Eli - 24 Month Update

We have a two year old! I can hardly believe how old he is - and that I've actually written 24 of these updates! As the changes are not coming so rapidly, this will be the last update I'll publish for Eli.

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, table foods three times a day with a snack after nap.
Clothing: 2T and some 3T (He is 90th percentile for height and 80th for weight!)
Bedtime: 7 - 8 p.m. Sleeps 11-12 hours each night.

Eating: This boy continues to amaze us with his great eating. He truly will eat literally anything - and most of the time he does it all on his own. Sometimes at dinner, for better or worse, we'll bribe him a little  with an m&m or any sort of "sugar" to get him to finish his dinner and fill him up before bed. He LOVES chocolate and will do anything for a taste of it. Recently, if he won't eat his food, we'll ask him to eat two bites ("Because you're two years old!") and then he can have one m&m. The kid seriously goes crazy. He won't even use silverware he wants to get to the m&m so fast. He usually just grabs two or three huge handfuls of food, shoves them in his mouth and shouts, "m&m please!" while bouncing around in his chair. As I go to the cabinet and pull out the bag, I'll ask him what color he wants: "Red! Blue! Orange! Red! Blue! Blue! Blue!" He can hardly decide he just wants it so bad. He usually starts to do a little dance and as soon as it's in his hand he pops it in - doesn't matter if there's still brussel sprouts and blue cheese still in his mouth. Ick. 

Here at the temp housing apartment, there's also a clubhouse that we walk to nearly every day to mess around in the gym and pick up packages. There's a glass jar full of candy, and each day I let Eli pick out a piece. As soon as the clubhouse is in sight, he starts to pick up speed and run toward it shouting, "Sugar! Momma! LET'S GET SUGAR!" Once we're there, it takes him at least three minutes to pick out the color he wants from the chocolate jar and for some reason, he savors this one. It's nothing like the m&m that's shoved down with all his other food. He studies the tiny, bite-sized chocolate bar, nibbling on it and just smiling at me saying, "Sugar momma, chocolate momma. It's good momma." It's adorable. 

I don't know how moms don't let their kids have sweets/chocolate/SUGAR. It makes them so happy - I LOVE giving my kid sugar. I feel like I have to say - since this is the internet and all - that I do try to do it in moderation. He eats super healthy during the day at home (Now that he's willing to eat more than just cheese and bread again.) But I'll be honest, we don't really have rules on sugar, if it's available and he wants it, he can have a little. You should see the dance he'll whip out for a chocolate dounut. I swear, anyone would give him anything with how happy and excited he looks!
Sleeping: Overall, he's still a great sleeper. I think he sleeps a little less than he used to, still sleeping 11-12 hours, but we rarely ever get an 8 a.m. wake up any more. Usually he's ready to go at 7 a.m., no matter what time he goes to bed. Naps continue to be all over the place for length and I can't seem to figure out why some are longer than others - activity, noise, stimulation, etc. all don't seem to play a part - that I can tell at least. He'll usually sleep 1.5 - 3 hours, although I really, really prefer that he gets at least two. Usually when he wakes after just an hour and a half he's super crabby for the day. If he gets 2+, I call it a "good nap."
So, I've decided two years old is definitely one of my favorite stages. He is so funny, I love talking with him each day about what he wants to do, or what he dreamt about or what daddy's up to. He's loves playing Captain Obvious, constantly pointing out, "Car. Black car. Big black car. Momma's big black car." All in that order - each time he likes to add a descriptor - just in case I wasn't sure which car he was talking about. He's also really into opposites and posession. He tells me which ball is big or small, or what is up or down. Or he'll go around pointing at things telling us who's they are, "Momma's coffee. Daddy's coffee. Eli's milk. Colette's nuk." He loves talking about what we're going to eat or do, and often when I ask him what he'd like, he'll say, "Probably ... hmmm ... I want to ... maybe ... probably .... eat pea-na-ner toast, yes, that's it." or whatever it is. I love getting to hear his decision making process!

He's great with counting to ten, but still will skip random numbers here or there or throw in a huge one like thirty nine. He is getting awesome at his colors - he's known the main ones for a while, but now he's starting to expand on them, like pink, tan, silver, etc. He also still loves music and to sing, and often I'll find him singing to himself or to Colette as he plays. He can sing "Amazing Grace," "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," "Jesus Loves Me," and a few others super well - the tune is nearly perfect and he knows most of the main words, so much so that anyone who overhears him can quickly recognize the song. 

Eli has stared playing jokes on us and LOVES to be funny and have us laugh at him. His latest joke is fake falling asleep in the car. He knows I want him to stay awake in the car if we're coming home before nap, so he likes to pretend to sleep when we're home and I'm getting him out of the car. He's actually convinced me a few times that he's fallen asleep, he's pretty good at keeping a straight face - usually the only tip off I'll see is his eyelashes fluttering to check on me!

