I haven't given a Penny update in awhile, and since she turned 16 months today, I'm going to gush about my little girl. You've been warned.
Penny continues to be a curious and active child. She pushes boundaries, but she isn't hyper and is able to entertain herself very well. She loves to explore outside and play with other kids, and she really loves when she commands the attention of a whole room. She loves music and dancing. She sometimes gets both feet off the ground when she jumps, and she has pretty much mastered going up and down the stairs on her own.
The biggest change that we've seen over the last couple months has been in developing language. I am blown away by her language skills every day. She has well over 100 words at this point–probably closer to 200, as she uses new words every day and is speaking in 1-3 word utterances. She asks for a variety of foods and activities, she knows the names and sounds of countless animals, she has lots of social words, body part words, and she loves to point out objects she knows. Some of my favorite animals she's learned lately include "bussabye" (butterfly) and "bugabug" (lady bug). So cute! She is very adventurous with language–attempting to repeat new words even if she can't get them exactly right. She also has excellent articulation and can even say some more advanced sounds like "sh" and "ch".
Our schedule is pretty much the same as it was the last time I talked about it. We have a morning activity every day around 9:30 or 10, then home for lunch, an afternoon nap of 2-3 hours and then sometimes a quick trip to the park before dinner or she plays with our babysitter while I work in the sewing room or run errands. Two mornings/week, Penny goes to "nursery school" while I have yoga or book club. She loves going to the nursery and doesn't want to leave when I pick her up!
Penny is going to bed slightly later than she used to (maybe 8/8:30ish), but she is sleeping through the night (Alleluia!) and wakes up around 6:30 or 7. Around 12 months, she was down to just 1 wakeup most nights around 4 or 5am, and then we'd bring her to bed with us to get another couple of hours. At 15 months, we took the rail off the side of her crib and put another mattress down on the floor next to hers so that one of us could lay with her to fall asleep. Once we did that, she thought it was just the coolest thing that she could get in and out of bed on her own, and then she promptly dropped that early am wakeup. Who knows what sleep holds for us in the future, but for now it is awesome.
Penny recently cut her first molar, and the second is on its way in. Molars suck. They took a month to come through and were especially horrible the last week or so. I can't believe we have so many to go, and I can't believe how swollen her gums got. Poor kiddo. But we toughed it out with lots of homemade popsicles, chamomile, and homeopathic tables and a little ibuprofen here and there.
Penny loves to chase bubbles, feed her baby and stuffed animals, stack/build, and read books. She doesn't watch tv–we are following AAP recommendations of no tv under age 2. Even then, I think the rec is only 30 minutes/day, and it seems that most kids Penny's age watch more than that even now, but I doubt she'll even watch that much at 2. If she's entertained by her toys, I don't see what the rush is to introduce tv. Instead, we usually have music playing in the house, and she even sings along to some songs.
Penny nurses about 3 times/day on average (maybe more if she's sick or her teeth hurt) for about 10 minutes/session. I am thinking of weaning soon, but she really loves nursing, so I have some guilt about it. I think if left up to her, she would nurse for years, but I know I won't be able to tandem nurse based on my supply issues the first time around, so I need to think about it. But for now it's still working for us. She also drinks almond or coconut milk and eats lots of healthy foods: whole grains, fruits and veggies, cheese, eggs, and mostly whatever we offer. Still no sugar or sweets unless they are fruit-sweetened, but even then not too often. I figure, if she's not asking for it, why give it to her? And anyway, she thinks fresh fruit is about the best thing she could eat, so we go with it.
Overall, I love this age. I love that Penny is learning to communicate more and more and is able to enjoy and participate in more activities. I feel so blessed to be home with her and able to provide her a loving, safe, and stable home.