Wednesday, February 12, 2014

One and a half

Sabien is 18 months old. He is a sweet, busy little guy. He has a friendly, smiley demeanor that make people just love him as a good natured boy.

He also fiercely tantrums when his desires or thwarted. He sometimes takes to the full-body on the floor despair, but is usually quick to recover. He has strong desires and can generally make them known, though they cannot always be met to satisfaction.

And he really is the smallest of boys now. Babyness has faded in many ways, and I often see him doing things and remark at how much of a little kid he is. He is still quite young, not as verbal as he would like to be, but he's becoming so much more sophisticated at understanding and expressing his needs and thoughts. It surprises me occasionally to realize that he doesn't have full comprehension of particulars like "under" the toy is "under" the chair. He'll look on it, next to it, etc. But generally he seems to understand most everything and be able to follow most commands.

He has started inviting us to play with him in various ways. His current favorite game is pretending that there are wild polar bears around that we have to go hide from. He looks at me, puts his hands up, fingers curled to a claw and says "grrrrr" followed by a gasp of surprise while looking into the distance.

The proper response to this is to gasp and say in hurried, quiet tone, "Oh no. Are there bears around?" to which he replies "yes!". "Do we need to hide?" "ya!". "Wesley, there are bears!" and we all run hurriedly into the back bedroom, close the door, and jump under the sheet, hiding.

We huddle under the sheet with Sabien and Wesley growling and howling noises of the polar bears and wolves that join them. Eventually, they quiet, or we realize that they are friendly bears because we hear them laughing, and we exit our hiding place. Sabien initiates this game every couple of hours.

His other favorite thing is to bring a little Playmobile guy on  his horse and offer it to me. He has one for himself, and we gallop them across the room to wherever he points.

And, perhaps above all, Sabien has a love of books. He brings books to me constantly. He likes books that feature animals, particularly ducks, dogs, and horses. His favorites include Duck at the Door, Berenstein Bears and the Shaggy Little Pony, Chugga Chugga Choo Choo, Big Book of Animals/Words (he likes making all the animal sounds), and The Great Railway Adventures book series, though he really only likes looking at the dog in that one.

He loves to sit and point at the different things. Make noses for the different characters. Page through the books. Some books he sits through and follows along page by page, and some he has favorite pages that he flips to, flips back to, peruses, and likes to read in a back and forth fashion. An increasing number of books are read front to back on repeat in the past month.

Trucks & Trains
Sabien both copies Wesley and tries to join in his truck/car play, and he initiates his own play. He will often go to the back room and come back with various train engines and train cars. He lines them up and has gotten good at connecting the trains and pulling them without tipping over the traincars. He loves to put little guys in his cars and drive them around. He gets frustrated if they done fit properly, but in general he can get them set in there successfully.

Sabien loves to play with balls and he has for a really long time. He will happily get a ball and just throw it around and chase it on his own. He does the same with little acorns in the park. It is a joyful game full of happy little squeaks. When he loses track of it he says, "oh! oh!" in a high pitched voice and looks around.

Drawing & Stickers
Sabien loves to color and draw. We keep a big clipboard out for him and he often picks up a rogue crayon or pen and starts coloring. Sabien is Sooooooo into stickers. He just loves them. We have a huge sticker book that Aunt Lisa gave Wesley awhile ago, and Sabien just coats himself in stickers every day. He especially loves sticking them to the top of his hair and to his face. I think he likes the way it feels to put them on and peel them off. He also likes to put one sticker on each finger.

Hide and Seek


Sabien's language is taking off, and he's getting some words occasionally that have the end sound intact, as well as adding new words of multiple syllables. The way he says "TurTle" is so adorable. He has many words that other people may not recognize, but now I know, and some of which are clear.

Words: mama, dada, wes, jess (jesse), baba(all of his grandparents+oma), byebye, nuh-nuh (another, used both to mean another and again/repeat), mahh (max featured in Duck at the Door),

Animals/Sounds: He is so good at making animal sounds. It is so fun. Dog, cat, cow, chicken, duck, bear/lion/tiger growl, parrot squack, bird tweet, fish swishy noise, sheep, goat, horse, snake sssss, bee bzzzzz, train choo choo, and more.