He's getting better and better at being, "mommy's helper" and actually helping. I can ask him to get a paci for Colette or a burp rag or whatever and he'll actually go find one and bring it back, rather than getting distracted or bringing me some other random object. He loves to point out when things are out of place or broken and it's a BIG deal if they are. 
Also, he's gotten SO much better at independent play. I don't know if it's age, or just getting to be outside or now that things have settled down, but he'll give me a few different longer sessions of it throughout the day without me needing to remind him that I'm not going to play with him. He's also learning to understand "alone time." He follows Mike and I around and hates to not be in the same room as us, so we're working on that concept. It's adorable when Mike goes to take a shower and Eli comes running out to tell me that "Daddy! Alone time! Play with Eli later!"

Many of you have asked about Eli's eyes and how he's doing and we so appreciate all of your concern! While I haven't been crazy excited about this move to Chicago (agreeable, but not excited), we did get a new pediatric opthamologist and in many ways, he's been a huge blessing. This particular doctor seems to be a bit more detailed than our past one and he found some new things with Eli and also convinced us to move forward with surgery on Eli's eyes. We've known for a while now that Eli would likely need surgery for his vision, but we always considered it a last resort. Well, this Friday, Eli will be having surgery on both eyes and we would LOVE all of your prayers. For those of you who are wondering, he will be having Strabismus surgery. Strabismus is a visual defect in the eyes that makes them point in different directions, leading to vision loss in one eye. In a child Eli's age, the brain learns to ignore the misaligned eye, causing causing loss of vision in one eye. While I've heard a lot of different numbers tossed around, our doctor says the surgery is typically 80 percent successful, so we're praying that it is for Eli!
Likes/Dislikes: Probably my favorite thing to see is how much he's started to love playing with Colette. He always wants to be sure she has a toy or a stuffed animal and I love seeing him rearrange things around her on the bouncer or blanket. Often, he'll lay with her during tummy time, driving his trucks around her head. I try to keep my eye on them as much as possible, but I'll be honest, a second child gets way more head bonks than the first. 

With the warm weather, it's also been so fun to see how much he enjoys going outside to play in the dirt and dig through the much. He loves taking his diggers/trucks/emergency vehicles out there and driving them around. It's funny, because he can talk so well, but often when he's playing on his own I'll hear a lot of jibberish mixed in with a few real words. He now needs a bath every night before bed, where as in the winter, sometimes he'd go up to a week before he'd get one - whoops! His little chubby legs are all cut up and bruised from playing - I know that sounds terrible - but I think it's awesome!

Eli still LOVES the zoo and talks about going every day. He still talks all the time about different animals, and when wakes up each morning or after a nap, I always like to ask him what he dreamt about, usually it's alligators or diggers, and sometimes his Uncle Kyle. 

Eli's big dislikes are having to stop abruptly with what he's doing, so we always try to give him a one to fivei(sh) minute warning, which helps a lot. He's also started to get crazy independent, not wanting help from us as often and just wanting to do things all on his own or wanting to do whatever the opposite is of what we suggest. He also gets really frustrated when we won't/can't carry him and he wants to be or when he needs to ride in the cart or stroller when he wants to walk. Basically, if he doesn't want to do it, he doesn't like it. Sound like any of your toddlers? :) 
Mommy/Daddy Update:
This was such a fun month for us! It was great to get to spend more consistent time with him and not have so much on our plates so we could give him more attention than we have in a while. I feel like every day Eli gets more and more fun as his language and personality develops, and I love getting to have actual conversations with him. It's amazing to watch how well he can understand a concept or apply something he's learning to different situations. Mike and I are constantly amazed by what sponges kids are! I'm also so grateful Eli seems to be enjoying the move. I knew logically his "friends" back in Minneapolis wouldn't be a loss, but I was still really sad about it. He seems to be doing great here and doesn't even know the difference. He now shouts "Home!" when we pull into the parking lot, and "new house" when we pull into the driveway of our, you guessed it, new house. It's fun to see him so excited! 


  1. I love reading your updates because then I am reassured that my toddler is going through the same stuff! My daughter is having a tough time with transitions, stopping what we are doing and doing something else. Cause of many meltdowns. We've been working on compromises. For example, this morning she did NOT want to stop eating her apples and get dressed for daycare. I told her she could eat the rest of her apple after we got dressed, and even bring them in the car with her. She thought that was really fun! Good luck on Friday, I am sure everything will go great

  2. Haha, oh yes, I think most toddlers are pretty similar - at least I hope so! Good idea with the compromise - it does help so much to 1) prep them and 2) explain slowly the "game plan" even if it's different from what they wanted, usually I find if I slow (like you did with the apples) he's way more agreeable! Thanks for sharing with me!

  3. Oh my word Kristin, this is so good to hear - honestly! I love hearing about people who've "been there" and I'm so happy it was successful for you! Yes, it's scary, but I totally know it's the right thing to do, and I've heard nothing but good things from people who've been there. Thanks for sharing!