I cannot believe how close we already are to having a two year old. In three short months, he really truly will move into that ‘toddler’ age and not be a baby anymore. Really, in what could be a matter of days he will seem so much less like a baby with the arrival of his brother. I am so excited to see him grow and change and adapt, but of course a little part of my heart is breaking. It makes me sad to think of how much reality will set in that he is no longer ‘little’. Still, watching him grow is such a joy, and I feel blessed every single day to be this little boy’s mama.
We haven’t really weighed in or checked height since his last appointment at 19 months, but at that time he was 36 inches and weighed in at 28-29 pounds. That was also coming off of nearly two weeks of Influenza A, so he had definitely lost a bit of weight. He really doesn’t seem to have packed the pounds back on though; while he was never what I would truly call ‘chubby’, he is now pretty darn lanky and thin. He is so active, a picky eater, and based on my family’s genetics, tall and thin may just be what he ends up being.
He is wearing mostly 3T when it comes to pajamas and all of his tops. He is in 2T for pants, but the waist definitely needs to be adjusted in on most of them. Just in the past week or two though, his 2T sweatpants are too short, even, he just won’t stop growing! What in the world did parents do before adjustable waistbands!? He is still in a size 7 shoe, but depending on the brand I think he will be wearing 8’s when it comes to buying for summer, particularly at places like Old Navy and Target.
He still has a fabulous head full of hair that his mama (and everyone else) cannot get enough of. The curls are still there, and seem to make themselves more known on wet and humid days. It is rare that I take him anywhere without at least one person commenting on his head of hair. Truly, he has hair that just about any man would envy; it does not look like ‘baby hair’, if that makes sense. He has some major flow going on, and it is just about too cute to handle. After daddy tried doing his last haircut (and then being told he is never allowed to touch Jackson’s hair again), this mama is pretty wary of giving him another cut, but he is going to be due pretty soon, his hair grows so fast!
He is still quite the picky little eater. Chicken nuggets are still essentially removed from his regular menu, and are reserved for when we go out to eat with him once a month or so. I just can’t justify purchasing him a kids meal unless I know he is going to eat it, so nuggets have become a special treat (and a bribe to get him to behave in restaurants!) He really seems to have figured out that if he protests long enough, he will eventually get what he wants, so we have even reached a point where if he refuses the meat/grains/veggies served to him, he does not get fruit. I don’t worry when we do this, because he eats so much darn fruit, sometimes I think he might be eating too much. While it packs nutrition, he seems to look at fruit as his ‘dessert’, so we don’t even serve it up until he has at least eaten something else off of his plate. I have to say he is one of the pickiest eaters I have ever seen.
We have gotten him to try and enjoy some new things recently. He discovered that he can ‘slurp’ his spaghetti noodles, and after months of refusing red sauce, it now appears to be fair game. By incorporating chopped apples, we also were able to get him to eat oatmeal, which was at one point number one on his ‘don’t you dare serve that to me’ list. Depending on his mood, sauteed red peppers and onions seem to be the vegetables he is willing to eat. Anything green is basically not an option to him. In fact, he won’t touch kiwi, and I am convinced it is for no other reason than the fact that it is green. He is even picky with meat; he loves chicken nuggets, hot dogs, carved ham, and deli meat, but really wants nothing to do with grilled meats, burgers, or things like baked/sauteed chicken.
Despite being the pickiest of picky eaters, this child inherited a major sweet tooth from his mom and dad. He loves pretty much any fruit, particularly strawberries and raspberries recently. He loves desserts, and will sit and beg for another bite whenever we allow him the opportunity. And, aside from the sweets, he is all about the potato chips! He loves anything super salty. I have been able to get him to eat dried snap peas, which are crunchy and salty like a chip, but actually pretty healthy, so that is good news!
Overall, eating is still a major challenge, but I will say we have made some progress, but not without our fair share of wars first!
Sleep is still our nemesis. Big changes were made in the past few months though, the biggest of which was moving him out of his crib entirely and into a twin bed. While this probably wasn’t the wisest of thought processes, we figured this would allow us to at least lay with him in his bed when he refuses to lay back down in the middle of the night, rather than coming into our bed. Most nights, this means that I end up in his bed for 1-2 hours, until I wake and make my way back to bed myself. The goal was that even if we were laying by him, perhaps he would get more comfortable in his room. While I wouldn’t say we have had a huge amount of success, we have managed to get him to stay in there for the majority of most nights, however he still usually weasels his way into bed with mama around 5am most days. We have had a few all nighters where I wake him from his own bed, and this mama has enjoyed those quiet mornings where I can get ready for work in peace and even make my own bed! While it is happening more frequently, it is definitely not consistent yet. We have just accepted that with the arrival of a new baby who will be sleeping in our room until we move, this will likely be the summer that no one ever sleeps.
