SteelyKid was 19 months on Sunday.
We have phrases! Well, we've had "Hi, (name)" for quite a while--except now she does call me Mommy, finally, that was the last name to come. But we also regularly hear "no, mine" and "more, please" (once "more bubbles, please") and, just recently, "I don't know" when asked where someone was. Complete with raised hands and head-shake. (This is clearly in imitation of adults, but we've asked her where Mommy and Daddy are and she's pointed, so I think she does understand the question.) Lots more words too, more than I can remember right now. And she loves talking on the phone a ridiculous amount: she won't even share (let me put my head near it to listen), let alone give it up.
(In other adult-imitation news, one day when she was sick and not eating, Chad picked up a cracker and waved it in a spiral headed for her mouth while making "wooo" noises, as one does. She promptly picked up a cracker of her own and waved it in front of her face while saying "wooo." It's a wonder our heads haven't exploded of the cute, I tell you.)
We also have a new level of imaginative play. Previously she would pretend to eat. These past weeks, she would pretend to paint with a silicone basting brush--and also brush her hair with it, which baffles me since we never brush her hair. (I really have to replace that; the dog ate the wooden handle.) She would also do what we call cooking: put small objects in a container, stir them around with a long-handled toy, take them in and out. More obviously, she decided that her stuffed animals were babies and would carefully spread out dishtowels, lay them on the towels, wrap them up, pick them up, cuddle them, pat them on the back, call them "baby" and say "shhh, night-night," put them down, and start all over again. (The first toy she did this with was a Lorax, and Chad cannot help supplying commentary from it: "I'm not a baby, I'm a vengeful nature spirit! Let me tell you about trees. Hey, put me down! This is so undignified.")
And I'm not sure if this counts as imaginative, but she has returned to delighting in treating us like her personal puppets. Of particular note is when she takes one of us by both hands and tows us along somewhere backwards, or when she insists on grabbing Chad's index finger and using it to bing! my nose. Her fine motor control continues to improve: she's moved into the "big loop" phase of scribbling, is getting very good with pen caps, and can put socks over both hands by herself. (Yes, we make sockpuppet jokes.)
As is not unusual for this age, she's moving into separation anxiety mode, or as I call it, "Oh, help, I've got a Cling Monster stuck to me." Daycare dropoffs used to be completely drama free, and during this week, well, not so much. On the bright side, she continues to thrive there. Her BFF still comes right over and smiles in her face whenever we come in--they had to separate them for naps & meals, because they would just play peekaboo and babble at each other instead of sleeping or eating. She's having a grand time with all the art projects, and she seems to know basically everyone in the place. We had a parent-teacher conference (at 18 months! so silly) at the very end of January, and her main teacher said she's doing great, much more easy with words that many kids her age and thus not acting out through biting or hitting--she said that when another kid would hit her, she would just say "no" and walk away.
She remains obsessed with dogs. We have a picture of her leaning her head on Bodie, Chad's parents' yellow Lab, that she kept asking to see, and for a while all dogs and all pictures were "Bodie." We've got her calling the other family dogs by their names again, at least. We've been using Skype regularly with her grandparents and she gets terribly excited when Chad's parents bring Bodie into view. Also terribly excited to see her grandparents, too, lest I give the wrong impression.
(She likes cats too--we went to nojojojo's reading at Flights of Fantasy and she spent half the time petting a very docile cat. And a good chunk of the rest of the time chasing the non-docile cat, which she called "Emmy," presumably because it was fuzzy, four-legged, and had brown and tan fur.)
The Terrible One and a Fractions are back, after having eased up a bit; we're employing the usual combination of ignoring and distracting when she goes into instant meltdown mode at being thwarted and that seems to be working okay.
We did have a major breakthrough with her sleep just before the last post which seemed to be holding up--the short version is that we inadvertently employed cry-it-out one night, decided to see what happens, and in just a couple nights, got her to where she would cry a couple times a night for a maximum of 10 seconds. Which felt like a miracle, I cannot even tell you. Of course, then she got sick the second week of February, and then the last week of February, and then that slid into a very unwise food experiment on my part (seriously, what was I thinking, to give her hummus?), and then that slid into her getting sick again . . . so I've been spending a lot of time lately sleeping in the nursery rocking chair.
Her stomach had been great until this point; I don't know if it's the rice milk, the probiotics, or just being really rigorous about cutting out dairy and soy. The past few nights, though, she's been much less congested yet still really gassy at night, so I'm going to try not giving her bread at dinner. Bread is still the only non-goopy, non-crunchy food she'll eat, and we do have a local brand that doesn't contain soy, but I don't know, maybe the whole grains are difficult for her system? It's that or the bacon she's been eating at breakfast, and I'd think that was too far away in time to account for it. (I haven't made a concerted effort on the sunflower seed butter yet, because I want clean data.)
On February 22, she was 33" tall [*], 25.5 lbs, and had a head circumference of 48.2 cm. That's a half-inch growth from 15 months, but a couple ounces' drop in weight. I'm not too worried about it--between a terrible sore throat and antibiotics, she ate almost nothing for about a week in the middle of February--but we are trying to be more aware of the balance of high-energy stuff in her diet. (Hence the bacon--which, I know, isn't the good kind of fat, but she only gets a couple of pieces and she'll actually eat it.) She goes back for a weight check in about a month.
[*] Tall enough to walk down the stairs like an adult, if an adult holding the wall and someone's hand.
And now, for your recommended daily allowance of visual cute / proof that she is a happy, sociable, verbal, energetic child:
http://scienceblogs.com/principles/2010/02/belated_baby_blogging_022610.php (also video)
Gosh, I need to update my icons of her.