September 2013: Connor’s 17-month update

Where has the time gone? As each day passes, you seem to grow and develop at an even quicker pace. I felt like last month’s update had so many new things that there couldn’t possibly be enough to write about until 18 months, but once again you blew me away with your new signs, tricks, and skills!

Your motor skills continue to develop, which is helping your signs look closer and closer to the “correct” signs. Daddy and I laugh almost daily when you are obviously using a sign to tell us something, but we have to stop and try to figure out which sign it is! You combine the beginning sounds of many words along with the sign, and that often helps us decode your meaning. For example, the sign for bowl and car look similar when you sign them, but if you are saying, “ba!” then we know you mean “bowl.” New signs this month: bus, motorcycle, iPad, zebra, crocodile, owl, frog, shoes, socks, blue, green, yellow, peas, raisins, noodles, egg, mushroom, blueberry, bowl, spoon, fork, hurt, fun, rain, fire, cold, in, out, on, toilet, pee, shower, exercise, toy, rock…and daddy’s favorite, touchdown!

Our friends Jes and Derek claim that you said “noodle,” but we didn’t hear it with our own ears! I had stepped away from the table for a moment to get a dishcloth, and when I came back you only said “noo noo” for me. But, then you looked right at us and said, “Mama. Dada,” with more conviction than you had ever used with those words! Sometimes I could swear that you answer with “mm-hmm” when I ask you a question. You have chosen interesting syllables for a couple of words. “Mah!” is “lid” and a strange “g” sound that I can’t put into letters is “fork.” I love how your tone of voice reflects how big something is! When you see a big bowl, your voice strains as you sign and say, “BA BA BA!!”

Your first concert
Daddy’s brass band played at the BX food court last week, and it was the first concert that was close enough, early enough, and child-friendly enough for us to attend! You sat on my lap for the first twenty minutes watching intently, then decided to check out the kids “dancing” up front. A moment later, you spotted a shopping cart with a big plastic car attached to the front, and you spent the rest of the concert climbing in and out :).

Watching daddy

Ok, enough music, time to play in this car that I found!

Favorite toys
I might sound like a broken record, but you still love pots, pans, lids, bowls, and spoons more than anything else. You love your kitchen tools so much that you got a terrible burn on your hand this month =(. Thankfully it has healed beautifully. We went to a “kinder basar” in Mehlingen last weekend and bought you a few new toys, including a set of wooden blocks of various shapes and sizes. What did you do with them as soon as we got home? You put them into your pot and said, “Tssss!” while stirring them!

Favorite books
Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, Mother Goose Rhymes (I love when you pick out a book, bring it to me, then plop down into my lap so we can read it!)

Favorite activities
Looking at trucks, cars, motorcycles, trains, and planes is your idea of fun. You ask to be held up to the window when you hear something go by, and you love to take walks around town to look for trucks…and dogs. You have quite the discerning ear! When we are in the house, you know which vehicle you are hearing as it goes by! You also enjoy knocking beer towers of blocks that daddy builds, and stacking things yourself.

Showing off your newly-discovered stacking skills

New animal sounds
Rooster, velociraptor (Just kidding…sort of. You make velociraptor sounds when you are running around the house in your wild and crazy mood!) You can chime in with the animal sounds when I sing “Old MacDonald!”

Mama’s little helper
You are turning into quite the helper! One day you unloaded almost all of the clothes from the dryer into the basket! If we ask you to put something away or bring something to daddy or me, you can usually accomplish the task. Your new favorite chore is helping wash the dishes. You climb onto your stool in front of the sink and rub the soapy sponge on a dish that I am holding. Well, at least that’s how it worked the first couple of times! Now you just use it as an opportunity to play with a container in the water until I’m done washing :). You also like to help me stir things when I’m cooking or baking.

