Hi friends! I figured it would be a good time for a Skyler Update, since celebrated his half-birthday a few weeks ago and he is officially 2.5 years old.
Time is going by at warp speed, well, most of the time. #quarantinechronicles
Life with Skyler as a toddler has been a whole new world. I really enjoy writing my memories out and sharing photos, kind of like my own online version of scrapbooking, so thank you for checking in and enjoying them with me here on the blog.
As most of you already know and see first hand, kids change very quickly. My plan is to share a big update here about twice a year, and it’s always fun for me to look back and reference them whenever I feel like he’s just growing up too fast. (Always.)
Here we go!
Skyler’s Two (and 1/2) Year Update
Skyler at two and a half is a very chatty and opinionated little guy. He expresses what he likes, what he doesn’t like, and he prefers to be independent and do things on his own more than ever.
Since Skyler’s last update, our worlds and the world has completely changed … figuratively and literally. I published his two year update on March 10th, right before this crazy period of Quarantine hit due to the Coronavirus. So yeah, there are a lot of things that have changed over the past six months or so.
But, it’s always good to focus on the silver linings while living in a season of the unknown, and that’s what I will be highlighting here.
Skyler has a TON of energy! He is bright-eyed and ready for activity from the moment he wakes up until his head hits the pillow for nap or nighttime. (He is a mini-Scott here through and through.) He has little fear of anything and is a climber, a jumper, and a wrestler, which is something that I was not really ready for. It’s always interesting when Scott travels, as it’s up to me to play more aggressively with him, but I’m learning to hold my own with his tackles and pins. He is all boy, that’s for sure!
He still hasn’t gotten a haircut (we are debating over this now), but he has hit several new and important milestones since March.
Stats & Milestones
Weight: ~28 pounds
Height: 36 inches
Clothing size: 18-24 months – 2T
Shoes: 6 – 6.5 (T)
Skyler has said goodbye to his pacifiers, transitioned into a toddler bed, and is now completely potty trained! He still wears a diaper at nighttime, just in case, but he does fairly well in waking himself and us up if he has to use the bathroom. I’m so proud of him!
(By the way, I’ve received several messages on the subject of potty training, so I’m planning on sharing a separate post on that one that includes what we did, what worked, what didn’t work, and some general advice. Please let me know if you have any specific questions!)
One of the better things about being in quarantine with him is that we have had a lot of time to learn together. He can now recite his ABC’s, count to twenty, recognize shapes and colors, name countless animals and their noises, sing Amazing Grace from start to finish, and talks in full sentences. Sometimes I just stare at him in awe and wonder where the heck our baby went.
Skyler is in his second week of part-time daycare and attends two days a week. He had been asking to go to “school” for months, so I finally researched the best option for us and I am thankful for a coveted spot at a nearby preschool with rave reviews.
After resisting the idea for so long, it took six months of being isolated together to realize that socializing him to play with other kids, learn, and spend time outside of our home was extremely beneficial for everyone. Since I transitioned to working fully at home back in February, I fought the idea of paying for additional childcare for a very long time. But, I have to admit that I am really loving the time I have to focus on my online businesses, and Skyler comes home chatting about his day at school for days at a time.
He does a variety of activities there including outside play, reading circles, yoga, and teaching lessons on top of play, eating meals and snacks, and nap time. We have a running WhatsApp with the staff that sends us tons of pictures and videos of what he’s doing all day.
He really does love it and thrives in that environment!
Pre-quarantine, Skyler had certainly earned his flying wings! At two and a half, he’s been to Florida several times, Michigan twice, Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas three times, Vermont, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. We are no strangers to flying with a toddler, and – in case you missed it – I shared my tips for traveling with a toddler that also includes snippets of traveling with an infant, too.
Post-quarantine, Skyler and I have only been on one trip, and it was to see my family in Florida while Scott was away on a volunteer trip. You can check out the highlights along with what it was like to fly in a new world of safety protocols here.
Sky was not excited about wearing a mask during the airplane rides, but he knew that it was non-negotiable and complied for about ninety percent of the flight time. My biggest takeaway from the experience was to be extra mindful of the flight times I selected, for Skyler’s sake. Our flight home went very smoothly in the late-morning, and it enabled him to nap through the majority of it. Our flight down, however, was a bit of a mess. It took place in the late-afternoon, which is when he is always extra antsy and when I normally take him to the playground. He had a few meltdowns, but all in all, the trip was a good experience.
While living in New York City, we are trying to get out an explore our city as much as possible!
I recap our whereabouts and the highlights in Friday Favorites, and I will be sharing more on the latest soon!
Likes & Dislikes
Piggy backing off of the photos above, Skyler loves to be on-the-go and on adventures. He is very fond of stickers, sticker books, and any activity involving things you can peel and stick on windows, paper, and even our faces. The child lives for stickers.
It was a smart move to buy a few sticker books for the airplane rides (there is a great selection at Walmart and on Amazon), but we try not to overflow our apartment with them. He also enjoys coloring, making arts and crafts, painting, gluing, and more. We are missing our normal play gym and Toddler Arts & Crafts class on Mondays and Wednesdays at the YMCA, as that part of the gym is still paused during this time. He gets his activity fix in preschool, and I try to do at least one themed-out craft per week at home with him. He loves it!
