Here is an update on what Monkey is up to lately, one week before his second birthday. Thanks to strawberry at 1 in Vermillion for the great categories!
- Describe what and how your child eats: He runs hot and cold with food. Some meals are great, others he barely touches. It can be the same food, too. One day, grilled cheese is awesome. The next, he has to spit it out quickly. Some of his favorite foods include yogurt, asparagus, pizza, any fruit, dill pickles, bread (garlic bread in particular), and scrambled eggs.
- Does your child have any sleep problems? Oh boy. He is still up fairly frequently in the night (3-5 times), but he has been sleeping until 5:30ish pretty regularly lately. Yes that’s early, but it beats 4-4:30, which we used to regularly get. He goes to sleep at night without trouble. We are hoping to begin night weaning SOON, which we hope will lead to fewer night-wakings and better sleep all around.
Activity and Motor Development
- Describe your child’s gross and fine motor skills (how he moves around, grabs things, etc.). He is really great at throwing. He can throw a ball fairly far and with decent accuracy. He has good balance and enjoys climbing, jumping, and running. No issues at all in this department.
Social Skills and Environment
- What can your child do for himself? Funny you should ask as I’ve been thinking he needs to start doing more for himself. He has started to play around with spoons and forks at mealtime, but not regularly and he’s not all that accurate with it. Still, he tries and claps when he is successful. I want him to start helping pick up his toys, work on getting dressed (at least partially), and potty training.
- How does your child react to family outings and visitors? Family outings are hit or miss. Sometimes he loves it and has a great time. Other times, he is cranky and throws a tantrum (or 20). He loves visitors. Anytime someone comes to the door he runs to see who it is and greets him/her with a wave and a big, “HI!”
- Describe how your child copes with discomfort, frustration, or other distress: Loud crying, sometimes bites, sometimes bangs head on the floor. Says no a lot (even when he means yes!).
Language and Communication
- Describe your child’s language abilities: He knows a ton of words, but many only Mama and Mommy can decipher. He is actively describing his environment (points and names objects, people, animals and looks for validation). He only has a few 2 word phrases, but seems to be moving forward a bit quicker lately. We are holding off on speech evaluation for a bit longer.
Toys and Play
- List your child’s favorite toys and describe how he plays with them: Monkey is all about Hot Wheels/Matchbox cars. He can’t get enough of them. He likes to find little hidey hole spots to put them in and he also just pushes them around on various surfaces. He also likes to throw balls and is into anything Cars-, Yo Gabba Gabba-, or Elmo-related. You can also find him quietly looking at books on his own. Fairly recent discoveries include coloring and playing with Play-Dough.
- Does your child have a lovey? No lovey, but we’ve been trying to work a small Elmo doll into bedtime in the hopes that it might help with weaning at some point. Who needs a lovey when you co-sleep and nurse whenever you want. Hell, I’m his lovey.
- Does your child play with other children? He is just lately starting to do this. DW has several playdates per week so he is around other kids his age a lot, but only recently has he been playing with them rather than alongside him. This seems to be the norm as the other toddlers do the same 🙂
Feelings and Moods
- Describe your child’s range of feelings (comfort, discomfort, pleasure, joy, anger, affection, fear, hostility, depression / sadness) and how he expresses them: We always refer to Monkey as intense, and he is. When he is happy or feeling cuddly, his whole body shows it. He gives big, hearty hugs and kisses and wants to be held and cuddled frequently. When he’s mad, it’s wild. He screams and cries like the world is ending, will go limp and lay on the floor, sometimes banging his head on the floor. He often seems to be at one end of the spectrum or the other. There are many times, though, when he’ll play happily and just smile or wave at us.
- What is likely to upset your child? Reaching the end of a really fun time. Taking away an item that he shouldn’t have/is dangerous. Trying to wean : /
- What makes him feel better? Nursing. Oy.
- How many teeth? You know, I’m not sure but I know he is getting his 2 year molars as I’ve seen them and he has times when his hand is in his mouth constantly and he’s cranky (poor guy).
- In what ways, if any, does your child behave aggressively toward you, his siblings, his playmates, or others? I’ve never seen him be aggressive toward anyone but DW or me when he is angry or really excited (sometimes hits or bites when he’s really having some fun).
- Does your child have a strong preference for one parent? Right now, it’s me (Mama). He is going through a super-clingy, nursing-all-the-time phase. Sigh.
