17 Months

Our Zoey is zeroing in on 1.5 years old and she continues to be a busy monkey and a treasured gem.  I think an infant's early years are meant to make their parent's hearts explode every day.  Tell me, fellow parenting comrades, does it ever stop?  There are days where I see a vibrant toddler yet we still have daily moments where her baby colors show.  As much as the first few months were precious to nurture and cuddle and swaddle a sweet little newborn, I must say, I am enjoying this stage, more than ever.  It is positively wonderful to see your child show and communicate their love and affection for you.  The early baby days were all about fulfilling her needs with love, care, and attention.  Now, she is able to show us how much she just loves us.  Let's ignore the kicking, screaming, pushing moments for a sec, OK?  The other day she cupped my face in her two little hands, softly stroking my cheeks and saying, "Mommy.  Hi!  Love you."  Yes, those are the times when I have to stop for one hot minute and take in this fact: I think my kid likes me!  She actually thinks I'm the bomb!

At 17 months Zoey is:

*walking!!!  Hot diggidy dog, she is walking!  Over the Christmas holidays she just could not handle one more minute crawling and took off!  There were many chasing giggles shared between her and cousin-El, let me tell you.
*learning the names of family members and likes to review them on a weekly, daily, hourly basis.  Besides Daddy, she regularly asks for Ellie? Jo-Jo (Joel)? Far (Bestefar)?  Mormor (Bestemor)? Connor?  Tistin (Tristan)?  She is just know getting the hang of saying the words Auntie and Kunkle (Uncle).  Other new words have been "water" (which comes out "wee") and "please" she still mostly signs but "bah bah" seems to be the equivalent?  Whatever.  She is saying words I tell you!  WORDS!  She is still having several bottles of milk a day which she asks for with an exuberant, "MUH!" but I am in no rush to wean her off those just yet.  She has been many months without her soother so I am content to continue to have something that is calming for her before naptime/bedtime.  Her special blanket is known as "bee" and it is pink and soft and necessary for a happy sleepy time.  When she says good bye a sweet, "See you soon!" is often tagged on.   
*continually showing her adventurous eating habits.  Today she downed a small bowl of noodles I scooped out of my spicy Thai-soup.  Thatta girl!  She also has been known to eagerly scarf down a good homemade curry.  That being said, she still has her favorites and some days, there can be no variations on that matter.  Avocado spread on bread is like sweet nectar to her.  Yogurt, cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, dill pickles, and mac 'n cheese are also easy Zoey-pleasers.
*a tender hearted dear girl.  She has certainly had some anxious moments this past month.  When her daddy gets home and I head out to teach, I now try to quietly exit the house, otherwise Zoey can put on clingy cry-fest before I get out the door.  She is perfectly at home with her daddy-o when they are together, but if she sees me heading out, her poor little chin quivers and the tears begin.  In new places, she can be on her own for less than a few seconds before she starts scanning the room for me or scampering after my heels.  Gone are the days where she is easily passed to a friend or family member.  Nope.  She can be a full on mama's girl.  And that is alright.  There is nothing like a baby's heart at ease in her mama's arms.      
*a happy spunky little girl who loves to play.  We got her a small table to add to her play space and she often scampers up onto a chair to read, play with her kitchen toys, or have a snack.  She is enjoying new Christmas treasures and her wooden blocks seem to be this week's favorite.  I am also learning (still rather suspiciously) that not all quiet moments are mischievous ones.  I often find her in her room, surrounded by books, turning the pages (mostly) with care, and "reading" softly to herself.

Our hearts burst and break and overflow with joy over our dear girl, Zoey!