Friday, September 26, 2014

Toddler Milestones 16-24 months

Piper just had her 17-month birthday yesterday, amazing right?  Time is just flying by, and as you have probably noticed I have still not found a way to integrate work time, Piper time, and blogging so that it all flows evenly.  First on my list of importance is Piper (where all my nights and weekends go), then work (where all my day goes), than the blog (where any free time I can muster on a slow day or those lucky days when Piper actually takes a nap on the weekends go).  Oh, and there is "me" time, too.  Sometimes I just prefer when I get that fleeting moment where I am free of all necessary obligations, well at those times I often do something for me, such as watch a movie, read a book, play a computer game (not a serious gamer but I like adventure and hidden object games, they relax me), or get caught up on my stories, aka TV shows via my secret Internet sites.  But all of this is besides the point of this post.  I'm just so slow on posting these days that I feel the need to explain my blog silence every time I finally get to write.  I know, it just wastes the precious moments when I could be getting to the damned point, I know!  So, without further blabbering like a nutcase, I'll get to the nitty-gritty.

Okay, I have to interrupt myself is now the 26th, her birthday was on the 10th, that's how long it has taken me to get this dang thing put together. Another reason why you will find out here in a bit I decided to cut this blog short and divide it into 2 segments, but you'll read about that later.  For now, let's jump back in time to the 11th for awhile...after 18 months we will be back to today again, lol!

This post has a purpose, that is to take a look at toddler milestones and reflect where Piper is at this stage in her development.  Yes, part of this is braggarting (a new word, add it to my personal dictionary!).  She's well ahead of most milestones for her age, and some way beyond her age. Part of this is also meant to be informative.  Many parents I know constantly wonder where there child is compared to the "norms" of development.  Now who decides these "norms" I couldn't tell you.  I'm presuming they're based on medical/psychological/biological/social science research.  As you may know, I'm a researcher by trade so therefore it's a constant in my life to want to find out more.  I'm always on the lookout for new source materials.  For this post, I'm using a great chart I found on a website that I thought represented the best compilation of information I found across sites.  Geez, I'm beginning to write like I'm at work again...let it go Ashley!  Anyways, I'm going to examine toddler milestones as they pertain to Piper's development from 16-36 months of age.  Feel free to examine your own children, too, but remember it's not a race to see who has the smartest baby...we all know that we all do, cause as parents we see our children as the best around.  So therefore they are all ahead of the game!  But in all seriousness, we all really know that Piper is a smart little wacky child that marches to her own drum and is far ahead of the milestones she's supposed to be at right now.  And I am really using this to mark her development for future reference when she's flunking her first class in school and can show her how smart she was once and nag her that she's not living up to her's going to happen, it happens to every parent at some point, right?  And as she is a bit of a wild child trouble maker right now, I can definitely envision principle office visits in her future...they do run in the family!

So, now that that is all out of the way, let's get started.  First off, 16-month milestones...

As you can see from the header, each age has three developmental milestone levels- Mastered (most kids can do), Emerging (50% of kids can do), and Advanced (a few kids can do).  This header will apply to every age level I post, so keep it in mind as we go along.

And since I began writing this, and it;s taken so long to complete, I've actually changed my methods and style as of this moment...and believe there is a lot of writing below this sentence so I'm hoping most of it won't change too much.  Anyways, I decided to make the visuals a bit more readable to at least myself and color code the milestones.  Here's how it works:

1) Circled in red = Piper has been doing this for 6 months or longer
2) Circled in purple = Piper has been doing these things for 4-6 months
3) Circled in blue = Piper has begun doing these things within the last 2-4 months
4) Circled in pink = emerging skills within the last 1-2 months
5) Circled in green = these will have special notes-- some have never been skills she's adopted, and some are not answerable because the opportunity has not arisen to test them (that last one will explain itself when I get to an example)

So, now let's have some fun!

At 16 months, Piper had all of the first column beat for several months before 16-months.  She's been turning pages of books for at least 6 months now if not longer; although she's generally well behaved, she does know how to throw a tantrum, especially when it comes to eating something she's forgotten she finds delicious until you get the first bite into her mouth, although that particular style of tantrum is more recent, I'd say around 3-4 months now; and she's been attached to Pig since last October, which would have put her at 6-months of age.  She's attached to all of her stuffed toys, but Pig is #1, forever!

