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23 Months

I can’t believe that in less than a month, my little man is going to be TWO! Only one more of these updates to go. EEK!

Weight: Surprisingly, he’s still hovering just under 27 lbs and about 34 inches tall.

Sleep: Things got worse before they got better. First, we started the month with middle-of-the-night wakeups which always resulted in him coming to our bed. Then his daddy made the mistake of taking a nap or two with him when he was sick and suddenly EVERY nap became a battle to get him to go down in his crib. Same with bedtime. Lots of crying. We finally had to do a modified CIO method which involved a new bedtime routine of bath, jammies, putting Sam in his crib and reading to him (to show D that Sam was going to bed too) and then finally reading a book to D and putting him in his crib. We’re a few nights in now and that routine seems to work. And by some miracle, it’s also stopped the middle-of-the-night wakeups too. So we’ll stick with this until it no longer works.

Foods: Nothing new. Still a picky eater.

Developments: His new favorite phrase is “Oh no!” And he uses it in proper context, which is super cute. He also knows his colors, some numbers (1-4), and most letters. It’s getting him to SAY them that’s the challenge.

Firsts This Month: Nothing of note.

Likes: Current favorite things are: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse & Little Einsteins (STILL), ice cream & fruit, and being outside.

Favorite Songs: Nothing new this month, but we’ve been revisiting old favorites such as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (Hawaii guy version) and it’s still his favorite song of all time.

Favorite Toys: He’s been pretty obsessed with his bead maze this month. He plays with it every single day, multiple times a day.

Dislikes: His biggest tantrums occur when he’s trying to do something and can’t. Yesterday, he was trying to close the bathroom door but he wasn’t strong enough to pull it shut so what did he do? Sat down and banged his head on the floor. Toddlers, man.

What I’m Thankful For: That D has adjusted so well to his little brother. Most of the time, he just ignores him, but when he does take notice, he’s always kind and gentle. Well, except for when he’s trying to point out all of Sam’s body parts and tries to put his finger in his eye. I’ve had to stop asking “where’s Sam’s eye?” when asking him to show me all the other body parts. Same goes for me, too. I’ve ended up with far too many toddler fingers in my eyes.

What I’m Looking Forward To: As much as I want to keep my little boys little forever, I’m excited for D to turn two. One of the best aspects of being a parent is watching our little ones grow and learn new things.

How Mommy’s Doing: Tired and battling a nasty sinus infection, thanks to a cold virus that D caught a couple of weeks ago and passed around to the entire family. (Did I say he’s a giving child? Because he is.) I haven’t started working out yet, but as soon as I kick this sickness, I plan to start. (And after I indulge in the donuts the hubs just went out and bought.) I’ve been so thankful to have the hubs home during my maternity leave, but part of me feels like we haven’t really taken advantage of the time like we should have. Shouldn’t we take a little trip somewhere? Shouldn’t we be going on adventures around town every day? We haven’t even been to the zoo once this year. Our days are usually just spent at home, feeding two little ones, changing diapers, putting them down for naps, and going through bedtime routines. Moments that we’re not doing those things are spent catching up on laundry, doing the dishes, feeding ourselves, grocery shopping, and showering. On a good day, if the weather is nice and the timing works out, we go to the park for some fresh air, but even that’s not an everyday occurrence. Still, even though the days can be pretty monotonous, I’m grateful for the time and the cuddles with my little family. One can never get enough cuddles. Well, maybe D can, but that’s why mommy had another baby. So she can get more cuddles. :)

23MONTHS

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21 Month Update

Let’s ignore the fact that D is now 22 months and I am WAY behind. 

Weight: Still around 26lbs. Skinny dude.

Sleep: Pretty great lately, actually. He typically goes down at bedtime without a fight (around 8:30 pm) and unless he has a night terror or he’s having trouble breathing (this kid has more boogers than the boogeyman) then he usually sleeps straight thru the night until about 8am. He’s a LIGHT sleeper though. Each night, before I go to bed, I check on him. And every time, he stirs a little. I can be as quiet as  a church mouse but he still senses my presence and I always freeze in fear that he’s going to wake up crying. Most of the time, he doesn’t, but it’s still weird how light of a sleeper he is.

Still napping once a day. Sometimes an hour, sometimes three.

Feeding: Still pretty picky. The only veggies we can get in him are through those little squeeze pouches in the baby food section. His favorite foods are still fruits – strawberries and blueberries, mostly. He’s getting more teeth and his molars are almost fully in now, so I think we can start venturing into chewier foods now, but I’m still a little cautious here and haven’t attempted things like steak just yet.

Developments: I feel like we MUST be on the verge of a language explosion because things have been really stagnant here for a very long time. He’s really great at picking out shapes and colors and animals when asked, but he just won’t SAY them. He’ll point to something and say “ninga-ninga-nah!” Over and over again. Which translates to “I want that!” but sounds nowhere close to it. And even though we’ve been done with bottles for ages it seems, he says “ba-ba” for milk. I never taught him that, yet it has somehow stuck. Sigh.

I just feel like this winter has been the longest winter ever and it’s kept us from really taking D out to explore the world around him. We read a lot of books, we recite the same flashcards over and over, we play educational games on the iPad…but there’s only so much you can do in a day and I can’t wait to take him outside to play t-ball, or ride around in his cozy coupe, or point out animals at the zoo instead of in a book.

Firsts This Month: Can’t really think of anything.

