Leah Caroline, 2 Years

August 2, 2015

Today our baby is 2!! I’ve been saying she’s “almost 2” for ages it seems, but now she finally is. It’s mostly sweet, but it’s a little bittersweet also. The older she gets, the farther and farther away we move from the baby years, since Leah is our last baby. I think the year between age 1 and age 2 shows the most dramatic change. Of course, from birth to age 1 is a huge change but at both the start and end of that year, the child is a baby. At age 1, Leah was standing but not walking (though she did take her first steps 2 days later) and she had about 3 words. For the most part, she was still completely dependent on us and we were not able to communicate with her very well. Fast-forward to today and it’s a totally different story!

Driving Daddy's tractor

Driving Daddy’s tractor

I’ve said this before, but it’s still true…18 – 30 months is hands down my favorite age so far, with both of my kids. The squishy newborn days are sweet and the crawling/standing/first steps are exciting, but the learning to talk is my favorite. It’s fascinating to me to watch Leah learn how to pronounce letters and words and to figure out how to use the words to communicate with us. Naturally, it results in some mistakes – many of which we don’t correct because they are too hysterical/adorable.

Around 22-23 months old, Leah progressed to 4-6 (or more) word sentences. (“Watch a show, Mommy, please?” “I ride the bike, Daddy!”) Her sentences include verbs and pronouns now. The pronouns are mostly used incorrectly, but they’re there. (“Here coming me!”) Right now, she basically narrates everything going on around her and repeats the same sentences over and over again. That can be a little tiring (Caelan has complained about that and I just love the irony 🙂 ) but you can tell she’s practicing. She basically says everything and she is very understandable, even to people who aren’t around her much. Some of our favorite phrases:

  • “Mommy, hot dog me?” (Similar to “beer me” if you’re familiar with that phrase 🙂 )
  • “I sitting here!”
  • “Where Yah go?” (Said while hiding – “Yah” is what she calls herself)
  • “I haveita booboo, Mommy”
  • “Come on, Gaga!”
  • “You comin’ Mommy?”

“Haveita” is my favorite. Bill and I have incorporated it into our own conversations.

Little Miss Talks-A-Lot is super bossy now too! And very, very independent. Reminders to use her manners are frequent. She wants to do EVERYTHING by herself (“I no need help.”). Her fine motor skills are really great. She can put her shoes on by herself and she can even buckle her sandals. I was kind of shocked when she came into the room with her sandals on and no one had helped her! Of course she also wants to help with things like changing her own diaper, which is far less helpful.


Putting her shoes on

Speaking of diapers, we’ve got nothing on the potty training front. Occasionally I ask her if she wants to try and usually she says no. She did agree to sit on the potty once, but she thought it was weird. We don’t push her because, really, the last thing I want is a too-young, not-ready potty-trainer. Honestly, at this age, diapers are easier. However, when she starts preschool at the end of this month (!!!) she will need to wear Pull Ups.



Leah and Caelan are still buddies, but the bickering and fighting has escalated, as has the whining from both kids. Sometimes it’ll be quiet and I’ll investigate (because quiet kids are usually trouble) but I’ll find them playing well together, or reading together, or sharing a toy together. However, more often their play is NOT quiet. Often it’s still fine and they’re getting along, but there are plenty of fights too. I know its normal – I have a sister and while I don’t remember what it was like when we were 2 and 5, I’m sure we did fight. There are fights over toys and someone grabbed something from someone else or Leah starts crying and then I need to figure out if Caelan did something to her or if she’s just being dramatic. We set a lot of timers to switch off using certain toys.

Leah adores Caelan. She loves all the things he loves. When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she said “Lightning and Mater!” I’m excited for them to be in preschool together in a few weeks (though they will be in different classes). She still calls Caelan “Gaga” (and Bill and I do too sometimes) but she also calls him Kai. When asked “Can you say ‘Caelan’?” she will say Cay-en, so she CAN, she just prefers Gaga.


