Dinah at 18 Months

Dinah girl, you are keeping me busy! No more crawling for you; you want to walk all the time now. In fact, you’re trying to run. By far the most independent of all my children, you are only happy in your stroller or the Ergo for short bits of time, if we keep moving. You learned how to climb up on the kitchen chairs a couple months ago, and from there it was only a few days before you were – quite literally – dancing on the kitchen table. Now you’ve also learned to pull yourself up onto the couch. I have suspicions you may have learned to open doors as well. Nothing in our house is safe from you anymore, which means I can’t take my eyes off of you for even a moment. It’s a good thing you’re so cute and charming!

A couple weeks ago we finally moved you out of our bedroom and into a room with Alden. The hope was that if you weren’t in the same room as me, smelling me all night long, you’d sleep longer stretches and not keep waking up to nurse every two or three hours. It’s sort of working. You still wake up anywhere from one to four times a night, but there have been a couple of five or six hour stretches which have been amazing for me.

Our breastfeeding journey is still continuing, although you’re beginning to show some signs of slowly weaning yourself. Your food intake has increased quite a bit (yay!), and as a result you’re relying less on breastmilk to provide you with calories and nutrients. You only nurse a couple times during the day now, usually right after waking up in the morning and from naps, and right before bed at night. As far as eating goes, you still rely on pureed foods quite a bit, but you’re becoming much more adventurous with being willing to at least try various foods that require chewing. We took you to a craniosacral therapist who confirmed you do not have a tongue tie, but that your lower jaw is retracted. We’ve been doing some oral exercises (massing your cheeks and gums and jawline) to help loosen it up, resulting in greater ability to move your tongue.

Dinah, you have a go-getter personality, and you don’t ever want to sit still. You want to be a part of everything, not left out for even a moment. Your curiosity is fun to watch, and you seem to have an innate understanding of how things work. You’re constantly putting things together, stacking, organizing, and then taking them apart just to start over again. You’re almost always successful, but when you’re not you rarely get frustrated. Mostly you just keep trying until you master whatever skill it is you’re working on. I hope you keep that perseverance and tenacity all your life; it will serve you well.

Your vocabulary is beginning to expand. A couple weeks ago, for the very first time, you looked right at me, stretched out your arms and said, “Mama!” It was a moment I’ve been waiting a long time for. You have a solid use of “Dada,” “Mama,” and “Hi” now. You can hoot like an owl, growl like a tiger, pant like a dog, and tweet like a bird. You also say, “whoa!” and sometimes “Yeah!” I think you might be trying to say “water,” which comes out more like “wawa” right now. Watching your language center explode is exciting for all of us. You have the sweetest little voice, and it’s a relief to be able to understand what you want. You use signs and gestures masterfully to fill in the gaps and communicate with us.

Halfway to two, you are a silly, goofy, playful, delightful little lovebug who gives kisses and hugs, frequently giggles and never wants to be out of arms reach. You’ve learned how to climb up the toddler structure and go down slides on your own, and the pride on your face when you do so is a treasure to see.

Dinah, I hope you never stop being a communicator, never stop being proud of yourself, never stop trying, never stop exploring. You’re an amazing human, and I’m so lucky to be your mama.

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