Hooper @ 3.2 years

Growth & Appearance: You’ve grown taller and when you’re in shorts you can see just how long and skinny your little legs are. The weather has been windy and you’ve developed a horrible habit of licking around your mouth, resulting in redness and chapped skin. You look like you’ve just finished eating spaghetti with marinara sauce, always. You’re more inclined to wearing hats and you look adorable in the one hat we did buy you.
You’re wearing size 3T clothes and are in size 8 shoes.
Eating: You hate being messy and oftentimes prefer your Papa or I feeding you to avoid having to touch your food or potentially spill on yourself. Really though, I think you’re just not that interested in what you’re eating. You have no problem getting your hands dirty with french fry grease. You can still be a pain in the ass from time to time but the table is a far cry from the battlefield it used to be. We’ve all learned how to peacefully go on and we’ve let go of a lot of the distraction techniques we used to use (ie, TV during dinner).
You love bread, eggo waffles, yogurt covered raisins, bacon, pasta (you love carbs, in general), and lately, carrots. Despite these favorites, you do eat rather healthy. We rarely allow you to eat pure junk. Things like french fries are a rare treat.
The other day I caught you hiding behind the door in the office, eating banana bread with the sliest grin on your face. 
Sleeping: Naps are a rarity. Every now and then we can tell you need one and – sometimes – you’ll take one. You’ve been getting up earlier, around 7:30, which feels like a drastic difference to the days you’d sleep until 8:30. With that said, you sleep through the night with ease.
We bought you bunk beds with intentions of moving your brother in with you. You sleep on the top bunk and love it.

Talking: You say whatever you are thinking and ask about every noise or new thing you see.
Favorite sayings:
“Sorry ’bout dat Mama” (said after that time you hit me, while driving, in the back of the head with a stick)
“Waffo ready” (every time the toaster pops up, regardless of what’s in it)
“Waz dat?” (constant, these days)
“I want to hit Van” (gotta love honesty)
“Going?” (where are we going?)
“Baby fire truck” (aka ambulance)
Development: I took you to your first movie, “Walking with Dinosaurs”. It was about an hour and a half long and I came prepared with snacks to hold your attention. At one point, after getting up and down like a little whack-a-mole a thousand times, you said to me “go home, mama”. The movie sucked anyway, so I asked you to pick my purse up off the floor (I’m still on bending restrictions). You picked it up from the bottom, the contents spilling all over the place. We had to stick it out until the end when the lights came on. I retrieved my lip stick under the seats in the first aisle. It’ll be a while before I take you again.
You can ride your bike, with ease, with training wheels. We duct taped your feet to the wheels to get you started because you refused to use the pedals initially. Within seconds after removing the duct tape, you were off. You ask to go for bike rides numerous times throughout the day.
You still write with your left hand and ride your scooter with your left foot, but throw with your right hand.
You stopped sucking your two fingers a few months ago and it kinda breaks your Papa and I’s heart.
You love picking your nose and eating it.
You’re full blown potty trained and able to pull down your own pants. You lift up your ding-a-ling and threaten to pee on me often. When I tell you “no”, you proceed to point it toward the bathtub or sink or wall or trash and ask if you can pee on these things instead. The answer is the same. You prefer to crap at home.
You started preschool in the beginning of December and seem to enjoy it minus a few long faces when your Papa or I leave.
You like going on adventures, but often ask “going home?” at some point.
You love to play pretend. You’ve been a cat a lot lately and meow a lot. You ask to be pet and call your hands your paws. You also like to make pretend meals with your fake food. You also wear your cowboy boots and refer to them as your “firemen boots”.
You’re a bit bossy and seem to think you’re in charge at times. You tell us often to “stop it” and also feel as though it’s your own duty to scold Van. 
Favorites: You watched the Wizard of Oz and loved it. You love playing the “get me” game. You love cars and trucks and asked Santa for a “big truck” for Christmas. He delivered. You could watch videos of trackers on YouTube all day long. I’ve added things like excavator, impact hammer, and digger to my daily vocabulary. You also love playing “mailman”, where you go around the house delivering “packages”. You love cats and collecting coins and making piles of sticks.

