18 Months!

Alex had his 18-month check-up today.  He weighs 26.04 pounds and is 34 inches tall.  He has 9 teeth with 2 more coming in.  He can say 20 words, and he knows 44 signs.  All in all, we have a healthy, active, wonderful, little boy!

Our summer has been filled with activities.  First, we went to Seattle with Mimi to see Alex’s Aunt Nicole and my Aunt Jean.  We had a great time at the aquarium –

At the zoo –

At Mount Rainier –

At Pike’s Place –

At the lake –

At the beach –

And on a Duck Tour –

Alex took  swim lessons as soon as we got back from Seattle.  He loves the water!  He didn’t mind going under the water, he loved going down the slide into the pool, but he just couldn’t quite get the kicking down.  Since then we have been practicing a  lot.  He doesn’t ever seem to get tired of swimming.  Luckily we have some great neighbors who have let us use their pool on occasion to practice.

For my birthday, I took Alex to the Fort Worth Zoo with some friends for the dinosaur exhibit.  Dinosaurs are one of Alex’s obsessions right now.  He loves anything with dinosaurs on them.  It was a lot of fun to walk through the zoo seeing animals and then a huge animatronic dinosaur.  He absolutely loved it!

This month, we went to a neighborhood splash park.   It took him a little while to warm-up to being constantly splashed in the face, but pretty soon he was running around having a blast.

I have also taken Alex to a mall play area for the first time.  He loved running around, but his favorite part was the fake pig.  He kept trying to tell the other kids it was a pig using the sign for  pig.  No one else caught on, but here’s my favorite picture of him with the pig while signing “pig.”

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Happy Mother’s Day!

The hardest thing once you take a break from blogging is to get started again.  After a month goes by, you start to feel like you are never going to be able to catch everyone up with what has gone on in a month.  After almost 2 months, it feels like an insurmountable obstacle.  So I decided, I have to just start again and not worry so much about catching everyone up on everything.

Alex is 16 months old.  He weighs about 25 pounds.  He is already wearing clothes that are sized 18-months,  but he does still fit into some of his 12-month clothes.

He is getting better at following directions and loves to help me clean.  He follows me around with a dust cloth and wipes things.  He is starting to sing with me when I sing to him.  He also loves to dance.  His favorite activities right now are probably “reading” books and playing outside.  He loves his sandbox that his daddy built for him!

He knows a lot of words and signs.  The words include: mama, dada, bye bye, toe, down, glasses (that you wear), glass (that you drink out of), grass, no, bubble, go, and row, row, row (as in your boat).  He also says, “La, la, la” when he is ready to go to sleep or take a nap.

The signs include: Dad, milk, bib, eat, banana, up, apple, cereal, dog, horse, bird, bunny, cat, fish, all gone, I’m wet, book, hat, baby, more, pig, thank you, hot, dinosaur, light, sing, please, bath, quiet, Mimi,… I know I am forgetting some!

I have lots of pictures to post, but I am going to have to find a new way to share them with you.  My Picasa album is just about full.  I have  posted a few new ones, and I will keep you posted if I change the location of new pictures.

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Spring Break – Day 4

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

I thought I would show you what a difference a year can make.

Alex and I aren’t doing much today.  We are just staying home and appreciating each other’s company.  Today is also my last blog post for the week.  Why, you might ask?  Well, I am doing something this afternoon that I have never done before.  I am leaving my baby and going on a trip.  Yes, you read right.  I am going to New Mexico with a friend of mine to see a good friend of ours.  Alex is staying home with Daddy.  This afternoon his sitter is watching him and tomorrow my mom is watching him during the day, but the rest of the time it will be baby and Daddy time until Sunday afternoon when they pick me up from the airport.

I know that Alex will have a great time with his daddy.  I know that he will survive being without me for almost 3 days.  The big question is, will I survive without him?  Stay tuned to find out…

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Spring Break – Day 3

Today Alex and I went to get his 1-year pictures taken.  True, he is 14 months old, but I think it is close enough to a year to count.  We didn’t have as good an experience at Sear’s Portrait Studio as we have in the past.  The guy there didn’t seem to know what to do with kids, and some of the pictures he took were not even centered.  If today had been my first experience with them, I don’t think I would go back.  Maybe next time I will just call to make sure that the girl we like is working before we go in for pictures.  Anyway, I think we still got a few good ones.  Below is my favorite, and the rest are under the photos tab.  Enjoy!

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Spring Break – Day 2

Today Alex and I went to Parr Park with some of my friends from work.  It was definitely warmer than yesterday, but still chilly.  Who thought you would need a sweater and warm hat just 2 days before it is supposed to be 80 degrees?  That is Texas for you!

We had a great time at the Park.  Not only did we swing, which Alex always loves, but Alex also climbed around one of the jungle gyms for the first time.  He loved crawling through the tunnel.    I added the pictures under the photos tab.

