I'm going to work through things entirely based on the order of pictures. Innovative, I know. These were taken last Friday through Sunday, and I haven't taken any since. Hypothetical kid #2 can anticipate no photographs ever. I am falling off quickly.
Favorite activities and things: He likes to be a "big boy" which means helping with whatever we're doing. He still loves to clean, but now cooking is definitely on the list, too. He loves to climb. Which means that he climbs on the oven drawer and reaches for the burners while saying, "Hot". Cute, Robby, cute. I attempt to give him his own pans to cook with, but usually end up holding him. He also LOVES lawn mowers. One of his more recent words is "mowing" and he'll take off down the street to visit any neighbor who might be outside tending to their law. Trucks are still a big hit, and he'll wave his arm back and forth at any car or truck going by saying, "Stop, stop, stop." I'm not sure what he'd do if they DID stop, but, y'know, he tries.
Trouble-making activities: It really is largely exploration, but he's also started doing things that he knows will immediately get my attention. Note the standing on the playstation, because I was at the computer. Similarly, pulling stereo wires or dumping dog water while I'm cooking are favorites. We are still trying time outs, and they are somewhat successful. Right now, the MOST effective thing is just counting to 3. I have to talk to daycare about what they're doing, because I was floored that the first time I ever tried it, he stopped dead in his tracks. Can't say I was disappointed!
People skills: We continue to have a VERY social animal who will eagerly talk to anyone (and occasionally walk off with them). At the same time, though, he is VERY attached to mommy. The photo above is actually an oddity. It's sad for Chris that Robby usually will throw a fit if I leave him with daddy, and will not normally select his lap for cuddles. He knows the exact time that I'm supposed to pick him up from daycare, which unfortunately for him, I have been late for every day this week. He stands at the gate shaking it and will SQUEAL "Mommy" when he finally sees me. I was laughing a couple days ago, because they were inside due to rain. As each parent entered the room, I could hear my son squealing, "MOMMY!"...and then being disappointed. Apparently he had done that for at least 1/2 an hour to every person that had walked in the door. It really is the sweetest thing and makes my day.
Sleep: Sleep is a little bit of a battle right now, but not too bad. The picture above is the first time in MONTHS that he fell asleep on me, but his schedule got thrown off on Saturday, and he had boycotted his nap until very late in the afternoon. He had been up for a couple hours that night, though, so I was THRILLED to have an excuse to nap on the couch. We've had to do some tough love/crying it out, but it's improving. A large part of the problem is that he now HATES wet diapers, and while he used to sleep just fine with a damp diaper, he now wakes up and wants to be changed. By the time he's changed, he's fully awake. So, he now is often waking up around 4:30/5. GAH. This ends up with me waking up at 4:30/5 most days, even if I do get him back to sleep.
Mr. Personality: I. Love. His. Faces. He can be the silliest little goofball right now. He loves making us, and even himself, laugh. He is a man of extremes, though. And very loud. We felt pretty guilty that he taught our friends' son the joy of shrieking when we went over for dinner. The two of them squealed back and forth across the table at each other for a good 10 minutes. Hopefully, Dean has forgotten already. :) He laughs hardest if he is jumping on something (couch, bed, pillow, etc...), chasing the dog, rough-housing with mom or dad, or generally just running around like a maniac. This week we've made some headway with the crying. Previously, when he got home from daycare, he would pretty much cry continuously, particularly if I was trying to cook dinner. But sometimes, it was even if we were outside playing ball with the dog. He just could not get under control. It's become clear that this is largely exhaustion, but since he hates to chill, I was at a bit of a loss. Shamelessly, we now take about 1/2 an hour, and mommy and Robby cuddle on the couch, watch Octonauts, and eat a snack. He really doesn't need the snack, and it ruins his dinner, but it does mean that he is then sane enough that I can cook without crying. I might still have to hold him, but it's quieter.
