Alice is 18 Months Old!

Well, it’s official. We have an 18 month old. Or we will as of Sunday! Madness!

Alice is 18 Months Old! | The Life Jolie

18 months? Whaaaa??

A is all about helping out and being involved in what we’re doing. She loves cooking which makes her self-proclaimed-foodie Mama so very proud. I let her help with as much as she can while I’m preparing dinner. She’s a huge fan of sprinkling various seasonings onto food, handing me items to cut, pouring oil into a pan before I heat it up and stirring food.

Alice is 18 Months Old! | The Life Jolie

She’s still excellent at sharing!

This obviously makes cooking go a bit slower, since I’m keeping a really close eye on her, especially around hot food and knives. But I make sure those perfect little baby hands are far away from danger (though I do let her get close enough to let it be a teaching opportunity so she understand that when things are hot or sharp, she needs to not touch them. I’m not about sheltering kids too much, but rather teaching them boundaries in a supervised environment).

Alice is 18 Months Old! | The Life Jolie

We were all a bit disheveled after a long day at work/daycare.

She thinks it’s hilarious when I chop things quickly like parsley and tries to say “chop chop chop” while making a chopping motion with her hands. She also gets a kick out of me smashing garlic with my knife and tries to say “smash!” I go out of my way to make it as much of a sensory experience as possible letting her get her (pre-washed) fingers into the food to feel the different textures, encouraging her to smell various herbs and foods and sometimes letting her taste certain safe ingredients.

As she gets older, I’ll allow her to get more and more involved in food preparation. It’s been my experience that the more involved she is, the more she enjoys eating the food in front of her. On a normal night she’s down with broccoli without going too crazy for it. But when I let her sprinkle some Romano cheese over it by herself, she goes to town and asks for more!

Alice is 18 Months Old! | The Life Jolie

Give me ALL the broccoli!

A is still all about giving Macie her kibble and giving her treats when she’s good. She also helps us unload the dishwasher by handing us items to put away (or by putting certain things away that are kept within her reach like tupperware). We’re slowly working towards creating a habit of cleaning up her toys on a more systematic basis which can be hit or miss.

She really enjoys playing with clean laundry while we’re folding it. Folding isn’t exactly happening on her end. But when I’m folding, I’ve found that she does a decent job of respecting the boundaries that I set (she can only play with unfolded clothes, once they are folded and added to a different side of my folding surface, they’re off limits). Once in a while she even hands me clothes to fold, although this is rare.

Alice is 18 Months Old! | The Life Jolie

That cone was the perfect size for A!

I’m probably making it out like she’s such an angel. While she is a pretty good girl, she’s not without her challenges. Lately, A has been showing her defiant streak a bit more (which I think she got from me, sorry A!). During our Ikea-trip-from-hell, she actually started pulling my hair and when I said ouch and told her no she laughed and pulled harder. At that point I put her back into the cart (I was holding her because she didn’t want to be there) once again made it clear that she can’t pull hair and then let her cry.

She will often try to get one by us in a variety of ways. We go out of our way to be consistent with our boundaries, but at times it can be a challenge. I now understand why it’s so easy for parents to try not to say no to their kids and accommodate picky habits. It can be so hard to stand your ground! Luckily, A doesn’t throw tantrums too often (which I attribute to our unwillingness to engage that type of behavior- ignore, ignore, ignore!). While it’s very clear that Mommy and Daddy run the show, the challenging times can still be hard!

Alice is 18 Months Old! | The Life Jolie

A going to town on Thanksgiving Round 2.

The first time I ended a meal because A was refusing to eat what we provided, I cried (while she’s generally not picky, she’s still a toddler and absolutely has her moments!). And thank goodness, J was right there to tell me that it’s gonna be ok, she won’t starve, she’ll just eat more tomorrow and in the long run, this is the best thing for her. And he was right. A woke up happy and ate a giant breakfast the next morning.

We were recently faced with a decision about whether to switch A to a toddler bed. This is because the crib that we love from Ikea, is not available in their stores (warehouse issues) and to order it online would involve $98 in shipping, which is outrageous. While I know many people who have had much success in a transition to a bed this early, I’ve also heard of many other situations that didn’t work out as well.

Alice is 18 Months Old! | The Life Jolie

Sitting pretty at Andrea and Nate’s.

J and I weighed out the pros and cons. And above all else we talked about our daughter and her unique personality and situation. We considered the fact that she’s such an amazing sleeper and really loves her crib. She’s never tried to escape or even used it as a teether. Bedtime generally involves us putting her into the crib and her blowing a kiss and rolling over to go to sleep right away. We also took into account the huge transition that is ahead of her- not only the plan to get rid of the binks after the holidays but especially Baby Bubbles’ imminent arrival.

Bottom line, every kid is different, but for A’s specific situation, we feel that it’s best for her to stay in her crib. The great thing is, it turns into a toddler bed. So when the time comes, we’re already prepared.

Alice is 18 Months Old! | The Life Jolie

A loves dipping her food in various condiments.

