Tuesday, February 25, 2014

18 Months Old!

Dear Forrest,

You are 18 months old. It is hard to believe that you are half-way to your second birthday. You fill your parents with awe every single day with things you come up. You are currently 26 pounds, and 4 oz, and 33 inches tall. 

Signing EAT
You are able to make connections between spoken language with signs. You love impressing us by signing DOG DOG DOG when you hear a dog barking on TV, and being able to associate the sign dog with Turkey, our Basset Hound. You are able to sign done when you are finished with eating your meals, or ask for more food. You can sign short sentences such as asking for more food. It amazes Mama how you are able to read signs, and understand her, even though you are slow in picking up signs. Slowly, but surely, you are getting there!

You are still babbling, and even so, you are starting to make recognizable words. The most latest word you are able to speak clearly is both MORE, and BIRD. You are a constant noise machine. It is so much fun seeing, and hearing you talk. While speaking/babbling, you enjoy moving your hands, and it is so awesome watching you develop two languages at once! 

You now have 12 teeth. You erupted a year old molars teeth over the month of December, and it was definitely hard on you. You spent a lot of time cuddling with Daddy, and Mama during this time. There was a bit of fever, and not feeling well accompanying with erupting the molar teeth. Fortunately, you were able to get through this like a trooper. 

You are such a little explorer! You love exploring, and get every chance to wander around. You love digging through kitchen cabinets, pulling out bowls, and stacking them up. Nothing scares you. You love to climb up the stairs to the second floor to chase after the cats, and free-fall your way back down. It is so funny to watch you do that! Sometimes, if Mama isn't paying attention close enough to you, then you would find trouble! You love pulling tissues out of the box, lifting up toilet lid to play with water (yuck), hiding your toys in random places, putting things in the trash bin (which ended up forcing Mama to put away the trash can from your prying fingers), and chasing after the cats.

You enjoy reading, and the books, which greatly warms Mama's heart. More often than not, Daddy, and Mama finds you "reading" with a book in your lap while your head is bowed, and you are babbling to yourself. You often ask Daddy or Mama to read to you with every chance you get.

You love to sit on the window ledge in our living room, and watch the birds fly to our bird feeder. Birds fascinate you, and especially so, when they are chirping. You get excited, and attempt to tell me that the birds are making noises. It gladdens Mama to know that it brings you so much joy to see birds. You love animals, as much as Mama does at your age, and you enjoy cuddling with Mr. Jinxy. Missy is still a bit wary, and impatient with your desire to cuddle with her. Turkey is indifferent toward you, BUT when you have food in your hands, and suddenly, she is your best friend. 

Your favorite game is being chased by Daddy. You can spend hours running, screaming, and laughing so hard. Your laughter is infectious, and absolutely wonderful. Daddy tries to make you laugh as often as he can, and sometime, you get out of breath from laughing so much that Mama has to tell you both to calm down for a bit so you can catch your breath. You love bouncing on the little car thing that Grandpa Dave, and Grandma Jess gave to you over Christmas. You have so much fun stacking, and tearing apart mega block towers. Your favorite is WWE dolls that you play with Daddy when he gets home from work, and Mama suspects that it is Daddy's favorite toy too. 

Mama is looking forward to spring, and warmer weather so she can take you, and Turkey out for long walks once again. It will be nice to get fresh air, and be able to stay outside longer than a few minutes. 

We recently battled with 18 months sleep regression. We had no idea that there was such a thing as 18 months sleep regression, and apparently, we learned that in a very hard way! It was a combination of tummy aches, teething, growing pains, and restlessness that accompanied with growing up. It lasted about 3.5 weeks, and it was tough on everybody in the Russ household. The end finally came once Mama, and Daddy were able to figure out how to remedy your gassy issue by replacing cow milk with soy milk, and rode it out with you until the last tail of sleep regression faded away. 

Your skin is slowly improving with limited dairy. You are itching a lot less, and sleeping better at the night, especially after you've switched to soy milk. Your face occasionally does break out in eczema patch, which is a big clue for your parents, that you are teething! Aside from teething, the patch on you face has faded away, unless if you eat something with dairy in large dose. With limited dairy, you appear to be feeling so much better! You still have a very dry scalp, just like Mama, due to this extreme cold accompanying with winter this year.

After visiting your allergist doctor, we are able to manage your hair eczema by adding Aloe gel on your scalp. To Mama's huge surprise, it has been pretty effective, and you are no longer itching at your head! You have been also diagnosed with a dairy sensitivity/allergy that may eventually be outgrown, or turn into a lactose intolerant type of deal. In the meanwhile, you are strictly not allowed to have any cold dairy produce such as cheese, straight cow milk, sauce with milk in it, and the dishes with cheese in it, such as Mac-n-Cheese. It is not a big deal. You will have to get retested in a year to confirm that you still have peanut allergy, and whether you are still sensitive to dairy. 

You are still in cloth diapers. There is no interest in toilet training, and Mama has no reason to push you yet. Mama isn't in a big hurry for you to pick this up until you are closer to 2.5 years old--probably around this time next year, toilet training may be introduced, and in the meanwhile, you are content in the diapers. You wear cloth diapers during the day, and disposables at the night. It has been working out great for months, and because of this, there is no reason t push you to start toilet training yet.

You are such a big boy. You no longer eat with high chair tray. You enjoy eating at the table with Mama, and Daddy, just like a big boy that you are! You are practicing with your fork, and spoon. You are improving your grip ability with using the spoon. You love eating apple sauce with your spoon. As for the fork, you struggle a bit with this, and even so, you are still doing great at attempting to pork into food piece, and putting it to your mouth! 

You are still sleeping in crib. There is no attempt from you to get out of your crib, and you are pretty comfortable in there. Because of this, Mama, and Daddy have not introduced a toddler bed to you yet. It is possible that Mama, and Daddy revisit the idea of a toddler bed when you are closer to two, and until then, it is all good to keep you in the crib!

You had your first trip to ER! It was an adventure in itself, and thankfully, you turned out to be just fine. It did not deter you from climbing onto things though. Mama, and Daddy predicted a lot of future ER visits seeing how physical, stubborn, and committed you have become these days to do things by yourself. 

You are surprisingly well-adjusted for being taken of by a stay at home Mama. You don't mind to be dropped off at a friend's house, while Mama goes out to do errands, and you love other babies your age. You are definitely NOT shy at all. You walk up boldly to other babies, and want to play with them. Mama believes it is from you playing so much with your cousins from when you were a teeny little baby. However, when it comes to the adults, you are suddenly a bit shy, and want to hide behind Mama's legs. Within a few minutes, you warm up, and walk away from Mama to say hello!

Your favorite thing to do is to help Mama empty the dishwasher, and to help her clean up around the house, especially sorting laundry.

Daddy is looking forward to being able to be done with coaching in a week from today! It will be the first time, since school year has started, that he won't be coaching. Daddy is excited to be able to gain more time to spend time with you, and be able to have less obligations on his plate to take away his time from you. He jokingly says that he is a chopped liver when it comes to spending time with you, because you end up wanting to have Mama's attention, but Mama, and you know how much you LOVE having Daddy home with you.

You are such an awesome little dude, and you're such a blessing.

We love you.

Mama & Daddy