On 12/8/2013, you turned 2 years old. As the days trickled by this year, counting up to your birthday, I visited my journal from two years ago and reminded myself of the anticipation I felt then, but also the concern I had every day that you would go beyond your due date. My doctor had warned me you were a big baby, and I didn’t want a c-section, so I trained like I was going to the Olympics! I speed walked to and from Disneyland, I swam for hours every day, I took the stairs, up and down, to all of my OB appointments (6 flights) and at work (2 flights). And then, the amazing labor and delivery we had, like a finely orchestrated dance… I sensed from the start that you were a good boy, and funny. Turns out, both of those are so very true… and you even came a day early!
You are 37.5 inches tall, weigh 34 pounds 14 ounces. You are wearing size 3T in shirts and pants and size 4T in footed sleepers. You wear a size 8.5 in shoes.
Your 2 year molars are currently coming in. Your left side molars have broken through the gums and your right side upper molar is a bulging mountain of swollen ouchy pink tissue. So is my index finger, because I went exploring but forgot to tell you not to bite. All I can say is, these molars must be truly awful for you, little one. Sleep has been rough and sometimes, even day time playing, you’ll just stop playing and start crying while grabbing your cheeks. Poor little guy.
THINGS YOU SAY:
Ice-crean is Ice cream. Balicious is delicious.
Lightming is “Lightning.”
You love to ask, “Hey! What are you doing?” And then you answer your own question by tattling on yourself.
You don’t like sitting in high chairs anymore, and much prefer to sit in regular chairs, just like the rest of us.
You love to nurse and request to nurse often. It is one of my most treasured relationships in life right now and feel beyond blessed that I will get another Christmas of nursing snuggles from you.
SLEEP, REAL UPDATE:
The first part of this past month was an awful nightmare in the sleep department. One night in particular, you were simply unable to sleep. I nursed you for hours on end, and finally in desperation, I put you in your crib and laid down on the floor next to your crib and held your hands through the slats. You simply couldn’t sleep unless you were holding my hand, and I guess we finally must have slept for a few hours. You woke at 3am, crying. I don’t know if it was your teeth or the congestion you had and could hardly breathe, or very likely a combination of the two. It was awful and I swore you were trying to kill me.
It was the trigger for something that I’ve been thinking about doing for awhile now, and that was to have the bed your grandpa H. built you lowered, and used as a functional bed for you now. I thought long and hard about it, trying to think of alternatives, but I kept returning to the fact that we should be using that bed now, not have it in your room collecting dust and outgrown clothes until you’re 10 years old. So the bed was lowered a few days after Thanksgiving, and on that very day you took the most epic nap you’ve ever taken in your whole almost two years of life. Three hours and fifteen minutes, and I woke you up because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to sleep that night. It has been that way ever since. This has been a learning adjustment for you, because the bed is much larger than your crib (e.g., a Twin Extra Long) and you can now reach your window shutters from your bed and your room has the best view in the house of all the Christmas lights in the neighborhood, but overall you’ve done very well, with long naps that you hardly move at all, even sleeping through the garbage truck coming by in all his noisy glee. This has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
I know I’ve spent a lot of time on this part of the update, but I’m really astonished by this and am wondering if you’ve simply never been comfortable in your crib?
THINGS WE DID/PLACES WE WENT:
11/16 — last visit with your cousins, Huck and Milo for awhile (they moved to the east coast)
11/28 — Thanksgiving at home (Grandma & Grandpa H., Grandma D., Uncle Al)
12/6 – Disneyland/California Adventure Park with my work, and your grandparents came along, too.
Library on Mondays and Wednesdays
Music Class on Tuesdays
PLAYTIME AND CHILDREN INTERACTION:
One of the things we do before your bath is to let you run around in your diaper for about 15 minutes. You adore being Diaper Baby! In fact, I’ve started using a timer to help you transition through the bath time routine. When it goes “beep beep” it’s time to get in the tub, or out of the tub, or get of of froggy potty, etc. It really seems to help.
Mid-November, we celebrated an early Thanksgiving with everyone — Steve, Marigold, Huck, Milo, Grandma H., Grandpa H., Grandma D. — we celebrated early because your Uncle Steve & Aunt Marigold, along with your cousins, moved to the east coast. All the rest of the month, you requested to see Huck and MIlo and then responded to yourself, “They moved away, it’s so sad!”
