Our baby is now 2 years, 4 months and 23 days old.
This is an incredible time in our lives. Our toddler is a busy little 2 year old boy that consistently demands that we understand he's a person capable of thinking on his own. The best part of it all is that he starting to share new talents with us. This makes 2 years old such beautiful stage and makes me appreciate life so much more. He loves to play outside, color and tumble. All of the sudden, he has begun counting everything and the alphabet has became extremely important to him. Our 2 year old does creative things to let us know what he understands now. For example, he uses exaggerated body language for words he does not know or if we do not understand what he says. This increased communication makes attending to his needs easier and he knows it. I really like that our little guy is so energetic that he can hang with me on walks; he loves to run and explore nature. The only major problem we have is sleeping. Our toddler crawls out of the crib and fusses for at least an hour at bedtime. Our 2 year old is still not sleeping through the night and we are getting tired of being tired. Aside of the sleep problems, all is well in our 2 year old toddler world. We are all enjoying him :)
The following are some of our 2 year old milestones ...
Our toddler becomes more loving each day and always wants to "ELP"!
He showers us with kisses and hugs all day long. It is so cute because he will sometimes kiss the full length of my arms (on both sides) and feel very proud about it. On the other hand, our 2 year old has also become very clingy and demanding of moms attention. He has gone back to digging in my shirt and snuggling in like he did a year ago after weaning. Regardless, he is one sweet loving boy when he is not having a "NO" tantrum :) There is also not a day that goes by where he does not offer to help. Our little guy has an innate desire to "help". He is sweetly insistent and always shows up at just the right time to do his part. This is something that I will continue to foster in him for sure. He now knows how to make smoothies, sort laundry by color and make sure that mommy does not forget the bubbles per load, and he will help load or unload the dishwasher with the quickness (I always feel like we are playing that timed pop up game, Perfection - LOL)
Our little boy loves playing cars and trains and trains and trains ...
We noticed that it was time to retire some of his infant toys when he started pushing cars all over the house while making the "vroom vroom" sound. This was around his second birthday, so we struggled on what we could get him to help manage his time. We ended up buying a train set a few weeks after his 2nd birthday. Our toddler has been entertaining himself with this type of creative play ever since. Sometimes the train set stays together. Most times he reconstructions what his brother created as the perfect rail road world. It is not unusual to have days where every inch of the living room, kitchen walk way and office becomes his train table. I love looking to the right while working and knowing that he is over there using his imagination. I hear him saying all kinds of things :)
He is just starting to speak clearly, though can sing the words of his favorite songs. BOY does he have a lot to share loudly. He loves music and dancing so much!
Max went through a phase where he stopped speaking clearly. It was like one day I could understand him saying that he wanted to go outside or "I like dat", and then it just stopped. I was like freaking out by his second birthday because his cousin was speaking so clearly over the holidays and he was not. Now, I cannot believe the things he is saying. For example, today he was excitedly screaming, "Mum an octopus an optopus. It is so cute". This little boy is counting everything (mostly 1 to 10 though missing number 5 each time; sometimes he will count up into the 20s). He also says his ABCs with pride. He starts off in order and then shouts out pieces of the alphabet in different orders except when singing. I signed him up for AbcMouse.com and he loves it. He has absolutely no desire to use the mouse to do anything on that site (he will only touch it when I don't want him to), but he will sit through 1/2 of their alphabet books in one sitting. This is not because of me. He loves them that much. He will loves the number activities and does them both at the same time. Max also loves to sing. He knows the words to a lot of his favorite songs. His favorite TV shows are very theatrical like Sesame Street, Umizoomy, Super Why, Barney, etc. I find comfort in the fact that he can express himself these ways.
He started getting good at larger puzzles around his 2nd birthday.
There is an alphabet one that he is particularly fond of and will sit in his high chair playing with it for over an hour. By now he knows pretty much all of the alphabet and characters on the puzzle pieces (i = ice cream, x = xylophone, etc). He can do this a few times without getting bored with it because he loves the pictures so much. It is so cool to see how he started recognizing the alphabet all of the sudden and I have to attribute that to Your Baby Can Read, Super Why and our working with him a little bit over the years.
He loves playing blocks and letting us know that he can associate the letters and picture.
