more words bubbling forth

To everyone’s great delight, Curious J achieved some important developmental leaps while on our recent vacation.  It was neat to see her finally doing these things, and even more wonderful that she started doing them while amidst our extended family.  I feel bad that J’s grandparents get to witness so few of her milestones because we live on the other side of the country.  So, it was pretty neat to have her first time doing these things be now.

We first noticed it during our evening prayers. In our family, we speak some prayers, and sing others. One night, early in our trip when I was putting J to bed alone, she started singing with me during prayers. I was surprised, and I wondered if it would continue when the whole family was praying together. Often, JJ and I will do prayers with both girls at the same time, and when we’re with my parents, we sing our evening prayers in four-part harmony, which is lovely. I was pleased to see that later in the trip, when all of us (including my parents) were saying prayers together, J sang along with us.  While she wasn’t even close to being on pitch, it was obvious that she was trying to sing.  Yay!

Another similar trick that Curious J has really started doing is – talking.  Ahh, finally! 🙂  She’s repeating words more intelligibly than before, more frequently than before, and with less gobbeldy-gook mixed in with her speech. She’s not doing sentences or anything close to that yet, but we all can see definite progress. For example, the other evening I was wearing a hat, and J came in the room holding a hat of her own. She looked at the hat in her hand, looked at me, and very clearly said, “Hat!”  Once she gets a word, she still likes to repeat it a number of times, which she did, but she’s finally getting new words on her own!  She also added these words to her vocabulary: drink, bacon, mine, fork, spoon.  She’s definitely making progress in the speech department.

(I should add that she’s getting very good at saying “No!” very well.  She has even added a right hook to drive home her point of “No!”  Fun times.  We strongly suspect that Curious J will be a “spirited child.”  Frankly, we’ve suspected that since J was two weeks old, so it’s not a big surprise.  It’s more that we’re seeing her spirited-ness shift to a new level.  We’re sure that she’ll use that spirit to do great things in the world someday; our goal for now is to help her learn to control and channel all that spirit in good ways. Pray for us!)

Perhaps our favorite phrases that she’s learned are “High five!” and “Go Pack Go!”  When she says “high five,” it’s very clear; she also knows that you put out your hand when you say “high five.”  We almost wished she wasn’t quite so understandable when, during Sunday morning church, she said “high five!” quite enthusiastically with her hand held up high.  I think we gave the older couple sitting behind us a test in maintaining stoicism. 🙂

Curious J’s love of saying “Go Pack Go!” whenever she sees a Packer “G” makes my Green Bay Packers-loving husband’s heart sing with joy.  She doesn’t have the pronunciation right on this one: she technically says “Go Gee Go.”  But when she saw all the Packer gear that JJ was wearing to the Packer game that we attended, she could hardly stop saying, “Go Gee Go!”  JJ was highly gratified. 🙂

Curious J gets more difficult when she’s off her regular schedule, and although we tried to protect her schedule as much as possible while we were on vacation, it’s impossible to do it all the time.  Making memories takes time, you know! 🙂  But despite the shortened naps, late naps, or even naps missed altogether, she always slept well when given the opportunity.  That was a real blessing.

She’s growing so much every day!  I’m glad her grandparents got to witness these small but important steps in her growth.