Monday, February 24, 2014

Before my very eyes

   As excited as I am about our new-to-us house, being first time homeowners, remodeling and decorating, and all that goes with that, it's tough.  The house takes up so much of our time and attention. There was the packing and moving, the house hunting, and now the work.  It's been a huge answer to prayer, don't get me wrong.  I absolutely cannot wait to move in and settle into life here.  But I almost feel like I have missed the past four months of my baby's toddler's life. I try to stay engaged, I try to make sure that when we are together that it's quality time, I try not to just yell at her and her incredibly frustrating toddler tendencies, but it seems like I blinked and all of a sudden she's a little girl, not my squishy-cheeked snuggle baby.  I know that happens with all kids, but I have noticed it more recently.

Silly faces with her favorite Auntie, November 2013
   When she visited grandparents in November while I was recovering from surgery, she was a proficient but unsteady walker.  She said some words, but mostly pointed and babbled.  She would bang toys together and enjoy exploring brightly colored or musical toys, but they were all just sort of random objects. 

Enjoying snow for the first time (she was too little last year!), December 2013
   When we came home for Christmas, she would bear crawl on all fours over the threshold to the addition in my parents' house.  She had started to recognize that her toy dishes could be used for having "tea" with whoever was willing to make the right sound effects.  She enjoyed hiding in the little fabric playhouse that my mom made for her, but didn't get the "house" concept.

My serious little bookworm, February 2014
   Then one day I blinked.  She "reads" books for fun by herself.  And she has definite opinions on which book she does and does not want to read.  She cooks at her play kitchen with appropriate pans and utensils (usually) and feeds her babydoll and stuffed animals (and sometimes the dog, if she doesn't run away fast enough) her imaginary concoctions.  She rocks her baby and takes her for rides in the stroller, careful to put on a jacket before they go.  She takes her dishes into her playhouse, and sometimes a tiny chair, peeking out the window and giggling at us.

Swinging with Daddy, February 2014

   My tiny baby is now pretty good with a fork and spoon, generally choosing the right tool for the job at hand.  She wants her bites in a particular order, asks for her "pup" (AKA "cup") when she needs a drink, and loves to wash her hands and wipe up her messes.  She knows how to throw away trash, put clothes into the dryer, and help unload the dishwasher.  She runs everywhere she goes, can go up and down stairs faster than I can, and knows that a girl isn't dressed without shoes and a bow.  (Not sure where she learned that...)

My funny Valentine, in her first pigtails!

   Sweetest Abby Kate, although some most days we struggle with a clash of wills (yours vs. mine), and some days I think I'm going to leave you to your toddler tantrums and go to Sonic, I am so proud of how you are growing up.  It melts my heart when you say "please" and "thank you," when you blow kisses, and when you add you "amen!" to the end of our prayers. I love it when you sing "Jesus Loves Me" with me, and when you are concerned about other babies crying.  You seem like such a big girl walking into Big Church by yourself and helping us take the dog for a "wop," but even on our tough days, I can peek at you napping and remember that you're still my baby girl.

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