08 April 2017

Zoe is 18 Months...Well Technically She's 19 Months

We've certainly hit a sweet spot in our lives with Miss Zoe reaching 18 months. Her vocabulary is picking up by the day, and even if she doesn't have the words to tell you want she wants, she can generally communicate very well. Because she speaks English and home and Spanish at school, she often alternates between the two languages. I often know what she is saying (yesterday she told me we were putting on her "zapatos" or shoes), but sometimes she will point to something outside and say what she's pointing at and I have no idea (is it a tree, a bird, the deck, the weather, the sun, and is it in English or Spanish?). She loves singing the songs we used to sing at storytime with Mr. Keith when she was a baby, and also loves the songs they sing in Spanish at school. She has the sweetest little voice and she continues to be a little shy. She loves saying "dada," "mama," "Rose," and "ra-ra" (for Darwin and any dog she sees). She also loves pointing to the pictures of children in her class and telling me their names, but she refuses to say "Zoe." When she points at her picture, she usually says "dada" or "Rose" and starts laughing, knowing she is refusing to say her name.

Our sweet beautiful Zoe at 

Zoe loves wearing sunglasses
She's also started talking in short sentences. It started with commands like, "dada, sit, dada, sit" or "mama, ouch, mama, ouch" (when I comb her hair), but she'll often say things like "I don't know," and "dada/mama/etc at home." The "h" is a bit difficult to say, it's more like "ome" instead of home.  

Running and yelling at the ducks

The other really amazing thing Zoe started doing at 18 months is putting her coat on by herself. She definitely learned how to put her arms into the holes in her jacket when it's laid properly for her and flip the jacket over her head from older kids (and her sister) at school. She's proving to be very independent and always wants to put on her own coat. She tries to put on her own shoes, but still needs a bit of help. If only we could get her to help put a diaper on, and not try to peel it off all the time we'll be all set.

This mild winter meant lots of outdoor play.
Here at the neighborhood playground in

Zoe doing exercise
On the topic of diapers, Zoe has also started showing interest in sitting on the potty. I don't have any expectation that she will start using it soon or that she'll be potty trained quickly. Rose always sits on the potty before taking a bath and Zoe likes to do the same. She will sit there for a bit, sometimes she'll pee, most times she won't. Her favorite thing to do is to wipe herself with toilet paper, put the paper in the toilet, and flush. I'm following her lead with the potty and supporting her interest by explaining how we go potty in the toilet (and dogs go on the grass) when those opportunities present themselves. We continue to cloth diaper at all times except for a disposable at night. While I don't want to rush Zoe, I will certainly celebrate when we no longer have to wash, dry, stuff, and put away diapers twice a week.

Zoe sitting on the potty

Rose and Zoe jumping on the couch

At this stage of toddler-hood, we are starting to see a lot of Zoe's personality show. She's extremely independent and can play by herself for fairly long lengths of time as long as a caregiver is not too far away. She occasionally will need a hug, or check in break from play, but often goes back to her activities. Some of her favorite things to do include: taking apart and putting together puzzles, stacking blocks and cups, pushing the stroller or shopping cart around the house, and playing in the toy kitchen areas. She's still a little young to play pretend with Rose, and most times Rose takes dolls away from Zoe, but Zoe does like to care for her babies when she's free to do so. Zoe also loves to dance. She's got some amazing dance moves - check out the videos!

Zoe's got killer moves

More dance moves, brushing teeth, and "all done"

Zoe's a very agreeable child for the most part. She finds it fun to pull of the snaps or velcro on her diapers, but does help me put the diaper back on sometimes when I ask. She likes to play when getting dressed, and toddlers don't ever care if you are in a rush. The one major struggle we have at this age, which we also experienced with Rose, is her refusal to sit in her car seat. I often have to try and make it a game. When that doesn't work, bribery usually does. Sometimes I can bribe with a book, or her pacifier, and if neither of those work, food is always a good motivator.

