Happy 18 Month Birthday!

Today Tomoe is 18 months old! That’s 1 and a half years old now.

I’ve read a bit about what an 18 month old can do, and one thing is that they can usually say around 12 words by now.  Tomoe can say a few words, and has surprised with some random attempts to repeat, although not successfully.  She told me a few days ago to “be quiet” after I told her to be quiet.  She did it with a big grin, of course.  Her vocabulary is pretty mixed between English and Japanese.  In English, she can say the following:

  • Hello
  • Bye-bye
  • Daddy
  • Mama
  • Thank you (she said this today!)

In Japanese, she can say:

  • Hai (it means yes, but the way she uses it, it means “here you are” when giving something)
  • Douzo (here you are)
  • Choudai (can I have it, please?)
  • Mama
  • Bye-bye

She isn’t naming things yet, but she understand what some things are, such as clock, bellybutton, and ball.  She knows banana and yoghurt, as well.  Her repetition of sounds has increased along with her accuracy.

A really silly thing she said a week ago was this: Nice to meet you totsuzen.  Totsuzen is “sudden” in English.  I don’t think she meant to actually say these words, but they came out clearly while riding an elevator with strangers.

Tomoe’s learning some practical skills, too.  The two big ones are brushing her teeth, which she does quite well, and wiping her nose with a tissue.

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I can brush my teeth!

She can also put together one of her toys now.  It’s like a puzzle, but you attach gears to it.  She really enjoys that.

She’s constantly surprising us with what she can do.  I’m looking forward to being able to have a conversation with her soon.

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Tomoe has an incredible sense of humour

A year ago, I couldn’t imagine what Tomoe’s sense of humour would be like.  Now I know.  She loves playing around and joking.

One of her favourite things to do is make faces.  If I copy her, she laughs.  She also laughs a lot if I pretend I’m eating her feet.  But on the other hand, she pretends to drink from a cup, feed me imaginary food, and she’ll play peekaboo with a blanket on her head.  She’s a copycat, too.  She jumped the same way I did tonight, and she also bent her waist the way I did.

She’s also been getting very moody.  When she wants something, she demands it.  If she doesn’t get it, she gets angry.  She’s very impatient, especially with food.  Even though she may be sitting and I’ve got food in her spoon, she’ll cry until it’s finally in her mouth.

She’s talking more now.  However, it’s mostly “hello,” “douzo,” and “choudai.”  She understands things very well, too.  She understands stand up, sit down, come here, where’s your bellybutton, and more.

When she’s going out, she runs to the door and waits patiently for us to put her shoes on.  When she’s going to the nursery, she’s very impatient, though.  She always holds her arms out for me to pick her up and get her out to the car.  She even eagerly holds her arms out for the driver of the car.  She’s really enjoying the nursery these days.

Recently, she’s figured out how to put shapes in holes.  She gets excited and waves her arms when she succeeds.  It’s quite funny watching her do that.  And of course, she’s still obsessed with using a phone.  She’ll use anything as a phone, though.  But she particularly loves using her mom’s iPod Touch.  She knows how to turn it on, unlock it, scroll through the apps, and start up her favourite games.  She’s knows where the start button is for each game, too.  I’m very impressed with her ability to use an iPod so well.

And now, some pictures.

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She’s being silly here. She’s really hard to photograph, actually.

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Tongue out, she’s looking at her own image in my iPhone with the reversed camera feature.

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She loves plastic bottles.

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Mashing her face up against the mesh on the side of her bed. She was having fun doing this.

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She really is hard to photograph!

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Drinking her milk with medicine. She’s had a mild cold this past week.

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The master of using an iPod Touch.

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Yes, she’s holding toy grapes in her mouth.

Skill up!

When people in Japan talk about improving their skills, they usually say “skill up.” Well, Tomoe has really skilled up a lot!

Since her stay at the hospital, she’s shown us some big advances in ability.

One of the first things she showed us is that she can now pretend.  She used her fingers to pretend to pick up food and put it in her mouth.  Then she pretended to chew.  She does that often these days.

She also picked up a small metal box and used her finger to press “buttons.” She put it to her ear and started talking.  So, we got her a toy cell phone, and she enjoys holding it to her ear and talking all the time.  She loves her phone.

Hello!  Who's speaking?

Hello! Who’s speaking? She’s holding her mom’s phone.

In addition, whenever she’s asked “Where’s moshi moshi?” she’ll find her phone.  “Moshi moshi” is hello on the phone in Japanese.

Some more useful skills include putting a bottle upright after knocking it down.  She places it on the table very nicely.

She’s also learning to let us know when she’s pooped.  She’ll be rather irritable when she’s pooped.  I think potty training may start soon!

As far as communication goes, she’s more frequently saying “mama” and “dada.”  She’s also shaking her head “no” when she doesn’t want something.  She points all the time now at anything she wants us to look at.  When she looks at books, she repeatedly points at pictures and I tell her what they are.  She seems to enjoy that a lot.  Mimicking is also a big skill she’s improving.  She’s copying so many things, mostly actions, but occasionally sounds.

And finally, this was a very big surprise.  We got her a very cheap toy that’s like a tablet with iron filings and a pen with a magnet.  Now she can learn to hold a pen.  But she surprised us.  She held the pen like a natural.  It seems she has very good dexterity and fine control with her fingers.

Look at how naturally she holds the pen.

Look at how naturally she holds the pen.

Now, on to some other news.  Tomoe has still been sick.  Last week, she had diarrhea one day with a very high fever.  But when her diarrhea finished, her fever was gone.  However, we found out this week that she has adenovirus.  She can’t go to her regular nursery for a while.  However, she has boundless energy.  I don’t get it.  She still gets diarrhea, though.

Tomoe learns new skills

It’s always amazing to see Tomoe learn new things.  Lately, she’s been learning something new almost every day.  She’s starting to figure things out.

She has a big 6 sided toy that’s also her toy box.  On one side, there’s a door, which she has learned to open and close.  She always tries to find that side of the cube and open it up so she can get the toys out.  Not only that, she’s also perfected the skill of emptying out her toy box and throwing everything on the floor from her bed.

As for playing with toys, I’ve taught her how to bounce a ball.  Now when she has a ball, she’ll throw it down and bounce it.  Unfortunately, she sometimes does that with other toys, too.

A really big thing she’s learned is kissing.  If I give her a kiss on the cheek, she’ll lean in and kiss me on the cheek, too.  She hasn’t done it with her mom, though.

Recently, when she’s been hungry, she’ll get our attention a way other than crying.  When we were coming home from the in-laws’ house last night, she was hungry on the train.  She grabbed my wife’s hand and pulled.  Her hand was over her bottle and senbei (rice crackers).  She wanted some!  She’s learning quite a bit these days.

Not really a skill, but she’s really loving riding on my shoulders.  She always seems to be really happy up there.

Yesterday, as I said, we were at the in-laws for New Year’s Day.  We ate a lot.  Tomoe really enjoyed seeing the family, and there were family members that loved seeing her.  The ones who especially wanted to spend time with her were her great-grandfather (he’s the kind of elderly man who is always smiling and friendly) and her second cousin (a 12 year old girl).  But we found that although she enjoyed the company of the family, she usually wanted to be with my wife or I.