Saturday, August 17, 2013

Maggie : Toddler Summary - 19 Months

This was a huge month for big transitions or steps in Maggie's life (and ours too.) She handled most of the transitions well.

Maggie is 20 months old today, August 17th. This is a summary of her 19th month:


(On strike against peas.) 


18 Month Well Child Exam:
Maggie had her 18 month check-up on July 31st, which was into her 19th month. We could have gotten in during her 18th month, but we would have been seeing a different doctor. I decided that since we're not going back until she's 2, there was no reason to rush and see anyone but our normal pediatrician. She weighs 24 lbs (58th percentile) and was 34 inches tall (98th percentile!) She is tall and skinny :)

Eating:
Ah, the pickiness has arrived. I was waiting for it, but hoping that it would stay away for a little while longer (or forever.) Maggie has been on a cheese strike for several months now (after she couldn't get enough cheese for months.) The next thing she started protesting this month was vegetables. Carrots, specifically. She has loved carrots for forever. She started loving them even more when she gained the freedom to eat them whole instead of cut up. (I still cut them into thin sticks so she doesn't choke on them, but she doesn't know that ;)) There were a few days that she would eat a few carrot sticks, but not in the quantities that she had been eating them. I didn't think much of it at first. I just thought she was less hungry on the days that she didn't eat as many. Suddenly, she was barely eating one carrot stick at lunch. I don't know why. She still hasn't snapped out of it. She has also decreased the amount of peas that she had been eating. Every day when she would wake up from her nap, she would eat frozen peas. Huge amounts, too -  bowls full. This month, she went to eating maybe 20-30 peas total at a snack.

I think there's a few reasons for her pea strike. I was feeding her the peas for a snack because she liked them and then I didn't have to stress if she filled up on them and didn't eat as much for dinner because peas are healthy. I think she's starting to get to the point that she doesn't need an afternoon snack. Even if I give her a snack that she loves and has yet to reject (graham crackers,) she still doesn't eat very much. Then, she refuses to eat much at dinner. Softball is over for Matthew now, too, so we're eating dinner at a more consistent time every night. The snack has sort of become unnecessary. One food that she couldn't get enough of, though - cherry tomatoes from our garden. They're bigger, so I cut them into wedges and she eats about 10-15 tomatoes a sitting. I'm glad that she enjoys them :)

A Week Away from Mom and Dad:
Towards the beginning of her 19th month, I left Kansas City to come home and Maggie stayed with my parents there. My parents took Maggie to the Lake of the Ozarks for an extended family weekend while Matthew and I enjoyed a few days at home working on projects and then went camping. I left Kansas City early on a Tuesday morning and my parents drove Maggie home the next Monday. They arrived around 7 on Monday night. My dad carried Maggie up to our door and rang the doorbell. Matthew and I answered the door and Maggie looked totally spooked. She was very clingy to my parents until I walked her around our house and she began to remember that this was "home." (She had been away from home for 3 weeks total, remember.) We went to dinner and she seemed happy to be with us. I put her to bed that night and she was asleep almost before I laid her down. The next morning, my parents left and Maggie was sad to see them go. She cried for awhile before I could get her distracted with some books. It was understandable. They had been the constant in her life for the last 3 weeks. She did great, though! My mom said that she would ask for "mama" when she was tired and would cry for "dada" when she thought she was in some sort of situation she needed help with. We're glad to be home together and we are also thankful that my parents were able to keep her for us. Hopefully it'll be the beginning of a lot of fun trips to Gram and Papa's house.

Independent Play:
She started protesting independent play at the end of the month. It was after we moved her into her new room and into her new bed. I don't know if it's a transition issue (as in, she's not familiar with the room that she's playing in, because it's her new room) or if it's time for room time. Yes, she's still doing independent play in the pack-n-play in her room. I know she's a little old for that and it probably is time to transition to room time, but I didn't want to transition to room time while she was still adjusting to her new room and new bed. She wasn't protesting independent play until she moved into her new room, so I'm going to give it a few weeks. I'd really prefer to NOT transition to room time before Bean is born, but I want to preserve independent play, so I will if I have to.