We bought him wood blocks a little over 2 months ago because I felt that he was ready to build more than what he was doing with the mega blocks. That is when I noticed that he found great satisfaction in stacking and there was no changing it. He immediately started building little 5 block towers. He built his first 21 block tower just 8 weeks after and counted them out loud with me. He is extremely meticulous about how his blocks stack. He prefers that they are not twisted at all and all having the same type of pictures showing on one side (the side of the block tower that faces him as he builds). Anyways, I was totally amazed when he grabbed a bunch of cars and trains to drive them carefully around his tower of blocks. He did it just once to see if he could and then was satisfied. I have to believe it was to see if he could do this without knocking down his tower of blocks because I went to disassemble it just after and he went crazy when I removed a block. He spends quite a bit of time showing us that he knows which letters and pictures are on his blocks. This week he has been lining them up and counting blocks on his own.
Our 2 year old LOVES to read ... In fact, he LOVES books.
A great portion of our day is focused around which book Max wants to read or not. He also relocates them from the bookshelf to the floor and furniture every single day. He will sit and read on his own. He has recently started stacking books at the corner of my desk. They are usually around the same size books and he is perfectly content to leave them with me after he has about 10 or so stacked up. Sometimes he just counts as he stacks them. Sometimes he will excitedly chant what he likes about them as he is stacking them. He will scream if I remove or adjust any of the books while he is stacking them. It is a trip. Our toddler is also extremely passionate about reading the store flyer. It is really cute when he is sitting with us, though can become rather frustrating when he insists on going through the grocery store ads while I am working or need to do something else. It is not like the books where he will sit to read on his own, Max will insist that you read store flyer to him before he claims ownership. After we go over it with him and spreads it all over the place to read for quite a while. TRUST ME, it is not cute when you are trying to go to the bathroom and the flyer starts coming under the door while your toddler is screaming his head off to read. Regardless, I am grateful that he wants to learn everything - that I do not want him to eat - like Tombstone pizza, Weight Watchers ice cream and all over the produce specials about 10 times in a row :)
Our toddler started climbing out of his crib last week.
Meanwhile, he had just jumped on our bed for 15 minutes beforehand. I never let my two older ones do this, but our toddler is so energetic that it helps wear him out. Plus, Max loves to jump and count. The fact of the matter is that our son climbed out of his crib 4 times that first night. I tried doing everything from putting him back without a lot of attention to being firm, there is really not much I can do when his mind is set to climb out of the crib. I just push the crib against the wall because it blocks his favorite climbing side. We do feel fortunate that he has stretched crib sleeping out this far, though are a bit overwhelmed as to what to do with him at bed time and in the morning. He gets up at the crack of dawn and cries until I put him in the bed with us. He beats me up for a while until I let him crawl down as start to our day. What is even worse is that our toddler still does not sleep through the night. I am like 2 years without more than a few good nights of sleep and it is really taking a toll on me; especially since I am still trying to lose the rest of my "baby weight" and know I need my 7 to 8 hours sleep to lose weight (check out my weight loss journal). The kicker is that our 2 year old cries SO VERY LOUDLY that if feels like a fire alarm goes off each night and morning. UGG! It is rather frustrating. Yet, my middle child has always had sleep problem (not as loud). It might be that our toddler has ADHD.
Lastly, is the expected "NO" and 2 year old tantrums.
Yes, he is pretty good at both of these, though is not as persistent as my older two were. I guess it is because his NOs mean "No" most of the time, so we do not deal with a lot of tantrums because he is frustrated that we should have understood "yes" ... this can get challenging at times. I have learned to stop asking him if he wants to do this, or if he wants this or that. I now say, "OK, it's bath time. You love taking a bath" or I brink both types of cereals because he usually just waves me off with the one he does not like and it's a really nice non-verbal / non-tantrum way of communicating :) C'est la via!
Well, that's about it for 2 years, 2 months and 23 days :) I hope these 2 year old milestones were helpful and / or entertaining to you. I know they are for us each day, so I couldn't wait to share!
Don't forget to check out 2 years old (part 2) - Poopy Diapers, Lip Picking, Nose Picking
Happy Wordless Wednesday :)
Lea @ Mother Baby Child