Sunday, February 11, 2007

Monthly Newsletter, Month Seventeen

Happy late 17th months, Natey!

My first late newsletter, courtesy of a week in Aruba with Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt D. Daddy had an opportunity to take about 3 trillion photos of you, and I had the opportunity to think about everything going on in your life these days.

You are getting downright chatty. Still one word at a time, and lots of pointing and grunting, but you're getting your thoughts across. When we run into people in elevators or the grocery store, you follow instructions to say "hi" and "bye" and often add in your own shy smiley wave. Your manners are impeccible.

You say "no" now in a funny soft voice, complete with firm head shaking. The funny thing is that you seem to be using it pretty appropriately. I may not agree with your choices, especially when you're refusing the meal I just hand-made for you, but at least it's nice to know what you're thinking!

There are a lot of times when I don't know what you want, given that you ask for almost everything the same way: "muh, muh, muh, muh" complete with the sign for milk. Sounds like you want milk, looks like you want milk, but what it really means is "I want that." And I don't know what "that" is. So we do a lot of guessing. I say "You want milk?" If the answer is yes, you say "muh" once and pair it with a very firm nod. If not, you keep up with the "muh, muh, muh, muh." If it's around lunch or snack time, I move on to "You want food?" If the answer is yes, you say "a fffffffuh." If not, the guessing game continues.

Frankly, I'm not anxious for you to really start talking. But I can see how it will really come in handy!

This was your second trip to Aruba, and it was way, way better than the first. The first was all whining and nursing and not sleeping. This was like a real trip with a real child and family. We all had so much fun, and all of the fun and sun made you sleep like a baby. Mama loves that.

We got lucky to have a big laundry room, so we put your pack 'n play in there. We'd had a little sleep-training session the week before we left, and I was hoping it would help you in Aruba. Memories of last year, with you nursing 6 or 7 times a night, turned me into a battle-ax. So the first night in Aruba, when you woke twice (12 and 2), I was determined not to give in. I didn't, and then you rewarded me by sleeping through the night for the rest of the trip. It was absolutely unbelievable. It was a vacation in-and-of-itself. Cross your fingers it continues into the "real" world.

You loved the kiddy pool from the get-go. You splashed around and cavorted gleefully - it was like a commercial. I can't believe we weren't discovered by a talent scout! I forced you to wear a big-ole hat the whole week - it covered up your beautiful hair but it kept you from burning! A week in Aruba and the only burn was on me - a spot I missed on my shoulder. Success!

You got so brave in the big pool, too. The first day you would only walk a few inches down the slope, but by day 5 you were wading in to your thighs, grabbing my hand, and keeping on until your neck was submerged. Then I'd grab you and lay you on your tummy and you'd kick and kick and kick and laugh and kick and kick. I was so proud of you.

It was fantastic spending a week with everyone together. Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt D love you so much, and it was nice that they weren't "visiting" with you - they were really living with you for a week! Needless to say, you got a lot of love this past week!

Things you love to do these days:

* Balance things on your head. You put things up there, or indicate that we should, and then you hold really still while it sits there. After 5 or 6 seconds, you slowly reach up to see if it's still there and then you take it off and start over again.

* In the mornings when I'm getting ready to face the world, you often join me in the bathroom. You point to Daddy's electric toothbrush and say the same thing every time: "bwuh-bwuh-bwuh-bwuh-bwuh-bwuh" until I take it down for you. You then look at your Baby toothpaste until I put a small dab on the toothbrush for you, and then you turn it on and wander around chewing on it.

* Throwing things. Whatever things. You throw hard and straight and true, except when you throw behind yourself somehow.

* Holding hands. You want to hold hands all the time now and it's more fantastic than I could have imagined. When we went to New York last month, we got off the train and all three of us walked through the train station together. We walk places together now.

You are turning into such a big boy, Nate. You take walks with us, talk to us, play with us, and eat with us. I just love watching you grow.

I love you so much!