Connor is 5 years old!

April 16, 2017


I can remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. We were so thrilled to welcome you into our lives, and you were so excited to join us that you came 3 weeks early to surprise us. I thank God each and every day that he trusts ME to be your mommy. You and your sister are the greatest gifts in our lives!

This has been quite a year for you. Everyone talks about “The Terrible Twos,” which we never experienced with you; it was “The Fearsome Fours” instead! Your stubbornness really came through shortly after you turned 4. If you don’t get what you want when you want it, watch out!! We still have moments when emotions run high and your temper flares, but as time has gone on, you began to learn patience, compassion, restraint, and flexibility. I feel as though you have grown up so much over the past 12 months and you truly are our “little man.”

You welcomed your baby sister with so much love, and that has not changed! Yes, things are getting more challenging as Morgan wants to get into everything you are doing, but you still love to play with, snuggle, hug, and kiss her…all the time!

School has been a wonderful experience for you. You enjoy going each day, and we have seen so much growth and development in your coloring and drawing skills, handwriting, number sense, and much more!  You have made many good friends this year and love to play outside together after school.

LEGOs continue to be one of your favorite “toys.” Once Morgan arrived, we moved all the LEGOs upstairs so that you can have your own space. We try to make sure we squeeze in special “together” LEGO time when we can, but you do enjoy playing and building independently. You also love vehicles, imaginary role-playing, coloring, making crafts, playing outside, reading, and playing with Paw Patrol toys.

You are…
Curious
Clever
Funny
Stubborn
Sweet
Loving
Helpful
Wild
Rambunctious
Impatient
Creative
Persistent
Thoughtful

All of your qualities are what make you YOU and we love you for who you are! I tell you every single night at bedtime, and I mean it with my entire mind, body, and soul: I am so lucky to be your Mommy!

Connor, we love you all the way to the moon…and back. Happy 5th Birthday!

We had a party the day before your birthday with friends. We met at the playground down the street to play, then came to our house for a cookout. You spent many months planning the perfect cake. For some reason, your mind was stuck on a mint cake with gum!  Since you also wanted a piñata, I convinced you that we could put the gum in there instead of on the cake. We agreed on a white cake with a middle layer of mint cookie ice cream, topped with chocolate whipped cream. You had a number 5 candle to blow out, as well as 5 ladybug candles that Inge (our landlord from Germany) sent in your birthday box!



Happy 2nd Birthday, Connor!

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You have been growing and changing so quickly over these last few months! Watching as you develop your language and creative playing skills has been incredible. I’ll try to keep your update short so that I can work on another post about our two recent trips to Hirrlingen.

At your 2-year checkup on April 17, you weighed 28 lb and were 34.5″ tall (50th percentile for both).

Talking and Signing
I stopped writing down your new signs after the last post. Even though you are talking now, you still love learning new signs. You especially love watching the “little girl” on YouTube teach us new signs and sing songs using them :). (MySmartHands if anyone is interested!) When I wrote the last post 3 months ago, you were only saying a handful of simple words like mama, daddy, oh no, and whoa. Now you can say almost anything!! You can imitate almost any word (not perfectly, but you get most of the sounds), and you have a large vocabulary of words that you use without any prompting. It’s amazing to hear you speak in sentences already, even if they are broken sometimes. Some of our favorites are: “Mommy, more (fill in the blank…) please!” and “Daddy, build blocks please!” You are curious about people and always want to know “Who be there?” or “That man name?” With some prompting, you will ask, “What’s your name?” and can respond when someone asks you the same question.

I think you can pretty much say the whole alphabet and sign each letter. You can count up to 15, but often skip numbers :).

Favorite Toys
Legos, cars and trucks, and your play kitchen with its countless food/kitchen toys are your favorites. You enjoy doing puzzles and reading books, too. It’s so much fun to see you completely engrossed in what you are playing with! You are incredibly creative in your play, and you love to pretend to be other people, trucks or tractors, a fireman, etc. I constantly hear you exclaim, “Connor be Reilly!” “Mommy be Amy!” or “Connor be digger!”

Favorite books
Opera Cat, She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain, Love You Forever, anything about cars or trucks
I love hearing you quote your favorite books randomly throughout the day 🙂

Mommy’s little helper
You still enjoy helping with the laundry and cooking in the kitchen. You are able to follow directions and complete tasks pretty well, like putting away your toys.

Sleeping and eating habits
You like to eat, and you continue to enjoy most everything that I cook. Your favorite foods include eggs, beans, corn, broccoli, meat, oatmeal, and dried fruits. Bedtime is around 7:45-8:00pm (starting in your bed and crawling over to me at some point), and you usually wake up around 6:30am. Naptime lately has been about an hour and a half somewhere between 12:00-2:30. A few days ago, you napped by yourself for a little over 2 straight hours. That was a first!

