Eli - 15 Month Update

Oh boy, I feel like this month deserves a disclaimer, or at least some sort of preamble. It was a VERY tough month for Eli and I. In his defense, he landed three new teeth, was sick all four weeks with a cold, and for one of those weeks he had Hand Food Mouth Disease (HMFD). In addition, he had his vision checked and his eyes dilated in the middle of the month, which is a pretty big deal for a kiddo his age. I made a fatal error in trying to drop his morning nap, not realizing all of this would happen. While I'll go into more detail below, let's just say dropping his nap was the wrong decision. Also, getting good photos of this kiddo was a bear - he just wants to mooooove. But I did catch a walking attempt! 

Alright, here we go. 
Naps: This past month they were all over the place. Most days I tried for one afternoon nap, around 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., although this rarely went as planned.
Feeding: Whole milk (16-20 oz./day), water all day, and table foods three times a day with a snack after his afternoon nap.
Clothing: 12 - 18 month.
Bedtime: 7-8 p.m. Slept 12 hours most nights, woke often certain nights, and other nights slept right through. 

Eating:
Eli became a bit of a picky eater this month. Or maybe it wasn't picky, just unpredictable. Some days he loved grapes, other days he wouldn't touch them. Some days he ate a lot, most days he ate very little. Some days he didn't even want CHEESE. That's how bad and weird it was. I just kept trying to be consistent, offering him three meals a day with a snack. I think part of it was due to teething, part of it was do to the fact that the HFMD landed mostly in his throat, causing him to not eat for two days and drink verrrrry little for one day. While he still eats a wide range of foods, it was just hard to know what he would eat and what he wouldn't and was often a big ordeal to figure out what was what.

Sleeping:
Sleeping was a beast this month. I tried dropping his morning nap, right after I wrote about it in his 14 month update. I started by just trying to get him to 11 a.m., give him some lunch and put him down. It usually worked, but then he really needed to go to bed at 6 p.m. So then I switched and tried shortening his morning nap, only letting him sleep for one hour, but usually it seemed like he didn't want to go back down later or sometimes he just played through his morning nap, and was still exhausted by 11 or Noon, giving me the same problem as before. Our schedule this month was crazy and unpredictable, and I was basically only trying to clear my afternoons for nap jail, which made it hard on Eli because we didn't have a routine and I was kinda going into it without a clear plan. 

In addition, the HFMD pretty much threw us off for a week. He literally didn't sleep for one entire night - Mike and I think he maybe slept for 15 minutes two different times the entire night. He didn't like sleeping, because as I mentioned, the HFMD settled in his throat, making it incredibly uncomfortable for him to lay down. It was horrible. Worse than the newborn stage because you don't get any breaks and Eli cried for like 15 straight hours - so neither of us slept since sound travels in our old house. I was a total zombie the next day and poor Mike had to go back to work.

Finally, nighttime sleeping was also awful. I don't know if it was teething (three new ones this month), the weird nap schedule, or his colds and HMFD, but I'd say five nights a week he would wake up at least once, if not two or three times for no apparent reason crying super hard. It was easy to go in and settle him back down, I just held him and laid him down again, but it was very unlike him. 

Overall, it was a really hard month, not just in sleeping, but I'm pretty sure that didn't help everything else. A lot of it was probably my fault since I wasn't consistent with him and I wasn't confident he needed to drop the nap, but I tried it anyway. I'm back to giving him two naps a day, one around 10 a.m. for about two hours and one around 4 p.m. for about one and a half hours, then he goes back to bed at 8 p.m. It's been working for a few days now, but I'll let you know in the next update if that's the plan for the near future. 

Development:
His biggest change is obviously in his vision. In the middle of the month we had his eyes checked and he started wearing glasses right around the end of the month. More details here, but he's doing really well with them. He's still not walking yet, which I think is causing a lot of frustration for him, but hopefully the glasses will help him with that. It seems that he's definitely working on a big milestone, or something in him is changing as this month - he's just a lot more temperamental. I even asked the pediatrician at his 15 month appt. if there was something wrong with him. I felt like someone had taken my sweet boy and replaced him with a hormone-crazed teenager!  