As for column two- yeah, she's been experimenting with climbing for a couple of months.  First it was climbing off of things, such as the bed, sofa, chairs, etc., then it moved to climbing onto things...same general objects apply there.  She also at around 16-months started using objects to climb higher, such as standing on her potty chair and such.  Since I began writing this her climbing skills have gotten ridiculous.  I was a climber, so it's only natural that she follows in my footsteps. Hell, my parents found me on top of the refrigerator when I was just a little older than Piper is now, so there ya go!

She received her first set of blocks at Christmas, but has just in the past couple of months really started stacking them.  But once she started, she was a pro.  So far her record stack was 13 blocks high!  That's above a 3-year-old level for stacking.  Mind you these were 1" x 1" wooden blocks, not big massive blocks.  She has now begun experimenting with her multi-shaped block set and is getting into architectural much as a 17-month old can, that is.

My first picture of her Piper's amazing stacking ability!
This was her stack of 10, which soon became 13 on the next go round.
As for the using objects in the correct manner, well she must be a genius here, too.  She new the correct way to use a telephone at 8-months-old, she got several various toy ones for Christmas last year, although she was using other objects as phones before then, so imagine her thrill when she finally got some "real" ones!  She knew instantly how to use the pacifier that came with her Daisy doll at Christmas, and there are numerous other examples I could go on about but I think this blog is going to be long enough as it is!

Well, she sure knows what to do with drum sticks!  Always has!
And for the advanced skills column-- she's not really into getting undressed by herself yet, but then again she's usually in a dress with buttons that she couldn't possibly manipulate since they're behind her back.  I'm now adding a new sentence here, because since I began writing this she has now started taking her shirts and/or onesies off by herself as ling as she has her arms out of the holes.  And she takes her pants off while sitting on the potty.  For some odd reason it's impossible to use the potty whilst wearing pants!  I guess I should have read ahead as I already covered her temper tantrums about food, so that covers that.  And as for that sleep thing, Piper has never taken two daytime naps, much less getting her taking one a regular basis.  I'd say her inability to nap during the day probably directly correlates to her being more advanced on some things.  After all, she is awake and on the move more hours of the day, which allows for more exploration of her world.

Okay, now onto 17-18 months!

Okay, for this section I will do both months at the same time by column....I like mixing things up a bit :)  I will also number the items and highlight them in their circled color so you don't have to scroll up and down...see, I'm learning as I go!

Mastered skills 17 months-

1) Uses a handful of words regularly- let's just say Piper had over 40-50 words by her 9-month check-up.  She now has a vocabulary that includes up to 4-word sentences at times and hundreds of words.

2) Enjoys pretend games- Piper has been pretend playing since sometime around her 8th month.  She was using her fake cell phone and other phones correctly at Christmas, she pretend fed us and her dolls, and she was making up her own games, such as "Piper Says" that she used to play during meal times since as far back as I can remember!

While this is a new video, I just adore it!

But if you want a younger video, 
here's peek-a-boo at 11-months!

3)  Likes riding toys- well, she has been enjoying her rocking butterfly since around 8-months old.  Now she can mount and dismount without anyone's help.  As for other riding toys, she likes to push them while running at full speed, riding is just to slow for her.  And wouldn't you know that since I started writing this she has started sort of riding her rolling pony around.  She still prefers to push it, but she could roll around on it if she wanted to do so.

Her first pony riding toy!  
She was 8-months at Christmas.

Emerging skills 17 months-

1) Responds to directions- she has been doing this for several months now, can follow multiple directions at once, and is now giving directions as well---she's a little turd that way!

2) Feeds doll- see #2 Mastered skills 17 months- yeah, since she was 8-months!

3) Talks more clearly- with her non-stop communication, I'd say most definitely, although I'm not 100% sure how this is measured. so I'm just measuring her speaking skills against herself.  I do find it amusing that she does have her own language besides her regular spoken English.  It's plain enough, has a vast vocabulary, we just need a translator from another galaxy to help us grasp the entirety of its syntax.  Weirdly enough, it also gets more clear and more finely tuned as she gets older.  She's a funny little thing.

