Saturday, December 19, 2009

15 Months Old

Happy 15 Month Birthday Evie!

We'll go in for a well child checkup after Christmas, so I don't have official stats, but I weighed her tonight and she is 23 pounds. I have no idea about her height because the number of times she has stood still in the last couple of months is about 3, and none of those times did I have a tape measure handy. But she is in 18 month clothes, can almost open the dishwasher herself and can now climb onto a lot of our furniture by herself, so I'd say she's gotten taller. When she's naked she looks so tall and skinny to me!

Potty learning is going OK. As expected, she had a regression for a couple of days and wasn't interested, but today she rallied and peed on the toilet 3 times. She loves to watch the toilet flush and clap her hands "Yay!" Poop is another matter entirely. I know that poop is often a challenge when potty training a 2 or 3 year old, but I was hoping it would be smoother with Evie. Nope! I am so jealous now of the parents who start potty learning when babies are younger and the kids learn that the potty is a great place to poop, instead of getting comfortable pooping in a diaper. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say. It's only been a few days, but my mother's intuition is telling me that Evie prefers pooping in a diaper at this point and doesn't want to change the system. I don't want to pressure her but instead follow her lead, but it's going to be a challenge to bite my tongue on this issue because MAN would it be nice to not have to spray out between 1 and 3 poopy diapers in the toilet every day! Enough poop talk.

Speaking of challenges, is anyone else dealing with (or has dealt with) the violent streak in young toddlers? Evie is all about hitting, kicking and pinching me these days. She does it some to J, too, and the dogs (although we heavily supervise those interactions) but mostly to me. I believe it's mostly frustration surrounding not being able to communicate her desires and thoughts, but some days I feel as though I'm "fighting" with her all day, that most of our interactions are negative. Either she's doing something naughty and I'm redirecting her, resulting in a tantrum, or I'm trying to play with her and she lashes out at me (testing boundaries I guess). I feel as though I say "no" too much, so I've started saying "oops" or "uh oh" instead, as a warning that she's doing something naughty. That seems to help, but she still likes to yell "NA!" at me as her way of saying "I hear your 'no!' and raise you a 'NA!'" I call her a little stinker a lot these days. :) We've tried to toddler-proof as much as possible, to reduce the number of times we say "no," but there is a limit to how much we can do without removing all of the furniture and padding the walls.

Hopefully this phase will pass quickly, if it is communications related, because Evie's verbal and ASL skills are blossoming. She owns (uses independently, correctly and most adults can understand her) "Mama," "Dada," "ball," "baby," "no (na)," "doggie," "bubble (bubba)," "more," and a few others. She also says several more words with a little modeling beforehand, and she is myna birding a lot. Yesterday she said "chiz peas" back to me after I modeled "cheese please." So cute.

She also uses a lot of non-verbal communication and owns the ASL signs "more," "all done," "eat," "milk," "please," "sorry," (she gets a chance to use that one after she pinches me) "light," "ceiling fan," "music," and "hot." She learned that last one while I was taking a bath this week. Mama's baths are HOT! The water is not as much fun to splash in that way. :( She uses the signs for "light" "fan" and "music" a lot. She figures out quickly where all of the sources of sound and light are in any particular room and then demands that they all be turned on at once. She won't let it go until the room is ablaze with light and playing a song she enjoys. Evie is not environmentally friendly, yet.

Speaking of music, Evie is in a repetition phase right now (with books, too) and doesn't want to hear any new music, only the music she already knows and likes. If anything comes on that has a slow rhythm, is instrumental, has foreign language lyrics or uses an instrument that isn't familiar to her, she shakes her head no until I change the track. If I don't change the track fast enough, she starts crying. If she likes the song she'll either sit still listening, bop along to the beat, or in the case of "Baby Beluga" by Raffi, she'll sing along "baybee, baybee, baybee." When the song ends she emphatically demands (and signs) "MORE."

I love that she has generalized some of her ASL and is being creative in her communication. For example, younger babies only use "more" for food, but Evie uses it for more food, music, book repetitions and games. She has also generalized "all done" by using it to tell me when she's ready to get off the potty. She's also started using it in her crib when she wants to tell me that "no, I'm not going back to sleep. 45 minutes is long enough for my nap and I am ALL DONE with this nap." How can you argue with a baby waving "all done" to you from her crib? I had to cave, but she was miserably cranky by bedtime.

More updates...

