Little Bug is 2.5 years old!

Six months away from three years old??

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My firstborn.

I love watching this little girl grow. She never ceases to amaze me. She has become a very affectionate little girl who will just come up to me and say, “Mommy please give me a hug and a tiss (kiss)!” She loves to give me “smackaroos” – a loud kiss! During her Independent Playtime, she will climb the gate and come find me and say, “I just want to give you one more kiss and a hug, Mommy!”. How can I get on to her for that?? I don’t. Smile She gets her hug and kiss and goes back to play. She is such a loving little girl and loves to shower her Mommy with hugs and kisses all day long.

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Little Bug is so full of LIFE. She is a ball of energy that goes and goes all day long. I cannot imagine spending my days anywhere else other than with her. I love waking up and going into her room and saying, “Good Morning, Little Bug! Did you sleep well?” She then says, “Yes, I did sleep well, Mommy!”

I love how she will often times ask me, “Where are we going today, Mommy?” She loves to go places and see people. She adores her family. They couldn’t adore her more if they tried.

Grandpa has taught Little Bug so much. This is a picture of them reading from the “Special Book”. It’s a book that my dad remembers being read from as a child. Grandpa reads and Little Bug listens. Grandpa stops at certain places in the stories and Little Bug finishes the sentences!

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Little Bug doesn’t sit still, unless it is book time. She will sit literally for an hour straight listening to books. It really amazes me because nothing, and I mean nothing, keeps her attention like books do. She is not much into “toys” (as in siting and playing with one toy for any length of time), but ask her if she wants to read and she will sit there and read for up to an hour if you keep on reading to her!

Reading to her is still my all-time favorite activity to do with her!

On November 12th while we were reading, Little Bug read the book Old Hat, New Hat word for word with minimal help from me. I was simply amazed!! I know she is not “reading” and just has the book memorized, but my goodness, that is impressive even if I say so myself!

 

A couple days later, we got her “reading” on video! She is very camera-shy right now so I had to read the first page to get her started because she knew her Daddy was getting her on camera, but then she took off reading until the very last page when she decided she was done and wanted to read another of her favorite books, On the Night Before Kindergarten.

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Potty Training is in our very near future. I am not exactly certain when. Possibly after the New Year?? She has had some minimal training from her Grandpa, of all people! A couple of months ago he was adamant that all I needed to do was buy her a little potty and she would train herself. I kept saying, “It’s not that easy!” I also said I didn’t want to train her with a little potty because I find them highly gross because you have to clean them out and they are a pain. But, I told him he could buy her one for my parents’ house, so he did.

A week later, he said, “Well, it’s been real easy to keep that potty clean!” In other words, Little Bug had not used the potty at all!

Several months after the introduction of the little potty Little Bug will ask to use it. And she does. But then she still chooses to go in her diaper, too. When I decide I am ready to train her and do away with diapers, I think it won’t take her too long to catch on because she already somewhat understands. I am waiting for myself to be ready, but mostly I am waiting for Little Bug to tell me that she is ready to start going on the potty and not diapers. I ask her every so often if she wants to pee and poop in diapers or the potty and, so far, her answer has always been, “I want diapers.”

She won’t be five and still in diapers, so I am not stressing about this at all! When it happens, it will happen.

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Growing up I always imagined having a blue-eyed, blonde haired little girl. I can remember thinking that child died right along with my dream of experiencing pregnancy.

And then Little Bug came along.

As my heart was opened to adoption, I quickly learned that genetics so don’t matter when it comes to mothering a child. Genetics are just genetics.

When I look at my Little Bug, I see my childhood dream being fulfilled despite the fact my genes are stopping with me, because, even though I share not one strand of DNA with Little Bug, she is the blue-eyed blonde haired little girl I always dreamed of.

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Infertility wasn’t the end. It was the beginning of something bigger and better than even my wildest dreams.

I am forever thankful for the way God orchestrated this little girl to be my daughter two and a half years ago.

28 Months

And this is what I want to remember about Little Bug at 28 months old!

