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Saturday, March 2, 2013

State of the Toddler: Two and a Half Years Old

Brayden just crossed the halfway mark on his way from two to three years old. Let’s review how Part I of the (not so) Terrible Twos went.

Yesterday was Brayden’s Very Merry Half Birthday (yes, that is my take on Alice in Wonderland’s “un-birthday” celebration…I haven’t gotten last week’s Mad About the Mouse post out of my system). My sweet boy is getting so big.

Now, I don’t want to go and jinx myself here but so far the twos haven’t been that terrible. Willful? Yes. Burgeoning independence? Check. A bit fussy? Sure. But not terrible. With that said, I just knocked wood…

11 23 12 - Cuddling with Avery (8)

And now onto our milestone review…

Height: 35 1/2 inches

Weight: 26 1/2 pounds

Clothing: 3T (but the pants need the adjustable waistband because he’s a little green bean—long and slender)

Hair, Skin and Eyes: No changes since the State of the Toddler: Two Years Old post

Teeth: His three-year molars are coming in but he’s been good about it, if not a bit droolly. He’s also a champ at the dentist and doesn’t seem to be scared. If you’ve never seen the post Mr. Thirsty Does WHAT?!? then I highly recommend you read it. I really advocate for parents to take their children to the dentist when they turn 1 (if not earlier) to help put kids on the right trajectory for dental health. It really does make a difference. Wow, I really am a mom in my mid-thirties, aren’t I?

Food: Brayden’s still a little fruit bat, and he eats his weight in apples, plums, bananas, raspberries and pureed fruit pouches. A typical dinner could be pierogis, grilled cheese or chicken nuggets. Cheeseburgers are becoming a fast favorite too. But Brayden’s got his food vices too. He’s addicted to Velveeta Shells & Cheese microwave single-serve cups and Cheetos puffs, and tries to steal swigs of his Nana’s Pepsi. As a matter of fact, each of the three items listed above were introduced to him by my mom. She’s Brayden’s Chief Fun Snack Sidekick. If it’s chocolate-y or cheesy or just plain yumtastic, then it’s on their list to eat together.

02 03 13 - Super Bowl (17)

Brayden’s got some interesting food quirks too. Don’t ask me how this came about but he’s got a thing for eating frozen waffles. He takes them right out of the freezer and just starts munching. Sometimes he lets me cook them after a few bites, but only sometimes.

03 03 13 - Frozen waffles (1)03 03 13 - Frozen waffles (2) 

Potty Training: Brayden is the #1 potty-er in this daycare class (oh yes, I really am a thirtysomething mom…the things I say nowadays…). I wouldn’t call what we do at home potty training; I’d say it’s more like potty play. I regularly ask Brayden if he has to go, and  he’s also starting to anticipate it himself. After each successful bathroom break, he gets one M&M for each hand. We’ll probably phase into the serious potty training soon, and I think there’s a good chance he’ll make the full transition pretty well.

Personality and Preferences: Brayden is such a happy, sweet, loving, bubbly boy. He loves to cuddle, help, give and engage with those around him. I’m pretty sure he’ll be an extrovert. Brayden’s also pretty sly and is not afraid to try to charm your socks off in an attempt to get what he wants or escape punishment. His eyes are super expressive, and he knows how to slowly turn up the sparkle in them while at the same time breaking out into his 24-karat double-dimple smile. The kid just slays me.

In the not-so-cute category is Brayden’s newly discovered whining phase. He has a way of drawling out “Mommy” over and over again in a high-pitched whine when he wants something/is being fussy/disagrees with me/doesn’t want to do what I asked/etc. It’s like nails on a chalkboard.

Development: I could write a ton here. Brayden is learning at the speed of light. Here’s what happened just yesterday morning: I went out to start my car before work and my hands got a bit cold. When I got back into the house, I went into Brayden’s room to get him ready for school. Upon feeling my hands, Brayden says to me,”Mama hands are cold. Mama no touch Brayden,” and he proceeds to wrap my hands in his blanket! Then after a moment he said, “Mama hands warm. Mama hold me.” I just about fell to the ground. He had a whole conversation with me without needing any prompting, context or anything.

Brayden really enjoys counting (he can get to about 12) and singing his ABCs. We’re still working on colors. Singing and dancing are super fun, and he knows more words than I could even count.

02 10 13 - Just Like Mickey Mouse (2)

Favorites and Playtime: Brayden’s list of beloved characters continues to grow and change, as is standard for a two-year-old. Thomas the Train is still an evergreen favorite but he doesn’t watch the cartoons as much. He prefers his Thomas clothes and actual train toys. Some new TV shows like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Jake and the Neverland Pirates have become part of the rotation along with longer term faves like Calliou and Fireman Sam. His absolute favorite movie is Cars.

If Brayden had his druthers, he’s be outside almost all the time. He loves to run, jump, climb, hop, kick, slide and swing. He’s adventurous without being reckless which might very well be the scariest combination.

Books are still a part of our daily routine and visiting the library and children’s museum are regular stops on our weekends together. Cooking and kitchen items are a new curiosity. To feed this potential interest, I got him a pots, pans and food set to play with.

01 24 13 - Playing Chef

Brayden also loves his fur brother, Avery. I love it when they cuddle.

11 29 12 - Avery as a pillow (2)

As Brayden gets older, new adventures become possible and I can’t wait. In the next six months, we’ll be trying new things, traveling more and opening up our world together. Brayden just started Happy Feet lessons at school
(a pre-K, play-based soccer program), he’ll be starting swimming lessons soon with his dad and that’s just for starters. I see trips into California for amusement parks and zoos this summer and there will also be adjusting to the new home my parents are moving into in April. Exciting times for sure, and all that we’ll be sharing with you as they happen.

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