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January Updates

February 2, 2011

January has come and gone in a flash.  I’m still getting used to writing 2011 and we’re already a month in.  Even though we were stuck inside due to the terrible NJ weather this month, we still had a lot of things to do.

I finished my horribly exhausting 2-week intensive Recent American History class with an “A” no less!  That means all of the credits for my Social Studies certification have been completed!  While I was in class Alexa got to spend tons of time with her Grandma Kim and Grandpa John!  Thank you both for helping out!!!  Right after the Winterm class wrapped up it was off to my spring teaching program.  Unfortunately we’ve been snowed out of that one twice already, but things are still moving along.  I’m excited to finally start learning how to teach effectively…and hoping to get some substituting under my belt this spring so I have real life classroom experience.

Alexa has had quite a transformation in her communication skills this month.  We actually understand much of what she says and can figure out what she’s asking for pretty quickly!  It makes life so much easier.  She even asks to be changed, though she thinks everything is “poopie” haha.  She will sit on her potty when we ask her to, but has yet to try to “go” on it.  It’s super cute though because she’ll bring out her diaper, the mat, and wipes…and then proceeds to lay down on it and wait for us to tend to her.

Her language skills are progressing nicely and here’s a listing of some new words (since I’m not listing them one by one any longer):

  • She now says YES instead of “yeah”
  • She adores the vacuum and calls for it, then screams “noisy” with delight when I turn it on.
  • She is able to say ông nội and bà nội though she just calls both grandma Kim and grandpa Linh nội
  • She finally gets that when she’s looking at a photo of herself that it’s “ME” instead of “you”
  • MINE has entered into her vocabulary…the most dreaded word ever, LOL.

We now have a little mimic on our hands!  Every time I lean on my hand Alexa does it.  Now she even pretends to lean on her arm and then points for me to copy her!  She repeats just about everything we say (officially have to watch what we say around her now!).  This is probably linked to her new found love of imaginative play.  She likes to feed her dolls whatever she’s eating, she pretends to “nurse” her dolls, shushes us when they’re “sleeping”, and adores “cooking” at her Gymboree class.  We’re thinking that a play kitchen will be a great addition to our home soon!  Alexa has also started to pretend to be different animals.  Peter taught her how to hop like a frog which she loves, she will crawl around on all 4’s acting like a cat or a dog, she trumpets like an elephant using her arm as the trunk, and holds her “paws” up and hisses like a kitty.  So so so cute!

Some news that pertains to me is that Alexa is no longer nursing.  I had planned to go until her 2nd birthday since that’s the W.H.O.’s recommendation and it was still comfortable for us both.  As it turned out about a month ago I finally stopped saying yes when she screamed for it because, while it was great that it calmed her down, she wasn’t learning to deal with any of her own frustrations.  That, and it was starting to hurt for some reason.  So I said no to her demands a few times, and now she almost never asks.  A pretty painless weaning progression, and for that I am thrilled.

In the past few weeks Alexa has went back and forth on her sleeping.  One week she’ll be great and sleep through the night while napping like a champ during the day.  The next she’s cranky and waking up many times at night and napping in short spurts.  She has even started to “lie” when we put her down asking for yogurt, or mangos, or bottles, or water.  Basically anything to get her out of her room and any excuse to stay up later.  LOL…it was very frustrating for a while when we thought she was actually hungry, but after a few nights of this, and then no eating when we offered…we decided she was just trying to distract us from putting her to bed.  Well played my dear!

Lastly, Alexa attended her first Tet (lunar new year) festival.  We joined Peter’s family for a Vietnamese Cultural Show last Saturday and it was fantastic.  Alexa was in awe of the Lion Dance!!!!  Here are some videos from last years performance (it’s in Vietnamese so you’ll want to let your browser translate for you if you want to see the names of the videos).

A great start to a new year!!!  Can’t wait to see you all in Feb for Alexa’s 2nd birthday!

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