The biggest milestone actually happened around her nineteen month birthday, which we forgot, but we can be forgiven because of all the excitement around this milestone - finally she walked. It seemed to happen almost overnight. Susan was with her in the kitchen and she came to tell me to come watch Isobel who had just done four laps around our kitchen island. And she kept on lapping and lapping. We had tried to practice walking with her and have her hold our hands and she could identify the word "walk" and say it when she wanted to practice. That day or the next one, we went to the park by the beach and she was headed to the sand, so I suggested we walk, and she held my hand and did a great job of walking on the bumpy sand. Then she let go of my hand and kept going. She would teeter over and then pick herself up again over and over. We walked quite a distance and she did not want to stop. Eventually it was time to go home and I had to pick her up and carry her as she did not want to leave. Since then she just got more and more proficient at it and never really looked back. All our anxiety over when and if she would walk is gone. It's so remarkable. We tried so hard to believe that patience would win and it did, but it was also hard to keep the faith with so many anxious naysayers around.
Now that it's summer we are out a lot more, and she really loves to go outside - one of her favorite things to do is to go in her little red and yellow car - which we pictured in my last update. She has started to call it her "hum" or "hummie" and we have no clue why, but as far as we know she does not know what a hummer is and we have never mentioned it. She has had skinned knees from falling over on the sidewalk and she does cry, but also can deal with it with equanimity especially as she learnt to say the word, "scrape". She really picks up words very quickly and it's so cute to hear her saying them. She says "scrape" and "grape" with a real punch on the p and it's so cute. She loves grapes and raisins, which she also calls grapes.
Isobel has definite opinions about things like shoes ( "shoo-eys") and clothes ("on"). Yesterday she asked over and over to put on her new hand me down bathing suit, complete with frilly skirt and pink flower corsage, and I of course complied. It worked out well because we then went out into the sprinkler to play and also to her "water park" which is her water table in the back yard. She has recently discovered the joy of pouring and now likes to pour water all over her mamas - especially over our pants or jeans when we are sitting in the garden watching her play. We are so fortunate that even though we have a grotty basement for an apartment ( complete with A/C thank you very much, so there are some bonuses) we have two enclosed outdoor spaces for Isobel to play in - front and back. And now that she is so mobile and so fast, it's really important to have enclosed spaces when you are near a road - which of course, this is Chicago, so we are. The kinds of things you never even think will happen when you are doing IVF is that one day you will have to teach your daughter about traffic and make sure she holds your hand near the street, crossing the street or the alley. SO many things I never thought of, especially as someone who did not have much experience with babies and toddlers before Isobel came along. And when I say Isobel "came along", I use it in the same way that I could never say I "fell pregnant".
One big change that only happened in the past two weeks is that I am now working full time outside the home. It has been a rude awakening but in many ways it is a superbly ideal situation and I count myself very very lucky. I want to write more in detail about it another time, but suffice to say, this has really solidified and nurtured relationship with Susan to the point that they are so much more connected and sometimes when I come home, even though I get squeals of delight and hugs, I sometimes feel a bit like the outsider. She definitely needs to check in with both of us and make sure she knows where we both are now, whereas previously she did not seek Susan out so much when she was with me. It's really gratifying and equalizing. I often get to experience the joys of the tired, hungry crabby end of the day toddler too. It's not all bad though - waking up with her is full of fun and joy and sunshine. I wish wish wish that I could feel the joy she displays when I wake up. I don't, as I am really not a morning person, but seeing her happiness makes me as joyful as I have ever been in the morning.
Isobel is so much more aware and conscious and tuned in. She notices details that completely pass me by, and loves to play with tiny things - like gravel and sand and rocks at the park - often more so than the playground equipment. She is adept at playing kitchen, whisking her soup vigorously and serving it to Susan and me. Her eating away from the make believe is just not that thrilling, in fact, she is a very very picky eater. She prefers to eat "snack" - crackers, pieces of fruit etc, than sitting down for a meal in her high chair. The things she once loved, like raspberries, are eschewed as are her beloved peaches. She still favors broccoli ( al dente and bright green). But she is so not interested in typical baby foods like yoghurt, has yet to like cows milk and we can never predict how much if any she is going to eat. She does like eggs and will ask for them. And she loves "choc" - olate. That you can predict.
One of Isobel's favorite phrases- which she got from her beloved babysitter is "what's that" or "wazzat?" which she repeats over and over when she is checking out new things. Isobel loves loves loves her babysitter - and whenever she sees a woman who has a similar build and complexion, she calls out her name. She has so many words it's hard to keep up with what is new and what is old, but she can be a total chatterbox -especially when she is going down for a nap or at bedtime - and mostly with Susan and not me. Tonight she was breast-feeding with me in bed and she kept popping up her head and saying "mommy, mommy??" very loudly to check that Susan was there - and Susan would call back from the next room, "baby", and say "night, night Isobel" She has just learned the name of my sisters partner - "Sam", which is much easier to say than my sister's own name and she has assigned the name Sam to both of them. She says it very sweetly with a real emphasis on the m. It's kind of like how she calls us both mommie now ( just like one of her favorite characters Cailliou calls his mum). So today when we were at the beach with just my sister and she was calling her Sam, I decided to differentiate by calling them Uncle Sam and Aunt Sam. Cute!
So many more things to say but time to close. I leave you with the thought of Isobel learning about dress up and wearing a tulle skirt that her boyfriend Ellis let her wear while doing ballet twirls with him. Oh the make believe! Oh the fun!
And now for pictures!
|hanging at the park|
|a walk in the park|
|tolerating my hat!|
|me and my fan are just blowing in the wind!|
|uncle mike's fountain is a great water park!|
|..."but I don't want to sit in my car seat!"|
|me and my swimsuit and two pairs of sunglasses|
|in the garden with my fab purple water shoes|
|"snack" at the beach - today|
|wild fun at the park!|
|even more fun!|
|in my box!|