Monday, January 19, 2009

Give that Man a Medal

Curtis rocks. He's my hero. Why?

Because Curtis got up at 3 a.m. to watch the sick toddler who refused to go back to bed after I'd spent an hour cleaning him, his bed, and his bear, comforting him, and reading him a story.

Because Curtis cleaned vomit from the carpet, not once, but twice while I re-cleaned the aforementioned toddler.

And all that without even being asked.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

In the Bathroom

Now that he's getting older, Thomas has become more competent and likes doing "grownup" things. I've been working with him on a bathroom routine. I guess you could say this is the start of potty training, but really, we're just building up some skills that are nice now, though they will be essential down the road. But here's our little ritual that we're doing 5-7 times a day.

1) I announce that we're going to go change a diaper and Thomas walks to the hall gate. I take down the gate and he walks into the bathroom.
2) He gets his step stool, puts it into position, climbs up on it and turns on the light.
3) I lift him up onto the counter and change his diaper. This is his least favorite part. Sometimes he plays with a toy to distract himself, sometimes we play games together, and sometimes he fights and I hold him down.
4) I put him back on the floor and remind him to wash his hands. He fetches his stool, moves it to the sink, and climbs up.
5) We wash our hands. I operate the knobs and soap since he can't reach, but he does scrub his own hands.
6) After we dry our hands, Thomas moves his stool and turns off the light.

Diaper changes now take significantly longer, but he enjoys it a whole lot more. He really feels like big stuff operating the light switch. Even with his stool, it's nearly at the edge of his reach.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Talking with Thomas - 21 Months

Thomas is becoming quite the talker. This week he made his first two-word sentance, "Bye-bye, dada." Since he never seems to be willing to talk into a phone or other recording device, here's a snapshot of his current speech. It's divided into actual English words, protowords, and other sounds and listed in roughly their order of appearance.

English Words
Pronunciation WordMeaning
ma-maMamaThat'd be me
da-daDadaCurtis, though it's interesting that Thomas should pick Dada, since we refer to Curtis as Bauji, which is Hindi for father. Why? Because we're weird.
bye/bye-byebye-bye"goodbye" (when leaving a place, also to people who are leaving him), "going out" (as in, "We're going bye-bye")
uh-yeah/yayesHis default response to anything said to him.
maaaMaxCurtis's parents' dog, but not dogs in general
foy-yerfloweralso used for trees and colorful shapes like hot-air balloons
wah-yerwaterwater, cups, fountains, sprinklers, bath, but oddly enough, not usually "I'm thirsty." That's just fussing.
iceeyesAccompanied by a poke in the eye, we're working on that
Words that have a consistent meaning, but do not closely resemble adult words (or at least not enough for strangers to understand)
Pronunciation "Word"Meaning
tzah"cat"all cats, including ours
ha"hot"things that are hot, steam, bright lights
ha"hair"usually accompanied by pointing, to distinguish from "hot"
ya-ya"light"light, lamps, light bulbs
baah!"bath"Thomas loves to bathe. The idea of a bath is always VERY exciting
ruh-rar"truck"just about anything with wheels
Other Interesting Sounds
ohWas just a sound, but has started to refer to cereal O's.
wowDoesn't seem to mean anything, but often inserted into babbling
uh-ohOne of his favorite sounds. Used for all occasions.
"panting"The sound a dog makes, and dogs in general
buh, buh, buh"beep, beep"The sound a truck makes
"clicking" with tongue against roof of mouthdone to imitate Ruthann
mao"meow"What the cat says

Thomas's words reflect the things that are important to him. What I find interesting are the things that aren't on this list. There's no "me" or "mine" or any other self-referential word. He doesn't have any word for Ruthann. There are no words about eating. He uses words to call attention to things that he sees, but almost never to ask for things. The most surprising to me is that he doesn't say "no." It's usually one of children's first words because it's so powerful, but Thomas just shakes his head when he doesn't want something. And believe you me, it's not because he never hears the word from me. It wouldn't surprise me if he believed that "sister" was pronounced "No! No smack."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Company's Comin'

The past week has been full of company. We had friends over on Saturday and Sunday, an overnight guest on Tuesday, and on Friday, I got a call that a friend was in the area. The Baby Circus and I met her at the Huntington Library and Gardens. Thomas loved walking around the Gardens, though his favorite part was the fire hydrant. I guess because it was on his level.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pretty Baby

Ruthann's finally gotten to do something fun that her brother hasn't. She got to have her portrait taken. I'm not usually into the whole studio thing, but they offered my favorite price: free. I guess the Babies R Us photo studio was just really bored. I was glad that I had picked out cute outfits for the kids. The plan was to take a few shots of Ruthann, then Thomas, then both together. Thomas didn't like the raised area where the pictures were taken or the guy assistant. He just wanted to be held by Curtis. So Ruthann got more pictures taken and a free 5x7. She's such a cute, smiley thing.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

Looking over last year's resolutions, Thomas and Beckham completed all of their resolutions and Curtis says that he's just going to copy his list over to this year. I only gained 14 pounds, then lost 48, but regained 10 and have now lost 2. Overall, a success, but I'd like to lose another 11 pounds. I made definite progress on praying more and getting stuff (mostly laundry) put away, but have completely lost control of the dishes and the paper clutter.

For 2009:
Curtis: Continue to lose weight, actually learn a language. Basically, the same stuff as last year. By the end of the year, be able to do 50 pushups in the morning and another 50 at night by ramping up one a day.

Jenny: Achieve what the chart calls a "healthy" weight. Get the children on a schedule that I can live with. Reclaim control over the housekeeping.

Thomas: Learn a language (English) (He's currently limited to mama, dada, bye-bye, uh-oh, wow, and Maa (for Max, his grandparents' dog)), Become an artist/craftsman.

Ruthann: Achieve what the chart calls a healthy weight. Get her heart fixed. Make some friends who want to do some free babysitting. Eat solid food. Learn to walk.

and we have a 2009 goal for the whole family: get a yard. There has to be a little piece of outside for Mr. Thomas to leave his toys out in. Even though we're on a month-to-month lease here, we need our leases to always coincide with school-years, so this is mostly a project for this summer. Plus by then, Ruthann will be ready for serious outside playing.