Friday, September 24, 2010

Elyana - 20 Months!

Our little girl isn't so little anymore! She has such a personality! She is so cute, so funny, so personable! Really, I always have held fast that the newborn stage has been my very "favorite" (if pressed to name one), but this one is awfully close (my sister Karen warned me that between 18-24 months, as a personality would develop, it would be a heart-stealing time!).

Elyana is such a talker! I just stopped counting when she reached over 100 regularly usable words in her vocabulary. She had 40 at 17 months, 60 at 18 months, and surpassed 100 lately. She has such good pronunciation as well. She can't say her r's very well, but we find that adorable. Other words she pronounces with such precision are: honey, waffle, bed, mess, cheese, eat, tunnel, bath, potty, belly, to name a few. She also identifies some items by their sound instead of their name: "Meow" for cat, "Neigh-Neigh" for Horse.

A few months back, when she would be upset about something (like us telling her it was time to stop playing, or she couldn't have more sweets, or she had to share), we would tell her "Show Momma/Daddy Happy Face" and she'd say "Happy" (even with a sad/pitiful voice at times - oh she was trying!). She'd often say it through her tears/fussiness. But she always said it! It was so nice to know she was trying to please us and obey! Soon after she got that (18 mos), we started to tell her in addition to that, "Now show me your Cheerful Heart." And she'd pat her heart and say, "Hawt." Melt us to pieces!

I remember my sister Karen calling me when Elyana was 17/18 months, and I told her I felt like it was hard to enjoy this age, because I had to be constantly on top of things and watching and correcting her. She had hit people occasionally, she fussed a lot when her will was crossed, she would say "Mommy!" and demand I do everything for her instead of anyone else do it (basically, learning to boss me around to dress her, swing her, walk with her, etc). We always wanted to be watchful for attitudes and let her know she is not the "boss" of us, but at the same time we know we have to understand children do think they're the center of the universe (and their needs definitely come first), but it's a long road teaching them otherwise, and it must be done in accordance with their understanding.

Now, though? It feels like it's so easy! Yes, there are hard times, when she seems to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and nothing will please her (she asks for her sandwich to be cut, then fusses that it's cut, she wants help with her drink, then fusses because of how I helped.... that kind of thing!). But those are by far the exception! Mostly, she is so obedient and we've been in this honeymoon stage since leaving Georgia. We use the word "Obey" and she will do what we ask (it's a little like magic, she knows that word/command is not to be disregarded). Sharing, she understands and obeys with the happiest attitude. We do work on immediate obedience, but even with that she's been mostly good.

Leaving Georgia, when she played with her friends, I had to be very on top of telling her "Share" and signing it for her, and usually it was more of an act I had to help her with and tell her to be happy about. Now? She sees someone try to use something she likes (a slide, a toy, a book) and she'll look at me, and sign and say "Shaaaaaaa-uh" (remember, no r's!). She doesn't grab her toys away, or look upset or mad that someone is taking her toy. She will still sign and say words that there are more emphasis on, which I find adorable! When we left Georgia, I would just mention her friends' names, and she'd say "Noooooo" and then tell me "Share" and add in another "Nooo." She was telling me she didn't like sharing with them! I am so pleased with her growth in this area.

Elyana can really carry a tune. She gets on kicks and wants us to sing these songs over and over and over... And now, these past few weeks, she is singing recognizable tunes. Her words aren't as easily recognizable, but you can pick them out. She can sing the tunes to "Twinkle Twinkle", "Mary had a little Lamb", "BaBa Black Sheep", "Grandpa's Farm", "Jesus Loves Me", and "Skip to My Lou" to name a few.

When we got here, she would fuss some when I went to workout for an hour a day and left her with Jonathan. Now? She'll say goodbye, and happily play with him. Sweet success! She understands that I go away, and return.

Jonathan's taught her to hold her hand over her heart when the national anthem plays at 4:30 on base, and she loves it! She loves listening to and watching the airplanes fly overhead. She loves watching the tractors work. She loves chase, picnics, the park, chalk, coloring (finally!), BOOKS (always has, we took at least 20 books in our little Civic for the trip out here, and spent an hour at the library each week getting 5-10 new books!!!), swinging, sliding, sand... She tells me she wants to go Shop, or she says "Coffee" (I take her to the base coffee shop). :) She loves playing on the inside play equipment at the base's Kidsport. She will walk and look at me and say "Hi Buddy!" (I tell her she's my little buddy.) She likes almost anything I like. :) She will also ask to watch tv with Jonathan and ask for "Chase Ball" (football) and "Hunting Deeew (deer)."

The church we chose here has an hour and 15 minute service, and Elyana will sit quietly through the whole thing (no childcare there anyway). She colors, reads, sings some, and says "amen" a lot. She also will say "Bib-uh" for Bible when we have morning devotions as a family. She reminds us often to pray before our meal by folding her hands and saying "Pway"?

We have always made sure she didn't just get a paci "whenever." But it was very subjective. As a child gets older, it's not fair to them to do things based on the parents' whim. So we trained her that when she asks for paci, we ask, "When do you get paci?" and she'll say "Ni-Night.... Ca-Ride" (bed and car rides). It's a rule she understands and there's just no arguing with it. Sometimes she'll fuss unhappily, but 99% of the time, she will tell us the rule, and stop asking. She is capable of so much understanding, we constantly find we have to really not underestimate her!

We have loved her growing personality, vocabulary, character. She has definitely developed quite a memory, and constantly surprises us with recalling things from months ago (like where she heard a song, or something). It's as if she couldn't tell us before, but her mind was working, storing these things away, and now she can recall with amazing correctness.

This is long, but there is so much to document! We lovelovelove our little Sweet Georgia Peach!!!


Catherine said...

She is so precious! I hate that y'all are so far away, but I know God has something great in store for you out there. And I think they should change football's name to "chase ball". It makes more sense. ;)

Catherine said...

Hey, Denise! I really hope I'll be able to see you and Jonathan and Elyana next weekend. She is growing up so fast!