I'm going to be short on words and long on pictures, but listed below (mostly, I realize, for my own scrapbooking purposes) are the trends for each month. We're very excited to see his language catching up with his understanding. I laugh about how I used to think that kids learn to talk almost by accident. Wow, like may things regarding parenting, I was naive about that. We've worked so very hard to help him catch up and it is starting to pay off!
Month 18: (June - July)
- Started Letter of the Week at home - he pointed to and said "A!" as soon as he walked out of his room on the first morning!
- Talking, talking talking! Asking for things by name.
- Asks about schools whenever we pass one, and if people learn about God there....Um, hmmmmm....I was stumped.
- Loves apps on my phone, but we keep "Phone Time" limited.
- "Pa" for Grandpa
- LOVES his prayer box and asked to pray for Ethiopia....Melt my heart.
- Loves "bunny hunts," when we search for bunnies in the trees by our house. He calls them "Hop hops"
- Reading obsessed this month and wants a book first thing in the morning.
- "Stranger Danger" seems to be subsiding and he's coming out of his shell.
- Knows many shapes by name
- Says "I love You": "Vue!"
- "K" for "Ok" a lot
- Walks like a big boy more than needing to be carried
- Loves holding hands in the car
- Obsessed with "gas/motor/car/vroom" after seeing the motor on the boat
Month 19: (July - August)
- Still obsessed with gas/motors/vroom and talks about it ALL THE TIME
- Counting a bit and held up two fingers for 2
- Becoming very outgoing and is super loving all the time - lots of surprise "I Love You"'s
- Eats like crazy and has unbelievable energy
- First "No!" kicking tantrum
- Singing and dancing along with songs
- His obsession with Music Class teacher, Miss Jennie, is almost a problem in class!
- Talks every day very seriously about the chicken in Vermont who bit his finger with Nanny
- Loves violins
- We have a lot of fun searching for letters in stores
- Thinks babies are hilarious (Likes to say they drink coffee and then he dies laughing.)
- Gets SO loopy when tired
- Green means Go, Red means Stop
- Discovered the bump on his finger "that God gave him in Ethiopia."
- Very close to phrases and sentences. Has lots of scripted conversations he wants me to say with him all day long, like lots and lots of "Fall...Park...Hurt...Mama...help."
- His favorite phrase: "Hug. I love you. Mama (or whatever it is he is hugging...stuffed animal...dog, etc.)."
- Also talking a lot about Ethiopia and where "God made him."
A fantastically fun play date at West Park with Maggie Wacker Reed (visiting from CA), her mom, Cindy, and our friend Hillary Smith, and all the kiddos.
On top of the "big hill", as we call it.
Early morning trip to Cox Hall Gardens to beat the heat. Beautiful time of day.
A visit from Chad, Kate, Christopher and baby Annabelle Brummett. So fun to see the boys play together for the first time, and Levi obviously has a little crush on Aunt Kate.
A new discovery this summer - Saxony Beach in Fishers: free, ridiculously kid safe (Levi can stand halfway out in the swimming area AND there are 3 lifeguards - goodness!), and a great way to cool off.
Often worn out from the fun. Still needs his afternoon nap.
How you celebrate the 4th of July when it is going to be 95 degrees at 9 p.m. - A nice bottle we'd been saving in the cellar. Happy Birthday, America!
Ah, Mom's Great Fall of 2012. Levi will be talking about it for months to come, well into the end of the year. At least he understands what it means to fall and hurt yourself. I slipped in the puddle pictured below and ended up with a trip to the emergency room, two broken ribs and a concusion. Oh, and made a fantastic scene in the middle of everyone's picnic lunch at West Park. Good times. The below picture of my side is not for the faint of heart....And you know what? Not complaining or anything, but broken ribs really, really hurt. Months later still nagging me a bit.
Onto happier things...like homemade Ethiopian Doro Wet! (Chicken stew, that is.) As you can tell from Levi's smile below, one of his very favorite things.....
Saying a prayer with "Miss Chelsea" - one of my voice students who watches LT for an hour and a half while I teach. Oh, how he loves Miss Chelsea.
State Fair time!!!
Tractors to climb on everywhere we looked:
Brad getting his annual cup of Indiana tomato juice. Price went up to $1.50 this year.
If there is ONE thing we are going to visit during our annual trip with Tyler and Adrianne Smith, it is the vegetables on a plate, as we call it. Some of the entries are not so impressive:
This person literally scotch taped a bag on a zucchini and called it a mosquito. What!?!?
Some vegetable art is extremely impressive:
A new addition to our State Fair fun, Tyler decided, is that we have to play a game each year. He treated us to some skeeball. I warned them that I used to be very good at skeeball! Yes, I won Levi's new favorite toy:
Some relief from the drought! Watching the rain on the porch and then running through the giant puddles.....
