Two Very Cute, But Somewhat Lame Pics of My Boys
Today is Friday, December 12th, 2008.
I started writing this blog entry in pieces about a week ago and had to go look on the calendar to try to jog my memory of what important (well, important to me, anyhow) kind of things have been happening.
I am WAY behind on catching up. There's so much to say.
Tonight (Dec. 12th), I ran out to do some errands and left Daddy home with the two boys. I came back with gingerbread men to decorate with AJ when I got home. He's been staying up kind of late the last week or so because I keep loving his nap too much and letting him sleep until 3:30, from about 1:30!!! He should probably only be napping from 1-1:30, so that he'll fall asleep at a reasonable time, like 8:00pm. Oh well, the mom-time is nice during the day while the two boys nap, and AJ's been good and getting some nice time with Richard and I.
I'll have to be good next week though and wake him at a reasonable time from his naps or else Richard and I will forget what it's like to have mommy and daddy time in the evenings.
Let me start by mentioning that on Wednesday (Dec. 3rd), something happened to both AJ and Dexter. They both grew up just a little bit more. AJ was being more obedient, more pleasant, less whiny, and bumped up his vocabulary a few notches, even fixing some of his mispronunciations just out of the blue. For instance, he started saying 'yes I am' instead of 'yes I man', and he started anunciating and almost correcting his lisp saying 'sssssnake' instead of 'thnake' or 'nake'. He also started adding more detail, description, explanation, and story telling. This was even noticeable to Auntie Kim without me mentioning anything. Dexter started babbling continuously. AJ never really babble. He had lots of vocabulary, but didn't really babble much unless he was just in his exersaucer entertaining himself. But Dexter is 'talking' non-stop. 'Talking' is in quotations because I want to be sure that I am not implying that he is actually talking. Sure he says 'mama' and 'dada' and 'hi', and evidently, 'AJ', but I just mean he is constantly babbling and he thinks that he's talking.
Let's get on with the catch up now.
Pointing - If I didn't already mention this, back in October, Dexter began pointing. He loves to point at things in books because he knows you will say the word for the item. He points all over the place.
Books - Loves them. Rather, he loves looking through them and pointing at things all by himself. Yes, he likes to sit and listen to stories, but he is sooooo happy just to sit and turn pages of his board books. It's somewhat sad sometimes and makes me feel guilty if I'm not down on the floor with him.
Crawling - This is nothing new, of course, but man is he fast.
Cruising - Well, this has now progressed to standing alone for a few seconds, and he's started letting go more often to grab the next piece of furniture he'd like to move to. He might be walking if we stayed home more, but that's not going to happen. I'm thinking he'll be walking by his first birthday.
His First Birthday - It's right around the corner! He'll be 11 months old in 10 days and we've already booked his first birthday party! We'll do a BIG party at Captain Kids like we did at the pool for AJ's first birthday and then I'll invite family for cake and tea the next day.
-Since starting this entry, Dexter can walk very well, holding just one finger of mine by only one hand of his, and he's beginning to let go of furniture a lot more. I think there could be a first step maybe even this weekend.
Shape Sorters and His Fridge Farm - Somewhere around 10 months old, just a little before, Dexter really started to love shape sorters, and his fridge farm. He loves to fit things into things. He loves when he actually succeeds at fitting an animal piece into the appropriate place!
Clapping - Oddly, still no clapping. No consistent waving either. Oh well. He can turn off his light switch!!
Talking - I keep thinking that AJ's saying something to me, and when I don't know what he said I'll say, "Pardon me?", only to realize that it was Dexter babbling something. He sounds just like he's talking.
Happy - Yup, he's still always smiling.
The Ball Blaster - Around the 19th of November, he started accomplishing the feat of putting balls into the ball blaster toy mouth. He was very proud. This led to him putting blocks into his Peek A Block Farm and items into the mailbox of his Learning Home.
Clicking - On the 24th of November, Dexter started clicking his tongue and loves it when you return the sound for him. You hear 'click click click' down the hall. It's cute.
Talking More - On the 25th of November, AJ said, "He said 'aj'! He said 'aj'!" I didn't know if it was true or not, but I've heard him say "Aaajjj" the sound a lot in what seems to be an effort to say A.J. So, I think it's true.
Peanuts - On that same day, Dexter found a peanut on the floor, unbeknownst to me and started sucking on it. I'm hoping this means that he's not allergic to peanuts.
