Happy 16 Months, Baby Girl!!

Every stage with Maya has been more fun than the next, but her fifteenth month was a really momentous –and memorable– month. Now that she’s in her sixteenth month (as of 4/18; clearly I am late to the game), here are some highlights from the previous month.

New Signs. Two weeks ago at babyschool pickup, Maya was in her teacher’s arms looking out the window, where there are bird feeders hanging. She gleefully reached for me and, once in my arms, started making this gesture with her two teensy fingers (I think it’s pointer touching thumb?). I looked at my daughter with curiosity and her teacher told me, “Oh, that’s the sign for ‘bird.'” Naturally. I felt like a complete moron for not knowing what she was trying to tell me, but it prompted me to go home and dig up the paperwork they had given us detailing baby sign. So we started encouraging “thank you” to complement “please” (which she’s been doing on command for a few weeks now but doesn’t yet do on her own; “milk” is the only sign she uses for a purpose, and sometimes “more”). Baby sign won’t be critical forever, but until she has words she can use, we want to enable her to communicate as much as she can.

New Words. Just in the past few weeks, her vocabulary has picked up. While for a few months now she could point to her ball, baby, bear and blanky when asked (or follow instructions with what to do with said object) … now she is trying to say some of those words. They aren’t clear as day, but she is getting the right sounds out. It’s amazing to see. She’s also started saying “bye-bye” versus just waving, and is using it appropriately when we are leaving a store, or if I’m hanging up the phone or we are saying goodbye to a family member on Skype. It’s ridiculously cute. I do wonder if being in the Toddler Room plays a part in this, or if she is just developmentally ready to talk now? Either way, we love it, and love seeing her wheels turning. EVERYTHING she sees, we hear, “That?” She is also finally calling Rocco by his name, though it sounds like “Cock-o/”Ock-o.” Whatever; it’s close enough 🙂

New Play. She pats her babies and bears on the back like Mommy, and uses play spoons to “eat.” I can only begin to imagine what fun lies ahead as her imagination takes off. If I start singing certain songs, she knows the hand movements or what to do. She mouths (and sometimes babbles) the words to songs.

Knowing Who’s Who. I know she knows her little friends at school by name, as I have mentioned … but I had no idea if she knew my family members by name. In Jamaica, this blew their minds, and mine, too! I showed her pictures when we got back and asked her to point to each person … and she did. She also does this with them on Skype and interacts with them — following directions, mimicking them. Oh–and Elmo is on her toothpaste and though she can’t say Elmo yet, she points to him … as well as his eyes 🙂 L’s mom in El Salvador doesn’t Skype but we try to put her on speakerphone so she hears my MIL’s voice. It’s our hope that, in time, she gets to know all our family really well.

Stamping/Spinning/Running. These are new “commands” that she loves. Her other new fave activity? Running away, then turning around and racing towards us, collapsing into our arms. I cannot tell you how much this makes me smile.

Monkeying Around. If we clear our throats or make a face or do pretty much anything, she repeats it. It’s precious.

Curiosity. She likes to know how things work. She knows how to put certain shapes into the right holes on her shape-sorter bucket and will stack blocks until they fall down, to which she says a sweetly quiet, “Uh-oh”. (She usually gets to four blocks). She also recently discovered how to attach the alphabet blocks on her V-Tech train to the holder to make the blocks talk and sing.

Toddler Room transition complete. Sleeping on a cot. Sitting on a chair. Circle-time. Playground. Big-girl activities, big-girl routine. I’m so proud of her, especially her daily two-hour nap 🙂 She’s flourishing over there, even though the other kids are a lot older and all of them are much bigger. (Recently at daycare, two of the bigger girls thought Maya was a baby and rubbed her back as she fell asleep at nap-time; how sweet is that?!)

Establishing new routines. We used to let her wander all over with her toothbrush and toothpaste (because she loves to use them) but that’s obviously not safe. So now she sits on her little step-stool in the bathroom to brush her teeth. We also just started letting her give Rocco a doggie treat before we leave for work. It’s a little ritual they BOTH enjoy 🙂 He really is her playmate now. It’s ridiculously cute. Eventually, we will let her give him more than one piece of kibble at dinner.

15 months, going on 15. She’s getting quite a little ‘tude 😉 If she doesn’t want to do something, she won’t. We definitely see glimpses into our future … including the fact that she has Daddy wrapped around her little finger. 🙂

So in a nutshell, that’s Maya’s 15 month in review. It was a whirlwind, wild and crazy month for Maya developmentally and we’re excited for month 16!!

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