16 Months!

I have the longest list of update notes taken on my phone for this month, and that is surely a testament to how fast Mazen is learning new things! I’m going in bullets rather than by topic in order to get it all down –

— Knock knock? Who’s there? Matt taught M to knock on closed doors. It’s all fun and games until you’re in the bathroom and he just keeps knocking and knocking… : )

— Another fun game: hide & seek! We play around the dining room table. M laughs joyful belly laughs when we scare him around a corner. It sure looked better after a nice trim though!


— Mazen is now obsessed with the moon. We taught him the sign for moon and every night he loves to find it through the windows. He also sometimes mistakes street lights or night lights for the moon. And his new favorite book: Goodnight Moon.

Looking up and signing at the evening moon:


— He has also developed a love for all things automotive: trucks, trains, cars. He can make car noises and knows both the sign for car and the spoken word train (“tray!”) We unpacked the train set my parents got him for Christmas and he is smitten. He also loves to make his cars and trucks drive all around the kitchen.

— M has developed a real love for his aden + anais blankets. He sleeps with one (usually tucked under his stomach with his butt in the air) and sometimes in the morning or after naps he carries it around, which I find incredibly cute.


— Diaper changes have gotten SO much better than they were around 12 months – except for changes first thing in the morning (he is done laying down and wants to walk!) and putting on the after-bath diaper, which is always a battle. But most of the time, he cooperates now. He has even cooperated some when I trim his fingernails, which has been one of our hardest hygiene tasks lately.

— Speaking of hygiene, we’ve had some other trouble with teeth brushing. For a while he would let us get a few swipes with his Elmo brush (no toothpaste) but when his 2 molars came in I started to worry we weren’t brushing well enough. Our pediatrician said it’s really important and to hold him down if we have to. I bought two of the swallowable toothpastes (he hates both) and a finger brush and have been trapping him in a corner to brush. After about 5 nights of strawberry-banana torture, he now doesn’t seem to mind as much. I am hoping it becomes a fun task soon! I wish we had started hard-core brushing earlier because I think the finger in mouth was just a bit of a shock to him at this older age.


— I remember reading about other moms just having to get out of the house everyday and thinking that sounded exhausting. Yes, it is! But I am now one of those people. I can’t remember the last time we just spent a whole day at home. That’s crazy to me!

— M’s vocabulary has really taken off. He says whole sentences, but they are baby talk and we don’t know what they mean. His favorite phrases are “Isa daya” and “tagu!” We ask him: “Mazen, point to the tagu” but so far we haven’t had luck figuring them out. {Quite a few people thought “Isa daya” means “I sit down” or “I sit there” but I am not all the way convinced given its context.

— New words: boots, books, train, more, KK (!), O for orange, grass

— New signs: car, moon, light, broccoli (!), open and close

— It’s amazing how many words he understands.


— We gave him another haircut ourselves, and again, you would have thought each hair was full of nerves he hated it so much. Even with Elmo and treats on his high chair tray.

— He has turned out to be quite the happy sleeper. He did his first 12 hour night lately, and has a 7pm sharp bedtime now. He will go over to his crib and say “night night” when he’s ready, and he literally dives into his crib from my arms when he is tired. I think he really likes it in there now. Naps are still about 1:45 to 2 hours and are generally from 12 to 2.

–On the food front, things are going a bit better. When the molars were coming in he just turned his nose up at everything. This week he has impressed me by eating broccoli (his one and only favorite veg), spaghetti squash, chickpeas in tomato sauce and a really impressive cabbage, carrot and rice curry dish. On the dislike list: strawberry yogurt. Go figure. Mazen has never liked your typical kid foods (mac and cheese, pasta noodles, I even tried some organic chicken nuggets with no luck). Rather, he seems to really like adult food – particularly Cook Smarts meals : ) He’s still a pretty picky eater, but we’ve seen improvements. His favorite food is a whole apple!

{Note the rosy cheeks? That’s our tried and true sign for teething around here!}


— And lastly, if you show him a picture of himself he knows to point at himself proudly. He also likes to point out the framed photos of mama and dada around the house. Next up: teaching him to say Mazen!

Love him!

23 thoughts on “16 Months!”

  1. Long time reader of your blogs. I have never commented. However, after reading the ‘hold him down’ suggestion from your doc, as I child therapist ( with 15+ years experience), with all due respect, l would look for another pediatrician. Research the long term ramifications of this.

  2. I had a similarly difficult time getting my daughter to brush her teeth at that age. It was a battle. My in-laws gave us a little wooden stool for Christmas and now that she can stand on it at the sink, look in the mirror at herself, and dip her toothbrush in the water out of the faucet- she gets mad when its time to be done brushing her teeth! Just an idea for your little one. Good luck!

  3. My 2 year old daughter is obsessed with the moon too!

    Have you thought the rosy cheeks might be a sign of a food allergy?

    As for brushing the teeth…we all do it together. She wants to be like us and brushes her teeth too!

    That didn’t work with the nail clipping, though…. 🙂

  4. Hi Kath!!! We haven’t talked in FORever!

    We are now expecting round 2 in August, the fun never stops 🙂

    Mazen is so handsome! Time sure does fly by crazy fast!!

