Baby McElroy
I doubt anyone is even READING here anymore, since I don't post, but I'll do a long overdue update anyways.

Teagan is now 2 years old. The list of things she can do is long, and she wants to try and do everything herself all the time. She's quite determined and has a pretty short temper. If you dare to excert your will on her (stop her from doing something, do it for her, or physically move her some place) all hell breaks loose. She stayed mad at "papa" for a whole day for picking her up out of an area of the yard we told her not to go. Seriously, she brought it up to me 4 or 5 times later "I sad! Papa GRABBED me!"

Her language is amazing. Almost every day she impresses me with the quality of her speech and her vocabulary. It requires context to understand everything she says, there are lots of sounds she can't really make ("L" is a hard one) and she mumbles if she's shy or sad, but overall it's getting easier to communicate with her. She understands and uses words like 'instead'!

Her attention to detail and ability to notice things is great, I think that will serve her well in her lifetime. The smallest thing that appears new or out of place is noticed right away. She busts people at daycare (staff too!) for wearing shoes in the centre, but only if they are 'outside' shoes (inside shoes are allowed). The other day she was talking about seeing a star 'up there' and it was hanging from the rearview mirror of a car 10 feet away in a parking lot. She hears things said quietly or in an attempt to allude her, too. We have to spell or leave the room to get things past her now. (Yesterday at dinner I breathed "holy crap" to something I saw on tv, REALLY quietly, and she heard me and repeated it about 10 tmies *sigh*)

We moved her to a toddler bed a couple weeks ago. We're going to need the crib for her baby brother, and grandpa found a cool car bed for her so we made the switch.

She really likes her new bed, and the move went pretty well. A couple times we've found her fallen asleep behind her door (where her bookshelf is) but for the most part she stays in the bed. Since she hasn't mastered doorknobs and likes her door closed at night, she's still 'captive' when she wakes up, and will often wake us in the morning by knocking on her door.

She's a very sensitive girl, and empathetic. I've been sick (colds) through much of the pregnancy and it stresses her out a bit. She worries about me and talks about it at daycare apparently. It doesn't help that she equates "sick" with "sad" - if you are sick you can't be happy in her eyes. I get lots of hugs followed by "now you happy?!?" which is guarunteed to make me smile and ease her mind some. I'm happy she cares so much for people, but a little worried how she'll react to an often-tearful baby when he gets here. I'm trying to warn her often, about how babies cry a LOT, even sometimes just to talk, and hopefully some of it sinks in.
It's been nearly two months since I posted here, how can I possibly catch up to all that time?

Teagan's definitely a little person now, struggling for some independance and power. It's amazing to watch, and to interact with her now. She's very big on doing things herself, or at least trying to. I've found it's much better to let her try, and then have her ask me to help, than force my help on her. If I let her try, she lets me help within about 10 seconds, if I demand to do it for her, she'll fuss and cry, and it's no fun for either of us. Plus, she often surprises me. Yesterday she put both her socks on herself, properly! She and I were both very proud of her for that one!

We've started talking about the baby with her, so it won't be a new idea when her brother arrives. I mentioned once she'd have to share the milk when baby comes, that baby would have some, then Teagan would have some. Once in a while since she's popped off to say "baby have some?" since she doesn't really get the concept of when this baby is going to come. I also mentioned sharing, milk and toys and the nursing chair, with the baby, and the other day she turned the table on me. There is a small gift bag on the stairs of baby things I got for signing up for a registry at Toys R Us. She poked at the bag so I told her that was for the baby. She thought about it and then looked at me, quite serious, and said "Baby SHARE!". I guess if she had to share with the baby, baby would have to share with her!

She's showing interest in peeing on the toilet sometimes, but it hasn't really progressed. I'm not interested in pressuring her at all, so if she looks like she needs to go I ask her if she wants to pee on the toilet. Most often she said yes, about about 20% of the time she'll pee. I ask her when she's pooping, too, but she doesn't want that. I ask her if she wants to poop on the toilet (mostly to help her associate that activity with the location) and she said "no, poop here!" and we leave it at that.

Teagan is trying out whining and crying to get her way. I saw one newer child at daycare doing that, and she watched him quite closely, so that may be where it's from. We're working hard not to give in to 'crying to get her way' and telling her to "ask nicely" and "use her words". It works really well. She's also started asking for someone else if one of us tells her no, or prevents her from doing what she wants. If dad says no, she'll start crying for mommy, and vice versa. If we're both saying no, she'll sometimes cry for Ami, Papa, Gramma, or Uncle Ian. It's incredibly cute.
I am quite amused at Teagan's attempts to discipline herself. The caregiver at daycare told me that when they sit down to play with play-doh she'll say to herself "no eat playdoh, no eating playdoh" like she's psyching herself up. Eventually some ends up in her mouth, she just can't help it, it looks yummy! But she tries. The other day while nursing she popped off all of a sudden to look up at me, quite serious, and say "no wiggling!" and then went back to nursing. (I tell her no wiggling while nursing quite often, she's big and hard to keep on my lap when still!) And this morning she was being silly, doing that weird squeal/shreik/bark noise toddlers like to do (SO ANNOYING) when I asked her questions. I looked stern and she said "No screaming, teagan" and stopped. heh.

