Growing Boy

Colt is growing into a little boy so fast. While I have accepted for a while now that he’s a toddler, it’s becoming very evident that we are way out of the baby stage now. 

In April, Colt will be moving into the Twaddler class at daycare, meaning that they will now be focusing on group activities… And potty training. Mike and I have decided to work in conjunction with daycare and start being more focused on potty training at home too. 

Colt has been showing signs of being ready. He generally goes off alone to poop (at least at home). He occasionally let’s us know that he has gone, or needs to “go poop”. He’s been fighting his diaper changes lately. He is very interested in watching (and helping) Dada and I go potty. Offering TP and to flush for us. He’s willing to sit on his potty for a while, and has even used it a few times. 

I’ve read a lot about the 3-day or weekend method of potty training where you basically have potty training boot camp. It either seems to work right away, or it’s a great jump start. Either way, I think we’ll be trying it, along with using pull-ups during the day. I know it can be a long process. 

Today, since I had a surprise day off, Colt and I went to Babies R Us and we picked up a few things; new sheets and blanket for his bed, big boy underwear, a seat for the big potty, and a book about going potty. The plan is to swap out his crib side with the toddler rail this weekend and hopefully get him used to a big boy bed before we start potty training. 

I know it’s not going to be easy. We’re going to take it one day at a time. This will be all new for all of us. I’ll keep you posted. 

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Colt Turned 2!

I’m super late writing this post, I’ve just been really busy with work and we’ve been fighting colds as well. 

On February 1st, Colt turned 2 years old! Since it was a school day, Colt brought cupcakes in for his class. His classmates all made him a card, drawing pictures and stamping their hand prints. 

In addition to celebrating with his class, we also threw him a “grr-rific” Daniel Tiger birthday party that following weekend. It was just a small gathering of family. I’m not sure if Colt liked the balloons or cake better.  

When I took him in for his 2 year check up, he was measuring 35 inches tall (75%) and weighing 27 pounds (50%). All of the items on the checklist for what he should be able to do were right on track. 

He’s a jumping, running, climbing crazy kid. He tumbles, and falls just to get a laugh out of you. He loves to be tickled and tickle you back. He’s very fond of his cars, and his new toy tools. 

He’s pretty good at climbing up into his booster seat for meals, uses utensils pretty frequently, and occasionally drinks from an open cup. His favorite foods seem to change from week to week, but he’s still quite fond of oranges, strawberries, bananas, cheerios, gold fish, waffles, and cereal bars. 

Colt is becoming more independent insisting on doing a lot for himself. Getting ready in the morning is now taking a bit longer than before. Once he’s dressed, there’s a lot more fighting to get shoes and coats on. But he’s getting pretty good at the velcro on his shoes, the zipper on his coat, and putting on his hat. 

Colt is still quite the singer, adding in the Alphabet song to his catalog. Although he doesn’t really get the letters right, he is recognizing a few. He can find the letters of his name when you play with his magnetic or foam letters. He also knows D is for Dada, and M is for Mama. 

I’m also impressed with the way he’s moved onto more complex puzzles. He’s quite good at those that just have the holes for the shape without a background picture, and his one firetruck puzzle that does not have individual holes for each piece. He’s also pretty good at his one magnet toy where he uses the pen to sort colored magnets. 

Colt has gotten a ton of new books. And is starting to finally let me read a few more than the standard dozen. He’s been very interested in a book about a panda using the bathroom to brush his teeth, take a bath, and go potty. We had one successful use of the potty recently, but haven’t been as lucky since. I’m planning to get more serious hopefully this summer. 

I’m continuously amazed with Colt’s language development. He had taken a bit of a break from signing when he started to be more verbal. But recently he’s starting to say more words both verbally and with signs. He doesn’t repeat back many words for me, he tends to just surprise me by saying something new. But if I ask him to sign something he will. He says more phrases; more please, go sleep, where at, what happened, there it is. He’s been saying more descriptor words; hot, cold. Lots of the use of the word mine, or “I do it”. He signed cereal and hot for me yesterday. 

He seems to be doing very well in school. I know they are studying ancient cultures right now. He’s still in the Tod B classroom, but he occasionally visits with the Twaddlers. I’m not sure if there’s room for him to move up just yet.  

