Saturday, January 18, 2014

24 months - SOMEONE IS TWO!!

i have a two-year-old.

i'm still trying to wrap my mind around that, especially as we're rushing head-first into his third year.  no slowing down happening here!

his birthday has come and gone, and i'm typing up what will be the last of my monthly updates for him...for a while anyway.

first, a quick visual of the difference two years can make.  to me, he looks so much older in the third picture than my mommy eyes see day-to-day. 

and the quote that best captures my mama's heart at this stage:

"I'll love you forever, 
I'll like you for always, 
As long as I'm living,
My baby you'll be" 
~Robert Munsch~


it was hard to narrow it down, but here are five words that best describe my newly-turned 2-year-old.  :)
  • JOYOUS - excited.  happy.  sure he has his toddler moments, but most of the time, his joy for life, especially the small things, is infectious.  he's known to randomly start running circles around the house or the rug, giggling, laughing, and exclaiming "happy!"  music especially brings out the happy dancer in him.  he also loves to hurl himself at my legs from behind when i'm working in the kitchen and least suspecting, and gives my legs big hugs.  or the way he runs across the room and throws himself into my arms, full speed.
  • SILLY - goofy.  the silly and goofy moments are my favorite spent with my little monkey.  sometimes it's just a look i give him that will bring out his goofiness, other times he surprises me with it.  his silliness most often manifests itself during our one-on-one times, especially in the mornings after he awakes and while we go through our morning routine.  one of my favorite things is when he grabs his duck lovey (his most prized possession) and come at me, pretending to 'get me' with duck while barking and quacking.  
  • CALM - chill. mild-mannered.  easy-going.  compliant.  i know this may soon change, but for now, i love that my little monkey doesn't make everything a battle.  for the most part, as long as i can 'explain' something to him, he's good about 'understanding'.  example: he REFUSES to wear pants; only JEANS will do.  therefore, when i put him down for his nap every afternoon, and attempt to take off his jeans and put him in sweatpants, he inevitably gets upset.  most of the time, however, if i explain that i'm putting on his 'sleeping pants' and when he wakes up we can put his jeans back on, i see him think about what i've said and usually follow it up with an 'uh-hummmm'.  overall, he's just not super emotional or dramatic, and it works well for us.  :)
  • CONTEMPLATIVE OBSERVER - introspective.  aware.  he's typically not the loud one in group settings; he's the quiet one looking around, taking it all in, and doing lots of processing, and he's been that way since he was an infant.  not to say that he doesn't ever get loud, because in smaller group settings and around particular people/children, he can definitely turn up the volume!  i'm particularly interested to see how this facet of his temperament/personality develops as he gets older.
  • CURIOUS - explorer.  his favorite phrase in the last few weeks is "what's-this?"  he wants to know what EVERYTHING is, whether in books we're reading (and one's we've read many times over), on walks or trips to the grocery store.  i ADORE this curiosity and inquisitiveness, and i truly feel it helps me see the world through his eyes, the wonder of it all.  i hope that never changes.

other random highlights from my little monkey's 2 -year mark:
  • refers to himself as "you".  makes sense since that's how he most often hears us refer to him, but it's hilarious to hear him say it. the other day he was pointing to some framed pictures of himself on the wall, and said "YOU hanging on the wall".  
  • some of his favorite books recently have been a series of books centering on manners ('bear says thank you', 'hippo says excuse me', 'mouse says sorry'). i realized we'd read them quite a bit when one day recently he burped, and i asked him what he should say.  instead of saying 'excuse me', he loudly proclaimed: 'hippo'!  at least he understands the association, haha.
  • he also remembers books well enough now that i can't skip pages or even paragraphs for the sake of speeding up reading time when necessary. 
  • i certainly didn't think this day would come so quickly, but about half the time now, he wipes off my kisses, whether it be off his mouth or kisses on his feet and toes, which i'm still obsessed with.  makes this mama so sad!  i'll just cherish the other half of the time so much more.  
  • loves hooks and anything he can fashion into a hook.  one of his favorite christmas gifts was a tow truck with a huge hook and jeep attachment.  he's played with it every day since christmas and shows no signs of tiring of it.  he also loves putting toys through his basketball hoop and trying to get them to 'hook' through and hang through the net.
  • loves matching games, whether they're actual games or just matching socks on laundry day. 
  • the way he insists on 'twinkle, twinkle' sung to him right before he's put into bed each night.  just recently, he's started started singing/saying some of the lyrics before i get to them.

and some photos from his 2-year photo shoot - 














Monday, December 16, 2013

23 months (& some family photos)

in less than a month, my baby boy will turn two.