My favorite part of the day was getting to spend time with some good friends.  I am really lucky that I work with such great people!

I have to say his favorite part was probably just going around and picking up sticks and rocks.  I am definitely going to have to start checking his pockets before I wash his clothes.  I am sure he is going to end up with all sorts of things “collected” in his pockets before too long.

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Spring Break – Day 1

Today was a great first day of my Spring Break.  Alex and I went to the Dallas Arboretum with my friend Whitney and her son.  Alex is getting better and better at interacting with other kids.  He is fascinated with older kids, but he isn’t quite sure what to do when someone wants to play with him.

Enjoy more pictures of our Arboretum adventure under that photos tab!

Tomorrow we are going to the park with some friends from school.  It should be fun too!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Okay, so I know I am a week late with my Valentine’s wishes, but it has been a crazy couple of weeks.  After being iced in for a week, we finally got some snow.  Alex really enjoyed playing in the snow until he tripped and did a face-plant into a snow drift.  It didn’t hurt him, but he didn’t like having snow all over his face.

The snow all melted off a day later and Alex and I escaped the house to go to our second birthday party at Pump It Up (a bounce house place).  Alex loves those places now!  We were first invited to one back when he was only about 10 months old, but I didn’t take him then because I thought he wouldn’t really have much fun.  That is no longer the case.  He isn’t much for the jumping, but he loves the huge slide.  I would carry him up the huge staircase and slide down with him in my lap, and every time we reached the bottom, he would sign “more.”  I was exhausted by the time we left!

Then last weekend we took Alex to get his first haircut.  I wasn’t quite ready to cut his hair, but James was definitely tired of it hanging in his eyes.  Alex was such a trooper in the salon.  We went to Cool Cuts 4 Kids.  It was a great experience.  Alex got to sit in a little car and watch cartoons while the lady cut his hair.  He didn’t cry at all; he didn’t even whine.  The lady even used clippers on his neck, and he didn’t cry then either.   And even though I didn’t want Alex to get his haircut yet, I have to admit that he looks pretty darn cute!

This weekend we took Alex to the Fort Worth Children’s Museum at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.  We went with our neighbors and had a blast.  Alex is just getting to the age where he interacts with other children and the environment around him.  It is so much fun to watch him play and learn!

Alex is still only saying banana, glasses, dada, and no no, but it seems like his sign language vocabulary is growing all the time.  He has added the signs for cat, ball, book, singing, telephone, flowerfish, bird, light, baby, apple, and hat.  He is eating more and more “people” food.  In the past couple of weeks he has had and liked spaghetti, chicken quesadillas, ribs, meatloaf, stroganoff, and tacos.  He is a good eater!

Enjoy all the pictures under our photos tab!

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Ice Storm 2011

Well, we have had a quiet this past week.  Alex’s biggest accomplishment was that last Friday he went down the stairs backwards all by himself!  Now understand that when I say, “By himself,” I really mean he did it without any help.  He was supervised the entire time.  He did this amazing feat first with his Grandma and then again for me when I got home from work.  He really is an enterprising little boy!

Alex also now has 4 teeth.  In addition to his two center lower teeth, he now has two either incisors or cuspids coming in on the top.  They aren’t quite low enough to show up in pictures yet, but he looks awfully cute.  If you click on the picture below, you can just see one of his upper teeth showing.

The weather was gorgeous here last weekend, so we attempted some outside activities.  First, on Friday afternoon I took Alex into the backyard to play.  You have to understand that there is really nothing in our backyard but grass, and Alex doesn’t like grass.  I don’t know if it is because it is so prickly right now, but he doesn’t like any of his skin to be touching grass.  I held his hand, walked him out into the middle of the yard and then stepped back to take pictures.  At first he was having fun, but then I guess his pants’ leg got moved up a little and the grass started touching his skin, and well… You can see the results:

Does it make me a bad mom that I took a picture of him crying before I went to comfort him?  I hope not!

On Saturday we took Alex to a park we had never been to before in Grapevine.  It was amazing!  Not only did they have picnic tables, sports areas, and a great play area for older kids, but they also have a great play area for toddlers.  Alex had a great time.

On Sunday we took Alex for a wagon ride around the neighborhood.  I couldn’t catch a good picture of him smiling, but he did seem to have fun.  Every time I stopped pulling him to take a picture, he would stop smiling!

Of course, if you have been watching the news at all this week, or live in the area, you are aware that the weather quickly changed from sunny and warm to icy and frigid.  I have had the pleasure this week of getting to stay home with Alex Tuesday through today.  We have had a lot of fun.  It really has been too cold to go outside for more than a couple of minutes though.

I do have to say that even Alex seems to be going a little stir-crazy today.