For example, he's started fussing often for no reason, throwing a lot more tantrums, and doing this weird "Eh, eh, eh" thing when he wants something, doesn't like something, needs help, you name it. It sounds like whining and will definitely drive you bonks when you hear it 47 times a day. Seriously. That number is not exaggerated. For a while there, he was doing it for EVERYTHING. I started saying, "Eli, no whining, use your words." Then help him with whatever it was and tell him to say, "Help!" or "Up!" or "Out!" or whatever it was he wanted. And I have to say, it's starting to work. He says "up" and "out," both prompted and unprompted. For "help" he hasn't said it, but usually he'll sign "more" with sad puppy-dog eyes when he wants something or needs help, so I'll take it. He is getting better about not fussing with the "Eh!" but it still comes out every once in a while. I'm sure he's just turning into a classic toddler and mastering some milestone, but it's so different from the way he usually is! 


Even though he seems to be a bit slower to develop his motor skills, he seems to cooking right along with his verbal ones. He knows about 10 words now that he uses prompted and unprompted and is pretty good at attempting many of the words we ask him to say. He loves saying "shoes" when he wants to go outside, "up" to be held, "all done" when he's - you guessed it - all done (particularly when he's fed up with me wiping his nose from a cold 500 times a day).  He also seems to jibber jabber with quite the purpose, pointing at things and looking back at me to be sure I'm looking too. It's like he's really telling me a story that he needs me to understand and it is very important. He still loves to mimic us and recently got the fish lips down, its so cute to see him suck in his cheeks! He still does "muscles," "so big," etc. and really loves to hide behind his hands and "appear" when taking them away. But he does it so slowly it's hard to know when to get "scared." So I just sorta freak out about it over and over again so I don't miss what he feels is the " big moment!"

He's definitely starting to get to that stage where he's into EVERYTHING and it's becoming harder and harder to multitask around him. For example I was picking up our bedroom the other day and found Eli in the bathroom going through Mike's toiletry bag. (Both of us keep our stuff in a small bag since we don't have bathroom cabinets.) He was playing with Mike's razor. I also found evidence of him taking out fingernail clippers and scissors, shaving cream (he loves sucking on anything with nozzle!!!) and an opened toothpaste tube with - yes - toothpaste everywhere. Mom award of the year over here. I feel terribly when Eli's into stuff he shouldn't be because he doesn't understand how dangerous it all is, but I have to rip it away from him as quick as I can. It's confusing enough to validate a good hard cry for him - so I'm always sympathetic of it. 
Likes/Dislikes:
This month, Eli's become super opinionated. Everything from what food he eats in what order, to where he wants us to help him walk. He's crazy about practicing walking - not with his toy walker - but with one of our small metal side tables. He whips that thing around our wood floors and gets super frustrated when he tries to walk over a rug and it won't budge. He's also still really into stairs, and at the end of the month he just started to at least be willing to go down backwards with help, although it's still pretty precarious. 

Instead of lint, these days Eli is obsessed with buttons. Remote controls blow his mind and Mike taught him that hitting the red button turns the TV on and off, so these days we have to hide the remote if we're watching TV or that thing is flickering on and off the entire time. He loves toys that light up and make noises too. I took him down the Target toy aisle the other day and it was non-stop "ooos" and "ahhhs" and "wow wow wows."

Like most kids his age, he loves water, his favorite body of water being the toilet bowl. He'll take anything he can get his chubby hands on and splash it in the bowl, and I'm pretty sure he'd try to swim in there if he could. Suffice it to say I've been keeping the toilets cleaner than ever before and it's a new house rule to keep the toilet lid down. His other favorite bathroom activity is unrolling toilet paper and throwing it in and out of the toilet. He's amazed by how it sorta disintegrates in his hands. Yuck. 

Eli still loves to be outside and anytime he sees his shoes the heavy breathing and arm waiving starts and we MUST GO OUTSIDE IMMEDIATELY or anger ensues. He loves visiting the park and swinging is pretty much heaven on earth for him.  He also loves to look at photos and recently has been pretty into looking at the photos on our gallery wall. He'll point to each person and say, "This?" and I'll tell him who it is. He always smiles the biggest when I say, "Eli!"