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

Hooper @ 32 Months

Growth & Appearance: Your hair is growing longer and is often in your eyes. You don’t seem to care what-so-ever, so we’re letting it grow until you can tuck it back behind your ears. You’ll be the girl we never had and a pretty one at that.
You hate brushing your teeth as of late, especially the top front teeth, and thus they are yellow every now and again. You have no one to blame but yourself. The neighbors probably think we’re torturing you every night before bed.
You’ve grown out of all of your size 2T pants both in the waist and in the height. It’s possible that this happened a while ago, but we haven’t been wearing pants due to the triple digit heat and when I tried to put them on you the other night… well, it looked like you were ready for a flood.
You’re tall and thin.
Eating: Grrr… the dreaded topic of eating. Some nights you are just a downright pain in the ass. Feeding you is rarely easy. You’re not motivated by food at all. I made you try a bite of watermelon the other day and you pocketed it in your mouth until I asked you to spit it out 20 minutes later. It was watermelon, for goodness sakes. Even at a birthday party the other week, you carried around your cupcake until the thing nearly fell apart from being carried around for so long. I’m at a loss as to what to do. I’m still making you smoothies and you do eat well, but the struggle is unbelievable at times.

Sleeping: Your naps have been hit or miss as of late. You either nap for 2-4 hours, poop your pants and then refuse to nap, or refuse your nap from the get go. It depends largely on what you did the day prior. You missed your nap two days in a row, for example, and on the third day I woke you up after 4 hours of napping. Your schedule looks like this: wake up around 8:30am, nap around 11am to 2pm, bedtime around 9pm.

Talking: You add a lot of plurals to things that aren’t pleural. We kinda like it, so we don’t correct you. For example, you brought me a toy and referred to it as “brokens”. You saw money in a tip jar and referred to it as “monies”. And when you saw us walking with Van, you said, “brother walkins”.
You have a lisp with all of your S’s. You Papa mentioned taking you to speech therapy, but I think you’ll grow out of it. I guess you can blame me if years from now you’re still thrusting your tongue into the back of your front teeth.
I heard you having a full on “conversation” with your brother but I couldn’t understand exactly what you were saying.
Comparatively, I think you’re a little behind in speaking than other kids your age, but you’re constantly adding words and saying new things so I’ve never thought twice about it. You’re able to communicate all your needs and wants, even if it’s just through whining, which happens often.

You can catch a ball. I ask you to put your hands out, you do, and then I toss you the ball and you catch it. This leads to a touch-down type celebration and almost instantly Sarah joins in the fun and then things just get out of control.
You like to march. Not sure where you learned this or how you know it’s called marching.
You started swim lessons. You definitely don’t love it, but you don’t refuse to do it either. Instead, you sit there with your bottom lip out and awkwardly say “hi” over and over again. You don’t interact with any of the other kids.
You started horseback lessons on the days your Nina has you. I hear you like it.
You like to draw and are starting to pay attention when I tell you what shape is what.
You’re a spitting machine and like to spit on everything. Initially I ignored it, hoping that if I didn’t pay it any attention it would go away. It did not. Ask your Papa, he got it right in the face. It’s your new thing.
You play a game your Papa calls “magic hand” before bed. This is when your hand hasn’t popped through the sleeve of you pajamas and you pretend that it magically appears, thus “magic hand”. Then you hide your hand behind your back and play it all over again.
You flap you hands wildly by your side and refer to them as your fly-fly wings.
In general, you’ve been sweet as can be lately (minus the spitting). In particularly, you’ve been extra loving toward me, greeting me with big hugs when I come home and coming up to me randomly throughout the day for unsolicited hugs. You’ve also been sweet to your brother, asking to “pet him” often.

Favorites: Your favorite books are “Wacky Wednesday”, “Go, Dogs, Go”, and “The Bike Lesson”. You’re still obsessed with watching Curious George and I’ve welcomed it as a nice reprieve for when I need a moment of silence. We started some crafts, like painting, and you have artwork on the fridge to show for it. You love playing with the “nah-der” (water) outside. And, oh yes, your cars are still a big hit.

