Friday, January 21, 2011

Gabriela 21 Months

Dear Gabriela,

Seriously kid, the cuteness is killing me. As is the toddler orneriness! The last three months have been a bit of a blur as we settled into a routine with Lilian part of our days too now. We've managed to, well, manage and have gotten quite comfortable as a little family of four. And you, our little entertainer, kisser, and get-into-everything-er, have kept us on our toes and made the days an awful lot of fun!

You are a smart cookie. And I have yet to decide if that is a blessing or a curse. You observe everything - very closely. And you learn way too fast for our liking sometimes! You are constantly trying to figure out how things work and if you watch someone do something once, you remember it and we'll find you doing it yourself some time later. Whether it's plugging my camera into the USB port on the computer, starting the DVD player, operating my breast pump, using power tools (thankfully they were unplugged at the time!), pulling out the child safety covers and plugging things into outlets (we're hoping you don't combine that with the power tools thing before we catch you...), or running on the blender, there isn't much that gets past you. It's a bit difficult to let you out of our sight for very long. Not because you're a troublemaker, it's just that you're too inquisitive for your own safety right now!

You continue to be my big helper and love your baby sister to no end. The very first words out of your mouth each morning and after your naps are still, "nenê, nenê" as you take off through the house looking for Lilian. Anytime someone smiles or speaks to you when we're out, the first thing you do is point at you sister and say, "nenê, nenê" to make sure they acknowledge her too. If she cries you find her pacifier and bring it to her. You constantly share your toys with her and quite often attempt to offer her your snacks and drinks (no matter how many times I remind you she can't have real people food yet!) Anything I need for the baby - burp rag, clean diaper, wipes, clothes, bottle, pacifier, ANYTHING - you will find and bring to me, often even before I ask! And lately, anytime we remove her diaper or undress her, you insist that I take Lilian potty. You love it when she goes and often applaud her efforts. You are so proud of Lilian and never display even the slightest bit of jealousy.

The toddler finickiness with food continues. About the only thing I can count on you consuming consistently each day is milk. You love, love, love your milk and ask for it constantly throughout the day. I limit you to 30 ounces, but I'm pretty sure you'd drink a half gallon a day if I let you! Water is the other thing that gets you ridiculously excited. You'll yell out "água, água, água" repeatedly until someone acknowledges your request. Then as you're handed your drink, you get a huge grin on your face and say contentedly, "Aaaaaaahguaaaaa". You eat tons of different foods; I just never can guess what you're going to like on any given day. Or how much. Sometimes you eat like a pro football player. Other days I swear the only calories you're consuming are from your milk. I figure it's pretty much the status quo for your age though, so we never get too concerned on the food-front.

I should mention that you got your first taste of sweets over the holidays. You had a sucker at Halloween which was your first piece of candy. But at Christmas your Momo, with whom you decided you should stay close to at all times, was regularly handing you cookies and chocolates. We caught her most of the time, but you did sneak off with some of the good stuff without us noticing. (And we might not have known if it weren't for the crumbs on your shirt or chocolate on your face.) You also asked for ice cream for the first time while we were in Florida - so we gave you a few bites of ours and, as expected, you loved it! Some things you just don't like sweet though. I gave you some of my sweetened vanilla yogurt with your Grape-Nuts since I was all out of your plain stuff the other day - you hated it and handed me the bowl right back with a disgusted look on your face!

On the vocabulary-front, you've added "I love you" to your sign repertoire. Your new words the last three months have included, água (water), uh-oh (which you picked up from your cousin Hannah and quickly became a favorite), ah-gee (for ajuda/help), Papa (which you have used for both Grandpa and Papa), and Pa-pai (always whispered, unlike Ma-Ma which is always yelled). You are jabbering all the time now and try to repeat things we ask you to try saying. Most of what you say seems pretty random and unintelligible to us still. You do have about three different sentences you use quite regularly though - I just have no idea what they mean! They're rather long phrases and you say them the exact same way each time and with a lot of conviction, so I know you're trying to purposely communicate. Besides Portuguese, which you understand pretty much 100% of what we tell you/ask you to do, you're understanding a lot more English now after spending so much time with family over the holidays. It's a lot of fun to watch your language develop!

It has been fun watching you play with other kids. Unlike most toddlers your age who seem to want to parallel play, you always at least try to play with the other kids first. You love to give toys to others, but you're a little confused when they don't give you something in exchange or hand back whatever you just gave them. Your sharing isn't exactly self-less at this stage! :) You had a total blast playing with your cousins in Florida and spent hours playing 'beauty shop' with Hannah. Your newest obsession at home now is playing dress-up. You spend much of your day in other people's shoes, putting on hats, and coming up with interesting outfits (like the day I got you up from your nap and found you shirtless but still wearing your jeans...along with a swimsuit cover-up skirt.)

You are active, active, active and people are always commenting on how you never seem to wear-out. You go pretty much nonstop except for when we put you down for your naps (still 2 a day, each about 1 1/2 hours) and for bed at night. You love music and dancing and have recently started to put your head on the floor and flip yourself over. I'm thinking dance or gymnastics classes are in your very near future!

You keep getting taller and taller, but aren't putting on a lot of pounds. You are 33.5 inches tall now (75th percentile) and 23 pounds (15th percentile). 24 month/2T clothes fit you best (although usually a bit large in the waist) and you wear a size 5 shoe.

As you near the 2-year mark, you are definitely getting a little stronger-willed and a bit sneaky, but you generally mind pretty well. I am still waiting for your first official melt-down or I'm sure it's eminent! You tend to ask for help long before you ever get frustrated, which is a nice trait (although one I'm sure you didn't get from me.) 95% of the day you are happy and smiling and just a ton of fun. And even in the 5% when you get pouty or randomly cry for seemingly no reason, you're still pitifully cute!

Eu te amo, minha filha!


Jenna Grover said...

she is such a beautiful little girl! hopefully we can see you all sometime soon or at least this summer once our babe is here too!

Tony said...

I read this to your Mom last night and showed her all the pictures. She just kept saying what a pretty little girl Gabriela is. Thanks for sharing.


Fabibi said...

It´s amazing how Gabs looks like her mamãe!
Beautiful beautiful beautiful!