Monday, September 8, 2008

18 months - April

April is now 18 months old!

April has a lot of nicknames. Sometimes, I call her "Trouble" (with much gratitude and joy behind that label). Audrey, for some unknown reason, calls her "Kitty." Maybe it is since she crawled around for such a long time. I also call her "Miss," and Claire, Jolie and I sometimes call her "Cutie." She seems to be doing pretty much everything she should be doing -- just a little bit behind.
April eats well. She is not very picky -- although she doesn't like plain Cheerios (she will eat them in a bowl with milk). She self-feeds finger foods well, and attempts to use a spoon occasionally. She drinks using a sippy cup, but can also drink from a straw and is beginning to learn to drink from an open cup. Thankfully, the days of spitting up every time she eats are long gone. She also doesn't care for water. She usually drinks whole milk, and enjoys juice occasionally, but she does NOT like water. The picture below shows her reaction to discovering water in her sippy instead of milk.
When April is finished eating (and she doesn't always finish what is on her tray or in her cup), she says "all done!" Although April doesn't run around talking all the time, she does actually say quite a few words. Among her repertoire are: mama, daddy, thank you (one of her first words), me (for "give me that"), nose, no (newly acquired - not surprising since she hears it all the time), ball, up, down, bath, uh oh, hi (which she calls out to many people she sees), bye, soft, lullaby, here, and baby (this was her other first word -- and she used to say it very clearly). A strange thing is that if she is out of my sight and I call to her, she never answers. I say "April!" and I predictably hear silence. Sometimes, when I find her, she is just around the corner from where I had been.
She obviously sucks her thumb, as have all my children (except Jolie didn't start until 18 months, and Audrey sucks her fingers). She is a pretty smart little cookie. When I do up her car seat or stroller straps, she watches carefully, and then grabs them to try herself. When we undo the straps, she sometimes (instead of trying to get out) grabs the buckles, stares intently at them, and tries to snap them together. She rotates her little wrist around to look at all angles of the buckle. I wonder whether she will learn how to get herself in and out of her car seat before Audrey does! (Audrey is just not interested.) As most kids, she loves remotes, phones, and the laptop. I've had to delete lots of unwanted characters from this message, as she has tried her best to contribute to it. Right now, she is trying to insert a straw into Audrey's empty juice box.
("See my four teeth?") April finally walks everywhere now. My "deadline" for her (before I began worrying) was August 20th. Audrey didn't walk until she was 15 months old, and August 20th was April's 15 month adjusted-for-prematurity-age. Well, as posted here earlier, her first steps were July 21, and that was a big relief. She didn't progress very quickly, but gradually we convinced her to take a few steps most days. Finally, in mid-August, she decided she'd had enough with crawling and that her future would be on her two feet. Way to go, April! She still has that wide stance and is building her strength. I look forward to her running eventually!

April has some fun facial expressions that she uses. She likes to scrunch up her nose like this (picture below) and seems to know that she looks funny / cute. She doesn't seem to have a favorite toy -- her favorite thing now is just to walk around, finding whatever looks good (especially if it is troublesome) or following someone around. Although she and Sophia don't have the typical twin relationship, they do have some touching moments. April gives Sophia her favorite ball toy without being asked. She doesn't play with it herself, although sometimes she takes it to look at (and then gives it right back -- again, no encouragement needed). One of the first times we helped Sophia in her stander, April reached out her little hand to help push Sophia up from her bent-over position. The reason she knows the word "soft" is because I show her how to pet Sophia's head softly and say, "soft." As Sophia would tell you if she could, April needs this reminder because her pats can be rough. Sadly, Sophia can usually tell if April is close by, and she cries if she is worried about being accosted. April's and Sophia's cribs are right next to each other. April's mattress is lower than Sophia's. One morning, they didn't notice me as I entered the room. I observed that Sophia had rolled over to the edge of her crib by April's, and Sophia's arm was extended through the slats into April's space. April rolled over so her back was against Sophia's arm, and Sophia patted April. It was fun to watch.
We love this independent, caring, talking, walking, bunk ladder-climbing, dishwasher sitting, helpful, little girl!

1 comment:

Julie said...

What a cutie! I can see some of you in her face as well as Sophia's. I have to constantly tell my little guy to pet the dog softly or not push the other boy I babysit- even though the other boy is bigger! My little boy is 22 months old and he was a preemie- born six weeks early so I have to adjust my schedule of when he should be doing things by a month and a half. The doctors told me after he was born that most late preemies seem to make milestones right as their counterparts do after they turn age 1. Dallin still seems to need that 1 1/2 month adjustment. When he was born, some people thought he was full term and that I had miss calculated my due date since he was 6 lbs 2 oz. His very slight delays are a testament to his being born too early.