Sunday, July 27, 2014

Time Flies When You Are Working Your Butt Off!

She's grown so much!
She has finally begun posing for the camera!
Has it really been over a month since my last post?  It's scary that the answer to that question is yes.  Where has this last month gone?  It seems just yesterday it was Easter, then I got this new job, which I love, but it requires more work and brain power than I have had the pleasure of being faced with in a very, very long time.  I mentioned before that by the time I get home from work all I want to do is cuddle up with Piper, have a glass of wine, and simply relax.  Bevel it or not, writing this blog takes brain power as well.   So after a long day of exhausting my synapses, I simply cannot bring myself to torture them any further with more thinking.  I really only get the time to write during the week after Piper goes to bed, which is normally around 10ish or so, depending on whether she's had an afternoon nap or not.

Sitting pretty :)
Yes, Piper is still not an easy sleeper when it comes to nap time.  My parents have been reduced to having to drive her around to get her to pass out as she fights sleep with every ounce of her being.  We used to stroll her around the block, but it's way too hot and humid in the deep South summer around noontime for her to get comfy enough to sleep in the stroller.  And I know, she's supposed to be able to self-soothe by now, but the girl is a sleep fighter all the way! As naturally energetic as she is, you'd think she'd simply just fall over mid-day, overcome with exhaustion from all her running around and general rowdiness.  But oh no, this is Piper we're talking about!  She's like a little Energizer bunny that just keeps going and going and going.  Sometimes, even a ride around in the car doesn't work getting her to sleep.  At other times, she may pass out for 3-4 hours, but usually her naps, if she takes one, are much shorter than that.  But I digress...

Sometimes Papa spoils her rotten during breakfast!
My solution to my lack of writing time was to first purchase a new laptop, one with back lit keys so that I could type in the dark in bed.  As you all probably know, Piper still sleeps in my bed, and although it's sometimes a hassle when she's wound up and fighting sleep, I'd still have it no other way for the time's just my personal single-parenting style.  The downfall of this, beside sometimes being much too worn down to even think about writing, is the fact that on those nights when Piper is wound up, I don't exactly get a chance to pull out the laptop until after 11pm, then I'm really too tired to even try writing through my exhaustion.  So my solution hasn't been perfect, but it's worth a shot.

Such a little princess!
My second solution is to take a five minute break every once in awhile and write a paragraph.  I don't usually have much time for breaks during the week, but I'm beginning to try...that's exactly what I am doing this very moment.  The downfall of this method is that my writing may become disjointed as thought flows are interrupted and a single post could take over a week to complete depending on my time management skills.  But in the end, it's better than not publishing at all, right?

Love that smile!
So, now that I've got all my hiatus explanations explained, let's get to the point of all this...updating all of you on everything Piper!

Of course, a lot has changed over the last month.  Anyone with young children knows how quickly they develop.  It usually happens in spurts, and it happens rapidly when it occurs.  Right now Piper is another rapid development stage.  First off, her vocabulary is just astounding!  Not just saying, repeating, and understanding words and language (she even uses foreign words and sign language at times...she loves Baby Einstein!), she is also recognizing her letters more and more each day.  We have this toy I like to call the letter abacus.  It has rows of rotating squares with alphabet letters on one side and picture of an object that begins with the letter on the other.  She started off by simply repeating the letters as we went through them, same as she did with the pictures, although a lot of the objects she already knew.  Then she started with the remembering/recognition process.  There were a few ways she did this.

1) When we would go through the letters in order and she was supposed to repeat, she would start to not say the exact same letter back, but say the next letter in line instead;
2)  Her next stage was recognizing letters that were pointed to.  I'd point to letters, she'd name them...and not in alphabetic order, either.  Of course she doesn't always get them right, but I'd say she's got at least half of the alphabet recognizable now, maybe even more than that.
3)   Finally, I've begun testing her knowledge of letters by asking her to point out whichever one I call out.  She does pretty well with this method, too.

With all three of these methods for learning her letters continually implemented, especially during potty time, she's pretty far ahead of the game when it comes to knowing her alphabet.

She also has discovered that jewelry is awesome!
Okay, now let's move on to numbers!  Her favorite number by far is the number 2. Don't ask me why, it just always has been. You ask her her age, she says two, you ask her to say one, she shakes her head and says two. When we count to ten, this is the way it goes. I say one, she says two.  I say two, she says two. I say three, she says two. I say four, she says five. It goes this way with her going back to two until we get to eight, she always says eight. So, 2, 5 & 8 are her go-to digits. Now don't get me wrong, she knows her numbers as she has counted to 10 before with no mistakes, and she also recognizes the numbers when pointed to.  However, I think the whole saying two all the time has become a little game as it makes her giggle.  It's like she knows she has us beat when she wants to do things her way...imagine that!

