Max Update: 20 Months

I was telling a coworker this morning about how shocking it is to me that Max is 20 months old. That means he is just months away from turning two. You know I’ve said that the first year didn’t exactly fly by like so many people say. But year 2? definitely. I guess it is true what they say: Time flies when you’re having fun.

I am totally biased and I’ve probably said this before: Max is amazing! He is the greatest little guy. Oh, I am so in love with him. My heart actually races most days when I go to pick him up. Imagine that. It is a terrific feeling. I love being around him. Going back to work on Mondays is the pits.

What’s new?

Not much has changed since the 18 month update.  Reading is definitely his favorite pastime. That is a remarkable thing. He has even started ‘reading’ on his own and will sit quietly for short periods with his books. That is a very good thing.

He is all boy. He has recently discovered trains. If I could post a video (anyone know how?) I would post the one of him excitedly celebrating “choo choo” as he played with his new Thomas trains. His favorite book is Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo  He is also really into trucks and loves the Diggers book I bought him. I can’t find a link for that one but did you know that Amazon has a whole subcategory of Children’s books for “Heavy Machinery” books? Good to know.

We had our parent-teacher conferences this week and we were very pleased to hear that Max is doing great. He is on target in some areas and advanced in others. His teacher had no concerns about him. On a related note, given the difficulties we faced in the first year it is so astonishing for us to have people randomly comment on what a mellow guy he is.

What else does he like?

Max loves to clean. Vacuuming is his favorite. He also likes to wipe things down and empty the dishwasher. He is surprisingly good at following instructions and listening to us – most of the time.

Dogs are so exciting to him and he will gladly wear any garment with dogs (or woof woof) on it. We have exposed him to a lot of different dogs and he is becoming comfortable around them. He gets so excited when he sees them but gets a little nervous when they get close. I can relate. Meanwhile, our cat Pepper is a saint. Max has taken to picking him up. You can imagine how that is.

Peekaboo is still a big hit. His favorite variation involves me hiding outside the kitchen while he is in his high chair. You would think this is the funniest thing he has ever seen in his life. The best part is that I sometimes sneak around to the other entrance to the kitchen and shock him by appearing behind him. He LOVES it!

What doesn’t he like?

Max is still not a big fan of brushing his teeth, but we get it done most nights. He has only lost his nightly book privileges once and we haven’t had to do that again. I now understand the old expression about it hurting the parents more than the kids. I was so sad to have to withhold his books from him that night but it worked.

At our conference Max’s teacher noted that Max has texture issues and he doesn’t like finger paining. This might have more to do with staying clean, though. When he sees them bring out the finger paint he starts calmly  saying “Nooooooo. Noooooo.” He doesn’t like playing with shaving cream either. I tried to do hand prints with him recently and that didn’t go so well. Fine with me if my boy likes to stay clean.

Achievements?

We have been experiencing a language explosion lately. His vocabulary grows every day. I write about a lot of his new words on my post-a-day blog. (Email me if you want to see it.) His newest words are “nana” (banana), bike, ice, and all done. He also says his name “ma” – which can be easily confused with Mom, milk and more. He can say “I love you” “thank you” and “yes, please” but these are really hard to make out. We know what he is saying from the context but he has a little ways to go before anyone other than us understands him.

Our biggest recent achievement has to do with bath time. We went for about two months with Max been absolutely traumatized by the bath. I have no idea what happened. It was not fun. Thanks to a new book about baths and some patience, Max now loves that bath more than ever before.

He has also become very skilled in identifying pictures of objects. It had been a month or so since we regularly read one of Max’s most treasured books from Aunt Es “My Favorite Things.” On the last page there are pictures of all of the items in the book. In the past I would ask Max where each item is. Over time he would get more and more right. He could always identify the bananas (of course) but most of the items were a little iffy. I was shocked last week when I read it to him he got about 95% right. I couldn’t believe how well he did.

Sleep

Max’s sleep lately has been, well, fantastic. Really. I am probably totally jinxing it. Not only does he go to bed without protest, he often requests that we put him in the crib. Not just that, but he has had a few 13 hour nights recently. It is shocking! He naps pretty well, too. Who would have guessed?

Eating

Max’s teacher reports the same thing we observed: Max still eats a LOT. This is a great thing. He has tried many new foods, and likes sushi and pizza. That’s my guy. He still eats his veggies but I think he has gotten sick of his old favorite: peas. His latest favorite is shredded brussels sprouts. Mmmmm.

Breastfeeding

We have completely weaned as of about a six weeks ago. I have mixed emotions about it. Last week Max had strep and a big part of me wished I could provide Max the comfort (and nutrition) from nursing. We did just fine without it but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it. He is a big boy now and it was the right time for us to wrap that up.

Other

My favorite thing about him is his laugh. It is contagious. Not a day goes by that we don’t have some serious laughter in our house. We laugh while we change diapers, when we eat, when we bathe, and all of the times in between. That’s not say we don’t have our serious moments. The Knight and I joke all of the time that it is too bad that Max is so sad and that we wish we could find a way to cheer him up. He is just a happy kid.

