Elena is 18 months old today…it’s strange to me that it’s only been a year & a half since Elena was born…I almost can’t remember what life was like before her…I feel like I am where I always should have been…& not being a summer person, this has been the best summer of my life! These last few months have been my favourite phase of Elena…as challenging as she can be sometimes, I just love seeing & encouraging her personality to emerge & develop.
I worry that she’s not talking yet but I’m reminded that even tho she’s not saying words how they’re supposed to sound, she has a pretty good vocabulary…she doesn’t exactly say words but has sounds for words & she uses these sounds consistently & appropriately…like “please”, “milk”, “cheese” & she has a myriad of grunts & groans in order to make her wants & needs known. She clearly says “all done”, hiya, Gramma & Momma although you really have to listen closely to tell the difference between Momma & Gramma.
What Elena lacks in verbal skills she more than makes up for in motor skills…she climbs on EVERYTHING, she walks up & down stairs properly holding the railing & she is obsessed with how things work. She will sit & study the inner workings of toys to try to figure out how it works but she also gets frustrated very quickly…the girl definitely needs to learn patience!
Speaking of toys…she’s not all that interested in them…she would rather explore what she’s told not to…seriously tho, she doesn’t show a lot of interest in many toys for too long a period…except books, she loves looking at books & having them read to her. She just loves going for walks & has charmed all our neighbours…tho she runs more than she walks. My Aunt comments that she never really just walks, she runs, skips, trots but rarely just walks. What she likes most is helping with whatever my Mom or I are doing…she loves to help water the flowers outside, she helps me unload the dishwasher, she helps me with laundry, she pushes the recycle bins down to the curb on garbage day, she’s already got her chores…& she gets very upset if you do one of her jobs, like when I grabbed the laundry basket from our room, that is HER job!!
Elena’s absolute favourite activity this summer has by far been swimming! She has come so far! She’s even graduated to swimming with just water wings!! She just loves water & even when it’s cold, she still jumps right in! I love this because I love swimming & wanted this to be something we could do together without her being afraid. Starting her so early (5 months) has certainly paid off!
September holds some exciting new activities for Elena…aside from her swimming lessons, I have signed her up for a Music Appreciation class, Movers & Shakers…with how much she loves music already & so active, I know this class will really engage her. I’m just sorry I won’t be taking her since it’s during the week. I spoke to the teacher on the phone this week & got a really good vibe from her. She sounds very passionate about her classes & the children.
I have also signed Elena up for Gymnastics classes…another class that is sure to engage her with all its activity & the bonus is that it’s Saturday mornings so I get to take her!! I’m really excited to see how she takes to it.
It’s not surprising with all her activity, she’s a great little eater too…well except for veggies, can’t seem to convince her to eat any but she comes by that honestly since most of my family refuses to eat most veggies…but she eats just about any fruit which is better than me since I don’t like many fruits. She eats pretty much whatever we’re having for dinner & this has inspired my Mom & I to eat more healthily…Her favourite by far is yogurt! She’d have it 3-4 times a day if I let her…oh & ice cream, she gets so excited when you mention it or if she sees the container!
She’s doing pretty great with feeding herself. It’s driving me nuts since she’s so messing & it gets so sticky but I have to keep reminding myself that it’s ok, she has to learn…but she won’t even let me help her most times & I become very anxious at how messy it gets.
It absolutely amazes me how big she’s getting! She is now 34 ½ inches tall & 30 lbs!! She’s grown 2 ½ inches in the last 3 months!! She has the longest legs but her torso is starting to catch up…you can tell when she’s hitting a growth spurt as she’s more restless during the night & will cry out in her pain cry.
Speaking of sleeping, she’s doing well in that department too. She’ll fight bedtime but if I allow enough time for her games & delay tactics (like needing to hug Gramma3+ times, etc) she does fine…she still naps in the afternoon but it’s imperative she sleep until no later than 3pm (2 or 2:30 is ideal) & no more than 2 hours (although she usually wakes on her own after about 1 ½ hrs).
We still rock Elena to sleep for her naps & bedtime…I know what you’re going to say, “She’s never going to learn to put herself to sleep” & maybe that’s the case for some kids but it’s a load of crock as far as we’re concerned. This time when we rock to sleep is so precious & I feel like we get these precious moments to reconnect. When Elena rouses in the night, she soothes herself & goes back to sleep. I know she is partly comforted by my presence but I don’t have to do anything to get her back to sleep…sometimes she’ll cuddle up to me, sometimes she’ll roll over into her bed but she always gets herself back to sleep. I was actually waking her when I tried to comfort her back to sleep. If I just leave her be, she always settles on her own.
That’s all I can think of in the way of updates & bragging. I’m sure there’s something I’m forgetting but for the most part, life here is really great…we have our challenges & bumps in the road but we roll along figuring things out as we go…wow, 18 months! Still blows my mind!