Ella turned 18 months on Sunday, so it was her half-birthday!
In honor of my little babydoll, here are my 18 notes about Ella this month -
1 - Steve has dubbed her language as "Ellanese" and it is truly amazing - she can speak for over a minute without a pause, with hand gestures, movement, eye contact, change in tone and expression, and she knows exactly what she's trying to say. It's incredible. She's also really understanding how a conversation works, because whenever I ask her a question, she waits until I pause, then gives a response and waits for me to respond. I have a feeling that when she really starts talking, it is going to be NON-STOP...
2 - Although I know that potty training is still many months away, she's starting to show some signs of interest. When we were at the beach and using the changing pad instead of the changing table, she'd bring the changing pad to us when she wanted to be changed, and even tried to put a swim diaper on her stuffed bear! She also can take her diaper off now and the other night when I went to get her she did not have a diaper on, just a nightgown!
3 - She's still got the 6 teeth - 4 on top and 2 on the bottom. Her toothbrushing now ends with a flourish as she 'spits' out the water (which can be described more accurately as yelling "pah" as she leans over the sink, no less than 4 times)
4 - On her 18 month birthday she was moved into the toddler nursery class at church! It became somewhat of a joke between me and Steve as to how long they'd actually keep her in the infant class. They like having her so much in there that they wanted to keep her but finally it was just rediculous and they moved her up last week. When I brought her into the class the teachers said "ohhhh, Ella moved up!"...and I had never even met them before!
5 - Ella definitely has inherited Steve's Mexican skin because even with gobs and gobs of sunscreen, she is getting quite the tan.
6 - I gave Ella her first official time-out on Sunday. She pulled Sammy's tail 3 times in a row - on purpose, and after I had said 'no' - so I sat her down on the floor for one minute. She looked at me pretty curiously but did wait until I told her she could get up and hasn't pulled his tail since (which I'm sure is a coincidence, but I'll take it.) Tonight she got another time-out, this time because she was furious when it was time to stop playing with legos and eat dinner, and threw a flailing and screaming fit.
7 - Although she has many faces and expressions that I love, she has one in particular lately where she scrunches up her face and smiles and her eyes crinkle and she's just so happy and a little mischevious at the same time - it's so sweet that it's just about heartbreaking.
8 - She just becomes more and more affectionate. Her hugs are the best thing in the world and she holds on to us so tight, leaves her arm around my shoulder, and gives lots of kisses. She is my snuggly bunny.
9 - Ella has cranked up the volume this month - she likes to yell, holler, scream, all kinds of noise. She shrieks and carries on, and laughs so loud, she is so animated!
10 - Ella loves saying "all gone" when things are gone...she lifts up her hands and will say it several times in a row.
11 - She's getting good at holding hands when we're walking, and she'll put her hand up in the air for us to grab on. I love holding her little tiny hand in mine.
12 - For the most part Ella is pretty decent about listening to 'no'. She will hover her hand above something she's not supposed to touch, waits for us to say no, and then will back away from it (unless it happens to have 4 legs, fur and a tail, then all bets are off). At the risk of jixing my good fortune, I will share that she hasn't done any of her diaper kicking-fits in several weeks...
13 - Steve has a really funny way of brushing Ella's hair after a bath where it's pretty much plastered to her head and then a long tail in the back...it's so rediculous looking (and reminiscent of Pony Boy from the Outsiders), I must take a picture the next time he does it.
14 - Some of Ella's favorite toys right now: balls (she has several sizes and loves throwing them all), legos from Glenn that she's been playing with every day for days, her shape sorter box which she carries like a purse and stores things in it, and her airplane from Erin and lion from Dad & Donna that she's now able to touch her feet to the ground and push her self around on them(although she can only go backwards, not forward).
15 - Ella loves music and will try to sing a few notes together at a time. The other night she did it with Steve about 10 times in a row but as soon as I got the camera she was done...one of these days I'll catch it!
16 - Although I've been doing it for 15 months now, it seems to get harder to leave Ella to go to work instead of getting easier. It's really just extra bad on Monday mornings after getting to spend the whole weekend together, I just want to stay home and play with her all day.
17 - Another one of Ella's new tricks this month is that in addition to high fives, she now does a 'fist bump' - Mom & Glenn taught her this one - she curls her fist up and pops it against your first. So silly!
18 - She folds herself over to do a somersault, with her hands and head on the ground, but then instead of rolling forward, she rolls to the side - and thinks she's actually done the somersault! We're working on saying "ta-dah" at the end :)
So, that's my 18-month update for my little angel. I know I say this every month, but it's truly just stunning how fast the time goes, I can hardly beleive I've got a little girl, not a baby anymore, and that now she's technically closer to 2 than 1 -- yikes!!
Here are a few pics that we took on Ella's half-birthday