Ella Update - 19 Months

Well I am happy to report that or second week back at work was much better than our first. Ella was over her sickness by Sunday night and back to her old, smiley self. My day off was Wednesday, and needless to say it was the the highlight of my week. Now that I am working four days, the one day that I have to spend with Ella is just so, so precious. 

We had a busy day planned. First up was a trip to the Collingwood Senior's Centre for Ella's 18-month immunisations. Every month there are places set up around each council where you can get any immunisations done for free. The senior's centre was where we always went when we lived in Abbotsford as it was a 10 minute walk from our house and never very busy. None of the dates in our new council really suited us, hence going back to Abbotsford, but I am happy to find any excuse to visit our old neighbourhood. (Have I mentioned how much I miss it there? Oh yes, I talk about it all the time! I need to get over it! I am actually starting to like Brunswick more and more as I get to know it.) We arrived nice and early so I took Ella for a walk along the Yarra river, past Collingwood Children's Farm, stopping for coffee and a croissant at One Fine Day café:

Breakfast and coffee with mummy. I don't think she liked me interrupting her eating to take a photo!

Beautiful morning views over the Yarra River 

Gotta love a café with toys!
Ella handled her immunisations like a champ, actually watching the needle go in to each arm (ew!) before screaming her head off for a few minutes. However she was quickly distracted by bubbles (thank you nurses!) and by the time we got back to the car she was absolutely fine. After that we went to check out a daycare centre that is close to our new house. I have been doing daily checks on the website Care for Kids to see if any local daycares were advertising vacancies. Suddenly this one came up, so I quickly called them and booked in a tour. I did not have high expectations and expected to walk in and hate it... I mean, why would they have vacancies unless it was sub-par? But I was pleasantly surprised by the centre. It was really nice, and all of the children and educators seemed calm and happy when we visited. On top of that, it is located 1.5km from our house and is $21 per day cheaper than our current centre in Abbotsford. Winning! So I signed Ella up then and there, she starts at the end of the month. I am SO happy we will not have to commute back and forth to Abbotsford for daycare in a few weeks, it will save either Andy or me over an hour of commuting time!

After that busy morning we headed back home for Ella's nap. Currently she sleeps from about 12pm-2pm every day. I spent nap time time cooking a child-friendly chicken curry from my One Handed Cooks cookbook. This is my favourite resource for finding food to cook that is both healthy and yummy. Ella likes pretty much everything I have tried from this book so far. There are sections for purées and baby led weaning for infants, toddler friendly dishes, healthy snacks, and dinner for the whole family. It's great.

Once Ella woke up she had some of the curry for lunch (loved it). We then headed off to visit the Maternal Child Health Nurse for her 18-month check up. (Yes, she is 19 months. Yes, we were behind on both her check-up and immunisations... I blame our busy Christmas holidays!) Ella walked into the nurses office excitedly pointing at pictures and saying all of the words she knows: "Apple! Monkey! Baby! Ball! Flower!" The nurse wrote in her book that she has "an expansive vocabulary" and said her demeanour is more like a two year old. Even though I know it doesn't mean much, and all babies develop at different rates, I was a very proud mummy! The nurse also weighed and measured Ella. Her height and head size are nearly in the 75th percentile, so it is looking like she may take after Andy in the height department. She weighs 10.3kg, which was less than I was expecting, but the nurse said their weight gain starts to taper off once they reach 18 months. I think her weight is around the 50-60th percentile.

It was a super hot day on Wednesday, about 35 degrees and full sunshine, so we finished up the afternoon at Brunswick Baths, our local pool and where we take Ella for swimming lessons. We have spent a lot of time there over the past few weeks, trying to cool off in the heat. Ella loves the little children's pool and the outdoor splash pad, and has the biggest smile on her face as she runs around checking out all of the different features. Finally, around 5pm, we headed home to see Andy and get the dinner/bath/book/bed routine on the go. It was a busy, but satisfying day!

Splash pad at Brunswick Baths
Here are some other updates about Ella and her development so far:

  • Food. I swear she would eat non-stop if given the choice. Current favourite foods are: pasta and veg sauce, chicken curry, cherry tomatoes, raisins, apples, pears, frozen berries and yogurt, cheese, toast and peanut butter, bircher museli.
  • Bunny. She basically carries bunny around with her everywhere now. We have given up  on making her keep it in bed.
  • Her dummy. We are trying to wean her off this following the Christmas holidays when it was a dummy free-for-all. I don't mind her having it for bed, or even if she is really upset. But I hate her having it in when she is just happily playing. We've had a few little tantrums this weekend when we refused to give it to her but I think she is starting to get the idea. 
  • Her new toy kitchen and her little couch. I think she loves that they are the right size for her!
  • When you put on a funny voice and pretend bunny is talking to her.
  • Dancing around to The Wiggles.
  • Playing with balls. She basically plays fetch with herself. 
  • Swimming, playing in water. 
  • Bubbles. Though she now wants to control the bubble wand herself, which doesn't go well.
  • Books. We have had to limit her to four books before bed, which she picks out herself. Otherwise she wants us to read an unlimited number of books. 
  • Dogs. She loves petting them and when they get all up in her face with their wet noses. This is where Ella and I differ.
  • Putting on clothes. Normally one pant leg over her pants, or a leg through the arm of a shirt. She also loves putting on her shoes, I think she knows this means we are going out. Children are a bit like dogs in this way.
  • Different/new foods. It takes some coaxing to get her to try new things sometimes. My current plan with dinner is I give her a few different foods, mostly things I know she likes with maybe one new item that I hope she'll at least try.
  • Bath time. Well she doesn't exactly dislike baths, she just isn't as excited about them as she used to be. We went through a period where she refused to sit down in the bath, so you had to simultaneously hold her and bathe her at the same time. I'm glad that phase is over! Now I just think she realises that after her bath it is bed time, so if she is not ready for that she is more resistant to the bath. She does love "naked cuddles" which is when we get her undressed for her bath and then she runs back and forth between Andy and me giving us a big hug. We all need a few naked cuddles in our lives!
  • When she wants to do something herself and you try and help her. 
  • When you pretend to steal some of her food. This is mostly an Andy move, and he gets a death stare from Ella. She does share her food occasionally, but it has to be on her terms. She is very happy to share any vegetables!

Things Ella does:
  • Pretends to feed bunny or other stuffed animals. 
  • Takes the toy dummy off her Cabbage Patch baby doll and puts it in her own mouth. When she does that I pretend the baby is crying until she gets her dummy back. Ella does not see the irony in this.
  • Talks and repeats words a lot. We now have to watch what we say around her. She is also starting to say two words together. Most recently "daddy where's mummy" and "mummy's coffee". Clever girl.
  • When she hears a new sound she puts her hand to her ear and makes a surprised face. She never misses the sound of a plane flying overhead!
  • Waves at trams and trains. 
  • Digs through her nappy bag looking for snacks and food.
  • Blows on her food when it is too hot to eat. 
  • Falls over. A lot. When will she work out that it is useful to actually look where you are going?
  • Has started to say "poo poo" and doing the sign for "change" when she's had a number two. 
  • Gives you her plate when she is finished eating. You need to get it quickly or else all the leftover food ends up dumped out. 
  • Knows baby sign language for: more, please, thank you, all done, milk and water. I love baby sign language and will definitely try and teach it to our next child.
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