We fill our days with trips to the park, play dates with friends, reading books, drawing on his easel, playing with trains, “cooking” together and plenty of time outside.
Chase’s personality shines through so much and it’s funny for me to think back on some of the characteristics I noticed in him as a baby and see how they have manifested in other ways now that he’s a toddler. He was always the most distracted eater when it came time to nursing and that’s definitely held true for him at mealtimes as a toddler. Play > Food. Always. He was always so active through kicks, little punches and general body movements as a baby and that’s definitely translated to a very active and on-the-go toddler.
I’m loving this stage so much because Chase can communicate well and is always up for adventure. Ryan and I are continually shocked by the things that come out of his mouth and his memory at such a young age. I’m sure this is total first-time parent syndrome, but I cannot believe such a little person can say and do everything he can already! He talks non-stop – a total chatterbox – and I absolutely love it when he sings in the loudest, highest most adorably tone-deaf little voice. He’s huge into music and requests favorite songs on repeat.
Chase is so curious and I have so much fun showing him new things and explaining things to him all day long. He listens intently when we’re telling him about something new, with his brow furrowed as he takes it all in. He’s a little parrot these days and repeats everything. It’s so incredible to watch him grow and learn and he’s always up for a new adventure which reminds me so much of Ryan. He’s energetic and brave but cautious, too, and still wants me to kiss his boo-boos, hold him when he’s getting tired and rub his forehead on long car rides.
It’s easy to look at him and feel like he’s already this independent, tiny adult, but moments when he stands at my feet and says, “Mama, hold you” and wants me to scoop him up into my arms makes me realize he still needs and wants the comfort I loved giving to him when he was a baby, too. I’ve honestly loved every stage of Chase’s life so far, but this one is my favorite because he’s right in that sweet spot of being old enough to understand things and get excited about new adventures but he’s also young enough to still want and need regular comfort and nurturing.
Eating is slowly improving for Chase but it definitely comes and goes. His favorite foods are Earth’s Best Sunny Days Organic Snack Bars, fresh berries, muffins, burgers with ketchup, cucumbers, macaroni and cheese and oh-so-predictably he also loves ice cream and doughnuts.
The good news is that eating dinner as a family almost every night has really helped with Chase’s vegetable consumption. He’s trying a larger variety of vegetables and seems to like vegetables more when he sees us eating them, too. He eats the tops of asparagus like a champ and also seems to enjoy roasted Brussels sprouts. Cucumbers and raw carrots are some of his favorites.
Because I know how much a child’s eating can stress a parent out, I also want to say that Chase is in no way scooping up vegetables and requesting them for every meal. That’s most certainly not the case and there are definitely days when he won’t touch a vegetable. It’s easy for me to stress out about it, but our pediatrician is really awesome and reminds me that force-feeding a toddler isn’t going to happen. We’re doing our best to offer him veggies often and we encourage him to eat them, but if he’s not having it, I try to chill out and revisit veggies the next day.
I don’t have too much to report on sleep other than to say that I feel like we’re in a really good spot with sleep at the moment. (This is also why I’m particularly apprehensive about the pacifier situation detailed below…) Chase generally goes to bed around 7:30 or 8 p.m. and wakes up about 12 hours later. Naps are later in the afternoon now that he’s in preschool two mornings a week and we don’t get home until after 1 p.m. on those days. Naptime now usually takes place between 1 and 2 p.m. and will last for anywhere from one to three hours. (Three hour naps = Oh happy daaay!)
The biggest challenge on our plate right now is the pacifier. It is SUCH a crutch for Chase and I can see the way it instantly relaxes him whenever he grabs his Wubbanub (“Wubby”) and shoves it into his mouth. We limit his pacifier use to naptime and bed time and the occasional long car ride, but after a visit to the dentist, it’s becoming increasingly clear we need to work on getting rid of it. Chase’s dentist said she likes to see kids pacifier-free by 2 1/2 years old and I am DREADING this transition. HELPPPP MEEEEE.
Chase has a few Wubbanubs (the pacifiers with the little stuffed animals attached to them) that he loves and the animals have ripped off from the pacifier on two of them which shockingly didn’t seem to bother him that much. We told him the Wubbanubs were broken but he could still have the animal and he pretty much shrugged it off and still loves the little animals. So here’s my current game plan: I’m planning to cut the pacifiers off the remaining Wubbanubs. (Chase has three left with pacifiers on them… yes, I need to buy stock in Wubbanubs.) I am hoping that cutting a pacifier off a Wubbanub every other day so the transition into pacifier-less Wubbanubs is gradual will help Chase go with the flow. I’m not naive enough to think it won’t be a big deal, especially when the last Wubbanub is pacifer-free, but I don’t have any other ideas.
If any of you have any suggestions, I am ALL ears. I cannot help but picture sleepless nights and non-existent naptimes when this transition begins!
- Music (Favorite songs are “Baby Beluga,” “Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “Minnie the Moocher”)
- Any sport involving a ball (especially soccer)
- Wrestling in our bed with Dad at the end of the day (“Bouncy Bed!”)
- Preschool and Miss Debbie
- Helping Mom cook and bake
- His wooden dog pull toy
- Running around outside
- Playing with his trains and drawing on his easel
- Coloring and stickers
- Sadie (Watching him try to call her and do the little kissy noise with his mouth is so darn adorable)
- Crib kisses (Chase has never been into hugging/kissing on demand – which I’m totally okay with – but he always requests a “crib kiss” at night and wants a kiss from me through his crib which absolutely melts my heart)
- His best buddies (Claire, Lilly, Lily, Ella, Caleb, Cooper and Jack)
- Running around the kitchen island and playing chase
- Finding and collecting rocks
- Picking figs off our fig tree
- Getting his teeth brushed… but this has improved dramatically thanks to our dentist’s tip of lying him down to brush his teeth after his bath
- When we wipe his nose
- Coming inside after playing outside
- Staying still for diaper changes
2 Year Old Favorites
- Magnetic Dry Erase + Chalkboard Easel
- Magnetic Trains
- Kitchen Helper Cooking Stand
- Wooden Dog Pull Toy
- Markers and Stickers
- LeapFrog On My Own Laptop (We save this one for long car trips only and it’s fabulous!)
- Golf Putter
- Foam Glider Airplane
- Soccer Ball
- V-Tech Count and Learn Alphabet Bus
- Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things that Go (Chase is obsessed with finding the little Goldbug on every page of this book!)
- Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
- Pete The Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
- My Big Book of Beginner Books About Me
- Point ‘n’ Match Books (Great if your toddler loves matching and finding things.)
- Go Dog. Go!
- I Love You Just Like This
- I’d Know You Anywhere (This book is beautiful and one of my personal favs!)
- 20-22 Months
- 17-19 Months
- 13-16 Months
- Twelve Months
- Eleven Months
- Ten Months
- Nine Months
- What I Wish I Knew Before My Baby Was Born
- Eight Months
- Seven Months
- Six Months
- Our First Sleep Training Experience
- Traveling With A Baby For The First Time
- Five Months
- Four Months
- Three Months
- Two Months
- And Then He Smiled
- Three Weeks
- The First 12 Days
- Q&A: All About Birth & Life With A New Baby
- Chase’s Birth Story: Part I, Part II