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I enrolled Little Bug in a Tumbling Class and she LOVES it. It meets on Thursday mornings for 45 minutes. When I picked her up after class she told me, “I want to stay at Tumbling Class!” She did not want to leave. I am so happy she has the opportunity since we decided to not put her in preschool until age 3.

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I went to get Little Bug after naptime and found her like this in her crib. She said, “I’m just having a picnic with my Pooh Bears!” She is very much into “picnics” and “tea parties” this month! It is so adorable to see her lining her “friends” up for picnics and tea parties. She will do this during Independent Playtime a lot, too.

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Little Bug discovered Play-Doh this month! Little Bug seems bored with her toys lately and I think it is because they are “baby toys”. She will play with her baby doll stuff, her kitchen and play food. She still LOVES books and she enjoys playing outside and going up to the park. I think she is starting to show her “crafty side” because she is really into coloring and Play-Doh.

In my spare time (haha) I would like to find educational activities that I could do with Little Bug. I have a “Learning Box” on the kitchen counter where I put keep things in there that I want to intentionally teach Little Bug. I worked with her on puzzle skills, color skills and I have some magnetic ABCs in there to work on the alphabet. We are still working on ABCs, and her puzzle and coloring skills have greatly improved since we started working on them. However, I would really like to incorporate some learning activities into our daily schedule to intentionally teach ABCs and the basic preschool skills.

Anybody have some good resources that I could use to find some learning activities to do with her??

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We renewed our Zoo membership this past weekend and went for the first time as a family of four with some friends from Dave’s work! As the weather cools, I know we will be going pretty often. Little Bug loves the zoo and was so excited to be back!

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Little Bug watched NO TV from birth until 2 years old. And when I say none I mean none. Except for one day. I was so sick last winter with a cold. I just wanted to sit. Well, Little Bug, at the age of 18 months old, did not just sit. So I popped in a DVD of Dr. Seuss I had bought on clearance for after Little Bug turned 2. I turned it on and we lay in front of the TV for about 10 minutes and watched it. That was all Little Bug would sit still for! She wanted to be up and playing and was not really interested in the TV at all.

About a month ago I started letting Little Bug watch the show “Word World”. The show is very educational. It is all about the alphabet and building words. She LOVES it. She asks me, “May I watch my show?” about a million times a day now. I don’t want her watching TV every day and I certainly do not want to fall into the trap of the “TV babysitter”. I could very easily fall into that trap because when Word World is on, Little Bug is quiet and glued to the TV. She usually busts out crying when the show is over. I am training her now to not ask for another show when it goes off but to instead say with a happy voice, “Thank you, Mommy, for letting me watch my show!” Today we finally made progress. I let her watch a Word World show after her nap and when it was over there were no tears and she thanked me for letting her watch her show.

If I was SuperMom I would LOVE to incorporate learning activities that tie into the words she learns on Word World. Maybe one day I could get that all together, but not these days. Sad smile

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And here she is again at another picnic with her friends! So adorable!

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Little Bug loves to go in our closet and play with my shoes. She tries them all on and prances around!

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Little Bug got her flu shot at Sweet Pea’s 2 month check up. She was a brave girl! She was weighed before her shot and she weighed in at 28.5 pounds!

Oh my Little Bug. Just when I think she can’t possibly get any cuter, she does. I know she is my daughter so I have a biased opinion, but this kid has such a wonderful personality. She is so sweet and loving. When her Daddy comes home from work she will tell him, “I missed you today, Daddy!”. She will tell me, even after we have spent the entire day together, that she misses me, too. She LOVES being around people and she LOVES her family.

This morning at breakfast she was saying, “I have a Mommy and a Daddy!” I told her, “And we love you soooooooooooo much!” Then she said, “And I have a Grandma and Grandpa that love me sooooooo much!” She is one loved little girl.

We are working on first time obedience. Some days she obeys the first time and others days, she does not. Smile It’s a work in progress. The consequences are the same and it breaks her heart when she gets in trouble. She always wants us to hug her and love on her afterwards. I know now is the time to mold and shape a heart of obedience in her and it is my #1 goal with her. I know if she can hit age 3 with an obedient heart, she will be on the right path. We haven’t had any long periods of misbehavior since before Sweet Pea’s birth and for that I am grateful.

