The last Jackson update I did was when he was ten months old and still technically a baby, so a current one is long overdue. I certainly can’t call him a baby anymore now that I have a full-fledged toddler on my hands who will be TWO in just a few months. Excuse me while I go cry a million tears into my coffee…. Jackson has changed so, so much even since he was 16 months or so, and it seems like he masters something new almost every week now. It’s amazing to watch and also a bit bittersweet since he’s growing up so fast (a little too fast in my opinion!). I’m trying to stay focused on the moment, even the seemingly mundane ones, because I know how fast he’ll be onto the next phase.
When I wrote about milestones in Jackson’s ten month summary, he was still crawling. That seems like sooo long ago now. In my life update post, I mentioned that Jackson started walking on his first birthday. He basically hasn’t been still since! He is go, go, go all the time and full of so much energy. As I said last time, I wish I could bottle it up and sell it because I would make a fortune!
I think the biggest development over the past several months though has been with language. He went from saying just one or two words at 15 months or so to a ton of words by 18 months. And now he picks up new words constantly. It really is amazing. We have picture cards with different words on them and he can now go through the pack and identify every single one. I remember not long ago when all he could say was “cat!” But I think his favorite word right now might be “no.” Toddlers love to say “no!”
He also understands so much, even if he can’t say certain words himself. I can ask him to do all kinds of things, like throw something in the trash, clean up his toys, or put his shoes away, and he’ll go do them. I’m trying to work on colors with him because that’s something he hasn’t grasped yet. Everything is “blue”. Just as with everything else, I’m sure something will just click one day and he’ll be reciting all the colors of the rainbow before I know it.
Oh how things have changed with sleep, thankfully for the better! For Jackson’s ten month update I was ecstatic to report that on more than one occasion he slept for more than six hours straight. At the time that was such a victory! Now he goes to bed between 6:30 and 7 at night and usually sleeps until 6:30 or 7 in the morning. It’s amazing. There are many times when I actually have to go in and wake him up to drive David to the train. It’s such a far cry from the earlier days when I thought I would never, ever get a solid stretch of sleep again. For anyone in that boat right now, it gets better, I promise! If you missed my sleep training post, you can read that here.
Getting Jackson to eat is currently my biggest parenting struggle. When he was first being introduced to solids, he ate pretty much everything, but he has become extremely picky when it comes to food and doesn’t eat all that much even of foods that he likes. Breakfast tends to be his best meal. I usually give him oatmeal and berries or some other kind of fruit and he eats a decent amount most of the time. But lunch and dinner typically aren’t great and how much he eats varies. Fortunately he loves fruit, especially blueberries and blackberries (which he calls “burrs” and I find it so funny). Vegetables on the other hand, not so much. Getting him to eat a vegetable these days is so hard! I’m going to have to get creative and sneak them into foods he likes. Of course he loves all the processed crap, like dry cereal, cookies, crackers and nutrition bars. I limit these kinds of things because I want him to eat mostly real food, but sometimes when I’m desperate and he won’t eat much else, I’ll give him something I know he’ll chow down on. I’ll take any and all advice on how to get Jackson to eat better!
I should mention that Jackson is not on a vegan diet. He does eat cheese and eggs, which he likes, although he doesn’t drink cow’s milk. At his age and with his pickiness, I find it too limiting to restrict him to only plant-based foods, although I try to fill his plate with them as much as I can. I’m actually not strictly vegan myself, but I eat plant-based 80-90% of the time. I’m planning to do a post soon about my food philosophy and how I eat.
Jackson’s favorite toys and activities vary by day and by week, but here are several things that he has been consistently loving lately:
- Puzzles: We have a few wooden toddler puzzles and for a while Jackson never touched them, but he really enjoys playing with them now. He especially likes the Melissa and Doug Vehicles Sound Puzzle. Each vehicle puzzle piece triggers a sound on the board when you place it in its spot and it’s very exciting for a transportation loving toddler!
- Road rug: Speaking of transportation, Jackson has been loving this Melissa and Doug Road Rug. We put it up on top of our upholstered ottoman in the living room and he puts all his cars and trucks on it and has a blast.
- Elmo everything: I don’t know what it is about Elmo that all kids seem to love, but Jackson is obsessed with all things Elmo! We have Elmo books and a Tickle Me Elmo toy, but what Jackson really wants to do all the time is watch Elmo sing-alongs on YouTube. We limit this to 15-20 minutes once a day and sing along to make it more interactive.
- The Wheels on the Bus: Out of all the songs we sing with him, Jackson’s current favorite is hands down The Wheels on the Bus. He can listen to it over and over and over and over. He can’t get enough!
- Books: Several months ago Jackson went through a phase where he wasn’t interested in sitting still to read books. Fortunately, that phase has passed and not only is he now interested in reading, but he can sit and read books for hours on end! He even recently started “reading” to himself and it’s the cutest thing ever to watch him try to say the words out loud.
- Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Not surprisingly, Jackson LOVES all modes of transportation. He can sit at the window forever and watch the cars and trucks go by, excitedly pointing to every big truck or bus he sees. It’s adorable.
Lastly, here are some recent Jackson photos. As you can see, he is no longer the little baby from his ten month post!
Have a great day and rest of the week!