And now the most important part of the blog…more pictures!

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Fixing the wall

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Decorating Easter eggs

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A new Lego fire truck and cement mixer!

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Connor’s new “walking bike”

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Happy birthday, little man. We love you to the moon and back!

October 2013: 18 months already??

You are the sunshine on our chilly, dreary Fall days! You are constantly finding new ways to amaze and entertain us, and we are so blessed to be your Mama and Daddy. Your clever and curious personality shines through more and more as each day passes. You have been extra clingy lately and often only want mama, but last night when I tried to wash your hands with you, you cried for daddy!

Signs
It’s so much fun to continue learning new signs with you. It seems like at least once a day we come across a word that we want to add to our signing vocabulary. You are able to learn a new sign and start using it immediately, which amazes me! You can identify a few colors by using signs, particularly orange for some reason. New signs this month: Mama, Daddy, chair/sit, fan, paper, lid, sand, balloon, slide, pumpkin, helicopter, boat, penguin, crocodile, dinosaur, pants, shirt, warm, wet, cookie, popcorn, cup, plate, excuse me, where is…?

Talking
No “official” words yet! You’re starting to say, “nahhh” for “no,” which is pretty cute. It’s usually in response to a question like, “Connor, do we stand on chairs?”

Favorite toys
Yep, still kitchen stuff :). You also like to ride on your horse and dump truck. And when we leave it within reach…you love the fly swatter! You whack it on the ground and laugh like crazy!

A pot AND the dump truck? It doesn’t get much better than this!
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Favorite books
She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain, The Cat Came Back, Zoo Poo, Cars and Trucks and Things That Go
Sometimes you just want to go straight to your favorite pages instead of hearing the whole story!

Favorite activities
-“Where is it?” is definitely one of your favorite games. You like to cover something up and put your arms up as if to ask, “Where did it go?” In our bedroom you back up between the wardrobe and dresser, “hiding” until one of us asks, “Where’s Connor?” I love the grin on your face when you run out! Sometimes you hide things that aren’t toys, but luckily (for now) you WANT to show us where you hid it, and you always remember where. Hopefully that will still be the case when you manage to get your hands on the car keys or daddy’s wallet!
-You love standing on a stool…in the kitchen to play with bowls or “help” with the dishes, or in the bathroom to brush your teeth or wash your hands. When I get you out of your highchair after a meal, you immediately ask, “Doo? Doo?” (your sound for “stool”) because you want to stand on the stool to wash your hands!
-Once you point to something for us to name, you want to hear the name/see the sign over and over!

Playing on our porch…another favorite activity!
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Other fun things
-You can (sort of!) kick and throw a ball!
-Anytime we start a question with “How many…?” you enthusiastically answer, “Doooo!” It sounds like you are saying “two.” If we ask the right questions, you look like a budding mathematical genius! Must be the genes from your Uncle Jason and Uncle Charlie 🙂

Mama’s little helper
Entertaining the produce while Mama cleans the refrigerator
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Oh, you took everything off this shelf to clean it? I thought it was a good place for my carrots…
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Helping with the salad
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Sweeping up the dry pasta that I scattered everywhere!
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Special visitors
My grandma and Aunt Ellen came to visit us! (Even though she is your great-grandma, we call her “Oma,” the German word for “grandmother.”) You can read more about Oma’s German heritage in this blog post. I will write a separate post about their visit because they are coming back next week to spend a few more days with us!

Dog-sitting
Our new friend asked us to take care of her dog while she was out of town for the weekend. You had already met Bella and warmed up to her, so I said yes! You really liked Bella and had fun with her. You were fascinated with watching her eat or drink, and even when she went into her bed you wanted to be near her! For several days after Bella left, you would still “bark” from the top of the stairs…hoping Bella was waiting downstairs to play. Daddy can’t wait to get a dog of our own someday.

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Adventures in potty-land
We are not actively trying to get you to use the toilet, but we are just trying to give you signs and words to communicate your bathroom needs as well as give you the opportunity to try the toilet. So far, you haven’t done anything in the toilet, which is fine with us, especially since you don’t mind your diapers. When I ask if you want to sit on the toilet, you seem much more interested in sitting on the big toilet instead of the little ones we bought for you. You had one moment this month that really shocked us! We had just come home after your gym class and you were touching your nose. Daddy asked me what you were signing, and it looked like “pee.” I wasn’t sure if that’s what you meant, so I asked if you wanted to pee on the toilet, and you started signing “toilet.” We went into the bathroom and as I took off your pants I could feel that you were wetting your diaper right then! We couldn’t believe you told us that you needed to pee! Nothing like that has happened since then, but we know it will when you are ready.