Little Bug is such a good big sister. She always wants to give Sweet Pea a hug and kiss before bedtime. She will give Sweet Pea her paci without any prompting from me. She takes great pride in being able to help Sweet Pea in this way. I look forward to the days that Little Bug and Sweet Pea start playing together and interacting and create a very tight (I hope) sister bond between the two of them.

I can’t imagine my oldest daughter being any other child than Little Bug. She is my daughter, through and through. I love watching her grow up. There are some days I do miss her as a baby or young toddler, but overall, I love this stage we are in. She is learning so much, she is talking so much and she is so much fun every day.

Her language abilities astound me. She suddenly started speaking in complete complex sentences and I don’t really remember when all that started. She was talking the other day and I was just thinking, “She doesn’t talk like a baby anymore! She talks like a big girl!”

Little Bug is one very special little girl. I am so blessed to be her mother.

27 Months

Little Bug is 2 years and 3 months!

The biggest news this month is, of course, that Little Bug is now a BIG SISTER!

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She has done remarkably well with this drastic change to her little life. From the moment she first laid eyes on her little sister in the NICU, she was all in.

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She wants to feed her, burp her, rock her and play with her.

I am so proud of Little Bug.

Before plans changed and we thought Sweet Pea would be born in our home town, I devised a plan that would allow me to spend the mornings with Little Bug at home and then go up to spend time with Sweet Pea in the afternoon while Little Bug napped. I wanted to do everything possible to keep Little Bug’s life as stable as possible during all the craziness of NICU life.

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When we learned Sweet Pea would actually be born about 1.5 hours away, my plan was obviously thrown out the window. (It was also another way that God taught me HE is in control and everything would be just fine because He’s got this.)

Even until the day Sweet Pea was born I had no plan really in place on how we were going to juggle one daughter being in our home town and one daughter being 1.5 hours away.

We left on a Thursday to go meet Sweet Pea, planning to come back on Sunday, with or without Sweet Pea. Come Sunday, I could not leave Sweet Pea and Little Bug was doing fabulous with my parents. Plus, it was looking like Sweet Pea was going to come home on Monday anyway.

When Sweet Pea didn’t come home on Monday, my parents and Little Bug packed up and came to stay with us in the town 1.5 hours away. Through all the back and forth, Little Bug was a complete trooper. She had some early wake ups and short naps which is usual for her when she is in “vacation” mode. But, overall, Little Bug went with the flow and did way better in all the “chaos” than I thought she was capable of doing.

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The week we were home before the second hospital stay, we did have to nip a few things (behavior wise) in the bud, but it wasn’t long and things with her were back to normal.

She has only showed love towards Sweet Pea. When we left for Sweet Pea’s first doctor’s appointment after getting home from the NICU, Little Bug panicked when she didn’t see Sweet Pea when we got back! She asked, “Where is Sweet Pea??” When I told her she was just in her car seat asleep in the hall way, all was well in her little world again.

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Just when we had gotten “settled” we were sent back to the hospital for three days. Little Bug moved back over to my parent’s house for those days and she continued to not miss a beat.

I cannot wait to see my girls grow up together. Growing up, I always wanted a sister. I am so grateful that Little Bug and Sweet Pea have each other. It thrills my heart to picture them one day playing together and doing things sisters do together.

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I pray they become the best of friends.

What I want to Remember: 26 Months

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Potty-training: I could so train her now, I think. She is ready. She does not like to even be in wet diapers. Dirty diapers have bothered her for some time now, but in the last month or so she will sometimes pee in her diaper and request a diaper change immediately.

Given the circumstances of life right now, I just can’t start the training process now. But as soon as things settle and we get into some kind of new routine around here, potty training Little Bug will be top on my priority list!

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Eating: We have made great strides in the eating department over the last month. She is considerably less messy when she eats. She is keeping her food on her plate for the most part and using utensils sometimes. She still prefers her hand over using a fork or spoon.

