ELIJAH 21 months old. A mere three months short of two years old. Isn’t it amazing how the months fly by a little faster and faster as they grow! These truly have been an amazing 21 months with Elijah James, and as he reaches new levels of independence, we realize how much of a jump it will be to go back to having a tiny baby around some day. Eli is still very curious but plays peacefully, and for the most part, quietly and very happily on his own. He doesn’t need too much entertainment, but does love to stop playing to run over and give us a snuggle or a kiss. There is no doubt that he loves TV. He is the happiest kid in the world when he wakes up. Justin and I both jump at the opportunity to go get him in the morning, in fact, many mornings we both go upstairs to say hello to our little man. The mornings where we are all awake before daddy heads out to work are the best mornings – it feels like we are sneaking in some extra quality time.
I took Elijah to the beach near our house to take a few pictures of him at 21 months old. As usual, the winter turned us into hibernating hermits, but as the temperatures rise and the blossoms are starting to appear, we are excited to share some new adventures with Elijah. Already we can tell that this spring/ summer will be a great exploration phase for our little man. He loved the puddles of water and the rocks on the beach – so much so that he wouldn’t get out of them. As you will see, most of these pictures consist of him running and exploring. Two things he loves to do!
ELIJAH 19 months
- During his 19th month Eli really started to copy things that we were doing. For example, clapping while we are clapping. In the past, he had no problem clapping but only when no one else was doing it. He would just stare at us if we clapped… and then clap when he thought it was a good time. This month he got into the “group clapping”.
- Watching Elijah this month, we noted that we really adore… the way that his top lip goes to a little point when he’s happy and looking downwards; the joy in his smile and way his face lights up when he runs over to hug one of us; how much he loves his duck puzzle piece; and the way that his hair is starting to sweep over to one side.
- He loves spinning round and round and then dropping to the ground in a fit of laughter. Again and again.
- Eli did one modeling job this month. It was for a clothing line. Mommy was busy so he went to this job with Nana.
- The “Chi-chi (shoulder) walk”. I don’t know how else to refer to this but I think we will remember it by that term. This month Eli started an absolutely hilarious “chi chi walk”. He puts each hand on his shoulders, elbows back, then “tickles” his shoulders while pushing out his chest and stomach. He walks around smiling while doing this. It is really amusing to watch!
- Pseudo-splits. Eli keeps widening his feet and trying to do the splits, especially on our grey lounge carpet.
- We took a family trip to Indonesia this month. The journey there was tiring but Elijah has his own bed (a pack-n-play provided by the guesthouse) so we were able to sleep comfortably from the second night. He still sleeps like crazy ninja.
- Elijah visited his FIFTH country! He saw monkeys, explored temples, swam, and made lots of friends.
- To each new country that we travel with Elijah, we quickly learn how the locals “talk to” babies. In Indonesia they would say, “Hello baby… ding ding ding”.
- Our trip started out well – Eli was napping and going to bed perfectly. Over the last few days all of that changed. He wouldn’t nap and stayed up late at night. He also woke up frequently during the night. He was moaned and cried during the day . It turned out that he had some sort of bug. We only realized this when his temperature spiked and he started vomiting one morning. Mommy caught the bug a couple of days later. Thankfully we were not sick for too long, and it didn’t adversely affect our awesome trip to Bali! In fact, when thinking back on Bali, we barely remember that part.
- We stopped breastfeeding Elijah before our trip to Bali while I was doing a juice fast, but when he fell ill in Bali we decided that needed breastmilk so we started back up again. Thankfully, my milk had not dried up. We are pretty sure that Elijah recovered as quickly as he did because of the breastmilk.
ELIJAH 20 Months
- After arriving back in China, Elijah adjusted back into his normal routine very quickly. Yay for no time zone changes!
- Every morning Eli eats a banana before his bowl of cereal. This month we were able to hand him the opened banana, with skin still half on, and let him eat it himself. It is quite a cute sight since his hands are so small compared to the banana, but he handles it pretty well. He usually eats his way into the banana that is still hidden in the skin, and then comes back for help when he can’t get any further.
- Side-to-Side dance. Eli has been doing a funny side-to-side rocking dance. In fact, this month he came up with a number of rather amusing movements. He makes us laugh a lot with his goofiness and funny facial expression.
- We especially love the way that he wrinkles his nose and lifts it up towards the sky. While in the bakery downstairs with daddy, Eli did this for the first time. Justin noted it and told me that he was probably sniffing the air, which smelled of sweet breads, muffins and cake. I now see Eli doing this a lot. He also does it sometimes just to be silly, or when he is laughing. Have a look at these pictures – Little White Cup – for a better idea of what I am talking about.
- This month little man did a modeling job for a company that makes baby gates. He had a lot of fun on this job, and even pretended daddy was there when he found a tall manikin standing on the one side of the studio.
- Elijah started to get extra chatty this month. He doesn’t yet say very clear words, but he mumbles all kind of sentences. It did sound like he was saying, “Where’s daddy?” at one stage. This is what I say when Justin is on his way home from work.
- We began hosting our fellowship this month, and Eli took it on himself to be the entertainer. He was dancing and performing on the carpet while everyone sang praise and worship songs. He was not at all bothered by all the people staring at him. In a way it felt like we was trying to make it known that this was his home. We had never seen him act like that, so it was quite funny. Within about two weeks, he was used to the large group coming over on Sundays.