but for now, these are the new developments this last month, and the things that make him 23 months...not QUITE two.  :)
  • he said grandpa for the first time ('grumpa').  and he loves his grumpa.
  • LOVES 'buns' as he calls them.  basically anything that's toast or bread or bun of any kind.  looks like this child loves carbs, just like his mama.
  • seems to have overcome his separation anxiety - no longer cries or is resistant when left in the church kid's zone or anywhere else for that matter.  he also doesn't mind getting in the car anymore.  sometimes it seems he's a little TOO quick to leave mama's side and go play.  i guess my baby really is growing up.  
  • has said the occasional 'thank you' for the first time WITHOUT being prompted.  hooray!  all that manners training is starting to pay off.
  • loves going up and down escalators.  the first time, he was scared, but after that, it was 'more, more'!
  • although he's becoming quite independent, one thing he still does willingly is hold my hand, especially when we're out in public.  i'm convinced that little hand wrapped tightly in mine is one of the best feelings a mama can experience.
  • loves trying to plug things into electrical outlets.  the outlets in our home are child-proofed, OF COURSE, but his little fingers are becoming good at wiggling some of those plastic guards out.  good thing he's always around me, because he doesn't get far in his venture, but it sure makes my heart stop! 
  • no longer wakes up at agonizing hours like 4:45 or 5am; instead, his body seems to have adjusted and  in the last week or so, he's been sleeping to unprecedented times like 7/8am...but i'm not entirely convinced it's his new schedule...yet.  don't want to get my hopes high.
  • FAVORITE BOOKS - he's branching out from only wanting to read books about trucks and diggers and in the last few weeks, he has loved 'green eggs and ham', 'oh, the places you'll go', 'if you give a mouse a cookie', and 'if you give a moose a muffin'.  we're HUGE dr. seuss fans in this house, so it's been fun to share that with him.  especially funny while reading 'green eggs and ham' is when he answers the questions being asked by 'sam-i-am'.  apparently our little monkey would ONLY  want to eat green eggs and ham while in a car, train or boat (but not in a box, with a fox, in a house or with a mouse).  big surprise, haha!
  • FAVORITE MORNING ROUTINE - most mornings, our routine has been to go downstairs, where he helps me make a cup of tea.  his favorite part is helping me squeeze the honey bear and watch the honey drip  into my mug.  then we sit on the sofa and read books while we sip tea together. precious memory.
  • STRONG OPINIONS - i'm sure this is part & parcel for what i should expect for a toddler, but he's definitely beginning to have VERY strong opinions about things, and is constantly correcting me in these areas: 1.) Bags are NOT to be called 'bags'; they are SACKS.  i'm guessing he learned this from grandma, since that's what she calls them, and it has stuck!  if i dare say the word 'bag' (ie: let's put your puzzle pieces back in this 'bag'), he will look me straight in the eyes, shake his head emphatically, and say 'NO!,SACK!'  2.) only wants to wear JEANS; pants of any other kind are NOT OK.  he also points out daddy's jeans and mama's jeans when we wear them, so maybe he just wants to wear what we wear.  and if i dare call the jeans he's wearing 'pants' on accident...well, i get corrected.  3.) he calls ALL birds 'geese', as grandma calls them.  i'm sure she pointed out some geese flying at their house once, and it stuck!  now, all birds are geese, and he is quick to correct me if i call any bird otherwise.  4.) lights are orange, NOT yellow.  he seems to be obsessed with the color orange in general, and when driving around and talking about the stop lights we see, etc., i can't call any lights 'yellow' because he will correct me and say 'orange'.  5.)  this has literally changed in the last two weeks - he went from loving having his feet and toes tickled and kissed, to really disliking it and saying 'no, no' when i kiss his toes, then tries to wipe off my kisses.  makes me so sad!   :(
  • still loves to make puzzles, although i'm pretty sure he's memorized all the ones he has now.
  • still loves anything construction vehicle related, and is doing a lot more imaginative play as he discovers new and creative ways to play with all his 'diggers'.  SO FUN to see his little mind at work.

and some photos a dear friend took of our family one recent fall day - 









Sunday, November 10, 2013

22 months & our fall adventures

before i dive in, i wanted to share a quote i stumbled upon a few days ago:


"When I ask how old your toddler is, I don't need to hear '27 months'.  'He's two' will do just fine.  He's not a cheese.  And I don't really care in the first  place."  

i found the quote hilarious because i am entirely guilty of referring to my toddler's age in months, even devoting a blog post to each month, ha!  

and when i ask another mom how old her toddler is and i receive 'one' or 'two' as an answer, i always want to ask (and sometimes do) them to be more specific.  there's a HUGE difference between 'one' and 'two' and i for one enjoy talking about the insanely incredible development that's happening during each stage/month.  maybe i'm just weird.  :)

anyway...

