We have officially entered the world of NO! How does this just happen without warning? It's not as if she hears the word all the time. We try to limit the use of it for things that really matter, like dangerous or completely unacceptable behavior (read: hitting the dog, etc) but here we are in No-ville. Which coincidentally, is just down the road from Mine-town - a place we've also been frequenting lately. Oh well, at least it's the dog that catches most of her grief. She just can't do anything right. This morning she was pre-emptively fussing at Georgia, wagging her finger and telling her "No! Nonono!" lest the silly beast think she might get a bite of MY breakfast, which EGR graciously shares with me. She can also be heard telling her to sit and move, and Heaven help us all if the poor dog acts like she might eat the Goldfish crackers she spills on the floor. It's a full contact scramble between the two of them to recover and eat as many as possible before the other one gets them. The credit goes to Georgia for being an amazingly gentle and patient dog.
Ella's vocabulary has exploded recently. She wakes up in the morning labeling the things in her room ("trash" "baby" "shoes" "Pooh" "dog") and continues labeling all day long. She also repeats things back to us now, so she is trying new words all the time. I think "trash" is her favorite. She looks for trash cans to point out to me, and she creates trash so she can put it in the can. She has taken ownership of the chore of putting dirty diapers in the big can outside - going so far as to wear the tied-up grocery sack, diaper inside, on her arm like a purse. She also likes to put her laundry in her hamper, though I think there may be some confusion about it being "trash".
I fully indoctrinated her into the joys of Christmas shopping Monday while I was on vacation. She rode in the pouch on the front of me all over the Galleria, so she had a front-row seat for all the picking and purchasing, even helped by handing the debit card to the cashier. I made my annual stop into Bath and Body Works, and she immediately recognized all the tubes and bottles. She was insistent on having some lotion, so we stopped by a tester tube on the way out the door. I squirted some onto her upturned hand and watched as she grinned with sheer glee and rubbed that lotion all over her hands. It warms my heart to know I've passed on my love of good hand cream. We shopped and shopped, and by the time we were leaving the mall she was yelling at me to "Pay! Pay!" I had to explain to her that we didn't actually buy anything at Sears, so we didn't have to pay before we left.
We had one blurry week when time stood still while she was sick with a residual ear infection (left from the first one she had in October) and virus that caused her mouth to break out in sores. For two days she had nothing but warm green tea because that was all she could drink without crying. She barely even nursed because it hurt too bad. Talk about a fish out of water, that was me trying to figure out how to comfort her without my secret weapon. She is fully recovered now, and officially got the all-clear on her ears so hopefully we will be free of antibiotics for a while. Getting them into her is feat in itself, and I can say that sitting on and wrestling a toddler into a strangle-hold while squirting medicine down her throat makes me feel less than dignified. Should we really both be breathless and panting after the ordeal? I think I have an easier time poking a pill down my spastic cat's mouth.
Now that she is well and her sleep is back on track, she is generally waking once in the night and has taken to getting out of the bed and going to the kitchen all by her big self to get her milk cup. Generally, I intercept her along the way to assist with opening the fridge, which she can't do yet, but she's getting quieter and quieter about the operation. Last night, I don't even know why I woke up because she was so quiet. Once she has her cup, we pile back into her bed and I stay with her until she falls asleep. She might nurse for a minute, or she might not; sometimes she sings to herself "a-bye Baby", sometimes she chats for a minute, sometimes her eyes roll back in her head like she was never awake, and last night she climbed right on top of me and flopped down with her face in my neck. We definitely seem to be in a transistion that is ultimately resulting in more, easier sleep for both of us, even if it is way inconvenient to go to the kitchen for the milk cup and then make sure it gets back in the fridge. Nursing all this time has spoiled me in that respect and I don't regret a minute of it, but I think we are nearing the end of that phase of our relationship. I think she may nurse for a few more months, and the bed time session will be the last to go but I can see that other things are becoming more important to her, like her bedtime stories and her milk cup in the middle of the night. It makes me very proud to see her growing up this way, even if it does mean she's not a baby anymore.