Otherwise, he’s a pretty funny kid, loves to play with his Mama. Always wants to know where his Dada is. He exhaustes his grandparents when they visit. He’s nearly on the go from the time he gets up, until it’s time for bed. He’s an excellent helper, has a wicked memory and a caring individual. I’m pretty proud of him. 

Goodbye to 2016

I know many people are considering 2016 a dumpster fire of a year, and I get it. There were many reasons it was hard to get through it. But tonight I’m trying to focus on growth. 

I had turned on the  Netflix original series Beat Bugs for Colt since I knew my mother enjoyed the show and she was stopping by for an impromptu babysitting job while Mike and I had dinner with some friends. When we returned home it was just before Colt’s bedtime so we finished up watching the episode and I remembered that Netflix had created mini cartoons to let young kids ring in the new year, so I tuned it to the Beat Bugs. Colt and I danced along to The Beatles song It Won’t Be Long and then counted down to 2017 (it was midnight in Dubai). 

After that Colt climbed up onto the couch with Dada and we all talked about all of the things Colt had learned during the year. From walking, running, and jumping. To speaking and signing new words and even phrases. Counting. Eating with utensils. Coloring. Singing and dancing. 

We went to a few new places. Splashed in puddles. Swam in the lake, went for a boat ride, played in the sand. Jumped in leaves. Bundled up to play in the snow. 

It really is amazing how much kids grow in such a short period of time. And I have to say that I think Mike and I have done a lot of growing as well. I continue to be grateful that he and I share many of the same parenting beliefs. We both of course want whats best for Colt, and value independence and imagination, and strive to make every day a learning opportunity. 

I am looking forward to a new year with new experiences, new travels, new perspectives and new challenges. Goodbye 2016! Hello 2017!

Happy Holidays! 

I’d say we had a pretty successful weekend celebrating Christmas with Colt.  

Friday, Mike and I were both off work and able to spend time with peanut and get some last minute shopping completed. Surprisingly, Colt didn’t take a nap, but was able to stay up and go to my Aunt Ronnie’s house that night.

It’s been quite a few years since I felt like a kid at my aunt’s house at Christmas, but I definitely felt like an adult this time. My mom and her sisters are grandmas now. Watching the next generation run around my cousins, sisters, and I brings back so many memories. I definitely miss my grandparents. 

Colt is still learning about opening presents, in that as soon as he opens something he wants to play with, he’s done opening gifts for a while. This was definitely the case with the toy vacuum he received from my aunt. 

Saturday was a busy day. We were up around 8am and opted to leave for Grandpa’s just late enough in the morning that the car ride would sooth Colt into an early nap. A few extra laps around the Gander Mtn. parking lot granted us a little extra time sleeping. 

Of course Grandpa got Colt a number of toys to play with. A few suggested puzzles from the Lakeshore Learning store were great. Colt also got a few new cars. 

After some lunch, we headed to Doug and Debbie’s house to celebrate Doug’s birthday, which has become tradition. Colt ate his weight in cheese and crackers, chased their pets, and gave Debbie a heart attack every time he ran up and down the stairs. The short nap didn’t seem to stop him. 

Christmas morning was spent at home. Grandma, Jes, and Jer came over for breakfast and gifts. We had a feast of Colt sized foods; mini pancakes, mini waffles, mini scones, mini cinnamon rolls, and mini quiches. 

It was a year of cars, puzzles, and household items (? He got a vacuum, dishes, and food, lol).I love that most of what he got required him to either think or use his imagination. 

Though, this week between Christmas and New Years has been a little difficult. We’ve been out of our routine, we’re trying to encourage more food choices, and Colt’s been a tad clingy. I’m wondering if there is a growth spurt coming. I’m sure by next weekend we’ll be better. And before I know it, it will be Colt’s 2nd birthday. 

22 Months! 

I’d start by saying time really flew by, but for the first time in a while it didn’t seem that way. 

Colt has learned the art of the tantrum. Though, I do count my lucky stars that they have all been at home and fairly brief. Usually it’s because I won’t let him play with something, or eat something. Tonight was an epic whine-fest because he was hungry but didn’t want to eat the dinner I served. Sorry kid, goldfish and oranges are not an acceptable dinner. 

