Out little boy is now 18 months old, and wow, the time sure is flying by quickly. It felt like just the other day we had returned from the States, and I was writing his 15 month update! The last three months have been a real breeze compared to the three months before this. Mostly because Elijah was teething then, and we did a lot of traveling. We were also separated from Justin, and I suffered a miscarriage. The last quarter has been a busy one, but thankfully, little guy has been a champ. I am so thankful for the way that I can go on working at home, and for the most part, he is okay just playing, reading, watching TV, or entertaining himself. Many with children, even one child, would not be able to do the same, so I am grateful for the opportunities that I have had. For his 18 month photos, I let him do exactly what he loves, chill on the couch and watch TV. If you have a busy toddler, you will know that they usually won’t sit still, or even turn to look at the camera. So to avoid the headache, and to have the time to get good angles and lightning, I let him sit and relax while I moved around trying to get some nice pictures of him.
Here are some of the milestones and moments that we recorded for months 16-18…
And wow, these picture ~ look at that little guy! So Handsome!!
ELIJAH 16 Months
- Elijah and I were still in the States this month. We also took a trip up north, to North Dakota, during this time.
- We stayed with Uncle Richard and Aunty Shauna, and attended their wedding and various pre-wedding celebrations.
- As we entered Eli’s 16th month he was walking faster and faster, and round corners with ease. He swings his arms and sometimes claps his hands together while he walks around. He also flaps his hands and makes a doodoodoo sound, sometimes spitting. hahaha, it’s hard to explain. His walk is super cute!
- He loved playing peek-a-boo with Aunty Maxine and mommy in Medora, North Dakota.
- High Five. Elijah learned how to do high five, low five, and baby five (our pointer finger to his pointer finger).
- When we hand Elijah one of his favorite books – mini Sesame Street books from Aunty BJ – he definitely knows when the book is upside down, and immeditaely turns it to face the correct way. We have tried it backwards and upside down – he knows! I discovered this while we were driving. I turned around to hand him a book, and he turned it over, and then started paging through it, pointing at the pictures, and making sounds. I was amazed.
- Eli loves to lay back on the mini Dora the Explorer couch that Grams bought. He lays back, feet up and puts his hands behind his head. It looks like he is on vacation – which he is – so it is just perfect in every way!
- On our trip from Dallas back to Qingdao (a total of three flights) Elijah started cutting his Fangs. Those fangs are no fun!
- At the Incheon Airport, in South Korea, Elijah started going down the slide by himself. He is getting more adventurous.
- We were very happy to be back at home with daddy, in our beautiful apartment, and able to spend time together again.
- Switch to one nap. This month Eli started sleeping for about 3-4 hours from 11am. This was a gradual change which started when we got back from Texas. He still goes to bed at 7pm and wakes up about 12 hours later.
- This month Elijah started to sleep with, and carrying around, his little puppy. It belonged to Silas before we moved into this apartment, so it feels extra special to me. He cuddles it under his arm at bedtime and brings it downstairs for breakfast in the mornings. We give it to him at bedtime and he takes one hand and wraps it inwards (towards his chest), then he rolls over it and goes to sleep. He also likes to sleep with his stuffed horse, which Richard and Shauna sent him in the mail for his first birthday.
- A break from teething: On October 7th I recorded that Eli (we) had enjoyed two nights of 12 hours sleep. This used to be a norm for us, but the teething is a nightmare. By this point Elijah seemed to have recovered from a two month teething episodes, coupled with a lot of traveling. Considering all the adjustments he has had to make in his small, but adventure-packed, life, we just think that he is incredible!
- If we hand Elijah a tissue, he wipes his nose. Very cute!
- Elijah likes to try and put on his own socks. Often he gives up and tries to get away, but he is starting to observe and know what goes where, and what needs to happen next. He seems to want to help.
ELIJAH 17 Months
- This month Elijah was absolutely crazy about his seven little cars that Grams ordered for him before we left Texas. If we hand him any of them, his face lights up. He has the cutest hand motions – when he takes the car in his hand, he kind of curls his hand inwards, towards his chest, and then runs away with it. So sweet!
- Great Bedtimes. Since returning home, and regaining our routines, we have been enjoying a wonderful bedtime routine. Eli is no longer teething so he is sleeping through the night again with no issues at all. After daddy baths him (mommy cleans up the dishes downstairs), we read and then Justin and I lay down on Elijah’s double bed in his room with him. I feed him for about 5 minutes, while we softly chat. Then we get up, kiss Eli and give him his puppy. He takes the puppy and happily goes into his crib and nuzzles into his blankets. He loves to make a little ball with the blankets, and lie on top of that. He then goes straight to sleep. We often leave the room before he is asleep and he doesn’t make a sound.
- After all the traveling, and routine disruption, it took about two weeks to get him to not cry when we put him into the crib. We started off placing him in, and singing next to the crib (his “ABC song” that Grams taught him), he would stand up and cry, reaching his arm towards us. The next day, he lay down and cried. Within a couple days he didn’t cry but he would cry if we left. Before we had always done the CIO method, but we liked this softer approach, and it worked surprisingly quickly. Soon he didn’t need any signing, but mommy and daddy often (for their own sake), just like to be in there with him. We are such suckers for cuddles and Eli-time. We love the evenings, after dinner, where we spend time reading to, and laying with, Elijah. Best time of the day!
