You are now 23 months old (I totally dropped the ball and had to combine the last 2 months into one post), and definitely turning into the typical 2 year old. I would say that the biggest change since last month is your increased vocabulary. You are constantly saying new words, some of which include Mama (finally!), Dada, ball, more, tree (for Christmas trees), cookies, Melmo (Elmo), ewww, bubbles, cheese, turkey, pizza, bus, car, truck, socks, clock, and shoes, no, hi, bye, show, fish, sheep, pig, cow, cat, guitar, shower, bath, keys, Po Po, Matt, T (for Uncle TJ), Ca Ca (for Uncle Connor). When we are out in the stroller you are constantly yelling at either your Mama or your Dada to look at something and when you want our attention you repeat Mama and Dada over and over and over again and drag us over to whatever you want to look at or play with.
You love balls of any shape and type. You will throw and then chase after tennis balls on the playground for long period of time with your dad, and you have a really good arm. You don't like to catch balls, but you do love to hide balls everywhere in our apartment, from under the sofa to underneath the oven. It's quite the chore to retrieve the balls that you hide, and we've definitely lost a few.
You also enjoy playing with blocks and you had a great time knocking down the block towers that your dad and uncles made for you over Thanksgiving at your grandparents' house in New Jersey.
We celebrated your 2nd Thanksgiving in New Jersey and you insisted upon eating "Pa" (pasta) the whole weekend, you wouldn't even try the mashed potatoes and turkey that we put in front of you even though I tried to get you excited about turkey for a whole week leading up to Thanksgiving Day. On the morning of Thanksgiving we took a walk over to the turf field to watch your dad play touch football with his high school buddies. We played with a tennis ball and attempted push-ups and you intermittently would go over and wave at your dad or Uncle TJ as they were playing football.
Since the holidays have begun, you have become increasingly interested in Christmas lights, trees, and Santa. Our building has a big Christmas tree in the lobby and lots of lights outside on the trees and you have a huge smile on your face whenever we visit the Christmas tree. You also point out all of the Christmas trees and lights that you see along the way when we are walking.
We spent Christmas week in Virginia with Meli, Grandy, Aunt Laura, Marley (the dog), Smokey (the cat), Aunt Alessandra and Uncle Cassidy. You adored all of Christmas decorations, in particular the Christmas tree because you were able to turn on the lights with a remote control. You insisted on turning on every Christmas light in the house when you woke up each morning. We also went on a number of walks through our neighborhood and spent a lot of time throwing sticks and rocks into the pond behind our house. You enjoyed bringing Marley on walks and even wanted to learn some of his dog tricks.
You were a handful at times, but generally speaking you loved all of the attention and the Christmas treats (like Panettone and ice cream). We also took you to a really fun playground and you had a great time running around and learning how to race after we said "Ready, Set, Go!". By far your favorite activity during Christmas was going to Meadowlark Gardens to see the Christmas Lights Show. You were walking around pointing at the lights for almost an hour and didn't get tired or bored, you absolutely adored it and ever since then you have been asking to go to the "Show".
On Christmas Eve we set out cookies and milk for Santa by the fireplace and you were quite disturbed that we left them there, but the following morning you went right over to the chimney and pointed at the stockings (that were filled with presents) and the missing plate of cookies, and you were very excited to hear that Santa had eaten all of the cookies. You LOVED opening presents, so much so that you constantly yelled out "More, more, more!". You were more interested in taking off the wrapping paper than in opening the gifts themselves but a few presents did catch your attention, including a Fisher Price Giraffe Guitar that Meli & Grandy gave you and a pasta making kit from Aunt Laura and Uncle Connor. Aunt Alessandra and Uncle Cassidy sent a new cleaning set (complete with broom, mop, dust pan and duster) to our apartment which you also love.
The day after Christmas we took the train up to Philadelphia to spend New Years week with Po Po, Gammy, Uncle Matt & Uncle TJ. I wasn't feeling that well (I came down with a cold), so I slept in most mornings while you played with Gammy and your dad downstairs. On the day that your dad and I went to New Jersey for our home inspection (we are moving to New Jersey this summer!) your Uncle Matt and Gammy took you to Discovery Zone, which you of course loved. You apparently enjoyed squeezing fake ketchup onto a baby doll and you wouldn't let the baby doll out of your site. Speaking of baby's, you are excited to become a big brother. You constantly point to my belly and say "baby" and you ask to give it hugs and kisses. It's very cute.
You were spoiled in New Jersey as well, and received a bunch of Christmas presents, including a talking Elmo doll and a new guitar. At times you refused to put either of them down. You continued to ask to see the "Show", so we took you to see a house that had Christmas lights that were synched to music and you loved it. You jumped up and down and pointed out the Santa in the window. I'm not sure what we are going to do once Christmas is over and there are no more lights to see.
I can't believe that you are turning 2 later this month! I like to think of you as my baby but you are definitely growing into a toddler. You are very loving, energetic, opinionated, obsessed with routines/cleaning, devoted to your mommy, shy in front of strangers, and a trouble maker (definitely a trouble maker!!!). I'm so excited to see you become a big brother this year, I have no doubt that you will love your baby brother or sister (even if you do pinch him or her in the face a dozen times).