18-Month Update: No Longer a Baby…

The months are starting to blur together and I’m losing track of days fast as Noelle gets older and older.  She is still learning a lot, but it’s more minute and less obvious now.  She is transforming into a little girl before our eyes.  She always points to other kids and says, “Baby!!”… and I reply, “You’re a baby too.”  Then I hold my breath, realizing she’s not quite my little baby anymore.

Here she is at the pool… it’s finally warm enough to go regularly!

Loving the water!

Words: she has become VERY good (too good) at saying, “no!”… sometimes it’s a string of just, “no no no no no”.  One day she even tried to pick out her own clothes to wear!  Some days it’s funny, other days it’s exhausting.  She’s also starting to string words together, like, “no way daddy!” or “please no!”.  Do you see a theme here?

Along with the frequent “no’s”, I am also discovering that she will purposely find ways to get our attention.  For example, she’ll say “owie owie” even when she’s not hurt!  I am so much more conscious of how I react to things with her now because I don’t want to give her attention for negative behavior.  I’m also learning to be more firm, and am constantly reminding myself that consistency is key.  Basically… if I say no, I mean it (no matter how much I want to relent and give in).  And that’s that.

Food: she’s starting to get picky.  Before she would eat anything we put in front of her, but these days she’ll throw things on the ground or feed it to our dogs if she doesn’t want it.  She’s also getting more picky with her vegetables, but at least she still likes broccoli and green beans.  There’s hope yet.

She insisted on eating with her blanket, “Mimi”.  Other days she has to have her bear there too.

Sleep: still going strong in this department.  People talk about the 18-month sleep regression, but we haven’t experienced it yet (knock on wood!!).  She’s a good sleeper and very good at self-soothing.  Even when she doesn’t sleep, she’ll just play in her crib until we come get her.  I know at 18-months she can technically drop down to one nap a day, but we have been retaining her two naps for now.  Sometimes she won’t sleep at all for one of them and instead just quietly play in her crib.  The exception is on weekends.  That’s when we’ll usually skip her morning nap so we can do fun things together for an extended time, then put her down for one long afternoon nap.  Her morning nap is from 10-11:30am, and her afternoon nap is from 2-3:30pm, followed by a 7pm bedtime.

Play: I’ve been more actively looking on Pinterest too for toddler play ideas.  There are several learning activities I can’t wait to try with her!  This is one I did recently that helps them with sensory learning – the setup is super easy.

  1. Line the floor with a vinyl sheet or some newspaper.
  2. Get a cupcake tin and fill it with dry foods.  I used uncooked rice, uncooked beans, uncooked pasta, dried fruit, and oatmeal.
  3. Grab some pots, pans, and a spatula.  I used Melissa and Doug play pots and pans.
  4. Let her “cook”!  She spent a good 30 minutes trying to scoop her “ingredients” into her pots and had a blast just stirring and tasting.

“Cooking” – it’s serious business!

Tasting as she goes (L); It’s Dee-licious! (R)

At 18-months, I am already exhausted by the “opinions” she gives on a daily basis… I often wonder, how am I going to last another year or two of this??  Then she gives me a heart-melting, killer smile and I somehow regain the will to go another day.

Stats: 33 inches (ht) | 24 lbs 6 oz (wt) | 48 cm (head)

85% | 50% | 75%

I know all this is just the tip of it all, and I don’t know if I’m ready for what’s next (the terrible twos, I’m lookin’ at you!).  Some days I hope and pray for tomorrow, but I know when tomorrow comes, I will look back and long for the today’s.  Right now, her kisses are so deliciously sweet, and her hugs can melt an iceberg.  When she looks at me with those pouty eyes, all my frustration evaporates.  I love that she wants and needs me so badly, as if her entire livelihood is at stake.  One day I will miss all this.  I know the day will come when she will push me away for the sake of her friends, and I’m certain my heart will be broken.  So as cliché as it sounds… I’m just trying to cherish every moment for now, including all the not-so-pretty one’s.  It’s a choice I make every day.

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