Well it was a busy first year at the Mansell's. Arleigh O is a pretty fabulous kid. We had a very easy first year, with the small exception of our Salmonella episode around 4-5 months. But we kept our cool, and we all survived without a scratch.
Now we're really starting to see AO take off with development. Especially vocabulary. She's really quick on her feet now as well. She doesn't really have a slow motion, which I'm sure is pretty accurate for most 14 month olds. She loves climbing up and down steps - Shes figured out she needs to sit first, turn around and scoot backwards. She loves peek-a-boo and hide and seek. And she loves her patty-cake. Her roll-it-up trips me out! She can throw a ball (the both hands over the head throw) and loves playing keep away with Clarence. Her favorite foods are English peas and The Chicken Salad Chic Scotty chicken salad. She loves that stuff. She also loves fish and ketchup, and garlic bread. Her go to meal if she isn't eating well is cheese toast and bananas. She absolutely loves mandarin oranges and peaches, but we've had to cut out a lot of acidic fruit because it really messes with her bottom.
Moving right along ----
NanO and Auntie Rose have forbidden the use of baby talk in our house, which probably explains why we have so many words. Plus we have conversations with AO. And we have from the beginning. We ask her questions and pause for her response. Even as tiny baby. And now, she won't hush, lol. She's usually so good and quiet when we are out. But at home when she's in her comfort zone, the kid can get LOUD. I declare sometimes she sounds like she's cursing us in baby, she seems so determined to say what she's saying. She's a mess.
Now at 14 months (which she turned yesterday), her vocabulary is REALLY taking off! John and I keep a running list of her words. I put an * by the ones she uses repeatedly in the correct context. Others are more sporadic.
- Da-da or Daddy*
- Thank You (Dank Choo)* As funny as it sounds, this was one of her first words. Our ped thought we were crazy when we told him at her one year checkup. She says this one ALL the time. When she handed me the june-bug beetle yesterday, she said Dank Choo.
- Night-night (Non-Non)*
- Bath (Baff)*
- Please (Ease)
- Hey* (It's very much like the Fonz...Haaaaaaay)
- There (Dare)*
- Arleigh (Ahhhhleee. It's pretty darn cute.)
- Look (Dook) This one is her new favorite*
- Uh-Oh or Ruhh-Roh*
- Duck (Uck)*
- Quack (Ack)
- I Got (I Ga)
- NanO (Na Na)
- Libby (Bib-Bi)
- Millie (Mil)
- Clarence (Larra)
- Outside (Doutside)
- More (Mo)*
- Yes (Ess)*
- Come On (M'on)*
- Lion (Ion)
- Bottle (Ba-ba)*
- Water (Wa-Wa)*
What's really funny - it's not her vocabulary that is impressive to others. It's her fine motor skills. I can attribute a lot of this to letting her use her fingers to eat from about 6-7 months on. Just do it. It makes a huge mess, but they love it! And her whistle...Now seeing that is a hoot!
On a side note, Arleigh has been bitten twice (confirmed) at day care, and two more times where it wasn't observed but from the marks we suspected biting. I've taught daycare and been around kids. Unfortunately, sometimes it's how kids communicate. It's part of the frustrations of not being able to speak yet having so much to say. I did call Mrs. T just to make sure AO wasn't the instigator, and in the last situation, they were just playing in a pile having a good ol' time when one little boy decided he was an alligator. Big sigh. But I also know AO is a bit of a rough player. She's the kid that runs up to a friend, snatches the passy, and runs like a thief in the night laughing the whole way. It's a game to her. I've seen her do it with Clarence. But at least there she's met her match. Sooo....There is a lot of growing up that will take place over the next year as they all sort out how to properly communicate. She's also a hair puller. Makes since. She can destroy a pretty hair bow in about 15 seconds when it's discovered. And yank out the pony tail in the process. Problem is...I think she may be doing it to friends, too. Big sigh. And no, I am NOT going to teach my kid to bite or hit back. She'll end up shoving them in the play oven again on her own time. Bless it. She's such a little tomboy. Skint up knees and mud-puddles Saturday, picking up bugs yesterday. Not a whiner either. Just a tough cookie who keeps on trucking.
Discipline wise, we have started using a time out method at home, which surprisingly has worked. She's really only been in trouble at home for playing in Clarence's food and water. (Which is Clarence's domain, and could turn into a dangerous situation.) One Saturday she was in it repeatedly. I held her arms down facing the corner and counted out loud to forty as a time out method. It took three times that day, but she hasn't been back in his bowls yet. Yes, it probably is a little young. But it worked. Now she can walk towards it, I can say No, she jumps and RUNS in the opposite direction. Whereas before, she didn't pay me ANY attention when I said No. I don't necessarily like the popping idea just yet. I popped her one time for playing in an electrical outlet after being warned. She didn't cry, but she looked at me like I was crazy. It's not for us. But we do grab her little hands and hold them when she does something naughty and tell her No ___. (Like throwing food on the floor or pinching or hitting.) It gets her attention WAY more effectively than a pop did. She looses control of the situation, which she can not stand. Of course it's followed by cuddles and kisses. Usually sloppy, just eaten and made a massive mess hugs. (Gross, but I'll take whatever I can get.)
I gotta say, this toddler era is pretty exciting! It most certainly keeps us on our toes!
Did you know that it takes 12 hair washing episodes and three days to get Aquaphor out of a baby's hair? Ummhuh. Just ask Arleigh. We finally pulled out the dawn dish washing detergent. It's some tough stuff. Sunday morning right after we got up and were getting ready for church. That would be why we didn't make it. She was a HOT MESS. Toddler hood. I think you can tell we're in for a wild ride. :-)
But she's a sweet hot mess. Most parents DREAD bedtime. Now, we do bed right after bath time. It's straight into our PJs for prayers and night-night time. She kisses her Clarence dog on her mobile from Aunt Rosie, gets under her blanket and kisses her doll. We sing the Barney song (she has no clue who Barney even is yet) and then Mama leaves. You know what my kid does when I leave her room? Waves and tells me bye-bye, night-night and then gets the giggles. No bottle necessary. She really is such a sweetiepie. Eat. Her. Up.