Arlo turned 19 months old a little over a week ago.
He is turning into such a big kid! He took to the BabyBjorn toilet trainer potty ring within a day or two, and we've now retired his little potty in favor of using the big potty all the time. It's so great that he's willing to use it--it's nice not to have to rinse out the little potty anymore.
Since it's getting to be a struggle to put diapers on Arlo, I've decided to try switching him to training pants--mostly because they're easier to take on and off, not out of any interest in starting potty training. I've ordered a couple different kinds of cloth training pants from Etsy, and we're going to start trying them out next week, just around the house during the day. I have no idea if it will work. Apart from the occasional miscommunication, he's got the pooping in the potty thing down already (yay!), but he still pees in his diaper whenever he feels like it. We'll see what happens. I'm not particularly motivated to start potty training in earnest, but it seems like we might as well try switching to training pants now. If they don't work, we'll go back to diapers for a while (Antsy Pants look like a good pull-up-style cloth diaper, if we choose to go that route; I just don't want to spend that extra money unless we have to).
Arlo hit another big-boy milestone a little earlier than I'd envisioned this past month--we switched him to a toddler bed in mid-December. With my growing belly, I was having trouble getting him in and out of his crib (and we wanted to try to move him out of it by August, so that baby #2 could use it), so we decided to see if he'd go for a big-boy bed. Since his room is pretty small (and he'll be sharing it with his little brother), we decided to get a Sniglar toddler bed from IKEA, rather than getting a twin bed right away. Patrick and Arlo assembled it, and I sewed a cozy fitted flannel sheet for it (more details to come in a future post).
We let him get used to having it in his room for a few days before we started offering it as an option for sleeping. He chose to sleep in it after a day or so, first for naps, and then for bedtime too. Despite my worrying, he took to it without any problems and now sleeps in it all the time. So far, he hasn't tried getting out of it when he's supposed to be sleeping, and he seems to be really happy with it. The only problem we've encountered is that it's easier for him to drop his blankie off the side, so we normally have to get up once or twice a night to retrieve his blankie for him. Not awesome, but at least he goes right back to sleep once it's returned. I'm willing to deal with that minor inconvenience, given how well the switch has gone otherwise. Oh, my big kid!
Patches has joined Arlo in his new bed a few times, which is super sweet. She normally keeps her distance from him when he's awake (unless he's got treats), so it's nice to see them together.
Arlo is starting to recognize a few letters and numbers, which is exciting. In addition to the letter O, which I mentioned last time, he can identify D, I, and sometimes Q. He can also identify the numbers 2 and 4 most of the time. Little kids are amazing!
It seems like he has been picking up new words a lot faster in the past few weeks, which is so fun! His favorite words around Christmas were, appropriately, "cookie" and "ham." Around the same time, he learned "more," "yeah," and "no," which made it a lot easier to figure out what he wants. He's also picked up "bye bye" in the past few weeks, and he now tearfully says bye bye to everything he's been playing with before he goes upstairs for his nap/bedtime--bye bye book, school bus, puzzle, shoes, etc. He does the same thing when he's been playing with a fun toy at a store and it's time to leave. The nice thing is that even though he's sad about having to stop playing, he still goes with us without resisting. We'll see how long that lasts. I feel really lucky that he has been such an easygoing little boy so far.
I actually feel like he may be starting to make the switch to headstrong toddler, though we still have it pretty easy. Ever since he learned to say "no" and "yeah," he's been much more assertive and gets upset if we don't comply with his requests. He has also gotten really hard to deal with during diaper changes, as I mentioned above. But I think we still have it pretty good. It makes me a little nervous about how his little brother will turn out, since it seems unlikely that we'll get two mild-mannered babies. We'll just have to wait and see...
Speaking of baby #2, everything is going well so far. I'm 23 weeks pregnant today (time to take another belly picture!). I felt the baby kick for the first time around 17 weeks, and Patrick was able to feel him kicking for the first time right before we went to bed on Christmas (when I was 20 weeks along). I think this is just about the same timing that we had with Arlo. The kicking definitely makes it seem more real, though I think I'm still coming to terms with the fact that we'll be doing the whole newborn thing all over again this summer. Really?
We went in for a follow-up ultrasound last week, to make sure the baby is growing well and to check the location of my placenta. The baby's size looked good (yay!), but my placenta is still low, so we're going to have another ultrasound in 6 weeks to check on it. I'm not too worried, since the same thing happened with Arlo, and my placenta moved eventually.
We've signed up for a birth preparation class offered by one of the midwives I'm seeing (Inner Work of Birth, for those of you in Portland). It's supposed to be good for women who have emotional issues to deal with, such as a difficult previous labor. I feel like I'm getting closer to resolving my issues regarding Arlo's birth, but I think it's worth taking this class. I've also read a couple birth preparation books, my favorite of which was Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. It's a little dated in parts (I may not have the most recent version), but it contains lots of useful information. I don't think we'll use the Bradley method, but some of the techniques could still come in handy.