Teething: currently, bottom eye teeth and molars. Evie's teeth take forevah to come in, so it's easy to attribute just about all of her cranky behavior to that instead of toddlerdom.

Eating: she just came out of a picky stage and right now is eating like a linebacker. Must be a growth spurt starting. I feel like I spend all day preparing food, feeding her and cleaning up afterward. She's still being fairly picky about what she'll eat, but during growth spurts like this she broadens her choices somewhat and eats enough veggies to keep me from starting her on vitamin drops. Really the only veggie she'll eat outright is peas, but we sneak other things into her with things like this and this.

Reading: her attention span is getting longer, but she is getting picky about which books she wants to read. She prefers books that she can participate in by lifting flaps, pointing out objects that she knows "ball!" "baby!" or that are participatory. For example, books that encourage us to point to parts of our body, sing, clap, stomp our feet or make emotive faces. Once she latches onto a book, she often wants us to read it to her over and over and over and over again. We usually get bored by the fourth or fifth time and distract her before she is truly satiated..."hey, Evie, want a snack?!" We feel properly guilty about this.

Sleeping: with a few exceptions (teething related?) she is sleeping better right now (knock on wood) and has slept through the night (usually 7pm to 7am) a handful of times in the last month. Other nights she is up only once or twice and we have started going in and giving her some water instead of milk when she wakes. The lack of a whole milk snack in the middle of the night has resulted in a VERY hungry toddler when she wakes up in the morning. She heartily disapproves of our desire to start coffee brewing before we cut up her banana. Where are our priorities!?

Visit with G: a week ago, G (Evie's birth father) came to visit. We were very happy to see him, or at least I was. Evie was pretty freaked out and cried at a couple of points. Poor G! I can imagine how that feels for him. I assured him that we show her pictures of him regularly (we do) and that it's only a matter of time before she will understand that he is one of her people and will greet him warmly. I am confident of this because of my recent experiences S*kyping with my 2-year-old nephew. His parents have shown him pictures of our family and taught him our names, so he knows our faces as Uncle J, Aunt Karen and Cousin Evie. I'm sure Evie will be the same at his age, so G doesn't have too long to wait until she will greet him eagerly by name. Anyhow, he was still happy to see her and gushed about how beautiful she is (something we heartily agree on) and how smart (another point of congruity). He is having a rough time right now, due to the economy and lack of jobs. For those of you who pray, please say a prayer for him because he is a wonderful man and needs to have blessings come into his life right now. He came with good news that R, Evie's birth mother, is doing well. We anticipate that she will be able to see Evie again in the spring, which will be very cool.

I'll conclude with a few pictures from this month...

At C*huck E C*heese on my birthday (long story) Evie adored the carousel ride and I love this picture because it shows her face in the mirror. Don't let the expression fool you; she thoroughly enjoyed this!
Another great mirror shot! This one is at a pre-school learn/play center we visited last week. Evie likes to wash her hands these days, and this little sink was made for her. She was not happy to have competition, even though the other little girl is one of her playmates and friends. See that look she's giving? I get that A LOT these days. Exasperation, wariness, frustration and stubbornness:
Here's another look we get frequently: the "tilting my head back so that I can see you under my bangs." This is why she has pigtails and/or bows in most pictures. This pic also illustrates her deep and abiding love for monkey climbing. And, yes, the paci...she was very cranky that day.
I took a lot of photos today, to try to get at least one decent photo of her on her 15 month birthday. This is the best I could do, out of 31 photos. Not only is Evie a bundle of energy, she also takes after her Nana and likes to close her eyes in photos! :)
No video in this post since I've posted so much of it in the past few days.

The next few days will be busy with packing up to drive to Minnesota for Christmas, so in case I don't post between now and then, Merry Christmas everyone!


  1. Ahh...the violence. Yep, it starts right about now and stops somewhere between 3-4. I think it's all about frustration and not being able to do/get/be what you want. Since they have no words to describe these emotions, they just act out. Butterfly used to hit me ALL THE TIME starting around 15 months and ending about 2 and a half. And only because I started making her hit the couch, floor, or a pillow instead of me. My boys, now, have gone into biting and I have to say I liked the hitting better. Evie will grow out of it. Otherwise it sounds like you've got a great happy girl on your hands! :)

  2. +Safire: thanks so much! I love hearing other people's stories because it gives me hope that Evie isn't a serial killer in the making :)


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