~ Milo 2 Years! ~

Today my lovable guy is TWO years old.


We’ve had a great month. I am constantly in awe of how smart and fun he is.


Get this… my little genius can COUNT! Last night in the bath, I asked him how many toes he has, and he correctly counted all the way up to SEVEN! He’s been reliably counting to 2 for a few weeks (and has been very excited to identify when there are TWO of something) but last night I was absolutely blown away when he kept counting all the way to seven.

Of course, I tried to take a video of him counting and he wouldn’t count in front of the camera. But he did count to seven for Josh, who was equally amazed as I was.


This weekend, we had a casual gathering to celebrate Milo’s birthday. Josh recently finished installing a dishwasher in our house and the process of installing a dishwasher in a 70 year old home that previously did not have a dishwasher wreaked havoc on our already chaotic lives, so we had no mental or physical energy to organize an actual party. Instead, I sent out a last minute facebook invitation to a few friends to hang out at a local brewery, one that has a nice outdoor space.  As of two years ago, minors can accompany their parents to breweries in Idaho, and we have so many breweries that are lovely places for families to hang out.

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Anyway, a small but wonderful group of friends joined us and it was a very nice time.  Elizabeth made DELICIOUS chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.


This has been a fun month. There is always so much going on during the summer in Boise, particularly family friendly activities.

This past Saturday, for example, we went to Bug Day at the Idaho Botanical Gardens, which is a great space that is within walking distance of our house. The Gardens have so many fun events that are great for kids and it’s also just a great place to go.


Anyway, Bug Day was awesome! There were so many different hands-on learning booths, that were fascinating for both Milo and myself.

They also had several model trains setup that were decorated with bugs. This was different than the other exhibits, but Milo LOVES model trains and we watched them for almost half an hour.


We also wandered around the Gardens. Below is looking down on the koi pond.


Later that day, he and I went on a bike ride to Veteran’s park and we spent a long time just running around on the grass. Milo has developed a great affinity for running down hills.


We’ve also gone to the zoo several times. His day care actually did a Saturday field trip a few weeks ago, that was fun.


Last week, we went to the old train station in Nampa, where they have multiple model train exhibits. A train came into the station while we were there and we got to learn all about it.


Milo has a book about construction and there is a picture of a worker holding his hand out like this, to signal STOP. Milo loves making the STOP sign with his hand.

Here is a photo from a mama day a few weeks ago, when Milo and I went thrift store shopping together (and found that awesome Tonka truck on the table).


Also during our thrift store shopping spree, we found this scooter that Milo has mastered.



This week at day care, Milo is transitioning from the Chipmunk classroom to the Turtles. He’s moving along with his best friend, Lilah, who both turned 2 this month.

Joining the Turtles should be a fairly non-issue because he already knows the kids and teachers, as they socialize Chipmunks and Turtles regularly. Also, the current Turtles are all former Chipmunks that Milo has been in class with previously.


As I mentioned in my last post, Turtles are big kids and start working on big kid things like potty training.  At home, we’ve been having Milo sit on his potty in the morning after he has his breakfast. So far, he hasn’t gone in his potty, but we’re not really potty training yet, just trying to get him used to sitting on it.

I do think he’s showing more and more readiness. Yesterday after his bath, I was putting lotion on his skin and he asked me to put his diaper on. I was surprised because he usually loves his post-bath run around without a diaper for five minutes. So I got up to put the lotion away. When I returned, I found him on his changing table (he can climb up by himself, which used to freak me out), lying down, with a diaper, and trying to put the diaper on himself. It was hilarious! Right after I put the diaper on, he had a big pee (the line on the diaper turned blue really fast) and I suspect he was holding his urine until he had a diaper on.

Likely this is obvious, but I am excited for potty training, if only because I feel so bad about how ‘wasteful’ diapers are. If we ever have a second kiddo (which I’m sure we won’t), I will definitely try harder to make cloth diapers happen. After I had given up on cloth diapers for Milo, I learned that we have cloth diaper consultants in town as well as washing services.

