Hi friends! I wanted to do one more half-year check-in with KJ before we probably just do yearly. And before I overload you with post-partum and baby updates 🙂 And one more update before he becomes a big brother!
What does KJ know about the baby?
Well, he knows what a baby is, although he did point to this easily five-year-old girl the other day and call her a baby, so I don’t think we are totally clear on that. However, he has started to give my belly kisses, and he knows the baby’s name. It’s adorable, even if he doesn’t 100% understand what’s going on. We talk about the baby a lot, where he will sleep, that he will cry and eat a lot etc. We read books about bringing home a new baby (we have this one and this one.) So, ya know, we are trying to prepare him as much as possible, but at some point, you can only prepare so much. I recently purchased him a gift “from the baby” to give to him when we come home from the hospital.
Admittedly, as an only child, I don’t know a lot about sibling dynamics and interactions. But in some ways, my lack of knowledge comforts me, no bad or good experience to go off of. I’m sure their dynamics will continually amaze me and frustrated me for eternity, haha.
KJ’s Speech Update
The last update I gave was before we had any speech therapy. At the first place, we went to KJ was evaluated to have the expressive speech level of a 9 to 12-month-old (he was 2) and normal receptive language. We attended speech therapy twice a week (somewhat inconsistently during the holidays as I’d often pull him out right after a large holiday or during huge COVID spikes in AZ) for six months. In the last two months, he’s made leaps and bounds in progress, repeating almost everything and starting to combine two words at a time.
We recently had KJ evaluated at a new speech place under our insurance (it took us months to get in), and they basically said he was borderline in need of Speech Therapy. Due to all of his progress, we decided to keep him at the place we’ve been going to paying out of pocket, especially since they said we could drop from two to one time a week. Plus, I was less than impressed with the COVID procedure and general cleanliness of the place under our insurance which is surprising because we have pretty good health insurance. But, it is what it is, and I’m thankful we have the means to continue to go where we’ve been going.
That being said, I’m just so thrilled with all his progress, and I’m grateful for this experience because every word he says reminds me of how grateful I am that he’s catching up in terms of speech. It’s so fun to communicate with him, to FINALLY hear him call me Mama (I was baba before), and to see the wheels turning in his head as he tells me what he’s thinking or seeing. Even when he screams NOOOOO MYNE, I still remember when he could barely talk, and I’m thankful he can express his feelings, even if it means we need to teach him to share better and be a little politer (I’ll let you know how that goes haha). At this point, we will keep him in speech, with a short break around the time the baby comes until he starts preschool in the fall.
We also had a quick OT evaluation done because KJ loves to bite his nails and tear up his stuffed animals by chewing on them. He passed the entire OT eval with ease and even tested at the four-year-old level for locomotive (like running, jumping, etc.) She basically said he still has plenty of time to grow out of those behaviors and encouraged us to give him lots of crunchy food and sensory experiences in the meantime.
Is KJ potty trained? Um, some days? Haha
We used the Oh Crap Potty Training method for KJ, and I admittedly treated the book like the potty training Bible, referring back to it many many many times. So although the first few days made me want to tear my hair out after that, it was smooth sailing for a while. For about 2.5, almost 3 weeks, he had ZERO accidents. I mean, ZERO accidents. It was insane. Then, a couple of weeks in, he started to lose interest in the potty and felt too bothered to stop playing to use it, so he started having accidents all the time, at least 3-5 days a week. The last couple of weeks, it’s been somewhere between 2-4 days per week. We will get 3 days of no accidents, then 3 days in a row with many accidents. Many times I can attribute it to something (like he started having accidents while watching Cars 2, we changed back to his normal Baby Bum show and no accidents, so Cars 2 is obviously too exciting/scary or something, haha) but, sometimes it seems just to be he didn’t want to stop playing.
