Spencer @ Two

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[Very long overdue post... I've edited this about 6 times now. Time to post and move on. Even if it does feel too "braggy" for my liking. I can't find the happy medium of "documentation" without coming off like "my kid rocks." Sorry. Rest assured, I won't be doing this again until two and a half... or maybe even three!]

Spencer at Two. Oh boy. I feel like there's so much going on and clicking right now, I worry I won't get it all down. And I apologize in advance for what will most likely be a very long post.

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The stats: Spencer currently weighs 20.4 pounds (yup, down from last time... maybe it's cause we cut his hair off?!). But the big news is... drum roll please... he's on the [Korean] growth chart for height!!! He's 32.25" tall, bringing him in at the 10th percentile. YAY! (He would have been perfect regardless, but I'm not going to lie... it's comforting to see him on the chart) We're having a growing party. (Seriously) He's got two of the four two year molars almost in. And [knock on wood] it's been relatively painless. (Well, for me) Nothing like all the other teething we've gone through. One day he opened his mouth and there they were! We definitely have "teething days" but seriously, I must have paid my dues or something already because this is WAY WAY WAY better. The cutest part is when his teeth are bothering him, he comes over and asks for babasign (medicine) or a band-aid, while holding his mouth wide open and pointing way back. ...Now onto all the other good stuff...

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"Chatter Box": He's been having a language explosion. It's absolutely insane. I started to write out all of his words, but it got out of control. His count is in the hundreds. Let's just leave it at that. Otherwise, I'll feel like I'm bragging. He can pretty much name all vehicles (including all the different types of trucks and construction equipment), all the major animals at the zoo and on the farm (my favorite is the "raffe" and the "ottaaaaahhhh"), all of his body parts, anything related to food/eating... especially the snack genre! He's starting to put simple sentences together as well, which is really fun. He also says "thank you" all the time. "Please" is a different story... we're working on that. Some of my favorite words and phrases are "oops" [pronounced "ups"] "dirty" [pronounced "dir-tay"] "oh man" [oh mein] "band-aid" [bahn-ade] "roxy" [oh-xeeeee] "outside" [ah-zah!] "kiss" [keek] "ice cream" [eye-BEAM] and of course "ZOO." Right now, he'll pretty much "echo" us all day long. And he repeats everything. Everything. Speaking of that, he'll recite the alphabet with us, but not on his own. And he has no interest in numbers, except he can tell you he's two. And if you say "you can have one," he'll counter with "Two!" And if you say he can have two, he counters with five. Yeah, not so strong on the numbers yet... He also likes to come up with his own words for things as well. For example, my mug is often called a "chug" or a "guzzle" ... I really have no idea what he's trying to tell me about my coffee-drinking habits! And headphones are "eye-gugs." It's cute until you hit that point where he's trying to tell you something and you can't figure it out for the life of you. Then, not so cute. He pretty much makes sound all. day. long. If he's not talking, he's making funny noises with his mouth, if it's not that... he's singing. Or humming. Or clucking. For the most part it's "YAY!" but there are times when I consider giving him taffy just to get a few moments of silence to think.

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"Smarty Pants": He has a lot of colors and shapes down... red, yellow, blue, pink, and orange. Square and circle, sometimes triangle. And directions... up, down, side to side, and so on. As I mentioned above, he knows all his animals and vehicles and food-related items. He can name any item in our house. I think he may also be starting on sight words, specifically "hi" and "bye" and "zoo." He seems to have scientific tendencies and loves anything having to do with science, engineering, or zoology. (I kid you not. This kid loves animal planet documentaries.) While we were at the doctors, he figured out how to work the ear light "thingy" and used it. And the blood pressure cuff. But, he hates puzzles. Go figure! He knows how to put on his clothes, take them off, put them in the laundry. He gets his shoes on with a 35% success rate. He can climb in and buckle himself into his car seat, booster seat, and stroller (and *must* be allowed to). He's pretty good with chores and loves to dust and vacuum. And no, I don't go over his handiwork usually. He's pretty thorough! He loves simple science experiments. And we're realizing how much of a memory he has. He can navigate both of our i*phones/i*pads to "his" apps... and doesn't need much help to play his games on there. If I tell him to get a good nights sleep because we're doing "XYZ" tomorrow, he wakes up asking for "XYZ."