Long stroller walks with Skyler and Roadie have become a staple for my sanity during quarantine. I typically walk about two miles with them on the majority of the mornings he isn’t at preschool, and both of them can’t get enough of the fresh air and current fall weather.
I can tell that his days in the stroller, however, are numbered. He will sit for about twenty minutes or so before asking to get out, unless he has a snack or is taking a nap. He’ll usually get out and walk with us, and that’s perfectly okay with me. He does a great job at keeping up with a surprisingly fast pace, but he also gets easily distracted by just about anything. Walking with him and the pup when I’m solo is always a repeat of “come on Skyler, let’s go Roadie” every two seconds – haha – talk about constant stopping!
Skyler LOVES time to play outside, and we try to visit a playground (now that they’re open again) almost every day.
He enjoys typical toddler activities and likes it when I put music on. We sing, dance, and try to make the most of our time inside together. He really likes being in the kitchen with me and is great at helping measure ingredients for recipes. He’s also our resident taste-tester.
We limit his daily screen time, but he does get to watch movies (mostly on Disney+), and has a few favorite shows like Cocomelon, Word Party, Blue’s Clue’s, Mickey Mouse Club, and Blippi’s channel on YouTube. We do our best to keep his time on a screen educational, and also allow him to play games on our phones that build motor skills.
He’s in a phase of loving all superheroes, especially Spiderman, Batman, Superman, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, and more.
Our little fish has grown to really enjoy the water! He had a total blast swimming in the pool and playing in the lake on our recent trip to Florida. The kid loves, loves, loves going to the beach, so we’ve tried to take him several times this summer. He doesn’t always get excited to take a bath, however, but he is all about the splashing once he is in and has his toys. He also likes to take showers now.
Things Skyler highly dislikes right now include going to bed without mommy or daddy in the room (we’re working on this), putting toys away before he’s ready, his hands being dirty, or being in one spot for too long. It sounds kind of crazy, but I had to ask Scott what else he doesn’t like right now and we both couldn’t think of much. He isn’t perfect by any means, but he is generally a happy kid that is really easy to please and entertain.
Skyler has always been a great eater! We’ve lucked out here, as he will usually try anything and everything that we put in front of him as least once. He eats what we eat, with the exception of a few things like sandwiches and spicy food.
He is a toddler, however, so what he prefers comes and goes in phases. But, I’m very happy and proud to report that he will eat and even ask for unconventional things like sushi, soup, meatloaf, smoothies, and more.
His normal day of eating includes waking up with a tall sippy cup of milk, breakfast around 8-8:30 am, a mid-morning snack, lunch around 12-12:30 or 12:30-1 pm, a small glass of milk after his nap, an afternoon snack, dinner around 6-6:30 pm, a little dessert, and a small glass of milk before bedtime.
Some of his favorite foods include waffles, toast, eggs, bacon, applesauce, cheese, PB&Js, hot dogs (I often substitute veggie dogs and veggie burgers), chicken nuggets, french fries, spaghetti, ravioli, meatballs, and ice cream. Don’t worry though, he loves and asks for fresh fruit and vegetables, too! His favorites include avocado, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, peas, green beans, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, watermelon, apples, oranges (loves the cuties), grapes, and more. He goes in phases with things like oatmeal, bananas, and cheese sticks right now. His favorite snacks are animal crackers, goldfish, and anything listed above.
In case you’re new around here, I have a “Baby Eats” Highlight on my Instagram profile where you can reference the latest meals and wins. I also shared a glimpse at what our typical day of eats looks like together with 15+ Easy Mommy & Me Meal Ideas, and that list of things is ever-growing.
We’re still loving the Ikea Antilop High Chair for the bargain price of $22, as well as the Toogel Hook On High Chair (this one breaks down really easily for travel, too!) that stays attached to our dining room table. It’s nice to have both, depending on where we’re eating and what we’re doing. Sometimes it’s easy to keep him busy with a messy snack in his high chair while I’m cooking dinner, and other times I want us all sitting at the table together.
We still have noise machines going during night time, one on the floor and his portable one attached to his bed since his room is in the middle of the living room and our room. The pets continuously like to go through it to get to another room, and we end up quietly going in and out until we go to sleep, too … just one the perks of #cityliving in an apartment.
Skyler now takes one nap a day after lunch, and it lasts anywhere from 40 minutes to 2.5 hours. Some days he fights a nap entirely, ends up skipping it, and then practically falls asleep at dinner. We’re still trying to figure it all out in this different season of quarantine, but he is his most energetic and rested self when he takes a nap after lunch for at least an hour.
Nighttime sleep is interesting. The drawback of transitioning him into a toddler bed is that he can get up and move around as he pleases! This instantly translated into him sneaking into our bed, and we will wake up to him between us in the morning 9 times out of 10. It’s not ideal, but I always appreciate the extra cuddles.
While it is a struggle most nights to get him to bed before 9 pm (woof), he does pretty much sleep through the night until at least 6-6:30 am most mornings. When his bedtime is later, he will usually sleep a little later until 7 or even 7:30 am, which is a nice change, too.
