I was home sick on his birthday, so we didn't do much. Father made his special macaroni and cheese, one of Elmer's favorite meals, and we had some chocolate cupcakes.
But I took the day off that Friday and, along with Grammie and Grampa Perry and Gramma Maughan, we went to the Phoenix Zoo. We looked at some of our favorite animals. Elmer especially enjoys going to Harmony Farm and playing on the tractor, and then we rode on the carousel. It was Arthur's first time to ride on the carousel as well, so that was extra fun.
I feel like Elmer's made some major leaps in development over the last month. We gave up the pacifier for good on his birthday. Elmer only was allowed to have it when he was in his room for the past several months, and we talked about how when he turned 3, we were going to put the pacifier away. After his nap on his birthday, we carefully put it in a box and put it on a high shelf. He missed it that first night, but has been just fine without it ever since!
It's so fun to see how Elmer's becoming more independent. He loves to help around the house, and is getting pretty good at following some instructions: he'll throw things away in the trash, he loves to help when we cook and tries so hard not to spill when he stirs, he will go get his shoes and Arthur's shoes when we're getting ready to go outside. He is very assertive and says "Elmer do it" when he doesn't want our help, and I'm trying to let him try, even if it's something he still has a hard time doing on his own.
I think we're finally starting to make some headway on using proper pronouns. Elmer's starting to use "I" and "me" a little more often, and he's got "Arthur, that's MINE" down just fine. He likes to pretend that we're all characters in his books and this morning he told me that I was Piglet and he was Rabbit, and he used the correct pronouns - he said "You are Piglet" and "I am Rabbit", and I think that's the first time I've heard him say that.
I love that Elmer's starting to do more imaginative play - it's so fun to pretend to be fire trucks or cats, and he'll tell a pretty good story with a few prompts to keep going.
Both the boys love being outside, so there's rarely a day that we don't go out for a ride in the wagon, playing in the sandbox, climbing the tree or swinging on the swing. Elmer got a tricycle for Christmas, which he enjoys, but he's still learning how to work the pedals.
We're still working on potty training - he's very good about using the toilet to pee, but he still just doesn't understand when it's time to go poo. We'll get it soon, though, I think.
Elmer hasn't taken a morning nap for most of this past year, though we still have an hour of quiet time in his room in the morning. He still usually needs an afternoon nap, but he often doesn't sleep any more - he'll read in his room. I'd say he probably only naps about half the time these days. But even when he doesn't sleep, the quiet time definitely helps, and he's usually in a pretty good mood until bedtime. He's gotten much better at staying in his room at night, but often gets up very early (4:30 or 5). We're working on waiting in his room until 6.
There are just so many fun things that Elmer does and says, I think I'm going to have to post more often with anecdotes as they happen - with both the boys. But I love our little boy - who's starting not to be so little any more!