Playing together

Leah’s sleep habits are…slightly better? I can’t really tell if it’s that or if I’m just more used to it by now. How is it possible that we have a 2 year old who doesn’t sleep through the night?! I mean, sometimes she does – probably a few days a week. But the other days, she still wakes up 1-2 times a night. And then she’s up for the day at the butt crack of dawn. At her age, I’m not even sure how to fix it. When she wakes up, it’s easy to get her back down again, but she needs to be doing that herself, without us. Maybe it will be better once she’s out of the crib and in a bed? I think that change may becoming in the next few months. I’ve already started planning an owl theme for her “big girl room”.

In the meantime, her bedtime rituals ARE very cute. Her best “buddy” is (the aptly named) Penguin. Other current favorites are Ernie and Hippo (we are creative with the names around here). She lines them all up, not forgetting the glow bear in the corner, then tucks Penguin under her arm, curls up in the fetal position and waits to be covered with her “owls” and her “fuzzy banket” (both blankets which were formerly “behbens” but are now “bankets”).


Leah’s buddy, Penguin

Despite being of average/petite height and weight, this girl is a bottomless pit when it comes to eating! Especially snacks (aka “nacks”). Omg she asks for a snack all.day.long! She may prefer to be a grazer, but we don’t really let the kids graze so maybe that’s why she’s constantly asking for snacks. It’s not like we don’t feed her though! She gets 3 meals plus 2-3 snacks a day! But she will literally get up from the dinner table and ask for a snack.

She eats all the foods. She really will eat basically anything. There are a few random things she’s iffy on (like chicken nuggets and potatoes) but I don’t know that she really refuses anything. She would eat fruits and veggies all day long – she is a huge fan.

Leah still has her baby hair and has yet to have a first haircut, but her hair is definitely getting long! She needs a barrette to keep it out of her face and, thankfully, she is very tolerant with me doing her hair and she doesn’t bother it once it’s up.

Her hair is getting long!

Her hair is getting long!

Last month, we went on a family beach trip with Bill’s family. This was Leah’s 2nd trip to the beach, but last year was very different from this year. Leah liked the beach last year, but she wasn’t walking yet so she didn’t do much other than nap and play in the surf a little. This year, she was having a BLAST running in the surf with Caelan, jumping waves, and just running full out straight into the ocean. She kept Bill and I (and Pop) running! She got knocked over by a wave once or twice, but it didn’t phase her much.

Running on the beach

Running on the beach

Cooking up something with a bucket of water and some sand!

Cooking up something with a bucket of water and some sand!

Last year at the beach, we often found ourselves trapped in the house during the afternoon nap which was kind of a pain. But this year, Leah only takes 1 nap and she is much more flexible with it so we were able to get lots of beach time AND some beach naps! Beach napping with Leah was probably my favorite part of that trip. Everyday, she napped on the beach. Something about standing near the surf was like a tranquilizer and she was out within minutes. Going on vacation with little kids is the opposite of relaxing, but that hour or so a day when she napped was like a little slice of the vacations of yore – only better because I was snuggling a sleeping baby AND relaxing myself. (Obviously, Caelan was there too but he was often playing or being supervised by Bill during Leah’s nap times. He’s also become more and more independent, but more on that in his next post 😉 ) I’m a little sad that this year was probably the last year for beach naps for the kids. I mean, maybe we’ll luck out and she’ll nap some next year. She is a decent napper…

Beach napping

Beach napping

Now that Leah is older, her personality is really starting to come out. Yes, she is dramatic. She’s bossy and she has a little attitude, but she’s TWO so it’s kind of hysterical too. She has the exasperated sigh down pat and I ALWAYS laugh when she does it. She’s meticulous in the way that 2 year olds are (lining up toys, laying out a blanket just so) and she can dissolve into a tantrum out of nowhere over seemingly nothing. I don’t know, maybe because we’ve been through this before (or because I know this is NOT the worst its going to be), I don’t get that upset about it. Well maybe sometimes. Like when she won’t COME HERE for a diaper/clothes change or when she insists on buckling her booster by herself, which she can’t really do.

This face saves her.

This face saves her.

