Brace yourselves, this is a long post…
Oh my goodness, Jaxson turned 18 months today! Our little man is now halfway between one and two. Two? I can’t believe that’s only 6 more months away….
First off…18 Month Check-Up
Jax had his 18 month check-up visit with Dr. Helft along with shots this past Tuesday.
- Weight: 28.4 pounds – 80%
- Height: 34.75 inches – 95% (yes, he’s almost 3 feet tall, a 2-inch increase in the past 3 months!)
- Head Circumference: 19.25″ – 75%
He’s actually been growing at about the same rate since he was 4 months old, which is awesome and apparently very unusual. I guess most kids have a deviation in their ratio of height/weight, but our boy has just kept going up in a straight line. He’s well-proportioned and healthy, so really it doesn’t matter what the charts say. We had a few concerns going in to see the doctor, but as always, he put our concerns to rest and gave us some good information:
- Jax had a little bit of a rash last time we took him in, when he wasn’t feeling well about a month ago. It went away but then Jax started getting little bumps on his arms and thighs and cheeks, so we were concerned he was having a milk allergy or perhaps something else was aggravating his skin. Come to find out this is called keratosis pilaris and is just a buildup of excess keratin in the hair follicles which clogs the pore and makes a little bump, generally harmless and very common among children and adults. J and I both in fact have the same thing on our upper arms, and the solution is to scrub the heck out of them with a loofah in the bath/shower and moisturize, so this is what we’ve started doing for Jax and it’s helping already.
- We also spoke with the doctor about Jaxson’s feet turning in slightly when he is walking or standing, he’s done it for a long time and both sets of grandparents have pointed it out, so we feel like a broken record when we keep bringing it up at the doctor. I wasn’t too concerned since he’s started walking more and gained balance, he’s not doing it as often. Plus I also lean on the inside of my feet a little when standing and walking (guess he got that trait and the big feet from me!). The doctor also wasn’t concerned, and gave us some stretches to do with him to help him develop those muscles and told us he wants Jax in Stride-Rite shoes (wide-width) to give him the support he needs while he’s still growing. No problem, Nana has been wanting to buy him a pair for a while now so let’s go shopping!
- As for milk & weaning, we spoke with the doctor last time about his milk consumption (or lack thereof). We were told not to start weaning him until at least 18 months and to try to get him about 24 oz of milk per day. Most days we’re lucky if he’ll drink milk in the daytime, but he’ll always take his night bottle. So at a minimum we’re at 8 oz and on a good day, maybe 16-20 oz. Dr. Helft didn’t say anything about it being a concern, since obviously he’s growing quite well, so we’re going to continue letting Jax take the lead on milk – after all what are we going to do, force-feed milk? Ew. Neither of us drink cow’s milk so I’ll be glad when it’s no longer a necessity for him to drink it.
- He’s been rubbing his eyes A LOT lately, so we were concerned about allergies. Dr. Helft talked with J about using allergy meds when needed (like Zyrtec or Benadryl) but that it didn’t seem like it should be an every-day thing. He also said we could use eye drops for him, which usually helps J with her allergies, so we’ll be trying that. Jax actually broke out in hives the other night after playing outside in his sandbox, so we dumped the sand and gave him some liquid Benadryl. Needless to say the hives went away and he slept through the night.
- Also, as suspected, his canines are coming in and the doctor could see the “shadows”, so that cycle of fun should be starting soonish.
Jaxson, of course, charmed all of the nurses and even got to play with the toys in the waiting room which he thought was great fun. He did great for his shot, but he got a little WTF face when the doctor was checking out his boy parts. LOL Also, he passed his autism screening, and the doctor said that children don’t suddenly develop autism, that there are markers to look for early on that unfortunately many don’t catch until much later. So I was glad to hear that he is healthy all the way around. 🙂
Jaxson is amazing. Not only is he a good boy but he’s also got a genuinely kind heart and sweet disposition. I couldn’t be happier to see our handsome baby growing into an even more handsome, good and kind little boy. He is gentle with others and with animals and gets upset when someone is crying. Mr. Sensitivity, this one. He loves people and manages to charm the heck out of everyone he meets. He’s even managed to get freebies (such as fancy candy from Kilwin’s) just because he’s so darn cute and charming. Of course, he just has to blow kisses and he has hearts melting all over the place.
