Holy cow, you’re one-and-a-half! I don’t know if it’s the half-year milestone, but this month has been an explosion of vocabulary and you’ve completely morphed into this car-noise-making, rough-housing, class-clowning little BOY! You keep us on our toes as always, and you never fail to keep us laughing at your antics and amazed at your growth.
You began your new daycare/school three weeks ago (still alternating two and three days a week) and I can’t believe how well you handled the transition. To me, it speaks loudly to the amount of consistency this new environment provides and how nurtured you feel. There were no tears the first day, but a few the second and third as you figured it out. From there on, it’s been smooth sailing — you’re napping well, eating well, and making lots of projects and friends.
You’ve been down to one mid-day nap for a few weeks now, usually lasting around two to three hours over lunchtime. I’d guess you’re pretty typical for a toddler eater — you will try just about anything once, but rarely let it sit in your mouth for more than a split second to find out if you really like it. I’ll serve you things I know you like but haven’t had in a while, and have to basically force feed it to you through your meltdown until you realize, “oh yeah, I DO like that…put more here on this tray.” What a drama queen!
You did a week of swim lessons this month, four days in a row. Your dad took you the first day and then I got to take a turn at lessons with you the following three. It was so fun to see you improve when you had back-to-back exposure for several sessions in a row. You had mastered jumping on your own to us from the side, and flipping from your back to your belly, by the last day.
The most noticeable change this month by far is your language. Your vocabulary is exploding and the first piece of feedback we got on day one at your new school was that they couldn’t believe how many words you already knew. For better or worse – you’re a chatty Kathy like your parents. 😉 It’s to the point where I have to think hard to list them all, but in recent weeks you’ve expanded your vocab of maybe a couple dozen words from before and have now mastered mine, truck, car, tractor, bus, boat, golf ball, mow, Elmo, apple (for apple OR applesauce), door, pop, stop, pretzel, Cheerios, juice, waffle, peanut butter, again, baby, walk, stroller, along with lots of animal names and learning to repeat family and friends’ names. (Our favorite is when you say “Owen” – it sounds like “Amen!”). I know I’m forgetting several, but you get the idea!
You’re mastering the fist bump, you LOVE to dance to music and sing Twinkle Twinkle (“up above the world” is the line you always start with!) and you crave being pop quizzed to tell us what the elephant, monkey, dog, fish, and pig say (and hop like the bunny). You’re obsessed with all trucks and the four or five truck books we’ve amassed are in heavy rotation lately. And while you got nervous up close, your month was MADE when our garbage truck driver let you get up close and sit in the cab.
You are getting pretty good at navigating our phones and the ipad, love to watch videos of yourself, and you’re learning that hitting is not acceptable and that you have to “STOP” before going into the street. You do little things all the time that make me do a double-take at just how fast you’re growing. Whether it’s getting yourself onto and off of the furniture that I not so long ago watched you like a hawk on, or answering the door when the doorbell rings (yes, you can open it yourself if it’s unlocked!), I can literally see you growing before my eyes. It makes me sad and nostalgic and so grateful and proud all at once.
I know all moms think this, but you really are a smart little cookie, too smart for your own good at times, but in light of the world’s recent events, I find myself holding you a little longer each night and reaching for extra hugs and kisses each day. We are so crazy blessed by your presence this last year and a half. Looking forward to all the adventures yet to come that we know you will lead us on…
From the beginning, there’s been a correlation between you and the number FIVE. It was May 5th two years ago (5-5) when a test revealed two pink lines. You were born at 5:12 in the morning, on the fifth of January, 2015 (1-5-15). So it’s kind of fun that with all those overlapping fives, the anniversary of learning we were pregnant also marks another monthly birthday for you.
This month, you have entered full-on toddlerhood. You continue to be a HAPPY kid…until you’re pissed about something. We may or may not have laughed and used the word “psycho!” on more than one occasion. You talk constantly and have developed a screech you use at least once a day (you stop if I tell you to…but by then I’m already jolted by the sound!) as part of your expanding vocabulary. It occurs whether you’re excited, frustrated, or just want to hear yourself make noise.
