I have a 1 1/2 year old. My baby girl is closer to her 2nd birthday than her 1st. I wish there was a slow motion button I could press on our lives. In the mean time I will try to record as much as possible so one day far from now when our house is empty and our days have slowed down, I have something to remember these sweet times by.
Y'all I wish I had time to take all the sweet pictures that I used to. You know the kind where I'd dress her up real cute and basically do a photo shoot in our back yard each month. But I just haven't done that. So instead you will still get some cute photos, they will just be every day snapshots of our sweet girls life.
Physical Development: Height - 32 1/2" (78%), Weight - 23lbs 9ozs (63%), and Head - 83%. So nothing has changed. I was so worried y'all that she would be up even more on weight, but she's stayed the same. This girl eats more than I do. No joke. Everything else she is right on track or ahead on developmentally. No worries!
Communication: Guess who is finally and consistently saying "Mama!!" Yes, she's had the ability to say it forever, but she's so very tenacious and just refused. Thankfully our 3 of the 4 of my Pediatricians kids did the same thing, so that made me feel better. This might be the reason this is such a fun time-- every day it's a new word. You can look at last month's post for a list of words. I would say there is about 20-30 words that we communicate with. I would say about 10 words that she'd communicate with you about (her favs). She will also repeat just about anything you say to her now. Sometimes it will surprise how dead on it is, and then other times it sounds like a total different word. When she is comfortable with who she is around she gabbers non-stop. She is very expressive when she talks and intent on tell you something. She also understands most of what you say to her. It is so fun to start having conversations and ask her opinions about things.
Personality: I love her personality. Love it. She is a very intense little girl. Tenacious to her core. Driven and determined and opinionated (I see this as a good trait, even thought it is hard to deal with at times). Loves people (she wants to play with others and say "hiiii" and "buu-bye" to every stranger). Gives the lots of the best kisses, air kisses and kiss faces, but refuses to give hugs and cuddles. Loves being outdoors (parks and walks are her favorite parts of the day). She is so girly and loves bows (and asks for them y'all), shoes (wants to put them on herself which she can't), has at least 10 bracelets on at a time, and if I say, "Want to help mama get ready?" she'll run to my floor mirror sit down and wait for me to get my make up bag. I love her personality. I laugh a thousand times a day.
Discipline (Yes, she's a toddler, so I'm pretty sure this needs it's own category): Well it's a good thing I laugh a thousand times a day because OH. MY. WORD. I truly am so thankful that she has a tenacious character, but it is a challenge to foster the gift of it. I remind myself often that she is a toddler, she is just 18 months old. Honestly, I'm probably exaggerating this a bit too much. I feel like we will have a blissful week with no time outs or spankings. And then just like that she wakes up and is in time out 3 times before she's even been up an hour. Our steps are:
1. Warnings followed up with Positive Affirmation: Give her a firm no, and then tell her what to do instead ("Don't hit, instead be gentle. Oh that is so sweet!" "Don't stand on your chair, please sit down. Oh good girl!" etc.). This really works most of the time. She repondes really well to positive reinforcement.
2. Final warning followed up with the next consequence: "Mama said no (whatever she did). If you do it again, you will go to time out." Followed by showing or telling her the appropriate behavior and then giving her praise when she does it.
3. Straight to time out: We have time out mats (that are just fabric place mats) that we keep different places. We carry her straight there but hold her out not against our bodies. Place her on the mat (took a few times of pinning her down on it to teach her to stay). Don't make eye contact and say every so often, "Mama, said no _____. You have to be ____." After 1 minute I bend down to her level and say, "Are you ready to get up? You have to obey Mama." So cute, becuase half the time she's say, "oohhh-bay." Then tell her again what the expected behavior is (short and sweet). Then I give her a big kiss and squeeze and make sure to give her my full attention after that.
One exception to this is if it calls for an immediate consequence (basically something that would endanger her or others), we will spank her on her upper thigh. The first few times I did it she laughed at me. Obviously wasn't doing it hard enough. I hate spanking and really don't feel comfortable doing it very often and I am so thankful she responds to timeouts.
Chris had his first experience of spanking her the other day when she wouldn't stop kicking for a diaper change. He learned he can do it, that it will definitely get Karis' attention, that it hurt and made her cry, and that it nearly made him cry the rest of the night because he hated to do that which was needed at the time. Welcome to parenthood.
Favorite Things: Daddy, but I am a close second this month! Animals (Dogs are her favorite, followed by cats and then our pet fish, who she kisses it's bowl all throughout the day). Playing with her friends. Most of the kids we hang out with are at least a year older than Karis so it is so fun to finally see her try to keep up with them. When Daddy walks in the door from work (giant squeal, runs to the door and then turns around to be chased, giggling non-stop and then gabbers away as if to tell him all about her day). Food (honestly eats more than I do). Putting on makeup with Mom. Bows. Jewelry. Going for a walk at the park. Going down the slide. Making the stink face. Singing songs. Playing ring-around-the-rosie.
Least Favorite Things: Getting her hair rinsed during bath time. Time out (see above). When people try to take something away from her (she will usually share if you give her the choice, but doesn't do well with grabbing). Not getting our full attention. Not getting down to run around ("dah-nnnn... dah-nnnn"). When she can't figure something out (determined, but not very patient). When I cut her off from eating. Not enough just the 3 of us family time.