Monday, August 6, 2012

17 Months Old!

Wow! Where has the time gone??!? In just one month, the girls will be 1 1/2 years old and it is just so hard to believe! They have grown up so much and it just amazes me, everyday, the things they have learned...such little sponges!

Here are a few pictures of my cuties from 4th of July and yesterday at the beach...


With their friend, Lily

Ellerie

Esme


Here are a few milestones the girls have reached since their first birthday...

They know all of their letters of the alphabet...both upper and lower case. They started to show a fascination with letters around 11 months, picking out all the letter books to read. I just "fed" into their fascination by talking about the letters, what starts with the letters, what sounds they make, etc. By 14 months, they pretty much could identify them all. Now, they go around showing me letters they see out and about.

They can identify all their numbers 1-10. Once again, they showed interest in books with numbers. We talked about the numbers, counted the objects, etc. I often catch them "counting," but they don't usually get beyond 2. :)

They are starting to pick up on colors and shapes. It seems like the colors yellow, blue and purple are the favorites and most often identified correctly. Stars are easily identified and Esme will sometimes point out a square or octagon (I know, seems like an odd shape to remember).

(Ok, so I have to add a little side note here...Yes, I have a teaching degree/background/experience/knowledge, but I firmly believe in not pushing this kind of thing onto children this young...only fostering an interest. Sure, you can talk about letters, numbers, etc., but don't "drill" your young children. They'll pick it up when they're ready...especially if you're supplying the opportunities. Provide them with lots of books, puzzles, building materials, art opportunities and spend lots of time talking about what you see in the world. Tell them what you're doing while shopping in the grocery store, take a walk and explore all the rocks, ants and flowers, play in water and explore what kinds of things sink and float, get dirty once in awhile, and most of all, just have fun! Things are so much more interesting to young children. They are taking in what we take for granted.)

They have more words in their vocabulary than I can count. They love animals and know most of their sounds. They can communicate when they want something or when they are "all done." "No" has become a favorite new word and, although it's not my favorite one, at least they can let me know when they don't want something or what to do something. I've been working on "no thank you," but they haven't taken to it yet. They are starting to put 2-3 words together to make sentences. Esme will say things like, "Thank you mama" or "bye bye dada." Ellerie will say, "thank you" and will attempt and add a name and sometimes be successful.

They are climbing EVERYTHING! They have now discovered how to climb all the couches, ottoman, etc. It's not really possible to keep things out of their reach these days. Anything unsafe has to be locked up or put in another closed room. I am so thankful, however, that they have not yet climbed out of their cribs. I'm expecting it will be soon though.

At their first birthday, Ellerie had 2 bottom teeth and Esme had none. Around 13 1/2 months they both started sprouting teeth and, in a 3.5 week span, Ellerie went from 2 to 6 and Esme went from 0 to 6. Esme is a pretty "easy teether," and actually got her top canine teeth first (she looks a little "snaggle-toothed" for a little while. Ellerie fusses off and on, and we have a few rough nights here and there, but )overall, I think it could be much worse. Esme has now passed Ellerie in teeth as Esme has a molar and another bottom tooth that has emerged recently. Ellerie still has 6 (4 top, 2 bottom), but I see some very close to emerging! **Update: After writing this post, I found that one of Ellerie's molars just poked through.

Both girls love puzzles. Ellerie has no problem putting all the puzzles together we have. Esme is probably capable, but just doesn't have the patience to sit and try to figure it out if it doesn't fit right away.

They are down to one nap. They usually go down around 12 noonish and sleep until 2/2:30.

I'm not completely sure, but it seems as though both girls favor their right hand. There are a lot of left handed people on my husband's side (he's right handed though), so we weren't sure.

They love to "read" books, throw balls (overhand), talk on the phone (pretend and real), dance to music, stack blocks, do somersaults (Ellerie can almost do one unassisted), "sing," and play hide-n-seek and peek-a-boo.

Both girls are showing interest in using the potty...especially Ellerie. Ellerie will tell me, "poop" and go sit on the potty (with her diaper on) after she has already gone. I'm not going to push it though. I ask them if they want to sit on the potty after a diaper change, but if they say "no" I just let it go.

I feel a little mix of sad and happy as I watch my girls grow. I miss my snuggly little babies, but I love watching them learn and explore. This summer really has been fun now that they can actually do things. We've still got a busy August with photo shoots, parades, camping and more!