Anyway, yesterday when I picked Milo up from daycare, I chatted with a Turtle mama who said that her daughter Dara (who is just a few months older than Milo) is 75% potty trained. I know that girls are supposed to be faster to potty train than boys and that it’s also very important to wait until the child is ready, but it’s nice to feel optimistic that one day we might be done with diapers.


As usual, I wasn’t organized with what I wanted to update this month’s post about, but I feel super awesome about being able to post an update on the actual day of the 22nd rather than six weeks late, despite the insanity of life. So, go me.

Oh, Milo got horribly sick two weeks ago and I had to stay home from work for three days. He was running a fever of 103 for four days, would hardly eat or drink, and was cranky as all get out. Apparently several kiddos from his day care were out with similar symptoms. But I also think that perhaps he was teething in addition to whatever he brought home from daycare, as he was drooling everywhere and his mouth was in a lot of pain. He won’t let me look in his mouth anymore, but I caught a glimpse of some white farther back in his mouth when he yawned the other day. So maybe molars…

This sickness reminded me of life with a colicky baby, as I found myself desperately driving him around town with the fans blaring with white noise, just to try and get him to calm down and sleep. He also had the meltdown of the century one night while I was trying to put him down for bed. He was SCREAMING, “No mama!”, kicking and hitting me with all of his might (which is actually a significant amount of might), and violently crying and crying, until finally, at a complete loss for what to do and feeling like I was going to lose my mind, took him on a walk around the neighborhood in the stroller. Of course, he fell asleep 30 seconds into our walk but I continued walking him around for quite some time because the peace and quiet was a godsend. For the next three days, the only way I could get him to relax enough to fall asleep was by walking him in the stroller.

Then, as suddenly as it began, Milo’s behavior returned to his normal, happy self.

In other news, not Milo related, but yesterday was the eclipse and I got to see 99.5% totality at the patio of my workplace. (All of my eclipse photos are terrible, but I did take this one of me and the uneclipsed sun behind me). Josh was actually able to head up to Pearl, Idaho to see full totality, which I hear is something worth looking at. I feel pretty meh about my partial eclipse experience, but everyone I know who saw totality are just going on and on about how it was one of the greatest experiences of their lives.


But I digress.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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).



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.


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.


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


Milo driving Anna around.


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.


More bouncy house fun.


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


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.




Feeding a camel.


Milo got to touch a snake!


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


This is Josh’s mom, Kathy.


Milo and Kathy in downtown Bentonville.


Hanging out in another of the cousins’ backyard.


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

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


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


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.


There was a fun water play area.



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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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


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.


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.


I painted Milo’s and my toenails purple.


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.

Milo – 20 months

Another awesome month with my little guy! I’m sure this will come as no surprise, but I am so proud of him and in awe at all of his skills and comprehension.


Sleeping Through The Night

This will probably come as a complete SHOCK, but Milo is (more or less) sleeping through the night. After obsessing about this for so long, several months ago I resigned myself to believing that he wouldn’t sleep through the night until he was 5 and just made peace with it.

What was happening:

Milo always wanted to drink a ton of milk before bed. And I let him because I assumed he was hungry. And then he would wake up every 2 hours all night long wanting more milk. And I continued to let him drink milk all night long because I assumed that his body needed it. After all, he’s kind of fallen off his growth chart and I didn’t want to take away a source of nutrition for him.

In my mind, I’ve become increasingly worried about his teeth and drinking milk all night long and it was driving me crazy thinking about all of the possible tooth decay that I was allowing to happen. At the same time, I was worried that taking away the nighttime milk would be AWFUL and a huge battle. So, I kept procrastinating.

And then, it occurred to me that we’re going to be taking a trip to visit Josh’s family in Arkansas mid-May and that it would be great if Milo didn’t need to drink milk all night long during the trip. Once that thought occurred to me, I decided to stop the milk then and there.