She's mastered the phrase "something else" when she wants something different to eat. Sure beats her tossing her food to the floor, but we ran into a problem last night. She ate about half her soup then handed me the bowl and said "something else". So I took the bowl and said "ok, Teagan, what would you like?" and she says "something else". Over and over: "yes, but WHAT else? What would you like to eat?" "something else" she made her eyes big and stressed the word ELSE like we simply didn't understand her, but she wouldn't suggest what she wanted, funny girl.
Teagan's sense of humour is great. She finds so many things funny, and does things to be funny, sometimes even labelling herself as such. "Ha-ha, Funny!" she says. She's picking up some things from TV. All of a sudden she's started saying "Boooob Builder - Yes he can!" and "Cannee fixit? YES HE CAN!" Sometimes when she's playing with her toys "tools" and sometimes just for fun. I think it's funny and cute, Magnus worries that it's a bad thing she's copying TV. She watches some TV each day, usually while I prepare dinner, occasionally in the morning while she eats her breakfast. Mostly she plays in front of the tv, not slack jawed staring at the screen. I'm no too worried, she mimics plenty of stuff NOT on tv, too.

She likes to sing songs, and she's got several phrases from a bunch of songs now. (baa baa blacksheep, the Alphabet song, Itsy Bitsy Spider, twinkle-twinkle little star[with actions], and "bye-bye daddy"/"good-night teagan"[silly made up songs we sing]) She's been counting her fingers and toes, or counting when she covers her eyes (hide and seek).

She managed to catch me saying "damnit" and knows full well how it's used. She throws it out now and then, and we try hard to act like she didn't say anything, take the fun out of it. I was punching down the bread dough the other day, looking serious and walloping it good and she came into the kitchen, watched me and said "Damnit! Damnit!" Took everything I had not to burst out laughing! Sometimes she says "nuts" as a frustration phrase, that one I don't mind.
Too busy to post these days! Teagan's still loving daycare, and she mentions some of her 'friends' by name occasionally. This morning she was giddy about going to daycare, actually waving her arms and jumping up and down when it was time to go!

She's grasping some pretty big concepts these days. She actually seems to understand "soon" to mean "yes, it will happen, but not right now, in the near future sometime". If she asks for something, and we say no, sometimes she will say "soon" and carry on happy enough.

Another idea is having a "turn" with something. I think she thinks "turn" pretty much means "mine", though. She'll say "Teagan's Turn" when she wants something someone else has, which is pretty darn cute. She did say that to assert herself at daycare, this morning another boy wanted her toy and tried to take it: she held on and said loudly to him "Teagan's Turn!".

Because of daycare labelling parents as "Teagan's mommy" and "Sarah's daddy" and so on as they arrive each day, Teagan often calls me "Teagan's mommy" at daycare(and Magnus as Teagan's daddy), and at home even. It seems to be when she's most pleased to see us, first thing in the morning, or after we've been out of sight for a while. The daycare staff told me one day Teagan and another child stood at the door argueing about which parent was coming - She said "Teagan's mommy" and the boy indignantly says "no, MY mommy!" and back and forth. Heh.

She's figured out some of her favorite foods, and sometimes requests certain things. Breakfast is usually toast, which she asks for, but occasionally she wants a Waffle instead. She requests Sushi for dinner almost every night - she loves actual veggie sushi, but sometimes thinks any rice dish could be sushi. Pizza is another thing she asks for often, even though she's only eaten it (homemade or cheeseless Amy's brand) a handful of times. Oh and corn. That's been her before bed snack the last few nights in a row, because that's what she asked for. (and since when would you refuse a kid a healthy veggie they ask for??)

We're heading to a friend's 2nd birthday tomorrow. It should be fun, she likes this girl a lot, and this will be the first birthday she's been to since being old enough to get something out of it. We may have a bit of trouble with the concept that all the gifts are for the birthday girl, we'll have to see.
Teagan started back at daycare yesterday. She's in the TODDLER room now, with mostly kids bigger than she is. She seems fine so far, and I think it will be good for her. She speaks and moves very well for her age (19months) so she'll benefit from being around older kids. They have a huge wooden toy kitchen setup, with a stove, cupboard, sink and all the accessories. She loves it, and all morning was talking about "daycare" and "making....soup". That's where she headed right away when we first got there, too.

