And we have an 18 month old! I cannot believe she is half way to 2 years old. It seems so long ago that she was that tiny, wrinkly newborn, but at the same time, it has gone SO fast. I have to say I absolutely LOVE being the mom to a toddler. She is so much fun despite being so busy. Everyday she does or learns something new and her little personality has developed so much. I had no idea she would grow into this hilarious, playful, curious, SMART, sweet, lovable little girl. When she was brand new I loved her because she was mine, and I made her, but I had NO idea the person she would become and how much my love would grow as she did. Someone told us that we would love her more and more as she learned to talk and interact but part of me didn’t believe it. There was no way to ever love her more, I loved her completely already, but I was so wrong. Getting to know her has been the best part of my life and I do love her more today than I did yesterday, a month ago, and 18 months ago. I can’t wait to see her grow even more and become the person she is going to become, yet at the same time if I could keep her here, in this innocent, adorable phase forever, that’s pretty tempting too.
I missed her 18 month appointment-the first MD appointment I’ve not gone to. It was a little bittersweet, but I changed my schedule at the last minute so I could get a 4 day weekend this weekend so in the end it’s worth it. Ashley still hasn’t started the new job, so she was able to take her. She got her last vaccine needed before kindergarten, which she apparently was VERY unhappy about. Her pediatrician continues to be amazed by her speech development and has no concerns for her at all. They discussed the continued use of the pacifier and as long as we ditch it by 2, she is ok for now.
Weight: 22lbs 5.5oz 46% —that surprised me since she has always been so low on weight!
Height: 30.75 in 17%—looks like she is getting my height and not her donors, poor kid!
Head: 47cm 70%—she has always had a huge head, guess it’s holding those big ol’ brains!
Personality: I know everyone says their kid is the smartest, funniest, cutest etc, but seriously, this kid. She incredibly silly and has a great personality. She enjoys making jokes and finding ways to make people laugh. She will put something silly on her head, or do a funny dance or walk to get you laughing. She has developed quite a bit of a strong will though and needs to be reminded often to “listen.” She knows what she wants when she wants it and therefore toddler tantrums are a regular thing around here. We will have some issues with hitting when she is mad, but she are making progress there. She immediately asks for a “huggie” when she knows she was wrong or hurt you. She also says and signs sorry. She is also so very sweet. If she is sad or knows your sad, she wants to hug you. She loves to curl up in your lap for snuggles and give kisses. She is very inquisitive and wants to know what everything is. She will walk around naming things she sees and when she doesn’t know, she will ask “this?” Once you tell her once, she’s got it. She inspects everything to figure out what it does and how it works. She has a love for all things small and cute-animals, bugs (cute?!?) and babies. She has a soft spot and often worries if she things they are hurt or sad. She will ask if they are sad, or crying and want to touch them and give them hugs. We’ve had to explain a lot about how she can’t touch birds, bunnies etc.
Babies: we still have a love for babies over here. She rocks them, feeds them, covers them with blankets, makes them dance, reads to them, shows them her toys, sleeps with them. She gets upset if she thinks they are hurt. Last week Ashley popped the leg off a baby that went in the tub to get water out and she was CRUSHED. She cried and demanded she “fix it” and even after it was fixed, she was devastated her baby was hurt. So sweet.
Art: she talks about art constantly! She always wants to make art and is excited to show her projects from school as well.
Bailey (our dog): Bailey is seriously like her best friend. She is the reasons we know she needs a sibling. Bailey must go everywhere in the house she does. She brings her treats, gives her dinner, and shares her toys with Bailey. Seriously, she gives Bailey a crayon/chalk if she is coloring, a block if she is building, blows bubbles at her for her to “see,” shows Bailey her books and toys, wants her to dance with her etc. She often seems confused or frustrated when Bailey won’t take a toy from her, or use the actual crayon, which is both adorable and sad at the same time! She shares her food with her despite us asking her not to, gives her lots of hugs and pats, and covers her with her blankets.
