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Drummy is two years old!

[I wrote a long, heartfelt post about Drum for his second birthday and the whole thing disappeared without explanation. I was furious and frustrated, and this is my best attempt to recreate it with my hands balled into fists.]

Two years ago my life was made forever more incredible with the birth of my son. He has been surprising me and challenging me since day one. If you recall, I sat through the whole anatomy scan assuming I was looking at my daughter. Then at the very end it was revealed we were having a son. I was shocked but not at all disappointed. It took the next 20 weeks to adjust my vision of my family, but as soon as he was born I knew I was meant to have a son. This son.

He came in a rush. I spent almost 20 hours in intense and unrelenting back labor with Mo, so I was prepared for much of the same with Drum. It was intense and unrelenting back labor, yes, but only four hours after the first contraction, he was in my arms. He continued to surprise me at home. Not that Mo was a piece of cake as an infant, but I was not prepared to spend 90% of my waking hours on a yoga ball. And I had no idea how to deal with the persistent gas Drum experienced. But we got through and that first year was suddenly over. This last year flew by, too. It seems like I was just watching him tentatively eat his first birthday cake.

When Mo turned two I wrote about what you would notice about her if you met her, and I’d like to do the same for Drum. First, you would notice that he can be a bit bashful at first. Not as painfully shy as I was as a kid, but it can take him a bit to warm up to people he doesn’t know. Actually, even with people he does know. He prefers to stick close to me until he’s decided others are cool.

Once he does let loose a little, he can be really silly. You would probably see him doing his gymnastics moves, maybe attempting a somersault. His signature move is to take a wide stance, lean over and touch the ground, then kick one foot in the air. He thinks he’s pretty cool when he does that. He also does this ridiculous thing where he spreads his feet wide, hunches over, and waddles around. This is a sure sign he’s in a silly mood!

If you met Drum, he would probably ask you to read him a book or twelve. And he would probably ask you for a snack. Or twelve. And he would say all of this around the bida (pacifier) in his mouth. He loves to point out animals and knows all of their names. He loves to point out colors too, although almost every color is orange to him. It must be his favorite.

Probably the thing you’d notice most if you met Drum is that he’s often snuggling with me, or even climbing my body like a tree, trying to get as close as possible. His favorite spot in the world is on my lap, one hand behind my neck playing with my hair, sometimes a cheek pressed against mine. He’s pretty obsessed with me, and I’m pretty obsessed with him. I didn’t know I would have a son, but now I can’t imagine my life without him.

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Happy birthday Boo Bear!


Drum - 23 months

Gah! He's almost TWO! Time is so slow and so fast, and somehow we got here. I love to watch him grow up and I'm so happy he keeps developing and thriving, but I also love that there is still some baby left in him. I'm excited for him to reach two, but I'm sad to say goodbye to one.

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It's funny, I wrote this about Mo when she was 23 months: "I hear and read and witness regularly how difficult toddlers can be, but I often can't relate." Well, the universe was like, HAHAHA! Can't relate? Here's Drum. Now you can! You're welcome. To be truthful, he's still a lot easier than some of the stories I hear about other children, but I can now absolutely relate to what it means to have a difficult child. He's not bad - he doesn't really get into things he shouldn't or cause too much mischief. He's just so emotional, so grumpy, so discontent much of the time. I keep hoping it'll get better, but I hear that two can be worse with the inability to manage emtions. We'll see.

I feel kind of bad that I'm always writing about how much he challenges, but it's so all-consuming that I can't write about him without mentioning it. Now on to the other aspects of Drum.

He loves to cuddle, especially with me. He loves to play with my hair. When he's upset, once he gets to a place where he'll accept comfort, he needs a paci (his bida) and my hair. He says "hair" and reaches around, then rests his head on my shoulder or cheek.

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He loves candy and "cheats" (treats). He likes to whisper in my ear - it's usually just nonsense, but he's mimicking his sister and loves it. He's now using a booster at the table instead of a high chair. He knows his animals so well! His teachers even said he knows more animals than older kids in his class. He's starting to learn colors a bit. His default is orange, but he knows what the names of other colors are. He doesn't quite associate the names with the correct colors yet, but he's working on it. He's talking a ton, stringing words together. He has the sweetest little voice and the most infectious laugh.

