Growth & Appearance: We took you to a barber to have your hair cut. We love it and yet we’re still eager for it to be long, again. You’ve grown a lot it seems and while you fit into many 4T or even 5T pants length wise, the waist is too big, so many times you have to wear a belt. You wear your g’paw Jeffer’s old cub scout belt. The vintage pants fit you just fine in the waist, so I do my best to buy you those instead.
You like to take you footie pajamas off by yourself, which leaves them in an inside-out mess and added hassle for when we put them back on at bedtime (but whatever, right?). You refused to wear hats for a long time but now agree to wearing beanies when it’s cold out. You have one of Papa’s old watches and insist on wearing it at all times of the day. It’s much to big for your little wrist. You don’t really care what I put you in; you have no preferences when it comes to picking out clothes. I’m gonna ride that wave as long as I can. Dressing boys has proven to be more fun than I ever thought.
You had your 4 year check-up and you are 36lbs (51%) and I think just under 40 inches tall (71%). You’re in size 4 shirts and size 9 shoes.
Eating: You’re such a better eater these days. Like night and day. You still need some coaxing here and there, but more times than not you feed yourself and enjoy eating. Did I just say that?
You love pizza. You eyes light up when we tell you we’re lazy and ordering pizza. You also love bacon. And french fries. You’re so obviously my kid. Despite these unhealthy-ish preferences, you do eat a considerable amount of healthy foods; you love nuts, apples, oranges, carrots, and avocado sandwiches (begrudgingly, at times).
Sleeping: You sleep pattern stays fairly consistent, though daylight savings has made you get up a little earlier than normal. You’re also having a hard time holding your pee and ask often for us to “let you out” to go to the bathroom. Typically you get up between 7 and 8, closer to 7 the majority of the time. Then you nap from about 1:30-3:30, sometimes 4, and rarely not at all. We have hopes of getting you to bed before 8 but you have yet to be in bed before 8:30.
You wake up most mornings in Van’s bed. I think there are times you fall asleep with him in there, but without a video monitor I can’t say for sure. You request to nap in Van’s bed since Van still naps in the pack-n-play.
Twice you’ve taken off all of your clothes and I’ve found you in your birthday suit. That’s new. Insert big eyes with raised eyebrows here. Talking: You call park rangers “grangers” and I don’t correct you; “Mama, waz dat granger say to you?”
You pronounce ambulance with a ton of extra syllables. It sounds something like, “am-ba-tu-la-ence”.
“Spicy” is pronounced “ficey” and I also don’t correct you.
When you see a cat or a small dog, you say, “I want to pick up her”. I don’t correct you because according to the grammar police, you’re actually grammatically correct.
Development: You got scolded at the dog beach by a stranger for hitting her dog. You were upset because the dog took your stick. It was really embarrassing, for me. It had a big impact on you, too, because you wouldn’t stop talking about how you no longer like dogs. Jimmie, you say, is an exception.
You love the letter H. You draw it often and point it out all around town. You don’t seem the least bit interested in any other letters, but you really hold that letter H in high regard.
Each morning at preschool you are supposed to trace the letters of your name. I stick around to watch you every now and again and have yet to see you actually trace the letters. Instead, you like to color in the inside of the letters… you scribble the inside of the “o”s and the inside of the “e” and “p” and call it a day. I have no intentions of correcting you, I like that you do it differently than everyone else.
You teachers say you genuinely like to help. I think this is a very firstborn, people-pleaser, trait of yours. It highlights your sweet and gentle side so well and obviously is a nice thing to hear.
On the flipside, you still come out of preschool each day with ragging aggressiveness toward Van. It’s like groundhog day; you come out the door, sock Van, and then proceed to chase each other all the way back to the car. Same thing. Everyday.
Your feelings get hurt if I tell you you’re not my friend. I realize this lets the I-stoop-to-my-kids-level cat out of the bag, but sometimes no time out or scolding seems to affect you. But, if I tell you that you’re not my friend, you cry. It’s my only leverage.
Felix is your best friend from pre-school. You talk about him at the most random times; like driving through Joshua Tree, “Felix would like this town”. Or the morning when you peed in your bed, “Felix doesn’t pee in his bed”. You guys send each other little videos back and forth confessing your love for one another. It’s sweet. And I dig his mom, so nice pick, Hoop.
You make the ugliest face by scrunching up your nose and showing your teeth and refer to it as your “mad face”. If I’m telling you something you don’t want to hear, you make your “mad face”. Or if you’re in attack mode and going crazy or pretending to be the “bad guy”, you better believe “mad face” comes out in full force. It’s unattractive, to say the least.
You go through phases of spitting. It sucks.
You have a love hate relationship with Jimmie; you love when he’s curled into a ball and you can cuddle him but you hate him when he’s going crazy and chewing up your toys or taking your stuffed animals off your bed.
Your imagination is on fire and you can be quite the storyteller. You’ve been known to tell tales of giraffes in our living room and that super great story you told Nina about Papa hitting you, which had no truth to it.
Favorites: You’re still, after all these years, into your cars. You now like to fill your bed with as many cars as you can and refer to it as a “carnival”. You give me a ticket (usually some sort of scrape piece of paper) and invite me to come. You love watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. It scared you, at first, but you didn’t want me to turn it off and now I think you’re so stoked that you conquered whatever fear you had that you want to watch it over and over and over again. It’s a nice break from Cars and was fun to watch during Christmas. You love to read and you love to flip through books on your own and study the pictures on the pages. You go a book for Christmas that has close up pictures of lots of different insects and animals and you love flipping through and studying each page. You recently found a container of tinker toys and that’s been your favorite thing for the last few days. We went to the Natural History Museum and ever since then you’ve been into dinosaurs. There is an educational program you like to watch on Netflix over and over. The narrator has that really old man monotone museum-esque voice so I haven’t quite figured out how he holds your attention, but he does.
Growth & Appearance: You’re tall and lanky, with long and skinny limbs. Your waist is small and you can share all your shorts with Van. You’re in a size 9 shoe and size 3T clothing. Your hair is long and it can finally fit behind your ears. You legs are almost always covered in tiny bruises from who-knows-what. Someone said you look more like Papa the other day, but most of the time people say you look like me. You definitely have my body structure.
Eating: You’ve been eating better than ever before. You still need encouragement at times, but there are entire meals that you will eat on your own and in record-for-you-speed. You’ll also try new things; sometimes begrudgingly. You’ve tried mangoes, kiwi, squash, and asparagus within the past month or so and you ate all of them. These are things we may have tried back in the day that you didn’t care for then, but seemed to tolerate now.
You’re also curious in things like ketchup, which you wouldn’t have liked before. You like ketchup with everything. You put it on your pizza the other day.
When given a cupcake, you typically only eat the frosting.
You eat your raspberries by putting them on the tips of your fingers and then eating them off one by one.
You like milk more than watered down juice and drink a lot of it. Sleeping: You still sleep with your blanket every night. Most nights you also have a small pile of toys or books you have deemed valuable next to your pillow. You always like your “stuff” nearby. You wake up around 8am, nap from roughly 1:30-4:30, and go to bed around 8:30pm. It’s been pretty steady and being that it’s the same schedule as your brother, it works out nicely. You guys sleep in the same room at night but we have to separate you for naps during the day. You rarely fight bedtime or nap time, but every now and again you surprise us. Talking: “Because” is you new favorite word. You use it all the time. Me: “Hooper, why did you hit Van?”, You: “Because”. Or better yet, Me: “Look at the cars on the freeway”, You: “Because, Mama” (which doesn’t make any sense).