As dramatic and screamy as she can be, Leah definitely has a quiet and reserved side too. She is vary wary of unfamiliar people and surroundings. Sometimes that makes her a Velcro baby stuck to my hip, but she does warm up eventually. She does so much better with people who *don’t* approach her. Once she’s had time to evaluate the situation for herself and once she realizes that some of these new people might be A) friends to play with, or B) people who will read books to her, then she will join in 🙂

Leah is very affectionate. She really craves that closeness more so than Caelan did at this age. She likes to be held (which is getting painful at this point since she’s too old/heavy to be carried around everywhere) and though it can get to be too much at times when the kids treat me like a jungle gym, she does like to sit with me/on me/in my lap. I know that won’t last forever and I am already sad about it ending someday. Leah is my heart and I am so excited about the little girl she is growing up to be!

And now some comparison pics…

Pig tails, age 1 and age 2

Pig tails, age 1 and age 2

Caelan and Leah, age 2-ish (23+ months)

Caelan and Leah, age 2-ish (23+ months)

Happy 2nd Birthday to my sweet girl!! Mommy and Daddy and Gaga love you!!

Happy 2nd Birthday!!

Happy 2nd Birthday!!

Leah’s 2 Year Old Stats

  • Wearing 24 month tops and bottoms and 24 month sleepers/pajamas, size 5 or 6 shoes
  • Size 5 diapers
  • Weight: 25 lbs
  • Height:
  • Favorite foods: Yogurt, oatmeal, goldfish, hot dogs, any and all fruits and veggies
  • Loves reading books, lining up toys, spreading out her blankets, trying on shoes, eating snacks, Mickey Mouse, Mater

Leah Lines, Part 1

June 22, 2015


I cannot believe it is time to start Leah’s conversations posts!! It is so much fun to talk to our kids and hear what they come up with. The very first entry here is from April 2015, when Leah was 20 months old.


I hand Leah something…

LEAH: Thank you.

SARAH: You’re welcome.

LEAH: MY welcome!


CAELAN: No way!!

LEAH: Yes way!


Leah farts.

SARAH: What do you say?

LEAH: Thank you.

SARAH: No, what do you say when you fart?

LEAH: You’re welcome.

SARAH: Um, no.


Background: Leah calls herself “Yah”

SARAH: Hi baby.

LEAH [sternly]: No baby. Yah.


When I dropped Leah off at daycare, she climbed into Ms. Sheila’s lap as usual and then looked up at me…

LEAH: Go home.

Caelan Conversations, Part 18

June 15, 2015


I am standing in front of the full length mirror in my closet after getting dressed…

CAELAN: Why are you looking in there, Mommy?

SARAH: I am looking to see if my clothes look okay.

CAELAN: You look beautiful, Mommy.

SARAH: Thanks baby.


I gave Caelan and Leah each a bowl of grapes. Caelan’s bowl was orange…

CAELAN [whining]: I didn’t want the orange bowl, I wanted the red bowl.

SARAH: Well don’t look at the bowl then, just eat your grapes.

After a minute or so…

CAELAN [whining]: Mommy, the orange bowl is letting me look at it!!


Caelan and Leah love to play with empty Tic Tac containers in the car. Caelan can open them on his own, but Leah needs help. After Caelan has opened it for her twice…

LEAH [to Caelan]: Open?

CAELAN [exasperatedly]: Ugh!! Again, Leah?! Mommy, Leah asked me to open hers and then she asked me again!!

Annoying, isn’t it… 🙂


SARAH: What should we get Grandma for her birthday?

CAELAN: A train! From Target!


Caelan is singing a made up song…

CAELAN: ♫♪ Oh I wish I was a little baby squirrel, baby squirrel! ♫♪ — Daddy, this part will be so funny, you will, like, freak out — ♫♪ I’ll poop on your head! ♫♪


I hand Caelan a cup of milk.

CAELAN: Thanks, from my teeth.


A conversation with our Amazon Echo, Alexa…

SARAH: Alexa, how are you?

ALEXA: I’m great. I hope you are too.

CAELAN: “I hope you are too”?…But you’re not.

SARAH: I’m not? Sure I am!

CAELAN: You’re not 2….