Colt still loves to be read to and thankfully he’s bringing me more than just the same 2 books over and over. We’ve started playing games of “I Spy”  to make the books more entertaining. 

Regardless of what type of music I choose for Colt he still loves to have the radio on most of the time. He’s particularly fond of Mike’s “90s County” station on Pandora. He’s also quite the singer now. His song book includes; “Ring Around the Rosie”, “Frères Jacques”, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, and “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”. He also knows the hand movements to “Bringing Home A Baby Bumble Bee”, “Patty Cake”, “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, and “If You’re Happy And You Know It”. 
Colt’s communication style has moved to more spoken words and less sign language. When he wakes up, he calls for “mama” and “dada”. He now asks for “milk” or “fish” and I think today he tried to say “oranges”. He says “hi” and “bye” to most people and things, and recently started asking for “hugs”. Other favorite words are still “book”, “dog”, “duck”, “bath”, and “outside”. Very recently he started saying “go poop”. 

As a matter of fact, the other weekend Colt started saying “go poop” and looking around for his potty, which he drags all around the house. I asked him if he needed to go and he kept running around and occasionally sitting. Smelling the familiar oder, I asked if he needed a diaper change, and he ran into his room and grabbed a diaper. Not thinking anything about it, I took him to his changing table and was surprised to find no poop. I told him he went pee and that he can do that on the potty as well. I don’t think it was 5 minutes later, he sat on his potty while playing and actually pooped. I guess he was warning me after all. 

The following week, we came home from school and he started running around and proclaiming again “go poop”,  so I asked him if he wanted to sit on his potty and he was very eager too. I was even able to pull down his pants and remove his diaper, he’s resisted sitting bare butt in the past. We waited for a while, but nothing happened. He was however not happy to put a diaper back on. And the same thing happened a few nights later, and then again. I’ve since decided that I’ll put him in pull-ups while at home in the evenings with him.  I’ll get into the habit of asking him frequently. If we have some success, then we’ll try to fully potty train over Christmas break. If he’s not ready, I won’t push it. 

Speaking of holidays, Colt got to experience Trick or Treating a few times this year. Once at the campground Doug and Debbie were staying at. That was just about perfect. It was at the beginning of October so the weather was still warm, it was during daylight hours, and we only had to walk a few feet between campers. Later, he got dressed again and visited the retirement home my friend Jessica works at, and Trick or Treated with the residents. And then there was his party and costume parade at school. Colt was a pro by the time his dad and I took him around the neighborhood. 

Thanksgiving was probably more about fun for him than it was about food. He had a blast playing with his aunts and grandparents. He snacked pretty regularly, but come dinner he didn’t want anything to do with what was on his plate. And apparently he easily forgets how much sweet potatoes don’t suck, which has been the reason for tantrums the last few nights. 

Patience continues to be something I work at. I’m getting better at choosing the battles worth fighting. I know dinner is going to be a long one again. We’ve been busy a lot and we’ve been too quick to offer up the chicken nuggets. I’ll be focusing on offering good dinners again. 

It’s also been very easy for me to get fired up about politics and my son’s safety lately. Watching the news is crushing. I won’t go into details, but if you are messing with my child’s safety,  the country he will grow up in, or the planet he will inherent, I will have words. I’m a momma bear. 

20 Months! 

From month to month I continue to see growth in Colt that I am still amazed at. Yes, he’s getting big, he can use a untinsil to eat, he loves to climb, he’s independent, he’s even talking and singing more. It’s his emotional growth that leaves me in awe. 

His teachers tell me that Colt is always friendly with the new kids in class. They appreciate also that he’s usually there early and that helps the new kids transition. But besides that, I’ve heard how loving and caring he is. Twice he’s melted my heart when he’s consoled friends when they were upset. Gently patting their backs, while quietly speaking to them in his little toddler gibberish.

It’s that behavior that makes me a proud momma. It also reassures me that I chose an awesome daycare. Besides an incredible academic experience that includes math, science, physical fitness, and language, his daycare also believes that etiquette and philanthropy are necessary for raising good people. The proof is in his behavior. 