Likes: He’s starting to use his imagination more and has started playing with cars the proper way – driving them around instead of throwing them. One of his current favorite toys is a wooden puzzle piece firetruck. He drives it around even though it’s just a block of wood and the wheels are painted on (i.e. don’t move).

Not sure if I’ve mentioned this in the past, but this kid loves shoes. It doesn’t matter if we’re going anywhere or not, but if he sees his shoes lying around, he will insist on putting them on and then runs around the house like a maniac.

Favorite Songs: Pharell’s Come On Get Happy

Favorite Toys: For his birthday last year, my SIL got him a turtle toy that he’s supposed to sit on and ride. He’s just now FINALLY starting to play with it and will sit on it, pressing the buttons, for what seems like an hour. He’s so good at playing by himself. He’ll pile all of his sports balls together and then systematically throw each one down the hall before gathering them up again at the other end and throwing them again.

Dislikes: Oh lots of things. Like being told no. Not getting to watch a video every single time one of us is on the laptop. Not getting to play with the iPad when one of us is using it. Not being able to figure out a game/app on the iPad. Not reading enough books or not reading the same one enough times (my limit is always 5). Basically, if we are not doing or giving him what he wants when he wants it, it’s toddler-meltdown-city.

What I’m Thankful For: That February is over.

What I’m Looking Forward To: March, and seeing D become a big brother.

How Mommy’s Doing: In a word, rough. Not sleeping. Wildly uncomfortable. Typical third trimester complaints, I suppose, but I am SO DONE being pregnant. I can’t play with D like I used to and I can’t do his bedtime routine without some serious help from the hubs. BUT, I’m still really excited to meet our newest family member and become a family of 4.

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20 Month Update

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Taken a few days late on Super Bowl Sunday, sporting Broncos colors. Poor Peyton.

Weight/Length: About 26lbs. Now that he’s walking running, I should get one of those height charts/sticks so I can start keeping track of his growth a bit better.

Sleep: Most nights aren’t bad. He typically wakes up once and tries to coax us to come get him. I usually send the hubs in to check to make sure he’s okay and that his diaper hasn’t leaked and if all is well, he gives him a quick pat and walks out of the room, which only makes him cry harder. We’ve found that if we close his door, he cries hard for about a minute before giving up and going back to sleep. He knows we mean business. If we leave it open, he’ll cry for 15 minutes or more or until we give in and bring him to bed with us.

He’s had a few nights this month of what I can only assume to be night terrors. His cries are different and he’s clearly terrified of something and on those nights, we rush in and scoop him up because we can just tell something is definitely wrong. He usually calms down after just a few minutes of hugs and rocking though. Poor little guy.

Still napping about once per day for an average of 2 hours.

Feeding: I swear he’s getting pickier and pickier by the day, and he’s the only kid I’ve ever met that hates mac & cheese. His favorite meal is breakfast. Typically a Nutrigrain bar, some pancakes, and sometimes fruit. He eats ALL of it. Lunch is hit or miss, and dinner is almost always a fight resulting in meals that consist of baby raviolis, yogurt, applesauce, and graham crackers because he refuses to eat the delicious things we put in front of him, with most of it ending up in his seat or on the floor. The dog has been eating better these days though.

Developments: This month we mastered primary colors. He can pick out red, green, blue and yellow pretty consistently. He’s also learned a couple more animal sounds, my favorites being elephant and lion. Even though he doesn’t watch Sesame Street, we have some books with Sesame Street characters and he knows all their names. And did I mention he’s basically RUNNING now? I noticed him practicing in the hallway with his walker earlier this month, just going back and forth and trying to pick up speed.

As for language though, he’s got his own and isn’t interested in speaking ours. He makes a certain sound whenever he wants something and will point to it. I’d try to type it out but it sounds a little obscene so I won’t, but he’s very consistent with it so we know that’s his sound for “I want that.”

Other than animal noises, the only word he really says with any regularity is “doggie.” Everything is a doggie. Cats, horses, rabbits…all doggies.

When we do his nightly reading to Goodnight Moon, he’s now a big fan of finding the tiny little mouse on each of the color pages. He’s really good at it too!

Firsts This Month: I’m drawing a blank here. Surely I’m just forgetting one or several things. Oh well.

Likes: Same stuff as always with his favorite things being books, bath, and his paci. The iPad is close behind. And hallelujah he’s finally taken a liking to his Jellycat bunny I got him for Easter last year! I was so upset when he wanted nothing to do with it but I pulled it out from the bottom of the toy box last week and he gave it the biggest hug. Now it sleeps with him in his crib, along with a Mickey Mouse and his musical monkey.

I have never in my life seen a child that loves to be chased as much as this one. It’s a little exhausting for this big old pregnant lady, but it’s so much fun. And if you build a fort around him of any kind – pillow, blanket, whatever – he will instantly go from crying to smiling and giggling.

Ketchup. I blame my FIL for this one as he introduced D to ketchup during our Costa Rican vacation, but then again, sometimes adding ketchup is the only way to get him to eat his nuggets so I guess it’s useful for something. And it’s so darn cute to watch him dip his nuggets in a little pile of ketchup. He’s so slow and methodical with it, and if he thinks there isn’t enough on there, he’ll keep dipping it JUST ENOUGH to meet his satisfaction. Hilarious to watch.

Favorite Songs: No new favorites this month, but he certainly loves music. And when I’m catching up on Ellen, he loves to dance when she starts dancing with her audience.

