Thursday, January 15, 2009

15 Months of Baby Steps

I still need to do an Arizona Christmas post, but today Grant turned 15 months and I had to get this cute video posted. Here are two of Grant's favorite things:

1) Stairs. I think Grant spent 90% of his time at our parents' homes climbing up and down the stairs. Although the animals at the zoo were interesting and deserved some intense pointing and "oo-ee-oo"s, nothing at the zoo quite compared to the stairs leading up to the lookout deck. Nat refuses to take Grant to Elder's Quorum lessons because Grant only wants to climb up and down the dangerous stage stairs. Really, Grant just loves climbing in general, as can be seen in the I Looked at the Window post and the Still Enjoying Thanksgiving Leftovers post.
2) Oranges. Grant loves eating oranges. If he happens to be near an open refridgerator, he will find an orange and hand it to me, indicating that he wants me to peel the orange for eating. Once he was too impatient for me to peel the orange and decided to try eating the unpeeled orange. The face he made was one of our favorites. His love of oranges was further confirmed in Arizona when he discovered the orange trees in his grandparent's backyard. Unfortunately, we never got a picture of Grant and his orange trees, but we did get about 40 different pictures of cacti we saw on our hike to the Wind Caves. Words Grant can say: ball, book, "ba" meaning food, up, more (sometimes), hi (sometimes)
Animal sounds Grant knows: dinosaurs (and most other animals) - roar; cows - moo; sheep - baah; dogs - woof; pigs - oink (sometimes they roar)

Commands Grant will follow: Up/down, turn around, walk, eat, say "aah" (very useful when he refuses to swallow the food he doesn't like), "so big", tickle-tickle (he tickles his tummy), give hugs, give kisses, blow (mouth), blow your nose, change diaper (runs away), clap, throw, wave "bye-bye", go night-night, and so much more
He still doesn't follow the "no" or "stop" command . . . I'm not sure if he doesn't understand "no" or if he chooses to ignore me. Given that he tells me "no" when he doesn't want to do something, I think he is probably choosing to ignore me.

Body parts Grant can identify (on himself and others): bellybutton, toes, nose, mouth, ears, head, hair, hands, and teeth

Grant may be a late walker and talker, but I am so impressed with his problem solving and fine motor skills. We have been playing with his pet puzzle for the past few days. I recorded this video this morning. Prepare to be amazed.


video
He definitely knows where each piece belongs. Sometimes I have to help him turn or slide the puzzle piece, but each day he gets better at figuring out how to move the piece so it will fit. He also organizes stacking toys by color, and he is very close to figuring out how to put the rings on the peg in order from biggests to smallest. He can put three rings in order, but he is still working on ordering four rings. His strategy seems to contain a lot of trial and error, but some more advanced strategies are beginning to emerge. And for those of us unfamiliar with development milestones (I include myself in this group), my book listed "sorts toys by color, shape, or size" under the advanced skills of a 17-month-old, and "does simple puzzles" was listed as an emerging skill amoung 22-month-olds.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Joys of Visiting Home

During the Utah portion of our vacation, we got to enjoy all the things we have desperately missed while living in Pennsylvania.

1) Fry Sauce! We've tried all the traditional (ketchup) and non-traditional (ranch dressing, tarter sauce, Wendy's Frosty) substitutes for fry sauce; and nothing really compares to Utah's own fry sauce (not even the homemade kind). Thanks to our favorite little North Ogden drive-in (Kirt's), we were able to get our fill of fry sauce for the next year.
2) Mexican Food! Nat claims he had plenty of Mexican food during our trip to the West. I, however, can always eat more Mexican food. Unfortunately we were only in Provo on a Sunday and so we weren't able to enjoy our favorite Provo Taco Joint: Diego's Tacos. Yum!
3) Temples Everywhere! It was nice to not have to drive four hours to the nearest temple. It was also nice to have free babysitting. Thanks Mom!
4) Family and Friends! We were happy to see so many of our loved ones while we were in Utah; and we were sad that we weren't able to see everyone. We love and miss you all!
Here's the recent picture of the growing Berrett clan. We have added two new members to my family since our last family photo (Nat and Grant) . . . and this one will be out of date in approximately 3 1/2 months!

Although we had a blast during our long vacation, it sure is nice to be home. We were already starting to miss some of our Pennsylvania favorites: pizza, Backyard Burgers, hills, trees, great football (if we block out the January 1st game), and new friends. It's great to be home. Hooray for no more traveling (we spent 8 of our 23 vacation days traveling thanks to broken planes, weather, flat tires, and lost keys)!