Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Currently, Chief is... {18 Months}

Can you believe our little girl is already a year and a half?  So little time has passed- and it's passed much too quickly- since we celebrated her first birthday, but she has changed SO MUCH!  Let's talk about these past few months:

Opening Christmas presents at 13 months old
Growing like a weed!  She very quickly outgrew the 12-18 month range of clothing, which leads me to believe this was her fastest growth spurt yet- up until this point, her clothing size was the same as her age.  She's got some 18-24 month stuff that fits, but mostly we're in 2T now, though pants tend to be a little long and shirts a little baggy- but I find that to be better than stuff being too tight.  Now that the weather has turned summery, she's wearing all capris and shorts and skirts, so you can't even tell if stuff is a bit too long.

Climbing up the playground steps all by herself at 14 months old
Eating anything and everything.  Her favorite food, hands down, is "a-puhl-saw" (applesauce)- specifically the kind in the squeeze pouches that she can eat by herself with no mess.  She doesn't care what brand or what flavor- it's her favorite snack that she asks for when she wakes up, when she gets home from school, when she's bored of being in the car... She also requests "yogee" (yogurt) immediately after finishing the applesauce, so the two items together tend to be her before-school breakfast (she also eats breakfast at school).  We like the yogurt that comes in the tube, especially since YoKids comes in this packaging, but we recently discovered that Target carries lowfat in the same squeeze pouches that applesauce comes in, meaning no mess!  She hasn't shown any food allergies, though she was showing the tell-tale strawberry reaction a few months ago (although we haven't seen it in a while, and strawberries gave her no other problems) and too much cheese will make her constipated (which is unfortunate, as she loves it and will request it on almost any dish).  She will sometimes try to assert her independence by refusing to eat what is served to her, but we will not allow her to refuse the meal entirely- she will not be allowed to live on a diet of applesauce and yogurt alone.  The other night, for example, I made a dish with potato and cheese pierogi, ham, caramelized shallots, and green peas.  She has eaten and enjoyed each of those items individually (pasta, potato, cheese, ham, peas), but when served together, there was only one thing on the plate that she would eat- the peas!  This was rather shocking, as what kid refuses cheese and meat for green vegetables, and the week prior she'd refused anything even remotely green in color, but we decided it was a battle we didn't want to fight- she ate all the peas off her plate and both of ours, and I think she ended up eating every single pea left in that dish before she was full so the leftovers had no green in them.  These types of fights are getting ever more rare, but that doesn't mean we don't see our fair share of tears at the dinner table.  Now she's decided to assert her independence by wanting to feed herself with her utensils, and we have to gently suggest that, if she'd like to get any of it in her mouth, perhaps she should let Mommy or Daddy help a little bit?  Eventually she gets so frustrated that she's so hungry and not actually getting anything to eat that she will let one of us guide her little hand as it shovels up food, or she'll throw down the fork and go in with both hands, or she'll open her mouth and let us feed her (we're trying to discourage the latter).  At restaurants, we try to order food that is easily eaten without utensils (so nothing with a sauce, if possible, unless she can dip her food into it- her new favorite way of eating) because she's still much too little to use regular silverware and we don't want to cause arguments by removing her independence, and so long as she's not overly hungry or tired, we avoid public tantrums.  She has a rather adventurous palate, eagerly "deep"ing her "cheeps" into the salsa at our favorite Mexican restaurant over and over again, although she makes a face because it is "'picy".

Bundling up to play in the snow at 15 months old
Talking in complete phrases, though not yet complete sentences.  And she can carry on a conversation with you about any number of topics she finds interesting- like "airmanes" and puppies and cars and food and the "meegow" (playground).  Although it is tempting to use her pronunciation for the words she says because it is so adorable, we've seen how very effective it is to continue pronouncing words correctly.  For example, even up until a couple of weeks ago, she would to call yogurt "gogee"; when she wasn't around, we'd refer to it between ourselves that way ("I think I'll have some gogee for breakfast tomorrow,") but if we were talking to her, we'd pronounce it properly ("Would you like yogurt or applesauce for a snack?").  Recently, she has started to correct her pronunciation, after hearing the proper pronunciation for so long- she's still not calling it yogurt, but she's replaced the g with a y, so it's starting to sound more like it should ("yogee").  Same goes with applesauce- at first, it was "ah-pee-saw", but now she deliberately pronounces the "a-puhl" at the beginning of the word, though she hasn't yet added the s sound to the end.  If she gets excited and starts saying the word over and over again really fast (so as to speed up our acquiring of said applesauce) she'll slip back into her old pronunciation, but when she does, she slows herself down and very deliberately says the word- knowing that she needs to speak clearly to be understood.  It's really fascinating to watch her learn not just a language, but how to express herself clearly so that we can understand.  They say that children that learn to speak earlier have fewer tantrums, but that's not necessarily true in our case- she is able to better communicate what she wants, but she still gets upset if we deny her what she's asking for.  In general, though, her loudest fit-pitching is caused by her either being tired or hungry (or both), which is relatively easily to fix.  (And for the record, our current tantrum strategy is to ignore it until it stops, assuming we're not in a place where she can immediately eat or take a nap.  It works more often than not.)