Outside: Especially now that the weather has warmed up, she wants to be outside ALL day. She gets upset when it’s time to come back in and is constantly asking to go outside. She is happy to run up and down the sidewalk, she doesn’t even have to be doing anything in particular. She does enjoy drawing with sidewalk chalk and blowing bubbles though. She likes walks in her wagon and now even has her own mini wagon form her great grandma that she pulls along and takes her babies for walks in. We’ve even gotten a few days warm enough for her water table, which she LOVES. Trips to the park are always a win and she is now brave enough to do most slides by herself and loves the “big kid” swings more than the toddler swings. She holds on really well too. She still had trouble propelling her ride on toys too well on her own and prefers for you to push her along. She enjoys looking for rocks and sticks as well as bugs and birds while we are outside. One of her favorite pastimes is to throw rocks in the pond across the street and watch them splash. She has learned bout jumping in puddles too, so we often end up with wet feet after a spring rain.
Cooking: She always wants to help “cook.” She will help stir or pour safe ingredients and often wants to sit on the counter (at a safe distance) and watch us make lunch/dinner.
Animals: Real or fake, this kid loves animals. She plays with her farm animals a lot throughout the day, and even makes her little people pretend to be animals by “hopping.” She has been very into bird watching for a couple months now and we finally got her a bird feeder to bring the birds right up to the patio. She gets so excited when they get close, and even enjoys the monstrous squirrel that has taken over the feeder recently. She asks to go outside to check on the geese and ducks on the pond daily. Wants to look at pictures/videos of animals on the computer and can do that for extended periods of time. She always pats her legs and calls to animals she sees saying “come here”, and we have to explain a lot that they won’t come to her and they don’t like to be touched, they are just for looking! I feel bad that more animals aren’t friendly enough for close encounters because she wants to touch them SO bad! She also shows them whatever she’s got. She will hold out a toy or her paci for the animal or bird to “see.” She knows the name and sound of most commonly known animals. She can even say the hard ones like “alligator” “elephant” and “walrus.” She enjoys trips to the life and science museum here where she can see some animals closer than usual and even got to hold a butterfly on her arm for a bit one time we went.
Minnie/Mickey Mouse: She loves the squeaks! She called them squeak for the longest time (since that’s what mice say of course!) but here recently has started calling them Minnie and Mickey mouse too-which I can’t lie, broke a little piece of my heart! She has about 4-5 Minnie dolls and a Mickey train. She has rediscovered Mickey.Mouse Club.house too, which is a welcome change after months of Yo.Gabba.Gabba! She loves the theme song and hot dog dance and we usually have to watch those parts several times each show. She also calls for “tooooodles!!” which is precious.
Bathtime: We do a bath most nights out of necessity now that there is a lot more outside time happening, but also because she LOVES bath time. It’s a good activity for when we are winding down the evening and wanting the toys to be put away. She can play in the bath for a good 45 minutes or more some nights. Filling and dumping cups, playing in bubbles, soaking mama’s, it’s all fun. When she is done she will ask me to “hold like baby” meaning she wants me to wrap her up and snuggle her in a towel, it’s my favorite thing! She also asks me to do that when she is sleepy and I always oblige because I know those days will be numbered as she gets older!
Bubbles: She wants to blow bubbles and have you blow them almost every day. She got a butterfly shaped bubble horn in her Easter basket and loves that she can now easily blow her own bubbles. She blows them right in poor Bailey’s face making sure she sees each one!
Pacis/blanket: This continues! Blankets and pacis are still a staple. Though we have weaned her down from the paci at school, we are still working on it at home. We aren’t pushing it too hard since she doesn’t cry for it at school but know we have to get rid it by the time she is two. We would like for it to be gone before the new baby too, so that we don’t have to worry about jealously or stealing of pacis!
Language: This girl is a gabber. She talks non-stop all day long. She can name most things in her environment and can ask for what she needs by name. If she needs help or doesn’t know how to ask, she will come get you and take you by the hand saying “come here” or “walk me” and show you want she wants. She will ask for help as well, but says “help you” instead of me, which is absolutely adorable. She says 2-4 word sentences and is trying for longer/harder phrases. Sometimes it comes out a little like gibberish, but usually we can figure out what she is saying. According to her teachers she is the best talker in the room despite being the 3rd youngest out of a class of 12. They put her speech on par with an older 2 year old. Her annunciation is impressive and says “l’s,” “r’s” and “s’s” very well which isn’t typical for her age. Even strangers typically understand what she is saying. She absorbs new words like a sponge. She will ask what something is or hear you say a phrase and it becomes part of her vocabulary after the first time hearing it. I told her to “walk away” from something the other day, and she now says that several times a day when she knows she shouldn’t be touching something-adorable! She has been calling anytime I give her a hot meal “dinner” lately too which I love.
