A big milestone for our family - Brandon's 2nd Birthday

This past weekend my son turned 2 years old. I officially don’t have to remember his age in months now and that is something to celebrate!

The past year has been such a whirlwind. A year ago, he didn’t walk or talk. Now he does both. He took his first unassisted steps on the evening of May 15th last year - which also happened to be my last day of work after I was laid off. Seriously, God knew I needed a pick-me-up that night because I got a big one!

Throughout last summer, Brandon stronger and more confident with his walking. I knew he was determined to move on his own steam from a pretty early age - his body just needed to catch up to his mentality. From the time he started walking, we have only been able to get him to sit in a stroller a handful of times and it’s not usually pretty. So, we tend to take him places when the situation allows him to have freedom to walk on his own. This usually means that we both need to be present so one can watch him while the other takes care of business. I’m not complaining. We’ve spent a lot of great quality time together as a family because of the choices we’ve made.

We also had Brandon’s first words start to come around the late summer/early fall. He seemed to pick up words slowly for several months. By the time he was 18 months, he had less than 10. Then, in December, he said 5 new words in less than half an hour. I was floored. It happened while we were watching a Baby Signing Time DVD so I began to encourage him to watch them more often. His caregiver had been working with him on signing as well, so that helped also. Now, just a few months later, he has well over 100 words and many signs as well. He’s starting to answer questions and ask for what he wants as well.

We were pretty late encouraging Brandon to give up his bottle. I think we were just fearful of the potential backlash so we put it off and put it off. I finally decided enough was enough and we took the bottles away cold turkey. If I remember correctly, he had two minor meltdowns and then adjusted to using sippy cups alone. Now I wonder why I waited so long when I know how adaptable he is and always has been!? I think he’s a little like me - skeptical of change until he tries it out and then he’s fine if it works for him. The side benefit of finally dropping the bottle is that he started sleeping through the night. Every. Single. Night. HALLELUJAH! He’s also drinking less milk so he’s eating better, too.

There’s been some growing pains as well. It’s pretty brutal when he’s teething now that it’s mostly molars coming in. And there have been days when we both want to throw in the towel because he does nothing but fuss. That’s been the most difficult challenge lately. Fortunately, spring is here and he loves getting to play outside every day.

I love this time with Brandon. The age he is now is so much fun to me because I get to see and experience the world all over again through his eyes. Watching him learn new things and discover new abilities is infinitely satisfying. Being able to interact with him, see him develop preferences and communicate wants and needs are incredible milestones - for him and for our family. It’s an exciting new stage and I am really excited about what will come in his third year!