my little monkey at 22 months - 

the good
  • he's still obsessed with construction vehicles, especially bulldozers and dump trucks.  although i'm not a big fan of themed birthday parties, it's pretty much inevitable that his birthday party will be somewhat loosely based around construction vehicles.  :)
  • the car seat has been turned around, so he's now front facing, which makes car rides much more enjoyable.
  • and speaking of car rides, his favorite activity now that he can see forward, is to point out colors he sees, especially traffic lights as they turn from red to green to yellow.  he especially LOVES yellow and green, and will point out every yellow and green object he sees.  no need for talk radio or music when i have him in the car. 
  • he started asking for help when he needs it.  melts my heart each time he says 'help' as he's trying to pull out his chair or pull down a box of toys.
  • loves to clean/wash/wipe things (toys, books, the dog), and i HIGHLY encourage it, even though it often means more work for me afterwards.
  • we've overcome the tooth-brushing hurdle...in a big way!  he now loves having his teeth brushed, and all it took was letting him watch a bulldozer video while the brushing is taking place.  this is the only 'tv' he watches, so i guess it's a treat, and he'll stay with his mouth opened for 2-4 minutes, no problem.  huge victory for us this month!
  • loves to read, and in addition to his books about trucks/construction vehicles/etc., his new favorites are books that showcase the alphabet.  he LOVES learning and saying letters, and knows about 1/2 of them by sight.  it's not something i pushed at all, but since he's interested in them, we're running with it!  the only downside to his love of books/reading is that he's becoming increasingly resistant to bedtime, wanting to read more and more 'boops' before he goes down for the night, which has led to quite a few tears the last few nights.
  • his vocabulary is starting to expand at a crazy fast pace.  i started keeping track of his new words, but gave up after a few days, because that's basically all he's doing.  he repeats every word he hears, and will often say it out of the blue later the same day or days later, often taking us by surprise that he remembered or even heard us say certain things.
  • started calling our dog zoe by name.  a couple of weeks ago, he saw her at the bottom of the stairs, pointed and for the first time, said 'zee-zee!'.  he and 'zee-zee' are becoming great pals, and it's so sweet to witness.
  • still loves music and to dance, but now, he must be holding something (ball, pillow, etc.) while he dances, and he insists on everyone else doing the same.
  • doesn't say 'yes' (although we've definitely been working on it, especially since 'no' is definitely a big part of his current vocabulary); however, he's started saying 'uh-hum' instead of yes, and the way he says it is so stinking cute!
  • and the one daddy is perhaps the most excited and proud about - our little monkey is beginning an immersion into all that is 'star wars'.  it all sort of happened accidentally.  first, when i purchased a box of hot-wheels from a garage sale this summer, there was a 'star wars' action figure mixed in, which he loves, and daddy plays with as well.  then, over the course of the year, i'm not sure how it happened, but we ended up with a couple of 'star wars' kids books, which are really a bit mature for him, but they are among his favorites to read, especially before bed time.  and lastly, when at the library last, i found a 'star wars' themed 'ABC' board book, which i HAD to check out, and it also is one of his favorite bed-time 'stories'.  let's just say he already knows many of the characters, and his favorites to say are 'ah-too' and 'chew-chew'...so cute!!  and a side benefit (depending on who you ask, i guess!) is that i too am learning more about 'star wars' than i ever knew before, and it's not half bad when learned alongside my 22 month old son.  :)

the challenges
  • HATES leaving the house.  or at least, that's the way i interpret his extreme resistance (which includes an emphatic 'NO!' and crying/flailing, etc.) when asked to put on his shoes and jacket.  i'm not sure if it's the car ride he no longer likes, if he's just having too much fun playing and doesn't want to take a break from that, or if we are just out and about too much and this is his way of saying we need to slow down a bit...hopefully, it's just a phase, because there are times we NEED to leave, and it's no fun trying to get a hysterical child dressed, out the door, and in a car seat.
  • is sick AGAIN.  he's currently fighting his third cold of the season, and it's only the beginning of november.  he literally got over a cold last week, and about 3 or 4 days later showed symptoms of another cold.  it happens after each time he's in a situation with multiple children...without fail.  if this is any indicator of what this winter holds, i'm not one happy mama.  the frustrating thing is i feel as though i'm doing everything i can to keep his immune system boosted, but unlike last winter, when he seldom got sick, he's not being breastfed this winter, and i've got to believe that's a big part of it.  i don't want to raise him in a bubble, but his colds combined with his new aversion to leaving the house may mean we're indoors a lot this winter.  
  • 'NO' is on the tip of his tongue.  he says 'no' even when he means 'yes'; it seems as though it's just an instinct.  as soon as he's asked a question, he says 'no', even before really hearing what was asked and even when i know with certainty he means 'yes'.  
  • daylight savings - don't even get me started on how much i dislike daylight savings, and find it baffling as to who/what is actually benefiting from it.  all it means for us is a toddler who used to wake at 6, now wakes at 5...fun stuff!  and even though it seems as though he's slowly adjusting, i'm still not, hence the reason i'm up at 4:45am doing stuff like this.  :)
but despite any challenges, i'm LOVING this stage and am cherishing the good, while doing my best to deal with the bad.  :)

and some pictures from our adventures this past month.  we had a WONDERFUL october, full of sunshine and beautiful foliage, trips to the pumpkin patch & hood river and trick-or-treating at great-gram's place with good buds.