19 Month Stats (official--Ben just had his last shot until Kindergarten and last check up until he is 2!)
Height: 33.5 inches
Weight: 23.5 pounds
Teeth: 12 (going on 14, I think judging from the amount of drool)
Hair: Still sporting wispy reddish blond hair that makes him look much younger than his 19 months.
Clothing Size: 18 months in everything but because of his height he is starting to branch out into some 24 months. He has a favorite shirt with a dump truck on it and calls towels "Monsters" because of his monster towel he uses after his bath.
Shoes: His tiny feet are starting to grow and he is between a 4 and 5 depending on the brand.
Personality: He is incredibly laid back and we can pretty much take him anywhere. He thinks restaurants are places where he has an audience of every diner around him. He is cheerful almost all day and even though he gets upset if he doesn't always get his way, he gets over it pretty quickly. He is so sweet and continues to be so snuggly. He loves just hanging out with his fan club, giving kisses and hugs.
Eating: Ben officially finished nursing on Tuesday August 7th--only about 7 months after my original wean date. For the month prior to that he nursed off and on every other day or so when he needed a little extra comfort.
He basically eats whatever we eat now but isn't a huge fan of meat because he has a hard time chewing it. He LOVES pasta, fruit, cheese, milk, Cheerios, cheddar bunnies, yogurt, bread, crackers, and ice cream. While on vacation we ate a lot of ice cream and he thought that trend should continue when we returned. If you want him to learn your name all you have to do is feed him ice cream.
Sleeping: Ben sleeps soundly through the night from around 8:45-7:30. It is truly a wonderful thing. I don't like to think about the fact that my long nights of uninterrupted sleep are going to end again soon but at least I know baby #2 will sleep at some point. He takes one nice long nap during the day for 2-3 hours starting around 12:30 or 1:00. I have stopped waking him up from his naps unless it is getting late in the afternoon. I don't really like him to sleep past 4:00 because Andrew and I like to have a little adult interaction that doesn't involve Ben in the evening.
Movement: Ben is trying really hard to jump. It started during the Olympics when we were watching volleyball. He can rise up to his tip-toes but hasn't quite made the connection to actually get his feet off the ground. I suspect he will have it soon! He throws and kicks balls, runs all around and enjoys taking walks down our street without the stroller. He climbs up on everything but is being a little more cautious when it comes to trying to climb onto the table.
Things Ben Loves: He continues to display his "boyness" with his obsession with every truck, car, airplane, helicopter, etc. I never realized all of the different names for construction vehicles until I had a toddler boy. He loves walking around town and seeing all of the vehicles that drive by. He searches the sky for airplanes and waves bye-bye when he can't see them anymore.
Book continue to be a highlight of his life. If someone is sitting down they are fair game as a reader. He loves Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, as well as the Best First Book Ever. Sometimes those books go "missing" for a few days when we've had a little bit too much. Before bed he likes to read Goodnight Moon, Twinkle Twinkle, and Busy Doggies. His crib is stocked with books that he reads before he goes to sleep and reads when he wakes up in the morning. It isn't uncommon for him to hand us a book when we get him in the morning. We love it!
He enjoys stacking blocks, playing with his instruments, throwing and kicking balls and just hanging out in the kitchen. Recently he has shown interest in play-dough and is starting to color. Chopper is still his number one dog although he is trying to win over Tessa's affection with food treats (she's gained about six pounds since he started eating solids).
He still loves to go bye-bye and enjoys walks and runs in the stroller. We run together often enough that when he saw Olympic runners he automatically said "mama" when he saw them on the screen and clapped his hands. I'm glad that in his eyes I am worthy of a gold medal.
His best friend is I-ac (Isaac) a buddy from church who is a little younger. They enjoy dashing around the playground, hanging out on the beach and playing in the nursery. We look forward to see how they grow up together.
Communication: He is trying so hard to talk! Everyday he says something new. At the moment his list of words includes: Hi-ya (Hilary, helicopter, and pasta depending on the context), Ommam (ice cream), ice, juice, cheese, blueblue (blueberry),Heather (who brought him ice-cream), mamallow (marshmallow). boo-boo, ball, bubble, mama, dada, dadad (granddad), Bob, dog, book, hi, bye-bye, all done, no, diaper, apple, poopoo, uh-oh, knock, I-ac, hippo, eyebrow, elbow, and boo!. He can make a host of animal sounds including dog, cat, cow, horse, sheep, pig (kind of), bird, and lion. He will sing e-i-e-i-o with Old MacDonald and calls Bodypump "lalala" because that was the intro for one of the songs. He mimics everything and will match syllables and intonation with different words even if he can't say all of the sounds yet. It is a blast hanging out with him and listening to his language develop. He uses a few signs the most useful being "please" and the least useful being the sign for helicopter.
Exciting New Skill: A few weeks into his 18 month a friend of ours gifted us with a toilet topper for the potty and a child's potty. Ben, who thinks that making a bubble (a.k.a.: passing gas) is hilarious, immediately wanted to try to make a bubble in the potty. For about a week I didn't change a single poopy diaper. It was wonderful. He is still asking to go here and there but I am not pushing the idea of him being potty trained because he doesn't wake up dry from naps or after sleeping at night. Anytime he asks I let him go and if I catch him in the act I will stick him on. He loves to flush the toilet, wipe, and wash his hands. If he is potty trained before #2 arrives it would be great but I am not getting my hopes up and we will re-approach it in the Spring.
Highlights of the Summer: We spent a lot of time outside at the beach on Lake Erie, the playground and just walking around Fredonia. Ben enjoys my "destination runs" to places like Tim Hortons or Starbucks where he inevitably gets a treat. When we run errands together he likes to bustle around the store and every other week or so we had a date at Dunkin Donuts where we discovered his favorite flavor of munchkin is chocolate.
He had fun helping us prepare for his cousin's baby shower by watching Joanna and I burn a lot of batches of caramel corn and by tasting the kettle corn we eventually made. He spent time with Aunt Joanna for a few of my bodypump classes. He loves watching Andrew do summertime activities like mowing the lawn and using the sprinkler. A house on our street was remodeled and he had a great time watching the construction.
The month of July was HOT so we spent a lot of our afternoons at a friend's pool where Ben chilled in his bumblebee floaty and watched for airplanes. Speaking of airplanes, one Sunday morning the local Rotary club had a fly-in breakfast at the airport where Ben was in toddler heaven as he dined on pancakes and watched helicopters land and take off.
We had friends visit from Morgantown in July which was wonderful as Ben spent time with their toddler. He had a great first sleepover this month at his grandmom and granddad's house which was a nice little break for Andrew and I.
A huge highlight was our annual trip to Camp of the Woods with Andrew's family. We had a fantastic week that included a lot of playground time, the beach, miniature golf and just pure fun. Ben had a rough 24 hours mid week which I think was from pure exhaustion. He loved running all over camp and exploring his vacation world. Outside of our dining hall was a carved bear holding a fish that he adored which made meal times a little tricky because that was the only thing he wanted to see. We look forward to going again next year with his new cousin and brother!
The Age: Every month with Ben is a new favorite. I love watching him explore and learn about his world. He is so much fun to hang out with every day and I feel blessed that it is my "job." I am trying hard to savor these next few months of just Ben time before the new baby arrives but I really look forward to watching Ben become a big brother.