Little Milestones | 3 Years Old

24131116_10210594156149602_8596418702847425750_nHello, friends! I can’t believe that it is already time to make another post like this one. It feels like just a few months ago, I was typing up all of his little details for Little Milestones | 2 Years Old, and talking about all of the wonderful things that make my little guy so unique and special, but it was actually nearly a year ago that it went up.

My little guy will be 3 years old this January, and I still can’t believe it. I’ve been totally immersed in the world of motherhood for nearly three years now, and it still blows my mind that I actually created, birthed, and am raising this incredible, tiny human. Seriously. What?!

As they say, ‘There’s no use fixing what ain’t broken!’, so I’ll just go with the old tried and true layout, and give you all the fun, little updates on Liam!

21200572_10210001431411854_6185481290188720456_oThe Basics:
Liam will turn 3 years old on January 23, 2018. Yes, this post is early, but I predict a lot of chaos and busy days in our near future, so I thought I would type it up now. As of today, he is 36.5 pounds, and 38 inches tall. Yes, you read that correctly, he is still a giant. He has been in the >99th percentile since he was an infant, and there he has stayed. Tall and skinny. People always mistake him for a much older kid, and when he’s around kids his own age at the park, he towers over them. He wears all 4T clothing, but because he is so skinny, he can only wear pants with an adjustable or elastic waist, which makes finding cute jeans for him a little difficult. He also wears a size 11 shoe, and a size 6 diaper (no, he still isn’t fully potty trained).

Physical Development:23130470_10210419764109910_523084360651172517_n
I’m not really sure what to report on in this department, since he’s pretty grown up now. He’s a completely normal, very active, little boy! He absolutely hates being cooped up indoors, and he loves to run, jump, climb, roll, etc. You name it! He has a tricycle that he loves to ride, and he is getting really great at it. We also bought him a big boy bike for Christmas, the same one that he makes us let him ride every time we go to Walmart, and I can’t wait for him to open it on Christmas morning, and ride it outside, weather permitting. So excited! He also loves to kick around a ball, and has quite an arm when it comes to throwing. Still not the best catcher, but he’s getting there!

23334026_10210457234526647_2127401246525586559_oEmotional & Social Development:
If you’ve been here for a while, you know that my son has always been shy. Whether it was other adults, like his grandparents, aunts, or strangers, or even bigger kids, he never wanted anything to do with them. No hugs, no kisses, no conversation. Around 2 years old, he started to come out of his shell a little, and would give hugs and kisses to his grandparents, with a little coaxing, and would play with his older cousin, but he was still quiet. Well, boy, has THAT changed!

He is still initially shy around strangers, but he warms up much quicker now, especially if it is a child. He runs up to other children at the park, or on the playground, and actively searches for someone to play with, even older kids. He loves his grandparents, and his aunts, and his cousin, and will talk about them when they aren’t around, and ask me where they are. Once he gets comfortable around you, he will talk your ear off about anything and everything under the sun. He also really loves dogs. And cats. And squirrels. And birds. And frogs. The list goes on!

21688280_10210072734914397_769482350804235782_oLearning & Vocabulary:
I’m ashamed to admit that I have been slacking a little bit in the teaching department lately. With no real preschool in our area, and no money to send him to one even if there were, I have chosen to keep him home until kindergarten, and teach him everything he needs to learn in preparation for that day, which is still a few years away. He’s still an incredibly intelligent, inquisitive little boy, and I answer every question he asks me. And he asks a lot of questions.

22366363_10210250608921136_6752017998646896871_nHe can identify the entire alphabet, both uppercase and lowercase letters, and can count up to 17. He loves counting things around him, but often counts objects twice. He knows his colors, and his shapes, and can name an obscene amount of animals by name. He speaks in complete sentences, like, “I love you very much, mama.” and “Are we going to grandma’s house?”, but sometimes he will miss a pronoun or a determiner here and there. He also really likes using adjectives, and describing things in great detail.