Favorite Toys: For Christmas, he got a GIANT stuffed Mickey Mouse and he loves to tackle it randomly and sit next to it when Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is on.

He’s getting more into his cars and blocks, but they don’t hold his attention for super long periods of time. He still likes to play with his bead maze once or twice a day, as well as his VTech turtle. He loves to play basketball with daddy, and is a pro at putting together his chunky Melissa & Doug puzzles. And flash cards. This kid LOVES this random pack of Dr. Seuss flash cards we found in the dollar bin at Target awhile back.IMGP9995

After watching him play with random magnets on our fridge this last week, I went out and bought him some Melissa & Doug magnets from Target (Thanks for the tip, Sara!) and he LOVES them. I imagine these will be at the top of the list for his 21 month update.

Dislikes: Lately most of his dislikes have been in relation to food. Diaper changes are pretty challenging if he’s not in the mood as well. And getting this kid out of the bath, lotioned up, and into his jammies is a two-man job. And he hates, HATES, having his boogers cleared. But I have never seen a more booger-filled kid. It’s why I call him “booger” or “booger nose” most of the time. Ha!IMGP9999

What I’m Thankful For: That it’s finally February and we are slowly getting closer to spring. We had only ONE nice day in January where we could take D to the park, but otherwise we’re all suffering from a bit of cabin fever and I am not sorry to see January behind us. 

What I’m Looking Forward To: The end of February for the very same reasons.

How Mommy’s Doing: I’ve been better. I’m getting bigger, which means things are getting more uncomfortable with each passing week. I’m managing the gestational diabetes as best I can but it’s not fun and it’s not easy and I still have my bad days. I haven’t been able to exercise as much as I should because of this stupid winter weather, but all in all, I guess I should just be happy things have been going as well as they have been. It could always be worse. How’s that for a positive attitude?

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19 Month Update

Weight/Length: Still right around 25 lbs, though he feels heavier. 

Sleep: We were doing pretty good the first half of the month, but then went back to co-sleeping thanks to two weeks of traveling. (Happy to report that once we got home and back on a schedule, little man went back to his crib without too much of a fight. Though some nights are better than others.)

Napping about once per day for an average of 2 hours.

Feeding: Nothing new. His appetite fluctuates, but some of his favorite foods are Nutrigrain bars, strawberries, blueberries, yogurt, and applesauce. Not so much on mac and cheese, cheese in general, or most meats.

Developments: Still not saying any new words but he babbles all the time and his comprehension of what we’re saying is definitely improving! He’s also really into making eye contact and will lean over or get in our faces if we’re not looking right at him when he wants us to. It’s pretty cute, actually.

Firsts This Month: First trip to Costa Rica and first time out of the country! First time at the beach and first dip into the Pacific Ocean. Also his first time forward-facing in the car (not by momma’s choice). That didn’t go over so well considering he puked the first day.

Likes: All the same things again: Baths, books, dogs, balls, Mickey Mouse, shoes, the iPad or our iPhones, music, and now we can add THE BEACH and DANCING to the list. Little man LOVED the sand and being knocked over by waves. And he likes to bop to the beat. Oh and his pacis. He’s become a bit obsessed with them (he has two) and will often carry one around while sucking on the other. We try to limit the paci to naps and bedtime but he’ll climb the stairs and go to his room looking for one, see it in his crib, and cry until we give it to him.

Favorite Songs: When he was sick, I would play Baby Mine, the song from Dumbo, and sing it to him. Now if I start to sing it, he lights up and smiles.

Favorite Toys: After finally replacing the batteries in his elephant toy, he’s rediscovered how much he loves it. Too bad we can’t find all the balls that go with it so he’s been putting golf balls and other things that don’t belong in the elephant’s trunk, which he then has to dump out because they’re too heavy for the elephant to blow out. Crazy kid.

He also likes to carry around his stuffed Mickey Mouse, particularly while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. It’s the cutest thing ever.

Dislikes: Sleeping in his own bed. He’ll do it, if forced, but he doesn’t like it. He also has his limits for riding in a car, and that limit is about 5 or 6 hours. After that, the iPad better be charged or else.

What I’m Thankful For: That despite sickness and travel issues and vacationing with very different personalities, we all survived our big fat family vacation relatively unharmed. We also survived our first Christmas without my MIL, which was pretty hard, but everyone was in mostly good spirits and had a good Christmas despite the circumstances.

What I’m Looking Forward To: Springtime. Warmer weather. Just being able to get out of the house and play again or go for walks. There’s only so much you can do when you’re cooped up in the house for days/weeks/months and with all the sickness going around, it’s just not worth it to leave.

How Mommy’s Doing: I got to spend a lot of time with D this month, more so than usual thanks to all the vacation time I took for our trip and the holidays, and I loved every second of it. I didn’t love that I was the one who got him sick (I had the plague for about 2 weeks, which finally cleared up once we got to Costa Rica and the warm weather) but just spending uninterrupted time with him every single day was pretty awesome. Since I don’t always have that privilege, I probably appreciated it a little more, simply because I know what it’s like to miss my child every day.

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17 Month Update

A little late this month, but better late than never, right? (photos at the end)

Weight/Length: We haven’t measured since his 16 month update but since he was 24lbs at that checkup, I’m guessing he’s around 25-26lbs.

