Milo 23 Months

Playing catch up here, and I’m confident it will be most inadequate.

My last post was an inadequate summary of some adventures we’ve had the last two months, and this post will provide an inadequate summary of some of the developments my little genius has made. Not only will it be inadequate, but it will likely also be disorganized.

Language & Comprehension

In May, Milo said his very first multi-word expression, “Bye wah-wah” when he was saying bye to the river. Since then, he’s expanded his multi-word verbalizations to things like, “More milk,” “Mama no,” and “Milo shoes.”

His vocabulary has exploded. It seems like he says a new word every day. We read several books everyday and talk about the words for everything, and he usually repeats many of the words and understands what they are. Just yesterday, he learned ‘baboon’ and can differentiate baboons from chimpanzees or orangutans, etc.

He also knows his colors and has for a few months now (this is one of those developments that is old at this point). ¬†We’ve been working on colors for quite a while and I was starting to wonder if he was color blind. Not only does he know the primary colors, but he also knows secondary colors.

I just LOVE that he and I can communicate at this level, it makes everything so much easier. I can ask him if he’d like a peanut butter & jelly sandwich or pasta for lunch. I can ask if he’d like to go on a bike ride or to the zoo. If he needs or wants something, he has a much greater capacity to communicate it to me.

Pre-Two

It blows my mind that Milo will be TWO years old next month. He is becoming a big kid and I still think of him as my baby. (I suspect that will never change).

Two will be a significant age for him, as several changes and milestones will happen.

Next month he will transition to the Turtle Classroom for the two year olds. Not only will have a new class to transition to, there will be new routines. I anticipate that the classroom transition will be fairly easy, as they already socialize the Chipmunks and the Turtles a lot, have the Turtle teachers watch the Chipmunks, as well as the fact that the current Turtles used to be Chipmunks and Milo already knows them from when they were in his class. From the point when he first started in this day care last fall, there is actually only one other kid remaining from his original class.

As for the new routines, Turtles are big kids – so they are treated like big kids and have big kid expectations. For example, big kids don’t use pacifiers. I mentioned this in my last post, but this past month we weaned Milo off the pacifier. He seemed so hooked on his paci that his teachers and I decided to begin the process early… At day care, they only use pacifiers during naptime. And at home, we’ve been pretty strict about pacifiers being for naps or bedtime. But still, Milo just seemed so hooked on his paci. Anyway, weaning him from his binkie was a total non-issue. We just explained that binkies were for babies, that big kids don’t use binkies, and that he’s a big kid now who doesn’t need a binkie. He occasionally asks for his binkie, but just by saying “binkie” once and then I think he remembers that he’s a big kid and he doesn’t persist about it at all.

20170721_162528.jpg

This photo is at his day care. Last week, they were reading and doing activities around the book Giraffes Can’t Dance and they drew a giraffe as well as outlines of all the kids in the class. On the silhouettes of the kids, they also wrote down their heights, and I noted that Milo is the tallest kid in his class, at 33 inches.

Speaking of his size, in the past I’ve mentioned what clothing size he wears and I haven’t done that for a while. Right now, he is solidly in size 18 months for shirts and size 12 months for pants and shorts – and size 6 shoes. Lengthwise, he could wear larger pants & shorts, but his waist is super skinny and anything larger than the 12 month waist size falls right off him.

Another new routine they do in the Turtle classroom is to start potty training. I don’t know all the in’s and out’s of their process, but from what I understand they sit the kinds on a potty and encourage them to go, but don’t make a big deal about it if they don’t use the potty. At home, we’ve started putting Milo on the potty without a diaper at least once a day – with no pressure or expectation that he use it, mainly just for him to get used to it. We’re also reading several different potty books at home, which he seems interested in.

It is interesting / weird, but he always says ‘no’ if I ask him if he pooped or if he is currently pooping (because I can tell) and I’m not sure if he’s saying ‘no’ because he doesn’t want to interrupt his playing to have a diaper change or if he honestly doesn’t know that he pooped/is pooping.

Imagination

In the last several months, Milo has developed an imagination. It’s apparent that when he’s playing by himself, he’s creating in his mind a detailed scenario of which he is the conductor. Right now, we have a big landscaping project in our front yard and Milo will spend a long time enthusiastically playing with his vehicles in the dirt piles, talking to himself about what he’s imagining.

