The long-delayed M. update is below the jump, complete with 18 month stats.

M. had her 18 month check-up this morning. I was at class, but heard that for the first time ever, she protested her shots. In the past, she cried for 15-30 seconds, then was back to normal. Apparently there was a mini-meltdown this morning. Her measurements were:

25 lbs, 15 oz (remains in the 75th %)
31 3/4 inches (Up to the 50th % from 25th)
Head circumference went down from 105th to 90th %. So her head is still big, but perhaps the last couple of measurements were off. Those baby heads are the hardest things to measure, anyway.

Although M. turned 18 months last week, she is definitely acting like she’s two. Between the tantrums, the willful disobedience, and the sudden love of being nude, she’s turning into the classic two-year-old. The whole nude thing cracks me up. Until about three weeks ago, she hated it when we changed her diaper or transfered her into or out of the bathtub. Then, one day, she took off when I was trying to change her. There’s been no stopping her since. The best was one day at the in-law’s, as I was trying to change her while leaving her shoes on, she hopped up and started walking around in her shirt, jacket, socks, and pink sneakers. I tried to get her, but she took off, laughing madly the entire time. I seem to recall I escaped from my parents’ grasps and ran through the neighborhood nude a time or two when I was a toddler. I fear I will be paid back sooner rather than later.

M. has mastered the concept of good-bye. That’s always been one of my favorite kid things, the moment they become obsessed with saying “Bye bye.” She’s no different than any other kid. She waves and says “Bye bye” over-and-over if someone is leaving. What cracks me up is when it’s a chilly day and one of us slips on a sweater or sweatshirt and the ever-attentive M. thinks we’re leaving instead of attempting to stay warm. “Bye bye. Bye bye.” Waves. Watches. Repeats. Because people put coats on when they’re leaving so if you add a layer of clothing, you must be going, right? Makes me laugh every time. She’s also become obsessed by cars, and put the two concepts together. When we’re getting her ready to leave, she says “Bye bye in car.” Her first sentence!

She also learned the concept of “WHHHEEEEEE!” somewhere, somehow. She’ll randomly say it, which is funny enough. But her first few times in the mini-van, when we hit the button to open the side doors, she smiled and said “WHHHHEEEEE!” We were completely stationary each time, but I guess she got a thrill out of it nonetheless. Good stuff.

I purchased some flowers for S.’s birthday last week. We had been working on getting M. to smell unlit candles that we keep around the house, so I transferred the concept to smelling roses. I pick her up, lean in, sniff for myself, then put her face near the roses. She pulls back her lips in a Billy Idol-like snarl, scrunches her nose up, and inhales loudly. Since it’s fun to mess with kids, one day when we were playing on the guest bed, I pointed out the flowers on the comforter. She collapsed onto her stomach, made her Smelling Face, and started trying to gather some scent from the imprints on the cotton cover. I hope that thing has been washed sometime this decade.

Hoops. Or “B-ball” as she calls it. See, smart kid. We moved her little hoop into the basement when we made our cold weather migration in the fall. She’s grown just enough to be able to get the ball over the rim a little more easily. She’ll be playing with something else, see the ball lying in a corner or under a table, drop everything, pick it up, and sprint – shrieking the entire time – across the room and complete the move with a nasty, toddler dunk. Unfortunately, she has no humility at all. After each successful dunk, she claps for herself, screams, and then puts her arms straight behind her, palms up, and runs around like an Italian striker than just scored the winning goal in the World Cup. Hey, who am I to step all over my daughter’s enjoyment and development in the name of sportsmanship? We’re working on passing, too. She can toss the ball to me ok, but when I deal her a dime, she tends to laugh and kick it.

I dropped my first basketball-related f-bomb in her presence of the season on Saturday. Fortunately, she has not repeated it yet.

Another tooth cut its tip through her gums this weekend. When it pushes all the way through, we’ll be just three teeth short of a full set for the average kid under two. We’re most hopeful that they come as quickly as this one did – wasn’t in sight Monday, cut through on Saturday – so we can say goodbye to the teething pains for awhile, and more importantly, start working on trashing the binkies. If we can’t get her off of them before Little Sister is born, we’re hosed. When she can’t find a binky, she walks around saying “Binky, Binky,” as if it’s a lost pet.

She’s definitely challenging, but sharing these tidbits reminds me how much fun she really is. We’ve been extraordinarily lucky with her, and if she’s gone from being good 95% of the time to only 75-80%, we’re still doing pretty well, I think. If we could just get her to sleep until 6:30-7:00, things would be about perfect.

That’s the M. update. I had been slacking on pictures, but for those who check our picture page, I added a bunch of new ones to both December and January’s albums last week.