It was a year of growing up for Ace. He has accomplished so many things in this past year and it has been a joy to experience all of them. As I mention many many times - he is a kind and sweet spirited boy - who loves others and isn't a selfish kid. I truly hope that his kind heart continues as he gets older, sister arrives, and he continues to grow and flourish into his third year of life. 2011 certainly won't be boring for him or us!
So how has Ace's year been? Well let's hit the major areas:
I think out of everything sleep has been our greatest challenge - one area that is still not mastered but is leaps and bounds beyond where we started 2010. On January 2nd we converted his crib to the toddler bed. From this point forward he went to sleep in his own bed at night. Usually with mom nursing him to sleep. Ace never slept for longer than 4(ish) hours at a time and always came into our bed after that first waking. We had some early success after transitioning him to the toddler bed... and some set backs as well. The night he slept for an epic 11 hours with only one waking was a party moment for us! Ace weened from nighttime breastfeeding around March and by mid March experienced a (late! at 19 months) first: he slept through the night! Yipee!
From March-September sleeping went in waves, he had pockets of regression and would wake and come to our bed at 1am, other times he'd sleep till nearly 4am and then come to our bed. Sleeping through the night was a RARE activity and only did a handful of times over the next six months. In September, Ace got a new bed that
In the beginning of 2010 Ace had about 20 words that he was working with... and in fact it was in his 19th month that he uttered his first phrase that he enjoyed using regularly with enthusiasm! "I did it!" Whether he was feeding the cats or just turning the page in a book - he was excited to say it. Words began to pour out of his rapidly after that. Having read to Ace since he was still in the womb, he has always had a natural love for books and so always wants to read more and more stories throughout the day. He also loves to look at pictures on the laptop and his memory is chalked full of past things we've told him, he's heard, or observed - and they flow from him at any moment he can seem to connect them to something we're in the middle of doing.
A lot of times Loving Husband and I will look at one another and say 'we're in trouble!' :) Ace isn't quite ready to read books, or even terribly interested in learning his letters. However, he is extremely good at repeating after us when we read a book to him and has a good foundation for pattern matching in general, so I think reading will be on an early horizon for him in 2011. Ace also has been trying out his chops with singing. It's adorable to hear him sing a beat behind us (or even with us) 'Jesus Loves Me' or around Christmas time 'Jingle Bells' - we occasionally will hear him singing to himself - and he also enjoys making up songs. I love it.
Ace like all kids had his rounds with colds and flues in 2010. In March he experienced the flu for the first time - it was an all day affair and a relatively unhappy boy. However, he rebounded from that just fine. In the spring he had a runny nose or two, nothing to sneeze (ha!) over and then summer rolled around. Right as Ace turned 23 months old, he had another night with vomit. We thought another stomach virus - but as the days and symptoms at random persisted the common diagnosis of 'stomach virus' was looking less and less likely. Eventually, Ace was diagnosed with Clostridium Difficile Infection, he was placed on a 10 day antibiotic to be taken 4x a day and he slowly recovered. A month later he had a clustering of viruses that resulted in 3 separate days within a week of having more vomit. Mommy was frightened and convinced the C. Diff bacteria had not been eradicated. As it turns out it had and ultimately Ace recovered from that round of viruses. November, we saw another stomach bug and a few colds and it looks like we'll be able to close out December illness free! Let's continue to hope that the rest of winter when his sister is tiny, he remains healthy and happy!
It's always curious to document your child's injuries in one centralized location. Makes ya' wonder if there is some CPS worker trolling the blogs looking for neglectful parents to cause havoc with. I'll take my chances for the sake of remembering and being able to explain later where he got 'that' scar from. Just kidding - to date no scars have been formed. His skin is still in that awesome - repair itself at all costs - phase and so he's doing a-ok! In early February Ace experienced his first true 'injury' - the first to require a trip into the doctor. Ace while playing in the playroom backed into the space heater that was on and caused a 3rd degree-1st degree burn. Meaning that it was still a 'superficial' burn but the worst of those kind. The doctor wasn't too worried, we kept it moisturized and it never blistered so there was no real chance for infection because of it. While he was sad in the moment - overall he was fine and he doesn't have to explain any fish-scale scars to his friends later in life. His leg healed and there isn't a trace of them left.
Other injuries in 2010 included a decent scrape on his back from playing in his car and two fingers that got mild blistering on them due to him touching the burner of a coffee machine. Ironically, he obtained both of those in his 23rd month. Overall for 2010 - 12 months with a toddler, that ain't half bad. Toss in a few bruises, rug burns, and the occasional scratch and Ace had a pretty unscathed year!
Ace started off 2010 still making mommy nervous with his eating habits. There were many days that I would count calories and be nervous for him at how low the numbers really were. Ace continued to breastfeed until just past 19 months, however the doctor said she was never worried about his growth. Between his 18 months appointment and his 24 month appointment he dropped off the scale entirely. However, by 24 months he was back on the scale... still in the bottom 10% for weight, but he was on it! Someone has to make up that bottom percentage! In February he weighed 20.6lbs (1.29%) and by August he weighed 23lbs. When he went back in October after that cluster of viruses - he had gained another pound! Impressive considering his otherwise slow rate of increase. As the remainder of the year has gone forward he continues to feel heavier - and on Christmas on Pop Pop's scale he weighed 26.1lbs (clothed.) Height wise at his 2 year appointment he was 34.5" and he is probably closer to a solid 36" now.
His eating habits are better than they were at the beginning of the year. I no longer feel I have to count his calories. There are some days he eats very little and others he scarfs down a ton of food that even surpasses my ability. He ceased using the high chair this summer and is now fully enjoying the excitement of sitting like a big boy at the table. He uses a 'big boy' cup at meals, while still using a sippy cup throughout the day and in bed. He for the most part is capable of feeding himself and does well with spoons and forks. Although if we're looking for a more speedy meal -mom and dad are still the experts at shoveling it all in! Appetite wise he will eat a variety of flavors and foods. He loves to go get Thai food with dad, he'll eat chips and salsa like a pro, and he loves spicy nacho dorritos. He isn't yet too into sweets and while he will ask for a piece of candy - he doesn't want to eat a massive pile of it yet - I think our days are numbered in that department. :) Since having the C. Diff we have had him on probiotics every day since mid-September. They are a powder that we put into a cup of milk and refer to them as his 'vitamins' nearly every morning he enjoys himself a banana and his vitamins first off. We plan to keep him on them through the winter and then we'll only utilize them during times of illness after that. Ace loves oatmeal and cereal, turkey, nuggets, and as mentioned Thai food. He will happily eat vegetables and likes to dip his food. Thus far he's a pretty good eater and his manners are slowly coming. We're working on the 'don't walk with your mouth full' at the moment.
As I said - it's been a busy and exciting year for us. Ace learned he was going to be a big brother and has embraced that role with enthusiasm thus far. He loves to talk to sister, bring her toys, 'rock' her, and even sing to her. He is going to go from the only child to one of two - and while many survived this transition just fine - I hope and pray that he has an easy time with it. We all are looking forward to what 2011 has to offer Ace and his busy-self.