That night, I explained he could drink milk before getting ready for bed, but that after we brushed his teeth, there would be no more milk until the morning and that he could have water if he was thirsty. Milo seemed to be ignoring me while I was explaining this. But when he woke up at his normal time wanting milk, I reminded him that there was no more milk at night, and he just went back to sleep and that was that.  He’s stopped waking up throughout the night, and basically just sleeps. It’s amazing.

It was absolutely the easiest transition we’ve made with Milo on anything. I have tried reducing his nightime feeds in the past, and was completely unsuccessful. So the fact that this was so easy suggests to me that he was finally just ready.

Words, Words, Words

Milo’s verbal expression continues to expand, though he is not very talkative.

Some of his new words this month include: goose, bear, egg, and go! He’s also saying “bee!” to refer to any insect.

Here’s a video of his One, Two, Three, Go! game. This is a thing they do at his school to get wiggles out inside when the weather prevents them from going outside.

Puzzles, Matching Shapes

This month, Milo suddenly is skilled at correctly assembling peg puzzles (both one-piece, and multi-piece jigsaw puzzles) as well as the shape-insertion toys. He’s been able to match shapes for a while, but actually getting them to line up so that they fit together has eluded him until recently.

Imaginative Play

He’s also doing imaginative play a lot more. There was a huge ‘kids consignment sale’ thing a few weeks ago and I bought Milo a brand new (but crazy cheap) toy kitchen set and he LOVES working in his kitchen. I also found a really cool Little People race track that he loves racing all of his different Hot Wheels down. And, we’ve been collecting realistic animal toys and he loves doing imaginative play with them. In particular, he likes to walk them around in groups (ie, all of the elephants together) and giving them drinks of water.

Potty Awareness

Another cool development is his increasing awareness of his biological functions. He is now aware of when he needs to poop and he always comes and tells me – – he points at his bum and says “poop.” He also knows how to pee – – at bathtime, the first thing he does when I place him into the bath, is to intentionally pee and watch in fascination. He’s had many moments during bathtime (before, during, or after bathtime) when he’s noticed himself peeing and now he’s figured out how to do it on purpose. I’m really glad he doesn’t have this same fascination with pooping; at least pee is relatively clean (especially compared to poop).


Of course, it hasn’t all been rainbows and lollipops this month. Several weeks ago, Milo brought home a stomach flu and he was horribly sick with it for a full week. Amazingly, Josh didn’t get sick at all, but I sure did.

Treefort / Kidfort

As for the fun activities we’ve done, this past month featured the annual Treefort Music Festival (which is kind of a big deal) and we went to the ‘Kidfort’ portion of it. A guy had brought in a TON of cardboard boxes for kids to make forts with.

The photo below accurately captures Milo’s attitude during this adventure. He was really cranky and grumpy. In hindsight, this was exactly two days before his first vomiting session, so he was probably not feeling well. Poor guy!


He didn’t build a fort but he enjoyed going into the other forts. This particular fort he loved.


He had a lot of fun using chalk and coloring the walls of the fort.


Another successful fun moment was when a woman started waving a bubble wand around and several kiddos were joyfully chasing the bubbles.


However, our experience with the main reason for our being there was not successful. A ‘kindie’ rock band (indie rock for kids = kindie rock) was going to play a free show for kids and I was super excited for us to see them. I had visions of Milo dancing at the front with all the other kiddos, and just in general having an awesome time. Instead, we had to leave in the middle of the second song.


Bruneau Sand Dunes

Two weekends ago, we had an AWESOME family adventure to Bruneau Sand Dunes. This is the second time we’ve taken Milo here and it was even more fun than the first time. We went this past summer, around his first birthday when Grandma was in town, and Milo could toddle and crawl around well enough, but now that he’s older and more skilled at walking it was so much fun!


We also went to a different part of the dunes, one that was more kid-friendly and found a great spot to hang out. It was right next to one of the smaller dunes and we could easily hike up and sled down.