We are becoming more and more aware that we need to be careful about what we say and do. The imitation has started. The funniest thing was recently Oli walked by me and brushed my thigh with his hand. The next thing I knew Max was walking by me doing the exact same thing. I realized that Oli touches me all the time but I don’t usually consciously notice. Ha! He’s going to have to start watching himself.

Max has also started imitating me when I give a thank you wave to a car stopping to let us cross the street or similar things. It is so cute. Can you imagine driving along when a 1.5 year old gives you a thank you wave? Ha!

In sum, life is great! We are happy, healthy and very fortunate. Max is doing so well and I am just overjoyed to be his mom. I wish I could freeze time. I am savoring every day and wish that these wonderful times will never end. I know that lots of good times lie ahead. I just want this time to last longer. I love his sweet cuddles, his giggles, and his joy. Ahhhhhh, motherhood.

 

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Training Update

So, here I am, about 3 months away from Musselman (half iron distance) and I have given myself a little kick in the rear. Balancing family, work and training is not easy but it is doable. That’s what I keep telling myself. I am determined to make it happen. Although I won’t be training at the level I was previously, where I usually nailed all 10 of the scheduled workouts each week, I am doing the best I can.

Right now, what that looks like this this:

  • Mondays: afternoon (lunch hour) lift plus an evening run (that I lead for the team)
  • Tuesdays: afternoon session on the spin bike at my gym; evening swim at the gym near my house
  • Wednesdays: run (usually speed work)
  • Thursdays: abbreviated spin 2-25 min (due to time constraints) and lift
  • Fridays: rest or makeup day
  • Saturdays: long run
  • Sundays: ride

A far cry from typical week 5 years ago, when I was training for Ironman.

This past weekend I got out on my bike for the first time in…a LONG time. I can’t even remember when the last time was. There was a 20 miler some time last fall and then ill-fated 4 mile ride some time in December of January where is started pouring so we took Max home immediately.  Fortunately I have been putting in time on the spin bike and on my trainer. By time I mean usually 30-45 minutes, but it is something.

But I am on track this week and I’m excited about it. I am hoping to keep it up for a while, at least until the Knight’s next overseas trip. I need a strategy for getting in the workouts while I’m solo. It is hard because Max was a disaster with the gym childcare when I tried to take him – he may be better now. I am not ready to pull him in the trailer on my bike. So when we’re solo I can run and I can run. And if I am very disciplined I can spin when he naps or goes to bed at night but there is so much else to do that it almost never happens.

I am happy to say that I did 27 miles on the bike and felt great during and after. I rode with a friend for the first part and then rode with the Knight and the little Prince for the second half. The little Prince likes the trailer but yells “No!” when we hit a bump. He’ll get used to it. On Monday we can home and he pointed to Oli’s bike and said “Bike!” I asked him who’s bike it was and he thought for a second and said “Dada!” I asked him who rides in that – pointing the trailer and he said “Ma!” which meant Max. So cute.

I did get back in the pool last night after a couple of weeks off. I wasn’t pretty but it was way better than nothing. I am proud of myself for getting back to it.

I got speed work done this week (tiny little speed intervals, but speedy nonetheless). I lifted twice (one day was legs/back/bicpes; one day was chest/shoulders/triceps).

I am hoping that this momentum will continue and I will make good progress going forward. It will get done. I will finish. It might not be glorious but I have done it before and will do it again.

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Thursday Thirteen

It’s Thursday, at least according to my calendar. I am going to write the first 13 things that come to my mind.

  1. It’s only Thursday?
  2. The week after a vacation is tough.
  3. A busy weekend lies ahead. I’m solo and I’m hosting a bridal shower.
  4. Where the heck are those darn cherry blossoms?
  5. The first time I saw the cherry blossoms I was disappointed. They weren’t what I expected. I love them now.
  6. In general, I find it important to not set my expectations too high.
  7. When I was studying in England many of my classmates found Stonehenge disappointing so I was expecting it to be nothing special. I was pleasantly surprised when I went. It is all a matter of expectations.
  8. Now I am daydreaming of traveling to Europe. That’s probably not going to happen anytime soon, though it could. I have my heart set on a trip to a tropical destination, however.
  9. We had a great trip to Nashville. It was the first time I met the Knight’s best friend, even though we’ve skyped for years. The Little Prince loved him (and his family) from the second they met him and just climbed right up into his lap.
  10. I’m planning to cook lots of carbs while Oli is away. Pasta and Pad Thai are on the menu.
  11. I’ve been having trouble sleeping this week. I find it so much harder to be positive and cheery when I’m not fully rested.
  12. I have been good about getting my exercise, however. Exercise is not the same as training.
  13. At the rate I’m going, each swim is costing me around $25 since I pay a monthly rate at my gym. Not good!

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