Kate is 31 inches tall and weighs twenty-something pounds. (Her checkup isn't until next week, and she freaked out when we put her on the scale this morning!) Her eyes are hazel (brown with a hint of green) and her light brown hair has some adorable curl to it. She still has her “blond spot” above her left ear. She wears a size 4 diaper, size 4 shoes, and is true-to-age in clothes.
Personality and pastimes
Kate is still such an active child. My mom thought I was wild as a toddler, but according to her, Kate has me beat. She climbs on everything—most of the time with total ease, and if it’s not easy, she will huff and puff and try until she gets it. If you give any indication you are willing to catch her, she will jump off things at you, then climb back up and do it again and again.
Only recently has she been interested in sitting still to read books. She pulls books out of the basket in the family room or off the bookshelf in her bedroom, hands them to us, and then backs into our laps. (It’s cute how she stands a few steps in front of us and backs up to sit down, rather than climbing into our laps front-ways.) When we read Barnyard Dance, she claps and stomps her foot. She still plays with her blocks, CD player, stacking rings, and other toys, but books have been the main event lately. Her favorite song right now is “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” and she puts her fingers together to do the motions a little bit.
She is a sweet and affectionate child, but not extraordinarily cuddly, except when she’s sleepy. She gives us hugs and kisses (oh, the kisses—it’s the cutest little tight-lipped face!) and blows kisses at other times, but when she actually lays her head down on our shoulder, we know she must be very sleepy. She’s so independent, happily running into her day care classroom and washing her hands for breakfast, waving and blowing me kisses from the stool by the sink as I head out for the day.
Though Kate has developed motor skills before some other kids her age, she hasn’t been as verbal as some, and until the last month hasn’t really had many words at all. The “language explosion” we’ve been anticipating since her first birthday is finally here. In roughly the order she learned the words, she can now say:
Mama (still usually means “gimme”)
Dada (usually she calls him “Da” though)
Mow-Mow (Sometimes I think she’s talking to me, “mama,” but no, it’s the cat.)
Berry (“bee” or “bee-yah”)
All done (“ah-da!”)
She has also mastered some animal noises. (It amuses me that we consider that such a crucial early skill!) She can do a monkey noise (“oo-oo-ooh”), duck (“back back”), cow (“oooooo”), cat (“mow-mow,” of course), horse (a laughing sound, so I thought she was just laughing at first, but then I realized that my “neigh” really does sound like forced laughter). She may also be making progress with sheep, chicken, and all the animals that say “rawr.”
She still does some sign language, including “please,” “thank you,” “book,” and “all done.” She also nods yes and shakes her head no. Usually, the “no” is just being silly, like when we ask for a kiss and she denies us, but the “yes” is a fabulous development, as she can answer affirmatively to questions like when we ask if she wants certain things. Awesome! She understands most anything we say, so she can follow instructions, like putting things in the trash can or heading to her room to put jammies on.
No, we’re not potty training yet, and when I set her on the toilet briefly before a bath the other day, she started crying, but she's gaining crucial skills in that direction--namely, recognizing when she goes in her diaper. Since she learned to say diaper ("da-ta") she has said it whenever we put her on the changing table. Then, more recently, she has been stopping, clutching her diaper, and saying it--presumably when she's going. The other day, when she did that, we asked if she needed changing, and she nodded "yes"!
Last thing: paci update.
We started moving toward a naptime/bedtime-only thing for her beloved paci a couple months or so ago, and she did very well. She doesn't have it at school at all, even for naptime. She kind of backslid at home in June and early July, when we were out of town a lot and her schedule was disrupted. We caved and let her have it during the day, and she got stubborn about it. We've started to lay down the law again in the past couple weeks. She sleeps with Raffi, Big Raffi (a larger, pink version of her main lovey, Raffi) and Paci, and for a while, she would always collect her belongings before I lifted her out of the crib in the mornings. Since we've gotten stricter, we take the things from her and leave them in the crib. She didn't like that at first, of course, but now she's learning, and will actually do it herself! She starts to pick them up, or puts down the Raffis but tries to keep Paci, and I'll remind her, "No Kate, paci stays in the crib for naptime," and she'll toss it down! A couple times, I've had to be tough and refuse to pick her up, saying "Ok, if you want to keep your paci, you can sit in your crib a while longer." She'll think about it a second, and then put it down so that she can get up. Smart girl!
18 months. Wow. She's been walking for half of her life. She's been out in the world twice as long as I carried her. She just gets more amazing all the time, and we love being Mommy and Daddy to this special little girl.