I’m sure I JUST wrote Leah’s 15 month post…not sure how it’s time to write this one already! Somehow our baby is a full fledged toddler now.
Leah is a pro at walking and running – and dancing!! This girl LOVES to dance!! She’s also started trying to jump, which basically means she bends her knees and springs up like she’s going to jump, but her feet don’t actually move. Caelan did the same thing and it was hysterical then and still is now. She’s also getting better at climbing. She can climb onto the couch by herself about 50% of the time and she knows how to turn around and slide off by herself. She can climb up the stairs on her own (though we always walk behind her) but she doesn’t know how to go down on her belly yet. She insists on walking down (holding our hand and the rail, thankfully). She’s also asking to walk more during daycare/school drop off which I guess is kind of nice because she’s getting heavy to hold, but it’s tricky keeping hold of 2 kids’ hands in the parking lot.
Leah is obsessed with books. Her favorite thing to do is grab a book and then ask to be picked up so you can read it to her. No doubt, reading has helped a ton with her speech. I tried hard to keep my expectations in check when it came to her speech. I knew that Caelan had a major vocabulary explosion between 15-18 months, but I couldn’t necessarily expect that from Leah since they are different kids and all that. But she HAS had a vocabulary explosion! She had about 15 words at 15 months, and now she has about 50. She seems to pick up a couple new ones every week. She also knows several animal sounds (“moo” is her favorite, and ours!) and can identify about a dozen body parts. I’m excited for her to start stringing some words together, which should be coming soon!
Leah calls us Mommy and Daddy. She started with Mama and Dada, but mama became a word that seemed to mean “help” so she stopped calling me that and started calling me Mommy. The transition to Daddy has been somewhat long. Sometimes she still calls Bill Dada, sometimes it’s Daddeee, and sometimes its My Daddy. Her word for Caelan is GaGa. It sounds like gibberish but it’s very clear that she means Caelan. Sometimes it sounds more like CaGa but until she can say L’s, it will probably not sound much like his name at all. She calls herself Eah (again, she can’t say L’s yet!).
Leah loves to color and scribble. Her fine motor skills are excellent and she even knows how to hold a pen/crayon correctly. She doesn’t do it all the time, but I was shocked that she could do it at all!
Leah is going through a phase with some separation anxiety. She is fine at daycare (because she’s gone there everyday since before she can remember) but anywhere else, even familiar places, she gets clingy and has a meltdown when we leave. She does calm down eventually, after we are gone. On top of the separation anxiety (which is normal for her age) she’s also in a “mommy phase”. I am her favorite right now and that is good and bad and interesting all at once. Caelan always preferred Bill, so this is new to me. On the one hand, it’s sweet that she wants me to hold her, but I’d also like a break sometimes, and I feel bad for whoever gets an earful of screaming when they pick her up. Hopefully she will ease up as she gets older and more independent.
Leah likes playing cars with Caelan, or really anytime he lets her play with him. They play together often and she just LOVES him and will do anything he says. There are more and more “incidents” lately that almost always involve someone taking a toy from someone else, but they can play together nicely too. Leah is also great at playing by herself. Sometimes I’ll notice that it’s a bit too quiet (normally a bad sign) and I’ll go looking for her just to find her quietly “reading” by herself. With a bigger house, and double the number of children we had when Caelan was this age, Leah gets A LOT more freedom around the house. Both kids have free reign over the main level which is pretty well toddler-proofed. It’s a relief for me to not hover over them all the time. If I can keep them in ear-shot, I’m happy.
Feeding the kids is becoming easier as well. Leah has 15 teeth now and is eating pretty much anything. She drinks milk like it’s her job – she LOVES it! We still cut some food up for her (especially meat) but she prefers to be given larger pieces of food to eat (whole slices of pizza, for example). Leah normally asks for utensils at dinner and she likes to hold them but doesn’t always use them. For yogurt, she will use a spoon, and pretty well actually. She pretty much still likes most foods and hasn’t really entered a picky stage yet. She is still sitting in the highchair most of the time, but we could probably switch to a booster. If she sits on her own (like in the pic below) she just gets up from the table too many times, so she’s not ready for that quite yet!
A weird thing has happened to ME as Leah is getting older…She’s bringing out my girly girl side. Maybe it’s that her hair is finally long enough for barrettes or pony tails, or that there are so many cute clothing options for toddler girls. She’s reasonably good about keeping hair accessories in lately, so that is a nice change! She is still quite a few months away from needing a hair cut though.
How are Leah’s sleep habits these days? Eh…at this point, it just is what it is, I guess. Bill puts her to bed 95% of the time and she is pretty easy to put down. She dropped her bedtime bottle between 15-16 months old and that was an easy transition. On average she sleeps 8pm-6/6:30am, so that’s not too bad. We usually hear her once or twice overnight. Sometimes we have to go in and settle her down and sometimes she falls back to sleep on her own. There have been a few rough nights with many wake ups but those are usually because of teething or illness.
Speaking of illness, it’s been a rough couple months. Somehow Leah got through her first year hardly ever getting sick, but this year has been a different story. Both kids had a cold and ear infections, among other things in December. This time of year is my least favorite for this reason. Bring on Springtime!!
Leah’s 2nd Christmas was really more like her first Christmas because this year she was old enough to at least have some idea of what was going on. She helped Caelan spot our elf every morning (sometimes finding him before Caelan did!) and she had fun opening her gifts on Christmas. We didn’t put ornaments on the bottom 3rd of our tree this year, but Leah didn’t really bother the tree anyway. We didn’t get to go see Santa this year but it was probably just as well since I doubt Leah would have gone anywhere near him! She did see him when he came by on the fire engine, but I don’t think she knew what was going on.
A few family members have mentioned to me recently that they didn’t feel like they really knew Leah very well, or that they hadn’t got to spend much time with her. Part of that is that she’s pretty clingy in a big group so when people see her, she’s stuck to my hip and not really interacting with anyone. She’s also usually overshadowed by her brother simply because he’s older and he’s able to talk and play, etc. But Leah is 18 months old now and rapidly learning to talk so people are finally getting to “know” her! She is sweet and funny and she loves to read, and play, and dance. She’s starting to parrot us some and that can be pretty hysterical! She’s definitely less laid back than Caelan and some have called her high-maintenance, but *I* don’t think she is! HighER-maintenance than Caelan, sure, but that is not a fair comparison 🙂 She does have that high-pitched shriek down pat (omg my bleeding ears).
This age is SO much fun because of the vocab explosions, but it’s also a little tricky. She understands us, and we mostly understand her, but she’s not quite old enough to be reasoned with. We can’t bargain with her to eat one more bite of corn before she can have another tortilla, and we can’t explain to her why she can’t have a snack right before dinner. But we’re going to have to start trying. It’s going to be a long process, I know. We haven’t really started time outs with her, but that is probably coming soon. She’s got the tantruming down pat, so she’s well on her way to 2 🙂 😥 😮
Leah’s 18 Month Stats
- Wearing 18 month tops and bottoms and 18 month sleepers (but growing out of all), size 5 or 6 shoes
- Size 5 diapers
- Done with bottles!!
- Favorite foods: Macaroni & cheese, pouches, waffles, corn, tortillas, fruit
- Loves reading, dancing, coloring, taking off her socks, and still loves playing with her brother