SARAH: Ohhhh…


Caelan opens a birthday gift from Leah. It’s a green Chick Hicks car that he’s been wanting for ages.

CAELAN: Ohhhh Leah! I’m so proud of you!!!


CAELAN: Okay, this is how it is. [points to Bill] You’re wrong. [points to Sarah] You’re right.

Caelan’s Cars Birthday Party

June 8, 2015

I’m going to do a whole post on Caelan’s birthday party this year! This party was THE party I have been wanting to do for years – super theme-y! And honestly what made it so cool was that Caelan loved it so much!! In the weeks leading up to the party, he watched me buy all the supplies and do all the prep and he was just loving every bit of it. I could have done a super theme-y party for his first birthday and it would have been cool, but at age 1, he would have had no clue. At age 4, he was really into it!

We had good weather on the day of the party which was great because everything was outside. It didn’t rain and it wasn’t unbearably hot, so that was great. However, it was SUPER windy. Unfortunately that made getting everything set up a little difficult and I ended up skipping a few of the decorations because they would have blown away. #fwp

Here’s how we put our Disney Cars themed party together!!

EDIT: I forgot to include the invitations!!!

The Invitations

I combined a few ideas I saw online and designed these invites!


The Cake

I almost chickened out of making this cake. I almost did a regular sheet cake with Lightning McQueen drawn on it, and that would have been cool. But I’m so glad I went for it and made this Lightning McQueen *shaped* cake!

For the cake, I used this recipe which I have used before and I knew it was very sturdy and easy to carve. I made 2 batches, in 2 9×13 pans. I also made 2 batches of my favorite vanilla buttercream icing. I reserved about 1 cup for details and tinted the rest red with Wilton gel color. Red is notoriously hard to make REALLY red but I managed to do it this time by adding half a bottle of the red gel color and then letting it sit in the fridge for about a day before using it.

I looked up a few tutorials online and printed out some pictures of Lightning from a few different angles and then used all that info to free-hand carve the cake into the shape of a car. I frosted it with the red buttercream. Most of the shaped Lightning cakes I saw online were covered in fondant. To be honest, fondant cakes are not my thing so I knew I wanted to stick with buttercream. I did make the detail decorations with fondant.


The Games

I grabbed a Pin-The-Headlight-On-Mater game from the party store. It came with 8 headlight stickers, but since we had more than 8 kids, I just color-copied the stickers to make more.


Ramone’s House of Body Art wasn’t really a “game” so much as it was a station, I guess. In the movie, Ramone does paint jobs at his House of Body Art, so a temporary tattoo station seemed like a good fit. Unfortunately, this was one of the things that got skipped due to the wind 😦

The major game for this party was the Piston Cup race! We had stacks and stacks of boxes leftover from our move last year so, over the course of several weeks, I picked out 6 boxes and made them into cars! I chose to do Lightning McQueen, The King, Chick Hicks (Caelan’s favorite), Doc, Francesco, and Mater. I used scrap pieces of cardboard, styrofoam, and a ton of hot glue to make the cars a little more stable. I spray painted them their main colors and then used acrylic paint and a foam brush for the eyes and any details. The rest of the details I printed out and glued to the cars.

We kept the cars out of sight until it was time for the race, which was a stroke of genius on my husband’s part. Once those cars were out, only the mention of cake tore the kids away from them!




This is the race track my husband drew in the yard with spray paint! We also stuck little checkered flags in the ground to help the kids see where the track was. They still sort of took a few short cuts 😉


The Favors

I can’t really take credit for anything but the execution of these ideas! I found everything via Pinterest and Google searches. These Pit Passes looked really cute and the kids could wear them during the party, but also keep them as a favor. I got the lanyards from Party City and the plastic holders from Amazon. I designed and printed the passes myself.

I also grabbed some little trophies so that each kid could take home their own Piston Cup. They are really, really small so I couldn’t even fill them with treats. As it turned out, we weren’t able to set the Pit Passes and Piston Cups out on a table as I had planned (wind!!) so Caelan handed out the Pit Passes and we just forgot to give out the Piston Cups.


