You are 16 months old, and goodness, I am a guilty mama: it's been a long time since I last posted about you. So much has happened. See, Jack, it's been a pretty busy time for our family. We live in Arizona, now! Your dad is home with you during the day while I go to work. It is also new and different, but I think it is good.
Moving was a difficult time for you. I didn't really appreciate how difficult everything was until after it was over, and you turned back into your old self. During that month while we were packing and traveling, you were very upset. Everything around you was changing every single day. You wouldn't let your dad or I go far. You wouldn't let anybody else hold you. Now, I think I understand a little more how scary it was... every day brought something different. Once we got into our new house and settled down to a routine, things got much better.
You were so happy with the new house! Seriously, Jack, I had no idea that a living space could make such a big difference in our day to day life. It is a big house. There is so much room for you to run around. I can be in the kitchen, and you can be with me, or you can be playing in an open area. There is a long hallway that you like to run up and down. There is a big bathroom and you can take real baths in a big bathtub. There is a long counter that you can sit on and brush your teeth. It is all safe for you. We can let you play and not worry that you'll get into something dangerous. I never appreciated how much space would mean to you, and, by extension, us.
Here's the other neat thing about the new house. It has a great backyard. There's a patio that is covered and shaded all day long. It is all fenced in, from front to back. We can be inside and let you play outside, because we can see you right through the big sliding door. You just love this patio. It only took you a day or two to learn your new favorite word: "Ow-tide! Ow-tide! Ow-tide!". You like to stand by the patio door and yell that. Then you say "Tease! Tease! Tease!" ("Please") and try to pry your little fingers in the slider to open it yourself. You love the word "Outside" so much that you use it anytime you think something needs to changed. If you are outside and want inside, you say "Ow-tide!". If you are on the patio and want into the garage, you say "Ow-tide!". You are always so determined and extreme about your requests. Even at your young age, you take life very seriously. (This should not surprise anyone who knows your parents). You are very good at saying "Tease" ("Please"), but I'm not sure you understand "Thank You", yet.
You really like your "Tur-dull" ("Turtle"). First, we filled it with water. You had SO MUCH FUN. I can't get over how much fun you had. Then... well, then... you slipped on the concrete and hit your head, and we're a little sensitive about head injuries over here. So we emptied the Tur-dull and filled it with sand. You still love it. You get sand everywhere. You put all of your toys in it. When we cover it up, you point and yell "Tur-dull! Tur-dull! Tease! Teeeeaaase!!" until we open it so you can play.
You love to play. We started playing hide and seek. This really requires the help of two adults (one to hide, and the other to hold you until they finish counting). But you figured it out pretty quickly, and you have fun trying to find us. You love to run. You love to THROW and THROW and THROW. You love dancing. We dance as a family. You love to try to jump. I haven't seen you get your feet off the ground yet, but you try really hard. You say "Yump! Yump!".
You don't seem to like stacking, puzzles, or anything else that takes fine motor coordination. What you do like is throwing, kicking, and catching, and boy, are you good at that. You just love throwing balls across the room. You get so excited when you see any kind of sport on TV or in a book: "Throw! Throw! Catch! Throw!", and you make the motions as you say it.
Speaking of books, that's your other obsession. You love books. Your love for books exhausts us. We probably read 20 books a day, at least, and that's only because your parents can't handle any more than that (sorry! we're trying!). Once we get halfway through one book, you're onto the next, and it is with frantic gesturing and yelling of "Booh! Booh! Booh!" ("Book") that we fetch you another. Here are some of your favorite books: Baby Day, Goodnight Gorilla, Goodnight Moon, Pat the Bunny, Down by the Station, Words, I am a Bunny, and Baby Rhymes for Baby Times. Those are just a few. You don't like hearing the stories, even when they rhyme - you like us to ask you questions and have you find things in the pictures. You get excited when you see something you recognize, especially animals, and you always make the right sound for the animal. You are especially fascinated by baby faces, and you know where to look to find the little baby faces on the back of your favorite books ("Bee-bee!", i.e., "Baby"). We stack your books in two places: in the living room, and by your crib. By the end of the day, they are scattered everywhere.
So, it should be obvious at this point... you are talking... a lot! We just can't believe how much you love words. You try so hard to repeat what we say, and we are frequently surprised by how quickly you figure out how to say things. The other night, I decided to teach you how to say "Bow-Tie" (from the Cat in the Hat), and you had it down in just a few minutes. I feel a little funny putting this list on the web, but, well, I want to remember what you are saying, and this blog is where I put the details that I really want to remember. Here are the words you say regularly:
Uh-oh, mamma, daddy, doggie, banana (nana), all done (ah-nya), night night, light, fan (the spinning sound, wooh-wooh), up, down, sky, airplane (also ah-nya), helicopter (copter), stars, moon, outside, hot, cold, warm, cracker (cah-cah), hummus, cheese, pasta, eggs, toast, popsicle (pa-doe), blueberries (boo-buh), melon (muh), mango, apple, kiwi (maybe one of my favorite words that you say, more like ku-wee), peas, yogurt (go-go), yummy (nummy), water (wah-wah), juice, milk (nay-nee), slide (wee!), poopie, butt, diaper (dye), nice, hi, bye, more, yes, no, please (tease), one, many animal sounds (moo, neigh, tweet tweet, oink, hoot, oooh ooh aah aah (a monkey), a gorilla sound, ribbit like a frog, meow, woof, baaaa, an elephant sound, a fishie face, quack), turtle (tur-dull), mouse (mowe), cat, bee, birdie, giraffe (girr), owl (oh), Tori (Dori), leash (doggeesh), go, dizzy, run, jump (yump), ball, throw, catch, hoop, shoes, pillow, couch, puppy (this refers to your puppy-chair), Mamoun (it's a falafel place - your dad has a shirt), baby (bee-bee), boat, bus, car, truck, bike, owie, watch (same word for clocks), baba, bow tie (dow bie... we're working on it), doorbell, head, hair, nose (no), eyes, ears, mouth, teeth (teef), toothbrush (teef), toes, balloon (ba-ooh), fire (wire), hat, Ergo (the carrier!), keys, bite (bye...as in, to take a bite out of what I am eating), bath, and coffee (a crack up: you obviously learned this one by observation. One day, when I started grinding the beans for your dad's cup, you spoke up).
Maybe I shouldn't admit this, but... when your dad has a bottle of beer? You say beer. But you also say "Daddy Juice". We find this hysterical, of course.
Those are the ones I can think of right now! You just love, love, love words. It will probably be the thing I remember most about you at this age.
You and your dad have a lot of fun together. You are a busy little guy, with lots to do during the day, and your dad is simply amazing. He spends all day with you and he is always patient, and fun, and involved. You guys play and read books, torture Tori, and eat healthy food. He takes you out somewhere almost every day: to the park, the library, or the grocery store. He makes sure you get a good nap. He sends me pictures and videos of you during the day, and he fills our evenings with stories of your adventures.
I love you, Jack. It is likely that you will not remember these early years. I will remember them for you. This letter is getting long, but I will write more later. There is still so much to say.