I can't believe this cutie pie is an 18-month-old already. Time is flying by! He looks like such a little boy these days... where did my baby go?
Calvin is still using his signs to communicate, but since we've stopped watching the videos, his vocabulary has remained mostly the same. He has stopped using words we don't use that often (like "tree" or "sky") but still signs everything for his meals (milk, cracker, water, eat, etc.) and also signs "please", "thank you" and "sorry". These were really important for me to have him learn so he'd get started on manners. When he's done something not very nice, like throw his toys down the stairs, we will practice saying "sorry" and I think it's sinking in. At least I hope it is! :) We do have a time-out corner in our house, though I haven't used it a ton. I only really use it for when he hits/bites, two things he rarely ever does. He actually has only bit me once, and I quickly jumped all over that! He was in the corner in a jiffy and knew that was very naughty. Once he sat there for a minute and said "sorry", we hugged and everything was fine. He hasn't done it since. The only behaviors I'm really interested in correcting at this phase are biting and hitting. He's been wonderful, though, and I can't remember the last time he intentionally hit anything. Let's hope it lasts. :)
He will walk around the house and say, "What's this?" all the time. Haha! It's so cute. He's curious George. I was the kind of kid who asked lots and lots of questions, too, so I'm sure he got it from me. He is saying a few words in addition to his signs. He most often says "dada", "bath", "shoe/sock", and "baby" (although almost all of those sound like "da" when he says them. :)
Funny story: Calvin and I went to Daybreak the other day to check it out and play at some new parks. If you look in the background of the picture, you can see a lake (Oquirrh Lake). Calvin kept saying "da! da!" and signing something and I couldn't figure it out at first. Then I realized he was saying "bath!" Haha. He thought it was a huge bath and started running towards the lake. It was so cute. :) This kid LOVES bath time.
Calvin is also starting to learn his letters. We have switched from watching "Baby Signing Time" to "Meet the Letters", another short video that is supposed to teach babies and toddlers their letters while they are still learning how to talk. That, coupled with the Letter Factory toy my friend Erin recommended to me, has really helped Calvin start learning his letters. He knows "m" very consistently and will always say it when he sees it. He also knows "p", "o", "s", "x", "h", and "d". He grasps a couple more every day. I can't wait till he knows them all! Not just because he's one step closer to reading Harry Potter (my ultimate dream come true - someone who will read Harry Potter and love it as much as I do), but because then I can stop watching "Meet the Letters" with him. It's mind-numbing. Super repetitive and very boring. But hey, that's how he learns, right? :)
Calvin LOVES to play outside. He loves to be outdoors and explore new things. He gets really restless at home. He's still a pretty cautious kid and won't go down slides or climb the jungle gym, but he will walk around it with a big smile on his face. :) I just love this little guy. He is the sweetest little boy! He loves to give hugs and kisses. He knows his mom and is starting to show some separation anxiety. He's usually fine when he's initially dropped off at nursery or at a friend's house, but once he sees me again after some time goes by, he freaks out if I try to leave again. He'll hug me so tight and I think it's the sweetest thing ever - even though I probably shouldn't encourage his separation anxiety. I can't help it! He never had any before, so I'm enjoying the fact that he seems to really like me. :)
One of my best friends came to visit from Illinois a couple weeks ago and it was SO FUN. Erin and I have known each other for about 6 years. We served together in our singles ward's Relief Society presidency, we both got married to guys in our ward around the same time, we both got pregnant at the same time and had sons within a month of each other, and now we're both pregnant with boys again! We both also got our master's degrees in education. I just adore her and her sweet little son. Ethan is the cutest thing ever. He's so smart and has such a sweet temperament. Calvin and Ethan got along so well! Calvin became a little obsessed. :) He would see Ethan coming up the stairs from our basement in the morning and a huge smile would spread across his face. He cried when they left. I just know these two will be friends for life. Erin and I hadn't seen each other in 4 years, though we stayed in contact really often via FaceTime chats and text messaging. It didn't feel like any time had passed at all, though. When we saw each other, it was just like old times. :) Erin, move closer!! We didn't get a shot of our pregnant bellies together, unfortunately. We completely forgot about pictures once we got to talking and catching up. :) I'm so eternally grateful for the wonderful friends I have. They are such a strength to me, during good times and bad. I'm really blessed.
Calvin loves reading. He'll babble to himself while he "reads", as though he thinks he's saying the real words. It's really cute. I applaud him for trying!
Dad made Calvin a hat out of our letter blocks. Haha! Adorable.
Calvin will often hang out with me while I get ready for the day. I think he's watched me too many times... he knows exactly where the hair tie goes. :)
I made some really yummy raspberry rolls with lemon glaze for conference. They were delicious and a big hit! I'll have to make it a tradition. Conference, as always, was amazing and so uplifting. Just what I needed to hear. God truly is aware of me and my needs, as well as the needs of my family. I felt inspired to be a better wife and mom.
I sent this picture to TJ to show him what book Calvin picked out for me to read him at the library. Haha! Dad wasn't too happy. :)
Calvin now hates the doctor's office. :( He knows to associate that little room with shots. He screamed any time I tried to lay him down or move him at all. Poor guy! I think his anticipation of getting his shots was worse than the actual shot.
I finished decorating both Calvin's room and the baby's nursery this past weekend (with TJ's help of course). I made the art for Calvin's room and I'm kind of proud of it! I saw it on Pinterest and decided to copy it. The colors go well with his room's color scheme.
The baby's nursery is a really peaceful room. It's definitely not as decorated or intricate as I'd like, but it's the best we can do on our budget. We got the dresser from Ikea and TJ painted it to match the drapes. He's so handy around the house! We're just using our Pack 'n Play for the time being until Calvin is ready to transition to a bed. Then we'll just move his crib into the baby's room. The glider was a splurge but was something I really, really wanted. I think a rocking chair would have helped Calvin more easily transition to sleep as a baby. It's such a comfortable chair, too! TJ and I fight over who gets to sit in it. :)
Speaking of the baby...
I'm a giant pregnancy whale! Or at least that's how I feel. I'm at 38.5 weeks and so ready to be done. I'm feeling tons and TONS of Braxton Hicks contractions, along with lots of pressure and hip pain. Sleep is a thing of the past. My legs and feet are swollen by the end of the day and it's really not cute. It's funny, though - now that I know how difficult the first few weeks can be with a newborn, I'm still done being pregnant but not done enough that I'm in a hurry for him to arrive. :) Each day that goes by where Calvin takes his nice, long 3-hour nap is one more day I won't get to enjoy that free time. Pretty soon I will have two babies to worry about! Yikes. I am really excited to meet this little guy, though. Don't get me wrong. :) I've had some really cool spiritual experiences informing me of just how special he is. Maybe the second time around won't be as hard. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
My doctor says everything is looking good and I'm progressing well. We both have our fingers crossed I go into labor naturally on or near my due date. If I don't, since they can't induce me, I'll have to have another c-section, which pretty much guarantees every baby from here on out will be a c-section baby. I'm trying to just let go and accept God's will, because He is in charge, and if I'm supposed to have another c-section so be it. Still, I am hoping things go smoothly and I go into labor on my own. Pray for me, please. :)
Next time I write, it'll be the baby's birth story! Crazy! TJ and I are both really excited. I am truly a very blessed woman. :)