- Carpet = Grass
- Elephant = “Phana”
- Store = Story = Library. As in “Dada went store story library right back”. He must think Carl has a lot of fun without him.
- All sweets are chocolate. E.g.: shamrock shake, dried dates.
Will’s at such a fun age right now – he’s moved beyond the “copy everything we say” stage to where we’re starting to get an insight on what he’s thinking about. The first time I can really think of was at Christmas when he started saying “Grandma” and when we went to Christmas town and he couldn’t stop talking about the penguins and horses. Now he’s starting to tell stories: “One time, little pigs built house”.
A lot of Will’s language in play centers around trains and the things he’s heard in Thomas shows and books. If something is under a table or the couch, it is “under the tunnel”. Trigger’s kennel? A tunnel. Will told me a detailed story the other night about how Gordon (the train) had gone down “the tunnel in the toilet”. (He had not, thank goodness). We don’t have any Thomas tracks yet, but that just means everything is a track. And because in the show there are “troublesome trucks”, Will often talks about “troublesome tracks”. The car that James pulls behind him is called baby James number 5. Thomas is “Thomas the tank engine number 1″.
Will has learned his letters, and it’s kind of snuck up on me that he knows them now. He may not say them when you ask, but if you listen when he’s playing on his own he’ll accurately identify the letters on the alphabet train or you’ll hear him say under his breath “DEFGH”. We haven’t done anything with lowercase, but he’s figuring them out. I had to remind myself this morning that when he was spelling out “Dinos.u…” that he couldn’t really spell, that he was just pointing out the letters he knew. Most things are identified first by their colors. “Mama! Purple jacket!” Who knows how high he can count – we’ve heard up to 13, but I think he can probably go higher, and he can identify them by sight up to 10. It’s really just the start of all he’ll learn!
Here’s Becca at six months: smiley, wanting to be a part of the party, yelling if she feels like she isn’t, babbling along. Scooting her way across the room, especially if there’s paper that can go in her mouth or a toy that her brother has that looks more fun than what she’s playing with. Loving Trigger, and all the people in the house. Not a great napper, loves to be held until she’s ready to wriggle away. No time to sit still. A pretty good sleeper, unless of course she’s not feeling well or going through a growth spurt. Eats only when she’s hungry, which is probably why she’s so skinny (but tall!). Starting to look more like her daddy when she smiles. Capturing all of our hearts.
I wanted to just post this photo without an explanation, but doesn’t it look like those crazy Vogue fashion shoots where they’ve got the model in the middle of a farmyard in her $40,000 gown? Kind of like sending your toddler in velvet pants and a ruffly white shirt to run in your muddy backyard, right?
Will turned 2 a couple weeks ago, and he’s definitely progressing along. Words that used to be one syllable are turning into 2: banana used to be “ba” but now it’s “ba-na”. Thomas used to be ‘s-Ta (it’s Thomas!) and now is Tms (but Toby is a very clear To-by and Gordon is the cutest Gow-don). Sometimes compound consonants get mixed up – spoon is poonce. He loves books, puzzles, and coloring, but also running laps around the downstairs of our house, or having Carl push him down the hallway on a cart upstairs, yelling 1-2-3 Go! He’s a huge fan of dinosaurs and can say Rex & Tops (for triceratops) and is trying to say a few others (and some are in a language all his own).
(this picture is about the kid, not the mess!)
If he’s feeling sad he’ll say “carry” so someone will pick him up, or point at my shoulder and say “that one” if he wants a hug, especially if I’m holding Becca. He likes to point out that something is broken, or if something needs to be put on. He still likes helping by emptying the dishwasher, cleaning the lint trap, getting the dustpan and sweeping. He wants to get his own bowl and spoon, pour his own milk, and cut his own cheese (with help). He’s learning his colors and will sometimes count to 6 or 8, but we’re not allowed to sing the alphabet song anymore. He likes to point out O’s and 0′s as circles in books, and can say his shapes when he’s playing with the shape sorter. He moved into his big boy bed over the weekend, and has done really well so far, but we go get him as soon as he wakes up and haven’t put any toys in his room so there’s no temptation to get out of bed. The next step will be to get Becca in the crib overnight.
Becca continues to surprise me with how different she is from Will (even though my favorite line when I was trying to figure out what would work with Will was that every baby is different! and it’s my advice to other people! but it’s true!). Will would nurse for super long sessions, and would never choose to end on his own and would only nurse to sleep. Becca nurses for 10 minutes (more if she’s super hungry) and won’t eat if she’s full or if she’s distracted, and will go to sleep by just being rocked or even if she’s laid down in her bed if she’s had enough to eat during the day. She doesn’t like bottles but when she’s hunger striking I don’t walk into the door to a screaming baby (which doesn’t mean she hasn’t been fussy during the day) – it’s like she’s just resigned herself to the fact that I’m gone and she’s not going to eat. She’ll just get kind of sleepy instead. Our secret to getting her to eat hasn’t been any particular bottle, but giving her a little bit of formula as a last resort. Not my first choice by any means, but it’s just enough to get her kickstarted after a long weekend or a particularly stubborn day, and makes sure she’s not going hungry or getting dehydrated, and that I’m not having to get up all through the night to make sure she’s fed.
