Saturday, May 01, 2004

Another update on the girls

Last night I was putting Anna Laura to bed and I was going through all the animals I could as fast as I could and she was telling me what they said, like moo and oink and quack. When I ran out of animals I started with things like cars, which go beep and then a school bus to which she replied, ?School bus goes beep, too.?

Whenever we pick up Anna Laura for bed she has to say good night to everything she passes. Last night, we stood in her sister?s room where she said, ?Nighty Night Alexandria? when her sister, for the first time I have ever seen her do it, waved back. Even after we were gone she kept waving.

Anna Laura really knows her animals and, really almost anything you can point at, but she still has a little trouble with colors. Last night I was running through all the food I could think of asking her to tell me the color. Bananas were yellow, Peas were green, but what color is an Orange? Blue.

Granted, Anna Laura will say about anything you ask her to say, but I have to say ? once again ? that Baby Einstein is great. Yesterday morning, I was frying up an egg for Anna Laura when a map of the solar system came on the screen showing the relative orbits of the planets when she said, ?planets.? She went on to impress me with Earth and Galaxy.

Last night, a bear walked through the yard and turned over our empty trash can. He was just waltzing through, but because we had about 2 inches of snow on the ground we could follow his path very plainly.

We keep a laptop in the kitchen that lets us chat, check email and Google from downstairs. One day, Kyndall heard a funny sound and looked up to see Anna Laura sitting on the floor crying. When I got home, Anna Laura told me she had put the power cord ? specifically the end of it ? on her tongue. I can only assume that Kyndall had witnessed what happened after she had done that, but Anna Laura didn?t mention the shock.

Out hot tub has been a lot of fun this winter. I am bad at remembering to check the chemicals. When I do Anna Laura mocks, ?Daddy?s out checking the hot tub.? Sometimes I will just be standing there and she will remind me to go check the hot tub chemicals. She?s like an alarm clock.

Like any child, Anna Laura loves for us to read to her. Even though she hasn?t started reading the book back to us she is happy to take the time to point out all the pictures on the page. And, oh man this is true, she knows when you try to skip a page.

I am happy that Anna Laura has started singing. She has sung for a while, but in her way was that she did not know any songs. Her mother?s day out preschool class has taught her Jesus Loves Me and, probably Baby Einstein, has taught her ABC song. Those are the most common, along with Twinkle Twinkle and the Itsy Bitsy Spider ? to which she also does the hand motions.

Alexandria can crawl, at last, even though she is a little head of her sister ? it was hard for her to ?play? with Anna Laura when all she could do was roll. She?s still commando style when she crawls, but doesn?t get anywhere when Anna Laura tries to ride her like a horse.

For the most part, Anna Laura prefers to do the praying when we put her to bed. It used to be that we would ask her who to pray for, but now she insists on volunteering the subject and the execution. Lately, she?s really wanted to pray for inanimate things like Winnie the Pooh and sometimes her pillow. We?ve started to steer her back to real life.

Anna Laura is possibly the most courteous 20 month old out there. Please was the first thing she mastered and Thank You was the next. Now, one of the funnier things is ? let?s say you are a room or two away and sneeze; Anna Laura will yell from the other room, ?God Bless You, Daddy!? She will also do it if you cough and, humorously, when she coughs, too.

Grammatically, Anna Laura?s sentences are improving and filling out. She uses Articles the way they should and occasionally throws in a conjunction, especially And. When we offer to help we often say, ?Daddy will help you, Anna Laura.? That prompted her to start to say, ?Daddy help you?? Which about a week ago she started to correct to, ?Daddy help me??

Kyndall sits up in Alexandria?s room a lot and had me put in a bird feeder to make the window that much more interesting. The other day she told Anna Laura to look at the bird and instead of walking over to the window ? which would have made it impossible to see because she is too short ? she walked backwards away from the window to bring the bird into view.

