Maiya is now 18 months old. At her 18 month appointment last week, she weighed in at 22 pounds, 15 ounces, and 32 1/2 inches tall. Yay! It has been 5 months since she was weighed, when she was just barely 18 pounds.
Maiya is also now on the Toddler side at childcare. She loves it! They have a lot of toys (much more than we have at home) and they go outside to play twice a day. She loves the slide and the water table and always comes home with wood chips in her shoes. Some of the kids (under 3) are (in my eyes) gigantic compared to her, and some are a little rough, but she holds her own. One day, I saw her and another girl who is a head taller than her holding hands and walking around together. It was so cute.
She loves bags, putting stuff in and taking it out. She is into buckles and likes to open and close them. She can snap herself into the top buckle in the car seat (and we are careful not to let her see how unbuckle works). She likes to take off our shoes, and give us new ones, or put them on herself. She likes to feed us pretend food, although she often offers real food too. She still eats mostly all organic foods, lots of veggies and grains and pastas. She likes crackers a lot. She's starting to be more open to different things lately, which is good, cause she went through a phase where she wasn't eating much, and had abandoned many of the (mostly soft) foods she previously loved.
Maiya is still nursing and co-sleeping, about 5-6 times a day (and through the night), although we are starting to phase out the mid-day nursings when she is in childcare. I am happy that Maiya is still very interested in her mama's milk, and the antibodies and immunities that it still provides her with, and we are going to let her decide when she is finished, which may or may not be any time soon. When Grandma Fran, breastfeeding policy expert, first suggested that it was best to nurse for the first 2 years, I was unsure, especially given all of the challenges we had in the beginning months. But for now, I'm happy to be a poster mother for extended nursing.
She enjoys books a lot. Some books I have memorized and I can recite or sing them to her (while gettng my last few moments of shuteye in the morning). She has a few hand and feet movements that go along with the books. When we read or sing "Wheels on the Bus," the line that goes "babies on the bus go wah wah wah," she puts her fists to her eyes, wiggles them and says "wah wah wah" and giggles. Another favorite Gyo Fujikawa book, there's a line, "Roll up your trousers and kick off your shoes" where the kids are playing in the mud. She will kick her legs and point to her feet. She might be the only kid on the block who knows what trousers are.
Maiya amazes us with her ability to remember things. She can identify birds, ducks and the standard barnyard farm animals, and knows the major body parts. Tony wonders what she's talking about and says, "That doesn't sound like English." Maybe not, but she knows what she's talking about.
Maiya has found her voice, and she doesn't hesitate to use it. Another term for this is called temper tantrums. The childcare director said to me yesterday, "Jenni, don't worry. By the time she is 3, she will be over this phase." Three! That's her whole lifetime! Anyways, we know that she is developmentally on target, and have to not worry too much about what other people think. Patience I think is going to be the key in the next few months.
Speaking of voice, Maiya has said maybe 10 words (mostly repeating back to me, or pointing out the (h)orse in the book), but I can only get her to say "apple" regularly. And she's not even eating apples these days. She understands everything, and she is able to communicate what she wants a lot of the time without words (lots of pointing and grunting). We talk to her a lot, label everything when we talk to her, and ask her lots of questions. I mouth words slowly so she can see my lips. And she watches my lips and copies the way I move them. No sound comes out, but I'm not worried about it yet. If I know the baby sign for it, I'll sign it for her as well. Sometimes she does the sign, and sometimes she'll give a syllable of the word.
Lately, she uses "mama" to mean "I want it." She'll say to Tony, "mama" (pointing at cereal box and will not stop until we bring it down off the shelf). It was confusing at first until we figured out that she had redefined mama.