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

Hooper @ 29 Months

Growth & Appearance: I could have sworn you had all of your molars, but mysteriously another appeared. Now you have all of them. You handled them pretty well, but they definitely caused more commotion than your regular teeth which seemed to magically sprout overnight with little interruption in your routine. The molars came with a runny nose, poor appetite, and fussy behavior. But, they’re all here, so that chapter is closed.
You almost always have a bruise or bump somewhere these days, a testament to true toddlerhood. You had the most bizarre scratches on your cheek, almost like you had run through a rose bush. They appeared after we took Sarah for a walk and we’re still not sure when, exactly, you got em’. You currently have a bruise on your forehead from tripping over a rope in the neighbors yard, a scab on your wrist from who knows what, and scabbed knees because, well, scabbed knees are part of growing up. Speaking of growing up, can you slow down? Seriously, you’re on warp speed these days and it needs to slow yo.
You’re still in size 4 diapers, size 7 or 8 shoe, size 3T (with some room to grow) clothing. 
Communication: Not sure where you picked it up, but the other day we were coming out of an elevator and as we walked past the people waiting to go in you said, “essue me” (excuse me). I’d like to take credit for your politeness but instead I’m left scratching my head.
You say “thanks” unprompted after we do something nice for you. If we give you your milk, for example, you grab it and say “thanks”.
You’re beginning to say real sentences. We were playing in the car the other day and said, “Mama, close the door”. Your Papa and I both looked at each other with our chins on our chest, proud that you said your first real sentence and disgusted that it was so bossy and cute all at the same time.
You know dogs say “ruff ruff” and cats say “m-owww”. The majority of other animals, according to you, say “roarrrrr”.
You can say hippopotamus.
You use your pointer finger a lot; like when you have an idea or want to watch “one” show or when you’re telling Sarah “no”.
You use plurals. You request to watch “one show”, though other times you request “two showS”. You also use plurals inappropriately like when you ask for “egg and baconS”, when you show us your “moneyS”, or tell us the shoes go on your “feetS”.
You have a noticeable lisp when you say your “S’s”. We think it’s pretty charming.
You call your scooter a “fooder” and your grandpa a “gee paw”.
You can tell us you need to use the toilet by saying, “Pee pee, potty” and then you grab your twig and berries.
Sentences include: “Close the door”, “Sit here Papa”, and “No barking doggy”. Essentially you say all the important things.
You copy things we say and then use them inappropriately. For example, we ask, “Do you want mama to hold you?” and then, when we’re not asking but you want us to hold you, you say “Mama, hold you”. We also referred to your balance bike as your “new bike” when a friend brought it over for us to have. It’s been months and you still call it your “new bike”. We don’t correct you. 
Eating: You love using your step stool and watching us cook. You also like to use your step stool to spy on what’s on the counter. Using your step stool in the kitchen has also tipped you off to the fact that you can use just about anything as a step stool and, as a result, you are a climbing-onto-surfaces-you-shouldn’t-be-on machine these days. And it all started by trying to get you interested in food. What a fail.
I mentioned last month that we brought in an Occupational Therapist to help us out in determining a game plan for dealing with your picky and fussy and annoying behavior at the table. It’s all quite lengthy and I have a separate post in the works dedicated to the details. What I can say is this: Your eating problems are a combination of an overly-involved-anxious-about-how-much-you’re-eating father and a poor role model mother. But don’t go blaming us for the rest of your life, you’re equally difficult and definitely add your own flavor to the pot. We’re working on it, but it’s been a tough and trying road.
