So, in month 2, we had to have our 18 month old checkup at the doctor. Eli is doing well and, though the doctor wants to keep him coming in for weight checks, he is very healthy and thriving. He has gained a pound and a half since he's been home, and has grown an inch in height! He has definitely outgrown all of his 9 month old clothes and is a solid 12 month size, with a few 18 month old shirts thrown in.
He continues to learn lots of new skills, like jumping up and down and pulling the plug from the bathtub when bathtime is done! His motor skills continue to improve and are pretty good for a nineteen month old - he surprised us last week by holding up his own body weight on the "moveable rings" in gymnastics and swinging from the rings. We have also been surprised at his prowess on the balance beam - he can run the full length of the balance beam, placing one foot in front of the other. We spot him, just in case, but he really doesn't need help. The other day, he climbed onto the beam (from a mat 6 inches below) and straddled it, then slowly put his feet, one at a time, on the beam and stood up to walk and run - all without help!
He is now tall enough to ride his "four wheeler" that requires him to push with his feet on the ground. He can now reach the pedals of his tricycle, though he can't quite get them to work. Of course, he still loves riding his "Mater" four wheeler, too! He LOVES to take things apart and put them back together, and he's still a huge fan of "cause and effect" toys, and cars. He also loves his light saber and his duckie puppet. He absolutely adores the VeggieTales, particularly Larry the Cucumber, Bob the Tomato, and Junior Asparagus. He has a Larry toy that he sleeps with every night (Ribbert is still a consistent favorite, too).
He has really learned to love the dogs and especially likes petting Rocky and throwing sticks for Bear and Toby. He likes to help feed the animals at night, and we let him give Z, one of our kitties, wet food every night. He LOVES petting the horses and riding them, too.
Eli with Rocky at the "Blessing of the Animals" done by a local Methodist church.
I am a certifiable foodie, so it brings me great pride to say that Eli's eating is still wonderful. He still loves to try new foods, though he will reject foods he doesn't like (like bread) in favor of old favorites, like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sweet onions, bell pepper, avocado, asparagus, spinach (raw), ANY type of fruit, chicken, eggs and "vacuum fried" okra (found it at the Asian market). We have discovered that he WILL eat mac n cheese if we mix in peas and a few other veggies that he likes. We have discovered that he ADORES seafood...including shrimp, squid and mussles (he devoured 5 mussles at our local Thai restuarant and was so disappointed when there were no more left!). He has also discovered that he really loves a Japanese dish, okonomiyaki (similar to Jijime in Korea). We learned how to make okonomiyaki from Eli's Aunt Miyu, so it is fairly authentic (Thanks Miyu!!) - it was delicious, though I used the wrong kind of onion when I made it! It is made with cabbage, green onions (not yellow!), and a simple batter, and I think I will start making it a weekly meal (or close to weekly) because it is so delicious and easy to make! He is still not a fan of most sweets, which I find hysterically funny. He does like peach milk smoothies, soft peppermints, blueberry muffins, my homemade (gluten free!) pumpkin cookies, and the occasional chocolate milk. He loves green tea flavored creme brulee from our Thai restaurant, too.
We are doing a lot of art projects; including using finger paints, crayons, and - Eli's favorite - stickers. I have a project that we will tackle soon - sand pumpkins : ). Recently, we stuck Halloween stickers (the peel off vinyl kind) to the front door, and finger painted his Aunt Lisa an Aubrun-themed picture.
Patrick and I have begun, recently, to sleep some nights in our bedroom, with one of us returning to Eli's room before he wakes. Sleep is an area that we will remain very flexible on, due to the sleep issues he's had in the past. We are very much prepared to "coddle" Eli in this arena, as we both feel he really needs our loving support to maintain healthy sleep habits. Of course, as I type this, I am chilling out with the hubs in our living room while Eli peacefully sleeps in his crib, so not a lot of coddling has been necessary lately! This week has been the start of Eli waking up happily, usually babbling to Ribbert while Oma or Appa tries to sneak in a few extra z's.
The BIGGEST changes this month have been with language. Eli is very inconsistent with what he says, but he is definitely learning new words every day. Lately, his favorite words have been "taco" (and yes, he really means that he wants a taco), "doctor" (which he said to the pediatrician VERY clearly - much to our delight), and "cookie." He is still using several Korean words, and has learned "Oo yoo" (milk) this week (but he says "oo oo"). He can say "no" and "anio" but prefers to shake his head when he means "no," - this includes when he is "being a toddler." He usually uses the Korean word "sagwa" for apple, but can (and sometimes does) say "apple." He just started saying "diaper" tonight. Eli is very shy about talking outside of our house, and prefers to nod/shake his head/gesture when we are out. He likes to "explain" things to us. For example, tonight, he tripped and fell. I picked him up to comfort him, and Patrick came to see if he was okay. When his daddy came into the room and asked what happened, Eli pointed to himself a few times, then pointed to the floor, babbling through tears the whole time, bless his heart. Eli's receptive language (what he understands) is fantastic, and he understands most things we say to him (when he doesn't understand, he shrugs his shoulders, palms up, and says "Iduno" (I don't know)). He will find common objects around the house (like the car keys or his shoes, which he is continually squirreling away), throw things away, bring us his dirty clothes or put dirty clothes in his hamper, blow his nose, and go get in his chair for dinner. He knows some of his body parts, such as his head, hands, feet, teeth, and belly button.
I can't believe how much he's learning and doing! He surprises me every day with some new ability that he didn't have the day before - or, like today, with new words and expressions that I've never seen him do. I had asked him where his shoes were, and he pointed to the car outside (he was correct - I had accidentally left them there the night before). I then asked him where my shoes where, and after he quickly ran to look in his room and the living room, he came back, shrugged his shoulders, and said "I duno." Throughout the day, telling us "I duno" (complete with shoulder shrug) was one of his favorite things to do!
To sum up, here's a few shots from the "Mommy Papparazzi" that stalks Eli on occasion : ).
"Oma...give it up and hand over the camera.."
"No, of course I cleaned up my blocks!"
"Sunglasses? Well, I'll try 'em on..."
"How does it look, Oma?"