Brantley Carter: 17 Months Old!

Dear Brantley,

Today is the 6th.  December 6th.  Which marks 17 months in your life.  It was 17 months ago that you came into this world and over two years ago since we first learned of your existence!  To say that the time has flown is a huge understatement.  Somedays, I find it hard to believe {still} that I'm a mom...let alone that I'm a mom of a toddler!  I had planned to wait until 18 months for a another update, but you are growing and changing too much, too fast, to let yet another month pass.  And...I love this stage.  Three months was better than newborn, six months was better than three, and one year was better than six months.  But, this stage takes the cake.  By far.  You are a mini-person.  A little boy with a firecracker of a personality and a sweet temperment that often melts your mama's heart.  Words can't even describe the love I have for you and the excitement and fun you bring to my days.  Sure, you wear me out at times all the time and you can be both difficult and frustrating, but this whole mommy thing is the best thing in the world.  And I know your daddy agrees.

You continue to learn and surprise us each day.  Your vocabulary is growing and I'm amazed at how much you comprehend.  For example, yesterday when I picked you up from daycare, I told you to get your shoes.  You walked over and picked out your pair of sneakers from the mound of shoes on the floor by the door.  I just couldn't believe it!  Today, I asked if you wanted some fruit snacks and told you to take a package from the box in the pantry.  You did and I told you to get another.  You did that, as well.  Then I said "Let's take them in the living room and eat them" and you immediately took both packages from me and walked into the living room!

When asked if you're ready for breakfast ( or lunch or dinner) you walk over to your high chair and wait to be lifted in.  When asked if you want a bath, you don't walk, but run to the stairs and wait for the gate to be opened.  When Kinnick comes inside, you point at the treat jar and gesture that you want to give him a treat.  (And you are so proud when you do.)  You can identify multiple body parts (nose, teeth, tongue, ears, hair, head, belly, feet, toes, belly button, and...wiener) and know lots of animal sounds (cow, monkey, dog, duck, lion, snake).  You can also point out Hawkeyes, Jayhawks, and Arrowheads and have gotten pretty good at saying 'Hawkeye'.  (You technically say 'Jayhawk' as well, but it's more like 'ha'.)  You learned how to sign 'more' at daycare and use it all the time.  Cutest thing ever!  And super helpful.  Such a smartie pants, you are!

You continue to show your independence, as well.  Just the other day, I went into the hallway while you were in the bathtub.  (Don't worry, I was still literally two feet from you.)  Next thing I knew, you were standing right behind me, naked and all!  I guess you decided you were done with your bath and climbed out!  You are getting better at feeding yourself with a spoon and fork.  You also love helping throw things away, like your diapers.

You love Elmo.  You love watching Elmo on the iPad.  Just in the last few weeks, you've become very focused on watching a full episode instead of just a few minutes.  You know where we keep your iPad and often whine when you want to watch.  When we start an episode, you kick your legs or stomp your feet in excitement.  You also sing along to the "La la la la" part!  You signing is literally music to your mama's ears!  It's one of the most adorable things you've done in your 17 months of life!

For a 17-month old, I think you are very well-behaved.  Sure, you are ornery and still like testing the limits, but for the most part, you listen to what we say and do what we ask.  You are well-aware that "No touch" means hands off and move to a different activity when we say "No, thank you" as a warning against something.  Though the Pack 'n Play is readily available for time-outs, it's been a long while since you've had one.

Though well-behaved, you are very impatient and have a pretty big temper.  You've already started throwing tantrums when you don't get what you want!  Makes me a little terrified of your twos and threes!

For the first times in your life, you've shown mommy/daddy attachment when we leave you somewhere.  When I dropped you off at daycare a few weeks ago, you hugged my leg as I tried to leave.  Last week, you cried when we left you with a high school babysitter to go on a date night.  Ditto to when we left you with Grandma for a night out with friends while in Wichita for Thanksgiving.  You get over it quickly, and I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me feel a little a lot happy. :)  (To be fair, you also cry when you have to leave daycare.  75% of the time.  You reach out for Miss Stephanie instead of wanting to come with me.)

Other sweet moments to remember:
  • Mommy and Daddy often decide things by playing Rock, Paper, Scissors.  You shake your arm like you are playing, too.
  • Your other "tricks" include: giving knucks, shaking hands, rolling over, high fiving, blow kisses, hugging.
  • You love pointing out Mommy, Daddy, and even Brantley in pictures on our wall.
  • You think it's weird when Mommy and Daddy hug and/or kiss.
  • You love reading books.  You will bring one to us and then back up into our lap.  One of my favorite things about you!
  • You love chasing (and tormenting) Kinnick.  He isn't as fond of you as you are of him.  You also give him hugs, which is the cutest thing ever!
  • You love to give your friends hugs (thanks to your friends at daycare for teaching you)!  I wish I had a picture, but I'm never quick enough.  

Size: 25ish pounds

Words: Dada, Mama, nigh nigh (Night Night), nana (banana), Melma (Elmo), Mou (Mickey Mouse), duck, hi, bye bye, Ra-Ra (Rollie the daycare dad), Rudy (the dog at daycare), light, tree, flower, ball, water, hot dog, hawkeye, ha (jayhawk), block, button.

Activity: You love to watch episodes of Elmo, you love playing with balls (rolling them back and forth, throwing them, shooting hoops), you love playing with blocks (both your Mega Blocks and your blocks Grandma made), you love reading books.

Food: People are always amazed at your eating habits.  You love to eat, that is for sure, and often shove it in quickly!  You don't like hot dogs quite as much, but still love fruit of all kinds.  One of the first things you do when waking up is yell "Nana!" 

Sleep: Still sleeping like a champ and usually fall asleep without any fuss/fight.  Still napping twice per day on most days, though you've definitely gone days with only one nap.  Naps range between 45 minutes and 2 hours.

Bedtime/Waketime: Bedtime is around 7:30.  Wake time ranges from 6:30 through 7:30.

Hair: Blond.  And it's getting longer.  Though it'll still probably be a few months before your first haircut.

Eyes: Blue

Teeth: 14??  Not sure exactly.  Your four canine teeth are the most recent additions (within the last four weeks). 

Likes: Baths, Kinnick, Rudy, climbing on anything and everything, fruit, snacks, cars/trucks, balls, blocks, books (current faves: Duck and Goose, Where's Spot, and Hawkeye First Counting Book), playing in boxes, pushing buttons on the dvd player, the remote control.

Dislikes: Vegetables, having your face wiped, having your diaper changed (mostly because of horrible, recent diaper rashes), the bright sun in your eyes, leaving daycare, your winter stocking hat, shoes and socks.

Wardrobe: 18-24 month shirts, 12-18 month pants.

Diapers: Size 4

Mommy's Fave:  Your hugs are the sweetest.  Especially because you give them on demand and they're a sign of your affection to us.  Love you, little man!

And a few recent videos:

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