Advanced skills 17 months-

1) Dances to music- Piper has been doing this since she could stand and that's been quite awhile ago now considering she started walking at 11-months.  Before she could stand she would dance while sitting.  I was a professional ballet dancer in my younger years, so it's fitting that she's so into movement and music.

Dancing to Thriller at 10-months old!

And at 15 months...

2) Sorts toys by color, shape, and size- she's been doing this for a few months now.  She doesn't do a lot of it, but I've witnessed her separate out her blocks and lids (the ones with animals on them from the Gerber baby foods) before.

3) Kicks ball forward- she's started doing this right around the time she turned 15-months.  I think the first time was definitely an accident, but she picked up on the skill very quickly.  I actually was supposed to circle this one in blue but did it wrong and didn't feel like going back to change it, so please forgive the color coding mistake in the least I color-coded it correctly here :)

Mastered skills 18 months-

1) Will "read" board books- Piper, for the past few months, has been picking out her own books and sitting down with them for some quality alone time.  So yeah, she's got that one nailed.

Reading a book in her crib!
2) Can pedal when put on a trike- I have no idea about this one as she does not own one or have access to one...maybe Santa will surprise her with one this year!

3) Scribbles well- this girl has been coloring with crayons since around 5 or 6 months.  She got her first finger paints at 8-months and now uses all mediums including water colors and sidewalk chalk. Finger paints are still her favorite, though, but she does sometimes incorporate a paint brush while using them.  She's a fine artist.

Who can forget this masterpiece done back in May?
That means Piper was only 13-months old when she painted it...awesome!
Emerging skills 18 months- 

1) Strings words together/phrases- she began putting two-word sentences together a couple months ago.  Now she has moved to sometimes 3-4 word phrases.  They aren't as prevalent yet, but they continue to expand daily.

2) Brushes teeth with help- since I started brushing her teeth at the first emerging tooth back in October, she grasps the tooth-brushing concept and very much likes to help.  I'd say she started helping at 15 months, maybe a bot sooner.

3) Builds a tower of 4 cubes- Well, as you may have seen from pics on FB, she's was up to 13 blocks at 15 months...and she did this while taking a poop in the's that for skills?  She is now beginning to experiment with design elements and various shapes for stacking.  Architecturally speaking, she is way, way advanced!  Like on the level of a 3-year-old! Seriously, wait till the 36 month stuff.  Hahaha, I just reread the stacks 3 "bricks" under the 16-month skills sets.  Bricks?  I'm assuming that refers to those big rectangular paper box style ones we had back when I taught preschool.  Yeah, she skipped over those and went right to the smaller blocks.  And yes, I'm beginning to repeat myself because I'm still amazed at her stacking ability!

Advanced skills 18 months-

1) Throws ball overhand- this is another skill she picked up back when she was around 12 months old.  We've been playing catch since she started using the potty at 11-months, and this skill emerged soon after.  She is now pretty deadly with her throw, especially since her aim is a wild card and she prefers wooden balls over the plastic ones at times!

2) Takes toys apart and puts them back together- she's been working her puzzles for a few months now, but mostly she likes to destroy them more than put them together.  She does have some larger sized Lego-style square blocks, and those she's pretty adapt at putting together and taking apart again. Note, these are not the ones she stacked the 13-block tower with, that would be cheating!

3)  Shows signs of toilet-training readiness- I think everyone knows by now that she's been using the potty since she was 11-months!

Love this pic from her 1st birthday...
she had been using the potty for a month already!

Now onto 19 months...

Mastered skills 19 months-

1) Can use a spoon and a fork- Even though Piper has been working at this skill for quite some time, she has just recently mastered it within the last month.  She can now actually keep the food on the spoon and/or fork and put it in her mouth without any help whatsoever.  She still sometimes prefers to eat with her hands, but who doesn't, right?

2) Can run - Piper started running the moment she started walking, at 11 months.  I'm serious folks, this girl runs all the time!  She's like Forest Gump when it comes to running!

3) Can throw a ball underarm - Piper began throwing underarm around the time she began using the potty, so sometime between 11 and 12 months old.  I was torn between the red or purple circle on this one.

