just so you know, this is totally going to be one of those braggy my-kid-is-so-awesome-and-i-love-him-so-much kinda posts. you probably already knew i felt that way, but this post is going to put that over the top, trust me. ;) and feel free to just skim or skip this post altogether, 'cause it's gonna be a long one!
today our sweet little guy turns 17 months -- whohoo! we have been together for nearly 2 months and it has been so fun to watch him grow and learn in front of our very eyes. even at 7 weeks home choi boy seems so much less babyish than he was when we first met him! he continues to delight and amaze us and bring us so much joy every day. and while it's hard to sum up everything choi boy is up to, here are some ways to describe our newly turned 17-month old:
choi boy still gives us spontaneous, unsolicited hugs, and every single one melts my heart. piper also gets a good amount of cuddles as do his stuffed animals, members of our extended family and close friends of ours that he has seen fairly regularly. but the cutest is when he gives his little buddies hugs...and the look on his face is just priceless...like he can't contain his joy and he just needs to give his pal a squeeze. ;)
the pictures in this post were taken last week when i took choi boy to visit my school and meet my colleagues and students. my students from last year (big first graders now) adored him and choi boy gave lots and lots of spontaneous hugs!
choi boy also gives hugs to kiddos and people he just met that he might find interesting...or pretty. ;) sometimes, he'll give a shy little smile and wave and then bury his head into my shoulder or legs and get all giggly, but it's all an act. he savors all the attention he gets from his flirty antics!
in addition to the words choi boy had under his belt at sixteen months, here are some new words he's saying (over and over and over): uh oh, oh no, oh man (i didn't realize how much *i* said this until cb started saying it! and he says it with a sour look on his face -- i guess he got that part from me, too!), cah (cow), peeh (pete), ehmo (elmo), beh (big bird), cookie (as in monster), ah chah (for ah chah gah wuh -- "it's cold!"), ah ddoo (for ah ddeu guh wuh -- "it's hot!"), eemo (korean for aunt), hahmee (his version of hahlmuhnee -- korean for grandma), hahbee (his version of hahlahbuhjee -- korean for grandpa), and mo (more).
i think he might have a few others, but at this point, some sounds are tricky to say and tacking on ending consonant sounds are hard, so several words sound alike. for example, "beh" might refer to big bird, bird, or fish!
choi boy enjoys being the center of attention and has quite a few tricks up his sleeve. he likes to put random objects on his head or other people's heads and then raise his hands to say, "where is it?"
he also loves to shush people (and dogs). strangely, he has the uncanny ability to time his shushes so they are most hilarious and appropriate. like when the hubs is going on and on about the packers or when the hubs and i are having a conversation and not looking at cb. um, are we in for trouble??
quite unintentionally, choi boy learned some animal noises from playing with his l!ttle people farm. he started out by mimicking the cow's moo and the sheep's "meh" (strangely, this sheep doesn't baaa). after that, he would bring out his animal books and point to pictures of the cow and the sheep and make their noises. then he would point to other animals and look at us expectantly, so we'd tell him the name of the animal and the noise it makes. (p.s. does anybody know what sound a giraffe makes??) "studying" his animal books is one of his favorite activities and the thing he most enjoys doing when he wakes up. his studying efforts have paid off because he has mastered the following animal noises: cow (he has really mastered his mooing, but my chick-fil-a owner dad is trying to teach cb that cows *actually* say, "eat more chicken" - ha!), sheep, owl, duck, chicken, and doggie (we had to teach him "doggie," because he couldn't hear the difference between the words "duck" and "dog." we're trying to teach him "kitty" for the same reasons with the words "cat" and "cow"). he can also kinda do pig -- he tries to snort, but it really looks and sounds like he just intensely sniffing. ;)
it's also really neat to see choi boy make connections in his learning. the other day, he was pointing to a picture of a cat and he looked at me, so i told him it was a cat, to which he responded, "moo?" i tried to articulate the difference between "cow" and "cat" by pointing to their pictures, but he still said "cah" for both. then he pointed to the picture of the cat again and looked at me, and i again told him it was a cat. he seemed to puzzle this out for a moment, then looked up and said, "peeh? i luh?" and i realized he was connecting "cat" to pete the cat and pete's "i love my white shoes" song! amazing!
