June 02, 2016

Cai Alexander: 18 Months

I'm a little late here, but I definitely wanted to make an 18 month update. Cai changes so much every day, and I don't want to forget what he's like now.

At his 18 month well baby visit, Cai weighed 23 lbs 1 oz. and measured 33.5 inches tall. That puts him in the 15th percentile for weight (he was only in the tenth for his twelve and fifteen month visits) and the 80th for height. The receptionists were surprised at how tall he is. He did not enjoy his appointment at all. He cried when he was measured and weighed before the doctor even saw him. While we waited for her to come in, I explained to him all of the things she would do -- listen to his heart, press on his belly, look in his ears and mouth-- I even demonstrated for him. I reminded him that he was safe, that I would be with him the whole time, and that the doctor was only there to make sure he was healthy and safe. I have no idea how much he understood, but he nodded and whimpered. Until she came in, then he screamed again. I think his last appointment traumatized him; it was a sick visit, and she wanted to check his ears, but they were full of wax (he HATES when I touch his ears), so she had to use a tool to clean them out while I held him down. It was awful.

Generally though, Cai is very easy going. He is sometimes shy around new people, especially in small rooms, but I can usually get him to still be polite; shaking hands or waving hello at the very least.

He has very suddenly become more "boyish" if that makes sense. We hear lots of growling and grunting, see more climbing, and experience more tackling.

He's very silly and likes to hide and giggle while he waits to be found. His favorite places are under blankets and in his closet.

My favorite thing right now is how loving he is. He will come up to me in the middle of playing and kiss my leg or my arm. When I lay with him while he's falling asleep, he will sometimes roll over just to give me a kiss. Steve taught him how to do group hugs with Mama and Daddy quite a while ago, and he loves them. He's also very diplomatic, and usually when he kisses one family member, he has to kiss them all. Occassionally though, when he is angry, he will purposefully ignore a request for a kiss or a hug (he just kissed my knee while I typed that).

Cai LOVES his stuffed animals, particularly his three puppies which all happen to be black and white. He kisses them, feeds them, hugs them, squeals when he finds them, and usually sleeps with at least one of them.

It's so fun to see the way he uses his imagination. My mother-in-law recently bought him a box of toy food for his kitchen set (probably over $100 worth of mostly Melissa and Doug stuff for $10; it was awesome!), and he has spent a lot of time cooking and feeding us. The other day he put an egg and bacon in a frying pan, then walked around the living room looking for something and saying, "Hot." He finally found his toy pot holder, ran back over to the kitchen, and used it to get the egg out of the pan!

Cai loves...
Stacking horses. Eek.

  • Animals. All of them, but particularly dogs, elephants, horses, and birds.
  • Stacking things...horses, blocks, plastic ice cream scoops, big legos.
  • Finny, our dog, who he calls "Eee-ee." He likes to snuggle with Fin, kiss him, call him, pet him, and sometimes gets to rough with him.
  • The color blue, which he can say and identify. Yesterday though, everything was blue.
  • Coloring, mostly with a blue crayon.
  • Climbing. On the table, over the back of the couch, on the high chair...
  • Riding the lawn tractor.
  • Cars, one of his first really clear words. Whenever we get out of our car, he yells, "car" and points to all of the cars he can see.
  • Smelling flowers.
  • Blowing out candles.
  • Chocolate. This kid is a choco-holic like his mama. One day I had him trying out his little potty and told him he could have a piece of chocolate if he went pee-pee, so he did. Instantly.

At Cai's fifteen month check up his doctor made me a little nervous because she was mildly concerned that he wasn't really talking much. I think he could say "hat" and "hot", but not much else. The suggested milestone was 3-5 words. 
The suggested milestone for 18 months was 7-20 words, and he was saying about 25 then. He has added more now. The ones we hear the most often are...
First time walking on the beach.
  • car 
  • corn
  • Daddy
  • Bye (this is his clearest word)
  • Hi
  • Finny (ee-ee)
  • blue
  • hot
  • hat
  • eye (also very clear)
  • ball
  • balloon
  • bottle (all three of those sound basically the same)
  • book
  • gone/all gone
  • go
  • water (wa)
  • coffee (he said this one when he and Daddy brought me a cup on Mother's Day)
  • boat (he learned this one on vacation)
  • please (meeb)
Recently he has also tried saying "Aunt Katie" (ah day-ee) and "Holly" (hol). I was beginning to get a little jealous because he still wasn't saying "mama", but he finally said it this week (mam). He still really only says it if you ask him where as he calls Daddy a lot and even called Aunt Katie a few times this weekend.

Easter Sunday with one of his elephants.
He makes quite a few animal sounds. Not all of them are recognizable to anyone but family, but he makes them anyway. He makes sounds for dogs, cats, sheep (this one usually gets screamed for some reason), horses, frogs, fish, turtles (those last two are more of a tongue motion than a noise), ducks, cows, moose (his Uncle Jake taught him that one), giraffes (Uncle Jake and Aunt Katie can be thanked for that one too--it's a made up sound), snakes, bunnies (he sniffs), birds (he makes this sound every time he hears a bird. He even stops what he's doing and points to his ear, then tweets), elephants, dinosaurs, lions, and bears. 

Cai wakes between zero and three times a night, usually. Our bedtime/naptime routine usually takes about twenty minutes tops. I read him a book and a Bible story, we pray, and I sing him his lullaby, then lay with him until he falls asleep. He will also usually tell us that he wants to go to bed when we ask. I say usually for all of this though because sometimes he fights sleep tooth and nail. Most mornings he wakes between 5:30 and 6:30, I give him a bottle and lay with him, and he falls back to sleep until around 7:30 or 8:30. Once in a while he'll skip that wake up and sleep straight until 7:30.
Huggin his new baby cousin.

Steve and I are both loving the stage Cai is in now. It's so much fun to watch him learn and grow and try new things. I could write forever about all of things he can do and all of the things I love about it him, but I'll spare you. :)

Getting ready to sit on my lap while I mow the lawn. He lasts about five minutes before falling asleep.

Pulling a "Lady and the Tramp" with Finn

Come back on Monday to check out the new serious I'm starting "Keeping My Toddler Busy"!

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