22140798_10210208065617580_3179085312112051094_nFoods & Eating:
Over the past year, Liam has gone from eating everything in sight, to only eat one of two foods for a week or two, back to eating like a linebacker. Currently, he’s right in the middle. A bit picky with his vegetables, but still loves his fruits. He also doesn’t like anything with a lot of sauce, or anything gooey or mushy (i.e. mashed potatoes). Here’s a list of the things that he eats fairly regularly, without a fuss:

– Pickles, especially baby dill pickles
– Green and yellow apples, whole or sliced
– Applesauce with cinnamon
– Black Olives
– Green beans
– Mandarin oranges
– Bananas
– Strawberries
– Any and every kind of pizza, including veggie!
– Popcorn chicken
– Breaded chicken nuggets
– Ham
– Rotini or penne pasta with butter and garlic
– Any kind of oatmeal, especially blueberry or strawberry
– Grilled ham and cheese/grilled cheese
– Peanut butter and jelly

His current favorite foods are baby dill pickles, because… well, he’s my son, and we are pickle people, and bananas. Once and awhile, I can get him to eat some peas, or corn, or carrots, but not without a fight. He also doesn’t really like meats that much. No fish, or chicken, or pork chops, etc. Not sure why. Also, like every other kid on the planet, he loves candy, chocolate, sweets, etc., but we try to limit them to holidays (Halloween, Easter, etc.), or as a special treat. No judgement here, don’t worry, it’s just that both his dad and I have really soft, sensitive teeth, and a looong history with cavities, and we are trying to prevent that for him!

20245594_10209720513109072_4637555785611636180_nPotty Training:
We started casually potty training right before Liam’s 2nd birthday, just to get him used to his potty, and teach him that that’s where people go… and it has been pretty up and down ever since. This summer, we made a big potty chart, complete with stickers, and put it up on the wall. Liam was doing really well for a few months. He would wake up dry, and would successfully use the potty anywhere from 1-4 times a day. He even pooped in the potty a couple times. Things were going smoothly, and he loved putting his stickers on the board…

Then, he suddenly decided that he no longer wanted anything to do with it. He was back to waking up with a full diaper, not wanting to ever sit on the potty, and not telling me when he had to go. So, he’s still in diapers. Throughout the day, like when he wakes up in the morning, before and after naptime, and before bed, I will try to get him to sit on the potty, but half the time he fights me. It’s frustrating. I’ll keep trying, especially since he’s wearing a size 6 diaper, and there isn’t a size bigger than that, but it looks like we’re doing this when he’s ready, not when I want it to happen.

21273314_10210008852597379_4857459591956342513_oNaps and Bedtime Routine:
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. My kid is an AMAZING sleeper. He has been sleeping through the night since he was around 6 months old, and has always been really good about going to bed on time. Our bedtime and nap routines haven’t changed much in the last year. He naps for 2-3 hours after lunch almost every day, he takes 3 baths a week, about an hour before bedtime, and we always ready 1-2 short stories before he goes to sleep, both for his nap and for bedtime. His absolute favorite story, which we read every other night, is Winnie the Pooh: A Game of Pooh Sticks. I have it memorized. He loves all of his Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse books, and those are what we tend to read the most. Bedtime is still between 7 and 7:30, unless we get stuck out late for some reason, and he generally falls asleep pretty quickly, unless the neighbors are being noisy, or he is sick or something. He wakes up anywhere between 7:30 and 9 in the morning. Crazy, right? It’s so wonderful.

He still sleeps in his crib, and still has zero interest in sleeping in his big boy bed, which has been sitting in his room, completely set up, since last Christmas. He has yet to try and get out of his crib though, so I guess I don’t see any rush to try and get him to sleep in his bed.

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23561441_10210483330059019_216604169925580667_nPlaytime and Activities:

Still as active and playful as ever! Some of Liam’s favorite things to do include walking to our local park and playground, riding his trike around the house (it’s been too cold to go outside lately), playing with his many Hot Wheels cars on his car playmat, building with his blocks, coloring and drawing, and watching TV. I’ll just get this out of the way right now, and say that, yes, I do let my son watch TV, and I don’t particularly care if you agree with it or not.

20245601_10209671673928123_4937049363402040020_nLiam loves shows like Curious George, LeapFrog, and Octonauts, and has learned a lot from them. These TV shows, geared toward teaching, get him talking about subjects and things that don’t normally come up in everyday conversation, and I love that! He also has a big bin filled with animals and dinosaurs, and he loves dumping them out and playing with them as well. He loves animals!

