Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Two and a Half!

Our Sal is two and half!  She still only weighs 23 lbs, which is something like 3rd percentile for her age.  She is a tiny little thing.  But you know what they say...Dynamite comes in small packages.  And that is definitely true for our Sal.

This girl is full of spunk, sass, and spirit.  She's a tornado.  I thought Noah was strong-willed, but we might be taking it to a whole new-level with this firecracker.  She is one independent and fiery little lady, and she exhausts me and challenges me for sure.  But at the end of the day, I would not change her indomitable spirit.  I hope she never loses the sparkle of mischief in her eye and that devious little dimple.

Here are some stories to give you an idea of how Sally has kept our life exciting the past few months:

At Noah's music class recently, I was helping Noah with his bells when another mother started motioning to me with wide eyes and pointing to the back of the room.  I turned around to find Sally stark naked, smiling at me knowingly, as if to say, "Oh yes I did, Mom, and there ain't nothing you can do about it."  As Noah said later, "Sal was wearing her birthday suit in front of all the moms and kids at my music class!" ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I sang a solo in church a few weeks ago, and afterward, I was holding Sally in my arms when an elderly gentleman came up to tell me what a great job I had done.  He said, "And does this little lady have a beautiful singing voice like her mother?"  Sally looked at him for a second and then burst into song: "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg!"  I have to admit, in that moment, I was pretty sure I have the most amazing kids on the planet. 

Another song that I have heard her singing loud and proud lately is one that she must've learned in her beloved Nursery class (she adores Nursery) with a little twist: "I hope they call me on a teach and preach and work as missionary dudes!"  (For those of my friends who aren't Mormon, the original song says, "missionaries do."  I like her version even better!)   I hope that Sally does go a mission and all sorts of adventures someday--and I have no doubt that she will keep up with those missionary dudes!

Speaking of music, she doesn't like to hear me sing.  Humph!  She often covers my mouth with her little hand when I try to sing her lullabies.  I've tried to tell her that many people enjoy my singing, but she is not convinced.  I guess I'll save my musical performances for elderly gentlemen at church who have hearing aides.

Even though she doesn't like my lullabies, she loves to be rocked and have her back scratched.  This is pretty much the only way that I can get her to nap anymore, and I actually enjoy it because it's the only time of day that I can get her to cuddle.  She is not a snuggler at all and will almost never give kisses.  But for these few precious minutes some afternoons, I get to hold her, and then I lay her down for a doze.

She cut her own hair.  Oh yes she did.  She hid in her room and just started snipping away.  Fortunately, Ryan realized that it was entirely too quiet and went in there before too much damage was done.  When Sally saw him, she said, "Uh, I'm not doing anything in here, Dad!  You can go away now--thank you!"

She managed to give herself a pretty good mullet, but my friend Tanille is a whiz with hair and did her best to clean it up.  Some parts were so short that she had to leave them, but it's a pretty cute little bob when the hair is pulled back. When the hair is down, it looks a little bit like a 90s bowl cut, but whatever--we do urchin well at our house.  Just ask Noah and his boots.

Sally tries to put a hex on me when she's mad.  I am not kidding.  She got this from an episode of Sofia the First where one of the characters decides to be a good little witch instead of a bad one, but I guess Sally would rather be a bad one?  When she's not happy about something, she storms off and gets her little magic wand.  Then she hides behind a corner or opens her bedroom door just a crack and sticks her wand out, so just her hand is showing, and waves it around at me.  I can only imagine the curses she is muttering in her head. So hilarious.

She has this little move that we call "The Scorpion."  She will just be walking along, and suddenly she pops down on all four and sticks one leg up in the air and holds it for a few seconds like a yoga position, then pops up and keeps walking.  So random and funny.

She doesn't like to help.  Shouldn't two-year-olds still like to help?  Shouldn't the "Clean Up Song" still be kinda exciting and effective?  I remember Noah being pumped about his little jobs, but Sal flat out refuses to help with anything.  This morning when I asked her to hang her cloak on a hook (yes, she wears a cloak), she said, "I'm too busy, Mom."  Uhhhhhh???? 

Sal in her cloak:

As a friend said after watching me trying to discipline Sally for a day recently, "Let me know how it goes when that little girl is a teenager."  I'm telling you, she is a pistol.  I have my hands very full.

