Mar 20, 2011

18 Months: long time no see!

What a crazy few months it has been. We are severely behind on blog posts so this one will be a doozy and we will work harder to keep everything up to date from now on.

J has updated our photo albums. It has been so long that we quickly moved from 15 months to 18 months.

Let's get started with Christmas which seems like years ago. We have a separate photo album just for Christmas pics. Though this Christmas was not quite as hectic as years past, we still had a few parties to go to as well Christmas Eve at my dad's and Christmas morning at home with the rest of the family. Kate was very spoiled (big surprise) and got more presents than a one year old could ask for.

The whole family at the annual Melilli family Christmas party.

Kate all dolled up in her Christmas party dress.

Kate and Daddy decorating the tree.

Kate's personality is really starting to come out. We have a very independent, feisty, and sometimes stubborn girl. One of Kate's favorite words is NO or No No if she is in a good mood. She likes to say no even when she means yes. Most of the time, Kate is a delight, but every so often we get this face.

She is great at the crocodile tears. We foresee some fun time-out sessions in her future (she's already had a few battles with daddy which, of course, he won). Overall, though, we are glad she is not a pushover and has a strong will, but we reserve the right to amend that statement when she hits her teen years and hates us.

Lately, Kate has been using no to tell me which songs I am allowed to sing to her. Her current least favorite is "Baa Baa Black Sheep." I will start to sing it to her and she will politely say no. If I continue, her no's become much louder and more repetitive until I stop. I don't know what she has against the song, but the girl clearly knows what she wants and isn't afraid to tell us. In fact, there are very few songs that don't get a big fat no right now. I'm beginning to think it is the singing and not the songs.

We've had the chance to catch up with some of our favorite people over the last few months. Grandpa Tom came out for a long weekend to celebrate his brother's retirement from the LAPD. During his stay, we went to the beach and the park and then Kate proceeded to get sick. Fortunately she didn't pass on her germs, this time, to anyone else. The stomach bug epidemic of 2011 that ripped through our house is a whole other story for another day. Kate really enjoyed spending time with grandpa.

Grandpa and Kate checking out the birds at the beach.

We also got to take a trip out to Arizona to visit one of my best friends from high school. Auntie Kelly's son Cole turned one and we got to spend a long weekend celebrating with Kelly and her family. While there, we got to visit Kelly at work at Sea Life Arizona which is a great aquarium in Tempe. It was a nice getaway and gave us a chance to take Kate on an airplane for the first time. We came fully prepared with food, books, and Elmo videos and she did really well until the last ten minutes or so when she had a full meltdown. Perhaps skipping all her naps that day didn't help.
Kate loved Cole, but he wasn't too sure about this gigantic toddler walking around his house. By the end of the weekend, though, he warmed up a bit.

As most of you know (hopefully), we will be welcoming a new baby girl into the family in early June. It happened a little faster than we planned (it took us almost a year to get pregnant with Kate) so the girls will only be 22 months apart. The good news is that I will have the whole summer to spend with both our girls and will only have to take a few days off school at the end of this year. Kate is a little too young to understand what is going on, but she sure loves to say hi to the baby and give my tummy kisses. Unfortunately, she has to pull up my shirt to do it. Apparently, the baby can only hear her when she talks directly to her; clothing gets in the way.

I saved you the horror of seeing my stomach, but Kate is going in for a kiss here.

Kate has finally gotten brave at the park and loves to go on the slides. We have a small park in our neighborhood and take her up there every few days so she can burn off some of her excessive energy.
Tackling another slide

Papou Jerry and Yia Yia Debbie bought Kate a giant bubble wand for Christmas and Papou decided to try it out during their last visit. We weren't quite sure who had more fun as Papou kept the bubbles going long after Kate had lost interest and daddy took way too many pictures of giant bubbles.

Kate's favorite thing in the world is bubbles and giant bubbles are even better!

Now that Kate is getting a little older and has really taken an interest in animals, we have started to put our annual passes to use. Our first few trips were to the Wild Animal Park (now lamely called The San Diego Zoo Safari Park). The first time Kate loved the birds but got very scared by the gorillas and the lions -- surprising because those are her favorite sounds to make. The park's male lion decided to start to roar while we were standing in front of the enclosure and Kate almost lost it. I guess they are a little scarier when they are full size than when they are little pictures in a book.

Though Kate is gigantic, she still doesn't measure up to the gorillas.

We tried out the carousel which did not go over so well. Better luck next time I guess.

Our next trip was to the SD Zoo. We had a nice day but Kate was a little grumpy. The zoo is much farther away and she missed her nap. The morning went well but the afternoon went downhill quickly. She loved the petting zoo and didn't seem interested in much else.

We did get her to pose for this cute shot.

And this was the only elephant she was interested in. Apparently the others are way too big.

Our most recent trips have been a few ventures to Sea World. This year, Sea World is giving free year passes to teachers so I quickly took advantage of the offer and have taken Kate twice to check out the sea life. We usually start our day in the Sesame Street Bay of Play. Kate LOVES Elmo (or Emmie as she calls him) so this area is tons of fun for her.

Daddy had to take Kate on the Elmo ride as they don't really want pregnant women on their rides. She did better with this ride than she did with the carousel.

On our second trip, Kate got brave enough to try out the tubes. I love this picture because it really captures her spirit.

Auntie Lindsay and Grandma Kathy joined us for trip number two
and Kate got a good peek at a beluga whale.

Auntie Lindsay was nice enough to pay the ridiculous price for fish so Kate could feed her favorite Sea World animals, the sea lions.

People like to say "she's a mommy's girl" or "she's a daddy's girl." Because of J's job and me having every other day off, we both get to spend some great quality time with Kate so she doesn't seem to prefer one of us over the other -- except when she is in trouble.

She definitely is a great combination of both of us. I think her face looks a lot like mine, but she definitely has daddy's curly hair and long eyelashes. We did notice while at Sea World that she has picked up one of J's traits. For the last few weeks, Kate has been walking around with her hands clasped behind her back. While at Sea World last week, J and Kate headed off in front of us to check out the play area and my mom, sister, and I noticed something interesting about the two of them walking together.

Clearly, Kate has been paying attention to the little details.

As a final wrap up I'll give you a few Kate numbers from her 18 month appointment.

She is currently weighing in at a whopping 32 pounds. She hasn't really gained much weight in the last few months, but she was already so far ahead of the pack that she can stand to stay even.

Kate is 35.5 inches tall which is significantly above the 100% line on the growth curve. Daddy is very tall and Kate has definitely inherited his height. It wouldn't surprise me if she got close to the 6 foot tall mark when she is full grown.

Kate currently says over 50 words and animal sounds (stay tuned for a post dedicated to Kate's love of words). Some of her favorites are monkey, sheep, and lion noises, and the words no, doggy, mommy, daddy, Willow (she pronounces it Yee-Yee) uh-oh, bird, and baby.

The last set of clothes I bought her were 3Ts. Yes, our 19 month old wears a size 3T!!!