ELIJAH 18 Months
- We like to visit daddy on Tuesdays. We meet at the AEON shopping mall next to Grand High School. There we go for lunch, usually at Lisa’s Italian. On a family date early this month, Eli chose a little Eeyore stuffed animal. It is small, and so cute. Elijah now carries it around the house and it makes me giggle because it is perfectly proportionate to him: TINY!
- This month I started feeding Eli apples for his afternoon snack. He used to love them, but along the way I stopped giving them to him because he was shoving food into his mouth and I thought he might choke. He absolutely loves them now!
- HUGS & KISSES. When we crouch down and open our arms, Eli runs to us and gives us a big hug. He wraps his arms around our neck and squeezes tight. It is the realest, sweetest hug – and we absolute love these moments! He is also now giving much more deliberate kisses. He closes his eyes and puckers up his lips as he leans in for the kiss. When I carry him he wraps his arms around my neck and snuggles in close, with his cheek on my cheek — I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!
- Just after he turned 17 months, Eli started “feeding” his puppy, at the breakfast table, in the mornings. I was so happy to see him make this connection. Puppy sits on his lap, or on the table, while we eat. He moves the puppy’s head down towards the bowl, or he puts a biscuit to it’s mouth. Ahhh… adorable!
- “Talking” on the phone. We mostly text each other during the day, so we were surprised to see Elijah make the phone-goes-to-ear connection. He holds his toy phone to his ear, but slightly towards the back of his head (so funny) and then makes funny sounds and walks fast. Hilarious to watch!
- At the end of November, Elijah took his 21st and 22nd flight. We went to Beijing for three days to apply for a new passport (mommy’s was full), and the register Eli as a South African. He should get dual-citizenship soon too.
- Hotel Kisses. We shared a massive bed in Beijing, but it was a little tough going to sleep with Ei in our bed. He is used to going to sleep in his own room. Luckily it was a big bed because no mater how many times we moved him, he was insistent on sleeping horizontally. The sweetest thing was that in the mornings he would wake us up with kisses. He would crawl back and forth, between Justin and I, giving us kiss after kiss. It was, undeniably, the cutest wake up EVER!!!!
- Teething again? We might be wrong, but we suspect that Eli has started teething again. These last molars are not supposed to come through for a few more months, but he seems to gets his teeth early. He is drooling a lot, hands in mouth, diaper rash, and moaning.
- Eczema. Presumably from the cold dry air, Eli has developed eczema on his cheeks. They go all rosy and cute, but if you look closely, the skin is dry and irritated. Fortunately, we brought back some Aveeno Baby Eczema cream from the US.
- Hates Cold and Winter jacket. Eli really doesn’t like the cold or wearing too many layers. Poor boy! In Beijing he put up quite a fuss whenever we tried to dress him warm to go outside.
- Wee next to Potty. Elijah walked over to his potty, while naked, and then stood next to it and did a wee. We suspect that he is figuring out he is meant to wee in there, but we are letting him slowly figure it out as he goes.
- Morning smiles. When I go upstairs to get Eli in the morning, he is standing in his crib. Usually he has thrown all of his blankets out, sometimes even his socks! He always keeps his puppy and his horse – he is so stinking cute! When he sees me he gets suuuuuuper excited and squeals with delight. He then looks for dada. I love how close the three of us are.
- Sleeping-in BLISS! Many mornings I wake up before Elijah. He often sleeps until 8/8:30am. I make some coffee and wait until he wakes up naturally. I know this stage might not last too long, so I am REALLY enjoying it!
- He loves to help turn the lights on and off, and also to close the doors behind us. He can also now reach the lock part of the door… eeeekkk, soon he will be able to reach door knobs, and then we have to find another way to keep him out of certain rooms! He loves to open drawers and dig through them.
- Mini tea cup. Eli has a miniature tea cup that he carries around. He “sips” on it as he walks…. hahaha!
- Elijah now takes his one daily nap at 12/12:30, and he sleeps for roughly 3 hours. Bedtime still at 7pm.
- Finger puppets. Bethany gave us a few finger puppets and Eli absolutely loves them. Clearly he loves any toy that is small because they are easiest for him to carry around. Seriously this little guy does the cutest things. When I put the finger puppies on my fingers and make them talk, his face lights up and he giggles like crazy.
- Towards the end of this month Eli started sticking out his tongue. ALL. THE. TIME! When he walks he moves it from side to side, and while he plays it is slightly out. It almost seems like he has only now discovered he can move his tongue more since having the frenectomy.
- Elijah had his first haircut just before his 18 month birthday. What an emotional rollercoaster for mommy. Read about that in this post, where I show how he went from looking like my little baby to a boy!
I can’t believe it – 18 months with this little guy.
We love you Elijah James!