Walking through the neighborhood at 16 months old
Making facial expressions that look just like her Daddy, as I've said many times before.  Although her smile is undeniably inherited from me- if her hair weren't red, it would be easy to mistake her photos for mine- the way she raises her eyebrows when she thinks you're pulling a fast one on her, or the way she studies something when she's trying to figure it out...those expressions are 100% Mr. Geek.  It's pretty incredible, really.

Enjoying the beach at 17 months old
Listening to lots of different types of music, and singing along!  She is very polite and will clap and say, "Yay!" when someone finishes singing a song- including the choir at church.  Her two favorite songs are the ABCs and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider", though it's sometimes difficult to tell which song she's requesting, as "aybeesees" and "issy bissy" sound pretty similar- though generally, if she's requesting "issy bissy", she does the little hand motions, touching the tips of her fingers together.  No matter what song she's singing along with, they all have the same lyrics- "Aybeesee aybeesee aybeesee."  That is, except for "Ring Around the Rosie," which is comprised of the words "ashes ashes down!" that she sings while turning in circles and then plopping down on her bottom.  She loves making music, and has acquired quite the one-man-band set-up with a piano, keyboard, snare drum, maracas, castanets, recorder, and (real) acoustic guitar.  She has a real affinity for music class at school, too, and if the cart of instruments is parked outside the classroom door when we're leaving in the afternoon, it's hard to drag her away from it when she'd much rather pull things out and make some noise.  Music skills help with math skills, so here's hoping she wants to take up an instrument when she's older!

Telling me all about the airplanes the day before she turned 18 months old
Sleeping in the weirdest positions, but all night long.  We don't have a set bedtime, but we do have a set bedtime routine- eat dinner, sit on the potty and read a book (we are not officially potty training yet though, just introducing the concept), put on our jammies, nurse, sit in Mommy and Daddy's bed and watch 101 Dalmatians (still her favorite movie ever) until she's sufficiently sleepy, then go to bed.  About once a week, bathtime comes between potty and jammies (unless she's legitimately dirty) and the length of time we watch the movie depends on what time it is.  On school nights, 8pm is our hard-and-fast bedtime cut off, but we're willing to stay up later on weekends (though no later than 8:30 if it can absolutely be avoided- and the only time it can't be is if we're not at home).  She's normally willing to go down around 7:30, so long as she's had all the other bits of the bedtime routine.  She nurses in the morning as well, and though I know she's getting a little bit of milk, it's no longer for nutrition- it's strictly routine and comfort.  We have another plane ride coming up on Memorial Day, and it's imperative that she nurse for takeoff and landing on both flights, so I don't want her to wean before then.  Once we get home, though, I'm going to stop offering "boops" and only nurse when she explicitly asks for it (which I imagine she will continue to do at bedtime for quite some time, though the morning session will be much easier to cut).  Most nights, she's asking to nurse as we get her jammies on, but some nights, if I don't say anything about it, she's content to just sit with me- but I do say something, and she does want to, and I'm glad, because we're not done yet.  I'm hoping that between June and November, if I stop mentioning it, she'll forget about it- though I won't refuse her if she asks during that time.  It is my goal to have her weaned shortly after her second birthday, but I'm not looking forward to being the one that brings about the end of that relationship, so I really do want her to wean herself.

Practicing her awkward fashion blogger poses at 18 months old
Loving puppies of any size; airplanes in the "kies" (sky); music; applesauce; yogurt; pretty much any fruit; playgrounds; swings; talking on the phone (well, holding things up to her ear that may or may not actually be a phone and saying "Allo?" like a little French girl or something); picking out shoes for me to wear; walking around by herself; running away and being chased; reading books on the potty (which at this point she believes to be a special chair where you read your favorite books, naked); "boids" (birds); pretending to feed her stuffed animals with real food; tickling Mommy and Daddy; hugs; playing in the "dort" (dirt); identifying the parts of other people's faces (pointing out their eyes, nose, mouth, etc); feeding herself with a fork or spoon.

Hating having playtime interrupted by a diaper change; not being allowed to play with real cellphones whenever she wants; being limited to just two servings of applesauce per day (one in the morning and one in the afternoon); riding in the car; getting out of bed in the morning; getting her hands dirty while playing in the dirt; having to hold someone's hand when walking around in public; sitting still; not being allowed to stand on chairs and tables; the suggestion that perhaps something exists which is not "MINE."

And that was months 13-18!  Can you believe how much she's grown??  I think maybe from now on I'll only do these updates on birthdays, but I figure if 18 months is and important enough milestone to warrant a check up at the doctor, it warrants a check up on the blog :)

What is your toddler currently in to?

Much love,
The Geeks

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