January Year-End Update

Jack is 2 years old! We will celebrate his 2nd birthday with a small party on January 30. (We had to postpone the party due to illness.) His grandparents are here for his actual birthday on January 17. Jack is 28 pounds, 8 ounces. He is over 33 inches tall; he will not stand or lie still long enough to get a measurement. We continue to believe that he is the smartest baby boy ever. At age 2, most kids will have 50-70 words, but Jack’s vocabulary keeps growing. Fortunately, he has not yet learned to ask “Why?”, but we’re sure that’s coming. He routinely speaks in 3-5 word sentences. Some of his favorite new things to say are:

  • I like this, or I like “dat”, or I like this thing (where thing is food, a person, a toy, etc. with which he’s playing)
  • I want “dat”, or I want this.
  • Appetizer
  • Ginormous (as in, “Draw ginormous yucky trash.”)
  • Jamba Juice. Green Jamba Juice. (Jack’s favorite Jamba Juice is the Matcha Green Tea Blast, which we get twice a week.)
  • Mommy do it, Daddy do it, or Jack do it.

In October, Jack was a cow for Halloween. Mommy dressed up like a farmer to take him trick-or-treating. We only went to about 10 houses. Jack was a big hit, but he was too shy to say “trick or treat” very loud. This Thanksgiving, Jack was old enough to actually eat a turkey dinner, which he generally enjoyed. He requested “apple pie” for dessert. Jack began going to day care twice a week in November, in anticipation of Mommy getting a job. He made Mommy & Daddy a lovely Christmas present, which we will cherish for quite some time. Jack himself was completely spoiled on Christmas. However, he did not want to open his presents! To read more about our Christmas, see Robyn’s LiveJournal entry, Christmas at the Chittisters’.

Jack is still obssessed with trash, and Jack and Robyn seek out David the garbage man every Thursday morning and follow him around the block. The garbage man now stops and waits for them at the corners, so he’s sure they can see him picking up the trash. Thanks to the yucky trash, Jack can now accurately identify green, blue, and brown. Now Jack can correctly identify the major colors, although he sometimes gets orange and yellow mixed up. He loves to draw! He really likes it when Mommy or Daddy draw “ginormous” yucky trash cans, lollipops, or cups of tea for him.

Jack tries to be helpful by throwing things away in the yucky trash, getting shoes from the basket at the door, and putting his toys and bibs away.

So, according to the Milestone Charts, Jack should be able to: Name at least 6 body parts, make 2-3 word sentences, speak so that about half of his words are understood. About half of kids at age 2 are also able to talk about themselves, arrange items in categories, walk down stairs. More advanced 2 year olds can understand abstract concepts, jump, and be aware of gender differences. He can do all of that, except put items into categories. He’s learning about opposites, and understands that, even if two colors are different, they can still be blue. (There are 2 shades of blue and 2 of green on a drawing web site that we frequent, and he asks for “blue” or “other blue” and “green” or “other green.”)

Jack can count to 12, although he can’t always stop counting. For example, if the snowman has 3 buttons, Jack will sometimes count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. He can recognize the existence of letters, such as looking at a sign and knowing it’s comprised of letters. He now calls them “ABCs”. He knows the entire ABC song. He recognizes the letter O by name. (Robyn thinks it’s because of Cheerios.) He also recognizes J (for “Jack”), and sometimes A and E.

Jack has the vocabulary and communication skills of a 3 or 4 year old, according to the milestone charts. He’ll at least try to say anything you ask him to say, including “apocalypse”. You haven’t heard cute if you haven’t heard Jack say “pocalypse”. Signing Time! and Johnny and the Sprites are his most-requested shows. He knows almost all of the body parts; he certainly knows the major ones – ear, eye, mouth, etc., and is learning some others – forehead, cheek, and chin being recent additions.

Jack also loves to sing! He’s getting better and better. His repertoire includes “Row Row Row Your Boat”, the ABCs, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, “Old MacDonald”, “Rock-a-Bye Baby”, “Frosty the Snowman”, “Johnny and the Sprites”, and “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?”. He also sings his own tunes while playing. He also correctly identifies ALL of the Winnie the Pooh characters, and he’s getting better at saying “Christopher Robin.” He now knows that Mommy, Daddy, Nana, Pa, and Great-Grandma have other names. He always knows Mommy’s, Daddy’s, and Nana’s names, but he’s not so consistent on the others. We are teaching him his last name. The day after Christmas, we were working on it, and he said, “Chi-ister. I like Chi-ister.” Again, so cute!