    In regards to those rosy red cheeks… does it come and go, come and go? Brantley had one cheek that was constantly red, some days more than others but it was there for WEEKS. I asked our pediatrician about it and she told me it was just ‘baby eczema’. Well, I figured it was something more and we switched her from cow’s milk to coconut milk- and just like that it was GONE! Every now it then it gets slightly red- we aren’t sure if this is from the cold or maybe too much dairy (cheese, yogurt, etc) in one day?! But there was a definite difference once we switched milks! They gave her cows milk at daycare one day and it came right back! Anyways, just a thought.

    Take care!

    Lauri W

    1. #2!!!!!! Congrats!! Long time no see <3

      I thought it was an allergy for the longest time but then it disappeared after his teeth came in and his dairy consumption had actually gone up. I suppose it could still be related, but it doesn't bother him and does seem to be teething.

  5. Hi Kath, I just wanted to let you know how helpful your site has been to me since I’m currently trying to get pregnant and trying to demystify my fertility signs like you did. Mazen is truly adorable and seeing these posts make me so excited that [hopefully] I’ll get to experience all of this soon!

  6. My son loves to look at photos of himself and his cheeks get rosy when he’s teething too! So much fun to follow along with your adventures w/ Mazen. Luke is 8 months behind Mazen. P.S. We went to a Great Harvest this weekend (the one closest to Richmond–in Hanover, near Atlee technically). Yum, yum!

  7. Tooth brushing has been an on and off sometimes nightmare for us since we started. She’s 2 now. We were told to hold down too, but we don’t agree. Distractions like singing silly made up songs, pretending we were searching for cookies in her mouth, or making up stories often works. When it doesn’t we revert to the “you can’t get off that stool until you open your mouth and let us brush. You’re in control, so you choose when.” I had to work through 30 minutes of tantrum once, but now she chooses to open up right away. And it just feels more respectful to me than using my brute force to hold her down and pry her mouth open. Glad to hear it’s gotten better for you!

  8. How adorable! Your posts always make me wish I had done more sign language with my daughter (6 weeks older than Mazen). I’m glad the teeth-brushing is going better! My husband and I usually tag team it – he holds my daughter on his lap, and I get in there for a good scrubbing. She’s always excited to go in and brush, and though she fusses a bit when we’re doing the actual brushing, it’s all made better when we hand her the brush afterwards and let her scrub her own teeth.

  9. it almost sounds like he is saying ‘it’s time for dinner’ in the video. tooth brushing continues to be a problem for our 15 month old. not fun! the only thing I found that helped is to have 2 brushes, 1 for her to hold and use, and the other for me to sneak in there!

  10. Electric toothbrush!!! Although I do see you commented that it’s gotten much better, I bet if you get a kids electric toothbrush he’ll be brushing them all by himself in no time! Worked like a charm for us 🙂

  11. Before I go on about Mazen, I have to say I LOVE that room he is in! lol! LOVE the wooden table, the wall…just my style! 😉
    As for Mazen not liking “traditional” food, my son was (is) the same but I also think that’s because we always offered him ‘strange’ adult food! By the time he was 18 months he’d already eaten wild boar, calamari, smoked fish roe (Bottarga), liver and many more. We spend our summers in Italy so I think that helps because those food options come up quite often on daily menus…no mac n’ cheese and grilled cheese for him there, lol!

  12. the easiest time to brush their teeth is right after bath when they are all swaddled in towels and can’t move their arms! 😉 my little one is two and I’ve noticed we are spending more and more full days at home together…it makes me think I’m ready for #2…like I’ve finally reached the point where I just want to be home again and don’t feel the need to fill every spare moment with an activity, but I totally know what you mean!

  13. Hi Kath,

    So, as a theoretical linguist I can attest how dang hard it can be to decipher what your kiddo is saying. I mean, from the inital weeks of their birth you were able to determine which cries mean what, exactly. Well, let this be of comfort. Many youngins aren’t really able to full grasp the idea that one word means one thing. To contextualize: they are constantly surrounded by their ambiant language and in Mazon’s case this is English. Well, he’ll hear things such as “would you like an apple” “do you like your apple” “what colour is the apple” “this is a big apple” this is a small apple”. At his age, he is most certainly able to pick out the noun in each of those sentances. In fact, I (this is not founded…yet!) tend to believe that he’s using the determiners to cue himself up for the noun. In any case, for him, it’s a lot of sounds followed by a quick string of sounds (ie. a word//apple) which he recognizes. All of this is to say that his “tagu” (which I’d take a heavy bet is ‘thank you’…follows many linguistically adoptive trends) and “isu daya” (after watching the video…holy chair I think he means ‘sit down’) [also side notee: you’re his mum and NOBODY knows him better than you. Please, don’t let my opinion presuade you in any negative means] that he is attributing these phrases to perhaps several activities or things (horribly written sentence, appologies). PLEASE feel free to shoot me an email if you’d like me to expand further. I think M is doing an EXCEPTIONAL job and I can’t wait for my little 3mo old Evie to show signs that she’s ready to, well, sign! xoxo S

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