I suppose that’s it! Every day, I find my heart being filled with more and more love for my little boy, and even on the days where he acts like he is 2 years old, going on 15 years old, he is the best. Even on his worst days, he is the best, and I love him to pieces.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan (and Liam)

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Dream Journal 8/20/17 | Halloween

I was in a large common area with a bunch of other people my age. All along the walls were numerous, small kitchen units, which looked outdated, yet were somehow futuristic. Continue reading Dream Journal 8/20/17 | Halloween

Dream Journal 2/2/17 | At the Mall

I was at the mall with Liam and my mother-in-law. We were sitting in the food court, when a woman approached us, and asked if we could watch her daughter for a few minutes. Before I could answer, she rushed off, leaving her stroller, and her little girl, with us. Complete strangers. My MIL and myself stood there, looking around for the mother, but she had vanished. We decided to stay in the food court with the little girl, and wait for the mother to come back. She started to fuss, and I handed her some of my french fries, which calmed her down, but she kept looking around, probably for her mother.

The woman eventually came back, and asked if we could take her daughter to the bathroom to change her. I immediately said no, and told her that she was insane for leaving her daughter with complete strangers in a mall while she ran off to do whatever she was doing. I told her that I wasn’t going to watch her daughter for her. She paused for a moment, then turned and ran from us. I called after her, but she was gone. My MIL got out her phone to call the police, but right when she started dialing, another woman came up to us, and asked if we could watch her daughter for her. I started to protest, but the woman would not let me talk. She was holding onto a stroller, which was facing away from us, and began rattling off information about her child. The biggest thing that stuck out to me was that she mentioned her daughter was 10 years old, but when she said it, she motioned to the stroller.

Frustrated, I told her that I had to take the other little girl to the bathroom to change her, but when I said that, the woman got angry, and told me that her daughter could not be around other kids, and that she was uncomfortable with me taking her into the bathroom with the toddler. Confused, I told the woman that I WAS NOT going to watch her daughter for her, and told her to leave us alone. She turned and walked off, but left the stroller with us. My MIL was still on the phone with the police, or whoever, and was shouting at them impatiently. I looked into the stroller to see a girl, definitely older than 10 years old, staring back at me with a pissed off expression. She climbed out of the stroller, and I pegged her age at around 15 or 16 years old. She was tall. Taller than me.

I rolled my eyes, angry that the girl was still here, and picked up the toddler girl. I started to walk toward the bathrooms, when the older girl started shrieking and stomping her feet, throwing some kind of tantrum. I looked around, and everyone was staring at us. Several people were taking out their phones to start recording. I went to the girl and asked her what her problem was. She laughed, and ran away. Not wanting the mother to be angry with me for losing her kid, I handed the toddler to my MIL, and chased her.

I chased her throughout the mall, until we got to a long corridor, lined with elevator doors. I watched her run through a set of doors, just before they closed, and watched to see which floor she was going to. As I waited, I started mumbling to myself about how crazy the mothers were, and how crazy this girl was. The floors went all the way up to 20, and of course, that’s where she was going.

My phone started ringing, it was my MIL, and I answered. I couldn’t hear what she said to me, but I calmly turned away from the elevator doors, and walked back to the food court. The mother of the older girl was waiting for me, along with the police. She was in cuffs. The police explained that this was all some sort of con that she and her daughter ran, and somehow they stole money from people in the process. The officer also said that they had her daughter on the 20th floor, and that they had been watching them all day. I thanked them for detaining them, and mentioned the toddler girl, whose mother still had not come back, but he only shrugged.

They left, having gotten who they came for, and I was left standing in the food court with someone else’s child. We sat there for hours. The mall cleaned out, and I could see through the skylights that it had gotten dark. The little girl’s mother was not coming back. My MIL was on the phone with the police again, shouting at them. Both toddlers were asleep in their strollers. A security guard came over and asked us to leave, and when we explained the situation, he said that no one else was left in the building, but said we could leave the little girl with him until the police showed up. I looked at the little girl, and started crying. We left her, still sleeping in her stroller, with the security guard at the mall, and left.

