WE HAVE A TODDLER!?

Esther is getting to such a fun age. I told a friend the other day that I've never been much of a "baby lady." While I loved Esther when she was 8-9 months and younger (of COURSE), I'm enjoying her more and more every day. She's determined, thoughtful, silly, talkative, loves an adrenaline rush, and is whip-smart. And lots more. It's so amazing and wonderful to see her personality developing all the time.

Though she isn't walking, I'm kind of amazed by the things she IS doing, as they seem (to me) developmentally advanced. I'm assuming all her brain power is going to the new vocabulary she's developing (daily!!) and her feats of engineering (stacking blocks, unscrewing caps, opening and closing latches, etc) rather than walking, which is a-okay with me (and the pediatrician, who was totally unconcerned). 

Lately she loves putting on jewelry ("beads! beads!"), putting on shoes (except her jellies, which she hates) and then talking about her shoes and everyone else's, and picking flowers and giving them to people (and observing that they are "yellow!"). She loves books. Little Pookie is her current favorite, and she also loves anything with pictures of real animals and babies... Why are these in such short supply?! Other favorites are a tiny Richard Scarry book called Lowly Worm's Word Book (hilarious), Pride and Prejudice, Goodnight Gorilla, The Fuzzy Duckling, and two empty notebooks that she pretends to read. 

We also just got a bike trailer last week, and the weather has been AMAZING, so we've been going on family bike rides (Butter included) around our neighborhood. The first time we did it, we biked 1.5 miles to a coffee shop and Esther was AMPED when we got there. She was so crazy, and her eyes were streaming, I think because of the wind in her face the whole time. Ever since then, when we ask if she wants to ride the bike, she says "Yeah!! Yeah!!" with incredible enthusiasm. Sometimes she says "bike" whenever she sees a wheel on anything (a train, a car, a motorcycle, a stroller, etc). Dave and I are super proud of the fact that she seems to love the outdoors (biking, walks in the stroller, crawling around in the grass and getting SUPER dirty, swinging). Bodes well for a lifetime of Stalsbroten outdoor adventures!

It's nap time right now, so I've been poking around Pinterest looking for fun kid activities, and there is SO MUCH good stuff out there! Makes me excited for her to grow into the stages where we can enjoy tons of stuff, but there are already lots of things we can do together now. I think soon (this week! today!) we will try finger paints, play-doh, and sensory activities like water pouring, and scooping popcorn seeds or rice into bowls. Here's the board I've been working on, and I'd love to hear other ideas!