Thursday, October 21, 2010

18 Months Old

My Dear Gabster,

If the last three months had a theme, it would be GROWTH. Physically and developmentally, you have just exploded since I wrote your 15-month letter!

You grew almost three inches in three months bringing you up to 32.75 inches (75th percentile!) and 22.5 pounds (15th percentile). Which explains why all your pants are either too short or too big in the waist! Your height is becoming a problem though as you can now reach up over the edge of the kitchen counter, reach door handles, climb into any chair, and just generally get into a lot more now. :)

Your sign language has progressed, and your signing vocabulary is limited only by the signs I've learned myself. Right now you sign eat, milk, more, all done, potty, want, help, up, please, thank you, and sorry. Some of the signs you have created yourself include: A palms-up-shrug that you use when we ask you a question that you don't know the answer to or when you lose something (indicating "I don't know" or "Where is it?"), your "I want to hold the baby" sign (wrapping your arms across your chest in a sort of hug), rubbing your hands together when you want to wash your hands, rubbing your fist to your mouth when you want to brush your teeth, the hilarious fish face you make when you want Goldfish crackers, and the kissy-face you make followed by pointing to whoever you want to kiss at that moment (usually Lilian). Oh, and we can't forget your hands in the air "touchdown" anytime you hear the word or see football on TV.

Spoken language is moving along at a rate that your pediatrician says is normal. You jabber all the time, but what we can understand and that you use regularly consists of: Mama, Dada, Momo (what you call my mom), nana (which is both banana and how you pronounce Nena -which is your papai's mom), nenê (baby), que-shee-shee (queijo/cheese), bobo (bonê/cap -which you use in reference to all hats), boba (which is how you pronounce three different words: bola/ball, bolsa/purse, and balão/balloon), ho-ho (cachorro/dog), ssssssh (lixo/trash and also how you say sujo/dirty), vroom-vroom (car or anything with wheels).

You can point to all of your body parts (or someone else's) when asked in Portuguese, including your head, hair, neck, eyes, ears, nose, teeth, tongue, mouth, chin (sometimes), shoulders, back, arms, elbows (sometimes), bellybutton, legs, knees, bottom, feet, hands.

Except at nap time and overnight, you are not using diapers at home anymore. You've gotten really good at letting us know when you need to go potty (using your sign language) and will usually even "hold it" and wait until you are taken to the toilet when we are out (even if we have you in a diaper). Now at 18 months, you very rarely have accidents anymore!

You are definitely entering the toddler phase of eating now. One day you eat so much I'm certain your belly will explode. The next day you hardly eat a bite. On Monday you love peas. On Tuesday you won't touch them. Pretty typical toddler behavior. Your papai and I decided to not make food a battle in our house though. We've taken the approach of we get to choose what you're offered, where it's offered, and when it's offered. We figure what you eat, how much you eat, or even if you eat is entirely up to you. No games. No "just one more bite". No cleaning your plate. It makes mealtime pleasant for everyone this way! (And hopefully encourages a positive relationship with food and good eating habits.)

You drink about 24 ounces of whole milk per day and all the water you want (usually around 8 ounces/day). Your favorite foods of the moment are plain yogurt, cheese, tomatoes, steak, and pretty much any type of fruit. Your favorite snack is Goldfish crackers (the most processed thing we give you). Despite some toddler finickiness, you are not a picky eater. Most days you eat a really well-rounded diet, and we've managed to still keep junk food and sweets out of your mouth (you haven't shown a particular interest in ice cream or cookies, so we haven't offered it to you. Pretty simple.) And now that you've finally gotten more teeth (three on the bottom, two on top, and four molars) you can actually chew up all that food you eat!

You sleep like a champ even despite us taking the crib out of your room and putting you in a toddler bed. You sometimes fuss for a moment or two right when we lay you down, and sometimes you get up and sleep on the floor in front of your door (in protest, I think), but you still sleep from 7:30 or 8:00 at night until about 9:00 the next morning (waking around 8:00 for a cup of milk before sleeping that last hour.) You still take two 1 1/2 hour naps each day, although it may be time to transition you to one nap soon.