My phone was ringing in my hand, but I wasn’t answering it. Liam was awake now, and was on his grandmother’s shoulders, while I pushed the stroller out the mall doors. The sun was out again, despite it being dark only minutes before, and my MIL started talking about going to Baker Lake park, one of our favorite nearby parks.

I vaguely remember the park, and the lake, and that my phone kept ringing through the rest of the dream.

And then I woke up.

Little Milestones | 2 Years Old

Hello, friends! My little man’s second birthday was on January 23rd, but I have been planning another milestone post for months. It’s been a long time since I did one of these, and I wasn’t sure what all to include, since toddler milestones are SO much different than infant milestones. I no longer am tracking when he rolls over, babbles his first word, or uses a spoon for the first time… he’s mastered all of that, and so much more. I tried to look up the same type of charts that I used when he was a baby, but I guess once your kiddo reaches a certain point, the charts just don’t exist.

So, I guess I’ll wing it, and just do what I did last time!

16107237_10208157496074623_2212953149510855899_oThe Basics:
Liam turned two years old on January 23, 2016. As of now, his exact height is unknown, but he’s weighing in at around 30 pounds. He has his two year checkup on February 3rd, so I’ll be able to fill that in afterwards. He wears a size 3T top, a 2T-3T bottom (depending on the brand and how they run), a size 9 shoe, and a size 5 diaper. He’s still my gentle giant! He has all of his teeth now except for his back molars, which we believe are coming soon, based on the rivers of drool, finger nibbling, and fussiness he’s been exhibiting. He’s still tall and skinny, and we still don’t know where he gets it from!

Physical Development:
Liam is active and full of energy. He runs, jumps, hops, dances, claps his hands, sings, and can even do somersaults around the living room. He is always on the move, and hates sitting still, which makes long car rides a bit difficult. His fine motor skills and coordination are great, and he enjoys twisting the caps on and off of every bottle he comes across, throwing balls and other small objects, stacking and filling cups, blocks, etc., and hiding objects around the house. He also loves to brush his own teeth, wipe himself during diaper changes, and blow his own nose. He can also completely dress and undress himself, including zippers and snap buttons. He’s pretty independant!

15977369_10208157500874743_1856180081958901388_nEmotional & Social Development:
It’s finally happened, y’all. My son has finally come out of his shell. He still won’t run up to random strangers and demand to be held, but he is finally sharing his all of his love with friends and family that he has seen before. From high fives, to blowing kisses, to giving hugs, to dancing and jumping around, and sharing his toys, my little one has finally started to get over his anxiety and open up. It is so refreshing to see. He is also able to communicate better now, and can articulate, in his own way, what he needs, which has resulted in fewer meltdowns… unless it is something I refuse to let him have. Oh, boy.

Learning & Vocabulary:
We’ve had to unfortunately put some of Liam’s learning on hold because of some other stuff we’ve been dealing with, but plan to pick it up ASAP. Currently, Liam knows all of his basic colors, a handful of shapes, and the numbers 1, 2, and 3. He can also hold up two fingers to tell you how old he is. He knows how to turn his toys (and pretty much anything with a switch or button) on and off, and we recently got a LeapStart to help him hone in on his fine motor skills, and to help him further develop his knowledge on all things toddler.

Oh, and speaking of communication, Liam has made GREAT strides in just the last few months. His word list is long, and silly. I’ve stopped trying to compare him to every other kid I see his age, who seem to be speaking in full sentences. As he’s shown, he will do what he wants, when he is ready. And, boy, can this kid talk when he wants to. Here’s a list of all of Liam’s known words and phrases. On occasion, he has been known to combine a few, like “Bye bye, baby!” to form small sentences as well!

words

See? He’s come quite a long way! I feel like I may have forgotten a few, but those are all the ones I have written down. His current favorites are “uh oh” and “pizza“. He’s been calling most foods “pizza” lately, haha. Which brings me to the next category…