Figured I’d start with an update on the weaning process. So far, nada – hahahaha. One night last week we tried having DW put him to bed and go in for any wakeups prior to our bedtime (usually I do bedtime and nurse him back to sleep when he wakes in the early evening). Bedtime went fine. First two wakeups went fine. Third wakeup? Cue the freakout! DW and I actually had an argument about it because I went in after hearing him get steadily more upset over the course of about 5 minutes. I just couldn’t stand hearing him wail when I knew I could fix it so quickly and easily. I also wondered if he was upset because I wasn’t there (beyond just the breast, you know?). Anyway, I went in and comforted and nursed and got him back to sleep and we called it off for a bit. Sigh.
After that experience, I really wish I could just do the FET and continue nursing Monkey until he’s ready to quit. I feel so bad taking something from him that he loves so much. I have been considering getting a list of the meds my RE would use for the FET and contacting a specialist (the doctor someone mentioned in my earlier post) to see if it would be possible. At the same time, though, I’m not sure I could physically do the crazy amount of nursing he demands and be pregnant during those first few months. Argh. It’s so hard!
Monkey’s second birthday will be here in 9 days. Hard to imagine! We decided to hold off on his party until January. There is just too much going on to throw that in the mix and since he’s still so young, he doesn’t know any different. My parents are going to try to come for it, too, so that would be nice. My dad is a December baby (his bday is the third) and he was like, “You give that baby his birthday!” Like we wouldn’t do anything on his actual day! Please! We have lots of gifts and will have a cake and do something special on the 21st. Then in January he’ll have his friends party. We’ve decided to ditch the Julius monkey theme for this year and go with an Elmo’s World party. I’m already pinning all kinds of ideas on Pinterest 🙂 He LOVES Elmo, so it seems fitting. We’re going to hire someone to show up in an Elmo costume. I’m imagining the freaking toddlers when he shows up. How fun!
DW and I are also excited about Christmas. We have all of his gifties and can’t wait to see his reactions. Last year he was still too young to really get it, but this year will be a different story. We got him stuff we already know he loves (a wagon, which is coming from my parents, and a shopping cart filled with “food” are his big gifts).
So, that’s what happening in our world. We continue to talk about #2 and I think it’s really going to happen. Hopefully we can figure out a way to get there through the nursing situation sooner rather than later. I’d really like to take a shot in January, if possible…
And to remind myself, my next post will be all about Monkey and what he’s doing these days in terms of speech and other toddler developments.
Okay, ladies. I’ve seen lots of comments on previous posts talking about weaning or not weaning (I assume child-led weaning). So let’s talk, shall we? Please, PLEASE share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences on how to gently wean your toddler. I have nursed Monkey for all 23 months of his life and do not want to force him off the breast. But he has become more and more demanding about nursing and still wakes frequently at night to nurse and I’m just ready to move on to the next stage. Even if the idea of a second child weren’t brewing, I’d be ready to start the process. I just feel like it’s time.
Our plan is to begin with night weaning, trying out the Dr. Jay Gordon method. We co-sleep, so this seems like a good way to start. Once we have this done, I figure I need to get Monkey on some sort of schedule for daytime nursing so that I can begin dropping feedings. We have no schedule at all currently. It seems like any time I enter the room/sit down/look in his general direction/breathe I am being led to the couch and my shirt being lifted. I know he is teething like crazy right now, so hopefully that’s why he’s looking to nurse so often. (And yes, I feel guilty about wanting to wean when he’s having teething pain. But I’m not looking to go cold turky on him, so hopefully it’s a compromise.)
Your turn! Tell me all about your weaning plans or experiences. Include links, too, if you have them. Operation Wean the Monkey is on!
Pictures from Thanksgiving weekend ❤
Riding the big pony all by himself (in green shirt)
Decorations at Travel Town (Train Ride to Santa)
First look at the Christmas tree
New flannel Christmas sheets
I have so very much to be thankful for this (and every) year:
- My supportive, wonderful wife (and best friend) of 17 years
- Beautiful, wild Monkey in all of his “terrible-two”ness
- Good health for all of my family and friends
- Financial security/a good job
- A warm, clean, cozy nest of a home
- California, where we have discovered a large community of two-mom families, are legally married, and have that great weather
- And of course, all of my bloggy TTC/Mommy friends – thank you for your support and encouragement over the years
Wishing all of you who celebrate a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving. And a warm and wonderful Thursday to those of you who don’t 🙂