Monday, January 07, 2008

January 7, 2008

Our sons are doing wonderfully. Nick is still the big talker, the extrovert and the one is who always ahead, from a gross motor skills perspective. He turned two on November 11. He climbs everything, jumps, kicks a ball, runs very fast and can run down the upstairs hallway, climbing the two small steps along the way, without even slowing down.

Ben is more sensitive and can have his feelings hurt easier; he is slower to warm up to new people but really does enjoy being around people once he gets to know them and he is a very quick study when it comes to learning the alphabet, numbers, shapes and stuff like that. He turned two years old on September 30th and he already recognizes all of the letters of the alphabet and numbers 0 through 10, although he does not know them in order, and many colors and shapes.

Of course, Nick knows some letters, numbers, shapes and colors too and Ben can climb and run but the areas above is where each of them really excel right now.

We have a wooden alphabet puzzle that both the boys absolutely love, although they are not quite at the age where they will stick with it and do the entire puzzle in one sitting. If I am cheerleading and they are both doing it together, they will sometimes finish it in one sitting. We have a lot of puzzles and they are getting pretty good at them. I think they are great for helping them to learn to keep trying and control their frustration level if they can't get it right away. For Christmas, they received the Leap Frog alphabet thingy that you put on the fridge. When they put a letter in it, it sings a little song that includes the letter name and phonic sounds. It is really great and they love it and play with it every day.

I don't know if I mentioned that I created a poster board that has a number, letter, shape and color. We switch it out every week or two and they enjoy that too.

They are both talking all the time these days....I mean, they almost never shut up:). Nick talks more but they both do their share. I wish I had a nickel for every time they say "mommy". I would already be a very wealthy person. Everything is mommy this and mommy that. They want me to acknowledge everything they see, say or do and, of course, I love it (most of the the time anyway:). I love that they are understanding so much these days and can be reasoned with, at times anyway. They have their moments but, for the most part, they are very well behaved little boys, especially when we are out and about. We have received many compliments from waitresses, during our Sunday lunches. They are also enjoying their class at church more these days. I have a feeling that the small chocolate bribe has helped to turn this into a more anticipated event. I plan to keep this up for another few weeks or a month or so and then start tapering it off.

They love to boss the cats around these days ("Zoe, get down", "Dancer, no no") and each other ("brother, no no"). Their vocabularies have grown so quickly that I can no longer keep up with everything they are saying. Since their speech is that of two-year-old clarity, I sometimes don't understand what they are saying now days. When their vocabs were smaller, I pretty much always knew what they were saying because I knew what words they understood and which ones they didn't. They have long since outpaced me and I sometimes can't figure out what they are saying these days. They frequently use two and three words sentences now.

The other day, I was in the library/playroom, getting on to Ben for something he should not have been doing, while Nick was in the next room sitting at the kitchen island finishing his snack. Out of the blue, I heard him saying "mommy, I wuv you". As with everything he says, he continued to say it until I heard him and acknowledged it. It was very sweet and quite a surprise to me that he said it on his own, without some type of bedtime or snuggling context. Very sweet

The boys are pretending more and more these days. One of their favorite things to pretend is that they are going night night. I'll be in the kitchen preparing a meal or cleaning up and I will hear them in the next room "brother, night night", "brother, night night". I'll look in to see one of them lying on the small couch and the other one covering him with a blanket, giving him a kiss and patting his back. And then they trade places and do it all over again. It is really cute.

The other day, I was changing Nick's diaper. They had both been playing with this monkey that is made of hard plastic. Ben whacked Nick on the head with the monkey, which definitely hurt, and Nick started crying. While rubbing Nick's boo boo and empathizing with him, I was explaining to Ben that he had hurt his brother. Ben was clearly surprised and felt bad that he had hurt Nick and he kissed Nick on the head several times, with no prompting from me. After everyone was OK again, we had a lesson of what 'hard' and 'soft' mean. I probably need to cover that again a few times before they forget. It was sweet to see Ben's response though.

We had beautiful, warm weather here this weekend so the boys were able to get outside and play a lot. Nick's rash has mostly cleared up now. We are putting the steroid cream on it and we moved an additional humidifier to their room, which has made a huge difference. It has been two months since Ben had his surgery on his face to remove a mole. Later this month he goes back for the repeat performance (NOT looking forward to that).

I am working on our second post placement report, which is due at the end of January. Our one year anniversary is coming up soon. We came home from Russia with the boys on January 23rd of last year. It's hard to believe it has been one year. It seems that they have always been with us.

Well, today is the day when life after the holidays finally returns to normal for us. The dad went back to work today, after being off for the past two weeks. It was nice to have him here. The three of us are not going to know what to do without him:)....especially me, since the boys are taking a shorter nap these days, I am not getting as much of a break and they are probably going to miss all of the one-on-one time with the dad.

They are awake. Duty calls, and oh what a sweet voice he has:).

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