Last month, I tried to be a good mom and bake muffins with her.  She really wanted to add some water from her sippy cup and kept trying to unscrew the lid to pour some in. I patiently explained that the recipe didn't call for water, and I let her add other things to the mixing bowl, but she would not give up.  Finally she just took a big swig from her cup and spit the water directly into the mixing bowl.  Ha! I was so stunned, and even a little impressed by her problem-solving, that I couldn't do anything other than move her out of the kitchen and turn on a show.  No more cooking with Sally for a while!

She has THE cutest little voice.  It's kinda raspy, and I love the way she says certain words, like "Otay!" She calls herself "Sal" all the time, and it's so funny to hear her talk in the third person: "Sal do it!"  She also often calls people "humans" which is just hysterical.  She will say things to me like, "Mom, stop talking to those humans" when she wants me to hurry up so we can go home.  She really does like humans though--she is super friendly, just like her brother.  She will willingly go to just about anyone, and she waves and says hello to people everywhere we go.  We have two very outgoing kids.  It's fun.

A few months ago, we were at a petting zoo and Sally was so excited to feed the goats.  She absolutely loves animals.  Well she quickly became incensed when she saw that the big goat was hogging all of the pellets from the littler goats.  "Stop it, Goat!" she kept shouting.  When he wouldn't listen, she finally got fed up and just punched him right in the nose.  I loved it.  A Shakespearean quote came to mind: "Though she be but little, she is fierce."  I hope she is always a defender of the undergoat.

She insists that she is "Queen Elsa of Arendelle" (don't forget "of Arendelle" or she will quickly correct you) and she pretty much refuses to take off her beloved Elsa nightgowns.  It's hilarious, endearing, and infuriating, all at once.

When I was diagnosed with Intracranial Hypertension a few months ago, I started seeing a counselor again, and one day I was telling her about how wild and crazy Sally is--and how it is sometimes hard for me to connect with her, especially when I am feeling crummy.  She doesn't like toys or books or songs...there is literally not one toy that she will play with.  What am I supposed to do with her all day when I don't have the energy to chase her around or take her to the park?

"All she likes is Frozen!" I vented. "She refuses to take off her darn Elsa dress!"

"That's it!" My counselor interjected. "You need your own Elsa dress!"

I was stunned. "Me??" I stammered in surprise.

"Yes!" She insisted. "An adult-sized Elsa dress, and you two could have tea parties and dance together.'"

I let that image sink in for a minute, and it was just so absurd that I burst out laughing--and didn't stop laughing for the thirty minutes after my appointment as I searched the options on Amazon.

So I did it.  I bought myself a silky, sequined Elsa dress--with a long tooule train, no less.  And it is every bit as ridiculous and awesome as you would expect.

As you can imagine, Sally absolutely loves dressing up together, brushing our hair, putting on red lipstick, and dancing to Frozen.  We've choreographed our own little routine to it, so even though it's not really in my nature to be playful--I like to get stuff done--when she says, "Mommy, will you dance with me?" I try to take a deep breath and let it go (see what I did there?). I slip on my dress over whatever I am wearing, and we have a grand old time twirling and building imaginary ice castles in the front room for a few minutes.  We have big windows, and I often wonder what the neighbors must be thinking. Ha!

I love this crazy little Elsa with all of my heart.  And she has her daddy wrapped around her finger as well, as you can see by their little manicure session at 7:30 a.m. one morning.  Sally is the perfect mix of a diva and a tomboy.

We sure love you, Sally Grace Nielson!  Even when you fall off of counters and get black eyes, get into my lipstick and smash the tip, and cut your own hair into a nasty mullet.  We wouldn't trade our Spunky Sal for anything in the world!


  1. I'm in love with little Sal just by reading about her. You are a wonderful mom and I love your gift to describe your children's personalities. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  2. I can't begin to express how much I love this!! I always knew you would be amazing mom... don't ever underestimate yourself... kids ARE exhausting... and worth every second... and although it may not seem like it right now- the time will fly so fast you will wish you had every exhausting moment back! She is an amazing little girl... I'm so happy for yous!! ❤️❤️

  3. She is a WONDER, Rachel! You are a special mama with a very special girl!

  4. What a doll! And a terror!! Reading this made me both want to adopt her and feel super glad she is yours at the same time. LOL.

  5. She punched the goat in the nose?!!! Hahahah!! Love it!
    Olive has also hexed me... thanks to Sophia the First!
    Little Sal sounds like a fantastic human! ��❤

  6. You are an amazing mom Rach. I love reading your words. Sally is adorable and I think she gets her spunk from you!

  7. I love this post so much. You are such an amazing mom Rach. She is going to love these posts with all her heart later. I wish you could write for my kids! We love little Sal. She sure is spunky and super cute!!


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