18 months

Boy, am I terrible at keeping up with these monthly updates lately. I guess we are just going to go to every few months for both children. Poor Eloise, the second child doesn’t have nearly as good of a record of her first two years as her sister. I guess that is to be expected, although I had hoped to be able to at least write monthly updates for the first two years. On to more important things, what Eloise is doing at 18 months.

IMG_6201-1

Eloise has started saying quite a few words. She says all of our names, bird, cat, dog, yeah, baby, hello, hi, book, big bird, milk, night-night, ball, kick, run, duck, eyes, shoes, socks, shirt, etc. I can never remember them all. She tries new words nearly every day, sometimes they stick and she begins to use them regularly, other times it takes a while for them to get into regular use. By 16 months, I heard her use two word phrases, “Hi Dada”, and “Look, Greta”. Eloise will point to something and say ‘da’ for that. She uses ‘da’ to learn new words and also to get what she wants. She understands pretty much everything we say or ask her to do. She will eagerly go get her shoes to leave, or go find her water, or go get a baby, or anything like that. She still does some signing, mainly milk, more, and most recently eat (she also says milk and more while signing them, to make it totally clear what she wants). In the last two months she has added her favorite phrase “I want that” which sounds more like “a wan da”. She does replace that with any word she feels like. Another favorite phrase is “I stuck”, which she uses mostly when she is pushing a baby stroller or grocery cart and can’t get over the changes in the flooring. Eloise can identify some body parts such as belly, head, eyes, feet, hair, sometimes ears, mouth, nose.

She is really beginning to like finger plays, her favorites are the Itsy Bitsy Spider and The Wheels on the Bus. She attempts to do the motions for both of those and sometimes they even look correct!

Eloise is definitely running now. She is quite speedy. Eloise is an expert stair climber. She can go up and down our two steps into the playroom with ease, by WALKING up and down them with no hands holding onto anything. Having the two steps has definitely boosted her confidence because this was something Greta didn’t do until she was probably close to 2.5 years old. She has recently started to walk up and down the stairs while holding on. I don’t mind her going up the stairs, but when she runs to the edge of the stairs and starts to walk down them without holding on, I tend to freak out a little.

Boy oh boy can Eloise throw some tantrums. Honestly I think she screams more these days than she ever did as a baby, of course she didn’t scream much as a baby, so maybe she is making up for that. If you take anything she has that she shouldn’t or if you take her out of some place unsafe or really if you do anything that it is not perfectly in line with what she thinks should happen, she screams and screams. Oh it is so much fun.

IMG_5964-1

Eloise knows how to open the refrigerator and does so about a zillion times a day. Clearly we haven’t communicated effectively that it is a waste of energy to continually open it and stand there looking around. Eloise remains a pretty decent eater. I’m very thankful that we really don’t have to worry about eating issues around here, like some folks do. Both of these children love to eat. Eloise often wants to eat all afternoon long. No one is allowed to eat in this house without Eloise eating as well. If I’m in the kitchen cooking, or doing dishes, she is in there scrounging for food. The other morning our family of 2 adults and two toddlers went through 7 eggs for breakfast, plus bacon, cantaloupe and maybe yogurt, and the girls were still begging for more food. I don’t know how people can afford to have teenage boys. At the rate these kids go through food, you would certainly not guess they are 3 and 1. Eloise’s favorite foods are yogurt, fruit, sausage, meatballs, noodles, milk. We think Eloise may have a milk/lactose intolerance. We aren’t 100% sure as we haven’t given her much milk lately. Around the time we went to the beach (maybe 17 months) she really started chugging milk and also started pooping quite a bit. Finally after a week or so I made the connection and we decided no more milk for the time being. Eventually her poop got back to normal. For now she is drinking almond milk and eating very little cheese. Yogurt doesn’t seem to bother her, but it doesn’t bother most people. One day we will try giving her regular milk again and see if the problem returns or not. In the past few months, Eloise has given up sitting in the high chair. She now sits in a booster attached to a chair.

IMG_4075-1

Eloise still nurses a few times a day and often at night. I’m working on nightweaning her. We recently put one of our twin beds on the floor in one of the bedrooms and are hoping she will be sleeping all night in there relatively soon. She usually starts out the night in there and then joins me in bed when she wakes up. While we may not have eating issues, we do have sleeping issues. Eloise definitely sleeps much sounder and better than Greta ever has. There has only been a rare night when she has actually kept us awake for long periods at night, she usually falls right back asleep after nursing or snuggling. Eloise is down to one middle of the day nap. Eloise easily falls asleep in the car and most often transfers just fine to her bed, which is nice.

