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Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Tuesday, January 17

Terrible Twos?

Holy moly, Mac is officially 2 and a half today! Seriously, where does the time go? Now that he is older, I don't usually stop to see how far he's come or what is coming next, so here is my assessment of his development at 30 months.

Toddler Development: 30 months

SPEECH
Still trying to decipher some of your toddler’s talk? Not to worry — most two-and-a-half-year-olds speak unintelligibly some of the time, as they continue to work at coordinating the thoughts in their brains with the movements of their lips and tongues. (By age three, you should understand him clearly at least half the time.) What’s important now: Your toddler should be adding words rapidly — he’ll likely have a vocabulary of more than 1,000 words by the time he hits his third birthday. Overall, if he seems to be making monthly progress and you’re confident that he understands you when you speak (for example, he can follow a two-step command such as “pick up the ball and give it to me”), then he’s right on track.
NO concerns here. Mac is very verbal and while it is difficult to understand what he is saying some of the time (because he still doesn't pronounce all of his sounds correctly) after being with him a short period, you can understand him (I call it learning to speak "Mac"). Almost every day I find myself saying, "where did you learn that word?"

LEARNING
At this age and stage, your curious little guy may begin to show interest in numbers and letters (most love the alphabet song!) and be able to identify shapes and colors. He can probably point to pictures of people and name them (Grandma!) or to objects and describe what they do. Again, what’s most important is his interest in learning and ability to do so, not how many facts he has stored up.
He LOVES this kind of stuff (probably helps having two older siblings to keep up to!). He knows all of his colors, he can count to 10 (mostly!), he is interested in the alphabet, but doesn't really know letters yet other than "M." Every time he sees and "M" he says, "Look, momma, Mac!" So cute. I don't think he knows the shapes but he does understand big, small, etc.

MOTOR SKILLS
Your energizer bunny should certainly be walking, running, and climbing by now, but there’s a wide range of normal when it comes to other large and small motor skills. For instance, “early” bloomers may be able to balance on one foot, jump forward (broad jump), and throw a ball now. And while your child might not be doing all of these, do check in with your doctor if he still can’t coordinate his movements to stack blocks or if he falls frequently (especially by age three).
Thankfully, we are on track in this area! He LOVES to jump. I wouldn't say he is good at climbing but he climbs onto the couch and stuff like that. He still hasn't tried to climb out of his crib, so my fingers are crossed it stays that way for as long as possible!! Momma loves the crib!! I don't know if he can balance on one foot. I'll have to check.

SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL SKILLS
No surprise here: Tantrums, frustration, and separation anxiety are very common and totally normal. After all, with so many changes and challenges, it’s easy for a toddler to feel overwhelmed. Socially, you may have a busy butterfly on your hands — or a solo operator; again, both are typical, so celebrate your tot’s individuality without comparing him with his peers. Some toddlers begin to play more cooperatively now, but parallel (side-by-side) play is still pretty common at this age, especially for kids who aren’t in child care or haven’t logged a lot of time in group settings.
I hate to write it down because tomorrow he'll make me a liar, but Mac's tantrums and typical "terrible two" behavior hasn't been very bad! Maybe it is my perspective that I know 3 is coming and 3 is so much harder than 2! LOL Or maybe he is just my "easy" one. Who knows?!?! He does good with separation as long as he gets a kiss and a hug every time, which I happily oblige.

Overall, Mac is a very happy, easy going boy. He recently started showing interest in potty training and does fairly well at it. I wasn't expecting this for a while yet so I'm cautiously optimistic. Hey, nobody would be happier to get rid of diapers than me, but I also know diapers can have their benefits until the child is truly ready to be done with them (like being able to "hold it" if needed). He LOVES to wear his pajamas all day and I often have a hard time getting him into clothes. Oh, well. Most days I don't care. A benefit of being a stay-at-home mom, I guess. He is obsessed with Hot Wheels and Finn's Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage. As mentioned above, he can't pronounce all of his sounds yet (which is normal for this age and will be corrected before he turns 4 according to my friend Jess, who is a speech therapist!). He switches "t" for "k" so he says his name is "Mat." "D" for "g" so dog is "dod." And then some of the blends associated with those sounds like "tr" "cl" "cr" etc. It is actually really cute but makes it difficult to understand him sometimes. He loves to snuggle with mommy and daddy, especially while watching "egg surprise" on YouTube. If up to him, he'd eat all day long, literally! While it is frustrating for me, I'm thankful he is a good eater. Now we just talk about things that are "healthy for your body" which he seems to understand. Salmon is one of his favorite foods! Go figure.

This is his "cheese" face:


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