When we sledded down with Milo, we just went to the halfway point. But on our own, we would hike to the very top and could get going REALLY fast. At one point, Josh was sledding down so fast that he actually tore the sled in half.


The sand dunes are great, in part, because Milo loves playing in the sand. Josh dug a big hole and Milo had fun playing in it.


Just another shot of that.


I like this shot of me because I was truly just standing there being normal, and I look like a super mom.


Another shot of Milo having fun playing in the sand. The sand is SO SOFT and we could just run around in our bare feet.

Also, you’ll notice Milo’s fair skin…. I’ve been really struggling with getting him to wear a sunhat and sunglasses. When he was a baby, I always had him in a hat outside, but now I cannot get him to wear a hat at all. Rest assured that he was covered in a thick layer of sunscreen, but I’m still working on the hat/sunglasses issue.


Walking around in bare feet, exploring.


We even flew a kite! It was so windy that getting it to fly without just slamming into the dune was a challenge.



And Easter happened. The first photo in this post is at the Easter Egg Hunt they hosted a Milo’s school. They apparently did some explaining to the kids about hunting for Easter eggs, because they all knew exactly what they were doing.

Here’s a video from his school’s Easter Egg Hunt.

And then on Easter Sunday, we hosted an Easter Egg Hunt with some friends. It was awesome how SERIOUS Milo was about finding as many eggs as he could.


It was really a fun gathering we had. Here is Milo and his friend Leif playing in our sensory table.


And here is a video of Milo throwing water on the ground and saying ‘no.’

Josh crawled through the tunnel and Milo was very amused.


I went bananas creating a fun space for the kids to play.


Other Funz

We also had a fun playdate with our moms & tots group. In the photo below, Milo had been pushing this girl (June) around in the car and it was so adorable. Of course, he stopped doing that right as I took a photo, but whatever.


And here’s Milo playing in my carrot bed. I have a video of him that I will post on my upcoming garden update.


The sandbox that I got for free from a neighbor has been a big hit.


We even had a warm enough weekend this month to bring the pool out. I just put about a 2 inch depth of water in it. And since I cannot get Milo to wear a sunhat, I strategically placed this umbrella to shade him.


And on one of our after work & school playtimes, we went to a park and there was a dump truck and an excavator that we got to look at.


Another after work & school playground experience.


Celebration & Steam Train

Yesterday, we had an awesome ‘Mommy Saturday.’ In the morning, we went to a free ‘Kids Celebration’ event at the Botanical Gardens (which are within walking distance of our house) as part of National Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Milo got to see an ambulance up close.


And even got to go inside and explore the ambulance.


There were a TON of fun activities and educational things for kids, and I only took a very small number of photos. We spent most of our time here, where there were fun things to crawl on.

Also, notice how in the next two photos, Milo is wearing a sunhat! I was able to get him to wear it for almost an entire hour!


It was a lot of fun for both of us. After we were done with the activities, I pushed Milo around in the stroller and we did a nice tour of the gardens. He seemed to really enjoy looking at all of the different garden spaces. In particular, there is a really nice high desert landscape space that winds up into the foothills that is so peaceful. I’m thinking of getting a membership to the Botanical Gardens because it’s such a nice place to wander around. We’ve taken Milo to many events there, and members get in free, and I think it would be nice to go there and just enjoy the gardens without all of the crowds.


After his afternoon nap, we went to the train depot and got to watch as an historic steam train came into town. As the train was coming in, I had Milo on my shoulders so he could see the train better, while trying to take a video. And it was much louder than I had anticipated, so I had to cut the video short so that I could cover Milo’s ears.

But it was really cool. Here is a photo with the train behind us. As you can see, Milo LOVES being in big crowds.


Milo ~ 19 months

We’ve had a great month. The weather has been lovely and we’ve been able to play outside almost everyday. We’ve had no teething or sickness issues, and Milo has been so happy and fun-loving.


