24 Months Old

My sweet, stinky, loveable Monster Boy,

You’re two!  Two whole years old, but somehow you seem older.  You’re definitely not a baby anymore.  Two years isn’t a very long time in the  grand scheme of things but it also feels like an eternity.  I don’t know what to say that I haven’t said before.  Your dad and I can’t get enough of you.  We sit together watching you play with whatever your favorite toy of the moment is (lately the Kindle, or one of our phones or those squishy light up koosh balls) and we we your fat cheeks tense up as you grin and giggle because you’ve bopped all the gopher’s heads in the Scout’s ABC game.  The way you pur your index finger to your chin and say Hmmmmm when we ask you a question makes me melt.  You’re a tiny little person with your own big huge personality.  You’re easily excitable and not easily tamed, some of the time.  You’re learning so quickly and almost every day you have a new “word”.  Despite the lack of speech, you have managed to communicate so well with signing.  I never imagined teaching you sign language but now I can’t imagine you not using it.24MonthsInstagramWe don’t always see eye to eye on some thing; naps, when to watch t.v., when to come inside.  But even though we get upset with each other minutes later you’re at your sweetest, giving me hugs and kisses.  I’m not going to lie, the last two years haven’t been easy.  But man, they were totally worth the struggle.  You’ve taught me a lot and I know you’ve got more in store for me, and I’m ready.  I’m ready to take on two.  I’m ready to watch you grow and learn and be the feisty, magical, monster  boy that you are.24MonthsOldx4I’m going to miss taking these monthly photos. 24MonthsOldYou are simply the best thing that has ever happened to me and your dad.  I love our little family and I love that you made us a family.  I love you, WE love you.DSC_0136EiHappy second birthday little boy.Me&Max_24MonthsRead Max’s Birth Story here.  Read about Max’s first birthday here.MonthByMonth_24

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23 Months Old

I feel like this last month has produced some significant things in the world of Max.  Mainly in the form of speech.  He had an evaluation with the people at Clackamas County Early Intervention early in the month.  At the follow up appointment we learned that he’s totally fine in all places of growth (fine motor skills, reception, etc.) except for speech.  Obviously.  His score was so low that he qualified for in home speech therapy until the age of three.  He had his first appointment with Teacher Jeff on Tuesday and I think both Max and I learned a few things.  I learned the way children develop speech and some techniques to get Max to make certain sounds.  After his appointment he was saying “ball” without being prompted.  And he still is.  Rob and I are both really excited, of course.  He now has a small vocabulary consisting of following words:Eat, Yeah, Ball, Mama, and Dada.  And Ew, as in “Ew, that’s gross.  And of course there’s the animal sounds and cars and trains and airplanes.Max23Months_01This last month Max has spent a lot of time with some little friends.  We’ve visited the Zoo and Children’s Museum and parks with Judah, and we visited Quinn at his house for a playdate in his super sweet playroom.  I’ve noticed a pattern of Max eating all of his friends snacks when we visit with them.  Seriously, he always wants Judah’s carrots but won’t actually eat them, he’s more of a cooked carrot kind of guy.  At least he tries, right?  Also, I think spending time with kids his age who are talking is also helping him speak.MaxandJudahMax23Months_02^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Some of my favorite photos from the last month, all taken on the iPhone.  I’m making myself carry around my DSLR more often instead of relying on the phone, which takes fine enough photos.  I just like my camera better.23Months_03Max has a favorite movie.  You know what it is?  Dumbo.  The kid loooooooves Dumbo.  Of course he’s always watching Elmo’s World and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but Dumbo is special.  For the first time, while he was watching Dumbo, I saw him laughing at the part of the movie where Dumbo’s mom is tickling him and Dumbo hides behind her leg.  He understood that it was funny, and that blew my mind.  He’s learning!  This is one of those parenting moments that only you feel excited by and other people are all Okaaaaaaay.
23MonthsOldLook at this boy.  This boy climbs on everything, is still terrorizing the dogs and generally being crazy.  He keeps us on our toes, especially in parking lots where he likes to bolt when you’re abou to pick him up to put him in the car.  Those are special moments.  That and when we’re outside playing and it’s time to come in it’s like I’ve threatened to kill his puppy.  Good gravy this kid is dramatic.

