Brady’s 2-year update

Oh my goodness, my little baby boy is 2-years-old today.

I would say that time has been flying, but quite honestly, I can hardly remember what my life was like before Brady was in it — so it’s a weird mixture of moving really fast and moving slowly too. He is seriously the best thing in the entire world, yet also a lot of work. 🙂

We celebrated Brady’s birthday a day early over the weekend with a very small party, using some of the leftover supples from his big first birthday bash last year, complete with the two things he wanted most: balloons and cake (even though he doesn’t really know what cake is). And today, he is off to his first day of preschool. He’ll be going two mornings a week during the school year, and I’m sure he will love it. And I am 100 percent certain that I will love the extra time for myself each week too.

Outside of gym daycare and a couple weeks of summer camp, I’ve been Brady’s full-time caregiver all day every day, and that’s a lot, especially when Dave does not work a job with normal hours at all. It’s been a role that I’ve been grateful to play, while also feeling challenged by it at times, juggling my work and independence too. More on that to come.

I haven’t done a full update on Brady since 20 months, and a lot has changed since then. Let’s jump right into some of the details and life talk …

Brady’s 2-year update

Initially, when I wrote this post late last week, I started by writing out all the updates on the things that most people ask me about, like sleep, food and development, etc. But when I went back to re-read it, I realized that there’s SO much more to say on Brady at 2-years-old outside of reporting the facts. It’s like this ridiculous consuming love for this tiny scrumptious crazy curly-haired human that grew inside my body and now lives outside of it.

I really do love and cherish him more and more every single day — and that’s not something I expected as a mom or a parent. I am so proud of him, so proud to be his momma and so grateful that he is ours. The first year had a lot of challenges, and the second year did too, but it was perhaps a little easier in the figuring-out-how-to-parent-him-department. I feel like we really know what we’re doing now, but of course, things continue to change, and we continue to learn.

The big thing to mention is this: The little moments of joy, laughter and light that Brady brings to my life every single day, no matter what, are the greatest. I look forward to sitting with him in my arms on the couch every morning shortly after he gets up. I look forward to swooping him up from gym daycare and seeing his happy face run right up to the gate to greet me. I look forward to watching his excitement as he picks up a new skill. And also I look forward to putting him to bed each night … which is a perfect transition …

Sleep

Brady is a good sleeper. It took so long to get here, but this little guy is completely a dependable sleeper now. He gets to bed around 7 p.m. and wakes up around 7 a.m.. The only time he gets up in the middle of the night is if he’s getting sick, which isn’t all that often — knock on wood.

He takes one nap during the day between 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., but he doesn’t sleep all of that time (in fact he has been taking longer and longer to go to sleep lately). However, he does stay in his crib during that time lying down quietly and playing with his stuffed animals. Now, I go in there maybe once or twice to change his diaper and try to re-settle him usually, which is a newer thing that is only partially effective at getting him to go to sleep.

Brady on a diaper box 2019 by A Lady Goes West

And yes, he’s still in his crib, and I can’t imagine switching him out of it into his toddler bed any time soon. Why? He loves his crib. And we love that he is safely contained in it. (Side note: The day before this post went live, Brady crawled out of his crib for the first time, so I am not sure how much longer he will be safely contained. Send help.)

We still do Brady’s full night-time routine every single night, with dinner, bath, story and a warm bottle, and I also don’t see that changing any time soon either. If it works, it works.

Food

I wrote a whole post about what Brady eats right now here: “Our favorite simple and healthy toddler eats,” so you can check that one out.

But here’s the gist: He eats mostly what we eat. A lot of veggies, fruits, nuts, nut butters, snacks, yogurt, dates, black beans, bread and home-made pizza. He has small meals throughout the day, with breakfast, a snack, a small lunch, a snack and a bigger dinner, and also still has about 21 ounces of organic whole milk a day too. He loves his food, and he also loves to throw his food, if he’s not feeling it at that moment.

Brady eating dinner at home September 2019 by A Lady Goes West

When we go out to lunches with him maybe once or twice a week, he has salmon and/or chicken, but otherwise doesn’t each much meat at home. I wouldn’t say Brady is a huge eater, but he eats enough and seems to love all the things we feed him, so that’s good. 

He’s big into water though and is constantly chugging his “wawa.” And if you leave your own water cup around him, guaranteed he will drink it and leave some lovely backwash in it too.

Larabars - Super simple and healthy favorite toddler eats by A Lady Goes West -- September 2019

Development

Every single day, this kid can say more words, understand more things and do things better than the day before. I remember a few months ago when he couldn’t quite get the pieces of his chunky puzzle back into the right slot, now he nails it every time. (Our favorite brand of chunky puzzle is right here.)

