Friday, May 28, 2010

2 years, 14 weeks

So I've got some catching up to do. We've had quite a busy couple weeks that involved Zack seeing just about everyone related to him.

It started out with Grammy Leslie coming down to stay with us on her way both to and from Florida. She had a great time seeing him and he loved the extra attention.

Then we headed up to Connecticut for Rob's Aunt Angie's 75th birthday party, where he saw most of Rob's mom's family--Nonni, Nonno, his aunts, uncles, and cousins, as well as a lot of other extended family. We also seem to have turned a corner in terms of his sleep away from home. He wanted nothing to do with the pack-n-play, so we had him sleep in one of the two double beds in the hotel room, packing pillows all around him. He did great! Though one night Rob looked over and didn't see him, only to find him snuggled up on the floor with his blanket and Bear Bear. We have no idea how he got on the floor, but no harm was done whatever method he used. The weekend was lots of fun and it was great to see everyone.

When we got back, Grandma and Papa were already at our house, ready to take care of Zack all week while daycare was closed. We'd told Zack that they'd be there, but you should have seen his face and exclamation of amazement when he saw first saw them! He had a great time with all of the individual attention he got that week. He helped Papa do all sorts of stuff in the yard (thanks lots for doing all that stuff, Papa!), went on walks, did lots of drawing. Grandma and Papa enjoyed their time, too, though I'm pretty sure they must have gone home and slept for two days straight!

The Friday of that week we left to go to Pennsylvania to go camping with our friends Deb and Shawn and their two girls, Kayla and Haley. This was our annual Unbirthday Weekend, where we celebrate the kids' birthdays all together. What a great weekend! We picked a great campground, had great weather, and had lots of fun. Zack just loves Kayla and Haley, and he had lots of fun with them. We took lots of walks, the kids collected caterpillars as pets, and just relaxed.

While Zack did eat one cupcake, another night he passed up a cupcake in favor of grapes! I'm not sure I've ever heard of a kid doing that before!

He loved their dog, Amber, and still talks about how Amber would give him kisses. He gave her kisses, too, and was really good about petting her.

All of us went to play miniature golf one evening. Thankfully, we were the only ones on the course because it was....well, let's just say that herding cats would have been a more organized activity. The girls sort of got it, but Zack ran and picked up everyone's ball after they hit it. Then as he was going under one of the miniature covered bridges to get a ball, he misjudged, conked his head and fell backwards. He recovered quickly.

We tried it again the next day, and Zack got the idea a bit more. Though he kept heading the wrong direction.

Feeling confident after our trip to Connecticut, we didn't even take the pack-n-play with us. We started talking up sleeping in a Big Boy Bed early the day that we got to the campground. He didn't really take a nap, which helped later in the evening. We went through our routine at bedtime, and though there was a little resistance, he finally decided that he did want to sleep in the Big Boy Bed. I laid down with him until he fell asleep, and then he pretty much slept through the night! By the next night, he was ready to jump in his BBB even before he had his jammies on. He also did great at taking naps. We're thinking that maybe we need to make the most of this momentum and switch him to a BBB at home, too.

He's been talking up a storm, putting several words together to get his point across or to tell us about things that have happened. If he's asking us to do something and we're not quite getting it or are taking too long, he'll take our hand and lead us where he wants, putting our hand on the door knob when he wants to go outside, for example.

And outside is where he loves to be! Digging in the dirt, taking walks around the block, looking at bugs, picking flowers, "mowing" grass with his lawn mower, blowing bubbles. We're going to have a tough time this fall when it starts to get cold and dark! He has his own watering can and is able to use the hose to fill it. The first can-ful will make it onto the plants, but as time goes on, more and more water ends up on Zack. Ah, well. He's happy and he won't melt.

He loves trucks. And cars. And tractors. He's got what seems like a bazillion small vehicles everywhere in the house and he has to be carrying around at least one at all times.

He's also very helpful (except when he's being 2 and contrary). He wouldn't leave the plunger along the other night as we were getting ready for a bath, so I put it outside the bathroom door and closed the door. I'd forgotten about it, but after the bath and getting jammies on, I hear a "Mom, see". He'd put the plunger back where it belongs and wanted me to see.

He started washing the bench the other day, of his own accord. (Note the trucks in his hand.)