Alexandria has the consonant D and M down pat. Occasionally there are a few other sounds, but those are her fortes. Kyndall swears that she was holding her in the rubber ducky bathroom and she said, ?Dah, Dah, Dah? as if she knew she should say ?duck? but couldn?t get it out. If she is starting to push out her first word, she is very much ahead of Anna Laura, who I consider to be a very early talker.

We switched out Alexandria?s car seat today from her newborn style to the Marathon style that is the same as her sister?s. Since she is only 8 months old she can?t face forward yet, and the new seat dwarfs her, but at least her feet don?t hang out the edge anymore. No question, the Marathon is the best child seat made by man.

Kyndall brought home from a garage sale, the classic toy car (red/yellow) for Anna Laura to play with on the deck when she goes out, and for Alexandria she got one of those wire toys common in doctor?s offices ? also, surprisingly, available in the waiting area of the Springfield, MO international airport.

Alexandria can crawl to places she shouldn?t just a little faster than you can casually walk from one side of the room to the other. She?s way smart enough to know what she should not touch because as she approaches it she goes into stealth mode ? not making her usual goo goo gah gah ? and when you call her name to catch her she acts as if you snuck up behind her and scared the diaper off her.

We have a camera instead of the normal baby monitor ? although we have a normal monitor, too ? and it can see in the dark by the aid of small infrared lights that make a small red glow. As a result, when we look at Anna Laura if she is awake at all she is usually staring at the only light in her room, the infrared lights on the camera. And because her pupils are dilated by the dark, her red eye is sinister.

Alexandria prefers to sleep on her stomach, the same as her sister and the same as her dad. Sometimes Kyndall will go in to get her and Alexandria is on her stomach asleep with her binky smashed into her nose. By this age, Anna Laura had given up the pacifier, so it is a matter of time for Alexandria to as the ones we provide for her are small and she will ultimately outgrow them.

We took the girls to see Clifford the Big Red Dog today; it was each of their first movie. Both the girls did amazingly well, even though we left about 15 minutes early. Alexandria sat in her old car seat and Anna Laura got a booster chair. It was a cute movie, and even having not seen the end, I bet I could tell you how it turns out.

Anna Laura will eat just about anything. She has an additional two or three teeth now (totaling seven) which doesn?t help all that much because the new ones don?t line up which each other. The only thing that keeps her from eating some foods is the tooth situation, but meat, vegetables, fruit or bread ? she?s a breeze at the restaurant to much on real food.

Brushing Anna Laura?s teeth at night is fun. She has a pretty good sense of what it means to take turns. She want to do all the brushing, so I let her smash it around in her mouth then proclaim, ?Daddy?s turn,? at which she hands me the brush and opens her mouth willingly.

Alexandria?s eyes are still very light blue. Her hair is lighter than her sister?s and her skin in fairer. When she gets excited she really gets her head bobbing to laugh. She?s a very happy baby and handy, too, because sharing our time with her causes her to learn to play alone and be happy doing it ? which she does.

You know those battery operated dogs that bark, wag their tails and flip over backwards? We have one of those, although somewhat broken, that both the girls really love. Kyndall asked what the puppy?s name was to Anna Laura, to which she pensively replied, ?Colorado.? Colorado is a fun little toy.

Anna Laura is becoming very good at small talk, thanks to her mother?s training. Ask her her age and she will say ?one.? Ask her her name and she will say ?Anna Laura Nixon.? Ask her where she lives and she will say ?Colorado.?

To keep the confusion Kyndall has put a star on the sippy cups for Anna Laura and a heart on the sippy cups for Alexandria. I was amazed when I saw Anna Laura pick up and use this, identifying a sippy cup she picks up tot use as Alexandria?s and puts it down without using it.

They say Einstein did not talk until he was 4. I am so happy that Anna Laura did not wait until she was 4 to start talking. For one, I also know Einstein failed math, and I don?t want Anna Laura to fail math.

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