The Crestline Park mulch is so fascinating!
I love being able to take him out in the yard or to play at a park and just let him loose now. He loves smelling flowers, carrying little rocks, and eating sticks. The other day he found a pile of dirt and just grabbed handfuls of it, letting it sift back out of his fists. Shortly thereafter he discovered his first "real" bug: a big beetle. He was fascinated, but wasn't a fan of the way it pinched his hand as it held on for dear life. Trevvor was a proud papa of his bug-hunting son. We've been trying to go on stroller walks every day it's been pretty and then go back outside for some wandering time in the afternoon. Gotta get our vitamin D!
Charles has TONS of words now--well over a couple dozen--but I'll make a separate post for that so I can include a list for my own sake of nostalgia and pride. ;) He can also identify lots of body parts--nose, mouth, eyes, ears, hair, hands, feet, toes, and belly-button. It's presh.
Swinging at Avondale Park with Papa on his lunch break
Last week Charles had his first real illness. He started getting cranky on Trevvor's birthday (Saturday), and by Monday night he had a temperature. I assumed it was just teething, as he's had fevers associated with previous teeth coming in, but by Wednesday he just did not feel well at all, and I could tell it was more than that. On Thursday, Doc Charles confirmed it was a virus. He pretty much spent all of Wednesday and Thursday nursing (and sleeping) like an infant. He was in a decent mood as long as he was in my lap. Though it was exhausting and I felt sorry for the poor chap, I have to admit I really enjoyed all the extra cuddles. We didn't "treat" the fever, I just watched his behavior for any warning signs, remembering to treat the child, not the symptoms. I did use some essential oils to boost his immune system and help his body fight off the virus on its own. As he was continuing to nurse well and have plenty of diapers (though he did reject solids for several days), I wasn't concerned. His fever broke sometime Thursday night.
Not really feeling the family "groupie" shot at Pepper Place Market
His 15 month well-baby check-up happened to be on Friday, so our pediatrician was able to check him over and confirm both that he was fine and we'd followed a good course of action, which was gratifying. She, as usual, seemed to be super pleased with his growth and development, commenting that he sure did have a lot of words! *proud* His measurements are 21.5 pounds, 31.5 inches long, and his head is 18.75 cm around. He's grown exactly 10 inches since he was born! Whoa!
While Charles was sick, he had pretty much zero interest in solids, even his favorite treats like rice crackers and fruit bits. (Thankfully he asked for and drank lots of water.) Even though it's been about a week since he got better, and he's definitely eating more again, he's gotten quite "picky." He likes egg whites, but not the yolks, and if he sees or tastes even the TINIEST bit of yellow, he rejects the bite. He'll still eat avocado, but not if it has a stringy bit in it. He'll only suck on pouches that are on the sweeter side--no more green peas in a pouch for Charles! He'll try new things, but if he doesn't like it, he'll push it right back out of his mouth, and he's become much more demanding about holding the spoon himself or finger-feeding. Phew! Mealtimes have been a challenge, both in satisfying his palate and not caving to bad behavior. Dr. Albert (our ped) did mention last week that toddlers about his age really slow down their eating because their growth has really slowed down, and not to get desperate and give him junk food just to get him to eat "something." So we've just been offering food at mealtimes and when he seems hungry, and trying not to worry too much if he doesn't eat but a few bites.
Since he started walking, we've been putting on shoes consistently for really the first time ever. And we discovered that Charles loves shoes. He loves our shoes. He loves his shoes. He loves other kids' shoes. He loves putting shoes on his feet. He loves putting shoes on our feet. It's hilarious. We went to a consignment shop a few weeks ago and tried some on, and he got super mad when I put his original ones back on and left the "new" ones there at the store. We're trying to keep things simple and so just have two pairs in his current size--play shoes and "for-good" shoes.
As I'm typing, Charles is in the middle of what will probably be another three-hour nap. Yep, you heard me: for the majority of the past week Charles has given me three "mommy hours" all at once from about noon to 3:00! Enough time for a solo lunch, devotionals, exercise, a few chores, and just time to BREATHE for a while (without wondering why my little guy is being so quiet or was that BOOM a toy or his head???). And it hasn't made him start night-waking again either! He regularly sleeps from 8:00 straight through to 6:00 the next morning! So much excitement. For more than a year, I could be heard saying, "If he'd just SLEEP he'd be the perfect baby!" but no longer! Ladies and gentlemen, I now have the perfect baby. (Well, not really, but close enough!)
Check out this fussy kid! And the awesome Chaco tan on Papa's feet :P
On the "not actually perfect" note, as Charles has gotten more fun, he's also gotten more challenging in the discipline arena. We're really working on sitting still for church, not hitting or biting, not throwing unwanted food on the floor, etc. But he is the eldest of two eldests, so I know we're in for a major ride with this guy, especially if he's anywhere near as independent and self-willed as I was... am.... :P
If you've seen Master Charles lately, you might be wondering if his name is really Miss Charlene! I know, I know--he REALLY needs a hair-cut! But-- but-- those curls! How can I lop off those incredible ringlets?? Folks keep saying he has Trevvor's hair, but I firmly believe it's mine. I had curls as a toddler, after all, and Papa didn't. ;) (Charles definitely has Trevvor's eyes, though. Mama's hair, Papa's eyes. Can't deny this kid!)
CURLS!!!!!!! Post-bath-time :)
Charles enjoys interacting with non-family members more and more. He gets to go to Bible class on Sundays and Wednesdays, and even though right now he's the only
kiddo in there, he seems to really love it. How do I know? Well Trevvor and I got to teach him last week! Charles loved us singing together; he even applauded for us! The best part is when he sings along. I can't even handle the cuteness.
He does get to interact with about eight other toddlers at the Waldorf School's Morning Garden program each week, and each time we go, he gets more comfortable and sure of himself in a crowd. This week will be our last week for the spring, sadly. Last time I really had to keep my eye on him. Whereas in previous weeks he would stick pretty close, wanting to be held or nurse on and off almost the whole time, last week he was all over the place! He even gave several other moms "some love" (i.e., hugging their legs or laying his head on their shoulder). Way to branch out, son!
I guess that's enough random Charles-ness for this month. He changes in such little ways a little every day, I know I forget things, or I hardly realize there's even something different.