I Need My Privacy

Here is Penelope, as she is so often want to do, reading the 'ole Duke alumni magazine while pretending to poop.

We've had the mini potty in our bathroom for awhile now in the hopes that it would encourage Penelope to want to use it. So far, Penelope has made friends with the device, spent quite a bit of time sitting on the little throne, "flushed" it numerous times, and wadded up yards of toilet paper to "wipe" herself. But we have yet to witness her doing the deed on the potty that we so desire her to do.

Sorry P, I didn't mean to interrupt you.

Keep reading.


Etty's Visit

Look who came to town last week:


Etty came with her darling mama, Lydia, and her fun papa, Joel, all the way from Sweden to spend a few weeks States-side. We were delighted to be able to host them for a few days and catch up with what's been going on in their lives since we visited them last year.

Penelope was stoked that her long-lost friend was back (although there was some initial confusion between "Etty" and "Evie"--her cousin), and Penelope and Etty got right down to the business of playing. It seemed that the language barrier wasn't an issue, but Penelope's willingness to share her toys definitely was.

Here the girls are going straight from an impromptu hug,...
...to a full-on tug-of-war over a favorite toy.

Joel and Lydia were glad to leave behind the snow mounds in Sweden and bask in the warmer temps of NC, but I don't think they were prepared for the record temps we had last week. We took a trip one afternoon to Duke Gardens, but after a couple hours we were sweaty, sun-burned and ready for the AC.

Etty out for a stroll in the gardens... 

...with Penelope as her charge.

Unfortunately Joel and Lydia got to experience the perils of the American healthcare system when poor Etty came down with an ear infection. 

Penelope tried to cheer Etty up with a coloring session,
but ended up hoarding all the crayons. I think Etty was too sick to care.

Thanks for coming to visit Etty, Joel and Lydia! We had a great time!


Spring Has Sprung!

What a better way to celebrate Spring than a trip to Duke Gardens!
Everyone around Durham seemed to agree that this was the place to be.
Penelope's focus was on the water instead of the flowers. Fountains, pools, ponds, lakes. You name it, we couldn't get her away from the wet stuff. 

When we finally did pull her away (kicking and screaming), Penelope went straight for the rocks. She grabbed as many as she could hold from the paths and wouldn't release them from her grubby little hands. She couldn't understand why we didn't think the rocks should be included in the flowering tree photo shoot.
"Oh. You meant for me to smell the flowers?"
Straining to reach just the perfect blossom.
Flowers galore!

And yet she's still clinging to those rocks...
Happy Spring!


Jibber Jabber

Those cute little lips have been going a mile a minute lately. 

It's unbelievable how quickly Penelope has gone from mumbling a handful of words to speaking non-stop in phrases and even sentences.

And boy, does she have a lot to say!

Up until two weeks ago there were two things that she refused to say, no matter how hard we urged her. The first was her name. She'd repeat one word after another to us, but whenever we said, "Penelope", she'd stop and just point to her chest. Finally, she randomly said her name when we were looking at family photos. Of course all four syllables are too much for her right now, so she has taken to calling herself "Pey-Pey." 

The other thing she refused to say was, "I love you." Try as we might to get her to repeat that phrase, Penelope would just keep her mouth shut and just smile. Then, two weeks ago when I was tucking Penelope into bed she surprised us. I always lay her down, pat her back and then say, "Good night. I love you." This time, right after I said good night, Penelope rolled over, looked up at me and exclaimed, "I love you!" That just about melted my heart.

Penelope has been well acquainted with time-out since a couple months ago. Let's just say that she likes to test the boundaries. Lately she's been rehearsing the things that she has had to go to time-out for. "No throwing cup!" "No drink bath water!" "No eat to-to (playdough)!" We'll be sitting on the couch reading, and she will randomly turn to me and say, "No throw book." I'm not sure if all of this is to remind me or to remind herself of the rules. Unfortunately all that reminding has not kept her out of frequent time-out sessions lately. Yesterday she was helping me in the garden and had to go to time-out for repeatedly pulling off the tops of my plants. A couple hours later when I went go get her out of her crib after her nap, the first words out of her mouth were, "No hurt Mama's plant!" Yes, Penelope, that's right. 

Lil' P also loves to express herself through music. She's always been quite the dancer, but lately she's taken to singing. Her favorite tune as of late is the ever-popular ABC song. Penelope, however, has her own version of the alphabet. According to Penelope it goes: "ABCD ABCD QRS YZ" and instead of the chorus, "Now I know my ABC...", Penelope has revised it to, "No more ABC's, no more ABC's" That's right. Penelope has officially declared that we only need 9 letters instead of 26.


The Tent

Time for a little catch-up on the adventures of Penelope over the past few weeks.

If only we could find that little girl...

Aha! There she is!

Penelope's daddy couldn't resist buying this little tepee tent when they were out running errands. Ever since then, this has been Penelope's favorite hideout. 

But be aware. 

If Lil P catches you, she'll have you in the tent with her in no time. Once you're held captive, she'll force you to lay down and start patting your back (in not such a gentle way) until you go "nigh-night." And once you move to get up, she'll insist that nap time is not over!

Unfortunately, it was during this trip to get the tent that Penelope had a couple very scary febrile seizures that landed her in the emergency room. We spent several hours getting well acquainted with the Duke Children's ER that evening while they ran some tests. Thankfully, a few days later, all was well and Penelope as back to her active, playful self.

Wanna come play?