A bit of background--our neighbor Ed (married to Cecelia) lost an eye a little while back (this is relevant, really). The other day Zack found a sheet of eye stickers, which he was sticking on the fridge and other places. Cecelia watched him for a few hours and took him over to her house for awhile, where Zack proceeded to put eye stickers on the fridge, where eyes were on some magnets. And on Ed's glasses, right over his missing eye. And Ed has kept it there.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

2 years 12 weeks

We've been very bad at taking pictures lately, so here is just a verbal update.

He's very interested in falling. Literally. He likes to fall off the bed--he thinks it's funny. He likes to pull us off the bed so that we fall. This is great fun. His toys fall. When he's doing something that requires him to concentrate on his balance, he tells himself "Don't fall."

He's been able to open the refrigerator to get cheese sticks for awhile now. The other night, while I was occupied doing something else in the kitchen, he opened the fridge for cheese. I was in the process of telling him that he couldn't have cheese just then because it was almost dinner time--as I turned around, there he was, standing on the egg carton (yes, it was full) that he'd pulled out of the fridge and placed on the floor so that he could get a better look inside. Apologies for no pictures (though it did cross my mind)--I could only really think of cleaning raw egg off of the carpet. Remarkably, all the eggs were intact. And one does have to admire his ingenuity.

He reads along with us when we read Brown Bear, Brown Bear. He's also very enamored of the Dr. Seuss Foot Book. So enamored that he wants us to read it to him again...and again...and again.............

The other Sunday afternoon he decided that he only needed to nap for about 35 minutes. Which means that I only napped for 35 minutes. Then he was all ready to go outside in the 88 degree heat and humidity. I was not so enthused about this idea. Luckily, I remembered that we have a wading pool, which worked out perfectly. He was content to play, completely contained, in the water for nearly 2 hours (yes, we slathered on the sunscreen), and I could sit there with him just soaking my feet in the pool. I suspect that the pool is going to get a lot of use this summer!

The next night after we got home from daycare, we went outside and he was looking at the pool. I had just looked down after saying we weren't going to go in the pool tonight, when I heard a splash. Oh yes, he was standing in the pool, fully clothed and in his sneakers. "Pool!" he says with a grin.

While I was blowing up the pool on Sunday, a white cat came through the fence and started looking at me and meowing. Zack, in his typical all-animals-are-my-friend way, walked up to it. The cat hissed at him, and did so whenever he got anywhere near it. This did not please me, particularly since I'd never seen the cat before, so I went about shooshing it away and telling Zack that the cat wasn't happy so he should stay away from it. The cat clearly wanted something from me, so getting rid of it some doing. It finally left, no harm done to anyone or anything. But Zack remembers this. When we go outside, he goes to the place where the cat came through the fence and opens his mouth wide (like the cat did when hissing), then starts making a very gentle meowing sound. Then he goes to the side of the fence where it left and looks for it. It's really quite sweet.

He now wakes us up in the morning by calling to us.
When we enter his room, he's standing there with a big grin on his face, holding his items of the day (e.g. bear, motorcycle, penguin) and bouncing up and down.

He's very interested in what we do when we get food ready for a meal. He pulls his stool over to the counter to look. He wants to help, so I've started letting him do some small things, like pull handfuls of shredded cheese out of the bag to add to a bowl of eggs before they go in the frying pan. He's also started getting out his own fork and spoon from the drawer and taking them along with his plate of food over to the table, which makes him so proud. He also puts his own ice in his cup.

He knows the letter O and that it stands for Octopus.

I’m so proud of how brave he is. This coming from the mouth of someone who has always been incredibly shy and afraid to take risks. He isn’t afraid to go up to people and talk to them. He tries to play with other, bigger kids at the playground. He navigates a pool like he was born in the water (well, he almost was. And he is a Pisces). At an outfitting store the other weekend, he was dead set on traversing the stone-studded bridge that customers use to try out hiking boots. And he did it. I spotted him the first time, but after that he did it all on his own, a number of times. He took it slow, and he told himself “don’t fall.” And he did it. He’s not afraid to explore, he’s not afraid to try new things, he’s not afraid to laugh and make a joke. He’s not afraid to make mistakes and test limits. I hope that he keeps this, I hope that it stays with him.