Sleeping: We decided to get rid of your second nap. I’m sure most parents would probably find this decision completely crazy, but it was becoming so difficult to do anything during the day. We decided to move your bedtime up to 8:30 (one hour earlier), though that doesn’t always happen. Here’s your schedule, most days: wake up around 8:30am, nap from 11:00am to 2:00pm (sometimes even 3:00pm), go to bed around 8:30pm. You still nap in your playpen because we don’t fix what ain’t broken. You spend the night in your bed. We added a safety knob on your door that prevents you from opening your own door, something we should have done a few months ago. Development: You clean up after yourself. Not always, of course. But you enjoy collecting trash and bringing it to the trash can in the kitchen. You usually clap for yourself after you’re done and say, “yeah guys”. By the same token, I had read somewhere that if your child makes a mess you should have them help clean it up to, you know, learn about consequences. The problem for us is that you like cleaning it up almost as much as you like making it. In fact, sometimes I’m convinced you spill your milk just to be able to clean it up.
You learn things fast and only need to be told something once before you’re repeating it. We were looking at a motorcycle parked in the parking lot, for example, and you pointed to the helmet and said, “hat”. I corrected you and told you all about helmets. The next time you saw a helmet, you knew what it was.
You love pointing out “men”. Whether we’re driving in the car or sitting in a restaurant, if a stranger catches your eye and he’s male, you point and say, “man”. You recently learned that in addition to men, there are also women. And now you like pointing them out too.
Now, when we ask you “how many”, the answer – no matter what- is three. It was two for a long time, but three has taken two’s place.
We finally brought you a scooter. You switch off between leading with your left versus right and enjoy riding it down the hallway. You haven’t taken off, so to say, but you definitely enjoy it. You like watching me ride it too and, truth be told, I take it for a spin around the house after you go to bed and I’ve had a glass or two of wine. Don’t judge.
You have a new found concept of being tall and like to climb onto higher surfaces and describe yourself as “tall”.
You insist on looking at the poop in your diaper. As soon as I take your diaper off, you wave your arms violently in the air and yell “see ka ka, see ka ka” until I show you what came out of your butt. You also like to look at Van’s poop. It’s weird.
You’re a dancing machine as of late. Your form of dancing used to be very white boy-ish, with flapping elbows that looked more like a drunk man doing the chicken dance. But lately, you’re starting to shake those hips and I’m starting to wonder to think you may have some soul dancing through your blood.
You associate all things that are leaving or gone with going home. You point out the planes, for example, and proclaim “home”. When the Easter eggs were all gone, you proclaimed they too had gone “home”. In general, when I tell you things are all gone, you take it one step further and ask if they’ve gone “home”.
You’re potty trained at home. The reason you wear a diaper out in public is my fault. I haven’t taken the plunge. We’ll get there soon.
Favorites: You love motorcycles. You still call them “da!” but occasionally you pronounce the whole word. Each time you spot one parked in the street, we have to stop. You could stand there and stare all day long; no matter how much time we spend admiring it, it’s never long enough. In fact, when you were sleep deprived in Palm Springs you threw a tantrum and threw yourself down on the curb and refused to leave the motorcycles side. It was a long day and needless to say, we all learned that it’s not smart to skip nap times. You also still love your cars and play with them on a daily basis. You go through spurts of loving books and want to read the same one over and over until that book “mysteriously” disappears. You could play in the car for hours. Every now and again we drive down the street with you on our lap. You like to wave to all the neighbors and yell “hi-yee” at the top of your lungs.