She's been quite interested in babies and dolls, but real babies most of all. My friend just had twins so whenever we see her I usually end up holding one. Teagan comes over to see, looks really close, tells me "baby!" and "baby sleeping!" then pats them gently on the head, before carrying on playing. I'm glad she's interested in them and gentle. We plan to have more kids, so it's nice to see that reaction to babies.

Teagan's current favorite breakfast is Toast. With 'dip' (red jam) and sometimes some fruit. I love it - super easy to make, she can feed herself, and since we margarine the toast, she gets a decent calorie start to the day. (1-2 peices of whole wheat toast, tablespoon raspberry/strawberry jam, and an orange - plenty for a toddler!) She's still happy to eat most foods. We've been cooking mostly vegan so we can all eat the same things each day. Easier for me and healthier all around.
Our little chatterbox learns more and more words every day. She's using them well, stringing together 2, 3 and even 4 words! The other day I finished drinking my tea and she says "Mommy tea, all gone!" all on her own. Mostly she uses one word at a time, though. We're trying to teach her to ask for things using two words, as in: "cracker please" "up please" to work on the manners. She says please, more as a trick to get what she wants. Sometimes if I ask for a kiss she'll prompt me saying "please" to make me say it. (not that she'll always give me what I ask for!!)

She loves to mimic stuff we say. I have to watch myself, we're not big on swearing, but the odd word sneaks out, and I say "crap" more than I'd like to. She copied my father-in-law saying "yeah-yeah-yeah" in the same tone and everything the other day - funny!
Teagan's getting good at asking us for what she wants. She's made breakfast requests a few times now (toast, pancake, waffle) and the other day we were driving home in the car talking about what to have for dinner. Magnus said "something with fries" and Teagan piped up "Burger!" from the back. She likes her veggie burgers!

She's also showing real interest in the toilet. We started a while ago labelling our bathroom activities, and hers when changing diapers and stuff, and she's been watching me use the toilet. Sometimes she'll ask to pee, and we'll put her on the toilet. 3 times now she's peed on it, about as many times she's just sat there for a while before getting bored. She's very young, just turned 18months, so we're in no rush and not pushing things. If she's going to ask to go, though, we'll follow her lead and help her.

Originally uploaded by wendymc.
Teagan crawled into the tupperware cupboard and peeked out when I called her. Silly girl!

She's talking SO much, and improving her pronounciation daily. We try really hard not to do any "babytalk" and to speak clearly and talk constantly to and around her, and it seems to be paying off. The only exceptions are that we sometimes use "ta-ta" for thank you, since she can say that, and we offered "gamma" for gradnma, to make it easier. (she seems to have settled on "amma" herself)

She's been shaking her spoon around a bit, full of food - yuk, and I couldn't figure out why. Last night we figured it out. She's mimicing the "airplane" feeding we sometimes do to be silly and entertain her while feeding her. She mostly feeds herself now, so I guess she felt like doing the airplane thing. She made some buzzing noises, waved the spoon around a bit, and then sped it into her mouth with a loud "yummm!"

Life's been busy, no time for blogging it seems!

Teagan is surprising me with all sorts of new words, she understands so much, and repeats a lot, too! We had a little playgroup at our house, my friend's 3 year old daughter and 18 month old son came over. Teagan had a blast dancing around the livingroom with them, and getting drenched in the yard with them. I am THRILLED to have a yard for Teagan. We bought a little wading pool which she LOVES and it's nice to have a clean, safe place to play, just outside the door!

Had to visit the doctor for a nasty diaper rash and the fact her raspy breathing and intermittent cough is lingering. Doctor isn't concerned about the rasping, says it's just a little mucous she hasn't cleared out. She weighed in at 26 pounds. I knew she was getting bigger! I'm happy she is a healthy weight. I don't worry too much about her diet (Vegan/nut-free) but it's still nice to get reassurances and facts on our side in case we meet resistance anywhere.

On the topic of diet, I've been trying to find more "treat" things Teagan can eat, quick snacky foods, portable things, sharable treats, things like that. I want foods that are easy to pack for lunches, take in the car, or share on playdays. Plus things with a few more calories than fruits and veggies, which are her staples. We managed successful vegan chocolate chip cookies the other day - Teagan has no interest in them. I found a great deal on Organic Toaster Pops (poptarts basically) - again, no interst. She will eat any fruit except melons (havent tried watermelon) most veggies, loves peas and broccoli especially, and kidney beans are a favorite food of hers. But try get the kid to eat a sweet? Not that I'm complaining, I just find it funny. She will eat Licorice (red) though, and stole the piece out of my hand the other day, despite holding a piece of her own at the time!
It's funny how literally Toddlers can take things. Teagan was sliding down the slide on her climber, and then looking around to see how to do it again. We told her "You have to go around to climb up" so she turned around in a circle on the spot! Then we guided her to the ladder, helped her up, and she slid down again, then turned in a circle before running around to climb up again.

