It's hard to believe Carter is now a little over 20 months old. I'm still thinking of him as his adjusted age of 18 months, but it's becoming clear that the difference between the two is getting blurry. I've always planned to stop adjusting when he turns two in January (since that's the age people generally stop giving a child's age in months, it seems), and I think that will be about right.
I've been trying to do more tactile and artsy-type things with him lately. Unfortunately, crayons are still snacks for him, but he will scribble on paper with a pen, and he enjoys stamping and putting stickers on paper. I haven't yet been brave enough to try finger-painting, but that is coming. One thing I decided to try in the last week is play dough. I wanted to make it myself, and used this recipe. It was really easy! Carter helped:
It just looks like sludge before you cook it.
But then it starts to firm up.
I took it off the stove too early and when I tried to knead it, it was still a bit sticky. But I stuck it in the microwave for 30 seconds, and that made it pretty much perfect!
That was a week ago now, and we've played with it a lot. I just keep it in a ziploc, and it's not dried out at all.
I've also seen some recipes for edible play doughs (because let's face it, toddlers are going to eat it), including pumpkin spice and peanut butter. I'm going to try those when I get a chance. I love making things like that from scratch, rather than buying them. :-)
Here he is checking out some shredded newspaper. Isn't it funny how the best toys are the ones that don't cost anything?
He seems to have grown lately. He's still just under 27 pounds, I think, but he's starting to look like he's tall around other toddlers his age, so I think he may have grown a bit. The size 2 pants we have for him are still too long, but the 18m ones won't fit over his diaper. But it's still pretty hot here, so he often just runs around in a shirt and a diaper anyway. Actually, even the shirt is optional.
Does he not look HUGE on that bike? The bike is pretty small, but there's something about that picture that makes him look really big!
He's still soaking up words left and right, but he hasn't really started putting together noun-verb-object combos or anything. I think that happens closer to two, anyway. But he has started singing, which is really cute! He will sing along with the ABC song and with several other songs like "Wheels on the Bus", "Old MacDonald", and "Twinkle, Twinkle." And almost every day he'll surprise me with a word I didn't know he knew. He can identify circles, squares, and triangles, along with common barnyard animals, all thanks to Baby Einstein. He seems especially interested in circles (three guesses why, LOL), and will point them out when we're out and about. He calls all drinks "water" (except for juice), and so he gets frustrated when we won't let him have a sip of the "water" in a longneck bottle.
But in general, he's a very easygoing little guy. He has his little frustration tantrums, but they dissipate quickly, and he moves right on. We don't have many limits for him and pretty much let him run around the house and play with everything (we have REALLY babyproofed well), and I think that makes a big difference. We just don't have to take things away or redirect much, so he gets to explore and do what toddlers are supposed to do, and everyone is happy. :-)
He's also become much more social lately, as if he suddenly realized other people are fun to interact with. He tries to join in other kids' games, with mixed results. He likes women in particular, and kind of just stares suspiciously at men. He REALLY likes little girls, OMG. He walks up to them and smiles and hands them toys. It's weird how they seem to know the difference so early.
After a month or so of not seeming interested, he has suddenly made a big leap in his swimming lessons. He's smiling and laughing the whole time we're in the pool, and can swim around independently while wearing a little inflated inner tube thing. He can go underwater for 6 seconds, and he's learning to head to the wall and grab the side of the pool. I talked at this morning to one of the other moms in the class, and her older son, now 6, has been taking lessons since he was about a year old. I asked when he started swimming for real, and she said it was when he was around 2.5. So that means Carter might actually be swimming by next summer, which is really cool! (We're going to keep going in the program year-round.)
Finally, here is a sweet picture of him that I'll just link to. He is nursing in this picture, so be warned. (Nothing you wouldn't see on the beach, honestly.) But it's so cute how he's curled up in my lap and looks a lot smaller than he did on the bike!. :-)