The Food

Despite the fact that all the food was themed, it was actually less food than we would usually have for a party and it was easier to put together. (I was still running around like a crazy person minutes before the party though. Isn’t that always how it is??) We ordered pizza for delivery (we had WAY too much!!), had sodas, water and juice boxes to drink, the cake, and the rest was just snacks – most requiring zero prep! I made the little signs and uploaded them to Shutterfly for printing. Easier and faster than messing with my printer (which I did do for other things). The plan was for the signs to be held with place card holders, but again…wind…so they ended up taped to the tables and I think a lot of people didn’t get it. #fwpagain Here are the foods we had:

Francesco’s Pizzeria (pizzas)

Sheriff’s Stop Lights (fruit skewers)


Sally’s Cozy Cones (Bugles)


Sarge’s Surplus Snacks (pretzels, Goldfish, Teddy Grahams)


Mater’s Taters (potato chips and dip)


Luigi’s Casa Della Tires (chocolate donuts)

These were supposed to be stacked into a tower, but I skipped that because of the wind (it was REALLY windy!) but these got demolished so quickly it didn’t matter!


The Decorations and Paper Supplies

We had several folding tables set up with red and black plastic table cloths. I ordered plates and napkins from Amazon (because it was cheaper than the party store, which is not usually the case for party supplies!) and got the rest from the party store. We had checkered flag banners, a race banner, and little mini checkered flags. I don’t have a lot of good pictures of these things because – you guessed it – wind!


The Birthday Boy

The most important part of the party!!! This was all for him and he loved it 🙂


Caelan Vaughn, 4 Years

June 1, 2015

Somehow, we blinked and Caelan turned into a kid. He looks older. He acts older. We need to be careful what we say around him now because he is always listening! In the past couple months, we’ve tried to help him navigate some new social situations. He’s developed new friendships and been on all sides of the hurt feelings wheel (hurter, hurtee, witness). We are wandering into new territory where Caelan has more control over a lot of situations than we do. Parenting is hard, man! I want Caelan to be happy and have friends that he enjoys playing with. I also want him to be kind and compassionate, which he generally is, but 4 year olds have no filter and sometimes that leads to drama.


Caelan seems to be friendly with all of his classmates, but Joshua and Julia are the two that we’ve heard the most about in the last 6 months. Who is best friends with who changes on an almost daily basis, but it definitely seems like he’s having a good time at school!

We met with Caelan’s teacher back in April and discussed his progress in her class. We are so unbelievably proud of how well he’s doing! Academically, he’s well ahead. His teacher even said it’s a shame he’s so young because he’d do well in kindergarten THIS year. He knows all of his letters and can write most of them as well. We are working on sounding out words and that is exceedingly frustrating for Bill and me but Caelan is making progress. He can count past 100 now and he can also do some basic addition and subtraction. I was happy to hear from his teacher that Caelan actively participates in class and seems interested in learning. It is always fun for us to hear about what he’s learned that day, whether it’s a silly song or that “zombie” starts with the letter Z.

This Fall, Caelan will move to the pre-K (4’s) classroom for his last year of preschool before kindergarten (!!!!). We’ve heard that the pre-K teacher has a less traditional style of teaching so we’re curious to see how Caelan does in her class.


Caelan’s handwriting has gotten much better, but some of his letters need a little tweaking!

In May, Caelan’s class took a field trip to a local farm/petting zoo. I was very excited that I was able to go with him on this trip – it was my first time accompanying him on a field trip. It was great to spend some one-on-one time with him, see him with his friends, and get to spend some time with his teachers and a couple of the other moms and dads.

Jumping around here a little (6 months is a long time to cover!) but back in February, we took Caelan to his first live sporting event – a pro hockey game. It was also Bill’s and my first hockey game! We rode the Metro (another first for Caelan) to get to the stadium and watched the game from a suite that Bill’s company had rented. It was the perfect situation for Caelan’s first event. The suite allowed him to get up and walk around, rather than sitting in the seat the entire time, although he did sit and watch quite a bit. He loved chanting “Let’s go Caps!” and hearing the songs and sounds over the sound system.


