Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Language Explosion!

No phone or camera can be pulled out without this reaction!
We're in the middle of so many break-throughs over here. The main and most obvious one being a language explosion! Ian is saying so many unprompted things, as well as imitating a word we previously said. I know that I say this constantly, but this is so much fun!!

Of course, some of his language is his own, but we are learning more about what certain words or phrases mean. And they sound very similar to the real words. "Nooky" is "milk," for example. "Abocabo" is "avocado," "Nana" is "banana," "Myamelon" is "watermelon."

The chickens are such a huge part of our lives now, so Ian knows each of their names and talks about them throughout the day. Sooki is his favorite. He always wants to find her first and almost always mentions her first. Next we talk about "Burn" (Laverne) and then "Momelia" (Cornelia, sometimes there are even more syllables added to her name!).
Iris & Ian
Oh, the cuteness...
Our friends Chris, Jess, & Iris are also quite familiar and so Ian talks about them very often. "Aras" for Iris, "Cockeye" for Buckeye the dog, "Mama" with a point away from me is for Jess, and Chris is "Daddy." Iris calls her dad that, so it seems he things that is Chris' real name. Good thing he has a "Papa," so it's not confusing!! Jess told me that Iris has started calling Jim "Papa." So funny!

Jess & Chris have watched Ian a few times for us and he's been so content and happy when I leave. I always tell him that I am leaving and where I'm going and then ask for a kiss and a hug. He gives them willingly and then doesn't bat an eye as I head for the door. This is new, people. It definitely helps, him and me, that he knows them and their house and always has a great time.

He LOVES giving hugs and kisses goodbye or goodnight. When my mom and Jim parents each visited over the past couple weekends, he always said goodnight to them by giving them first a hug, and then a kiss. When we say goodbye to Chris, Jess, Iris, & Buckeye, each of them get the same treatment. Sometimes his hugs are a bit much for Iris (she gets the best, longest, strongest hugs of all, I think), but we are working on light and short hugs for her. We visited a friend this week with a child his age and when we went to say goodbye, the girl refused a hug goodbye. Ian was quite upset and I had to carry him out to the car distraught. Quite the loving fellow. I'll take your hugs any day, sweet boy.

Looking at pictures of himself ;)
The best part about his hugs are that he always adds a few pats on your back. Kisses are always on the lips and he waits with a pucker face for as long as it takes you to reciprocate.

My mom came for a visit during her first weekend of summer without students! We took her to Floyd and walked around all of the interesting shops, ate dinner at Dogtown Pizza, and then enjoyed an evening at The Floyd Country Store for the Jamboree! She'd never been and it was quite fun to go with her.

Then, on Jim's day off, we went with Mom to Blacksburg's "Wagons & Wheels" Festival. Vehicles of every kind were present: police cars, SWAT vans, Army Hummers, plow trucks, tow trucks, fire engines, ambulances, you name it! A helicopter even landed and allowed kids to go inside. Ian did that AND we got to go for a ride in a fire engine! Thanks, Mom, for standing in those two long lines for us! It was amazing to see the number of kids between the ages of 1-4 or 5 who came to the festival. There are a lot of little kids and young families in our area! We saw almost everyone we know, too ;)

Two of Ian's stuffed animals have overnight become his favorite toys! One is the polar bear that my mom got him for his first birthday and the other is one of my moose stuffed animals from when I collected moose things. He calls the bear "Baby" and the moose "Moosey." They get diaper changes at the cobblers bench in his bedroom. We've put a few cloth wipes in the drawer so that he can actually wipe and clean them. So far, they've gotten full body scrub downs! He also ensures that they stay warm under a "blanky" while we read books or get ready for sleeping. They've also taken snacks at the same time as him. Today he asked for them in the bath, but we had to discuss how stuffed animals cannot go in the tub. It's very sweet watching him tend to their care.

Ian's become quite daring and confident with Leif. He loves playing fetch, which is nothing new, but he's gotten the gumption to wrap one arm around his neck and then reach into Leif's mouth with the other hand to get the ball. He often comes out successful! When not playing fetch, he loves to walk over and wrap his arm around him and just stand there next to him. Two sweet pals.