“Nothing” is your other favorite word. Me: “Hooper, tell me about what you did at preschool today”, You: “Nuffing”. You’re like a little teenager already. My favorite is when you followed it with “I don’t wanna talk right now”. Ha.
You went through a phase where you’d ask us several times a day when our birthdays are. No joke, some days you’d ask more than 20 times. Needless to say, you know now when everyone’s birthday is.
You’re into telling secrets. More times than not you’ll come up to me, tell me you have a secret, and then say, “I wanna hit Van”.
The other day we were talking about the birds flying. I asked you if you’d like to fly like a bird one day and you told me, “No Mama, because I’d miss you”.
When you’re playing in the garage with Van, you’ll yell to me, “Mama, pweez come keep an eye on us!”.
Sometimes you’ll announce you have a question, “Mama, I have a question”. It’s usually followed by “Can I hit Van?” or “When’s your birthday”.
When you’re playing and I tell you it’s time for a nap, you’ll tell me, “just five minutes, Mama”. Or when I tell you to eat your food and you say, “just one second, Mama”.
You love to talk like a monkey but know we hate it so you’ll ask, “Can I do monkey talks?”. Sometimes we say yes.Development: When you see kids skateboarding or playing baseball, you say you want to do the same when you’re “bigger”.
You go to the bathroom completely on your own. Sometimes I don’t even know you’re going until you come walking out with your pants down. We haven’t mastered the pulling your pants part up quite yet. After that, you’ll be fully independent.
Every now and again, you’ll go to the bathroom in you pants overnight. It doesn’t happen often, but we keep you in pull-ups at night just in case.
One time, when I wasn’t looking, you started to pee right on the beach. A woman started laughing and pointed you out to me and then insisted that I take a picture of it, so I have a photo of you pissing on the beach. Right after that you told me you had to make ca-ca. I asked the same lady if she wanted me to photograph that as well. She declined and we went to the restroom.
In other potty news, you demand complete privacy when you’re pooping. Every now and again you’ll grab Van’s hand and insist that he take you ca-ca. It’s funny.
You went through a phase when you were into blowing into people’s faces. Luckily it passed because it was super annoying; though it was quite humorous when we’d overhear you asking Van if you could blow him. Rules before going anywhere included: say please and thank you, no hitting, wait your turn, and no blowing on people.
You can do a forward roll. You can also hop on one foot (really well on your left, but not so well on your right). You seem to kick a ball with your left foot. You still write with your left hand but you hold utensils in your right hand. You throw, mostly, with your right.
You ask me often about my collar bones and try to grab them as if they are removable.
You request that we drive “fast” and “get” the other cars (which means we speed up and pass the car next to us).
Much to my dismay, you’re more conscious of having your photo taken. The other day I had my camera out and you sat there and gave me a full on cheese ball smile. No idea where it came from but I’m learning that it’s really hard to unteach things society teaches us.
Like a bag lady, you shuffle all your stuff around from room to room. Currently you have your small suitcase full of cars and tractors and a basket full of books. It’s heavy, even for me, and you cart it around with you everywhere. You’re very possessive of your stuff and upset when you misplace it.
You know that “H” is the first letter of your name and you’re able to draw it.
You’re sweet and sensitive. You love animals and hate to see anyone sad. You’re still my number one cuddler. Favorites: You love movies with mice in them, like Stuart Little and Runaway Ralph. You watched the movie “Cars” for the first time and love it. But if there’s one thing you could do all day, everyday, it would be playing in the garage. You have all sorts of “things” out there that you refer to as your “home” and you like sorting it and reorganizing it. The “things” include cardboard boxes, an ice chest, your bike, a broom, beach chairs, small trash cans, and other random things you’d only find in a garage. You also love to sit with a book and flip through the pages. You tell me you’re reading your book and I have no doubt that you are, in your own way.
Growth & Appearance: You were well on your way to a business-in-the-front-party-
in-the-back-also-known-as-a- mullet hair style (we cut it just the other day). We were trying to hold out until Halloween, with plans of dressing you up as either Joe Dirt or Rod Stewart. Your hair is blonder than ever, compliments of summer, and remains thick and oddly kinky.
We finally found a new pediatrician and took you for your overdue well baby checkup. You weigh 32 lbs (85th percentile) and are 38 inches tall (off the charts, >100%). You feel like a rock, super dense. You have a barrel shaped chest.
Eating: You went from needing a snack first thing in the morning to hold you over while I made you breakfast to being finicky and not eating much at all. You’re now a pain in the ass at the table. You need to be entertained constantly. Just when I thought we could put the grab bag of tricks away. Typically you end up eating, but it’s not usually on our terms. Given that you’re monstrously big, I tend to let it go and cross my fingers that if you skip one meal you’ll eat well at the next, and you usually do.
You do, however, typically try new foods with ease. You ate squash that I made without even pointing it out as something “new”. Same thing with asparagus.
When we go to a restaurant we have to hide the sugar packets. If you beat us to the punch, you usually end up eating the entire packet (paper included).
You still like bananas, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, quesadillas, beans, and an assortment of snack foods like raisins and grapes and cheese sticks.
When we try to feed you and you already have a bite in your mouth, you’ll open your mouth and point to the food that’s in there and make this face that says, “told ya so”.
Sleeping: You sleep in the same room as your brother, in a twin bed with a toddler rail. You’re attached to your blanket and usually like bringing a couple of books with you to bed. Your schedule is the same as Hooper’s: wake up around 8am, nap from 1:30-4:30, and go to sleep around 8:30pm. You nap in the pack-n-play in the bathroom because napping in the same room as your brother does not work. The other day you climbed out of your pack-n-play after your nap, walked downstairs and found me and said, “me awake”. You still suck your thumb and put use “hand hat” when you’re tired. The best is when you’re riding your bike and have your helmet on; hand hat turns into helmet hat and you put your thumb in your mouth and your other hand on top of your helmet.Talking: You speak in full sentences and mimic a lot of what Hooper says. You’ve taken to his favorite words like “because”. So when I say, “Van, why won’t you listen”, you say, “because”.
Before answering any question, you say “um”. Me: “Hey Van, when’s your birthday”, You: “um, July”. It’s so fast and so subtle that it almost sounds like one word, umjuly.
There was a time when we’d scold you and you’d come crying to whichever one of us didn’t scold you and say, “Papa hit me”, even though the scolding was strictly verbal. It made us happy that you’re not in preschool telling people of authority lies about us. Also makes me question using a child as a witness in the court of law. Clearly, kids are nuts. You included.
You start a lot of sentences with “me”, “me awake”, “me like dat”, “me want that”, and so on and so forth.
“No way!” was your favorite phrase for a period of time. Me: “Van, we’re gonna go to the fair”, You: “No way!”.
You repeat whatever you’re saying until someone validates what you’ve said: “Dat boy wear helmet”. No answer. “Dat boy wear helmet”. No answer. “Dat boy wear helmet on his head”. “Yes, you’re right”. Then it’s quiet.
You understand full concepts and tell me things like, “It smells weird”. You also ask, “Who dat on da phone”, whenever we’re talking to anyone on the phone. It’s hard to know how much is mimicking things you hear Hooper say and how much is just you being you. Whichever the case, you ask appropriate questions and make appropriate statements. Development: You can ride a bike with training wheels. You love riding your bike. You can jump off of high surfaces with two feet. You try to hop on one foot and can just about do it.
