June 20, 2014

Catching Up: 19-22 Months

I'm catching up on many months with Miles, who, I must say, is a true toddler.  Over the past 3-4 months, we've seen him grow and change more than ever before.  There's so much to love about this age, and at the same time, it's incredibly exhausting.  One thing I never knew about toddlers (or maybe chose not to hear) was that they may abuse you.  Pulling hair, grabbing your face, or accidentally smacking you in a tantrum is a real thing.  And those tantrums can be hard to predict--sometimes even harder to solve.  But the heartwarming and awesome moments definitely (usually) outweigh the bad.  Many nights, Steve and I feel like we need to debrief the happenings of the day with Miles--the new words, the tantrums, the parenting choices, and the funny moments.  There are so many at this stage!
First, some basic, estimated stats.  Since he hasn't been to the doctor since 18 months, I'm not sure how much Miles weighs.  He does have a long torso and wears mostly 2T clothes.  He eats like crazy one day, and hardly wants to touch his meals the next.  His favorite foods are Lara bars, rice cakes, berries, smoothies, most meats, beans, peas, corn, pizza, and milk.  Not much has changed there, and I'm always on the hunt for new foods for him to try.  The other night I succeeded in getting him excited about his broccoli ("look! trees!"), and at least for the time being, this is also a favorite.
Miles is still pretty serious, but laughs the most when we tickle him or say words that he thinks are funny.  He'll repeat the word--like "scoot"--over and over, cracking up as he says it.  He has a few funny faces, like his scrunched up nose face and furrowed brow.
At the end of April, Miles and I took a trip to Arizona to meet up with my grandparents, mom and sister.  Surprisingly, he loved the pool (he had seemed skeptical the last time we tried) and talked all the time about "Nana" "swimming" "kicks" and "purple" (the noodle).  I don't know what it was about the trip, but by the end of the weekend, Miles's vocabulary was beginning to take off.  He started repeating what we said, naming characters (he loves Richard Scarry books about "Huckle"), and recognizing  some letters and colors.
While in Arizona, we found a little farm in the middle of the dessert.  "Tractor" became the newest obsession, and Miles still talks about "driving" it in Arizona.
Just a week later, we headed to Santa Barbara for Steve's sister's graduation.  After back to back weeks on airplanes and at airports, Miles really became interested in planes (and any other vehicles really). He loves all things with wheels--taxis, buses, planes, trucks, diggers, motorcycles--and carries his toy vehicles with him everywhere we go.  The beach in SB was also fascinating to him, and without Steve holding him back, Miles would have taken off, right into the waves.
One of my favorite things about being a parent is watching Miles get excited about new things.  When he's amazed by something, smiling, laughing, or desperately trying to tell someone else about it, the happiness is contagious. 
Miles has also become more affectionate and asks for hugs and holds our hands often.  These signs of attachment are endearing, but also problematic when we leave for work.  Lately, he says "Back!" (come back) and "Hug!" "Promise!" usually getting a little teary as we go.  Other times, it like he's the boss of the house, shouting commands like "No! Don't!" or "Get it!" and "Kiss it!" (when he bumps or falls).  I'm trying to take advantage of these moments and teach him to use please (he says "peeeeeeas" in a high pitch voice) and thank you ("tank too").
Overall, I'm the most amazed at the speed in which Miles is learning and changing each day.  He remembers so much, wants to talk and narrate everything he does, and is better able to adjust to new experiences (something that has been hard for him) as long as I get him excited about some aspect of it. For example, we've been really trying to get him to transition out of his too-small whale tub.  It dawned on me that getting him excited about swimming could do the trick.  Now at night we get ready to "go swimming" in the big tub and he hops right in.
Miles's interests are really changing all the time, but right now, he's a huge fan of "mowing" (when he first received this toy mower, he spent at least an hour straight mowing the lawn in the back yard), "driving" (sitting the in front seat, playing with the steering wheel and listening to music), "gee-tar" and "pano" (strumming the guitar and playing the piano).  In the last few days, he's been loving his stuffed animals as well, asking for each one to read with him, or "nap" with him in his crib.
He really cracks us up.  Miles loves to talk about people he knows and associate particular experiences or sayings with them.  When we ask him what his Aunt Robin says, he exclaims, "whaaaat??" and "hi bud" for his Uncle Josh.  He'll introduce himself to perfect strangers, patting his chest and saying "My-wuls" multiple times.  He points to shiny trucks on the street and says "Nice!  New one!" as if admiring them.  And of course there are the funny words that he's somehow picked up (probably learned from his dad ;) ) like "bum" "naked" and "toot."
I really feel so blessed to watch him grow.  As my belly also grows, I have to admit, it's as tiring as ever.  But I wouldn't trade it!  We sure love our buddy Miles.

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