I haven't done an update in a while, but this blog is essentially a record of all Marshall's milestones, so I'm not going to feel too bad about the lack of updates. Here's what's going on now:
Marshall weighs about 27.5 pounds--about 75th percentile--(no idea how tall he is) and wears size 2T for the most part, size 4 diaper.
Talking: Marshall talks constantly! Sometimes he chats to himself (a mixture of nonsense words and real ones) in his stroller or car seat. Sometimes he narrates everything he's doing ("Put down." "Over here." "Read to Teddy." "Sit down"). Sometimes he repeats every word we say, even if we're trying to ask him a question ("Marshall, what did you do at school today?" "School today"). The best part of all the talking is that we can truly understand Marshall most of the time now. He communicates most of his wants and needs so we don't have to play the guessing game every moment. Plus, hearing his version of words is too cute! That sweet little voice makes me so proud and happy.
Sleeping: Ahhhh, glorious sleep. It took us forever to get there, but now that we've arrived we appreciate it all the more. Marshall sleeps 7:30ish until 6:30ish almost every night. The few disruptions are rare and almost always easy to explain, like a cold or teething. He puts himself to sleep 90% of the time (we've even cut down a lot of our bedtime routine; now it's just story and bed, maybe a few lines of a song as we walk out). Naps are great, too, especially when he's home. At day care, Marshall will sleep 1.5 to 2 hours, but at home he'll sleep closer to three hours a lot of the time! I think he needs those great naps to catch up on rest from his busy days at school.
Day Care: Marshall seems to really like day care. I drop him off at school now, and my heart swells watching how confidently and happily he walks into his building and his classroom. He seems comfortable around his teachers, friends, and other parents. He loves watching everyone and barely acknowledges my goodbye as I leave. It makes me so happy to know we chose a good place for him. I also love that they expose him to experiences I wouldn't have if he were still home with me: social interactions (with other children and other adults), art projects, learning school rules (holding onto a rope when they walk between classes), reading in a group, not always being the only kid around. It's good for him, and he seems to like it.
Eating: He went through one picky phase, and I'm sure more are ahead of us, but lately Marshall has eaten almost all his meals without protest. If he doesn't seem into something, we encourage him a little but don't push it. Usually we serve it again the next day and he'll eat it. (The flip happens, too, where he'll scarf something down one day and ignore it the next.) His favorite foods are pita, sweet potatoes, eggs, soup, crunchy pea snacks, crackers (which is funny because we never really have crackers), and pancakes.
Meltdowns: Oh, boy, these are real and here in full force. It helps now that he's a bit older and able to communicate, because we can often get him to tell us something about why he's upset. We do our best to listen and comfort him without giving in to his every desire. Mostly, I feel like we're all handling it as well as we can. We can also usually predict the most sensitive times for these outbursts: right before a meal (toddlers aren't terribly patient, from what I hear), when he's tired, or when he's interrupted in the middle of an activity he's enjoying. It requires a lot of patience on our part, so we're all working on it! Honestly, it hasn't been a big deal or super stressful, but when he busts out those inconsolable tears we really get thrown for a loop!
Play: Of course, play is huge, but lately dramatic play has become so much more fun! Marshall loves cooking in his kitchen (we gave him a bunch of measuring cups, whisks, spoons, a small pot, a bowl, cupcake liners, and rubber spatulas from our kitchen) and having us taste what he's making. He's gotten into drawing with crayons lately and asks us to draw "happy face!" all the time. Trains and trucks are still a hit, plus wooden alphabet blocks and puzzles. Books and reading are the best--we love going to the library to choose new books every few weeks, and Marshall will ask to read the same books over and over again. It's amazing how quickly he memorizes them; if we pause in the story he'll say the next word half the time!
Favorites: Teddy! (I'm not sure if I shared the store here yet, but Marshall found a bear at day care and claimed it as his own, and day care graciously gave it to us. It's a really nice bear, and he is now part of the family.) Going for walks, either in the wagon or just letting Marshall stroll around the block, stopping now and then to check out every plant and stick and wall along the way. Hanging out with his grandparents. Swim lessons. Learning to run. Stop signs (still don't get this one). Tickling and kisses from mommy and daddy.