Tuesday, November 2, 2010

McKenna Toddler Summary: 19 Months Old

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18 month photos
This is a summary for McKenna for ages 18-19 months old.

Toddler Time
It is seriously like some switch flipped the day McKenna turned 18 months old. It is like she and I both decided and agreed she would be a toddler now. She suddenly acted so much older.

Sickness
The first couple of weeks of this month were rough due to sickness. Last time, I wrote about how at her 18 month well-check we found an ear infection (by "we" I mean the doctor, but hey, I took her to the doctor so I shall claim some credit and say "we"). I was so happy and amazed that she actually had the sickness at her appointment and not the next day like my other two had been.

And then a week later, it hit. She woke up with a fever of about 103. While that is high, I am a seasoned mother and not one who freaks out. However, she was just about done with her round of antibiotics and I was concerned to see a fever like that while on antibiotics.

I called the doctor and the nurse said it was a good idea to get her checked out just in case the antibiotics weren't working and we needed to switch her.

Well, there was no infection and the doctor determined it was a virus. Poor girl got slammed.

The fever stuck around for a few days, and then went away. Then a rash appeared. I literally got an email from babycenter.com that very day telling me about their Rashes and Skin Conditions section of the website. I went to the symptom guide and through some digging, I came up with the diagnosis of Roseola Virus. She is my first child to contract it. Luckily, no one else contracted the virus.

Eating
This leads us into eating. During the sicknesses and for about a week after, she didn't eat much. But the last week of the month she went right back to eating her large quantities.

Roomtime...Attempt
Once the sicknesses were over, I decided it was time I let her have roomtime rather than playpen time. Well...it was not well-received. She cried the entire time the first day. I debated about what to do the next day. She was perfectly happy in the playpen, so it might make sense to just put her back in there and stick with happy. On the other hand, sometimes kids just need a few days to get used to something new. I thought roomtime would be more fun than playpen time and wanted her to be able to have that extra freedom.

The next day, I sat and played with her in her room for about 20 minutes. She played happily, but as soon as I left, she was not happy. She didn't cry this day, but also didn't play with any toys. She just sat by the door waiting for me to come back.

So day three I decided to go back to the playpen. She was 100% happy and thrilled about it. I am not sure what it is, but she is not ready for roomtime. It is strange because she doesn't mind being on her own and it isn't a clingy issue. She just doesn't like something about it.

Nap
We went down to one nap during this time period! We just went cold turkey one day. It has been really great. It really relaxes your day to be able to take things easy in the morning hours. Plus, I can take Kaitlyn and McKenna to do errands and such in the morning hours.

There have been a couple of days she has needed two naps as she adjusts to the transition. Naps started out on the shorter end of 2-2.5 hours. She has since lengthened to the point of needing to be woken up. I am still not 100% sure when I should start the nap. I start it at 1 because that is what I have always done, but she does get up later than my other two did. So for now it is at 1, but over time there is the possibility of it moving to 2.

I have to share a funny story. The last day of this month, McKenna was in one of those "take-everything-out-and-make-a-mess" moods. She had just managed to grab the crayons and empty the box while I was untangling the monitor cord (yes, she tangled it). I was happy to note that it was time for her nap. I told her that it was time for nap. She immediately dropped everything and zoomed out of the room and down the stairs to where Brayden and Kaitlyn were playing. I chuckled to myself. I knew she would be back shortly because McKenna's sleep cue is that she comes whining and clinging to me when she is tired. Five minutes later, she was in my lap whining and I put her down for her nap. It is fun to see her level of comprehension.

Communication
McKenna communicates well, but not usually with words. She can say a lot of words and says them a lot as she plays, but when she wants to communicate, she prefers pointing and grunts and moans. I am hoping she moves toward more verbal communication for wants before too long. At this age, Kaitlyn was speaking full, complex sentences and Brayden was only a few weeks off of speaking simple sentences. This age group really is easier when they speak :). She often times sounds like the character "Boo" on Monsters Inc. Remember the little girl running around babbling nonsense? That is McKenna. But cuter.