Attempts at Communication - On the 28th of November, Dexter did two very interesting things that could be coincidence or could be showing his cleverness.
1. He was drinking from his Baby Einstein straw cup and pointed at the Octopus and then pointed at the tv as if to say, "Hey, that's the same character in my Baby Einstein movie." or "Hey mommy, can you put on this movie?"
2. I was dressing AJ in the living room and Dexter came to me and tugged at his own shirt as if to say, "Can take me out of my pj's too?"
He is growing up WAY too fast. Did I mention that he's almost 1???
Weight - Although I weighed him one day at 25 lbs, he seems to still be 23 or 23.5. It must be all the exercise he gets now. This was like a week or two ago, so who knows what he weighs now.
Drawing - AJ is really getting quite good at drawing. Sure, sometimes he draws it first and then decides what it looks like, but yesterday (Dec. 11th) when we were drawing together, he drew a boot "Like your rubber boots, Mommy" and coloured it fully and in the lines, I might add. He also drew himself, but then turned it into himself as a blue robot "Like in the movie Robots, Mommy". He drew a pig and a turtle. This time he even had a small story to go with it.
Conversation - Jack is back from Disneyland! AJ's been very excited. We finally got to see Auntie Erica, Jack, and Baby Rya today at the McDonald's playplace, and again that afternoon when Auntie Erica was able to pop by for a visit!!! It's been really cute to listen to Jack and AJ's discussions...
AJ - Jack! Did you go to Disneyland?
Jack - What did you say to me?
AJ - I said Did you go to Disneyland?
Jack - Yes I did go to Disneyland.
AJ - I would like to go to Disneyland with you Jack.
(AJ probably also added in his favourite line "maybe last time ago like Sunday or Monday) I love this.
Later they were riding the ride on vehicles and pretending to be stuck in the mud (which is just like a book AJ has called My Truck is Stuck). Jack claimed that he was stuck in a traffic jam. AJ must not know what a traffic jam is because he said, "I'll help you out of the traffic jam, Jack!"
Pronunciation - This is really improving. He is more and more clear every day.
Spelling - Okay, well this is just funny. Last Thursday (Dec 4th), at McDonalds, when a little girl asked him his name, instead of saying "A.J.", or "Alton James Clark", he said, "Up down across, down scoop". (He told her how to write it.) That was toooooo cute for words.
Speaking of Spelling and Letters - He's still doing his 'J' backwards. I try not to push it, but man, it's bugging me. AJ knows all of letter sounds consistently for a,b,c,d,e,f,h,i,j,k,l,m,n,o,p,q,r,s,t,u,v,w,x,y,z. The only one that he doesn't always get right is 'g'. He says the soft 'g' sound, which, granted, isn't technically incorrect. When it comes to writing letters, this is getting amazing. I'm sure I mentioned in the last blog or two that he loves tracing letters now. Well, a while ago, he said to me, "I'm going to write an 's'." And he proceeded to accurately write the letter 's', top to bottom, and the right direction! And, it wasn't a 'one time' thing. He can do this anytime and it's a hard letter for little kids to write! His 'm' on the other hand is still usually up down up down up down up down. I don't try to fix that yet though. I'm more concerned with that darned 'j'.
Getting Clever at Playtime - I've meanly started to be honest with him about how I don't really want to play cars and trains sometimes. However, he has learned that there are certain activities that I will never say 'No' to: Puzzles, books, and 'learning how to read'. A few days ago, he came to me and said, "Will you play cars with me?" I said, "I really don't want to play cars right now, and I'm unloading the dishwasher right now too." Then he said, "Will you do 'reading time' with me?" And of course, I said, "Yes, of course." lol. Smart alec!!!
Pop the Maggot Dragon - What's that? You've never heard of him? Of course you have! This is AJ's favourite book and CD right now. Picture him singing in his sweet soft high voice, "Pop the Maggot Dragon.... Lived by the sea. And frolicked in the autumn mist, in a land called Honnalee."
Letter Facination - AJ is now into pointing to all things that resemble letters and then telling me about it. The power lines look like 'Xs' and 'Hs'. The big poles at the ferry terminal look like an 'A' with no across thing. He criss crossed his arms and said, "Look! This is like Tic Tac Toe!"
Preschool - AJ can put on his own backpack now. This is cute to watch. I should video tape it, actually. I'll be starting back to work soon, so AJ will be starting at a new preschool.
