Monday, October 31, 2011

What they are capable of...

Lili says/Lili knows : 18 months (next week)
Lili says the following words:
- kitty ("itty")
- hi ("i!")
- more ("muh")
- Daddy ("Addy")
- Joey ("Ah-ee")
- Mama ("Mmm" or sometimes "Ma" or "Mummummum")
- Uh-oh
- NO
- Yay!
- yum
- yuck ("ee-ugh!")
- look ("luh")
- that ("da")
- light ("la")
- dog ("dah")
- duck ("duh")
- animal sounds: baa, moo ("mmm"), woof ("fff"), meow ("ow"), roar ("chhh"), caw

She can communicate the following things without necessarily talking:
- "That is what I want!" (pointing and frantic nodding/saying "that!")
- "I want to nurse" (signs "milk")
- "I need a diaper change" (grabs her crotch and pulls on the diaper)
- "Where is Joey?" (in her carseat, she sometimes points at his empty seat and says "Ah-ee?")
- "I want to kiss you" (grabs my face, pulls it to her, and kisses me)
- "I want to sit on your lap/on the couch" (pats my lap/the couch)
- "I want to get down" (pats the table/her highchair, points to the floor)
- "I'm all done" (signs "all done")
- "I want more" (signs "more")
- "I want to be picked up" (pats my legs or pulls frantically on them or reaches up towards me and makes frantic-sounding noises)

She can point to the following body parts on herself: hair, head, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, chin, hands, feet, tummy, belly button, back. She distinguishes "head" from "hair" by pulling strands of her hair when that is asked for and patting her head when that is asked for.

She recognizes some landmark on the way to John's office - when we are a few blocks away, she suddenly starts saying "Addy! Addy?"

She understands being asked to put away toys, dishes, or other things if asked to "put that back where it goes" or "put that away please". She understands to give an item to a person ("Give that to Joey".) Yesterday, I asked her to "go over by the pumpkins where you dropped some food and please put it back in the cup" and she did that and I was blown away.

Joey knows/Joey does : 6 weeks before his 5th birthday
Joey is starting to understand that songs have meaning. He asks me what songs are about when they come on the radio or the mp3 player. He asks me if the singer is a man or a woman if he isn't sure (falsetto seems a bit confusing to him). He likes to pretend that he sings all the songs that the men sing, and that Lili sings all the songs the women sing.

Joey's favorite thing right now is to pretend he is a "panther fox" and that we are a panther fox family. I am the Mama Panther Fox, John is the Daddy Panther Fox, and Joey and Lili are the two panther fox cubs or pups, and Lili is the baby of the panther fox family, though usually Joey is a baby too. He tells us often what panther foxes like to eat and how fast they are.

Joey's favorite superhero is one he made up: CrocDog. CrocDog is faster, better, smarter, and more interesting than every other existing superhero. Joey often is pretending to be CrocDog when he is not busy being a panther fox. CrocDog in fact does have a little sister named CrocGirlDog.

Joey is making a lot of progress with learning to read. He still needs to work on trying to sound out words. He often will look just at the first letter and make a guess. Soon I hope he will start to incorporate more of the letters. I know he sometimes uses context as well, and I hope he will do more of that. He is able to read simple books that he has not read before with a little bit of help on words he hasn't memorized or seen before.

He enjoys preschool. He loves to bring in show-and-tell items to share with his class. He used to feel shy about speaking in front of them but is slowly growing more comfortable. He is loved by most if not all of his classmates: their parents always tell me that their kids come home and talk about Joey. He tells me he plays with many of them, and often in the context of "I am faster than Eric". "Today Silas and I raced 10 times and I won all of them". He seems to really enjoy comparing himself in terms of ability to run!

Joey objects to most food before eating it, even things he usually enjoys. It's a strange contrast to the times when he unexpectedly digs in and praises what he eats as "the best thing ever!" I never know what to expect but usually it's complaining and refusing to even try his dinner.

Joey is very capable of taking care of himself in many ways but often likes to have things done for him and has been known to say "Why do I always have to do everything myself?!" He can brush his teeth, choose and put on his clothes or pajamas, get himself many snack foods, get himself dishes, get himself water, wash his hands, buckle himself into his carseat and open or close the car door (but not open from the inside since it's childlocked), open or close the gate on the stairs, have a quiet-time daily in which he plays independently and quietly for an hour or 90 minutes or so, put his dishes in the dishwasher, put his clothes in drawers, clean up his toys, etc. Sometimes he will do things to help without being asked and is always gleeful, proud of himself, and loves the praise he receives.

Joey continues to be a very sweet and loving and considerate boy. He is concerned for other peoples' feelings and is very free with hugs and kisses. He treasures his snuggles with Daddy that he has to go sleep each night.

My kids are both so amazing and sweet. I am so lucky to be their Mama. <3

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