Seriously. This kid is a HOOT. Two is my favourite age, so very funny, so full of wonder and so excited just to be alive.
Here's where my littlest girl is right now...
Vivian loves to laugh and she's full of wiggles and giggles. I love to hear it. It doesn't seem that long ago that she was still so serious and so worried a lot of the time. It's so good to see her so relaxed and to hear her great big belly laughs.
Isn't she gorgeous when she laughs?
Vivian talks ALL DAY LONG. Questions. Monologues. Telling stories about what happened in the past. Lists of things she likes to eat or things she thinks are cute. Involved conversations between stuffies. More questions. Questions she already knows the answer to. Chat chat chat. I thought she might be a little bit quieter than Adeline, but nope, she totally holds her own.
Vivian still doesn't speak to any adults outside our family and has only said a few words to other people. Most people get the evil eye, or she will make eye contact with people as they talk to her, put her hands behind her back and hum loudly. I wish she could show the world her big fun personality, but that doesn't seem to be her style.
She will often talk to children though and shows more interest all the time in playing with other little ones.
Viv loves to dance!
Vivian is trying to make sense of her life story right now. She often asks to look at the pictures of our time together in Vietnam. She says "I lived in Bietnam. I cried HARD. I cried SO HARD. I need my Mama. Mama give me a bottle and I feel better. I come home. I live in the blue house". She switches again and again between the picture of her crying inconsolably in her last moments with her nou-nou and the picture of me smiling and giving her her first bottle in the van, with a few tears still on her face.
I don't know much about memory and how it's formed and what infants can remember, but Vivian has shown some signs of being able to remember some things about Vietnam at this point. For example, she's never slept in a crib here and didn't know the word for it, but we saw a picture in a book and I told her what it was. She looked at it for a long time and then very seriously said "Baby Vivian sleep in a crib. I cry and cry" She also told me "In Bietnam there are lots of babies. All the babies cry.". I asked what happens when the babies cry, and she told me "They get cuddles. They feel better. They get bottles".
She thinks all the special things come from Vietnam. She often picks something up that she likes and says "This is SO SPECIAL. It's from Bietnam". A few of those things, like some of our musical instruments or her stuffed cat actually do come from Vietnam, but she thinks all the objects that are special to her must have come from her birth country.
Vivi seems to have mostly sorted out pronouns although "he" and "she" are still tricky sometimes.
Viv is at that stage where she is sorting the world into boys and girls and she knows the names of the parts that generally go along with each of those genders and she talks about them A LOT.
Vivian is a daredevil and especially loves to balance on high things. I would classify her as accident-prone and we do still have a lot of falls and clunked heads - not usually when she's being reckless, usually just things like falling off chairs or tripping over her own feet.
Vivian has a lovely big girl bed in her very own beautiful big girl room just steps away from the master bedroom, but she is very adamant that she belongs in Mama's bed. I know it's what she needs right now, but I'm very very ready for the co-sleeping to end.
Vivi occasionally sleeps through the night, but most nights she wakes between 1 and 4 times a night and needs comforting.
Vivi really likes her naptime and often will ask to go upstairs to sleep. Bedtime is often close to 9, unfortunately, but she wouldn't cope without the nap and I am so not ready for her to stop napping.
Vivian loves books and would be a very contented girl to sit and cuddle all day and have me or David read to her. Her favourites right now are "I Don't Want a Cool Cat", "Kitten Red Yellow Blue", "Red is Best", "Zin Zin a Violin", "I Love my White Shoes", "Mommies say Shhhh", "Oh David", "Fancy Nancy" and "If You Give a Pig a Party". She also really likes "Green Eggs and Ham" but I'm getting pretty tired of reading it, so I keep trying to hide it, but she always finds it.
She is always up for a trip to the library.
Vivian loves to be outside in any weather.
Vivi's favourite outings are to the park to see the peacocks, to the beach or to the pool.
She LOVES the pool and is very bold and doesn't mind getting splashed or putting her face in the water.
Vivi keeps asking "Where's the room?", "Where's the beach?", "Where are my kids?" She really had a great time on our beach holiday and asks to go back often.
Viv is a bit mad that she doesn't know how to ride a bike or a scooter yet. The girl wants WHEELS.