Emerging skills 19 months-

1) Half of speech may be understandable- Once again, this one was a hard one to judge.  Piper has always been very good with her pronunciation of words, but in the last 4 months she has really stepped up her game and bigger and longer words are becoming more prevalent and clear.  She actually likes to over exaggerate a lot of her words, which is just too damned adorable!

2) Recognizes when something is wrong (calling a dog a cat) - First off, I didn't make the chart so don't grammar Nazi me on the misspelling, lol.  Secondly, one of Piper's favorite words for quite some time now is "no."  So, she's been letting us know when something is incorrect for what feels like forever now!

Advanced skills 19 months-

1) Can was and dry hands and brush teeth with help- I've been brushing Piper's teeth since she cut the first one at 5-months-old.  In the past couple of months she has become a very good little helper, and sometimes quite the demanding little helper when it comes to brushing her own teeth.  As a matter of fact, she is beginning to want to do the job all by herself now, but mama's not having that! As for her hands, she loves playing in the soap and water, and can now rub them together without any help at all, but I still help her for the most part.

2) Can point to a picture of a cat or dog when you say the word-  I'm actually shocked this is an advanced thing for a 19-month old since Piper has been pointing at named objects/things/animals in books for so long now, and not just cats and dogs, either.  I couldn't even begin to count the number of things she can name on her own much less recognize them and point to them in a book.

3) May know when she needs to urinate- Some of you may be shocked that I'm listing this as an emerging skill since she has been pottying since she was 11 months.  But, that knowing when to tell us that she needs to go has just come about in the last month or so.  It's not completely consistent, hence why she is not 100% fully potty trained yet, but every day she gets a little bit better at the pre-warnings.  And she knows when she needs to poop, too!

Onto 20-21 months!
Okay, I think now may be a good place to re-show the color coding to avoid too much scrolling:

1) Circled in red = Piper has been doing this for 6 months or longer
2) Circled in purple = Piper has been doing these things for 4-6 months
3) Circled in blue = Piper has begun doing these things within the last 2-4 months
4) Circled in pink = emerging skills within the last 1-2 months
5) Circled in green = these will have special notes-- some have never been skills she's adopted, and some are not answerable because the opportunity has not arisen to test them (that last one will explain itself when I get to an example), and some she doesn't posses yet.

Also, I'm going to skip over any items that are repetitive from now on.  If I've already explained where Piper is at on a skill from it being listed in a previous month, I'm not wasting time repeating myself...I'm sure you will all appreciate it in the end.

Mastered skills 20 months-

1) See 17 months

2) Can take off own clothes with help- I kind of spoke to this at 16-months, but this one is phrased a bit differently.  Piper is really beginning to help a lot more with taking her own clothes off.  It's still an emerging skill, but it advances daily.

3) Will throw away old objects such as rubbish, in imitation- Piper just doesn't pretend to do this, she also does it on request with real trash.  She very much like to help with the cleaning sometimes.  As a matter of fact, if she finds what she thinks is "rubbish" on the floor, say a string or wad of cat hair, she will bring it to you for you to throw away, too.

Emerging skills 20 months -

1) Learns words at a rate of ten or more a day- Piper is definitely on the fast track of vocabulary building.  Everyday when I come home from work she has new words.  And as far as her understanding of language, well she probably learns way more than 10 words a day and has been doing so for quite a few months now.

2) Can walk up (but probably not down) stairs- I am presuming here they mean with help, as I am too nervous of a mom to let her go bounding around stairs all by herself.  I'm listing this as emerging in the past couple of months because she does walk up (and down) stairs with assistance...I hold her hand cause I don't want her to fall.  The going down just began, but the going up has been around a bit longer.

3) Searches for hidden objects- Once again, how is this an emerging skill at 20 months?  Piper has been searching for objects since before she could walk, maybe even crawl.  We used to play find the Cheerio under the lid game at dinner time...put a Cheerio (or other treat) under one of three baby food jar lids, shuffle them around, and have her find where it is.  She was actually eerily good at always guessing correctly.  Maybe I should take her to Vegas?

Hunting for Easter Eggs!- just turned 12 months!
Even knows to look inside eggs for hidden treasures!

