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I am having a hard time keeping up with regular updates.  We are SO busy – I swear some days I don’t know how I accomplish everything that I accomplish.  Work, exercise, housework, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry…and making time for quality time with Eric and Ritter.  Any of these things could be a full time job easily and most days I end up feeling like they all suffer a little.  Nothing gets 100% of me…but that’s how it goes.  I accept this.  I work SO hard at balance.  I cherish my fridays with Ritter and make sure that everything else can be ignored on those days.  Laundry waits, cleaning waits, etc.  Even though I get home late most work days, I try to spend a good 20-30 minutes each evening just playing with him before bath.  I try to get weekend workouts in when he’s napping.  Work emails pile up until I can get to them on friday nights.  I go grocery shopping on my lunch break.  I make meals ahead when I can.  We eat more frozen vegetables than we used to.  But it’s fine.  This is where we are.  When I hear people who aren’t working moms of toddlers complaining about having no “me” time or being too busy to exercise I want to laugh out loud in their face and give them a play by play of my daily schedule.  It would make your head spin.  If I can do it, so can you.

Anyhoo…all that to say I sorta missed the 18 and 19 month update and here we are and Ritter is TWENTY MONTHS.  I can’t even!  He’s almost TWO.  TWOOOOO Y’ALL!  WHAT!?!  I get alot of people who don’t have kids who ask why I use months instead of just saying he’s one.  Moms do you get sick of this question?!  I usually go into a spiel about how much kids change between 12 months and 16 months.  And how COMPLETELY different they are between 16 months and 18 months..and so forth and so on.  The things he can do and say now compared to when he first turned one are insane.  Hell, the things he is doing just since he started school 4 months ago is crazy.  So…to convey to other moms where our child is, it’s more accurate to give months.  I’m sure that after he turns 2 I’ll just start saying that he’s two.  But for now…he’s 20 months.

New Stuff:

This kid.  I swear.  I don’t even know where to start.  This kid is talking.  Full on multiple word sentence talking.  I’m blown away by his language development daily.  I am routinely around kids at least a year older than him that don’t talk as well.  When he was born I read so many things about how to encourage language development and tried to do as many as I could, but I never would have imagined he’d be like this.  I think he’s just naturally smart also and for that I’m grateful!  Anyway I don’t even know where he learns the stuff he says.  The other day I dropped something in the kitchen.  Clear as day he says “mama dropped it” and I said “yeah mama dropped it.”  Then he goes “mama get it?”  Like, “are you going to pick it up?”  Hilarious.  Eric went to get his hoodie off of the coat rack and mine fell in the floor and Ritter goes “mama hoo-hee fell.”  The fact that he calls a hoodie a “hoo-hee” is just about the best thing ever. Eric has been working with him for days and finally has him saying “hoo-hee life!”

He is really into sitting down now.  Not sure what that’s about…he goes to his chair and  says “I sit down now.”  I’m like “yep, you’re sitting down.”  Ha.  And he wants to sit in big chairs more too.  Like at the kitchen table.  He is also saying “fall” or “fell” alot.  If he trips he goes “I fell down.”  And the other day I was laying in the floor stretching after going for a run and he walked in and went “mama fell down.”  He seems to be picking up on things SO fast.  Like..he hears it just once and remembers. And he will randomly say the most off the wall things that I have no idea how he remembers.  The other night after I kissed him goodnight and started to walk out he goes “I sleep tight!”  MELT!!!!!

He is naming things everywhere we go.  We got in the car the other day and he said “car seat.”  He walks by a tree and says “tree.”  When I sit down to eat he says “mama eat” and “mama’s bowl.” …It’s lots of cute little things like that..just letting you know he knows what is going on.  haha. He’s learning his colors and will randomly point to something and say the color.  Green seems to be his favorite.  He’s also big into singing and music these days.  We are constantly singing I’m a Little Teapot, If You’re Happy and You Know It, and, thanks mom, the Oscar Mayer bologna song.  At the end of each song he will go “Teapot again” or “Happy again” so you will keep singing.  He loves when Eric and I do all the movements…he will do the teapot handle perfectly but doesn’t do the spout yet.  haha.  He does love to ‘tip over’ and ‘pour out’ though.   He also says “bye bye” to things/people.  The other day we were leaving to go to the library and he said “bye bye Jackson” clear as day.  I melted.  That’s the first time he has ever spoken to Jackson other than to tell him to move.  haha.  A few weeks ago he started using the word “now” at the end of everything.  It was kinda annoying so I kept redirecting him to use “please.”  Now everything ends in “now please” …like “eat eat now please?” It’s precious.  Here is a video from when he started with the “now” thing…

He also wants to always know what is coming.  It’s like he needs an agenda.  Every night… “dada do bath?” (is daddy bathing me?), “mama read?” (is mama reading to me tonight?),  “eat eat coming?” (are we eating soon?), and “chicken nug coming?” (am I getting chicken nuggets tonight?).  I always try to let him know what’s coming next like:  “After we get dressed we will eat breakfast.”  I’ve always done this so maybe he’s just used to always knowing what is next.

