she is 16 months old. i actually had to look at the calendar just to make sure. next weekend she will be 16 months. i cant believe she is that old already. she is not a baby anymore. she is a gorgeous little person.
I feel like so much has changed in these past few months; not just with eleri, but with myself as well. the move from London to Wales was hard on all of us and i dont think i took into consideration how it would affect eleri. i would never intentionally discount her opinion as a member of our family, but she was only 11 months old when we made the move. and how much can it really matter to an 11 month old. the answer? a lot.
in the past 5 months eleri has gone from being the only child in a family of 3. to being the youngest child in a family of 7. everything from meal time, to nap time, to play time has changed for the little one. some for the better and some for the worse, but changed nonetheless. i tried my best to prepare mentally as well as physically for the changes rhys and i would undergo, but never prepared for changes e would have. to be honest, i never even thought of them. bad parenting perhaps? but regardless of my glaring shortcomings, e has pulled through like a champ. and at 16 months has settled back into an amazing routine and is still the happy-go-lucky, content little person she has always been.
one thing that has remained constant through the transition was her sleep. man, e loves her sleep. we had a few restless nights as she adjusted to the new noises and being in a room on her own, but after about two weeks she was comfortably back to sleeping from 730pm to 730/800am. her naps have shifted a bit and i think that she is slowly moving away from an afternoon nap. she stills sleeps two hours in the morning, exactly two hours after she has woken up. but the afternoon we are lucky if she sleeps for 30 minutes. and thats ok. if this is how she is transitioning as she gets older, i am fine to be flexible with the little one.
as for general 16 month things......
eleri's favourite toys are stuffed animals and books. she could sit for hours flipping through pages and pointing at the pictures. she talks to herself whilst 'reading' the books, making up her own story as she goes along. most of the time she will grab a stuffed animal (piggie and doggie are her favourite) grab a book and come sit in your lap. one of my favourite times of the day. she also loves toy cars and anything with a handle. a purse, a bucket...anything she can fling over her arm and walk around with.
as for words, e has acquired a few new ones this month like 'eyes' and 'mimi' but she is still not speaking a whole lot. she has started to say something that sounds a lot like 'cheese' but its hard to tell, it could be 'please' as well. ball, dog, mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, papa, nose, toes, pig, up, down, read, book, cup, this, that, look and kiss are the words she says the most often. i am not concerned at her lack of speech because her level of comprehension is immense. ele doesn't say much, but she understands and correctly responds to everything that we say to her. she follows three and four part commands, she knows when to say what words, she points for most things and if she wants your attention or help, she will come to your, grab you hand/leg/shirt/whatever is within her reach and guide you over to where she is. she can act out what she wants done quite well. and her memory is incredible. she knows where things go and where things are kept after one time of being told. she may not speak, but she does understand.
it is interesting to watch her little personality develop more and more. but 16 months she has proven to us that she is VERY tidy. she wont leave a room without putting her toys away. and that is without us even asking. she separates her food into neat piles by colour at meal times. she sorts out her toys by shape or type. if something falls off the bed/couch/chair she must stop whatever she is doing and put it back. if she gets a toy out of the toy basket, she has to close the lid before moving on to play with her toy. and if she is finished with a puzzle, she put it back in t box before getting another one out. this is no exaggeration. one day last week we heard her crying and getting frustrated in the other room. we went in and the toy box lid had managed to wedge itself between the couch and the wall. she was desperately trying to close the lid but it was stuck. rhys went over, pulled the lid shut and e immediately stopped crying, picked up her toy and went off to play. crazy. OCD a bit?
i would like to take this opportunity to point out that cleanliness is not something i have taught e. whilst i am not a dirty person a little mess is perfectly fine with me. a little mess is not ok with eleri. her personality is truly unique to her and i love that. she is my daughter and like me in so many ways. but jesus made her uniquely special. and this is just one way that is evidenced.
one of my favourite things about e, especially as she gets older, is her spirit. rhys and i have always said that eleri has a sweet, gentle spirit. she is just so content and pleasant that there is something peaceful about being around her. at 16 months that soft spirit has shown itself more and more. as i am injured and pretty much immobile, e has been an invaluable help. that is quite an accomplishment for a child so young. she plays on her own, brings me drinks, brings me my crutches and comes to give me hugs every now and then. she even pats me on the bag and kisses me. she knows i am hurting and is doing everything her little 16 month old brain and body will let her to help make it better. her soul is sensitive and i love that.
e is also quite adventurous. she is not afraid to try anything (well expect food but thats another story) she climbs up and off of anything, runs to anyone, talks to anyone, rides all kinds of rides,
jumps off beads and down the stairs (with supervision of course) and insists on doing whatever the adults are doing. the baby has no fear. as a result of her adventurous nature, she takes a fair number of falls and bumps. and never cries. rhys and i even wondered if she had that condition where you cant feel pain. e is seriously tough. i would say she is pretty bad ass, but i am not sure if that is an appropriate way to refer to a baby. instead i will say eleri is awesome.
as for food, she is slowly become quite a fussy eater. i hate saying that because she used to eat anything. and was actually quite adventurous. not anymore. occasionally we can get her to try things, but it is hard to get her to eat more than a few bites of anything. anything expect peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that is. and even though i feel like a bit of a failure for admitting this publicly, we have started giving her fish fingers and, of course, she loves those. they are only lightly dusted with breadcrumbs and we put them in the oven so they are not fried...but still. fish fingers. not terribly healthy and something i didnt want to do. but at the end of the day, she needs to eat. and the fish inside them is good. so.... listen to me. i am trying to justify my food choices to the blog world. anyway, she eats fish fingers. cous cous, hummus, cheese, carrots and peas are her favourite staples. and along with the peanut butter and jelly sandwich she eats a fair amount of wraps with some kind of chopped chicken or ham inside. i am working on getting more green veggies in the diet, but if i am honest some days i am lucky to get her to eat at all. still no candy or chocolate, but she has enjoyed the occasionally cheese and onion crisp. because come on, who doesnt love cheese and onion crisps?
e is active and loves to run everywhere. where we go she loves to run a few steps ahead and then turn back, run to us and then run ahead again. she is always on the go. not going to lie, that has made it difficult a time or two last week as i tried to hobble along behind her on my crutches. i am sure it made for quite a funny site.
eleri is an amazing little girl. i know we are lucky to have such an easy baby. people say all the time "do you know how lucky you are to have an easy baby?" and since i have never had a hard baby, no i probably dont know just how lucky i am. but i do realise that i am blessed tremendously with eleri. she is content, independent, lovable, sweet, peaceful, full of joy and laughter and truly the light of my life. she is my little star and 16 months into this journey i wouldnt trade a second of it for anything.