17 Months

Jaxson turned 17 months today!

He started off the day with a visit to Dr. Helft as he’s been running a little bit of a fever through the weekend and has been having trouble balancing and falling when walking, so we wanted to have him checked out to make sure he didn’t have an ear infection from going swimming. Luckily, no ear infection and just a little bit of a sore throat and he was on his way home. He weighed about 28 pounds with all his clothes on and they talked some about his eating (or lack thereof lately), since between teething (canines) and the sore throat/fever, he’s not really been interested in any food. They said to try the Pediasure popsicles, he’s already been drinking at least one of the Pediasure juices each day, so I guess we’ll just keep trying.

Health

Overall Jax is one healthy little dude. This is literally the first time he’s had a fever and the first time we’ve taken him into the doctor because he was sick. He’s got an immune system of steel thus far, thankfully, since J’s is total crap most of the time. His 1st molars are still working their way in and giving him a heck of a time, he now starts screaming when we brush his teeth at night because they are so sore. We got a sample of the Hyland’s teething tablets from the doctor and they seemed to help him and he passed out for a big nap afterward! We’ve been using the Orajel pre-filled swabs and another brand of teething tablets but the Hyland’s seem to be superior, so we may just have to pick up some more for him. He’s been falling a lot lately, tripping over his big ol’ feet (like me), and scuffed his knee up pretty bad at Target the other day. We try not to make a big deal out of it and he does really well dealing with bumps, bruises, etc., that is until you try to clean them. He bangs his head/eye/chin/mouth all the time standing up into objects or leaning down onto them. Since his ears checked out fine, I really just think he’s clumsy! He most definitely takes after me on that.

Food

Lately Jaxson does. not. eat. anything. Even his favorite chicken nuggets or hot dogs can’t tempt him. He throws a fit, throws his food, pushes you/food away, yells, cries, etc. We took the tray off his high chair so he can slide up under the table so it is more like he is sitting with us, but no luck. One day he’ll drink a smoothie J makes, the next day he’s throwing it across the room. We’ve gotten him to drink the Pediasure juice so at least he’s getting something, and he takes a multivitamin gummy each night so we’re doing the best we can. We started taking him from the table if he won’t eat and then trying again a little later with mixed success. Sometimes he’ll decide he’s hungry enough to eat, other times he still refuses. I have a feeling this is going to be a struggle of ours for a long time.

Time-out

Oh, discipline. We usually would give him a quick pop on the hand or bum, but once he started acting out and getting physical with us (oh yes, hitting/kicking/pinching oh my) when he gets upset/angry, J and I decided to start implementing a different method of discipline other than spanking (which is pretty ineffectual for this kid anyway – you can almost see him going “na na na na I’m not going to cry!”). Everyone told us that he was far too young to do time-outs successfully but I gotta say, this kid has caught on quickly. He does something wrong, like throwing his food on the floor instead of saying “done” like we’ve taught him, and we pick him up and put him in the corner by the front door (for now – we need to get some sort of time-out chair or something here soon). We don’t yell, we don’t get physical, we just sit him there and tell him why he’s going in time-out. A minute later, we go over to him, let him know again what he did wrong and explain why he shouldn’t kick Mama or throw food on the floor, he says “Sorry” and we give him a hug. It’s a very “Nanny Jo” form of discipline and we thought that it would never work, that he wouldn’t sit there or he wouldn’t understand, but I think he does. Of course he’s still young and might not fully comprehend the why but he is starting to understand the cause and effect of naughty behavior, and he’s not hitting/kicking/pinching us as much as he was before.

Smarts & Stuff

My cousin, Tabi, her husband and their two boys (2.5 counting the lil’ man still in her belly!) came to visit us this month and Jax’s speaking exploded after seeing them and hearing them talking all day. After they left, he wouldn’t shut up! It was mostly babbling but he did start popping out with “Mommy” (love it!) after seeing them, and he’s started annunciating better with the words he was already saying. You can clearly tell he’s saying “car” instead of just the “ck” sound. “Bubba” and “Papa” also sound significantly different now. “Mama” and “MoMo” (his monkey) are distinguishable and he’s started saying “baby” and “ba-ba” (bottle) too. “Juice” is more like “Jew” now (haha!) instead of just the “J” sound and “Done” and “No” are crystal clear (yay…) “Sorry” is also more clearly spoken, and we hear it often since time-out has now been implemented. We’re also trying to teach him his name, which I understand can be difficult with the X and S, but he’s getting there slowly but surely and right now it sounds like “Dac”. As long as he stops answering with “Bubba” when we ask him what his name is, we’ll be okay! πŸ˜‰

Jaxson’s vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds, and he picks up on new words quickly. He can identify almost all of the stick-up animals on his bedroom walls (monkey, lion, penguin, giraffe, elephant, whale, crocodile, bird, fish, crab, and starfish) along with pictures on his changing table cover (monkey, star, soccer ball, football, hat) and knows all sorts of body parts from head to toe (adding knees, mouth, cheeks, and even brains! to his previous knowledge). Same goes with his clothes (shirt, shorts/pants, diaper). He may not necessarily say the words but he knows them and he definitely understands what you are saying when you speak to him or give him a command or ask a question. For instance, he hasn’t said the word for any colors yet, but if you ask him to show you one, he does so accurately and without hesitation.

He says “bird” now and can tell you what a cow, cat, dog, monkey, sheep, frog, lion, bear, and elephant all say. And he can clearly say “ball” and “star”, which I think is his favorite shape right now. A co-worker brought us some Disney toddler seek-and-find books and he will just flip through the pages looking at the pictures and I use them as a teaching tool, which is how he learned star. I’ll ask him to point to different things in each scene and he is always spot-on. He also learned to say boy and girl, and will nod if you ask him if he’s a boy.

He also follows commands really well! If we hand him something and tell him to take it to the other Mama he will do so proudly! Also if you say, “Let’s go put on a new diaper!” or “Bathtime!” he’ll run over to the baby gate leading to his hallway so we can go change him or get him ready for the bath. Same goes with naptime/bedtime, he’ll run over there and wait for you to let him through the gate, then go to his bedroom. If you ask him to do something like find a ball, he’ll go to his toy bins and pull out every. single. ball. but hey, at least he’s got it!

He gives hugs and kisses when you ask him for one, and sometimes even if you don’t. πŸ™‚ The kisses are a little scary when his big noggin is coming at you, mouth wide open and drool pouring out, but its worth it. He’s still a pretty big snuggler (when he doesn’t have something more important to do at the time) and he can blow kisses now, too. He’s always kind to animals (they are all “Bubba” to him) and I think a trip to the zoo may be in order soon.

He’s always interested in what older kids are doing more than kids his age when we go to the park/indoor play area at the mall. The other day, in fact, he took a backwards spill down the stairs in the mall trying to be a stuntman like the little (bigger) boy he was playing with. I think his fascination with older kids is part of why he learns things so quickly, he sees someone do it once and then he’s got it. He likes to observe before doing anything and can take some reassurance to try new things, but he doesn’t usually have a problem being put in new situations or with new people.

He’s amazing and despite the continual frustration with his lack of eating, we love this little man so much. I can’t believe he’ll be 18 months soon…where has the time gone? He’s heading towards two much quicker than I could have ever imagined. I know that one day we’ll look back and these days will be a blur and a piece of cake compared to the teen years, so for now, we take the good with the bad and get in all the snuggles we can. πŸ™‚

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