Fortunately, your vocab also includes more real words…your favorite phrase right now is a very dramatic “Uh oh…oh NO!”, a very pronounced “more?” which means just about anything from more snacks to more milk, to more going back outside after we’ve come in. I swear you’re trying to say “ah-side” when you want to go out. Which is all. the. time. (And another cause for screeches and meltdowns.) You want everything “ah-peh” (open). You’ve also developed an obsession with pretzels “puh-pul”.
April brought a ton of cold, windy, rainy days, so among other activities, we filled a wading pool with ball pit balls – a good excuse to work on colors. You don’t always nail it if you’re busy doing other things, but you’re starting to discern yellow and purple, specifically. I’ve asked you to find me a ball of either color, and you’ve done so on more than one occasion. The wheels are turning!
You have walked as much as a lap around the room at one time, and seem pretty steady, but have no real interest in doing it more than a few times a day, and only when it’s convenient. You continue to know you’re faster on all fours, and I swear your affinity for cars and anything that rolls along the floor motivates you away from walking as well. You’re getting steadier in even the last ten days, but I still wouldn’t call you a “walker”. It’s about an 80/20 split of crawling to walking by choice. Your doctor isn’t the least bit concerned, and while we cringe watching your knees on the sidewalk, and I’ve resorted to the cheapest pants (since you wear the knees out immediately anyway), we know you’ll choose to toddle when you’re ready. No rush.
You must have been a beauty queen in your last life. You LOVE to wave at everyone and you totally have a parade wave! Up and down the grocery aisles, at restaurants, in the yard, everywhere you go, you’re waving. Your southern sounding “hah!” is becoming a more pronounced “hi!” and you have yet to meet a stranger. As long as Mom or Dad is close by, you’re comfortable around new people quite quickly, and most times will go to others without blinking an eye.
You survived a second haircut with WAY less drama than the first one, shortly before Christmas. I chalk it up to going mid-day with less chaos and crazy kids around. Plus, hello, you got the magic word — a SUCKER! (Dum dums have become my hail mary and I keep one stashed in my bag now for the ultimate toddler deterrent!) I was nervous this second cut would clip away the curls, but to our delight, they keep coming in thick!
You love to “dress” yourself right now — pants, jacket, shirt, you throw them all over your head, wrapping them over your shoulders, and then give us a look like “wait, is this right?”. You will still try for a couple minutes at a time to put your own shoes on — one of your more patient tasks, but because you still equate shoes with getting to go outside.
Your water table, your wagon, your truck, and the stroller are all favorites. You continue to love bubbles, watching Dad mow the grass (and doing so with your own bubble mower). You would love to be in the street, since that’s where the cars are — we play in the back of the yard mostly, so you aren’t constantly tempted! We have yet to run our sprinklers this spring, but I’m guessing that will be a hit as well.
You cut some molars the last weekend of April, which were the first teeth that caused you any grief. It was short-lived, but still awful to watch, as you spent a whole day and a half whimpering and wanting to be held, and eating a super select menu of things. I continue to be thankful you’re a big milk drinker — we can always at least get that in you! Otherwise some of your current likes are hot dogs, pears (if you get to use a fork to eat them), yogurt and oatmeal mixed together, and while you haven’t shown much interest in eggs, when I had a piece of quiche the other day, you gobbled a ton of it. You still hate any noodles, and most fruits are still a no-go because of the slimy factor.
He might get this one from me. Nothing like one leg up, chillin with no pants and a Rice Krispie treat. 😂 #crewyeartwo A photo posted by Liz Smith (@lizblogphotog) on
I feel like we “talk” more and more now. Entire conversations, even if your end of them is mostly babbling and questioning inflections. We can say things like “we’re going outside, where are your shoes?” and you’ll go to the mudroom and find them. Or if we ask if you’d like to eat (and you’re hungry), you’ll make your way to either your high chair or the pantry door, point and say “nah?” (snack). You also love to sing and dance. The Wheels on the Bus is the big hit right now, and you try to roll your hands for “round and round”, flap your arms for the doors going “open and shut”, and bounce up and down when the people go “bumpity bump”. Your teachers say you sit totally still when you have music hour at daycare — you are entranced and want to follow along. Excited you’ll be a music lover like Mom and Dad!
