Abigail is 18 months old now...and a bundle of personality and energy!
As I looked for good pictures to put with this post about Abigail being 18 months old, I was having trouble finding a good one. "Good" meaning - smiling nicely, looking at the camera...being **still**.
This girl has too much to do to stand still and smile nicely for pictures. She is never still.
She smiles plenty. All the time, in fact.
But to catch a sitting still, smiling Abigail, I have to confine her to her high chair, like here...
18 months is such a fun age, playing and pretending. Abigail loves to put on bags/purses, and then tell us "bye!" as she heads to the door.
And speaking of doors, she can reach doorknobs now, which is just a whole new level of interesting.
Perhaps even more than opening doors, Abigail likes to shut doors. Slam doors, to be more accurate. A room door. Or house door. A car door. She is driven to slam all doors she sees open. Watch out for your fingers!
She is also tall enough to reach the stovetop and gas stove controls. ACH!
Her goal in life right now is (apparently) to go around seeing what mischief she can get herself into. While I realize this is very typical toddler exploring behavior, my older children weren't this way, and I just don't remember G being this mischievous (but maybe I am blocking all of that out?).
Abigail - for her own safety, and ours - simply cannot ever be left alone right now. She doesn't sit down and play independently, and leaving her and Gabriel to play together unsupervised is just not a good idea...yet. So during our school time, we have to rotate who is with Abigail.
A notable exception to her goal of messing with All The Things: Christmas tree ornaments. Much to my (delighted) surprise, Abigail did not mess with the first ornament once we got them on the tree. Go figure.
I may be biased (of course I am!) but A seems to be doing so well developmentally speaking. She is able to hold a cup and drink so good:
And she is able to do a good job (and getting better all the time) of feeding herself with a fork and spoon:
|I never (EVER) leave the house with A's hair looking like this. |
Any black women we saw would have every reason to bless me out if I did.
This face above and below is her "Cheese" face. When she sees a camera come out, she normally starts saying, "Cheese" (Or "chee") and squinting into an unnatural smile.
And when Abigail sees me talking on the phone, she automatically thinks it has to be daddy (who, in all fairness, is the person I talk with on the phone the most) and she starts yelling, "Daddy...DADDY!"
Abigail is "talking" all the time now. She is very vocal. Especially when she is not happy about something...she is very vocal. But most of her utterances are not in English yet. The words that she says very clearly are: mama, daddy, bye, Hi, prune (random, I know...but she loves them) and Wo-Wah (Noah). (Noah apparently has the easiest name to say. She tries on the others names, but she doesn't have them - or anything recognizable - yet)
She is willing to attempt to imitate you, but it usually doesn't sound anything like what you are saying.
Abigail's signs that she is using (but less and less as she talks verbally more and more): apple, banana, more, please, thank you, sleep, full, done, wait, sleep
Abigail loves accessories of all flavors. Hats, headbands, bags, shoes. If she sees one of these, she will try to put it on. If you are wearing one of these, she will try to take it off you and put it on.
|Random headband she found who-knows-where|
I can't help but cringe and worry about her hairstyle when she does things like want to put on a hat, but I try to just let her be a toddler as much as possible.
These above two photos also show how big Abigail thinks she is. Whatever everyone else is doing, she needs to be doing it too, obviously. Like when the older kids were cardboard surfing right before Christmas, nothing would do but that she had to be right in the middle of it.
Thankfully, she has siblings who adore her, and try to accommodate her as best they can:
Also notice in the cardboard-surfing pics that Abigail has on her shoes. No shirt, no socks. But shoes. If the girl doesn't have on anything but a diaper, she wants shoes on. Her own are fine...but anyone else's shoes are even better.
|These are G's shoes here|
So, sister loves wearing shoes. Except...when we're in the car. When she is in her carseat, she almost immediately starts saying, "Shoes!" and attempting to take them off. And if she manages to get them off, her seat-mates (Lily Kay and Noah sit on either side of her) have to shield themselves from being hit by her shoes.
I took Abigail for her 18-mo well-child appointment a couple days ago. She is currently 31.6 pounds, which is off the chart. And I didn't write down how tall they said she is (I am always very dubious about height measurements), they said she is 85 percentile. (Her puffs and ballies on top of her head interfered with her height measurement also!)
She has 16 teeth, and loves to use them to EAT! She is doing so good and has a healthy appetite. But then, I don't suppose you get off the weight chart by being a picky-eater. She is doing well on her GAPS diet to heal the issues that cropped up.
She hasn't had any dairy for months now and her skin was looking great. I wanted to do a trial to see how she would react to some dairy. I knew better than to start with fresh dairy (even though ours would be great, healthy raw milk), so I decided to let her have a little kefir smoothie when we all had some 1.5 weeks ago. The following morning she had bumps on her face (which has never happened before, it was on her trunk before) and her back. They have progressively looked worse and morphed into something bigger/worse looking everyday...Dr. D said it is specifically called "Numular Eczema."
|This is 1.5 weeks after the dairy|
So, there is my answer - A still can't have dairy...yet. Because of our (very successful) track-record with Gabriel, I have every hope and confidence that once her gut is healed, she will be able to have our raw dairy again.
I also talked with Dr. D about A's belly button - her "bee bo." It started out very large, got some smaller the second half of her first year....and now it is larger again. Thankfully, Dr. D says that umbilical hernias pose absolutely no danger, unlike Noah's inguinal hernia that needed repairing (I didn't know this and was delighted to hear it). Umbilical hernias are 100% cosmetic. Phew!
Abigail and Gabriel are still sharing a room, and still continues to go extremely well. They both go to bed at 7 p.m. (or as soon thereafter as we can manage on nights that we have other activities, like church or basketball). Abigail normally wakes up at about 7 a.m., and sometimes a little earlier. She takes one nap during the day. It normally lasts for about 2-2.5 hours. She normally takes that nap at about noon...but somedays when she is acting very fussy (tired), I lay her down earlier than that.
I am learning more and more all the time about the best ways to care for and style Abigail's hair. Oh, what a learning experience this has been! But this is what mamas do...they do hair.
I have recently discovered that it works best for us to divorce washing A's hair from bath time. She very much likes taking baths. She very much does NOT like having her hair washed/conditioned in the bath tub. I would have to lay her back in the tub to get her hair wet and rinse it, and she was very agitated (scared?) by this. So we've gone back to a method we tried a time or two when she was much younger...washing her hair in the kitchen sink.
We use a cut-off pool noodle under her neck to make it more comfortable for her.
She plays and happily messes the entire time, while I am shampooing...
...and adding (DIY) deep conditioner to her hair:
|A mixture of her conditioner, olive oil, and raw honey|
...and then as I work the deep conditioner through all her hair with a Tangle Teezer...
And then she gets to wear a cap over the conditioner for at least 20 minutes...
...while the concoction does its conditioning thing:
I have been looking at dryers and heated bonnets, and we will need one for her eventually....but for now this seems to be doing the trick.
We wash her hair about every 14 days. I keep protective styles in her hair for the most part...only leaving her hair free for a day in between styles, if at all. I usually need to change her hairstyle about every third day, because it has started getting too fuzzy. This length of time will get longer as she gets older and doesn't have to sit in a carseat, etc.
Abigail seemed so laid-back and mild-mannered...until she turned one.
And now is all personality and energy.
I see the back of her a lot...
...as she is always off to somewhere.
|Looking down as she walked the path to our backyard|
And I am so thankful that we get to go along on this ride with her.