Sleep: I’m happy to report that we’ve made some improvements in regards to co-sleeping. I would say 5 out of 7 nights, D is in his crib from the time he goes to bed until the time we get up. There were a few nights when we were either out of town or he was teething so we brought him to our bed, but otherwise, he stays in his crib. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t cry out at least 2-3 times throughout the night, but most of the time he’ll cry for a couple of minutes before falling back asleep. Not sure if he’s having bad dreams or teething or what, but if it goes on longer than 5 minutes, one of us will usually cave and go get him.

Naps are anywhere between 1.5-3 hrs long, and just once a day. Usually right after lunch. Which is funny because that’s exactly when I would like to take a nap too.

Feeding: We’re in a bit of a food rut, but his meals basically go like this:

  • Morning: Milk and a full-size Nutragrain granola bar. Sometimes cereal or fruit, like a banana.
  • Lunch: Yogurt and PB sandwich and fruit; sometimes chicken nuggets and fruit or baby ravioli with water to drink.
  • 4pm: snackable foods – crackers, fruit, yogurt melts, baby food pouch, etc. Water to drink throughout the day.
  • 7:30pm: Usually whatever we’re having, unless it’s super spicy. Then it’s mac & cheese, nuggets, pasta, or PB sandwich and a big cup of milk.

Developments: After yet another month of no improvements in the walking department, we took him to his first physical therapy appointment. On the second appointment, he was fitted for shoe inserts with instructions for him to build up to wearing them around 6 hours a day. After roughly 2 weeks, there was still almost zero improvement. His 3rd PT appointment was on Oct. 31, one day after turning 17 months, and even though he wouldn’t take a single step for the therapist, he took off walking down the hallway that night and hasn’t stopped! But for the purposes of this entry, I guess I can’t claim “walking!!” until next month’s post.

He also knows all of his body parts now – ears, hair, nose, toes, tummy, mouth, eyes… I ask him ALL THE TIME to show me his nose, or his toes, and it’s just the cutest thing ever to watch him grab his foot or point to his nose (and subsequently stick his finger up his nostril. ha!).

Firsts This Month: First trip to Colorado!

Likes: All the same things: Baths, books, dogs, balls, Mickey Mouse, shoes, the iPad or our iPhones, music, and swinging, and singing. Especially when mommy singes her own version of the Hokey Pokey while putting on his pajamas every night.

Favorite Songs: The aforementioned Hokey Pokey Pajama Song is probably a new one.

Favorite Toys: After seeing these bead mazes at the therapist’s office and at a daycare we toured, we realized he was OBSESSED with them. I always thought those toys were boring and a waste of space, but apparently they are huge hits with toddlers. So we bought one. And it hasn’t failed to keep him entertained for at least several minutes every day.

We bought this Melissa & Doug bead maze on Amazon and D couldn’t be happier with it.

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Dislikes: We’re still dealing with a bit of stranger anxiety. This applies to adults as well as other kids, which has made playdates a teensy bit awkward since my kid prefers to play alone, far away from the other children. Hoping this is just a very temporary phase. Related, he also hates sharing.

What I’m Thankful For: We took two trips out of town this month, one via plane and one via 9 hr car ride ONE WAY, and I’m so glad D travels so well. We suffered through plane delays and missed naps, car rental issues and a Pike’s Peak train tour that meant VERY high altitudes and D took it all like a champ. No major meltdowns, no sleeping issues (since he slept in bed with us for both trips), and I couldn’t be happier with how awesome he was on both trips. 

What I’m Looking Forward To: If I’d written this the day he turned 17 months, I would’ve said “WALKING!” But now that we’re here, I’m going to say the holidays. We’ve got so much fun planned for this month so I’m looking forward to doing ALL THE THINGS as this will be our last holiday season as a family of 3.

How Mommy’s Doing: I won’t do a full pregnancy update since I usually take care of those in separate posts, but I will say that I’m just loving watching D learn new things. I’m soaking in his baby-ness while it’s still there and sometimes find myself urging time to just stop so I can soak it in a little bit longer. Sometimes I look at him and think, “He’s growing into such a little man!” and other times, like when he’s in his diaper with his paci in his mouth, he’s still my tiny baby. This parenting thing can be a bit surreal at times, filled with so many different feelings and emotions, all happening at the very same time. You want them to grow and learn and at the same moment you’re feeling so proud, you’re freaking out about time and where did it all go and OH MY GOD TURN BACK INTO A BABY PLEASE! Or maybe that’s just my hormones talking.

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On the train for Pike’s Peak

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Sweet sleeping boy

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At the Coors Brewery Tour in Golden, CO with papaw

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Is there anything cuter than a baby in overalls?

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Just chillin’.

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His collection of balls. He’s like Scrooge McDuck in his money bin.

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Daddy and D playing with the balance swing at the PT’s office.

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Just one day after his 17 month birthday, I’m happy to report our little man FINALLY started walking. On Halloween night. And now I have video to prove it.

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My son is 16.5 months old and he still isn’t walking on his own. He can stand on his own for long periods of time, he can stand holding a toy, he can hold onto a toy or basket and push it all around the room, even look like he’s running with it. But when it comes to taking steps completely on his own from point A to point B, he won’t do it.

