18 Months Old

Here we are. 18 months in. A year-and-a-half. The past six months since their first birthday have flown by, yet then I look back at all they've done in 6 months and it feels like forever. Looking back to a year ago, and that's even more insane. Feels like a lifetime ago. Just a couple of bumps on a log. They were crawling around and I referenced that they looked like little boys already but little did I know how grown up they'd look at this point. Even with all the changes, so much has remained the same. George is still so active and very determined. William's temperament had finally started to mellow and has continued to. If you had told me in the early days that William would be my easy-going kid, I would've told you you were crazy.

The last month has been a busy one with so many fun adventures. Our typical routine:
Monday: South Beach playground with our friends, then lunch at Crossroads
Tuesday: MyGym with mom, then checking out a new park in the Mission or Potrero

Wednesday: Art Class in Bernal Heights, then a new park in the area

Thursday: Baby Bootcamp, then meet my Dad to go to the Ferry Building park (or the Exploratorium), then lunch at the farmers market


Friday: Swim lessons with mom, then checking out a new park in the Marina, Cow Hollow or the Presidio

Weekends have included church, a trip to Crissy Field Beach, Discovery Museum, various parks and some Halloween events (and of course, St. Helena). We've been blessed with a great summer weather-wise and as is typical of SF in fall, it's continued to stay warm. I think most people are getting over the 70 degree days (and definitely over the 85 degree days - yes, we've had quite a few and finally bought a fan) and are ready for fall. I just love it being so nice out since we're outside so much of the day.

Big ships in town for fleet week

The last month has felt different. On September 20, the day they turned 17 months, there was a noticeable change. George started throwing tantrums, and William threw one a few days later. I felt like I had a period of a few months where I could really sit back and relax at the easy park by our house because they were totally safe on everything there, walking well, not putting sand in their mouths, etc. Well, that's changed. Now I need to watch them like a hawk so they're (G specifically) not snatching toys from others.     Their favorite word of the month was definitely 'Miiiiiinnnnne'. It's so funny, I've compared this with other moms and I guess some get the short, repetitive, 'mine, mine, mine!' whereas theirs is more emphasized with one single 'miiiiiinnnnne!' It's been a bit of an adjustment for me as I want to give them space to play, but obviously I won't tolerate that behavior. I'm still figuring out the best way to discipline them, but currently it's just a lot of repetition and a lot of taking toys away from the taker and reminding them, 'we don't take toys from other people. When X is done playing with it, you can have a turn'. If they're too rough with a toy, it gets taken away. I haven't had to resort to time-outs yet, and I'm not sure if that's the approach I'll end up taking, but there will definitely be consequences.

Highlights from the month:
Sep. 22 - W Haircut (his 5th I think?)
Sep. 29-Oct. 3 - Mom and Dad's first trip away without the boys. Fun with Dedee and Ma for the boys.
Oct. 8 - First art class, first time baking with mom
Oct. 12 - First In 'n Out (they're fans!)
Oct. 19 - Our first frequent flyer memberships!

New this month:

Les Deux can...
Say approx. 60 words (3x last month!)
Push the crosswalk button (and love to do it)
Do 'monkey walks' (walking their hands along the wall of the pool) unassisted

William can...
Reach and open the doors in our house
Walk the wall at the park while pushing the baby stroller

George can...
Identify several shapes
Climb out of his crib (though this happened when we were in Hawaii and hasn't happened since, so it's still hard to believe, sorry Linda!)

EAT: Not many changes since last month, which I think is a good thing. W&G are doing pretty well with food. William continues to be most hungry at breakfast, eating just about everything that's put in front of him. George keeps up pretty well. Both tend to eat well at lunch, and snacks are usually gobbled up. Dinner can be more hit-or-miss, but like in the past, there's no rhyme or reason to it. Something they loved last night, they'll refuse tonight. They seem to be eating plenty and are certainly getting bigger by what seems like the day. I was so surprised (and a bit concerned) to see that their weight gain had tapered off a bit, but the doctor reassured me that with how active they are, it's totally normal for it to slow down around this age.

