Where did the last six months go? I swear, it feels like just yesterday we were sharing birthday photos, and now the whole first half of Luella’s second year has come and gone.
What started out quite rough as we struggled to tame the demonic toddler who’d invaded our sweet baby’s body, has now given way to some of the most fun times we’ve had together as a family. Somewhere around 15 months I think we just came to an understanding. The tantrums disappeared and Luella learned seemingly hundreds of new skills.
I was chuffed when she’d hit 50 words. By December she hit 100 and now I’ve lost count, but it’s easily 200+. She can repeat back most words to you, speak in sentences, sing songs, and has learned the names of her favourite people. She can count to three, name most of her body parts, and is starting to figure out colours. She went from cautious first steps to running around the house and spinning in circles – I mean, dancing! A few days ago she even learned how to play Hide and Seek.
Luella continues to be a giant. Though she’s sadly shedding those chubby baby thighs and marshmallow cheeks, she towers above other kids. She measured in today at 13 kilos – in the 97th percentile for weight, and 90th for height. I like to think her growth is due at least in part to continuing to breastfeed. Though she’s recently cut down to feeds at night and before a nap, I’m really proud to have made it this far. And she’s showing no signs of giving up her beloved “baba” anytime soon.
Other favourite things at the moment… Peppa Pig (much to my chagrin), jumping into my arms at the pool, eating rice one grain at a time, the book Monkey Puzzle from her Auntie Heather, riding on the back of mummy’s bike, bouncy castles, peanut butter sandwiches, popping water balloons, cuddling her dollies, homemade ice blocks, patting cats and dogs, chasing around the “big kids” and playing with hand dryers while stuck waiting in airport bathrooms.
She’s also beginning to learn things like putting her clothes in the laundry bin at night and putting her toys back on the shelf. It’s really amazing to watch as she develops into a little person. She cracks me up by breaking into dance when we have Scissor Sisters playing, or randomly asking me “Where is bee-bot?” while walking down the street. (Bee-bot is what she calls her belly button, which we found, safely still on her tummy in case you were worried.)
We really enjoyed traveling with her and are looking at taking some more trips with her this year. I’m also starting up a new playgroup (might write a separate post about it) which commences this week. And as she’s now getting a bit difficult to manage during my Kangatraining classes, we’ve arranged for additional care. Research shows that at this age 1-2 short days with a trusted carer is best. So Monday mornings, Jim’s mum will come by to look after her and on Friday’s she’ll spend the mornings with my friend Sarah who’s trained in early childhood education, along with her little boy.
I’m actually quite excited that Luella’s world is expanding (and having a break will be a relief for me as well). One of my goals is to help her interact with more kids this year and become confident enough to explore and play on her own more. Though yesterday at a friend’s first birthday party I walked into their playroom to find Luella laying on top of her big friend “Zaza”. So I’m not too worried about her social skills.