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Drum is finally get his canine teeth. Those suckers held off a long time, but I now see all four starting to peek through. I also wonder if he's getting any molars because he's particularly agitated lately. We're not yet potty training, but he likes to sit on the toilet. He knows when he has to poop and he often asks to sit on the toilet (though mostly he just squats and announces what's happening), but he's yet to produce anything there. We did intentional potty training with Mo aorund two and a half, so we'll wait until at least then to get serious I think.

He's my boo bear, my sweet boy. I love him so, so much!

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Drum - 22 months

A few days ago Drummy turned 22 months old. He's closing in on two years really fast! I'm not sure a whole lot has changed in the last month. He is still doing well at daycare. He still gets in trouble for pulling hair, but when I talked to the director about it, she had a great response. She said they don't "criminalize" kids for normal age-appropriate behavior, and they just want to be on the same page as us so we are consistent in regards to our response at home and daycare. They want to see him be successful as much as we do, which is a good feeling.

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Drum is definitely talking a lot more. His language caught up to what's "normal" for his age a couple months ago, and it continues to expand. I swear he picks up a new word every day. He strings a couple words together now, mostly things like "my shoes" and "Obie night night." Usually he's talking around a pacifier because he's now addicted to his "bida." He used to enjoy it and it was a good tool when we needed it, but now he NEEDS it just about all the time. I'm totally fine with it for now, but I dread the day we have to break the habit.

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He has been sitting on the toilet quite a bit. Still nothing happening there, but he'll even ask to sit on the toilet when he knows he has to poop. One of these days something will happen there, but for now he likes the novelty of the potty seat we put on the toilet, and ripping off the toilet paper. He actually likes to have a diaper on, which is interesting. Mo has always loved to be naked, but Drum doesn't like to have a bare bottom for too long. He'll run around in nothing but a diaper, but if we take the diaper off, he'll pretty quickly bring us a diaper to put on him. He hates the act of getting his diaper changed though. Go figure.

Drum still loves shoes. I bought him some new (used) sneakers and he's so proud of them! He likes hats too. He's suuuuper into books. We're at that stage where I sometimes want to hide all the books because I've read them all 1,000 times. But I'm actually really glad about it because for so long he hated to even be in the same room as a book!

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Oddly, his appetite has all but disappeared. Maybe that's not odd. I remember Mo was a great eater at first and then suddenly not. I don't remember when that happened, but maybe around the same age. He's not super picky, he still likes a lot of things, but he just doesn't eat much of it. Except candy. He'll eat the shit out of some "teets" (treats).

He's still nursing. I've been trying half-heartedly to put some parameters around it. If I'm around, he'll ask to nurse when he's hungry, thirsty, bored, upset. It's always been easier to just let him. What do I care? But in the interest of eventually weaning, I try to redirect him if he doesn't really need to nurse. For instance, he nurses when he first wakes up and thats's fine. But then he wants more milk 10 minutes later, and that's just not necessary.

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The last two weekends Mo has been out of town with family, so Bro has been an only child. In some ways it was nice because he got some special attention, and life is just easier with one kid. We even went grocery shopping as a family! But it was also interesting to see him try to figure out how to occupy his time. Not that they play together all the time, but his world is just different when we're home and Mo isn't around. I missed Mosie a ton (things just aren't the same without her around!), but I enjoyed a little extra (and rare) one-on-one with my baby boy.

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Drum - 21 months

My baby is so old! Twenty-one months now. I need that emoji of the face that's like WAH! 

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This is the age Mo was when I got pregnant for the first time after she was born. That pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, and I was laid up on the couch wallowing in sadness when I wrote Mo's 21 month update. I'm sure glad not to be in that state now!

Drum is a great kid. I joke a lot on social media about his grumpiness (#restinggrumpface), but truly he is spectacular. He's curious and funny and loving. He does this surprised face that makes me laugh every time - he'll make the face over the smallest things because he's so full of wonder. He likes to stand next to me on the couch and the trust fall into my lap. He never hesitates, he knows I'll catch him. He also likes to stand on my lap and try to balance for as long as possible, and every time he makes a face that says "Holy crap, look at this!"

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He recently "graduated" from his intervention services. We started that service because his speech was a little delayed (and it was free - I take anything free!), and we also discussed some behavioral concerns. But since his speech is now "right where it should be," he no longer qualifies for services. I'm proud of the progress he's made, and I love his little voice. Seems like he has a gazillion words now, but some of my favorites are his mispronunciations. He says bid-oo for birdie, byda for paci, nack for snack, bee for all bugs, wush for fish.

