Last night Nathan while I was nursing Nathan he sat up and pointed to a picture of Jesus. He said something that sounded like Jesus. I followed with, “Jesus”, which he repeated a few times. He went back to nursing, then sat up and pointed again. “Jesus.” He later found another picture of Jesus in the room. He pointed and said, “Jesus.” He officially has a first word.
I taught Joy School last week. The craft was to glue macaroni noodles to spell out their name. The kids took right to the task, all the while chewing the dry noodles. It was so loud I couldn’t help but giggle.
Nathan was playing at the piano (arguably one of his most favorite spots) when we heard a loud crash. He knocked our cd player/radio off the top. When Andrew retrieved it we found it broken beyond hope. The next morning Andrew took it apart during breakfast, salvaging some motors, speakers, fm radio tuner, and LCD screen.
Last week Emily woke up from a nap all out of sorts (which is why I don’t mind that she usually doesn’t nap). I had been reading about the importance of art for kids and pulled out the paints, something I rarely do. I gave her two colors and she spent 45 minutes painting the front and back of her paper. She narrated as she went, describing a road and sidewalk. She finished in great spirits. Nathan had a grand time with a paintbrush, water, and his sippy cup.
Nathan has made it a standard to throw food on the floor when he is done with it. He likes to keep only what he is interested in on his plate. A few nights ago Emily laughed when he did this. Then Nathan laughed. Then they both started throwing food on the floor. The game tries to return at most meals.
Emily saw Frozen twice during Christmas break. She is usually Elsa, and I’m declared Anna. Nathan is Olaf if he tries to join in. A three year old version of Let it Go is sung constantly, “Let it go. Let it go. Don’t let them leave. Don’t let them goooo. Shut the door. Be a good girl. I have to stay. I have to go. Distance makes things small.”
Nathan has had a really rough few weeks (months actually). Last week was a peak of roughness. He hardly slept and he cried a lot. He had a fever from a flu shot booster in addition to teething. In a moment of desperation I took a selfie with him. The next one is taken half a second later. Distraction successful.
On Friday it looked warm so we attempted a nature day. I packed a picnic, put lots of layers on the kids, and prepared to be outside for hours. We made it 45 minutes. The kids found a puddle and progressively got wetter. Nathan soon joined in, puddle swimming. The cold set in. We went home and did a warm bath and relocated our picnic to the living room.
Emily discovered, while I was putting Nathan down for a nap, that she can bring a chair over to the freezer and get a treat. The first day she scooped herself a bowl of ice cream, cleaning up as she went. The next day she found the chocolate chips. Now she has a four day ritual of bringing a blanket over and eating a treat snuggled up in the kitchen. She’s already looking forward to tomorrow.
We’ve been diligently preparing dinner during afternoon snack time. The kids are getting more involved, and still love eating bits of the food as we go. They will eat lots of raw vegetables, but barely touch their food at dinner.
I taught Emily how to make paper airplanes a few days ago. I was surprised with how well she could follow directions. Her plane flew really well. Nathan was incredibly fussy, but stopped crying every time an airplane flew by. He had a grand time throwing them, even when the went behind him.
A few days ago Emily climbed up on a chair and got into the cabinet. She started pulling out little jars and the dried fruit and nuts. She said she was making trail mix. I handed her a bowl and she set to work. At first she hesitated with how to get the peanuts into the bowl, then leaned over without prompting and grabbed a spoon. She filled five little jars and now has snacks ready to go for herself at a moments notice. It was good to see her take a clear independent step forward. Nathan was right there for every step, enjoying free access to food and playing in the sink.
This week the kids have started playing with the duplos they got for Christmas. They even play by themselves for a few minutes. This is a huge leap forward in the Jackson household!
To curb distractions during dinner we have started lighting a candle some nights. Emily loves it when we tell her the story of Peter Rabbit and where they lived before coming to earth while they eat. The kids love blowing on it and watching it dance.
Nathan has started taking steps by himself! For months he has taken just one or two while crying the entire time. This week he has taken up to six steps, but ONLY if Andrew is around and I’m out of sight. He insists, with a tight grip, that he holds my hands to walk around. Everywhere. As soon as Andrew walks in the door he will go from squatting to standing, take as many steps as he can before falling, and then stand back up again.