Over this past month he has physically changed in so many ways, leaving behind the ooey-gooey baby phase and literally growing like a weed before our eyes. Mentally he’s expanding his horizons by leaps and bounds. It is truly amazing how much babies really learn from birth to now. This month it’s felt like almost every morning he’s changed overnight in some way – height, weight, language, expressions. He’s changing on a daily basis and sometimes its hard to keep up, as things he may have enjoyed yesterday have lost their appeal today and vice versa. He definitely keeps us on our toes!
He doesn’t want you to cut up his food anymore or he’ll refuse to eat it. Mealtimes are still a continuous struggle, although finally J and I have had enough and are done making him a separate meal if he won’t eat what we have. We’re tired of buying “baby” food and having him turn his nose up at it and end up letting it go to waste. So far its gotten better, and there have been times he’s gotten down from the table without breakfast or lunch because he refuses to eat anything, but usually the next meal time he’ll make up for the lack. His new favorite thing to do is to push you away if you want him to try something, he’s so stubborn sometimes and refuses to try anything (even something he loves!) just because you want him to try it. Leave him alone with some food for a minute and he’ll generally end up going for it on his own and then he’ll say, “mmmm! good!” and end up eating his whole plate. Asparagus is a new favorite food of his as well as sausage of all kinds. We even got him to try slices of roasted dill potatoes and he liked it! This kid loves flavor in his food so we try to have him eat “exciting” food and even try things we don’t necessarily like. So we celebrate our food victories when they happen and try to let it go when he refuses. It’s a work in progress, but at least its improving somewhat. Obviously he isn’t wasting away to nothing, so we’re not too worried. We know it goes in cycles with his teething and growth spurts, so we’re just learning to go with the flow.
Jaxson’s language has continued exploding and I personally can’t wait for him to really start talking, as in constructing sentences. Even a basic “give me” or “I want” would suffice! I hate having to guess at what he needs, although he’s gotten very good at getting his message across in whatever way he can. For instance, he’ll use hand gestures if he wants something, first pointing to whatever it is he wants, then pointing to himself. If he “knows” the word he’ll name it and point to himself. Words that were only partial before have now become full-on words that anyone could recognize, such as turtle morphing from “tuh” into “ter-tull”. He also uses “cool” in proper context when he’s fascinated with something, as well as “more” or “done” at the table when we ask him if he wants more of something or if he’s ready to clean up. He thinks that every animal (real or not) is called “Bubba” until we explain that no, that dog is not Bubba and neither is that fluffy stuffed animal. He picks up on songs in the car and sings along with the tune in his sweet little voice. What this all means for Mamas is we (I’m a big culprit) need to start watching what we are saying so our little sponge doesn’t repeat inappropriate words.
He’s gotten a few colors down, such as blue and purple, which he pronounces perfectly. He’s learned more shapes and the other colors thanks to his Sesame Street placemat and some flash cards we picked up at Target for $1.00 each. He knows circle, square, yellow, green, pink, and red although he doesn’t yet say them. The closest he’s gotten is green sounding something like a growling “grr”. Of course he’s still got “star” down pat and I think it just might be his favorite shape. He also says “bubble” really well and has started calling pillows bubbles as well, although he has called it a “plo” a couple times). Since he loves snuggling with our little throw pillows on our bed, we lucked out and found a black sparkly star pillow for him for his crib and he loves to snuggle it (see this post). We have one of those ladybugs (now named Star) that lights up and projects the stars on the ceiling and he now loves to lay on the bed in the guest bedroom with the lights out so he can see the stars and moon on the walls and wind down before bedtime. And if you ask him to, he can find the one moon shape projected on the wall filled with stars.
He’s also learned the names of the Disney Jr. characters and will now say “Mimi” (for Minnie usually, and sometimes Mickey), “Jay” (Jake), “Huh” (Hook), Doc, “Goo” (Goofy), “Too-dull” (Toodles), and Callie. He’s known “duck” for a while, and so we laughed the other day because as we were trying to get him to say Donald Duck and he would just keep saying “Guh-Guh” instead. How he knew that Grandpa’s name is Donald, I’m not sure, but that’s how smart he is! He loves Jake & the Neverland Pirates now and started singing along with the song, chiming in with “meeeeeeeeeee!” at the right time. It also helped that Disney Jr. came out with “The Power of Me” song so he gets to say “meeeeeeeeeee!” a lot! He’ll also say “Yo Ho Ho!” and “Ahoy!” now and it’s gotta be one of the cutest things ever.