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"Mover & Shaker": He doesn't stop. Ever. He likes to dance and likes music, but he really loves anything that requires agility. Climbing equipment, and jungle gyms are right up his alley. And he's an excellent jumper. He can get almost a foot off the ground from a standstill. And jumping off of things, or with a running start, is even crazier. He actually jumped beyond the mats at Gym*boree the other day, silencing all of the parents who were watching. I didn't think anything of it until one of the other parents said he shouldn't be able to do that yet. He's almost gotten his headstand down (by sheer luck and determination) and can do somersaults. (Yeah, maybe it is time to look into gymnastics.) And we all know about the crib situation. Sigh. Our pediatrician told us to get him a soccer ball, and lately he's been enjoying kicking it across the room. He can only kick and "follow up" with another kick once or twice, but it tires him out... and that's a big plus in my book. And, of course, he can now reach the pedals on his tricycle! He's very good at pedaling, but very bad at steering.

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His "faves": He still loves B@rney, the zoo, and trains. He's very into trash trucks and dump trucks. A huge fan of the mall and shopping. (And yes, he's starting to pick out his own clothes) We're considering changing his name to "NoMe" or "Ido" (and no, he can't tell you his actual name if you ask, although he might say "me") We asked him what he wanted his name to be and he said "Mo" so that's in contention too. He's recently become very attached to his "DeeDee" which is his blankie. He loves to read, and Curious George is one of his faves. He also likes books on animals or trucks. (surprise, surprise) His top three songs are "twinkle, twinkle" "the wheels on the bus" and "the itsy bitsy spider."

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He's also still a big fan of the bottle. So, here's the big "gasp" decision we made with our pediatrician recently. He still takes milk in a [baby] bottle. And we'll be continuing that until 2.5 or 3 if he wants. We tried to wean him off the bottle and onto a sippy cup, and it was a disaster. After two weeks, we decided it wasn't worth it. Our pediatrician told us it was a non-issue with her, and that she doesn't mind if he stays on until three. (Since he's doing so well verbally and his teeth are in good shape.) He's also still taking a bottle before bed. When we tried to eliminate it, all heck broke loose in the sleep department... and I worked too hard to ruin that! He takes all other beverages in either sippy cups, water bottles, or big boy cups... so we're not too worried yet. Obviously, the bottle is a security item for him, and he still needs it. So there you have it. (Ironic since I was just telling several of you that he doesn't have a specific item he's attached to!) Ha!

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"The big news": He's SLEEPING!!! More often than not, he sleeps through the night. More often than not, he's easily comforted back to sleep if he does awake. More often than not, he wakes up closer to 6am than 5am. And you better believe that I am not taking a single "good night" for granted. Hallelujah!!! Enough on that... don't want to jinx it!

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We're really enjoying seeing his personality form. Some traits that have been there all along have really started to shine, while some new ones are gaining strength as well. He's very much a comedian, and loves to be silly and play "jokes" (i.e. the "boo" from the closet) He adores when he is trying to make you laugh and you do. (Uh, why do I feel like I have a class clown in the making?!) He's incredibly outgoing and friendly. He waves at everyone, says hello, shakes hands... He literally shakes hands throughout the grocery store. While in the waiting room the other day, he shook hands with all the other patients (and then I covertly sanitized him) Future politician maybe?! He's not beyond giving the teenage girls that pay attention to him a kiss on the hand. (Oh yes, and completely unprompted) He's a little love bug with those he knows well. He can be having the time of his life and he'll search me out, run over, give me a huge hug, a sweet kiss... then go back to what he was doing. The one down side to his outgoing nature is that he's sometimes ignored. Usually by the "older" boys that he really wants to say hi to. It tears me apart to watch him try so very hard to get them to acknowledge him as they ride by on their bikes, or play on the jungle gym (he'll even squat down if they avert their eyes down)... the look of disappointment on his face can almost bring me to tears. (Yes, I know, he needs to learn disappointment... but why can't they just say "hi" back!?) He's also very strong willed. He is two after all. I'd say we average a stand-off a day right now. And usually a tantrum or two. Again, he is two.

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I'm really enjoying this age (as trying as it is some days) ... I'm just so fascinated by how one little boy can be such a baby in some senses, but such a big boy in others. Usually at the same time. I just sit and watch him sometimes and am amazed by how these two seemingly distinct beings are inhabiting the same body. Every day brings new milestones, achievements, and challenges. And I wouldn't miss any one of them. I can't wait to see what the next year brings!

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{And if you made it this far, thank you. It took me more hours than I want to think about to draft this. I truly appreciate the time you took to read this.}

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