Allana's lyrics to some of her favorite songs make me giggle. When I sing songs to her, I leave off the last word or phrase and let her supply it, after teaching her the words, of course. Here are a few of her favorites (with the words she says in italics):
Twinkle, twinkle, little star How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high Like a diamond in the tree
It's raining, it's pouring The old man is snoring
Went to bed, bumped his head Couldn't get up in the shower
Her gross motor development has really begun to improve. Most of you know that Allana is an extremely verbal little girl, but her gross motor skills have always developed on the later side. Well, just in the past few days, she has started climbing like a monkey. She can safely get in kitchen chairs, on the couch, and over her Daddy's legs all by herself! Today she even walked backwards down the sidewalk - I almost flipped out. She loves to jump, and although she can't really do it consistently, she has managed to catch a little air a time or two.
Her vocabulary never ceases to amaze us. Her /m/ sound has always sounded like an /n/ - for example, "milk" is "nilk." Just recently she's started actually making that /m/ sound.
She is pronouncing April's name very clearly now.
The best part of her vocabulary development is that she is spontaneously saying "thank you" to us. For example, tonight she asked for play dough after dinner. Dan took it off the shelf and before he could even hand it to her, she exclaimed, "Thank you, Daddy!"
She LOVES music - her favorite time of the school day is going to see Mrs. Nikki in Music. Just ask her about Mrs. Nikki and she'll explode with words, one right after another: "Music! Nikki! Dance! Sing! Shake shake! Stamp!" A few days ago, she woke up from her nap and I saw her on the monitor rocking her baby, saying, "Tinkle tinkle" - trying to sing "Twinkle, twinkle, little star."
She has just begun to pretend a little, and it is one of my favorite things in the world. She wants to give baby medicine, and she makes her animals from Noah's Ark interact.
This weekend was extra-special at our house! My (Rachael's) college roommate, Melissa, flew in from Dallas on Friday afternoon to spend some time with us. We had the most wonderful, relaxing weekend.
As always, Melis arrived with a bag full of books for Allana and I! She always has the most wonderful additions for Allana's library. Needless to say, we spent hours Friday afternoon reading Allana's new books!
On Friday night, we ate at Pei Wei and played at the mall for a while. On Saturday, we all slept in and when we finally managed to get up for lunch, Dan grilled some yummy hamburgers. We napped and played at the playground and enjoyed the rest of Saturday with "Lissa," as Lana calls her.
Sunday was a great day at church, followed by a nap and dinner with April and Hollis. April and Melis and I lived together our senior year in college, so it's always fun for the three of us to get together. Sunday night Melis and I stayed up late talking and talking and talking. Dan was at work, so it felt like the good ol' days in Ingram dorm.
Today we all slept in again, managed to get dressed in time to feed the geese and have lunch at Shorty's before Dan went to work. Melis & I played the Wii while Allana napped, and then we had to take her to the airport. I am always sad to see her go - she is one of the closest friends I've got, "always a roommate at heart, only a phone call or plane ride away."
But this was the hardest time yet because my little girl was in the back seat, and as we drove away from the airport, she asked, "Lissa? Pees?" And when I told her that Melis was on an airplane, she cried. "Mommy! Lissa?? PEES?" with big tears rolling down her face.
She asked for her again tonight before bed, and I reminded her, "Allana, where's Melissa?" and she responded, "Airplane. Home." When we were saying our prayers, I asked her who she wanted to pray for, and you guessed it....we prayed for Lissa.
One of Allana's favorite new songs is "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." When we play it in the car, she will do the motions and smile big! It's so fun to watch her singing about God and already learning about how wonderful He is.
This afternoon before naptime, I stole a few quiet minutes with her in the rocking chair. She asked me to sing that song, and as I sang the words, "He's got Allana Marie in His hands," my eyes filled with tears. I recently read about a child Allana's age who passed away from a degenerative genetic disease, and as I rocked my healthy baby girl, my heart flooded with gratitude.
And in that selfish moment of gratefulness that my daughter is healthy and happy and whole, I realized that there are mommies all across the world who rock babies who are sick....and God holds them in His hands, too. Even when He doesn't heal them, He holds them. Even when things are beyond my comprehension, He understands. In I Peter, the writer tells us that "we are not following cleverly invented stories....but are eyewitness of his MAJESTY."
Every day with Allana, I get to be an eyewitness of the majesty of God. He reminded me today to slow down and savor His presence with us. Thank You, God, for holding my little one in Your hands.
Sleeping in until 9:30 or 10 - she must be going through a growth spurt
Watching her talk to the birds...."Teet teet"
Jogging to the post office - the wind was blowing so hard and Lana said it was "Brr, cold!"
She found a ball under a chair and said, "Hold the ball!" Going to Marbles as a family and watching Allana explore and discover - she loves coloring on the big chalkboard wall
Watching her wake up on the video monitor. Sunday morning, she was sitting in bed and trying to make baby doll sit up with her. She kept telling her "Sit. Sit," but baby kept falling over. Finally she leaned baby up against the side of the crib, and said, "Time out!"
Every time I take out my cell phone, she insists on calling PawPaw or Sue Sue or Nana. She "hugs" them when she's on the phone with them, too.
Snuggled up on the couch reading together - a little bit of heaven.
Playing sock puppets - she and I each put one of her socks on our hands...she made them dance, hug, and kiss.
Dan was rocking and singing to Allana tonight before he put her in bed, when she looked up at him and said, "Mommy?" She asks for me sometimes when he's putting her to bed, just like she asks for him when I'm putting her to bed, so like he normally does, Dan said, "Mommy's downstairs. We're going night night." That has always been enough of a reponse before. Tonight, though, when he told her that, she responded, "Go get her?"
