That sweet face – 18 months

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I’ve been meaning for a while to do a bulleted list of where Corin and Eline are at their four-year and 18-month milestones. Life is in the crazy-stressful zone this week, so this is my escape to a happy place. I realize the details of my kids’ development are probably only interesting to me, but at least it’s documented somewhere. It’s certainly not in Lina’s baby book. Poor kid is the cliched second child on that one.

Eline at 18 months:

  • Is experiencing another big developmental leap in all areas. Her speech, cognitive and gross, fine and visual motor skills are all improving simultaneously. This is of note because it’s common for kiddos with Down syndrome to have a laser-like focus on development in one area while the other areas take a back burner. Interaction with her now is so different than it was even two weeks ago.
  • Crawls at warp speed to get pretty much anywhere she wants to go. Is active, inquisitive, and always on the go. Pulls to standing easily and has just started cruising along the couch. Turns pages in a book upon request. Points to items that catch her interest. Puts items in a container.
  • Is very independent. Therapies can sometimes be challenging because she doesn’t want anyone helping her or showing her what to do. She wants to do it herself. She has clear preferences and her own agenda, and she does not like being thwarted in her plans.
  • Her current favorite activities are pulling books off her shelves; crumpling paper; playing with any tags, strings, hair or other loose bits that can be pulled, twirled and twisted; bath time; playing with musical toys or most anything that makes loud noise; imitating brother.
  • Says at least a vague approximation of more than a dozen words or sound effects: mama, dada, bath, all done, out, duck, quack, a motor noise for vehicles, an “aaaaah” sound for airplanes (as taught in therapy), bye-bye, hi, and probably a few more. She also uses a handful of signs or gestures, like waving hello or good-bye, blowing kisses and signing all done or more.
  • Laughs frequently, at herself or others, and loves to play games and spend time with close family members. She is strongly attached to immediate family and currently is going through another phase of serious stranger aversion. She prefers mommy, but she also adores daddy and brother. Grandparents are dicey, therapists are maybe okay if mommy is present, and anyone else is a no-go.
  • Is now a regular champ with bottles. We were able recently to switch from the obnoxious latex nipples to a wide silicone one. She takes 5 oz. of toddler formula by bottle just before meals. We are still working on drinking from a cup. There has been some limited progress, but we have a long way to go there.
  • Still LOVES to eat. She is a bread and protein girl. Her favorite fruit is banana, and she often eats an entire one in a sitting. Unlike her brother, she’s not a big fan of pasta, yogurt or applesauce. She can usually be coaxed to eat her vegetables. She prefers peas, carrots, sweet potato, broccoli, and maybe green beans, asparagus or brussels sprouts. Often it works best to mix the vegetables in with something she really likes. She still sometimes throws food, but that has improved some. Meals are generally very messy affairs. I struggle to understand the volume of food that winds up on her back and butt.
  • Usually won’t leave hair bows in and refuses to wear hats. She does not do well with her bone-anchored hearing aid. We try to use it for reading books and close communication, but she cannot wear it unsupervised, as it will be promptly removed and abused.
  • Can be LOUD! She yells when she’s excited or upset, and when she’s really angry, she can rouse the neighborhood. Her chatter voice is very sweet, and her laugh is a funny staccato that makes everyone else laugh, too.
  • Still sucks her first and middle finger when she is sleepy or hungry.
  • Sleeps around 11 1/2 hours a night and takes one two-hour nap beginning around 11:30 or 12:00. She gets a little snuggling and rocking and usually goes to sleep easily on her own with her bunny and blanket.
  • Is coming up on 23 pounds and is wearing 12-18 month clothes and size 3-4 shoes.

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Girl has got some hips.

Corin’s update to come.

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