The absolute BEST thing happened last night and I’m so mad I wasn’t here for it… So…from the time he was born we always sang this little song at bath time.  It goes like this:  Bath time for the Button / Best time of the day / Bath time for the Button / Washing all the dirt away!  We haven’t really been singing it in a few months.  There are always other pressing issues at bath time like which bath toys we are going to play with.  Anyway… last night Eric said he was getting ready to give Ritter a bath and Ritter goes “Bath time for Button?”  Clear as day!!! Y’all what I would give to hear that!!!

Ritter is also a little worker bee.  He wants to be going all the time and always has a purpose to his “work.”  He moves things from here to there.  Organizes them.  Hides them and seeks them out.  We randomly find little trinkets hidden in funny places.  He has certain favorite hiding spots too and at least once a week I have to hunt down my keys by systematically searching through all of the hiding places.  Speaking of keys..he’s pretty obsessed with those too.  He has his own key rings that are old keys of ours and he carries them around everywhere he goes.  He also has two old, dead, iPhones that he carries around.  They don’t do anything…he just loves them…better then his toy iPhones that light up and play music and talk to him.  He also has an old watch, bottle caps, an old wallet…things like this.  They are his little treasures and he gathers them up and carries them around everywhere.  If I didn’t know better I would say he was a wizard obsessed with muggle artifacts.  (That’s a Harry Potter reference that I couldn’t pass up!)

Anyhoo…all that to say…he doesn’t play with toys much.  He loves “real” things.  And his constant “working” is just another confirmation that this kid is meant for Montessori preschool.  The Montessori philosophy basically says that children want to work..that their play has a purpose and that they want to be productive.  It has a great deal of focus on helping children develop independence and self esteem.  It believes that children learn through exploration and they learn better when they are able to explore things that interest them and have the freedom to work at their own pace.  Montessori is good for kids that are very independent and like to explore and figure things out on their own.  That is Ritter for sure.  We were on a waiting list for the toddler program at a local Montessori school and were told a spot would not be available for him when we wanted to start – so we went with our 2nd choice.  A spot did end up opening but he had gotten settled where he was so we decided to stay there.  Now I think we are going to give it another shot.  I’m going to give it until January and if a spot opens back up at Montessori I believe we are going to make the transition.  I just think he will thrive there.  Not that he isn’t thriving now…I just think he will get so much out of it.  He’s so smart and seems to already have a huge desire to learn.  He asks questions all day long.  He wants to know what things are called and what they do.  He wants to figure them out.

Here’s a great example.  Here’s my little worker bee figuring out how to plug in the A/V cable into the stereo.  He even matched the colors.  He did it over and over til he got it right.  IMG_8665 IMG_8668

Physical / Sleep: 

So he’s running.  Full out running all over the place.  He loves being outside and asks to go out constantly…especially when it’s pouring down rain outside.  He goes to the door, grabs the door knob, and says “outside now pweeese!”  He loves to slide and swing and ride in his little sportscar.  He loves to gather things outside also.  We routinely pick flowers for Daddy on fridays and Ritter wants to store it in the “pock-net” of his “hoo-hee” until daddy gets home!

He went through a hilarious little sleep regression for a week and a half a couple of weeks ago.  We haven’t had any sleep issues with him since he went through the 4 month sleep regression.  He normally goes down super easy, sleeps 11-12 hours, wakes happy and plays in his crib until we come to get him.  But a couple of weeks ago he started crying when we left the room but only for a few minutes.  Then he proceeded to pick up his blanket, lay it on the crib railing, put his head on it, and fall asleep standing up. After a while his knees would buckle and he would eventually lay down.  But we went through this falling asleep standing up thing for a week and a half.  We didn’t change anything we did and didn’t go back in to lay him down or console him.  If we went in there, he would only wake up and get mad all over again.  So we just let him go and after a while he just went back to normal.  Here are some adorable pics of him asleep standing up….