You did great in swim class. You’re favorite part was jumping off the ledge into the water. You’re very trusting to the point of carelessness. You’re more of a jump-first-find-someone-to-save-me-after kinda kid.
You’ve gone to the bathroom on the toilet several times but are not near ready to officially start potty training. There was a period where you seemed highly interested, but it has passed. Now I wish you’d find the interest again because you’re in a current state of I-don’t-want-my-diaper-changed and nearly every time there’s a tantrum that ensues. It’s annoying that I have to beg you to wipe your butt. Please remember this.
You make fast friends with kids of all ages; others seem to be drawn to you naturally.You give the sweetest kisses. Your lips and nice and plump. Favorites: You request to watch a spin off of the movie Cars, called “Mater Tales”, nearly everyday. We don’t spend a lot of time watching TV, but when we do, this is what you request. You’re also more into cars and tractors than you’ve ever been. Like Hooper, you like to line them up and take them with you everywhere. For a week straight, you brought a little taxi with you everywhere. You also love playing in the garage and spend most of your free time at home in the garage with Hooper either riding your bike around in circles or building “homes” with Hooper.
Growth & Appearance: I put you on the scale the other day and you seem to be about 35 pounds. You hair is blonder than ever, bleached by the summer sun. You’re little bum is white compared to the rest of your body. Your nails almost always have dirt under them.Your hair is long and you’ve started brushing it out of your face with your hand, holding it out of your eyes so you can see better. You have enough hair to put into a ponytail and every now and again you will request one. We ask you if you want us to cut your hair and you say “no”.
You have a lot of blond leg hair that glistens in the sun.
You have a natural six pack.
You wear size 3 or 4T. Pull ups / underwear size 4. And I think you’re in size 9 shoe; it’s hard to keep track. Eating: You’ve been eating well, for the most part. When you’re excited about what we’re preparing, you rub your tummy and refer to the food as “delicious”, pronounced “de-wish-is”.
You like to slurp your milk. It’s really annoying. For a short time you’d slurp it and then spit it out all over the floor. It was really fun when Van would follow suit.
You don’t like food getting on your face or lap; you’re a clean eater. If I offer you a bite that’s too big, you say, “that’s too big for my face”, which I think is funny.
Your favorite foods are whip cream, strawberries, hot dogs, and french fries; I swear we give you healthy food most of the time, however. Hot dogs, more than anything else, are your latest jam.
You also love milk (when you’re not slurping and/or spitting it out). And butter. You like to eat butter plain, right off the knife. Gross, I know.
You keep going into the fridge, taking the cap off the juice and hiding it. The other day I found the juice in the garage and the cap in a random basket. Sleeping: You’re back to taking naps. I make it my goal each day to tire you out and it works. You wake up around 7:30 or 8am with your brother (typically he wakes you up, I think). You’re ready for a nap after lunch, around 1 or 2pm, and you usually sleep at least 2 hours, sometimes 3. You go to bed between 8 and 9.
You still love your blanket, which you call your “dadgy”. You also insist on sleeping with a toy each night; most nights it’s a book.
When you wake up from your nap, we cuddle and you kiss you forehead and tell me, “You make me so happy”. It’s my favorite part of the day. You prefer to cuddle with me over your Papa because you say Papa, “makes you itch” (because of his facial hair).
Talking: You’re very expressive about your feelings; you say things like “I am too mad” when you’re told you have to do something that you don’t want to do. You’ll also talk back.
You call me “mom” from time to time and it makes me feel like you’re growing up too fast. Other times you’ll make it plural and call me “mamas” and I’m reminded that you’ll always be my baby.
For a while you were singing a song you referred to as your favorite but we could decipher the words and to this day I have no idea what your favorite song is.
When I scold you, I tell you to “look at my eyes”. I cannot tell you how many times I have overheard you scolding Van, “wook at my eyes, Van!”. Monkey see, monkey do.
You’ve started saying swear words. Specifically “f$#’n shit”; a constant reminder that we need to watch our mouths and that you hear everything we say. You use it appropriately too; like when we were in Hawaii and a lizard ran into our room and you said, “f$#’n shit”.
You say “bless you” after anyone sneezes. It’s a nice antidote to the aforementioned.
The other day you wanted me to watch something you were doing and instead of asking me to watch, you said, “Mama, turn your face around”.
When you tell people your name, sometimes you say, “Hooper, with an H” because I think you’ve heard us say that too many times. You get mistaken for “Cooper” often.
You must ask “why” a thousand times a day. I have been told by numerous strangers that I have the patience of a Saint. I tell them they have no idea. And no explanation is ever satisfactory; one why just gives way to another.
When something goes wrong, like you drop something, you say, “oh dear”.
You saw a blimp in the air and said, “Mama, wook at dat wocket (rocket)”.
You’re into potty talk. You love talking about buttholes and your “dumps”.
When a commercial comes on the TV, you look at us confused and whine about the TV “buffering”. Hash tag: Modern day kids.
You like to take it upon yourself to give Van a spanking when he does something wrong. You pronounce it “fankin”.
Development: We call you the bossman because you think the world revolves around you and that everyone is here on the Earth to take orders from you. When you’re overly bossy, it’s usually a sign that you’re tired.
You want to know the name for anything and everything. You’ll see a bird out the window and ask me what it’s name is. You’ll see a stranger in the store and ask me what his name is. You’ll see a dog and ask what it’s name is. You’re eager to identify everything.
You can put your slip on shoes on by yourself. Occasionally it gets stuck on your heel and you get frustrated.
You constantly ask me what all the signs say… the stop sign, the crosswalk sign, the “welcome to California” sign, the handicap sign, and so on and so forth. As I said, you’re eager to identify everything.
You refer to large bodies of water, like lakes, as bath tubs; “Wook at all dos ducks in that big baff-tub, Mama”.
You no longer use the little seat over the toilet, it’s something we abandoned during the move and you’ve adapted to the big boy seat just fine. You have regressed considerably with potty training, however. Prior to moving, I’d say you were 98% trained. Now, you wake up with a dirty diaper a few times a week and have been peeing in random areas all over the house. It was a real treat when you pointed out that you peed on a pile of clothes on my floor. Luckily this only lasted a few weeks.
You are offended when inanimate objects or animals don’t talk to you. You say, “Mama, that rock / bird / crab not talkin’ to me” with a pout and a frown.
You’re able to problem solve. Like if the ball gets stuck under the sofa, you first try to retrieve it using something long like a baseball bat.
You’ve gotten more social and are more inclined to go up to a group of kids and play. You’re not one to wander far or lose sight of me, but it’s obvious you enjoy hanging out with kids your own age and it’s been nice to see you come out of your shell a bit.
You hate getting hurt. You discovered a blister on the back of your heel and spent the rest of the day requesting cuddles and limping around. We’ll have to toughen you up a bit.
You ask about Sarah less and less, but have not forgotten. You’ve settled on the fact that she got hit by a car and is with Sammy. You’re very conscious of street safety as a result and I overhear you telling Van often to look both ways. It’s pretty sweet.
