Sunday, July 1, 2012

16 Months

Little lady turned 16 months old last week!  I'm so behind on blogging right now, so I'll be trying to catch up this week.  Beginning with "Miss Independent", as we call her these days.

Natalie has developed a fierce sense of "I do it MYSELF!" in the past month.  She has a definite idea of how she wants things to go, and let's just say when they don''s not pretty.  I have so enjoyed being home with her this summer, but it has been challenging, to be honest!  She can be so inflexible sometimes, and has a stubborn streak a mile long.  I can see her get so frustrated, and I know she doesn't understand at ALL why she can't just do what she wants all the time.  Poor little thing - I'm sure she just thinks I'm a mean Mommy!  Luckily, distraction goes a long way....

Exhibit A & B:  I wouldn't let her get in the lake at the park.  So sorry, princess!

On the flip side, she is blossoming in so many other ways.  Physically, she is climbing furniture and running everywhere.  She loves to play outside, and if she sees a hill she has to climb it!  She is busy.  Loves to open and close things.  Has learned to stack her blocks.  If she tries to put a large block on top of a small block - once she sees that it won't work, she'll switch them around.  She likes to put things "in".  Example: filling a sandpail with Mommy's measuring spoons.  She likes to hide in the closet and just shrieks and laughs when we "find" her. 

I am amazed by her language development.  She can repeat SO many words and sounds, but she is also using her words to tell what she wants, without me having to say it first.  "Book" when she wants to read.  "Up" when she wants up on the furniture to sit with me.  "Eat" when she is hungry.  "Bye bye" if she wants to go outside.  Up until the last few weeks, she would parrot me more...but these days she is talking to me.  It's crazy!  I can see the frustration when she can't communicate what she wants, but she typically does a good job of getting her point across.  She totally understands "yes" and "no", and will respond to my questions with a head nod or head shake.  Or by screaming and arching her back and clenching her fists. :)

She points at everything!!
She was quacking at the ducks at the funny!

I swear, I have the hardest time photographing her when I'm alone with her.  As soon as I get in front of her with the camera, she turns and goes in a different direction.  Most of my photos from this day at the park are of the back of her head!

Other changes this month.....we transitioned to one nap at the beginning of the summer, and it has been really great.  She will sleep 2 1/2 to 3 hours in the afternoon, and now we can spend the morning running errands or doing fun things, then be home for lunch and nap, and she's good to go until bedtime.  Still sleeps a solid 12 hours at night.  Goes to bed between 7:30 and 8 at night.  She loves bedtime.  I can't even remember the last time she fought me about going to bed or taking a nap.  Give that girl a paci and a blankie and she is more than happy to snooze!  I love at night when she sees me making her bottle (yes, she still has a bottle at night....I tried to transition to a cup and she was not having it!  I'm not going to force it just yet...) she will gather up her blankie and paci and high-tail it to her room.  Plenty of snuggles and stories and singing....such a sweet time of day with her.

Mealtime is my absolute least favorite time of the day.  She used to eat anything.  Now, we never know.  She likes something one day, but the next won't even try a bite of it.  She will throw her fork when she gets frustrated.  If I want her to eat it, she won't eat it.  I pray at each meal that we can get through it without tears and that she will eat something good.  I feel guilty when she doesn't eat a good meal, but also don't want to fix her 10 different things because she won't eat what we are eating for dinner.  I really don't think it's about liking or not liking the food -- I honestly think it's a way that she can exert some choice and control over herself.  I'm going to try incorporating more choice into her meals....but don't know exactly how to do that.

I just love this little sugar bug so much.  I can't imagine one day without her - and the joy that she brings to us.  Even on her "off" days when she is whiny and crabby and disagreeable...we are so incredibly lucky!


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