You're So Fart - For the 'sm' sound, AJ uses a 'f' sound when he talks. Like he calls, 'smarties' 'farties'. We were doing a puzzle last week. It was his big 48 piece Diego puzzle, and he was doing great, really finding and placing most of the pieces himself, and I would often congratulate him saying, "Awesome buddy! You're so smart!" Well, I found and placed one of the pieces he was looking for and he leaped over the puzzle to hug and me and say, "You're so fart! Way to go!"
Sid the Science Kid - AJ's really taken a liking to this show as of late. When I was saying that I think we should do a 'dinosaur' birthday for Dexter's birthday party, he said, "Just like Sid the Science Kid" who had just had a birthday a few episodes ago.
I Love You - AJ's started spontaneously saying, "I love you" as opposed to, "I love you too, Mommy". This has been very sweet and makes me feel bad for anytime I've been angry during the day.
I Like to Move It Move It - He's been really into singing and dancing more than ever. Loves this song from Madagascar, the movie, and even shakes his butt while he's dancing to it.
Gymnastics - I think I'm going to enroll AJ in gymnastics in the spring. He's just loving sommersaults and flipping over and climbing and head stands. I'm so excited. I think he'll really like it! Permission to be crazy!
Bad Dreams Continued -
Wahhhhh, There's a shark in my room!
Wahhhh, Somebody's coming!
Wahhhhh, There's a bumble bee in my room!
Today, I realized that when he wakes in the night, as of late, I think it's because he needs to go pee.
I'll update this situation soon.
He had a shark dream a few nights ago and was telling me all about it and how he poked the shark in the nose! I wonder how he knew to do that?
Normally, I shower at night. However, we had come back late the other night and I just didn't feel like jumping in the shower. This meant that I had to shower in the morning while I had the boys alone with me. No problem. I plunked Dexter in his crib to play safely and told AJ to play in his room or watch a movie while I took a 5 minute shower. I told him that he wasn't allowed to climb in Dexy's crib while I was in the shower. He understood and agreed to play in his room. But, he wanted to lock his gate that blocks his room (to keep Dexter out). I explained that he can't lock it while I'm in the shower because he won't be able to get out. "Who will come to get you if need to get out?" Back and forth we went about this topic, and I finally just headed off to the shower and heard AJ lock the gate behind me. ARG!
Well, not 30 seconds into washing my hair I hear "Mommy! Open my gate!" I reiterated that I couldn't come to him because I was in the shower and he'd just have to wait. He, of course yells, "But I need to pee!" (little bugger). I said, "Too bad, so sad! Guess you'll have to pee in your pull-ups! I told you not to lock the gate!" (he was still wearing his pull ups from night time). He said, "No, I don't pee in my pull-ups!" Next, while conditioning, I hear, "Mommy! Come wipe my willy!" Thinking he had figured out the gate and gone pee in our ensuite, I yell, "You don't need me to wipe it! Just shake it off!"
Finally, I get out of the shower. I walk to his room where the gate is still in fact locked, and see AJ standing with his pants and pull ups around his ankles. Behind him is a 'make shift' toilet consisting of an upside down lid from his memory game. It has definitely been peed in. And, he was definitely standing to pee because there was some significant 'splash-age'.
I asked him why he didn't just pee in his pull-ups. He said, "Because I had a dry night!"
I was so dissolutioned at this point. I couldn't really reprimand him in any way and was impressed with his toilet idea. I just gave him 'the look' instead and said, "Next time, are you going to lock the gate?" He said, "No, I won't."
Bedtime in the Loft Bed
AJ normally just takes naps in the loft bed, if he does sleep in there. A few nights ago I let him spend the night up there. It was the first night in a while that he didn't wake in the night crying from some sort of nightmare or what have you (which by the way is getting really annoying). Anyhow, the point is, he didn't fall out in a tired stupor in the middle of the night. That was good. Since writing this, he had 4 more nights like this without waking up and calling for us. But, the last two nights, he called for us. Bummer. However, AJ's sleeping in his loft bed for bedtime now. His toddler bed is gone and taken apart. His toddler/crib mattress though is now at the end of his loft bed as a little reading area. The cushion puts Daddy's mind at ease.