Other fun things
-Anytime you hear music, you start “singing” and dancing! Your dance moves now include swaying back and forth.
-Daddy always seems to teach you a new “trick” anytime I leave you two alone. The latest one is running in place. It’s so cute, and actually looks more like a tap-dance shuffle!
-Sometimes you like to hide or drop something, and then you put your arms up as if to say, “Where’d it go?”
-Here is a fun tidbit to save for your future prom date: I’m not sure how you learned this, but when daddy asks you, “Connor, did you toot?” you will lean back and squeeze out a fart. I’m sure that skill will come in handy someday…?

Adventures in potty-land
We bought you two toilets so that you can get used to the idea. So far they are mostly just a fun novelty, and you especially love the flushing sounds they make. Here is a quick story about what prompted me to go ahead and buy them: One morning I decided to see if you wanted to sit on the big toilet first thing in the morning. You weren’t interested, which of course was fine. I walked into your bedroom to start getting out your diaper and clothes for the day, and I called for you to come with me. A few moments later, you walked into the room touching your nose, which was the first time I had seen you use the sign for “pee,” and you had wet footprints trailing behind you! You came to tell me that you had peed! Sure enough, the wet footprints lead back to a big puddle right next to the toilet.

New teeth
All 4 canine teeth are through, so you are up to 16 teeth! You still chomp on your fingers, but you can’t be possibly be working on anything else right now…

Eating habits
When we ask if you like something, you will use the sign for “like” and also say “mmmm” :). I would say that you have a few quirks when it comes to likes and dislikes, but then I remind myself that you are a toddler :). I know your preferences will continue to change day by day! Right now, you will devour applesauce, but not apple slices. Apricot slices, but not peach slices. Frozen blueberries, but not fresh. Homemade strawberry jam (which is basically mashed frozen strawberries), but not fresh strawberries. You have discovered the joy of nut butters, which I love to make fresh in the vitamix. Almond, walnut, Brazil nut, or peanut…you usually eat it off whatever I spread it on and then ask for more! You also love fresh nut milk that I make at home.

Sleeping habits
You take one nap from roughly 11:30-1:00, although for the last week you have been napping 3 hours or more because you are waking up too early in the morning! Bedtime is around 7:30, and unfortunately your morning wakeup has been 5:45 over the last week. You nurse to sleep, sleep with us, and nurse during the night. A few days ago you were really interested in playing in your crib, so we started talking about how it’s “Connor’s bed” and you can sleep there when you are ready. I take a German class once a week, and you won’t go to sleep for daddy while I am gone.

Just like mama
Ever since you were born, I (along with most everyone else) have said you definitely look like your daddy. Over the last week, three different people have commented that you look like ME! One person even said that you are a spitting image of me! I will admit that I don’t see the resemblance yet, but I certainly enjoy hearing people say it. Even if I don’t think you look like me, you definitely have some personality traits that convince me you are my son :). One example is that you seem to want things a certain way…not necessarily for a good reason, but just because that’s how you want it! If I start putting away toys that you haven’t touched for hours, you will often get that same toy back out and put it right back where it was, even if you aren’t going to play with it.

Toddler woes
We are so grateful that you are an easygoing little guy. If you have something that you aren’t supposed to have or are doing something you shouldn’t be doing, we are (usually) able to quickly and calmly fix the issue and redirect you to something else. However, you had a few mini-meltdown moments recently that made me laugh when I thought back to them. The first was when you pulled out the removable “bowl” from your toilet as I was getting your bath ready and your mind was made up that you were going to bring it into the tub. I normally let you bring all kinds of things into the tub, like pots, measuring cups, etc…but I knew I had to draw the line at the toilet!! You were not so happy to oblige. The other meltdown occurred while we were reading a hardcover book. You were SO MAD that you couldn’t separate the glued-on lining from the inside of the cover. Of course, other of these occurred near bedtime on days when you woke up toooo early in the morning.

Here are a few more pictures from this month!

Having fun on the swings at the Bannasch’s farewell BBQ

Awesome new hair-do after wiping your oatmeal all over!

Taking a ride on your new car that we bought at the kinder basar