Unbelievably, Hallie will be turning three in two days. I am not sure where the time went (and I am quite frightened that we are now a mere 13 years away from her getting a drivers' permit...if her navigating and safety skills with her toy vehicles are any indication, watch out drivers!)
Anyway, we spent part of Saturday procuring Hallie-friendly food for her birthday bash. If you recall, last year the only thing she could eat that we had at her party was Lesser Evil Potato Sticks in Sea Salt flavor. This year, our shin-dig will feature Oreo cookies, Lays potato chips, watermelon, and pizza (we'll get regular pizzas for the masses and have commissioned a pizza with goat mozzarella from Whole Foods for Hallie so that she can enjoy as much of it as she would like). And our lovely friend, Sara, whose hands are already full (she is a NICU nurse and mom to three-year old Charlie and three-month old Aaron; she makes and sells lovely burp cloths (Keiki cloths) previously mentioned by us on our blog; and is a wonderful photographer who took some gorgeous shots of Lea as a newborn) has volunteered to make Hallie a birthday cake. We're still using allergy-friendly stuff (meaning no egg or cow dairy in it) because we're still not sure how well Hallie responds to those things, but we do know that, at least conceptually, Hallie loves cake. I bet that Sara's beautiful giraffe cake will go over very well with our girl.
Hallie is definitely getting into the birthday spirit. We've been asking her how old she is for a while now and she has consistently responded "two." Lately, we've also been inquiring how old she is going to be and she gleefully retorts: "three!"
Hallie has also finally learned how to blow (sort of...she has blown conventionally by rounding her mouth several times but cannot do this on command. Instead, she bites down on her lower lip and spits out some air. Amazingly, this does the trick and she can extinguish flames of candles that way). We've been practicing the Happy Birthday song and blowing out candles with her all week and she's been doing super at it.
Anyway, we think she's excited about her big day and we're fairly certain that she understands what it entails this time around.
On other Hallie news, she's also doing a whole lot of new fun stuff (some of which makes us really happy and others of which exasperate us no end). In terms of the former, she's been doing a lot of pretend play. On Saturday, while we were in Superfresh buying supplies for Hallie's party, Hallie kept asking for chips (she says, "a big round one!"). We happily indulged her requests and she munched her way up and down the aisles as we tossed stuff into the cart (this was a major improvement over our experience in Toys-R-Us, when she tossed all sorts of random stuff we didn't need and didn't wish to buy her in the cart for us). One of the chips Sharon gave her was more heart-shaped than round, which Hallie pointed out to us immediately and then burst into a chorus of "Love" (by Rachel Coleman, and easily among Hallie's favorite songs). Once the singing was over, she began to feed the chip to her Count plush doll (of Sesame Street fame), who kept saying "yummy, yummy, yummy" as the potato chip crumbled in his mouth. Then, rejuvenated by the snack, Count began to fly (he does, after all, have a cape) and Hallie narrated "Count is flying!" as she made him do so.
Today, she showed off her prowess with verbs while she used her mallet (from her doctors' kit) to bang some imaginary nails into her Melissa and Doug dollhouse. She turned to me and said with pride, "I build a house!"
And, finally, my favorite Hallie-ism of the day: she's been walking around all day saying "I spy with my little eyes..." and then filling in the blank with whatever she sees at the moment. This evening, she looked through the hole of her smiley-shaped potato patty and said "I spy with my little eyes Mama!" There's no question: I was very happy to be spied by her little eyes.
So, yeah, on the eve of three, Hallie is pretend playing and speaking a whole lot more. That's the best birthday present we could imagine receiving from our no-longer-so-little-girl.
Sorry about the lack of pictures, though. I promise to try to take some later in the week. But one last update: we're up to 107 days without vomit. Hallie does seem bored with some of her foods but disinterested (or even hostile about) trying new ones, not to mention drinking her milk (she does, however, like to eat the silicon straws that come with her insulated Thermos bottle, much to our chagrin). But she's been eating well enough and drinking okay enough (marginally) and keeping everything in with no real problem. So we are thankful for that, too.