At the end of last month, they had just started to take their milk during dinner out of an open glass at dinnertime. They're doing so well with this! They love being so grown up, but having the lipped bib helps to minimize any spills. I'd say they're taking between 14-18oz a day of whole milk. They're also eating from regular (small) plates now -- not plastic ones -- ones that could potentially break, but after at least a month, haven't. The boys have never (never say never!) been ones to throw their bowls on the ground (perhaps it's because we had the suction kind?), but we are quick to get them out when they start to get antsy. Though I encourage them to try what's on their plate, if they don't want to eat something, I leave it at that so perhaps that helps with frustration too. Like I said though, we're still early on, so we'll see what the future holds.

They continue to like to dip, but now that I write about it, I realize I haven't been offering as many dips. This month they started playing with the salt shaker that we have where you have to turn it to crush the salt and that helped them try a few new foods.

Current favorite foods/foods they almost always scarf down (again, these really haven't changed much): cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, tofu, yogurt, any fruit (William), meat (George), fish. We've started offering more cold cereal with milk at breakfast and they've taken to this. Surprisingly they've started to get over berries, which is good as the organic ones are getting pretty expensive since they're not in season any more. The homemade smoothies aren't going down quite as easily now either. Not sure if that's because we're out of berry season so I'm having to get more creative, or if they're just getting over them in general.

SLEEP: Although we had made some progress last month, this month seemed to click and we have a good routine down. They now both sleep well at nap time, going down without a fuss, and no longer wake up screaming an hour or so into the nap. What a relief! That just eventually tapered off; I still never figured out what it was from.

The length of naps still varies, most widely for George. Some days he sleeps an hour, other days 2+ hours and still others, not at all. It's crazy really, but every couple of weeks, he doesn't nap at all, and seems fine. I put him in his bed and he reads for a while, but after maybe 45 minutes, he starts making more noise, dropping books into Wiliam's crib, and I decide it's safer to get him up. Surprisingly, he's in a good mood and manages pretty well until bedtime, of course falling right asleep.

William is more consistent, though has been going down even later than normal. Last month he was in bed by 1 or so and asleep by about 1:20. W&G have been playing so well when we get home from our activity, that I've let them stay up and now it's more like 1:30 I take W to read a few books, then get him in bed and he's asleep by 2. Then about 2:10 I take G in and do the same. I'd like them to go down a little bit earlier so that they're awake when Jessica gets here and are a bit more tired at 7pm. Plus, by the time I get G down, clean up a bit and eventually sit down, I don't have all the much time left when they're still sleep. Overall it seems to be working though so it's what we're going with right now. I really enjoy the time with each of them alone before their nap; G usually plays by himself while I sit with W for a bit.

Bedtime has also improved -- it seems like so long ago that G was having a tough time as I noted in the 17-month post. They both do really well at bedtime, if anything, it seems to be W that has a harder time now, often whining 'Mama' while standing and looking out the window. If I'm home, I come in and tell him I'm in the other room, and often it takes two times of doing this and then he settles down.

6:20-6:40ish up
7:00 breakfast
out of the house for an activity by 9am
9am snack
either home by noon for lunch, or eat lunch out and home by 12:45
1:30pm W down for a nap (reads for 20 mins, usually asleep for 2.5 hours)
2-2:30ish G down for a nap (on average sleeps just under 2 hours)
4pm snack
6pm dinner
bath, stories
7pm in bed
Usually asleep by 7:30

They're definitely more into their lovies this month. Dedee got William a stuffed dog, who we call Sammy, from Crossroads and he likes to have him along with his blankie. George likes the stuffed bear (which is really a monkey but looks like a bear), often using him as a pillow. While we've tried to limit their lovies to the beds, within the last week or so, while they've been sick and waking up sad, these guys have been making their way out to the wagon, baby strollers, getting a taste of snack, etc.

PLAY: Pretty much the entire last month could be summed up with one word: 'miiiinnnne!' Though George is usually the culprit, William is not always innocent. I try distraction, which never works with G, but often does with W. He'll leave the toy he rightfully has when I suggest a new toy to G and go play with that one instead.

While at home, I'll often find them playing near each other, and sometimes even together. Of course when one starts playing with something, the other wants it, or if one goes in the bedroom, the other isn't far behind. Sometimes it works out nicely and I'll walk in to see them both reading books.