In the past few weeks, other than the stories from his teachers Colt’s become more affectionate, he’s been very well behaved at dinner, he’s better at holding hands while we walk, and has overall just been well-behaved. That’s not to say he doesn’t throw fits. We’ve had our moments, Colt is still an independent toddler with selective hearing. 

With all the hate going on right now. The shootings, black lives matter, sexual assaults, Syrian refugees, and the presidential election. There is so much anger in the world. But looking at my son, innocent and unknowing, he reminds me that there are good people out there. And it’s going to take those good people to keep teaching our children to be good, kind, caring, and charitable. Colt is my reason for believing that we can be the change we need. 

A New Room

Well sort of… 

I didn’t have to work Friday, so of course that meant that Colt was wide awake at 6am. As I rolled over, rubbed my bleary eyes, and stared at the black and white image on the baby monitor, I watched as Colt stood at his crib rail. I laid there, trying to use some sort of telepathy to woo him back to sleep. He grunted out his usual commands to come get him. And then Click! The screen flashed, and like Dorothy waking up in the land of Oz, my son stood in full color on the screen. Click! And again a flash, back to the darkness and night vision illumination. Click! Click! Click! The light flashed in the hall. Time to get up.  

Colt’s newfound reach of the light switch only meant trouble. You can’t put a toddler to bed when he’s not tired, and not expect the light to get turned back on. It looked like I’d be reorganizing his room. 

And it worked out pretty well actually. I moved the glider we no longer sit in and rock out of his room. Moved a dresser to the closest, his changing table to the opposite side. His crib is now along the inside wall. His toy bins are now in the one corner along with his bookshelf, and beanbag chair. Giving him a little area to relax and play. 

It’s starting to look like a big kids room. I didn’t really miss the glider til just now. It’s so very true that you never know when you’ll rock your baby for the last time. Rocking and singing was slowly replaced with hugs and “night, night”. And tender kisses on the forehead with sloppy wet kisses back. For every memory of that tiny infant that you miss, there’s a new milestone to be excited for. 

A Whirlwind Week 

This past week has been busy, fun-filled, and exhausting. I’ve laughed and cried. It was far from perfect. But it was filled with love and family and I couldn’t ask for more than that. 

Earlier this year my Aunt Barb decided that rather than coming home to Michigan at Christmas like normal, she and Eileen would make the trip out for a week in the summer. This excited me as it meant that she’d get to meet Colt sooner rather than later. And we’d be able to plan a few activities in the warmer weather. 

Warmer weather was an understatement. It may have actually been the hottest, most humid week of the entire summer. We did our best to beat the heat and still have fun.  

As a kid, my Aunt Barb was another of my mother’s goofy sisters. Only she lived in Boston so we didn’t get to see each other often. But that never stopped her from being a part of our lives. We frequently received colorful packages in the mail. She runs a childcare center out of her home and always related to us kids in fun educational ways.  

Since becoming a mother, I’ve reconnected with Aunt Barb. I love sharing Colt with her and Eileen through stories and pictures. It’s like my way of validating that I learned something about raising a kid from all the experiences of her kids she shared. Having her meet Colt for the first time was important to me. I hoped that she’d be impressed with how smart and well behaved he is. 

Of course, the trip back to Michigan ended up staying little more important and sentimental then we had planned. Barb was diagnosed with breast cancer after Memorial Day. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster emotionally and physically for her. I can’t imagine how difficult the trip had to be but I’m eternally grateful that she and Eileen did. 

Monday Colt had his 18 month check up. And aside from the long wait to see the doctor, everything checked out well. He’s a typical 1 and a half year old.  Mom, Colt, and I had breakfast after, did a little shopping, and then visited with Barb and Eileen at our house for a while.  

On Tuesday, Barb and Eileen took Mom, Colt, and I to the Sea Life Aquarium at Great Lakes Crossing. It’s a great little place for young kids. It wasn’t too busy, thankfully. Unfortunately, Colt is just old enough to want to roam about freely without the understanding that he needs to hold an adult’s hand.  He was a bit fussy, but overall I think we all had a good time.  

Wednesday Colt and I spent some mommy and son time in the morning visiting the Stage Nature Center in Troy. For being so close to home, it’s a nice little get away. It’s definitely a place I can see going back to frequently. And hopefully Colt will continue to grow and appreciate what he can learn there.  