I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to have the oldest non-walking child around. On one hand, I know it’s easier to look after a child who isn’t walking yet. Fewer bumps and bruises, easier to catch, etc. He’s still very much a baby, if only because he still can’t walk. And I don’t want to let go of his baby-ness. I’m kind of in denial that he’s turning into a toddler. On the other hand, it makes social activities with other babies his age not only difficult, but intimidating for him because other kids can literally run circles around him and he can only watch.  Playgrounds aren’t much fun because all he can do is swing in a baby swing. And I constantly have to worry about dirty floors because the moment he wants to cross the room, he drops to his hands and knees and crawls there. And with cold and flu season upon us, I’m a bit of a germaphobe so all I can think about is what germies are lurking on the bottom of everyone’s shoes and therefore, all over the floor. And it’s not like I’m somehow off the hook from having an independent toddler, one that’s content to be held, carried, or ride in a stroller. Oh no. He wants DOWN! OUT! On the floor! But just wants to hold your hand so he can walk on his own, but with a little support.

I mentioned previously that at his 16 month check-up, our pediatrician recommended we see a physical therapist. Within the week, we had our first appointment, and even though we knew what we needed (shoe inserts to help with balance/support), we had to make another appointment to get them custom-made, which meant another two-week wait for my insurance company to pre-approve it. Fast forward to that appointment and we finally have his custom inserts. Hopefully these will give them the added support he needs to improve his balance and confidence when it comes to taking steps on his own.

So that’s where we are today, but that isn’t really what I wanted to write about.

Years ago (according to my parents and grandparents), a baby’s first pair of real shoes (i.e. walking shoes) were very important. Babies were taken to special stores and fitted by a professional. The style of shoes varied. For my parent’s generation, “saddle shoes” were the most popular type. But generally something with ankle and arch support was what was recommended.

Fast forward to present day and nowhere – not on the blogs I read, not in mainstream parenting guides and books – does anyone talk about the importance of a baby’s first pair of shoes anymore. Even when I started researching possible causes for delayed walking, never did I read anything that told me to try better shoes. In fact, I’ve read that just keeping a baby barefoot is best for learning to walk. And I have to say, from personal experience, this is not true. Of course some children learn to walk as early as 8 or 9 months without shoes whatsoever. But not every child, and I wouldn’t even say it should be recommended. A baby’s bones are still a little soft. Their muscles and joints are still developing. A baby’s foot isn’t always ready to withstand the weight of the baby and simultaneously able to move with the balance and coordination it takes to walk on two legs. A shoe with good support is ALWAYS a good idea. Maybe not always medically necessary, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

What I really want to know is, where is this advice today? Why am I only hearing this from people who haven’t parented babies in 30-50 years? Most of us are buying cheap (but cute) shoes from Target or Walmart, not wanting to spend the money on brand name shoes because “they’re just going to grow out of them soon anyway.” Isn’t that all anyone ever says today in regard to baby clothes and shoes? Don’t spend too much money because they’ll just outgrow it soon. That’s what I thought anyway, not realizing that hey, those shoes aren’t providing the proper walking support that your child needs. And it wasn’t until his walking was delayed that anyone ever told me to get him some shoes with ankle and arch support. And that person? Was my 92 year old grandma.

With all the talking we do about developmental milestones – when to start solids, how to start solids, what types of spoons and sippy cups to use, when a baby should crawl, walk, talk, coo, wave, clap – somehow this generations-old advice of getting a baby a good pair of supportive shoes has fallen by the wayside. And now I can’t help but wonder if maybe we’d purchased a good pair of shoes months ago, if it would’ve made a difference. Something tells me it might have, and that makes me sad.

So if you have a baby or know someone with a baby that’s getting close to learning how to walk, or even if you have a baby that’s already walking, get him or her a good pair of shoes. It’s worth the money, even if they will outgrow them in a couple of months.

 

 

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16 Month Update

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Weight/Length: Believe it or not, I actually have exact measurements this month! Weight: 24lbs and Length: 31 1/4″. This means he’s around 40 percent for weight and 45 percent for length. So a little on the smaller side which is odd considering how much he was always in the 90th percent for both the first few months of his life. The doc said she thinks he’s due for growth spurt so pile on the calories!

Sleep: Same as last month: Goes to bed between 8 and 8:30 most nights, ends up in our bed once or twice throughout the night, and gets up for the day around 7:30. He’s started dropping his morning nap, or rather, pushing it back until 11 or 12 so that it ends up being his ONLY nap. This makes for a very tired and very cranky baby whenever momma gets home. And even though his co-sleeping habits are a result of our own weakness, we’re going to try forcing him to sleep in his crib ALL NIGHT starting very soon. The doc told us to be prepared for him to cry for maybe an hour at first. AN HOUR OF CRYING. I don’t know if I can handle that. Either way, it doesn’t sound like we’re going to be getting a full night of uninterrupted sleep any time soon.

Cuddles with mommy

Cuddles with mommy

Feeding: Mostly table food that we still cut up into tiny pieces. Lots of grapes, bananas, strawberries, blueberries and lately, apples. He used to love his little maple syrup crunchies in the morning, but most of the time, we find them stashed in the seat of his high chair. He does that quite often actually. If he’s not super hungry or really into whatever he’s eating, then he’ll take it and slyly slip it to the side of him so that it’s in the bottom of his chair where we can’t see it until we take him out of it. He does this a lot with peanut butter sandwiches and most veggies/meats/cheeses. Yet he’ll eat his peanut butter crackers, no problem. So it’s no wonder this kid hasn’t put on the poundage – he pretty much lives on fruit!

