Continuing my Leo fall update in small bits...
Everything in its Place
Leo has a very strong sense of what everything is, who it belongs to, and where it goes. He'll go to the closet, carefully pulling out pairs of shoes and declaring whose they are before putting them back into the closet. He found a magnetic letter in the basement the other way and snuck off up the stairs to put it back on the fridge. He finds garbage at parks and hunts down the nearest garbage can. He's pretty helpful cleaning up at the end of the day, bringing everything to its home, usually not getting distracted by other things along the way.
Sometime in the past month, he mastered the shape sorter. He couldn't do it at all before that and now he'll sit down and plunk each shape in, naming some of the shapes as he goes (oval and triangle, occasionally trapezoid). He likes big wooden puzzles, especially number and letter ones. He still likes 8 best and can name about 1/3 of the letters.
Eating and Eliminating
Leo usually eats in his high chair, pushed to the table without the tray (we have to push him really close, or he'll use his feet to rock it backwards). He's been eating with a fork and spoon all summer. He's so careful with the fork, so happy when he stabs something. We tossed out our sippy cups before we moved and give him glasses with 1/2 an inch of water at a time. He drinks just fine out of them, but pours out whatever water's left after his initial gulp and we try to minimize the puddles. He loves pouring water between multiple cups. If he's in the kitchen, he'll try to pour his leftover water into the sink, but he's not quite tall enough and it usually lands on the floor. He tells us "uh oh" or "oopsie". He is less picky an eater than Peter, eating most fruits (LOVES grapes, eats lots of apples and pears), meat, green beans are always a hit. Adores french fries and if we're eating out, if someone has french fries, he won't eat his own meal until he gets some french fries first. He pushes the kitchen chairs over to the counter to watch us prep meals or to climb up on the counter and take food off the top of the refrigerator. He tries to push the kitchen chairs out onto the carpet and gets mad that they don't slide well.
I measured both kids in mid-September and Peter was 40" and 36-37 lbs, Leo was 33.5" and 25-26 lbs.
After a summer of refusing to potty whenever we suggested it and my giving up on anything beyond wake-up pees, at eighteen months I wanted to find out if he was peeing any less frequently and ended up offering the potty a lot that day. To my surprise, he was usually willing to use it and I ended up catching 8 of 11 pees and 1 or 2 poops that day. That was abnormally good, but over the past month, I've been catching a whole lot more than I did this summer and he's starting to verbally let us know that he is either about to or just did poop. He pees frequently after waking up in the morning, but throughout the rest of the day, he rarely pees in the car and if I offer the potty every hour or so when we're out of the house especially, he will usually come home in the same diaper he left in. We're washing diapers about every third day, going through between 5 and 8 a day. When we went to California, he only used one diaper in the first 24 hours we were there, and that was during the rehearsal when I left him with others. I'll be surprised if he's still in diapers by the end of next summer. He understands the sensation of having to go and definitely can make the decision to pee when on a potty. He's been sick this past week, but before that, he was only peeing in diapers at night about once a week. He would wake up once at night, pee in the potty, and be done until morning.
Oh, this has been my biggest issue lately. In mid-September, he decided he'd rather talk to us and celebrate that discovery than go to bed at night. He was up until 11 many nights a week and that got really old. He got past that eventually, but now napping has become something we can't count on. His cold now isn't helping, but even when healthy, I felt like I was fighting him down half the time. He rarely transfers from cars. I let Peter watch a show while nursing Leo to sleep at naptime, and it often felt like Peter was coming upstairs just before Leo was ready for me to leave. I always napped with Peter but that isn't possible with a second child. I'm trying to bring him to nap a little earlier and not to rush getting up, but it doesn't always work. Napping was a struggle with Peter starting around 21 months and he gave them up completely by 2.5 and I wonder how much longer I'll get any naps out of Leo. Peter and I aren't ready to give up our mama-big boy afternoon time yet.
Getting him to sleep at night, I usually fall asleep with him. When neither of us fall asleep in the first half hour, I've been having Dan lie down with him, which sometimes works. I have a book study Wednesday nights and most weeks Dan is able to get him to sleep without me.
Leo can generally be trusted around little toys like Legos now, although I wouldn't leave him alone with the big box of them. He can assemble Duplos and drive cars and trains around Peter's Brio and Plan Toys sets (although Peter gets irritated that Leo doesn't keep the trains and cars in their proper places). They can't quite play with trains on a single track together yet, but it's not always a disaster. Leo loves trucks of all kinds and drives them around the floor. Outside, we have a couple big trucks and two plastic lawn mowers and the boys follow each other around with them. They definitely play together outdoors. Chasing, following, and copying is about the extent of their play, but I love hearing Peter call for Leo to come play with him.
Leo will sit and read books with us now, preferably ones with trucks or bugs. He doesn't necessarily want to go through books from front to back, but will usually allow us to do so. Leo will find a book somewhere and climb up into our laps, plunking himself in the middle of whatever was already going on.
Leo wants to nurse all the time. I'm starting to limit him a bit, because for some reason I don't appreciate his yelled demand to "nus! nus!" every time I sit down. We're working on some manners, signing or saying "please" for nursing, getting food, and getting down from his high chair. He does so without being asked when he really wants something. Peter was only nursing about 4 times a day at this age, mostly due to my being pregnant, and I definitely feel ready to be done with the constant nursing. He is totally fine on days I worked 8 hours, but if I'm there, I better be willing to nurse. We'll see how he's doing once he's healthy again.