More pics of her playing dress up...her first time in the "pretties."
Okay, now it's colors time, woohoo!!!  I'm happy to announce that my little chickadee loves her colors. As you've seen from past posts, painting and using markers is one of her favorite pass times. She likes crayons a little too, but she much prefers the bright messiness of the markers and paints. Her art enthusiasm has pushed her along with her color learning skills. She recognizes most of the basic colors and can be very opinionated about with which ones she wants to create her masterpieces. The other day she went into a goth phase and black was her insisted color of choice. I need to take a pic of that piece and post it, it's pretty dang awesome. Every time she colors she asks for specific colors when she wants them. I think blue may be her favorite right now, or it's the easiest for her to say, but she does use it and say it a lot. I'm still holding out that she'll be a purple fan like her mother, though.

She's discovered Barbie!
And she adores her!
As I've mentioned before, she loves Baby Einstein and Baby First TV.  I can contest that although some "experts" say any TV before age 2 rots the brain, between the two of these shows/videos she has learned quite a bit through observing, absorbing, and repeating.  It's really the only two things I let her watch. Sometimes she's allowed a Nick Jr. show or two, but not that often as they mostly don't grab her attention like more educational TV shows and/or videos.  What can I say, she loves to learn!

Besides learning, she loves to be chased!

Next topic, language skills.  Her language skills are off the charts.  She understands everything and has no problem following directions.  I'd say she's up to following three-part directions right now, but mostly I stick with two-part directions, such as take this book and show it to Nana...things of that nature.  Her vocabulary grows every single day.  I swear she's learning new words faster than I thought possible, and she tends to like big words, aka, words with at least three syllables.  Recently she'e learned helicopter, flamingo, hippopotamus, umbrella, and other multi-syllabic words.  It's funny, too, that she often likes to whisper the words she likes best, no matter how short or long.  I think it has something to do with how important they are to her in life.  Papa is one of her favorite whispered words.  These whispered words are somehow sacred in nature, and it's intersecting to see which words she chooses as sacred. 

Her "oh no" expression took forever to catch on film!
One of my all-time Piperisms!

Okay, moving it's time to talk about her building skills.  Back on June 6th she began stacking blocks.  Sure she had accidentally put one on top of another in the past, but nothing was ever really deliberate.  But that day, she all of a sudden decided to start building instead of knocking down.  The highest "tower" I've seen her build was five blocks high.  I know it doesn't sound like much to us grown-ups, but that's a pretty good feat for a babe her age.  She also likes to try and stack various objects.  Like she will try and stack parts of her dinner items or books o random toys.  She's playing with balance for sure and definitely learning what makes things topple versus what makes things stay upright. 

Yesterday she got up to 6 she managed 8!
Another thing she has been doing is testing out what objects can fit into other objects.  For instance, when she couldn't find any of her plastic balls that go with one of her toys (the girl hides things under all the furniture so this not a rare occurrence that she can't find toy parts), she figured out that her smaller plastic Easter eggs were the perfect replacement in her ball-shooting elephant toy.  She is constantly stuffing objects into holes, under furniture, etc.  She's even discovered how to work the foot pedal on the Diaper Genie and has several times put toys inside.  I found a yellow ball in there one afternoon, hence another reason the elephant now shoots Easter eggs, and Nana found all the pieces to her colorful fish peg puzzle.  The orange fish is still MIA,, but it wasn't in with the diapers, believe me when I say it was no fun having to double check for that.  At least I didn't have to wade through any poopie diapers, but long-standing pee-pee diapers can be just as smelly!  Good news, found the orange fish today, yay! Nothing is worse than working a puzzle with the one piece missing.

It's also tough trying to get a turtle out of it's shell
and to eat your kindly offered celery!
(her first turtle encounter)
So, it's been another day since my last paragraph, so this may be disjointed, but now let me get to her singing and dancing talents.  First off, the singing, which is a relatively new occurrence, like within the last week.  Sure she'd sort of try to make some sort of hum-a-long with songs before, but now she has begun singing twinkle, twinkle little star and will randomly start singing the ABC song.  She also still loves mocking Beethoven's 5th symphony that she learned from Baby Einstein.  She really gets into this piece, loudly an with swaying her head from side to side or being very forceful with her dun-dun-dun-duns'.  As for her dancing skills, thye just keep improving and becoming more and more entertaining each and every day.

