Update, regarding the counting:
Harper now counts to 20 in English and recognizes all of those numbers, too.
Harper also LOVES puzzles these days. She's learned the word "almost" from doing puzzles. When a piece was not quite in, we'd encourage her by saying, "almost!" Now she says it for herself when she's close to fitting a piece in her puzzles or when we enter the neighborhood and she can see that we're "almost home". Pretty cool word. Harper has also learned the word 'patient'. Sometimes, when she was impatiently asking for something, I'd tell her "Just one minute, baby. Be patient." She'd stand there waiting and apparently she began to understand what it meant to be patient because the other day she was asking Ethan to read her a book and she walked over to him and said, "Read it- me, please. Patient." She then stood there and waited for his attention. Harper is also saying the word "pretty". She calls herself pretty when we do her hair or she looks at herself in the mirror. "Perfect" is another of her new words. When she completes a puzzle, I tell her it's perfect and she mimics that. I am not sure she really gets the concept of the word just yet, but give her a couple of days and she will. This kid is quick. Another of her sentences is, curiously, "Ahab says, 'Ahoy, Matey'". I know it's wierd, but she's got a little captain toy that goes with her boat in the bathtub and I've told her his name is Ahab and when I animate him, this is what he says. The girl repeats everything.
Since Aunt Danielle and Uncle Marty returned to Denver after Thanksgiving, Harper's been asking about them both. She plays with a retired cell phone and pretends to talk to them on the phone. "Hi Aunt D. Love you. Soon. (trans: See you soon.) Hi Marty. Marty nice. Soon. Bye bye Aunt D."
The girl is not sleeping well lately. The little fits that she's started throwing also occur during the night when she's not getting ninny milk. This kid would have me be an all night diner if it were up to her! We've been working on pushing the AM nursing from 3 AM to 4 AM and now to 5 AM. This has been tough on all of us. With each adjustment, she cried until she understood that she was still going to get what she wanted; she just had to wait and get it later than she wanted. The hope is that by moving the nursing to later in the morning, Harper's habit of waking at 3 AM and 4 AM and 5 AM... will eventually stop and she'll sleep for longer durations. By the way, Harper's usually going to bed by 8:30 or 9, and waking around midnight first-- don't go thinking that she's waking for the first time at 3. Oh no. This kid has some serious sleep issues.
Ethan and I think it might have gotten bad again because she seems to have more separation anxiety again. And we think that is because her vocabulary is (again) exploding and she's going through a growth spurt. With new skills comes new fear and she is particularly attached to mom lately. Maybe a couple months from now she'll be more comfortable and less clingy. Harper's really smart, but also (because of that) really needy: constantly wanting to talk/converse, read books, hug, love, kiss, be the center of your attention. She's not content to blend into the background, be passed around to strangers, or play quietly on her own when there are so many potential playmates in the room (Mom remains the favorite). Dad is no "chopped-liver" either. When Dada comes home for lunch daily, Harper squeals and runs to him for hugs and wants to play with him. All day she says, "Dada soon" as if comforting herself when she misses him.
After naps, Harper loves to dance with Mama. We put songs on the computer and dance around the loft. She hugs me tight, straddling my belly and slips her hands under my shirt to rub my back. She likes to feel my skin and lean her head against me. We're so tight and fit so well together this way that all the swaying and bouncing feels like one person, not two. Harper even sings along sometimes, catching the last word in the phrase of lyrics and repeating it. I think the dancing gives her a few minutes of quiet closeness that she really enjoys in her day.
Gotta run. The girl wants to play.