20170723_132532.jpg

Another cool development is that he’s really playing WITH other kids now. Yesterday, we had a playdate with three other kids (each around 4-5 years old, except for Milo) and Milo was joining the other kids in their fun. It was so wonderful for me to watch him truly playing WITH other kids.

fin

Okay… as I suspected, this is an inadequate summary of the developments of my little genius, but an inadequate summary is better than no summary. I know there is so much more that has happened with Milo, but my memory is eluding me at the moment and I’m just going to publish this, lest I remain in draft form for months. (Interestingly, I have a post titled “Milo 21 Months” that has been a draft since May, so this is a very real danger for me.)

As for next month, I’m starting to mentally plan his birthday party. I’m going to invite at least one of his classmates from daycare (Lilah, who is absolutely his best friend) as well as his other playmate friends. Milo has so many toys and books, that I don’t anticipate buying him very much; but we are going to buy him a balance bike.

if I die in a cubicle zone

I am more than two months¬†almost three months behind in a Milo update and my guilt about this is intense. I admit that I’ve let myself enjoy a bit of sleep, or reading for pleasure, or puttering in my garden, or being present with Milo, rather than writing about what a genius he is and all of his many accomplishments. I don’t regret my prioritization but I feel incredibly guilty.

So, I have this new job. And it’s taking up a lot of my time. Much more than 40 hours a week. I don’t exactly regret taking the job, but I kind of regret taking the job.

It’s just so much more all-consuming than a mama with a toddler with little support can handle.

In an attempt to catch myself up, this post contains a collection on photos with very brief summaries of some things we’ve done.

May

Summer in Boise. Hot hot hot. We’ve been playing in our backyard pool and in the sprinklers a lot. I’ve since upgraded to a bigger pool than what is pictured and it’s a great way to cool off in the heat.

We’ve also been going to the pool at the YMCA. We did this a few times last year and Milo was completely overwhelmed. But now he’s really taken to it. He can even go down the big water slide on my lap and has so much fun.

Also, several parks have ‘splash pads’ and we’ve been enjoying those as well.

20170430_161806_resized.jpg

Summer, it’s all about how to beat the heat.

This below photo from May is from a hike we went on… seems like a long time ago. That’s our neighborhood below. This is my current favorite photo of Milo and I.

20170430_175723_resized.jpg

Josh has been taking Milo mountain biking when it’s cool enough.

20170430_174900_resized.jpg

Sleeping boy. As an aside, I’m noticing the two pacifiers next to him in this photo (which was taken two months ago)… In preparation for him turning TWO next month, we’ve weaned him off the pacifiers (both at home and at school) and it’s worked out great. I thought it would be horrible, what with how attached he was to his binkies, but he seems to understand that he’s a big boy now and big boys don’t use binkies.

20170509_210955_resized.jpg

For Mother’s Day, his day care hosted a Mother’s Day tea party. The whole time I was fairly anxious about all of this china around so many toddlers, but it was fine. (They also hosted a Father’s Day Root Beer Float party).

20170512_154044_resized.jpg

Arkansas

In May, we went to Arkansas to visit Josh’s family. Milo took his very first plane trip and he did great! Since he’s still under two, we saved some dollars by not buying him a seat and it was totally fine having him sit on our laps.

20170514_094200_resized.jpg

We stayed with Josh’s oldest brother, Jim, and his family (wife Wendy, son Jamie, and daughter Anna). This is their playset in the backyard, with Anna on the swing.

20170514_142905_resized.jpg

They also had this car and all of the cousins took turns driving it around. Even Milo drove it!

20170514_143747_resized.jpg

Milo driving Anna around.

20170514_175447_resized.jpg

Josh’s oldest sister, Jessica, bought the kids a bouncy house and they had so much fun. In the below photo, Milo was enjoying the sensation of lying down and bouncing around. I was worried the other kids would step on him, but everyone was very careful.

20170514_180120_resized.jpg

More bouncy house fun.

20170514_180252_resized.jpg

That’s his cousin Eden. It’s crazy… I held Eden when she was a newborn baby and now she’s 7 years old.

20170514_180936_resized.jpg

The next few photos are when we went to a ‘drive through safari.’ Below, we were looking at some birds (and right as I was taking this photo, Milo put his mouth on that poopy railing! ugh!) We used a lot of hand sanitizer on this trip.

20170515_140819_resized.jpg

Goats!

20170515_135923_resized.jpg

Feeding a camel.

20170515_144703_resized.jpg

Milo got to touch a snake!

20170515_144314_resized.jpg

We also spent time out at a lake (I don’t know the name).

