Nolan: eighteen months (that's halfway to two!) #moms #toddlers

Before I noticed, Nolan flew right past his first birthday into being a year and a half old. I just realized I didn't even document his fifteen month milestone thus, I'm actually fearful of how long this post will be in my attempt to document all there is to love and enjoy about him. I'm certain I'll forget some stuff. Where do I even start?

How big is Nolan?
We just had his eighteen month well-baby exam.

22lbs 14oz (10th%)
32 1/2inches (50th%)
47cm (25th%)

He's about the size of most 12 month olds. Tiny but mighty! :)
Something interesting: While he sat quietly and still for the entire exam, he was hysterical upon receiving his immunizations (three of them) and clung to David for dear life for nearly three days afterward. He refused to lie down for diaper changes, becoming hysterical and crying, we think because he feared more shots since he was lying down when he got them. Our Pediatrician said this type of reaction is common.

He's still wearing a size 3 diaper and I remember Emily being in a size 3 for what seemed like an eternity. He's finally filling out all his size 12mo clothes and jackets and is still comfortably wearing his size 5 PediPed shoes. His footed, fleece PJs are size 18mo.

Completely weaned
Yes, Nolan is completely weaned. I wouldn't even call it weaning because that word conjures up so many negative experiences shared with me by friends! I actually decided to just not sit down and nurse Nolan for his mid-day (after his AM nap, before lunch) feeding the week he turned 15 months old, instead offering him a snack of fruit and or cheese. He never even noticed. I wasn't engorged at all so, the following month, just after he turned 16 months old, I decided to drop his early evening (after his PM nap, before dinner) feeding. Again, I offered a snack and again, he never even noticed. The final feeding to be dropped was the first of the day when we were both still in PJs and the rest of the house was just waking. It was, admittedly, hard to give up. Not for Nolan. For me. It was "our time". Our special, quiet, still time of every day. But, as he got closer to 17 months old, he nursed for less and less time, struggling to get down out of my lap and race off to have a waffles and bananas breakfast with Emily. So, on Election day, five days after he turned 17 months old, I had David get him up that morning and put him immediately into his highchair for breakfast, rather than me taking him to the living room to nurse. To my great sadness, though I wasn't surprised, Nolan was happy to eat his waffles and bananas and never so much as walked over to try and get into my lap. {sigh} It's been an easy, natural transition for us all and I count myself incredibly lucky to have been so successful with breastfeeding and the weaning process.

Speaking of food, Nolan loves to eat and would carry around a snacktrap of food all day if we would allow it! Like most toddlers, he's not fond of most vegetables and hesitates a bit with new foods and some days he'll only eat cheese, where others he'll only eat fruit. We're trying to keep in mind the idea of eating well-balanced over the course of a week, rather than putting so much focus on each day.

Favorite foods
Blackberries, blueberries, pears, bananas, grapes, pineapple, oranges, and apples
Monterrey Jack, cheddar and Mozzarella cheeses
Peanut butter on wheat bread
Whole wheat pasta with red sauce
Grilled cheese sandwiches
Chicken nuggets, turkey corn dogs, fish sticks (home-made or store-bought)
Steamed peas, sugar-snap peas, green beans
Graham crackers
Popcorn, puffs
French toast, flaxseed waffles, home-made Pumpkin muffins, zucchini bread

Favorite toys and activities
READING BOOKS OVER AND OVER AGAIN! He can pick out "Goodnight, Moon", "Runaway Bunny", "Stinky Face", and "Green Hat, Blue Hat" from all his other books and he must sit in your lap while you read to him. He loves to point at the pages and really loves to hold your hand as you point.

Opening drawers, cabinets, and bins to put something random inside and then, closing them back again. He repeats this pattern with all his toys, books, balls, my tupperware, my purse, a stack of paper cups, his Fisher Price Little People farmhouse, and his diaper changing basket that's in the playroom.

Pushing anything with wheels. Aunt Jenny got him a mower to add to his little bouncing bike, Cozy Truck, shopping cart, and musical piano, all of which is loves to drag across the playroom, race through the kitchen, and then whip them around and go back to way he came.

Buttons and noise. What toddler doesn't love the phone and the remote control? Any time the video baby monitor or the Wii controller go missing we can count on finding it near where Nolan is playing. He really loves all his musical toys, too. He'll push certain buttons as many times as it takes to get to the noise or song he favors at the moment. He also loves listening to music in the mornings, dancing and shaking his head with the beat, and loves to have one of his toys playing a song while he rides his new rocking big wheel. Over Christmas, Gram and I observed him pushing his Elefun ball popper to make it sing, get on his rocking big wheel, and rock along to the music. Once the song was over, he got off and ran over to turn it back on so he could get back on and rock some more. This went on for over half an hour!

