Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My, how they grow!

When we left for vacation, we had just begun to see the fruits of our labor in our garden. When we returned, we found tomato plants taller than Pat lining the wall of the "backyard house." We found salad greens that, though admittedly way behind, were salad worthy. We have picked eggplant and zucchini and spinach. Our Kung Pao chili pepper plants are burdened with their fruit and our tomatillo plants have turned into enormous bushes! So much can happen to a garden in the course of 10 days.

So much can happen in a toddler's life in the same span of time. When we left Muncie, Israel was saying all kinds of nouns -- mostly one-syllable nouns, though there was the occasional three-syllable word, like "graduate" or the one-syllable words made into two syllables, as in "too-wuck" for "truck." If there was a gradual transition, I did not notice it and one day at the lake, Israel came in the kitchen and said, "I wanna have a goldfish!" Really? Is that how this happens? I mean, the sentence sounded more like, "Iwaaah hannuh gofiss," but come on!

Returning home, we can have conversations. Of course, when a story gets really complicated, he just lists nouns and verbs until I guess what he's talking about. ("Habirday Judah! Bird, bird, peeduhbuddy!" means, "I'm remembering that I made a birdfeeder out of a pinecone, peanut butter, and birdseed at Judah's birthday party two days ago.") We talk about things he remembers. We do impressions of the noises things make. We talk about what we want for lunch and Israel can tell me, spontaneously, "I like it! I like it! Thank you, Mommy!" Admittedly, most of Israel's sentences are along the lines of, "Have some more _________. Please?!" but that is quite a bit better than trying to figure out if he really wants the banana, banana, banana or if he is just letting you know he sees it.

One of the cutest things he has done lately is read to me. He went into his room for story time, had me come in, said, "Clifford. I read it. Sit, Mommy," and proceeded to "read" the book to me. He described the pictures, as I might possibly expect, but he also recalled some of the dialogue on the pages. This was quite a paradigm shift for me in how I relate to my son. I have since tried leaving out some of the words to the Dr. Seuss book, "Put Me in the Zoo," and he can fill them in for me. Crazy. He repeats cute rhymes, sometimes only after one hearing, as was the case Pat told him, "Too bad, so sad, call my dad," which Israel thought was hilarious.

One of his favorite things to say lately is, "I proud." He is proud because he sometimes initiates going to the potty. I am proud, too, and so is his dad, (and so is Seesa and Bandi and many others) as the litany goes every time. There are been MANY times this week when he has called out the precise function for which he needs the aid of a toilet and then gone and performed that function upon request. He also will tell you when he already did such-and-such and will tell you that it is "yucky." I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is the beginning of the end of diapers and that the road is not long from here to there.

He is growing faster than ever before.

Eden, meanwhile, just turned five months old today. She is still a very pleasant baby who smiles an ecstatic, toothless smile just because Pat or I look at her. She likes to give Israel kisses and I've started letting him give her his not-perfectly-gentle hugs because she likes it. She is still small and can still fit into her size newborn shorts. We will have her 4 month check-up next week to see how much she weighs and if I'm exaggerating her (lack of) size. (We are behind on lots of things these days....) But even she is growing up fast. She just successfully ate her first "bites" of baby cereal last night. She rid herself of her bink months ago, but she has taken to sucking on her two fingers, and sometimes her bottom lip, which remains chapped because of it. She doesn't mind, though, and grins if you smile and take her fingers away. She is full of energy, such that she does not even entertain help trying to sit up. There is far too much to do to be that still. Instead, she is trying to crawl. While it may still be awhile, she seems like she may have it figured out any day now. Just this evening, she went at least three feet backwards trying it out. (You'll be among the first to know when it happens.) She also loves it when someone helps her to stand and jump. When jumping, she always seems to say, "YES! Just what I've been waiting for!" even if she was perfectly content rolling on the floor just moments before.

Here are a couple of videos of the kids in action. First, Israel and his beat-boxing routine...

...And then Eden showing you how she tries to crawl. This was take 27, it seems, as the video kept not saving and then she kept spitting up or making some unpleasant noise at the end of a "take". (I need to learn how to edit video.)

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