Tag Archives: Bonding

All About Gus, 18 months

Here is the latest on Gus. You can see last month here.

Age: 18 months, 13 days Home: 30 days

Height: 2′ 6.25″* Weight: 21.4lbs

*Obviously either this month’s measurement or last month’s is off.

Words he knows and says spontaneously:

  • Papa
  • Mama
  • Eat
  • Aa daa (all done)
  • Mo (more)
  • yeah
  • no
  • yay

Words he repeats often but hasn’t used spontaneously:

  • Genta (gentle)
  • out

Signs he knows:

  • More
  • Eat
  • All done & ┬ádrink, which are exactly the same in Gus-sign
  • Yes
  • No

He is highly motivated by praise. He will do something right and then clap his hands and say “yay!”


He is also often very aware when he is doing something wrong. Today, he threw his napkins on the floor, looked at me, smiled, and said “nuh-uh” while shaking his head.

He has figured out how go through the doggie door and how to open up doors, at least our bedroom one. Fortunately, he hasn’t gotten out of his crib yet, and the baby gates still contain him.

He loves to take things and move them. Meaning I have a hard time finding anything we usually keep at his level. Shoes, toilet paper, his drink, etc., are constantly disappearing.

I love his spontaneous hugs and kisses. You know, the charge at my legs kind.

I do not enjoy the baby gate being shut every single time it’s open.

He tries to put most things in his mouth… dirt, rocks, any toys…

He loves movement– swinging, upside down, thrown in the air, etc.

He seems to prefer having shoes on, but not clothes. Or, just one shoe. That is pretty typical, he will take on off and leave the other one on for awhile.

He still sucks his thumb all the time, especially when he is stressed.

He dances to music and the vacuum cleaner.

Sleeps: He still sleeps the same amount as last month, although he seems to a bit pickier about where he will sleep. He has fallen asleep in the car, our bed and the crib, but not anywhere else, including the stroller.

Eats: He will still eat anything and begs to try everything as I am cooking, including raw chicken. If he sees something new, he will throw down whatever he is eating and beg for the new thing.

Loves to: explore, be outside

Dislikes: teeth brushed, buckled into car seat, diaper changes most of the time

Still taking questions for a Q&A. So, if you have anything you want to ask, leave a comment or email me.

Parenting a 17mo old

As I talked to a friend today, I was reminded that I want to portray our attachment period honestly. I am so happy to have Gus home that I hesitate to ever open my mouth with a complaint.

But, parenting an a 17-month old is exhausting.

One question my friend asked me is whether this is easier or harder than the period after Reed and Lena’s homecoming. Much, much easier, because we are already parents, there is just one of him, and we have a better support system than we did the first time around. We were just much more prepared this time, mostly because of our experience the first time around.

Gus has transitioned in to our family MUCH easier than Reed and Lena did. Of course, it’s possible that we are still in the “honeymoon” period, but Gus is doing very well. Most of his behavior seems very normal for his age.

However, there are challenges. Some of them are just part of parenting a toddler, and a few are related to his past.

-Prefers women to men, including me to Aaron: This is pretty normal. He’s has not spent much time around men, so he naturally prefers me and other women to men. This is a challenge, because while he super comfortable with me, he is only okay with Aaron. He won’t look to Aaron for comfort yet, and still gets a bit upset if he sees me leaving.

-Communicating: I am used to communicating with Reed and Lena, at their level. We are signing with Gus, and the idea is still pretty novel to him. He knows a few signs, like “more” and “all done” and we are working on several more signs. But, even though he knows them, he doesn’t understand how to use them without prompting, and I need to remind him that he has a choice. Choices are very new and exciting to him.

-He’s into everything: This is definitely a typical age thing, but I think it is only complicated by the fact that everything is new to him. He probably hadn’t seen a toilet before we picked him up, or any kitchen stuff. He watches me with great fascination when I brush my teeth or put on makeup. It is ALL new to him and his preferred ways of exploring are touching and putting things in his mouth.

-Hitting/grabbing/pulling hair/biting to be funny: Of course, this is also all typical 17mo old stuff. And it is exhausting. “Gentle”… 500 times a day. This is particularly frustrating when he is hurting Reed or Lena. Fortunately, they have a lot of patience with him.

One of the biggest challenges is just that I was pretty comfortable parenting 2 preschoolers. Most of the time, I knew how to communicate with them, motivate them, etc. It is a whole new learning curve. An expected new learning curve, but challenging nevertheless.

I am ready for nap time most days. But, I’m always ready for those sweet post-nap kisses, too!


Weekend Update

Our weekend was pretty relaxed. Our one big to-do was that we wanted to each take each of our big kids out on a “date”. Some alone time to hang out and check-in with them.

I let them pick what they wanted to do. Reed wanted to go get ice cream. I told him we could do something else after we got ice cream and he was so excited to go to the playground for awhile. And, when we left, he was super excited to go home and go “swimming” in our “pool”. Reed moves fast!


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Lena just wanted to go to the playground. Lena soaks up my undivided attention whenever she gets it. So, I put down my cell phone and gave it to her. All I needed to do was narrate everything she was doing on the swing. “Higher!” “Slooooower.” And she laughed and laughed. Then, I pushed her myself and sent her to outer space. She called me on the phone from outer space and told me she loved me.



Am I driving you crazy that I don’t have much of an update on Gus? Poor kid didn’t get to leave our house all weekend! Actually, that might be a happy thing for him– he hates getting buckled in to his car seat. It is also 100+ here every day, so the options for where to go are limited.

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He did get to “swim” for awhile Saturday night, so he was happy about that!

A video of the little goofball.

Honestly, he’s a lot harder to photograph that my bigger kids, because he rarely slows down! I am trying to get some photos for an adoption announcement, and we’ll see if that ever happens…