Our scale recently declared us all at 11 pounds, so I don't know how much Vivian weighs but she is tall and sturdy.
She wears mostly size 3 pants and size 2 tops. She has large, wide feet - size 6. Adeline wore that size shoe the summer she turned 5.
Vivian can do a spider handstand against the wall like this...
Adeline was doing it and I was shocked when Vivian got right up there beside her and did it too. She's a strong girl!
Vivian likes to carry heavy things and declare herself "So strong!".
Viv can "count" to about 18, but really can't count anything beyond two.
She can recognize "A" and "V" and knows they are the letters that start her and Adeline's names.
Vivian knows all her colours, including a few obscure ones like "magenta".
Vivian loves to be sung to and to sing. Lately her favourites are "You are my Sunshine", "Apple Blossom" and "Zippedee-do-dah". I wish I could get video of her singing but as soon as the camera comes out she gets quiet.
Vivian can be a really patient kid. Maybe it's a second child thing as she sometimes has to wait while Adeline does something, but she can spend a long time entertaining herself when we are waiting. When Adeline was at bike camp, mostly my Mom dropped her off and picked her up but on the last day Vivian and I went to watch from the shade of the car. The first hour Vivi just sat in her car seat and played happily with some toys and had snacks and the second hour she sat up front with me and we chatted while she pretended to drive us to the ice cream store. She was really happy, even though we were in one spot for two hours and never got out of the car. I had lots of "emergency fun" and special snacks stored away just in case, but we didn't need them at all.
Vivi's pretend play is really expanding. There has been lots of doctor play lately and lots of taking care of babies.
Vivian had two back to back ear infections last month. She was mostly still sunny, although occasionally she would just melt down into misery over little things. Poor thing - it must have hurt so much. The eardrum popped and both times there was a huge amount of pus draining from her ear. If this continues she may end up with tubes.
Remember this winter when Vivian had back to back to back to back to back colds? Whew...
Vivian's favourite creature is definitely owls. She has always really liked the book "Owl Babies" and then she got to see some real owls up close last month and she got an owl stuffie that has become her special friend and must accompany her just about everywhere these days. She often looks out our front window into the big oak tree and says she's "Looking for owls".
Vivian is starting to get the idea of tidying up, and when she's into it she does a great job picking up the toys and putting them away. She also likes helping with jobs like cleaning the windows and sweeping.
VIvi likes to brush her own hair, but we have different ideas on what a "good hair day" looks like. When she's done she likes to look in the mirror and say "Nice! I like it! Nice and fluffy!" I prefer a smooth look to her fluffy one, but I have to admire her independence and sense of style.
Adeline was never a tantrumer, but oh my can Vivian throw a good long one when she is told no or something doesn't go as she'd like. Whew. Today I told her she couldn't have a band-aid because she didn't have an owie and she cried and yelled for at least 30 minutes, but it was probably closer to 45. Sometimes I can distract her and get her to move on to something else, but sometimes it just needs to run it's course.
VIvi is still not much of an eater. I know she's growing, but I do worry about her nutrition as she is quite picky and if given the choice will drink her calories in milk rather than eating or will pick foods with few nutrients like rice or crackers to fill up on. There are a few fruits and veggies that she likes now but her palate is still pretty limited. We have to be mindful not to give her empty calories just to fill her up because we worry that she's not eating enough and just keep offering the healthy (and tasty) foods.
One of Vivian's favourite foods is strawberries straight from our garden. I'm so happy with the strawberry patch I planted this spring and it's already producing wonderfully for us.
Vivian likes to be fancy. She will only wear dresses and if she doesn't like one she will declare it "Not beautiful. P.U." She also likes jewellery and is really hoping that I'll say two is old enough to start wearing make up. I have no idea where this comes from. Adeline has never cared one little bit what she wears and while she likes to be fancy when the occasion calls for it, has no heart for fashion and really just wants to be comfortable.
Before we even met Vivian, Adeline declared that Vivian's favourite colour would be pink and she's campaigning hard to make that happen. So far Vivi doesn't seem to have a strong favourite, but will often choose pink as she's being prompted by Adeline. Her very favourite dress is sort of a mint green, but I think it's the big swishy skirt that is appealing and not so much the colour. Vivian looks great in pink - although really, my gorgeous girl looks great in anything.