Of course, with toddlerhood comes lots of bumps and bruises. She falls and bumps into things countless times every day. Stairs are a real hazard, since we have so few for her to practice on at home. She's tough (when she's not tired), so we know she's had a pretty bad fall when she cries about it. Besides a few impressive head and facial bruises, we had avoided anything too major until last weekend when she hit her chin on our living room table and bit her tongue hard enough to bleed badly. It was a mess (thank goodness for hard wood floors!) and she was inconsolable for about 15 minutes while we cleaned her up and assessed the damage. She eventually drank a bottle of milk, took a 3 hour nap, and pretty much forgot it had happened.
In the past several weeks, her vocabulary has also expanded. She can say dog, monkey, ball, daddy, mommy, no, me, baby, noodles, milk, bottle, go, bike, Bible, night-night, hi, water, bubbles, balloon, knee, star, moon, Jo-Jo (her favorite dog), Nate (her cousin on the Jester side), and Nana (my mom). She signs the words more, please, all done, hat, "so big," hello, goodbye, up, and yay! (clapping her hands) She can point to eyes, ears, noses, heads, mouths, teeth, tongues, belly buttons, knees, elbows, feet, and toes. We enjoy being able to understand more of what she thinks about and wants.
She loves to pick out books for us to read to her. She can usually find the objects we name in books, and can point out the correct people we name in photographs. Now that she's walking, she's a great courier and we ask her to bring us things or deliver items to each other so we don't have to get up from our seats. :) She also enjoys taking things out of a container or drawer one-by-one, and then (sometimes) putting them back away as neatly as a one-year-old can. Every now and then I'm pleasantly surprised to see her mess all cleaned up by the time I get around to it. I'm not complaining!
She alternates between one nap a day and two naps. If she had a good night's sleep (which happens most of the time), she can usually make it until 11 or 12 before she naps. She'll sleep for 2+ hours and is good until bedtime. She's continued to sleep through the night almost without exception, from 8:30 p.m. until 6:30 a.m.
We're definitely beginning the toddler tantrum stage. She's opinionated about what she wants and when she wants it, and we hear about it loud and clear when her expectations aren't met. I totally understand her frustration since much of the world is off-limits to her at this age and she often can't communicate exactly what she wants. But so far she doesn't seem to be a stubborn kid - she gets over it pretty fast and moves on when we give a firm "no" and redirect her.
She's independent and can entertain herself for hours. When she sees a new place she wants to explore, she'll take off on her own if we let her. She doesn't smile often at strangers anymore and I'd describe her as a pretty serious baby. But she's very friendly and likes to wave at everyone.
We absolutely love the little girl we're watching Emma become, and are looking forward to her communication skills developing further so we can learn even more about what goes on inside that sweet little head! I'll spare you the mediocre photos from my camera phone, and leave you with some amazing pictures we had taken with the Jester family in Topsail Island, NC. Megan Hsu was our photographer, and I cannot recommend her enough if you live or vacation in that area. Here are some of my favorites of the family.
The entire Jester family - groups listed from left to right:
Robin (Dan's younger sister), with her husband, Rob, and kids (left to right), Abi, Naomi, and Nate
Dan, Emma, and I
Roy and Audrey (celebrating their 50th anniversary this year!)
Tim (Dan's older brother) with his wife, Dawn, and kids (left to right) Josiah, Benjamin, Aaron, and Nathan
The original Jester Family
Dad and Mom Jester with their beautiful grandchildren
I love this picture of the two of them!
Tim and Dawn's family
Megan was shooting cute pictures of the boys' feet
Until a wave took them by surprise and she captured this funny moment!
Robin and Rob's family
This is my favorite of the littlest cousins. Ha! Poor Naomi was tired of sitting in a crate.
Goodness, she's beautiful!
I love her eyes in this picture.