Happy Second Birthday, Cody!

I am thrilled and also a little bit wistful to announce that Cody is officially two years old, which technically means he’s no longer a baby. How did that happen? It’s just crazy. Since he’s now past the most rapid stage of his development, I won’t be posting updates as frequently anymore, and will probably stick to a once-per-year reflection as he grows.

The past three months, Cody’s personality and his language development have both exploded {in a good way!} He’s becoming such a character, and he’s now saying new words every day. I find myself constantly amazed and delighted by new things he does!

Although he is somewhat quiet and timid in public, he is starting to come out of his shell. He is interacting with other kids and adults more, and he doesn’t get overwhelmed as easily was he used to. His personality at home is very playful, silly, affectionate, generally cooperative, and a bit mischievous.

Some of the silly and imaginative things he does are:

He insists on closing doors, if he notices they are open, and he has to do it by pulling the handle, which he can barely reach. It’s a bit of a process.

He imitates so much of what we do. He’ll copy us crossing our legs, “killing” a spider, dipping food in sauces, tickling {he copies the inchworm and spider fingers we use}, blowing on food to cool it down, exclaiming “hot!” and quickly pulling his hand back if something is hot {we keep him away from things that are hot enough to burn him, of course}

He does silly walks, like walking super slowly, marching, prancing, or doing a waddle-run.

He “sings” and hums, and dances to music.

He hits himself on the head {gently} and falls down. {I don’t know why but it’s funny!}

He has fake “crashes” on his scooter or anything he can ride on, by tipping it over and falling on the floor.

He makes a snoring sound for pretending to sleep.

He pretends his food is a car and drives it around the table before eating it, then says “bye bye car” after he eats it.

He can act sad very convincingly, including dramatic expressions and crying sounds—then he looks up, smiling at our reaction.

He organizes things into categories. We were amazed when he took it upon himself to organize our travel toiletries into piles, such as shampoos, deodorants, toothpaste, and even a “miscellaneous” pile.

He demonstrates problem solving skills. Recently, he wanted to go to the park, but we wouldn’t carry him and he didn’t want to walk himself. He led us to the closed garage and pointed until we opened it, then led us to the stroller and wanted to get in. We put him in and he pointed to the park, which we happily brought him to in the stroller. Cory and I were talking and didn’t even realize until later that he had orchestrated a solution to his problem all by himself!

Cody is also very sweet and affectionate. He gives kisses for ow-ies, including his own and others’. He makes a smooch sound when he gives kisses sometimes. He also blows kisses, gives hugs, and loves to snuggle. He sometimes tucks Cory’s or my arm around him when we snuggle at night, we think to prevent us from leaving.

Some of the less cute things he does are head butting, throwing toys and making messes on purpose, biting {he’s bitten three times, not hard enough to leave a mark, and seemingly out of curiosity}, being clingy, and throwing tantrums {almost always when he’s frustrated, tired, or hurting from teething}. All of these behaviors are things we’ve been able to manage pretty well with positive discipline. The clinginess is one of the ones that has been harder to deal with, because it’s partially a part of his developmental stage and need for security. At the same time, he is becoming more independent. He is easier to take places because he will sit in his stroller happily most of the time, or walk around holding one of our hands instead of demanding to be held all of the time.

Overall, Cody is a fairly cooperative boy. I don’t know how much of it is because of our parenting style or his natural disposition, but he generally listens and complies with our requests. Of course, there are times when he is contrary and not in the mood to cooperate, as all two-year-olds can be. Most of the time, though, he loves to help and try to do things for himself. He tries to help us put on his diapers and clothes, buckle him into seats, put groceries in the cart, and so on. As long as we have patience, things go pretty smoothly.

His new skills include running, climbing, walking on his tiptoes, coloring, painting, spinning a top, and riding his new standup scooter. His language skills are developing well, too. He chatters to himself in gibberish a lot more, and is saying a lot of new words. Some of his frequent new words are: uh-oh, bye, ow, paw, no-no, poopoo, booboo, car, door, two, hat, owl, and eyeball. He also can say, in his own way: hi (ha), cheese (chhhzzz), truck/chalk/work (gock), dagger (daga) {of all things}, trash (dash), and straw (sta). He can shake his head for no and nod for yes, and he still uses signs for “milky,” “again,” “more,” “down,” and “all done.” Beyond that, he understands hundreds of words and can identify them by pointing, proving to us that even though he can’t say that much yet, he does comprehend much of what we say.

Some other fun facts about Cody at age two:

For many months, Cody had a problem of stuffing too much food in his mouth at once and then gagging or spitting it out {which we called a “reset”}. Now, finally, he has learned to swallow normally and he’s been eating more as a result! In fact, I estimate that approximately 40% of his intake is from food now, and 60% from breastmilk. That’s great for him!

