Posts tagged traveling

21 Months Old

Call me obsessed, but I’ve already got Daniel’s 2nd birthday party all planned out. I’ve had so many ideas, but most of them are not quite age-appropriate yet. I want to do crafts and activities and games… but there are really only so many things you can do to keep a bunch of toddlers interested. So I’m trying to keep it simple. But it’s going to be tough.

We attended his friend Annabel’s 2nd birthday party, so he’s been able to grasp what it means to have a birthday–fun, friends, and presents! Grandma told him, when he asked about a basket-ball game, that he could have one for his birthday. Now Daniel tells us, “Daniel’s birthday! Happy birthday, Daniel!” when we talk about basketball. He also likes to remind us, “Daniel’s birthday coming in June!” I’m trying to figure out a way not to restrict gifts on his birthday, while still keeping it from becoming a “give me stuff” event. I want him to appreciate the fun time with friends and family celebrating his life without the gifts being the highlight of the event (especially since we’ll be inviting half the world to his party–which could spell disaster for those plans if I’m not careful). I’m thinking of asking people to donate money or gift certificates towards swim classes, MyGym classes, or KidSpace membership instead–or to give books or clothes–if they even give a gift at all. I feel like I need to establish this pattern early so that not only will Daniel view our tradition as normal, but so will our friends and family.

During bed-time prayers, for the last several weeks, Daniel has been asking God to make “Uncle Dave’s elbow feel better” (my brother-in-law broke his elbow about a month ago). This morning, Daniel inquired about “Uncle Dave’s broken elbow.” I told him that Uncle Dave’s elbow was all fixed. To which Daniel responded (brace yourself–this is too cute), “Thank you God! You did it God!” It was the cutest response he could have given.

He’s been volunteering “please” and “thank you” more often lately–but with “please” he hasn’t quite gotten the sentence structure down, so he says something like, “Please Mama drink Mama please Mama” or some similar string of pleases and mamas and whatever it is that he wants. With “thank you”, he knows that the word is associated with giving and receiving, but he hasn’t quite grasped that only the recipient is supposed to say, “Thank you.” He uses the phrase when giving and receiving.

As in the examples above, Daniel is expressing himself more and more–independently making connections and shifting his verbal communication from simply narrating our day to interacting with and responding to our activities. It is so much fun watching his personality develop before my eyes.

Yesterday, there was a training drill in our complex for the Pasadena Fire Department that lasted all day. The complex was swarming with fire fighters, which Daniel thought was exquisite. Parked outside were about 8 emergency vehicles that he found fascinating, as well. Unfortunately, we missed the window where the fire fighters were showing people around the trucks and equipment (Daniel was disappointed that he didn’t get to use the steering wheel), but we took some pictures of him admiring the trucks.

Next weekend we’re going on a cruise to Ensenada. Daniel is excited, or in his words, “exciting!” to get on the “big boat!” Especially because both sets of grandparents are going with us (and a whole bunch of Dan’s customers–since the point of the cruise is to reward and thank his business customers for loyalty). We did this cruise when I was pregnant with Daniel and he jumped and kicked inside me with the extremely loud music and microphones. I’m a little nervous about how it will be to have a toddler on the boat (I’m especially curious about the sleeping arrangements). I’m sure I’ll have plenty to update on that.

Bon voyage!

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Amost 15 Months Old

I’ve been meaning to write something about Daniel for the last couple of months… I just haven’t gotten around to it. And now there’s so much to say, I couldn’t possibly say it all.

This year–especially this summer–has been so busy! We’ve been traveling almost every other weekend. Since April we’ve been to (in order): Lake Tahoe (5 days), Newport Beach (5 days), Las Vegas (3 days), Bullhead/Laughlin (3 days), Hawaii (8 days), San Diego (3 days), Lake Tahoe (3 days). And we still have two trips left: Boston (6 days), San Francisco (3 or 4 days). Sheesh!!!

