Wednesday, February 16, 2011

M @ 18 months

Surprise! Lady M is 18 months old.  She began showing signs of this precisely 16 days early.  On the Sunday after B's birthday we were at the farm and suddenly.  I knew 18 months must be near.  Brent and I had to both sit with her together, at length to get her to pick up first a bunch of easter eggs and then a basket of shells she had emptied.  She resisted mightily.  As a second time parent, this was an immediate sign that I would have missed the first time.  My key memory of B at 18 months is a million episodes of making him pick up each cheerio or goldfish cracker he spilled.  So here we are, slowly teaching her to pick up the many things she spills.
The second sign -- she suddenly, irrationally, loves Elmo.  We have one Elmo doll of sorts left over from B in this phase.  We have one Elmo DVD, which we hadn't watched in a year, at least.  Suddenly, M is requesting Elmo and finding him hidden everywhere in our house.  She isn't getting to see too much Elmo, but I take this as a sure sign that the next phase is upon us.
That said, the next phase is often so amazing.  At almost precisely the same time she shifted form mostly one-word at a time to two or three word phrases.  She also moved to more normal dialog and phrase.  For example, she will do the entire Please + Thank You + You're Welcome progression now.  She knows a wild variety of words and babbles constantly.  She uses her hands to talk just like I do.  She can be quiet and shy, but at home is usually vibrating with energy and sound.  She has very definite ideas about what she wants to do and is quite determined.  I think all of these things will server her well.  She also has is completely adorable.  She seems to be increasing her stash of cute smiles, looks, glances, and gestures.  Totally irresistible!  Just want to squeeze, snuggle and photograph her at every moment.  Truly too cute for words!

She now is so into crafts.  We reorganized all of our craft supplies so they are now VERY (perhaps too) accessible.  Aunt Jamie also got us these cool smocks which help and have their own hooks on the craft cart.  M's medium of choice is paint.  This is a little problematic as I'm WAY type A and don't do well with the threat of paint literally everywhere-- which has of course happened.  She also covered her face in stamp ink a time or two already when we weren't paying close enough attention.  The beauty of the getting totally messy is she does usually get to have fun with water play immediately thereafter for the next 15 minutes or so.  Meanwhile, I am attempting to reign in the type A and let her have more texture play and express herself.  I bought a new set of water paints in an attempt to manage the mess (previously mostly just had acrylics as apparently my type A person has hidden most of the kid paint we've been given very very well even from myself).  She, obviously, is not so in to water colors and really wants my craft paint back...we shall see.  
She still LOVES to be outside.  She literally does not have the sense to come in out of the cold and would stay out in the snow indefinitely.  She does have some very adorable new winter hats that were hand-made for her by Tracie which definitely helps.  We have gotten to take a couple walks and she seems so very happy cruising along in her stroller.  She also, strangely, remains quite the carnivore.  She really does like her meat, but is a very good eater overall. She is now just over 30 pounds and around 33.5 inches.  She is moving into 2T and larger clothes and starting to have opinions about what she wears.  She does ask for her "bow" while patting her head when we're getting ready in the morning and rejected several pants I was considering buying for her this weekend.  She makes me happy.
At long last, she has turned into a great sleeper.  I doubted this would ever happen.  She has slept for 11 or more hours at night for months and now is typically a 12 hour sleeper.  This is awesome, in part, because I get to be a bit lazy and sleep in or talk with B for a bit first thing.  Her naps are finally improving as well in both predictability and length.  She may never be the napper B was (but no one is).  We have managed a few coordinated naps lately where Brent and I do get a little time together during the day and it rocks. 
So here we go, two is coming speedily with language explosions, clean-up time and first trips to the potty (now a once a day event).  I could not love her more, even in the moments when she drives me crazy.  I love that she has her own strong, wonderful personality.  I love that she adores her brother, Daddy and me.  She takes good care of us and is always first on the scene with pats or a hug.  I love singing with her and how intently she will focus on her song book.  I love that she loves books and dancing, just like I do.  I am mesmerized to see so much of me in this tiny girl and flabbergasted at how she and her brother can be so incredibly different and yet both so completely wonderful.  Basically, I am a very happy mama of a very happy, beautiful, vibrant,smart and caring little girl.  I am trying to savor every moment and plan to cherish her sweetness forever.


Jessica Lena Lehman said...

she is an adorable sweet little girl

Jamie said...

sweet post! she was every bit of this adorable this past visit and it makes me miss her more!


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