Eli - 22 Month Update

This update is super late - nearly a month! But I wrote down a few notes at the end of the month so I'd remember for this post and the photos were taken when he was exactly 22 months old, so that counts for something, right? He's sporting his first black eye in the pics, he took a tumble while playing with friends at church - Mike is so proud of Eli's first shiner, and Eli liked to point it out to people and say, "Nice, owie. Righ' here." Eli's glasses hide it a bit, but you can see it if you look closely. It's actually looking really good in these photos, it was over a week old at this point and well on its way to healing!
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, table foods three times a day with a snack after nap.
Clothing: 2T
Bedtime: 7:30 - 8 p.m. Sleeps 12-13 hours each night.

Nothing new to report here - he still eats pretty much anything and everything, but prefers cheese and carbs more than anything else. But for the past month or so, he's been doing really well with "bartering," meaning, we'll ask him to finish his chicken/veggies/whatever and then he can have a chip. He does so well with it, and I'm grateful it works!
This month, sleeping has been a little crazy. With all the transition from Colette being born and preparation for the move, he was waking up at least once a night, if not two or three times. Usually when we go to him, he just needs "reset," meaning we can hold him for a second, reassure him and put him back in his crib and he'll fall right back asleep. But a few times a week he was waking crying and begging for us to come get him and hold him. He was pretty much hysterical - really difficult to calm down, usually calling for the opposite parent than the one that goes to him, and asking to play or read or do anything besides sleep. It's sorta heartbreaking - and frustrating when it takes 30 minutes to an hour to calm him down and once he is calmed down, he freaks out when we would try to put him back to bed. I think there's been so much change that he's nervous he'll get left or we'll forget about him or something. (Insert GIANT sad emoticon here.) Eventually we learned not to pick him up because he'd cling to us so much and we couldn't get him back in the crib. Instead we would just go in a reassure him and talk to him by the crib, going in every three minutes or so to calm him. After about a week of doing this, he stopped the night wakings. We also lived at my mother-in-law's for a week while the house went on the market (Just so I didn't have to clean and pick up every. single. day) and while he usually does great there, he really struggled with sleeping at night and naps while there - and again, I'm sure it's just from all the transition he was/is going through. 

Of course, his speech continues to astound me. He's saying three or four word sentences, and it's amazing how many words he knows. He still tends to talk in one or two word groups, then a pause, then one or two more words to finish the sentence. It's fun to hear him start saying catch phrases, things like "Splish splash," in the bath or "I'm gonna get you!" while playing a game. So cute. When he's trying to tell me something but I can't figure it out, he gets a little flustered, giving me a shy smile and looking away. I think he knows what he wants to say, but also knows that he's not saying it right, so he's embarrassed. It's adorable - but I so wish I always knew what he was saying!

I'm also astounded by his memory. One day, Mike made shadow puppets in the sunlight that comes into our living room - about two or three weeks later, Eli saw the sun and pointed to it asking, "Dog? Dinononoar? Rhino?" It took us forever to figure out that he wanted the shadow puppets, but once Mike made them again Eli went bizerk, kissing the shadows on the wall and feeding them imaginary food and drink. We couldn't believe that he remembered it from so long ago!

Speaking of imaginary play, it's seriously the best. He's constantly feeding us or making up stories about his stuffed animals. But a lot of times I'll realize that he's actually telling me a story from one of the books we have - like a story about a mouse that wants a cookie and likes to clean .... If You Give A Mouse A Cookie ... anyone? Melt. My. Heart. 

He totally knows all his main colors and gets them right pretty much every time. He can count to nine, but likes to skip over "two." We also catch him singing the ABC's all the time, although it's usually totally random letters, with lots of "XYZ" sprinkled in. 

For some reason, this kid has developed a strange fascination with zippers, buttons and pockets this month. He loves hiding things in his pockets and zipping and unzipping zippers - especially other people's coats and jackets. He's also in love with the colors orange and green, and loves to point out any time he sees them. He's become the king of pointing out the obvious; he pretty much narrates our lives all day, telling me, "Momma car. Drive!" or "Dump, right here." (Referring to his diggers.) or "Cook. Stir dat. Eli stir dat. Eli eat! Eli like." He tends to repeat whatever it is he's saying until you actually say the full sentence back to him. No passive "mm, hmm" responses for this kid. 

He loves trains, airplanes, pretty much anything that "goes." He's obsessed with pointing out planes/trucks/buses/emergency vehicles anywhere we go, and even hears many of them before we can see them. He's also really into coloring and stickers, and often will spend about a half hour each morning with me, coloring and picking out stickers to put on his drawings. He loves telling me what he's drawing and it often turns into a story - usually it's some variation of a person he knows going to the zoo to see monkeys/rhinos/birdies/etc. 

He also likes to be "mommy's helper," which is totally awesome for me. He now has two "chores," he puts the cube in the dishwasher (under supervision of course) and he gets the mail from the porch every day. All I have to do is ask, "Eli want to do your chore?" And he freaks out like I asked him if he wants a thousand pounds of candy or something. I'm trying to enjoy his good attitude about chores while it lasts. The only problem with him helping is when it doesn't work out - like he can't make the vacuum go where he wants on his own - it often turns into him crying in frustration. He also loves to help with Colette and often sits right by her, shoving the pacifier into her mouth as soon as she drops it. He's also big on tummy time with her, and at least once a day he reminds me that we need to do, "Tum-me! Time!" So all three of us do it together, usually with lots of participation from Eli's stuffed animals. 

As far as dislikes, as I mentioned above, he tends to get pretty frustrated when he's trying to do something and can't make it work exactly like he wants to. In most of these cases, he doesn't want my help, so it just turns into him crying and shouting jibberish with a few no's sprinkled in. Also, I've noticed that  often, he can't take too much of a good thing. Things like getting to go outside for a walk, shoveling snow, taking a bath, watching a TV show, these are all things he gets super excited about, but when we need to come inside because I can literally see the snot on his nose freezing and his cheeks are red with wind burn, or he's turning into a raisin before my eyes in the bath and the water is freezing, he throws a huge tantrum. It's tough - we want to give him good things, but even Mike said the other day, "I don't even want to take him outside because I know it will end in tears!" We've noticed giving him lots of warning about how things are going to end helps a lot - we give him a five/three/one/etc. minute warning, or tell him this is the last one, it's almost gone, etc., and it really does help with him having a good attitude once things are ending.

Mommy/Daddy Update
In all honesty, it was a really hard month. Not really because of anything Eli did, or even Colette, but as I talked about in this post, the move, combined with a newborn and curious toddler has made things hard. It's been tough to juggle our time between the two and we're really figuring things out. That said, we're still absolutely loving being parents of two, and seeing the relationship that's building already between the kids is amazing! We are so thankful Eli seems to adore Colette - I mean, she gets just as good of treatment as his stuffed Ducky - and that's saying a lot!


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