Wednesday, January 5, 2011

17 Months

Month 17 was the month of “no”. “No” is the catch-all answer to almost all questions directed at Leah and Elliot:

Q: Want to get up?
A: No
Q: Want to get down?
A: No
Q: Want to go to bed?
A: No
Q: What time is it?
A: … No?

The only questions that elicit enthusiastic responses follow the template of “What does a (insert animal/“car”/“Santa”) say?” or “Where is your (insert body part/clothing item/relative name/etc)?” These questions we can, and must, repeat ad nauseum every day, all day. We understand that their tendency towards “no” is perpetuated by the necessity for Craig and I to use that word a lot in response to their actions, so it’s not surprising. It’s actually cute. I love that we can have little conversations that make sense as long as I only ask yes or no questions.

Language in general continues to flourish. Amazingly, they both continue to develop words at basically the same rate. Elliot is quicker to string words together (mostly “big car/tree/truck/anything, even if it’s not at all big”) and Leah picks up on new words a little faster, but in general, they are both on track. New words and phrases this month include: all gone! (for food in their bowls), zipper, clock, sink, “tubby”, “sticky” (Leah’s word for sticker), niño (Elliot’s word for Leah and all other kids), and tons more. We are on an awesome eating streak, which I am sure is about to end. Sleeping has been going well too, though I do think Elliot still needs less sleep than Leah.

Leah currently is really into accessorizing. If there is a hat on the floor, she must wear it, even if it’s my sweaty hat that I just ran in. Same goes for socks (dirty or clean) and golashes (both love their “Boots!”). She also loves bath time (“dubby!”, not to be confused with “dobby”, which is strawberry), her lovey, and Craig. She’s into her dad right now. Leah also loves Elmo and Mickey Mouse despite having seen very little of either of them. I thought I would discourage our kids from becoming too infatuated with commercialized characters, but it’s actually really cute, so screw it. She is still extremely stubborn and will submit to a full-fledged rigid-on-the-floor-turning-bright-red tantrum at any time. We are currently struggled to eliminate bottles and Leah is not thrilled about it. We’re on day three of no bottles except right before bed and it is going okay, so hopefully we’re almost done.

Elliot is just such a boy. He is constantly on the move, which is why our ratio of Leah to Elliot photos is about 10:1. He loves balls, trucks, cars and books. He actually seems to have a knack for throwing and kicking balls (though I’m sure every parent out there thinks their 17 month old is athletically gifted, right?). Seriously though, his aim is better than mine and he dribbles a soccer ball and keeps it under control. Athletic prodigy? I think so. He loves giving kisses to his sister and to animals, stuffed or not. He continues to share anything and everything with Leah. If she is crying, his first inclination is to offer her whatever he is holding. It’s truly the sweetest thing, though he’ll still give her a swat if he’s in the mood. Elliot also loves the moon, fires in the fireplace, planes (which he still calls “sky” though he knows the correct word), his lovey and the train (choo-choo). He also seems to be a big fan of people in general. Whenever we are in public, he makes eye contact with as many people as he can and gives them cute little smiles. At Whole Foods the other day, upon having that interaction with him, a stranger commented on how much “personality” he has. She doesn't know the half.

This month we had another trip to Glenside, PA for Christmas. Leah and Elliot definitely didn’t understand what was going on, but they loved the tree and the ornaments (Leah cradled one of Tia Sarah’s ballet dancer ornaments lovingly for a while until I noticed it was missing an arm which she hopefully didn’t swallow). They played on the stairs at the house a lot, which was great because they are now quite proficient at both up and down stairs. They were both a little under the weather, which made feeding them a struggle, but they were generally pretty happy and definitely enjoyed all the attention from the Greiner clan. The mechanical singing Grinch was a huge favorite and they had a good time dancing with him. Sarah and Jon gifted Grandpa Jer Ber with a “Daddle” which is a saddle for him to wear so the twins can ride on his back like a horse. Yes, it’s as awesomely insane as it sounds. We ended up staying in Glenside an extra night due to the huge blizzard hitting on the days following Christmas. This was not a terribly big deal, but during the blizzard, which brought very strong winds, a branch destroyed our back passenger-side car window. We couldn’t get it fixed, so Craig and Grandpa Jer-Bear doctored it up with some heavy duty plastic and duct tape for the ride home. Amazingly, it worked quite well and really didn’t affect our drive home at all. It was a pretty smooth drive, in fact.
For New Year's Eve, we attended the traditional party at Josh and Erica's house.  We were a little worried about putting the kids to bed in their bathroom (fan on) and then transporting them home right after midnight, but they did incredibly well.  They went to sleep without a sound and, despite a very disruptive wake up that involved being carried through a house full of drunk people, into the car and home, they went right back to sleep in their cribs. 

In general, things are really great. We regularly get comments on how good and well behaved Leah and Elliot are, and I actually agree. We are fully away that at any moment things could change, and they certainly have their moments.  But, so far, we are blessed with two extremely good kids and we feel very lucky for that.  I'm looking forward to all the awesomeness (and not-so-awesomeness) that the second half of our second year with Elliot and Leah will bring.  Cue shit hitting fan.

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