19 Month Stats & Pediatrician Visit

Milo had his 18 month wellness visit this past Monday (somehow, we’ve fallen a bit behind on the schedule by about a month). He measured in at 33″ tall (59th percentile) and 23 pounds 13 ounces (39th percentile). Whenever I look at him, he seems like such a big guy! At the beginning of the month, I moved him into size 5.5 shoes and now he’s starting to wear his size 6 shoes. I’m in the process of retiring his 12 month clothes and bringing more and more 18 month pieces into rotation. It just astounds me what a big kid he is!


Milo’s verbal skills are finally taking off! Gone are the days when he only said a few different words each week, to be abandoned the next week for a new set of words. I’ve heard that the 18-19 month timeline can be a springboard for many kiddos in terms of verbal expression and that definitely seems to be the case with Milo.

His full list of words that are enunciated well-enough to understand (and that do actually sound like the correct word, rather than saying ‘mom’ for ‘cracker’ for example) is probably around 15 words, and include ‘moon’ and ‘zebra’ (which I think are neat words for him to have).

Here’s a video of him seemingly trying to sing the ABC song, and ends with him waving and saying “bye”.


Milo is definitely an athletic guy. This month, he’s mastered climbing up and down stairs, which I find extremely impressive.

He can also navigate a lot of playground equipment by himself. He can pull himself up most things and climb many of the ladders and climbing things successfully by himself. Of course, we always ‘spot’ him for safety – – just because he ‘can’ do these things by himself, we’re always hovering our hands right next to him just in case he slips or misses a step.

School Haps

School has been great. I continue to be delighted with his new day care provider. Milo absolutely loves going to school and he seems to really be learning.


I also love all of the crafts they do! Last week, they learned about the Three Little Pigs and ‘built’ houses out of straw, sticks, and bricks.


They also had a St. Patrick’s Day party and encouraged everyone to wear green. (Below is Milo with Miss Kellie, one of his teachers).


They did face painting as part of their celebratory activities.


This is Milo sitting on his spot in the ‘circle’ area. When I had picked him up on this day, they were all outside playing on the playground, and when Milo and I went to his classroom to sign him out, I gave him is water cup and he went over to his moose to sit and drink.


This Friday, they’re having a ‘Teddy Bear Picnic’ and parents are invited (and I am excited!)


We’ve had some fun playdates this month. Several months ago, I joined a moms & toddlers group and it’s nice for us to meetup and socialize.


This particular group is kind of a ‘learning’ group where we meetup once a month and the mama host organizes some kind of learning-through-play activities. Milo and I both had a fantastic time at this month’s gathering.


He’s definitely playing with kids more, rather than just doing his own thing. He’s had some great playdates with his friend Una where he’s actually played with her. I just think it’s so wonderful to watch him playing with kids.



  • The Zoo

Now that the weather is nice, we’ve been going to the zoo a lot. Our zoo does a lot of awesome conservation work and is a great community partner for education and service. We have a yearly pass because it’s a fantastic place to take kids.


Milo has increased his mimicking of animal sounds and when we were at the zoo last he tried making all of the different animal sounds. He was growling a lot and it was both adorable and hilarious.

I think he might love climbing on the animal structures than actually looking at any of the animals.


  • Parks & Playgrounds

He and I have been exploring the Fish & Game Nature Center several times this month.


I thought this was cool, to get a picture of him with a big moose (since he’s Milo Moose at school).


They have some very interesting observation areas.


Last weekend, I took Milo to a state park to explore and, despite me telling him not to, he walked right out into the cold (and very shallow) lake. He has definitely been trying to exert his independence a lot more this month, intentionally doing the exact thing I tell him not to. I’m not sure the best way to handle this behavior, but in this situation I didn’t bother physically preventing him from going into the water (because I knew he would have a mini-tantrum about it and be even more intent on going into the water). Instead, I tried to compassionately explain that the water was cold and would make his feet cold. He completely ignored me and walked into the cold water. Sure enough, his feet got cold and he wanted me to pick him up 10 seconds later. And then I carried him back to the car, to change out his wet clothes for dry, and since I didn’t have a spare pair of shoes that was the end of that adventure.