Playing at a beach along the St. Croix River

Your favorite activities now are reading (we read so many books during the day!), finding trash and putting it in the garbage can (you get so excited to throw something away - we have really, really clean floors with you around - any little speck of anything gets picked up, shown to me to confirm it's trash, and then you take off running saying "Ssssshhh" the whole way to the nearest trash can), relocating things from one place to another and then returning them all to the previous location, helping sweep the kitchen floor, wiping down any surface imaginable in your constant attempt to keep everything clean, playing outside, anything with Papai, and, most recently, loving on your baby sister.

Memorized by fireworks!

Some of the fun we've had these last three months included a trip to Minnesota and Wisconsin the end of July for the Peterson wedding followed by a camping trip along the St Croix River (where you got your first leach-YUCK!), hosting a baby shower for Aunt Tammy, attending a Bee's baseball game and watching fireworks for the first time (that you didn't sleep through), Andrew and Mandi's wedding in Cedar Rapids, a Labor Day weekend trip to Chicago flying on a tiny little commuter plane on a very windy day, walking a 5K with a very prego mommy, spending a couple really fun nights with the Andersons when Mamae and Papai were at the hospital to have Lilian (you didn't want to come home after all the fun you were having with their girls!), and getting completely spoiled by your Grandpa, Momo, Grandad, and Grandma for a week when they came up to help out around the house after Lilian was born and Papai was back at work (you love all your family, but you especially loved your Momo that week and spent lots of time looking at books and playing with her.)

Your world changed a lot at 17 months and 4 days of age when your baby sister was born. We figured you'd handle the change okay, but we are still amazed at how awesome you've been! You never showed a bit of jealousy except that you whined to be held anytime Papai had Lilian for the first few days. To help ease the transition, Papai took a week off work to stay home with us girls. You were his little shadow and followed him around the entire week "helping" him with whatever project he had going on. You are still his little buddy and you love to spend time in the garage, in the yard, or running errands with your dad. You are about the farthest thing away from a Mama's girl, but it makes me melt to see you and Papai together. You two are adorable, and I totally understand why you're so crazy about him (I am too!)

Taking a break for milk while helping Papai in the garage. (You love hats now and insist on putting anything you find on your head - although a helmet isn't such a bad idea for you anytime!)

And about that little sister of yours: you are completely crazy about her! As soon as anyone walks in the door you quickly shout "nenê, nenê" and point to Lilian to make sure they know you have a new baby at home. You completely smother the baby in hugs and kisses and have gotten to be really gentle and sweet with her (and only occasionally try to poke her eyes out in curiosity.) Anytime you enter or leave the room where Lilian is, you insist on running over and kissing her. And if, say, we are on our way to the potty and you get distracted by something in between kissing the baby and exiting the living room, you have to turn around and go give her another kiss before we can proceed down the hallway to the bathroom. You love to help anyway you can, including trying to put her pacifier back in her mouth when it falls out (usually missing and shoving it into her nose or eye), helping to hold the bottle (or my boob) when we're feeding Lilian, getting a clean diaper out at changing time, constantly bringing her toys you think she might like, offering her your sippy cup and snacks, and rocking her in her bouncy seat/swing/carseat.

I thought it was just the addition of a new baby at home that made you look so big. And while that is definitely part of it, you have grown up a lot these last few months! You're a smart girl, well behaved, and a lot of fun to be around! Having a little sister has made you even more affectionate, both with her and others. Your constant babble makes me giggle, your giant toothy smile brightens my day, and your big hugs and kisses melt my heart. I love you so much, minha princesa!

Eu te amo!


Jenna Grover said...

so sweet, i love all the "letters" you write to her. assuming eric shared our news with you too! i did start a blog if you're interested in keeping up and we need to try and get together when we are back for the holidays! hope all is well!

Bruno said...

A última foto é linda!!
Parabéns pelas crianças.