You’re into collecting an odd assortment of toys and things around the house and turning them into, what you call, a fire station. Like the other day when my bed was covered with a tennis racket, a hose for the washer and dryer, a few cars, a tape measure, a plant stand, and other odds and ends. When I started to clean it up, you told me to stop messing up your fire station. You do the same thing with your “office”; you have a plastic cup with some crayons, some coins, and a few allen wrenches set on top of the kitchen bar counter. You add things like junk mail and refer to this space as your office. Again, you get very upset when I try to clean it up. And if I clean it up when you’re sleeping, you immediately notice everything that’s missing when you wake up. You let it all go quickly too, however, and go right back to building a new fire station or office.
You want your privacy when you poop and request that we leave the bathroom. You shut the door behind us and then present your poop to us like it’s a meal you spent hours in the kitchen making.
You play with your dong a lot. I wouldn’t say that here except for the fact that you’re slappin’ that thing around all the time and if (when) it happens with Van, I’d like some sort of documentation that it occurred and did not fall off. Cuz’ right now, I’m worried about that thing falling off.
You’re cautious and caring; you tell me, from the backseat, to watch out for pedestrians or bicyclists or even cars in the distance.
Favorites: You’re still into your cars. You love building forts that you call your home. You like to throw a random assortment of crap on the bed and refer to it as your fire station (as mentioned). Curious George is still a fan favorite. And as cheesy as it is, I’m definitely on the top of your list of favorites. You tell me you love me several times a day, get downright insistent about cuddling with me, and give me the sweetest kisses all the time.
Growth & Appearance: Your hair remains oddly thick and coarse. We stopped shaving it in the midst of moving and have agreed to let it grow out mostly by default. As it’s grown out, it’s gotten blonder and blonder. It’s almost white now. A friend of ours said you look like Rod Stewart and your Papa and I agree. I mean, look. We’re considering a Rod Stewart costume for Halloween. Sorry.
You have scratches on your face and neck constantly from your brother, who likes to choke you. You have one running down your entire forehead and a matching one on your temple. You take many beatings from Hooper.
You feel like you weigh a thousand pounds. You’re dense. You’re in size 5 diapers and wearing 2 or 3T sized clothes. You appear enormously tall next to other kids your age.
We refer to your feet as potato feet; they’re round and chubby. The bottom of your feet are black, always. You downright refuse to keep your shoes on. As soon as we get you in the car seat, you fling your shoes off. I don’t even put them on now until we get where we are going. I don’t even know what size you wear. I think it’s a size 7.
You have a diaper tan.
Both of your two year molars on the top left and bottom left are in. The bottom right should be popping through soon. It’s more apparent when you’re teething now than it was when you were a baby; you’re grumpier, more volatile, and you don’t eat much.
Eating: There is no manipulating you at the table; you will either eat it or you won’t. When you say you’re done, you mean it. Sometimes this means you’ll eat all of one thing and nothing of anything else on your plate and I’ve simply learned to let it go. You eat a lot so it’s easy to let your phases of finicky eating go. And for the most part, you’re only finicky when you’re teething. All in all, you’re still a championship eater.
You can fit a ridiculous amount of food in your mouth and it’ll be gone within a couple seconds.
You love water bottles but haven’t figured out how to conquer that whole back-washing bit. When you’re done with the water bottle, it looks like a dirty fish tank. You can drink out of a cup but we still use sippy cups because we’re lazy and hate cleaning up more than we have to.
Your favorite foods as of late are bananas, peaches, zucchini, pasta, but you’ll eat most anything and everything. You tend to favor watered down juice over milk, but you still drink a lot of milk. You love snacks.
Sleeping: You and Hooper are sharing a room. You are sleeping in a twin bed with a toddler rail. You wake up around 7:30am and nap around 1:30 for about 3 hours. You go to bed around 8 or 9pm.
You sleep with your blanket but don’t seem overly attached to it. We also allow you to pick a toy to sleep with each night; it’s usually a different toy each time and more times than not it’s a book.
You do well with sharing the room with Hooper but you two are not able to nap together. Instead, we put you in the pack n’ play either in the spare bedroom or in the bathroom. I hear you guys each morning “pwaying py-rits” (playing pirates) over the monitor.
The other night I awoke to hear you yelling and found you covered, head to toe, trapped in your sheet like a ghost.
Talking: When you want some of whatever we are eating you say, “sch-um” (aka, some) varying degrees of urgency depending on whether we give it to you right away, or not.
You’ve also started putting words together. It started with an abnormally long pause between the words; like if it’s cold outside, you say “coh’d”—–“side”. Then you started saying the words without the pause and now you’re stringing together three or more words.
Your first complete sentence was clear as day, “I want down”. And down you went.
You say “yes” very distinctly. We ask you a lot of questions that we know you will say “yes” to because we love hearing it.
You are your brother’s parrot; whatever Hooper says, you too try to say.
You have tons of words in your vocabulary and while it’s more or less easy for us to decipher what you’re saying, you still speak a foreign language to others.
Development: You love to spray things with a water bottle but you cry when someone turns the water bottle on you.
You’re interested in potty training. I’ve put you on the toilet several times and you’ve peed successfully. You’re also starting to hide when you poop, which I think means you’re getting closer to being ready for official training. We haven’t dove in head first, but we’re splashing around. We’re rewarding you with a tic-tac. You request “tac”—“two”. As of late, you wake up with a dry diaper and go to the potty first thing in the morning. You don’t ask to go during the day.
Anytime we ask you a question that’s answer is a numerical value, you say “two”. So how old are you, how many fish are there, how many grapes do you want… the answer is always two. No matter what.
Same goes for colors. The answer is always red, regardless of whether there is red or not. We try to set you up for success and only ask you what color things are when we see something red… like fire trucks.
You can jump off of a higher surface. In fact, without fail, each time we get to the last step of whatever staircase or stairwell, you insist on jumping off. You throw the biggest tantrum ever on the beach in Maui because you did not want to leave a rock you were jumping off over and over.
You ask to hold our hand when you’re going downstairs but are able to do it by yourself without a problem when we’re not around.
You can catch and kick and hit a ball. Papa’s pretty impressed with your drop kick.
You’ll sit and watch a cartoon, which is new. Bob the Builder is your favorite.
You’re scared of monsters. When we need you to listen, we tell you a monster is coming so you better “X”. It works 90% of the time.
You are destructive; you like chewing things up and knocking things over and taking things off and throwing things all over the place.
It’s obvious you’re a younger sibling; you’re obsessed with things being yours. If you get down off the sofa to go play with a toy and your Papa and I take over sitting where you were once sitting, you will come up and insist we move, declaring the seat yours. You get things taken from you left and right, so I get it.
You’re not much a cuddler. When you get hurt, you run to me but within a second of being in my arms you’re off and running as if nothing happened. I don’t think you’d even come to me for comfort if it wasn’t something that you’ve seen Hooper do; I think you’ve learned it from him but don’t need it whatsoever.
Favorites: Balls. Oh my, you have a ball in your hand almost constantly; tennis balls, soccer balls, basketballs, golf balls, bouncy rubber balls, beach balls… it matters not. You love holding the tennis racket over your shoulder and using it as a baseball bat. You also have a mean drop kick and some pretty good ball-catching skills. No matter where we go, you seem to find a ball. Within seconds of arriving at a park, you will have a ball – that does not belong to you – in your hands. We went to an open field the other day and you found a golf ball in the dirt. I’m convinced the balls find you just as well as you find them.
You love picture books and request to read the same books over and over and over again.