Thursday started with some miscommunication, but ended on a positive note. Most of my mom’s family was able to get together for dinner at Olive Garden. Colt has been a bit of a fussy eater again lately so I was embarrassed that Barb and Eileen paid for a meal that went mainly untouched. But Colt was well behaved so I can’t complain. 

Friday was more visits with the aunts and grandma at our house. We kept it pretty low key, since we would all be up early Saturday morning. 

Saturday was our big family outing to the Detroit Zoo.  And of course it was the hottest day, with the most humidity, and of course rain. But most of the family headed out any way. It was great to spend time with my sisters, and my cousins Amber, Kelly and Valerie. As well as my Uncle Wayne, Aunt Jan, and Uncle Mike. Along with my cousin Tyler’s kids; Kenzie and CJ. It was a lot of fun and I hope that we can spend more time together soon. And thanks to a gift of a membership from my aunts, my family will be able to enjoy the zoo many more times. 

Sunday was a day of rest, in that I tried to rest as much as possible while also wrangling Colt. He’s really a lot of fun, but he seems to suck all the energy right out of you. It’s exhausting just looking at him some times. While I can’t say it was the best vacation, it was definitely memorable. 

Maybe next year we can all head out to Boston! 

18 Months!

In January, Colt made the transition from the Infant B classroom to Toddler A classroom at daycare. He had already grown s0 much over the last year, I couldn’t imagine what he would learn in the next short 6 months with his new teachers. “What developments can I expect to see?” I asked Ms. Megan. Her answer amazed me.

My little baby, who’s size 12 pants were still baggy, and sleeves too long, now fits just right in 18 month clothes. His tiny feet have outgrown his first shoes, and his second pair of shoes, and now has a whole collection of little sneakers. While he doesn’t seem to have actually grown a single inch, he looks at least 4 inches taller, and at least 5 pounds heavier. We’ll know exactly how much he’s grown at his pediatrician’s appointment next Monday.

Colt’s tiny steps have turned into marches, kicks, and stomps! He climbs, slides, scootches, and crawls around the playground! And just the other day, he used a box of diapers to try and climb on the cabinet in the living room. He can reach and stretch for things he wants on the countertops. And lay on his belly to get toys from under his crib.

Colt speaks! He says a number of words, most often it’s “dada”, “bye bye”, “shoes” and “dog” but I have heard “rabbit”, “cat”, “duck”. He asks for “waffles” for breakfast. And he knows cows say “moo”, and sheep say “baa”. And while being verbal is still hard, he routinely uses sign language to ask for “more”, “water”, and “milk”. He even says “please”. Our bedtime routine includes signs for “bath” and “brush teeth”. And when he’s finished, he says “all done”.

Our daily routine is getting simpler. Though Colt likes to play and pretend to sleep when I wake him up in the morning. Colt is very good at sitting at the table and eating his breakfast while Mike and I get ready for work. Then we get dressed, and he helps me put on his shoes. It’s not always easy getting him into his car seat, but once he’s buckled in , he reads to me his Hello magazine or tells me all kinds of stories I can’t wait to understand. Once at school, he and I practice holding hands and walking together into the building.

Colt is so good for his teachers, Ms. Emily, Ms. Megan, & Ms. Shannon. I am impressed daily with all the activities they do with the kids. His daily sheets are now categorized with subjects like; Art & Sensory, Language, Music/Movement, Fine Motor/Math, Focus Activity, and Physical Fitness. He’s taught manners, and how to clean up. He can tell me where his eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, hair, feet and belly button is. He can match colors, seems to understand there is an order to his rings, and knows that his car is for driving. You can ask him to bring you a number of his stuffed animals by their name. And books are still his favorite.

Colt was on bit of a toddler hunger strike for a little while. Things he used to eat were now nearly tossed aside. He’s eating fruit better now, and anything crunchy. I am working vegetables into his diet. His favorites are still mac’n’cheese, and now chicken nuggets. He’ll eat hotdogs, and devour mandarin oranges. Strawberries, bananas, waffles and yogurt are key breakfast items. He eats well with his classmates for snack and lunch. I’ve found that if I just hand him his plate and continue on making my food without really paying attention to him, he’s more adventurous and will try things on his plate. Trying to encourage him only makes him turn his head away or offer it to you in return.

