Anyway, this month he has really expanded his vocabulary. It seems he's adding a new word at least every day. This means I've really been making an effort to pay attention to not only what I say, but how I say it. Some common Ben phrases:
- What's that?
- Cat (everything is a cat: comes out more "tat")
- Truck ("terrrrrr-uct")
- Meme = milk
- Bless you (sort of)
- Thank you (some times)
- Meow (it's funny the way he says it)
- Socks ("sacks")
- Uh oh
- Oh Wow (and he says it with some genuine amazement)
- Cracker (but it comes out "tah tah" and it's always, always whispered)
- He can do an elephant impression which is entirely too cute for words
- He makes this little questioning noise when he wants something
I feel like I'm missing some... In any case, he can point to most features on his face. He knows head, ears, nose, mouth, eyes, he can show you his tummy & toes & knees and we're working on shoulders (he points sort of to his chest, rather than his actual shoulders).
He follows simple instructions REALLY well. I am constantly surprised by how much he understands. He wants to go outside and will bring me one shoe. So I'll say "bring me your other shoe" and he'll run off to get it. Or if he can't find it, he'll make that questioning noise and I'll say "I think it's in your room" and he'll run off to his room to look. Yesterday when I was unloading the dishwasher, I gave him two pots and asked him to put away. He did. :)
He loves to dance and dances in the car and along with the music at home. I've been trying to get a video of him dancing but every time he spots me with the camera it's like a tractor beam sucking him in. :)
He loves to be outside. I'm so excited to get our backyard finished so we can spend time out there. When we go out front, I spend more time keeping him out of the street or our neighbors yard (their kids leave their toys out and Ben wants to play... I think we should ask permission before we play with some one else's toys). He loves to play in the rocks and pick out his favorites. He picked up a little stick that he's been leaving by the front door when we come in, so it's there waiting for him when we go back out again. He thought sidewalk chalk was pretty funny. He'll stop what he's doing and point out planes or helicopters.
He's recently begun bringing me books to read. He won't always sit and listen to the story, but I can usually hold his attention for 5 minutes before he wants to run away and play again. He has some favorite songs, the Itsy Bitsy Spider being his all time favorite. I can't even tell you how many times I sing it for him during meal time. He knows all of the hand motions at the appropriate time. He also likes Old McDonald and will do the "e i e i o" part some times. He likes Bingo because there's clapping and he loves If You're Happy And You Know It, again for the clapping.
I've always left the TV on during the day, usually either turned to PBS or Sprout - mostly for background noise. Recently I've noticed him stopping to watch for a few minutes at a time and I'm not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, it IS educational TV and I don't think 10 or 15 minutes through out the day of TV watching is damaging... on the other hand, I don't want to get in the habit of using the TV as a babysitter. It sure is nice, though, to have his attention focused on something else while I'm trying to load the dishwasher... or write a blog... ;)
He walks, runs, spins in circles and walks backwards. We're working on jumping - mostly he just bends his knees rapidly or stamps his feet but every once in awhile we'll get a "for real" jump out of him. We have this really fun story by Eric Carle about the different movements animals do (I'm a seal and I clap my hands - can you do it?) and he loves to play along.
We're working on his pacifier use. For a while there, he was really good at not using it so much during the day. Only for naps & at night. Then the last few months he's been super dependent on it during the day. I let is slide for awhile, things were really emotional at our house and he's getting teeth, etc. The last week or so, I've been taking them away from him at nap time and putting them up in his closet where he can't see or reach them. He's gotten really good at giving it to me when he wakes up. I'll just tap the end of it and say "can mommy have this?" and he'll take it out and give it to me. My goal is to have him completely off the bink by the time he's 2. I'm hoping for sooner, but I don't want to take away all of his comforts at once.
His sleep is still sort of sporadic. He naps really great. He usually goes down around noonish and naps until 2:00 or 3:00. Night time sleep.... not so great still. He's down for the night some where between 7:30 and 8:00 and usually sleeps until about 7:00ish. He apparently still needs at least one check in at night, where I just pick him up and give him a quick cuddle, tell him his night-night time and lay him back down. Some nights it's just the once (even some times it's not at all!) but most nights it's 3 or 4 trips. Some times he's just playing - talking in his sleep that wakes him up and some times he's full out crying. I've considered taking the plunge and turning the monitor off and letting him figure it out, but I can't make myself do it yet.
So, wow. That was a huge wall of text update. I think I'll scroll back up and add some pictures (which I suck at taking, by the way. I went to add an April album to my Facebook and I had like 4 pictures to add. oops) to break it up. I'm sure I'm forgetting something....