Sunday, January 12, 2014

Raleigh, Two Point Oh

Well, the day came and went and my Rals is now 2 years old. This absolutely It's so crazy to look back to where she was just six months ago and to see how much she's changed in half a year! Here's a look into what my little Raleigh Jane is up to these days:

  • Although I won't know her current weight and height until we head to the pediatrician for her 2-year well check next week, I can say that she continues to be quite long and lean. Just look at those lanky limbs! She comes up to just above Banks shoulder when standing next to him, which seems SO tall to me, since he looks like a first grader at the ripe ol' age of 4. Raleigh wears Size 2T right now, but I have a feeling she'll be wearing 3T by the time I buy her spring/summer wardrobe. She wears a Size 8 shoe and is in Size 4 diapers. I can't wait to hear her updated stats at her appointment next week!
  • Raleigh continues to be a good eater. She's not nearly as picky as her big brother is when it comes to eating and often eats more than he does. She definitely has a sweet tooth, like her Momma, but is also good about eating her veggies and meats, too. She can down some serious milk and we just switched her over from whole to 2% milk this week. No wonder she's such a fast-growing girl!
  • Raleigh still takes one good, long nap each afternoon, usually ranging from 1.5 to 2 hours. Most days, she wakes up happy and ready for what the day holds. She, unlike her big brother, is also content to just lay quietly in her crib after she wakes up, sucking her index finger and holding the corner of her blanket. That's right. I said sucking her finger. This is absolutely crazy to me: Raleigh decided to start sucking her finger a few months before turning 2. She never had any interest in it before then, but now, she does it all the time: during nap and bedtime and often just after waking up and when tired. This seems a little backwards to me, that she is just now starting this behavior, but I will let it ride for now and plan to tackle it sometime after the new baby comes, especially since she just turned 2. If it ain't broke...
  • We think Raleigh is quite the coordinated and flexible little thing for her age. Examples? She can do a hands-free forward roll. She can jump off of any surface, of any height, that she can climb, and land on her feet. Every. Time. (and promptly give her momma a heart attack every. time.). She can dribble a soccer ball like nobody's business. She can do a full split. She can do a handstand by using the wall to help hold up her legs. Oh, and she's a strong and muscular little bit, too! The other day, my hub was holding her upside down by the feet and she used her abs to pull her body completely upright, where her nose was touching her toes. Crazy! 
  • My most favorite thing about my Raleigh? Actually, there are two that I just can't narrow down. First, her language skills. Rals has always been a really good talker. She talks all the time. She has been talking in full, long, elaborate sentences for some time now. She is inquisitive and asks lots of questions. It is so fun to watch her when she observes something new. She will take in what she's seeing, and you can see the wheels turning as she tries to make sense of the new scene she's encountered. She still loves to sing and is very well-mannered, saying "please," "thank you," "bless you," and "excuse me" totally unprompted. I just love those precious manners and that sweet little voice. Our smart little cookie also loves to count any and everything. She can count up to 15 and does so often! She loves to sing the blessing at dinner (proudly finishing up with "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.) and is beginning to recognize some numbers and letters by sight. She also knows several of her shapes. I can't wait to see where this next year progresses with our girl's academic and language skills!
  • My second favorite thing about Raleigh right now is her natural, mothering instinct. The inherent differences between boys and girls is so interesting and plays out in our home daily. Raleigh has just taken to baby dolls all on her own, without any prompting from us, and loves to be "momma" to her babies. She can often be found singing to them, snuggling them, and putting them down for naps, and it just melts my heart. She talks to them quietly and tells them, "It's okay. The big, bad wolf won't hurt you." (Apparently, there is always a risk that the big, bad wolf could show up at any minute?). She loves her babies and I love watching her love her babies. She is going to be one amazing big sister!
  • RJ loves all things artistic! She will just sit quietly and paint or color, each time identifying which color she is using. This is another inherent difference between boys and girls that has so clearly and naturally played out in our home: In his 4+ years, I can count on one hand the number of times my little boy has sat and played quietly and independently for an extended period of time. He just likes to be on the move and interacting with others all the time. Yet, at just over 2 years, my little girl is more prone to sit quietly and play on her own for quite some time before seeking interaction. The inherent, biological differences in my little buddy and little lady are just fascinating to me!
  • Raleigh has been taking on a teenager 'tude lately. Exhibit A. The other night, she oh-so-kindly said, "Mom, leave me alone, please." No joke. Sometimes it's actually really cute. Sometimes, though, I worry big time about what the 2's will bring us. While our Raleigh Jane can seriously be sweeter-than-sugar, she has a big problem with her "listening ears" these days, and she will deliberately ignore us or wait until the last.possible.second. to do what we ask of her. I cannot tell you how many times I count to three during the day to get her to comply with what I say. And some days, she'll just flat out refuse. For example, "Raleigh, go to time out," to which she'll respond, "No. I will not!" know that conversation is not going to end well. Yep--this one may be a bit of a challenge in the attitude department.
  • In fact, Raleigh has to spend quite a bit of time in the corner these days. I am a staunch believer in parenting firmly but lovingly. Teach them young the behaviors you want them to exhibit as they grow older. So. Time Outs are not uncommon in our house. But Raleigh? She doesn't care one single bit if she has to go to time out. She is usually smiling and trying to push my buttons (e.g., repeatedly turning around, looking me in the eye, and laughing; inching her body away from the wall; laying down when told to stand) the whole time she's in the corner. And she doesn't quite get the negative impact of having privileges/toys removed yet at the ripe young age of 2. So, discipline is not really effective with our Rals at this point. 
  • Raleigh can also be quite sneaky! The other day, she wanted some chips right before dinner. I told her no and that we'd be eating in a few minutes. The next thing I know, I hear the crunch, crunch, crunch of chip-chomping from behind the closed pantry door. I opened the door to find her in the pitch dark, an open bag of chips in her hand, and a mouth full of the contraband. What am I going to do with this girl?! ;) She definitely keeps me on my toes (and taking lots of deep breaths throughout the day). 

But. I must say. Raleigh is just the sweetest, kindest, smartest, most loving, nurturing, and affectionate little lady, and I could not feel more blessed or lucky to have her as my best pal and precious daughter. She and my little buddy make every day better than the last, and I cannot wait to see where this year takes us!

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