18 Months Old

Our Lily is 18 months old. Everyday is a new day, everyday she learns something new, everyday is becoming harder and harder to catch up with her. Soon, at this rate, she will be smarter than us by the time she’s five!! Not only has she been reading since she was 10 months old, now she also knows all of her colors, her shapes (even “half circle” and “crescent”), her phonics, she can count from 1 to 20, and she is now a singer too!

Here’s another video of her reading a bit more clearly:

From the get-go, we’ve been singing to her a lot. I think somehow, this has ingrained in her the love for music and harmony. We’ve also noticed in the past couple of months that songs are connected to emotions for her. We were stunned when one day, Daddy decided to sing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” to her after not singing it to her since she was about 6 months old, and she started tearing up at a high note. We thought something was wrong, but she looked at her Daddy and asked for a hug and kiss, and asked him to sing the song again. So he did, and sure enough, at the certain high note, she teared up again and suddenly started full blown sobbing, asking him to finish the song. She clung onto him, giving him a huge hug, and gave him teary kisses. What a sweet girl. We were stunned that a song can bring such emotion out of her, and equally stunned that she remembered this song from her very early babyhood months.

We’ve recently found that certain songs will evoke out of her strong, emotional responses as well. For example, the way Sarah McLachlan sings “Silent Night” makes her teary-eyed, and she demands cuddles with Mommy while she listens to the song. When I sing “You are my sunshine” to her when it’s not bedtime (it is our routine bedtime song before I put her down to sleep), she tears up and sings along. She is quite the sensitive child. Such beautiful, emotional responses. We are stunned, and so proud.

Then, out of nowhere, she decides that she can sing the songs we’ve been singing with her. Word for word, in her own baby accent. It started with just the end words of the verses, and suddenly she just went for it and sang whole songs while we were singing them.

Here she is singing the “ABC” song in its entirety:

Here she is singing the Railroad song with her daddy:

We also went through a whirlwind of a Christmas holiday. Our house sold right before Christmas, and we spent the majority of December house hunting for a new home! In the midst of all of that, we almost forgot about Christmas! But, we were right on time to putting up our Christmas tree (about a week before Christmas):

The haul we got for Christmas was absolutely ridiculous. Most of this stuff belonged to Lily, of course. We couldn’t stop ourselves from getting her more and more and more and so much more. And apparently, neither could all her aunts and uncles and grandparents!

One of the coolest things Lily got this year for Christmas was her rocking horse!

This year, like last, my sister Sophie, who is Lily’s Auntie “Bopee,” visited for Christmas for two weeks. Lily had the pleasure (much to my sister’s grunting dismay) of waking her Auntie Bopee up every morning with a kiss and a lot of loud toddler talking:

For Christmas, we all went to Nana’s (my mother-in-law) house for Christmas Eve dinner and opening presents from the aunts and uncles. On Christmas Day, this was our first year hosting Christmas dinner!! It went so well, and we even cooked and prepared food. We may have a repeat of this next Christmas as well! I was nervous about it, but it went without a hitch! Lily loved having people over, and she was ecstatic to be a hostess. Unfortunately, amongst all the craziness, I forgot to take pictures for our Christmas day dinner, but here are some from Christmas Eve:

Lily with her great-granny, Lilias (who she was named after, and who she affectionately calls “Ganny”):

One of the things we did while Auntie Bopee was here (one involving ME going SKIING.. I know, crazy, right?) was go to Vancouver’s Chinatown. It’s one of our favorite places to visit because of its familiarity to our roots. Lily loved the Chinese and Japanese zen garden!

The holidays have come and gone, and now we are just wrapping up the first month of 2010, hopefully with some positive news about a new house to be moved into at the end of February! We have something in mind, but nothing is finalized yet, so we are hoping for the best. Lily has gone to every house hunting escapade with us, and has given her own version of a seal of approval (does it have STAIRS that she can climb up and down on?!) on several homes. Here’s us keeping our fingers crossed!!

In the meantime, our Lily continues to grow… and grow… and grow. She is sleeping 11-12 hours a night. She still has her regular naps every afternoon around 1pm. She eats voraciously and she gives hugs and kisses openly. One day I tried counting how many words she can say, and I lost count at about 9am after about 80 words. So who knows how many she can say. It seems like her growth is exponential. She follows directions really well. She sometimes has tantrums. She definitely has a mind of her own and can be very, very stubborn. She’s a little firecracker and a little bulldozer. She is ALWAYS, always on the move. However, our Lily shows us constantly that she is kind and compassionate to others’ needs. She shares wonderfully and she likes to include other people in what she does. She has opinions about what she wants to read and what she wants to play. She greets people openly when we’re out and about. She knows several words in Vietnamese and affectionately calls my parents “Ngoai” without an accent (except her baby accent, of course). She says her “please” when she wants something, and is learning to say “thank you” every time after she gets something. She is our little sweetheart. She is loving, and we’re amazed at what a warm spirit she is. However, she also definitely has a mind of her own. We’re amazed how much stubborn she can be when she wants something, and she seems to have a very clear sense of what is “right” and “wrong.” We have so many speculations about what she would be like as she gets older, but most of all, we are just so excited and ecstatic to be able to be part of her world and see her grow.

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This is why I FIRMLY think that people who have children should be well rounded and grounded and balanced. Lily is going to be a wonderful woman because you are wonderful parents :D *hugs* Thank you for being awesome. :)

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