Mila turned 18 months on July 13, and we are making our way to the Big 2 faster than any of us would like! It seems this girl has never really wanted to be a baby, always on the move and always keeping us on our toes. With that, though, she is smack dab in one of my very favorite stages. She's cute as a button, with her sparkly blue eyes like her daddy, her little ringlet curls just beginning to fall down the back of her neck like her mommy, and her very own, one-of-a-kind personality that none of us really know where it came from! She's as untamed as her hair, wildly independent, and too smart for her own good. And she's wrapped around all of our fingers.
In honor of Mila Carys, or Mila Mooskie, as her daddy affectionately calls her, here are 18 things we love about her at 18 months old.
1. One of my very favorite things about Mila is how friendly she is to others. Her very big, infectious smile makes others smile every day and paired with her very big, high-pitched, and persistent "Hi!" and "Bah Bye", she obliviously makes others happy simply being herself. We have gotten to know many of our neighbors quickly because Mila is always on the driveway, waving and greeting them, most of the time over and over again! Beau and I will laugh when we hear Brandon's familiar, "Hi, Mila!" as he gets out of his truck after a work day, sometimes having contests with her to see who gives up greeting the other first! She is the best greeter, and proved herself when she had the opportunity to be in a parade last weekend. She was made for it!
2. Mila knows so many words and seems to surprise us every day with new ones to add to her vocabulary. She recognizes Minions everywhere and shrieks the most perfectly clear "Minion! Minion!" chant afterwards. She learned to say "Bucky" plain as day at our recent trip to a Bucks' game, and spots numerous "bugs" while playing outside. I swear she already responds "don't know" when I ask her a question, and persistently requests "cuh-cake" every time we drive by Scratch. She loves to point out babies, loves to "cuh-cuh" with markers, and calls Cruz, "Hez," which is really funny being that she says her Cs quite well with other words.
3. In addition to words, Mila loves to show off her animal sounds. For a usually loud little girl, her animal sounds are surprisingly soft-spoken and rather sweet to us. Her little "roar" is our favorite, but I also love that when I ask her what a fishy says, her eyes light up and she sticks her tongue in and out of her mouth as if she thinks she's very clever.
4. Mila is far more independent and head strong than I remember her brother being at this age. She is not a snuggler, and when I think about my days, I rarely carry her. She's actually a pain to carry, as she usually arches her back and flails her body out of our arms, preferring to walk on her own, and sometimes stopping traffic in the process! This has proven to be quite the challenge for routine trips to Target, or any place with a parking lot! The only thing that will keep her in a cart is food, to which I'm always very thankful to those little plastic snack containers conveniently located at the front entrance of Target.
5. Mila has some weird little quirks, go-to fetishes that are unique and funny. For instance, she loves anything with a spray nozzle, and especially loves my collection of room sprays I keep in a drawer in the kitchen. She'll hold one in each hand and carry them around for hours, usually throwing one big fit when we take them away from her. She also loves this shiny red headband I once bought for an ugly sweater party and that thing will magically appear in random places throughout the house no matter how many times I stow it away.
6. Speaking of quirks, Mila shows great concern for where people go. Whenever we talk with her about someone - Papa, Grandma, Olivia, her teacher from school, or Chloe, a friend Mila has affectionately nicknamed "Clo Clo," Mila will respond by putting her hands up by her face and saying a very concern sounding "Go?" I believe this is supposed to mean, "Where'd so-and-so go?" and this exchange has become a staple in conversations with Mila.
7. Mila loves the pool and will stick her face in the sprayers over and over again with nothing but big smiles and silly laughs in return. She's went under the water, gotten splashed by big kids, and ran through the sprinklers with no fear at all. When I water flowers at night, Mila will happily pour entire buckets of ice cold hose water on her head without a care in the world. But when it comes to baths, Mila is not a fan. She won't sit in the water, cries when she gets water in her face, and when it comes time to wash her hair, we endure five minutes of screaming as we attempt to get the soap out without losing our minds. This wasn't always the case with baths, and we're hoping it's just a phase. Until then, popsicles and occasional sink baths will suffice.