You also love riding on your Papa’s skateboard. Somehow it made it’s way from the garage to the family room. You like to sit on it or lay on your stomach and push around on your feet. Sometimes you’ll come up to me and ask to hold your hands so you can stand and try to balance.
Growth & Appearance: At your well-baby check-up this month your height was 35 1/4 (96%), your weight was 28.5 (70%), and your head circumference was 19 1/8 (70%).
Eating: You love food. It’s still so interesting to compare the differences in eating habits between you and your brother. I’ll put two scrambled eggs on each of your plates, for example, and you’ll literally shove 1/3 of what’s on your plate into your mouth and swallow it within seconds while your brother will spit out a small bite protesting that the bite was “too big”. The other day I gave you a hamburger and held off on giving you any french fries until you were done with the burger. I waited until you put your last bite in and then put a fry on your plate. You literally took the burger out of your mouth, and I swear you had half
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of that burger shoved into every little crevice of your mouth, and proceeded to eat the french fry instead. So while you love eating just about anything and everything, you definitely have preferences.
When you’re done eating you throw everything off the table like one of those crazy musicians who breaks his guitar at the end of his show. The other day you threw your sippy cup at my glass cup which broke into a thousand pieces on the floor.
You love to eat ice. So much so that you now open the cupboard and pull out one of the tupperware bowls that I typically put it in and hand it me requesting for “ice, ice” over and over again until I give in. After every meal, you climb up onto my lap and try to get the ice out of my cup.
You also love Altoids.
Sleeping: You’re doing well in your big boy bed. For the most part, you take your naps without much fuss. The other day, however, you protested and by the time you were finally quiet I peeked in and was unable to open the door; you fell asleep right up against the door.
You are afraid of the dark. You don’t even like walking at night and whine to be held or reach for one of our hands to hold.
You took off your pants and diaper the other day during your nap and wiped your shit all over the pillow and sheets. That was fun.
Talking: You started saying “no” and shaking your head and, at times, even crossing your arms across your chest in defiance. It’s so darn cute that we often ask you things we know you’ll say no to just to see you wildly shake your head in protest. Othertimes, it’s not so cute. The terrible twos are approaching quickly.
You say a ton of words that mostly only those who take care of you on a regular basis can understand. You say “please” and “thank you”. You probably have somewhere in the ballpark of 100 words in your vocabulary but you are not stringing them together in sentences.
Development: You’re warm and welcoming and friendly. You’ll go to anyone, like the other day when you went up to the guy working on our house and requested for him to hold you. Or the other day when someone was over to pick something up that I had sold on craigslist and you grabbed her by the finger to accompany you outside. Then there was the day you tripped and fell outside a restaurant and went to the first person you looked up and saw for comfort; it was a complete stranger.
All the sudden you became a champion scooter rider. You can go fairly fast and without stopping. You lead with your right foot and push with your left.
You have a new found insistence in wanting things to go your way. You have your own ideas of what you want to do and how you want to do them.
You love spraying spray bottles filled with water but you often mistakenly hold it in the wrong direction and end up spraying yourself in the face.
You can jump with two feet off the floor but it takes some pre-jumping warm ups to get it going. You love trying though.
You love latching your belt of your high chair together and putting t
ogether your carseat buckle as well.
I allowed you to paint with Hooper the other day and aside from the few brush strokes that you put on your paper, most of the paint ended up in your mouth and hair.
You can point out all the different animals in your picture books, including bunnies, horses, dogs, cats, penguins, fish, frogs, and so on and so forth. You fold your hands up into your armpits and quack when you see a picture of a duck.
Favorites: You still love to read. Goodnight Moon is still one of your favorites. You love cookies and candy. You love music and dance like no ones watching. And, really, anything Hooper is playing with becomes a fast favorite.
Growth & Appearance: You’re still a big kid. You look like a 2 year old but waddle like an 18 month old. Your hair is blond and thick. We shave it often. Currently you have a scab on your knee and a scratch of unknown origin the side of your right eye. We can no longer leave you in just a diaper because you take it off every time. Even with shorts on the other day, I saw you trying to pull the thing off. Not sure that it’s quite time to potty train; I think you just like to be naked.
You have all your teeth, next ones should be the two year molars.
Eating: You’re a tank. You love to eat and waddle as fast as you can over to your high chair as soon as you see food being made. Sometimes you require a snack just to shut you up until the food is ready to be put in front of you. You prefer to have a fork in your hand and are okay at using a spoon, but more times than not you use your hands because you can shovel it in faster.
You’ve consumed entire meals before your brother takes his first bite.
You love blueberries, cereal, carrots, cheese, oatmeal, banana… who am I kidding… there’s really not anything that you don’t like. You love eating ice.Sleeping: You’re still taking two naps a day. You wake up around 8:30 and nap around 10:30 for two hours. You nap again in the afternoon around 4:30 for an hour and a half or so. You’re not the most fun to be around on the days where you miss your nap.
We’re hoping to switch you over to the bottom bunk. We took you out of the crib and you are now sleeping in a big boy bed in your own room. Eventually we hope to put you and Hooper in the same room. You’ve transitioned out of the crib okay but nap time is more like whack-a-mole. We’ll keep at it, with fingers crossed. You love your blanket, as well as your stuffed animals. But your blanket is a must.
Talking: You say a ton of words and communicate well. The other day you handed me your empty sippy cup, asked for my “hand”, told me to “come”, and led me straight to the fridge where you pointed at your sippy cup and whined. You just started saying “thank you”, which is the first time you’ve put two words together. You also say “pee” for “please” and “side” when you want to go outside. Every time we go over a speed bump, you say “bump”.
Development: You started a little gym class and go with the nanny since I’m still unable to lift you. She says you’re the tallest in your class and you do well with everything. The balls, she says, are your favorite.
You join in on the bike rides by pushing your feed off the pavement as opposed to pedaling. Your shoes are all warn in from where you push off and one time, when you went out without shoes, you came in with wounds on your big toes from pushing. It won’t be long until you can reach the pedals.
Your laugh is as hearty as can be and seems to come from deep down in your belly. You love to be around laughter and occasionally snort when you laugh; it’s adorable.
You love being chased.
Perhaps it’s a second child thing, but you definitely have a sense of what is yours (of what you want to be yours) and refer to things as “mine”, accompanied with a whine and / or cry.
You’ve discovered that the computer is pretty cool and I can no longer sit at my desk without you climbing onto my lap. Sometimes you simply want to draw with a pen, other times you want to smack all the keys on the keyboard, and other times you request to watch a video on YouTube (you love the Fox Song and any nursery rhyme and all the truck / fire engine videos that your bro loves).
You love to steal my pen and get pissed anytime I’m writing with one and won’t hand it over.
Following in the footsteps of your brother, you love to do what we’ve coined as “the grandfather” (where you walk around hunched over and shuffle your feet like a little old man) and “fancy feet” (where you stomp your feet back and forth in quick succession).
You refuse to go down steps by yourself and ask for one of our hands to hold. You finally did it by yourself the other day, but it took a lot of coaxing.
Favorites: You love to have books read to you over and over and over again. Your favorites are “Goodnight Moon”, “I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly”, and any beginner books that has cars or trucks. You ask me to sit and then plant your little bottom in my lap constantly. You’re fascinated anytime a police car or fire truck goes by with their sirens on and you could sit behind the wheel and pretend to drive the car all day long. You also love to put your hands under the facet in the bathroom. And, of course, you love cars.
