The good, the bad and the funny

Dear Alex,

We’re wrapping up summer and you’ve just passed the 20 month mark… crap, that is dangerously close to 2 years old! In some ways I feel like we’re there already, as I see quite a bit of the “terrible two’s” behavior coming out already. Lots of crying/tantrums over the most random stuff, hitting, etc. We’ve instituted time-outs for you now in these situations, and have set up a lovely space for this that Dad called “the sin bin.” It’s actually just your pack & play set up in a corner. ๐Ÿ˜‰ When you hit or throw a tantrum, you go into time out there for about 2 minutes. Another typical toddler behavior that has sprung up recently is being picky with your food. I think if it were up to you now you’d eat only carbs. I have to serve your veggies first with nothing else on the plate, or else you’ll skip over them to the other stuff. Sometimes even then you don’t eat them, which is weird because up until this point you ate pretty much EVERYTHING, especially veggies! I’m also going to try some new recipes soon that “sneak” veggies in, like zucchini muffins and such. Hopefully this is just a phase.

I mentioned that you randomly cry over stuff, but I should also mention that you laugh at the most random things lately too. A couple of examples– one morning while we were eating breakfast, you kept putting your face right in front of a bottle of honey and cracking up! Not sure why the honey bottle was so hysterical. Another one is that lately you crack up anytime someone gives you a thumbs-up, or points, or anything like that with their fingers. Apparently fingers are super funny! ๐Ÿ˜› Toddler are very much little Jekyll/Hyde sort of people, with mood swings ALLLL over the place.

I mentioned the bad & the funny, but saved the good for last as there is just so, so much of that to share. ๐Ÿ™‚ You are growing, learning, and maturing so very quickly lately. I’d been planning to add to the catalogue of words I started in the last letter for you, but you’ve added so many words to your vocabulary in the last two months that I couldn’t possibly remember them all now. You know many names of the common people in your life (including your own, which sounds more like “Aye-ex” at this point), many foods & common objects, several verbs (“watch,” “walk,” “read” and “eat” being your favorites), most of the niceties (please, thank you, i’m sorry), both yes and no, and several two word phrases (like “Mommy’s cup, “More please,” etc). You can identify some colors, letters & shapes, and quite a few of your body parts as well…

And you learn TONS new stuff everyday. You are such a smart little guy! Dad & I are so, so proud of you already. You’ve had a lot of other “firsts” this summer as well. One thing that I was a little nervous about what your first dental checkup, but you were a champ! We went to a really great pediatric dental practice, where all the staff were friendly and fun. They made sure you had a gentle & positive experience. The dentist said your teeth look great! ๐Ÿ˜€ This will sound silly, but after it was over I felt a little emotional, similar to when you got your first haircut… things like that are big reminders of how you’re very much NOT a baby anymore, how quickly you’re growing and how quickly the time is passing by. Another little “milestone” we had over the summer was the transition to a booster seat at restaurants (which is immensely easier to deal with than a high chair, although it doesn’t keep you as well-contained when you get fidgety). Here’s your first booster seatย experience, duringย one of our Sunday family lunches at Bertucci’s:

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And another one a few weeks later. This is a blurry shot but I love it because it’s a sweet moment between me & you. When we’re out to eat & you sit next to me in the booth, you frequently lean over & put your head on my shoulder, just because. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Anywho, we’ve spent as much of our time as possible outside this summer, enjoying all the fun & festivities this area has to offer. It was at one of these local festivals that you recently experienced your first carnival ride:

Of course, you LOVED it…. and I was not surprised, considering how much you love swings & slides, and it was only a slight step up from that. Speaking of swings & slides, here’s some more pics of our summer fun:

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At the park with your pal Ella!

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At kiddie band concert (The Milkshake Band!) with your friends Adelyn & Bree. You might have noticed by now… you have a LOT of girlfriends. Uh oh. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Our play group had their first “birthday” party over the summer at our favorite park. It was so much fun! Everyone had a blast playing cornhole, blowing bubbles, riding the little train that goes around the park & just running around playing outside. Hard to believe it’s been over a year now since I started that group… it’s been quiteย successful & I’m very proud of it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Many of our BFFs/”family” in the area are in our lives because of that group!

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We went to visit Hampton for Labor Day weekend… you had a blast seeing your grandparents & cousins!

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So this trampoline park opened up near our house a few months ago… you & I finally went to check it out recently. It was a BLAST, as you can see! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Lately I’ve been getting you to “help” me cook more often– this little booster tower thing lets you stand right next to me at counter height. Usually more often than not, you’re just sampling the ingredients. LOL. I also got you a little play kitchen off one of the yardsale sites & put it right next to our real kitchen, and you enjoy playing with that as well while I’m cooking.

