Today, Alec put together a 12 piece puzzle. Admittedly, it was the kind where you put the pieces over an identical picture, so he had the help of being able to match the piece to the picture, but even being able to do that it pretty good for a two year old. And it was a reminder that while development isn't as dramatic in late toddlerhood as it is in the first two years, they still have a way of sneaking new skills in behind your back to surprise you.
Cognitive: Alec has been very interested in letters for a while and recently started in on numbers. He can name a bunch of letters (one of his favorite toys for a while has been a little electronic toy that says the name of a letter when you press the corresponding key) and can often be heard wandering around counting. In fact, he's making discipline with K a bit difficult because I sometimes use the count to three method, only when I say "One..." he then fills in "Two, three, four!" It's remarkably hard to maintain good discipline when you're having trouble keeping a straight face. I have heard him count to five (as in, associating numbers with objects) and recite numbers up to 15. He knows a wide variety of shapes and colors.
He is particularly interested in music these days, and thanks to Little Einsteins, can identify a number of instruments as well as melody lines to various pieces of classical music. I think we will definitely getting him music lessons when he's a bit older, although I'm not sure where to start because the Suzuki method has never really appealed to me.
Verbal: He talks a lot, but has definite issues with articulation, so good luck understanding him. He's getting more and more intelligible though. When K was his age, I spent a long time trying to figure out how any child who had said as many words as she had could talk so little. Eventually, after she finally started talking regularly, I realized it was because while she had vocabularly, she had trouble with articulation and wasn't willing to say things if she couldn't do it correctly. Alec has the same articulation issues, but the difference is that he's never let a little thing like intelligibility get in the way of what he has to say. The cheerful babbling is slowly developing into cheerful words that we can understand now, which is fun to watch develop.
Physical: At his two year appointment, he was 33 1/2 pounds and 38 inches tall, which is 95 percentile for weight and off the charts for height (for reference, those were K's measurements at her 3 year appointment, and she's never been small). He's certainly bigger now, although I don't know how much.
In gross motor skills, he can now walk up stairs one at a time while holding onto something, and step down them as well, although he prefers to sit down and bump his way down them. He can't jump yet, although he can do the incredibly cute crouch and leap up without his feet actually leaving the ground. He is adept on the playground and I think there is very little he can't climb.
In terms of fine motor skills, he's getting closer to coloring within the lines of pictures. I haven't been able to tease out anything representational in his art yet, but he holds crayons and pencils correctly (he was absolutely fascinated with his sister's handwriting book tonight, but I was too mean to let him scribble in it).
I finally had to give him a real haircut after his adorable baby curls turned into out of control shagginess. He's such a big boy now, in so many ways.