Reflecting on my girl

With the birth of baby boy just 10 weeks (or so) away, I’ve been thinking about Ava a lot lately, specifically how fast she seems to be growing up. So I thought I’d take some time to reflect on my girl and where she’s at in this journey called life (and print it out for her baby book too).

Ava is 26 months old (2 years and 2 months for those of you mathematically-challenged) and fiercely independent. She loves to do or try to do things on her own, but has learned to ask for help when she needs it instead of just getting frustrated (though that still happens on occasion too). 😉

Her vocabulary is amazing. Some of the noteworthy things she’s been saying lately are:
–“What you saying, mama/dada?” – when she doesn’t hear or understand what we’re telling her.
–“Why?” – Said for the first time a few days ago. I’m hoping I won’t hear that one again for a little while longer since I know it will soon become a favorite word. 😉
–“I love you, mommy/dada/baby brother.” (Said unsolicited) – Melts my heart every time.
–“I need _______.” Insert pretty much anything in here, from “…to eat,” “…chocolate” – she’s her mother’s daughter, “…to watch my favorite songs” – referring to the Laurie Berkner music DVD grandma bought her, “…to go outside,” etc. The girl has “needs,” not just wants. 😉
–She sometimes calls us *her* mama or *her* dada, like “What are you eating, my dada?” “What are you doing, my mama?”
–“I missed you, mommy/dada.” – After she’s been away from us for a little while. Sometimes she says it to me after she’s napped even. So sweet. 🙂
–“Dangit.” – Her favorite expletive at present. Hey, it could be worse, right? 😉
–She’s started using pronouns (he, she, me, you, her, him) on a regular basis.
–She also knows “Mommy’s name is Amy.” “Daddy is Jody.” and “Mommy is a woman.” “Daddy is a man.” “Ava is a little girl.”
–And she says some pretty cute things. Like the other day when we were driving around and she saw a doggy out of the car window, she said, “Get in my arms, doggy. I want to hold you.” 🙂
–She’s also pretty wise. First, some background info: Whenever Ava gets particularly frustrated, we’ve encouraged her to go hit a pillow rather than throw toys, hit, etc. So the other night Jody was trying to do something and expressed some frustration and she said, “What happened, my dada?” And I told her that daddy was frustrated. And she said, “You need to go hit the pillow.” Dada went and hit the pillow and felt much better. 🙂

We seem to be in the initial stages of potty learning. She woke up with a dry diaper two weekends ago so I encouraged her to sit on the potty. She sat on it until a little pee came out, then stood up excitedly and stopped peeing, saying “Yay, Ava!” So after we made a big deal out of that (and I was quite sure her bladder was still full), I asked if she wanted to try sitting on the potty again, which she did and promptly filled up with the remaining pee. Again, we praised her a lot. Since then she’s also pooped (on about 10 separate occasions) and peed several other times on the potty. After the first poop, she praised herself by saying “Yay Ava,” and then asked me “What happened to my butt?” Hehe. So I explained that the poop came out, etc. Anyway, I’m hoping to give her more opportunities to sit on the potty (i.e. let her run around with a naked butt during the day) and if it happens and she stays interested, great! We’ll continue to praise her like crazy. 🙂 If not, we’ll try again when she’s ready. I admit the idea of having her out of diapers by the time baby brother comes is wonderful, but I’m not going to push her if she’s not ready. So far though, whenever she’s having naked time, she knows when she has to go potty and runs over and goes all on her own!

She’s definitely a caretaker and loves her many babies (all of whom she lovingly calls “Baby Trajan” after our friend’s baby of the same name). She can be very attentive to our needs, and always asks “What happened, mama/dada?” when she knows something is bothering us. She has also started rubbing my back lately when it is sore, then asks, “Is it all better now?” 🙂

She has a great imagination and it’s such fun just to observe her playing. She has even pretended a clothes hanger was a mommy and the pants part of it that hung on it was the baby.

Ava loves to read – both on her own, flipping through the pages alone or having someone read to her. She will often pull out all of her books in a particular room and sit on the floor with them surrounding her as she “reads.” She’s always asking daddy for “one more book” at bedtime.

