"15 & 16 Month Update" or "Holy Flying Time, Batman! Where Did July Go?"

Ready or not, I'm writing this post before any more time slips away!
We have made it to 16 months!  Wow!

Nora is growing and changing daily in hard-to-describe ways.  Her motor skills and language skills are developing monumentally and she does something to amaze me every day.  She’s kind of a garbage disposal—she’ll eat about anything.  We’re trying some redirection with her recently because she would snack all day if you’d let her and I think sometimes it’s just boredom.  We’re trying to give her interesting things to do instead of snacking (or yelling for a snack).  That’s not a relationship with food I want her to have later in life, so we’re starting early. 
We had some big firsts in the past couple months.  One big one is that we turned her car seat.  No particular reason, just one day it felt right.  I like that I can see her better and now when she drops something, she tends to drop it toward the front of the van instead of the back so I can reach it and give it back to her.  I honestly don't think she'd care if one day I changed my mind and turned her back around, though. 
The other is that she spent her first extended time away from us.  Zach's parents came up for a visit two weekends ago and took her back home with them for a week.  She had a great time and we had a power outage and tree in our yard for several days last week, so it was pretty good timing.  However, six days is most decidedly too long to be away from my baby!  I was so happy to have her home on Saturday!
She blows on her food, uses a fork well (and a spoon not as well), loves to drink out of cups (though she needs some supervision) and anything with a straw.  Her skill in feeding herself grew dramatically in just two months' time!
She is still sleeping well, still usually taking 2 naps a day, loves climbing and carrying "purses". 
She is a swimming machine!  She'll jump off the side of a pool to me and loves to jump in and go under the water.  If I let her dunk under and let go of her she even kicks her legs to get back to me and then grins when she comes back up!  I am amazed at her love of the water!  It's a little scary, though, too.  You have to keep an eagle eye on her anytime there's a body of water around.  She's not afraid to walk right in.  We're working on learning that she is absolutely not allowed around water without Mommy or Daddy.  We even keep the toilet lid down--I'm not paranoid about much, but drowning is one thing I am paranoid about.
She's learning to play with others more each day (though she has a long way to go!).  She has some good friends who are 2 who are teaching her lots about sharing and taking turns.  She can navigate stairs pretty well (if she's not in a hurry).  She talks to Dora the Explorer now--points to things on the screen and answers some of her questions, which just amazes me.
A couple mishaps: she got bitten by a bug and got an infection from it, but it turned out to be much less of a big deal than I feared it might.  She also ate paint (on my watch, Momma fail).  Actually, she didn't swallow enough to hurt her, but it was all over her face and hands--I turned my back on the paint can (that I thought she couldn't reach) for 30 seconds.  This is the theme of our lives right now--she's always into something you didn't think she would/could be.  So goes living with a toddler.
I could say SO MUCH MORE about her.  She's just the best!  I totally underestimated how much fun having a little one would be and had no idea the love I could feel for her--I could burst every day of my life.  My parents come this weekend to visit and I can't wait for them to see her!  Without further ado--pictures!
Eating Watermelon in the back yard

The family on Nora's first boat ride

Trying to feed herself around 15 months

...but it usually deteriorated to this (she's better at it now)

NR and Daddy watching a baseball game at the park

Playing in "her cabinet"

She knows she's cute

In Mommy's hiking boots

Eating a PB sandwich on the couch in the youth room

All the pictures are 15 months and the videos are 16 months.  Can't believe how the time is flying!  Babies don't keep, do they?

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