He’ll also now say “uh-oh” when he drops something or something happens he didn’t intend or expect. He’s really really trying to say thank you (sounds more like “kuh-you.”) and even popped out with excuse me (sounds like “kuu. me.”) last night after a really big, gross burp. Whenever you sneeze, he’ll try to say bless you (“bluh”). J has been teaching him soft, regular, and loud voices, and so this morning as I was making my coffee before work I could hear him bellowing from his room “MAMA! MAMAAAAAAAA!” as loud as he could. He gets the concept of sorry now and he’s even started saying it without prompting, recognizing when he does something wrong and you call him out on it. It no longer sounds like “die” at least, so instead we hear something more like “dowwy”. He’s also learning please and has the “pluh” down. And he also now says “baba” for bottle. I know I’ve missed some words because honestly, it’s so hard to keep up at this point. He’s growing his vocabulary by leaps and bounds daily and I know it won’t be long before he won’t ever be silent again. LOL
Jaxson loves to give snuggles and some mornings will just lay with J on the couch and watch TV or snuggle in bed with us on the weekends. If you ask for a kiss he’ll always oblige, and the other night I was holding him and J goes, “Kiss Mommy!” and he leaned in to give me a big kiss. She then said, “Kiss Mama!” and he leaned over to kiss her. Back and forth, back and forth, and I think its pretty clear I’m who he considers Mommy and J’s who he considers Mama, although he still uses Mama for both of us. Not only that, but its pretty clear this kid is a lover, not a fighter (except when getting a diaper change or trying new food). So many moms ask us, “How do you get him to snuggle/hug/cuddle you like this?!” and our answer is, “We don’t, he wants to.” Boys love their mamas and we are definitely two very loved Mamas right here. 🙂
As we’ve said before, this kid is SO tall. People will ask J “is his dad tall?” and I told her to start saying, “Why yes she is!” and point to me if I’m around. I’d like to see peoples’ reaction to that one! LOL We can’t help but wonder if people think something is off when we’re carrying this 3 ft (almost!) baby around or he’s walking and falling all over the place, because people genuinely think he’s 2 or 3. For instance, cashiers at Publix will always try to talk to him like he’s going to respond and are kind of puzzled when he won’t respond, until they ask his age and we tell them. Then you can see the lightbulb click on like “ohhhh okay” and then usually they say something along the lines of “He’s so tall!” We passed by a little girl at Ross the other night and Jax was sitting in the cart, and the little girl said hello to him and us. J is ever talkative with the little ones and so she had a little conversation with her, and the little girl ended up asking “How old is he? Two or three?” We replied that he was only one and a half and the little girl and her mom were both amazed because he’s just so big.
When we take him to the play area in the mall, bigger kids always try to get him to play or talk to them, thinking he’s much older, but I think the interaction is good anyway. It always amazes me how these kids, regardless of age, find some way to communicate to each other, even if we adults have no clue what they’re saying. Jax always walks away, from an interaction with another child, having learned a new skill or concept. Sharing, however, is not high priority among many kids and while Jaxson struggles with it since he’s an only child and doesn’t go to daycare, once you tell him to he has no problem sharing a toy or letting someone else have a turn. He’s always fascinated with what other kids are doing (unless they are “bad” kids, pushing/shoving/being mean/etc., and then he wants nothing to do with them!) and is absolutely captivated anytime a girl of any age is in the vicinity. We’ve got to get him to stop staring at them, but for now most (older) girls just giggle and laugh at him. All the other moms at the mall play area watch him running around, these big grins on their faces, and of course he makes the rounds to see each and every one. I can just see it now – droves of girls following him around once he’s older. Oh boy. Good thing we have a few years until we have to worry about that!
I know this was a long post, but it’s a big milestone. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I can’t believe he’s 18 months old. Two is creeping closer with each day and he’s leaving behind babyhood and fully embracing toddlerhood and all its woes (and fun!). His charming little personality grows brighter each day and we are so lucky to have this boy in our lives. We couldn’t ask for a more loving, more snuggly, more wonderful little boy and we are so thankful for him. 🙂