Fry Fest, 2012! One of Brad's coworkers has a fantastic party - bring something to fry and enjoy the buffet. Everything from veggies to fish to brownies. Can only happen once a year, but totally worth it.
Fun at the Todds' Lake House....
Kid right of passage - licking the frosting
Yes, Levi is still lining up his toys. I swear, he did this completely by himself.
What started it all - talking about the gas in the motor that makes the boat go "vroom."
Driving the boat!
Fun with Nanny and Papa in Vermont....
Thanks for driving us to the airport, Lucy and Monique!!! I could never have managed with by myself, thanks to the broken ribs and all just two day before. Levi had a blast riding with Lucy-Lu, too. (That sounds like a Dr. Seuss book waiting to happen.)
So excited on the plane wearing his backpack. (Which, yes, I am ashamed to admit, had a leash attached to it. I had no other way to hold onto him with broken ribs. I wanted a neon sign on myself that said, "I have two broken ribs and hence must have a leash on my child." Sigh.)
Massive hit - the alphabet train mom found at a consignment store. He loves just watching it go around and around, listening to the letters.
Yes, that tiny little white speck is Levi's diapered behind, going up the mountain behind Mom and Dad's house. Don't worry, I stopped him just after taking this picture, but how I love his adventurous spirit.
Tons of fun at the Children's Museum near Hanover, NH. Great water park we didn't plan on - I had to hang his shorts out the window of the car to drive.
Another huge hit - the Thomas the Train toy Nanny and Papa got him as well. I thought Levi was going to confiscate one of these at Lincoln Hoskins' birthday party. Now he has his own!
Dragging it everywhere - even through Nanny and Papa's garden
I wasn't allowed to sit down in the living room for this: showing Aunt Jenny his favorite scene (the whales) from Fantasia 2000. He pushed me into the dining room. Special Aunt/Nephew moment.
Life of the party.
Walking to a nice dinner out at an area inn.
This is what happens when Nanny takes him to "see the pond" while the rest of us finish dinner. Note to self....
One happy, messy boy. (Yes, he WAS wearing pants at dinner.)
Now down to his diaper by the pond - kissing Aunt Jen goodbye.
Feeding goats with Nanny at one of our favorite cheese farms. A chicken also bit his finger while at this farm. I heard about it for the next 2 months. Daily. (Levi, holding up his finger: "Chicken...Finger...Nanny." Over and over.)
If there is water, Levi is getting in.
Walking trails with the dogs
More water...one of Vermonts many beautiful lakes
Silliness with Papa
Ice cream by the river
Celebrating Nanny's birthday!
Yes, this summer I found Pinterest. I know we all joke about Pinterest addictions, but seriously, it has made me a better mom. I LOVE crafts and using them for learning/sensory/fun experiences, but I didn't know how to get started with a toddler (beyond basic finger painting, that is). We have had so much fun ever since I found the ideas collected on my favorite Pinterest boards!
Box car - made in about 30 minutes during nap time!
Cloud dough - flour and baby powder. Moldable and smells great!
Emotion plates - were very helpful one week during some of the worst of the 2 year-old tantrums.
Weather "clock." We keep this in the window and talk about what kind of day it is.
A huge hit - during our "bunny hunts" (when we search for bunnies in the trees on our property) we collect plants for wax paper pictures. I cut a whole series into different shapes and it helped him to learn those as well.
Daily Show Chart - helps him keep track of the 3 short shows he's allowed to watch and see how many shows he has left.
Prayer box - the biggest hit of all. All his friends and family's faces on sticks. He pulls them out whenever he wants to say a prayer for someone. It has been fun to see the number of people in the box grow as we make new friends!
Busy Board! An old frame + various locks from Menards.
Good ol' shaving cream and food color.
Homemade play dough from another fantastic voice student and babysitter, Kirstin Brueckmann!
Growing, growing! By the end of the summer he was in 3T clothes. Whew!
Chair Picture, Month 18
Chair Picture, Month 19
Definitely one of the highlights of the summer for Levi - his Prayer Box. The group in the box is getting bigger and bigger and he gets to know more and more extended family and we make new friends!
This is part of a much, much longer video. He made it all the way through the box that day, I think.
I had been trying to catch this for about 5 years - Cal howling. He does it about 2-3 times a year when he hears sirens, making it almost impossible to catch. He is very mournful and sweet about it, and looks completely offended when he realizes that I am videoing!
One of our very favorite books for a while now has been Sandra Boynton's Snuggle Puppy. It's based on a song, but we do it more like a nursery rhyme. LT obviously has it memorized and enjoys filling in the last words:
"I say, Oooooo!, Snuggle Puppy of MINE, everything about you is especially FINE! I love what you ARE, I love what you DO. Snuggle Puppy, I LOVE YOU!"
This is one of my very favorites: Levi's reaction to watching "Pa" clog at the State Fair. I love the way his big, dark eyes light up when he is excited about something, and also how he says, "Again!"