Friday, December 12, 2014

To Iyla at 25 Months

Sweet Iyla Grace, today you are officially 25 months old! You are so full of curiosity, affection, sweetness, feist, & wonder, and continue to amaze us at your capacity to learn. You are such a smart girl!

This month you have become extremely interested in letters. Every time you see a word- whether in a book, a billboard, clothes tag- you'll say "those are letters!" and ask me to "count" them, meaning you want me to name off each letter as you carefully study them. You know quite a few by sight now, and I'm planning several Christmas gifts for you around this newfound interest.

Speaking of Christmas, you are LOVING this Holiday- especially the decorations! You think snowflakes are called "Let it Go's" (from the Frozen movie- your only real reference to snow, being a Texas babe) and recite "flower gleam and glow, let your powers shine" from the Tangled movie every time you sit under the Christmas tree. So cute!

You love listening to Christmas music, and when we go on evening bike rides we always look for Christmas lights around the neighborhood.

We also went to the tree lighting ceremony & caroling at the Capitol, and started the evening with a visit to the Driskill Hotel. Your eyes were huge with wonder when you realized Christmas was at the Driskill too!

Ever since we've returned from Kansas you've been especially affectionate with Sam. You've also discovered he is fun to dress up! He's been a patient playmate, and I am still SO amazed he has never bit you. Lately when others have cared for him while we've been out of town every.single.person has gotten a pretty significant Sam bite. But somehow he just knows to be extra gentle with you, and it warms my heart.

The weather has been gorgeous, so we've been enjoying daily walks to our local park. You know the way there, and hold my hand for the entire walk. I love these afternoons with you so much.

This month you had 2 days of extreme "growing"- which is what we term days when your emotions are on HIGH and meltdowns occur over the most seemingly trivial things. For example, last week when we went to pick up Papa from the airport we walked up a huge staircase to the floor where we had to meet him. You then had a HUGE meltdown because you wanted to immediately ride the escalator back down. After taking a millisecond to try to reason with you (we need to wait here for Papa! We'll ride that escalator with Papa soon!) I very quickly discerned that the best course of action was to just go ahead and ride that escalator. You were what we call a 'hot mess' that entire evening, and spent much of the time while we waited alternating between watching videos on my phone and writhing in defiant fuss on the airport floor. You KNOW when that paci comes out outside of bedtime things are serious!

And yet- true to our term "growing" days- after every extreme period of fussiness you emerge with newfound complexity & knowledge. I truly believe these fussy periods are times when your brain is actively shifting and imprinting, throwing your little world into temporary dismay- where everything you once knew and perceived has become more complicated and different. The fussy periods are shorter than they used to be (a couple days vs a couple weeks) but are extreme in their intensity. 

This last "growing" period saw you emerge and start identifying "he" vs "she"- pointing out men or women in books and saying "that's a he" or "that's a she" and also saw you understanding the concept of "favorite." You were playing with a toy tiara and was starting to fuss for a different one I knew was in another room. Upon fetching it for you, you told me it was your "favorite," and I knew this to be true!

You've also shown an increased interest in understanding emotions. You are aware of when people are sad, mad, or happy, and can imitate all of the facial expressions associated with those emotions. You'll often reflect that "Iyla was sad, Iyla cried" after you are fussy or upset about something. This ability also makes it easier to explain things to you- as I can say things like "Mama felt sad when you weren't being a helper at bedtime" and you can now better understand the sentiment and are more likely to cooperate.

'Oh hi- I'm getting smarter every day!'

A little blurry, but I still think you have the absolute CUTEST profile I've ever seen

This month I was struggling with what to do with your hair. It is very fine, curly, & at times unruly, definitely with a mind of its own. My big dilemma was: trim your bangs or grow them out?  I was on the path to growing them out, but they were often getting in your eyes and required that you have your hair  'done' daily. So I succumbed to practicality and cut them again- doing a more professional job than I'd done the previous two trims (which involved lots of phone videos for you as I parted and combed and clipped over and over and over again!) The new bangs backfired the next day at swimming- a place where I thought they would be MOST convenient. Turns out they drip a lot of water into your eyes, so from now on at swimming I'll need to pull your bangs up into a sort of Bam-Bam do. Overall I think it was the right move, as you can now wear your hair down AND we can still opt to clip your bangs to the side. You're adorable either way!

Still life with toddler. Typical morning hair!

Bangs in the sun

This month's LOVES:

*Bacon & Prosciutto
*Cliff Bars (we are trying to restrict this one as you ask for them all.the.time!)
*Walking to the park
*Finding flowers
*Christmas decorations
*Coloring & stickers (all day every day!)
*Dressing up magnetic dolls
*Discovering & naming letters
*Picking out your underwear each morning

You are such a JOY, sweet girl, and your Papa and I love you so very much. Happy 25 months to you!

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