Advanced skills 20 months-

1) May start exploring genitals- Yes, I will admit it, Piper has discovered her hoo-hoo!  She doesn't overly explore, but she's keenly aware that it's there.  Yay, my daughter has is way advanced when it come to genital exploration...makes a mama proud!  Yes, that was extreme sarcasm!

2) Draws straighter lines - Piper loves to color and she has begun to draw straight lines along with her crazy other methods of coloring.

3) Names several body parts- Piper could name over 10 body parts at 10 months!  I think she can pretty much name them all now...including her hoo-hoo!

Mastered skills 21 months- 

1) See #2, emerging skills 20 months

2) See #3, mastered skills 20 months

3) Can set simple goals (e.g., deciding to put toys in a certain place)- I'm not sure if this is an emerging skill of hers or if it's been around longer.  She has always had certain buckets or boxes for certain toys, and she has pretty much been deciding where to hide her toys for months now...she has lots of hidey-holes around the house.  I think now she's becoming more sophisticated in her placement of toys, so that's why I'm keeping this highlighted in pink.

Emerging skills 21 months-

1) See #1, 18 months advanced and #3, 19 months mastered
2) See #3, 17 months advanced
3) See #216 months emerging and #3, 18 months emerging

Advanced skills 21 months-

1)  Can name a cat or dog when you show a picture- Piper can name more than just a cat or a dog when shown a picture!  She's been naming objects from pictures for over 6 months now.  In books, on blocks, on walls, on cards, wherever pictures may be!

2) See #1Emerging skills 18 months

3) Can walk down stairs- When I began writing this and color-coded the chart, this was a skill I hadn't let Piper try yet.  Now is should be in pink as she is now walking down stairs while holding someones hand.

Next up - 22 months!

Mastered skills 22 months

1) Not going over this one again!

2) Follows two-step requests- Piper is now up to three step requests, but who's counting, right?  

3) Imitates others' behavior- I'd say she's been doing this since around 4-5 months of age, a very long time now.  However, she now can imitate much more elaborate behavior and sequences of behavior.

Emerging skills 22 months

1) Can do simple puzzles - I think I've already gone over this one, but Piper has been playing with puzzles for a few months now.  She prefers to take them apart, but she also knows how to out them together when she wants.

2) See #2, advanced skills 20 months- Not sure why it is blue in the chart above, because her drawing straight lines is an emerging skill as mentioned previously.  Just an oops, I'm not going back to fix it either, bwahahahahahaha!

3) See #3, advanced skills 20 months. 

Advanced skills 22 months- 

1) Can put on clothing- She's not into this yet, although she does help when I dress her.

2) Might be ready for a big bed - Since she has been sleeping in mine since she outgrew the co-sleeper, and now she can get out of bed just fine by herself (been doing so for a couple months now)...and probably in if it was lower to the ground, I'd say she's definitely ready for a big bed.  But, she's not getting one yet as she wouldn't stay in it anyway, she'd just be right back in my big bed.

3) Understands opposites - I'd say she's been grasping opposites for about 4 months or so now.  Up-down, hot-cold, yes-no, in-out, front-back, etc...she loves The Yo-Yo and Peanut Show on Baby TV.  It's all about opposites.

And now...23 months!  I'm getting exhausted writing all this...I've just decided to end this segment at 24 months and publish the 25-36 months in the next post.  Who knew this would take so long?

Mastered skills 23 months-

1) 13 bricks at 15 months, that's all I'm saying!

2) See #1, advanced skills 21 months.

3) See #1, mastered skills 17 months.

Emerging skills 23 months-

1) See #1Emerging skills 18 months

2) Can sing simple tunes - Piper loves to sing!  She has been sort of singing for months now, but over the past few she's begun adding the correct words in.  you should hear her sing the opening to Olivia the cartoon!

3) Takes more of an interest in playing with other children- Piper doesn't have really anyone her own age to play with, but she love playing with her older cousins (6-16 years age range) and has for at least 6-months now if not longer.

Advanced skills 23 months-

1) See #3, advanced skills 21 months

2) Talks about self (likes, dislikes)- In the last few months Piper has gotten quite an opinion and will let you know when she likes and dislikes things.  She has also begun using the word "me" when talking about herself instead of calling herself Piper.