8. Mila is quite selective with her books, but if you count the 4-5 on rotation, she likes reading more than anything else. Her favorites right now are Brown Bear, Paddington Bear All Day, Counting Kisses, and any of the First Words board books for babies. She would read them over and over and over again, but gets a little irritated when we try to sneak in a newbie. :)
9. In addition to her rotation of books, Mila also frequently requests renditions Row, Row, Five Little Monkeys, Itsy Bitsy, and Wheels on the Bus. She loves them and knows all the actions in the most adorable of ways.
10. Mila is one of the best eaters I have ever come across. Daycare claims she is the best they have seen. :) I love this about her more than anything (except maybe her love of sleep), and have so much fun putting food in front of her. She cleans house at every meal, but makes quite a mess in the process. These catch-all bibs are a life-saver, and usually dessert for Mila when she's done with her first three helpings! Her favorite part of the day has always seemed to be meal time and I pray her love of diverse foods stays a part of who she is.
11. Did I mention sleep? Mila also loves her crib and understands sleep the way most adults do - it's a wonderful thing! She is usually really good about going to bed every night around 8:00, and we have a sweet and efficient way of going about things. First, we give everyone a round of rousing nigh-nights and kisses, then scurry to Mila's cozy room for some Mumford and a few books snuggled on the floor with Mila's most favorite blanket. We lay on our tummies and read the same books, steal some kisses and tickles, then lift a very willing Mila into her crib, give her her blankie and a paci, and let her listen to music for a few minutes. She rolls around in every which way and it's usually pretty comical to see how she ends up when she finally falls asleep. I usually sneak in and tuck her in the right way to ensure her safety. :) We have a similar routine for naps and she usually takes a 2-3 hour nap every day. Mila rarely wakes up in the night and typically sleeps until 7 or so. We love this about our girl!
12. Cruz is still one of Mila's favorite people, but she also knows how to push his buttons, far more than he pushes hers! She'll take a Lego robot he's been building and run away with it, a pleased smile on her face until we make her say she's sorry. She likes playing in his room far more than her own, and always seems to like what he's playing with best. I've praised his patience more than once on here, but we are so proud of the big brother Cruz is to his sis.
13. I often describe Mila as hot or cold, all the time. She cries a lot, most of the time when she's not getting her way! Yet, she's also smart enough to reason with and can most often communicate her anguish and work toward a solution pretty efficiently!
This is Mila crying because not everyone was on board to play patty-cake with her. She loves patty-cake and will clap her hands and sign for "more" several times a day to initiate a game. This is great, however, Mila is only happy if everyone in the room is doing it together. Most of the time, we play along to appease her, but sometimes this isn't always possible. To which we get this face...
But a hug from Daddy cures just about anything! Mila gets very excited when this guy comes through the door every afternoon.
14. Mila is starting to tell us when she poops, and I'm starting to think she is going to be an early potty trainer. She is fascinated with the whole potty process and will often come up to us after she's done her business, point to her bum, and say, "I poo."
15. I love that when someone tells her they love her, she responds by blowing a kiss.
16. I love that Mila loves to clean with me. Rather than play toys, she'll grab a rag from the cupboard, a spray bottle of some sort, and pretend to spray the floor, then wipe vigorously, completely in her own little world.
17. I love that Mila always takes her shoes off in the car, within minutes of leaving somewhere.
18. I love that Mila has been singing a lot lately, often in the car. She knows how to sing "Let It Go," and does the clock ticking part of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman," which will surprise no parent of the Frozen generation of children. When we get to the chorus of Let It Go, Mila will start belting, "GOOO!" at the top of her lungs. It's precious, and maybe a sign that we listen to the song quite frequently. :)
We love you, you sweet, stubborn, sassy little girl!