Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Updates on my kiddos

As we approach the end of 2011, I want to remember what the kids were doing at this point (and I haven't written anything about them in awhile, so I think it's time!)...

William Champion
  • is 29 months today, as a matter of fact. 
  • I can't remember the exact numbers from our last pediatrician visit, but he's 30-some pounds and 30-some inches tall.  He's wearing mostly size 2T and some 3T in clothes but a 4T in pajamas.  He wears a size 8(!) shoe.  He's also wearing a size 6 diaper.
  • I haven't been in any rush to potty-train him (as I've read that it's much better to wait than to force the issue) but he's been giving me lots of signs lately, indicating a readiness to go for it.  So, right after Christmas we're going to get started! 
  • is offically enrolled in speech therapy, though we haven't begun actual sessions (there's lots of screening and testing and planning that happens beforehand).  He will also be seeing a speech/language pathologist to help us move forward with appropriate therapies to improve his facial muscle tone and oral motor skills. 
  • Despite any "delay," however, Will is improving all the time with his speech and is constantly adding to his vocabulary.  If a mom's gut is to be trusted as any kind of credible source for understanding a child's development (and I think it is!) then my whole theory on this is that Will was simply uninterested in speaking for a long time -- past the normal age for this interest to be piqued.  Just in the last couple months, though, we have seen this interest spark in him, as Will constantly repeats what we say (even if it's unintelligible, the effort is clearly there) and shows a growing desire to communicate wants and needs. 
  • knows his A-B-C's and his numbers 1-10 (although he often inexplicably skips 6 and 7).  He's starting to show interest in the numbers after 10, too!  Will can identify lots of animals and make their sounds, though he doesn't seem to accept the fact that a zebra isn't a horse (it's a funny conversation to have with him).  He loves to point out body parts and facial features, especially his (or your) belly button -- this makes him giggle!  We are working hard on colors (he wants to call everything "blue" although I know he knows orange, yellow, red, green, purple, and pink, too, since he's correctly identified them before).  Next up is shapes; we've bought him stringing beads for Christmas to help him nail these, too.
  • has had a recent EXPLOSION of interest in books (that's my boy!!!).  His favorites are "Dogs" by Sandra Boynton, "10 Tiny Puppies" (as shown above), "Go, Dog, Go" by P.D. Eastman (sensing a theme here?), Eric Carle's "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?", and "How Do Dinosaurs Count to 10?" (among lots of others). Will absolutely adores to sit in your lap and help you turn the pages, or sit and pore over all the pictures in one of his Bright Baby books.
  • Also shown in that picture?  His last pacifier.  We've lost all the others and we're not going to replace this one.  He only uses it at naptime and bedtime (I don't know why he had it in this picture), but to be honest, I'm loathe to take it away from him altogether.  This has nothing to do with him but is rather my own hang-up; I'm just not quite ready to let go of one of the last semblances of his babyhood.  Plus it comforts him, right?  (Rationalize much?)
  • loves to brush his teeth, although since he hasn't mastered spitting, we're still using non-fluoride training paste.  Will is also trying to help dress himself and likes to name the clothing items (he can say "pants," "shirt," "shoes," and "socks" really well but is working on "shorts" and "pajamas").
  • recently started sleeping with a nightlight.  After some night-waking and crying, we put two and two together and realized it was just super-dark in his room and he didn't like it that way, so now he has a blue car nightlight that he'll specifically request if you fail to turn it on!
  • also recently started singing!  His favorite is the "Backpack" song from Dora the Explorer (although it comes out "pack-pack" and is so cute I refuse to correct him for now).
  • is working on his "polite" words.  I can't get him to say "please" for the life of me but my sweet boy LOVES to say "Thank you!" with lots of enthusiasm.
  • is extremely affectionate.  He does this thing where he'll open his arms wide and say "Mama!" and come running to give me a hug.  Will also loves to give kisses and will make a belated smacking sound with his lips because I think he thinks he's supposed to actually make the sound rather than have it happen naturally.  It's too precious.
  • has done some time in the time-out chair (the bottom step of our staircase).  He is rarely wilfully disobedient (although that's creeping up in places) but he does struggle with whining and sometimes mistreating his sister.  He is very good at taking his punishment, though, and 99% of the time is contrite and compliant after his 2 minutes are up.  So far, so good at curbing bad behavior with him!
  • Favorites:
    • Breakfast:  strawberry jam on toast, sliced bananas, orange juice or milk.
    • Foods:  hot dogs, yogurt, raisins, animal cookies, ravioli/soft pasta, chicken, deli ham, grilled cheese, pickles, tomato soup(!), cooked carrots, Nutella, ice cream.  (Still struggling with veggies...)
    • Activities:  playing with/lining up/organizing his Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, playing ball with his Daddy, coloring, going to the park, going to Sunday School, being read to, taking baths (he goes "swimming").
    • Cartoons/movies:  (Richard Scarry's) Busytown Mysteries (he asks for "cat"), Kipper the Dog (he asks for "dog"), Peter Rabbit, Baby Bumblebee vocabulary builder videos.
  • Dislikes:  getting his hair cut (and with his mop, we have to do it often, unfortunately), seeing Daddy leave for work, his baby sister being in his business, bedtime.

