IEK (Mr. Smarty Pants) is doing great! I haven't written an update on him in a while. He's 2 years and 6 months old. This will be a fairly long update, I anticipate, as I want to document as much as I can remember.
He turned 2 years old in February and had a joint birthday party with Abby, one of his buddies from North Carolina. It was a cowboy themed party held at the Little Gym and it was great. I made his outfit (kind of). I ordered a cowboy vest and chaps online. I didn't have to do much altering for the vest but I attached the chaps to a pair of jeans. He looked so cute.
First haircut was 12/31/13 and he has had 4 haircuts to date. They seem to be getting shorter and shorter each time. He's had 2 haircuts in NC and 2 here in California. He has done well with all his haircuts so far. He gets into the toy airplane or car or whatever he chooses, mommy acts like an idiot and voila haircut is over. I prefer his hair a little longer but the hairstylists seem to do whatever they want. Since we are talking about hair--interestingly, his hair has gotten very lighter (no longer dark brown (now a light to medium brown with some hints of red-ish-ness in the sun). I think that's because it's the summer. Also the more we cut his hair, the straighter it gets. He has no curls anymore.
His brown hair compliments his big brown eyes and his adorable smile. He's still not very tall--fairly average I guess compared to his classmates at preschool. Oh yeah, he started preschool the same day his sister was born--BIG BOY! Staying true to his pattern, the first few weeks of preschool was rough (for both of us). He cried everyday when I dropped him off and intermittently throughout the day until I picked him up. I felt so terrible and stressed everyday for the first few weeks. After about 2 months he started liking it and goes without crying. Everyone once in a while he'll tell me "mommy, I don't want to go to school" or "mommy come with me at school" but besides that he's great. I like his teachers Ms. Cindy and Ms Heather. The preschool is great although I wish the class size was smaller but he seems to be adjusting well (was worried because he was in a home daycare up until then). We were proud parents the first time he brought home something he made from school. It was a father's day gift for his dad--a card and a handprint (which his dad uses as a paperweight on his desk in our home office). The card is hanging in his room.
His second year so far has been interesting: we moved from NC (where he was born and lived for 2 years); we had our first vacation away from him for 1 week (Nonna kept him and he did great, I had the hardest time); he was potty trained fairly well with minor accidents before he turned two but fully potty trained during the transition period between moving from NC to CA. He actually traveled from NC to CA (2 flights) without an accident. He potty trained really easily and once potty trained he did not want to go in his pull ups. OK so what else happened this year...yeah we moved to California (different time zone), upgraded him to a big boy bed, and he now has a little sister.
He is such a good big brother. He looooves his sister so much and is very protective of her. He does get a little competitive at times for our attention but he's very sweet to her. He always says "I love my baby sister" and gives her hugs and kisses. I think it was love at first sight for him. He seriously immediately loved her. He's so funny, he goes "awww...she's such a tiny baby." LOL. He also looooves his daddy. He is currently a daddy's boy although he cries for me when he wants something. Ha! He and his dad will have private time in the hammock and if I go outside to say hi, he'll so "no mommy go back inside." He and his dad are so sweet to watch. My husband wrestles and rolls around on the floor with him but they are also tender to to each other. I love watching my husband giving him kisses and hugging him. He's a great dad. Anyway, I've been the enforcer I guess. He says "I love you mommy" mostly when daddy isn't around--haha! I'm very loving with him too but I'm also firm and consistent and doesn't let him get away with much. He likes to test limits like any 2 year old but it's not that bad. He also occasionally will try to whine or "tantrum" but these are also not bad.
So overall I think his behavior is great. There are few times he acts like "typical 2 year old" but most times he's pretty cool. He listens for the most part and responds well to counting from 1-3 before a consequence. I mostly reward him with something or take away something he likes as punishment. Although, sometimes I do pop him (ex. when he does something dangerous like ride his bike on the road). So he has a Strider (a balance bike) that he absolutely loves. He is sooo good at balancing on that thing. Since the first day we gave it to him he was riding it like a pro--I think the kid is ready for a big boy bike (without training wheels).
He's a terrible eater (still). I think this is one of the biggest challenges we have as his parents. It's so hard to feed him because he doesn't like to eat anything. He doesn't try new foods and once he makes up his mind, that's it. I have to be creative to get him to eat, like blending vegetables and putting them in whatever he's interested in eating at the time. The hard part is that he doesn't get hungry so missing a meal or two doesn't affect him. I've also used reward systems to get him to eat. IT's kind of crazy. I can't wait for this no eating phase to end.
He was sleeping great until we moved. He's been sleeping through the night since he was a young infant, however the move and the big boy bed (I think) has messed us up. IT was a struggle to get him to stay in his room initially but with some adjustments/training we were able to fix that situation. He now stays in his room fine but he continues to wake up several times at night (wasn't doing this prior to the move). He however naps very well--that required some re-training with the introduction of the big boy bed.
He's very athletic and loves the outdoors. He loves to play baseball and can throw the ball pretty well. We are still working on the batting skills but he's pitched some good balls to me. He's right handed and pretty coordinated. He loves throwing rocks too and picking up sticks. He's also pretty good at football. We like to blow bottles and shoot waterguns at each other. On a regular basis all 3 of us (me, dad and IEK) are outside shooting waterguns at each other in the backyard.
He's very smart and loves book and puzzles. He also likes to write on his blackboard and color. Language is definitely a strength for him. I mean, he talks better than most 2 year olds and a lot of 3 year olds I've met. It's amazing. He absorbs everything and remembers everything. He talks like a regular person, although he has the normal articulation trouble (like I "wove you mommy"). He asked "you check your blood pressure, I want to press blue button." He also is a thinker. On the way home from church one day he says "Mommy I pay at church." I didn't understand him so I told him that and he said "mommy not pay (meaning play), I pay (meaning pray) to Jesus," "Jesus made the trees." He really thought about how he could explain to me what he meant. He can count from 1 to 20 (almost). He can say ABCs. He knows a lot of the shapes but he has challenges with colors. IT's weird because sometimes he'll say the colors incorrectly but other times he'll say them right. I dunno. Oh, he loooves to sing and his little voice his so sweet. He's a bit "sassy" at times (according to my grandfather). I try to encourage his confidence but also balance that with some discipline.
He's unfortunately more interested in TV because he's had more exposure since the move. Before the move he probably watched TV once per week (if that much). Now he watches it several days per week. I've been working on curbing his electronic exposure but it's a work in progress. He's social in situations that he feels comfortable in but otherwise is reserved in novel situations. Although he's a rough and tough kid, he also is pretty cautious and isn't much of a daredevil. He still loves to listen to music and dance. Thank God for Pandora Toddler station.
Overall he's such a joy. He's so sweet, loving, compassionate, funny, determined, etc. I feel so blessed to have him in my life. I pray that God will continue to bless him, protect and guide him. I also pray that my husband and I will continue to be good parents to him. He makes us so happy and I would like to think that he's pretty happy with us too :). Ok (next update will be at 3yo). Month 1 and 2 for his sister coming soon (w/pic) too.