Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Sunday, November 30, 2014

18 Months

This week Ellee had a half birthday.  She’s changed so much since her first birthday.  Each day is a new adventure with her and I’m glad to experience it.  Even after falling head over heels for my boy, I never could have imagined the tender spot Ellee has found in my heart.  She’s everything I’ve dreamed of and more.  

The most notable development in Little Lady’s life over the past six months has been the long road to walking.  She’s stubborn.  She’s cautious.  She’s wobbly.  But she’s finally got it.  I never thought it would take her so long to figure it out.  Once she finally started standing and cruising around at 12 months, I thought within a couple months she’d be toddling around.  Boy was I wrong.  Just this week she has begun to switch from crawling to actually walking.  For speed and versatility she still prefers her hands and knees.  But she's learned that she can carry a lot more in her hands if she stands up.  One of her favorite pastimes is pushing a little chair around on the concrete floors, zooming from one side of the house to the other as fast as she can go.  It is loud and can be annoying, but it definitely helped her to gain some confidence in being upright.  She likes the stability that chair gives her and I just let her keep doing it.  We never invested in any “walking toys” for her.  But she has decided she enjoys taking her babies for a walk around the living room.  Or somethings she hauls the stroller and babies up the two steps into the dining room and kitchen and promptly stands up to take a stroll with them back and forth a few times.

Her baby dolls are probably her favorite toy right now.  She can’t quite shake the strong desire to make train, car and motorcycle noises like her brother.  But in general, she plays with her baby dolls most.  She pulls them out of their stroller and puts them back in any which way.  She brings them to me so I can feed them.  Smothering them with kisses and patting them on the back, I have to admit I’m really proud of her gentle spirit.  Until the inevitable happens and she throws one on the ground and picks the other up by her leg and shakes her relentlessly.  Then I’m reminded why God doesn’t give babies to babies.  Actually, I wonder sometimes why God gives babies to 24 year olds because certainly there are occasions when I’d also like to just get fed-up with my kids for not doing what I want….

Maybe by saying that I could get in trouble with the law but living where I live, I think they’d be hard pressed to hunt me down.  So I’ll just take this opportunity to mention that I would never actually hurt my kids but man alive do they know how to drive me nuts.

Kyle is easily her best friend.  They get along well for the most part and enjoy hours of playing together.  I know as she grows and gets more interactive, it'll only get more fun (and probably more difficult).  I already feel like a referee at times.  It's still sweet to watch them.

Reading books is how we like to pass our mornings and afternoons and evenings.  As if I need any help passing my hours, although I think Ellee thinks I do.  Ellee would be just about content to sit in my lap and nurse and read books all day long if I’d let her.  She can always find another book to read.  Sophie the Giraffe is a current favorite, along with “What Will You Wear Jessie Bear?”  and “The Wheels on the Bus.”  There are really too many to name.  We read books all day.  These days it’s a battle to get her to drink her milk in the morning before she wants to read a book.

She’s made leaps and bounds in the eating department lately.  Certainly she’d still prefer to nurse than eat anything resembling food, but I can usually get her to eat whatever is on the table.  She loves corn, although I’m not sure it loves her back.  She eats a lot of plain yogurt, cut up grapes, peas and carrots, avocados, bananas and pasta.  The girl loves pasta.  I don’t foresee weaning her anytime soon.  She’s still completely addicted to mama milk.  I feed her at least four times a day, sometimes five or six.  We barely fit in the rocking chair any more but it’s sweet nevertheless.  

New words come out of her mouth every day.  It’s thrilling to watch her figure things out.  In the past week or so she’s started saying: Ntate (which is what you call any man in Sesotho), hi, bye, no, cake, juice, Dada (finally!), Barby (Barney), snack, Kyle, bath paint, and who knows what all else.  She puts a couple words together, usually like book and night night.  Or bye-bye Mme.  Her newest word is fly.  I think it's not a typical word for an American child but it's definitely necessary for one living in Africa.  The problem is, she seems to really like flies.  I really hate flies.  I haven't tried to teach her that flies go, "buzz" because I prefer if flies go "splat".  It seems a bit morbid to teach her that.  She does seem awfully alarmed every time I smack one with my shoe.  I'll just let her figure that one out on her own.  Yesterday she was sitting on my bed and I started asking her to point to things.  She got eyes, ears, hair, nose, teeth, lips, chin, belly, hand and foot on the first try!  I was amazed.  We have not spent any time working on those things, she’s just picking them up in daily conversation and I am floored.  Obviously, I’ve watched this happen before.  But it’s still astounding to watch it again!  Oh if I could learn that fast I would be so much more intelligent than I am.

I really look forward to getting her out of her bed in the morning.  She is sleeping well these days and it’s nice to get a break from her all evening and night.  First thing in the morning she smells so sleepy and sweet.  I love what a mess her curls are and how wobbly her legs are as she stands in her crib.  It is exciting to know a new day is beginning with her, even if she can be exhausting at times.  I day dream of what sort of girl she’ll be and what sort of fun we’ll have together.  We have a sweet bond and there’s no denying that she prefers her mama.  Love that girl more everyday.


1 comment:

  1. Abby, I don't know if you even remember me, Bonnie Smith. I was a friend of your hubs at Northland. I've kept up with you guys through your blog since you moved across the world and I've always so loved reading your blog posts and seeing what God is doing through your family. Your children are so adorable and I love looking at their sweet little faces. It's so encouraging to see those who are following Christ no matter what it costs them. I appreciate yours and Jon's testimonies for Him. Know that I will be trying to consistently pray for you as I read your blog and God brings you to mind. God bless.