He knows where everything goes in the house and is very neat and tidy, and it amazes me to see him put things back when he’s done with them most of the time (much like his neat-freak-of-a-momma).

He LOVES to chat and is constantly talking, and he can totally string together about four words or so at a time that make total sense, but there’s still a lot of baby gibberish. At times, he is trying so hard to make me understand what he means, but that doesn’t always happen.

Brady eating at Homegrown by A Lady Goes West

He uses his fork and spoon pretty well. Can’t quite get his shoes on properly, but gives it his best shot. Very excited to brush his own hair and his teeth. Can climb up and onto just about everything in the house and does so on a daily basis.

Other than that, I love that he is a morning person, and I love that he is such a chatterbox. He’s really like a little companion at times, just doing his best to communicate and understand. I think he understands a lot more than he can actually say too, and it’s funny to hear the random words that he will repeat out of nowhere.

Basically, it’s amazing to see him grow and develop right before our eyes, and his personality is completely infectious to anyone around him already.

Brady's 2-year update by A Lady Goes West

The not-so-good toddler stuff

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies …

A few things that we’ve been dealing with include tantrums, tantrums and some more tantrums. We’ve discovered that Brady does not understand “future tense” so well, so if you mention something that excites him, he needs it right away. If not, a potential tantrum could erupt. The tantrums also come about when you take away something he isn’t supposed to have. There’s always a chance of a tantrum when it’s time to change his diaper or get him dressed, but the worst ones happen when we have to leave a place he loves to be, like the library. Oh boy, he does not like to leave the library. 

But here’s the funny thing, Brady doesn’t have tantrums every single day. Some days he is so sweet and easy-going and a totally happy angel without a care in the world, then some days, he’ll kick and punch when it’s time to get him into the car seat. That’s always fun. Especially when it happens in public.

We’ve done a decent job of baby-proofing our house, but it’s definitely not perfect, and Brady is into almost everything. He likes to pull out pots and pans and he knows the drawers that don’t have the baby locks, so those are his favorite. Much of the time, I let him investigate the items, pull them out and then ask him to put them back. But some days, it seems like we can’t get out of the house without touching everything. Maybe that’s just a kid thing, but he’s a busy-body and nothing is safe when he is around.

It’s like I turn my back and next thing you know he’s banging a spoon on the remote, standing on the coffee table, with my curling iron next to him. For real.

Amazon Prime top purchases by A Lady Goes West - June 2019

The baby/big boy mixture/combination

And here’s another magical part about having a 2-year-old boy: They are a wonderful combination of a baby at times, and a big boy too. When Brady is tired, he sucks his finger and will snuggle. If he gets scared, nervous or gets a booboo (like he got this past weekend when he tripped and fell on cement), he needs his mommy and just melts into me. At night time, he still lays down in our arms reading stories and rocking in the glider. Yet, he’s also sturdy enough to run around outside at the park, tell us what he wants, buckle the top buckle of his car seat clip and feed himself too. It’s this mixture of tiny and grown, baby and boy, I don’t know how else to describe it, but I love it.

Ashley and Brady at Pressed Juicery September 2019 by A Lady Goes West

Brady’s favorite things …

Reading. He will bring books to us all day long and ask to “reeree” the book. Some of his favorites including “How to Train a Train,” “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” “Little Blue Truck” series, and “How Do Dinosaurs” series. When he was a bit younger, he didn’t make it through a whole book, but now he does and often asks to read the same book more than twice in one sitting, because he can’t get enough.

Coloring. We got Brady his own little table from Ikea a couple of months ago, and he loves to color there — as well as anywhere he can. I made the mistake of buying regular crayons to start, but now he colors with washable crayons. And if he sees me with a pen? He wants that pen with every fiber of his being. He goes crazy when he sees my daily journal that I keep my tasks in, and so I have a few pages in the back that I always let him scribble on when the journal comes out.

Basketball. He has this little sports set and loves to throw his basketball in there. In fact, he throws all his toys into the hoop and drags the basketball set around the house. He’s all about sports, balls and throwing things.

Bike rides. Dave bought an attachment to his bike and a helmet for Brady, and Brady LOVESSSSS to ride on the bike. He hasn’t been in a few weeks because it’s been too hot, but I know he’ll be back out there soon riding.

