Well I never intended to go four months without a milestones-and-checklists-type update, but once I ran out of those monthly stickers...it appears I lost all of my motivation to keep up. Or possibly it's that I'm just in denial that my baby is so old that she could practically write the stickers for herself. Just kidding. Obviously she can only properly write and spell her numbers up to 10 at this point. In twelve languages. But give her a few more weeks...
|You don't even know what all I can do! Besides be sassy, that is.|
Millsie Lou, you are (almost) (on Saturday!) SIXTEEN MONTHS OLD!!! Holy moly, where HAS the time gone?
|I don't know, Mommy, but you should always make time to stop and smell the (dead) flowers.|
Before we get started, we should probably take a quick look at what she looked like for her last monthly update- twelve months old.
Ahhhhh she was a baaaaaby!!! She didn't even have her ponytail yet!! Waaaaaah. Okay, but for real. She's pretty great now. But she does NOT sit like that in the chair anymore, ha!
|Sit back and stay still? Uhhh no. How about scoot up to the edge and jump off, okay? WEEEEE!|
|I would also be open to standing up and pulling the lamp over. Your choice!|
Aliases: Millie, Mills, Millsie, Millsie Lou, Nuggie, Snuggles, and (thanks to the influence of our niece over the last few months), I'd have to say we all call her Mill-mill probably 75% of the time now. Who woulda thunk. Wanna know what we almost never call her? Camilla. Ha. Oh well.
Stats: She's still in the 25 pound range. Over the last three weeks of many doctor visits, she's ranged from as high as 25 pounds 12 ounces to just under the 25 pound mark. At her 15-month checkup she inexplicably dipped down to 24 lb 2 oz (which was lower than her 12-month weight, ha), putting her at the 70th percentile for weight. Her height at 15 months was 31.75 inches (86%). She's definitely stretching out to be a lean, proportional toddler-ish baby. Hopefully her cheeks stay nice and plump for a long time, though. She's still in 18-month clothes and size 4 disposable diapers (although she's still wearing her cloth dipes all the time except for at night).
Her feet are still waaaay tinier than the rest of her! She's in size 4 shoes- if they have a generous width/height that can accommodate her fat little balls of feet. Moccasins still work best, but we've inherited/bought a nice little shoe wardrobe over the last few weeks. Mills LOVES shoes (hers, mine, everyone's!) and it's precious how excited she gets about them!
She has about 600 teeth. Just kidding. But it's a lot. The eight front teeth, two top molars, and I think 4 bottom molars (or 2 of those bottom 'molars' are possibly not actually molars, but some other kind of big teeth halfway between her molars and front teeth. I'm not really up on my teeth names). Her lip tie is still intact, but the gap between her front two teeth seems to be narrowing (in my opinion)...it's still about the cutest thing I've ever seen, though!
|Cutest thing she's ever seen, eh? I hear that phrase a lot.|
Eating: She is still a fantastic eater. She weaned off formula right at her first birthday and has been on all table food and whole milk ever since. She eats whatever we eat and isn't picky at all. So far the only food I think I would say she does not like is grapefruit. It's the only thing I've seen her grimace and take back out of her mouth- ha. It was really funny. And she does it every time she tries it- but at least she keeps trying! Other than that, she eats pretty much everything we do (except we try to limit the junk food, obviously). Her favorite foods are pretty much any fruit, orange vegetables (sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, etc.), beans of any kind, anything that involves marinara sauce, cheese, pancakes...okay, basically everything. She is totally self-sufficient with feeding but doesn't see much need for utensils. Her hands are the only tools she thinks she needs. She can use a spoon (like to feed herself yogurt), but she's impressively efficient (and not nearly as messy as you'd anticipate) with her hands, so we don't really make a big deal about it. In keeping with the philosophy of BLW (which we clearly LOVED doing and have been thrilled with both the process and the results), we want meal times to be happy, encouraging, and enjoyable for all of us, so we don't make her eat certain amounts or finish certain foods...she eats what she wants (out of what we're serving- I'm not a short order cook, nor do we offer her a bunch of alternate snacks or anything), as much as she wants, and as it turns out...she ends up wanting to eat a pretty reasonable, balanced diet (if you look at what she eats over the course of a day or two)! It's pretty great. Our main issue with meals right now is working on not throwing food on the floor- she does this when she a) sees Lola and thinks it's super fun to feed her, and b) if she's mad. Some meals are better than others. :)
She gets whole milk in the morning and at night (and I think with one or two of her meals/snacks at school) and other than that she just drinks water. We haven't done juice or anything else because she doesn't need to know that that exists. Ha. She's happy with a sippy cup, but she REALLY likes to drink out of our regular (open) cups. Sometimes that goes well...and sometimes we need a wardrobe change. We still give her her milk at morning and night in a bottle, though, because then she lets us hold her for the whole thing and it's divine. If she has her sippy cup, she's on the move. I just need my baby to snuggle sometimes, though...and a bottle buys me five minutes of it.
Communication: It's time for a new category, because this girl has got a lot of things that she likes to express! Watching (and helping!) her develop the ability to communicate has been SUCH a joy- I think she's doing a great job at it, and life is quite grand when she realizes that she can stop mid-scream and just say or sign what she wants- and then we can respond!
She has a handful of words that she can clearly say and understands who/what they mean: mama, daddy, Mill-mill ("muh-muh"), Lola ("no-nuh"), up ("uh!"), bye bye, banana ("nanuh"), uh oh!
