Saturday, May 11, 2013

Jack is 18 Months (1.5 years old!!!)

Things I would like to remember from the last three months...
(I made need to go back to monthly updates for the rest of the year since he is growing and changing so much each day. Be warned that this is a super long post!)

If you have ever wondered about nature vs. nurture, having a child to watch grow is the ultimate way to see how much influence you have. I believe both nature and nurture play a part, but it is evident with Jack that many of his traits are inherent in who he is. These traits often are eerily similar to Daniel. As Daniel likes to say, Jack has the "knack." If you don't know what the "knack" is, check out this video.

Every day when Daniel gets home from work, Daniel takes Jack out to the mailbox to "get the mail." This involves Jack meticulously removing each piece of mail, one at a time, and handing them to Daniel. Then he puts the mail back in the mailbox and starts the process again.

Jack also loves to move things from different drawers and place them where he believes they should go. Case-in-point: in his bathroom he likes to move all of the baby towels and washcloths from the middle drawer to the bottom drawer. 

He also likes to put toys in his shopping cart or dump truck bed and push said items around. Some items are also placed in the bottom two drawers of his dresser

Jack will often observe us doing tasks and then repeat said tasks until he figures it out. I recently watched him try to plug his sound machine into my cellphone charger. He knows the sound machine has a cord... he just had the wrong one.

Visits to the park are becoming more of a frequent thing for us. Jack loves to slide down the slide, though he is still not a fan of the swings.

Communication with Jack has been exploding these past couple of months. He emphatically shakes his head "No" if he doesn't want something. He signs "more" and reaches both hands up if he wants to be picked up. If he needs assurance on the playground, he reaches one hand up so that he can hold hands with one of us as we walk around. He also waves –backwards, mind you– when he says "bye." At home, this can also indicate that he is tired. He understands the concept of going "bye bye" and will say this over and over again when we are getting ready to leave. If Sophie is not going with us, Jack marches up to pet her "bye bye" just like his mommy and daddy do. He has picked up that I frequently tell Sophie, "shhhhhhhh" when she is barking excessively. Jack now tells Sophie (and sometimes people), "shhhhhhhh." I love observing him as he continues to learn about the world around him.

A week before turning 18 months, Jack said his name. He looked at me, patted his chest and said what sounded like, "Jack Jack." I was ecstatic. I tried to get him to do it again and he looked me right in the eye, patted his chest and said in a very serious voice, "mama." I died. We keep working with him and he says his name about 70% of the time when asked. The other times he says, "dada" or "mama." We love it and find it hilarious.

Jack loves to stand on things. I continue to get a kick out of all of the objects I have found him standing on.

I took Jack to the zoo for the first time (16 months). He wasn't terribly interested in the animals, but he did have a blast running around and playing on the enormous playground at the Nashville Zoo. We bought an annual pass, so we will be sure to visit again when Daniel can come with us.

We also took Jack on his first visit to a little farm at Burritt on the Mountain (17 months). He had a blast. The most notable thing was that he connected the real life farm animals with the animals in books we have been reading to him.  
Jack, what does a cow say? Meh.
What does a sheep say? Bah (in a whisper). 
What does a monkey say? Oooo. Oooo. So the monkey wasn't at the farm, but that his his favorite animal sound to make!
We took Jack on his first camping trip at the end of April (almost 18 months). He did amazing. He loved the tent and he loved exploring the campground and saying "hi" to everyone.

Jack has figured out how to climb into his Lego wagon. I am wondering how long it will be before he realizes he can use said wagon as a step to reach much higher things.

Around 17 months, the days finally got warm enough for us to venture outside more. Jack adores the back yard. Lucky for him, we have 3 acres that he can explore. Well, not quite, since he's not really big enough to explore the woods yet! Jack also loves the garage and hanging out with his daddy in said garage. He cannot get enough of pulling and pushing buttons and gadgets and touching everything that we will let him touch. I have a feeling that he will be working on many projects in the garage with his dad in years to come.

Jack's favorite toy is his remote control car. He loves to put it on the furniture and then work the controls so that it tumbles off the furniture onto the floor. He thinks this is hysterical. Sophie is not a fan of this game.

Daniel and I always pray before meals. We hold hands, but have not insisted that Jack holds hands with us. Right before he turned 18 months, he started holding out his hands before meals to pray. He was very insistent on this. Soon he was holding hands to praying before, during and after meal time. It is really sweet when he does it. His power of observation continues to amaze us.

Jack continues to love for us to read to him. Though he also likes to look through books and read to himself as well. "The Bear Snores On" is one of his favorites. He knows that at the end of the book the bear wakes up and sneeze, "Ahhhh-chhhhooooooo!" Through the entire reading, Jack giggles and says, "Ah Ah Ah" in anticipation of the sneeze. He also enjoys reading "Hippos Go Bezerk." The reading of this book elicits a crazy tongue-rolling noise that we all make when the hippos go bezerk. Again, Jack will do this in anticipation of this part of the book. At the end of "Llama Llama Nighty Night" Jack will say "nye nye or "bye bye" to signal he knows that the llama {and Jack} are going to bed. We are loving this stage of toddler life. Jack amazes us everyday with what he is continually learning.

Quarterly Stats:
Height and Weight: At his 16 month check up, Jack was in the 95 percentile for height and weight coming in at 33" tall and 25lbs.
Teeth: He now has six teeth on top and two on the bottom. Our PED says this just means that he will keep his baby teeth longer, which isn't a bad thing.

Food: Jack eats just about anything we give him. While visiting my sister, I gave him the option of a casserole or plain noodles – he preferred the casserole.
Vocabulary: Around 35 words and sounds. See this post for complete list.

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