I’m not sure how to respond when he’s like this. I want him to understand that when I tell him not to do something, there’s a reason and it’s not that I don’t want him to have fun. I’m definitely supportive of him being able to explore, though I obviously intervene if there’s a safety issue.



Here are Milo and Josh playing in the sand.


Two weekends ago, we went to the Foothills Learning Center where they were having a family education day around fire awareness and safety. There were several craft activities and interesting demonstrations. In the photo below, we saw how fire spreads across different types of spaces with different fuel configurations.


We also went on about an hour hike, with Milo hiking and exploring with us.


Here he is exploring one of the artistic structures.


We also took Milo on his first mountain bike ride! We rode a very gentle, beginner trail and it was fun.


Unfortunately, our ride was cut way short because my tire blew out and Josh had to do some major McGyvering to get my bike ridable-enough to go home.


Milo 18 Months

A year and a half. My baby is a YEAR.AND.A.HALF. How did this happen?


Some exciting happenings this month and I have a lot of photos to share.


Milo’s new day care is AWESOME. As I’ve described previously, they have an age-appropriate curriculum for social, emotional, cognitive, and physical domains. I’ve noticed Milo developing in leaps and bounds since we enrolled him.

Everyday, they write little notes about what he did that day (and they also take photos of any special activities to send home with us). I’ve started saving the notes (and I’ve always saved the photos). The below note is very representative of Milo’s personality. He loves helping and he LOVES giving high-fives.


When we first enrolled him, we all identified some goals for his first few months: to get to know and become comfortable with his new teachers, his classmates, and his classroom space. This has solidly happened and so we had our very first official parent-teacher conference.We discussed overall how he’s doing and identified new goals.

Naturally, Milo is awesome and they love having him in the class. He plays well alongside the other kids, participates in the activities, responds to directions, sleeps and eats great.

We did discuss how Milo is not yet expressing himself verbally with any consistency. He does use sign language a bit and can usually communicate what he wants nonverbally, but still, he’s one of the only kids in the class who doesn’t really speak. Not that he’s “behind” or that there’s any concern, but we did agree that increasing his verbal expression would be a good goal.

Ironically, right before the conference, we were in the classroom with Milo. I found a toy excavator (which is Milo’s favorite construction vehicle) and I said, “Hey Milo, what is this?” and he said a multi-syllable sound that sort of sounded like “exeter” (“excavator”).


It has now been a few weeks since the parent-teacher conference and we are encouraging him to express himself verbally. I’m trying to be very nurturing and supportive, not pressuring him at all about it, and I often incorporate it into a game. For example, I bought a set of refrigerator foam magnets that feature different shapes, objects, animals, etc., that toddlers are generally familiar with, and we play a game where I pull out a magnet and ask him what it is and he says something. Sometimes, the thing he says begins with the correct consonant sound and kinda/sorta sounds similar to the word. We do a similar thing when reading picture books together (wow, we read so many books!).

Recently, he has started consistently saying “no,” “uh-oh,” and “bubl” (for “bubble”). Here are a couple videos.

(Update: my bad. The below photo isn’t the one where he talks. I have a second video, where he continues to throw dirt on the floor, I tell him not to, he smiles, shakes his head, says “nah nah,” and proceeds to throw more dirt on the floor, each time saying “nah nah.”


As for new skills, just last week, Milo learned how to stick out his tongue…. and has been sticking his tongue out almost constantly.


He’s also learned how to take selfies, sort of. And now my phone is loaded with pictures of his nostrils and forehead.


He can also throw a ball overhand (apparently this is a thing).


Feed himself with utensils and actually have enough food go into his mouth to satiate his hunger.


