This was a crazy month with a lot of travel for both me and your dad as well as our entire household coming down with at least one, but probably two, colds. I went on my first solo-vacation to Costa Rica to visit my friend Asia and I have a blast but missed you and your dad a lot. When I got back your dad immediately flew off to Vegas for work and then after being home two days he was back in Dallas for work again. Luckily your Grandma Christy came to help out so I wasn’t doing it all on my own while he was gone. While I was in Costa Rica, you went to the Safari Park with your Aunt Claire and Uncle Josh and got to spend more time with Nana and Boo.
This month was all about BOOKS for you. You went from not sitting on my lap for more than one page to begging for us to read book after book (or the same book over and over) to you. Your favorite books are ones with lots of pictures and not a lot of words. You really like books with animals and I’m really impressed with how many of them you know. You are obsessed with learning and will come over to us with a book in your hand, shove it in our arms, climb into our laps, open it up and start pointing to different pictures, asking us to identify them. You know how to say several animal’s names but you also can point to many more when asked. My favorite thing to do is to ask you what sound an elephant makes – you press your lips together and blow and it’s adorable!
Your vocabulary continues to expand and now I can’t even count the number of words you say (maybe 60!?). We were shocked the other day on a walk during dusk when you looked up at the sky and shouted “moon!” and pointed to the crescent moon (so far you’d only pointed it out in books and it was usually a full moon). Your communication skills are more than just cute – they are also very useful because we’re able to tell what you want a lot more easily (often, it’s berries that you want). Some of the words aren’t exactly how we would say them, but since you’re consistent we know what you’re saying (for example you say “ah nah” for “all done”).
We’re starting to see some temper tantrums erupt from you when you don’t get what you want. I read the book “Positive Discipline for the First Three Years” and have been trying to use the things I learned from it to redirect your attention, speak calmly and explain the emotions you might be feeling, but it’s not always easy. Most of the time I can calm you simply by getting your attention doing something else which is nice, but on occasion you completely melt down (not in public yet) and are inconsolable. You entered the final developmental “leap” from the Wonder Weeks at the very end of this month and I knew immediately that something was up. You started being more clingy, cranky, refusing to eat at times and we had some sleep issues. I thought it was the 18 month sleep regression (which can happen anytime 15-24 months) but we haven’t had any problems after those couple of days so I’m hoping we’re in the clear (for now). Of course we also wonder if you’re teething since you still only have 8 teeth, but we can’t really see any teeth coming through so it’s hard to say.
Two of the words you learned this month were “pee pee” and “poo poo.” A few times you said “poo poo” right after you’d gone to let us know to change you but since then you’ve started to just say it whenever we change your diaper. You tend to say “pee pee” when one of us goes to the bathroom. Someone had told us that children can be ready for potty training at 18 months but I looked up the signs and I definitely don’t think we’re close in most of the areas! I’m not in a rush anyway. Another thing that you started doing related to this is I will ask you to throw your diaper in the trash and you will do it for me!
One really fun thing that you learned this month is to hug and give kisses (although you often do open mouth to mouth kisses!). You now hug me and pull me really close to you which is really sweet. I also get a lot more cuddles and close time with you due to your love of books which makes me very happy. You continue to say “nice” and pet things which indulges real dogs, dogs in books and unfortunately, other children. When you say “nice” to the other children it’s more like you’re hitting them, which usually doesn’t bother them too much but sometimes it does! I am trying to teach you to say “hi” and wave or to hug instead of hitting your friends, but it’s a work in process.
You are back in gym class at JW Tumbles, but now you’re in an older kid class which means you get to try more advanced gymnastics AND you love to watch and learn from the children who are slightly older than you. You were a quick study at learning to walk on the balance beam (it was two pushed together) and were kind of obsessed with trying it over and over again. We didn’t get to the park as much as you like this month due to the rain but we still made it to plenty of meet ups with friends. We also started going to the free Mommy and Me program at the Encinitas Country Day on Tuesday mornings which has been really fun! A lot of moms and toddlers we’ve met over the last 1.5 years attend so it’s fun for me to catch up with them while you explore. Not only is there open play in two toy rooms but there’s also a large playground and music time.
We successfully transitioned to just one nap this month, and it was easier than I thought it would be. You generally go down around noon and sleep on average 2.5 hours. Sometimes I’m lucky and get 3 hours but sometimes it’s just 2 (I found if you eat a good lunch with milk before you go to bed you do tend to sleep longer). This is compared to the 3-4 hours a day I was almost guaranteed when you were doing two naps consistently – needless to say, it’s been harder for me to juggle working along with taking care of you and it’s meant working more nights, weekends and while you are awake and playing independently, but we’re getting it all done. We moved your bedtime back to 7 PM with the shorter naps which has allowed me more time in the evenings to catch up.
As your personality unfolds piece by piece, I can’t help but look at you and wonder what you’ll be like when you grow up. I have a feeling you’re going to be incredibly active, smart, adventurous and loving, but no matter what you become, who you love, and how you live your life, I’ll always love you.