I know you all don't keep track, but I do - this post is nearly three weeks late! I did write it near the 19 month mark so things are accurate, but I didn't take the photos until yesterday. It's been crazy around these parts and I couldn't nail down a time to do it in the daylight with the hubs around to make Eli laugh - so I finally just gave in and took them on my own so I could get this post out - which is why there's odd lighting (nearly nighttime!) and not too many smiles. Also - you're getting a sneak peek at our new living room! It's SO different you guys, and I can't wait to share all that's been going on behind-the-scenes.
Also, Eli accidentally deleted the "parenting in theory vs. practice" post from Monday (Ironic?), and I only found out about it when a reader told me about it. Anyway, it's been reposted (whew!) so if you missed it because of the broken link, check it out - and if you commented pre-deletion, I'm sorry to say I lost those, so I can't reply. But thank you, I did see them in my emails!
Naps: One nap a day, around 1 p.m. for two to three hours
Feeding: Two percent milk (16-20 oz./day), water all day, and table foods three times a day with a snack after nap.
Clothing: 24 month
Bedtime: 7:30 - 8 p.m. Sleeps 10-13 hours each night.
Clothing: 24 month
Bedtime: 7:30 - 8 p.m. Sleeps 10-13 hours each night.
After a month of practice, he's gotten really good at eating with silverware! He asks for his fork or spoon before eating and while he still sneaks a hand in here or there to help out, it doesn't matter at all. It's so great to be able to give him soups/yogurt/apple sauce/etc. and not have to worry about feeding him. He's really good at keeping things in his bowl or plate and doesn't spill nearly as often as he used to. While I still wouldn't say Eli is a picky eater, he is easily distracted (Hence the origins of the Toddler Tantrum post.) so if he sees something he likes "better" there's really no going back to the good-for-you foods. Mike and I usually eat in stages now, not pulling out things like bread, chips or crackers until the very end and only if we're really wanting it. It's weird because if the carbs are not on the table he eats like a champ, but as soon as he sees them all hope is lost for getting him to the good stuff. It's frustrating but I'm crossing my fingers it's just a stage since he does still eat pretty much everything I put in front of him as long as it's in the right "order."
Sleeping has been a little all over the place this month. He came down with quite the sickness at the beginning of the month, complete with a trip to the ER, and four weeks later he still hasn't quite gotten over it. We are STILL using the nebulizer on him, but only two times a day now, and we have a follow up appointment with his ped to check his lungs soon, so hopefully we'll be given the green light to get off it. That said, he was on a couple different meds with the neb, one of which had a ton of caffeine in it, so he wasn't really napping at all for a while, and he was sleeping only about 10 hours a night. We got off that particular med about a week or two ago, and since then, he's been pretty much back to normal. We still do crib time for about a half hour each morning when we're home - usually one or two mornings a week to replace that morning nap and it has been working well.
He's pretty much fully transitioned to speaking all "real words" which is awesome. Many of them are still pretty garbled, and I act as a translator a lot, but he rarely just babbles a bunch of mumbo-jumbo anymore. He puts two words together all the time, and sometimes even three. He's finally started saying both the animal name and the animal sound, so if I ask, "What says 'moo?'" He can say, "Cow," instead of just mooing back. He'll also do this with machine noises and sirens. If I make a particular sound, he'll shout, "Train!" or whatever it may be. It's pretty amazing and is one of his favorite games. He's also gotten really into colors lately, I think his grandma must have worked on them with him because one day he came home shouting "Blue, red, green!" I'd say he's accurate about 30 percent of the time - aka, all complete guesses, but I do think he's getting better. Everything used to always be "Blue!" but now, he'll roll through guesses and usually get it by the third-ish try. But it's funny, like a classic mom, I'll think he has them down because one day he gets a few right, then the next day he'll get everything I ask him totally wrong. Whoops. I know it's early yet, but it's fun since he's so into it.
It's also been fun to see him begin to develop more of an imagination and he's doing a lot more pretend play than he ever has. He loves to fake cook and clean, put silly things on his head as a "hat," get ready in the morning by brushing his hair or wearing my shoes, talk on the phone, all those things are really starting this month. He's starting to expand his "humor" - understanding that putting a block on his head is funny because it's not actually a hat, or that putting his shoe on his hand isn't where it goes, so it's "funny." It's awesome to hear his fake laugh - it always gets a real one from me.
I mentioned this last month, but we really are getting to a point where he's needing more boundaries and intentional parenting/discipline from Mike and I. I wrote on Facebook about the first time I attempted a time out with him and it actually worked! I'm also glad to have another tool in my toolkit for when he acts out and have a bit of practice under my belt. I'm hoping to write a more robust post on this (Update: And I did - right here!), but I've come to learn that parenting in theory is so much easier than in practice! I can read and read and say, "This is what I'll do when X happens." But then it happens and I forget everything or X never happens and I get Y and Z and am totally lost. While Eli overall is a fairly consistent, calm, agreeable child, he can throw a tantrum that will absolutely shock you. Lying face down on the floor, pounding his feet and hands, crying and screaming for oh, 20 minutes? Probably longer. There's no way to get him to calm down but to ignore him. But then the question becomes, what do you do when he does that outside of the privacy of our own home? Oh yes, have I got some stories for you all - but I'll save those for another day.
We're continuing to work on Eli doing things for himself, like pulling out his stool and climbing up on his own when we brush his teeth at night (Oh my word, anyone else have a toddler that loves to brush his teeth? The only problem is Eli just wants to suck all the toothpaste off and he just fake spits into the sink so he can suck the sweetness down!), getting his own diapers and wipes and throwing them away, or even just putting a bit more effort into getting a toy that's a tiny bit stuck out of the toy basket. I'm thinking it's because he's the first child, but the kid can be completely helpless sometimes. It's been fun to encourage him to be a bit more brave in his daily adventures and see how proud of himself he is when he does accomplish a task he would normally ask for help on right away. Lots of high fives going on in this house.
Along with the imaginary play, Eli loves to build things and I can see his imagination spinning as he plays with his toys. He can build a pretty tall tower with his mega blocks (and knock it down of course), always wants me to help him build bridges so he can drive his trucks through them, and he loves to work on puzzles, shouting out what each piece is and it's remarkable how he can get them all in the right spots on his own. I feel like that skill happened overnight! He also loves to color, so I often set him up with the learning tower at the dining room table while I work on bible study and he'll scribble for a good 15 minutes, although there's always a huge game of "clean up the crayons you threw on the floor" after, that takes another 15 minutes. Oh well. He still loves to be outside, go on walks, play all the classic toddler games, read books, throw and kick balls, all that good stuff.
As far as dislikes the big one that started this month is he absolutely hates having to stop playing with his toys to get his diaper changed, eat dinner, leave the house, etc. He's had a hard time with this in some of the months prior, but this month it's really bad. It's awesome to know he's having a ton of fun and doesn't want to stop, but it can be really frustrating when he throws a tantrum or runs away from me when he has a stinky diaper or I need him for something. He used to tell me when he pooped, or at least admit it when I asked him, and now I'll ask and he'll say, "Nooooooo." and run the other direction. I find myself saying, "Eli, this is not funny; it is not a game; please obey." All. The. Time. Other dislikes include being in the car seat for long periods of time, and just generally not getting his way. Classic toddler stuff.
As always, we'd both agree that it just keeps being more and more fun with this little guy. We love how much he wants to be with us and "help" us do everything and we find we're constantly saying to each other, "How is it that he's ours?" and, "I still can't believe we made him!" and things like that. We're trying to soak up these last few weeks with Eli being our "only" child, and just the other day we were talking about how weird it will be that Eli will be the "oldest," not just our one and only. But we're excited to bring baby girl into the equation and know Eli will make a great big brother. While in some ways we both feel like parenting a toddler is the hardest type of "parenting" we've had yet, we're loving every second of it - except maybe when he throws a tantrum and we're both just looking at each other willing the other person to take care of it and figure out how to calm him down. Spoiler alert: Neither of us do.
But we're learning and growing as fast as Eli is and we wouldn't have it any other way. It's pretty amazing to get to be his parents!