Nora: 17 months

Nora is 17 months!

Language: Language development is the biggest change again this month. Her vocabulary is expanding daily, and she knows a ton of animal sounds (cat, dog, cow, sheep, goat, horse, bunny (hop), bird, duck, elephant). She can also identify most objects in her books even if she can't yet say the word. Her newest thing is singing. She sings parts of the alphabet song and Jesus Loves Me. Her voice is seriously the sweetest :).

Personality: It is more and more evident that Nora is very independent and loves to explore. She isn't afraid to wander away from me. I, on the other hand, am terrified when she leaves the children's section at the library and wanders into the adult section in literally 5 seconds! We've started being a little more intentional and consistent with discipline and have been trying to teach what we call "independence with boundaries" (i.e. stay close to your parents in public, sweet girl!!). I was never one to stray far from the familiar so this is completely new to me. Of course, when we're in a safe place like our backyard or the park she is free to roam around and explore her little heart out! Our bonus room is gated off completely since there is a split staircase there. We've been leaving the gate open and trying to teach that just because it's open doesn't automatically mean there is freedom to run off. Having the room closed off for safety has been very convenient in our home, but I sometimes wonder if it's made her want to run when there is a chance too!

Play: Her babies are probably still her favorite toy. She's been tucking them in bed in her soon-to-be new big girl bedroom, which we hope will get her excited for the transition. Reading is her absolute favorite activity. We probably read 15-20 books a day! She loves doing little activities with her hands, like stickers and coloring now too. On nice days we've been playing outside, even if it's just going for a walk or playing in the backyard. She loooves going down slides all by herself now when we go to the park.

Sleep: Nothing has really changed here. She sleeps consistently from 7pm - 6:30 or 7am and naps 12:30-2:30. Teeth brushing is going much smoother this month. A friend suggested we let her brush our teeth while we are brushing hers. This has worked wonders!! Not only is she busy with something while we're trying to get her teeth clean, but she also gets to help brush ours until it's time for her to brush her own. If you're toddler is resistant, you should definitely try this trick.

Food: On occasion Nora will refuse to eat what we're eating, but typically she eats the same meals that we do. Tonight she had homemade tomato basil soup, grilled cheese, and pickles. She has been better at eating veggies this month. I made a crustless quiche with mushrooms and spinach, which she gobbled up! And roasted veggie burrito filling was a hit too. We've decided to switch from whole milk to almond milk since it has twice the amount of calcium. She loves eating cheese, greek yogurt, and avocados, so she's still getting plenty of healthy fats.

This second year is going by so much faster than the first. It truly is hard to believe she'll be a year and a half in less than a month! We'll have some growth stats to share next month from her 18 month well check!

+, Lauren Aiken

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