Understands and obeys well
She doesn't say a lot, but she understands basically everything I say to her so long as it is something she has heard before. When I tell her to put things away, she does. When I tell her to go downstairs or upstairs, she does. When I ask her simple questions (do you want to XYZ?), she answers.

She is quite obedient, which frankly shocks me. I know, it shouldn't right? But I have long recognized that she was a tenacious girl with her own ideas. Because of that, I have been very careful to work with her, and that work has definitely paid off. She isn't perfect (see nap story above), but very, very good. And a perfect 18 month old would be weird...weird enough for you to know that wasn't true :)

She will even obey the phrase "hold still." Yes, she knows the meaning. Just picture diaper changes and doing her hair daily. She holds still. For some reason, I expect my little ones to hold still and stare at the mirror while I do their hair. For some reason, they do it (for the most part). They come to know "hold still" quite well, which comes in handy in situations like when the doctor is trying to look at the ear infection in the ear.

Tenacity
Here is a story that illustrates well both her tenacity and her complete joy in irritating people. You might remember the summary I gave of the youngest child from the Birth Order Book. In it, I discussed how youngest children love to irritate.

At church one day, Brayden was coloring quietly, minding his own business. McKenna walked to him, and he immediately covered up his paper and crayons, which was his first mistake. She then knew she had a point available for irritation. She stood patiently near until he relaxed a bit, then she lunged and grabbed his crayons. She giggled in delight as they spilled. She then waited as he cleaned them up, then did it again, then as he cleaned them up, she grabbed his little container of raisins and spilled them everywhere, all the while giggling with glee. Those around us laughed at the spectacle. What was I doing? Composing myself because I was laughing, too. I managed to wipe my look of amusement off my face and scooped her up and contained her.

Nursery
18 months is a HUGE milestone in our church because that is the age the child gets to go to nursery. No longer do we need to spend 3 hours trying to keep a little one still and quiet...we get to send them to nursery after the first 70 minutes! Oh the joyous day.

McKenna LOVES nursery. Loves, loves, loves. What isn't to love?  A room full of toys? Adults to comment on how adorable she is? Kids to annoy? Snack time? Oh yes, this is far more enjoyable that Mommy and Daddy trying to keep her still and quiet.

Conclusion
Let me just finish by saying how much we love and enjoy McKenna. I know I don't really express her personality in these summaries--I figure the point is to discuss things as they come up. But I wanted to say that  we just adore her and that she is such a joy to have in our home. She has such a fun personality--tenacity and all. She makes us laugh constantly. She is cute and she knows it. She engages everyone around her, strangers included, and manages to get comments on how cute she is everywhere she goes. People can't help but admire her. She cocks her head just so and has an endearing twinkle in her eye. What a blessing to be the mother to this little, cuddly ball of fire.

OUR SCHEDULE
8:15--breakfast
9:00--bath/get ready
9:30--go for a walk
10:00--learning time
10:30--sibling playtime
11:00--Independent playtime
12:00--lunch
1:00--nap
4:00/4:30: get up5:00--Dinner. Free play and family time
8:00--in bed by this time. Sometimes sooner.



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21 comments:

LaChelle said...

This made me laugh b/c I can just see MaKenna harrasing her brother & you laughing in the background! My son is 2 wks away from his 18 month milestone & he too loves to point & grunt! It's quite frustrating. He calls everything car & loves to say "uh-OH!" The amount of words he says has dwindled over the last month from about 15-20 words down to about 4-5 words. I do not know if it is due to the fact that all 4 of his 1st yr molars are coming in along w/2 of his I-teeth! His appetite is also lacking & he is wanting more fluids than anything else. He just got over a sinus infection about a week ago. He also obeys commands very well also! Glad to know I'm not the only one w/such an adorable child. Carter also demands everyone's attention around him when we are in public & gets many compliments on how cute he is. He knows he is cute & it's humorous to watch him with strangers. I'm a proud mom!