Our (constantly growing) book collection is getting a lot of mileage, but they're getting over Good Night, Good Night Construction Site and instead are loving San Francisco, Baby (which has been sitting on the shelf for months with little interest) and My First 10 Paintings, which is definitely their favorite. It's so cute, with any books that have soft fabric for animals, they always bring the book to their cheek and rub it to see how soft it is.

They still love push toys including the popper, the frog and the vacuum and now we got a broom which is also a hit. George continues to spend lots of time with the various shape sorters and now can identify colors, as well as some shapes. He loves opening the ottoman and taking out a toy to play with it, then opening it again and getting something new out. They're playing a bit more with the various large trucks, putting stuff in them and taking it out.

They both love to clean, though don't always have the right tools. George thought he could help clean up the cottage cheese from breakfast by using the popper as a vacuum.

W&G like to help me, though G is much more interested in it, W only is sometimes and I think only is because G does. They like to hold the keys, clean up any spills, put the dirty clothes in the washer, and if you're George, 'help' hang them up.

Can you guess which pieces he hung up?

They're still both very interested in the phone and talk to themselves when borrowing mom's phone. Anytime they get their hands on a remote, there's a devious giggle that gives it away immediately.

We still spend most days at the park and I finally captured what's it's like to go out with these two. Obviously we don't travel light!

Just heading out for a typical day at the park...
It's so fun to be at the park with them now as they are getting to be more and more independent and I'm more and more confident to give them some space. As I mentioned, this month was a little tough as I needed to keep an eye on them so that they didn't snatch toys from other kids, but generally they do well.

It always amazes me when they're all of a sudden capable of doing something new on the park. See-saws are so much fun now and mom doesn't need to hold on anymore.

Slides and swings are also fun! (not sure why W is missing from all these action park pics...)

William is generally all over the place -- in the sand a bit, running around, going down the slide, climbing up on the play structure. Don't get me wrong, George is active too, but he still loves the swings and can spend what seems like hours pouring sand between containers in the sandbox.

The construction site across the street has finally finished their subterranean work so hopefully will start actual building soon. They can't get enough -- literally they both sign, and now say,  'more' whenever we start to leave the site.

Biting update: Though it had started to subside, it picked up around 17 months and by 18 months, though it's not happening every day, it's still something I have to keep a really close eye on. William now seems to know that it's not right, we've read the 'Teeth are not for Biting' book and he points to his hand or arm and says 'no, no', but even so, he's not over it yet.

TALK: They've added so many words this month, though maybe I should be tougher on what I consider a word. Basically if it's something they repeatedly say for the same thing and it at least somewhat sounds like the real word, I count it. The truth is, obviously a lot of their words aren't clear at all and only Dave and I know what they mean. I'm sure the quality will continue to improve, but from the quantity standpoint, they made a lot of progress this month.

New words: (at least the ones I can remember!) tree, go, stop, uh-oh, bathtime, bear, backhoe, boots, oh no, close, poo poo, no way, cold, apple, cup, comb, pumpkin, water, stuck, knee, show, broom, car, down, bump, blue, red, purple, door. I think they're at somewhere around 60 words, maybe a few more.

It feels like George talks more but as I look at this list above, I think William has said the majority of those words. William is still generally more verbal, but I'd say G says more actual words.

They continue to use their signs, which is really helpful for words that at least from their little voices, sound similar (like more and milk). It's so easy when they just do the sign at the same time. On the other hand, there are words that they now say, like open, that they no longer do the sign for. I really haven't taught them any new signs as I haven't had the time to think about it, and I feel like I've covered my bases for the signs that would actually help them (up, down, again, etc.) versus just being fun to know (like bus or helicopter). I guess I have been focusing more on the signs for please and thank you, and though they occasionally use 'please' unprompted if they really want something, I generally need to ask them to say 'thank you.' About 75% of the time that I ask them to 'say' it, they will which I'm pretty happy with.

