Well, the plan was that I'd get pictures uploaded from the camera sometime this week and write up proper monthly reports, but it hasn't happened and it's probably not going to, seeing as we're preparing to fly across the country tomorrow. So I'll try to get to it when we get back. In the meantime, camera pictures and a summary will have to do.
Let's start with Chloë. This morning Eric announced he was starting a cold. I stared at him and Maia, who had been coughing heavily that morning, and pronounced, "You people suck." Chloë, on the bed beside them, said, "No! People do not suck." Chloë at 26 months is active, eloquent, opinionated, joyful. We went to the Andersons store the other day to pick up a few things the local Kroger doesn't carry, and Chloë was what I would normally call badly behaved--running, touching things, shouting--but she was having so much innocent fun I really couldn't be upset, though I did continue to yell and correct her behavior to keep up my societal obligation. Of course the people around us only smiled and talked about how adorable she was, and one old lady said to her, "You bring life," so I didn't even feel like I was providing a public service by restraining her.
She has yogurt for breakfast almost every morning, through her own choice. She picks out her own clothes (though we have veto power) and can take them off herself, including putting them into the hamper, though she still needs help getting them on. "Chloë take clothes off all by Chloë self!" she says proudly. She's still hooked on her shows, particularly the Care Bears movie, and on Sesame Street. We tried her in size 6 diapers today because she's got persistent redness in the diaper area (they're bigger than I thought and she didn't like that, so possibly not useful after all), and she was unhappy that the Elmo picture is much more simplistic than the one on the size 5s.
She's interested in the simple puzzles Eric got her recently and in playing catch; also in taking out the drawers of her toy chest and dumping them out (thank you cousin Addie who showed her how). She likes to play at being asleep, which she now pronounces "tweep" rather than "deep," and continues to find pretend fish everywhere (including in a poopy diaper, which both Eric and I found deeply disturbing). She's LOVED her water table, and asks to go to the park much more often than we take her (admittedly, we don't take her as often as we should). She loves being outside in general. She asked to stay out in the rain the other day, and since it was warm I let her. She's already looking forward to playing in the snow, and to wearing boots while she does it, "just like P.B. Bear."
She still loves being tickled and roughhoused with, and will ask for "one more time" over and over...but if I say "this is the last time," then afterward she'll say "no more," and seem satisfied. She's much more biddable when we warn her what's going to happen. She enjoys the bedtime routine, especially "naked while," during which she jumps around in only her diaper and asks for "evyping," on her bed, and then when we pile all her various blankets and toys on her to her chin, says happily, "Koë buried?" She likes naming all the things we have to do to get ready for bed, and then when we tuck her in she'll say "night night," or "sweet dreams," or "see you in the morning," because she's heard us say them so often.
She's particular about her socks being on right and her pants not being too long, and will say "Socks/pants not okay," until it's fixed. Yesterday we made an apple cake and she got cinnamon in her eye. There wasn't as much crying as I would have thought, but for a while after I'd wiped off the major stuff and was flushing her eyes with Visine she kept saying "Chloë eye not okay." Then she said the Visine "peel punny," and squirmed and giggled, and wanted more when I'd gotten out as much as I could and she was no longer complaining. She's keen on having medicine. So far she hasn't made any serious attempts to get any, but we need to be careful about not leaving stuff out. She's so good, most of the time, but she's started being more grabby and inquisitive than she used to be, and that could mean trouble.
After dinner last night, we sampled the apple cake. I set down Chloë's plate with its thin but substantial slice of cake and its toddler fork in front of her at her coloring table and sat down across from her, Maia on my knee, to eat my own. Chloë looked at her cake and said, "Chloë have more pieces?"
I laughed. "You get one piece of cake."
"More pieces," she repeated.
"Eat what you've got," I advised.
So she picked up her fork, stabbed her piece of cake, and gamely tried to get the whole thing up to her mouth, because I'd totally forgotten she doesn't know how to cut her own bites yet. I apologized and cut the cake into more pieces, and she ate, much more happily.
Then there's Maia. Maia at five months is a very mellow girl, except when I'm changing her diaper instead of feeding her late at night. She likes to sit in her carrier and chew a toy while we're in the kitchen; she likes to look around when we're at the store, unless she's asleep. She's going down around 8:30 and sleeping until between 3:30 and 6:30, which I regard as a most glorious mercy. She generally doesn't wake screaming; she murmurs a bit, and when I come in and uncover the blanket that she's inevitably got wedged in her mouth, she smiles at me. But we'd better get feeding quick.
Despite that, she's not very steady at the R.I.N.D.S.; if she's tired she'll settle, but mostly it's a few minutes of sucking, then popping off to stare at her hand and murmur "gtscha," then another thirty seconds on, then off to gaze lovingly at Eric or Chloë or the picture of the baby on the diaper boxes stacked behind the glider (they contain size 9-18 month clothes), and so on. I don't know how she's maintaining her superchubbiness on this kind of a feeding scheme, but she is. The baby food can't be helping much; she's had several fruits and vegetables and rice and oat cereal, but only an ounce or two a day, and sometimes she's not interested. She does love to sit in her chair with us at dinner, though.
I've started wearing my hair up in the evenings and weekends because she's at the grabby stage. Chloë has also commented "Maia got Chloë hair" several times, though she doesn't seem as annoyed as me. She loves to grab and bat at and chew her toys, or a blanket, or her socks and feet, or my face. She likes to suck on my nose and chin; when she does it I squeal "Noooo! I need my nose to smell dirty diapers with! I need my chin to keep my mouth on!" and she grins. Last night she wasn't terribly hungry and so we cuddled a little before bed. She reared up and started toward my face with an open mouth, and I swear she was doing it so I'd protest and make her laugh. She likes to laugh. We play the usual baby games, tickles and "flying" and sudden movements with funny noises, and she'll often start to laugh during it. It's a wonderful sound.
Chloë continues to like to hold Maia, though often she asks while she's watching a show, and by the time I've got Maia in her lap she's staring mindlessly at the TV again. So I take her away. Chloë protests: "Have Maia!" and I say, "But you're watching your show," and she insists, "Chloë have Maia," and plays with her for a few seconds before turning back to the TV. If I've got Maia with me when I come to her room in the morning, she says, "Hi Maia," or "Good morning Maia," first, and climbs into my lap so she can get closer to her sister. She also keeps asking for Maia's baby food, and tends to act up if I'm turned away to feed her (I sit between them, with Eric on Maia's side) and dinner isn't particularly yummy. But she's doing pretty well. We were supposed to go shopping together the other day, just her and me, but when we got in the car she said, "Where Maia?" and when I said she was in the house with Daddy, insisted, "Maia come." So we went shopping, just her and me and Maia.