Max Update – January 2014 (16 months) – Part I

max pumpkin 10-13 max elf 2013

Boy, it has been too long since I wrote about my little man (the pictures above are from Halloween and Christmas 2013). To say I am in love with this little guy would be a serious understatement. After having eight straight days together over the holidays just make me want to spend more time with him (and my big guy!).  He is such an amazing little person. Watching him grow and learn is a truly remarkable experience.

Overall, things are great. There are always challenges in parenting and our toddler is still a toddler. This tot, however, is a wonderful. It is kind of amazing how this difficult, colicky, highly-allergic baby became a happy, fun, delightful little child. I am amazed and so grateful!

Some of the old topics that I wrote about previously:

-Sleeping –

max sleeping 12-13

He often sleeps like this

I really hope I don’t jinx it, but 90% of the time sleep goes pretty well. We have some challenges here and there due to teething, colds or schedule upsets (aka Mom & Dad’s attempts at attending social activities or other such frivolities) but generally Max goes to sleep at 7 p.m.(ish) and wakes up between 6 and 7 a.m. We almost never have nighttime wakings anymore. [Oh please, please don’t let that change.] When we do, it completely throws me for a loop. 

Naptime is typically 12/12:30. He will usually nap for at least 75 minutes, and sometimes even for 3 hours. Yes, this makes weekend afternoon planning challenging.

– Eating –

max mierke wedding 10-13

As mentioned previously, all of the allergies appear to be 100% gone. I am still in disbelief. He eats yogurt, cheese and even edamame, like a champ. Hooray! He is a pretty good little eater. He likes a variety of foods and eats serious quantities of the things he likes. The daycare folks say he eats everything in sight and they can’t figure out where he puts it.

He has moved past the food throwing phase for the most part. For months I would tell him not to throw food and that he should leave unwanted food on his plate or hand it to me. Well, he takes this instruction very seriously. It doesn’t matter what else I am doing when he decides he wants his plate clear of an undesirable item. He is very fastidious about handing me everything he wants taken away.

The biggest challenge right now is probably getting him to eat the first bite of foods that aren’t his favorites. He will always eat certain things (peas, corn, bread) but other items that he loved the night before he sometimes refuses to touch. It is so frustrating. I have to remind myself of the phrase I recently read along the lines of: It is our job to provide healthy food options; it is their job to eat them.max fruit nov 13

Fortunately, after reading a recent article on toddler nutrition I realized that Max is likely getting all the nutrients he needs and then some. In fact, based on the quantities/portion sizes listed in the article, I think he may be getting all that he needs by 11 am.  Heck, he may be getting a complete days nutrition just at breakfast. A typical breakfast includes a big serving of steel cut oatmeal with whole milk, a banana, sometimes some whole wheat bread with olive oil, some of mom or dad’s smoothie made with spinach, fruit, almond milk, protein powder and chia seeds, and sometimes some grapes or orange pieces to finish.

His favorite foods other than those listed above are hummus (eaten by the huge spoonsful), yogurt, pancakes, chicken (some days), noodles, tortellini with pesto, spicy guacamole, berries, and grapes. If he catches a glimpse of a grape or even hears the word grape it is all over. We have to be very careful about where we place things in the fridge because if he seems them he wants them and will refuse all other food.


Don’t judge. Not too long ago I remember a while back a friend mentioned another friend who had done extended breastfeeding. She is a very nice, non-judgmental person, but she was surprised that someone would breastfeed a toddler well past age one. I remember agreeing with her. Well, here we are.

Max is 16 months and breastfeeding is a regular part of our morning and evening routines. I don’t imagine he is getting a ton of milk these days. However, the evidence seems to support that even a small amount is very beneficial – nutritionally and immunologically. That plus the emotional benefits mean I am still at it. I’m taking the “don’t offer, don’t refuse” approach – within limits, of course. In general, I love the together time, the quiet cuddles with my little guy, and the automatic reset that breastfeeding provides.  The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until age 2. I don’t really see myself going that long but we will continue to take things a day at a time and see what happens.

 max vest dec 13


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer
    Jan 20, 2014 @ 09:20:08

    How/when did you realize the allergies were gone? I’m still avoiding dairy in my diet and I’m afraid to introduce it directly now that we are delving into solids. Any suggestions for how to try things out?


    • Catharine
      Jan 23, 2014 @ 13:14:33

      Hi Jennifer! Right around the one-year mark our NP suggested retrying dairy. I was too scared to give it to him directly so I started adding small amounts to my diet. After a few days of no adverse reaction we gave the baby a little bit of dairy (macaroni and cheese). One tip that I learned is to try new foods in the morning so that if he reacts it isn’t in the middle of the night. Good luck! Email me if you want to discuss further.


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