Originally uploaded by wendymc.
We inally set up the Little Tikes Climber we got. Good thing, she's going to outgrow it quick, I think, it's not that big. She had a blast sliding and climbing under it.

17months old today. She seems so big to me, like she should still be that tiny (?) almost 10lb bundle we brought home from the hospital. She's showing more independance and learning so much, she seems like a "big girl" more and more. And then, we go somewhere there are lots of bigger kids, and she seems tiny once again.
I don't know WHY there is a huge space before the posts, I'm trying to fix it.

My little girl is picking up so many words now, I just can't keep track. She talks in "teagan-ease" which is sometimes close to english, often quite a bit different. My favorite from yesterday: "Shi-su" (sushi) hehe.

She was flipping through a kids 'seek and find' sort of book, reading it to me last evening. The first two didn't surprise me: "Duck - ack-ack-ack-ack" & "Maow-maow-maow" (cat meowing) But then she labelled a lot of other things I didn't know she'd picked up: "Poooon" (spoon), "Ah-pay"(airplane), "key", "tuck" (truck) and so on through the book, until she got bored. Sometimes I worry I'm not "teaching her" enough, focussing on vocabulary and things, but then I realise I talk to her ALL THE TIME. If we're together I'm either talking to her or describing everything I do. "I'm going to get out out of your carseat now, Snap! Snap! Up we go. Should we go see if daddy is home yet? He might still be at work, let's go see" and really, what more does an almost 17month old need?
We're all settled into our new home (YAY) so hopefully life can start getting back to normal. I'm really proud of Teagan, she's been adjusting to all the changes and stress so well. She's spent time with the grandparents, hanging out at the new yards, and all over as we painted and packed and moved. She's showing a little bit of stranger shyness that is newish, but that's the only response to the PILES of stress we've been under. She's been a tad clingier, too, but I think that's partly from being away from us more.

Our new home has two small fenced yards! Teagan loves hanging out in them, playing with rocks, smelling the flowers, picking the strawberry patch bare :) We have to remove a couple of really thorny rose bushes to open up the main yard more, hopefully in the next couple of days. I'm so excited to be able to have her playing outside all the time, she loves it so much. "SIDE!" she demands, even if she JUST came in.

Her room is a BRIGHT Orange-Yellow colour, we thought it was too bright at first but now we love it. She seems happy, too, as she squealed when we went in there to check it out all painted. She's sleeping fine so I guess it's not TOO bright :)
Teagan surprised me this weekend....I was putting on her socks or shoes, and counting as I did them, "One....." and before I got to the second she piped up "twooo!" I thoguht I'd imagined it so I tried again "One...." "twooo!" she says, with a smile. Gamma had been playing with some paint rollers the other day, counting out "one, two, and where is three?" putting them in and out of the box, I guess "one-two" cemented itself in her little head! That and I do count things just for something to say to her quite often.

She's also taken to saying "Sock - a - Shoe!" (socks and shoes). Cracks me up to hear her little baby-voice saying things so clearly!
Teagan's Gamma (aka: Gamma Ray, to differentiate between my mom: Grandma, I guess) has been playing with her around the new house as we renovate. Today she wasn't feeling well, just wanted to sleep a lot, so she was napping on the floor, and Gamma decided to join her:

Teagan's had full, busy days lately, exporing our new yards at the house. It's unkept and overgrown in parts, which makes it all the more adventuresome for a little girl. She got to pick herself some strawberries to nibble on, too. We tried to put her to work helping us paint, but she was just too tired!

The other day Teagan slid the large bin of rice over to the wall, and climbed up on it, so she'd be tall enough to reach stuff on the shelf in the pantry. She often plays in there, that's where we keep the newspapers, and since she COULDN'T reach any food we didn't worry. But with her little inventive stepstool, she got the package of raisins down, and marched around carrying them, happily munching away. She did stop to share a few with me, though:

I love chatting with Teagan, she says so many words, and with the signs, I can play little games, ask her questions, give her instructions. She really seems to enjoy communicating, too. Daycare is stepping up the sign language in general, I'm going to have to study up to keep up with her.

She loves this one song they used to sing at daycare "riki-tiki-tiki Ram-sam-sam" or something like that, but the gal who sang it left daycare, so I need to find another way to learn it. She asks for it, wiggling her fingers and saying "tika-tika".

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