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Bedtime stories with Grandma & Daddy. ๐Ÿ™‚ You may notice that you’re wearing the same PJ’s in both pictures… you really love those “puppy jammies.” Unfortunately we’ve just recently retired those and bumped you up to size 3T for pajamas. I’m stocking up on 3T clothes for the winter too. You’re growing so fast!

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“Where’s Alex?!” LOL. One of your favorite things to play, mostly when we’re hanging out upstairs, is hide and seek. We had a weekend last month where we were all pretty sick and spent the whole weekend upstairs in bed. Here we are all snuggled up:

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Not that being sick ever slows you down! Lots of hide & seek games were played that weekend. Haha. Here are some of my other favorite pictures of you from the last couple months:

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We’re still working on you saying “cheese” for pictures… this is pretty much best-case scenario at this point, where you do indeed say cheese but you won’t look at the camera. We’ll keep working on it!

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Admittedly, we take quite a few pictures of you while you’re sitting at the table… it’s pretty much the only place where you stay in one place long enough to actually GET a picture. ๐Ÿ˜‰

That’s enough for one letter I think, although I could go on & on about all the stuff you’re up to these days. Every day is a new adventure with you because you’re learning and doing new things constantly. We’ve even started to dabble in potty training with some degree of success, but we still have such a long way to go on it that I don’t think it’s worth discussing in great detail just yet.

Anywho– until next time, my sweet boy! ๐Ÿ™‚

All my love,
Mom

 

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Episode VII: Return of the Snoogle

Dear Charlie,

Coming up on 21 weeks now, over halfway through the pregnancy! You’re getting bigger and bigger with each passing day now, currently around 13 ounces & 11 inches long… the interwebs says that’s the size of a pomegranate, but I’ve never seen an 11 inch pomegranate! Haha. I’ll let the belly speak for itself (this was taken last week actually, right at 20 weeks):

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As noted in the title of this letter, I did have to break my humongous Snoogle pillow back out a couple weeks ago… it has become kind of uncomfortable to lay flat on my back for too long, plus technically it is not good for either of us to have me laying on my back after the 20 week mark anyway. Poor Dad, he (understandably) was not looking forward to the return of the Snoogle. It really is like having a third person in the bed. LOL. A necessary evil!

The other obvious indicator of your size is the fact that I can feel you moving around in there on a regular basis now. It’s not constant (yet), but I can usually depend on you to poke & flip around after a meal and/or when I’m laying in bed at night. It’s not quite at the point where Dad can feel you moving from the outside yet, although that hasn’t stopped him from trying! I suspect that will happen within the next month or so.

All other indicators are pointing to a smooth, healthy pregnancy so far as well. Every test I’ve taken up to this point has come back normal, my weight gain and blood pressure are right where they should be, and you “passed” your anatomy scan last week with flying colors! The ultrasound tech took her time to show us all your organs, bones, etc… and you almost immediately showed us “the goods” confirming (again) that you are definitely ALL BOY. Haha. And not shy about it at all! ๐Ÿ˜‰

We got a few pictures from the ultrasound, but we also got something even better this time– a video! I was so excited when the OB office told us they do this free video service now for all their patients. Here you are, in all your glory:

As fun as it is to watch you on the screen, we are getting more and more excited to meet you in person! ๐Ÿ˜€ And admittedly, a little terrified about it too. :-X You’d think with being second-time parents that would not be the case, and it’s true that many of the things we were nervous about the first time are not things we’re worrying about now… but there are things about the transition from a family of three to a family of four that Dad & I worry about. Not just how we’re going to be able to handle having a newborn & a young toddler, but more importantly the young toddler’s transition from being an only child to a big brother. I know in the long run that Alex will be a GREAT big brother to you, but I also know that he is a stage 5 “clinger” on me and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Having to divide my time between the two of you is going to be really hard on him, and honestly I feel a lot of guilt about it already. I hope & pray that we do a good job of helping him to handle it, and that he does not take it out on you too much.

Speaking of Alex, we’ve been trying to introduce the “there’s a baby in mommy’s belly” concept to him recently & I think he’s starting to pick it up a little bit! Randomly he touched my belly the other day & said “Baby sleep” out of nowhere. I was like “Yeah Baby Charlie is sleeping in there” and he goes “Charlie!” ๐Ÿ˜€ So, there’s hope for the two of you after all. LOL.

Well I’d better wrap this up– you are kicking furiously at my bladder all of a sudden so a trip to the bathroom is in order… :-X Until next time, sweet boy!

All my love,
Mom