We are definitely still behind in the speech department, but appear to be making a bit of progress. For months, just about the only thing he would say/babble was ‘dadadada’. In fact, he wasn’t even saying mama, except for randomly when he would babble while playing. We did have a speech therapist come out and do an assessment, but based on him being totally on track with everything else, they were in no rush and said we didn’t qualify for any sort of therapy. In the past few weeks though, he added ‘mama’ back to his vocabulary, and says it with very clear intent when he is talking to or needs me. He also has been saying ‘nah nah’ quite a bit, which seems to be used to refer to sleeping, or eating ‘nummies’. Other additions recently are not words, but rather sounds, including ‘pat pat’, and saying letters such as ‘t’, ‘g’, and ‘oooooh’, which is just the cutest thing any of us have ever heard. And, as playing with balls outside has become a favorite activity, running through the yard like a mad man exclaiming ‘ba ba ba ba’ has me pretty convinced that is another addition to the vocabulary!
We have been reading books as much as possible, and doing lots of work on colors and body parts. He is so proud to show off his belly button when asked, of course he MUST to be in the mood to do so. He knows where his nose and toes are, but is less inclined to ‘show’ us. He loves ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ and lights up when we sing it to him or read the book. He also seems to be picking up on colors, and somewhat identifying when asked for the ‘red’ ball or the ‘blue’ toy. He clearly recognizes and understands what we are saying to him, so we just continue to plug away and do whatever we can to prompt him to speak!
This little boy takes silliness to the highest level. He is so funny, playful, and happy, and is a joy to be around. Now that the weather is perfect for getting outside, it is all that he wants to do. When it is time to come inside, tears are usually involved. He loves nothing more than grabbing a rubber ball, running through the yard, and down hills while yelling at the top of his lungs. While I hate to admit to it, at 9 months pregnant it has become convenient to essentially play ‘fetch’ with him..I throw the ball across the yard, and he will run his little legs as quickly as he can to go get it. Great workout to tire out the little guy, and little to no work for mom 😉
He also is pretty darn into technology. We don’t let him have our phones very often, and he gets to play on the tablet once in a blue moon, but he loves him some technology. He likes to press down the main button on our iPhone and talk to Siri, once he hears her voice, he will start yelling passionately (in Jackson jibberish) with his good pal. He also has learned that you hold the phone to your ear, so now you can catch him with any cell phone, house phone, or baby monitor that he can get his hands on. I came home from work this week and Mike wasn’t home yet (which almost never happens). Jackson ran upstairs, grabbed a phone, picked it up to his ear and yelled ‘DADA’ over and over. It was hysterical, and so so cute.
His current favorite thing is trains. I do not know where the obsession came from, because while we have given him toy trains, they are hardly shoved at him, but he will play with them all day, every day. Thomas The Train is his most recent favorite show, and he will drop whatever he is doing the second he hears the theme song. I found a stuffed Thomas pillow/toy for him, and I will catch him from across the room giving Thomas kisses, after which he usually demands I give him kisses, too!
He has definitely been testing his boundaries recently. He loves to crawl up on the coffee table or ledge of the couch, or turn on his dad’s video game console, while spending the entire time looking at us and waiting to see how long it will be until we go over and pull him down and give his little tushy a pat. In fact, when he turns on the Xbox, he will stand there literally waiting for his dad to come over and give him a little (harmless) swat to the booty. Clearly our threat of a spanking means nothing to this child! He anticipates it and thinks it is funny. We are definitely reaching a hard point of having to figure out how to discipline him in a way that is effective, yet he understands. If anyone has advice, I would be happy to listen!
Jackson is still obsessed with long hair, and will wake from a deep sleep if I move away and untangle my hair from his little fingers. He also loves to pull blankets over the top of his head, and when we find him he thinks it is the funniest thing that has ever happened.
He absolutely loves prayers at dinner time. We say the Our Father, and it is hilarious to him. Often I can get him to fold his hands, but even if he doesn’t, he watches us all so intently, with a coy little smile and usually a few giggles. I cannot wait until he is old enough to participate, and even lead prayer. Speaking of which, we purchased a CD this past month with children’s bible songs, and he really seems to enjoy it! He plays it cool, but car rides are definitely more calm when I switch it over to his music, I have noticed. And, I love that the lyrics he is listening to are so sweet, and he is learning the songs that I grew up listening to as a child!
My sweet baby boy, every day with you is such a blessing, and it is crazy to think that our days of you being our only child are coming to an end. While we have loved every minute of having you all to ourselves, and vice versa, I also know that watching you become a big brother and learning to love a sibling is going to be incredible to watch. I hope and pray that you love your baby brother as much as your dad and I love you, and that you always look out for and take care of each other. You are so full of love, and I know that any child that we have is going to be so lucky to grow up with you. You bring more joy and love to our lives than we could have ever imagined, and we consider ourselves so very lucky that God chose us to be your parents. We love you Jax Attack/Squishy/Lover Boy!