Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ethan is 2 1/2!

Wow Ethan, how are you 2 and a half already? It seems like we just had your 2nd birthday. You have changed so much in 6 months, it's crazy. First, you have grown. We measured you last week and you are 42 inches tall! It's insane what a big boy you are. You are the height of the average 4 or 5 year old! Everywhere we go people think you are 3 or 4 years old; it's pretty funny to see their faces when we tell them that you are only two! We keep waiting for your growth to slow down, but you just keep growing. We could tell you had gotten taller because all of the sudden you looked a lot skinnier like you had been stretched! You weigh 34 pounds and you are wearing 4T shirts, 3T pants and size 5 diapers. Speaking of diapers, you are definitely starting the potty training process. You just started asking us to use the potty all of the sudden. We thought you were crazy but then we would put you on there and you would go! You've gone both #1 and #2 but you haven't been consistent with asking to go before its too late. We need to get serious and have a potty training weekend to get you fully on board. Now that the weather is cold we will have a better opportunity to focus on it.

Second, is your speech and learning. You are a talking machine. You are speaking in full sentences now and you can pretty much say anything. You always say "please," "thank you," and you even say "bless you" when people sneeze. You also say "sorry" if we are out somewhere and you get in someone's way. People always get a kick out of that and comment on what nice manners you have. You repeat everything we say so we really have to watch the words we choose more carefully, HA! You are obsessed with letters and the alphabet. You sing the ABC song at least 20 times a day. You can spell your name and we are working on writing letters. You love to call out the letters you see everywhere we go. You can confidently count to 20 and we are working on learning to count by 10's to get you to 100. You know most shapes and can draw circles and triangles. You love to sing. Your favorites are the ABC song of course, Row Row Row Your Boat, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and Itsy Bitsy Spider.

You honestly just love to learn new things and are constantly asking questions so you can understand things better. I think you have absorbed so much because of your love of books and having us read to you. Some days I feel like I read you 50 books, you just can't get enough. I love that you love to read just like your Mommy has her whole life! You've definitely moved out of the board book stage and are favoring longer storybooks. I love coming across new books that I know will capture your attention or current interests. Your current favorites right now are: Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, Giraffes Can't Dance, Have You Seen My Dragon?, Two at the Zoo, and the How Do Dinosaurs series books.

Speaking of your current interests, your top interests right now are: trains, dinosaurs, construction equipment and any ocean animal/fish. You've loved trains since you were a year old and your interest in them has not waned one bit. You honestly play with your Thomas track every day. It's the best toy purchase we've ever made for you.

Dinosaurs are more recent in your interests, but you love to read about them and play with them. We are planning on bringing you to the Field Museum soon so you can see just how big they really were!

You've always loved animals, giraffes being your favorite, but this Summer you showed a sudden interest in any animal ocean-related. You are obsessed with a documentary called "Oceans" and watch it almost every day even months later. I would say whales, dolphins and sharks are your favorite. You sleep with a dolphin and beluga whale stuffed animal every night. We took you to the dolphin show at the Zoo and I thought you were going to pass out you were so excited. I'm glad we got a membership to the Shedd Aquarium because you absolutely love visiting. It's so much fun to hear you say, "Wow, look at this!" the whole time we are there.

Your most recent interest is construction equipment. Your favorite being "diggers." There is a lot of road construction going on around us right now and you start screaming out all of the construction equipment names as we pass them by. It's pretty funny how excited you get. Even watching our garbage picked up is an event for you! Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site might be your favorite book right now and I can recite it in my sleep we've read it so many times. Hopefully Santa brings you some new construction books so we can change it up a little!

Your favorite thing of all though is being outside. You are the biggest nature lover and I love it. I say all the time that you would probably sleep outside in a tent if we let you. You love every rock, stick, tree, flower and bug you come across. I know this Winter is going to be hard because we will be stuck inside but we had a lot of fun adventures outside this Summer. So many walks, hikes, trips to the park and the Arboretum. One of the fun things we did outside this Summer was play soccer. You showed a sudden interest in it and you are actually pretty amazing or a 2 year old! You just started dribbling the ball down the field. I'm really excited to get you enrolled on a team next year once you turn 3!

One of the biggest things that has happened in the past 6 months is that you became a big brother! We weren't too sure how you would react, but you have exceeded any expectation we could have had. You are an amazing big brother and show Sofia so much love it just makes my heart swell. You have loved her ever since you laid eyes on her in the hospital. She is the first thing you ask about in the morning and you run to our room to look at her sleeping. You show her toys while she's doing tummy time, you rub her head and put her pacifier in when she cries. You tell her, "It's okay Sissy and go Shhh to calm her down." One thing I will always say about you Ethan, is that you handle change amazingly well. In the past 6 months you have gotten rid of your pacifier, transitioned to a twin bed, started potty training and become a big brother. All of those are really big changes for a two year old and you just impressed us with each one.

So as amazing as you are, I wouldn't be telling the truth if I didn't say that there are hard days too. You definitely have tantrums and days when you are in "testing us mode." Those days are tough but luckily they are few and far between. We always say that 90% of the time you are sweetest, cutest, coolest kid ever and then 10% of the time you are a terror. The bad days are usually related to sleep. We can always tell when you didn't take a good nap at daycare and know we have a long few hours ahead of us because you definitely still need your nap.

You are a great sleeper, you always have been. You typically go to bed between 6:30 - 7:00 and wake up around 7:00. You usually go down for a nap at noon or 1 pm and sleep between 2-3 hours depending how active you are in the morning. If you don't have a nap, you are a mess; there is now way around it.

As far as eating, you continue to get better. You've even started asking to try things that we eat. I would say 75% of the time you don't like it, but at least you are trying different things. You eat a lot of the same stuff every day. You usually have Cheerios and yogurt for breakfast. Lunch and dinner you will have pasta, a hot dog, chicken and then usually strawberries, apple sauce, cucumbers on the side. You love any kind of cracker but don't really like bread. You still don't like sweets except peanut butter M&M's and Kit Kats. I don't think it's a bad thing you'd rather have cucumbers over a cupcake!

Ethan, we love you so much! You are so sweet, loving, silly and you have a thirst for learning that makes us so proud! I cannot imagine life without you. You are everything we could have every dreamed of in a son. We love watching you grow, learn and change right before our eyes. I can't wait to see what amazing things you will be doing in the coming months!

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