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Stats:
24 lbs, 12 oz (he lost a little since he’s been so much more active)
32 inches (I think he’s actually taller – I think they measured wrong)
Size 5 shoe
18-24 month clothes
Size 5 diaper
Nap 1-3:30 PM
3 meals a day and 2 big snacks
Eating WELL with utensils
Still drinking almond milk – still sensitive to dairy
Loves: trains, Chuggington, playing outside
Favorite foods:  sweet potatoes, bananas, cauliflower (roasted), chicken nuggets (organic, gluten free of course), avocado, lima beans, quinoa, pasta (a pasta dish I make with noodles, marinara, and veggies), waffles.

More Pics and Videos:

This kid LOVES FaceTime

This kid LOVES FaceTime

Obsessed with this car!

Obsessed with this car!

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Putting his choo choo's to sleep in the "garage."

Putting his choo choo’s to sleep in the “garage.”

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First haircut - FINALLY!!!

First haircut – FINALLY!!!

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Cool dude!

Cool dude!

If you only knew how much this kid love his hoodie.

If you only knew how much this kid love his hoodie.

Ritter's artwork on display at his school's art show/fundraiser!

Ritter’s artwork on display at his school’s art show/fundraiser!

This!

This!

Finally some sun and a trip to the zoo on a sunday morning!

Finally some sun and a trip to the zoo on a sunday morning!

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Barons Fest at Regions Field.  He loved running around on the field.

Barons Fest at Regions Field. He loved running around on the field.

Family pic!

Family pic!

Looking at Children's from the dugout.  Glad to be on the outside nowadays!

Looking at Children’s from the dugout. Glad to be on the outside nowadays!

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Sittin in the big seats :)

Sittin in the big seats 🙂

Cute new outfit.  He loves his pockets!

Cute new outfit. He loves his pockets!

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This next video is kinda old – maybe 2 or 3 months.  He is speaking so clearly now but it’s amazing to look back and see him learning these cards.  He now knows the entire deck…

This is when he first started learning how to use the spoon.  We don’t get any more “mama do.”  Now he eats the whole bowl by himself, and super fast!

 

UPDATE 4/6/15:

There are more things that I keep remembering to add…

He is saying “mama cookin'” when he sees me in the kitchen…recently he started using the meal word with it – “mama cookin’ breakfast.”

He is asking about where we are going next or telling me where he wants to go “I want to go home.”  or “we go to Cin Cin’s?”

He’s using please when he makes requests and I don’t have to prompt him to!!!  “more apples pwwwease!!!”

He understands hot and cold and will often ask you to cool something off if it’s too hot… “mama cool it off.”

Keep with the OCD-ness…he is now asking things to be wiped off if they fall in the floor.  If he drops his paci he picks it up and hands it to me and says “mama wipe if off”  Same with meal times.  If he gets something messy on his hands he wants them wiped off.

I’ve noticed he’s using alot of articles when speaking now.  So instead of “mama wipe off” he is saying “mama wipe IT off.”  He’s also using possessive pronouns…so instead of just saying “I sit down” he’s now saying things like “I sit in my chair.”

The spontaneous thought and verbalization is crazy too… like we will be driving down the road and he’ll say “I wanna sing.”  And I’ll say “what song?”  And he’ll go “happy and know it” for “If you’re happy and you know it!”  Or he’ll say “Teapot.”  He has this whole repertoire of songs in his head now to choose from.  haha.  He definitely knows what he wants and when he wants it.

I don’t want to gloss over the not-so-awesome part of this age.  The tantrums.  He is definitely having them.  He will get mad about something and throws things and tries to bite things.  Yes bite!  It’s usually his own hand or shirt or something.  I think that may have something to do with the teething right now also.  But I’ve learned he gets over them very quickly if I walk away.  I say “let me know when you feel better and we’ll finish snack” or something like that.  I walk away and when I hear him calm down I come back and praise him and say “okay let’s finish snack now” and he’s usually fine.  He also does the whole going limp thing, the kicking thing, the stomping thing, etc.  It’s mostly when he’s playing and we have to stop for one reason or another like he has a poopy diaper or we have to leave to go to school.  Like I said, he gets over them pretty fast, but they definitely aren’t fun when they are happening.  If I make any attempt to calm him down or find something he wants, it only gets worse.  You absolutely have to walk away (if it’s safe to do so).  Good thing is, we don’t have them in public and he never EVER acts out in any way at school so yay for that.  The school staff say he’s the best kid there.  Not to brag 😉

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