Summer toddler loving: milestones + mama-hood

This summer has just been flying by, per usual Minnesota style. And with all of the fun happenings {grad parties, bridal showers, baby showers, a trip to Florida, several trips to the cabin, and weddings, weddings, weddings}, along with keeping up with my busy toddler boy, I have not been allotted much time to blog. So, here I am in late August dumping it all into one post.

This summer has marked some major milestones in Rocco’s life as a one-year-old and I’d love to share a few.

Summer Toddler Loving

 

In June, at 18-months, he was just starting to put two muffled words together and now just two months later he is putting up to four words together. Currently, my favorite phrases of his are, “tank ew mama” a.k.a “thank you mama” and “lob ew too”, a.k.a “love you too.” Oh! And how can I forget, “mama pretty,” thanks for teaching him that one daddy! My boys sure know how to make me feel good.

Physically, Rocco has not only grown taller this summer, but has discovered new hobbies and developed new skills. After watching Uncle Kyle long board at the cabin, he became obsessed with skateboarding. Every time we passed the skateboard park across from one of our favorite playgrounds, he insisted on stopping to watch the big boys zoom up and down the ramps.

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When we would come home the first thing he would do is jump on his dump truck and yell, “skate-bee!” So, we caved and ended up getting him a little Fisher-Price 3-in-1 skateboard. It’s made for kids 4-year-olds and up, but has a handle and wheel setting for beginners, so we thought we’d just let him push it around for fun. Little did we know our fearless one-and-a-half-year-old would actually skate around on it. The smile on his face reaches ear to ear when he’s on his “skate-bee.”

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And if he’s not at the skateboard park, he’s at the playground across the street.

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We call it the hockey park, since the ice arena is right next-door and every time we visit that park we have to go into the arena and watch the hockey kids. I am pretty sure I’ll have more to blog on toddler hockey adventures this fall and winter. Let’s just say daddy had me fit him for skates already, wink!

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At the cabin, his adventurous spirit beams through. He’s made it clear that he is an outdoor boy.

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With a toddler-sized four-wheeler, a bubble leaf blower, mini-golf…

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…and a motorized blow-up jet-ski, he never wants to come inside. I guess I don’t blame him.

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Basically, anything with a motor is the coolest thing ever. Especially, John Deere tractor rides with Great Papa Rich. Note: This photo was taken early June…it was a chilly one as you can see!

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And he absolutely loves the lake. Between helping Papa G drive the boat and working on dock jumps and swimming with Nana, Rocco will be in prime form for his next visit to Grandma Fran and Grandpa Paul’s pool in Florida. This boy is blessed!

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Other outdoor adventures include picking veggies in Grandpa Paul’s garden…

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…and sporting Grandma Fran’s sunglasses while dining al fresco with them!

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He is very lucky to have both sets of grandparents close. And so are we!

The one indoor activity we did this summer was a music class every Tuesday morning. He had so much fun singing, dancing and playing instruments, especially the drums, with his friend Ruby. They graduated a couple weeks ago, so we are now looking into a new indoor activity. Maybe a big energy burner like tumbling!

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Reliving the memories from this summer so far is a true testament to how quickly these little ones learn and grow. I couldn’t be a prouder mama as I stand amazed watching his development each day. A positive thing I can look forward to as the season changes {bringing much cooler temps} are the milestones to come as he approaches turning two {in just 4 months}!

I do have to say that along with the fun moments have also come a few challenging ones. One in particular was transitioning Rocco into a big boy bed. I had actually planned to write a completely separate blog on this, since there was so much to share, but I’ll give you a more brief version now. It all started late in June, when I caught him trying to escape out of his crib one day. I was watching him wake up from his nap on the monitor and had to race upstairs to catch him as he was dangling with half of his body over the side rail. Even though he was considered young for the transition, I had to do it for peace of mind, since I knew how strong he was and didn’t want to hear a thud in the middle of the night.

His crib allowed for a toddler bed conversion with a small side rail, so we converted it down that night before bedtime. He slept okay the first couple nights. However, he started rolling out of the bed and running into our room in the middle of the night, scared. After several attempts {and sleepless nights} trying to put him back to bed, we decided he was too much of a wild sleeper and got the idea to move him into a bigger bed in the room next-door. It is a larger room and we wanted to keep his room a nursery for the next baby when that time comes.

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So, we removed the Queen frame and placed the mattress on the floor. We purchased a longer toddler guard rail and put pillows around the side to keep him cozy. Rocco helped us move his room and we tried to get him excited about it while doing so. It’s nothing too fancy and of course, and I would love to get my hands on transforming it into his themed big boy room {all of my inspiration is pinned on Pinterest}, but that part will have to wait until later this year. The more important part at this point was making it super comfy and sleep worthy for him.

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Well, after another rough week of sleep, I was feeling defeated. Looking back at it now, he obviously was scared to be in a new room with a brand new bed much bigger than him. Once again, he was getting up in the middle of the night and running into our room. We had to do something, so all of us could sleep again! So, I decided I was going to start explaining the scenario to him every night before putting him to bed. I told him that he needed to stay in his new big boy bed and if he got scared he could cuddle his {toy} puppy and blankie. We also decided to lock his door until he fell asleep. I made sure to explain that part as well.

And, so we did, we locked the door. And it felt sooooo horrible to hear him cry and try to get out the first couple nights. But, the consistency paid off and after a week or so, the crying lessened and he started sleeping through the night again. It kept getting better with time. And now, whoever puts him to bed, just has to tuck him in and give him a big kiss goodnight and he waves bye-bye as we walk out of his room. Sometimes he’ll even push us off his bed, lol.

One of my biggest learnings during this stage so far is that consistency, explanation and repetition are key. He really thrives off of us being honest with him and explaining why he needs to do something, why something is wrong when he gets in trouble, and where people are going if he gets sad they are leaving. Most of the time, when we tell him the reason behind something {even though he doesn’t ask “why” yet}, he handles it better if he’s upset and will even reply with a big “YEAH!” to acknowledge he understands. It’s crazy to see how much these little ones comprehend already and it reminds of the importance of my roll as an educator, even at this young age.

I love witnessing Rocco’s personality shine through at this nearly two-year-old age and continue to accept the challenges as achievements to come!

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We’re planning on enjoying as much ice cream and sunshine as we can before the cooler temps strike again. Hope you’re doing the same!

xoxo – mama brooks