POTTY TRAINING: No, we're not considering potty training this early, they're definitely not ready. But about a month ago I bought a little potty and some books to start introducing them to it. Neither Dave nor I really bring them with us into the bathroom when we go, so I thought it would be helpful to at least start this now. They love sitting on the potty (haven't really tried without the diaper on yet), and despite the below pic, I think George will likely do better on the big potty with one of those inserts and William will do the little potty. We'll see. They now will say poopoo, about half the time before they end up going or when they have a dirty diaper, but it's definitely not consistent yet.


weight: 23lb (22lb 4oz 3 months ago) -- 25th percentile
height: 33.5 inches (31 inches 3 months ago) -- 75th percentile (I don't think this is right, Dave and I measured at home and we got 32 inches...)
head: 49cm (46cm 3 months ago)
shoe size: 6
clothes: The 12-18 months fits pretty well
diapers: size 3 daytime (just using up the last few and then will be in size 4 with G, though he could probably roll with the 3s for a bit longer, size 5 overnites
teeth: 15 (3 incisors are just peeking through)
eye color: brown
hair color: light brown (continues to lighten up, now it looks like he's gotten highlights

weight: 28lbs 3oz (26lbs 9oz 3 months ago) -- 90th percentile
height: 34.5 inches (32.5 inches 3 months ago) -- 95th percentile
head: 49cm (48cm 3 months ago)
shoe size: 7 (quickly outgrowing these)
clothes: 18-24 months, some 2T, especially for pjs
diapers: size 4 daytime, size 6 overnites
teeth: 15 (3 incisors are just peeking through)
eye color: hazel
hair color: blonde

Compared to Daddy at 18 months:
weight: 27lbs 2oz
height: 33 1/4

MOM: It's been another busy month, but luckily I haven't had quite as many meetings at night. My big project of the month was getting the SOMA playgroup started through GGMG. Luckily several moms in the neighborhood have helped out so we have everything set up for the rest of the year. I have someone planning the monthly moms nights out and another person doing the quarterly themed party. I'm in charge of the weekly Monday playgroups, and though it was technically after the 18-month mark, we had our first playdate Monday -- Halloween themed -- and had a great turnout with all the kids (and me) in costumes. It's been about a million emails and a bit tedious to get everything set up on BigTent, but now that we've all done it, I think it will be a lot easier moving forward.

I've been doing a lot with Junior League and leading the SFCAPC committee continues to be a decent amount of work -- a lot of emails with the center and with girls on the committee, processing expenses, planning and of course volunteering at the center. The Halloween party was last weekend and my costume was again a hit (photos on our costumes coming in separate post!). I've also accumulated just about all of the points I need for the year attending other JLSF events so it's nice to be ahead there.

Though it's all added up to quite a bit of work, I've been able to manage pretty well with the above and the additional volunteering I do. I can no longer sleep past when the boys wake up (when Dave gets up with them), so instead get up and do some work, the blog, etc. It's nice to get all the emails out of the way and then check again when the boys go down for a nap. I've started reading a bit more before going to bed and have been somewhat successful in avoiding the computer late at night. Still need more improvement here.

Book club: we don't meet until the middle of Nov, but we had fun getting out kids together at Cecilia's house for a Halloween bash.

Date night highlight: This is the second time I've been to Red Dog, a place near our house that sort of has an odd location in the base of an office building. But it's the same owners as one of my favorites in the Ferry Building, Il Cane Rosso and the food is just as good. It kind of has an upscale sports bar feel, but the menu is definitely elevated from typical sports bar fare.

Looking forward to...
We have a LOT to look forward in the next month but waiting until everything's finalized before sharing the specifics.
Though Thanksgiving will technically be just after their 19-month post, I'm still really looking forward to that as ALL of my family will be together -- all siblings, neice and nephews, etc. That will really be fun.
Though I prefer the warm days of SF's Indian summer, in a way I'm looking forward to a shift in seasons (it's about time!) as we didn't have a typical foggy summer so it's really been months and months of sunshine. Again, not complaining, but a change will be nice. I'm ready to see the boys in some layers :)

To my boys...