Dexter's been sleeping better than ever. He's usually in bed between 6:30pm and 7:00pm. Sometimes he wakes at 5am or so and puts himself back to sleep (thank you to Nancy and Ryan for giving me the idea to attach his soother to his sleepsack with the soother clip-best idea ever!). On the weekends, we've gotten kind of lazy and let him sleep until 8:00am! It sures messes up his routine for the day, but man is it nice!! Well, since I wrote this, I must've jinxed the situation. He's had two nights or three nights now, where he's woken and needed me to intervene. Perhaps because I was pushing his bedtime later than usual, like 7/7:30pm instead of his usual 6:30pm.
We are embarked on an adventurous weekend last weekend (the 5th, 6th, 7th).
Friday night - We went to the candlelight parade in Mission. Richard convinced me to let Dexy come too, so our little family sat at the side of the road from 7-9:30pm watching the parade! The boys thought it was great. They especially loved the sirens and lights!
Saturday Morning - I went to a craft fair and then we all headed to my mom's to decorate their tree and listen to Christmas music. There must've been 12 or more boxes of decorations to bring up from downstairs. YIKES! She'll be decorating for days!!
Dexter's eating some Christmas treats!!!
Sunday Morning - We headed down the road (after picking up an Americano from Starbucks, of course) to chop down our Christmas tree. It was super! We met up with Auntie Jen's family and it was just really nice and very special.
Sunday Night - Mom and Ken (Gram and Papa) came to watch the boys while Richard and I went to the Northview Christmas Production. It's a great show every year. If you've never been, I encourage you to go.
Monday Night - We decorated our tree!
Foot Passenger Day
I had a crazy idea last week. I thought it would be a good idea to pack up the boys and head to the ferries, load up the stroller, and head over to the Island as foot passengers to visit my cousin, Shauna, who just had a baby on Nov. 28th, and Richard's mom who had just arrived back into town on the 2nd of Dec. We wouldn't have carseats with us, of course, because we would be foot passengers, so I asked Shauna, Auntie Brenda, Baby Ethan, and Richard's mom, Norma to meet us at the ferry terminal which is pretty close for all of them. That way we could visit and have coffee.
It was so great.
My sister ended up coming with us and was, of course, as usual a BIG help!!!
8:00ish - we left the house to head to the terminal, packed with kids, mittens, toques, and food and drinks for the whole day.
10:15 - the ferry headed to Duke Point. It wasn't one of the awesome ferries like the ones that go to Victoria with huge kids' play area, but it did have a small play area, and the ferry wasn't very busy, so it worked out really well. I think Dexter took a nap on the way to the terminal, if I remember correctly. We had lunch on the ferry.
12:15 - we got off the ferry, got Dexter to sleep for a not-so-long afternoon nap, and soon met with everyone. Norma (Granny) hadn't seen the boys since April!!! Poor Granny! She came bearing gifts just a like a Granny! She had some cool Thomas trains for AJ and a cute little car with animals that stack on top for Dexter. Both boys loved their toys and were very happy to see Granny. Shauna and Auntie Brenda came bearing Starbucks coffees and the new baby-Ethan! YAY! He was so sweet. It's a pretty boring terminal in the arrivals area as the shops and playground are of course in the departures area and you need a ticket to get in there. It all worked out. The boys had their new toys and Granny and everyone to talk to. And we all chit chatted about the new baby and baby-stuff in general. It was so great to see everyone.
3:15 - the ferry headed back for home. This one had an exceptional play area and great little friend named "Kenny" for the boys to play with. We fed Dexter his dinner on the ferry and AJ coloured, played, and the boys watched a DVD too because I had the car DVD player with us.
5:15 - We arrived back in Tswassen, and headed to the McDonalds to meet Grand-Dan for dinner. AJ got to see Grand-Dan and play at the playplace and have a not very healthy dinner. But it was a nice treat!
6:00ish - We gave Dexy his bedtime baba at McD's and changed him into his sleeper.
7:00pm or later!!! - We headed home. Dexter and AJ slept the whole way.
The day couldn't have gone any more smoothly.
Jack's Birthday Party
Before heading to Disneyland, Jack turned 3 years old. He had a really fun birthday party at the park. The kids had lots of fun. Here's some pics courtesy of Auntie Erica.
Feeding the ducks. Which we're not really supposed to do.
The babies. Clockwise from the left: Emerson, Jaxon, Rya, Dexter.
Tomorrow we'll be watching Auntie Kim get her black belt in Karate. I'm a little afraid to see what happens to AJ after watching this, as this is what he does after watching Kung Fu Panda...