Caelan has continued with his gymnastics class once a week. He’s really improved a lot in the past 6 months. Classes stop over the summer so we’ll think about whether or not to continue with gymnastics in the Fall or try another activity. At home, Caelan loves to play outside now that the weather is warm. He helps us with gardening and he rides with Bill on the tractor. Now that we have so much more yard space than we did at the townhouse, the kids have plenty of room to play. Luckily, our road is a dead end and gets very little traffic, but we spent last Fall drilling it into Caelan that he cannot run into the street. By now, he’s very good at following that rule. We don’t let him play outside unsupervised but we don’t need to hover over him and that is wonderful for all 🙂

Watering the garden.

We went to see the Easter Bunny this year, and to my surprise, Caelan didn’t seem afraid at all! Our first 2 attempts to sit on Santa’s lap were failures, but after this success with the bunny, I’m looking forward to another Santa visit this Christmas.


After spending 2 years in size 18 month pants/shorts, Caelan finally had a growth spurt and grew out of those this year. I got him some 2T pants, but he almost immediately outgrew those as well! Now he’s in 3T for pants, but in 4T/5T for shirts. It’s tricky to dress this kid!

Caelan and Leah are still great playmates, but as Leah gets older and more able to assert herself, there are more arguments. However, Caelan regularly tells me “Mommy, I really really really really really really  really really really really really really love Leah! She’s sooooooooooooooooo cute!” I know he loves her and the feeling is definitely mutual but they are brother and sister so fights are inevitable. Caelan has started trying to manipulate her by whispering to her and telling her to do something that he knows will get her in trouble. On the one hand, I get it. I used to do the same thing to my sister (sorry Ray!). But on the other hand…quit telling her to run in the street! Luckily I have been able to squash any dangerous suggestions so far.


Caelan is very independent now and he can dress and undress himself with minimal help (buttons, snaps). He can brush his teeth, go to the bathroom, wash his hands, get a drink from the fridge, clear his place at the table, go up and down the stairs, etc. It’s wonderful that he can do all those things by himself and doesn’t need our constant supervision anymore. In some ways, that makes him, as a 4 year old, much easier than a toddler. But all of those things he CAN do without supervision are also all the things that tend to cause fights and tantrums. He CAN put his shoes on in less than 30 seconds if he feels like it, but it normally takes 5 minutes or so of rounding him up, counting to 3, pushing past the “I-can’t-do-it” whining and other such craziness.


Caelan has been favoring me over Bill a fair amount lately. It’s odd because for the first 2-3 years of his life, he definitely favored Bill. But now, possibly he’s identified me as the less strict parent and that’s the reason for his preference lately. He and Bill have definitely been butting heads a lot lately. I hope it’s a phase and it will shift soon.

Why have they been butting heads? They don’t call it the horrible 3’s for nothing. See my comments above about putting on shoes. And it’s not just Bill and Caelan – I have plenty of run-ins with the 3/4 year old behavior as well. This whole year has been REALLY hard on that front. Everything is a fight – dinner (he claims to hate whatever we’re eating, even if he likes it, then argues with us over how many bites to eat), the bathroom (he will literally sob and wail “But I don’t have to pee!!” while peeing), putting on his shoes, brushing his teeth, getting ready for bed…He fights us every single step of the way. We have tried various tactics and some have worked better than others but we haven’t settled into anything consistent (I know we should). I know it’s all developmentally appropriate, but it’s exhausting. He’s also had more potty accidents than ever before, despite having been potty-trained for over a year now. It’s usually due to stubbornly waiting till the last second. We’ve heard from some other parents that 4 is slightly better behavior-wise, so I’m holding on to that shred of hope.


I’ve commiserated a lot with my friends who have kids the same age. They get it. I’m pretty sure I’ve scared my sister-in-law because my nephew is only 11 months and hasn’t hit the screamy-2’s or the defiant-3’s yet and she doesn’t want to lose her sweet baby to those phases. But she won’t, not completely. Sure, Leah is an expert screamer now, but then she climbs up in my lap, puts her face inches from mine, cocks her head to the side and sweetly asks “popcorn pwees?” and then she is the cutest child that ever existed. Or Caelan will say something that is so funny or clever or full of personality and I am in awe of how sweet and smart he is and how much I love him completely even though I was ready to lose my #$%^ 3 seconds ago. It’s a constant up and down, back and forth…love them, lose it, love them, lose it.

