Russ is a pretty chill kid. He completely skipped the terrible twos. (But yeah, the threes were more terrible for Caleb, so I'm not holding my breath.)
Here are a few things about Russell these days:
- He weighs 25 lbs 7 oz ( 4-pound gain in the past year) and measures 35 inches tall (a 3-inch gain in a year). He's one pound heavier than Caleb was at age 3 and is a quarter of an inch shorter than Caleb was. Russ sure is a shorty! He doesn't have his check-up until next week, so I'm not sure where he lies on the growth charts, but I'm fairly certain he isn't on the charts at all. I think that's where his "healthy" is, though. I'm more than ok with his weight, hydration, willingness to eat, etc. I guess I just have small kids!
- He wears size 18 month clothes. Most of them fit him just fine, but a few of the shirts are getting small and a good handful of his pants fall right off. Some 2T shirts look just fine on him, but he's just not quite ready to take the leap and wear all 2T clothes.
- Speaking of growth and eating, Russell is a fantastic eater. He loves every kind of fruit, veggie, and meat. He is a super adventurous eater and willingly eats things like curry and spicy foods (he loves to have Tabasco sauce to dip his foods in). He demands to have his own green smoothie at lunch when I make them for myself (with apple juice, carrots, spinach, chia seeds, strawberries, and blueberries). He always wants to snack on things like nuts, fruit leather, and applesauce. He's a seriously healthy eater. But he also has a sweet tooth that's hard to ignore!
- Sometimes when I'm telling Russ what he can have for a snack, he'll tell me, "I don't want that because it won't make my hungry go away." He wants something more filling. What a cute way to say it! When he's done eating, Russ will declare, "My hungry is gone. I'm done." And he always clears his plate from the table without being asked, which is greatly appreciated.
- Speaking of food, Russell appears to have outgrown his corn intolerance! A few months ago, we reintroduced corn into his diet (we added gluten back in earlier this summer) and he had no problems! His stools have been exactly the same as they were without corn (when he was intolerant to corn he had blood and mucus in his poop and complained of tummy aches all day long). It's amazing to not have to worry about what I feed him! Although, he has been complaining of tummy aches for the last few days, such as when I offered him a piece of toast (which he had the morning before) and he said, "Yes!...No, I don't want it. Yesterday when I ate it it made my tummy hurt." He has said the same thing about other foods, too. I don't know what the deal is, but I don't like it! He's very in tune with his body--always has been--but I'm really hoping it's nothing. Coupled with the super dry skin on his chin, I worry, naturally. But I'm hoping the rash is not food-relates and is just from the dry weather and that some moisturizer will take care of it.
- Speaking of eating anything, before I came down with awful morning sickness Russ and I would go out to eat once a week while Caleb was at preschool. Let me tell you, this kid was the best behaved 2-year-old I'd ever seen in a restaurant! He always behaved like a little adult, making polite requests of the waitresses all by himself and everything.
- A few weeks ago, Russ learned how to climb out of his crib. We converted his crib to a toddler bed and the first few weeks were torture. He would not sleep. Naps were done with. Bed time took forever. We would check on him and find him dilly dallying around his room and when asked why he wasn't asleep he would say, "My eyes aren't tired and they won't shut!" After two weeks of this we finally decided he needed a "motivator." So we told him, "If you stay in your bed and don't turn on your light, you can have a skittle in the morning/when nap time is over." It worked like a charm and he's now napping better than he was when he was in his crib!
- He's been potty trained for 11 months now. That's so crazy to me! He's completely independent in the bathroom these days, able to do everything on his own without prompting. It's dreamy. :)
- Russ is already facing forward in his car seat. We made the switch this summer. We switched him much earlier than we did Caleb, but it's working out fine.
- Last Sunday, on the way home from church, Nate asked Russ how his day was. Russ answered, "I had a rough day." When Nate asked why, Russell said, "Because they didn't have bubbles in nursery." The kid loves bubbles!