She knows a few signs that she uses frequently and correctly: more, please, food/hungry, all done, waving hi (is that a sign? it's universally understood, so we'll give it to her)
We have a few signs/motions that I guess are 'family inventions' or something, ha. Not sure that they're anything official, but WE know what they mean, and SHE knows what they mean, and she can use them to communicate some pressing needs: paci, water/drink, sleepy, twinkle twinkle (as in...the song about the star. it soothes her.)
Most importantly, she understands yes and no. As in, I can ask her if she wants ____, and she can correctly communicate (via nodding/shaking her head) if she wants it or not. She also understands and utilizes pointing to things she wants. This combination has been the HUGEST development, because we can minimize frustrated fits of crying by reminding her to point to or show us what she wants. Most of the time (unless she's just WAY far gone) she can calm down and figure out a way to express her need: she'll go into the kitchen and point to her highchair and make the sign for food! She'll go to her room and point to the blankies that are stuck in the crib! We can meet her needs! It's amazing! Oh, and with the yes/no- it shows us how much language she truly understands. She doesn't just give us a yes or no indiscriminately- I can tell that when she doesn't understand what I'm asking ("do you want to study calculus?") she will just stare at me and not answer either way. If she understands ("do you want to read a book?"), she answers one way or another. She'll also hold out for a string of options..."do you want to read a book?" (No.) "Do you want to pet Lola?" (No.) "Do you want to ride in your car?" (Confident nod yes, runs to the garage door.)
Sorry, this is really long, but I am just obsessed with watching her learn- I know that one day I'll want to look back and remember this!
Likes: Playing outside. This is one outdoorsy gal! She doesn't care in the least if it's pouring rain or freezing cold...she just wants to be outside. I hate that it gets dark so early and we can't play outside once we get home from work/school, but I know that they play outside a LOT at her school, so that makes it a little better. We still go on walks sometimes, though, even if it's dark/cold!
|I look like a jester!|
She also loves reading. This is excellent, because due to her breathing treatments, we spend a lot of time reading. At her last well visit, the development checklist had some question like "will your baby pay attention to a book for two minutes?" or something like that, and Matt and I cracked up. Many days she spends at least an hour doing breathing treatments (IF she only has to have them in the morning/night)...and what does she do for the duration of every single treatment? Sit in our laps and read books. She LOVES books. She sits still and smiles and laughs and turns pages for probably 30 books a day, just at home...not counting whatever they do at school! One of the words she clearly understands is library, because we spend a lot of time picking out new books! And even when one of us isn't reading to her, she's dragging books around the house and reading them to herself!
|This book is about food. I relate.|
So yeah. The apple didn't fall far from the tree(s) here.
She's still a huge fan of making music- her instruments (both real and improvised from the recycling bin, ha!) are her constant companions. In fact, it's not unusual to see her sitting down, banging a tambourine while reading a book. She's all about the multitasking.
She loves people and being around people. The apple fell a little bit far from the tree here, haha. She is super friendly and waves to everyone. She's always happy to see her teachers and classmates and rarely cries when I leave her. She lets familiar adults at church and in our families hold her. She's just generally very easygoing and happy, and it's a joy to watch. I love that she seems to feel confident and secure in almost any situation. I wish I felt more like that most of the time- I can learn a lot from this one!
She loves to give kisses. She has a couple of different kissing styles- sometimes she just plants a real one on ya, sometimes she blows a kiss, and sometimes she just makes her kissing sound, which is something like "mmmmBAHHHH!!!!" She will give a kiss if you request it (well, if she wants to), but sometimes she just gives them out spontaneously, which is obviously the best. She also kisses random objects and things that she feels deserve kisses- books, Lola, plants, stuffed animals, sippy cups, toys, etc.
|Exhibit A: a kiss on the cheek, complete with sound effects|
She also gives big hugs. She wraps those little arms around your neck and then pats your back/neck for a few counts. It's the most precious thing ever.
I must note that the kisses and hugs are reserved for people she knows well (and inanimate objects). We don't let her just give kisses to every stranger she meets at the grocery store. Those people are limited to enthusiastic waves and applause. Sorry, strangers.
Dislikes: Being in the car without a paci. BEING HUNGRY. Hearing "no." Being in the kitchen while we're cooking if she doesn't have a snack. When Daddy tries to take out her ponytail. Taking medicine orally. Brushing her teeth. HUNGER. Waking up at night and not being able to find her paci. HUNGER. Family pictures.
|In conclusion, I like basically everything UNLESS I AM HUNGRY.|
I can't believe how long this has gotten! I guess this is just four months of catching up. Or something.
I still can't believe how lucky I am to be this girl's mama. Every day I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Millsie Lou, you've made all my dreams come true. I can't wait to see the person she grows up to be...next week, next month, next year. I usually imagine that at some point it stops getting better and better...like...first grade? I mean, are first graders really all that fun? What about middle school. Surely that isn't better than what we've got now, right? But then, I don't know. Just the other day, I ended up hanging out with a seventh grade girl for like an entire hour, and I'd expected it to be the most miserable experience of my whole existence (because truly, I'm not overly dramatic at all)...and it was actually pretty fun! She was much more interesting and fun than I'd anticipated, and the point of all of this is to say that it gave me hope that maybe it WILL keep getting better and better and better and even in MIDDLE SCHOOL, I will somehow think that it is the best yet. It's hard to imagine right now, because I think that kisses and "more, please" sign language is as good as it could possibly get, but...who knows. Anyway.
Sixteen months...my, how they fly.