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Developments: At the end of this month, he finally took his first steps! The first one was at my grandma’s house a couple of weeks ago, but she was in the other room and totally missed it. Then he took a few consecutive steps at my parents’ house this past weekend. My mom got to witness it since he was walking toward her. We’ve been taking him for walks at the park almost every day and he loves it. He’s no longer content to just sit in the stroller though so we almost always have to go as a family so that one of us can hold his hand and walk and the other can push the stroller that he’s abandoned.
Even with one of us holding one of his hands, I’ve noticed that he’s still really unstable on his feet. I worried that maybe he had an inner ear issue that was making him lose his balance, but at his check-up today, the doctor confirmed that no, he just has very flat feet. Which means that his feet and ankles turn inward a little so it’s almost like he’s trying to walk on a ball, which completely throws off his balance. Guess who else in our family has very flat feet and walked at a late age? His daddy. So when the doc said, “It’s just genetic.” I knew exactly who to blame. ha!
So we have a few options: Do nothing and he’ll probably walk on his own in another month. Buy premade arch support inserts and better quality shoes. Or take him to physical therapy and get fitted for inserts and/or shoes. Since our insurance covers the physical therapy and this is what our pediatrician recommended, we’ll be doing that. We don’t want to risk him overextending something in his feet and battling pain, so best to play it safe and get him properly fitted.
Firsts This Month: First steps (as noted above), first time blowing kisses, first time hanging out at the church nursery without his parents hovering around, first time at a jazz festival, first time saying “HI!” and first time eating his first, from-the-tree, apple.

Likes: Baths, books, dogs, balls, Mickey Mouse, shoes, the iPad or our iPhones, music, swinging, being outside, playing in sand, and clapping, especially if you’re clapping for him.

Favorite Songs: We took him to a jazz and blues festival earlier this month and he was bopping up and down to the music. He also does it to the Little Einsteins opening theme song. Babies dancing might possibly be the cutest thing ever. Sadly, other than those couple of things, we haven’t attempted to expand our musical horizons lately. Our playlists are woefully out of date.

Favorite Toys: Balls and books are his favorite toys, but he will sit and play for half an hour or more with his VTech Touch & Teach Turtle. I don’t think he quite know what he’s doing, but he presses the buttons and flips the pages and it keeps him entertained for a very long time.turtle

Dislikes: Getting his diaper changed. I wouldn’t say he’s ever loved it, but if he’s in the middle of playing and he’s interrupted for a diaper change, LOOK OUT! Those feet will start kicking the moment you lay him on his back. He’s also going through a phase now where he doesn’t know if he wants to be held or be put down. He’ll pull up on our legs and act like he wants UP but then as soon as we pick him up, he’s lunging for the floor again. And then wants back up. Down. Up. Down. Ugh. MAKE UP YOUR MIND, KID!20131001-211641.jpg

He’s also taken to doing this awesome (read: not so awesome) thing when he’s told no. He’ll bang his head on the nearest table or floor, or even take the nearest toy and hit it on his head. I don’t know what this is about but I hate it. Fortunately, after the first couple of times he did it, he realized he shouldn’t do it so hard, but he still does it and it drives me bonkers. Where do they learn these things? No one around here goes banging their head on stuff when they don’t get their way so why does he do it?!

And lastly, strangers. We’ve been concerned about his social skills for awhile but when we took him to the church nursery and he took off for the toys among the other babies without even looking back at us, we thought that maybe we were just overreacting. Then the last couple of weeks, we’ve noticed that when there aren’t toys around to distract his attention, he will straight up BAWL when a stranger or someone he just hasn’t seen in awhile tries to interact with him. He used to be this sweet, lovable baby that went to anyone to now just all-out hysterical crying if anyone looks at him funny. And even though he loves to watch little kids on TV, if another baby his age stands too close to him, he gives them the evil eye or pushes them away. Really hoping this is a very temporary phase or else we won’t be too popular at any play-dates.

What I’m Thankful For: A super awesome hubby who is also a super awesome daddy. Very rarely does he ever act like he needs a “break” from watching D all day. Occasionally he’ll take time to go work out, but those two are seriously the best of buddies and never get sick of each other. Which is especially great for me because when I get home from work, and feeling as crappy as I have been these last, oh TEN WEEKS, I’m not always able to be a solo-parent, even if it is just for a few hours in the evening. So even though the hubs has beenon daddy duty all day long, he still usually has to help me out quite a bit in the evenings and on weekends too.

What I’m Looking Forward To: The next stage. Don’t get me wrong, this month has been tons of fun, but toddlers (even ones that aren’t quite walking yet) are WAY harder than infants. Notice I say infants and not newborns. Because newborns are super hard when they have to be fed every 2 hours and your boobs are just DONE, but infants/babies are so easy compared to toddlers with opinions that make no sense. He’s got an attitude and is head strong and I’m terrified that I’m going to wake up one day soon with a very spoiled little man on my hands. I mean, what if my kid turns into “the biter” on the playground. Or “the pusher”. Or “the tantrum throwing kid that lays down in the middle of the store and kicks his feet and flails his arms because we wouldn’t let him have a toy.” I can’t handle that. But how do you teach a toddler to be nice? Ugh, this stage is hard.

