The documentation continues...
Since Brian and I are both lovers of food, and all things to do with eating, I feel I must comment on our daughter's food preferences. And by preferences, I mean her level of pickiness. Sadly, it is high. Her choices almost always consist of some kind of starch (bread, pasta, tortilla) and cheese. Period. So, we are serving a lot of macaroni and cheese, cheese quesadillas, and toast with cheese. Grilled cheese sandwiches are not the same as toast and cheese for some reason. Go figure. Thankfully she is a fan of peas and broccoli, and will down yogurt like there's no tomorrow. So far she's a vegetarian by choice... but she did chow down on some bacon at Esau's last weekend, so there's hope.
We have discovered that Linden is willing and capable of completely manipulating us (surprise, surprise). She has always been a decent sleeper, though she loves to be rocked to sleep and we have had to work on our nighttime routine... but we had gotten it down to a decent science. However, during our trip to Seattle in July we discovered that it was not WE who were working on her bedtime routine... we were actually being WORKED by our sweet little girl! Sleeping while away from home had always been challenging, and the first naps and nights in the pack 'n play were difficult as we expected. The second night after numerous tries and lots of crying, our host Mike, offered to try his hand at putting her down for the night. We happily let him have a shot (probably with a little doubtful smugness to boot). He headed to her room, and we heard her quiet down on the monitor. About 45 seconds later he re-emerged, and she was silent the rest of the night. WHAT!?!? We were dumb-founded. He continued to put her to bed (each time in less than a minute with zero fuss) for every nap and evening, for the rest of our trip. Needless to say, our bedtime routine (or mind-set at least) changed drastically once we got home.
In addition to her bedtime manipulation, Linden has become quite the little negotiator. A typical exchange goes like this.
Linden: "A cookie?"
Mom: "You need to eat your peas before you can have a cookie."
Linden: "Peas, a cookie, K? Peas, a cookie, K?"
Thankfully, she's still agreeable to what we require BEFORE she gets what she wants. But she's very sure to repeat the 'deal' to make sure she'll get what she's negotiating for.
We try to go to the zoo as much as we can, since we have a family membership and the Santa Barbara Zoo is so relaxing, beautiful, and manageable. Linden loves finding each animal and naming them, and between the zoo and her books, she's built quite a repertoire. Feel free to skip over this part, but for the sake of documentation, these are the animals Linden currently recognizes and names: dog, cat, cow, bird, sheep, monkey, kangaroo, hippo, penguin, chicken, bee, horse, elephant, giraffe, lion, snake, mouse, frog, fish, crab, whale, turtle, peacock, flamingo, moose, bug, raccoon, bear, walrus, wolf, pig, dolphin, tiger, and squirrel. And we just saw a llama on a recent road trip, which she thought was a giraffe, and now calls a "mama."
Lastly, the thing we are both enjoying so much with our blossoming little girl is praying with her at night before bed. She LOVES it, and settles down expectantly in our lap and tries to fold her little hands together. We start praying "Dear Jesus, please be with..." and Linden pipes up with names of people to pray for - different ones each night - and prays for her friends and family along with us. Usually if we name one member of the family, she will fill in with the other family members. And she always throws in some random in-animate objects like "table, watch, bed, rocking chair, etc." Once she got really creative with Brian and thanked God for "grass and running." It is such a joy to see her starting to think of others and to recognize that she loves the people who love her. So, consider yourselves prayed for by our very own little Linden.