Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Latest Update

It's been far too long since I've posted anything on Ashlinn's blog, so I thought I'd try and write up an update (knowing me, it'll probably go on for paragraphs!!!).

Ashlinn is continuing to develop leaps and bounds. She is such a smart little cookie, and can follow along on several songs, singing along for parts of it. When I sing the ABCs, she will mouth several of the letters with me, and will shout some out at the perfect moment, proudly saying the letter "h" and the letter "y" at the correct point in the song. She is a happy, happy girl, and we try to live by her latest motto where she'll continually exclaim, "Be Happy, Be Happy, Be Happy, Be Happy". I have no idea where she picks these things up sometimes.

Ashlinn is a chatterbox and can say more complex words, such as "thank you" and "butterfly". She is polite most of the time, saying "please", and of course "thank you" when I give her something she really wants such as snack or a fun object to play with. She has mostly gotten over the hitting phase and regardless of her wrongdoing, time-outs are highly effective and she's pretty easy to reason with. We try to use every faux pas as a teachable moment. When she hits me out of frustration, I never lose my temper but instead, try and put myself in her shoes which must be a challenging role. If the outburst requires a timeout, I place her in a designated area and act very stern with her. At the end of the minute, I get down at her level and explain why what she did was wrong and how it hurts mommy, etc., and we always end with a hug and a kiss and the world is well again. I love watching her expressions as you can tell what you are saying is sinking in and she's giving thought to the issue at hand. You can telll she genuinely feels bad and never meant to hurt anyone, but her emotions at this young age often dominate any sense of reason.

At the moment, she loves carrying around odd objects such as the dustpan, her super heavy activity block, and nasal spray. Ash is great at listening too. The other day, unbeknownst to me, Daddy was in the back room and asked Ashlinn to bring me his shoes so they'd go out in the living room where they belonged. Sure enough, here comes my little toddler carrying Daddy's heavy shoes and placing them nicely on my lap. He came out a couple of minutes later, surprised and elated that she had followed through and I had to laugh when I realized the task she'd completed. If I ask her to go and find her ball and bring it to me, even with the ball or other misc. object out of sight, she'll find it every time and bring it to me (unless of course she is distracted by something bigger and better).

Although Ashlinn has her favorite toys, she, above all else, LOVES her books. She constantly finds all of her books and brings them to me, wanting to sit on my lap and read with me. She's patient most of the time and will sit with me for quite some time looking over her "boots" (books) in excitement and in anticipation for the next page. I so love that she loves books. Books can open up a whole world of excitement, wonder, and knowlege for that little girl of mine and I very much look forward to reading longer and more complex texts with her as she gets a little older. Ryan probably has high hopes of starting the "Lord of the Rings" series with her, but I have a feeling he might have wait longer than he thinks before she'll be as excited about them as he is. :)

I'm not sure if I have posted anything about it yet, but Ashlinn started walking almost exactly a month after her 1st birthday on August 15th. We were thrilled and I believe she is happier than ever because of it. Both Susan (the wonderful gal who watches Ashlinn while we're at work) and I agree that she has been wanting to become mobile since she was a month old, and although crawling opened up new avenues for her, it was walking that really allowed her the mobility she'd been craving. She now walks around in patterns each evening, from the living room to the kitchen, picking up objects along the way to share with us, often exclaiming "Wow!" in amazement.

I had a conversation with Ryan the other day about what it was that was truly amazing with having kids, and one the ones that really stuck out to us was the fact that Ashlinn allows for our inner child to escape and explore the world all over again through her eyes. Suddenly an ordinary broomstick becomes something amazing with prickly bristles and a long handle that can move objects from far away, and a cluttered pursed becomes a bag of wonderful and curious objects, giving Ashlinn ample opportunity to pull out one objects at a time, inspect it and question what incredible purpose it must serve, before neatly placing it in an organized pile with everything else.

I have several friends and acquaintances pondering whether or not they should join us in the ranks of parenthood, and being in their shoes at one time, I can say that yes, it not for everyone, but I have to highly recommend it. It is truly the toughest job that I can think of and deserves to far surpass any of Mike Rowe's "Dirty Jobs" for a number of reasons, but it is the most incredible journey I have ever ventured to take. I can't say that I love every aspect of being a mother, but the amazing things I get to experience everyday with my beautiful baby girl far exceed even the worst of the negative ones. She brings me more joy in one afternoon of playing peek-a-boo, reading, playing the "What's that" game for hours, etc., than any of the best books I have read, vacations I have been on, etc.

I swore I would never be one of "those" parents who couldn't bring anything else to adult conversation beyond their kids, but both Ryan and I proudly lay stakes to that claim and talk about our little miracle to anyone willing to listen. She is our favorite topic, especially with each other, and can easily bring a tear to our eyes with the simple recall of silly memory from that day, or reminiscing about how tiny she used to be, etc.

We love that little girl more than anything, and are so happy to have her in our lives. Until next time...

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