Thursday, September 22, 2011

Moon Dance

Wesley delights in the moon.

When the moon was full last week, Wesley developed a new understanding of the moon. Casey showed him the picture of the moon in a book, and then pointed out the window at the moon. Something clicked.

For the past week, the first thing Wesley does when he wakes up is that he goes and points out the window and asks about the moon. He wants to frequently read books which feature the moon. He wants to go on walks in search of the moon.

The second night after his discovery, he woke up at 2:30am, he popped right out of bed, and walked to the window where the moon was just rising and shining through. He was so excited to find it. That was one of those parenting moments when I was so surprised by Wesley's development/love of life/behavior that I just marvel despite the inconvenience of being up in the middle of the night.

He asks (through action and a sound he has for the moon) many times a day if the moon is out.

If we indicate that the moon is not at the moment visible, he does the baby sign language signal "all gone". Until this week he had only used the sign to indicate that he was done eating. He has also begun shrugging his shoulders and putting his palms up to say, "I don't know".

daytime moon spotting
So when the moon is nowhere to be found, he does "all gone" and gives an "i don't know where it is" shrug.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Month 14

Wesley is 14 months old. That sounds older to me. "A Year" didn't seem so shocking, 13 months just seemed a bit over a year, but 14 months seems bigger. He's no longer just one month over a year, he's moving into his second year full-force.

Kissing and Hugging
There has been so much kissing and hugging going on in our house this month. Every cat that Wes sees in a book gets a kiss. The stuffed animals love to kiss one another. Stuffed animals kiss the animals in the books (especially, interestingly, if they are of the same type--that is, dinosaurs kiss dinosaurs, monkeys kiss monkeys, etc).

Wesley spontaneously gives us hugs, too, which is so sweet. He continues to snuggle more and more.

New Words (that I can remember):
"NuhNuh" Tomato
"Blaaaaaah" Garbage, garbage cans, gross little things that are garbage.
"Bl-oooooooo" Blue (only repeats colors after we say them)
"Duh-doh" Yellow

Wesley knows the sound of some letters. I feel a little confused as to how he learned them, but he definetely knows them. We play with the magnetic letters on the side of the stove, so I guess he just remembered them. He knows the sounds for A (ahhh), B (buh), T (Tuh), H (huh), M (mmmm), H (hhhhuh), V (some weird noise that doesn't quite sound like vvv but is consistent).

When he learned A he thought it was sooo fun. He walked around the house with his letter A saying "AHH AHHH AHHH" really loudly and hamming it up. Then when he saw the letter the next morning, he remembered it and started doing the same thing. He was so excited to jump on sleeping Daddy and shove the "A" in his face.

Wes points out a horse

He loves playing matching games where he matches his Memory Game cards. The game only gets challenging if we use cards that have different colored shapes on them, otherwise it is pretty easy and fun.

If we try to play Memory with the cards (that is, leave them face down after he turns them up), he gets stuck in a pattern of alternating between turning two cards over, instead of searching the others. If we leave them face up, he will turn them all up one at a time until he finds the correct card.

Wesley can also do his smaller wooden puzzles with the pegs without much trouble.

Wes can run now. It's still a straight-legged, arms to the side run, but it is running. His endurance is amazing.

He walks up steps without using his hands or a railing. Most of the time he still needs to hold a hand when going down stairs. He likes to kick balls and walk backwards with a sweet little smile that says, "hey check me out".

Patience & Anticipation
In some ways Wesley has more patience than he used to have. He understands time and routine and the cues that something is on the way. He will stand by his chair, waiting for his bib sometimes, rather than screaming the second he senses food is beginning to be prepared. On a walk I can inspire him to keep moving if I ask him if he wants to continue to town to see the boats/fountain/hear music. He waits for the moon to come up and understands that it's not there yet when he asks us about it.

At other times the flair of temper innihilates his patience. And patience does not mean compromise when he wants something, but there is definetely an expanded ability to accept more complex explanations or contexts, including the need to wait a little while.

Wesley is quite good at picking the ripe tomatoes from the garden. He has taken to just relaxing in the garden. He'll take the hose, put it at the base of the tomatoes, and stand there "watering", looking meditative and calm, for ten minutes at a time.

Other Delights:
One thing I hope to remember is just how keen Wesley is on seeing garbage. Somehow, once, when we saw a garbage can, I must have gone "blaah", as in, "yuck". It stuck. In a serious way. With an eye like a hawk, Wes spots every garbage can whether it is down the street, in someone's back yard hardly visible, on the road--anywhere. He also notices each tiny piece of litter and says to it all, with dramatic flair "BLEEEEHHH". Smiling. He says it until we acknowledge his discovery. It is really quite a funny thing to do.