In between packing, traveling, unpacking, and doing laundry, I’ve been trying to get some work done (haven’t been very successful). I’m just not in that work mode. All I want to do is spend time playing with Daniel. He’s growing so fast and learning so much! He’s getting to be of the age where everything is a learning experience that we can share. He’s inquisitive about everything, constantly exploring and trying to do things, repeating words and sounds, communicating his wants and needs. He’s just so wonderful!

Last night after I had some trouble getting him to stay in bed (there were many protests and tears), he jumped into my arms before I could lay him back down and held onto me so tightly that I would have had to pry his hands off of me to do so. And before I even thought about doing that he looked at me and kissed me over and over again, then laid his head down on my shoulder and fell fast asleep. It was one of those touching moments that you remember forever. I held him and rocked him and told him how much I loved him and instantly regretted trying to make him lay down alone in his bed (I usually lay with him… last night I thought I’d try something new… didn’t work).

He’s still waking several times at night to nurse which is tiring and difficult for me sometimes, but it’s completely normal for a cosleeping child of this age. In fact, it’s something he’ll probably continue to do for quite some time as long as we keep him in our bed. This is no surprise to us–we knew what we were getting into when we decided to keep Daniel in our bed–but it does get tiring. I’m not really helping matters either… I stay up late checking email, MySpace, watching TV, spending time with The Husband, or even working (gasp!). Daniel sleeps for a good 3-4 hours for his first stretch. I could be sleeping then, too, but I’d rather have adult time.

Just a couple days ago, Daniel started saying “hat” and “ball”. He also says, “water” and “bottle” but never together–too much at once for him–but often they’re interchangeable. I always have my water bottle with me so he knows he can get a sip if he says either word. He says “no” a lot now even though we try to say things like “not for Daniel” or “food doesn’t go on the floor” instead of “no no!”. It was inevitable that he’d pick it up. He says “doh?” when he puts a phone to his ear and is finally saying “mama” and “daddy” with intention. He can make animal noises for: dog, cat, horse, goat/sheep, bird, and cow, and he says “un-unnnn!” when he sees a land vehicle of any kind. For air vehicles, he says “hkhkhkhkhkhkhkhk” and flies his hand around like an airplane.

He can point to most body parts when asked. We’re still working on some of the less “popular” ones: elbows, knees, neck, etc. I’ve been especially working on shoulders and knees because he knows all the other parts for the song Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. He tries to snap when he hears music, but really all he’s doing is tapping his thumb and forefinger together. It’s pretty darn cute.

The other day I was looking for my keys–I knew Daniel had been playing with them the day before, but I lost track of where they ended up. I was going through the house looking everywhere I could think of, when I said out of frustration, “Daniel, where did you put my keys???!!!” He looked at me, and walked over to the DVR and retrieved my keys from the cubbyhole it sits in. They say that babies probably understand more than double what we think they do… this sure did prove that point to me.

We’ve been switching from using cloth diapers to training pants. He has a few different kinds and they’re all super cute. I’m sure I’ll give in to my temptation to buy him a couple more pairs as we transition away from the diapers so I don’t have to do the laundry as often. But I’m hoping that him being in trainers will help us be more on the ball when it comes to pottying. On our most recent trip (to Lake Tahoe), Daniel only wet 4 or 5 diapers the entire weekend (including nighttime!). I know he’s ready to be out of diapers. I do like to use them as my security blanket when we’re out in public. I’m still not ready to deal with “accidents” at the grocery store. Though I do shop at alternative grocery stores so it wouldn’t be too bad–and Trader Joe’s does have a nice big bathroom.

Daniel’s tooth count is up to 12–the four on top in front, on bottom in front, and his four one-year molars. I think he’s working on his canines now. His gums are red, but they’re not really swollen yet. He’s finally able to eat a greater diversity of foods, but still isn’t very interested in eating much. He just nibbles here and there.

Now that I’m beyond tired, I’ll get myself to bed and hope for a resful night.

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