I just want to jot down a few milestones for posterity's sake. So if that kind of thing bores you, move right along. I won't be offended. (Sometimes I make quick work of your kid's milestone posts too.)
This girl. She has started doing this thing where she hugs me around the neck and pats my back and lays her little head on my shoulder and it just melts my heart.
She also has all of her teeth, I think. I am not brave enough to do a thorough examination. (Or, truthfully, motivated. If I were a better mother I would count each tooth lovingly. But for me, a quick peek is sufficient. Yep, they're in there.) She is working so hard to learn how to jump. And she's getting pretty good. No air time yet, but I bet she'll get there any day now.
Charlotte has recently developed this quirk of absolutely requiring something in her hands while she breastfeeds. (LONG SIDE NOTE: (JUST SKIP THIS PART, ARCHIE. Yes. She is fifteen months, and 80% of her diet is breast milk. Maybe 90%. She has very little interest in solids. Unless junk food is present, which it is usually not, so I don't factor that into my estimates. When Ella was fifteen months (and still nursing) I remember being mildly embarrassed. And being grateful when I found others who were also doing "extended breastfeeding". Ahhh, how time changes things.) So, anyway, she asks to nurse, then climbs off my lap, grabs a toy, or whatever mildly interesting object is close at hand (this afternoon it was a throw pillow) and keeps her little hands occupied during mealtime. She never stops moving. Ever.
Recently we have noticed her singing the tune of Twinkle Twinkle in moments of solitary play. I have been telling Paul about it for a while, but he never believes it when I tell him that our children are doing precocious things. So, when we were in the car together Monday and she was singing it, I said, "Paul, do you hear her?! She's singing Twinkle Twinkle! I told you she could!" And he said, "Yeah, I know, I heard her singing it yesterday. During Sunday School. Really Loudly." Char sings some portion or at least does hand motions to most every song we sing now. My favorite is when she is the echo on the "Hello" song.
Another fun thing that she does is run away from me yelling "No! No! No!" when she doesn't want to do something. The reason it is cute and not aggravating is because she is not saying it with defiance as much as with desperation. As in "No, please don't make me!" vs. "No, I won't do it, buster and you can't make me." I don't mind a little desperation in my life. It makes my job more exciting.
Ella is just learning by leaps and bounds. She has recently started asking me to teach her how to write her letters, which is really fun, because I have opinions on pushing your children into that sort of thing, but it has been completely child-led. So far she has learned E, A, F, O, and the J shape, with no guarantees that the J is facing in the correct direction. I know. Totally random letters. But this is at her request, so I just go with it. I started trying to teach her to write her name, but she didn't care about that. She just wants to write the letters. So she does. She writes them all over the page, and then she tells me stories about the letters, and how they are all going to the park together, or other such adventures. She is starting to come up with really fun stories to tell. Sometimes at night she will tell me a bedtime story. Or sing me a bedtime song, complete with her own lyrics and tune.
She loves to draw, and has recently been "writing books". Which means she draws several pictures and then folds up the paper several times. Then she 'reads' the book while unfolding the paper. Her pictures are varied and sometimes even recognizable. She draws a great stick figure. And once she tells me what animal she drew I can see the resemblance. She's also a fan of drawing trees, clocks, and grass. And really anything that she can think of.
Ella loves self-directed play time and spends it in her room streaming a constant flow of dialogue for her toys. She says her prayers independently now. They are a bit rote, but we've been working with her on it, and the other day while we were on a date and our friends were watching her, she said a prayer and blessed the people in their family by name. So, my parenting is paying off. Her typical prayer includes our immediate family and asks that we sleep well. But she has been known to pray for grandparents and aunts and uncles. She also is frequently grateful for Jesus and Nursery. So that's good. :)
Have I even addressed potty training on the blog? We started potty training her when she turned two and it has been a long road. She has been happily going to the bathroom since then, but always needed reminding. Not long after we moved her I started forgetting to remind her, and she started remembering herself. So, she is potty trained. I know nobody really cares, but this is for posterity's sake, anyway.
Whew. Well, that's all I can think of for now!