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16 Months of Cutes Patoots

Cutes Patoots - it's my new nickname for Little L, which started off as a variant on cutie-patootie that made her giggle.  Now, I call her that quite often, just to get that sweet smile outta her.

What's new? Nothing. Everything.

Reading: All of the Munch Bunch books.  A Baby Einstein book of first words.  All of her Little People Lift-the-Flap books.  Cat in the Hat and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, Planes, Karen Katz's books (esp. A Potty for Me!), and the Howard B. Wigglebottom books.  I think there are more; my brain is just fuzzy and I can't remember the rest right now.  We are seriously reading all. the. time.

Eating: PB & J (with Bonne Maman Wild Blueberry Jam), chow mein, Snap Peas, cheese, chicken drumsticks, yogurt, and every kind of fruit that we have on hand.  New foods she tried this month: figs (not a fan), fruit leather (loves it), country fried steak (loves it, but I won't let her have much of it), and waffle cones (loves it). 

Saying:  She is in full-on imitation mode, so she will repeat back words from sentences that I've spoken.  When we read, she will remember one or two words from each page, and always say that word when she reaches that point in the story.  She can now clearly pronounce two-syllable words (e.g. pretty, potty, apple, farmer, happy, diamond) and will speak in 2-3 word sentences (e.g. "I climb! I girl! I cute! I help. Poppy cry.).  She is learning emotion words, but so far has been limited to sad, cry, mad, happy, brave, scared (or pah-pah), and annoyed, which she doesn't quite pronounce clearly yet. She pays great interest to prepositions and opposites, particularly words like on, off, in, out, big, small, top, down, and up.  Little L can name several animals now, plus she can associate sounds with them. Sometimes she will surprise us by saying a word with great clarity, and other times she surprises us by making connections in different contexts.  For example, she has known about pigs that go oink oink in the barn for a while now.  However, she had read about how the prodigal son had to eat the food that the pigs eat, after he had lost his fortune. Later, when she was playing with her squirt toy pig in the bathroom, she kept pointing to the pig's mouth and saying, "Eat! Eat!" to refer to this Bible story.

Moving: Little L is walking, running, climbing, and sliding (but not well, because her shoes always have rubbery grips that, when her legs are extended, act to keep her from zipping down the slide smoothly).  She is tall enough to launch herself onto the storage bench on her tummy, and slide off the bed with minimal assistance.  She can now sit down on elevated surfaces with her butt first, although sometimes she will still try to climb on, knees first.  

Playing: Although she still enjoys her Little People toys, Little L has really gotten into taking just a couple of the people figurines from the set and placing them on various surfaces throughout our home.  It's almost like she is playing a balancing game to see if these toys can balance on top of various things.

She has started warming up to the idea of "drawing," although she only makes a couple of marks on paper before she gets bored with it.  I've given her toddler markers and regular markers, and she seems to prefer the toddler ones because they're shaped like little animals.

Her stuffies have become some of her favourite things.  She will wake up and call, "Friends! Friends!" when she sees them sitting on the dresser, and after they are brought over to her, she will launch into a little conversation with these toys, hugging and loving on them (except Poppy the Penguin, who she always describes as crying.  Not sure where that came from).

One of her favourite things to do is pop bubbles.  We've started making our own using corn syrup, eco dish detergent and water.  She likes when we wave the bubble wand and then "catch" the bubbles on the wand for her to pop.

Another thing that she likes doing is wearing her shoes or boots, and then stomping around the hardwood in her footwear.  Sometimes she will change her gait intentionally, either walking bow-legged like a cowboy or with her knees up like a little soldier.  And usually, you can find her squatting with her legs in a plié formation, just because.  She's weird like that.

Outside, Little L still loves to swing.  I think she prefers it to the slide.  She is also into taking wood chips from the playground and throwing them down the slide; she also likes throwing toys into the tub, so I suspect that she is just exploring the properties of gravity.  It's so cute that I don't even mind picking up after her again and again.

Sleeping: Still averaging 10-12h/night.  Her recent bout with a tummy virus has really affected her sleep, because she will wake up before she's ready to wake up, simply because of tummy troubles and the urge to poop.  This has resulted in a very tired kid who naps early and sometimes needs a second nap, but fights sleep all the time.  That she is in a "Wonder Week Leap" period also doesn't help, although, considering that she is supposed to be super grouchy right now, I can't complain.  She still smiles most of the time.

Wearing: 18 months - 3T.  Shoes are 21-22, or size 6-6.5.

Even on the roughest, sleepiest days, I feel so much joy to have Little L around.  She really is a ray of sunshine, and when her chubby hands wrap around my neck for a hug or grab both my cheeks while she utters, "Meen-meen!" proudly, I can't help but melt a little.  She brings me great delight, and I cannot imagine being apart from her for very long before I start missing her.



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