Leo loves trucks. He can name them all, occasionally correcting his books when they dare to call a wheeled excavator a backhoe or other atrocities. He will search the house for just the right excavator -- the three he's carrying aren't good enough. A couple weeks ago, garbage trucks were his favorite type, but truck cranes are usually number one. He finds ways to ride any truck remotely possible to hold him and can make various trucks out of Duplos that actually resemble the truck he claims they are. Trains are pretty cool too and he can point out their parts, but they just aren't as awesome as trucks.
In the past month, he's been very interested in sticker books. He can't easily remove them from the original pages, but once he gets help with that part, he asks what page they go on, then carefully places the sticker in its designated spot. If he's alone, he takes off already-placed stickers and shuffles them around the book. We have to keep Peter's books safe from Leo because Peter doesn't appreciate the rearranging. Leo has been doing a lot of drawing recently too, especially in the truck coloring book he got last week and promptly filled every page. In February, he would sporadically name a color or two but now he knows at least the eight basic ones and points them out at many opportunities, usually loudly.
Oh, does he talk. Alone in the car with me, he'll go on and on. In January, he said a lot of 3 and 4 word phrases. Now he strings together 6 or 8 or whatever he needs. His longest phrases are no longer exclusively about nursing like they were originally: "Go lay down in bed and nurse wiff me." My favorite Leo-word is "over-lefts", which is translated, leftovers. He also says that he's going somewhere "wiff my-deff", rather than by myself.
As he gets clearer and more specific, I've realized it does feel weird to be nursing a child who tells me when he wants "da udda side now peeeease". Peter stopped nursing the day before his second birthday, so I'm in new territory now. Besides, Peter didn't have a word for "nurse" until after he'd weaned (why say it when the sign works so well?). He does nurse less now -- for an hour or two between his late-night wakeup and when we get out of bed for the day, at naptime, bedtime, and 3 or 4 times in the middle. He'll often go all morning without nursing, especially if we're out somewhere. I'm trying to cut back on the "I'm bored" requests to nurse, finding him water or an activity instead. I'd like to be down to sleeping times and the occasional comfort nurse by summer.
In early March, Leo was waking once at night most of the time, averaging 4am, but that could be anywhere between 1:30 and 6 am. This week, the earliest he's woken up was 3am and all other days were later than 5am. We're past the Dr. Jay Gordon definition of sleeping through the night, at least. Going to bed in the first place can be a struggle, but he does stay asleep almost until morning. When he woke earlier, we had very few wet night diapers -- he'd pee at 2am, but only nurse at 5am. When he first dropped the earlier wakeup, he was wetting diapers about 1/3 of the time, but in the couple weeks since his birthday, he has more consistently been dry until his 5am-ish wakeup. On his birthday, I counted 9 times that he peed (four in the potty) and one poop. It's so different from the 30 times a day he used to have. We went 5 or 6 days between diaper loads before I sold a bunch he was outgrowing. The twenty diapers we have left tend to last 4 or 5 days. I can get away with bringing a single diaper on 2 hour outings now (I keep an emergency diaper, wipes, and pants in the car), which is so freeing after 4 years of diapering. He is definitely choosing whether he wants to cooperate with using the toilet or not. He occasionally tells us in words that he has to go potty, but that usually means he just went.
Getting him to sleep involves my nursing him, usually in the office or on the couch. If he falls asleep (about 1/3 of the time), great, Dan transfers him to our bed. If he doesn't, Dan lies down with him, which works about 1/2 the time. The remaining third of the days, I might give up and lie down with him or nurse him on the couch again. We're not above letting him watch TV with us if we're really desperate.
Now, he's been falling asleep more often during that initial nurse, about 2/3 of the time, and Dan's been able to get him to sleep on his own while I was out in the evening a couple times.
We'd like to move Leo into bunkbeds in Peter's room this spring, but I think we need to make the going-to-sleep process work better first because letting Leo scream in Dan's arms won't work while Peter's in the room. I end up sleeping on the couch a fair amount of the time because I can't find space with Leo and Dan in bed without moving Leo around and waking him up.
Leo loves puzzles -- he can almost do simple 24 piece puzzles he knows by himself now. With bigger puzzles, I'll give him 6 pieces that connect to the ones already there and he can find their places. Or if Peter and I are working on a 60-100 piece puzzle, Leo will find pieces here and there that match up. He will sit through storybooks so long as we don't take too long on each page. He sort of plays hide and seek. He has a strong sense of where things go, bringing stray toys back to their homes. He's starting to help me bake, mixing and pouring ingredients: "Dump the load!" He pretends he's a cat, pretends everything is a loader/truck crane/dump truck/truck-of-the-day. He likes playing with play food and telling us what to eat.
Napping is getting dicier. One week, he'll only car-nap most days and the next week, he'll take 2.5+ hour naps twice and consistently nap 3 of 5 other days. He definitely needs to nap still. On days when he barely naps, he'll start lying on the floor, pushing a car back and forth and muttering. I think a one hour nap daily would probably be ideal, but I detest waking a sleeping child and can't summon myself to wake him on long nap days. When he doesn't nap, the world doesn't feel like it's caving in like it used to, but it's so nice to have a calm half hour half-snoozing with him and then an hour of time just Peter and I.
Leo wants to eat all the time and isn't too particular about what food he's consuming. He loves raisins and string cheese and oranges and chicken and the acidophilis tablets he calls mints. He isn't too into cereal, eating the raisins or fruit out of it. He's just starting to really eat sandwiches rather than licking the innards out. He likes to dip things in dressing and only sometimes eat whatever the dressing came on. I give him cow milk sometimes and full-strength-for-our-house juice, but mostly he has water and mama milk.
He must have read the two-year-old manual because he recently began throwing himself on the ground and pounding his fists in the floor when we don't give him what he wants and he's tired. We only rarely use time-outs with him, but he asks for them sometimes and declares them done 15 seconds later.
Leo often asks where people are, going through a litany of family and friends, even if they're in the same room with him. He can name all the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and second cousins. He loves to run up and hug people's legs. He asks to be carried "cawee me", or "hole mine hand". He will yell "Look Pete-ah!" or "No Pete-ah!" if he either wants or doesn't want Peter's attention.
I haven't scheduled his two year check-up yet (oops), but he seems to be 36" tall and 26.5 lbs.