Motor... Eh. Gross motor changes aren't that exciting between 15-18 months. She walks. She practically runs. She climbs. I guess the "exciting" thing is that she goes a lot farther before she gives up and wants to get in the stroller.
Fine motor isn't too much more exciting... She's been self-feeding pretty well for 3 months or more, using spoon, fork, and straw cup along with finger foods. Now when she does "fine motor" tasks, though, it seems more exciting about the learning tasks that are going with it, not just the motor movement. She has a little toy, given to her by Auntie K, which has 4 different animals that pop up. They pop up with different "buttons" - one left/right, one up/down, one just a push button, a 4th is a "turn key." Over the past 3 months, she's figured out how to get ALL of them! She's also now doing way better at putting wooden puzzle pieces in-- sometimes she's a little rough, but if she finagles 'em long enough, she usually slides them into the right spot. Oh! And she builds SUPER tall towers with her blocks.... and then smashes the blocks right onto the floor. :-)
Since the 15 month mark, we continued to wean toward full time real food. I really thought for a while we were going to be night nursing until she was in kindergarten! But this fall, she transitioned from home babysitter to day care. Literally over night she started sleeping through the night-- no night nursing. We've even had several day periods that O hasn't asked to nurse at all. Once I thought our relationship was over and without warning. But she still does ask to nurse occasionally... usually in the early morning when she wakes up and sometimes when she's sleepy or sad in the evenings.
Eating is becoming more challenging some times. Her favorite foods are definitely dairy-- cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt. Sometimes I worry that all she ever eats is cheese and fruit. But when I'm lucky (like I was tonight), she will also dip little pieces of pulled pork into peppercorn ranch dressing and then ACTUALLY chew and swallow them! Then I feel like a real mom... feeding her more than goldfish crackers.
And I guess that leaves learning/language stuff-- I'm amazed at Miss O's brain. She can take all the puzzle pieces out and then put all 8 animals back in the right place in her farm animal puzzle. She even does them in the order you request if you point at the spots-- her matching skills are amazing. She follows a ton of simple commands/directions like "Take your diaper to the trash," and "Give the bowel to Nana." But her expressive language is frustrating to me. Somedays it seems like she's all vowels. Sure, we get an occasional "baby!" and Mama and Dada are consistent at this point. And "wa-wa" comes along with her WATER sign now. But it seems like everything else is all intonation and no consonants. "ah-ah!" "ah-ooh!" I just feel like we've never gotten a full "babble" and I'm (as an SLP) totally panicky about it. Oh. And then there's "pa-bo." Eveyrthing is "pa-bo." Its only been about a week, but I think I'm tired of "pa-bo" 'cause it seems to mean about 5 different things. And I don't know how to tell which is which.
Okay... it's late. I'm gonna leave it there. If I haven't said it yet, this is hard. But I love it. And I love her! And when I look at these pictures, I can't help but giggle and my wonderful, smart, kind, and challenging little girl...