Little Milestones | 2 Years Old

He fills my heart with so much love.

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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!

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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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Little Milestones 18 Months

He has a beautifully unique personality, and I absolutely treasure this little boy.

My little Liam is 18 months old now, as of July 23rd… a whole year and a half. How crazy is that? By this point in our lives, we’ve done away with all those silly apps and charts, and I’ve just been going with the flow, enjoying his toddlerhood, and trying not to worry too much about his development as much as I have in the past. I know he is perfect, even ahead in many areas, and I am done comparing him to all these super babies I see online. So, let’s look at Liam at 18 months! Continue reading “Little Milestones 18 Months”

The Evolution of Toddler Scribbles

What are some fun, artistic things that you have done with your little ones?

Hello, friends! I haven’t written about Liam’s developmental milestones for now, I have been planning a post about it, but since he is creeping up on his 18 month mark (what?!), I figured I’ll just wait until then! Today, I wanted to share with you all something that I have been having a lot of fun doing with him lately… coloring! Well, drawing. Doodling? Whatever. Toddler scribbles, yay! Continue reading “The Evolution of Toddler Scribbles”

Mom’s Visit | Day 5

I sat on the floor with this stranger’s children, and my own son, and we all talked about milestones, and the joys of having boys. Their father was an absolute doll, and his words about raising his boys, and when they each started talking, walking, and getting their teeth, were so comforting to me, as I often worry about Liam hitting his milestones on time. They were such a lovely family.

[You can read about Days 0-1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, and Day 4 here.]

Hello, friends! Today was another great day, with only a few minor low points to share. Today is my mom’s 50th birthday, and once again, we decided to go to the pool at the Metro Center in Princeton, and it was even better than it was yesterday! We decided to schedule our whole day around the pool trip this time, so that we could get as much time in the water as possible, and left much earlier than yesterday, as soon as Liam finished his breakfast, and we all got showered and dressed.

It was barely 11:00 when we got to the pool, and there were only a handful of swimmers in the large pool. Once again, we had the kiddie pool to ourselves, and Liam could hardly contain his excitement as we approached the shallow pool. There was no hesitation this time, no clinging to my legs, no fear, just pure happiness, and so much splashing. He really wanted to put his adorable, new swim shorts to good use! He came 100% out of his shell, wading through the water, going after the pool toys, dunking them, pouring them, and being so much more curious and adventurous with the water. My mom managed to get a dozen more pictures of him today, and he was smiling in every single one of them. It filled my heart with so much joy to see him having so much fun.

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We stayed at the pool for about an hour, but had to leave around noon to grab some lunch, because Kyle had a meeting about a scholarship for his CDL class at 1:00. Luckily, the meeting was in the same town, so we stopped at a nearby Subway to get some lunch, but because the lines were so long, Kyle had to leave his sandwich with us, and leave for his meeting. While he was gone, my mom drove me a bit nuts, which has been happening off and on for the last couple days, but I managed to have a good time. I ordered Liam his own sub for the first time, and he sat in a booster seat at the table with me for the first time ever. He did so well! It was amusing to watch him pick apart the sandwich, and decide which veggies he did and did not like (his absolute favorite Subway veggies are pickles and olives, just like his mama!).

Unfortunately, my happiness faded when I saw Kyle pull up, just a short time later, with a very obvious frown. He did not get the scholarship. His income was too high, thanks to his last two, abnormal paychecks, and he did not qualify. He was upset, and my mom kept saying that she would pay for it for us, which made me upset. She already paid $5000 toward my failed college education, and I still owe my old school, and her, money. I didn’t even want her paying for things for us while she was here (despite her many protests), let alone dish out thousands for Kyle’s class. But without her help, we don’t know if we can make it happen, and that is absolutely crushing. Maybe I should put my pride aside? I don’t know.

After lunch, we headed back to Peru to do a little grocery shopping. Despite our fridge being absolutely empty, and only having $80 to buy food for the month, I found myself feeling offended when my mom offered to pay for our groceries, and turned her down yet again. She left the store to have a cigarette (she quit years ago, but started smoking again recently, and hasn’t told her boyfriend), and never came back in. Things were a bit tense between Kyle and I, as they usually get when the topic of money comes up, and we grabbed only a handful of things, like milk, bread, bagels, cheese, and bananas, to try and stay under budget. We warmed up again once we left Walmart, and headed home.

Liam had not taken a nap yet, so I put him down as soon as we walked in, and he passed right out. I put something on Netflix for us to watch, but our internet stopped working shortly after that, and despite our best efforts to revive it, I ended up having to call our internet provider, who had me do a handful of ineffective things, before informing us that there was a actually massive service outage in our area.

Fantastic.

