Sunday, January 9, 2011

Two and a Quarter

I figured I'd slow down on Austin's updates some and do them quarterly. The chances of me getting him to sit with Winnie the Pooh only 4 times a year are much better than 12 times a year! And sure enough, he was more than willing to sit today! I do have to admit that I bribed him with candy. And he had to have all his favorite toys with him. But he actually looked at the camera and said cheese, so it was totally worth the bribe and each interruption as he got off the couch to get yet another toy! In fact, I think this is my favorite picture of him in a long time!

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New this quarter...

I was just reading his 2 year update and realizing how far his speech has come since then. He is still somewhat hard to understand (I find myself interpreting "Austin-ese" for everyone on a regular basis) but he's getting so so much better! There are a couple sounds that he has a hard time with and that coupled with the fact that about half the time he's yelling, makes him harder to understand. But he's a little sponge and is picking up multiple words a day and understands absolutely everything you say.

He used to refer to himself as "Me", but now he has mostly switched to "You". Can't tell you how confusing this was as he was making the switch!
"Is it Momma's turn to brush your teeth?"
"No, You turn!"
"Okay, good! Hand me the brush."
"NO! You turn!"
"Is it your turn or my turn?"
"You turn!"

He loves to sing. We have been having so much fun the last couple months learning songs. I sing most of the line and he finishes it for me. And then bit by bit, he learns more words in each line. He gets very enthusiastic about his singing, so he tends to yell the last word, but when he's calm, he actually has fairly good pitch. Some of his favorite songs are The ABCs (which he calls "BCs"), Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle, The Oscar Meyer song, You are My Sunshine, Keep it Tidy (a My Friends Tigger & Pooh song), Away in a Manger and Come on Ring Those Bells. But his absolute favorite is Old McDonald, which he calls "EIEIO". He sings it all the time by himself. Mostly just the EIEIO part. If he sits down at a piano, that's what he sings yells. Just today Brian was practicing for worship and Austin was singing along. He was following the tune of what Brian was singing, but the words were "eieio, eieio, eieio!"

He is getting so good with his puzzles! For Christmas he got a 48 piece wood jigsaw puzzle. It took him 2 times with help before he got it. I LOVE watching him put it together. You can completely see the thought process on his face. It's been fun to see him progress from memorizing where each piece goes like he did with the simple puzzles to really studying a piece and figuring out which way is up and what's on the piece. I'm also really excited that he does really well with a regular cardboard jigsaw he got too. For starts, they're a heckuva lot cheaper than the wood ones, so I can indulge his passion without breaking the bank. And secondly, they take up so much less space and that's something we can't spare!

He is obsessed with his Handy Manny Toolbox that he got for Christmas. They go everywhere with him (that is if I let him. I'm dreading the day that one gets lost, so they stay at home or the car mostly!) He has to tell you who each one is, several times a day. He also got a second Pat (the Hammer) & a second Rusty (the Monkey Wrench), which have been deemed More Pat and More Rusty. So there's Pat & More Pat. His tools are with him in the picture above. They are his beloveds!

He is so much more attached to his binkie at this point than I thought he would be! He calls it "Beebeat". We are thinking of weaning him from it soon, but that makes me sad to think of taking away something so comforting to him. I had in mind it would be these first weeks after we recovered from the holidays, but the kiddos have been sick, so beebeat has gotten a reprieve. Which is really my reprieve too! It's only a bedtime or nap thing, so I keep justifying him keeping it. Mommas are big softies!

He already cares which shoes he wears. I don't even care which shoes I wear. He must get this from his dad. A few months ago, he graduated to the next size and for a few weeks, all he had to wear was a pair of black shoes that were hand-me-downs. In those few weeks he grew seriously attached to his black shoes. So much so, that when I bought him a pair of Buzz & Woody shoes that light up even, he bawled for an hour when I put them on him! Thankfully, he has now grown attached to those shoes too, as well as the pair of brown shoes he has! But it still cracks me up that he will tell me which shoes he wants to wear.

The boy is also obsessed with his "BCs". One of his favorite videos is "Preschool is Cool with Elmo". He loves to sing along and does a fairly good job keeping up with the letters. He knows all his capital letters and 95% of the lower case ones. The only ones has a hard time with are the usual b, d, p, & q and he gets "e" confused with "G" sometimes and the fact that a lower case "l" looks just like a capital "I" does not sit with well with him. I love that he is excited about learning though. He points out letters and numbers everywhere we go!

We are working all the time on learning to be a good sharer. I know it's completely typical of being two/an older sibling, but it cracks me up that it doesn't matter what McKenna picks up - that is the toy he suddenly needs to play with. Oh and he still wants to play with whatever he was playing with before too. The poor girl can't play with anything for longer than 5 seconds! He's learning to at least offer her a reasonable alternative before yoinking whatever toy she's playing with. Sometimes.

He is soooo much more obedient but we are still working on this daily too! I think my most commonly uttered phrase is "Be a good listener!" Sometimes he does so great and sometimes he does the exact opposite just to bug me, or because he thinks it's funny or both. Thankfully he has started responding to punishments other than just spanking. It used to be the only thing that got through to him that I wasn't playing. Now that he has made serious attachments to his toys, the threat of taking them away works wonders. And time-outs actually work too! He would never stay in time-out before, but now he does. Making progress!

Austin is very into counting now too. He can find all the numbers up to 20 and can sometimes count to it too. He usually skips 4 though and right now he's on a 19 kick. He really likes the number 19! If you ask him what comes after 14, he says 19. Even if he knows it's wrong. After 15? 19! After 17? 19!! After 18? 19!!! At least with that one, he knows it's right. One big plus about that is when I tell him he has to eat 5 more bites, he likes to count 19 each time and I can usually get away with making him eat a couple extra.

One of his favorite games to play is "Shart". Or "Fort" in Austin-ese. That's when he goes crawling around under the covers in our bed. Brian and I hold sheets up so there's room to crawl. He insists that "Aus" goes in the shart too, but she's not that big on it.

One of my favorite things this quarter has been taking him into church during worship. He has always loved hearing Brian play the guitar, but now he claps and tries to sing along. (Mostly "eieio" mind you) But he also cheers at the end of each song. I try to suppress my instinct to minimize distractions and keep him quiet and remind myself that he is worshiping and he's not bothering anyone. And if he is bothering someone, they're missing the point! It doesn't bother Brian, either. He says at least one person should be excited about worship!

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