20170516_193349_resized.jpg

This is Josh’s mom, Kathy.

20170517_112842_resized.jpg

Milo and Kathy in downtown Bentonville.

20170517_115505_resized.jpg

Hanging out in another of the cousins’ backyard.

20170518_104747_resized.jpg

We also went to a really fun indoor children’s playground, called the Amazeum.

That’s Leah, Eden’s sister, behind Milo.

20170518_130334_resized.jpg

Milo and I spent a lot of time at this sand swirly station.

20170518_132254_resized.jpg

I wish Boise had a place like this for when it’s super hot outside. I should mention that we went to this Amazeum on ‘tornado day’ – – not only was it really hot and humid out, but tornadoes were in the forecast and we wanted to keep the kiddos inside.

20170518_133143_001_resized.jpg

There was a fun water play area.

20170518_133715_resized.jpg

20170518_133848_resized.jpg

Northwest Arkansas is also home to an amazing art museum, Crystal Bridges, which has a large outdoor art space, including miles of walking paths. We walked along the paths quite a bit (and also went inside the museum as well). Anyway, this is one of the sculptures that I liked a lot.

20170518_142905_resized.jpg

After ‘tornado day’ there was ‘tornado night’ when Josh, Jim, and I were woken up by the tornado alarms (amazingly, Wendy and all the kiddos slept through it). We watched the radar for awhile and discussed whether to get all of the kids into a closet or something.

Weirdly, there are no basements in this area of Arkansas. They have some really bizarre bedrock just a few feet down from their top soil, and it’s difficult to drill below it. Trees grow with shallow roots that spread horizontally rather than going deep into the soil, and they are always coming down in storms. At Kathy’s house, she recently had a big tree come down, and I was astonished at the root system.

20170519_003148_resized.jpg

On another day, we took a field trip to an historic mill and stopped at a few other places. We had taken a walk, and a storm quickly began forming, so we scurried back to the mill. Below, Milo is covering his ears because of some loud thunder.

20170519_153338_resized.jpg

It rained hard for about 20 minutes, and afterwards there were many fun puddles to play in.

20170519_162041_resized.jpg

Here’s a photo of the storm approaching. It’s amazing how fast it came on. On our walk, the skies were clear and sunny, and within ten minutes it looked like this.

20170519_153732_resized.jpg

We went to the Farmer’s Market and Milo got to tour a fire truck.

20170520_120611_resized.jpg

We also went on a hike and everyone got ticks. Northwest Arkansas is extremely beautiful and has some fantastic outdoor recreation opportunities, but the bug situation is completely unacceptable. Checking ourselves for ticks was a nightly occurrence, as was FINDING a tick on at least one person.

20170520_150830_resized.jpg

This is up at the lake again, and all of the cousins lined up together. The oldest cousin, Ely, is holding the youngest cousin, baby Joshua.

20170520_185358_resized.jpg

There’s a fun splash pad in downtown Bentonville that we took Milo to. The expression of absolute delight summarizes how he felt about the splash pad.

20170521_162219_resized.jpg

June

Back in Boise, Milo came down with another stomach flu. He’s already so skinny and he seemed to quickly get skinnier with a week-long stomach flu.

20170602_185322_resized.jpg

My former boss had a party that Milo and I attended with some of my former coworkers. She lives on a ranch and has several horses, included this mini horse.

20170610_114551_resized.jpg

Milo got to ride a tractor. It was a lot of fun.

20170610_113851_resized.jpg

Another adventure we had was to go to a petting zoo way out in a rural area (wow, I cannot remember where it was) with his friends Una and Eli. I had never been there before (and I don’t think I’ll go again… it wasn’t that great). But it was fun for the kiddos and afterwards we all went to a brewery that had a nice outdoor space for the kids to run around.

20170611_110634_resized.jpg

Josh is working on several home improvement projects. He’s completely re-landscaping the front yard, getting rid of most of the grass, installing a walkway, etc. Inside the house, he’s also working to install the house’s very first dishwasher.

20170625_135543_resized.jpg

I painted Milo’s and my toenails purple.

20170703_191524_resized.jpg

Okay, apparently that is all of the photos that I uploaded. I have actually not been very good about taking photos recently. Milo and I went blueberry picking last Saturday and we go to different playgrounds and nature areas all the time.

This post kind of catches me up on some of the adventures we’ve been up to but doesn’t even begin to touch on all of the developments that my little genius has experienced these past few months. I’ll try to do that at some point. And hopefully I won’t get this behind again.