Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Test Post

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

18 Month Update

We had our 18 month checkup last week.

Here are the stats:
Weight: 29.5 pounds (75-90%)
Length: 34.5 inches (95-97%)

I just learned that I've been incorrectly calling length as height. They mark his length laying down until he is 2, then they measure how tall he is (height) standing up, and the difference is that height is an inch or two less than length, which would explain why at 34 inches of length he is still not tall enough for the 34 inch height requirement at LegoLand.

Zack Stats at 18 months:
-Tooth count: 11, thanks to the 4-teeth-in-one-day experience. (6 @15mo)
-Weight: 29.5 pounds (26 @15mo)
-Length: 34.5 inches (33 @15mo)
-Words:Zack is not a quiet baby, he talks almost all the time. Again, we've lost count of words, but he can understand sentences and commands and can say about less than half of what he understands. His pronunciation has greatly improved and there are words and phrases he can say that sound as clear as that of a regular child's, such as "All Done" which he says when he is finished with his food, and "My-kle" which sounds JUST like "Michael" but means "Motorcycle" (the first time he said it i looked around for a Michael wondering how he new to say it so clearly). He has surprised us by following commands correctly like "Zack, can you run around the fountain?" and "Zack, can you show me where the bee stung you?" He doesn't seem to have any favorite word because in the last week or so he is literally repeating the last word of any sentence he hears, most of them are new words, like "Taco", "Giraffe", "Umbrella" which he can now identify as well. Oh, and we are now correctly saying "Tobey" instead of "Bo-tey". He likes pointing at things and verbally identifying them. At the 18 month checkup our doctor was amazed at his grip on words as he correctly responded to the bee sting question. Zack then started to babble words about some pictures on the door and she said "Oh! he's using expressions!" She said Zack is exhibiting everything that a 2 year old should be doing and that he seems to be absorbing language well so she encouraged us to challenge him by introducing more words, a second language, or music (viewed as a language). I haven't heard him say a complete correct sentence yet but we are close with "Yummy Banana" and " Want to see Meow". He can identify and name his friends and caregivers from daycare "Kayla, Ella, Anna, Gregory" and the latest tough one "Rhiannon." (he also knows all the parts of the face and understands that other people and animals have them. We bumped into a very friendly cat and after saying 'meow, meow', zack proceeded to touch each part 'nose', 'eye' (VERY friendly cat), and 'ear' - he also has a little pig toy that he does the same thing to with the addition of 'tail' and 'feet'-Jen )

Interesting side note: we just started participating in a study at Stanford's center for infant studies that tracks vocabulary development for kids from 18 mo to 3 years. At the end of the study they will present to us a complete list of spoken and understood words by his age. Should be very interesting!

-Special Skills:The gross motor skills of climbing, running, kicking, throwing, dancing are lots of fun. We hardly use a stroller anymore because he prefers to walk. He hasn't started jumping yet, but that may start soon. (Bean bag tackling, however, has become a fun sport. He throws himself into the bean bag screaming with delight and then rolls around until he falls off at which point he laughs and giggles, gets up and does it again. Tobey likes to participate in this as well and sometimes gets clobbered as Zack leaps into the bag on top of Tobey. -Jen) He's really enjoyed swimming and likes to jump in from the edge into the water and into my arms. He can't swim on his own or climb out on his own, but with minimal support he can do it. He kicks well, uses his arms, and can go underwater with great comfort. Reading books is still fun and we've gone to the library. Drumming and dancing to music seems to be a lot of fun and so I'm going to explore some Music Together classes with him instead of Gymboree. We've tried experiments in drawing/painting but he doesn't seem to be an interest for him yet. (Although he does come home from daycare covered in paint from the various activities they do there. -Jen )
-Food:eating mostly people food and starting to have more interest in fruit. He can eat a lot when he wants to. He has been getting better about trying new food. We use a sippy cup for convenience, but he can (and likes to) drink out of an open cup. The challenge has come in throwing food down to the floor when he's done for Tobey to eat. Additionally he like grabbing dogfood and tipping over Tobey's water dish. All that is going to be tough to continue to control. (He also thinks it's fun to put food into his cup of milk when he's done eating but still has energy for playing - another reason we prefer the sippy cup for now-Jen ).
-Naps: Still one a day from 12-2, although he may steal a cat nap in the car occasionally. Bedtime has slipped 30 min to 8pm but he still sleeps through the night until 7:00am , thank goodness! (not much change from 15mo)
-Other notes: we've noticed that in the last week he has started to "pretend" with his toys.
He had two small people toys and marched them onto a toy bridge and and babbled words for them while moving them. His favorite toys are his water table and his Brio train set. He absolutely loves loves loves to play with cars, trains, tractors that are of the Brio size or larger. He also has a large plastic car that he can sit in, and he will entertain himself by packing it up with toys, getting in and closing the door, sitting down at the steering wheel for about 5 seconds, (saying 'beep, beep') and then getting out and unloading. I guess he is imitating the car trips he's gone on. He is now interested enough in TV to sit through an entire episode of sesame street without getting fidgety, (he even laughed at Grover being silly) although we try to limit TV exposure. Also, when he falls down and even bumps his head, he rarely cries or gets upset anymore - I guess he is used to it by now.