With no internet, cable, movies, games, or really anything to do, we all just kind of sat around in silence for a bit, not knowing what to talk about. Eventually, the internet came back on, and we continued on with watching Netflix, and fiddling with our phones. Around 4:30, just about when Liam would be waking up from his nap, my mom suddenly stood up, and left, telling us to text her if we wanted to get food or something later. Sure enough, not even 10 minutes later, Liam woke up, and we texted her to come back. She hadn’t even gone back to her hotel, she had gone to the park up the street, because apparently the trees and grass are better company than we are.

We decided to go to the large, Chinese buffet in Peru, located right near her hotel, since it is a favorite spot of ours. We pigged out hard on all the delicious things, and left feeling miserable, and hating ourselves, as usual. It was delicious. Afterwards, we decided to take Liam to the mall play area to burn some energy, and tire him out, since he had taken such a late nap. When we got there, there was only one man in the play area, with four boys. We immediately hit it off with him and his sweet boys, and Liam made two friends. He was there with his wife and mother, who were across the way getting their nails done at the salon. He had a baby with him, who was just four months old, and the sweetest little thing I’ve ever seen. He made my ovaries weep, and made me crave having a tiny baby again. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.

He also had a little boy who had just turned two, and another boy who was four. They were absolutely enamored with Liam, and the four year old asked me a million questions about him, and me.

“Does he like cars? What kind of car do you have? We have a Diesel truck!”
“Does he eat a lot of food?”
“Does he cry a lot? I cry a lot, and scream, because my parents irritate me.”
(LOL!)
“Does he talk a lot? My brother is two, he doesn’t talk.”
“Do you like bouncy balls?”
“Do you live here? We’re from far away. We’re driving.”

He was adorable. I sat on the floor with this stranger’s children, and my own son, and we all talked about milestones, and the joys of having boys. Their father was an absolute doll, and his words about raising his boys, and when they each started talking, walking, and getting their teeth, were so comforting to me, as I often worry about Liam hitting his milestones on time. They were such a lovely family. The four year old kept giving Liam hugs, and saying he wanted to be friends, and the two year old would walk up to me and share his bouncy balls. They were the absolute sweetest, and it was so wonderful. We talked and played for a while, before we all had to go our separate ways and head home.

Oh, I forgot to mention that right before we left the mall, my mom got a FaceTime call from her boyfriend back home (who she has been with for 20 years, but they aren’t married, so I still call him her boyfriend instead of my step-father), and we were able to introduce him to Liam and Kyle, and chat for a little while. It was nice to see him, and for him to meet the boy who is basically his grandson.

We also stopped to introduce my mom to our upstairs neighbor when we got home (the one who has helped us with many, many problems we’ve dealt with since living here), and we all chatted outside for a bit, before I insisted on going inside, since it was an hour past Liam’s bedtime. Liam was half asleep before I even put him in his crib, and I sat down with a cup of coffee, and began typing shortly after. Kyle goes back to work tomorrow, after having these last two days off, and I think I might take a day to myself to catch up on housework and cleaning, which has gone completely undone since my mom’s arrival. We’ll see.

I am also trying to arrange a nice dinner with Kyle’s mom, my mom, and Kyle, Liam, and I on Friday, since it will be my mom’s last full day in Illinois, and we really want her to meet Kyle’s mom, who is basically my second mom. It is the only day Kyle’s mom has off, though Kyle works until 6:00 that night. I’m hoping we can work something out.

Anyway! That’s all for today! Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

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Little Milestones 13-14 Months

I’m starting to not put much weight into what these charts say. I know that my son is a rock star, and is pretty on point in his development, but for him to be doing things that are supposedly moderately difficult for 17 and 18 month olds? I don’t know if I buy into that. It’s a nice thought, but really?

Hello, friends! It has been a looong time since I gave you an update on Liam’s milestones (5 months actually, holy crap!), so I figured, now that he is into his toddlerhood, it would be a good time to share with you where he is at with his development. Like the last few times, I will be using several development charts from the BabyCentre UK site. These charts are not set in stone, and of course all babies develop at their own pace, but I just wanted to share with you all a look at where my kiddo is at.

As of today, Liam is 13 months and 3 weeks old. He wears a size 7 shoe, 18/24m clothes, and a size 5 diaper. I am not sure of his exact height and weight currently, but at his 12 month exam, he was 33 inches tall, and weighed just under 24 pounds. He is a tall boy!  As he is constantly learning and doing new things, I will be showing you the charts for 13-18 month olds. He does at least a little bit from each chart!