He is increasingly speaking in staccato sentences. "Dada. ByeBye. Vrrrrmmm". (daddy went to work in the car). "baba. woof woof." Thinking about Grandma & Grandpa's Dog (often).

Sabien has a stuffed animal dog (woof woof) that he often asks after. For awhile he was carrying it on all of our walks, but now he has started saying "shhhhh" when we leave which means that doggie is going to stay home and sleep. Often when this happens, though, we'll get down the block and he REALLY wants doggie, too, so we often try to bring him along anyway. He asks for him during book time, and often brings him to meals (as Wesley brings his chosen friends to meals).

Wesley is a great comfort when we go out. Sabien has adjusted to being left with Grandma and/or Uncle Jesse/Aunt Lisa. Generally when we get ready to go, he just says a confident "byebye!"

Sabien still nurses for comfort, often.

Sabien is a busy guy. He practices his running and speed at night all across the living room. He loves to wrestle with anyone who will. He is a total climber, as we knew from his first "cruises" around the furniture when he was trying to foot up to climb before he could even walk unassisted. He continues that trend. He runs up the sidewalk and around the park.

But he also falls. He does not always estimate his limits very well. Either that, or he's more tired at some moments than he ought to be. He falls into walls during his wild running. He slips off of chairs and zonks his head. He slips on seemingly nothing, sometimes. He falls on the sidewalk almost always if he's on a big walk (we have taken to just playing in Wickersham instead of sidewalk walks). It makes me nervous to have such a bold adventurer sometimes.

He is both amazingly coordinated (kicking and throwing balls, parrying with swords) and amazingly unaware or uncoordinated at other moments. He knocks over at least one water glass a day, it seems. Age appropriate, I think. Plus, he's trying to run with his big brother, but I'm not sure how much that is actually the cause of it. He pushes his boundaries, tests them, and often surpasses them by a bit more than is comfortable. He is a trooper, though. He recovers from falls, offers his head for a sweet kiss, and continues on with happy spirits, generally.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

31 years old

I am a thirty-something. In my thirties. No longer a thirty-year-old. That seems like a bigger step in some ways than 30. Not at the threshold, but past it, securely in the next decade.

I look around myself, and I see a shift. Things are, perhaps, getting a bit easier. I remind myself of that statement on the days when the boys take turns screaming and throwing themselves and random objects around the house. However, on the whole, things have smoothed.

It has been an intense year, but I foresee a lot of transition and fun for us in the coming year. It's hard to believe that by my next birthday we'll have a 4.5 year old and a 2.5 year old. That will be very different. They are really quite adorably brotherly kids running around so much of the time these days. And, I can leave the house, usually, without any crying or even without a blink of the eye. Just simple hugs, kisses, and "Bubye"s. It offers some openness.

I was thoroughly celebrated on my birthday. My birthday was a Monday, so I actually got an entire birthday weekend, plus then a celebration on Tuesday. WOW!

A sushi date with Casey on Friday night brought back memories of our first sushi date 11 years ago when I turned 20. We had Indian Food Lunch Buffet on Sunday. The boys gobbled it, as did we.  Solo time and met a friend on my actual birthday evening after a somewhat bumpy day with the boys. That was lovely.

Then on Tuesday, I thought I was going to dinner with Patricia, Donald, Jesse & Lisa and our family and who should appear but EVERYONE! It was such a total and wonderful surprise at the yummy restaurant to have friend after friend appear. The bummer was that then Patricia and Donald couldn't make it due to a cold. The event certainly was a wonderful treat, and wow that people had coordinated it for me was so special!

I felt glowing with love and so full of appreciation for all of our wonderful community that surrounds us. And I was so surprised! I would have underestimated just how extra special it felt to be unexpectedly surprised with so much love and celebration. And sneaky thoughtfulness on the part of Casey and my extended family. It was wonderful. I have been walking around all day feeling so warm and happy from it.