How Mommy’s Doing: I’m not quite as tired as I was last month, but the indigestion has been relentless. This doesn’t make for a super pleasant mommy or wife when I get home. And since I’m not hungry, I have zero desire to cook dinner, eat dinner, or do dishes. So we go for a lot of walks and we don’t spend much time in the kitchen. I keep waiting for this wonderful second trimester feeling to hit and at 15 weeks, I’m still waiting. So I do my best, which isn’t much, and we wake up in the morning and do it all again. But as boring as I make it all sound, the days and weeks seem to fly by at record pace and I can’t believe it’s already October and there are only 3 months left in the year. Fall is here, the leaves are starting to change along with our wardrobe, and we have two big trips to take plus a party, a family weekend, and the holidays to look forward to. So other than the normal pregnancy gripes, I have to admit that life is pretty fantastic right now, so mommy is doing just fine.

And now a couple of my favorite pics from our apple-picking adventures this month.

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I Live for the Weekend

Another great fall weekend in the books!

Friday: It was rainy and gloomy all day so I assumed we’d end up staying in and possibly watch a movie after the babers went to bed. Instead, the clouds cleared and we thought (hoped) that the crowds at the annual balloon glow wouldn’t be so bad, so we decided to go. (The balloon glow is held the night before the Great Forest Park Balloon Race, where all the balloons are inflated and lit up for people to come by and check out. They just look stunning at night. ) We went last year so we figured we’d make it an annual tradition. Unfortunately, the weather did absolutely nothing to deter the crowds and it was probably worse than the year before. We sat in traffic for about an hour before we finally found a parking spot. It’s such a cool thing to see though, and D really enjoyed it so I guess it was worth it.

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Saturday: Cinnamon rolls for breakfast, followed by some good old fashioned lounging around the house, an afternoon nap, and then a trip to the Old Webster Groves Jazz & Blues festival. The weather was just too perfect to sit inside ALL day (though I did enjoy that nap). Although D still isn’t walking by himself yet, that doesn’t mean he likes to sit contentedly in his stroller. Oh no. He likes to be out, standing or walking with one of us holding his hand for support. At one point, as we were sitting, enjoying the music and chowing down on various festival foods, D started bopping up and down to the music while holding onto our legs. I guess he’s a jazz fan!

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The crowd really wasn’t all that bad, and there were a ton of dogs and other little kids for D to watch and laugh at. On top of that, we just had a good time exploring a part of St. Louis that was actually quite new to us. After we got our fill of the festival, we walked a few blocks to a popular pizza joint and had the most delicious fig and prosciutto pizza (the “porky fig”). Then it was back home so the hubs could have a sports night, flipping between his beloved Michigan Wolverines game and the Cardinals game. (Both teams won!)

Sunday: Another morning of cinnamon rolls for breakfast (I’m addicted), followed by a trip to Herman’s Farm to meet up with a couple of friends for more apple picking. (Can you believe almost all of the apples we picked last weekend are almost gone?? I’ve been on an apple kick lately.) Herman’s Farm is a small farm that really looks more like a nursery, but it’s kind of perfect for little kids. They have a “hay ride” which is a bunch of loose straw thrown in the back of a wagon, pulled by a very small tractor. It’s a little silly but the kids love it. They also have a play area with a slide, and a bunch of mini John Deere trikes/tractors/wagons for the kids to play on. Alyssa met us there with her hubby and of course, the adorable AR. Extra special since her name is Autumn and it was, in fact, the first day of Autumn! Angie and her two cuties were also there, and far more adventurous than D when it came to the activities. Her little girl is only two weeks older than D but she climbed to the top of the giant slide and had NO fear going down it all by herself. Little daredevil!! Thanks to Alyssa for the awesome pics!

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Check out that shiner. It looks a bit worse than in this photo. Little D had a run-in with the footboard of the bed on Friday.

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Family pic! Not letting go of that apple.

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D is clearly suspicious of AR, and grips his apple a little tighter.

So intrigued by AR's apple-eating abilities!

So intrigued by AR’s apple-eating abilities!

And now for a few of my own iPhone pics.

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By the time we wrapped our apple picking adventures, it was lunch time. We stopped by a new-to-us BBQ place in St. Charles, and while the atmosphere was impressive, the prices were a little ridiculous. I also wasn’t feeling super great by this point. I made the mistake of getting sweet tea and that just killed my stomach. After lunch, we took a brief walk around the area but almost immediately I felt the overwhelming urge to nap, so we headed home. Later that afternoon, we went to our favorite local park to check out some sail boat races, though they had already docked by the time we got there. Still, we enjoyed a nice walk and some dog-watching. On our way back, we stopped by the grocery store and couldn’t help ourselves when we saw the table of pumpkin pies and pumpkin gooey butter cookies. We ended the weekend with the Emmy’s, which my husband wasn’t super thrilled about, but he ended up enjoying them better than most award shows.

There’s just so much to do in STL in the fall, and I’m glad we’ve been blessed with great weather these last couple of weeks to be able to enjoy it. These are the moments that life is all about!

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15 Month Update

20130904-123648.jpgWeight/Length: I should know this but I don’t. 25lbs? Seems average for his age but I don’t have exact measurements.

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Sleep: Pretty much the same. Goes to bed between 8 and 8:30 most nights, ends up in our bed once or twice throughout the night, and gets up for the day around 7:30. He’s started dropping his morning nap, or rather, pushing it back until 11 or 12 so that it ends up being his ONLY nap. This makes for a very tired and very cranky baby whenever momma gets home.

Feeding: Soon after his 14 month update was posted, we quit bottles cold turkey and haven’t looked back. It’s been nice not having to wash bottles anymore but we haven’t quite upped our stash of sippy cups so it feels like we’re constantly washing those instead. We only have two that we really like.

