Peek-a-Boo! I Love You!

Otherwise known as hide and seek.  Lauren has started requesting that when we play hide and seek, you must say, “Peek-a-boo!  I love you!”  when you find the person you’re seeking.  Absolutely no complaints on my part.  While it’s a lot of fun playing with LP, she hasn’t completely grasped the concept.  She will either tell you where she’s hiding (usually in a closed-off, dark room so maybe to ensure you find her) or if she doesn’t tell you, it’s in the wide open where you can’t help but to see her right away.  Either way, it’s a special time – full of hugs, kisses, laughs and plenty of “I love yous!”  Check out a few of Lauren’s hiding places this afternoon…really too cute!

After throwing all of the pillows off of the bed and into the middle of the floor:p1020388-1.JPG

Where I found her responding with a muffled, “No!” to my question of, “Is Lauren in the bathroom?”:p1020383-1.JPG

The spot she chose after telling me she was going to hide in the kitchen:

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Whatever the Weather!

We sure do have lots of fun…sun, wind or snow!  These past two weeks have provided us with a smorgasbord of weather options.  We have enjoyed drawing on the sidewalk with chalk in the sun, blowing bubbles and painting on the back porch in p1010856-2.JPGthe shade, throwing rocks into the pond during windy afternoons, and riding Lauren’s tricycle in the driveway (which she can now peddle all by herself) as we embraced the springtime weather.  However, the fun in the sun was short-lived.

Last week brought cold weather, hail, and then the most beautiful snow.  But, of course, the snow didn’t slow LP down.  She got so tickled as the snowflakes hit her face while she attempted to catch them on her tongue.  Once she learned how to make a snow angel, she p1020171-2.JPGwould not stop, despite the fact that she was sopping wet.  She loved to make snow balls and watch Hailey chase and eat them.  Lauren also sampled some snow of her own.  And only one snowman would not suffice, Lauren insisted on two, “a boy snowman and a girl snowman.”  The snow fun was followed by warming up inside with some yummy hot chocolate.  When Lauren woke up the following morning, her first words were, “Let’s go outside and play in the snow some more!”

It’s really hard to decide which type of weather she enjoyed more. Check out the pictures to see if you can tell…is it the Spring Time Snow (click here for pics) or Basking in the Sun Fun (click here)??


Two and a Half

As I reflect on this past month, it’s the same as each month.

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I marvel at Lauren’s accomplishments, I am inspired by her innocence and beauty, and I’m also a little heartbroken that my baby is growing up so fast. Our days are filled with never ending laughter and my admiration for what a special little girl I have only grows stronger as Lauren grows bigger. I’ve said it so many times, but it simply can never be said enough, we are so very blessed.

The following are a few of Lauren’s quotes from the past few days. I realize it’s a joy that only LP’s parents can truly appreciate as our hearts of overflowing with pride, but I hope they bring a smile to your face.

“Mommy, WILL you look at this?” Everyday, at least 30 times a day.

Talking about a friend who missed their last play date, “She changed her mind. That was her option, to stay at home or come and play. She wanted to stay at home.” (Is this really my 2½ year old talking?) 3/8/09

“I like dead spiders.” 3/9/09

“I’m a cleaner,” as she wiped down the bathroom sink with a washcloth. 3/11/09

“That would be yucky and gross,” talking about something in the trash can. 3/11/09

In hopes to convince Lauren to keep her hands out of the crank between the door and the door jam, I said, “Don’t do that. It will hurt your hand REALLY bad.” Lauren responded, “And then Lauren won’t have any hands to eat with and Mommy & Daddy will have to help me eat.” Not exactly what I was going for, but I guess I got the point across. 3/11/09

As she shook her head back & forth really fast, “Look Mommy! The floor is moving!” 3/12/09

While watching a bird studying a great big caterpillar (a little too closely, if you ask me…one second it was there and the next it was gone and it wasn’t crawling that fast), “Birds like to eat cats, not caterpillars.” 3/13/09

“Look Mommy! This goldfish has a big, big curvy smile…from ear to ear. Where are the fish’s ears, Mommy?” 3/14/09

While sorting laundry to wash, “This is close to pink, I think. Pink and think – they rhyme!” 3/15/09

Lauren is still absorbing everything around her. She now recognizes all of the capital letters in the alphabet and we are working on counting to 20 (she tends to say “fiveteen”). She loves puzzles (totally exceeding our expectations by doing 48 piece jigsaw puzzles on her very own), games (like Memory, Hide & Seek, Go Fish, or made up games like What Store Next? and Mirror Me), and she seems to have a real knack for numbers (we are kind of working on adding & subtracting a few numbers just because she seems so interested). Her constant longing for knowledge is exciting, surprising, tiring at times and requires a lot of patience too. As we drove home the other day, she asked the same question over and over, each time slightly different. “Why can’t we walk home?” Why can’t we tree home?” Why can’t we roll home?” “Why can’t we grass home?” “Why can’t we ball or hop or car or run or sky or fly home?” Really, for 20 minutes! I’m guessing it was an attempt to differentiate between a noun and verb so I did my best to stay calm and answer each question.

I often have to remind myself that she is only 2 1/2 – she’s so well behaved most of the time and just seems so mature. But, then in true toddler fashion, she has a melt down because I put the spiders in my pocket to go upstairs to take a nap. Oh yeah, she’s 2 1/2. You read correct, SPIDERS. Lauren informed me that the pack of wild monkeys that ran around the house last month are on vacation. But not to worry because the excitement continued with their replacements – a mommy spider and her 5 baby spiders (that ride around on their mommy’s back) and two very crazy and adventurous mice. Ideally, not really the two creatures that I’d choose to run around freely in my house, but Lauren has reassured me several times that they are just pretend and not to be afraid. What an imagination! Absolutely never a dull moment!

