It feels like it has been a while since I have done a post about Rose. How is this not-so-little gal 20 months old already?! I swear she just started walking but here she is talking to us and understanding almost everything we say to her and tackling challenges like swimming lessons and gymnastics and potty training. In case I haven't recorded it anywhere else, one of her very first words, besides Mama, Dada, and No, was "Apple". She also says please (it sounds more like "meeee"), dog, Clara, and her first sentence was "I do!" spoken when I hollered out to Clara that I needed a helper to come set the table. Rose yelled from the other room "I do!" and came running.
Rose is our mischievous little scamp. She loves to tickle, tease, tackle, and torment. She loves to climb shelves in closets, tear apart drawers and cupboards, hang from anything within reach, and run away with any object she thinks might be off-limits (it drives Clara absolutely crazy when Rose steals her toothbrush and Rose knows it - consequently there is almost a daily fight over that thing). One of her favorite things to do is to pull apart my shelf of active wear and try on sports bras, tank tops, and running pants, then proudly strut around the house showing off. Another favorite activity for her is catching somebody in a state of partial undress and then pointing and loudly braying at their nakedness, which she finds absolutely hilarious. Its not the best for the ego but her cackling is one of the funniest things ever.
When I lay her down for naps, I can hear Rose singing "ABC's" to herself for quite some time before she drifts off. She usually does the same thing in the morning too, because I won't let her get out of bed and play at 5:45 (which is when she usually wakes up). I just go in and take her wet pull-up off and give her a potty break and some milk, then lay her back down since it is still pitch black. But she never goes to sleep - just sits in there happily singing and telling herself stories until around 6:30 when she gets bored and I go get her. Then she likes to be held and smile at chatter in my arms for 10 or 15 minute, happy as can be to have me all to herself before we start making breakfast and getting ready and waking Clara up (who has started sleeping in lately). She sometimes even consents to snuggle in my bed for a little bit, until she remembers that one of her favorite games is called "pushing mommy off the bed" which she is amazingly good at.
I can proudly say that Rose is now officially potty trained. Yes, we are still having accidents but we are down to pretty much just 1 a day and I even feel confident about taking her out in public to run errands or go to the gym in her big girl panties instead of a pull-up because she does what she needs to immediately if I sets her on the toilet or she shakes her head vigorously and states "no", not to tell me that she won't do it but that she doesn't need to and I can take her at her word at this point. It took about 5 days for her to catch on to the concept of what she was supposed to be doing on the toilet, and another 2 weeks to really get consistent about it but for the past week or so she has shown lots of progress in telling me she needs to go (not in words - more with her eyes, grabbing herself, or stopping what she is doing and getting quiet) and as long as I am not too distracted I usually pick up on her cues and we get there on time.
Clara, bless her heart, has been such a help and honestly so patient though this process. We spent hours and hours and hours in the bathroom playing Go Fish, reading books, "washing" toys, singing songs, and telling stories. And Clara was always eager to reward Rose with praise, applause and marshmallows whenever she had a potty training success.
Rose is my water girl. Whether it is sprinklers or fountains or ocean or pool, Rose likes to be in the water, splashing around. And I can't get over how insanely cute she looks in her swimming suits with her chunky little legs and round little belly. This is one of my favorite photographs of her standing on the sprinkler in the backyard. I had so much fun taking pictures of the girls in that hazy, golden summer light that afternoon when it was 100 degrees and we were staying cool. This was only a few weeks ago but as I am typing this it is early in the morning and chilly and that day I already a memory of our summer.
Rose is doing awesome in swimming lessons. We went all summer and the girls did so well and progressed so much that I signed them up again for the fall session that goes through December. Rose can hold her breath for seven seconds and kick up from underwater and grab onto the side of the pool to pull herself out. We also do these "swim passes" with her coach where Rose has worked up to just sitting on my arms and when given the cue, she sort of flops forward off of me and kicks her way over to her coach a few feet away. It is pretty amazing because it looks like actual swimming. And she has an absolute blast every time we go.
We stopped by a vineyard the other day after a gym class on our way home when the sun was low in the sky and I let the girls wander down an aisle. It took them a few minutes to discover the grapes hanging from the vines, but when they did they were in heaven. Sticky grape juice was covering the hands and faces and they were so, so happy. I wonder if there are any "pick your own" grape vineyards for eating grapes, not wine grapes, like there are strawberry patches or apple orchards because my girls would be so into that. These grapes were the dark blue, small variety that are used for vine, I'm sure, and had seeds, but the flavor was absolutely delicious.
As feisty and fierce as Rose is, she is also such a little love. She gives tight squeezes and when I hold her after sleep she likes to pat me lightly on my back. She can usually be coaxed into giving a kiss and she loves, loves, loves to have other people hold her, whether that is a friend I am speaking with at the moment, a gymnastics coach who she thinks needs a hug, or the nurse at the doctor's office. Rose just walks over, stretches up her arms and pleads with her version of "please". And when they scoop her up she almost always lays her head right down on their shoulder and starts patting their backs. It is the sweetest and I love how generous her little spirit is.
We went to Ikea and I rewarded the girls with their own cheap ice cream at the end of the shopping trip. My cousin commented when I posted this on Instagram about how funny it is that Rose's scoop is practically the size of her head. That thing dripped all over her because I was busy taking pictures and not licking the sides down like I should have been (a job I don't particularly like because I think the ice cream at Ikea is gross).
Gosh I just love her.