I know I shouldn't even refer to Baby O as a baby anymore, but I simply cannot imagine him as anything but my baby. So Baby O he will stay until he can give me some ideas for a proper pseudonym. Hopefully that will take a few more years.
At 18 months old, I am loving this stage. He is just too cute for words. He is still into absolutely everything, but I am no longer spending what seems like 98.9 percent of my time redirecting him. I would estimate it at about 65 percent now. He stops and pauses when he hears the words NO, and though the verbal cue doesn't always work, it has been a huge relief for my state of mind and I'm not completely on edge when we are in an unfamiliar place. A firm 'no' seems to do the trick for now but as I look into the future, I am wondering what type of discipline is going to work for this active toddler. A time-out carpet has really done the trick for Boy O, but every time Baby O passes it in the stairwell, he is extremely eager to stand on it or sit on it for an impressive amount of time-all the while smiling and laughing. We might need to consult another form of behavioral instruction besides Supernanny.
He has understood pretty much everything for a few months now and his vocabulary skills are growing exponentially from day to day. It's really amazing. Much time is spent at the end of each day going over what new words he has said and what words were put together. The first time he put words together was when Daddy and Boy O were outside and he pulled on my leg and said, Me, sun. Me sun. Me sun. I quickly realized he wanted to go outside. I love being able to communicate! Even if it is short-I can ask a question and he can tell me yes or no. I guess I could have been more progressive and studied up on sign language like many other Moms I know, but I was just never good at being very consistent. Or remembering the actual signs for that matter. Oh well.
Speaking of consistency, I've found that to be of utmost importance in potty training. Baby O is doing very well Friday through Monday making it to the potty most of the time, but between Tuesday and Thursday when our schedule is busy and
Baby O has graduated from our makeshift highchair to eating at the table with the rest of us. We didn't gear up too much before Baby O came home last May, so we made due by strapping a portable booster/high chair on top of the high chair below as he was a tad too small for it at seven months old. His size hasn't been the problem lately (our concern was for the welfare of the table), but it took me a while to find this great place mat which in theory should stay on the table with suction cups and give it some measure of protection from the inevitable banging. It's only been in use for a couple of meals, but so far, so good. He would much rather sit on a regular chair, but for right now, this is as close as it is going to get.
If I pull out the camera now and say smile this is his new look-I think it resembles much more of a grimace but cute nevertheless:
We have been taking sleep day by day for the last month or so. I have come to the conclusion that several factors have contributed to the shortage of sleep.
1 & 2) Since the first part of December, Baby O has cut eight new teeth. Once the molars had popped through and teething took a brief hiatus in January, the canines made their grand entrance very soon after we had recovered from a horrendous cold (which also didn't help anyone in the sleep department).
3 & 4 & 5) Me, myself and I. I blame it on the hotel. When we were traveling, I didn't want a repeat of the hotel scene that played itself out the night before the marathon. So when Baby O started to cry in the middle of the night, I slept with him on the sleeper sofa in 2nd room of our suite. At the time, this seemed like the perfect solution-most everyone got some measure of sleep. When we arrived home and it was apparent a bad habit had taken hold, Daddy O was adamant about not giving in and I was just as adamant about not letting Baby O cry. Daddy O kind of let me do my own thing-I mean who really wants to argue with a sleep deprived wife in the middle of the night? Under those circumstances, I will say that neither of us are very nice to one another at 2 am.
After a couple of weeks we began to see a pattern. If Daddy O put Baby O down at bedtime, there were no wake-ups. If I put him down, there were several. It was awful for everyone involved because after a week of no sleep, I'm not the nicest person at any time of day. It continued....if Daddy O went to check on him, there was maybe three minutes of crying. If I went to check on him, there would be at least an hour, at which I would give in and sleep with him in the guest bed. Then he started to talk. I would go in to check on him and he would point to the bed and say, Again! Peese! Peese! Bed!
So Daddy O is doing most of the night time duty, not only for Baby O, but for me as well. As soon as he comes back into the room he has taken to holding my hand and telling me that it will all be okay. Whew.
I am happy to report that Baby O's last two canines have come in and Baby O has slept through the night without any Ibuprofen for almost a week. There have been a couple of hiccups here and there, but I am learning to not give Baby O any type of stimulation when I go to check on him. No cooing, singing, talking-just business. Check and change the diaper, give a little milk in his sippy cup and right back down. It is working if I stay consistent (I'm beginning to see a pattern here...), and I'll admit to having some sigh weak moments, but I'm learning...always learning.
Anyway...here are some more cute kid pictures...