- Russell is super excited to be a big brother. Without prompting, he has already started caressing my belly and giving the baby kisses through my belly and talking to the baby. The other day he was rubbing my belly and then snapped his hand back and said, "Ouch! The baby bit me!"
- He is in a super obsessive animal stage. He pretends to be an animal almost all day long. Lately it's been turtles. Russell is a turtle and Caleb is his owner (brings him food and water, keeps him in a "cage" with toys as a fence, etc). The other day, Caleb let his turtle out for a walk and the poor turtle somehow got flipped over on his back. Russell the Turtle had to lie there with his legs up in the air until his owner flipped him back over. Poor Turtle would have died there on his back if someone hadn't flipped him over! It made me laugh so hard and I eventually learned that the boys have an app on the tablet where they're veterinarians and have to help wild animals--and there's a turtle who is stuck on its back and you have to help it by turning it over. Russell is so clever to have thought of that!
- Russ is super boyish these days. He loves to make jokes about poop. Poop! Where did he get that from?? Caleb never did that. Russ will literally pick up a brown crayon and say, "Mommy, this crayon is like poop! HAHAHAHAHA!" Anything is made funnier to him by saying "poop" or "poopy." We have to remind him all of the time that it's "inappropriate to joke about poop." Mostly when he calls someone poopy (nicely, of course) then laughs his head off.
- He has had two haircuts in his life now, and both were exclusively to get rid of wispies over his ears and the wispy mullet. I'm happy to say that his hair seems to be thickening now that he's gained those most recent two pounds.
- He's a huge fan of jumping lately. He'll jump off of the couch and land on both feet, jump over a throw pillow on the floor, clearing it completely and landing on both feet, etc. He's a very good jumper!
- Russ also likes to rhyme. He notices when words rhyme and he makes up words all of the time to tell us that they rhyme (thinks like, "Caleb and Baleb rhyme, Mom!").
- He's also a super good communicator. Talking has always been a strong suit for both of my kids, and this kid just blows me away with some of the sophisticated things he comes up with.
- I'm pretty sure he's tone deaf. It makes me a little sad, I must admit. The only two songs that he knows all of the words to are Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and I Am a Child of God (because he used to request that we sing them to him every night). By this age, Caleb knew the words to a ton of songs, and could sing them without missing a note. Russ enjoys music, but he doesn't seem to enjoy singing. He maaaaybe gets a few notes right when he sings Twinkle Twinkle. But not more than a few.
- In my mind, Russ has some qualities that make him unique from other kids his age. The biggest one is his desire to seek harmony and avoid confrontation. For example, if I'm bringing a blue cup and an orange cup to the table, Caleb will automatically tell me that he wants the color that I'm about to hand to Russell. If they both declare that they want the orange one, Russ almost always changes his mind to say that he wants the blue one. He absolutely does not want the one Caleb wants, because that would cause a fight. How many 2-year-olds are that mature? And he does that with so many things. As long as he's not in a super tired/cranky mood, he mostly lets Caleb take toys from him. Whenever I see it I make it right (I absolutely don't want Caleb to think that's ok), but for the most part Russell couldn't care less.
- Russell has a "friend" that goes with him everywhere. It's a little black bear that he calls Baby Bear. He went through a phase for a few days where he changed his name to Baby Jesus, and today he started telling me that it's just Baby. He would bring Baby Bear with him everywhere if he could, but he's pretty good about when he needs washed or when I tell him he can't bring his bear with. He also has a favorite blanket, just a soft brown baby blanket with an elephant on the corner. He's pretty attached to both his Baby Bear and his Elephant Blanket.
And now for a fun tradition that I started when Caleb turned 3! Here's an interview to show you what 3-year-old Russ is like!
I've never known another child so young who is so in tune with the feelings of others, so aware of himself, so pleasant, so mature, and still so silly! You bring balance to our family, Russ, and I'm so glad you joined us when you did! Happy birthday!