It’s been so long since I’ve done a Penelope update! I recently realized that the last one I published was from when she was 10 months old…a lot has changed since then!
Around 14-15 months we noticed a big change in you. You went from being a ‘baby’ in our eyes to a real toddler. You took your first steps on Thanksgiving Day, but preferred cruising and crawling for about another month. By Christmas you were taking more steps at a time and within days after that, you were on the GO. There is no slowing down for you, little girl. You are on the move all the time and you love to keep us on our toes, too! Walking has certainly been a game-changer. We have done lots more baby-proofing to the house although you hate it when you can’t get somewhere (like up the stairs). Walking also means you get to chase Chloe around the house; she acts like she hates, but I think she secretly loves it. She has learned to be very gentle around you (even though you accidentally get a little rough with her). You two even play together sometimes.
We have seen your little personality start to shine through more and more. You are very outgoing and personable like your dad, but we knew that already. You never shy away from other kids (or adults for that matter) and love to be included in what’s going on around you. You love to be outside! Whether it’s taking a walk, blowing bubbles in our backyard or a trip to the park, you love exploring the great outdoors. We are so thankful that the weather here in North Carolina is pretty mild and allows us to be outside a lot!
Your eating has improved remarkably over the last several months. We saw a feeding specialist 1-2 times a week for 9 months and just recently had our last visit. I’m going to be honest and say this journey has been tough. We started you with a feeding specialist and then their practice closed abruptly leaving us without therapy for you. We had to scramble to find a new practice (and a therapist who specialized in infant/toddler feeding) which was a feat. Thankfully through recommendations from friends and friends-of-friends we found a wonderful practice and therapist (Ms. Shannon) who we will probably never forget. She was amazing with you! This practice was located 30 minutes away (in the opposite direction of where we live/work), but that’s the price you pay for the best treatment. Every bit of time and energy was worth it though because you have come so far in your eating!
We no longer depend on food packs and purees anymore which is huge! You still seem to love milk a little more than food, but that is slowly changing as well. Your favorite table foods are: green peas, pancakes, hummus, cheese and “treats” (i.e. chocolate chips or mini M&Ms). You are still not all that wild about fruit and meat, but we’re working on that. Breakfast is your favorite meal of the day. We’ve been out to breakfast a few times recently and you always eat so well! You love bacon (your papa is so proud), eggs and all the other yummy breakfast fixin’s we get when we go out. We are still working on some behavioral eating habits (you often throw food you don’t want to eat), and you still get stubborn sometimes and spit food out even when we know you like it. Trying to feed you when you’re especially tired is really tough – you’d rather just drink a glass of milk and be done with it. We’ve been able to work through all this though and have seen enough improvement in your weight that we haven’t had to take you back for weight checks!
You stayed on a bottle much longer than we would have preferred but at 18 months we were finally able to transition you to a sippy cup. The sippy cup is one with a silicone spout, but at least it’s not a bottle; we are still a work in progress. 🙂
You went through another big transition over these last few months – we moved you to a full-time daycare! Our beloved Ms. Merritt ended up going back into the workforce so we found an amazing facility very close to our house that came highly recommended. We have loved it so far! Your teachers are amazing and we’ve been so impressed with the staff there. We’ve seen remarkable progress in your language and motor skills and we know you have a blast there every day! It’s so sweet to walk into your classroom and see you having fun with your friends. They all call you “P” or “ell-o-pe” which is so darn cute. We’ve also noticed further improvement in your eating now that you sit with a bunch of other kids during snacks/lunch time. Overall, you’re doing so well and we’ve loved watching you grow! The only downfall is that by 5:30 you are exhausted which makes dinner interesting. But with time, that will get easier. We still miss Merritt and her family dearly, but thankfully they live down the street so we still see them often.
You love to talk and sing – especially Twinkle Twinkle Little Star which is your favorite song (second place goes to the Itsy Bitsy Spider). You now know the names to lots of animals (you are partial to doggies, kittens and bunnies) and a lot of your body parts. You love lifting up your shirt and showing us your belly. You aren’t using full sentences yet, but we’re definitely getting there. You are saying short phrases like “more cheese” or “all done,” “let’s go” and “night night mama.” You love Mickey Mouse and baby dolls. You especially seem to love putting your babies to bed. You cover them with a blanket, put them on their bellies, pat their backs and say “night night babies.” It’s so sweet!
More than anything (or anyone) else though, you love your special bear. Bear goes everywhere you go. We try not to take him out of the house because we’re so afraid of losing him (this particular bear is discontinued). If he needs to be washed (and he does..often) it usually involves us sneaking into your room at night like a ninja and stealing him from your crib. However, that only works when you’re not gripping onto him for dear life which you usually are. You like to put your shoes on bear, you feed him your food, you put him to bed and give him rides in your mini-stroller. You are truly the best “mama” to your bear and it’s the cutest thing!
We love you to the moon and back and are looking forward to spending this summer with our favorite toddler! We have lots planned including swimming lessons, birthday parties, trips to the museums and visits with family. We can’t wait!