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

Hooper @ 26 Months

Growth & Appearance: You got your third ever hair cut this month. You look like a young man. Your Papa misses your long hair. I, however, don’t miss brushing out the dread lock that forms in the back from bed head. We’ll probably let it grow out again until it’s too annoying to manage and then we’ll cut it again. Your hair seems to be coming in a little darker and I’m curious if this will stay or if it will turn blond again during the summer. Either way, it’s still blond on top.
Eating: I worry less about your eating these days. People keep telling me kids don’t die of starvation and I’m starting to believe them. You will eat what you will eat and that’s that. Even with this new found peace there are annoying evenings where the table is still a battlefield. I think your Papa has a harder time letting go of the control than I do. I fear turning eating into a battle for independence and this has fueled my “let it be” campaign. Go eat shit, for all I care. I kid. I give you healthy choices and if you don’t eat what I make, better luck with the next meal. I’m trying my best to keep to this notion, anyhow.
We’ve started allowing you to eat in the big boy chair so that we can put your brother in the high chair. Not that Van eats anything, but it’s nice to have him at the table with us anyway. You can drink from a cup but tend to knock it over at some point during your meal by accident so more times than not we give you a sippy cup or bottle to make life easier on us. You like to eat with a fork. Scratch that. You like the idea of eating with a fork, which by the way you call a “bee-me”. Instead of using it, you usually hold it in one hand while you feed yourself with the other. Either way, as soon as we sit down for a meal you demand your “bee-me” (fork).
You’re going through a phase where you think it’s entertaining to spit your foot out. We were at a restaurant when you unloaded a mouthfull of food to the side of your highchair. It was so random that your Papa and I made the mistake of laughing. As you went to do it again, we realized instantly we made a big mistake. You’ve done it a few times since but each time has landed you in the corner. The battle at the table continues. I suppose it’s our first lesson as parents that we can’t laugh at ridiculous behavior. Please know we aren’t bumps on a log. We do find things funny, only we giggle about it all later. 
Sleeping: I had another mom ask me if you had “chronic fatigue syndrome” after I told her how much you sleep. You are hardly the low energy kinda kid that label makes you out to be. You do, however, sleep a lot. You go down for the night around 9:30pm and sleep until 8:30 or 9 am. Then you nap from 11ish to 2ish and again from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. That’s a total of about 16 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. The other eight hours of the day are spent trying to feed you. Needless to say, with your nap schedule and eating nightmare, it’s difficult to plan any extended outing.
We’ve finally added a blanket to your bed. Breaking news, right? We hesitated for a long time, worried you’d get stuck under the blanket or some other ridiculous catastrophe would occur. We’ve gotten over our stupid fears and, as a result, you’re warmer at night. You’re welcome. You refer to your trusty blanket as your “da-dee” and the blanket on your bed as your “big da-dee”. You now require both of them to sleep at night.
Talking: You pronounce “soccor” as “f&*#er”, so needless to say, your Papa makes you repeat it over and over. You also pronounce “sock” as “f#&k” so your Papa has you repeat this over and over too. It’s how we entertain ourselves on Friday nights these days. Don’t judge. You also like to add “uh” on the end of lots of different words. For example, you told your arms up toward me and say “hold-uh” when you want me to hold you or “boo-kah” when you want me to read you a book.
You’re either very polite or you think the word for “help” is “help please” because whenever you want help with anything you say, “hell-peez”. It’s very endearing and I like to fool myself into thinking I am raising a very polite little man. In reality, I’m pretty sure you think it’s one word that, when said, leads to getting something  you want.
You have begun answering some questions. When we asked you a question before, you used to simply repeat the most emphasized word in the question. Now, the wheels spin and out pops an appropriate answer. It’s the beginning of the voice of your imagination and I can’t wait to get to know it better.
You have a lisp when you say your S’s. It’s cute now but it won’t be cute later. Speech therapy may be in your future. 
Development: You still appear to be left footed. When you romp around in circles, you lead with your left food. And when you mount a bike you lift your right leg over, bearing your weight on your left leg. You still write predominantly with your left hand but feed yourself with your right.
A new molar came in. Not sure how that little rascal snuck in under our radar but it may explain the prior runny nose and two day span where it seemed like you didn’t want to eat anything. Then again, those fussy eating days happen more times than not. There was also that day where you slept until I woke you up at 1pm. If every tooth comes with that kinda mama time, I hope you get teeth all the way down your throat. That’s a weird image. Okay, I digress. 
Favorites: You’re more into reading books than ever before and like reading them again and again. You’re still a big fan of your cars, which are always lined up across the sofa making sitting on the thing virtually impossible. Sarah has taken to napping on our bed now that the sofa is preoccupied. You also got a balance bike as a hand-me-down from a friend and like to walk the thing all around the house, letting everyone know about your “new bike”. The Cat in the Hat is your new favorite cartoon, compliments of potty training. That damn TV always seems to be a tool for something; if it’s not eating, it’s potty training. One day we’ll leave it off for good. Hopefully soon.