She still loves bath time, even when she looks serious!
Chocolate chip cookie face!
Since she likes a good beat, she's very much a hip-hop fan, but she also likes to softly sway and twirl along to classical music.  She has begun performing to hands, shoulders, knees and toes, and she randomly likes to do this little stomping dance. The stomping dance can build up to a major practically marching style of movement at times.  She's quite the music and movement enthusiast, always has been just like her mother, but now as she's becoming more sure of herself and steady on her feet, she's beginning to get bolder and more poetic in her dancing physicality.  It's like the music and movement burns within her soul, and I know exactly how that feels, it sort of runs in the family.

She loves to dance!

She's much improved since this video, 
so hope I can soon catch her stop move!

Speaking of burning musicality within the soul, she has also not lightened up any on the drumming.  We recently went to my cousin's wedding.  Piper was dressed to the nines and had a ribbons on a wooden dowel that they had for guests upon the newlyweds exiting the reception.  Piper got one early on and proceeded to the dance floor, twirling, swaying, doing her grove thing in all the many ways she knows how.  She definitely stole the spotlight for a bit.  But it was her rhythm that got the hired bands attention.  During one of their breaks, the drummer came over and told me that he could definitely tell she was going to be a drummer one day. I thought it amazing he would pick up on the fact that she adored the drums, remember she has three sets already at home, and then he proceeded to offer to let her try his kit out.  Not many people would be so gracious to a 15-month-old little princess, but he was oh so delighted with her.  She loved getting to sit behind and actual drum kit with real drumsticks in hand, it was truly a wonderful thing he did for her.  She even managed to get that rock-n-roll sneer for her pics behind the kit.  I must find out from my cousin the name of that band and send that guy a thank you note for making my daughter's night that much more special. It was already pretty spectacular for her...pretty dress, fancy wedding reception with an awesome dance floor, people admiring her left and right, a night in a suite at the swankiest hotel in town, room service for breakfast, bubble bath in a massive tub....the drum kit incident was just icing on the cake!

Dancing with her Papa!
The rocker sneer!
Another look at my little drummer chick!
A princesses view from the swanky hotel room window!
Alrighty, I think I'm going to start wrapping up this post.  I've got a lot more ground to cover before I've fully caught this log up, but this post could go on for several more weeks if I chose to let it do so.  I don't want to overload my readers with too much information at one time, that's for sure.  Plus, I need to have time to now go back and insert pics and video so I can finally get the puppy published on my blog.  That's actually going to take a bit more time than normal since I'm working from my new laptop and most of my pics and videos are either on my old laptop, still on my phone, on the fancy cam, or on Facebook and not yet downloaded.  I've got some serious work ahead of me, sheesh!  Piper is napping right now, but probably not for much longer.  Hopefully she'll sleep really good tonight and whatever I don't accomplish right now I can finish up this evening or a least during nap time tomorrow.

This doesn't happen very often...not to this extent!
As for what to expect in future posts...I must cover 4th of July, her new fancy potty (you'll get it when you see it), her 15th month check-up is coming up so all the stats from that, and goodness knows what will come up between now and then!  For now, I'll leave alone and finally get back on track with all her fans. Seriously sorry for the long hiatus, but what's a girl to do?  I'm happy to be back writing, but I'm even happier that I my career is back on track, I'm using my education, I'm making a future for Piper and myself, and I no longer have that one thing in my life that had the ability to make me unhappy....a very crappy job where no one respected anyone else.  My old job was my one Debbie Downer, and now I've fixed that.  Now life really can't get any better!  Well, now at least I'm happy with all aspects of my life, and that feels amazing!  Piper can sense the change, too, as I don't bring work depression home with me anymore.  It's good to come home happy, not stress over the weekends about the upcoming shitty week ahead, and finally feel happy all the time....except when I'm PMSing, hahahahahaha!

She finally learned how to use a bottle!  For a day...
Such a doll!
Yes, she loves posing on this bench!
Look at those curls she's getting!
So without further adieu, I bid you all farewell for the time being.  I promise not to be a stranger anymore and post more often.  It probably won't be every week, but I will do my best even if it's nothing more than shorter updates on Piper's development.  Thank you all for understanding, being patient, and sticking around. You are all awesome and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Love the black & white version of this pic!
Such an old fashioned beauty!
Love the profile...and them cheeks!
This I may have posted before, but who cares, right?
Just love that dress!
She really enjoys her butterfly rocker Santa brought her!
Yes, she does sleep sometimes :)
And looks like an angel when she does :)
Such a flirtatious spirit!
The girl does love the camera...I think the feeling is mutual, too!
And here's something you haven't heard in awhile....

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