Tag Archives: toddler

Rachel’s two!

Today was Rachel’s birthday. She got some very fun gifts and some cute outfits. Best of all, I let her eat all kinds of treats–chocolate cookies, chocolate chips, peanut butter cups . . . even two tiny handfuls of straight sugar tat I couldn’t wrest away from her after she ripped open a ten-pound sack. She was pretty thrilled (even if she decided to use her special birthday dinner [pizza] as lotion).

I needed to follow up that mother of the year act with something even awesomer, so I shot for the elusive highly-breakable-and-zero-fun-to-play-with gift category.

The winner? A piggy bank. I was hoping to find a purple one for her (I consider it “her” color, and Rebecca already has a pink piggy bank), but all I found was an interesting alternative:

Did she like it?

Um, yes. (Okay, really she’s trying to peer into the slot.)

It seemed like the older kids were most excited about Rachel’s birthday. Hayden and I were talking when he abruptly announced, “I’m gonna go give Rachel a double hug, because I love her so much–and she’s two years old!

Rebecca even composed a song for her sister: “Oh, Wachew, I’m so g’ad you came into our famiwy. Today’s you biwtday. Today’s you SPECIAW! DAY! I awways wanted a sistay wike you!

Rachel loves songs. She wasn’t singing when I snapped this, but this is how she sings (note her hand positions, especially her left) (and imagine a small child singing as loud and low as she can).

Rachel isn’t the only one growing up. Hayden finished kindergarten last week. Yesterday, he announced, “I’m a first grader now.”

“I know!” I said. “That’s crazy.”

[Biggest grin all day] “It’s not crazy! It’s fun!” [pause] “It’s funner than fun.”

Yes. Yes, it is.

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Taking it literally

This morning, Rachel didn’t get up until right before we left to take Hayden to school. I dressed her quickly, but she made it clear she wanted breakfast, too, when she brought a box of Trix over to me.

I promised her she’d be able to eat when we got home. That wasn’t enough, so I assured her, “Okay, you can have some cereal in your stroller.”

I meant on the way to school, in the stroller’s tray.

But she took me literally.

In case you can’t tell; it’s a ton. It’s a whole box.

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Evolution works! (Or: Five reasons why babies are cute)

A flashback from three years ago when Rebecca was a baby.

I’m not really going to get into a theory of evolution debate here—really, the more appropriate headline would be “Natural selection works.” I totally believe that and I see evidence of it in my everyday life (“natural selection” is just a lot longer than “evolution”).

franklin-family-045crop
Genetics at work: my mother and my daughter

As a mother of very young children, I can tell you exactly how demanding and frustrating babies and toddlers can be—but I’ve come to believe that a babies’ cuteness is, in fact, an inherited defense mechanism against some of their most motherly-frustration-inducing behaviors. My evidence:

  1. Cuddling: Although waking me for the eighth time in six hours is decidedly not a good way into my good graces, a quiet, sweet, snuggling baby is pretty tough to stay angry at.
  2. Gurgling giggles: It’s five AM and the infant thinks it’s time to get up for the day. But before I can burst into tears, she sees my face and wham—instant gales of excited laughter. Even if I’m not quite as happy to see her at that hour, it’s hard not to forgive her when she’s just so happy to see me.
  3. Nap time: When I reach my wits’ end, I know it’s time for a nap (for me and/or the kids 😉 ). This can be a double whammy, especially if the baby or toddler is obviously tired but still averse to said nap, and spends half an hour screaming—because when they finally succumb to the much-needed sleep, it’s all the sweeter to peek in on the peacefully slumbering angel (and pray it lasts!).
  4. Baby talk: Sure, you can argue their articulatory muscles aren’t fully developed enough to appreciate the nuances of the lateral approximate, but let’s face it: somewhere in his DNA, my son knows that “I yub you!” melts even an annoyed heart faster than plain old “I love you.”
  5. Stoic tears: Okay, this one might not be entirely genetic, but who wouldn’t forgive a tantrum from tiny child who bravely insists that he must wipe his own tears?

What other naturally cute behaviors have you seen that totally take the wind out of your frustration?

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Singing!

Rachel has really taken to Nursery at church. Although she’s still just learning to talk, suddenly she has a whole new kind of vocabulary: songs.

Although she only knows one word of each song (okay, two words for three songs), she knows all of the actions.

This first one I didn’t realize what song she was doing at first until she added the little toss of her hands at the end. It was the “Bee!” that confirmed it:

Her other two favorites from Nursery are another “Bee!” song (“Itsy Bitsy Spider”) and “Dow!” (“Ring Around the Rosy”).

This reminds me of a dinnertime last fall, when Rebecca was talking about a song from her Nursery about an octopus. We don’t know any octopus songs, but Ryan jumped right in to adapt “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes”: “Head, arm, arm, arm, arm, arm, arm, arm, arm . . . .”

“Mouth and beak,” I finished.

Rebecca was not amused. She gave us a very three-year-old glower. “You awe des makin my Desus [Jesus] song siwwy.”

We (okay, it’s just me) are trying to make sure their cultural education is broad in the classics. Witness exhibit 1 (it’s long and mostly sideways):

And exhibit 2, just Rachel:

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Funny girl

Rachel is in a really cute phase. If you hold out your arms to her, she runs to you. Her sense of humor is really developing; she teases and giggles and laughs at the drop of a hat. And she loves to dance!

My mom made the purple tiger (okay, I see that they’re zebra now) pants. She’s got some great pajama pants tips!

On the off chance you’re wondering, she’s growing. She turned 19 months last Thursday, and she visited the doctor recently and she’s 22+ lbs and 30+ inches. She seems even bigger to me!

We were worried about her language at her 15 month appointment, when she didn’t even say “Mama” or “Dada.” The doctor said to wait until 18 months to see if she started talking. And she did! She has about 15 words now, including [always whispered] “titititi” (tickle), “h’ow” (hello), “buhbuh” (bubble), and “deydis” (there it is).

And best of all, she picked up another word in the middle of her exam. Hayden tried to take the toy she was playing with and Rachel declared, “MY!”

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Rachel Banana

Rachel loves to wiggle and shake. The other day I watched her waggling her head all around. “I love your dancing,” I told her.

She smiled, and either blew me a kiss—or signed thank you.


Rachel’s middle name is Diana; she’s named after my mother. Growing up, my mother had a nickname she absolutely hated: Banana Cake. (I only tell you this in the strictest confidence. Do NOT use this against my mother.)

Rachel doesn’t really talk. For a couple days, she said “Out” a lot. She has managed to hold onto “Uh ohs!” whenever she sees something on the ground. But her signs are really picking up. She’s gotten really good at Thank you, and also learned please, apple, baby and:

Rachel, banana.

I also love how she signs music:

The “official signs”: banana, music.

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