You are best friends with our cat, Tug. You love him to distraction and treat him like a brother. You show and share your toys with him and attempt to play with him. You give him hugs and kisses and tell him “You’re my kitty cat!”
When we go to Chick-Fil-A, all you want to do is be the doorman for the play area… given that, it shouldn’t have surprised me that you are now able to open the fridge door and handily cart anything in there to the counter and request it for dinner.
FOR YOUR 2ND BIRTHDAY:
We kept it low key this year… for your actual birthday, we had your grandparents over and had a crockpot of beef stew, salad and bread. We had gingerbread cake with cool whip — gingerbread is your current favorite kind of treat and a few presents. For your birthday party, we’ll be having a small get together next Saturday (the 14th) morning at your grandparent’s house. I think you’ll enjoy seeing everyone and hanging out.
THINGS I WANT TO REMEMBER:
How darling your developing sense of humor is. You put your train on top of the garbage truck and say, “Oh, that’s funny!” Or you put Lightning on top of Tow Mater and inform me that Lightning is stuck. One morning I was lip synching the words to your favorite song, Trot Old Joe. You watched me for awhile and then looked at your father and said, “Mommy’s being funny.” The way you grab Froggy, shove him in your mouth and fake cry. Then you hand me Froggy and expect me to fake cry into it, then you hand Froggy to your father and request that he cry. One night you had been eating strawberries and burped. You immediately said, “Excuse me.” Then, a moment passed, and you had an odd look on your face and then you said, “That was a strawberry burp!”
You have started singing songs… with actual tunes and rhythm. You also like to hum songs, particularly Twinkle Twinkle Little Star while nursing. You love B-I-N-G-O. Your favorite of favorite songs right now is “Trot Old Joe,” which is on your summer album of Music Together. You also love the “car song” and “train song” that is on the same album. Other songs you know or are learning the lyrics to are Christmas songs — Jingle Bell Rock is a favorite and Let it Snow.
You have started to pick out what clothes you want to wear. You love a train shirt that was handed down to you from your cousins, in fact, you pulled it out of the laundry basket one day and carried it around with you. You also have a penchant for requesting to wear specific colors of shirts.
How this month you have been obsessed with Christmas lights and Christmas trees and Christmas music. As mentioned under the sleep update, we rearranged your room and now you have access to your window. One evening this month, you spent a half hour in your bed running back and forth to the window, opening the shutters and looking out at the Christmas lights down the street, saying all the while, “I see Christmas lights, mommy. I do. I see Christmas lights!”
How when you really want my attention, you’ll come up to me and say, “Up, please, mommy?” Then you move your head until you’re eye-to-eye with me and you look in my eyes and say “Mommy?”.
The way you catch my eyes sometimes and just grin at me because you’re happy.
How I came up the stairs one night and you and your father were up there playing in the hallway. I asked what was going on and you replied, “We’re having a man party!” Your father claims he didn’t prompt you to say that, so you must have remembered it from when you were watching the Cars movie together and i said that to you guys. Oh, and when you watch a movie, you have to eat grapes, because … that’s what you two did the first time you watched Cars. And the other night, when you were watching the movie again, I brought you some rinsed grapes and you turned at me and grinned, an inside joke… but you obviously needed grapes to go with your movie.
The evening of your birthday, I realized that when I nursed you to sleep that night, it would be the last time I nursed you as a one year old. Nostalgia reminds me that you have literally grown from a helpless, newborn baby into an independent, loving, impressive little boy, right there in front of my eyes on my nursing pillow. Your entire body used to fit the length of my arm, I could pick you up and put you into your crib with one arm. Now your back is longer than my forearm, your legs hang off the chair when you fall asleep, and I have to use both hands and arms to lift you up, all the while I strategically leverage my body to get you into your bed.
You really love to help us in the kitchen. You press the button on my coffee maker (after I’ve put water and coffee grounds in), and then tell me, “I made mommy’s coffee…. yay!” You grab a kitchen chair and haul it behind you into the kitchen so you can climb up on it and help. I let you lick the beater when I make your banana cookies, and you really own that beater, your tongue wraps all around it and it gets all over face. These rites of passage, a child licking the beaters, a child running the upstairs hallways before bathtime, a child melting in my arms as he leans over and gets right up in my face and whispers, “I love you, mommy.” These are the kinds of moments I had hoped for, and I hope these are the moments you’ll remember fondly for the rest of your life.