While last month you guys started interacting with each other more directly (hugging, hand-holding, etc.), this month it was the interactions with me that melted my heart. William, you gave me a real hug and it was amazing! A tight squeeze, not just arms around me to complement the position I was holding you. No, this was intentional. You both routinely blow me kisses when Jessica takes you out, and what's great is that they're unprompted. If you're in the right mood, you'll even give kisses and though I shouldn't mention til the 19-month post since it only happened a few days ago, you both gave me a big kiss on the mouth, puckered lips and all! Though William has always been more cuddly, surprisingly it's George who you're most likely find hugging your legs randomly. The one time of day you don't like me is first thing in the morning. Oh man, if I come in to get you up, you both are cranky pants, whiny, 'No! Dada!'. Sorry! The past month has definitely presented a new set of challenges but there have been moments when I realize that I somehow found a way to love you even more. Though 'physical touch' isn't my typical love language, the affection from the two of you has made my heart burst.

...You like things clean and will likely say, 'uh oh' or 'oh no' if something spills. You get especially upset if something noticeable spills on you (though don't seem to be bothered when your face is covered in food or bits are on your shirt). It also upsets you if you find a piece of trash in the sandbox and will immediately bring it over to me.
...You love to help me clean with just about anything and I'm always amazed at how much you pick up just by watching me. I'll ask you to do something and you'll immediately understand what to do and do it. You're so proud of yourself.
...The doctor asked if you played pretend and I didn't think so, until she started giving examples and I realized it just about your favorite thing to do. You take the tube of lotion off my side table and pretend to slather it on. You hold the tube of sunscreen from the diaper bag up to your arm as if you're applying it. You love to feed bear or offer him a taste of your milk and you get an absolute kick out of me pretend-changing Carlos' diaper.
...You've done so much better with naps and bedtime this month, what a relief! No more crying :)
...You love your fedora and I've now had to plan all your outfits around it. I offer several hat options each day, but you only go for the fedora. I'm so grateful you won't be wearing a bucket hat with a chin strap until you're 18, but would like a bit more variety. The hat has already taken a beating and has almond butter caked on one side, so I'm thrilled I was able to find a few others on clearance before heading into winter.
...You have to sit by the spout at bedtime. If you see William is going to get to the bathroom before you, you start to freak out.
...While William has always enjoyed interacting with other kids, you've been social, but very independent. This month has been different and though you're not interacting as much as W, you like to be near other kids, for example, you'll play in the sand right next to someone else.
...You hate holding my hand in the garage but probably dislike even more getting in the stroller to get back upstairs.
...You amaze me so often with how smart you are. Jessica often puts the pass in her car when she takes you guys out. One day she had already put it in, but when you guys walked past her car, you kept trying to get her attention and pointed to the car, trying to remind her.
...You're talking so much and I love your little voice!
...Though I never referenced anything negative about it, when we read the potty book and I read, 'I could go in my diaper, should I go in my diaper?' You shake your head and say 'no, no'.
...You loved baking with me, can't wait to do more of that together.
...You're still obsessed with drinking fountains, especially the one at MyGym and have to get about a hundred drinks throughout class.
...You know right from wrong and will shake your finger 'no, no', yet will sometimes still do what you know you shouldn't.


...You're so nimble and you continue to impress me with your agility and balance
...You still love fruit. One day I was unloading groceries and I come around the corner to see you've helped yourself to a nectarine and are chomping away on it. You've nibbled an apple right down to it's core and are obsessed with freeze-dried (as well as regular) bananas.
...You've been eating so much this month, especially at breakfast.
...You were terrified when Dedee and I took you to the beach a few weeks ago. I thought it was because of the little fall in the water in SLO. You walked all the way back to the stroller to stay as far away as you could. I was really worried this was going to have a longterm effect, but when Daddy and I took you again more recently, after about 30 minutes, and slowly approaching the water, you warmed up, and eventually had a great time.
...You like to draw on your face. Whether at art class, Hobitot or elsewhere, if you can get your hands on art supplies, you'll end up with them on your chin. Usually you're not trying to eat them, but chalk, crayons, paint, whatever, will end up all over your chin area.
...You are such a great sleeper.
...You are very clingy with Daddy and when he leaves for the day, we often need to go to the window and wave to him before we can move on with our day.
...You now can say yes, but for the past month, you had the cutest little giggle plus nod which I knew translated to 'yes'.
...Though sometimes you do get upset, you're often so easy-going, even when G steals your toys.
...You love wearing baseball caps now.
...You're obsessed with anything with wheels and will hijack any tricycle, balance bike, push car or wagon that comes to the park.

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