3) Asks "Why?"- Not sure why I didn't circle this one, bit it should be circled in green as she had not yet started doing this, thank goodness!

Okay, we're down to the last month for this post...month 24!

And here is the color chart one more time, just in case you need it!

1) Circled in red = Piper has been doing this for 6 months or longer
2) Circled in purple = Piper has been doing these things for 4-6 months
3) Circled in blue = Piper has begun doing these things within the last 2-4 months
4) Circled in pink = emerging skills within the last 1-2 months
5) Circled in green = these will have special notes-- some have never been skills she's adopted, and some are not answerable because the opportunity has not arisen to test them (that last one will explain itself when I get to an example), and some she doesn't posses yet.

Mastered skills 24 months

1) This question is just embarrassing!

2) See #1, Emerging skills 19 months.

3) See #1Emerging skills 18 months

Emerging skills 24 months-

1) See #2, advanced skills 23 months.

2) Can arrange things in categories- This is a difficult question to answer.  I've seen Piper sort things into colors and shapes, things like that, so I'm marking this in blue for the length of time she's been doing that.  However, I haven't yet tried asking her to put all the animals who can fly in one pile, and those with four legs in another...things like that, you know.  So, in a ways, this is both a skill she's had for awhile but it is also one she is constantly showing more sophistication with.  I'm going to go home and see just what she can do tonight!

3) Not this one again!- remember she just started doing this before I could finish writing this, so it should no longer be green but pink.

Advanced skills 24 months-

1) Begins to understand abstract concepts such as sooner or later- Yep, she just this month really started grasping onto this idea.  It all started with after you go potty, then you'll get booba...things like that :)

2) Becomes attuned to gender differences- I had this in green as I did not know if she really grasped the concept of boys and girls being different.  If you ask her if a picture in a book is a boy or girl. or do the same with her cousins and aunts and uncles, she can tell you which are which.  But does that really means she grasps the entire concept?  This could be pink, but it's such a difficult question to answer.

3) Learns to jump- Piper has been jumping in the bed since before she could walk, but she has yet to start jumping while standing on the ground.  She is trying to learn how to do that trick at this moment in time.  So, depending on the definition here, it's either an soon to be emerging skill or one she's been doing for at least 6 months.

I cannot believe it, I'm finally finished with this post!  I'm not even going to go back and re-read for spelling and grammar mistakes.  I will later, but just now now.  Right now I just want to get this one out of my  hair for awhile.  It was going to go to 36 months, but it's so long I'm dividing it into two segments.  The next one will be months 25-36, so stay tuned for that one. In the meantime, take a few moments and go vote via the links below and then check out my other social sites, too! 

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Perfect Day

Ever had one of those days that you know you will look back upon as one of the most perfect days in your life?  One of those days that will lend itself to nostalgic feelings years down the road?  One of those days you see in movies and feel slightly jealous of and tell yourself "that doesn't happen in real life?"   Well, I just had one of those days.  Now I will warn you ahead of time, this day does not come with pictures.  It was a day for living in the moment of things.  Normally I want to rush and go grab the fancy cam and capture it all on film, but oftentimes that leads to missing out on all the finer details via living through the lens instead of living in the here and now.  So, when the urge hit me, I let it slide away, knowing that this day was special, and I didn't want to miss a single second.

It all began with a perfect Fall morning, the weather cool but not cold, the sun shining but not beating down and trying to melt your being from the heat.  Just the perfect combination of sun, lower temps, and a slight breeze...which is good when you have long hair...not too windy, and not still and stuffy. Oh, and since I live in the South, very low humidity, double bonus!

For a change of recent pace, Piper and I both slept in until 10:30.  She's been turning into a morning person, ugh, but this day she didn't wake up at the butt-crack of dawn.  She cuddled up with me and snoozed the morning away.

Upon awaking, she did't immediately sneak out of bed and start terrorizing the room...or pore my glass of bedside ice water directly on my face.  Yeah, that happened a few days ago!  Instead, she gave me the usual sleeping beauty kiss good morning, which lets me know she's ready to get up.  She then slid out of bed and played rescue the lovies from the obvious lava floor that was the carpet, or whatever was going on inside that imaginative brain of hers.  Once she finally decided that game was over, we moved into her nursery to play, which hardly ever happens.   We giggled, worked puzzles, looked at all her baby shoes that we've been trying to pack away and/or give away, and had a general damn good time.  Nana even joined in the fun.  It was an impossible good time to miss.