At the end of the day, I sit on the floor in Caelan’s room next to his bed and we play rock-paper-scissors for a few minutes and then talk about what we did that day or what we will do the next day. It’s one of my favorite parts of everyday. I am constantly in awe of his curiosity and his imagination. He makes up stories and names and draws on conversations we’ve had or things he’s learned at school to create his little world. As always, I’m excited for what’s ahead for him – new friendships, moving more and more towards being a kid and not a baby. This time next year, we’ll be registering him for kindergarten 😮 It’s so hard to believe that he’s been in our life for 4 wonderful years now!! I can’t imagine our world without him.


Happy 4th Birthday Caelan!! Love you forever and ever!!


Caelan’s 4 Year Stats

  • Wearing 4T and 5T tops, 3T pants, size 9W shoes
  • Weight: 35 lbs
  • Height: 39.5 inches (3′ 3.5″)
  • Loves playing Cars, racing, listening to music, climbing, running

Leah Caroline, Months 18-21

May 2, 2015

The past few months have been busy for Leah! She’s learning so much every day – she’s curious and daring and into everything! Talking, running, climbing, tantruming…everything you’d expect from a little girl staring down the upcoming terrible 2’s. Having been through the terrible 2’s once before and now having also been through the much worse 3’s, I’m thinking we can handle the 2’s again (hopefully).


Why am I talking about the terrible 2’s at only 21 months? They start way before 2! Leah has really gotten into the tantrums in the past few months. We’ve definitely started time outs with her. It’s a little strange having to switch gears and go back to handling THIS type of tantrum. We’ve been getting used to the almost-4 year old tantrum (“I’m NEVER gonna listen to you!”) but now we need to go back to the almost-2 year old tantrum as well (all out hysterical screaming in a pitch that makes you wince and squeeze your eyes closed). So we’re back to trying as hard as we can to ignore the screaming while trying not to let her see us laughing at the ridiculous drama of these tantrums.


So that’s the bad part about having an almost-2 year old, but there are so many more good parts about this age! It is definitely one of my favorite ages. Leah’s speech just keeps getting better and better! Between 18 and 19 months, she began putting 2 words together. She learned the words “my” and “mine” and she is always interested in pointing out what things belong to what people (“Daddy’s chair”, “Caelan’s water”, “Mommy’s jacket”, etc). Between 19 and 20 months, she started with these strings of babble that sounded like sentences except that we couldn’t really make them out. A lot of her words still don’t really sound like what they’re supposed to sound like, though we still recognize many of them in context. I long ago stopped counting her words, but she must have over 100 now. Some of her early words are starting to clear up. Originally, “waffle” and “water” were both “wawa” but now we have “wa-vel” and “wa-er”.


Some favorite/often heard words and phrases:

  • “gagees” (glasses)
  • “gagoon” (jacket)
  • “behben” (blanket)
  • “cown” (crayon)
  • “My turn!”
  • “1 more!” (said while holding up 1 finger, usually when a show is over)
  • “More na pees!” (More snack please – She’s obsessed with snacks and asks for them all day long!)
  • “Where Daddy/Mommy/GaGa go?”

By 20 months she was regularly using 2-word and even 3-word phrases that we could understand! She is able to ask for what she wants and we are able to offer her choices. That doesn’t always work (especially when what she wants is NOT one of the choices) but we’re getting there. She is also starting to revise her word for Caelan. It started out as GaGa, but is now morphing into Kai-en, which is closer!


As far as I know, Leah doesn’t know any letters or numbers. We kind of “forgot” to teach her those. Poor second child. Caelan was all about his letter/number/colors peg puzzles at this age, but he didn’t have an older sibling to play/fight with. It may be time to break out the magnetic letters and kill two birds with one stone – the alphabet for Leah and spelling for Caelan.

