A year and a half. My baby is a YEAR.AND.A.HALF. How did this happen?
Some exciting happenings this month and I have a lot of photos to share.
PARENT – TEACHER CONFERENCE
Milo’s new day care is AWESOME. As I’ve described previously, they have an age-appropriate curriculum for social, emotional, cognitive, and physical domains. I’ve noticed Milo developing in leaps and bounds since we enrolled him.
Everyday, they write little notes about what he did that day (and they also take photos of any special activities to send home with us). I’ve started saving the notes (and I’ve always saved the photos). The below note is very representative of Milo’s personality. He loves helping and he LOVES giving high-fives.
When we first enrolled him, we all identified some goals for his first few months: to get to know and become comfortable with his new teachers, his classmates, and his classroom space. This has solidly happened and so we had our very first official parent-teacher conference.We discussed overall how he’s doing and identified new goals.
Naturally, Milo is awesome and they love having him in the class. He plays well alongside the other kids, participates in the activities, responds to directions, sleeps and eats great.
We did discuss how Milo is not yet expressing himself verbally with any consistency. He does use sign language a bit and can usually communicate what he wants nonverbally, but still, he’s one of the only kids in the class who doesn’t really speak. Not that he’s “behind” or that there’s any concern, but we did agree that increasing his verbal expression would be a good goal.
Ironically, right before the conference, we were in the classroom with Milo. I found a toy excavator (which is Milo’s favorite construction vehicle) and I said, “Hey Milo, what is this?” and he said a multi-syllable sound that sort of sounded like “exeter” (“excavator”).
It has now been a few weeks since the parent-teacher conference and we are encouraging him to express himself verbally. I’m trying to be very nurturing and supportive, not pressuring him at all about it, and I often incorporate it into a game. For example, I bought a set of refrigerator foam magnets that feature different shapes, objects, animals, etc., that toddlers are generally familiar with, and we play a game where I pull out a magnet and ask him what it is and he says something. Sometimes, the thing he says begins with the correct consonant sound and kinda/sorta sounds similar to the word. We do a similar thing when reading picture books together (wow, we read so many books!).
Recently, he has started consistently saying “no,” “uh-oh,” and “bubl” (for “bubble”). Here are a couple videos.
(Update: my bad. The below photo isn’t the one where he talks. I have a second video, where he continues to throw dirt on the floor, I tell him not to, he smiles, shakes his head, says “nah nah,” and proceeds to throw more dirt on the floor, each time saying “nah nah.”
As for new skills, just last week, Milo learned how to stick out his tongue…. and has been sticking his tongue out almost constantly.
He’s also learned how to take selfies, sort of. And now my phone is loaded with pictures of his nostrils and forehead.
He can also throw a ball overhand (apparently this is a thing).
Feed himself with utensils and actually have enough food go into his mouth to satiate his hunger.
His coloring has become much better. I’ve actually purchased him for reals Crayons, not just the palm-sized baby crayons.
He’s also become much better behaved at restaurants. In my last update, I wrote that we had successfully taken him to two restaurants, and since then we have had many more successful experiences (we also had one experience that I would not count as a success).
Okay, I’m sure that every parent (or, most every parent) thinks their kid is the best. But I’m convinced that Milo is the greatest. He is so much fun!
Tangentially related, above I described how Milo loves giving people high-fives… well, a few weekends ago, when it was MISERABLE outside, we decided to take Milo to the mall so that he could play in the toddler area. He spent quite a while wandering around, trying to give people high-fives, and most everyone ignored or didn’t notice him.
I also took this video of the situation. It both breaks my heart and makes me giggle. Mainly, it’s further evidence of how much awesomer Milo is than other kids. hmph!
Most of our fun has occurred indoors this month due to the weather. Fortunately, most of our attempts at inside fun have actually been fun (whereas the experience at the mall was not particularly fun).
I’ve taken Milo to some different indoor jungle gym places. This weekend, we went to one that has wall-to-wall trampolines, GIGANTIC inflatable bouncy houses & slides, and a foam pit. It was a lot of fun for both of us! Afterwards, Milo took a three hour nap.
Here’s a video of Milo running around on the trampolines.
Also this weekend, we went to the Warhawk Air History Museum. Generally, I’m not particularly interested in machinery, weapons, vehicles, or the like, but I’ve always thought that planes were neat (and I really enjoy going to air shows at one of the nearby military bases), and I love going to historical museums of any variety (I totally think military history is fascinating, even though I abhor violence). But I digress.
Sadly, when we first arrived at the museum and Milo saw all of the planes and that he could get close to them, he started running along the hard floor as fast as he could, stumbled, and fell hard onto his face, getting a bloody lip that today is swollen and purple.
Except for that, we all had a great time. It’s just so cool that Milo is old enough to appreciate places like a history museum. Even though he wasn’t allowed to touch or climb on anything, he still loved looking at everything.
And here are a few other random indoor funtimes.
Below, Josh has been setting Milo on our indoor bike trainer and indoctrinating him with videos of professional cycling.
We’ve also been going to various stores for entertainment, which probably sounds a little odd. We LOVE going to thrift stores and last weekend, Milo and I went to five thrift stores in a row and had a blast. We also occasionally go to pet stores or the humane societies just to look at the animals (normally, we love going to the zoo, but the weather just hasn’t permitted that).
Below, is wandering around a pet store. Milo loves pushing the mini shopping carts.
This might seem random, but we’ve been setting up an aquarium. We had been monitoring craigslist for a used aquarium, and found this 35 gallon one, along with all of the other equipment, for a great deal. We only have three fish right now, and will be gradually introducing more over the coming weeks. I also ordered more live plants online, which should arrive in two days. Anyway, Milo loves watching the fish. And even before we had fish, he would watch the water movement in the tank and all the bubbles, saying “bubl, bubl!”
Here’s another successful restaurant experience. Even though Milo was being a squirmy wiggle worm, he was great. He has been SO HAPPY this month. In this photo, Josh was trying to put his coat on, and Milo was laughing so hard and wiggling in delight. I think everyone in the restaurant was smiling at his antics.
Fortunately, we have had some funtimes out of doors.
I took Milo to our local playground and we wandered over to the Dept. of Agriculture building (which is right next to the playground) where they have a big parking lot full of big trucks. Milo loves trucks and he was ecstatic.
Here’s a video of that.
Here are some images from another playground experience.
Here is when we took the wagon down to our neighborhood playground. Milo was excited about being able to see the moon while he was swinging.
Seriously, this guy is so joyful and lovable.
Yesterday evening, we all took a walk along a path by our neighborhood and explored by the river.
Milo also chased some ducks.
Okay, that’s it for now. I’m late posting this update, so it include more than a month’s worth of happenings.