mood, she can also correctly identify purple, pink, red, green, black, brown and white. If you ever color with Lauren, you quickly learn that she is in charge of what color you are allowed to use. Now not only does she pick out my color, but she also proudly announces what color I’m using with “Mama, pink.” followed by “Lauren, blue.”

Ryan and I are both happy to say that Lauren is also mastering her name quite well. I was concerned that perhaps she wouldn’t say it correctly – but it’s definitely “Lauren” and not “Loren” that comes out! 🙂 When does she use her name most? When she wants to do something herself she always lets you know with a resounding “Lauren.”

Of all the words that Lauren is coming up with and putting together, there are a few that stand out, by far, as our very favorite. It’s that sweet little response we hear as we are putting her to bed.

I say, “I love you, Lauren.”
Lauren relies, “I la Mama.” “I la Dada.” “I la Hailey.”

Melts our hearts every single time.

We are absolutely thrilled that Lauren is speaking more. I warned Ryan that the day would come when we would actually have to ask her to stop talking – I believe that time might be right around the corner! To see a few pictures of Lauren’s 20th month birthday, click here.


MDII

That’s what Ryan termed this past Sunday – Mother’s Day Two. And with Lauren repeating things you ask I got the sweetest, “Happy Mama Day” from her. It was just amazing to watch Lauren today in the back yard – running & playing & talking – she’s grown and changed SO MUCH compared to Mother’s Day last year! I try to make note of Lauren’s progress often and I am always astonished at how much little kids learn so quickly. But when I think back to last year compared to this year – the only way I know how to discribe it is mind boggling! By just looking at her, she’s not a baby any more…and while I tell Lauren everyday she will ALWAYS be MY baby, she’s definitely all toddler now. Let’s just compare pictures!

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I have to say that I truly feel SO blessed – I have the very best husband and little girl in the whole wide world! To see some more snap shots from my very special MDII, click here.


Our Little Surprise Visitor

Lauren is quite fascinated with all animals – from really huge dogs that would frighten a grown adult to tiny, strange looking bugs that would well, frighten a grown adult. She loves them all and quite honestly can’t seem to get enough. I guess it’s because of this fondness that it was fairly easy to teach Lauren all of the sounds that animals make. Upon seeing an animal she knows, she quickly blurts out the noise it makes instead of its name. The exception would be “dog” that I’m certain I hear at least 50 times a day (probably has a lot to do with the fact we have a lot of dog books & toys). She also will say “cat” every once in awhile but generally identifies them with a sweet little “meow” and then there is the occasional “pig” instead of “oink”. She also says “bug” a lot since they don’t really make a district sound as well as “turtle” and “bird” (although she does attempt to imitate a bird singing quite frequently). Ryan and I have become rather versed in translating Lauren’s own little language and there really aren’t too many times when we can’t figure out what she’s trying to say. Friday afternoon was no exception. Lauren and I decided to spend the afternoon outside enjoying the lovely weather. While Lauren was on the front porch bouncing a golf ball onto the sidewalk and into the grass, I decided I’d sweep the drive. It was only a few seconds before I heard the pitter-patter of feet behind me and then a tug on my pants followed by LP’s sweet little voice, “Mama, ssssss. Mama, ssssss.” I paused briefly and thought to myself, “no way” but my thoughts were quickly interrupted as Lauren proceeded to grab my hand and pull me to the front porch. Sure enough, there was a snake under the bench. Only a garter snake but in order to teach Lauren a lesson, I whisked her and Hailey inside – explaining that snakes are like bugs…when you see them you don’t touch them but call for Mommy or Daddy. She seemed very content with that explanation and eagerly watched me from the window as I took some pictures of it. Everyday since we have revisited this lesson just so I know she understands that while she can enjoy all kinds of animals…some we just need to admire from a distance. I’m quite certain that this encounter left a lasting impression on Lauren because that even in the tub, all she did was draw snakes – longer ones than usual – and the entire time she drew, she repeated “ssssss” over and over again. If you’re interested in seeing a few shots of our little surprise visitor as well as Lauren’s rendition of it, click here.


Girls Only

While Ryan was out of town on business this week, my mom came up to visit for a few days…it was a girls week of Grannie, Mommy & Lauren shopping, playing outside, showing Grannie what playgroup is all about and visiting the zoo. To see a few pictures, click here.