18 months

by Katie on August 18, 2014

Earlier this month, we celebrated another half-birthday. It’s been 18 months since our Leyton Dean entered the world, and we can’t imagine a single day without her.

She has turned into the neatest, sweetest, funniest, smartest little person. Not that we’re biased or anything.

While she is also quickly developing a bit of toddler attitude, this is our favorite stage to date.

At 18 months, Leyton…

  • Weighs 24 pounds (50th percentile), is 33.5 inches tall (80th percentile) and still has a very tiny noggin (20th percentile).
  • Talks up a storm! Her swim teacher calls her a parrot, because she literally repeats every. single. word you say. Which is endearing. For now. And also forcing her daddy to completely clean up his act.
  • Speaking of a swim, she has turned into a little fish the past few weeks. We started back at ISR lessons to add in actual swimming to her survival floating, and she took to it right away. Like a fish to water. (Couldn’t help myself.)
  • Directs her own swim lesson. I know, who would have thought Brandon Leister’s baby would be the one who comes up from the water, and before she can catch her breath, tells the instructor where she is going to swim to next. Control issues much?
  • Gives kisses and hugs and says, “I love you.” Or, more accurately, “Luh Lou!” Let me tell you, there is nothing in this world sweeter than laying your big 18-month-old baby girl in her crib at night after prayers, having her promptly direct you to close her door, then exchanging “Nigh-nigh”s and “Luh Lou”s with her as you make your exit. Truly, a sweeter sound does not exist. I take that back. A sweeter sound does exist. After her vocabulary began rapidly developing, I added a very simple, repeat-after-me prayer to her bedtime routine. In the past week, she has mastered repeating her entire prayer, “Dear Jesus, Thank you for this day. Amen.” That, y’all, is the sweetest sound in existence.
  • Loves people. All of the people. It does take her just a few minutes to adjust in a new environment or around new people, especially if it’s a big crowd, but once she does, she literally puts on a song and dance routine for them.
  • Says “Rocker 7″ (“Ocker Se-ben”) and “Gig ’em, Aggies.” The latter meaning that my work as an Aggie parent is basically done.
  • Is currently obsessed with the Baby Aggie (made by Team Baby) DVD gifted to her by my college roommate’s parents. I really police and limit when and how much she gets to watch it, but that doesn’t stop her from requesting “Aggie Show” all day long. Or at least until Daddy gets home. Because it immediately comes on after one, “Pease, Aggie Show?” when he walks in the door before it gets turned on. Her favorite part is when the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band plays the War Hymn. While her excitement has begun to wane some, she still pretty much goes bonkers as soon as that part begins.
  • Has a very impressive vocabulary. No joke or boasting here, it’s just the truth. I firmly believe all babies and kids have their “thing”, and ours definitely has a gift for the spoken word at this age. We thought that was the case, but weren’t really sure, but it has been confirmed by her pediatrician and our friends with more toddler experience. I tell everyone that she just must have been using all the brain power that was supposed to be mastering large motor skills (walking) on fine tuning her vocabulary skills. Because we were way behind in mobility. Like I said, they all have their thing.
  • Learned how to scream. To be clear, this is not on the good list. It was like one day a week or two ago she all of a sudden learned the power she had in her lungs and needs to test it out throughout the day. Her favorite places for this testing to take place? The post office, grocery store, and her car seat. The other day, we ran into some friends at the end of our grocery shopping trip, and I let them know that if they saw a trail of Cheerios (I tried to pick up all the ones I saw) or heard anything ear piercing, it had probably been us. It’s making me a bit apprehensive about our next flight.
  • Thinks that whatever time Daddy comes home is the absolute best time of day. It doesn’t matter what she’s doing or what room she’s in, when she hears our front door open, she drops anything in her hand and races to the door yelling, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” Even if I don’t receive a greeting with near that enthusiasm, I have to admit it’s pretty sweet. Just last night after it happened, Brandon looked at me and said, “I will never ever get tired of that.” I mean, how could you?
  • Still loves hats, bows, necklaces, shoes, sunglasses and all accessories. We are reminded of MeMe all the the time when she comes parading in with two necklaces, three bows and a purse.
  • Pretty much knows the name of every person in our family now. Aunt Amanda was the most recent addition, and has been dubbed, “De-Dah.” Cousin Theodore (“Dor-Dore”) is her favorite. In fact, she is a little bit obsessed with him and asks to see pictures of him all day long. We do not know how he reached such an esteemed position in her little world.
  • Began working on her tantrum skills. One day recently, things were just not going her way and it resulted in a full, wallowing on the floor, crying meltdown. For more than ten minutes. When she finally composed herself enough to sit down for lunch, it started again when her grilled cheese didn’t  have “More cheese!” So that was fun. Anyway, it is safe to say we have entered toddlerhood and left the innocence of babyhood behind.
  • Says, “Okay! Okay!” as soon as she falls down. Which is much better, and cuter, than crying. We raise ’em tough over here.

…Is the light of our life! We could not be more proud of her, or feel more blessed that the Lord entrusted her to us.

I am sure there are a million things I am forgetting that we love about this age and stage in her development, but at least we got some highlights some highlights of this sweet time in our lives down…because I’m going to need to remember it through the screams and tantrums that are beginning to frequent our days.

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