Nolan: twenty-one months #motherhood #toddlers

Biggie Smalls is 21 months old!

How big is Nolan?
Our little man is 24lbs and 33" and is still wearing a size 3 diaper. He recently moved into a size 6 shoe and size 18 month clothes. I find myself looking for things that appear more "big boy-ish", if y'all know what I mean. Less onesies with matching cotton pants and more t-shirts and jeans. I also went with a Tsukihoski athletic shoe instead of a leather Pedi Ped. My favorite t-shirt right now has the face of a Pirate on it, complete with eye patch and gold tooth!

He's an eager eater though can be hesitant to try new foods. His favorite foods include:
  • Blackberries, strawberries, 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
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Deli-sliced ham and mesquite turkey breast
  • Chicken nuggets, turkey corn dogs, fish sticks (home-made or store-bought)
  • Steamed peas, sugar-snap peas, green beans
  • Graham crackers, Goldfish crackers
  • Popcorn, puffs, granola bars
  • French toast, flaxseed waffles, home-made Pumpkin muffins, zucchini bread, banana bread

He happily sits in his high chair without protest and drinks water with every meal. He started showing interest in using a spoon and fork this last month so, we started giving him one with every meal. He has gotten really good at using a spoon to scoop up his food and actually get it into his mouth. When he's full, he starts throwing all the food left on his tray onto the floor. I have no clue how to stop this so, for now I stay close and say "thank you" when he puts the food into my outstretched hand. I give him a wet paper towel and tell him to clean up and he wipes his face, hands, and his tray. It's very cute!

He sits forward facing in his Britax Marathon car seat behind the driver's side and seems to really love looking out the window.

Nolan is a great sleeper! He's sleeping 11-12hrs at night from about 8pm-8am. As we've done since he was about 7 months old, he sleeps in his crib with his blanket and his lovey "Picky". He sleeps in complete darkness with his sound machine on white noise. He naps once a day for 2-3 hours between the hours of 1-4pm every day in his crib. We follow the exact same nap time and bed time routines that we started when he was 7 months old. For naps, we tell him "it's time to go upstairs and take a nap" and he willingly runs towards his room. We turn on his sound machine and a dim lamp to change his diaper, sing his one lullaby, and get him into his crib. We tell him "I love you, bye-bye" and walk out, closing the door behind us. He goes to bed quickly and easily. For bedtime, we play 6 songs from Jewel's lullaby CD while bathing him, putting lotion on him, changing him into his PJs, and playing with toys in his room. We read books in his rocking chair, too. When the CD is over, we turn on his sound machine, turn off the dim lamp, offer him a drink of water, and put him in his crib. We give him hugs and kisses, tell him "I love you, good-night" and walk out, closing the door behind us.

Favorite toys and activities
Nolan really loves to touch everything. Everything! So, the touch pools at The Aquarium of the Bay is a favorite place for our family these days.

The Zoo is another favorite place for us to spend half a day. Nolan loves to walk around, looking at each animal but especially loves to comb the goats.

I didn't manage to capture any photos of the day we spent at Little Farm but I can tell you Nolan loved watching Emily feed lettuce to the ducks, geese, and chickens and celery to the cows and goats. He didn't want to feed them nor get too close, I think their large size scared him, but he loved being able to walk around and look at the bunnies and the pigs!

I also take Nolan to our local parks several times a week. He's becoming more aware and interested in children his age and wants to play near them. He loves to climb and slide, swing, and play in the sandbox.

Reading the same books over and over again is still a favorite activity. He has to sit in your lap and be in charge of turning the pages. He recently discovered Thomas the Train books and will sit through us reading them, even the lengthy ones. Now that Emily can read just about anything you give her, he likes to sit in her lap and have her read to him. She's really animated, using different voices for the characters and making silly faces. There's more giggling than reading going on most of the time. 

Our sandbox is a toy he plays with every single day, even when it's raining outside (we move it under the patio). He loves to fill up the towers and watch the sand fall down and fill up the toys. He also loves to throw it.

In the past two months, he has used sidewalk chalk and played with some Play-doh and discovered how much fun it is to pop bubbles.  He really loves to bounce and catch and toss a ball, ring the doorbell, flip any and all switches, stack blocks into a tower and knock it down, and do Emily's Melissa and Doug clock puzzle. He also loves to squat & jump, load the dryer, throw trash away, perform a downward dog yoga pose that we call "upside down man", do forward rolls, dance and watch Emily play video games. He's also discovered Emily's Thomas the Train set and loves to sit in the middle of it when it's all set up and roll the trains over the tracks.

What toddler doesn't like to climb? Nolan climbs on everything. And falls off of everything. I hope it's only a matter of time before he puts it together and takes up a new hobby.

If I had to pick one thing that is his #1 favorite activity it would be rolling his trucks on every surface indoors and out. He loves to watch the wheels go around! He takes his trucks and cars everywhere and actually threw a little fit when I took one away from him before putting him to bed one night.

Nolan really loves music. He loves to dance to anything on the radio and recently has become interested in performing the hand motions to some nursery rymes including: Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes; The Itsy Bitsy Spider; Open/Shut them; If You're Happy and You Know It; and Row Row Row Your Boat. He claps when the song ends and begins the hand motions again if he wants you to sing it again.
Language explosion
Nolan is very quiet and reserved, happiest to observe, most of the time, but has started using words more regularly.

Words he uses accurately and regularly:
Mama, dada, Bap (for Emily)
Go, Go, Go (when running through the house)
Row Row Row (he loves that song and requests it)

"Grrrr" (when you ask him what a tiger says)

Along with all the excitement, learning, and growing, Nolan appears to be entering that "Terrible Twos" phase of acting out physically when frustrated. It's pretty minor and rare (for now) but he is hitting himself in head when he's displeased (a slapping motion), head-butting the object he's frustrated with, and going into what we call "turtle mode" (slumping down onto the floor into a ball) when he doesn't want to do what you want him to do. We redirect 80% of the time and ignore his behavior the other 20%. He recovers quickly if you can make him laugh. We are not introducing any punishment as of now.

He really dislikes lengthy car rides, stroller walks, and shopping trips where he's confined to a shopping cart because he just wants to run around and touch everything! So, I don't run many errands these days with him in tow.

A typical day:
8:00am - 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.

10:00am - Morning snack time and off to play! Wee Play, the Zoo, and the Aquarium open at 10am and the parks are full of kids his age by then, too.

12:30am - Lunch time here at home.

1:00-4:00pm - 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.

4:00pm - Afternoon snack time and play time with Emily here at home, mostly outside. If she has an after school activity, gymnastics, or a play date with friends, Nolan and I play together.

6:30pm - 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.

7:00pm - 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.

7:30pm - 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. Lights out is about 8:00pm.

Nolan is such a sweet, gentle, curious, happy, affectionate little man. He LOVES to hug, kiss, high five, blow kisses and fist bump. He willingly does anything you ask him to do and is just a complete joy to have in our lives. His favorite person is Emily, hands down. He wants to do everything she does, wants to be everywhere she is, and is most at peace when playing with her. She's so patient and kind with him, though she can get annoyed when he gets a hold of her favorite toys or her school work. He's starting to fight back a bit (mainly hitting) when she takes a toy from him. He also shows great empathy for her when she's hurt or sad; he cries when she cries. He loves her!

In just three months, Nolan will be two years old and we just can't believe it!


  1. He sounds like a perfect almost-two year old. I love this age so much!

  2. What a great life! He's a sweet boy. Good job Momma!


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