1 8 m o n t h s

So listen. I now have an 18 month old. I’ve been a mom for 18 months. A year and a half year old kid calls me mom. 
Hold the phone. 
I’m obviously having a hard time wrapping my head around this.
I try really hard not to lament over time and how quickly all of this goes, but instead focus on the current milestone. The current phase. The current weight of her in my arms (25 pounds if you’re asking). But DANG. I do believe this second year is going by even quicker than the first one did.

As of late, Aven is really becoming her own little person.

She’s still very social and thrives in groups, especially when she knows and loves those people. Her vocabulary has really grown and even if it takes a little while to learn people names, it only takes her a few minutes to learn dog’s names. (Little pet lover.) 

She occasionally throws tantrums now which is super fun. (sarcasm abounds). They usually start if she doesn’t get to go play outside (aka, where she would live if we would let her). She then falls on the floor dramatically and bangs her head on the floor – a move that my little brother used to do so it kind of makes me want to laugh. Just a little. Charlie, did you teach your niece your head bangin’ ways? 

We are encouraging independence as much as possible because it has never been her strong suit. Even when she was too small to notice if I left the room…uh, she noticed. And this many months later she still hates to be by herself. I’ve even resorted to propping a gate up in the doorway of the playroom, just so she’ll play for 5 minutes without me. Any advice on this is welcome 🙂

She’s very routine-oriented, which I would assume is true for most little kids. These days, she’s up at 7-7:30am and eats at the same times we do, with a snack around 4pm. She naps after lunch for 1.5-2 hours, and then its bath and bedtime 7:30-8pm. No more bottles, only milk from sippy cups (this was a big deal for us because girlfriend adored her bottle!)

So although there are always bumps in the road of raising a child, there is also a whole lot of fun going on around here lately. 

Toddlers. Are. Crazy.

{ here are our favorite Aven-isms & pictures since I posted her last update at 14 months: }

If something requires a fist bump – a frequent occurrence in our house – she’ll run from wherever she is to give everyone a fist bump, including the dogs. (Um, adorable).
She dances to all kinds of music but still hearts Taylor Swift the most. Her dancing = her entire body bobbing up and down with a twirl thrown in sometimes.
Knows lots of animal sounds, but my favorite one by far is her whale impression. (there’s a video of it on my instagram from about a month ago)
If we’re driving on a curvy road, I’ll hear “weeeeee……wooooaahhh” from the backseat. 🙂 

Sidewalk chalk is a new favorite pastime. 
“Nak” is her way of saying “snack” and it’s hilarious. Also, she says it 500 times a day.
When we drop her off at the church nursery, she walks down the hall stopping at all the classrooms to wave and say hi to the other kids. (Social butterfly, I tell you).
Obsessed with trains (real ones).

Does a super cute impression of the wind.
Isn’t really into cartoons which I’m happy about, but she does love Elmo. And her Praise Baby DVD comes to the rescue as needed. 
Sticker obsessed and her favorite place to stick them is on my face. Or my floors.

Refuses all bows and hairbands which I’m sure is payback for the headbands I forced on her when she was too little to yank them off. 
Gives eskimo kisses.

Waves at everything, including tree limbs blowing in the wind because obviously they are waving at her and it would be rude to not wave back. (dear Jesus never let this sweetness end).
Is convinced our boxer Hudson is her bestie and she usually plops down next to him on his bed. Like I said on instagram last week, he definitely gets extra crowns in heaven. 

Asks for lotion on her hands and then promptly bends over to lotion her legs. A girl can’t have dry legs. No idea where she learned this. Ahem. 
Carries around my old stuffed panda bear, which is bigger than she is. And then uses him as a pillow.
Loves to FaceTime and gets super hyped when the phone rings. (She knows the Facetime ring is different from the regular ring.)
Favorite toys are those she can push around the house: her lawnmower, stroller, and vacuum, or even a stray chair will do. And nothing makes her laugh like her giant purple ball. It’s the simple things, people.

this was one of her last bottles ever.

{ firsts }
pinkeye-ish illness (never confirmed by Dr. but treated as is).
riding in the “car cart” at grocery store
wearing flip flops
zoo trip
trip to the beach as a toddler (more on that here)

Aven Harper, I love you so! All 18 months of you.

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