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One of the biggest things that bothers me about these charts, as well as many other charts on other sites, is that they all claim that my barely one year old should have been saying anywhere from 2-5 real words from the age of 12 months. Well, he doesn’t, and I honestly don’t know any babies his age that do. Heck, I know two year olds that still only say “mama” and “dada“. Liam has been saying “mama” to me for months, but as his daddy is hardly ever home, he doesn’t say “dada” very often. He can say it, he just doesn’t. He has also started saying “oh yeah” recently, and just yesterday, he said what sounded like “no” for the first time. I have also been trying to teach him “hello” and “bye bye” to go with his waving. He also freaking LOVES “peek-a-boo” and plays it with me all the time.

The rest of the chart he has mastered, and we are especially proud of his cup drinking abilities. At 12 months, we switched to a cup with a real straw, not a sippy cup, and he picked it up within two days, and has only used a straw ever since. He can also grip and tip a real cup, without the lid and straw, but I need to hold it so that he doesn’t spill.

14

This is where things get frustrating, as far as these charts go, because several of these same things were listed on earlier charts, from 8 or 9 months old. He has been finger feeding since he was 7 months old. Most babies definitely are at this point, right? He does everything in this list, except for pointing. He does not point. He does not point to things he wants, he just grabs them, and he doesn’t point to body parts. We have been trying to learn “tummy“, but he still hasn’t picked it up.

15

This is where we get into the supposedly advanced stuff for someone his age, which seems odd to me. I already covered the talking bit, and as I said before, he just used “no” for the first time ever yesterday. The rest? He’s done it all. Liam has been walking since 10.5 months old, running since 11.5 months, and going up and down steps, and walking backwards, for the last month. He loves running around at the park, or at the store. He also tried to “help” me sweep by carrying around the dust pan, and also knows how to put his toys away, and the laundry into the basket. We also started coloring at 12 months, and he can grip and use a crayon pretty well now, although he doesn’t snow much interest in it. I never would have thought that all of these things didn’t come until 15 months.

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Another confusing chart. Aside from the talking bit, Liam does all of this. He can turn the pages of his board books when we read, he throws EPIC tantrums when he doesn’t get his way, he is obsessed with both his Scout and Froggy toys, and makes sure to let me know that he needs to bring them to the living room in the morning and after his naps, and he has developed fussy eating habits over the last month and a half. Some days, he takes two naps, but most days it is only one. He can also unzip and pull ff his coat or sweatshirt, pull off his shirt by himself, and drop his pants, but needs help stepping out of them. He can put a shirt on over his head as well. He’s been able to stack his blocks for months. He also climbs onto the couch, climbs at the park, and climbs onto his activity table. He has yet to get out of his crib, thankfully.

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I only wanted to include this list because, once again, it contains two things that Liam has been doing for a little while now, and one thing that he is starting to do. He has a riding toy that he got for Christmas, and has been able to get on and off of it on his own for about a month now. He can also dance, and does it regularly. He also recently started being able to get about half of his shapes into their correct holes on his shape sorter. He also responds to the phrases “sit down” “give me kisses” and “come here“.

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Now, this chart, he doesn’t do too much from, obviously. We started brushing his teeth twice a day when he got his first tooth at 10 months (he still only has 4), and I will often hand his toothbrush to him to “brush” them himself while I am changing him for bed. He also can take apart block towers, and put blocks together, and has one amazing throwing arm.

I’m starting to not put much weight into what these charts say. I know that my son is a rock star, and is pretty on point in his development, but for him to be doing things that are supposedly moderately difficult for 17 and 18 month olds? I don’t know if I buy into that. It’s a nice thought, but really? Am I not giving him enough credit, or are these charts catering more to parents of children who may have slower development? Who knows.

Anyway, there’s a look at where my kiddo is at in his development. 🙂 As far as feedings go, he is drinking about 20-24 ounces of whole milk every day, and water for the rest of the day (no juice for us). He also eats 3 pretty hefty meals, and two snacks, every day. This kid eats like a high school football player, I swear. We haven’t really had any issues with constipation either, though some days he only poops once, and strains a bit, but he does go 1-4 (sometimes 5) times a day, depending on what he ate. No allergies so far! He’s also had every possibly seasoning out there (no salt!), and has loved them all. He has started his fussy eating phase, and has all but stopped eating vegetables, unless I sneak them into something he really likes.

His current favorite foods:
Broccoli and cheese omelette/scrambled eggs
Toasted English muffin with cheese and garlic
Baked cinnamon brown sugar apple bites
Soft carrot chunks with brown sugar and butter
Elbow noodles with shredded cheese and garlic
Cinnamon apple/banana/cinnamon raisin wheat pancakes
Black olives
Mozzarella cheese cubes
Plain broccoli and butter
Banana slices rolled in crushed Cheerios or graham crackers

Okay, maybe he isn’t that fussy, but he no longer eats sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, or raisins on their own, and it has been a pain to sneak those particular foods into things!

Okay, I’m done now, haha. What do you guys think about these development charts? Are they just really loose guidelines? Did/do your little ones seemed further in their development as well?

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan