Eli - 20 Month Update

Naps: One nap a day, around 1 p.m. for two to three and a half 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 and some 2T
Bedtime: 7:30 - 8 p.m. Sleeps 10-13 hours each night.

Eli is pretty much back to eating anything and everything. Except when we're eating with a lot of other people around - it's really hard for him to stay focused and not only does he just want to try out what everyone else is eating, he's just too plain distracted to eat. Over Thanksgiving with family he had a real issued with this, and basically lived on clementines, yogurt and chips/crackers. But of course, as soon as we get back home, Eli's back to eating bigger portions than me of shepard's pie (Particularly a fan of the peas - WHAT?), Chinese chicken and broccoli and even kale and white bean soup. There are some meals where he still really wants to eat off of mom and dad's plate, even though it's exactly the same, so we're working on him "eating what we put on Eli's plate." In addition, sometimes he won't want a snack I offer him, and I used to usually offer him something else, (Particularly when I felt like he hadn't been eating enough.) but this month I've been working on sticking to my guns and saying, "This is what momma has for you, so you can eat it or not." Then setting it on the counter/high chair/whatever. It's uncanny how as soon as he realizes I've moved on, he snags whatever it was and gobbles it down. 

Sleeping has been awesome this month! At the beginning of the month, I noticed two new teeth poking through, so I think that had a lot to do with last month's difficult spell. In addition, we're finally off the neb (YAY!) and it's not only freed up so much time in our day, it's helped him sleep so much better without a cold to fight. He's been taking way longer naps too, up to three and a half hours sometimes, which I am totally soaking up. I really think it's because we've been so busy and I've had him out and about at a lot of playdates, or with family for Thanksgiving stuff, so he's just been exhausted. When we're home we still do crib time for about a half hour in the morning, but I've noticed he hasn't been liking it as much. He usually starts to fuss and throw toys about 15 minutes into it. Maybe because I'm not consistent with it? Not sure. 
This month, Eli has started speaking with two words in a row. He's been doing the classics like, "thank you," "love you," etc. for a while now, but let's be honest, those are basically just one word in his world. He's also really into phrases like, "Ready, set, go!" but again, those are essentially just one word to him. But this month, he woke up one morning and pointed out the window and shouted, "Blue truck!" Normally, it's "Truck!" "Blue!" so I was shocked to hear him string the words together in the right order. But since then, he's been putting two words together pretty often. Things like, Momma's fork!" instead of "Fork! Momma's!" or "Idie (Eli) go!" instead of "Go!" "Idie!" You get the idea. I've also noticed he's picking up on more and more concepts. Things like when I'm peeling a clementine, I'll tell him, "Momma's peeling it." and then when I peel a banana he shouts, "Peel!" Or other things like "stir," or "wash," - he's applying the word to more than just what I *think* I've taught him. Not that he's always right mind you, but often he is! It's crazy to see how fast his mind is developing and how smart toddlers are!

For the record, colors are still pretty much complete guesses. His latest favorite is "Lellow" which is why he got the color correct when he was talking about how much he loved my "sample" that I left at a prenatal appointment (If you missed it, check this.) He can count to four, but again, he'll usually get one and two right, then mix three and four - you can tell he's guessing just so he can get the high five from me. And his ABC's - oh man, I love listening to him - he just sings "Ah, Oh, Ah, Eh, Eh, Ah, Oh!" He gets the approximate tune, but just kinda sings noises. I DIE listening to him!

Discipline has been a bit easier this month. I feel like last month something was just a little off and this month, he's sorta back to his happy-go-lucky self. Plus, I'm also probably more comfortable since I've got a little practice under my belt, so it's not as scary when I need to do it anymore. Eli has even sent himself to time out a few times on his own. Usually, I'm just threatening it, telling him if he doesn't obey, he'll go to time out, and then he says, "Idie cry. Time out." And he walks himself over to his spot. The first few times I was all, "Oh, honey, come out here, it's okay. You don't have to go!" But now I let him and eventually he comes back and tells me "Time out. All done." and he's happier. It's sorta insane. Yet sorta awesome.

While he's cooking right along in the verbal department, he's still pretty tentative in anything needing hand-eye coordination. Mike and I keep telling each other we have to work on helping him learn to throw a ball with at least a little effort. He has started climbing a bit this month and it's hilarious to watch him try to climb something that's like 8" off the ground. Tons of heavy breathing, falling and then a huge smile once he conquers it. He's started climbing on edge of his crib (the bottom slat, on the outside) and then clings to the rails with everything he's got for as long as he can while shouting "WATCH!" I used to get scared (WHY?), but I keep reminding myself a small fall onto a padded rug is good for him. He still takes forever to go over thresholds, up and down stairs, etc. But I'm proud to see him becoming more brave and want to do more things on his own without our constant help and assistance. 
Books are back in a big way this month. While he's always liked reading, this month he asks to read all. day. long. He'll read the same book over and over and over again and often will refuse my offer of several other books in lieu of reading the one book that I'm completely sick of. He also is loving music more and more and will ask me to play it randomly during the day. I often listen to the Nickel Creek pandora station and this kid loves bluegrass! I have so many videos of him getting into the music, he'll close his eyes, clap and tap his foot and shake his head - like in a "I'm feeling the grooooove," sorta way. Mike and I seriously cry we're laughing so hard at how incredibly into it he gets! Still loves anything that has to do with machines, airplanes, trains, buses, etc. and all things animal related. We took him to the Milwaukee Zoo over Thanksgiving and he about lost it when he wasn't allowed to "play" with the gorillas. Since then, he's been extra into monkeys, and will randomly ask, "Zoo?" Thinking a season pass to the MN Zoo next year might be in order!

Dislikes are the same as other months. Not getting his way, having to stop playing to do something boring like a diaper change and being in the carseat forever. The usual.

Momma/Daddy Update:
Gah, we love being parents! I know I say that every month, but honestly it's the truth and I feel like I can't not say it. We're both continuing to try to soak up these last few days/weeks with him as our one and only, and often say, "Do you think baby girl will be as awesome/fun/funny/adorable?" While there's not doubt in either of our minds if we'll "have enough love," it's more, "How can she possibly be as cool as him? He's the coolest!" 


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