Lucy Elizabeth
  • just turned 16 months.
  • is in the upper 20s in weight and I simply have no idea how tall she is (I don't think they've measured her at the doctor's in quite awhile...), though I would venture to say upper 20s in inches.  LuLu is wearing both 18-month and 24-month sizes in clothing, depending on the manufacturer/brand.  She is wearing a size 5 diaper and a size 6 shoe.
  • is not talking at all, really.  Sometimes I'm tempted to feel a bit dismayed by this, but now that I've seen Will's growth and development, I know that kids just develop at their own rates and most of the time, when they're just good and ready to do so and not before.  This doesn't necessarily indicate a problem (in fact, problems are rare but parents can be entirely too quick to the draw out of fear!) so we're not going to borrow any trouble unless/until our pediatrician expresses her concern.  Lucy babbles quite a bit and does have a handful of words (she loves to say "GO!" and "Yay!"), although she doesn't call any of us by name (she says something like "mama" but it's not quite there). 
  • is extremely well-developed in her motor skills and physical abilities.  She has been walking since 13 months and is now running everywhere and climbing on things.  I accidentally left the baby gate open for a couple of minutes and found her about 5 steps up on the staircase!  The child has no fear and no sense of caution whatsoever.  This should prove to be interesting.
  • is a champion sleeper.  If she happens to wake up at night, it's only because she's had a diaper leak or is in pain from teething, and even then it's clear that she's desperate to go back to sleep.  Her usual bedtime is anywhere from 7:30 to 8:30 (it all depends on what we've had going that day) and she will sleep for 11-12 hours solid.  She also goes down very well, too; we give her a bottle and rock her for a few minutes but only for comfort -- she is drowsy but still awake when we lay her down.  She is wonderful at settling herself in and going to sleep.  (Will was not this way AT ALL so Lucy's habits are a huge relief to us and a welcome change!)
  • loves to rub her ears (or yours) as a comfort mechanism when falling asleep.  It's my favorite quirk of hers.
  • is still taking warm milk bottles -- one in the morning and one at night.  Despite every effort to get her to take anything from a sippy or straw cup, she will only take a sip or two but won't actually drink for nourishment/to quench thirst.  I'm getting frustrated on this point since I can't keep buying different brands of cups to try with her, and I'm heartily sick of using bottles and I'm ready to see them go.  Dr. Estes encouraged us to try a cold-turkey approach (just don't give her a bottle one morning and give her milk in a cup instead) but I'm reluctant to try it this way (I hate any "method" of helping children to the next stage that isn't slow and gentle -- hello, WEANING).
  • has garnered herself about half a dozen nicknames.  We call her "Lucy" quite a bit but we also call her "Boo-Boo," "Belles-Belles," "LuLu" or just "Lu" (or "Lou" -- her Daddy and I disagree on the spelling), and "Luce-my-goose" or "Lu-my-goo."  I know, we're weird.
  • is not really into dolls yet, but does sometimes like to cuddle them and peer into their faces (I wonder if she's waiting for them to respond?).  Her favorite, favorite toy in the world is this little Fisher Price stereo that plays different kid tunes ("Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider") when you push various buttons.  She also loves this push-and-ride dinosaur that we bought for Will to help encourage him to walk (but he never used), a toy piano, and kitchen items (both play and real -- she loves bowls and spoons and spatulas).  She really loves all the Little People items and she's getting a couple more for Christmas, including a "zoo train" that plays music when you push it along, which I think is going to be a big hit with her!
  • This girl LOVES TO DANCE, and her favorite music to dance to is the "Go, Diego, Go" theme song (I think because it has a strong beat?).  And she doesn't just bop about a bit, no -- Lucy waves her arms almost like a hula dance, and she shakes her little booty from side to side and up and down -- it is *hilarious* to watch. 
  • struggles a bit with separation anxiety.  If her attention isn't focused on a toy or a show and I leave the room, she gets pretty unhappy, and will follow me about, trying to do what I'm doing (you can imagine how much work I don't get done when this happens).  I call her my little duckling, because she follows me around so much!  I actually love this most of the time and appreciate that she wants to be with me, but if I need to get work done or leave her in the nursery, things can get pretty dramatic and is very difficult on both of us.
  • is progressing pretty slowly with her foods.  She is still eating mostly baby food (6 tubs a day!) plus cereal, but is finally moving on to some nibbles like Club crackers and honey-nut Cheerios.  She will eat green beans and raisins and ravioli but just kind of plays with other offered items.  In this area as well we're just moving at HER pace and that's okay with us!
  • still has only the 4 teeth (both top and bottom front teeth).  Her incisors are coming through but PAINFULLY slowly.  Poor baby.
  • is very expressive.  She will put her hands under her chin like she *knows* she's being really cute:

  • has extremely wild hair.  And no one can seem to agree on whether she's dark blonde or light brunette.  I guess time will tell!
  • Favorites:
    • Cartoons/movies:  Dora and Diego are by far her favorites, but she also has an affinity for Sesame Street and Barney (that Will doesn't seem to share).
    • Activities:  following Will around, following Mama around, snuggling on Daddy.  She loves the baby swing at the park and riding in the baby seat of the grocery cart but *only* if I let her hold my list and pen!  She also loves car rides and picture books and mirrors.  (What can I say?  She's a girl!)
  • Doesn't like:  the church nursery, getting wiped up after a meal, being told "No."


Kate said...

My goodness, they both look so OLD. Now I feel REALLY old. :) Cutie-patooties!
Tell Will that Jack has the zip-ups of his exact same jammies.

Anonymous said...

Love it, love it, LOVE IT!!! I started crying when I saw your post. I miss them so much! It's so hard to be with them for a few days and then not be. They are both so beautiful and happy and such a joy to be around. You and Marty are doing a great job, and I am so privileged to know Will-Baby and LuLu Belle and to have the honor to be a part of their lives and the blessing of watching them grow up! -Aunt Modey