Thursday, December 8, 2016

Max | Two and a half years

On November 17, Max officially became two and a half years old. I feel like I've been telling people he's "almost two and a half" for months now, and suddenly here we are. He's now closer to three years old than he is to two. I can't even believe I nearly have a three-nager on my hands!

These past two and a half years have been such a joy with Max. He made me a mama, and I can't even remember what life was like before him (I do vaguely remember sleeping in more...). Never could I have imagined that he'd turn out to be who he is today, and I'm so excited to see how his personality continues to develop as the years go by. Victor said to me the other day that it's crazy to think that in less than 16 years, we'll be sending him off to college, into the world without us. I know those 16 years are going to fly by because I swear he was just born and then I blinked and now he's almost 3.

Every day is an adventure with my Maximiliano Phillip, and it's the wildest ride I've ever experienced. He can melt my heart and make me want to rip my hair out in the same minute. And I wouldn't want it any other way.

Here's what I want to remember about my boy as a big two-and-a-half year old:

+ Stats: Weight | 35.2 lbs | 93rd percentile  Height | 37.75 inches | 84th percentile  Head | enormous

+ He's moving into size 3T in clothes and wears an 8/9 size shoe. His shoes look huge now. When did his feet get huge?

+ He's the very best big brother to little Louisa. He loves making her happy and is so proud of himself whenever he makes her smile or laugh. He doesn't hesitate to retrieve her toys and frequently gives her hugs and kisses. Occasionally his mischievous side will come out and he'll give her an eye poke or a foot bite (no lie...over Thanksgiving I was holding the baby and he walked up and bit her on her foot!), but more often than not, he's being sweet, loving, and doting on his precious baby sister.

+ He's so musical. I took him to Kindermusik classes as a baby and it really resonated with him. He's got quite a collection of instruments ranging from bell rattles to a kids' keyboard and drum set. If he's watching a show and the characters start playing instruments, he runs to find his and joins in. He also frequently asks me if his cousins Courtney and Lauren can come over to play instruments with him. Victor and I will continue to encourage his musical curiosity and see where it leads.

+ He's hilarious. Even when he's not meaning to be funny. And he loves to laugh. I could listen to his giggle for hours.

+ He's loud. Always. It's only quiet in this house when he's sleeping.

+ He has a great memory. He remembers obscure places where he hides things and how he burned his finger on dad's grill last summer.

+ His favorite song is "Beat It" by Michael Jackson. We have the Michael Jackson Experience game for PlayStation and I put it on for him to "learn" the dance. Now he repeats some of the moves and says he's the "blue guy" whenever we dance to it. He's also learning more words and chimes in every time he listens to the song. I'm convinced it's going to be his go-to karaoke song choice when he gets older, and I will have plenty video footage of him singing and dancing to it as a toddler to embarrass him. I hope he always calls it "beat it fong."

+ He's still a picky eater. There was a time, back between ages 12 months and about 16 months, where he would eat pretty much anything we put in front of him. Then suddenly a switch flipped and he began refusing some of his favorite meals. I don't think I've gotten him to eat salmon in a year, and he used to mow it down! I recently read an article in Parents Magazine's November 2016 issue about methods to double the number of foods your child likes. It's a pretty fascinating concept called "food chaining" and I'm going to attempt it! See the main points from the article here.

+ He's great at making messes (his method of finding something is throwing everything that's not the thing he's looking for on the floor until he finds it), but he's also great at cleaning up. Sometimes he'll clean up without being asked and other times he needs to be reminded, but he seems to like things being in their place.

+ He's very strong-willed and stubborn. This is very challenging at times since it's nearly impossible to reason with a toddler, but he's helping me become more patient.

+ He's recently become very imaginative when he plays. He calls action figures "guys" and he plays with them ALL THE TIME. He has them walk along Louisa's exersaucer and rappel from our counter stools. He has them talk to one another, saying things like, "Hey dude! Let's go to the beach!" (in Max-speak, of course). He calls for them when he can't find them as if they'll call out in response, "Batman, where are you?!" He's all boy and loves superheroes and vehicles. He is also into dressing up and becomes Spiderman or Pirate Jake frequently.

+ He's fiercely independent but also asks for help when he can't quite manage to do something himself.

+ He says "Excuse me" after he burps, coughs, or sneezes. He also says "please" and "thank you," but he needs more prompting to use those more regularly.

+ His motor skills haven't caught up to his language skills yet, so he has some pretty interesting ways of saying different phrases. My favorites are "Me nyah voo" (I love you), "key tee" (Christmas tree), and "baby wee-ah" (baby Louisa). He can produce very elaborate sentences and rarely stops talking, but unless you know his "code," you might not be able to understand him.

+ He's starting to understand that commercials show you cool things to buy, so now when he sees a neat toy he likes, he says, "Mom, buy dee me." (Mom, buy this for me). Lord help us.

+ He completed his first "soccer class" through Soccer Shots this fall, and he was a rock star! He did so great taking direction from "Co Key" (Coach Kurt) and was a star student at a majority of his classes. He looked forward to Soccer Saturdays every week.

+ He knows where the various Starbucks locations are near us and will request a "pink pop" as soon as he realizes that we're going to get mama a coffee. He even walks up to the baristas and says shouts, "Me nyee pink pop pee!" (I need a pink pop please!).

+ He pushes/drags stools/chairs everywhere to reach things on his own, even when he's not supposed to have it. The sound of the dragging drives me bonkers!

+ He loves to help. He will put away groceries with me. He loves to help bake. We had an electrician come by last week (he was here a lot after we first moved in to get our speakers/security systems running correctly so Max knows him) to fix an internet wire, and when Max saw his tool box, he ran to his play room and got his toy tape measure and screw driver and sat down right next to him. It was hilariously adorable.

+ He still takes naps as long as he's home in his own bed, but we are considering eliminating them in favor of him falling asleep easily and sleeping through the night. On days he naps, he takes forever to fall asleep at bedtime and wakes at least once overnight. The opposite occurs when he misses his nap. This is a week of experimentation, and next week we might start forgoing naps. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Any tips/words of encouragement from veteran nap-eliminators are appreciated!

+ He loves playing with friends and family and is always sad when his favorite people leave, declaring that he "nyahs" (loves) the people who are departing. It's so sweet.

+ He keeps asking about "pee fool" (preschool) and knows that when he's 3, he'll get to go to school and make more friends.

+ He wants nothing to do with potty training. He prefers peeing in the tub.

+ He can identify numbers 1-10, most colors, and some letters. He also knows that "Max" starts with "Emmmmmmmmm."

+ His favorite colors are blue, green, and white.

+ He loves watching Bubble Guppies, Curious George, Team Umizoomi, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Wallykazam.

+His favorite toys are his "guys," cars, and his panda bear stuffed animal from Ikea.

+ His favorite food is bananas. He requests them all day long and will eat two in one sitting. He's also recently had his first smoothie (on his 2.5 year birthday, actually. Not sure why I waited so long to introduce him to them) and he requests them almost daily.

+ His current favorite books (the ones we read everyday at naptime and bedtime) are The Lion King and The Pigeon Needs a Bath.

This boy has my heart. I'm so incredibly lucky to be his mama!

Read more about Max here:

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