So he did. (How could he not?)
And I rocked her and sang a song and about halfway through she said, "Mommy. Hurt." "What hurts, Allana? Tell Mommy." "Eyes," she explained. I said, "Your eyes hurt because you're sleepy. Are you ready to go night night?" "Night night. Ready," she said. And I laid that angel down in her bed and off to sleep she went.
Dan works at Wal-mart with one of Allana's Sunday School teachers...Dan says he always has funny stories to tell at work after being with Lana in church on Sunday morning. Here are the latest stories from Hugh:
All the kids in Sunday School right now have yucky, running noses. The teachers were walking around wiping everyone's noses, and Allana came running up to Hugh, pointed to her nose, and said, "Nose! Yipe (wipe) it!"
Hugh built a big tower of foam blocks, and asked the classroom full of 1 year olds, "Who wants to knock it down?" Allana came tearing across the room, crashed down the tower, and said, "I knock it!"
Our neighbor Shannon (who is also one of Lana's teachers) was changing diapers. Allana came running up to her and said, "I tee tee!" Shannon put her on the changing table, took off her diaper, and it was dry. Shannon said, "Lana, there's no tee tee in here," and she insisted, "I tee tee!" Hugh told Shannon she better put that diaper back on - maybe she meant she was going to tee tee!
Edited to add: Last week, my precious girl was ready to be potty trained. She talked about the potty, she used the potty - for all intents and purposes, she was on the cusp of being potty trained. The minute I breathe a word about training her, all bets are off. This week, she won't sit on the potty. She won't even look at the potty - no interest whatsoever. And since I'm not much interested in getting into a battle of wills with an 18 month old, I think we'll wait and try again later. So we're free this weekend if anyone wants to hang out!
Wish us luck! We are embarking on Operation Potty Training the first weekend in February!
Allana is completely aware of the potty...she knows what you do there, she can tell you which one is hers and which one is Mommy's, and she'll pee pee or poo poo in it once or twice a week. She is probably ready to be potty-trained - Mommy just hasn't been consistent with it! I've heard that if you miss the "window," though, it's a nightmare to potty train.
So, after some encouragement from a sweet neighbor and friend, I've decided to give it a go. We're going to stay home from Friday afternoon until Tuesday morning, drink lots of water and juice boxes to keep her hydrated, and sit on the potty every twenty minutes. I'm going this weekend to buy an additional potty seat, lots of juice boxes, and some pull-ups.
Any advice or thoughts? Leave me a comment - you won't offend! I know nothing about this potty training business, and am just flying by the seat of my panties!
I've learned to strip Allana down to her diaper before dinner at home to avoid food stains. She was a great eater tonight - she had soup, green beans, rice, and blackberries. She ate more than I did!
Of course there was food all over her, and her diaper. So before I took her out of her highchair, I took her diaper off and put her down on the floor. She walked about two steps away, I turned around to push the highchair against the wall, and when I turned back around, she was peeing on the floor. A LOT.
She looks at me in a bit of a panic and says, "Mess!" I reach out to get her, and she starts walking toward me, and no kidding, she slips and falls in her pee. I pick her up and pee is dripping out of her hair. Thank goodness she drank a lot of water today and it wasn't stinky pee.
Anyway, she is furious at being covered in pee and keeps yelling, "Yucky! Wipe it!" and I can't stop laughing. Tears are pouring down my face as I pick up her and take her to the bathroom. She didn't think it was very funny, but it was the best thing that happened all night.
We went to see Dr. Buddy, our pediatric dentist at Carolina Pediatric Dentistry this morning for x-rays and to let him look at her teeth. It seems that she did have a "trauma," as he calls it. Her front tooth is impacted about 1 mm, which is truly not that bad. He thinks it will return to its original position. Part of her trouble is that her front teeth are already crowded and are further out than normal. (Dan & I both had braces, so that's no surprise.) Because they are not recessed far enough, they are likely to be damaged in a fall. Ug.
Right now, her roots and teeth look fine. Basically all we can do is wait and see. There is a possibility of abcess, root trouble, discoloration, etc., but only time will tell. We're going back in 3 months for another xray and exam.
He also cleaned her teeth while we were there, and he said they look great! Very clean, healthy, etc. Hooray for Mom & Dad & all the toothbrushing! We are supposed to start using a tiny bit of toothpaste with fluoride when we brush now. That kind of made me sad...such a big girl thing to do. Every day, it seems like we're losing one more "baby thing."
She did a great job letting Dr. Buddy look at and clean her teeth. She's a sweet, sweet girl. We took her to the park for a couple of hours afterward to celebrate!
Last night, Allana took a terrible tumble. She was hurrying into the living room from the kitchen, got tripped on her own feet, and fell. She fell full-force on her mouth. Her two top teeth went nearly through her bottom lip, and there was blood everywhere. Thank the Lord that Dan was here....it was so very scary. Her bottom lip is split wide open on the inside, but the Urgent Care docs advised us to clean it with hydrogen peroxide and just let it heal. Her top teeth are my main concern. The gums around those two teeth are still bleeding off and on and are very, very bruised. Those precious little teeth that I brush twice a day....I am praying continually that they will be okay. We spoke to the pediatric dentist on call, and he advised us to take her in Monday morning for an x-ray to check for root damage, which could cause the tooth to die. On a positive note, he thinks that is highly unlikely.
She doesn't seem to be experiencing any major discomfort. She does tell us, "Teeth hurt," but it has not stopped her from eating or drinking.