Eighteen Months!

A year-and-a-half! Madelyn is 18 months old and my mind is officially blown. I remember 18 months sounded like an eternity away when she was just born. I received some clothes for her that were size 18-24 months and for so long, they lived in the top and back part of the closet, almost unreachable. It seemed like it would be an eternity until she’d get to wear them, and now, here we are, with those same pieces rotating through the laundry. It’s so Alison of me to mark time based on clothing.

Taking Madelyn’s growing photos is becoming more work. Girlfriend doesn’t want to stay seated in her pink chair. She just wants to go! go! go!


At 18 months, Madelyn…

  • Is signing to bridge her communication with us. She’s still behind in speaking which is why we visit speech therapy once a week. The therapy is actually like one big play time and it’s really fun! We look at animals and make sounds, play in a ball pit, create noises while we do sensory activities, and learn sign language! Madelyn is the Mistress of More — she loves to put her hands together and ask for “more” or tell us she’s “all done.” Her “all done” sign looks like she’s flipping gang signs. Ah, our little gangster. So sweet. At first I doubted the significance of sign language. Why talk with our hands when we’re supposed to talk with our voices? But then I learned that the sign language is supposed to bridge the gap of communication and ease up any frustration we all have when Madelyn can’t tell us what she wants. Eventually, she’ll put words with the signs and she’ll be chatting away. We’ve been going for about two months and the therapist has seen lots of improvement already! Just this week, Madelyn said “go,” “Poppa,” “boo!” “baa-aa” like a sheep, and “moo” like a cow, in addition to some other animal sounds she has learned like “dah!” for duck/quack, “ccchhhh” for a pig (instead of snorting in, she snorts out like she’s speaking Hebrew), and “grrr” for lion.
  • Understands way too much! Just because the girl isn’t talking doesn’t mean she isn’t understanding. I could be in a conversation with an adult that has nothing to do with her, but if I say the sentence, “… so I decided I could do some more shopping…” Madelyn will sign “more” because she hears it. A few weeks ago, I told Bryan something outrageous while she was in the room minding what I thought was her own business and I said, “Seriously, Bryan! I’m not even lyin’!” and out of nowhere she roared. Lyin’ = lion to Madelyn’s ears. If I give her commands, she takes them, which will be awesome once she is strong enough to run the vacuum. Hmm…
  • Has discovered Minnie and Mickey Mouse! She’s still very loyal to her Sesame Street friends, but she now recognizes and gushes over Minnie especially. We took her to Disneyland the week she turned 18 months (more on that later!) and she was completely star struck. She has two Minnie dolls that she loves to carry around with her, and whenever I wear my Mickey PJ top, she doesn’t let go of me (it’s a sneaky way to get cuddles out of her!).
  • Finally suffered through her first illness of a fever, respiratory thing, and an ear infection. We got through a week’s worth of icky, but she proved to be a total champ through the whole ordeal. She’s much braver than I am!
  • Still loves books and reading to herself and her stuffed animals. She also enjoys sorting her toys and making piles out of everything. She walks to an area, moves what’s there, one piece at a time, to a whole new area, and then starts the process over. There’s a method to her madness, I just wish I understood what it was!
  • Has excellent dance skills. She keeps rhythm by clapping or bouncing and has a few different signature moves. One is sort of Frankenstein-like where she takes big steps side to side and holds her arms straight out like she’s balancing. Another Madelyn classic is standing in place and bouncing at her knees while flapping her arms at the elbow like a bird. She dances to a capella singing, live music, Sesame Street songs, anything with a melody! Bryan and I think she has some musical talents budding deep down. Can’t wait to see them develop!
  • Wears her hair in a few different hairstyles. She finally has enough for pig tails and that style is my personal favorite! She also pulls off a mean Pebbles Flintstone with a pom on top of her head. Her curls are coming in so with enough detangler and a good air dry, the back of her head usually has some good fluff. She won’t allow bows or headbands to stay in her hair very long, but we manage with itty bitty elastics. I should probably learn how to do other fun hair styles. This girl never learned how to French braid! Gasp!



And what’s a Madelyn photo shoot without a little Princeton? More proof that Madelyn’s arrival 18 months ago didn’t take away from our fur baby!


Oh you know, just drinking and reading to my baby like a big girl.

Oh you know, just drinking and reading to my baby like a big girl.

  1. 2/12/2013 6:57 AM

    She is precious! Growing like a weed (a beautiful flowery like weed). 🙂
    When I was working with infants and toddlers we taught them sign language. It was the best and truly helped them get to language faster and easier. There were also far less tears because they could communicate with us what they needed through sign. Good to hear she’s doing so well with it!