choi boy is also making some visual connections that crack me up. he has a slight obsession with cows and loves to point them out everywhere. apparently, the black and white has really registered with him because in the past week, he has proudly showed us pictures of dalmations, zebras, and soccer balls proclaiming, "cah! moooo!" :)
apparently, we have a future free runner on our hands. this child loves to climb, run, and jump off of things like crazy. and even if we tell him not to, he'll make this face:
and do it anyway. that picture was taken as he was sliding off the window seat and i'm pretty sure that face is his stunt face. it's usually accompanied by an "ooh!"
we need to watch him like hawks all the time because if we turn our backs for one second, he's climbed up the stairs or scaled the wipes box to get onto the ottoman to get on to the couch to get onto the arms of the couch. i swear, i'm going to have a heart attack! i'm thinking of enrolling him in a gym class so he can get out some of this adventurous energy, but i'm afraid that it'll just give him the courage to do crazier stunts at home! eek!
mealtimes are the quietest moments of our day. the only thing choi boy truly hasn't liked eating is scrambled eggs. other than that, he's tried and liked everything and we often witness choi boy's sheer and utter joy while he eats.
while i'm getting his meals ready, he'll find a bib, tuck it under his chin, and go hug his booster seat while repeating "ah-men!!" over and over. it's hilarious and there are times i feel the same way and wish i could get away with similar behavior.
sleep continues to go well, and i am so very grateful for that. choi boy sleeps from about 8:30-7:30 and takes a 2 hour nap after lunch. on some nights, usually after a busy day, we will see an occasional wake up with some crying, but for the most part, cb falls back asleep pretty quickly.
our monitor broke and the replacement finally arrived so i am just now transitioning to sleeping back in our bedroom. i'm so glad to be back in our very comfy bed, but i find myself super anxious throughout the night. a couple weeks ago, the hubs and i were watching a dvd after choi boy fell asleep. well, cb woke up, peeked out of his crib, and FREAKED OUT that i wasn't there. he was unconsolable for a good 30 minutes and it took him a long time to calm down and go back to sleep. it broke our hearts to see choi boy so sad and worried. i know he has to learn to trust that we are just down the hall and will be there if he needs us, but right now, i'm still furiously checking that video monitor with every noise choi boy makes.
for the most part, choi boy goes down well and without a fuss, though there are times when he tries to convince me he doesn't need to sleep even when it is clear that he does:
why is it that when you have no responsibilities and so much time to sleep, you fight it, and when all you want to do is curl up and sleep there's no time to?? one of the mysteries of life, i tell you...
i told ya this was a super braggy post. but i'm going to keep it real, too. because the fact is, choi boy *is* a toddler, and while there it is mostly lots of fun, there are also times that certainly try our patience.
for the most part, our guy is happy-go-lucky, but we have our fair share of tantrums, too. and these tantrums are not pretty. he'll do the crying and whining, but he also bangs his head on the floor or wall or whatever surface is near by. so when we can sense a tantrum is coming, it's a race to get our hands under his head or scoop him up so he can't hurt himself. the only thing that gives me solace is knowing that this was a behavior that the FM told us he had been doing for a while and that it didn't start after he joined us. i also read a little about it and according to some smart toddler experts, it's a weird behavior, but also normal. i know, right?! the good thing is, his tantrums are usually short-lived, so long as we can find something to distract him from whatever it was he originally wanted but couldn't do/have/get. ah, the power of an animated high-pitched voice -- it can sell anything...i.e. "oooooh!!! choi boy! look at this spoon! it's so spoony! squeal!" usually, that stops the crying, but afterwards, i'm met with this look:
no words needed for that one.
thanks for indulging me on this super braggy post. ;) here's one more picture to thank you for making it this far...
when we went to visit school, we stopped by the literacy team meeting to see my colleagues, and well, choi boy took over:
he made the executive decision to add "where's sp0t?" to the classroom library cores. ;)