Another area that we’ve started to consider is potty training. A is definitely not ready to potty train quite yet, but she’s started to show an interest what goes on in the bathroom and will wake up with dry diapers once in a while. We definitely don’t intend to begin potty training before Bubbles joins the party, unless something major and unexpected changes.

Still, I like the idea of her being comfortable with everything surrounding using the potty so that when she is ready to start, she’ll already be as comfortable as she can be with it. I was initially against the idea of a potty seat because it seems kind of gross and I’d rather not create an additional transition for her (especially when they make smaller seats that go on to the actual toilet).

Alice is 18 Months Old! | The Life Jolie

Cool hair, Bro!

But in thinking about it more, I’ve realized that maybe the potty seat will be a good thing for her when she actually begins potty training. I get that the big, adult toilet can be a potentially scary thing. And right now, when she inevitably follows me into the bathroom, she can at least sit on the potty chair in her diaper and get used to sitting in it. Keep in mind that I’ve never potty trained a kid before so this is all subject to change based on A’s unique needs. In the meantime, Santa will be bringing A her brand new potty chair a week from today.

Alice is 18 Months Old! | The Life Jolie

So here we are, 1.5 years after A changed our world and life couldn’t be more awesome. I could never have imagined the amount of joy that would come to our already happy home once A arrived and I cannot wait for Bubbles to get here! And I still cannot believe that she’s 18 months old!

When did your kid potty train or transition into a bed?


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  • Reply
    December 18, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    That is such a perfect age. Always doing something photo-worthy but not old enough to care that you’re sticking a camera in her face! 😉
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    • Reply
      December 21, 2015 at 11:41 am

      It’s way too much fun-= I love that she communicates more!

  • Reply
    kate @veggie desserts
    December 18, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    She sounds adorable. They really do grow up so quickly. My daughter loves helping out in the kitchen as well and it certainly does help her to eat a wider variety.

    • Reply
      December 21, 2015 at 11:41 am

      Thank you! I can’t get over how fast it goes- such a bittersweet feeling! I always love hearing about how other people’s kids get involved.

  • Reply
    December 19, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    She’s just so adorable! Dalton has started to show interest in cooking (obviously he’s always had interest in food) and I want to start involving him more. Are you able to let her help if you’re on your own? Or is it a two parent thing? So far it’s worked out for us if we are both home, but right now that’s a rarity on week days. Sorry I turned this comment into a book about me. Just text me. Did she really not eat anything you gave her for dinner?
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    • Reply
      December 21, 2015 at 11:25 am

      Awwww Dalton- he’s such a great eater! For us it’s a one parent thing, but I could understand if certain parents weren’t too comfortable with that. It definitely slows down the process because I’m going out of my way to supervise her, but I don’t mind. I usually start out with it just being her and I since I’m picking A up from daycare now that J is in a new position at his company. I really look forward to it, it’s our special time. Usually he gets home about halfway through and it’s definitely easier when her joins us,. IT’s also be easier when he makes the learning tower for her to stand at the counter on her own.

      And yes, once in a while she will all out reject her dinner. It happens- thankfully not often but she is still a toddler haha.

  • Reply
    December 22, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Where to start?
    She is 18 months old – already?! Wow. 😀
    Like you write, each kid is different but here is what worked for us and a heads up.
    The heads up is, real tantrums come between 2 and 2&1/2 years old. Have the camera ready to take videos around those times.
    I have a foolproof tip (that I followed myself) about the right time for a bed vs crib: when you notice she is trying to mount over the crib and seems she is about to succeed (and tumble over and get hurt), it’s high time for a toddler bed – or an open crib if you have those that are 3 functions in 1. The Cute went to sleep without any problems from day one and furthermore, she loved the bed so much, she was thrilled. She goes and just sits there, reading (or jumping).
    As for the potty…I have failed miserably. We used two pottys and two potty seats (trying to find which allures to The Cute the most, since she was 1 year old (maybe even earlier). She is 2 and a half now and we are still in full diapers. My brother’s daughter – in contrast – was fully potty trained at 2. I wouldn’t worry much about the seat, since you will be there anyway to make sure she doesn’t fall.
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    • Reply
      December 23, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      Doesn’t it go so fast? I cannot believe it! I’ve heard the tantrums can get pretty crazy at that time…SO much to look forward to haha!

      I’m happy that she hasn’t started trying to escape quite yet, which makes me confident in our decision to stick with the crib at this point. She starts in the toddler room next week and so this whole week they’ve been bringing her over there and letting her have lunch and play with the kids in her room (which she loves!). They said that yesterday she napped on one of their mats instead of in the crib in the toddler room and apparently she did super well so that’s always good. But for now I’m gonna milk this crib as long as I can!

      Yeah, I definitely don’t feel like she’s ready to potty train (though I’ve been ready to ditch the diaper since day one, aren’t we all?). I also recognize that each kid is so different and the last thing I’d want to do is put unnecessary pressure on her when she’s not there yet. It doesn’t sound like you failed, it sounds to me like you’re doing what’s best for The Cute and that’s awesome! We’ll see how A reacts to the seat and when the time is right, we’ll go from there.

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