Saturday, June 28, 2008

Month 16: Comic Book Baby

I'm not sure when or how, but Daniel has learned sound effects.  We started noticing them in the past day or two - crashing sounds, or bonks, or motor-esque hums, or whatever... he sounds like a walking comic book!  

I just glanced over my last post and I think I may have understated his energy level.  That or it's tripled in the past two weeks.  He is absolutely hilarious to watch - he does laps around anything sitting still and stops running just long enough to look around and determine where he's running to next.  He almost never looks where he's running (lots of crashing) and almost always runs until exhaustion makes his knees buckle and he face-plants on the ground.  (How sleepy he is determines if the face-plant evokes tears or laughter).  

The really fun part about this is getting down on the ground and playing rough and tough with him.  Sounds like a no brainer, but as he's become more independent, he's able to play on his own, with us in the next room, or working on our own project in the same room.  Last night I was cooking dinner in the kitchen, and he was playing about ten feet away with his giant legos.  Then he hauled a few into the kitchen to play closer to me.  Then he stood up, came over and grabbed my hand, pulling me away from the stove and into his lego pile - he pulled me down until I sat with him, then he resumed play.  

This morning, I was editing some photos on the computer while he and Fernando played in the living room.  He came running, saying "ma ma!  ma ma!", wedged himself between me and the keyboard and pushed my legs until I stood up.  With one hand on each of my legs, he walked me into the living room where I sat down and he tackled me in a fit of giggles.  

There's something so special about him expressing a desire to play with us.  He hugs and kisses us... cuddles with us... wants to read with us... but there's a special bond that only develops through physical play - and a new closeness that ensues.  

Daniel is mastering a new skill: jumping!  He loves watching us jump then trying it on his own.  We all hold hands and jump together.  This morning, he climbed onto a stool and attempted to jump off the stool.  The result?  His first somersault/flip!  

Dancing is become even more of a favorite past time - largely due to the very physical nature of Daniel's dancing :)  There's lots of stomping, violent arm swinging, bouncing, and sometimes spinning.  He has favorite songs - a few specifics that always send him into delight dancing fits.  A few days ago, Fernando put on a techo version of the "Hokey Pokey" that he had just downloaded.  We started dancing (put your right arm in.... you put your right arm out...) and low and behold, Daniel was dancing along.  He put his arms in and shook them all about... then he did the HOKEY POKEY!  He had his arms up in the air and he was spinning around!  Apparently they have been dancing to the hokey pokey in daycare, so he had been practicing.  But we had so much fun dancing and spinning until we (read: Daniel) got super dizzy and crashed into a few walls!  Family dance time is the best.  

...and THAT's what it's all about!  (sorry... couldn't resist...)  

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Month 16: I Blinked

Seriously.  I blinked, and missed a month of blogging.  I suppose it's not the end of the world, but now my brain is scrambling to figure out exactly what I have already forgotten.  (And this picture is a few weeks old, but I couldn't NOT post it... one of my favorites...)

Here's the cliff notes of this past month in Daniel's life...

His vocabulary is exploding - well past the "average" vocabulary for his age, he has combined sign language (thank you, preschool) with words to communicate very effectively.  His favorite word/sign:  "more".  For a little man who loves to eat, this word is essential.  He caught me off guard late in his 14th month by finishing his dinner and looking up at me, saying and signing the word "more".  He signs please, eat, thank you (kind of), milk, and more.  He says diaper, ba ba, no-na (zona), more, blue, purple, apple (mah-pull), cracker (crack-oooo), uva (vah-oooo), milk, max (mah), book (boh), mama, dada, car (cah), ball, balloon (bah-oooo), agua, and a few more I can't think of right now.  

The latest word?  "No".  That one happened yesterday... I believe we're entering a whole new era ... 

Along with new words, the babbling has shifted into high gear - he sounds like a little asian dude.  We don't speak chinese, but his babbling sure sounds like he's fluent!  Inflections, run on sentences, etc.  It's the cutest thing ever. 

His last appointment put him in 90% percentile (weight) and 95% percentile (height).  He's still a big boy... very strong and... sturdy :)  Fernando and his dad nicknamed him the mini-Hulk - he is built like an oak and loves to wrestle, run, tackle, throw, and otherwise exert every ounce of energy during every minute of playtime.  

Aside from his daunting physical prowess, he is still extremely polite and helpful.  (I know, he's not two yet...) When we sing the clean up song, he hurries to help.  When he finds a piece of garbage, he brings it right to us.  When we ask him to sit down to put shoes on, he does it.  

He loves of reading continues to grow - every evening, when we're cleaning up from dinner, we suddenly realize Daniel is missing.  And every evening, we find him in his little toy corner, sitting in a pile of books, reading them to himself.  In Chinese.   :)  And every night at bedtime, we read a piece of his Bible (Genesis and Exodus have never been so fun) and then our favorite, "Goodnight Moon".  And speaking of sleep, he has become a blanket afficionado.  He loves them - loves playing with them and especially sleeping with them (which is exactly how I was as a kid). 

Potty-training is still a ways off, but last week Daniel started notifying us when he needs to be changed - he either says "poo poo" or "diaper" (bah-per :) and points us to the changing table.  It's not consistent yet, but it's definitely really early for a boy to start noticing diaper issues!  

It's still more fun every day - we haven't hit a stage yet that we don't like.  We are about to enter a new era in the life of Daniel - he will be an older brother sometime next year!  We have officially begun the process of adopting a baby from Ethiopia!  We'll have a blog up and running for that adventure too (in case you'd like to follow along).  For now, I'll just say that we felt ready for a second baby, but that biological wasn't the way we were supposed to go this time.  We couldn't be more excited about this next adventure in building our family - and we know that Daniel will be an amazing big brother!

More details coming soon, I promise!