I love that Violet will dance whether or not there is music. All you have to do is say "dance, Violet!" or "shake it!" and she goes nuts. Spinning, kicking, grinning and usually working in a little of The Robot and "Head, Shoulders Knees & Toes".
It's always the best sound... all of a sudden, you hear giggling from the next room. To realize that both kids are happy and enjoying being together, making each other laugh... well, it's pretty much the most magical sound in the world.
Daniel likes to read to Violet and she loves to oblige. Of course, he can't read yet so it gets pretty silly.
I just love that they want to hang out. Watching sibling love develop is even more fun than watching her parental attachment with us develop. This feels more like a miracle - more of an area where it wasn't necessarily a "given" if that makes sense. It could have gone either way, really.
And yet it's gone the perfect way. They are siblings - legally, of course - but in every other way too. Their love is as natural and nurturing as any brother and sister I've seen, and even more than some.
She reveres him, and he delights in entertaining her. They tickle and push and scream and jump and everything else brothers and sisters do.
He loves teaching her things and she loves scolding him when he's in time out. He races to greet her when he hears that she is awake each morning, and she squeals with delight when she sees him run into the room.
Happy siblings = Happy mommy and daddy!
I feel like a broken record, but the fact remains: Violet's verbal skills astound me. Someday, this little lady will be a gifted conversationalist!
She imitates EVERYTHING we are saying (this is both good and bad!). She is now able to hold conversations with other adults and they can understand what she's saying. She loves babbling in her own toddler language too - usually holding a toy cell phone to one ear and the other hand on her hip, parading through the living room.
She understands everything too. In some ways, I feel like we can talk to her just like we're talking to Daniel. She obviously can't respond as well, but she understands it all. (And in some cases, she knows more than Daniel - last week I asked him to kiss my shoulder and he kept kissing my elbow. Violet marched over and kissed my shoulder to show him. Hilarious!)
She has learned "please stop!" - our family's magic phrase for when tickling gets to be too much. (She tried to use it on me when I was changing her diaper - nice try. That's not in the rule book.)
She knows all of her favorite foods by name and asks for them. She knows pretty much every animal sound in existance. (Hearing her "baa" like a sheep is beyond adorable. And her elephant (ep-pah-paht!) impression is not only accurate, it's so cute you have to physically restrain yourself from scooping Violet up and eating her. I'm not lying.)
She has begun to form full questions and sentences. She'll say, "Where's Daddy? Inside? Inside!" She has also begun to dabble in imperatives - and she's pretty bossy! "Mommy, outside!" "Mommy, swing!" (You want me to swing too, Violet?) "Yeah! Mommy, swing!"
My recent favorite: Singing. Out of nowhere, she suddenly sings full songs. The other night, she was singing and doing motions while I was changing her diaper. I recognized it as, "Jesus Loves Me". It's insane how well she does it, with motions. And it's also insane to see how unbelievably excited she gets about finishing a song. Her little body can't contain the excitement and she screams and buries her face into a pillow or something. Adorable.
We are balancing on a precipice - just waiting to cross over into full conversational ability. And honestly, I cannot wait. Every tiny little clear conversation we have with each other just delights us both - Violet squeals and I can't stop grinning. I'm looking forward to girl talks and all the fun stuff moms and daughters get to experience. Bring it on!
Violet's hair, when wet, is now 4 inches long. That's the recommended length to start styling little curls... I have heard some people say it's best to start styling now to protect curls, and I have heard others say that it's not necessary yet.
HOWEVER. I am anxious to try something! I'd like for her to get used to me doing more than conditioner combing and daily moisturizing, too. I think it will make later styles easier if she's comfortable with me "working" in her hair for stretches at a time.
In November, I put in a tiny little ponytail. I know it's ridiculously small and hilarious (Fernando said she looks like a samurai...) but it was a (tiny and ridiculous) milestone all the same. Our first style.
This is from late November:
I think I may try a favorite style of one of my favorite bloggers: Katie (mom to 2 Ethiopian daughters) from www.happygirlhair.com. It's my "go to" for hair questions. Check out the style on the top right of Katie's blog header - it's called "halfrows" and it just might be the first style I attempt on Violet. We'll see.
It's also entirely possible that Violet will absolutely refuse to let me do anything and my next post will be called: "The Time Has Not Come, After All. I Was Wrong."