16178972_10208221005022307_6057956033326460555_oFoods & Eating:
Aside from when he is sick, which he has been for a couple weeks now, Liam will eat anything and everything I put in front of him. Fruits and veggies, meat, dairy… everything. Some of his favorites include pizza, ice cream, yogurt, pineapple, macaroni with meat sauce, meatballs, carrots, mashed potatoes, and pretty much anything that I have on MY plate. He can also successfully use a normal fork and spoon without difficulty. When it comes to drinks, he likes most things, but it has been difficult getting him to drink his milk. He likes milk, but I think he just finds it boring. He’d much rather have juice, or a smoothie. Since he’s been dealing with a horrible cold, with mucus coming out of just about every hole in his head, drinking milk has been practically non-existent in this house. Hoping he starts drinking more soon. He can successfully drink with a straw, from a normal cup, and from a normal plastic bottle.15107352_10207692615652903_6837362670149185000_n

Potty Training:
We started potty training several months ago, and it was going well… then we had to put a pause on it, because there were some big changes being made in our household, and I was unable to continue. Now that things have calmed back down, we plan to pick it up again immediately. For the last month, Liam has been waking up with a dry diaper most mornings, and I’ve had success putting him on his potty, and him going. He still won’t poop on the potty, but he gets really excited when he pees in it. I’m excited to get back into it!

Naps and Bedtime Routine:
Nothing has really changed in our bedtime and nap routine, and I attribute our great success to keeping a strict bedtime and nap schedule. He still takes one nap a day, roughly 2-3 hours, sometimes a bit more or less, and he goes down without a fuss. The same goes with bedtime. He has started stalling, often needing to give daddy an extra hug or two, needing to grab one more lovey, or wanting several more sips of water, but he always gets to bed on time, and falls asleep quickly.

14947474_10207609960666580_7961387108818975879_nHe still sleeps through the night, about 12-13 hours in total, sometimes more. We have a toddler bed, but have yet to transition him to it. There’s been a lot of changes happening lately, and I don’t want to overwhelm him. He’s had some interest in sitting and lying on the bed in the past, but since we only have the one mattress, moving it back and forth is a pain. Having both beds in his room makes his room look a bit small and cluttered, but I am trying to use this crib until I can’t anymore. He hasn’t tried to climb out yet! And, truthfully, I don’t feel like our apartment is 100% child-proofed. Many of the doors are crooked, or don’t close properly, including his bedroom door. Most of our doorknobs have child-proof device on them, but if they don’t close fully, those devices are useless anyway. I think I may just be paranoid, but I’ve read too many horror stories, you know? I still feel unprepared.

Playtime and Activities:
I don’t even know where to start! Liam is at such a fun age now, where he loves to play. He’s gotten so many awesome toys for Christmas and his birthday, that I’ve had to rearrange our living room THREE times to get it all to fit in a spot. He has a play kitchen, tons of play foods and dishes, a play grill, a tool bench and tools, a play vacuum, a play cleaning set with broom, mop, spray bottle, etc, tons and tons of Mega Bloks, cars and trucks, a farm set with a TON of animals, and his current favorite, a two-sided easel with a whiteboard and chalkboard. He loves to color and draw, read books, do wooden puzzles, and recently showed an interest in Playdough as well.

Above all else, he enjoys doing the things that Kyle and I do. He loves to help with the laundry, and put the dishes away. He is no longer afraid of the vacuum, and when he sees me getting ready to vacuum the floors, he runs to get his vacuum to help. He was always stealing my broom and dust pan, so we got him his own, and he loves to sweep the floors. He was always trying to see what we were cooking, and we were afraid he would hurt himself, so we bought him his own play kitchen, and he plays with it all the time. Seeing him turn into a productive, independent little boy, right before my eyes, has been… everything. I’m getting emotional just typing that out!

Oh, and he enjoys watching cute animal videos on YouTube. I even made him his own playlist!

I suppose that’s it for now! I’ll give you all more updates as he grows, but I think that about sums up my sweet, silly, energetic boy. I am so proud of him, and he fills my heart with so much love.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

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Dream Journal 11/21/16 | The Restaurant

It was my first day of work. The restaurant was small, and didn’t look like any restaurant I had ever seen. It had a dark, bar vibe… but also felt kind of like a cafe.  Continue reading Dream Journal 11/21/16 | The Restaurant