Colt has finally cut one full molar on the bottom right, and the upper right, and lower lefts are peeking out while the upper left is trying to make an appearance. We’ve worked brushing our teeth into our routine. He sits on the counter and “brushes” his teeth, while I brush mine. And then we’ll trade toothbrushes and he “brushes” my teeth while I brush his. Still, putting our tooth brush away at the end tends to lead to a noodle baby tantrum.

I have to be grateful, Colt hasn’t thrown and real in public tantrums just yet. He did fuss quite a bit when he wanted to walk down the path in the park on his own, but wouldn’t offer right of way to the passing bicyclists. He’s usually too busy people watching to throw much of a fit about anything. Our usual arguments are related to “chairs are for sitting, not standing”. Overall he’s a pretty well behaved kid who’s generally happy.

Most of the time I amaze myself at how well I can deal with Colt. I can read the same story with just as much excitement and emphasis the 100th time as I do the first time. Most of the time I am fairly patient with Colt, and can gently say, “no no” or tell him he may get hurt (while also signing the word “hurt”). But there are other times I do still lose my patience. And then I feel guilty. And it’s usually when Mike steps in at just the wrong moment, when I could have used him a second or so earlier. I have found that he knows when I am not paying attention to him. He doesn’t seem to mind if Dada comes in the room and reads a magazine, but if I try to catch up on a news article on my phone, Colt will come over to me and throw himself on my lap and try to bite me. He thinks it’s a fun game. I have told him no, told him it hurts, “cried”, moved him off me, sat him in his chair for a “timeout”, and left the room. Of course all it really does is make me feel guilty that maybe I am not spending the quality time with him that he wants.

Overall, Colt is smart, funny, adventurous, independent, and happy. I am still so proud of him and so grateful I get to be his mom.

Happy Fourth of July! 

What a busy weekend it’s been. And that was probably for the best.  
Colt had started once again with the snot and coughing earlier in the week. So it was once again a a battle to get him to eat or take his medicine. Seems we always take a step back with every step forward.  

On Saturday, we went and visited Doug and Debbie at 7 Lakes State Park where they were camping.  We had fun sitting in the shade and watching Colt play. It was a shame we couldn’t stay longer, but we knew Colt would be hungry and it’s easier right now when we ha multiple options.  Never mind that he ate plenty of Ritz crackers while at the park. 

Once we were home he was super tired from all the time spent outdoors and he took another nap. Aunt Jerri and Grandma came over and we at least got him to eat some Lo Main. 

On Sunday, Mike got up early and started slow smoking a pork shoulder.  Grandma Nancy and his Aunts came by again while Colt was down for his nap. By the time he woke up, his Grandmama Margaret and Grandpa Ken were here too. Colt had a busy day outside playing with all of his family and toys. He had a new bubble machine and a sprinkler to play with, as well as the slide Grandpa Ron had gotten him for his birthday.   

For dinner Mike pulled that pork apart for some delicious pulled pork sandwiches.  Colt was again a picky eater bit he didn’t go hungry, that’s for sure.  Later that evening Colt got his first skinned knee when he tried to climb down off a chair and slipped.  Poor guy was a champ though.  

Monday, we spent the afternoon at Indian Springs Metropark. We’d all gone for the nature center, but found the splash pad to be much more fun.  Colt wouldn’t go directly in the water, but he had fun splashing around the edges. 

Back home for the evening, Colt was a little better at eating dinner having some leftover lo main, and a stolen cheese sandwich. He was great taking a bath, didn’t fuss too much about taking his medicine. And the cherry on top was figuring out a less stressful way to get him to brush his teeth. 

When we can get through a night without any toddler tantrums, the whole day seems better. I really have lucked out with a pretty laid back kid. And when he gets to just be himself and do his own thing, he’s just a happier kid and that makes for happier parents. 

Unfortunately, as I’m sitting here writing this, after Colt has gone to bed, fireworks booming around the neighborhood, it finally hit Mike and I that it’s the anniversary of losing our sweet Diesel pup. I can’t believe it’s been a year already. I think about him often but it’s just not the same here without him.