Growth & Appearance: You gained a lot of teeth over this last month. I have yet to take official inventory for fear of my fingers lives, but I believe you have all your molars and canines. I pretty sure you spent the two weeks I was in the hospital teething, so at some point you owe your Papa an apology for your sour moods.
At your well-baby check-up this month you weighed 26.5 lbs and were in the 98th percentile for height. According to the doc, you’re on track to be 6’4 200 lbs. It’s weird to think of you being taller than me.
Eating: I love that we’re more laid back with your eating. We pay more attention to what you eat over the course of a week as opposed to a single day. When you’re teething, especially, you don’t eat much. You may skip an entire meal. But the following day you seem to be a bottomless pit. So, we remain laid back. There’s no tricking you into eating more anyhow, when you’re done you’re done and you get pissed when we try to tell you differently.
You hold your cup up for a solid “cheers” several times throughout a meal.
You’re still drinking whole milk and you eat everything we give you.
You don’t even look at your food before filling the palm of your hand and shoving it in your mouth. As soon as you know food is being made, you walk over to your high chair and start whining saying, “chair, chair”.
Sleeping: You’re a fantastic sleeper. You wake up around 8:30am, nap from 10:30 to 1:15pm, then again from 4-6pm, and go to bed around 8:30pm. We’re talking about moving you and your brother into the same room and I’m hoping your sleep pattern doesn’t suffer as a result. It’s out plan to move you out of the crib and into bunk beds with your brother so we can put all your toys in a room and call it a playroom.
Talking: You know a ton of words. Papa and I understand much of what you say, but to other’s I’m pretty sure it sounds like a foreign language. Words we understand: hot, help, down, done, sit, come, broom, outside, car, truck, cookie, dog, trash, thank you, cheers.
If you’re not able to use your “words”, you whine. And you whine a lot. Between your limited vocabulary, your whining, and your directing us by pulling or pointing, it’s pretty clear what you want. You’re a good, though relentless, communicator in that sense.
Development: I probably should have noted this last month, but boy have you discovered the world above you. A plane does not fly overhead that you don’t notice.
You are determined to get what you want and show your emotions when things don’t go your way. Toddlerhood seems to be just around the corner.
You know where your ears, hair, head, belly, and eyes are. For whatever reason, you’re having a hard time with your nose.
Your personality is fun and you’re always looking to laugh. I’ll even catch you mid-meltdown, make a funny face, and your tears will quickly turn to smiles and laughter.
You yell to get what you want. I suppose this is typical second child antics. When you finish your milk, for example, you wave your cup up in the air and shriek until someone takes it from you to refill.
You’re able to jump off your two feet.
Favorites: You love to mimic Hooper. You watch everything he does and try your hardest to replicate. And so, you love stacking the toy cars on top of one another. You’re more into the cars than ever before.
You also love the “Fox Song” and drag us over to the computer often repeating “fox” over and over again.
You love your toy broom and dust pan and anything else your brother is playing with. And your giraffe… You ride that thing around the entire block. It’s on it’s last leg.
Growth & Appearance: You got a trim this month after your neck presumably started hurting after having to tilt your head up so you could peer through the hair in your eyes. You’re already due for another hair cut and I think your Papa and I agree that it needs to be cut shorter, otherwise we’ll be cutting it every month.
Your feet and nails are always dirty, proof of the amount of time you spend outdoors.
You had your 3 year well-toddler check up. You weigh 32.5 lbs and are in the 70th percentile for both height and weight. You’re on track to be just like your Papa, 6’1, 160 lbs.
Eating: Slowly but surely you’ve become “one of us” at the table. You eat the same food we do and do not require some ridiculous distraction to get a bite of food in your mouth. Not that all is dandy… you try to get up 20x during a meal and we’re constantly reeling you back to the table. I’m pretty sure Papa has threatened to tape you to your chair, but I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that so forget I said it.
You hate making a mess. You often whine when a bite of food lands on your shirt or when food spills off your plate. You require a napkin during mealtime so you can clean your messes.
I should also note that you still rely on us often to put the spoon or fork in your mouth. It’s ridiculous and, again, I’m embarrassed to admit it. You’re more than capable to do it on your own so long as we’re willing to sit there all. day. long. while you take you sweet ass time.
Talking: The other weekend, Papa took you to an outdoor market. You found a basket of old cars and Papa allowed you to chose one. He said you had a handful of cars in one hand until you came upon a tow truck and dropped every car that was in your hand and proclaimed, “WOWWWW”. You came home with a tow truck.
You’re very polite, always saying please and thank you.
Over this past month, you’ve added a lot of words to your vocabulary and are able to express yourself quite well. There isn’t anything that you don’t say and, these days, there’s very few moments where you’re not talking. The doc says you’re right where you should be.
You love saying “hola” (hello in Spanish) and “adios” (goodbye in Spanish).
There was a period where you answered everything with “shore” (sure). For example, “Hooper can you pick up that toy?”, and you’d say, “uh huh, shore”.
Sleeping: You rarely nap anymore, though you get cranky around 6 or 7pm and we are left to deal with your crazy shenanigans until we put you to bed. Some days you actually ask to take a nap but it’s so close to dinner and bedtime that we chose to keep you awake.
You sleep great over night for a solid 11-12 hours. And more times than not, your pull-up is dry when you wake up.
When you wake up, you yell at the top of your lungs “HA-WOAHHH” (hello!), followed this morning by “I gotta go potty!”.
Development: You’re beyond ready for preschool. As soon as my back is healed, that’s top on our list.
You love to lock doors.
You fully understand that I am recovering from a big “owie” and you often like to “make mama happy” by giving me a hug.
Sometimes, usually when you’re whining at the dinner table, you’ll say, “I wanna cry”. I tell you that you can if you’d like and you just smile.
You’re bound to cut your head open one of these days because no matter how many times we say “no”, you won’t stop jumping on the sofa.
You have a clear understanding of what’s yours and what’s not and that it’s not okay to touch or play with things that aren’t ours. When we walk past a motorcycle, for example, you look at me with your little palms held up to the sky and say, “not hours” (not ours).
You love to make funny faces and dance crazy in front of the mirror, wildly waving at yourself and turning around in circles.
You’re fully potty trained. One day you asked to make ca-ca in the toilet and ever since that random day, you poop in the potty. Sometimes you’ll fake us out and drag us into the bathroom what seems like a 100 times before you actually go… but you do eventually go.
You help me empty the dishwasher by putting the utensils away. You also help me feed Sarah.
You’re able to ride the bike g’paw Niles bought you for your birthday. It’s a tricycle and you finally figured out how to push on the petals after Papa taped your feet to them.
You surprised us when you got alphabet letters to put in the bath and you knew many of the letters. Hashtag: Thanks Super Why.
Favorites: You and your brother love watching The Fox Song on YouTube. Your favorite part is the grandma sitting in the rocking chair in the forest. Every time, without fail, you point and say “whook at gamp-paw” and proceed to chuckle. Every time.
Cars, tractors, trucks, bikes… things with wheels still rock your world.
You love playing outside, going for walks, or riding your bike.
Growth & Appearance: You have little blond hair on your legs that cute me out every time I take notice of them.
You seem to have gone through a growth spurt and have longer legs than I remember you having just last month.
