The last time I hashed out specifics about Gabriel's growth and development was way back in August when he turned the big oh-one. Six months have flown by, because as of today he has officially hit the one point five (1.5!) mark. Sometimes I question how and when our little baby transformed into a full-fledged toddler, but if I'm being honest with myself it happened several months ago already....
SO much has happened in the past 6 months! When Gabriel turned one we were a family of three living in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Now Gabriel is one and a half, our family has a second little boy on the way, and we're living near Boston (down the road from some family, no less!). Throughout all the changes, Gabriel has continued to grow, learn, and play in new ways all the time. He has transitioned from being a baby that eats solids and nurses multiple times a day to a little boy who is fully weaned, can communicate hunger with specific sounds, words, or head nods, listens attentively and does prayer hands when we say grace, and can joyfully proclaim that he is "Done!" with perfect pronunciation at the end of each meal.
I love Gabriel's current age (what age of his haven't I loved??) and there's no doubt in my mind that our family is in the midst of a wonderfully blessed season. These past 6 months have brought forth many changes and I can't wait to see where we'll be at in another 6 when we have a two-year-old and a newborn on our hands!
A few specific milestones that jump out at me from Gabriel's ages 12-18 months:
- 12 months: he began walking on his own right before his birthday, and really took off with it about a week or so later.
- 13.5 months: he fully weaned from nursing and transitioned to solids 100% of the time.
- 14 months: all of a sudden I began noticing that he understood some key words and basic commands beyond the "not food", "not for babies", or simple yeses and nos he already knew (like "close the door, please", "go get your shoes", or "put it back", etc.). What a great, new chapter in our lives.
- 15 months: he started singing!
- 16 months: somewhere around this time I wrote down all the words and phrases I knew he understood - and the list contained upwards of 75 separate items! By that time he was also saying about 6 words.
- 17 months: because of the timing of our move, the holidays, his molars getting ready to break through, and possibly other factors he went through a nasty couple of weeks of separation anxiety filled with lots and lots of tears any time he wasn't clinging to me and/or my husband...but settling into a routine, staying home a lot, and narrating exactly where we would be at all times helped immensely. For months he never called me by name (any name! Even though he already used both "Da-da" and "Daddy" for Michael), but this was the month he finally started calling me something ("Mama").
- 18 months: he says about 15 actual words and makes almost just as many animals sounds...so including those would put him somewhere near 30 words already! He's also been showing early signs of potty-training readiness...but we aren't crazy enough to jump on that boat yet.
"Isn't it funny how babies laugh a lot? I read a toddler, a young child laughs 300 times a day. The average adult laughs, like, four times a day. God put it in them. He put the laugh in us, but I think sometimes we let life get us down, you know, have bad breaks, and we lose our breaks."