Saturday, September 28, 2013

Carter - 21 months

I’m beyond sick of saying number of months.  I barely do it anymore.  When someone asks how old Carter is, I say he’ll be 2 in December.  I haven’t really updated much on how Carter’s been doing other than little tidbits here and there in other blogs, but I figured I’d do a post on just him.  I’m going to fill out the post using the bullet points I did when he was still in his first year.  This way I know I’m not missing anything :)  I will also sprinkle some random pictures throughout the post of the past couple of months.

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Size 4.  He’s OBSESSED with his diapers by they way.  Most of the pampers diapers have Sesame Street characters on them.  Oscar, Elmo and Cookie Monster.  Carter is obsessed with the Cookie Monster one.  He doesn’t refer to him as that though, he just says “cookie”.  It’s funny, people hear him saying this and they think he wants an actual cookie, but in reality, he just wants to play with his diaper.  Carter has this thing with carrying his diapers too.  If he sees 8 of them just laying around, he has to pick them all up.  If it’s too many for him to carry, well, he’s going to try anyway and get really frustrated in the process.  Case in point:

Shoe Size

Last time we went to Stride Rite to measure his foot, he was a 6.  I have a feeling he’s almost outgrown that though and that we’ve moved up to at least 6.5 if not 7.  I plan to get him sized again once it begins getting cooler and we buy him more shoes for winter.  Toddler shoes aren’t cheap!!

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He wears mostly 18 month clothes, but there are a few shirts and shorts that are 12 months that he can still wear.  However, I’m going to begin the process of packing up all his 12 month clothes, and even some of the 18 month ones that are too tight on him.  I’ve already gone to several church consignment sales in the area and racked up on winter clothes for him.  Most of what I got for him is 24 months, but I did get a few 18 month things.

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Carter’s eating schedule is much like ours now.  He wakes up and has a cup of milk followed by some sort of breakfast (waffles/pancakes and fruit of some kind-blueberries, oranges, pears, bananas, etc.).  A few hours later he’ll have some kind of snack, then lunch around 12 or 1 and then he goes down for a nap.  When he wakes up from his nap he gets another cup of milk along with some kind of snack.  He eats dinner around 6ish and has a 3rd cup of milk as we’re reading to him right before bed.  Once we begin potty training, we’ll move that milk to be with his dinner so that he isn’t drinking a bunch of fluid right before bed.  Meal times are also beginning to take much longer than they used to because I’ve been working with Carter on using utensils.  I’m trying to make him feed himself with a spoon and it makes lunch and dinner times take significantly longer and they become significantly messier!  He’s getting much better at it though.  He’s really good with foods that “stay on the spoon” (like veggies-if a veggie falls off the spoon, it doesn’t typically make a mess).  What he needs to work on are the messy foods and keeping them on the spoon.  Things like rice or Spaghetti O’s can be very messy if he doesn’t keep the spoon level when moving it from the food to his mouth.

Foods he loves:  All fruits and most veggies, preferably green beans, peas, corn or carrots.  He loves waffles and pancakes and most types of cookies (he finally started eating chocolate chip cookies).  He’s a huge fan of Ritz crackers, most types of chips, Teddy Grahams, Nutter Butters and Animal Crackers.  We’ve introduced him to chocolate milk and he loves it, but we’ve only given it to him a couple of times.  He still eats those Gerber Graduate meals and loves most of them.  When he’s not eating a Gerber Graduate meal, he eats grilled chicken, the Publix dinosaur chicken fingers, or ham for his meats.  I’m trying to get him to stop eating the Gerber Graduate meals, but it’s so easy and fast to heat them up and sometimes I’m just so busy.  On days I work, I don’t get home with him until 5:30 or 6 so there’s really just not enough time for me to cook anything.

