May 21, 2011

18 months

Our baby girl isn't so much of a baby these days.

She loves to play outside, running around, chasing balls. She picks dandelions. Her favorite thing ever is to put on a helmet and go for rides with her big brother on the little electric four-wheeler or in the side-by-side that Grammy has for all the grandchildren. When it's time to come inside, she is most unhappy when we try to take off her helmet.

Inside, she is beginning to enjoy books. Unlike her brother who sat still for books from his very earliest days, Madelene Kate has not had the same exposure and has not enjoyed sitting still much at all. She far prefers to be busy, getting into things! She loves holding small things (like the "babies" in a collection of 3-inch plastic dolls that Ben's mom has). We recently began to sit her up to the table with a sketch pad and crayons. She fills the paper with her scribbles. And then she tosses the crayons on the floor! She's also been enjoying the nesting/stacking blocks that I give her while she sits in her chair. She has no trouble stacking four blocks while sitting. I think she can do even more when she plays with them on the floor.

She can easily point to her eyes, nose, teeth and tongue. We're still working on ears. And when she's in the bath and I ask for her foot, she immediately pokes her toes out of the water. Yesterday when I was giving Grammy an update on our doctor visit, and I mentioned that skill, Madelene Kate kicked her foot in the air to me!

My girlie is really into "pretty shoes" lately. She has several pairs now, since a generous friend gave us her daughters' hand-me-downs. While James had one pair of shoes when he was this age, Madelene Kate has at least four that she regularly wears. Whenever I change her diaper, I can easily distract her by holding up a shoe and saying, "pretty shoe" or "pink shoe."

Her one vice continues to be her pacifier. Thankfully we only have one. So if it ever disappears or breaks, that will be the end! I try to reserve it for bedtime. But there have been a few occasions when I've been out and needed something to keep her quiet. And on Sundays it provides a comfort when I put her in the nursery. She falls asleep very easily with it in her mouth - in fact, she'll generally fall asleep anywhere if she has the pacifier.

Her favorite toy is a Build-A-Bear dog named Millie. Millie has a sweet face and long, soft ears. After awakening in the morning or from her nap, our sweet girlie will spend good parts of an hour, sitting in her pack-n-play, sucking her pacifier and rubbing Millie's ears between her fingers. More times than I can count, I have come to get her up, thinking she is still asleep, and found her completely silent, pacifier in place, contentedly playing with Millie.

I wasn't thinking that Madelene Kate had much of a vocabulary yet. So when the doctor asked if she has 10-15 words, I told him no. But on further reflection, I think she might. And when asked if she puts two words together, I replied, "Well - not generally, but she does say, "Ah-ha-dat." or "Ah-ha-nanni." which Grammy pointed out a week or so ago to sound like, "I have that/I have banana." Since we have trained James to ask respectfully, Madelene Kate frequently hears, "May I please have...?" So I guess it makes sense that she would ask for things that way. I don't know what the doctor wrote down, but it is gratifying to think that she has picked up a good habit from her brother!

For the record, here are Madelene Kate's words:
Mommy, Daddy (both with perfect diction, but "Daddy" always comes with bright eyes and delighted smiles)
ba - ball
nanni- - banana
dat - that
guk - book
ah-oooph/goggie - doggie
ah-weesh - water (this one confounds us, but has been consistent for months)
ha-yo - hello (when she picks up a phone and puts it on her ear)
ba-bee - baby
buh-bu - brother
MaMee - Grammy (it often sounds like Mommy, but there is a bit of a distinction)
Bapa - Papa (always said with great happiness!)
uh-uh = uh-oh

James has always been a great eater with few preferences (green beans were the only thing he consistently refused). His sister has expressed a few more opinions. But generally, if I repackage something, she'll eat it down with no argument. The one thing she has rejected multiple times is egg salad made with mustard or vinegar. She happily eats salted scrambled eggs or hard boiled egg whites. The really odd thing is that she LOVES pickles! Her other favorites are banana, tomato, rice, broccoli, peas and corn. She eats black beans, kidney beans, hamburgers, chicken (if it's ground) and salmon, among other things. She has preferences about how her cheese is served - not in slices, not crazy about shredded, but if it comes melted on a tortilla shell or rice bread, she gobbles it right down! Silly girl.

Size-wise, we find her mostly in the middle of the charts. Her cloth diapers can sadly give the appearance of being bigger than she is! (Speaking of - she regularly expresses excitement when I talk to her about not wearing diapers any more. And she has sat on the real potty several times for more than a minute or two. Nothing so far, but a positive step in the potty-training direction!)

So here are her measurements as of 18 months and 2 days:
Weight - 23 lbs, 6 oz (25-50th percentile)
Height - 32 1/4 inches (50th percentile)
Head - 47 cm (50-75th percentile)

And with that, I sign off to go make my children some pancakes.

May 3, 2011

Capturing the Moment

How I wish for a way to instantly capture those priceless and fleeting moments that vanish the instant you reach for a camera.

There is no way that anyone else can now appreciate the precious view I had as I looked out the front door over the expanse of Grammy's deep green lawn to see my darkly red-headed boy in a long-sleeved white t-shirt and orange track pants darting furiously here and there as he followed a little yellow butterfly in an attempt to hold it for even a minute.

Maybe by writing it down I will be able to recall it in years to come, if I close my eyes tight and try hard to imagine that lean little body that will have been transformed seemingly overnight...

It all goes so fast - every bit of it. I'm trying to capture each moment. But they slip away without warning.