If I had to speculate, I’d say that it’s a combination of us over-prompting him and not letting him take the lead (and really learn and respond to his own cues), him not letting all his potty out when he does go, and a little bit of “laziness” on his part (he’d rather play.) I did another naked day with him over the weekend, which seemed to bring the awareness back around. We really focused on making sure he got a lot of potty in the potty at once versus taking him a billion times a day and over prompting. I’m hoping all that helps!
The one lucky thing is he (*knock on wood*) does great with pooping in the potty, so I’m very thankful for that! I’m hoping he doesn’t backslide when the baby gets here, but we will deal with it if he does. I’m feeling a bit of pressure because he has to be “fully potty trained” for preschool in the fall, but so far, I think we are on our way. Overall he’s doing okay with it, with no HUGE issues outside of what is normal (after talking with my more experienced friends.)
(First haircut since quarantine started!)
For those of you who have been following KJ’s MSPI story, I’m happy to report he’s eating all forms of dairy! He now drinks whole milk (versus the pea milk he was doing before) and whole milk yogurt. Yes, he’s over two. We only eat full-fat dairy in our house. That goes for our kids too! He did get pretty gassy when he had ice cream, but other than that, he’s done okay with dairy! I have no idea if eggs hurt his stomach because I can’t get him to eat them, so I guess we will never know!
Food In General
I typically put a protein, veggie, grain, and/or fruit on his plate. Many nights he prefers the fruit and eats that over anything else, so I’ve been pulling that out. In general, he loves kid stuff. At the top of his list are oat flour muffins, peanut butter and jelly, spoonfuls of peanut butter, quesadillas, pizza, and snack food out of his section of the snack cabinet. However, I recently implemented the “what’s for dinner is what’s on your plate rule” more strictly, and overall he’s done okay with it. Some days he still just eats fruit for dinner (if served), and some days he amazes me by chowing down on grilled chicken. He’s not the pickiest eater in the world, but I wouldn’t call his diet super well-rounded either. I just try not to stress about it, and I pump him full of veggie-filled smoothiebox smoothies when possible and offer whatever we are eating plus something I know he will eat (safe food) at every meal.
Favorite toys and activities:
- Pretending with his “babies,” – he has a small stuffed tiger, lion, and elephant that he’s grown very attached to. They potty, brush teeth, eat meals and go on walks with KJ. It’s freaking adorable!
- Car/Truck caravan – his favorite activity is caravaning all his trucks and cars around the house.
- Puzzles – he loves the puzzles he got for Christmas, and I think he’s learned all his numbers and ABCs from them!
- Water table – we just got this back out, and it’s another big hit!
- Reading – with his explosion in vocab, his interest in reading grew exponentially.
- Going on LONG walks – the distance this kid can go on foot is AMAZING
- Watching Baby Bum or Dave and Ava (<30 minutes a day)* absolute favorite.
- Watching videos of himself
- “Go” ing anywhere
- Helping his Grandmas garden or water the plants
- Feeding Nala
- Giving Nala treats
- Helping with Laundry
- He loves to be chased
- He LOVES to wrestle with Daddy
- Chasing our poor 11-year-old kitty
- Paw Patrol nightlight
- Sharing toys – we’re working on it
- Being asked to potty – we’re working on it
- Wearing shoes
- Getting dressed
That’s it for now! Thanks again for following along, back to our regularly scheduled program tomorrow!
More KJ Posts:
- Dear Baby K – 4 months
- Dear Baby K – 5 Months
- Dear Baby K – 6 Months
- Dear Baby K — 7 Months
- Dear Baby K — 8 Months
- Dear Baby K — 9 Months
- Dear Baby K — 10 Months
- Deary Baby K — 11 Months
- Dear Baby K — 12 Months
- KJ – 18 Month Update
- KJ – 2-year-old update
OTHER BABY/KID RELATED POSTS YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN:
- Taking Cara Babies Sleep Programs Review (All Classes)
- Newborn Baby & Expectant Mama Must-Haves
- Favorite baby items 4-9 months
- Favorite baby Items 9-12 Months
- MSPI – Journey Breastfeeding an MSPI baby
- What no one told me about breastfeeding weaning