|18 month photos|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
9:30--go for a walk
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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