Little Michael is 16 months old, and he reminds us everyday that we no longer have a baby; we have a toddler! And a very busy one. He is like the Energizer Bunny, and with so many new things to discover, there is no time for relaxing! He walks pretty well and is learning how to navigate all the “steps” that he encounters: the stairs in our house, curbs on the street, and bumps and dips along sidewalks. Sometimes he breaks into a wobbly run when he gets excited about where he’s going. He has 10 teeth with several more on the way. His most recent teeth to break through did so all at once at the end of February. Little Michael is a great sleeper. He takes a one and a half to two-hour nap around 11 in the morning. Bedtime is at 8, and he usually sleeps through the night for eleven to twelve hours. His favorite stuffed animal is a white and tan dog we call “Puppy,” and he loves to cuddle with it when he’s sleeping. As far as talking goes, he says “Dad” very clearly, but I am still eagerly waiting to hear him say something close to “Mom.” In the last few weeks he started making animal sounds for his stuffed animals and the critter friends he meets in his board books.
He made his very own, and very endearing, sign language for “help!” Without making any sounds, he simply puts his hand up and shrugs when he needs help with or wants something.
When he’s not asking for help, he busies himself helping Mommy around the house. Vacuums and Swiffer Sweepers are the best!
Michael found a straw broom at the zoo, and was happy to help keep the kiddie play yard spic and span.
We had a break from the cold a few weeks ago, and little Michael spent the day with me at the St. Louis Zoo.
Of course, I had to take him into the primate house and let him meet all the lemurs from Madagascar, including these adorable sifakas.
He loves spending time outside, and I can’t wait till spring-like days are here to stay so we can spend more time outdoors.
Leaves provide an endless source of entertainment (and a crunchy snack).
He loves going to the playground, but he gets frustrated when Mommy keeps pulling him off the fun stuff that’s just too big for him.
Luckily, it’s easy to find some things at the playground that are just right for little Michael, like this neat wooden xylophone.
As you can see in the picture above, our little outdoorsman has quite a lot of hair. It grows really fast, especially in the back! Here he is getting his very first haircut way back in December.
Michael took him because I was too nervous. I’m glad he is quick with the camera. The lady was finished with the haircut in 5 minutes. He was relaxed and happy to be back in the car when it was over.
Having the bottle was really helpful during his first haircut experience. That was in December, and we have since moved on to the sippy cup. There will definitely be times, like haircuts and plane rides, when I will miss the bottle’s soothing effect on him!
He loves whole milk and had no trouble transitioning from the bottle to the sippy cup. Little Michael is also learning how to take sips from a real cup during meal time. When it comes to food, he always has an appetite. He has become slightly picky about certain textures and flavors. He loves fruit: apples, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raisins, melons, and pears, to name a few. He also enjoys crunchy cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, peas, and corn. We’re using waffles, graham crackers, baby cookies, and bread to teach him to take and chew “little bites.” He is also working hard to master eating with a spoon.
He even got to eat dinner outside on an unseasonably warm day in February.
When the weather outside is cold and wet, Little Michael goes on plenty of indoor adventures.
His dad built him a house that we keep in the playroom. It has 2 windows on the sides, and he loves putting his stuffed animals in the openings and then taking them back out. The windows are also perfect for a game of peek-a-boo.
His house even has lighting, a lantern my sister gave me when she took me camping close to 25 years ago. It still works!
Michael gets a kick out of using the front door.
Here he is peeking out of his house after his second haircut!
“Sponge transfers” kept little Michael busy on a rainy Monday last week. I had to teach him how to squeeze the sponge and get the water out. At first, he was a little nervous about getting water on his clothes, but he eventually got over it.
He still gets a kick out of trash cans, especially opening and closing the lids, and putting things inside of them.
Finally, Michael spent some time in Texas last month. He was tickled to be able to play with his cousins. They are always so sweet with him.
The weather was actually pretty damp and chilly during most of our time down there, but we did get to spend some time outside when we visited one of my sisters.
Sometimes all you need is a board to jump on!
Leaves and sticks are also lots of fun!
He loved playing with his GroBpapa.
And getting Tante’s brownie treats from his Oma!
Little Michael was very happy visiting family in Texas. He spent a lot of time following his cousins around and sitting down to play with them. Michael’s Tantes always get out special toys and things to keep him entertained when he comes over. His cousins showed him all sorts of fascinating items, like chimes and cell phones.
I know this time spent with his cousins is special for little Michael. When we’re back in St. Louis and he sees little kids out and about, I watch him get excited and start to go over to them, kind of like he recognizes them. I’m pretty sure he often thinks that they are his cousins. I can’t wait till he gets to see them all again.
As you can see, little Michael is indeed a very busy boy! Michael and I delight in his adventurous, curious, and happy spirit. When we are out together on a date night or alone at the end of the day, it’s difficult to not spend the entire time marveling about all the things are son is doing. We are excited to watch him continue to explore and grow. At his age, each day brings a new accomplishment or learning opportunity.