Monday, May 21, 2012

15 Months In.....

I wrote most of this post about two weeks ago, and am just now getting around to posting it. Apparently, my posting skills are as awesome as my documenting skills….Abi Kate turned 15 months old a few weeks ago. I don’t know why I’m so stunned by the numbers continuing to increase. I mean, she has been getting older for the last year and a half, but I’m always still so shocked that she’s “that old.” I wish I could say that I’ve been super on top of each month’s growth, but life happens. So, some of this stuff she’s been doing since about 13 months and some is more recent. Hats off to the moms who do the month-by-month blogs!

Her personality continues to emerge and we are finding that she is far more like me than we originally thought. Our chill little baby has become quite a firecracker, but a fun one! My mom often says we should’ve made her middle name Katie instead of Kate. Apparently, our “toddlerness” is quite similar. I can’t vouch for myself but she’s definitely a mix of sweet and savory…. ;)

She’s decided that being a picky eater is where it’s at. She still likes all the same foods she always has, it’s just that she prefers them at particular mealtimes. Like those Carribean black beans she’s always loved so much? Offer them for lunch-- No, thanks. For dinner the next night-- oh yes, she will have extra helpings of those please. Her favorite food right now is blueberries. Anytime, any place they are always a winner. (And as a collective household, we are SO ready for blueberry picking season because Kroger is making some serious cash off our child’s taste buds). She loves cheese and yells, “Sheese!” and runs to the fridge if you mention it.(Definitely my kid) She also ran to the refrigerator the other day and yelled, “FOOD!” Obviously, we don’t feed her very often-- just look at her thighs. ;) 

She’s gotten pretty adept at using a spoon and fork and about 90% of the food makes it into her mouth without much mess. Most of the time. I think her favorite thing to eat with a spoon is yogurt-- vanilla, strawberry, Greek- she’s game for them all.

Abi Kate has never been particularly fond of playing with or cuddling stuffed animals, blankets, or lovies. But this past week, she has started carrying around a little stuffed bear that was mine. I was telling her the other day that it was time to go, and she promptly ran out of the kitchen into our bedroom where she’d dropped him, grabbed the bear, and returned with him in tow. Precious! I hope she decides to keep it up. There’s not too many things that are cuter than a toddler walking around with a bear in the crook of their arm.

I think her rolling on the floor fits have increased within the past month. I’m always surprised at how such frustration comes out in such an explosive manner from such a little person. Honestly, it’s just a tad bit funny. Sometimes. A little. She definitely has an opinion about many things-- what she’d like to do or not like to do, where she would and wouldn’t like to play. She always prefers to walk without holding a hand and is genuinely insulted when you insist on holding hands in the parking lot. And while she has quite a few words, it’s not enough for her to verbalize how she’s feeling. So, a stomping/jumping fit of “No! No! No!” usually ensues. This is even more exciting when she’s wearing her squeaky shoes. It’s all age appropriate, and I know this. But wowza. It’s impressive. I was trying to explain her behavior to Tommy the other day and said something along the lines of, “It’s like she’s got this huge personality inside this small body and it just explodes everywhere.” He leaned over, knowingly shaking his head and rubbed my back and said, “Oh yes, I know….” Thanks, sweetie. I will take it as a compliment that you have agreed that my body is ‘small’. ;)

Truly, she’s very pleasant most of the time. She says “hi” and waves to nearly every human being that walks past us in the store, would happily go home with any stranger, giggles freely, and loves giving hugs and kisses to adults and children alike. We’ve found her to normally be one extreme or the other-- very happy or very not. Usually the first.

Sadly, she bit her first little friend the other day (and hopefully her last, though I’m not na├»ve…). I was mortified to discover that I am raising a vampire. This was one particular phase I was hoping would skip our house, but it seems that it may not. She has bit me once or twice before, but always while she was teething or giving a kiss. (We all confuse kissing and biting, right?!) Apparently, this is something not reserved just for  mommy. Oh, goody. Age appropriate? Yes. Acceptable? No. So I suppose onwards and upwards in new parenting challenges. Look out little friends in the church nursery!

At her 15 month well-check she weighed 22 lbs 2 oz. and is 31 inches tall… roughly the 40% for both. She didn’t say much at the doctor’s office, but when her pediatrician tried to look in her mouth to see her teeth, she quickly put up her little hand, shook her head, and said, “No, no.” She then preceded to purse her lips so he couldn’t look. Bet she’s gonna love the dentist. ;) She just cut her 11th tooth at the beginning of this week. All those teeth make her look more toddler than baby for sure. Thankfully, all molars are officially in. Whew. Molars are hard to grow!

She has about 35-40 words now, which makes communicating with her over basic needs relatively easy. She still loves reading, but only at certain times of the day right now. She loves all things animal, so her current obsession is making animal sounds for cow, horse, goat, sheep, dog, cat, chicken, monkey, pig, owl, lion, and bird. Strange variety, I know. Bird is my new favorite- “tweet tweet” sounds like “bweet pweet”. She still calls for Nora all the time, any time she sees a picture of a dog, a stuffed animal dog… “Hey No-a” or “Noma”. Her speech continues to evolve and things that she used to say, she says differently now. Most words sound similar or nearby to the appropriate pronunciation except for 'water'. She calls it “hoy.” Always. We’re just going to pretend like she’s trying to be bilingual with that one. Ha! She identifies her eyes, nose, ears, hair, feet, toes, hands, and belly (which she affectionately calls “beh-you”. Like when I’m changing her diaper and she lifts up my shirt, points and says “beh-you”! Thanks, honey.)  She also desperately loves this video. She was in Tommy’s lap one night while he was using the computer, so he went to Youtube and looked up nursery rhymes. She loves almost all of the videos from this group, and honestly, I think they’re just plain bizarre. Nonetheless, she will walk up to the laptop, tap it, and say “Baa Baa” and start dancing. And P.S. if you’re friends with me on Facebook and this video popped up in your feed from me, it is because my lovely husband hacked my page and posted it for like 10 minutes before I realized it. My taste in music really isn’t that bad.

We started a music class a few weeks ago that I think she’s really enjoying. There’s dancing, tonal patterns, rhythmic practice, instruments, finger plays. All sorts of fun, age-appropriate, musical goodness. Sometimes she’s incredibly participatory and other times she’d rather look out the window while the music plays. :) It’s a fun time with her and since I love all things music, I really look forward to it each week. I think she enjoys experimenting with the instruments most. It’s been a fun addition to our weekly Books & Babies day.

This age has been the most trying by far, but also extremely rewarding. I like how God balances those things out for us. ;) I’m intrigued by this developmental period (because I’m a dork, I know). She understands far more than she’s capable of verbalizing, follows easy directives but isn’t able to respond with appropriate words yet. She’s just at this “spongey” time where she’s soaking up everything and constantly learning. All kids at this age are this way. Really, the first five years are just one big spongey experience. But the visible learning comes in waves, and I enjoy watching it like any parent does. 

It's funny she's only been with us for 15 months. It seems like she's just always been ours, in this family as long as it's existed. Despite the trying moments, I will take her just as she is-- laced with meltdowns and giggles alike. Her life and presence in our home is a precious gift.

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