Friday, May 15, 2009

John Michael's 18 month check up

John Michael turned 18 months old yesterday, May 14th.

Today was his 18 month check up. Hurray, my little guy is (finally) growing again. Between 12 and 15 months, he'd had a weight loss and hadn't grown in length. The pediatrician wasn't too concerned since JM had just started crawling and was no longer nursing, which resulted in a slight weight loss.

John Michael weighs 27 lbs 9 oz and is around 50th percentile on the typical kid charts for height and weight. His head circumference is 3rd percentile, which explains why his little toddler bicycle helmet nearly covers his eyes. It looks pretty funny. I'm going to put some more foam in it so it doesn't bother him so much and maybe it'll fit better.

While we were waiting for the doctor, his assistant gave me a check list of milestones for an 18 month old. First question... Does your child walk fast and walk backwards? Uh, no, but he can pull to stand and is starting to cruise... Next... Can he say 4 to 10 words? No, but he can sign 5 or 6 words... Can he climb into and sit in an adult chair? Got me there...

I started to answer the questionnaire, but I got hung up on each question and was writing, "No, but... " When the doctor came in, I asked him for a 12 month old's check list and that was much better. He had met all the milestones except for the verbal communication, which he makes up for with signs.

In so many ways, John Michael's growing by leaps and bounds. He's super-active and engaged. He loves to explore his environment. He likes people and loves to shake hands. He's communicative with body language and some signs. He's pulling himself to stand on everything around him and has recently started cruising. This week he surprised me by using the kitchen barstool as a walker to go a couple feet, step by step.

He can nest cups and stack 2 or 3 blocks, put things "in", can find hidden objects wrapped in a bandana... He pushes cars and trains and balls all over the house. He signs "dog" whenever he sees or hears a dog and says "K" when he sees our cat. He also says "K" for big brother, Nick. He says Dada, but not Mama. He points to objects (with his middle finger!). He vigorously signs "more" when he really wants something, like frozen yogurt tonight. It was so funny, he just kept signing more... I guess it was that good :-)

Over the past several weeks, he has occasionally fallen asleep in his crib after I put him down still awake. This is so much better than always waiting for him to fall asleep in our arms first. He usually sleeps from about 8:00 or 9:00 pm to 6:30 am. If he's teething, we usually have to get up a couple times to soothe him and give him his Binky or some Tylenol.

Below are some photos from this week. In Music Therapy, he got to play a new instrument, the cabasa. It is a fabulous instrument that had him using his fingers, improving his fine motor skills. He loves his MT sessions and stays pretty focused while she's here.

In the other photos, he devoured his first whole apricot. In the last photo, I asked for a bite and he quickly offered it to me. He is understanding so much and following simple directions as well. This is a very exciting time to watch him grow and develop.

My biggest concern is whether he's getting proper nutrition from his food. I try giving a liquid vitamin, but he hates the taste. If anyone has a good website that has ideas for healthy toddler food, please share it here.

Working his fingers on the cabasa.

Loving his apricot. Mmm juicy.

Can Mommy have a bite?

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  1. What a star! He is doing so well and what a handsome wee chap. Keep up the fabulous work Mama. Isn't it great that he has older siblings too to help motivate him- Luke copies his all the time.

  2. He is doing awesome! Keep up the good work John Michael!! He's soooo cute!! You are doing a great job Monica!

    As for other toddler food, I have a book "The Petit Appetit" by Lisa Barnes. I've tried a few of the puree recipes and they're fine. I don't know how much time you want to spend cooking though. I'd be happy to send you a couple of these recipes if you just to try them. Just contact me via my blog.

    I wish I could offer you more practical and helpful suggestions on toddler food, but we're not there yet. My 19-month old, Matthew, will eat cheerios but when presented with cut up pear or carrots, he flings them off his tray.

  3. happy 18 month birthday! that is awesome that you were able to answer yes to all of the 12 month questions at the peds office - he will be doing the 18 month milestones in no time :) i love that he is signing 5 or 6 signs, and so cute about the "more" sign for more yogurt!!!!! we are working on signs for eat, mama, dada and milk with whitney. can't wait until she is signing too!

    have a great weekend!!!

  4. So glad he is doing so well. He is such a sweet handsome boy!

  5. I love the first picture!!! John Michael is doing great!!!! I have always used my juicer to get Adam to have enough fruits and veggies. When he was a toddler he ate veggies just fine, but as he got older it became more challenging. But, he loves juice and if I put a few apples in with carrots and spinach he just tastes the sweet from the apples and drinks it right up!! Good luck~

  6. Yummy, yum apricots!! So adorable.

  7. Sounds like John Michael is doing wonderfuly!Such a beautiful guy:)It encourages me to hear and see how well he's doing!

  8. He really is doing awesome! What a smart baby boy! So fun to see him today!

  9. way to go JM! He is doing AWESOME!

    Great pics, Monica :)

  10. Man oh man - he is too stinkin' cute! Love that smile :)

  11. He looks like he'd be a little rascal...

  12. What a great report! The next 6 months should be filled with more exciting changes. Oh, and I wouldn't worry about him getting enough nutrition. He looks so healthy and solid!

  13. LOTS of great things going on at your house! I wish I could convince Parker that oral eating was a great way to go!

    sigh. :D