His coloring has become much better. I’ve actually purchased him for reals Crayons, not just the palm-sized baby crayons.


He’s also become much better behaved at restaurants. In my last update, I wrote that we had successfully taken him to two restaurants, and since then we have had many more successful experiences (we also had one experience that I would not count as a success).



Okay, I’m sure that every parent (or, most every parent) thinks their kid is the best. But I’m convinced that Milo is the greatest. He is so much fun!

Tangentially related, above I described how Milo loves giving people high-fives… well, a few weekends ago, when it was MISERABLE outside, we decided to take Milo to the mall so that he could play in the toddler area. He spent quite a while wandering around, trying to give people high-fives, and most everyone ignored or didn’t notice him.


I also took this video of the situation. It both breaks my heart and makes me giggle. Mainly, it’s further evidence of how much awesomer Milo is than other kids. hmph!


Most of our fun has occurred indoors this month due to the weather. Fortunately, most of our attempts at inside fun have actually been fun (whereas the experience at the mall was not particularly fun).

I’ve taken Milo to some different indoor jungle gym places. This weekend, we went to one that has wall-to-wall trampolines, GIGANTIC inflatable bouncy houses & slides, and a foam pit. It was a lot of fun for both of us! Afterwards, Milo took a three hour nap.

Here’s a video of Milo running around on the trampolines.

Also this weekend, we went to the Warhawk Air History Museum. Generally, I’m not particularly interested in machinery, weapons, vehicles, or the like, but I’ve always thought that planes were neat (and I really enjoy going to air shows at one of the nearby military bases), and I love going to historical museums of any variety (I totally think military history is fascinating, even though I abhor violence). But I digress.

Sadly, when we first arrived at the museum and Milo saw all of the planes and that he could get close to them, he started running along the hard floor as fast as he could, stumbled, and fell hard onto his face, getting a bloody lip that today is swollen and purple.

Except for that, we all had a great time. It’s just so cool that Milo is old enough to appreciate places like a history museum. Even though he wasn’t allowed to touch or climb on anything, he still loved looking at everything.

And here are a few other random indoor funtimes.

Below, Josh has been setting Milo on our indoor bike trainer and indoctrinating him with videos of professional cycling.


We’ve also been going to various stores for entertainment, which probably sounds a little odd. We LOVE going to thrift stores and last weekend, Milo and I went to five thrift stores in a row and had a blast. We also occasionally go to pet stores or the humane societies just to look at the animals (normally, we love going to the zoo, but the weather just hasn’t permitted that).

Below, is wandering around a pet store. Milo loves pushing the mini shopping carts.


This might seem random, but we’ve been setting up an aquarium. We had been monitoring craigslist for a used aquarium, and found this 35 gallon one, along with all of the other equipment, for a great deal. We only have three fish right now, and will be gradually introducing more over the coming weeks. I also ordered more live plants online, which should arrive in two days. Anyway, Milo loves watching the fish. And even before we had fish, he would watch the water movement in the tank and all the bubbles, saying “bubl, bubl!”


Here’s another successful restaurant experience. Even though Milo was being a squirmy wiggle worm, he was great. He has been SO HAPPY this month. In this photo, Josh was trying to put his coat on, and Milo was laughing so hard and wiggling in delight. I think everyone in the restaurant was smiling at his antics.



Fortunately, we have had some funtimes out of doors.


I took Milo to our local playground and we wandered over to the Dept. of Agriculture building (which is right next to the playground) where they have a big parking lot full of big trucks. Milo loves trucks and he was ecstatic.

Here’s a video of that.

Here are some images from another playground experience.

Here is when we took the wagon down to our neighborhood playground. Milo was excited about being able to see the moon while he was swinging.

Seriously, this guy is so joyful and lovable.


Yesterday evening, we all took a walk along a path by our neighborhood and explored by the river.

Milo also chased some ducks.

Okay, that’s it for now. I’m late posting this update, so it include more than a month’s worth of happenings.