Monday, July 18, 2005

southern california trip

over the 4th of july week, we did our first family roadtrip south to LA and San Diego. It was one of the best vacations we've had! We stayed at the generous accomidations of our friends Eric and Becca in San Diego, and Rafi and Erica in LA, both of whom had two young kids for Zack to interact with. Doing the main driving in evening and at night while Zack slept in the car was key.

New toys: visiting a different house with kids is a new toy explosion! things we resolved to get for zack after seeing his interaction were: a water table (he loves water), mini table with chairs, Little People bus and people, wet/dry dustbuster (for easy cleanup), mini stroller or cart for pushing, more trains, toy Rhino.

The San Diego Zoo: we went in the evening which was perfect for crowds, heat, and animal activity. Zack's favorite animal is now "Rhino"

Balboa Park: went to the Science Museum, Natural History Museum (just like a zoo for zack but less walking and more animals), and Model Train Museum (baby torture: cool trains but all are behind plexiglass so no touching!)

San Diego Beach: Zack now likes sand, and getting dirty, and eating sand, and eating raisins covered with sand.

LegoLand: This was the biggest unexpected hit of the trip. Very interactive for kids even his age. just barely not tall enough for some of the rides.

DisneyLand: I liked it more than DisneyWorld: more walking room and less stroller congestion. Zack now loves Mickey Mouse. The Bug's Land exhibit in California Adventure was our favorite for Zack. I didn't realize how scary some of the regular Disney rides (like Pinnochio) can be until I go through with a toddler in my lap

Uncle Steve: Zack finally got to meet his great Uncle Steve and a good time was had by all.

One other mention: he entertained himself for hours just getting in and out of the large plastic sit-down cars that Erica and Rafi had. Something about opening and closing the car doors...

Crazy Toothbrushing

Here is a report from Jen as relayed to me. We've introduced Zack to personal grooming activities and he has really shown interest. He likes to say "comb" and "brush" and use them (to minimal effect) on his hair. He has also been brushing his own teeth. Last night after his bath, he was so excited to brush his teeth that when he got the brush he started moving his hand fast and swinging his head from side to side. Unfortunately, he ended up gagging himself with the toothbrush and threw up a little bit in the bathroom. I guess now that the limit has been tested, he knows not to brush the back of his throat anymore!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Blogarithm is a cool new tool!

Wow, so I just discovered that a good friend of mine, Max Minkoff had developed a tool, Blogarithm, that allows for easy notification of new blog postings. If you want to be notified by email whenever there is a new posting to this blog, then type your email address into the form on the right column of this page. Also, from Blogarithm's website, you can enter any other blog site to receive notifications from. This is great for those of you who don't have RSS readers, since email is much more convenient. Feel free to add their form into your blog too, they have tools on their website to allow you to easily do that.

Hanging Ten in San Diego

Monday, July 11, 2005

First Bee Sting

I haven't been able to write about last week's vacation yet because we had an interesting event this evening. I've gone over 32 years without a bee sting to my knowledge and now Zack gets one a few days before turning 18 months.
Zack was in the back yard on the deck playing with his new favorite toy: a water table
We were in and out of the back yard preparing for dinner when we hear Zack give out a few agitated cries, which, knowing his reactions, made me think he got his hand or foot stuck in something. We came out to the deck and asked him what was wrong. He pointed at the table and said "Bug". sure enough there was a honey bee waddling around on the table with it's backend missing. We had to search Zack for the sting because he wasn't crying. We found it on the inside on his right index finger. After some quick consultation with neighbors and reference books we scraped the stinger out with a business card and put baking soda paste on his finger. He would periodically whine and cry for the next hour, but in general carried on like it was no big deal, except he would leave his index finger extended when grabbing something, acknowledging that he had hurt that finger. The doc says that allergic reactions show within 2 hours of a sting and if there is no shortness of breath, swelling, or coughing, then we are fine, and we are. He's sleeping soundly tonight.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

A Picture Share!

A Picture Share!, originally uploaded by Drumbone.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

A Picture Share!

A Picture Share!, originally uploaded by Drumbone.