She still eats like a pig at every meal. Instead of serving her the veggie first like I have done since she first started eating table foods, I serve all her food to her together. Except for fruit. That still comes after everything else has been eaten first. I really do attribute Little Bug’s excellent eating habits to the way my pediatrician told me to introduce foods to her.

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Social butterfly: Little Bug is still my social butterfly and, when I am caring for her on my own during the days, I have come to realize that this is the precise reason why she is so “high maintenance”. Little Bug is not the type of child to go off and quietly play and entertain herself for a time. Nope. Little Bug is right there with me interested in doing exactly what I am doing. This little girl loves to be around people and I don’t think there is a person in the world who doesn’t like being around Little Bug!

Independent Playtime: Even this little social butterfly has an hour of Independent Play in her bedroom every day, except Sunday. She does super with this. It is good for both of us. It teaches Little Bug she can play independently and it gives me time to spend with the Lord in the morning, blog, and get some chores done. I love that hour every morning!

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Sleep: I have to be strategic with naps because if Little Bug is afraid she is missing out on something, you can forget a nap. If we have company in the house at naptime, I wait and lay her down after everyone is gone because I know she would either not sleep or take a short nap. Yesterday we went to my in-laws house for the first time in several weeks. Little Bug was so happy to be there, she refused to nap! I still put her to bed but she talked, sang and then cried until I finally just got her up. She was too wired to sleep, I guess. She is making up for it today with a 2.5 hour nap!

Books: Second to people, Little Bug loves books. Just this morning, we read for an hour straight. Even more so than that hour of Independent Playtime, I love our “book time”. It is something special between Little Bug and me. She knows right where we sit to read. I pull out the basket of books and she normally says, “Mommy sit right der!!”

Coming from a teacher, reading is sooooooo important to do with kids! I started reading to Little Bug even when she wasn’t paying me any attention (around 6ish months). She would be playing on the floor and I would get books and just read them to her as she played. The older she got, she started paying attention. I would just read to her every day whether she was siting on my lap reading too or not. Eventually, she started siting in my lap every time we read and got really into reading books. Hearing written language is so vital to kids learning to read. I figured, whether she acting like she was paying attention or not, as she played and as I read her books, she was at least hearing the written language every day.

Writing: Little Bug’s Mimi and Papaw got her a Magnadoodle for her birthday. One of my favorite toys for kids, ever. She can write without me having to watch her to make sure she doesn’t write on the walls or the carpet! She loves her Magnadoodle. She loves for me to write her name on there and the ABCs.

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Learning Box: I keep a box on the kitchen counter that I call the “Learning Box”. In there are things that I want to intentionally teach Little Bug every day. For instance, I noticed she was not very good at doing puzzles. So I put some puzzles in there and made a point to work with her on those things. She has greatly improved on her puzzle skills! Other skills I am working on with her right now are coloring and learning ABCs.

ABCs: One day, I decided to see how many of the ABCs Little Bug knew before I started deliberately teaching her. I was astounded to discover she could already identify over half of the letters! I have no idea how she managed that! Reading, maybe?

Funny girl: There are no words to describe how much we love this girl. She cracks us up daily, sometimes hourly, with the things that come out of her mouth. She has a firecracker personality, but yet is so sweet and so loving. She will suddenly say, “Miss Mommy” (even though I am with her all. day. long.? I told you she is a people person.) and I will just say, “I miss you too, Little Bug!” and then she will jump in my arms and give me a BIG hug and kiss.

Big Sister: She is going to be a good big sister. She is going to have to make some adjustments, but overall, Little Bug and Sweet Pea are going to be the best of friends once Sweet Pea starts interacting with the world around her. When I allow my guarded heart to imagine for even one small moment the idea of having daughters two years apart, I get giddy. Fun times ahead!

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My Spunky Little Bug at 25 Months Old

While I am no longer taking monthly pictures of Little Bug with Pooh Bear, I do want to still document what my little girl is doing month by month because I know the older she gets, all her 2 year old cuteness will blend into distant memories.