Foods he doesn’t like:  Bread.  Period.  I think he’s going to be Paleo.  For real.  He won’t eat any kind of bread, which is unfortunate because we’re trying to get him to like PBJs.  We found out when he started school again, however, that PBJ's aren’t allowed due to so many kids having peanut allergies.  Regardless, we still want him to eat a sandwich and he won’t.  He won’t even touch a grilled cheese which is odd because he used to like them.  When he got croup back in April, I seriously think it changed his tastes for things because he used to like a lot of things that he won’t touch now.  We have just started giving him fish sticks but he doesn’t like them yet.  We’re going to keep trying with it though.  He used to not like any kind of spaghetti-type food.  I think he hated the red sauce (which is funny because his momma hates red sauce too).  But lately he’s actually been eating the spaghetti O’s Gerber Graduates meals, so maybe he’s coming around.  He also used to not like macaroni and cheese and I’ve been working on him with that, too.  He likes the Gerber Graduates Mac and Cheese meal now, but not so much the Kraft kind that you make on the stove.  I’m going to keep working on that though.

Bottom line with food-Carter really is a GREAT eater, we just need to keep trying to get him to open up his tastes for certain things.  People comment all the time on how much the kid eats.  They don’t understand how he’s so skinny and yet he eats as much as he does.  Debbie (my mother-in-law that keeps him while I work) and I have two answers for that:

  1. He is moving non-stop, literally the kid rarely sits down
  2. He poops around the clock

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No huge things to discuss here.  He still goes into the crib at 7:30 every night (though most of the time he doesn’t actually fall asleep until 8) and wakes up around 7-8am, depending on the day.  He has one nap a day that lasts anywhere from 2-3 hours, usually about 2.5 hours.  He goes down around 1:30pm, but on days that he has school, it may not be until 2 since his school doesn’t get out until 1.   We’ve noticed that his naps tend to be shorter on days that he goes to school.  You’d think it would be the opposite…he gets worn out at school with all the playing so it would make sense that he’d sleep longer those days.  But the truth is, if you wait too long to put a baby down for nap, he won’t sleep as long.  That idea was introduced in the first Babywise book and I’ve found it to be very true for nighttime sleep and naps.  Carter needs to go to sleep around 1 to have a good 3 hour nap (maybe even a little before 1).  So when he doesn’t get a nap until 2, he will usually only sleep 1-1.5 hours.

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I haven’t used this word in a long time.  It’s a Babywise term and Carter’s is kind of out of the Babywise now.  I’m currently reading Toddlerwise and I’m about to start reading Pottywise.  This book series is really excellent for those of you that are about to have children.  Waketime is just what they do during the periods of the day that they’re awake.  Since Carter only has one nap now, he’s awake for the majority of the day! 

He loves golf cart rides still.  And his new thing is playing in the backyard.  It’s finally starting to get cooler (and by cooler, I mean the high is still in the low 80s, but at least it’s not the 90s!) so now I don’t mind going out there and sitting on the porch and reading a book while he runs around aimlessly in the backyard.  He has gotten into cars and trucks now.  He has an ambulance, fire truck and police car that make noise and he plays with those a lot.  And he also has some alphabet cards that he loves.  They have a letter on the front and a picture of an animal that begins with that letter on the back.  I’m trying to work with him on the alphabet so we play with these cards a lot.  He loves to play with his books.  I’m about to start doing “roomtime” with him.  Basically I will take him to his room and leave him in there with the door closed for about 20 minutes.  He can play with his books or stuffed animals, but he will have to stay in his room and entertain himself.  This helps them develop self-control.  They say 20 months is when you should introduce this so I’m a month behind.  Oh well.


Mother’s Day Out

Carter started school again at the end of August.  He’s now in the toddler room at our church with two new teachers.  This time, he’s not in the same class as the girls (his twin cousins).  They’re in the 2 year old room.  When the three of them were in the baby room together last year, they were the only ones in their class.  Now, Carter is in a class of 8 kids (6 boys, 2 girls) and he’s the 2nd oldest in the class.  He’s brought home tons of artwork already and I am loving his teachers too!  One of them frequently emails me to let me know how his day was since I don’t typically drop him off or pick him up from school.  School is 9am-1pm two days a week and since I’m already at work by then, Nana or Daddy, depending on the week, picks him up and drops him off.  He’s been in school now for about a month and from what I’ve been told, he still cries when he’s dropped off in the morning, but it’s only for a minute and then he’s distracted when he sees all the toys and the other kids.

 photo (6) Statistics

No stats to discuss…we won’t have another appointment until he’s two.  The last appointment we had was when he was 18 months.  At that time (his appointment was July 8th), his stats were:

  • 32 inches tall – 30th percentile
  • 24lbs, 7 oz – 30th percentile

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Good lord…the better question is “what CAN’T he do”??!? 