Hopefully the roads will be better tomorrow and we will be back at school.  Then this weekend should be nice.  Maybe not nice enough to go to the park, but spring is coming, and I can’t wait for all the new experiences Alex will have!

Enjoy more pictures under the photos tab.

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Communication Progress

We have had an eventful couple of weeks since Alex’s birthday party.  On Thursday, January 13th, Alex said his first words.  His first discernible word was ‘banana’.  He says, “Nana” and does the ASL sign for ‘banana’ at the same time.  It is very adorable.  His other word is ‘glasses’.  It must be because so many people around him wear glasses and are constantly telling him not to touch the glasses.  Shortly behind those two words came “No, no.”  I am sure you can guess why that word came up so soon!

Alex has also expanded his ASL vocabulary.  Besides the signs for ‘eat’, ‘more’, ‘dog’, ‘frog’, ‘horse’, and ‘bib’, he has added signs for ‘all done’, ‘bath’, and the afore mentioned ‘banana’.  He has even created his own sign for when he needs his diaper changed.  He grabs his shirt mid-chest and pulls out repeatedly.  When you ask him if he wants his diaper changed, he grins and runs to the stairs to be taken up to his room and changing table.

Alex has been saying “Mama” and “Dada” for a long time without really associating the sounds with either James or myself.  Well, he finally gets it.  At least for one of us.  This weekend he used the ASL sign for ‘father’ and said, “Dada” while pointing at James.  Maybe knowing my name will follow soon?

Alex is also much better at understanding what we are saying to him.  When you tell him it is time to eat, he walks over to his highchair.  When it is time to nurse, he goes to the glider and tries to pull up the Boppy.  When you ask where Xena is, he runs to the back door to see if she is outside.  He can identify and go get multiple types of toys, and he loves running to the door and greeting both Mommy and Daddy when we get home from work.

We have also had a lot of fun in the past two weeks.  We attended two different birthday parties.  The first was at a friend’s house for his two-year-old.  Alex was again fascinated by the older children and not overwhelmed at all.  The next morning we went to Pump-it-Up in Fort Worth for another friend’s four-year-old’s party.  The staff there was really nice and brought out a couple of cars and toys for him to play with since he was too little for most of the activities.  Alex loved running around there.  We bounced a little and slid down a huge slide.  He seemed to love it all.

Then this past week, Alex’s aunt was in town from Seattle.  We got to hang out with Aunt Nicole and Mike  and go out to eat a lot.  Alex had fun with everyone.  Hopefully we will get to take him up to Seattle this summer to visit!

There are a few more pictures under the photos tab.  Enjoy!

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Birthday Journal #1

Dear Alex,

We held your first birthday party on Saturday, January 8th at two o’clock.  We invited a bunch of Mommy and Daddy’s friends who have children, as well as Grandma, Grandpa, Mimi, Pappa, and Meemaw.  The person who came from the furthest away to celebrate with you was Daddy’s friend, Osman, who drove up from Austin.  The people who came from the closest location to celebrate with you were our neighbors: Nana, Makayla, Mike, and Jessica.

At your party we had snack food to eat that included chips, queso, grapes, cheese, veggies, and candy.  For the activity, we had all the children decorate their own cupcakes.  Mimi and Grandma baked all the cupcakes.  Everyone seemed to have a great time doing this.  Grandma helped everyone get started.

Most of the children who were at your party were a lot older than you.  They had a lot of fun running around the house playing with the helium-filled balloons that we had as decorations.  You did not know what to make of the whole situation.  I thought you might get overwhelmed, but you just stared in amazement at all the activity going on around you.

I made your first birthday cake.  It was a two-layer strawberry cake with strawberry jam between the layers and vanilla icing on top.  You weren’t quite sure what to make of it.

Everyone sang “Happy Birthday to You” and Mommy blew out your candle.  You immediately reached a fist out and smashed into your cake.  I expected you to put your hand into your mouth, but you surprised me. You obviously did not like your hand being covered in icing.  You kept trying to wipe it off on the tray of your high chair.  You were not happy.  All you wanted was your hand clean!  You got icing all over your high chair, your arm, your leg, but surprisingly not much on your face.  After I cleaned the icing off of your hand, I fed you bites of cake, and you seemed to enjoy it.

We didn’t open presents at your party because you were already pretty overwhelmed by the end.  We waited until the following day for you to open all your gifts, and boy did you have fun!  You liked all your presents, but your favorites so far seem to be the workbench that Daddy and I gave you and a set of cars that Jackson and his mom, Candace, gave you.

My wishes for you for your second year of life include good health, new friends, and happiness.  You are the light of my life, Alex.  You have made your Daddy and I the happiest parents in the world.  We love you more than anything else, and we can’t wait to see what adventures you take us on next!

(There are more pictures from the party and of Alex opening presents under the pictures tab.)

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