Next, it was time for a very late breakfast.  Piper had her first taste of honey, which I poured over her mini pancakes instead of the usual syrup.  She loved the honey!  And she also had sliced pears on the side.  After breakfast/brunch, it was time for a good potty and a wee bit of Olivia on the TV while Nana and  myself got dressed for an outdoor adventure with Piper.  Once we were ready, I dressed Piper in her new grey jeans and a new shirt and tennis shoes, then we headed outside for a walk around the wooded yard, down the street to see the neighbors goats, and then she got into her stroller and we continued to walk until she fell asleep.

Once back at home, of course she did not take her nap, too much fun was to be had!  After I had a quick bite to eat and fed Piper her lunch, she then had a bit of booba before deciding to go play with Papa in her playroom while Nana and I watched the last episode of Outlander, again.  After that was over, the whole family got back dressed in our outdoor adventure clothes and went exploring the yard.

First we picked tomatoes, then we wandered around looking for beetles and watching doodlebugs squirm about in their holes trying to get at the fallen inside ants.  Piper ran all around the yard, picking flowers, playing with seed pods and nuts, looking at the Mulberries, and examining her first Muscadines.  I even got to brush a giant spider off her hoodie, thank goodness before she saw it!

Besides the running wild in the yard, exploring wooded trails around the house, etc., Piper learned all about playing in the dirt for the very first time.  She dug at it, threw it, probably ate some while I wasn't looking, and generally got covered head to toe in it.  There was even dirt in her diaper, which is also where I found the Muscadine which I had left inside her hoodie hood.  Yes, it was truly her first real day of Fall and toddlerhood all rolled up into one wonderful package.

She was so worn out that she passed out while having booba on the back deck while the rest of us had our drinks and chit-chatted.  I finally decided to try and put her to bed around 8, but you know that didn't fly!  So, I changed her into her pjs, fed her some delicious homemade chicken stew and sliced pears, and then I let her watch Squeak on Baby TV while she pottied before heading off to bed to read a few books.  We have finished Charlotte's Web and now are reading Bridge to Terabithia as our "novel" to go along with out age-appropriate books. She eventually fell asleep with her head on my shoulder and her arm draped across my chest.

It was a big day full of adventure, learning, laughter, and family fun.  I'm glad I opted out of grabbing the camera even though it meant sacrificing pics of the day.  But it was worth it to live in the moment and share the adventure without trying to stop for pictures and what not.  I love the Fall, so I'm sure there will be plenty of photo ops to come in the near future now that the weather is cooling off enough to enjoy outdoor time.  I will say that even though I have no recorded images of the day, I will most definitely cherish it forever.  I wish everyday could be that awesome!

Okay, I know my fans cannot stand to not see Piper pics, at least in my head you all can't, so I've decided to include some pics from the past few weeks that have been on FB.

Humidity curls!
And another peek at them curls!
Her first real hair clip!
Stealing Mama's water jug!
Polka-dotted cutie-patootie!
Pout for the camera!
Pretty in pink!
Also, I'll throw in one free video, lol.  It's long but oh so worth the watch!  Piper is much like the kitties in that she can be totally enamored and fooled by the laser and enjoy!  And try not to pee yourself while laughing!

Well, so you all know, this post is not the one I've been working on for the past several weeks.  It should hopefully be finished soon, it's just a lot more intricate and takes a lot more free time to write, which is limited right now.  But I couldn't miss out telling the story of our perfect day, so I decided to get it out there before it was too late.  Oh, I almost forgot, Piper also has a piggy bank she's been putting her change into.  She takes money very seriously as you will see from this I did happen to shoot during lunch on our perfect day.

Oh, and I found another video I shot!  I forgot that while playing with Papa he let her get in her baby jumpy seat.  She's way too big for it now, but boy did she have a blast!

As mush as I would like to have more to share, that's it folks.  I hope you haven't missed us too much and will continue to support us over at Top Mommy and Top Baby Blogs, as well as our other social media sites.  Until next time, I'll try not to be a stranger!

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