I haven't done a Little Abbey update in ages, so long, that it is hard to even know what to write anymore. Since she talks and we can have conversations, it is hard to identify milestones that have happened which were the meat of previous posts. So I will just ramble for a bit and hope that things come out okay.
Right now in our household, preparations are being made for her birthday in less than a week when she will turn three. We have been working with her to say three when asked how old and to hold up the appropriate number of fingers. She knows how many fingers to hold up and that isn't the problem. The problem is that she has a hard time keeping the remaining two fingers down when holding three up. So for now, she takes her other hand and holds onto the two remaining fingers.
She has long since mastered the alphabet both capital and lowercase letters and often sits "reading" her books by saying the letters. Although she can count and tell you how many of something is present, she doesn't seem interested in learning her numbers. Since she is only three and there is so much to life at that age, we certainly aren't forcing her but I do find it mystifying of her lack of interest in recognizing the written numbers. She is doing better on the phonics front and knows how perhaps a fourth of the letters sound.
Another thing that we have been working on is teaching her what our real names are, street name, town name, etc. I've heard too many stories of little kids getting lost and only know that their mommy's name is Mommy, etc. Although we aren't teaching her this, Little Abbey seems to have an excellent sense of direction and can point the way to our house when in the general neighborhood and knows our house by sight from a long way away. This too gives me a sense of relief that should she stray away from home someday that she can find her way back. I would like to take credit for this and assume that a sense of direction is just in my genetic makeup that got passed on to her.
Since my wife has been enjoying life between two jobs at home, Little Abbey has spent most of the last few months with her. So when we would have to take her to daycare for the off day when Mrs. Abbey had errands to run that were a lot easier to do by herself, we were pleasantly surprised but not overly shocked that Little Abbey's reaction to it had changed from tearful goodbyes to one of excited anticipation. I think that is one of the things the drawbacks of being an only child and so when she starts going back on a regular basis in a month, the interaction with other kids her age will be a good thing.
One aspect of Little Abbey's maturing that I haven't adapted to yet is her developing sense of independence. She will go up to her room and play for a couple hours at a time sometime and can now be out of our sight and be okay with that where before she had to always be within our sight to be happy. I'm okay with her up in her room playing by herself but when I am out in the garden planting navy beans before a big rain on its way, it is hard to concentrate when she keeps wanting to disappear hear and there and I would like her to stay in the backyard where I can see her. She is fairly aware of the street out front but I don't think she has learned the ramifications of running out into it and so I still insist we keep close tabs on her when out in our yard. Another reason why I hope to someday have a little land where a kid can roam and be nowhere near a road.
Little Abbey loves the outside and has already located her first morel mushroom by herself without anyone else knowing it was there and guiding her towards the general vicinity. I will take credit for that too. Like me as a kid, she doesn't like to eat them yet and like my parents did, I don't encourage her to even try them. For now it is more for me and someday she too will come to discover the error in refusing to eat try them. We try to go a walk around town most evenings if it is fit and Little Abbey loves riding in her off-road stroller and will usually walk the last part herself. This has gone from 100 feet to sometimes up to a half-mile. The daycare says she always pesters them to go outside which they do if it is fit for small babies which they have two of now. At her grandparents place, she is always outside walking around picking flowers (dandelions), chasing the cats, seeing what papa (my dad) is up too, flying kites or playing in her sandbox. I think she would be happy to play in that thing every waking minute if allowed.
Generally, my daughter is no longer a baby and I can't deny that fact any longer. She has grown so much, emotionally, psychologically and physically, the latter one I also take credit for, and is almost as tall as most kids in kindergarten now. She still surprises me with something new almost every day and I enjoy living that moment through her eyes. While planting navy beans in the garden, we found lots of giant earthworms under that nice mulch of leaves (thanks again Ron!) and it was fun to see her hold and inspect the new to her world creature. On my recent business trip, I bought her a kiddy fishing rod with a magnet on the end and metal noses animals that she can "fish" for inside the house. Hopefully I can connect this new love of "fishing" with the earthworms and do the real thing someday.
Although these things are only the tip of a very large iceberg, I hope they give my long time readers who have been following her progress for the last three years a sense of how she is developing. And as a reward for reading this post, here is a shot that I took during the last snowfall this year in March. Enjoy.