Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Autumn!

I guess it's time to quit my blog hiatus that's been going on for over a month and a half! There have been many fun things happening in the Young household as of late, most of which are centered around that little redhead who is currently sleeping downstairs. The autumn season here in Portland has been absolutely beautiful, and I am so glad that I am not working and that Gavin and I have been able to be outside enjoying the leaves and sunshine!

Vocabulary: Gavin's verbal skills and vocabulary have continued to develop rapidly. He will be 15 months old in 4 days, and he has somewhere between 120 and 150 words in his working vocabulary. Many of them sound exactly correct (like apple, bus, mama, daddy, Amy, Papa, bubble, bath, etc.). Quite a few are close and recognizable by other people, but not exactly pronounced (like applesauce, strawberry, bicycle, avocado, piano, picture etc.). Then there are many that are good attempts, and we know what he means but others wouldn't (like guitar, shake, tower, truck, etc.). And then there are a few that it takes us several days (or weeks!) to figure out (like zebra - pronounced "ah-bee"). Probably the most amusing right now is "truck," because about half the time the "tr" comes out as a very clear "f". We are hoping he learns the "tr" sound soon so we don't get lots of funny looks when Gavin gets excited about seeing trucks! When he's in the mood, Gavin will repeat every word you say, often quite well, and sometimes add them to his vocabulary. He is probably learning (and adding to his working vocabulary) 2-3 new words every day, on average. He also loves to read books with us and points out and names all kinds of things, often asking what new things are and sometimes remembering a particular picture (like a baby) and flipping through the book until he finds it.

Mobility: Gavin loves to walk and run and lately has been jumping (on the couch and in his crib but not on the floor yet) and kicking (boxes, not people!). He still has never done the traditional crawl, but he did come close while on our bed the other day. He pretty much never crawls (Gavin-style) anymore since he can get from the floor to standing without any outside assistance. He still randomly falls down for no obvious (to us) reason sometimes. He likes to do somersaults, but has to have (major) assistance in flipping all the way over.

Other Fun Stuff: We are currently working on learning colors, and Gavin knows yellow and purple, mostly. I asked him today to bring me a yellow block, and he found both of them in the pile (he only has 2) and brought them to me. But on the other hand, he keeps pointing to lots of things and saying "yellow," although I am not sure if he is actually trying to say "color" instead.

We are also starting to teach Gavin to read. My mom and Chad's dad started teaching each of us to read when we were very little (somewhere between 18 months and 2 years old, I think), and we thought it would be a fun thing to do with Gavin, especially because he has always loved books so much. The key is that we want it to be fun for him, partially to teach him that learning is wonderfully fun and fulfilling and not a chore. We both feel like our parents did a great job instilling in us a love for learning, and we want to pass that on to Gavin, too.

We went to the zoo today during the few dry hours of the afternoon so Gavin could see the animals and had a good time. Gavin got a zoo pass from Chad's parents for his birthday, so it makes it easy to go just for a short time and not feel like we've wasted $20 if it starts raining half an hour after we get there or if we don't have a lot of time.

Eating, Sleeping, etc.: The last week or so has been a little out-of-whack for us - I think Gavin is teething, having a growth spurt, and is a little stopped up in the digestive area, so he has ventured into some never-before-seen territory. Like taking a 2-hour-long nap. Two days in a row! And sleeping 14 hours one night, 12 of it straight through. I think today we might be back to normal, though, since I'm pretty sure the tooth came through and he has had reasonable bowel movements today. Normal currently is defined as we are back to ~7am waking, ~7pm sleeping, and one 45-minute to 1.5-hour nap around 12:30 or 1pm. Speaking of teeth, he has 4 on top (the central and lateral incisors) and, as of today or maybe yesterday, 3 on bottom (central incisors and right lateral incisor).

Gavin's nursing habits seem to increase significantly if something is bothering him, but "normal" is once when he wakes up, once before his nap, and once before bed. Sometimes there is an additional nursing during a quite time around 9am (when he used to take a morning nap), and sometimes he wakes up around 5:30am or 6am and nurses and goes back to sleep and then often doesn't nurse when he wakes up for the day.

As far as his main nourishment goes, Gavin eats all kinds of things and is getting better at dealing with tougher textured foods, like chicken. He has definite likes and dislikes, but they seem to change fairly often, and it seems that sometimes he gradually accepts something he hasn't liked previously if we continue to offer it on many occasions (but don't force him to eat it when he rejects it). I think we need to do a better job at giving him a wide variety of vegetables - it seems like we slacked a little while we were getting our vegetable CSA this summer because Gavin couldn't eat or didn't like most of the vegetables we got (like lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, etc), and we certainly didn't need to buy any more vegetables - we had a hard enough time figuring out what to do with everything so it didn't go bad. (We still really liked getting the farmshare, though - we certainly ate a lot more vegetables ourselves, and it will work out better for Gavin next year when he has more teeth!)

Gavin seems to actually like a little spice (meaning heat) in his food - we gave him bites of our Mexican beans and our gumbo when we were eating them, and those immediately became his favorite thing to eat. Neither of these would I consider "hot" by any means, but there was detectable spiciness in them even to me, and I like the heat.

Okay, enough of the updates for now - I need to save something to write later! I am going to try posting every day this month (but probably won't sign up fro NaBloPoMo since we are going to be visiting Georgia and Tennessee at the end of the month and I don't want the stress of trying to find internet access every day while traveling without a laptop and with a small child). Perhaps I will make it a priority to get our photos uploaded to our flickr page, too, while I'm updating our blog more regularly. :)

At the Zoo


AmyRobynne said...

He is so cute! I can't believe he's talking so much -- that's amazing! Leo had close to 50 words at 18 months and that felt like tons compared to the 5-10 Peter had at 21 months. One of my friends did the early reading with big signs thing -- I can't remember if she stuck with it or not. I'd love to hear how that goes. I think it would be easier with the first child when there aren't as many distractions. Peter can read Hop on Pop now and it is so fantastic to hear him reading to me rather than vice versa after the thousands of books read over the past 4.5 years.

CripplingCousins said...

I love this post... It caught mom and I up on the things we missed as well as taking us through a journey of our imagination seeing the little mister being as adorable as ever!! i love you tons!! Muahhh!!! :)

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