Our toddly-toddler is very much 18 months old. He now says “no” and “mine” all the time. Need I really say more?

He’s gotten fiesty, a bit obstinate, and is definitely figuring out ways to hold his own against big brother. There are lots of testosterone-laden brother battles around here these days. If Sam gets mad about something or doesn’t get his way, the first thing he does is take whatever is in his hand and throw it across the room. (Stand back, this gets painful after awhile.) His next line of defense is to bite, flop down like a noodle, or arch his back while screaming in protest. He also runs the other way any time you want him to do something.

He’s still the messiest little thing around. I spent some time yesterday scrubbing the wall next to his highchair and the floor underneath. He hasn’t had much of an appetite lately, so moments after getting into his highchair to eat, the food is already flying. Or being shoved into his lap. He has a very refined sweet tooth, and had his first taste of candy the other day at a Halloween event. If you say cookie, or num num, or bar his face lights up and he he starts chanting COOKIE MMMMM over and over and over.

His tastes for toys these days revolve around trains, cars, and balls. He also likes buses. For fun in our living room he likes climbing on and off the big brown chairs and ottoman, and tries crawling on the coffee table at least once a day. He likes going outside for walks, and gets into raking leaves by bringing us one leaf at a time to put in the bag. Whenever he hands someone something, he says “tay-too!” SO CUTE.

He says mommy or mama all day long. (Hm yeah, wonder where he learned that one).

He grabs his diaper region after he pees or poos and tells us that he went. If you ask him to sit on the potty HE WILL. This is insanity. I better not say more.

I think I can officially say that at 18 months Sam is now, once and for all, down to one nap a day. Unless he hasn’t been sleeping well. Or has taken one nap a day for a number of days in a row. Then he just may be game for two naps again:)

Sam is majorly pacifier obsessed. Does lovey obsession peak at 18 months or something? It sure seems like it. Bluey + Papis are must-haves anytime Sam is tired, cranky, hurt, sad, going somewhere, going to bed, etc. We try to limit the paci action to bedtime and the occasional car ride, but this month the dude has wanted it ALL the time. I think today was the first day in a long while where he was content enough to never need the paci all day. (That doesn’t mean he didn’t ASK for it, no no no. It just means he was contented enough to be easily distracted away from wanting it.)

Sam loves digging around in stuff he shouldn’t be into: my purse, my wallet, the medicine drawer, the baking goods, the utensil drawer. Lots of what Sam does sounds similar to what Ryan was doing at 18 months, but with the intensity turned down a few notches. I think maybe because Sam has super cool 4 year old toys to play with, he doesn’t get into “stuff” as much as Ryan did. And while Sam does adore me (teh heh) and call my name all day long, he is most definitely NOT as much as a cling-on to me as Ryan was/is. Sam works up a lot of excitement for daddy, and is very eager to hang out with him (and call him on real or imagined phones).

Sam appears to be another language maestro, following right along in his brother’s footsteps. I should really do a word tally on what he knows. It’s crazy. In addition to what he was saying last month, he’s now added the following to his vocabulary: NO (now used correctly), MINE (also used correctly, and directed at objects that someone else wants), Ry (sooooooo adorable!), gok (=walk), down (no matter if we’re going up or down), socks, more (still signing this too), tay-too (= thank you; said anytime he hands you anything), nose, eye, boo! (loves hiding and boo-ing out), dose (=ghost), car, bus, choo-choo, pear, ray-ray (=raisins), caw-caw (=cracker), book. He also says “whass dat?” and “whass dat noise?” He’s put a couple works together (bye bye dada; hi Ry! hi Ry!).

Various other highlights from the past month include:

-Jesse James Days in Northfield (took a sweet nap of almost 3 hours)

-First taste of sour apples

-Touch-a-Truck vehicle event.

-Lots of fun outings to enjoy the warm summer-like weather we had in late September/early October, including the sculpture garden, Lake Harriet Rose Garden and bird sanctuary, leaf frolicking in our yard, nature walks along the parkway, and visits to the nearby tennis court.