Looking forward to a second (!) Mothers Day already (your gift to me was letting me shoot a couple mother-son pics this morning at the Lilac Arboretum!) ;), a trip to Naples in a couple weeks (crossed fingers for a calm toddler plane ride!), and counting down the days until the pool opens. Happy sixteen months you crazy but oh-so-sweet little boy.
Another big month for you…you’re a walking, talking machine!
Yes, you are finally an undisputed walker. In the first couple weeks of your sixteenth month, you went from tentatively taking a pass across the room here and there (and defaulting back to crawling once you tumbled), to over a single weekend, suddenly deciding that walking would be your new go-to. You’ve been so hesitant to even try it, that your learning curve happened quickly and steeply. You were visibly steadier each day, and quickly mastered getting back up to a stand with nothing to pull up on (something you rarely did before this month either — stand without something to hold onto). Now that you’ve got it mastered, you’re a walking fool. With or without shoes, indoors or out, the terrain doesn’t matter.
Your version of words is becoming more pronounced and easier to understand. You want everything “open”. Somehow milk has become “mah mo” (we’re still scratching our heads), but otherwise your vocab is expanding quickly and more clearly. It’s amazing how even having a common language of a dozen words or so can eliminate so much frustration on your part. You understand far more than you can say — one of my favorites is that I can now ask you go put something in the trash, and you toddle right over to the trash cabinet and chuck the item in. It’s the little bits of help that make such a huge difference! You are constantly trying to repeat words that we emphasize, even if you don’t immediately retain or remember them. One of your new gestures and phrases is “I uh-no!” (I dunno!):
And when words just don’t matter, you babble constantly — the whole car ride home yesterday you talked to yourself. I wish I knew what you were saying! 🙂
You went on your third round-trip flight (your first since month 9), and it was certainly more eventful that flights past. All in all, you did really well (thanks to a small town’s supply of snacks and cheapo new toys), but both directions happened to fall during a time you REALLY wanted to sleep, and it was hard for you to get comfortable, leading to some screeching for the delight of the other passengers. You also couldn’t understand why you weren’t allowed out of your seat to show off your new walking skills or talk nonstop to the (stranger) new friends you thought you were making in-flight. Fortunately, neither bout lasted long and you drifted off eventually. But for the time being, your dad and I have agreed no flying for you in the immediate future.
Travel with a toddler. 😳😁✈️👶🏼💤👏🏻 #graciouspassengers #allthesnacks #tgfnaps #crewyeartwo A photo posted by Liz Smith (@lizblogphotog) on
You’ve hit a bit of a sleep regression this month, perhaps in part due to a cold you can’t fully kick. I’m not sure if it’s that combined with bad dreams or the new walking skill, but you were suddenly up — REALLY up — around midnight or one for nights on end. And it hasn’t been the simple “give him a pacifier” remedy per usual to get you back down…you are inconsolable unless we literally rock you back to sleep, which we’ve otherwise never had to do. Hoping this phase is soon a thing of the past!
We’ve seen more clinginess this month — another thing we haven’t experienced much of, ever, so we’re still figuring out how to deal with it. It certainly won’t help that you’ll be starting a new daycare in a couple weeks…but we are ultimately very happy to know you’ll be in a smaller, more consistent environment with the same faces each day you’re there, rather than bouncing around rooms/teachers/peers. Because you’re only part-time in school, (I’m trying to re-train my brain to call it school!), it’s already hard enough to make it seem comfortable for you when you go, so I’m hopeful having more consistency when you get there will make this transition, and the days going forward, easier. You LOVE the people who take care of you once you know them…we just have to get to that point again!
You continue to be SUCH a lover…big hugs and kisses, not so much when we randomly ask for them now, but when it’s your idea, and especially first thing in the mornings when you wake up. You are of course curious and like to tell us “no” or do things you KNOW you’re not supposed to (dripping your milk is the current fave naughty activity) but we are fully aware of just how good we have it with you.
The obsessions with cars, trucks (anything with a motor), and balls continue…and you’ve added dogs (“bow wows”) to the list. You are particularly fond of our neighbor’s dog, Bo. You giggle like a maniac when you can get close and want to pet, be licked, and grab tails. Needless to say, we are working hard on being “gentle!”.
Happy seventeen months to the happiest little soul who is quickly growing into a boy. Please stay my baby a bit longer.