Your hair is constantly in your face. We’ve tried putting some gel in so that it’s tucked off to the side but that only seems to work for a short while. Still waiting on it to be long enough to tuck behind your ears.
Eating: Feeding you isn’t the pain in the ass that it used to be. Mealtimes are much quicker and relatively painless these days. You’re still hesitant about trying new things, but with encouragement and/or threats, you will give something new a try. You eat whatever we’re eating for dinner every night and without much fuss. In fact, for the first time ever, you’re requesting snacks. I think you must be going through a growth spurt. I will, however, say that you often spit your food out, declaring a bite “too big”, which is annoying. We’re also still having to feed you the majority of the time because you just aren’t interested otherwise. If we left it up to you, we’d be at the table all day long with a full plate of food.
You give what we call “dinner hugs” every night at dinner, but mostly only to me. I love it.
You like to pretend to bring us food and after giving us the piece of paper you refer to as a “donut” you ask, “nuff?”, to which I always reply “no”, and you bring me more.
Sleeping: Some days you nap, other days you don’t. It’s quite obvious when you need a wee little rest but even then, at times, you fight it. More times than not, it depends on what you did the day before.
Here’s your schedule: Wake up between 8:30 and 9, nap around 4 for an hour or two, bed around 9. Talking: You still talk like Curious George a lot, using grunts and groans with different emphasis to get your point or your question across. I refuse to put Curious George on anymore. You’ve been learning about the alphabet instead, and surprisingly, you’re into it. Typical first born, I suppose.
Funny things you say:
“Mama hold you” (mama hold me)
“Mama see dat?” (mama did you see that?)
“Put brodder HERE” (said with awkward pauses between each word and with odd emphasis on the “here”)
“Have uh ______” (insert: snack, hug, tiss-U… said when you want something)Development: You must know you’re on the brink of turning three because you’re behavior has been pushing the limits. You’ve developed a love for spitting and nearly landed a wad of saliva on the hostess when we went out to dinner. You spit right in Papa’s face the other day as well. You also like throwing things. The other day you were throwing your cars wildly up into the air just to see where they would land. You’re a spitting wrecking ball.
You know the difference between a nickel, dime, and penny, and you love putting coins into your bank and them shaking them until they fall out the bottom.
You’ve been jumping everywhere. It’s hard to get a decent picture of you anymore because your head is always bobbing up and down.
You like to count to three by saying, “one two two fee”.
You’re more into pretend. You have, what resembles, real conversations on your pretend telephone. You also like to tuck your blanket between your legs and pretend to have a tail. And in the bath you make “cake” out of the soap suds.
You’re still learning how to be nice and how to share. You aren’t always the best playdate on the block; you’ve been known to hit or push people you call your friends. By the same token, you love to give hugs and kisses so there is something sweet deep down in that little big soul of yours. You also love babies and are very gentle with them.
You like painting and coloring. You mostly use your left hand, but occasionally your right as well.
Potty training: you rarely have accidents with #1. You like doing #2, however, in the comfort of your own room with the light off during nap time. I take you to the potty every day before your nap and, without fail, I close the door after I put you down and hear you grunting on the other side. Twenty minutes later your at your door telling me you made ca-ca.
You come up to me with your head down, chin to your chest, shoulders slumped, and proclaim “sad”. I scoop you up into my arms, give you a hug, and then you want down and return to what you were doing with energy I only wish I could match. I think you’re learning what different emotions are. I’ve been telling you that it’s okay to be sad, but I don’t really believe you’re sad.
You like things in their place. For example, if one of your dresser drawers is not all the way shut, you shut it. It amazes me that you even notice.
On any given day, you can be found with your tool belt on underneath the kitchen table with your hammer and flat head “fixing” the table. The table is not broken, fyi. Favorites: You still love your cars and play / line them up every day. You like to link them together or stack blocks in the beds of the pickup trucks and ask for “help pweez” when they don’t connect correctly or when you can’t get the blocks to balance just right. You also like playing outside with the hose but hate when the water is turned on you. You love your new toy tool set that Papa bought for you and pretend to fix things all day long, especially the wheels on your cars.
You love Thomas the Train and get mad at us when we call the trains by their wrong name, something we do intentionally because we’re cuted out that you know each and every one of them. Still, I hate TV.
Growth & Appearance: You hair is on it’s way to blond and, like your brother, we’re toying with shaving your head in hopes that everything will grow in more evenly. Right now, you look kinda like a mad scientist.
You’re growing faster than I can believe. I do a double take anytime I walk by a mirror when I have you in my arms. You look too big to be carried around. You’re tall and strong and a definite force to be reckoned with.
There are shoes of Hooper’s that you’ll never wear. You’re currently in size 4 shoes, size 4 diapers, and 18mo-2T clothes. You have four teeth on top and four on the bottom and you hate having them brushed.
Eating: You love to eat. You go where the food goes. You’re like a dog, constantly begging. You’ll try anything, but your favorites as of late are pasta, bananas, oatmeal… who am I kidding? You love everything.
You’re starting to use a fork and spoon and get pissed when I expect you to use your hands. But then I give you a fork and then you get frustrated by your inability to use it as fast as you’d like. Nevertheless, you’re getting better and better and are actually able to get some food on the fork and bring it to your mouth.
We’re done breastfeeding and I have a few posts on my feelings about it that I’ll leave out of this post, because waaaaaaa. We’re still giving you breast milk I had hoarded away in the freezer, but when we’re out and about you do fine with cow’s milk too. You like to throw your bottle onto the floor when you’re done drinking it, causing milk to spill everywhere. You also like to chew through all the nipples. Nearly every bottle and/or sippy cup has been chewed through.
Sleeping: When we stopped breastfeeding, the thumb took over. Yup, that’s right, you replaced me with your thumb and you better believe that makes me feel like a million bucks. I lie. I mean who wants to be replaced by a thumb? It’s the funniest looking finger. In any event, it’s a tell tale sign that you’re tired when you stick that thing in your mouth. Before I put you down to sleep at night, I throw your blanket over my shoulder and sing “Hush little baby” and your head plops down on my shoulder and your thumb goes in and just like that, I say goodnight.
You have an attachment to your blanket.
Your schedule looks like this: Wake up around 8:30am, nap from about 10:30 to 1pm, nap again from 5 to 6:30pm, go to bed around 8:30 or 9pm. We’re looser with your nap schedule and rely on you napping in the car if we have plans to go out and do something. You can get by without a second nap, but with a shorter fuse in the evening hours.
Talking: You say “da” for “dog”, “dah” for “down”, “bir” for “bird”, “ba” when you see a “balloon”. You’re surprisingly quite easy to understand and despite your limited vocabulary, you’re a very good communicator. You use what we call your “gimme gimme” hand when you want something just out of reach or when you want more of something. In general, however, you use a lot of “da’s” with various forms of points and whines and jaw drops to make your point.
Development: You started walking a week after your first birthday and have not looked back. You’re able to walk long distances and able to recover your balance without falling a lot of the time. Between your brother and Sarah, you have quite the obstacle course.
You can jump when holding on to something. You like to hold on to the back of the sofa and jump on the cushions. A backward fall into the coffee table is in your future. You also like to try jumping on the bed.
You took your first good spill into the corner of a table and have a shiner on your right eye to show for it. Then you came home, same day, and fell into the coffee table resulting in a smaller mark on your left eye. These are those days, aren’t they? Helmets are looking safer and safer.