He loves to clean up.  I’ve worked with him so that he knows that we don’t go to take a nap or to bed for the night without cleaning up our mess.  Sometimes I will help him, but most of the time, I make him do it himself.  He’s also figured out that when he’s done using a cup or dish, he has to put it in the sink.  In the mornings when I give him his milk for breakfast, he usually sits on my lap watching cartoons.  When he’s done with the milk, he slides down from my lap and says “all done” and then runs to the kitchen and throws the cup in the sink.  I don’t even ask him to do it…I have no idea where this trait came from.  I worked with him on the cleaning before sleeping, but I didn’t work with him on this.  He just started doing it.  I think he sees me putting me and Justin’s dishes in there and he’s copying me. 

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He also copies pretty much every word we say, therefore his verbal dictionary is insane!  He can say way more words than average for his age.  He frequently has conversations with himself that I overhear, but I can’t make out what he’s saying.  This happens a lot right now.  Sometimes it takes me days of him saying something over and over for me to finally have the lightbulb turn on and figure out what he’s trying to say.  What I’ve been working on him with lately is the alphabet and counting.  He doesn’t seem to be interested in it yet though.  He’s recited A, B, C, D, E before, but that’s it.  Counting-wise, he knows 1, 2, 3, but nothing beyond that.  I’m trying to focus on the alphabet first.

He’s got this new found desire to color.  I don’t know if he’s been copying kids at school or copying his twin cousins or what, but Nana bought a table for their playroom and some pads and pens (those color pens that don’t show up on anything except paper…so as to not ruin your furniture and walls!).  He loves it.  I’m going to ask for a table and chairs for his birthday so that we can start coloring at our house and also just to have a table specifically for him.

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Also, he LOVES, and I mean LOVES his lunchbox and backpack.  He does NOT want you carrying it, he wants to carry it himself:

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Carter has all of his teeth with exception to the 2nd year molars and I think he’s in the process of getting them now.  He’s been drooling INSANELY for weeks and lately he’s been reaching his fingers back in the very back of his mouth on both sides.  I don’t see any buds yet, but I imagine they’ll pop through soon.  Once he gets these molars, he’ll officially have all of his teeth.  WOW.  The weekend before he turned 21 months, the teeth were hurting him bad.  I gave him some Ibuprofen several times over that couple of days.  He was fussy all weekend long and he also stopped eating most things.  That’s Carter’s MO for when his teeth hurts.  He doesn’t eat.  I tried to not stress over it too much and after a couple of days he went back to eating ok.  Still not teeth yet, but the pain appears to be gone, for now.

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Carter’s little personality is starting to shape and become evident.  He gets some traits from me and some from daddy.  His inability to sit still comes from both me and Justin.  We are both always going non-stop and always have something to do.  He’s the same way in that regard.  He gets his cleanliness from me.  I’ve worked with him on cleaning up, but most of the time, he cleans things on his own (like the cup in the sink thing mentioned above).  He gets a lot of his eating habits from Justin.  The kid doesn’t really like chocolate and neither does Justin.  Both of them prefer things that are sweet, like fruits, over anything chocolate. 

Temper Tantrums

I have never had a child in “terrible twos” and I hate calling it terrible at all (lets face it, children at this age aren’t terrible, they’re just trying to figure out what life is all about and what their limits are).  I have experienced some issues with Carter where I will tell him no to something and his response is to immediately sit down in the floor and pout.  It’s one thing if we’re in the living room since it’s not a strange place to sit in the floor, but it’s a whole other ballgame to do it in the middle of Publix….or church.  I’m sure this is just a taste of what I will experience over the next year.  I’m trying to keep my cool as much as I can though.  In my mind, Carter’s being irrational…but I have to remind myself that he’s not even 2 yet.  He shouldn’t be expected to be rational.  So really, I just  need to lower my expectations of him just a bit during this phase.  Overall, he’s still mostly obedient when he’s given instructions.  Toddlerwise says to expect obedience 60% of the time at this age.  I think, in all honesty, I get about 75% from Carter right now.  That’s not to say that will change.  I’m sure as we get further into the 2nd year that percentage may go down, but for now…he really does a good job of doing what we tell him.


