Thursday, June 26, 2014

Russell Sprout: 2.5 years old!

This little mister is 2.5 years old!  Here's a little about Russ around this age:
 He is 23lbs 6oz, which isn't on the charts.  He wears size 18 month clothes and size 2T/3T pull-ups and underwear (the smallest they come in).  He wears size 6 shoes and can dress himself (sometimes he needs a little help with his shirt).
 His brother is his best friend.
 He does a great job keeping up with the big kids.  He's very socially aware.  (More so than his brother is, even.)
 His favorite thing in the world is babies.  He always asks to pet a baby when he sees one, and he voluntarily brings toys to babies when they're in the room.  He has officially spent more time interacting with random babies than Caleb did interacting with his baby brother his whole first year of life.
He is potty trained, but still requires a pull-up during nap time and bedtime.  He even tells me when he needs to go, and can go all by himself with a little encouragement when it comes to putting his underwear and pants on right.  I can't remember the last time he had an accident.
He has seen the worst of the "why?" phase.  Everything is "why??"  I've started responding to him by saying, "why do you think?"  He almost always knows the answer to the question he's asking, and now the "whys" are getting fewer.  
 He drinks rice milk every morning, afternoon, and night.  His favorite food is hot dogs (he asks for them for lunch almost every day) and olives.  He also enjoys a yummy green smoothie with me every afternoon.  He drinks water from an open cup and rarely spills these days (which is awesome!).  He very willingly eats a great variety of foods, and he even seems to eat a great volume of food, but he's still failure to thrive.  We decided a few months ago, with the GI's approval, to trial gluten again in an attempt to get him to gain more weight.  It totally didn't help with his weight at all, and it's hard to tell if it's causing him tummy trouble.  At least a few times a week (maybe even up to once a day) he complains that his tummy hurts.  I'm not sure if it's bad enough to remove gluten from his diet again or not.  When it comes to quality of life, what's worse?  A little tummy ache a few times a week, or not being able to eat a ton of things?  He already has to avoid corn (but thankfully not corn derivatives, which would literally cut out at least half of the things we feed him).  I'm not sure what we're going to do about gluten, and the GI is just kinda leaving it up to us.
 He's still a little sparse in the hair category, but we don't mind!  What little hair he has is quite blond.
His favorite place to go is Cabella's.  One morning, he woke up and said, "I have a idea!  Today, we can go to CABELLA'S!  I have a good idea.  After Cabella's, we can go to CHICK-FIL-A!"  As you can see, he's also a really good talker.  He always tells us what's on his mind, like, "Mommy, the wind is going to blow us away!"  It's not always easy for strangers to understand what he says, but I understand it all.  If I don't know what he's saying, I say, "I don't understand what you're saying."  Then he often enunciates each little part of the word, or describes what he wants using different words.  
 Everything to him is a baby.  His stuffed bear?  He calls it Baby Bear.  His stuffed bird?  Baby Bird.  I've asked him, "Do you want Mommy to have another baby?"  And he always answers, "TWO babies."  Uh, no thank you!
(singing to Baby Mickey)

Russell is generally a very good-natured kid.  He's extremely happy when he wakes up, unless his tummy hurts.  He loves to greet friends and family with giant hugs.  He loves to snuggle me with his head on my shoulder.  He's pretty chill and does a great job taking turns and sharing (for the most part).  But man, can this kid whine.  Don't you dare give him his milk without it being warm enough.  30 seconds in the microwave won't do it; it has to be at least 41 seconds.  It's one of those battles that I choose not to fight--it's worth it to just warm the milk up right the first time!  When he has to go potty, he says so in the whiniest voice.  I usually tell him to ask nicely, and then he just says, "Pretty please!"  If he wakes up with a tummy ache, you had better not leave him at the top of the stairs without carrying him down in your arms.  You'll regret it for the next 30 minutes.  I suppose you could say he is a very sensitive, tender-hearted, detail-oriented little kid.  Most of the time, I appreciate that.  He's very much like me personality-wise and I love that.  He does a great job balancing out the family (Caleb is exactly like Nate).  We love our little Russell Sprout!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Russell's Potty Training Update

Remember when I wrote this post about day 1 of potty training?  Remember how I was so optimistic?

Well, don't hate me....**

He has been potty trained ever since.

I could probably count on one hand the number of accidents he had in those first few weeks.  We brought him to the store and to the church nursery in underwear on days 3 & 4 of potty training.  It was dreamy.  Seriously, I can't imagine that anyone else has ever had such a good potty training experience.

For the first two weeks he could keep himself dry for hours and I would take him to the potty at transition times (before leaving the house, before naps, before meals, etc).  And he was so willing to go.  No fights involved, unlike with his brother's first attempt at potty training.

After a few weeks (or maybe up to a month?) he started telling me when he needed to go.  It started with him leaking out just a drip onto his underwear and then realizing what happened, so he'd say, "Mommy!  I have pee-pee on my underwear!" and I'd bring him to the bathroom.  After a few days of that, he started recognizing the feeling before anything came out, and he'd tell me right away.

In the past month or two, has also been able to put his own pants and underwear on!  He can also get himself up onto the potty by himself these days.  So he can do every step independently!  Except for putting the lid up...he's scared of it pinching his fingers, so I have to open it for him.

He has also learned how to pull his pants up, now that they all fall down since he doesn't wear a bulky diaper anymore!

And he still requires a diaper during naps and at night.  At the beginning there he was waking up dry pretty often, but he soon realized that he didn't need to because he was wearing a diaper.  I kind of regret that we missed that window of opportunity, but it'll happen soon enough.  Maybe once he starts growing better we won't have to give him milk when he goes to bed (that's when he gets most of his fluids for the day), and it'll make night training easier.  But for now, I'll take it!  My son potty trained himself at 25 months!  I couldn't ask for more!
Doesn't he look so grown up?

**(And seriously, please don't hate me.  I don't mean to brag, really.  Every kid is different, and there is such a wide range of when kids potty train.  We got lucky with this one.  So don't beat yourself up if you can't get your 3/4/5-year-old to use the potty.  I would never judge you, ever.  I wish everyone had it this easy, but I'd be surprised if any of my future children potty trained this early and this easily, because they're all just so different!)