He's also very physically active. He loves jumping on our trampoline, climbing (don't leave a chair pulled out nor your bedroom door open!) on everything and sliding, chasing, spinning, splashing in the bath tub, swinging, running, going on walks, crawling through tunnels, and his most recent trick of forward somersaults. Yes, you read that correct, somersaults! He loves to be upside down and tickled and spun around the room and we always call it "upside down man" when we do that to him. A few months ago, upon hearing "upside down man" from one of us coming at him to tickle him, we noticed he stopped what he was doing and bent over, touching the ground with his hands and resting his head on the ground, like doing the downward dog yoga pose. Then, a few days later while in that position, giggling at us, he pushed up onto his tip toes which rocked him forward and he flipped over, landing on his back in a fit of giggles. We were are dying laughing and clapping, which encouraged him to just keep doing it. So now, any time he hears us say "upside down man", he starts doing forward rolls.

Language explosion
Though Nolan is quiet and reserved, rarely cracking a smile for a stranger, he's quiet the talker amongst family.

Words he uses accurately and regularly:
Mama, dada, Bap (for Emily)
Go, Go, Go (when running through the house)
Nah Nah ("no no")

You understand exactly what we're saying!
Nolan does so much with commands from us, it's really going to be amazing to listen to him speak once he formulates all the words. He's one smart cookie!

Things we tell him to do that he does accurately and regularly:
Sit, come here, stop (normally when walking), get down (when he's up on a chair or the bed)
Lay down for a diaper change
Let's put your shoes on (he sits and holds his foot out for you)
Throw __ in the trash
Open, shut, clap,
Get in your chair it's time to eat
Arms up
Step in/out (of PJs and pants)
Time to go upstairs for nap/bed time (he goes up the stairs to his room)
Let's go bye-bye (he runs for the front door)
Where's your drink/snack (he'll look for it and bring it to you when he finds it)

Nolan has such a sweet disposition. He's gentle, reserved, and happy to stand back and quietly observe. He's very curious and eager to try things out himself, particularly all the cool things Emily does, like going down the slide head first! He's a very loving, snugly little guy, always wanting to sit in your lap or be held by you and is generous with hugs and kisses and high fives and loves to hold your hand. He's very sensitive and empathetic, bursting into tears whenever others are crying, even total strangers, and any time you raise your voice or even sneeze extremely loudly. He's also very patient and extremely determined, especially when playing with a new toy or discovering a new activity. He will repeat the opening and shutting, folding and unfolding, turning on and off, and stacking and knocking down motions throughout the day every day. He never tires of repetition. He's easy-going, happy to just be along for the ride, regardless of how many times you get him in and out of his car seat and stroller. He's very easy to please and doesn't bore easily nor quickly, even when playing alone.

A typical day:
I wrote a detailed post about a typical day in our lives HERE that you can read.
7:30am - Wakes up, gets his diaper changed and gets dressed. Most of the time David does it as I'm helping Emily get ready for school.

8:00-9:30am - Playtime! Typically here at home with David as I'm at the school volunteering, at the gym, and/or getting myself dressed for the day. He loves to read books and destroy the playroom we cleaned the night before.

9:30am - Morning snack time and off to run an errand, go to the park, zoo, or Wee Play, or have a playdate with one of his baby friends.

11:30am - Lunch time here at home.

12:30-2:50pm - Nap is 5 hours from when he woke up on any given day. I try to get upstairs to begin the nap time rituals 15 minutes before that 5 hour mark. Nap time is just short of 3 hours before we have to pick up Emily at school. Normally I have to wake him up or get a friend to walk Emily home. I sing him his special nap time song up in his room as I'm changing his diaper, turning on his sound machine, and getting him dressed in his PJs (it's really cold right now so he wears his fleece footed PJs for nap time, too). In dim light, we read his favorite books. Then, I tell him that I love him and put him in his crib. He falls asleep on his own.

3:00pm - Afternoon snack time and play time with Emily here at home, mostly outside. If she has an afterschool activity, gymnastics, or a play date with friends, Nolan and I play together.

5:30pm - Dinner here at home with Emily. David is still at work so I make them a meal they can eat together and sit with them.

6:30pm - Bath time for them both. They love to play together and keeping them together makes things much easier on me! When I get Nolan out, I leave Emily in, at her request, so she can play with her favorite bath toys and actually get herself clean.

7:00pm - Once Nolan is in PJs and his lullaby songs are over, we sit together in his room and read books, build block towers, and just play together. It's his wind down time and it's quiet and dark in his room.

7:30pm - I hug him and we give lots of kisses before I put him in his crib with "Picky" (short for Peek-A-Boo) the Rhino and his blanket. He sleeps in his crib, falling asleep on his own, for 12-13hours.

What a FUN age you are, at eighteen months old my lil man!


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