A lot of people describe speech development in toddlers like a switch flipping on. I didn't believe them, but now I see where they're coming from. In a couple months Olivia has gone from repeating simple words on command to identifying things on her own like cereal, lawn mower, CD, TV, flag, flower, frog, knee, the letters M ("um") and W ("doubadee"), and Elmo. We'll be in the grocery store and Olivia will see an Elmo balloon in the distance and yell it out. I think it's a super power, the ability to sense Elmo's presence in the most obscure places. Maybe it's just effective marketing on the part of Elmo's people.
The other night we were driving home from my parents' and she kept saying, "Moo. Moo." She keeps repeating something until you acknowledge what it is, so I was all impressed that she remembered that there are normally cows in the field next to the road we were on. But after me saying "Cow!" and "Moo!" she kept saying it until I realized she was pointing in the other direction, at the moon. I just about cried I was so proud. We've read books with the moon in them (Caterpillar, Goodnight Moon, Pajama Time) but I didn't know that she understood that that thing in the sky is the same thing on the page of a book, and I don't remember pointing out the actual moon before (Thanks, Grandma?). Once I figured out she was saying moon, she said, "I see it! I see it!" She is a little person.
I'm amazed at what she can understand. She can follow directions ("Put the cup back on your table.") and follow our finger if we point to something. I was describing to someone what Riley looks like (brown patches with cookies 'n' cream ice cream) and I noticed Olivia was sticking out her tongue like this. It took me a minute to figure out that we taught her how to lick an ice cream cone by sticking out her tongue. She heard me say "ice cream" in a normal-speed sentence to someone else, and assumed the position. I gotta watch what I say!
Olivia likes to see what I'm cooking on the stove, so she'll ask for me to hold her: "See? See?" and loves to watch things bubble and be stirred. She likes to walk into the grocery store or school(Walk? Walk?) and loooooves to play with the dog. Riley's favorite game is to be chased, and Olivia loves to chase her so it works out well.
A couple of weeks ago Olivia had a cold, and on Saturday morning she was wheezing. Steve was concerned, but I figured the nurse would just remind me of the comfort measures, so I was like, "She's fiiiiine. We'll just run the humidifier." But Steve has asthma so he's a little more in-tune with the symptoms, and when all was said and done we were the proud owners of a nebulizer. (It administers albuterol like an inhaler.) The clinic hours are sometimes really busy, but we got in and out really fast. Olivia got one treatment in the office and the wheezing stopped immediately. That evening we gave her another one, and has been fine ever since. Dr. Eisenberg (the doc on call) said they don't diagnose it as asthma at this point, but it may be an indication that Olivia will develop it. And she may very well grow out of it.
We're enjoying being part of a local playgroup. It gives both of us social time and something to do together that is equally fun. (I don't love playing with toddler toys, she doesn't love the fabric store.) I've met a lot of fun moms in our area whom I wouldn't know otherwise. Here is Olivia with her friends Conner and Ellie (and Ellie's mom acting as the mother duck) after a picnic lunch at the state arboretum.
We also went to a local orchard farm market for a wagon ride and picking apples and pumpkins. It was 90 degrees out and Olivia was ready for the tractor to start pulling us.