- It was time for haircut number two this month. Daddy took Eli to the barber downstairs and the “main stylist” cut Elijah’s hair. This time it was not cut as short, and the top and front are swept to the side. Mommy melted the minute that she saw it. He looks absolutely freaking adorable!
- We stopped breastfeeding for good this month. I’m not even sure what day it was that we stopped because it was slow and not deliberate at all. After returning from Bali, I breastfed Eli each day before his afternoon nap but there were some days that we were out and I didn’t. One day I realised that it had been over a week… and that was it, our breastfeeding stage was finished. We really want another baby and this is the only other thing that we can think of doing to help that along, so even though I am sad that I no longer share this with Elijah, I think that getting to almost 21 months is pretty freaking amazing!
ELIJAH 21 Months
- At 21 months old, we are finally starting to go outside more. The coldest – and most polluted – months of the year are behind us, and we are ready to get out and explore the mountains and beaches.
- If you look at the picture above, you will notice that although Elijah is running towards me, he is looking to the side. This is him being bashful. We shall call this the “bashful run”, and let me tell you, it is undeniably adorable. He runs towards us, arms outstretched, and then as we look at him, he turns his face away like he is shy. Often he will almost fall over something because he is not looking forward. This run perfectly sums up our little Elijah – he is bashful but FULL of love!
- We noticed about a week of intense crankiness this month. Eli was especially clingy and didn’t want to sleep through the night. When that happens, we know that something is up. Turns out that he was cutting the bottom back molars. The last two baby teeth (the top two back molars) are probably on their way too. In fact, we are utterly surprised at how well Eli is managing these molars compared to the last four. Hopefully that gives other parents some hope – we were told the last set of four would be the worse, but so far they haven’t been.
- Although he is a “slow grower”, Eli definitely seems taller this month. His 12 month jammies suddenly seem too short for him. Soon it will be warm enough not to need jammies with footies, but for now the floors are still a little too cold for bare little feet.
- We love how Elijah is happy in his room in the morning, at nap time and in the evening. If he isn’t ready to go sleep, or if he wakes up earlier than us, he will just play in his bed. Sometimes he will throw all of his blankets and his two teddies out, and then just roll around, chatting away. He used to cry for us to go and get him, but now wake ups are so peaceful.
- The most miraculously change lately has been that Eli wakes up and wants NOTHING ELSE but to play in his playroom. There have been mornings where Justin goes to get him from his crib, then places him in the playroom upstairs. He plays there quietly, even after Justin has left for work, and I wake up thinking, “Where the heck is Eli?”. I then go upstairs and Eli is playing with his cars or his blocks. Oh my word – I seriously love this kid! Thank you for all the mornings that you let me sleep in for an extra hour or two Eli. You’re mommy’s champ!
- Eli’s food preferences change almost hourly now. Some days he eats barely anything, and then other days he devours everything we place in front of him. One day he like chicken, the next day he doesn’t touch it. Pasta is also a hit or miss these days. Broccoli is, and always has been, his favorite vegetable.
- Elijah absolutely LOVES water, and he will carry a straw cup around with him wherever he goes. When you show him the bottle he eagerly grabs it and starts drinking. When he’s feeling mischievous, he will shake the bottle and spray the water everywhere. Luckily, only one of his cups allows him to do that. I try not to laugh, but it’s quite hilarious to see his face as the water goes up and sprays him. hahaha… sometimes it’s hard to keep a straight face when you’re supposed to be teaching them the right way to behave.
- Elijah loves to climb on the couch and throw the pillows onto the ground. It has take a few weeks of scolding and even some spankings to get him to stop. He is now doing it less and less.
- Dressing Eli has become an absolute pleasure. He happily helps us, giving his hand or pointing his foot. He even knows to switch a toy from one hand to another while we are putting a shirt on him. Such a change from the dressing struggles we had around 9-11 months, when we literally dreaded trying to change his diaper. He would do anything to avoid it back then!
- We attended a few sessions of Mom-and-Baby Yoga sessions this month, but Elijah is absolutely uninterested. So basically it is mommy doing yoga, and Eli off exploring – which I expected, so I wasn’t surprised at all.
- Elijah really started to get into songs this month. He claps and dances along, doing his wacky little dances. I noticed that is also starting to observe more at playgroup. In the past he was completely uninterested, but last time we went he almost looked like he wanted to take part. I image that if I start taking him more regularly that he will be dancing along within a few weeks.
- “Bend bend bend your knees”. Elijah has a few songs that he listens to, and the videos show actions. In the past he would just stare at them, but this month he started following the actions in the songs. I was so proud of him when I saw him doing this. When I follow along with him, his face lights up and he looks sooooooooo impressed that I know the actions too.
- “Electric Guitar arms” – seriously, I really do have names for all of Elijah’s wacky moves. The “electric guitar arms” are when he bends both arms, and one elbow goes up and one goes to his side. He then flicks his fingers in and out, like he’s playing a guitar. He combines this with a silly walk and a wrinkled nose. Too funny!
It is unbelievable that Elijah’s next update will be his TWO YEAR UPDTAE.
These have been the most incredible 21 months and we love how you have added so much joy to our lives Eli!