He is fascinated by whistling {Grandma Kim’s specialty}.

He loves watching movies on his tablet, and he even has preferences. His favorite movie by far is Home, but he also likes all three Toy Story movies, the Lion King, Inside Out, and Penguins of Madagascar to name a few.  Despite the warnings I hear frequently about limiting toddlers’ screen time, Cory and I have adopted a very laidback attitude towards it for now. The truth is, it’s a freaking lifesaver! Cody will happily sit and watch movies while I take showers, prepare meals, get chores done, or even just take a break and relax for a few minutes. Best of all, he is perfectly content in the car now, because we always put a movie on for him. It is amazing. And even though he spends probably more time watching a screen these days than I would like to admit, he also spends a lot of time doing other things like playing, enjoying the outdoors, eating, reading books, and of course sleeping. There are a lot of hours in the day! So I try to not feel guilty about it. He seems to me to be an incredibly smart and well-adjusted kid even with the basically unlimited screen time.

Last but not least, I present the stats! Cody now weighs 24 ½ pounds and is holding steady at 2’8” tall. He has still never had a haircut, because his hair has taken a long time to come in. It’s blonde, thin, and getting pretty long on the sides and back… and I love it! We plan to let it grow. =D

I love my boy so much. Aside from the newborn stage, I think this is my favorite stage yet. He’s so much fun and he delights me with his blossoming personality. I can’t wait to see who he develops into in the months and years to come. <3

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The Baby Years

As Cody’s baby years come to a close, I can look back and say that there are some things I loved so much about this precious time, and other things that I didn’t enjoy quite so much. Here are the top ten things that I will and won’t miss from the first two years of Cody’s life.

  1. I will miss “milk naps.” Those times when he would fall asleep nursing and we would just sit in our chair together. Sometimes I would doze off myself, and other times I would sit and gaze at his sweet, sleeping face, or read a book and enjoy the closeness. Now, he only takes one nap a day and I usually need that time for myself, so when he falls asleep nursing I transfer him to the bed. Eventually, he will stop falling asleep nursing altogether, and after that he will wean completely and our nursing relationship will end. That’s going to be a sad day for me! Luckily, that’s not happening yet, since we’re planning to keep nursing as long as we both enjoy it. But I will miss those milk naps!
  2. I will miss being able to easily hold him in my arms. He’s already outgrown baby-wearing, and I miss that. Eventually, he will be too heavy to hold for more than a few minutes, and he’ll be more independent and won’t want to be held often anyway. I am so going to miss those full-body snuggles when I’m holding him tight and gently rocking him before bedtime.
  3. I will miss rocking him to sleep. Although this was often Cory’s job, I have also enjoyed countless occasions of rocking my sweet boy to sleep. Usually these days, he falls asleep snuggling with daddy in bed, and rarely wants to be rocked any more.
  4. I will miss his little baby clothes. Some things they just don’t make for kids past infancy, like onesies and rompers. Or if they do, it’s a little bit odd. Either way, his clothes are getting bigger and they’re just not as cute in my opinion.
  5. I will miss spending almost all of my time with Cody. Eventually, we will have another baby and Cody will have to share my attention. As he grows older, he will want to do more independent activities as well.
  6. I won’t miss having very little time to myself. I will enjoy being able to leave Cody with a babysitter and go out with Cory for a date night more often. I will enjoy being able to get stuff done around the house without watching Cody as closely, or having him clinging onto me.
  7. I won’t miss changing diapers. Even though we’ve saved a ton of money by using cloth diapers, I won’t miss the constant laundry, or the unpleasant chore of cleaning older-baby poop off diapers, or even just changing them in general. It will be so nice to have a potty-trained child who takes care of his own elimination needs!
  8. I won’t miss nighttime wakings. A full 8-hours of uninterrupted sleep? Oh my heaven. I can’t wait. (On the other hand, I won’t have to miss co-sleeping, because we’re not stopping that! We love sharing a bed with our little guy, and can’t wait to {safely} add another little one to our {huge} family bed, whenever that may happen).
  9. I won’t miss drool, spit-up, and boogers. Yes, I know older kids still puke on you sometimes, but for the most part, the amount of bodily fluids seems to taper off significantly. That’ll be nice.
  10. I won’t miss being unable to communicate verbally with my child. When he can finally talk, I think it will be a big step up. On the other hand, I’ve been told that once they start, they never stop. So there’s that… plus, I also hear that communication may come to a halt once again during the teenage years. 😉 But for a while at least, I think it will be an improvement!

So there you have it. I have loved the baby years, but there are definitely positive changes ahead. Onward through our parenting adventure!