Cute phrases lately are: “Have a nice day” (from a school song originally), “Walk-away,” “hold like baby,” “I love you,” “lets go outside,” “too small,” (refers to things she is too small for, i.e. recently a ride at the water park), “I see you!.”
Physical skills: She can run fairly well now, sometimes getting tripped up if she goes too fast down a hill or something. She climbs upstairs perfectly and can go down but often still wants help. She is working on jumping and can occasionally get both feet off the ground. She can now climb on the couch/adult height furniture only sometimes needing help. She can use a big kid swing and can go down most slides independently. She can walk carrying large toys or handfuls of things. She has a great arm and gets a good distance when throwing a ball. She has some trouble kicking a ball and maintaining balance, but is getting better. She uses silverware pretty well most of the time now, but gives up and goes back to her hands if it’s too hard. She seems to be right handed, though they said handedness isn’t decide until 2-3 years old, she definitely prefers her right hand and has better control with it with fine motor tasks. She propels her ride on, but still prefers to be pushed since it obviously goes faster that way.
Sleep: We remain lucky in the sleep department. Bedtime is still around 8pm nightly. She gets a bath most evenings then one of us will rock her in her rocking chair for a bit, read some books and sing some songs. She will on a busy day fall asleep in our lap, on others she will ask for her “bed” and want you to “pat” her back. Usually will give a couple pats and leave with her still awake but drowsy. Rarely she will cry and is usually done before we hit the end of the hallway. She sleeps through the night, with the rare wake up requiring her paci to be found or remind her we are still around, but no holding, rocking or other needs. She is up usually anywhere between 7:15-8:15. She sleeps in her own bed. At times when she is sick or I’ve been missing her with work we will put her in our bed, but usually move her back to hers in the middle of the night because she flip flops around SO much and ends up mad we are in her way! She takes one nap a day now and it usually lasts 1.5-2hrs. She will doze in the car on the way home from school most days though resulting in a second 30 minute nap those days.
Eating: She is typical toddler, one day she will eat non-stop anything you give her, the next day she barely puts two bites of food in her mouth all day. With all the holidays since her birthday she has learned and now loves what sweets are! She asks for candy, cookies, and “chaaaaclit” ( LOVE the way she says that word), regularly and we have to limit her consumption and strictly prohibit treats when a meal hasn’t been eaten. She loves meat and depending on the day some vegetables. She loves carbs just like her mama-bring on the potatoes and biscuits! She prefers dinner to all other meals and is usually the most well rounded full meal she gets each day. She still loves soup as well. She picks at breakfast, which is much like me as well.
School: She still really enjoys going to school. She will run to the door saying “lets go!” when she knows that’s where we are going. Once in a while she will cling a little at drop off, but most days she is excited to join her friends in whatever they are doing. She especially loves art and their dance/music program. She participates in the traveling gym that comes on Fridays as well and from what I hear, loves that as well. Her teachers say she is happy, gentle with her friends, eager to learn/participate and an overall joy to have. She rarely hear bad things and often ask to make sure there isn’t something we are missing. Being friends of the director, we don’t want them to sugar coat any worrisome or troubling behaviors or excuse any naughtiness! They swear up and down, she just is a “dream child” at school. In addition to that they are all so impressed with her cognition. We recently got the 18-24 month assessment packet they do and she has marked off nearly all skills through 24 months that they look for. As a result they have decided to move her up to the next classroom early…way early. She is the 4th youngest in her class of 12, but is the next one moving up as they believe she is too smart for the room she is in and needs more challenge and structured activities. The next room is for “young 2’s” though children often move up around 22 months, so she will be about 4 months early. We are slightly worried they’re rushing her, but are trusting their experience and knowledge of the curriculum and just going with it. She will start transition the last week of the month and be over by first week of May. The upshot is, there are several friends that she was very close with that already moved up and she misses them and talks about them a lot, so we know she will be glad to be in the class with them. Also I think that speaks to her cognitive level that her closest friends were quite a bit older than her, so that makes it feel more right as well.
Well here are some photos of our big 18 month old!!
Doing “art!” Helping us paint the living room.
Trying out her new bubble blower!
Taking a walk with her Bailey!
Spoiled on the directors desk at school.
For the second time-sitting on the directors desk. Someone is ROTTEN.
Big girl swings!
First frozen yogurt of the season!
Reading books with her baby.
Having a little “calm down” time.
Bird watching while eating.