Our little Ava is 15 months old! Time, it is a flying. We had her 15 month wellness check today (one shot, boo) and she weighed in at 18 pounds, 14 ounces (17th percentile), is 30 inches long (32nd percentile), and has a big head (75th percentile). Our doctor said (loudly – Ava screams like a banshee as soon as she steps into those exam rooms) she’s doing great on all levels. We wish that our doctor would ask to hang out with us in real life so that she could see first hand how smart, social, and calm Ava is when she’s not afraid that someone is going to jab a needle in her at any moment.
Ava continues to sleep well through the night – anywhere from 7:00 to 7:30 until 6:00 to 7:00. When she wakes up, she soothes herself back to sleep, nine times out of ten. We’ve noticed that we need to go into her room to soothe her more often when she’s in a developmental leap or when she’s got teeth actively pushing through the gum. But overall we are so lucky to have such a good sleeper. Ever since our Denver trip we have struggled to get her to fall asleep alone. Hopefully that resolves itself. She takes one nap a day. It is usually around an hour and a half, but can be as short as 45 minutes or as long as 2+ hours. Where she naps is a bit inconsistent – I usually make her take crib naps, but Kevin, Sue, and Craig usually do cuddle naps.
Ava is so. much. fun. We absolutely love playing with her. She is so good at entertaining herself, and loves to play with us as well. We are still in our weekly music class and we occasionally meet up with friends who have kids for play dates. She is a homebody and always so excited to get home after we run errands or go out. Non-toy toys are her favorite – the Tupperware, baggies, boxes, etc. She likes to put cloths or clothes on her head and we tell her that we like her hat and she smiles so big. She thinks it is hilarious when Kevin blows his nose. She loves when we take phone calls – on our phones or on her pretend kitchen phone. She loves this one song that involves waving a scarf in the air and chanting about popcorn kernels. Really she just loves songs in general. She loves reading and is very interested in books of all shapes and sizes. She loves dancing. She shakes her whole body when she dances on her own and it’s very cute. She also loves to be held by Kevin or me and be our little dance partner. She loves to be outside and adores her stroller walks and trips to the park. We’re hoping the remainder of the winter is mild enough to allow us to get out for regular walks each week.
She eats very well – everything but vegetables. Not touching that poison. She sometimes has pre-conceived notions about how a food will taste but she’s pretty good about raising it to her mouth and tasting it. Sometimes it’s a hit and she can’t get enough of something she was convinced she’d not like. She also doesn’t love milk, which I was a little worried about but the pediatrician said today that she doesn’t think milk is that big of a deal – there are plenty of other sources of protein. We may try almond milk soon. She’s great in restaurants – as long as we keep food in front of her. She has 12 teeth (the regular front eight and four molars) – plenty of chances to show the food who is boss. Her favorite foods are peanut butter (especially Bamba) and chicken thighs and sweet potatoes and bananas and blueberries. Ava continues to nurse 3 to 5 times a day. My goal is to make it to 18 months and then begin weaning. I’d love for her to continue to get all the good stuff from my milk through the winter months. She caught her first cold last week. We were delighted that we almost made it to 15 months before she was under the weather, and she recovered pretty quickly. Lots of steams and a humidifier and diffusing peppermint oil seemed to really help. I also upped the number of times I was nursing her so that she could get some cold-fighting power from that.
Ava is a mover and a shaker. She is on the go anytime she’s awake, and I just love to watch the little wheels turning in her head as she figures out how her world operates. She loves putting pants on – she sticks her legs straight out and does a little dance when it’s pants-putting-on time. She leans her forehead in for kisses. She went through a brief phase where she would give open mouthed kisses which were basically the cutest thing ever. But alas, she decided her response to kisses will be to lean her forehead in – kind of like she’s saying, “You may kiss my crown.” She’s very fast as she creeps along the furniture and when she pushes her zebra push toy (or the dining room chairs or her high chair or the travel crib or…whatever she’s in a position to push). In the past week or so she has begun to take more of an interest in walking. She’ll take up to a dozen or so steps and then remember that it’s much faster to crawl. Initially I said that I refuse to call her a toddler until she’s walking. Then she started walking a bit and I’ve changed it to a refusal to call her a toddler until she’s walking more than crawling. Actually, scratch that – I refuse to call her a toddler until she’s only walking. I’m calling my baby a baby for as long as possible, thank you very much.
Ava is putting lots of syllables together and can say a few things very clearly (Mama and Dada top that list) and a few things clearly enough (cat, dog, duck). What truly amazes me every day is how much she understands. It is remarkable. She recognizes when we’re turning into our neighborhood in the car, when we pull up in front of Grandma and Grandpa’s house, etc. She knows what she is not allowed to touch (an electrical cord, for instance) and will reach out toward it and look back at us, like she’s saying, “See this? I’m testing boundaries.” When we tell her to put toys or books away, she’s getting better about following instruction. Body language usually gets the job done – she’ll reach her arms up to be picked up and who can resist that? Or she’ll hold her arm out and grunt urgently to indicate that she wants something or wants us to give her something. Basically the only sign language sign that we use consistently is “all done” and she’s good with that one. She doesn’t like good-byes. Even if we’re saying goodbye to the clerk at the grocery store, she whimpers when she hears the word.
We are delighted and amused by her every day and we hope that she always knows just how much she is loved.