Remember when he was a wee little baby and he wouldn’t cuddle with me?  Well that’s all changed.  Every morning he and I sit on the couch and watch Curious George together.  He’ll either climb into my lap or nestle under my arm and rest his head on me and it’s the very greatest thing.  I still wish he lay down and take a damn nap with me though.

I’m getting super excited for this guy’s second birthday.

In less than a month I will take the last monthly photo and write the last monthly post for Max.  A part of my heart is breaking, but the rest is bursting with the fiercest love for this kid.
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22 Months Old

22Months_01This is about how well our photo shoots go now.  That last one sums up how I feel about the whole thing.

So 22 months, huh?  This is the big time toddler big leagues.  Some days go swimmingly, with hardly an outburst.  And most days are up and down, good and bad, right and wrong and a lot of questioning of my parenting skills.  It’s rough, you guys.  But not impossible, because look!  We’re all still alive!  And that’s the most important thing, right?

Ok, moving on.

Big things this month: A word!  A real word!  He says “Yeah”.  Please know that this was not one taught on purpose, he just happened to pick it up.  Sometimes we ask him a question just so we can hear him say yeah.  Another big thing: Croup.  He got croup and it was awful.  The barking coughing sound coming over the monitor was horrific and reminded me of that commercial about smoking around babies (Who thinks that’s even kind of OK?).  Another big thing:  Max witnessed his first Presidential Inauguration.  I made him watch it.  One day he’ll thank me.  Final big thing:  First haircut.  This was BIG.  Every day I look at him and I think “Why didn’t we do this sooner?”.  SO.  CUTE.  Oh yeah!  He also gave me a black eye!

We also visited the Aquarium, the zoo and had a visit from his cousin Asher.22Months_0222Months_0322MonthsOldMonthByMonth22MonthsSo close to 2.  Somebody hold me.

20 Months Old

“They roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws”

That about sums it up.  While his name was partly inspired by Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are (also inspired by Max Fisher in Rushmore), he’s more of a Wild Thing than a Max and it’s not cute.  At.  All.  Each day there is struggle between the two of us.  It can start first thing in the morning when I get him out of his crib and attempt to change his poop diaper while he kicks, screams, cries, throat kicks, red in the face screams, slaps me.  Now, I’m not a patient person so this kind of abuse -by-toddler is really hard for me to tolerate for too long.  There have been many mornings where I’ll leave him diaperless in his room while I go make my coffee because I just can’t.  After he settles down and after another minor struggle of getting a new diaper on, we have breakfast.  This is where Battle #2 begins.  He’ll tell me he’s done (via signing) then throw a fit when I try to clean him up and get him out.  And there are many other Mom vs. Max battles that are fought throughout the day.  It’s really, really shitty.20Months_01I’m sure some of you are like Relax, you have no idea how good you have it now.  Just wait til he’s ____! Or I’m sure some of you are all It can’t be that bad. You’re just not being patient enough.  It is that bad and I couldn’t try harder to be more patient.  But I have to.  He’s testing his boundaries and I know he’s learning while doing so, but does he have to sit on the dogs or throw everything or scream bloody murder when I tell him he doesn’t need to brush his teeth for the 3rd time in an hour (this actually happens, almost daily).  I’m so sick and tired of saying NO and Don’t do that! and Stop!  Don’t stand on the couch!  Stop throwing that! etc.

Here’s my theory: He’s upset because I’m not around as much.  Most days it’s him and Rob and they have built that Father, Son bond and they have their own way of doing things and when I come home it’s all interrupted.  I don’t know.  Trying to find an answer to this is like trying to to get me to eat ranch dressing.  NOT POSSIBLE.

It’s just really hard to get through the day or the hour sometimes.  I know he’ll grow out of it, and when he does he’ll do something else that drives me to drink.