BLLEEEEEH (garbage cans)
Wesley loves to share. He shares everything he has to eat, even if he only has a little bit about which he's very excited. This kind of sharing can sometimes result in a soggy rice cracker being put unexpectedly into your mouth. Bleeeeh.

He doesn't share, sometimes, if he thinks we're going to take the thing away (that is, if he is not supposed to have it in the first place). He will place said item in our hand, but not let go. Also, he also does not share with kids his own age. If he does, he expects his shovel right back and will maneuver to recover the toy if it is not immediately returned.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bye-Bye Baby

Wesley has a new ability to try different communication strategies in order to be understood. The following scene occurs at least once a day, typically once in the morning and once in the evening.

We're hanging out doing whatever.

Wes walks to the door, looks at us and waves, "bye-bye". He leans against the door and waits. No movement? Maybe they don't understand.

Wes goes to the shoe rack, takes one of Casey's shoes off the rack, brings it over, puts it on my foot. "Wes, that's Daddy's shoe, can you bring Mommy's shoe?" He brings about five shoes and piles them on my feet, including my shoes. Parents still aren't jumping up. They are so dense.

Wes puts on his hat. He brings a pair of his pants over (if he's in a diaper). He brings his sweatshirt over. He brings a diaper from his diaper bin over. He brings more shoes. Without our asking him to do any of these things. He just knows our routine, knows this is what we do before going "byebye".

Eventually his persistence and superior ability to "give a hint" pays off. How could we say no?

We have been going on many very long walks lately. Wes likes to walk and he has a lot of energy and endurance. He walks all the way to town which is about 3/4 of a mile (which takes about an hour), walks around town, and often walks partway back.

Our routine this week has been that we walk for about an hour and a half before bed then come home, take a bath, and eat a huge dinner. He has been sleeping very well after all his exercise.

A related perk of this new stage is that if we want to leave the house, Wes can actually help or at least not be a hinderance (if asked he will get his shoes, find his socks, get our shoes, find a sweater, etc).

The speed of our exit from the house has dramatically increased (not saying much) because Casey and I can get ready at the same time instead of one of us having to entertain Wesley while the other tries to pack or get dressed. Or, if it's just me, I can get ready more quickly without him bringing me books or clinging to my leg, etc. We still have to dress him, but he is amazingly cooperative if he knows that his socks and shoes are being put on so he can go outside.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Matching Colors Game

Wesley's new favorite game involves "coloring". Except now he's not very excited about the actual act of coloring. He just loves the crayons and colors.

We sometimes play this game for hours a day:
He stands under a dresser drawer where we store the crayons (up high) and says "da-dat" pointing up (this means "crayons, please".

Steps to the game:
  1. Give a crayon (or two, one for each hand) to the Wes, telling him the color of each crayon.
  2. I say, "Can you find something in the room that is *orange*?" He often points to the orange crayon.
  3. I say, "Yes, can you find something else in the room that is orange?"
  4. He toddles around saying "hmmmmm" to himself. He puts his crayons up next to various items in the room.
  5. Sometimes after awhile I offer, "Is your vacuum orange? YES! it is". Sometimes he nods. He may smile, excited to find a match. He may nod and quickly seek out the next object. Sometimes he tries to match a color to an object, then gives me an inquiring look asking for verification. Then I say, "Does that match? Noooooo, that is a black guitar case". He sometimes thinks it's really funny when things don't match. Every way he wins.
  6. Then he hands me the crayons, goes and stands under the drawer, and awaits new colors.

Sometimes we don't even match the colors to objects, he just likes to walk around looking at the crayons before asking for new ones. He often doesn't seem to care if the colors actually match, but he likes the process of comparing them.

This game makes me realize I should have bought the 64 pack of crayons instead of the 16 pack. The colors cycle quickly.

*Disclaimer to anyone inspired to do this activity* Sometimes Wes does make small marks on objects in his efforts to "match" them. Also, I have to read his signals and anticipate when he starts to get tired or bored because it is then that he is most likely to mark on things.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

For the love of kitty

I made my first appeasement purchase.

We were in Target buying cards. Wesley saw a card that excited him. He pointed, reached, and laughed at the card. He was so tickled by it. I laughed, too, we talked about it, enjoyed it together.

Then it became serious. He wanted it. So badly he screamed, he flailed trying to get out of the Ergo. It was as if his soul was being tortured by the movement away from the card. So intense, such anguish. Saying "bye bye" to the card was no use. Walking away was worse. We returned.

I handed him the card. Laughter, sweet silly laughter. He kissed the card. He hugged the card. I held it in front of him for the rest of our shopping trip with him laughing in joy, kissing it periodically.

This is the card: