remembering is like walking backward through your mind! (ah, sesame street. wasn't this catchphrase in a segment having to do with an elephant finding something he lost at a picnic?)
eva remembers. she remembers a lot of things, far more than i give her credit for. she somehow indicates some memory, and i sit there with my mouth open, not believing what i'm seeing. my little baby -- how did she learn such tricks?
at night, while i'm nursing her to sleep, i've started recounting to her the story of her day. the idea is that this helps her to process all she's seen and done in the day, but it also helps me to take a moment to see the day from her perspective (and on bad days, i realize how little there is to tell, how i was so busy with my own stuff that there's sadly little to tell her that *she* did that day). so, while telling her this story, nearly every night something will catch her interest, and she'll stop nursing, look up at me, and add her own details to the story. for example, yesterday i told her "then we got in the car with papa..." and she immediately said "lights! star. train." sure enough, we drove around to look at christmas lights, and she loved the stars and especially all the light-up trains (popular this year in our neighborhood). okay, so that's remembering for a few hours, not a huge feat, but still fun. some days, she'll throw in details i'd forgotten or had misjudged as not all that significant. it's such a treat to see what she's thinking about and remembering.
other times, she'll remember something i'd taught her (as in, told her once or twice) weeks or months ago. today's examples: we saw a picture of a dolphin at the doctor's office, and when i asked her what does a dolphin say, she immediately answered with a huge grin "pffft!" we swam on the other side of a chain link fence from dolphins in mexico, and we could hear them clearing out their blowholes (if that's what they're called?), pffft, pffft, over and over. tonight in the bath, she pointed out the hippo by name when i'd only ever mentioned it once before in passing. toddlers have brains like a sponge. which is why i need to stop swearing for real now.
my favorite is when she remembers some experience from a while back. today i showed her a photo from the website of the condo where we stayed in mexico. it showed the courtyard (but not the pool), and she started saying "swimming, swimming!" swimming was her favorite part of the trip, and i did take her swimming in the courtyard on the last morning. i like that -- hey, she enjoyed the trip, you know? she remembers. yesterday she was looking at the books julie made for her, and one tells the story of her trip to alaska last august. there's a page with photos from her "patio walks" with grandpa, and she saw it and immediately said "airplane!"... weird. there aren't any in the photos, but she heard hundreds of airplanes out on the patio, since they're constantly overhead in anchorage. now, maybe i'm reading too much into this, but she had the same response again later. i like the idea of this, that she remembers things from being with my family, even when it's been four months. it makes me feel better that she carries with her something from her experiences with my family, like then they're not so far away.
i keep forgetting that she has this ability now, and it continues to catch me off guard. (i do that will all her new skills, i can't keep up!) larry and i have both been saying all day that she looks really old all of the sudden. so, i can't remember (ha!) all the examples i've been noticing lately, but that was a few just from yesterday and today. it's been a big week for remembering, and for growing up.
i can't believe the new (well, improved) word i forgot to mention last time... milk! eva went from signing for milk, to saying "mao" (or more accurately, mao mao mao mao mao mao mao...). i was okay with that, because any loud public demands to nurse were largely unintelligible to onlookers, but this couldn't last forever (like i said, our new theme is to embrace transience :). so, as with all the other words gaining final consonents, "mao" has become "maok" (or really, "mao-kuh", because she really goes for broke on those "k"s!).
oh, today, she gave her own baby milk for the first time. but then i commented on it, so she said "mama, maok?" and came over to me so i could give both her and her baby milk. silly kid.
this photo is of eva in the giantest bath tub ever, at the condo in playa. larry estimated you could comfortably fit at least five people in there, but on a dare you could probably fit a dozen, easy. eva loved it, even though try as we might (between the huge tub size and the lack of water pressure) we could never get more than about three inches of water in there!
we returned a few days ago from our holiday trip to playa del carmen with larry's family. we had a great time, although it was sad that gran fell and broke her hip and as such dick wasn't able to be there (and rita came a day late). we loved the condo where we stayed, and larry and i are already having daydreams of returning for a month sometime. it was surreal for me being there, as the other time we visited i was 5 months pregnant. i kept being reminded of my thoughts then of the abstract "baby" and being simultaneously confronted with the reality now of eva's presence. eva had a great time, especially at the beach. i've seldom seen her happier in her little life than she is at the beach (not unlike her great grandma eva, who wanted to return in her next life as a beach bum). that little girl just runned and splashed would have stayed all day if we'd let her -- as it was, she ended up with more of a tan than is generally desired for a baby :). eva was a trooper, despite not feeling very well due to her four canines that are torturing her and also the trials of her newly potty-trained status, which is not easy while travelling. so, she wasn't her usual sunny self, but no matter. it was wonderful being in such a fabulous location with family. quite a trip.
as always seems to happen, upon returning home we're all three sick. and i'll not go on about this, but let's just say diarrhea and potty training are not a lot of fun together. as all moms know, it's hard to care for someone else when you're sick, the house is a mess, and my car is a lemon. so i'm not in the best frame of mind this week, but i think we're about to turn a corner. transience. that's what we'll go for here.
eva's in to lots of new fun things. she picks up anything that could masquerade as a bag or purse and says "bye bye" and marches off. she talks about and asks about her friends all the time (wuvuh/river is the current favorite, but she also plays peek-a-boo with a photo of ella.) she is stringing things together into sentences ("mama bye-bye car" or "papa night-night" or "hi dog-dog toes"). she plays with her baby dolls, pushing them in a stroller or laying them down to sleep in her rocking chair. and as of yesterday, she wants me to give them milk (not settling for through-the-shirt pretend milk, she wants the real deal -- and she's not into feeding her own babies, i guess taking on the big sister role of just sharing her own mama's milk). she continues to be very into necklaces, requesting "nonnies" from gran on the trip -- nonny nonny nonny (but then today she said "neckie" and i'm a bit sad. i'll miss "nonny" a little). she's adding consonants to the ends of more words, resulting in some head-turning language, such as truck (but she starts it with an "f") and clock (minus the "l"). she gets more jokes -- today i had her upside-down on my back saying "hey papa, do you know where eva went?" and she giggled and after a bit said "back!". she's obsessed with stars (like atop our tree) and spoons and outside -- it used to be "ahtz" but is now "aht-side", and she says it countless times a day.
i know there are more things i was intending to remember, but that's all have right now. she's definitely hitting more of that toddler behaviour (like single-mindedness and tantrums) but is also getting to be really fun, and it's exciting to see more and more of her thoughts and personality emerge.
finally, we have monkey photos! she loves her costume so much, i predict she'll be wearing it long after halloween. we were showing it off in college station and larry took some great photos, and she confused the heck out of those barky neighbor dogs. anyway, i enjoyed making this costume (good thing, since i could have bought one for what i spent on materials), and put lots of little details on it, like a belly button and furry toes. i made it big and took it in so she can wear it for another year or two if she wants to. of course, before long (maybe even next year), i no longer get to decide what she dresses as for halloween. :)
here we are at the end of day 8 of potty training. my opinion of how it's going depends on when you ask me. some days she has had only one accident (and those weren't really her fault, like waking up from a 2+ hr nap, or on the way home from a long grocery trip), and other days she seems to barely get any pee into the potty, sometimes insisting on getting up from the potty then promptly peeing on the floor (that's hard to deal with without getting annoyed). so, overall i think she's getting it -- she's started telling me some of the time when she needs to pee -- but it remains to be seen how this all ends up. with the inconvenient deadline of international travel in 9 days, we'll just have to play it by ear.