My Big Boy: 18 Month Update

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Austin turned a year and a half earlier this month.  I can’t believe how much he is starting to look like a little boy and not a baby anymore.  I always look back on my iPhone at old pictures of him and want to cry.  I can’t believe how fast time flies.

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I’ve recently went to a playdate in Newport Beach with a lot of mommies and kids.  Having Austin around kids (kids?! he’s in the kid category) made me really appreciate him more.  I love how he’s so independant and willing to try anything new.  He readily goes up to other kids and asks to play (in his own little way).  He is happy playing on his own, but LOVES the company of others.

IMG_1702  IMG_1727 (SeaWorld fun with Miss Shannel)

He may have trouble listening or holding my hand sometimes, but I know his independant personality will benefit him in the long-run.

Seeing other kids frusterating their moms and acting out makes me realize that Austin isn’t the only one who rebels sometimes.  I need to remember that he is JUST a kid and is learning and growing.  We are BOTH learning.  He is learning how to be an awesome kid and I am learning how to be a great mom.

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He is actually a pretty AWESOME kid.

Austin’s Update

Tea Collection 2013

(Austin’s recent ad that came out.  This photoshoot was here in San Diego for Tea Collection.  Austin was ~a year old.  He had a BLAST at the beach!  More to come soon)

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  • he loves playing in the sand and getting dirty.  He will swim in it, wreck castles (that others have built), and throw it all over himself
  • being outside is still Austin’s FAVORITE thing to do.  He loves doing just about anything as long as it is outside.  If I say “do you wanna go outside?” he will drop anything and everything and race to the door or to his shoe bin.

bubbkes

  • bubbles.  I recently scored a pretty cool bubble blower at the dollar bins at Target.  He learned how to pull the trigger on his own.  Blowing bubbles is now SUPER fun.  We actually used it to cool down his food.  The fan on that thing works well.  HA

water play

  • water fountains and water in general
  • driving cars.  No, he is not actually driving, but he loves standing in the driver’s seat and playing with the wheel and horn.  He often throws fits if he isn’t allowed in the front seat.  He thinks every trip down to the car is for him to play in the front seat.  (Thanks Grandma and GiGi)

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  • Musical instruments!
  • playing with blocks.  Finally !  He is building things instead of destroying.  He also likes loading up his dumptruck with blocks and pushing it around the house.  Our little boy.  🙂
  • brushing his teeth (FOREVER if I woukld let him).  Unfortunately, he likes Mommy and Daddy’s tooth brush better than his own.

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  • animals (stuffed, in books, and in real life)
  • fruit pouches.  We currently are ALL OUT of fruit pouches because this kid sucks them down SO fast.

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Apparently he DOESN’T like Bert.  Ha.  Here’s Austin refusing to look at him and then running away from him while Bert is left with his feeling hurt and arms up.  It’s okay Austin, I don’t like Bert either.

New!

  • he has been saying “hmmmm” and putting his index finger to his lips.  It’s the cutest thing!
  • we are officially cloth diapering.  The only time we aren’t is if we go out for long periods of time (that requires more than 2 cloth diapers) or when he goes to bed.  We have had success in the past with CD at night, but I’d rather avoid the morning poop in the CDs.  He looks so cute in CDs
  • 2 molars magically appeared on the bottom
  • he is sleeping better and sometimes I can just leave his room without sitting on the ground for a long time
  • he has a later bedtime that seems to be working out for all of us.  It’s 8 pm now
  • he is definitely talking more and dipping into his arsenol of vocabulary
  • convorsational babble that seems to make sense to him, but is almost unintelligable to others
  • words: all done, i don’t know, yes/ya (in context and with enthusiasm), oh shoe! (sounds like ‘oh shoot!’), thank you, and i love you (possibly)

I am not going to get overly excited about him saying ‘I love you.’  I am not sure if it was what he was meaning to say.  They say 18 months is when they have a vocabulary explosion and go from 10 words to 50.  We will see when this ‘explosion’ occurs.

Meals/Eating

  • he is so picky and unpredictable now
  • still loves his carbs and fruit
  • I usually feed him what we are eating plus apple sauce or yogurt, but he just eats what he likes and hands me his plate full of the rest.  Sometimes I can coax him into taking a bite and he will like it and eat it, but if he is in a mood then FORGET IT.
  • if I think he likes something (like mandarin oranges) and go out and buy a big box of cuties, he will immediately change his mind and let the fruit rot.  UGH

I need to search through my pins on Pinterest and see what kind of fun toddler meals I can come up with.

Parenting

I go to MOPs (Mothers of Prechoolers) every other Wednesday and get to drop Austin off at the amazing daycare while I get to connect with other mommies like me.  We have brunch together, talk, do crafts, and listen to guest speakers.  The guest speakers are usually speaking about topics that relate to our families.  One month was devoted to marriage and this month was a lot about behavior management.  Our recent speaker (I forgot his name) was a child development phsychologist at SDSU.  He had some great speaking points.  He spoke about how to understand our toddler’s brain, keeping focus on what we want our child to learn, and how to encourage/reinforce behavior.

All too often, we tend to focus on the negative things our toddler does and repremand them for the bad they’ve done.  Joe (his last name illudes me), said that we need to make a shift from negative reinforcement to positive reinforcement.  Toddlers and kids need praise for what they are doing right more than they need to be “punished” for what they are doing wrong.  You’ll see a change in behavior faster if you quite the yelling and start praising.  Praise him when he brushes his teeth without whining, praise him when he treats the animals nicely, praise him when he finished his dinner, praise him for listening.  I need think back to this more often in my life.

Austin doesn’t need to be yelled at or made feel like he is doing something wrong.  Yes, some things are dangerous and he needs to know I’m serious about him stopping that action, but I need to remember that he is young and exploring the world.  He doesn’t do things to be naughty (often); he does things because he wants to know how things work and he wants to explore his surroundings.  I just need to GUIDE him in the right direction.

My goal as a parent is to stop yelling and start guiding.  If I want him to stop a bad habit, I’ll scold him once and praise him when he doesn’t do said “bad habit.”

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Austin has been pretty rough with all of our animals since I can remember.  We are constantly telling him to “be gentle,” or “don’t hit/sit on/bite/attack Sara.”  I know he doesn’t want to hurt our animals; he loves them.  He just gets excited.  I need to remember that and start praising him for petting nicely and playing well with the animals.  The more attention he gets for the good behavior, the more he will repeat it.  I hope this works out for us.  It’s mostly on my shoulders to remember the RIGHT way to guide him.

Parenting is tough, but it is a learning experience.

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Next Up: 36 Weeks Pregnant!

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