At her doctor’s appointment, there were no shots. It was mostly a cognitive exam, and Lauren put on a show. When the doctor asked what she likes to do, she turned her head and snuggled tight into Ryan’s neck with no response. As I started in with, “She likes to play outside, read books, do puzzles…is there anything else, Lauren?” LP responded, “And eat!” After answering the doctor’s question of what her dog’s name was, he then asked, “Is she a big dog or little dog?” I was certain of her response as I’ve heard her say, “She’s a medium size dog” a jillion times, however, without thought LP said, “She’s getting bigger.” No doubt based on Ryan and my comments on how Hailey has been gaining weight lately.

Per our doctor’s visit, Lauren now weighs 24 lbs. 8 oz (8%) and was 35 inches tall (down to only 31% – we knew it was inevitable). To see a few pictures from our monthly photo shoot, click here.


Playgroup Secrets Revealed…Finally!

Each month Lauren and I attend a playgroup. We have done this since LP was 5 months old and first sitting up by herself. Pretty much each time it is the same. Lauren finds some fun toy to play with or new book to read and insists that I join in, never letting me get out of arms’ reach. What can I say, we are good playmates. However, there is usually very little interaction with the other kids, moms, or the teachers on her part. She’s young. I realize that at this age there is not much mutual play between kids, more just playing next to each other. However, Lauren would be content if we were the only two people on the whole room. I feel it’s important for me to provide her the opportunity to play without Mommy. I also know that it’s going to be much harder on me to know she’s out there in the world, experiencing things for the first time, without me…and that I’m just going to have to get use to it. So these past two months during playgroup, I’ve been attending the parents’ session in the room down the hall. She’s been perfectly content, to most of the teachers’ surprise. Miss Carol, the educator that comes to our house every month, was not surprised as she knows how well Lauren responds to just being talked to about a situation. We talked about it a couple of days before hand, she knew what to expect, and had a great time. I, on the other hand, was a basket case. I sat in this room of moms, trying to focus on what was being said, but all the time thinking about what she was doing and if she was okay without Mommy by her side. I’m making peace with the idea now knowing that, of course, she was fine. But what made that very first time even more difficult for me was Lauren refused to tell me what she did. It killed me! It was bad enough I wasn’t there with her but then to be punished by keeping it a secret was almost enough for me to not leave again. But, I did again today and this time she shared!

After today’s playgroup…

Mommy: “What did you do today?”
Lauren: “I read books with a teacher.”
Mommy: “What did you read?”
Lauren: “Lots of cool books.”
Mommy: “Did you have fun?”
Lauren: “Yeah, there was the hardest book, a really, really hard book. Really, really tall. It had a lot of pages, too many pages. I didn’t read all of that one.”
Mommy: “Did you play with any kids?”
Lauren: “No, next time I’ll do that. Sometimes I play with boys and girls, sometimes I play with teachers. Next time I’ll play with baby dolls too. They were all asleep this time. All covered up in bed, except one that a boy had in a shopping cart. They went to Wal-Mart and bought Mommy-food like cereal, and baby-food, and boy-food like lunchables, and stuff like that.”

It looks like we are both growing up! One of us, way too fast…and me, just not fast enough.


A Day in the Life

A few of our conversations with Lauren this weekend:

Lauren: “Mommy, will you look at these white trees!” as she pointed to some Bradford Pears in bloom.
Mommy: “I know. Aren’t they pretty?!”
Lauren: “No, they are kind of strange.”

If you’re around Lauren for any amount of time, you know that one current favorite phrase is, “…when Lauren gets older.” As in:  “Lauren will like lettuce and bell peppers when she’s older” or “Lauren will go to school when she’s older.”
However, this weekend she broke the chain. While picking out a DVD rental, Lauren eyed The Incredibles playing. We stopped to watch while Ryan paid but we didn’t get to see as much as Lauren wanted. As we walked out of the store, Lauren pointed to herself and announced, “We watch the rest of that movie when Lauren is THIS age.”

Lauren was drinking water from a cup while in the bath (the tub is the prefect place to drink without a lid or straw) and she began to choke a little after taking too big of a gulp.
Daddy: “Did it go down the wrong way?”
Lauren: As she pointed to the right side of her neck, “Yes, it went down this side…” then she pointed to the left side, “…not this side.”

As you can tell from a lot of Lauren’s quotes, she talks in third person. Ryan and I take full responsibility for this as we started doing it ourselves when LP was little so she could learn our names, Mommy & Daddy. It’s now a terrible habit for all of us and we are working hard to try to break it. It’s really been difficult, however. We are now constantly correcting ourselves (not LP) to provide good examples of grammatically correct language in hopes Lauren will catch on and also praise her when she uses “I” or “me”. Apparently, we are making an impact.
Mommy: “Do you want any more milk?”
Lauren: “Yep.”
Mommy: “Drink what you want so I can put the rest in the frig.”
Lauren: “Mommy said I. Good job, Mommy. I’m so proud of you!”

Each day, everyday, we laugh at and with Lauren.  She loves to talk and loves to make us laugh.  If she says something funny, she will repeat it over and over again.  Each word is a window into that little mind and I can’t wait to see what comes out next!!