Navigating toddler sleep patterns is tricky! Every child is different, so even asking friends for advice or what works for them might not really help at all. I’m not trying to discourage you, but I do want to keep it real. Right now we are doing our best to get him back to more of a schedule of an earlier bedtime (ideally by 8:30 pm), and we are holding onto the afternoon nap as long as possible.
Skyler’s Current Favorites
Here is a narrowed down list of things that Skyler has been loving lately.
- Toddler Sticker Books – he is obsessed with stickers and sticker books. I recently found these sticker activity pads at Target, and one book has lasted quite a while!
- Dinosaurs – he still loves his zoo animals, but has a new found love for any and all dinosaur things, especially sets like this one.
- Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles – he has collected several from the brand Melissa & Doug including this one and this farm cube.
- Alphabet Puzzle Board – this is such a great learning tool!
- Play Doh – he really likes it, but hasn’t figured out how to actually play with it yet. He basically just makes messes and leaves pieces everywhere.
- Sound books – loves to push the buttons as the books prompt him.
- Board Books – he adores these and asks for them nightly.
- Cars, Trucks, Planes, Trains – basically anything that drives or flies.
- Car Activity Play Rug – we found a large one at Marshall’s, but I’m eyeing this one that is smaller and easier on the eyes.
- Sand Toys – absolutely loves digging in the sand and making shapes and animals from sand molds right now. We have this set, and this one is adorable. So are these little guys!
- Melissa & Doug, Let’s Play House! Pretend Play Set – enjoys cleaning like mommy 🙂
- Mega Bloks – he’s been loving these since he turned one, and now he makes “animals” and buildings/houses out of them.
- Mess-Free Coloring Kits – these say ages 3 and up, but Sky does great with them and they make minimal messes (win!)
- Little People Toys – he’s starting to put these to the side for his dinosaurs and cars, but he still really enjoys and asks for them around bath time. Maybe they’re comforting?
My Favorites For 2.5 Years
And here’s what we’ve been loving for him!
- Velcro Sneakers (any brand really, but Vans, Converse, and Adidas are our go-to! Also, how cute are these, these, these, and these?)
- Water Shoes for splash pads and outdoor water play. We have these and are purchasing the very popular Native shoes in the spring in the next size up.
- Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick – I use the lotion on myself and him when we’re going to be outside for a while, and I keep this very portable stick in my purse or diaper bag at all times! It’s great for his cheeks and touch-ups on-the-go.
- Toddler Potty Training Underwear – unders with a little more cushion to help absorb accidents and close calls … we have these, and I love these.
- Toddler-sized Masks – we have a variety from Old Navy and Gap. The Old Navy brand runs a little snugger (look at these!). Also loving this pack.
- CamelBak BPA-Free Water Bottles with Straws – we just purchased this set, and Skyler picked out one of the printed patterns and always asks for it. I really like the stainless steel option, too.
- Catch-all pocket bibs – we have this JJ Cole set, and they are very durable and washable. I also like Bumkins.
- Joggers – these have been the perfect middle between putting him in sweats and jeans for preschool and on our limited outings. My favorite finds have been at Gap, Target, and Marshalls.
- Outfits – my favorite finds are always at Gap (there’s a great sale right now), Old Navy, Target (Cat & Jack brand is adorable) & Walmart (adorable tees, sweatshirts, and joggers for $3-5!) I’ve also been finding a lot of affordable Nike and other sporty wear at Marshalls.
- Ubbi Bath Toy Organizer Bath Caddy – amazing for playing in the tub and drying everything out afterwards.
- Ubbi Mold Free Bath Toys (interchangeable and interactive)
- Knuckleheads toddler trucker hats – I want them all. We have this black and white shark print and it’s my favorite. (Sky’s too!)
- IKEA toddler flatware set – here’s the full table settings set (he starts his meals out here, but usually grabs my silverware, haha).
- Norwex Baby Microfiber Wipes – more natural and economical solution for frequent wiping of the skin.
- Beautycounter Kids Shampoo & Body Wash (it smells so good, feels even better, and I wish I had started him on the Newborn line when he was a baby, too).
- GB Pockit Stroller – perfect for solo city commutes.
- Toddler Bombas socks – Santa brought him a variety of calf socks and ankle socks with grippies for Christmas last year, and they last a really long time.
- Pottery Barn My First Toddler Anywhere Chair
- Echo Dot Smart Speaker with Alexa – makes playing music for toddlers so easy, not to mention help turning on/off lights when your hands are full!
I love this guy more than I could ever write, and I hope this post offered a few smiles during what feels like a stressful time in the world.
I feel extremely grateful to be able to spend as much time as I do with him, especially now that I transitioned to be home as his main caregiver. It’s an opportunity that I do not take for granted, and I truly wish I could press pause on him some days. It’s all going by too fast!
Thank you so much for checking in, and I’ll be back tomorrow with a new set of Friday Favorites. Have a great rest of the day!
In case you missed it … here are more LIL baby-related posts:
Life With a Newborn, Recovery, and Q&As (Two Week Update)