Madeleine at Eighteen Months

Madeleine is now eighteen months old! I can’t get over how sweet, curious, funny, gentle and beautiful she is – she brings so much joy to our family. Here’s a rundown of her current personality, likes, and dislikes.

“Let It Go” – Her most favorite thing in the world for the past couple of months has definitely been Frozen, specifically “Let It Go.” She actually refers to the movie as “Let It Go.” It started during the summer when she caught the Frozen fever from everyone else in our family (well, mostly me). I couldn’t believe it the first time that she picked up the chorus when I was absentmindedly singing it in the kitchen one day. This is the girl who doesn’t say many words yet – she mostly just babbles in her own language. Now, any time she sees or hears a reference to Frozen, she animatedly points and exclaims “let it go!” with a sense of wonder in her voice. A few days ago, she was thrilled to discover a picture of Anna, Elsa, and Olaf on a box of yogurt squeezers. I cut out the picture, and she carries it around the house when she plays. When she’s being difficult while I’m trying to buckle her into her car seat, all I have to say is “Do you want to listen to Frozen?” and she complies immediately. (We have the soundtrack running on a loop many days, but I swap it out with Princess and the Frog and Mary Poppins occasionally.) At the grocery store recently, I told her we needed to find the frozen corn, and she started singing “Let It Go.” That made me laugh. And while she doesn’t have much interest in watching tv/movies yet, she does watch about a half hour of Frozen every day while I am helping the boys with their homework. Watching Frozen started out as a Daddy/daughter activity. One day, she stayed home with Brad while I took the boys to the Y because she was sick. He turned on Frozen to watch with her, and she loved it. Since then, any time we ask her if she wants to watch Frozen, she immediately sits down in the living room and looks at the television expectantly, asking “Let it go?” To sum it all up, the girl loves her some Frozen!

Rough and Tumble – This is a good phrase to describe her approach to life. Madeleine runs more than she walks, she’s a whirl of motion (hard to get a non-blurry picture of her), she’d rather roll around or put her head down on the ground like an ostrich than sit still, and she climbs whenever she has the chance. The sofa, the dining table, the coffee table, boxes, step stools, etc. She scales these several times a day. Because she’s so adventurous, she’s had several bumps and bruises lately. She recovers quickly from most of them, but a couple of the mouth injuries have required some extra TLC. She’s busted her lip a few times from falls, and the worst was a cut above her top teeth that kept bleeding off and on for a couple of days. She keeps us on our toes!

Independent – This girl likes to do things for herself! At meal times, if I try to feed her, she dramatically closes her eyes, turns her head, and complains. But if I hand over the spoon to her, she happily begins eating. She makes a little less of a mess with each passing day, but I still take off everything but her diaper before putting her in the highchair. While she still enjoys being held and cuddled, when it comes to walking in or out of the house/YMCA/church/etc., she wants to walk! She does her best to keep up with her brothers and do what they do. A few days ago, I discovered her sitting on the couch “playing” XBox with Benjamin. (She was pushing buttons on the controller and watching his racing game, as if she were one of the racers.)

Helper – I’m seasoned enough as a parent to know that things will change when she turns two, but for now, Madeleine is the sweetest little helper and good listener that I could ask for. She tells me when she needs her diaper changed, she willingly heads into her room at nap/bedtime, she puts away toys or brings me things when I ask her to, etc. I’m just going to enjoy this easy phase while it lasts!

Friendly – Madeleine almost always has a smile on her face, and is perceptive about people’s personalities. She is partial to people who are warmhearted and nurturing, and gives them the gift of her outreached arms and her head on their shoulder when they pick her up. It’s the sweetest thing to see her run up to someone like this and give them hugs and babble to them in her toddler-speak.

Daily Routine –

  • A note about sleep – A few months ago, Madeleine finally started sleeping through the night consistently. Now, it’s almost unheard of for her to waking during the night, and if she does, she only needs a quick hug from me, and she’s ready to lay back down and go back to sleep. I am happy to put the sleep deprivation phase behind me!
  • Morning – After sleeping all night, Madeleine usually wakes up between 7 and 8 a.m. I weaned her off of breastmilk (except for an after bath wind down feeding each night) during the summer, so now she starts the day with a bowl of dry cereal and a cup of milk. Most days she sits in my lap while she eats, but others she hangs out with her brothers while they watch Odd Squad on PBS Kids. She loves running errands, going to the Y, playing in the yard, playing with Peter (while Benjamin is at school – Peter’s kindergarten is half day, so he’s home in the morning), and following me around the house. When left to her own devices, she usually decides to go through a drawer or cabinet and pull things out to investigate. As long as she doesn’t encounter something dangerous, I encourage her curiosity. Her current favorite spots are Brad’s desk drawers, the boys’ stash of special things, and our bathroom drawers. Our bathroom counter is cluttered with all the items I’ve had to remove from the cabinets and drawers that she shouldn’t get into.
  • Lunch and Nap – We drop Peter at school at 10:40 everyday, and then we have our girl time at home. I enjoy this one on one time with her, most of which is spent having lunch. She eats early and goes down for a nap around noon. (We dropped her morning nap when the boys started school and moved her afternoon nap earlier, to adjust to school pickup time.) The current routine is for us to sit in her glider, cover up with her special blanket, and read a book together. Then I sing her “I Love You,” give her hugs and kisses, and put her in bed. She loves her dolly, and always expects to have her in hand when I cover her up. She falls asleep quickly and easily, and usually sleeps a couple of hours. (During nap time, I’ve been resting, drinking coffee, reading, and catching up on housework.) I’m hoping to do more blogging during this time, too!
  • Afternoon – After we pick the boys up from school, we enjoy some down time at home. Madeleine’s favorite snacks are yogurt, cereal bars, and graham sticks. A few days a week we go to the Y, and she loves it there! She went through a phase where she was disturbed by the wall divider in the kids’ area, and otherwise didn’t like me to leave her in there, but now she is very confident and comfortable hanging out with everyone while I work out or while Benjamin and Peter have classes.
  • Evening – Homework time is when I play my Frozen card. She will sit quietly and watch her favorite movie while I help the boys with their work. Eventually she wanders away from the tv and entertains herself some other way. She is still a great eater, and has graduated to eating almost all the same foods we eat. She still loves avocado, cheese, and yogurt, and some new favorites are watermelon, mac ‘n cheese, and smoothies. She’s very proud that she learned to drink smoothies with a straw!
  • Bath – She finally outgrew her bath seat and the kitchen sink a few months ago, so now I bathe her in the tub. Between the current water restrictions and the fact that there’s so much to do for a night time routine with three kids, she doesn’t have the luxury of a long play time in the bath like Benjamin and Peter did when they were younger. She’s usually in and out in five minutes.
  • Bedtime – Once she’s in her pjs, I nurse her for a few minutes (which also gives me a chance to sit down for the first time in several hours!). The Dodger game is usually on at this point, and the kids humor me by watching some with me. Madeleine’s bedtime routine is much like her naptime routine: glider, book, song, dolly, blanket, bed. She is so busy all day that she falls asleep within a few minutes.

So that’s a wrap on Madeleine at eighteen months! Now for some pictures:

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