You have become one of them, little Grace. Bit by bit, over the past month, your eyes and ears have become more and more alert to there whereabouts of your brothers and sisters: where they are headed, what they are doing, what they are about to snack on. And, as your vocabulary has increased, both in understanding and in speaking, your attentive little countenance quickly follows every detail of their interaction, and then you insert yourself into the equation. "Pahcicl!!" (Popcicle), you interject. Or, "Go side!" (Go outside).
When they laugh, you laugh. And, all the better if you can make them laugh.....which you do often. If they are headed out to the swing set with their popcicles, then so are you. When they are going to the woodshed, off you go. Bikes and trikes? You're out there. And pretty amazingly, they look out for you. You are not often left behind, at least not when their friends aren't over to distract them. "Come on, Gracie!" we'll hear them say. Or, "Get Gracie!"
When they are coloring their states, (we are learning the states and capitals this summer), you are right up there with them at the dining room table with your pens and paper, often coloring your arms and face in addition to the paper. (Thank goodness for washable markers!)
I recently had a minor surgury on my arm, and couldn't lift over ten pounds for a couple of weeks. Your brothers hauled you around and in and out of your car seat and crib. You "might" have a few extra bruises and scrapes because of it, but all in all, they did a great job.
You have a stubborn, and determined spirit, and are not easily detered from your intended goal.
This has also been the month of "My!" and "Me!" (You will notice neary everything you say ends with an exclamation point! And, this is not without intent. Those phrases that don't end with gusto are instead followed with a sly, sing-song nature and frequently end with a silly smile, your head tilting back and eyes slighly squinted at us. "Naaawwwwww" (No). Then there's the sweet little head nodding with your "Yes", though you don't lift and lower your jaw as much as you used to. It's still adorable however. :-) And "No" (though "No" is much more often accompanied by an a frown, a poked out lip, or a shove of the arm.) One of your favorite new little expressions is to make a face of suprise - eyes popped open to their widest, looking back and forth, and your little mouth in an "O".
You have also started running. Not a fast, hard run, no. However, that forward trot that seems to exist at an angle that could be easily toppled or tripped.....and sometimes is. :-) Many times, you will be seen wearing around your navy blue owl backpack. And, if you aren't wearing it, odds are one of your big brothers is.....which is pretty cute too.
Words are coming faster and faster and with increasing confidence. I often ponder this stage of life - between 18 and 24 months, where a little child goes from baby speak and progresses into the many words and patterns of the preschool years. It's as if you are crossing a bridge between the stages. I do love the little words that only a Mama can understand..."boot" (book) and "Bah ble" (Bible - which refers to many books).
"Baby" is still the name of your increasingly favorite blanket (that you now like to drag around when you are feeling sleepy....my first blanket dragger. :-) ), in addition to your dollies (also referred to as "Dah ee"), and your favorite stuffed friends (currently the giraffes).
Snuggling with Mama is still a favorite past time, for which this Mama is very glad. You have started to climb up and down onto our bed and now like to crawl under the blankets right next to us and pop in your thumb. True snuggling. Oh, Gracie. One word continues to describe you: Joy. It was the describing word that we knew of you before you were born, and it continues to amaze us how much increasing joy you bring into our lives. You are a bright light, Gracie. Shine on.