Our big boy is now 21 months old. Where has the time gone? Alex has grown a bit in size & weight, but he has also grown by leaps & bounds simply by comparing him with tiny little Max.
Alex weighs about 23 pounds now, so he's still on the small side for his age, but at least he's growing...and that's what counts! He's a pretty healthy eater, and he eats a LOT of fruit; maybe that's part of the reason he stays so skinny. He's right on the border between size 3/size 4 disposable diapers. We ran out of size 3s today, so we'll be moving up to size 4s. (Yes, we're still using cloth diapers...for both boys...but we also keep disposables on hand.)
He's becoming a very friendly boy, and he's no longer afraid of being "left". He happily goes to nursery to play. He doesn't mind being left with grandparents or our friends. He says "hi" and "bye" to everyone we see while on walks or shopping trips.
I realized the other day that he understands what it means to smile. I said, "Smile for Mama" when I took his picture, and he gave me the silliest, cheesiest grin. Now he does this every time I take his picture or say "smile". It's so funny, but it should make getting his pictures taken professionally very interesting! :)
Alex loves to eat. He has a "thing" for crackers of all kinds right now, and as the crackers are right at his eye level in our pantry, he is often asking me for crackers to snack on. He polished off a small box of Wheat Thins in less than a week. Thankfully, he can't open the pantry without help. He enjoys sitting at a "big boy" chair at the kitchen table, eating his crackers out of a bowl.
Alex also loves "go-go" with his breakfast every morning...a cup of kefir/drinkable yogurt. I've been making it about half milk/half yogurt lately, and he doesn't seem to care. I don't put a stopper in his yogurt cups, as it's a thicker drink than just juice. Sometimes, that leads to a mess. Alex will wait until I'm not looking, then pour his yogurt all over his tray...or shake it and splatter yogurt all over the kitchen. He's getting good at being mischievous when Mom isn't paying attention.
Since he can't have peanut butter, we tried soy butter. It tastes like peanut butter until the aftertaste hits. Then I find it very gross, but Alex likes it. He's finally had a peanut butter & jelly sandwich! Grandma P also introduced him to Nutella, and we bought some to have at home. Alex sure likes that stuff, and I can see why. Yum!
His favorite toys these days are trucks, trucks, and more trucks. I love to "play trucks" with him, but I also love to sit back and watch him use his imagination as he plays with trucks independently. It's too cute! He loves his fire truck, his plastic dump truck, and his little Fisher Price school bus. The school bus MUST have "guy" in it, though - and only one specific "guy" - the little plastic man from his Fisher Price garage toy.
Alex is also loving his new-to-him tool bench, which Aunt Deb found for him at her neighbor's garage sale. Thanks, Aunt Deb! He loves to play with the hammers, screwdrivers, and tape measure. He also enjoys hammering the plastic nails into the holes...using the side of the hammer, silly boy!
We're also doing a LOT of puzzles in the past week or two. He's very fascinated by puzzles, especially the ones with animals or vehicles. We'll spend 30 minutes just focused on puzzles some days!
Of course, we can't forget the still-so-very-cool choo choo train from Karen. We'll return it before Christmas so Lillie can use the train. We still have to decide how to best go about replacing it.
The one other thing that Alex adores is Maggie's cage. Alex will happily play in Maggie's cage for 20 or 30 minutes, taking a few of his toys in there and playing quietly. Hey, as long as he is safe & happy, I don't mind! Maggie isn't sure what she thinks, but she "allows" it. :)
When we're outside, Alex is still in love with his toy fire truck. When it's raining, I'll sometimes just let him ride it around in the garage. It breaks up the day when we're tired of the indoor toys! He also loves to find sticks & leaves, then throw them in our side ditch. He discovered our doorbell recently, so that's a fun thing to do on the way in/out of the house. The water table has gotten pretty yucky lately with dirt/falling leaves/dead spiders, so I think it's time to rinse it out and put it away until spring.
Alex has become a very good big brother! He had jealously issues in the first week, but now he just LOVES on little Max...sometimes too much! Alex asks for Max as soon as he wakes up in the morning. He brings burp cloths and blankets for Max all day long. He loves to "kiss" Max, which involves an open mouth and a lot of slobber on poor Max's head. Alex lets me know when Max is crying by saying, "Eeeeee, Baby!" until I take care of Max's needs. We just have to be careful that Alex doesn't tip over the bassinet, place burp cloths over the baby's face, or literally smother the baby with love!