Our Morris Chairs have been a source of fascination and entertainment for Ian. It's been a challenge to keep him from removing the pegs and relocating them to different holes or different chairs. Toddlers have a way of finding just the right time to test the limits, often when you're preoccupied with dinner or some other absolutely necessary task.

Testing limits. This is happening often! We're entering full-on toddler mode! Staying calm, keeping our voices steady and firm, and validating through our words that we understand his frustration or desire to do X, Y, or Z, have been the name of the game. We don't always do this perfectly, of course. Every moments' a new opportunity to practice. We get a lot of moments in a day ;)

Sleep has been pretty good, thankfully!! We give him a bath, brush & floss teeth, read a few books, turn on his sound machine and music CD, and then nurse for less than a minute on each side (my supply is pretty non-existent at this point and I don't mind!) and then he has more "Nooki" from a bottle before handing it back to me to let me know he's had enough (it's normally not much). Then I lie with him until he falls asleep. He stays in his own bed until 3 or 4 AM and then comes to ours for the rest of the night. One day this will have to change, but for now we enjoy the morning snuggles.

His naps are lasting longer! He's currently in a three hour nap right now and it's still, miraculously, going! Normally he takes about a two or two and a half hour nap. Lately, I've been joining him and it's been glorious!

He posed for the first time purposeful time for this picture!
MUSIC. MUSIC. MUSIC!! Boy, does this kid love music! Hmm. Wonder where he gets it? He just LOVES to dance to any music he deems "flat-footing" music. We have the CD/cassette player in his room and he often requests to have his music on, which often encourages him to stay in his room longer than he would independently otherwise. If one song ends, he turns to me and asks for more. His face lights up as a new song starts; oh my heart... it's adorable. Pandora plays often throughout our day and he always enjoys it when I sing songs or when we sing through song books. His xylophone continues to be a big hit!

We've started coloring and doing art more! For a long time he wasn't very interested and he still doesn't really enjoy sitting for longer than a minute or two, but it's a start. Jess recommended some crayons that don't require quite the same amount of pressure as a regular crayon and those have been appealing to him. We've started a coloring notebook and I try to write the date and his age on the page somewhere, for when we look back at it in the future.

Papa continues to be Ian's celebrity. When he comes in the door at the end of the day, Ian exclaims his name repeatedly, while galloping into his arms at full speed. Quite a nice greeting! Then they wrestle and rough-house or go on a tour of what Ian's wanting to show his papa. Bath time, when Jim's home in time, continues to be their thing. It's so sweet to hear their banter echoing from the bathroom as they play and laugh and splash together.

On these hot days, Ian and I have headed to the pool. It's so fun to watch him enjoy the water!! We have such a fun time. He's starting to kick a lot more and really understands that he has to kick to get somewhere he wants to go (even if it's me directing him and his floaties).

Puzzles! He has started to enjoy putting puzzles together! We have one out right now, that probably should be rotated out, with emergency vehicles and he can put all six pieces in on his own. He's learned, through some assistance, to line up the wheels at the bottom of each piece. He used to get a bit frustrated and plead for help, but not anymore! We'll see what happens when another puzzle is put out.

We are reading lots and lots of books these days! A plethora of books. A cornucopia of books. "Cooks," as he fondly calls them. I just might spend more of his awake time reading books than doing anything else. He will find a book, announce/plead to read a "Cook," and then ask to sit in the "Rocky" (rocking chair). Repeat!! It's nice cuddle time with him, since he has to sit on my lap in the rocking chair since it's not wide enough for the two of us.

It's neat because he chooses to read the same book over and over again throughout the day(s) and really is showing his comprehension and understanding. He does this through his interactions by mirroring the book, giggling, or saying "uh oh", to name a few examples.

He loves "dawberries," "myamelon," and "boberries." That grin says it all.

Happy 21 months, dear talker!!!

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