Food: They claim he eats well at daycare, but I'm not sure exactly what that means. I like to pretend that it means he's eating all the food groups there, and I don't want to ruin my happy little dilusion by asking. At home, he eats eggs. Ok, a little more, but he really loves scrambled eggs. And, being a creature of habit, he comes downstairs every morning and directs me on each step from getting the pan out, to putting butter in, getting a bowl to mix them, etc... If I forget something, like getting his plate out of the cabinet at the same time as the bowl, oh, I hear about it. I fear that, if ya'll remember the story of me cooking hot dogs at 18 months, Robby will replicate this with scrambled eggs. Sometimes he'll surprise us, and these pictures are of him eating a pizza I had made with sausage, leeks, and fennel. He loved it (so did I for that matter). He really is very carb-focused at the moment, though, and besides eggs, his favorite foods are rice, rolls, and any junk food he can charm you into (fruit leather, cereal bars, popcorn, and cookies if I've baked them). He loves milk still, though rarely will go with water and pushes for juice in it. Especially orange juice. He figured out a straw last month and now is thrilled that he can steal mom's lemonade. (I still haven't lost that craving from pregnancy.)
Talking: Obviously, it's coming back fast and furious. He may not be talking as much at daycare as at home, though. His teacher was very excited to tell me he said "baby" a few days ago, which...that's a few months old. He's picking up a few interesting things like, he's sing the tune of "ABC" with me, but won't say letters yet. However, he will say "three" when you're counting to 3. He now will answer questions "yes" and "no", and can shake his head both ways, as well. I do get frustrated that he KNOWS a lot more words than he uses, frequently preferring to cry. I feel terrible that I'm forever saying, "We don't cry" to him in an effort to get him to use words. It seems like I'm setting him up for some psychological repression. I really don't mind legitimate crying, but when all it means is, "No I want a drink, not a snack" when he knows the words "drink" and "snack"...c'mon. The most important development? We finally figured out the mystery word! It was "Ah Bah". He'd say it at all times, in all locations. NO CLUE. Eventually, it turned into "Ah Bee". AHHH! That's when we figured it out. He's saying his own name. Currently, it's evolved into "Bobby"...little off, but we'll take it.
The pumpkin patch was a hit. He loved that he got to run around outside, see tractors, and try to pick up pumpkins. Surprisingly, he had very little interest in the animals they had out. That's not exactly true. He was happy to stand there and look at them for a very long time, but did not want to touch them. This is funny only because he adores dogs and will touch every single dog at the dog park if we let him (which we usually don't unless we know the dog). In fact, Harper has become more protective of him recently, so sadly, Robby and I usually take a jog on the bike path (Literally, he is jogging, too. No stroller.) while Chris and Harper are in the dog park now. I feel bad that he has to miss out, but we can't have Harper acting up.
Ok, that was a tangent. Perhaps I need more frequent, focused posts. Ya think? This is about 10 pages long now. Pumpkin patch. Really.
The funniest part of the "pumpkin patch" is that, in reality, this is primarily a dairy farm. Their "pumpkin patch" is a bunch of pumpkins set out that they brought in from somewhere else. Perhaps elsewhere on the farm, but they were set out in a big field. Don't get me wrong, it was fantastic, but Chris and I were laughing at some people that were telling their children that the cherry tomatoes that legitimately grown in the field were "baby pumpkins". We really think they believed it, too.
Whether they actually grew the pumpkins on site really is beside the point. The kids had a blast, we got to go on a hayride, and...the whole reason why we went there...they have an on-site creamery. Scroll down a few pictures so I can talk about that already.
The creamery! SOOO very delicious. I had heard from many people that this is the most delicious ice cream you will ever taste, and, I've got to say, I'm inclined to agree. (Oh, we were at Milky Way Farms)
Chris predictably got cookie dough, which he enjoyed. I got apple cinnamon, which for the world tasted just like apple pie. It even had cake-y pieces in it. Absolutely delicious. As can be witnessed by Robby having stolen it. Really, he's in love with cones, and that's what he wanted, but he enjoyed the ice cream, too.
And...I leave you with a picture of Robby carrying his blanket around like Linus. He loves this blanket that my mom knitted for him, but we've quit letting him sleep with it, because he keeps pulling long yarn loops, and that scares us. The parental curse. Fear of everything.
Happy month 17, buddy! I'm so glad we get to hang out and play and you're my best little buddy. I still get those insuppressable urges that, "I just want to go home and see my son", which I was so worried would fade as time went by. I may not still be as crazy hormonal as post-pregnancy, but I still love you with every ounce of my being. I love seeing you discover new things, and discovering who you are going to be. I can't wait to see it all. Love, Mommy