Waking up beside Ava in the morning is a wonderful way to start my day. She rolls over, puts her arm around my neck and says “Hi, mommy. I love you.” Then we generally cuddle, give hugs and kisses, and talk for 10-15 minutes before getting up to start our day. I’m going to miss that special time with her in a few more months (although, who knows, maybe it will still work out like that). We are in the process of trying to find an inexpensive twin bed to put next to ours so that Ava can sleep there and we can have room for baby brother in the big bed. We had a lead on a great one last weekend, but the lady sold it out from under us. **grumble, grumble**

My nursing relationship with Ava continues. It has it’s ups and downs (as you can imagine nursing while pregnant), but so far the positives have outweighed the negatives. I will write more about nursing while pregnant (the good and the bad) another time. I’m thankful I’ve been able to give Ava this gift of mama’s milk for this long (even though my milk dried up earlier in my pregnancy). I know she and I have both received tremendous benefits from it.

The picture above was taken at Aunt Carrie’s house a couple weeks ago after Ava discovered Aunt Carrie’s dress-up garb. LOL

11 thoughts on “Reflecting on my girl”

  1. What a sweet and special relationship you have with your beloved daughter. 🙂
    Does your family all co-sleep together or does Ava sleep in her own room? It sounds like, by your post, that you co-sleep. It is a good idea to train Ava to sleep on a nearby bed before the new baby comes, since his arrival is going to turn the sleeping routine upside down anyway. Let us know how the bed hunt and getting her used to it goes… 🙂

  2. She’s such a special little girl.

    This is fantastic for you to write all this down and record this for future. It is amazing home much you forget when you have two, and the time just flies, and you forget who did what at what age etc.

    This will make you smile for years to come when you look back and remember. 🙂

  3. Wow, what a wonderful post!! I loved reading all about AVa!! She is getting to be such a big girl!

    Interesting that your milk dried up and yet she continues to nurse…where as mine never did and Ewan weaned.

  4. Very sweet!!! Ava is lucky to have you as her mommy and your next baby is just as fortunate, Amy. Nice post.

    I’ll be interested in your comments about the nursing situation as well.

    Thank you, by the way, for your nice, comforting comments about my friend!

  5. Oh my gosh, this was so very sweet. I loved the comment about the “dog, get in my arms” and “what happened to my butt?”! I can’t wait for these types of comments from Kaia.
    I’m so proud of you for nursing while pregnant and nursing your toddler. You are right…this is a gift to both of you.
    Enjoy these last weeks. Soon, your arms will be full of even more love. How exciting!

  6. Thank you all for the heart-felt comments. 🙂 She is such a special girl to me. 🙂

    Amy – You asked – “Does your family all co-sleep together or does Ava sleep in her own room?” Our sleeping situation has evolved a lot over the past two years. Ava started out in a cosleeper next to our bed, eventually moving into bed with us around 4 months. We felt too cramped at that point and Jody moved out for a while into an extra bedroom. Then we put two queen beds across the floor in our room, making a huge bed and we all slept there for a while. Then we got a king-sized bed, thinking there’d be enough room for all of us. So we all slept that way for a while, until Jody felt too cramped again (probably partially due to the fact that my belly is expanding) and moved back out. With the addition of the twin bed, I’m hoping we can all be in the same bedroom again. We’ve got another bed tracked down so hopefully this one will work out! 🙂
    Anyway, all of that to say yes, I’m cosleeping with Ava.

    Maggie – I agree. It’s a mystery why some kids decide to wean and others don’t.

    Kleo – I don’t know when I’ll get around to writing about our nursing relationship, but hopefully in the next few weeks. Life is so busy these days.

    Leigh – It’s so much fun once they start talking! 🙂 You will love it!

  7. Okay, first of all, I wanted to cry when first reading this. It’s fun to remember how they grow and the ways that they do. Makes me miss my little Seren, now that she’s approaching my little big girl. *sigh*

    Secondly, I love the way you say potty learning. I’ve never liked the phrase “potty training” but for lack of a better term, I’ve used it. I think if there is ever another little one, I’ll be using the “potty learning” instead. I’ll try to remember to give you credit. 😉

    Finally….I, too, often wonder what happened to my butt. (After that special visit to the bathroom. I know what happened to it otherwise, it grew! Ok, I digress.) That was the funniest thing I’ve ever heard!!!! 🙂

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