Don’t really have much to report in this area.  I’ve said it before on other blogs, but we use time out.  We have his pack-n-play in the corner of our living room and that’s what he goes in if he’s in timeout.  When he does something wrong, he goes to time-out for about 2-3 minutes while Justin or I leave the room.  We don’t want him to see us when he’s in time-out.  After the 2-3 minutes is up, we come back in the room and kneel down to his level (while he’s still in the pack-n-play) and tell him what he did that made him go to time-out (when he’s older and understands it a little better, we’ll make him tell us what he did instead of the other way around).  He absolutely positively must say “sorry” before we lift him out of the pack-n-play.  Making him do this has increased the likelihood of him saying “sorry” for things that don’t send him to timeout.    Even if he does something wrong and we’re not at home or the offense isn’t big enough to justify a time-0ut, we still make him say “sorry”.

Other Notable Things

The thing Carter is doing right now that I think is stinkin ADORABLE is giving kisses and hugs.  He does it every time we leave somewhere.  If we’re leaving a party, or church, or someone’s house…anywhere!  I’ll say “ok Carter tell them bye and we’re going to go” and he’ll run up to whoever and say bye bye with the cutest little hand wave ever and then he leans his head into theirs and either gives them an open mouth kiss or leans his cheek towards them so that they can give him a kiss.  It’s beyond precious.

And, this month (around September 20th to be exact) he said he loved me for the first time.  I say “I love you” to him a ton, but he’s never repeated it.  I will even say “tell me you love me” and he still says nothing.    I just so happen to get on video of when he finally said it.  He was upstairs playing with a walker and he was stuck in between the couch and his playpen.  I told him I would help him if he told me he loved me and he said it!!!

I also finally took the bumper pads out of his crib.  He loves those things.  He uses it as a pillow.  Loves to get his head in between a corner so there’s a bumper pad all around his head.  Problem was that he could stand on the bumper pad and lean over the railing.  After a close call of him almost falling out in front of my very eyes, I decided to take it out.  Didn’t affect him in the least though.  He’s got at least 8 stuffed animals in his crib with him and the night I took the bumpers out, he arranged his animals to make one huge pillow and slept there.  I ended up buying him a toddler pillow this weekend.  Last night was his first night with the pillow, however it didn’t matter because there’s so many stuffed animals in there that he didn’t use it.  As far as toddler bed transition goes, I’m not ready yet and I really don’t think Carter is.  If I converted the crib now, he would stay awake playing with his books until 10pm and I would find him asleep in the corner of the room where his books are the next morning.  Guaranteed.  So I think I am going to wait until a little after he turns 2.

The other big thing we did this month was turn Carter’s carseat to forward facing in my car.  We were trying to hold out until he was 2, but just couldn’t do it anymore.  He is still rear-facing in Justin’s car and also in Debbie’s car (his caregiver while I work).  For the last month or so Carter’s been getting antsy to turn around.  He kept saying my name as if he didn’t know where I was because he couldn’t see me.  He also kept trying to turn his body around in the carseat to see me which worried me that he was going to break a leg based on the positions I have caught him in trying to turn around. 

In the state of Alabama, you can legally turn a child forward-facing at 1 year old, but the AAP recently started suggesting to wait until 2 years.  We had a goal of doing it at 2 years, we really did.  Most people I know that have toddlers turned them around somewhere between 1 year or 18 months.  Carter’s pediatrician even turned his kids around at 18 months.  Reasons most people use for turning them around are 1) the kid doesn’t like facing the back or doesn’t like the carseat in general and cries so they turn them around hoping that it will make them less fussy (this wasn’t an issue with Carter because he didn’t hate his carseat) and 2) their kids are tall and their feet are hitting the backseat.  The height thing, I understand though.  For me, it was a personal preference.  Carter’s not tall by any means (he used to be, but lately he’s been in the 30th percentile for height) but at 21 months, his feet were laying on the seat at an incline.  Someone said to me once “If you got in a wreck, would you rather them break a leg because their feet are at an incline on the seat or would you rather them have brain damage because their neck muscles aren’t developed enough to handle impact?”  Broken leg please!  So that’s why we kept him rear-facing for as long as possible.  He’s truly loving being able to see us though.  Every time I turn around to look at him, he looks back at me and laughs.  And I gotta admit, I ADORE being able to see his face!