When mommy's away for work, daddy recruits sparring partners
I had wanted to start decreasing Zoe's reliance on a pacifier for naps and bedtime, but most of her teeth are finally starting to come in. She has 4 prominent teeth (top two and bottom two center) and she has a top and bottom molar that are both mostly out on her left side. In the past week or two, I've noticed a top and bottom molar on her right side coming in, and some whites of the teeth under her gums starting to show towards the front of her mouth. I'd say she probably has 9 teeth that are exposed, with at least another 2-3 coming in. The doctor keeps telling us that having teeth come in late is a good thing. Zoe's teacher mentioned that teeth that come in later tend to be stronger. I don't know if that's an old wives tale, but I hope Zoe gets most of her teeth quickly so we can get over teething and have her better able to eat the foods we eat.

Zoe fearlessly touching the horse

I can't really complain about Zoe's eating. She loves having half a banana every morning right when she wakes up and doesn't like waiting too long for breakfast. She almost always eats well at school, and does a good job eating at home. We've offered much more juice with Zoe than we did with Rose, but thankfully they both still drink kefir milk without problems. At school, they have two good snacks and a healthy cooked from fresh foods lunch every day, so it's nice that we only have to cook meals for everyone for dinner. The girls both often have yogurt with granola before bed. Sometimes if dinner is late, and/or if they ate really well, we skip yogurt. But, when we have more time, they rarely refuse the pre-bed snack. During yogurt time, we read a few books. When the yogurt is done, the girls brush their teeth and go to bed. Zoe would prefer to go to bed between 7-7:30, but we are often keeping her up until 7:30-8 because of how long it takes to complete the evening routine. Many times we will take Zoe to bed and finish yogurt and/or books with Rose.

Zoe's first flight. Visiting family in NY in February
Zoe is the queen of beauty sleep. She basically tells us she wants to go to bed around 7pm each night. Most times she goes to bed at 7:45, and we often have to wake her up at 7am for school. I think she wakes up before that, but puts the pacifier in her mouth and goes back to sleep. At school, Zoe only takes a nap from 1-3pm. With this Monday-Friday routine, she starts showing how tired she is by the end of the week. On the weekends she wants a morning nap by 9 or 10am that typically lasts about an hour, and then still takes a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoons. Even if she sleeps 4 hours on a Saturday, and gets up from her nap at 5pm, she's still ready to go back to bed by 7:30pm. Last week she was more tired than usual a few days after her doctor's wellness visit. It could have been lingering symptoms from a vaccine, or perhaps a result of so many new teeth coming in. She was so tired at school that they had to put her down for a nap at 10am and she slept in the room while all the children played. After a two hour nap, she had lunch, played a little bit, and then still took another 2 hour nap in the afternoon.
Zoe cuddling with her new fofinho (fluffy) at grandma's house

At her 18.5 month wellness visit, Zoe checked in at 31.5 inches tall and 23 lbs, 12.8 ounces. She's right about the 40th percentile for height and for weight. Her noggin measured 48.5 cm, which is the 92nd percentile. She's got a growing brain that needs to be accommodated! Actually, Zoe fussed for the height and head circumference measurements, so I can't really trust the numbers this time around. I will say that she can still barely fit into 18 month clothes. The 18-24 month clothes fit pretty well and she's also fitting some 24 month clothes well. I don't think she's tall, but I don't think she's very short either. Zoe's eyes remain blue, her hair brown with blond highlights, and her skin fair (and still a bit sensitive). Cold, dry air seems to make her a little rashy, and we still occasionally notice her skin react to various sensitivities. She seems to get red with a lot of dairy, and if food sits on her skin for a bit. If she scratches at area, it also gets red and rashy. It's rare for the rashes to appear anywhere but her face and neck.

This age (18-19 months) is one of my favorites, and I'm trying to enjoy as much of it as I can. I'm glad the weather is turning to spring so we can take more hikes around the lake and to the playground. Both girls can walk most of the way, and occasionally want to be carried in the backpack. It's a slow, leisure walk, but it is among my favorite weekend morning activities. We get to check out the boats, ducks, fish, etc. in the water. Occasionally there are dogs retrieving in the water too. There are often people playing or kite/drone flying in the open field. The girls enjoy picking up sticks and rocks, and stepping in puddles or rustling leaves. The morning outing allows me to slow down, which has become so important for me recently. 

Hiking around the lake with our walking sticks

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