Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Girl[s] of Summer

Dear Ainsley,

After a phone call with Grandma last night, I realized that I should be writing down all these stories I've been sharing. You are getting so big so quick, that I have to remind myself to take a break and document as much as I can.

Your vocabulary continues to grow by leaps and bounds. You repeat EVERYTHING. And your retention is astounding. One of the words you know is "lotion." We always put lotion on after your bath, and you easily recognize the lotion bottle. What amazed me last week was while we were flipping through a Parents magazine, you were able to point to ads for lotion. OTHER lotion. NOT the lotion we use. That seems pretty complex to me....

You are now able to count to 10, except for 7. Not sure why you like to skip over seven, but you do. You will sporadically get through all your numbers, but most of the time you like to yell out what's coming up. We'll be on 3, and you'll yell out 5 until we get there. I don't think you grasp the idea of "counting" items just yet, but you do know your numbers pretty well.

You request the alphabet at least 10 times between the time I get home from work and your bed time. I can only imagine how many times Daddy recites it during the day. Like your numbers, you enjoy shouting out your favorites as we approach. You can say, "A, B, C," then you skip ahead to "F." From what I've seen you can recognize ALL your letters on site. We have foam letters in the tub, as well as blocks with letters. You will pick random letters/blocks up and tell me what they are. You do this even for the letters you don't remember when saying the alphabet. X appears to be your favorite letter so far.

We have been working lately on both your letters and numbers, so I had some expectation that you would pick up on them. What surprised me last week was that you will also yell out lines to your books before we get there. I know that I have the books memorized, but did not realize you were doing the same. One of your favorites is "The Shape of Me" - a Dr. Suess book you got from your Aunt Sara. There is a line that says, "Just think about the shape of beans, and flowers, and mice, and big machines." You shout out "and mice" almost as soon as we reach that page. Took me completely by surprise the first time you did that, and I didn't realize at first what you were saying. Then it hit me that YOU were reading to me. We both had a good laugh about it, and you seemed very proud of yourself.

The other milestone we've reached recently is your understanding that the baby in the mirror is YOU. On Saturday, I pulled your hair back into a barette. You made your way into Mommy and Daddy's room, and proceeded to check out the baby in the full-lenghth mirror we have on the closet door. Not 10 seconds after seeing your reflection, you reached up and pulled out that barette. You saw it in the mirror first, and just knew it was on YOUR head. Later that same morning, I put on you some sunglasses you got from your Aunt Beth. You know what glasses (sasses) are - you always try to steal mine. The idea that you have glasses of your own? GET OUT. Every time I put them on, you ran into the bedroom to look at yourself in the mirror. I can just imagine your thoughts, "That is one COOL baby."

Daddy and I have tried to cultivate a keen appreciation of music in you. As of now, you pretty much love it all. Everything from Daddy's dance music, to Mommy's Simon and Garfunkel. There are a few songs from Sesame Street that you request incessantly. Your favorite is "Rubber Duckie." To request this, you will walk up to either Mommy or Daddy, shout "Duck!" repeatedly, and shake your little fanny back and forth until we start to sing. Your Aunt Beth used to do the same dance in front of the TV when she was a little girl. While Mommy gets tired of singing "Rubber Duckie" over and over and over again, the request and dance never cease to be endearing.

Yesterday, you had a play date at the park (also known as "out side") with your friend Julia. Its been so hot lately, we've been reluctant to let you out for too long. Daddy said you played hard yesterday. When you got home from the park, just after Mommy got home from work, you were about the cutest I've ever seen you. Curls matted with sweat, bright pink flushed cheeks, dirty knees, and smelling of sunshine and sunscreen. I got a big hug, and the immediate demand to provide a lap in which you could sit. After a few books, we had dinner and a bath, and all was right with the world.


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