Here’s a long overdue Stella update:
Last you heard she was obsessed with pandas. In a short time, she’s developed an obsession with stuffed animals in general. First it was pandas, then the $2 Walmart bunny (scored at a post Easter sale), then cats. At one of Mom’s recent book events at Barnes and Noble, Stella made a beeline for the Grumpy Cats, grabbed all the cats off the shelf, and carried them around the store until Aunt Sue Calahan bought her one. Now Grumpy “Tat” follows Stella everywhere. He even came (begrudgingly) to Dad’s Yale graduation. But really, she loves any and all stuffed animals and has amassed an eclectic collection.
Stella is usually energetic and boisterous, but she is also very sweet. Lately she likes to kiss everything: especially any dog she sees; she kisses all the animals in her books; and babies. But she would rather kiss animals and inanimate objects than kiss Mom and Dad. She will, however, kiss Mom’s tummy when you ask, “Where’s little sister?” Besides kissing, Stella is getting more interested in TV. We wandered across a rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” with an owl who flies up to visit a star before he goes to bed at night and Stella was glued to the screen. Tears welled up in her eyes and she signed “more, more, more” when the video ended. She’d watch it several times in a row and get upset each time the owl flew home, saying, “Home. Tree. Bye bye!” We couldn’t tell if she was emotional because she was having her first ever aesthetic experience, or if she was sad because the video was over or if she thought the owl would never see the star again, or what. After this video, she added owls to her list of favorites.
She also really loves watching Jesus on Youtube. We discovered she prefers slideshows of paintings/photos of Jesus (even if they’re paintings from the 80s and 90s), rather than the beautifully produced videos of the life of Christ on lds.org (and we’re running out of options, since there are only so many Jesus slideshows…). We showed her one slideshow for FHE one night and since then she likes to run to the computer and say, “Jesus? Jesus?” We try to limit her daily Youtube consumption, but it’s hard to resist when she asks for Jesus. Now, at church, she likes to identify Jesus in all the wall art. Today, Dad had to remove her from Sacrament meeting and occupy her in the nursery. He caught her offering Jesus a banana. After which she stuffed Grumpy Cat in the microwave and cooked on high for two minutes.
So at 19 months, Stella loves Jesus, Grumpy Cat, and has verbal diarrhea. She repeats almost everything you say. Dad has to watch his commentary on East Coast drivers or else Stella will soon be joyfully calling everyone a “moron!” or “idiot!”