Colette: 16 Months

I just realized I never did a post on our St. Helena trip, but Colette did really well up there and enjoyed all the time outside. Luckily she was at a good age where there weren't huge safety concerns -- she's cautious enough around stairs and is walking well now that she really had fun exploring. Unfortunately the pool wasn't heated so she wasn't a huge fan of swimming, but did get in a few times. Since getting back to the city after Labor Day, we've been settling into a new routine. She's on one nap so we're getting out each morning and just powering through. I signed up for a music class, and that's been a hit so far. She's basically the queen of the class, walking around and stopping in fron of everyone to check them out, twirling around to the music and doing her little dance. She also loves helping the teacher. She's very independent when we're at storytime at the library, at music class or at the park. I'll obviously keep an eye on her but she'll make her way all around the space. We still don't have too much structure to our week but I feel like the opportunities for classes will open up a bit when she hits 18 months. I took her to an unstructured gymnastics class, which was fun for a drop in, but I didn't feel like it was worth the $25. I so wish MyGym wasn't all the way across town! There's another place that we can try when she's 18 months though.

She's at such a fun age and I'm enjoying all the new things she's learning each week.

She loves the swings, but only for a minute. Then she wants to get out, go to the next swing, try it out for about 30 seconds and repeat.

EAT: Geez, she is certainly an eater. She doesn't necessarily eat everything but it seriously seems like she eats constantly (though of course I don't really allow). We have our set eating times, but if she sees someone eating, she will beeline over to them. When I start to make dinner in the kitchen, she really can't be around... she'll whine and eventually start pulling on her high chair. The other day she went and sat down on the footrest awaiting her food. She really does love food which is so fun to watch. Jessica and I keep saying she must be on a growth spurt because it's slightly abnormal the amount of food she eats. Like today, she probably had 2-3 scrambled eggs, half a grapefruit and 75% of a bowl of oatmeal with Greek yogurt, berries and a chia seed mix. My mom said she had eaten most of her large lunch I packed about 2 hours after breakfast and when I heated up a bowl of chicken noodle soup, she had a decent serving of that. She isn't great with veggies, though ate up the carrots in the soup just now, so tends to do better when they're just part of the dish instead of a side. She still loves meat, cheese, tons of different fruits, eggs and is doing better with sandwiches. Her attention span for eating has shortened a bit -- she used to be able to sit for a while, but now she hits a point where she starts throwing her food and we say she's done. Sometimes she gets super mad if I try to take her bib off so we give her one more chance; sometimes she eats more, other times she keeps throwing food. She was over kiwi for a bit but then I luckily kept offering it and she's eating it again now. I just need to keep up with that and especially if she sees one of us eating something, she'll want it too, so I need to remember that to get her to eat more veggies.

SLEEP: It's been a transitional month for sleep and we're in a pretty good place. The last week up in St. Helena, C started giving up her morning nap. It was actually somewhat surprising since the first week so went straight down for a 45-minute nap each day despite having the noise of her brothers right outside her door. The next week she would whine for a bit and then end up just playing, reading or rolling around in her bed so finally we decided to just cut it off. We played around with the single naptime, but knew we wouldn't get on a schedule until we got back. Basically any day we're out and she's in the stroller or the car, it's going to be hard to keep her up anytime past 11:30am. Actually, in the stroller it's okay as I can give her something to eat and that buys me enough time to walk home. We've mostly just avoided any car rides during this window. A few days I've put her down early around 12:30, but for the most part it's between 1:15 and 1:30 that she goes down. I'm sure she's tired a bit earlier, but we'd prefer to have a good chunk of the morning to be able to go out with everyone on weekends, and have nap and quiet times line up, so I'm glad she's able to make it most days. The good news is, she goes straight to sleep for naps, and typically she falls asleep easily at night too, whereas she had been crying more when we were still doing 2 naps. She sleeps soundly through the night and has been waking up between 6 and maybe 6:20 but is now fine to play and read for about 30 minutes (making noises of course) before she really starts getting loud. I think we're in a good place and we just need her body to fully adjust to one nap and then we'll start getting out in the car a bit more and a bit later.

PLAY: Colette is getting more and more independent and plays really well on her own. She'll go into her room and read books, or go through her toys out in the living room. I can't think of a single toy she particularly likes, but often times it's the 'big kid' stuff like duplos, the play kitchen food or the space ship. Honestly, her favorite item is the remote. She's still obsessed with it, even more than the phone I think (she'll literally seek out phones from parents or nannies during music class or storytime when everyone is sitting on the floor). She'll pretend to talk into the remote, or push all the buttons. She still likes stuffed animals a lot. Oh, and she loves to draw. She loves getting into the art cart and taking everything out, but also loves to sit and do markers or crayons at the table, much more so than I remember the boys at this age. She's becoming more active overall, moving pretty fast, starting to climb stuff more, getting into things much more than a few months ago. She loves taking apart the tupperware drawer and can now reach handles and open doors. She goes all over at the park and is very social with other kids and adults. She seems to warm up to people quickly, but does not like being left in the church nursery. She's okay when we leave and she's playing and I say goodbye, but we got called down again and even though I can settle her back into playing, she does not like when I leave. We've had so much going on that there hasn't been much consistency to church though, so hopefully when we're going every week, that will help her transition better. She's also so into books right now, loves to read. She'll bring books over to me and literally beg to read.

TALK: Not much progress here. It's still amazing how much she can communicate with so few words. Her intonation and different pitches sounds like she's having an actual conversations. Some possible new words are da (for both dog and duck :) but anything else would be a stretch.

POTTY: She's really taken to the potty since we've been home, meaning she loves to go into the bathroom and sit on the potty (clothed or not). She actually prefers the big potty so I just ordered a new toilet seat cover that includes the little child's seat. No action yet, which is fine -- we're not actively potty training -- but glad she's comfortable. Unfortunately she's still having a lot of issues with her poop. She doesn't seem to be constipated but instead holds her poop so just a little comes out... multiple times a day and sits right in her butt. That results in lots of diaper changes and a diaper rash that's hard to get rid of. She did okay in St Helena when she was in a swim diaper more and preferred to poop in that, but reverted back to her old ways once we got home.

Colette: I feel like you've been in motion all month and are becoming a very busy toddler. It's so fun to watch you discover new things and new environments. You're eating like crazy and it feels so good to watch you enjoy food like you do, considering your challenges with food in the beginning. I hope you continue to be a good eater and love food like Dad and I do. I hope your outgoing and social spirit lasts. You really seem to enjoy being around other kids and adults. Your current communication is surprisingly effective, but I'm looking forward to upcoming months where hopefully we'll get to hear a bit more of your little voice. You've started getting into your brother's stuff more this month and you're also more resistant to their tight hugs and squeezes. You definitely let them know when you're not happy and stand your ground when they (or anyone else) try to take something from you. You still love clothes and getting dressed and now that it's started to get cooler, we can wear more of the fun jackets and scarves. You've started to want to wear your sunglasses just like me and will actually keep them on for a while. You've become more of a helper this month and want to do everything like your brothers. You can take your clothes to the hamper and always want to carry your bowl to the sink just like them. You also like to help push the stroller. It's fun to be able to let you walk alongside, something I wasn't able to do with the boys at this age. The other day, after a long morning and you making a huge mess with your lunch, I was annoyed and said, 'Colette, you made such a huge mess!' I took you out and washed your hands and then saw that you had gotten out the dustpan and started cleaning up your food :) I'm so glad we started music class, it's been such a hit with you and I look forward to more activities like that where I can witness the pure joy of experiencing new things.

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