Running. Brady doesn’t do a ton of walking, he mostly moves in a run. And when he runs, he flails his arms and legs and giggles. Basically from the moment he gets up until his nap, and then from his nap until his bedtime. He must get a lot of steps in a day.

Seeing airplanes. We sit outside in the morning for breakfast a lot and watch for airplanes. Brady LOVES to spot an airplane in the air. He knows when they are far away or close. And he gets this giddy expression on his face when they appear.

Brady looking out the window September 2019 by A Lady Goes West

Buses, fire trucks and dump trucks. Ohhhh does it make Brady’s day to see any of these large vehicles? He loves to point them out. Sweet boy. (Also really into trains, and we have a local train we go ride once a month or so in Berkeley, and that’s always a hit.)

Animals. Real animals and stuffed animals — Brady is a fan. There are several dogs in our neighborhood that we see regularly, and Brady loves that (in addition to his very own dog his has at home, of course). He also loves to see cats. I took him to a small local wildlife museum a few weeks ago and he died over the guinea pigs. The kid is totally into animals.

Car rides. I know Britney Spears was arrested for having her kid on her lap driving in the car and all, but sometimes, Brady gets to sit on Dave’s lap when Dave gets home and is pulling into the driveway. Can we get in trouble for that? It’s not like Brady is steering, and the car is going like 2 miles an hour … and he sure does get excited about it.

The library. I take Brady to two different libraries each week, either for official story-time or just to play, and he goes crazy for the “lie-buweee.” He doesn’t even really mess with the books, just runs around the aisles and plays with the toys in the kid areas.

Seeing all the things. Since the last time I did an update, Brady went out of the country for his first time on our first official family vacation to British Columbia. He was so excited to stay in hotels, walk around the city and explore just about everything. He’s definitely a little extrovert, who likes to be around people and be on the go. Seeing things is his favorite activity.

Brady at Lettuce September 2019 by A Lady Goes West

Brady by the numbers …

  • 2 feet 11 inches
  • 28.8 pounds
  • Lots of teeth, too many to count
  • Still wearing size 4 diapers during the day, but wearing a size 5 overnight
  • Just moved into a size 7 shoe
  • Still wearing 18-month clothing, with some 24-month stuff thrown in, a lot of hand-me-downs from friends, which is awesome

Other Brady and momming posts you may like …

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog, my friends! I hope you have a wonderful day!

P.S. I’ll share some more pictures from Brady’s little 2nd birthday party soon.

Questions of the day

What’s your child’s favorite book?

How was your weekend?

Can you believe Brady is 2?

What do we do if he crawls out of his crib again?

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12 Comments

  1. They just get more and more fun at this age don’t they?

    Keep him in the crib as long as you safely can. We kept our son in his until a few weeks ago when he was 33 months. I would have kept him in it until he was 3 years old but we have another little one on the way and we wanted to transition him well before the new baby arrives.

    We used a HALO SleepSack Big Kids Wearable Blanket during naps and at night for the last year to discourage him from trying to climb out of his crib. We worried about him running around his room at night or in the morning when he wakes up now that he is in a big boy bed but so far he just stays in bed until he falls asleep and he is still there in morning after he wakes up.

    1. Stefanie! First of all, congratulations on the second little angel on the way!! When are you due?? Second of all, you are SOOO smart with this advice, we actually JUST put him in a sleepsack for a nap for the first time yesterday to keep him from trying to climb, so hoping that works. And we will definitely keep him in the crib as long we can — thank you for all your wisdom, my friend! 🙂 xoxo

      1. I hope the sleep sack works for you as well as it did for us.

        I am due in late January which feels like forever from now! I am glad that I have the holidays to distract me for the next couple of months. Our son is super excited about Halloween and Christmas decorations so I think this year will be really fun for us as far as that goes.

  2. So fun to read! My daughter turns two next month and crossing my fingers she won’t climb out of her crib anytime soon.
    I also read that if you double a two year olds height, that is how tall they will grow to be. Kind of fun to think about.

    1. Hi Jen!! Oh that’s a fun fact hehehe! 🙂 Thanks for that … and I’m hoping your little one doesn’t attempt the crib escape for a LONG time!! Have the tantrums started yet??

  3. Hi Ashley. Love this blog about Brady’s two years. I knew there would be a lot more good things about Brady than bad. Never had raised a child from birth I wonder how a young child developed different bavior patterns. Example throwing tantrums. I know a parent would not install that behavior in their child.

    1. I think it’s pretty common for his age to get tantrums, because they just can’t quite process their emotions enough yet hehehe! 🙂 I’m glad you are getting to see Brady grow through pictures and stories.

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