I am thinking if I keep documenting things here on my blog, I will be able to remember more little details of this precious time with her.

So, here is what I want to remember about Little Bug at 25 months old:

She is smart as a whip.

We were reading this alphabet book. I was letting her tell me the letters she knew. When we got to this page, Little Bug said,

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“Rectangle!”

(She doesn’t know the letter “I” yet.)

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It is blueberry season and we have gone blueberry picking twice.

99% of the blueberries Little Bug picks off the bush end up in her tummy and not in her pail! After the first half hour I have to tell her, “Eat two more blueberries and then that is it!” After she is done eating she wanders around playing with sticks and dirt.

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Little Bug loves to “write”. I hear many times a day, “Mommy write wif Little Bug!” She got a magnadoodle from Mimi & Papaw for her birthday and she LOVES the thing! I love it too because I don’t have to worry about anything being colored on!

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After another rough period in the discipline department things are going smoothly in that area again.

I was having to tell her multiple times to do something, which was my own fault because I was not requiring first time obedience.

When I realized this, I started requiring first time obedience from Little Bug. This means, when I tell Little Bug that she needs to do something (as in, “Little Bug, put your doll baby in the toy basket.”) I expect her to do it right away and after the first time I tell her to do it.

I should not have to tell her more than once to do anything (especially when she is older, right now I am still in the training process). Training her now that I expect her to obey me the first time, I know will make life much easier down the road in the discipline department. (At least I hope so!)

Little Bug picked up quick on this first time obedience thing and now she will even say, “Little Bug obey Mommy the first time!”

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Little Bug is a spunky girl! I thought by the age of two baby gates could come down and I wouldn’t have to keep my eyes on her every single minute of the day, but…baby gates are still up and I still can’t take my eyes off this girl for a moment or she is into something.

I find this very interesting because Little Bug knows there are boundaries and limits and she respects her boundaries, but given the opportunity to explore something new or do something adventurous that she has never done before, she just can’t stop herself!

Our social worker came for a visit to renew our home study recently. It would have been so nice if Little Bug would have gotten a book or a quiet toy and sat off somewhere and quietly occupied herself while we talked to the social worker.

Little Bug is no wall flower, though! She wanted to be right there in the middle of it all. It wasn’t five minutes after the social worker came in and Little Bug was rolling on the floor, showing off. I just politely told the social worker, “Little Bug loves to meet new people! She is so excited you are here!”

I had told Little Bug that while the social worker was here Mommy would not be able to read books to her or play with toys. Mommy would need to talk to the social worker. What does Little Bug say as soon as we start talking?

“Mommy read books with Little Bug!” The thing is she knew what she was doing! Little stinker!

So I calmly told her, “Little Bug, Mommy cannot read to you right now. You may read by yourself or go write on your magnadoodle.” She dropped it after that, but it is that spunk in her that made her just have to ask me that when she clearly already knew my answer!

I love my spunky girl. She definitely keeps things hopping around here!

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I am savoring these last few weeks of just my baby girl and me. Never again will I just be “Little Bug’s Mommy”. While there have been rough patches for sure over the past two years (and one month!) of motherhood, I have thoroughly enjoyed the past 25 months of my life. Little Bug is everything I dreamed a daughter would be…and more! She brings incredible joy into my life.

She reminds me that as I am working to mold and shape her character, God is still working on molding and shaping me into the woman I was made to be.

She reminds me to enjoy life to the fullest because, let me tell you, Little Bug LOVES life. Just today we were outside and she ran up to me and asked me to let her touch the wind chime so it would ring. When I told her “Okay” she got this HUGE grin on her face and joy just overflowed from her as I hoisted her up and let her ring the wind chime. Nothing like the innocence of childhood.

If I could bottle her up and never let her grow up, I would. But I know far too well that even better days are ahead. The important thing is to cherish where we are right now, not longing for the past or wishing for the future.

All I have right now is my 25 month old Little Bug and I want to cherish her for who she is today, spunkiness and all.

And I know that God is going to use that spunkiness in BIG WAYS down the road.

Which is why I’ve thrown the bottle away.

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