You love wearing shoes and are constantly picking up shoes around the house and bringing them to me to put on your feet. It doesn’t matter how big the shoes are, you clearly want them on your feet. You also like wearing sunglasses.
You can follow directions. If I tell you to sit down in the bath, you do. If I tell you to set your milk on the table, you will. It’s amazing to watch those little wheels spin and make sense of everything. Right now, you’re a good listener.
Favorites: On any given day, we can find you getting into the cupboard under the microwave where all the baking supplies are. You love grabbing the containers of sprinkles and carrying/shaking them all over the house. Fortunately you have yet to discover how to open the containers.
You also love carrying around your plastic scissors and a pen.
You still love your four wheeler. You also love playing with your brother. But, still, Mama is your favorite. And I’m not just saying that to butter my bread, you really and truly love me and would be happy as pie to spend the better part of the day in my arms.
Growth & Appearance: Your hair has become downright ridiculous. We struggle keeping it out of your eyes. We’re constantly deciding between growing it out so you can put it behind your ears and shaving it completely. We’re leaning toward the latter simply because you have a thousand little baby hairs that have yet to grow and we’re thinking it needs a clean sweep to get the ball rolling.
Your skin is a bit darkened, compliments of warm summer kisses from the sun.
Eating: I let out a big sigh and an exaggerated eye roll every time I come to this category. I am starting to sell myself on the idea, however, that your behavior is more typical toddler and less of a psycho tyrant intentionally trying to starve himself. Not every meal is a struggle, but the ones that are linger around like the stench of sulfur in a natural hot springs. We’ve succumb to doing what works and if others want to judge us for throwing on Curious George to get you to sit still, I’ve got a big middle finger to wave in their direction. Sometimes it’s just a matter of keeping the peace, and all in all, meals have been more peaceful. Dinner is always the hardest. We do a lot of counting to five with threats of five equating to a time out. It works.
You’ve been eating a lot at breakfast as of late. This morning, for example, you ate half a banana (I mix it in your oatmeal because you won’t eat banana by itself), a bowl of oatmeal, half of a greek yogurt, half of a whole wheat eggo, and a glass of milk. And it only took ten minutes.
We no longer make you your own meal for dinner. You eat what we eat and voila, life is easier. And, by golly, turns out you do like a lot of what us big kids are eating. Maybe one day you’ll appreciate the fact your Papa is a good cook.
You hate when food falls on your lap and insist on having one of us clean you up. Dirt, on the other hand, doesn’t bother you.
Sleeping: At one time, you were the champion napper. Nowadays, naps are hit or miss. And to be honest, it was partially our doing. It’s so much nicer to not live life around a nap schedule. You can get through the day without napping and still handle yourself like a normal human being, most of the the time anyway. And putting you to bed a little bit earlier isn’t too shabby either. With that said, some days you do still nap. Other days you simply play quietly in your room with the door closed until you poop your pants and try to get out. And then other days you sleep like a baby and I have to go in and wake you up because napping the entire day away just doesn’t work.
On a typical day, you wake up around 8:30am and go to bed around 8:30 or 9pm.
Every night you play “magic hand”. This is when your Papa is putting you in your jam jams and your hand has yet to pop through the sleeve and we all look mysteriously around for your missing hand. Then you pop it through with the sliest look on your face and yell, “magic hand!”. Every night you think you have the coolest show in town.
Talking: You say everything. You still have quite the lisp with your S’s. And despite having known your colors just a few months ago, now everything is green.
When we’re out and about, sometimes you’ll request to go “back home”.
We can no longer hide the fact you watch a lot of Curious George because all of the sudden you’re talking like George and your vocabulary consists of various “eeeehh” and “aaaahhhh” accompainied by points and cackles. It’s the first time you’ve ever annoyed me.
The other day you were walking backwards in the front yard and walked right into a pile of dirt and said, “shit”. I ignore it every time because I think no attention is better than negative attention. We really need to stop using four letter words around here.
You are very polite and say “shanks” (thanks) often and appropriately.
Development: I love watching how concepts mature. The other day, for example, you told me your toy car was too hot to sit on and you asked me to blow on it to cool it down.
You’re the shy kid on the playground. It takes you a while to venture off on your own and more times than not, you’re right there by my side… or pulling my arm to where you want to go. You’re intrigued by other kids that are playing and every now and again you’ll approach them with a gregarious “hello!” but your nature is definitely cautious and reserved.
You’re scared of a toy fire engine outside of a restaurant we go to. It’s one of those cars you put a fifty cents in and it rocks back and forth with it’s siren blaring. You hate it and refuse to go in it, though you love to ride the boat right next to it.
Sarah is your best bud. You love her. It’s become your daily responsibility to feed her and you love carrying her bowl over to the food closet, filling her bowl one painful quarter filled cup at a time, and leading Sarah over to her bowl to show her you put food in it. The other day you saw Sarah sleeping in her bed and proceeded to close the door to the room, turn off the light, and say “sweet dreams Gonz” (“Gonz” is Sarah’s nickname). You also like grabbing her by her collar and leading her around the house. You shower her with random kisses and hugs throughout the day, ever day. Your love for her is very genuine and sweet.
You insist we kiss your bo-bos. You kiss ours too.
You love babies and you’re very good around them. You like to “pet them” and kiss them and shower them with attention. You’re demeanor, in general (baby or no baby), is sweet and kind. You’ll sacrifice getting your way to make someone else happy… well, some of the time anyway. But the fact you do it at all sure means something. And you love positive reinforcement. You’re the kid that’s looking over his shoulder right after you gave your toy to another kid to see who saw and make sure they acknowledge your kind deed.
You play doctor. The other day you were sitting at the desk in your room with your toy stethoscope around your neck while writing on a piece of paper. Then you’d stand up on your chair to answer the phone and when we asked what you were doing, you said “werkin”. You refer to yourself by the name of your pediatrician often.
You’re all boy. You’re constantly in the tool drawer and love to pretend to fix things. You also like to take the tape measure and go around and pretend to measure things.
We’re fairly certain you are left handed. You definitely write left handed and eat with your left hand. You throw with both, so I guess the jury is still out.
Favorites: Cars, cars, cars. That’s your go to, your every day. You like trucks and tractors and, really, anything that has wheels. The other day I bought you a toy forklift and when we got home, I threw on a youtube video to show you what a forklift was. It was a training module and you watched the whole thing as if it were, well, Curious George. I, on the other hand, wanted to fall asleep because, um hello, forklifts?!
You also like throwing rocks; especially at the house. You also like putting things in the toilet and flushing it. I’ve caught a toy snake and a rubber turtle on the way down. Thanks for that. Pee on my hand is always refreshing. Hash tag: Why you shouldn’t let yellow mellow.
Hooper’s first birthday
Van’s first birthday
We took Van to the pediatrician the other week for his one year check-up and the fact that kids come in all shapes and sizes rung true all over again. Van is the same size Hooper was when Hooper was 18 months old and it blows my mind.
I don’t give advice because I know no two situations are the same but if I could go back in time and give advice to the neurotic lets-take-inventory-of-every-bite-eaten-and-every-ounce-drunk self, I’d tell her not to worry and not to obsess.
Maybe then I wouldn’t have a toddler who pockets watermelon and a baby who – through baby led weaning – is more independent at the table than his older brother.
In other news, apparently my sister is in charge of getting the cupcake
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into my kids’ faces and Sarah, well, she’s my sister’s “assistant”.