Leah is starting to move out of her stranger-danger phase. She is still shy and usually quiet around people she doesn’t see all the time, but she is warming up. She’s taken a liking to the director at Caelan’s school and will even run to her to be picked up, but she still doesn’t speak around her other than to say “bye”. I keep assuring the director that she definitely does talk and I’m sure she’ll be an even better talker when she starts going to preschool herself in about 4 months!


Both kids show signs of concern whenever the other one is upset and/or crying. They both try to comfort the upset sibling with shushing and hugs but usually get pushed away as the upset sibling is too upset to accept comfort. But when they’re both happy, they love to give hugs, especially at bedtime. They play reasonably well together. Of course there are fights and screaming and someone-took-someone’s-toy, etc etc etc, but that’s siblings for ya. They have also started to conspire against us, with Caelan leading the way and Leah more than happy to tag along.


Leah’s sleep habits are…not great. She has dropped down to 1 nap per day, for the most part, which is good. Usually it’s after lunch, but sometimes she will crash earlier in the day. Putting her down is not usually a problem at all. Bedtime, also, is relatively easy (minus the fight Bill has with her to get her pajamas on) but she only sleeps through the night about half the time. The other half of the time, she wakes up 1-3x/night crying and we go in, she lies back down pretty much immediately, we recover her with a blanket, and that’s it. On the one hand, it’s nice that she (usually) goes right back to sleep, but on the other hand, she’s 21 months old! She should be able to go back to sleep without us going in there.

Leah continues to be a big fan of books. If you have unlimited time and patience she will bring you book after book after book to read to her! Her current favorites are “Purplicious” and a couple of nursery rhymes books. Leah also loves to color.


Leah is great with self-care skills and she can be pretty independent. She can take off and put away her own shoes, she can put on shoes (depending on the shoe), she can put on her own jacket (she needs help with the zipper), and she is learning to take off her own clothes which she then puts in her laundry basket.

This seems like a long time ago now, but back in February, Leah got to play in the snow for the first time. I’m not sure how she felt about it. She didn’t hate it, but she wasn’t able to walk in 4+ inches of snow and falling that often was frustrating for her.


Leah’s 2nd Easter was a big hit! She looked so adorable in her dress and she had a great time hunting for eggs both at home and at Grandma and Pop’s house. We did take the kids to see the Easter Bunny this year. Leah seemed excited about it while we were waiting in line, but when she actually got up to the bunny, she panicked and ran away. Not unexpected really!



Since it’s finally been getting warmer, we’ve been able to play outside! Leah loves to ride Caelan’s bike (which at this point is just us pushing her on it). She loves to color with chalk and run after Caelan. She also takes off down the driveway every chance she gets. The other day I got to be that mom yelling and running down the driveway after an escaped toddler while a sympathetic woman in a minivan stopped to wait for me to scoop Leah up. At least I’m getting exercise?!


I’m really enjoying watching Leah turn into a real toddler right before my eyes. Her personality is coming out and though she definitely has a flair for the dramatic, she is also funny and silly and sweet. Hopefully we can nip the drama in the bud and it won’t get too out of control, but we’ll just have to see. I also hope that she’ll continue to come out of her shell a little more. She’s so talkative at home and not many other people get to see that side of her!

The next post I write for Leah is going to be her 2 year old post. We will officially have no more babies in the house when she hits that milestone! They’ll always be MY babies of course (though Caelan argues with me about that, insisting he’s NOT a baby anymore). Very soon I’ll be starting up “Leah Lines” – a collection of Leah sayings/conversations. I’ve only got 2 collected so far, so not enough for a post yet…but soon 🙂


Leah – 21 Months Old

Leah’s 21 Month Stats

  • Wearing 18-24 month tops and bottoms and 24 month sleepers/pajamas, size 5 or 6 shoes
  • Size 5 diapers
  • Weight:
  • Length:
  • Favorite foods: Yogurt, breakfast bars, GOLDFISH, bananas, any and all fruits and veggies
  • Loves reading books, playing with cars, trying on shoes, eating snacks, coloring and getting into mischief (with or without Caelan)

Protected: A Wednesday In My Life With An Almost-4-Year-Old and A 20-Month-Old

April 17, 2015

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