Ok, on to other 20 month old Max related things!20Months_02All of the photos above were taken on my iPhone and shared on Instagram (I’m rederin).  I find myself using it far more frequently than my DSLR.  Going to try to change that.

He had his hearing test on Monday, which I was so anxious for even though I knew his hearing was perfect.  The test took about ten minutes and it consisted of him sitting in my lap with a nurse in front of us and the doctor on the other side of the window pushing buttons that made these little animatronic animals move and make noise.  He aced it.  Duh.  When the doctor was discussing the test results with me I almost cried because now we still don’t know why he’s not talking and of course I didn’t want him to have a hearing problem but I just wanted an answer.  The next step with all of this is to get in touch with the state early intervention program to continue speech therapy.  Rob and I want to hear his little voice sosososo bad.  And yes, of course there will be times when he’s older and he’s talking back to us and I’ll think about the good ol days of the no talking, but it would probably do wonders for all of us if he could talk.  He would be able to tell us why he’s so upset!  Or tell us what exactly he wants to eat!  He could tell me that I’m a mean mom and I’ll love it!  I just want to be able to communicate better with him.20Months_03For all the terrible toddlerness he brings to the table, he still is just the cutest, greatest, most loving tiny boy person.  When I come home from work I love getting greeted with squeals of delight and hugs and kisses.  Oh the kisses!  He puckers his little lips and makes the kissy sound and it just makes me melt.  And his hair.  Oh the hair.  That wild mane will be tamed very, very soon.  I do love the bouncing golden ringlets but it’s just out of control and constantly in his eyes, as you can see.  20Months_04It’s pretty incredible that such a small, adorable little boy can cause so much terribleness.  But he does, and we’ve just got to deal with it.20MonthsWhen I hung up this tablecloth (my favorite Christmas tablecloth!) he got all upset because he thought it was a blanket, but when I was finished taping it up he realized what we were doing and he happily stood against it while giggling.  I’ve finally (sort of) got him trained to take photos!  Also his monthly birthday is on the 30th and every single month I’ve taken his photo on that very day, but this time I was a day late. I blame work.  And now that the doom and gloom has settled in here the lighting is awful and I have to use my flash.  Blech.

Only four more to go til he’s 2!Month by Month

19 Months Old

Chasing the dogs, while shrieking the highest pitch shriek you can imagine.  Stomping in muddy puddles and getting his clothes completely filthy.  Breaking crayons.  Refusing to eat what we’ve given him.  Taking his shirt off.  Throwing all the pillows off the couch.  Sitting on the dogs.  Spinning in circles ’til he falls down.  These are just a few of things that happen on a daily basis now.  19 months old is no cake walk.Don’t get me wrong, he’s fantastic and (for the most part) a joy to be around, but it’s becoming more and more difficult to communicate.  He gets frustrated easily when we don’t know what he wants and in turn we get frustrated.  He’s had the first three evaluating speech therapy appointments and now he’s on the wait list and who knows when he’ll be able to get in.  In the meantime we’ve got tools that the speech therapist gave us to work with him.That hair.  That tangled, yogurt-y mess of hair.  I’ve been waiting to cut his hair until after Halloween (I’ll post about that soon!) because I wanted it to be long for his costume.  Well, that’s over and now I’m feeling anxious about it.  It’s silly.  It’s hair.It was quite the struggle to get photos this month and I can’t imagine it’ll get any easier.  I am glad you can’t see his nasty lip.  He took a spill off the couch the other day and busted his bottom lip open.  It’s healing nicely and it doesn’t seem to bother him at all, thankfully.  I’ve lost count of how many bloody lips he’s had.  He’s only 19 months old and I can only imagine watch that means for the future.  Broken arms and legs?  Stitches?  Oy.We’re going a little stir crazy here in the house with the rains having arrived and all.  So, we’re working on getting the basement cleaned up so I can create a play area for the boy down there.  It’s a big area so it’ll be a nice place to run around and throw things, I’m sure.  Until it’s ready we’ll be hanging out upstairs trying not to claw each other’s eyes out.

Happy 19 Months Monster!