I missed last month’s update, but that’s ok - the changes in Juliette are coming a little slower these days and I dare say we’ve settled into a pretty good rhythm with easy daycare drop-offs and fuss-free bedtimes.  Two isn’t so terrible after all!  Ok, admittedly, she is prone mood swings and has perfected an Oscar-worthy pout…

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But she’s also silly and fun, easily moved to contagious bouts of laughter when I turn around from the front seat and make funny faces.

She’s such a proficient little talker now that I’m able to make out about 85% of what she says.  That last of bit botched vocabulary is pretty great, hearing her exclaim “turkey-pie!” when we get to the porcupine page of her animals book or say “I don’t how to know, Mama!” when she doesn’t know how to do something.  She’s constantly requesting her “co-co-dot” pj’s at bedtime, and when I remind her that it’s “puh-puh-POLKA-dots”, she replies confidently with “puh-puh-CO-CO-dots!”.  There was frustration felt on both sides when she pinched her finger last week and spent 10 minutes asking for a “bon-dod”, but when she pulled the sticker off my new pair of socks and put it on her finger, I finally understood she really wanted a band-aid.

Favorite pastimes these days are smearing chapstick all over her face while I get ready in the morning, handing me one article of clothing at a time from the laundry basket as I load the washer, and cooking or doing dishes – whenever I’m in the kitchen, she pulls over a chair from the dining room to climb up and “help”.  She’s my right-hand gal, for better or for worse.

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(Mostly for better.)

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But as much as she loves mama-time, Fridays with buddies can’t be beat.  We’ve been resourceful these past few wet weeks, hitting play gyms at Rainier Beach and West Seattle and Bellevue.  I try not to think about the proliferation of germs in these ball pits and plastic slides, because I figure those grins are worth a case of the sniffles!

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And when there’s a break in the rain, out we go!  Fifteen minutes of climbing around in the greenbelt near our house does us both a world of good when we’re feeling cooped up and cranky.

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When she’s not plastering the backseat with stickers or pleading for a snack, she’s singing, and singing, and singing.

Little did I know, her repeated rendition of “Welcome, Welcome” was in preparation for her school’s winter program!  She got up on stage with her classmates a couple of weeks ago and sang her little heart out, making her way through four whole songs.  I was so proud of her.  And a little bit heartbroken – this was the first time I was strictly a spectator, watching from a distance while she sang songs I hadn’t taught her with teachers and kids I honestly hardly know…  I’ve become used to her sticking extra-close to my side when we’re together and suddenly she looked so independent up there.  My big girl!

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Melancholy aside, the whole thing was pretty stinkin’ adorable.

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Happy 27 months, you big goof-ball.  You’re a little older, a little wiser, but no less fun!

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