Asking for Help:
We've been working on having Maggie ask for help instead of throw frustration tantrums. At the beginning of this month as well as into the middle of the month, she did a great job asking for help instead of throwing a fit. The last week, though, not so much. Ah, parenting. It's always one step forward, two steps back. We have been seeing progress in this way, though. I know a lot of parents want their child to learn to do things independently. We want Maggie to do things independently as well, as it's age appropriate. However, I don't think she's someone that we will have to foster a spirit of independence in. For this reason, we don't say to her, "Oh, keep trying! You can do it!" She does keep trying until she legitimately cannot make her body do what she wants it to. At that point, the frustration comes in the form of a tantrum. By teaching her to say, "Help, please!" we've eliminated the tantrums for the most part. But ultimately, our goal is to teach her that it's okay to ask for help. In fact, I want to encourage her to ask for help in a family setting because one of our goals for our family is that we're interdependent with one another instead of codependent or independent of one another (neither of those identifies a healthy family relationship.) Bean could be totally different. We might need to foster a little independence in Bean. But for now, teaching Maggie to ask for help has been invaluable in her contentment and the peace in our home.

Big Girl Bed:
This is the biggest transition that happened in our home this month. Ummm ... this transition was ridiculously difficult for me and ridiculously easy for her. I was nervous about her not being ready for it. Toddler Transitions talks about moving to a big-girl bed is a freedom and that I, as a parent, need to not parent outside the funnel and force a freedom onto her that she isn't ready for. She had never tried to climb out of her crib. Bed time is bed time and nap time is nap time (thank you, Babywise!) Still, I was nervous about whether or not she was ready. On the other hand, we didn't want to buy another crib. We already had a twin bed and a rail to put up on the side, so we weren't spending any money this way. Matthew and I talked about it and decided to make the move at the beginning of August, since everything that I read suggested giving it a month to get used to the transition. I'm due October 10th, but had Maggie 3 weeks early. I wanted to make sure to give her plenty of time to transition, as I didn't want her to feel like the new baby was "kicking her out" of her crib and her room. In the week leading up to the transition, Maggie and I went into her room and talked about how this was going to be her new room and her new bed. She was instantly obsessed with her room and her bed. She walked around saying "new" to anyone that would listen and dragging them to her room. She was excited. Finally, on Friday night, August 9th, we made the big move. I gave Maggie a bath, put her pajamas on, and read her bed time book. I then held her as I normally do and prayed as usual, kissed her, and laid her in bed. She stayed laying down as I turned on her white noise and shut the door.

I put a baby gate up in front of her door on the outside because she's tall enough to reach the door handle and I didn't know how she'd do the first night. I didn't want her roaming the house in the middle of the night! Because of the way our bedrooms are, I wouldn't know if she came out of her room if I was asleep. I didn't want to have that worry hover over me. She did great, though! She has yet to get out of bed. It has been a week. She lays down for naps and nighttime sleep with no problems. She doesn't get out of bed. When she wakes up, she sits there. I come in and get her and she's still just sitting there. She doesn't try to get out of bed. I honestly don't think she knows that she can get out of bed. I didn't tell her to stay in bed the first night, nor have I told her that. She couldn't ever get out of her crib, and I'm fine with her not knowing that she can't get out of bed for now. :) Hopefully, this trend will continue.

Schedule this Month (It was a Little Bit Earlier at the End of the Month Because of New Bed/New Room Excitement, So That's What I'm Posting):



8:00 or 8:30 - wake up and eat breakfast
9:00 - 10:30 - independent play in room in pack-n-play
10:30 - 11:00 - clean up toys from independent play, change diaper (she usually poops during independent play)
11:00 - chores with Mama. Usually she "helps" me unload the dishwasher and we feed the dog together.
11:30 - free play with Mama. Usually reading books or blowing bubbles.
12:00 - pick up toys and get ready for lunch
12:15 - eat lunch
12:45 - 1:00 - change diaper, naptime routine
1:00 - 4:00 - naptime
4:00 - 4:30 - snack time (this is being phased out)
4:30 - 5:15 - structured play. Sometimes in the high chair. She will color or play with a whiteboard and dry erase maker (don't worry, they're non-toxic.) Sometimes we do puzzles. It really varies and depends on what I need to finish for dinner prep. 
5:15-6:15 - free play. Matthew comes home during this hour, too, so she plays with him when he gets home.
6:15 - 6:45 - dinner.
6:45 - 7:10 - bathtime
7:10 - 7:30 - play with Daddy. Wind down for the night. Bedtime routine
7:30 - bedtime

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