This month has been a month full of "big girl" moments and milestones. It all started with the ceremonious taking down of that blasted baby gate that I despised so very, very much. That first trip downstairs with a laundry basket that didn't involve a ridiculous amount of twisting and leaning brought such joy to my heart. So far, we've had no real problems with the gate being gone. Eva is very good about holding onto the rail or sliding down backwards on her tummy.
The next big day was a trip to get a new potty chair. I had grabbed one on clearance a couple of months ago, but it was a little hard for Eva to sit on. This one was pretty fancy and happened to come with the Disney princesses on it, so she's a pretty big fan of it. She loves to sit on her potty, get toilet paper, stuff the toilet paper between her legs, and push the magic sounding princess flusher. She has not, of yet, actually gone potty on the potty. But her interest in it leaves me feeling hopeful that before long we'll get there. Perhaps finally the independence she so often gets complimented on will actually come in handy.
Lastly, a launch out of her crib, again, lead us to the decision to convert her crib into a toddler bed. We were pretty nervous about the transition and the lack of sleep, but we also knew it was only a matter of time before she ended up with a broken arm or something from her death-defying leaps. And so began the journey of sleep training. Again.
The first night in her toddler bed, Eva slept straight through until it was time to get up for church. We thought we were smooth sailing. And then a school night happened. It wasn't that she was scared or wanted to be with us in our bed. It was that she wanted us to keep tucking her in bed. So, embarrassingly, that's what we did. For two nights. And then enough was enough. We decided to tough it out and let her cry and figure out that she needed to go back to bed on her own. It took 95 minutes of crying and yelling until that happened. But, the next night was only 15 minutes. And then the next night, pure peace.
Grandma took Eva shopping one day after work and they picked out a princess toddler bedding set and a nighttime baby to celebrate her new big girl bed. She was so, so excited to see Cinderella on her bed and kept coming in her room just to touch her the first night it was on her bed. She also adores her new baby -- it lights up and sings. She likes to push her tummy and hug her as she is falling asleep, and she thinks it's so funny when I tuck her in right next to her in bed. I think the combination of these two things definitely contributed to her enthusiasm for bedtime.
Ever since then, I've been amazed by how well she goes to bed. After bathtime, we spend an hour reading books and snuggling together. I've grown to cherish that part of my evening. Then we go into her room, tuck her in with her baby. We read "Pajama Time" 600 times, "Goodnight Moon" (yes, Aunt Molly, I know. But she loves it.) a few times, and then we turn out the light and say our prayers. For almost an entire week, she has then laid by herself with her baby and fallen asleep completely on her own. I swell with pride each night she does it all by herself.
Her language is also developing very rapidly lately. She's been trying to use more phrases, although they are still very hard to decipher. She likes to tell people "See ya!" and "Buh bye!" with big waves whenever we leave somewhere, whether we know the person or not. She has also recently started saying, "Hi baby!" when she sees us, leading us to realize that we call her "Baby" a little too often. I am also proud to say that while she still has temper tantrums as all toddlers do, she is learning that they do not get the results she wants them to. She has become very good about asking "please" for the things that she wants. She has begun making lots of her own decisions by nodding "yes" and "no" when we ask her questions. It seems as though every day, she develops a new skill she didn't have the day before.
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