Play: With warmer temps and extra daylight, we have been spending all of our free time outside. Taylor is totally an outdoor girl and would much rather spend her time riding her tricycle or running circles around the yard than play inside. When the weather isn't so cooperative, we spend our time putting together puzzles, reading books, and pushing every stuffed animal she owns in the stroller. The tot still plays alone in her room with her stacking and sorting toys (anything that requires her full concentration and doesn't allow her to notice that no one else is around), but she prefers having others to play with. In fact, her favorite activity at daycare is following the big kids around and attempting to do everything they do. We're certain she's oblivious of her age as she gets frustrated when her little body won't allow her to do things before it's capable. All of her friends and cousins are older than her (which is why people still refer to her as "Baby Taylor"), and deep down she's just dying to be able to do everything they can do. Soon enough, kid. Soon enough.
Feeding Time: As usual, there isn't much in this area that we struggle with. Our girl loves food and continues to favor any type of fruit or pasta. Since she has almost all of her teeth now (only a handful have yet to come in), we have started allowing her to have foods that are more difficult to bite and chew. She recently tried raw carrots and pork chops for the first time and loved both! I'm not sure if she likes the actual taste or just enjoys the biting and chomping, but either way it she's learning and growing with every meal. Our only frustration at meal time comes from her dislike for being strapped into the high chair. This girl is busy, busy, busy all the time and hates when she has to stop playing to eat, but usually after a bite or two she's too ingrained in her food to remember what she was mad about. The key to surviving with a toddler - exchange one distraction for another. ;c )
Speech: The tot's vocabulary has tripled in the last month. I don't know if it's because we've been spending so much one-on-one time with her or the fact that she has been trying to talk for weeks now, but every day she is crossing more words off her list. So far she has conquered cup, uh-oh, bow, go, toe, girl, bubble, and "all gone". Just a couple of nights ago, we were watching A Turtle's Tale (an intriguing story about the life of a sea turtle) and putting together an alphabet puzzle. I picked up the letter "T" and said "T is for turtle" and out of nowhere she looked at me and very slowly said "tuh-tle". I started clapping and shrieking like a mad woman, repeatedly asking Jake if he heard it. Hearing your child speak actual words for the first time is such a surreal experience. It's amazing how she immediately molds her mouth after mine and then attempts to sound out the word. Her little mind really is absorbing everything we say and do. I'm certain she'll be speaking in full sentences by the end of the month.
Happy 18 months, baby girl! We love you so very much!