At 18 Months:
*Zoey is a busy toddler. There. I said it. My baby is a toddler. She can run, jump, climb onto every piece of furniture in this house (Eeeep!), open doors, and her new favorite activity is to go do "laundry". This basically involves going up and down the stairs into the basement, chattering away loudly, saying, "BYE! SEE YOU SOON!" exuberantly, and slamming doors.
*Zoey loves to chat. She is shy to new faces but once she warms up to you, lend an ear because she has things to say. It feels like she is trying out a new word everyday so they are getting really hard to keep track of. Some of the more recent ones have been: A-B-C (on repeat, constantly), 3-4-5 (I don't know what happened to 1 or 2), picture, car-beep-beep, bus-beep-beep, dee-dee (chickadee), gogie (perogies), bed, outside? (always used as a question and normally involves a snowsuit), see-see (thank-you), Amen! (always said with exclamation because she knows food often comes next), all gone, What's that? (imagine a very intense pointer finger), SURE! (this normally follows after she has asked for something she wants and sounds like she is answering her own question: "Milk? SURE! Cookie? SURE!), book, socks, shoe, and SHOPPING (I kid you not). This past month we have also been faced with a frustrated Zoey who has tried to tell us something quite specific in baby-talk only to find 2 confused blinking parents staring back at her. Yes, she is trying her best to communicate but sometimes, try as we may, we just don't know what she is saying. The worst is when she follows it up with a "please" and then all I can think is, "Oh great, she's even asking nicely but I have no idea what she is asking for."
*Zoey sleeps a solid 10-12 hours at night but I'm lucky if I get her to nap for an hour and a bit. I am not complaining. It is a wonderful thing to go to bed and (for the most part) know that she is not going to wake up before 8 the next morning. Sleep is life to parents. If the next day happens to be napless, sleep and coffee (let's be real) is what gets us to the other side. That being said, I think she has been battling a cold and so we have had off-the-chart-3-hour naps the past couple days.
*Zoey is already showing us that she is going to be a tall gal. She is fitting into some T3 clothing and I haven't gotten her officially weighed since she was 8 months but she is SOLID to pick up. I stepped on the scale with her the other day and she is somewhere between 24-26lbs. She continues to be pretty adventurous with her eating and definitely is only interested in eating what the rest of the table has at meal-times. I think she may be a light-morning eater like her Daddy. Some mornings I am positive she only has a cup of yogurt until lunch time and then she grazes until supper. She still likes to have about 3 bottles of milk a day (morning-noon-night) and I am alright with that. I'm honestly going to miss the extra cuddles once we wean her off those. During those times, it is not uncommon for her little hand to travel up my arm, to my neck, and she'll gently stroke and pat my face as she settles in for bed.
*Zoey can be a turkey. Probably the biggest change in her has been her migration into toddler behavior. If I am between something that she wants, she has tried to push me out of the way. If I take something away or say no to something, she has instantly collapsed onto the floor, forehead to the ground, wailing. Sometimes she will take my hand and we will leave the room and mischief behind gracefully. If I have to take her hand, she is very efficient at relaxing every muscle in her body. She can be quite the wet noodle in a second. In frustration she can punch, kick, and hit and it is all quite the baffling sight. We have to remind ourselves to be gentle and calm yet firm and unrelenting. One particular day when she started hitting I took her hands firmly in my hands and said strongly, "Do NOT hit," but it just made her angrier. I looked up at Arden and asked, "Is it too early for a timeout?" and he said with a grin, "Nope." So I scooped her up, plopped her in her crib with no toys and the lights on. When I returned we had a little chat and she sniffled a, "Sorry Mommy," into my ear. It boggles my mind that an 18 month old can show remorse and care and even try and make things right.
*Zoey loves to be outside. If it has been a particularly hard morning, a step outside to play can instantly push a reset button on our day. This girl loves to explore and watch and point and go on adventures throughout our neighborhood. I am increasingly grateful for the good trail system in our neck-of-the-woods. This summer I may have to prepare myself to only be inside to sleep because Zoey will be constantly asking to be outside every waking moment of the day. I can't say that I'll mind one bit.
Zoey, you are blossoming into a beautiful girl. You are a treasure and you are a handful and you are one-of-a-kind. I love you, my darling.