Roseola rash is a common rash that shows up just as an ear infection is being overcome by the body....its not contagious & like I said, is common w/ear infections. My son had one at 12 months. I didn't know these facts either & it scared me!
I've been meaning to ask you, when you place your children in an infant bed, do you then start giving them a pillow & tucking them in? Carter sleeps like a wild child all over the bed. He has his blankie & sucks his thumb only at night but we don't tuck him in yet. Kind of hard to do that since his mattress is on lowest setting b/c he is so tall (32.5 inches). I'm a first time mother & a nurse & this mother stuff is mind-boggling at times! He still HATES his carseat past 30 minutes despite all my attempts to occupy his time & playing a dvd in the truck/suv. And oh does my blood pressure & pulse go very high as he screams for well over an hour! Thanks so much for doing this blog....I can't tell you how much this has helped. I'm sure you are used to reading that statement by now. God Bless you!

LaChelle said...

oh, I also meant to ask if you have used the program "Your Baby Can Read"? If so, have you enjoyed this with your children, if not what is your reasoning with that decision?

tracylynne said...

I love your blog, I started your method of independent playtime with my 16 month old a while back, he will play in his room by himself for awhile-no playpen since. Now its time to get ready for the drop to one nap....

Kristy Powers said...

My two kids are little balls of fire, too. I recognize so much in this summary - the love of irritating, for instance! It is fun to see that determination and spitfire spirit alongside a sweet, affectionate personality. :)

Dvorak Family said...

I have a 19 month old son who is giving me trouble in the nap department lately. Since about 9 months old, he has been a great napper. Since he was 13 months, he's taken just 1 nap of about 2 -3 hours. For the past three weeks, he is suddenly taking super short naps. I'm lucky if I can get an hour out of him and I'm not even sure how much of that hour is is awake before falling asleep. I can't see that he is getting any teeth, and actually he was at the doctor a week ago because I thought maybe it was an ear infection or something, and she said he had no teeth coming in and was the picture of health. Nothing else has changed for him. I've tried just letting him cry, but he stands in his crib screaming, and if I go lay him back down and tell him no, he gets right back up.
I really feel like naptime was the time for me to get recharged and face the rest of the day, and I am now struggling to get through the day when he only naps a 1/2 hour. He is a very clingy kid and wants to be carried around and cuddled most of the day. Any advice you can give would help. I keep hoping it will go back to the way it was, but at this point, I have a hard time believing that since he has been 3 weeks, and he is getting more and more insistent on not napping.

Thank you

Grant and Jenni said...

I have a 15 month old who gave up his morning nap at 13 months. At the beginning of 13 months he would either talk to himself throughout his nap time, or whimper and cry throughout it. I thought it might be the molars he was getting in, so I continued to put him down for a nap for a month, and then realized he was probably giving it up early. He does fine in the mornings without a nap but gets a little tired close to 12:00. Is there an ideal waketime for toddlers? He gets up at 6:30 or 7:00 and I usually put him down for a nap around 12, but he only takes an hour nap and obviously needs a longer one because he wakes up cranky. If he sleeps for 1 1/2 hours or longer, he is wonderful! Should I make the waketime longer, or would that make the situation worse?

Nikki said...

What do you do for your "learning time" with your kids? My son is 3 1/2 and my daughter is 20 months. I would really love to schedule some "official learning time" into our day but need help with some fun ideas! Thank you!

ys said...

i have a question about McKenna's love to irritate:) My youngest is 2 and her big sister 3.75-they're 18 months apart. DD1 sounds very similar to Brayden and more along the line of the stereotypical firstborn mold. My 2nd is the youngest (and may be depending on God's plans). But she likes to tweak her sisters buttons! Just like your example...they'd act EXACTLY the same. She antagonizes and verbally a lot. I'll say something to them and she'll say "me do it...sissy not" knowing full well sister will be. Then big sister says "yes, I will do it too!" etc. Minor example but this variation is played out many times. DD1 always takes the bait. If she'll tell younger sister not to do something (something she shouldn't be doing) DD2 will just purposely do it more,etc. Is there anything you can do about this???
I mean i've tried to explain to the older to ignore her but it doesn't work. Is this just going to be the dynamic from now on?

