Feeding: Whole milk (16-20 oz./day), water all day, and table foods three times a day with a snack after his afternoon nap.
Clothing: 12 - 18 month.Bedtime: 8 p.m. Slept 12-13 hours consistently each night.
All is back to normal here. He hasn't been sick at all this month (I'm typing with one hand, just so I can knock on wood at the same time.) and it seems his appetite has returned, along with his desire to eat EVERYTHING in sight. He still eats more or less depending on the day, but overall he's very consistent with a huge appetite that loves everything we give to him. His new favorite thing is dipping sauces. He'll eat pretty much anything if I give him dip, and it doesn't matter what the combination is. Mustard and apples? Okay. Cesar dressing and steak? Heck yes. Pickles and ketchup. Sounds delicious.
Another new thing this month is him understanding his options. I'll ask him in the morning if he wants juice or milk, and he'll say one or the other depending on his mood. Or when he's asking for seconds, I'll suggest options of the stuff he's already eaten and while sometimes he'll verbally say what he wants, sometimes he'll shake his head "no," or sign "more" when I suggest the right thing. It's sorta crazy how much he understands! His favorite foods are by far cheese (any kind, even bleu cheese) and bananas. Lots of smiles and heavy breathing when I suggest those. I give him lots of pear juice to balance it out...
Sleeping was so much better this month! I went back to two naps for him and now he sleeps from about 10 a.m. - Noon and then takes an afternoon nap from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. (ish). It's a really weird time to have him sleep, but I don't care. He's SO much happier, which makes me so much happier! I have a feeling we'll still be dropping that morning nap in the near future, but this is working for now, so I'll be doing it as long as I can. I honestly think a lot of the issues with him not sleeping last month were due to him being sick all the time and his frustration over not being able to walk (and see). Supposedly "they" say when kids are going through big developmental milestones, they tend to have a sleep regression, so maybe? We may never know, but at least it's over (for now). Nighttime sleep is totally back to normal. He's going to bed around 8 p.m. since he takes such a late nap, and he's not stirring until 8 or even 9 a.m. Bliss.
I failed to mention this last month, but about five weeks ago we went on a lake weekend and had to share a room with him - it's always worked in the past, as long as Mike and I are super sneaky when we go to bed. But last month, it was terrible. He couldn't function with us in there. He'd wake up in the middle of the night from a little noise from us stirring in bed and then he'd see us and go crazy. Just wanting to play and hang out. I think the two nights we shared a room with him he woke up at least five times each night, and we were up for good with him at 5 a.m. The third night we slept on the living room couches just so we could actually get some rest, and wouldn't you know it - he slept like the baby he usually is. So this time when we went to the lake, we put up a sheet in our room to create a smaller "room" for him - just strung with some command strips, twine and clothespins - and it totally worked! It was amazing. He only woke and needed resettling when we first came into the room. It's so good to know we don't have to give him his own "real" room in the future! Just a quick tip if you're struggling with the same thing with your kiddo!
We have a walker! It's so awesome! He got his glasses at the end of last month, and within three days Eli was walking much more consistently. After a weekend with his five cousins, three of which are very mobile, he was a walking machine. I really think this has made a huge difference in his attitude and demeanor and gave us our normal Eli back! He's totally stopped the "Eh, eh, eh" whining thing, and while he still throws down a pretty solid tantrum a few times a week, overall he's so much better at not whining.
I don't know how many words he knows any more. He probably knows about 15 words and their meanings to be used prompted and unprompted, and he'll say almost anything we ask him to say. (When he's in the right mood and usually in private of course!) He's getting better at going straight to his words, asking "up," "out," "walk," "food," or whatever it is that he wants. Sometimes I still have to prompt him and remind him to use his words or sign to me, but he gets there. He's finally saying, "help!" too. Although I have yet to get a "please" out of him, he does say "thank you" whenever he hands me something. Probably because I say it every time he gives me something ... he'll get there. He's getting his animal noises down too - I think he knows about five or six animals - when I ask him for "elephant," he even raises his arm like a trunk while doing sort of a high pitched, "whooo!"
He's still jibber jabbering with a purpose, and will truly hold a conversation with you. Pointing at things and talking so seriously about something very important to him. He also loves to sing, and will sing and do actions to songs with me. He's totally on opposite notes as me, but I love listening to him! He sings to himself all the time - in the car, in his crib, while walking and playing. All. the. time.
Eli's favorite activity is by far walking. He asks to go on a walk all the time, and as soon as I tell him to go find his shoes, he starts saying, "Wak?" "Shoos?" "Wak?" He's really into pushing things while walking, usually it's his actual stroller and sometimes he'll walk up to a half mile while pushing that thing. Of course, that half mile took us an hour with lots of water breaks, petting doggies and picking up sticks - but it's awesome for wearing him out. Sometimes he'll take a three hour nap after he's so tired from it!
He's also become quite the helper this month and he wants to do everything we're doing and always be right in the action. Mike (with Eli helping of course) built Eli a "learning tower," essentially a safe step stool that I don't have to be worried about him on, and he cooks with me while standing on it. Dinnertime = way less stress since he's occupied. He loves to open and shut doors, hand me pots and pans (or anything unbreakable) when putting away dishes, push the vacuum around, throw me clothes to fold for laundry, or get tools for the garden for me. I involve him in pretty much everything I do all day. Sure, it takes five times as long, but he loves it and pretty much considers it "playing," and hopefully it will teach him from a young age that the house doesn't run itself. (One can wish!)
He's favorite toys this month are any of his stuffed animals. He loves to collect all five of them that we have (I need to get him more!) and give them all a hug at one time. He carries them around the house, giving them kisses and asking me to hold them, then asks to have them back again right away. He'll lay on them and cuddle with them and even sigh while he does it. (I can't make this stuff up!) He still loves books or "boops!" and is super into anything with water. His new discovery this month is sprinklers - I always have to go through them on walks, soaking us both, but it's totally worth it to hear him laugh.
His dislikes are being picked up when he wants to walk (which is pretty much at the time) and being told not to touch things - especially the computer. While I know he understands, "no touch," he looooves to test the limits.
We're doing really well. With Eli being "back" it's been a much easier month. Mike and I were talking and we've now decided that this months is our favorite age - but it has pretty much been that way with every month with the exception of last month. As I hit the halfway point in my second pregnancy, we're really trying to soak up all the one-on-one time we have left with Eli. We love going on walks every evening with him, taking them slow so he can meander, look, touch and talk about everything we pass. We're in a good groove right now and it's so fun!