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

Hooper @ 24 Months

Growth: You weigh 28 pounds (50th percentile), are 35 1/4 inches tall (70th percentile), and your noggin is 19 1/4 inches (60th percentile). Your height and head circumference are in the same percentile as your 18 month checkup. Your weight has jumped percentiles (you were in the 30th). Guess chasing you around with a spoonful of food has paid off. You’re welcome. Though it’s been a real pain in my ass.
 Appearance: You had your second hair cut ever this month. You got to sit on a fake motorcycle while the fortune teller of a hairdresser made predictions about your hair. She says you will not be blond. She also says you have tons and tons of hair coming in and are destined to have very thick hair. Her certainty about it all kinda made me want to ask her about other things in life like what your favorite color will be when your ten years old. You know, the important stuff.
Your fingers are hyper-extended like mine. When I was little, I used to bend my index finger back and tuck it under a rubber band so that straight on it appeared that I only had four fingers. This was my absolute favorite trick for a long, long time. I hope you can carry on my four finger legacy.
Feeding: I’m considering starting a series entitled, “Toys at the Table”. That’s because, as of late, toys have been a great utensil. And by utensil I mean a tool used to feed. So in addition to the overly used fork and knife, at our table you will also find a slinky and a puppet. The puppet has been our saving grace. So effective that I’m considering building a chair just for it to join us at mealtime. As soon as that thing goes over our hand, your mouth opens. You enjoy pretending to feed it too. Sometimes we’ll use the laptop to play videos to distract you while you eat. Gangnam Style and the parody Hot Dog Condom Style are sure bets. You eat, without any hesitation, whenever either of these videos are playing.
You ate an entire serving of tilapia the other night, your first time agreeing to eat fish. That’s the first “new” thing we’ve tried in a while, as we’ve given in to keeping your meals relatively routine, rotating amongst the six or so different meals you “like”.
You also eat your own boogers.
I asked your Papa his input for this section. Here’s what he had to say: “It sucks”.
Developmental: I’m still stickin’ to the fact you are left handed. You hold a pencil, every time, with your left hand. You use your right, however, to eat and do some other random things.
You know the colors pink, green, brown, blue, and yellow though more times than not you refer to everything as “boo” aka blue.
You’re still quite bossy. My favorite move as of late is when you pat the sofa and say “bay-bee, bay-bee”, instructing me to put the baby down. After I set Van down, you grab my hand and yank me around to whatever it is you want. Usually you want to go to the front yard.
You jump well. The sofa cushions will never be the same. Neither will your head when you inevitably fall off the sofa from jumping on it one of these days. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
On any given day, you can still find a line of cars somewhere. Be it on the table, the sofa, or on the floor it comes with a guarantee that there will be a line of cars. 
Talking: I wound up your little Mickey mouse toy and as Mickey scooted across the floor, you proclaimed “cooool” for the first time. So apparently, in addition to knowing a new word, you also have ideas and preferences and things you consider cool. Where or where did my baby go?
You say way too many words to keep track of. You’ll repeat just about anything we ask you to say.
You are limited to two sentences: “doo doo, papa” (when Papa farts) and “mama car” (when you see a car that resembles mine).
You pronounce your name as “Ha-poo”. Though more times than not, when we ask you what your name is, you reply with “me”.
You also started raising both palms up to the air as if asking a question as to where something went or what something is. It’s pretty cute.
Sleeping: Day light savings began and all the sudden you get up early. Not sure if the time change has anything to do with it, but you’re not going to bed any later than before so it doesn’t logically make any sense. I’ve always considered myself lucky for having a child that slept and napped so well. It seemed only fair that if you were gonna be a horrible eater that you would be a terrific sleeper. As of late, I’m not sure where that good sleeper went. You used to get up around 9am. The last few mornings you’ve gotten up at 7:30am. One morning you got up at 6:30am. You’re still napping one to two times a day. Some days you nap for two others, other days you nap for four. If we’re home, you’ll take a second nap for about an hour or two. If we’re out and about, you deal fine without the nap.
You’re still very attached to your blanket. It gets dragged around the house daily. It has a clone for when one it’s too dirty. We keep it’s clone a secret. You also like all your stuffed animals on your bed when you go to sleep. Ain’t nothing so sweet as coming into your room and watching you sleep curled up with your blanket in a sea of smurfs, clowns, and monsters. 
Favorites: You love running. The pitter patter of your steps kills me. When your “na na” comes over, you have the best time chasing her around the house. You’re also still a fan of stupid Yo Gabba Gabba. I can’t wait until you have a concept of death so I can lie to you and convince you that all the characters have died. Maybe I should win you a gold fish at a carnival. Those die fast. Then we could have the whole lesson on death. Fortunately, you love books to so I do my best to offer to read to you instead of turning the TV on. It works sometimes. Other times you stalk me with the remotes in your hands until I give in to your annoying persistence. Other things you love include walking around the house with our shoes on, putting my bracelets on your wrist, pretending to swim in the bath, and candy (thanks a lot Halloween).

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!