IMG_6188-1

We still often describe Eloise as disgruntled. Often we have no idea why she is screaming or unhappy. She is plenty happy, but easily gets out of a happy mood.

Eloise has 12 teeth now! She got 6 teeth in a month back around 10 months and then didn’t get anymore until about 15 months. Then again all at once she had 6 new teeth, including her one year old molars. She is currently working on her bottom canines. I can see them under the gums, but they haven’t broken through yet.

Eloise gets so excited by her sister and daddy. If we are waiting on the front porch for daddy to come she starts squealing and waving her arms like crazy when he pulls into the driveway. Then both girls take off running down the walk to get to daddy. Anytime Eloise wakes up, the first person she asks for is Greta. She can’t wait for her to get up and play (even though they fight quite a bit). I’m not sure what we are going to do when Greta starts school in a few weeks.

IMG_6296-1

IMG_6267-1

IMG_6007-1

IMG_5940-1

IMG_5892-1

Eloise is really getting into books. She loves to be read to and to just sit and look through the books. Her favorites are “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Llama Llama Misses Mama”, “10 Little Ladybugs”, “5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”, and I’m sure many others. She can’t go to bed at night without reading Jack at least a few times.

IMG_4947-1

Eloise is really into baby dolls. She doesn’t have a real preference for one doll, but loves them all. She needs to have one at night time just to snuggle a bit before she goes to bed. If Greta brings a doll or stuffed animal with her, Eloise must have one as well. She likes to push them in the stroller or wear them on her back. Eloise also likes to put the babies in the high chair and bring them pretend food. Eloise pretty much likes all toys. She likes to play in the play kitchen and with the dollhouses. She also loves balls and blocks. She can kick the ball quite well, I think she may be our soccer star.

IMG_6264-1

IMG_4989-1

Eloise loves to be outside and again, don’t you dare try to go outside without bringing her. She likes to pick tomatoes from the vines, although she mostly picks the green ones. She loves to find strawberries and raspberries as well, but mostly picks the green ones, no matter how many times we try to explain, just the red ones.

IMG_6157-1

IMG_6179-1

IMG_5560-1

Eloise continues to be a daredevil and often has to be rescued from standing on top of things. Eloise is getting into dancing more and more. She spins and kicks and marches to different songs.

IMG_6283-1

IMG_6111-1

IMG_5161-1

This summer Eloise really started swimming. Although we have only been swimming a few times she has proven that she can actually swim! Hopefully she will remember by the time we start swimming lessons again. Eloise doesn’t seem to actually like the water all that much, but merely tolerates it. She loves the idea of bath time, but once I rinse her hair she is trying to climb out of the tub.

IMG_5597-1

IMG_5148-1

Eloise does have a bit of stranger anxiety these days and stays close in new situations. She knows all of her grandparents and usually goes to them fairly easily. Although Eloise does like to get attention from people, especially at church. I think it is probably a little different that most situations since the same people are there and see us each week, so she kind of ‘knows’ them. All of the ushers LOVE her and she likes to show off to them, which pretty much always results in her being taken out of church.

Finally, Eloise will actually color and play with play doh rather than try to eat it. I need to try painting again with her. The last time she just stuck her entire hand in the jar of paint and refused to put her hand anywhere near the paper.

IMG_5508-1

Eloise is very sweet and loving. She gives hugs and kisses to all of us easily.

In the past few months Eloise has shown quite a lot of interest in the potty. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with Greta learning to use the potty. For a while it seemed like Eloise may learn before Greta. Eloise wanted to sit on the potty often and several times even produced something. Lately, the interest has waned. While she definitely had interest, she didn’t really seem all that ready. She would only sit for about 2 seconds before getting up to check and see if there was something in there, and times when I thought she would poop, she wouldn’t sit for more than a few seconds. I think she needs a little while longer to gain the patience required to sit for longer times.

IMG_4154-1

Eloise is really into helping lately. She wants to help in the kitchen, with the laundry, help go fetch things for her sister or mommy.

IMG_6081-1

IMG_6215-1

I’m sure I’m leaving lots out, but if I keep working on it this will never get done, as evidenced by the fact that I started this post at both 14 months and 16 months and never finished them. So there ya go, Eloise at 18 months.