He also LOVES to read books now. He has four favorites and the thing they all have in common is flaps. He just loves a good flap. He's not at all into TV. I wrote in Mo's 21 month update that she would watch a lot of PBS while I was recovering from the miscarriage, and that surprised me because Drum has almost zero interest. And it's not for lack of exposure. Mo gets to watch some TV after school, so it's there for him to watch, but he doesn't.

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We recently went to my relative's cottage in northern Michigan and had a lot of fun. Drum slept in a pack n play in a camper (the cottage is small and there were almost 30 people there, so we slept in a pop up), and he napped and slept through the night like he always does despite the late loud crowd of people. He enjoyed the hammock and visiting the little nearby lake. We also spent some time at a quiet beach on Lake Michigan. He didn't go in the water, but he played in the sand. We visited some big sand dunes and he had fun watching Mo climb and run down them (he wasn't interested in trying it himself).

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Unfortunately, Drum has been sick a lot lately. Recently he caught a virus that had him out of daycare for five days. Backup care is a real struggle for us, so five days in a row was not easy to figure out, especially because it was a week when I couldn't miss a lot of work. I guess he's still adjusting to the new germs at his new daycare, but man. And I'm still nursing him, isn't that supposed to help? So much for that theory. ;)

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Daycare has been going really well. He has bonded with a couple of his caretakers, which is a huge help. It's hard to drop him off not knowing what he really thinks about these people, but they have told us that he's gotten attached to a couple, and that they just adore him. And I can see in his interactions that he's feeling more comfortable now that he has "his people."

In three months he will two, and that blows my mind. I often forget he's not a baby anymore. It all moves so much faster than my brain can process.

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Drum - Twenty months

At twenty months, Drum is mostly a joy. He still has some highly emotional moments, but I think part of that was related to some teething. Now that that's over (for now), he's in good spirits most of the time. In fact, he's really fun! He loves to explore what's around him, he loves to imitate his sister, and he has the sweetest laugh. 

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I was reading about Mo at this age, and she loved (and still loves) all people. Everyone is immediately her best friend. She'll talk to anyone, and will even crawl into someone's lap that she hardly knows. But Drum takes a little longer to warm up. Even with people he knows but doesn't see frequently. He's friendly, but shy. He prefers to hang close to me and smile at people from a distance. It's pretty cute. 

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Drum is still nursing, which is great, but it's getting a little ridiculous. He insists on having both of my boobs out and available, but he doesn't just get his fill and move on. He nurses, stops, looks around, does some gymnurstics, nurses a little more. It's fine when we're in the privacy of our home, but anywhere else and it's problemmatic. I admit I haven't really made an effort to change this habit though. He's (very probably) my last baby, and so I just let him nurse how he wants because it's the last time I'll be nursing a baby.

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He's been a pretty good eater. Turns out he doesn't really like vegetables. I know that's pretty common for kids, but as picky as Mo is, she likes most veggies. Drum is a good eater with most everything, but he'll eat all around the vegetables on his plate. He's still a good sleeper. With the Fourth of July on a Tuesday, we had about five days of late night fireworks, and he slept through it all like a champ. 

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Drum loves books now, especially those with flaps. His three current favorite books have fun flaps to open. He now likes to bring us a book (and say "book!") and then sit and read and open flaps and point at all the things he knows. It's awesome. He also likes balls and cars and his baby doll. He still loves to clean up and pick up.

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His talking is now pretty impressive. I think he's surpassed where Mo was at this age. I remember Mo's vocabulary exploding around 21 months, but reading her 20 month post, she was still pretty limited. Meanwhile, Bro's vocabulary has already started to explode. He's picking up new words all the time. No sentences yet, but it's crazy how he didn't have any words and now SO MANY!

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Lastly, daycare is going pretty well. He has been pulling hair and the teachers don't love it. I'm never sure how to respond when they tell me. Like, yep, he's not even two, that's what kids do. We're working on it at home, too. I always have the sense they want me to offer a solution, but all I can do is work on what's happening at home. I can't do anything about it when it happens at school. I'm sure they're just sharing information, but I always feel guilty I can't offer more than understanding. But they haven't mentioned it in a couple weeks, so maybe it's getting better.

I can't believe we're four months from TWO! I love how fun this age is and I love how much he loves me. I hope he always does.

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