But we're back from Florida and I've got pictures.
Zack did great on the plane both to and from Tampa. I'd gotten him his own backpack and put some new toys and books in it for the trip. He was quite happy to stay sitting and look at books.
We chose our week in Florida well, as it warmed up after the cold snap they'd experienced. It was definitely nice to be able to go outside without a coat after the cold, cold snowy winter we've be having so far this year. We didn't do much aside from go to the beach, swim in the (heated) pool and hang out with Nonni, Nonno, and Angie. Zack had a great time. The first thing he'd say when he woke up in the morning was "Nonno! Nonni!" So out to the living room he went, and back to sleep went Rob and I--lovely!
Nonni, Nonno, and Angie were also nice enough to take Zack one evening so that Rob and I could go out for a movie and dinner. I will let Anna recount that story, if only because it's as funny to see her crack up trying to tell the story as the story is itself. I'll suffice it to say that everyone came out intact at the end of the evening, and Zack was apparently the hit of the Italian-American Club of Venice.
It was interesting to see how much Zack had changed from his last trip to the beach which was in August. Then he wouldn't sit still and ran all over the place for hours. This time he was much more content to sit next to us, examining shells, pouring sand on our feet, watching birds in the water. I think I'll always remember just sitting there next to him on the beach, watching him stack shells and be completely enthralled by it all.
Of course, he was also enthralled by the dead fish that washed up on the beach the morning after a storm.
It was like he was magnetically drawn to these fish. I finally pried him away from it by telling him that it was going nighty night. Then not two minutes later, I looked down the beach to see Rob closely inspecting and picking up yet another dead fish. I guess I may as well just give up now.
By the end of the week, Zack had gotten the hang of condo living--going down the hall, getting on the elevator. One day was particularly foggy and chilly and we stayed in most of the day. He was bouncing off the walls by the time we'd finished lunch, so I asked him if he wanted to walk down to the trash chute with me to throw away a bag of garbage. He got all excited, ran to the door, thought a moment, then ran to get his pail, ran back to the door, and said "Outside!" He was so disappointed when we only threw the garbage away and didn't get on the elevators. So we put on coats, and off to the beach we went.
The next day was much nicer, and he was ready to take advantage of it.
He's grown so much in the past few weeks. He's putting words together to make several word sentences. He's picking up new words like they're candy. He's got more routines down. For example, we were getting ready for lunch one day and he realized once he'd gotten in his chair that there wasn't a bib on the table for him. So he got back down and went and got one.
I made pudding again the other night. I put the bowls of it on the table after we'd eaten dinner. Zack took one look at it and started looking around frantically saying "Boon! Boon! Boon!" I quickly gave him a spoon and all was well.
He's also telling us what to do--like patting the floor next to him and saying "Sit. Play" He's also starting to show some preferences for Rob over me. He wants his daddy to sit next to him and color in his coloring books with him. And he often won't give me a hug and a kiss before bed without some cojoling. I'm not completely persona non grata, but there's definitely a shift occurring, a shift that I find very sweet to watch.
He's starting to figure out colors, though not consistently yet. He knows what numbers are--if he sees a string of numbers he'll say "1, 2, 3." One of his books has a picture of the alphabet on a chalkboard and he'll often start humming the ABC song when he sees that picture. He knows hearts, circles, triangles, and stars. He thinks squares are the same thing as triangles for the moment. He knows where his shirt, pants, socks, shoes and hat go, but hasn't taken much interest in dressing (or undressing) himself yet. Sometimes he'll try to put his socks on, and he likes to pull his and our socks off, but that's about it.
He's started being concerned with "mess." He'd want to brush the sand off of his hands and feet when we were on the beach. When he's eating, he holds out his hand so we can wipe off the miniscule piece of banana on his finger. I find this remarkably amusing since the house usually looks as if a tornado went through it thanks to him.
He's figured out the TV. We have one video for him that he likes to watch for about 10 minutes. He'll open up the TV cabinet, turn on the TV, get up on the couch and pull a blanket over him, and demand "BV! BV! BV!" Sometimes we put it on, sometimes not. He's pretty easily distracted with other things, but watching videos does make getting dinner ready a lot easier!