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  • Running all over the place
  • Walking in and out of places as opposed to being carried by us.  He’d rather walk on his own and hold my hand instead of me carrying him.  This is all fine and good, except that it now takes about 30  minutes to go from my parking spot to the front doors at Target.
  • Still loves golf cart rides.  He’ll only be able to enjoy them for another month or two before we’ll have to retire the cart for winter!
  • Books.  He’s become very interested in books.  I have recently figured out that if I have a book in the car with me, he doesn’t need to watch a DVD.  As long as it’s a short trip to run errands or something, he’s entertained with just a book.  He loves flipping through them and I have even noticed that he jabbers a lot while looking at them.  I can’t help but think that he THINKS he’s reading the book like me or daddy do.
  • Golf clubs.  His great grandmother on Justin’s side gave him a toy golf club set back in June and he loves them. 
  • Doors . Still loves experimenting with opening and closing doors.  ***This exact bullet point was under the “likes” section of his 12 month post.  Carter is now 9 months older than he was then and he STILL does this.  The only thing that’s changed is that now he says “bye bye” when closing doors.  It’s really the cutest thing ever.  In the mornings when I get him up and get him out of his room, he always steps on his tippy toes to reach the doorknob and while walking backwards to close the door, he says “Bye bye Henry” (Henry is his stuffed animal that stays in his crib while we’re downstairs).  When it’s bathtime, he’ll come in the bathroom with me and close the door behind us and say “bye bye good girl” (good girl is our dog, whose name used to be Gizmo until we had a kid that apparently felt she needed a new name)***
  • Diapers.  See note above about the diapers.
  • Stuffed animals.  There was a time when Carter used to throw all of his animals out of his crib before going to bed.  Not anymore.  He loves them all….all 8 of them.
  • Lunchbox and backpack.  He’s really becoming obsessed with these items.  He wants to carry his own lunchbox and backpack when going to school.  Makes me a little sad that he’s grown up enough to carry it on his own!
  • Other babies.  Lots of my friends have been having babies so when we go visit, Carter always gives the baby a kiss.  Just yesterday we went to see my friend Ashley’s newborn and the baby started crying and Carter was saying “oh no, baby”.  I think he’ll be a good big brother one day.
  • Taking Gizmo her food, one pebble at a time.  Now this is hilarious:


  • Being told he can’t go outside.  You’d think Armageddon was going on at the way he reacts when I close the back door and he knows it’s closed for good.  Bless him.
  • Bread of any kind (pizza, actual bread, rolls, grilled cheese, sandwiches…won’t touch any of it)
  • Time out, but that’s kind of a given
  • Letting others hold him.  He still, at 21 months old, won’t let very many people hold him.  He’ll interact with strangers just fine if he’s in the floor or being held by someone he trusts.  He’ll even give strangers kisses if he’s told to.  But he won’t let anyone other than a select few of us hold him.  It’s so weird.  It’s not separation anxiety either, because like I said, if he’s in the floor, he’ll come up to people and chat it up with them.  He’s just very very picky of who’s holding him.


Fiona said...

Wow, Carter sounds so well behaved compared to most toddlers I hear about... including mine!! Lucky you! :) Hopefully he keeps it up. I am glad to hear your feeding and milk schedule because it is the exact same one we are aiming for with Lids (although as you know, it doesn't usually go so well). Carter sounds like such an awesome little eater. Veggies!! And what a clever boy with all his words, and already starting the alphabet!

Renee said...

I find it funny that our boys are exactly the same age and while some of these things you mentioned are just like Leland, there are some that are SO different. Like, he loves using silverware. He's been using his fork and spoon for months and usually won't eat without one. But...he still wakes up once during the night most nights for his pacifier.

Val @ It's Always Sunny in Somerville said...

Where did you find the toddler pillow? I'm on a hunt for one and can't find anything small enough or flat enough to feel comfortable with.

Claire and Carter are SO similar. It's funny. I just wish she could get the memo about the 3 hour naps - AMAZING!