We found out the hard way that he’s still allergic to sweet potatoes. Let’s just say I learned my lesson and will now read the back labels of EVERYTHING because you never know when a company will sneak some sweet potatoes in their ingredients. There’s even a technical term for his food allergy called FPIES, which I just learned. Fortunately, the only trigger we’re aware of is sweet potatoes, but still. That was not a fun night.

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No mention of sweet potatoes on the front. #1 ingredient on the back. UGH.

Not much else is new on the food front. Not until he gets more teeth anyway.

Developments: Speaking of teeth, for a long time now we’ve had two on bottom and two on top. He’s FINALLY getting two more on top, but it’s a SLOW process. No sign of more bottom teeth or his one-year molars yet.
He’s been waving more. And is better about turning the pages in his baby books, as if he’s actually reading it to himself from front to back. He’s also very much into putting things in baskets or buckets and taking them out again and/or stacking them or balancing things. Of course, he desperately wants to be able to shoot a basketball like daddy, but sadly, the hoop is too high for him still so we have to pick him up and let him dunk it, which he LOVES.
Life is also getting a bit more interesting with all the CLIMBING. We have to watch where we put his little chair because he’ll use it to climb up on the couch. And although he’s been climbing UP the stairs for months now, he’s figured out how to climb back down them. Which, if I’m being honest, I’m really quite excited about because once he can go up and down safely, we can stop fretting over the baby gates.
He’s not saying any new words this month, but his understanding of words is certainly improving. He’ll point to his nose, his hair, and his shoes when asked. He knows the difference between a regular kiss and an Eskimo kiss and it’s so cute to see him lean in for an Eskimo kiss and then giggle when our noses touch. During bath time, he’ll lean his face toward me when I tell him it’s time to wash his face. And when I grab his shoes, he’ll actually stick his foot out for me to put them on. This kid LOVES wearing his shoes. Too bad he still hasn’t mastered the art of walking in them yet. Maybe this month.20130904-123856.jpg

Firsts This Month: First trip to the outlet malls. I feel like there should be more firsts here but I got nothin’.

Likes: Mostly the same stuff – dogs, balls, books, baths – but lately, he’s developed a slight Mickey Mouse obsession. He squeals with delight during the intro to Micky Mouse Clubhouse, and one day I caught him hugging his stuffed Mickey while the show was on. Cutest thing ever. The hubs said he caught him holding two golf balls on his head as ears one day. We took him to the Disney store one weekend and his face just LIT UP when he saw the wall of stuffed Mickeys. We let him carry one around for awhile and he squeezed it so tight. It’s a miracle we walked out of there without buying anything.20130904-123708.jpg

Favorite Songs: Nothing new this month. We need to add some new songs to the rotation. Any suggestions? The Hot Dog Dance from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is its own earworm from hell so we need less annoying songs to get stuck in our heads.

Favorite Toys: Balls, blocks, books – still the same. I’ve started introducing more books into our nightly routine, which D loves. We have two Sesame Street – Little Black Puppy books that has a “hidden” little black puppy on each page. By the end of the second book, D had caught on to the “game” of finding the puppy and giggled each time he found it. We’re still working on “pointing to the puppy”. Sometimes he does it, sometimes he just looks at it and giggles without pointing. Regardless, it’s been a fun little addition to our bedtime routine.

On one hand, I feel like our house is filled with baby toys, but on the other, I feel like maybe we don’t have enough. Our living room is small and already feels overly cluttered with toys, though some of them he’s outgrown. Any advice for best toys for a almost 1.5 yr old?20130904-123733.jpg

Dislikes: Being told no. I’ve been getting a small glimpse into our near future of tantrums and terrible twos. If we open the refrigerator and we close it before he can crawl over to it, he throws a fit. He wants to play in the fridge SO BADLY. He will also throw an all-out tantrum when he can’t push his beach ball up the stairs or fit in his playhouse with it. It’s made me consider just taking the beach ball away entirely since it’s such a point of frustration these days. (ED to add: I did. He doesn’t miss it.) Most of the time, he’s a pretty laid-back, happy little dude though so I really can’t complain.20130904-123805.jpg

What I’m Thankful For: This month was my last for getting to work from home one day a week. While I’ll mourn the loss of that day, I’m grateful I had that flexibility for the last 10 months. That’s about 40 extra days at home with my boy. I’m not saying it hasn’t been more difficult lately to focus on work and also make sure he’s not in the corner sucking on a piece of dog food, but it was a great experience while it lasted.

What I’m Looking Forward To: In the next week or two, we’ll be making a decision on a daycare. While I’m actually not excited about this part at all, I am excited about the big picture: D will be able to play with kids his own age for several hours, two days a week. And my husband will have two full days a week to focus on his business, which I’m very excited about because its success could be huge for our little family.

How Mommy’s Doing: I’ve been TIRED this month. But I’ve also been going to bed earlier and getting plenty of me-time in the evenings after D goes to bed. I finished Gone Girl in record time (for me). We had a really crappy few weeks earlier this month, following the death of my MIL, but we’re ending it on a high note, getting things figured out, adjusting routines and plans and planning for a lot of big life events in the coming months, like all this TRAVELING we have coming up, our annual Halloween party and a bunch of other stuff! So a lot of good things on the horizon and I’m truly excited about the future.

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Happy 15 months baby boy!

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