Saturday, March 24, 2012

18 Months

It's hard to believe Juliana is already a year and a half old, although she definitely isn't acting like a baby anymore. She is developing all those wonderful and not so wonderful traits of a toddler. Some recent developments...
Juliana loves going outside, and she has perfected her Chinese squatting skills. (She doesn't usually wear a helmet; we're getting ready for a bike ride.)
Motor Skills
Juliana likes to climb up and down the stairs to our apartment (with a helping hand). She chants “yi, er, san” (1,2,3 in Chinese) as she climbs, and sometimes she makes it all the way to the 4th or 5th floor before getting tired! She loves to run around outside and climb up and down ramps and curbs. And she still breaks into dance whenever she hears music.
Her fine motor skills are still the more advanced. She's got her block sorter down, and loves putting any kind of small objects into small places. She can spend half an hour clipping the hooks on her high-chair straps.
Working on her rock-star persona
Juliana's speech has really taken off in the last month. She now has words for most of her favorite things. She can count to three in Chinese and sometimes says numbers in English too. She loves the ABC song and can say ABCD, plus a few others like YZ. She can point out her facial features and major body parts, plus her “bee-bo” (belly button). Juliana can only say about a dozen Chinese words, but there are some things she only knows in Chinese. She hasn't said “dog” in a long time, but she sees a dog she says, “gou!” And she's very good with her tones.
Rescuing dolly after she "fell" (with help) into the clothes hamper
She has been doing a lot more imaginary play especially with her dolly. She likes to include dolly in all kinds of daily activities: giving her food, dancing together, wrapping her in a blanket, brushing her teeth, and giving her lots of kisses. She also likes to give dolly rides on her push/ride train, then knock the train over and cry “OH NO!” as dolly flies off.
Helping sweep.  I have no idea what her expression is, but it's pretty funny.
She can spend the most time on her big lego-like blocks. She also loves to play with non-toys: plastic containers in the kitchen, pieces of paper, boxes, and my clothes. She likes to “help” with things like sweeping and hanging up laundry. Depending on the day, she's getting much better about playing on her own and entertaining herself.

Despite the fact that every hour or two she walks to the kitchen door saying, “Eat, eat?” Juliana has become a much pickier eater lately. She is currently in love with yogurt, and throughout the day she walks to the fridge saying “Yo? Yo?” She consistently eats cheese, bread, oatmeal, sweet potatoes and applesauce...almost everything else is hit or miss. She has even rejected bananas, a previous favorite. She's gotten picker about Chinese food too, although she still loves tofu and rice. She also still enjoys nursing every morning and at bedtime.
Being tortured by mommy with a washcloth

Personality and Temper (ah, Temperment)
Juliana's life is very dramatic. She's probably not different from an average toddler in that regard, but she rarely leaves you to wonder how she's feeling. Particularly if she is tired, a small frustration like blocks not going together or not getting food at the exact second she requests it can cause her to wail in distress. Most of the time she doesn't seem to feel too angry, just like, “The world is ending!!!” Sometimes she throws herself down on the ground and bangs her head on the ground just gently enough to not actually hurt. She likes to do this in front of the mirror so she can stop and check herself out every so often. Sometimes I want to laugh; sometimes I want to bang my own head on the floor.
Kisses for the baby in the mirror

Juliana is still a definite extravert. If she spends most of the day surrounded by people, she is bouncing with energy by nighttime. She is having more chances to be around other kids, and when we go outside people call out, “An an!” (her Chinese name). She likes to talk to family on Skype and starts saying, “Hi! Hi!” and practicing her biggest smile before the computer is even set up.

She has her moments, but most of the time she is really fun to be around because she has such a zest for life. She smiles and laughs and gets excited about all kinds of little things. She has the greatest little dimples. She has started giving kisses (to us, her stuffed animals, her books...) and they are so sweet! Since she can say, “I see you,” I thought I'd try to teach her to say, “I love you.” So far she has only managed, “I-you.” Oh well, maybe next week.

1 comment:

Mallary said...

Such a great smile! She's a cutie!