When Alex moved to his big boy room, I started changing his diapers on his bedroom floor. We still have a box of books on his bedroom floor, and Alex decided that this is his new changing table. Whenever I say, "Let's go change your diaper", Alex runs to lay on the box. He's so goofy! Since he likes it and he's cooperating with instructions, I just go with it...we tossed a changing pad on top of the box, and it's his new changing table.
Alex is getting interested in colors lately, and I think this is a skill that we can work on. He likes colors, but the only color he truly knows is "wewwow". It's so cute to hear him say this! He really does recognize yellow, but he also calls all colors "wewwow". He has said "bwoo" a few times, too, but I don't think he really understands. I'd like him to be able to correctly identify (by pointing) blue, green, yellow, and red. We'll work on that through PLAY in the new few months, but I don't want to make it boring for him by drilling him on his colors.
Alex likes to do the paint with water book that Grandma S got him, but only if we sit at the bar stools in the kitchen. I'd read a suggestion about using ice cubes & a 9x13 pan to "paint" the pictures, but Alex thought that was a great opportunity to throw a handful of ice cubes across the kitchen...so we'll just stick to the paintbrush!
He's just starting to understand that playdough is not for eating, so we're trying to use playdough a few times a week. Karen got him a Playdoh Octopus as a big brother gift, and we're having fun with that!
Other crafty things have not gone well yet. Crayola's Color Wonder markers? Well, we put those away when Alex ate the tips off the markers. Crayons? They're good for 5 minutes in a restaurant, but frustrating at home...and he colored the changing table drawers red a few weeks ago and I once changed a diaper full of blue crayon bits, so we can guess what happened to that crayon! I may pick up some new bathtub crayons, as Alex did like those...and it was easy to supervise his crayon use in the tub!
We're reading 6-8 books a day right now. I'd like to read more, but our active little Alex is just not able to do that much sitting still! We read while Max nurses, read before naptime, and read a Bible story at bedtime. We also look at his truck book & tractor book, but we just talk about the pictures, so I don't include that in the book count. His current favorites are a children's book about Psalm 8 and Harry The Dirty Dog.
Alex usually asks to watch Curious George on tv at some point each day, so that's been his only tv lately...that, and the introduction to Sid The Science Kid...but then the tv is turned off. A Curious George episode consists of two segments - and each segment concludes with real video of children doing an activity. Alex does NOT like that part. Since we usually watch Curious George episodes that we've recorded on DVR, Alex will grab the tv remote & hit the forward button (or have me do it) to get to the next cartoon segment.
Alex also likes to watch a few short YouTube video clips on occasion. "The Eensey Weensey Spider" by Super Simple Songs is his YouTube of choice lately.
Alex is starting to repeat a lot of words lately. For example, Grandma P gave him a bean from her chili at lunch last week. She told him what it was, then Alex said "bean" when he wanted another one.
Here's a list of new words in the past 2 months:
"key" (before, he called a key "car")
"hnnn go" = here you go
"go??" = where did it go/where are we going?
"aw gaw" = all gone
"ahhhh-peee" = peek-a-boo
"nnn mo" = one more
"no mo" = no more
"gark" = dark
"kaw" = cloth (washcloth or towel)
"nain" = rain
"guy" = little people characters or other small plastic people
"doot" = zipper (the sound a zipper makes)
"baby nigh nigh" = put the baby down & pay attention to me
"nooooo" or "yeah" (his answer when you ask him a question)
"eeee baby"= the baby is crying
"tir, tir, tir" = stir, stir, stir (while helping me in the kitchen)
"mwow"= meow or kitty
Mom/Dad (rather than always saying mama or dada)
"Geeg" or "Gaggie" = Mag or Maggie
"boo-woo-woo" = tractor (also must make a silly hand motion with this)
Overall, Alex has become a fun-loving, friendly little boy. We just love seeing his personality as he gets bigger, and we're so happy to have such a sweet, happy boy!