Before the long weekend she was even sleeping longer than I was. She’s long and lean, and loves to kick and coo. She’s started buzzing her lips, which Will then imitates so it’s like they’re having a conversation. He also goes up to her and says “hi, baby” in a high voice which just melts my heart.
I realized one day that instead of being completely afraid of leaving the house with both kids by myself, that I had intentionally done it to add some structure and an activity to our day. I just need to occasionally remind myself that I don’t need to be afraid of a toddler meltdown in public – Will is a fun kid to hang out with and do things with, as long as he’s not hungry, tired, or sick. And if those three things are checked off and the baby has been fed, off we can go! We don’t have that many things firmly scheduled into our weeks, though, and there are plenty of days we entertain ourselves at home. We are so blessed to have both of our children and I’m glad that I’ve had this time to spend with them at home.
Two presents me with a fun new logistical problem – which kid to get out of and put in the car first. And to remember to communicate with Will what I’m doing in the parking lot. At the grocery store we park next to the cart corral so I can load him up in the cart and he can sit there while I’m putting the baby in her carrier and vice versa when it’s time to leave. Thankfully he’s gotten good about holding hands walking across the parking lot. Our double stroller doesn’t have an infant seat, so either he’s walking, riding in a cart, or riding in the wagon to the neighborhood park.
The stairs are the biggest challenge at home, because Will isn’t old enough to be left on one level while I take care of something in another part of the house. Sometimes his naptime (or baby naptime) is when I find myself dashing up and down the stairs to get everything put away that I need to. As soon as I get Becca to sleep after lunch I suggest to Will that “it’s time to go upstairs” (code for naptime) and he gladly goes. More often than not, though, I come back down to find her eyes open and we spend some time snuggling before I can do what I have planned, so I’ll spend some time resting on the couch and by the time I’m ready to get up she’s awake again. It’s ok, though, because I usually get enough sleep at night that I’m not depending on that time for a nap myself, and since about the third week I’ve been able to get a shower in the morning before Will gets up.
Will runs to Becca’s bed saying, “Baby!” every time he wakes up or goes by, and will push her swing saying “whee!”. He does wake her up sometimes, but it’s all part of daily life and she gets enough sleep overall. Eventually we’ll move her toward naps in another room, but for now she stays with us. He’s not jealous towards her, but when my lap is free he does need quality attention from me, and will sometimes crawl up in my lap or next to me on the couch while I’m nursing.
Trigger has responded to the addition to the family by acting out because he’s not getting enough attention, poor guy. He used to be good about boundaries around food – not counter surfing or eating off of Will’s table before he was permitted, but I guess he feels like he has to fend for himself now. He does like the cooler weather now, but likes us to be out in the yard with him. He’s good with the baby, though, as long as we can keep him from licking her face.
Becca is such an easy-going baby so far, and growing like a weed! We’re switching pediatricians so we don’t have her official stats yet, but she’s outgrowing the length on her 0-3 month pants already, although she’s skinny so the elastic waists don’t exactly stay up.
She’s generally a good sleeper, and even some of the times when she wakes up in the night she’s not screaming or crying, but just starts cooing and talking. I still get up to try to nurse or rock her back to sleep because I’m not up for a conversation at that time of night, but the noises are so happy to hear! She’ll talk to us while she’s sitting in her bouncy seat in the kitchen or living room, too, just to feel like a part of the action, I’m sure.
She’s still enough of a newborn that there are some days when she doesn’t nap very well at all, followed by days when I have to wake her up from her naps because it’s time to eat. Being the second kid, though, she’s got to go with the flow, which she does pretty well. If we go somewhere in the morning I try to wait until after she falls asleep for her nap and she’ll sleep in her carrier (I’m using the baby k’tan now and it’s working really well, although she doesn’t really like being in it when she’s awake). It’s one thing to say that every baby is different, but it’s funny experiencing how they actually are! Will always wanted to nurse to sleep, and while I still try that, there are times when I try to nurse her and she refuses because she’s tired, not hungry. There are also times when I lay her in her bed and she opens her eyes to look at me and then closes them to go to sleep – it’s so weird having a good sleeper! I have to keep that in mind the few nights (like last night) when we spend a lot of time awake and get up early.
We’re so glad that Becca has made us a family of four and we’re glad to have her here for the last 2 months. It seems hard to believe it’s been that long already, but it’s also hard to remember what it was like before she was here!