I took both kids for their 18 month and 4 year doctors appointments in July 8th. So Ben was a month late for his 18 month appointment, but oh well. I really like his (their) new doctor, so that was reassuring.
Ben is 33” tall (between 50-75%) and he’s 25.5lbs (again between 50-75%). So he’s pretty darn proportionate. He STILL has that rash around his mouth that you can see in these pictures. He’s had it for over a year now and he must just have acidic spit. I know it’s caused by his paci that he uses when he sleeps (and ONLY when he sleeps) and even though I coat his mouth with Aquafor during naps and bedtime, he still has it. It comes and goes and doesn’t seem to bother him much, unless he eats something spicy, so I’m fairly certain it’ll go away when he’s done with the paci.
They did the autism screening questionnaire this appointment and he doesn’t have any signs of that, which I wasn’t too worried about in the first place. He’s a pretty happy and social little guy. I was a little worried about his vocabulary since Abbie was talking a LOT more at this age, but the dr said that it’s typical for boys to not talk as much or as early as girls, and he is saying about 20 words so that’s good for him. He’s also starting to try to repeat what we say more often so I’m sure pretty soon he’ll be taking off with his talking.
I told the dr about the murmurs they’d heard on the echocardiogram that he had when he was around 2 months old. They had told us then that he had 2 very small holes, one that should close up by 6 months, and one that 30% of adults have. So she listened very carefully and after a while she said that she still heard a slight murmur, which is interesting since the dr’s on base in Italy all said that they hadn’t heard one anymore. She ordered a referral to a cardiologist here to get another echo done on him, just to make sure that it’s not a big deal. Again, I’m not super worried about this since he’s growing and acting fine. He doesn’t get winded, that I notice, when he runs around so I think he might just have that one that is common in adults, but it’ll be nice to know for sure what it is, and also to see how the American cardiologists differ from the Italian ones.
Ben is starting to gain more independence. He’s wanting to try to do things by himself now, whether I want him to or not. He can walk completely down our flights of stairs by himself now, which scares me, but he doesn’t want help at all. He’s a bit wobbly, but he can get all the way down them without holding on to anything. Pretty impressive. He’s just started pushing the kitchen table chairs all over the place and then climbing on top of them and standing up. Not my favorite activity of his for sure. He’s learning more animal noises and likes to practice when we say “what does a ____ say?”. He LOVES to be outside and to go for walks and bike rides. He’s a lot of fun because even though he doesn’t say a ton of words, he knows exactly when you’re saying to him. So if you ask him if he wants to go for a bike ride, he runs and gets his shoes and brings them to you and then runs to the garage door to go get on the bike.
The new discovery this month is that Ben LOVES the pool! I think it’s warm enough for him now, so he loves to get in and paddle around in his little floaty. I need to get him some of those UV swim shirts because I would feel better if he was a little more protected from the sun here. If you click on the picture above where Mark is splashing, you can see that Ben is having a great time. He’s such a little snuggly guy too!
Here’s a picture of Benj at 19 months and Abbie at 19 months. I remember wondering if I would love Ben as much as I loved Abbie before I had him. Seems so silly now. I couldn’t imagine my life without this sweet little boy in it. He makes me want to have 10 more just like him.