Momma/Daddy Update:
As I mentioned at the very top, this was a more difficult month for us. Lot's of questions, confusing situations and just plain not knowing what to do to help keep Eli happy. We both noticed that he just wasn't his normal self and while we understand that children go through tougher waves than others and as Eli gets older he likely won't be so laid back, it's still hard to see your kid not act normal. My patience ran pretty thin with Eli this month, and if I'm honest, I think you could find me rolling my eyes or sighing a lot at his shenanigans. I love him so much, but you just reach a point sometimes that you feel hopeless and yes - frustrated - at your kid. 

In addition, the whole vision thing was a pretty big deal to us. It also made us question a lot of things, and it was tough knowing what to do for Eli during it all. It's always terrible to put your child through pain/frustration, particularly when you know they don't understand that it's for their own good. 

But on the bright side, things are looking up. Honestly even with just getting him glasses, I feel like he's already returning to his normal-self. There are still hard days and moments, but overall, he is getting happier and this week's sleep has been awesome. And maybe that was the problem all along - who knows? Overall, it was still a wonderful month and no matter how "bad" it is in comparison to other months, life with Eli is the best thing ever and we wouldn't trade it for anything. I want to be honest with you all about how I feel, but I also want you to know that I'm not complaining, I love my life and we LOVE being parents. Eli could be ten thousand times worse and I'd still love being his mom every single day. It's a good life. 

5 comments:

  1. Oh Laura! That does sound like a tough month - no fun at all to have a sick baby and experience the journey having his vision checked and diagnosed. If it helps at all, you are not alone in finding this stage to be very challenging - sickness or not! Brad and I have declared that we thought 12-18 months was hands down the most challenging stage thus far (even more so than a newborn in some ways). And I would specify that it was really 14-19 ish months. So many massive developmental changes happen, and they don't have the words or understanding to deal with it or communicate. That stage is like on long "ehhhh" whining noise, and although you are doing the right thing in giving him the correct way to ask, it doesn't always prevent the "eehhhhh!" noise from coming back again. So many days I felt like I spent with a toddler (who used to be a laid back independent baby) clinging to my knees and crying over who knows what! There are nap changes, food pickiness develops, personality changes, sleep changes, and they start doing their first things that are straight-up disobedient. But HANG IN THERE! Even though that stage was hard, I LOVE having an almost 2 year old. There are still tantrums and challenges, but it is soooo much easier than it was a few months ago. Lewis is turning into the little boy I remember as a baby...happy, brave, and silly (except now naughty sometimes). Between glasses and less sickness ahead (Lord willing), I'm sure Eli will level out soon and you will be enjoying a fun relationship with your sweet son again. Also, you're prego - which means that you aren't feeling your most comfortable, energetic, and patient. You are doing a wonderful job...can't wait to see you next weekend!

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  2. Don't fret about the not walking! It can take up to 18 months before they get their legs. It's very common for kids to focus on one thing-- walking OR talking and it sounds like Eli's gabbing away! I'm sure he'll be walking in no time and then you'll regret it 😉

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  3. Thanks Thao - I know that's true, and you're so right. I think it's kinda like the glasses thing - I just didn't want to miss something that I could help him with, you know? But thankfully it seems like the glasses were actually the thing I was "missing!" :)

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  4. Thanks Emily for all your comments. I didn't realize you and Brad thought 14-19 months was the toughest! I'm right there with you. I am super excited for when he can speak and communicate with me more, and I'm glad to hear you feel like in a way, Lewis is back to his old self. :) I'm trying to enjoy this stage, because man there are some HILARIOUS and SWEET moments, but in the other tougher ones, it's hard to bring those to mind. Excited to see you soon too!

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  5. Your description of the changes in fussing and being super opinionated sound exactly, like my son, but it wasn't until 21 months. It was as if he woke up the day he turned 21 months old and decided "I am no longer that easy going baby you know and love I am now an unpredictable toddler."

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