Plowmanators said...

LaChelle, that is interesting about Roseola.

My kids have all gotten pillows and blankets at different ages.

Brayden was about 3 before he started using either.

Kaitlyn was just before two.

McKenna was about 9-10 months.

The age difference isn't because I grew to think they should get them earlier; I always just went with when it felt right. McKenna is even capable of spreading the blanket back over herself, so it is something she is able to handle.

In the car, have you tried snacks? That often helps. Or books.

Plowmanators said...

LaChelle, as for the Your Baby Can Read, I have not. I honestly haven't looked into it even though I get asked that every few months.

I am not one for forcing learning skills on kids. I also am an advocate of teaching children to LOVE reading rather than to be able to read.

And what I have done has worked so far. Brayden is the best reader in his class and Kaitlyn at 3.5 can read Bob Books. This has all been just by reading to them and letting them learn to read when they ask to.

Plowmanators said...

Tracylynne, I am so glad it worked!

Plowmanators said...

lol Kristy. Hopefully I can keep her heat geared toward good things :)

Plowmanators said...

Dvorak,

I am wondering if he has independent playtime at all? If not, I think that might help you out here.

It might be a combo of a "wonder week" and a separation anxiety that creeps back up around 18 months or so.

Plowmanators said...

Grant and Jenni,

For that age, I would try an even earlier nap time. It will be odd and inconvenient for a while, but I think he needs to go down earlier for now. He also might need an earlier bedtime.

Plowmanators said...

Nikki, see a learning blog I write with a couple of other ladies:

http://learningdevelopmentactivities.blogspot.com/

we also link to several other sites. That will give you lots of ideas!

Plowmanators said...

YS,

I don't know if I have any brilliant ideas that can fix things over night.

I think it is a good idea to remind the older sibling to not react. Over. and. over.

I also think focusing on teaching love will help. Focus on moral training and loving each other. Teach service.

It will take time and patience, but I think you can get there.

LaChelle said...

Thank you for the suggestions. I have tried snacks, dvd's, singing, drink, music, roll the windows down....after about 30-40 minutes he is screaming at the top of his lungs. Sometimes if I sing he will stop for a short while but it doesn't last. I'm hoping that its not something like sitting in the carseat hurts his back or hips or anything like that. Makes me wonder?

Michael and Yvonne said...

Thank you for your suggestions. I'm definitely working on my older to help deal with it better, but should I focus more on that or on the younger one to not want to do that??

Does the love to irritate continue on with a personality? Or do you think that's more of an age thing? Maybe it's both:)

Plowmanators said...

LaChelle, I am sorry! That is no fun.

Plowmanators said...

Michael and Yvonne, I think you need to do both. I think it is important to teach the younger not to be annoying as much as it is important to teach the older to choose his own happiness.

I think the love to irritate continues on, but maturity levels help temper it :) My Dad still will do things to bug people, all the while he has that glint in his eye. But he has learned to control himself as he has gotten older :)

Jessie said...

I'm hoping you'll find this comment even though the post is old! My dd has just discovered how fun it is to say "No!" And also to want to do things all by herself, which isn't a problem if it just takes forever (attempting to put shoes on before we go outside) but I'm a bit uneasy with her trying to get out of the stroller or buckling herself in. Neither are huge safety issues, but I can totally see her falling or pinching her finger. I'm trying to let her have some more opinions but also scooping her up when she refuses to comply. Do I need to do more? When she throws fits, should I be disciplining her? I just don't want to look back a year from now and say, if only I had a) been more firm or b) been more gentle. Thanks in advance! Oh, she is 19 months.

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