Robyn loves this story from September: Last night, in the Costco parking lot, Robyn said “Chocolate momma, Chocolate up the milk.” and Jack said “Drink milk. Black tan.” The line is from the book Black is Brown is Tan, which is a new favorite of his (and one we highly recommend).

Jack can toss a ball, but not catch it. He likes to play with our neighbors, who are 4, 6, 9, and 10. The 4 year old likes to hug Jack. He likes to run, and is actually understanding the difference between the sidewalk and the street. Another fun playtime activity involves feeding a baby bottle to his baby, his rabbit, his cow… really, all of the stuffed animals. He can sort shapes and put the blocks in the proper slots to get them back into the shape sorters. Jack also loves to play with Mommy’s scissors. Fortunately, she has the decorative ones that cut in waves, so no sharp edges. Of course, he really likes to spin the scissor holder around. I don’t think Aunt Ann knew she was getting Robyn a child’s toy when she gave her those scissors for Christmas in 2004. Jack likes to play peek-a-boo with us, himself, or inanimate objects. Sometimes, he’ll simply cover his own eyes and say “Where’s Jack?”. Hilarious! Jack likes pillow pits, which is a big stack of pillows, often on Mommy & Daddy’s bed, into which he is thrown or jumps. He likes to “fwoomp”. Jack is also learning to jump, and boy is he getting good at it! We began playing hide and seek about two weeks ago. Jack is getting much better at climbing, though he still hasn’t figured out how to climb out of his crib.

Jack enjoys the typical boy toys – cars (“car says vroom”) and trucks. He also likes puzzles, which he can do better and better each day. He seemed to master the shape sorter overnight. One day he couldn’t do it without help, the next day, Great-Grandma’s telling him how wonderful he is for putting the blocks in the right spaces. As part of putting things away, he will often take his toys and rearrange them in the play area or on the shelves. It’s really amusing to see him so seriously place each toy exactly where he thinks it should go. Then he generally knocks them all over or dumps them out of the container. He spied the Duplos that we were saving for mid-year (thank you Great Aunt Sue) and now dumps them over on his floor everyday to play with them. He really likes playing with other kids, so enjoys going to day care and playgroup.

Jack still chooses not to feed himself with a fork (but he does with a spoon). He plays with his food too much, stuffs it into his mouth and spits it out, it’s just too messy. Apparently, children in Guatemala don’t feed themselves until age 3, so we’ve got some time.

We got Jack a little seat for the toilet, and he sometimes asks to sit on it. He loves toilet paper and flushing, so we’re slowly getting him to think that the toilet is super-cool.

Jack doesn’t take off his own clothes yet, though he can and does take off his socks and shoes. Jack can now walk down the stairs, while holding hands, but doesn’t usually walk up (he climbs). Usually, he slides, scoots, or jumps down the stairs (with parental supervision of course). And while Jack loves to draw, he can’t draw anything recognizable. (Apparently, some children can draw straight lines at this age.) Mommy saw him kick a ball for the first time on November 12. Speaking of kicking, Jack has entered a violent phase, and is biting (through clothing) and sometimes hitting people for no discernible reason. We use time outs, which work relatively well, but not always. Something else Mommy isn’t entirely proud of, the day after Christmas Jack got up on a stool and started yelling “Damnit damnit damnit damnit!”. So, yes, Jack has learned how to repeat words and snippets of conversation.

And what is Jack eating these days? Crackers, especially goldfish (he can say “goldfish”). And “mac and cheese” which he says and signs. He simply loves mac and cheese, which fortunately means any pasta with cheese on it. He can say “pasta” and kind of signs it. Tomatoes are his favorite fruit. He can successfully eat an entire container of yogurt by himself. At Halloween, Jack discovered candy. Especially “lollipops”. We’re going to hide it all after his birthday and try to convince him that candy only exists from October to January. It might work.

We spent a couple of weekends in September sick. Jack got a cold, then gave it to Daddy and Mommy. Daddy got it the worst. Mommy introduced Jack to Jamba Juice, which he really liked! The last weekend in September, Jack got a stomach bug, then gave it to Daddy and Mommy, who were hit worse than Jack was. Jack got sick again when he started day care two days a week in November. He had a persistent sniffle that turned into a sinus infection on December 31. Max and Robyn have also been hit with colds, though Max’s is far worse than Robyn’s. So, we began the New Year ill. Hopefully, we will avoid so much sickness this year.

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