New teeth
You chew on things like crazy, and that combined with some of your mysterious clinginess this month keeps me wondering if you are teething, but there’s no visible sign.

Eating habits
You have been a vegetable monster this month! You inhale broccoli, peas, mushrooms, and green beans…and you even chowed down on sautéed fresh spinach in a coconut-cilantro-garlic sauce. Raisins, sweet potato, avocado, eggs, and corn are some of your favorites. You got to try some fresh spätzle while we were visiting family in Hirrlingen last weekend, and you showed your enjoyment with excited choruses of “noo noo!” You also loved the fresh German bread.

Sleeping habits
Bedtime is around 7:30, and you take your nap around 11:30ish. Unfortunately, you are still waking up too early (between 5:00-6:00). I wouldn’t mind except that it’s obvious by your fussiness/clinginess later in the morning that it wasn’t quite a full night’s sleep for you. You start the night in your crib, but so far the longest you have continuously slept in there is about an hour and a half. It’s a work in progress!

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!

Signs
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!

Talking
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
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Ok, enough music, time to play in this car that I found!
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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
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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
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Awesome new hair-do after wiping your oatmeal all over!
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Taking a ride on your new car that we bought at the kinder basar
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August 2013: Connor’s 16-month update

Your personality is really starting to develop and shine. You are so curious, and you pay so much attention to everything going on around you. There are plenty of times when you notice a noise, animal, etc. before daddy or I can even have the chance to point it out! I love seeing your skills and abilities develop. For example, now you can put all of the shapes through the matching holes on your mailbox toy all by yourself, you identify SO many objects, body parts, foods, etc., and you can “walk” up the stairs instead of climbing on hands and knees.

Signs
You are really learning quickly. It shocks me when you use a sign that I haven’t shown you very many times! New signs this month include: music, book, tree, moon, stars, sun, cloud, bells, window, light, car, truck, shoes, bath, strawberry, kiwi, smoothie, bread, peach, tired, hungry, thank you, I love you, red, sit, lion, giraffe, elephant, monkey, fish, octopus, bear, horse.

Talking
Even though you are not speaking any words yet, it is amazing to see your verbal skills develop. You say the beginning sound of several words, like “bah” for bath, ball, bear, and banana, “ck” for car, or “muh” for music. Sometimes the middle sound is what sticks out to you, or else it’s just easier for you to say, such as “guh” for hunGry, and “ck” for truCKs. Although you have said “mama” and “dada,” you still don’t consistently use the words towards us.

Favorite toys
You still LOVE pots, pans, spoons, bowls, and any container with a lid. New favorites include the salad spinner and cookie sheets.

Don’t get between a man and his wooden spoon!
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Ok, now how do I put this salad spinner back together…?
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Sorry for the poor picture quality…the budding chef never holds still!
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Favorite books
Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, Rumble in the Jungle, Little Lion, Dear Zoo

Favorite activities
Going on walks around town and stopping to pick up leaves, rocks, etc.
Playing Peekaboo (it’s so cute now that YOU can do it!)
Giving us raspberries on our bellies
Climbing on everything – if I turn my back for a second, you’re standing up on a chair!
Pointing out dogs, pigs, cars, and trucks everywhere we go by signing and making the sounds

New animal sounds
Cat, dog, owl, chicken

Mama’s little helper
You help put clothes in the washer, take them out of the dryer, etc…but after loading/unloading a few pieces, your attention turns towards climbing into the laundry basket on top of the clean clothes!
I got out a step-stool in the kitchen so that you can watch up close, but most of the time I end up holding you because you don’t want to miss anything! You love pots SO MUCH that you get extremely agitated if there is a pot on the stove and you can’t have it. You fervently use your “please” sign while saying, “Tsss! Tsss!” for the hot pot until someone picks you up to see it. Even if we pick you up to look, you often are still upset because you want to take the lid off or stir it.

Other fun things
When music plays, you “sing” along and dance! It is so cute. Your singing is kind of a sing-song humming sound, and your signature dance move is swinging your arms back and forth. If you want us to turn on the music, you stand by the iPod dock while making the sign for music and saying, “muh!”
Sometimes you carry around a phone, hold it up to your ear, and yell loudly into it. We aren’t quite sure how you learned to do that! Sure, you have seen us on the phone now and then (but not so often in this age of email, texting, and Facebook), but we certainly don’t talk THAT loudly :).

New teeth
Immediately after your molars cut through, you decided to go ahead and work on the next round. One canine cut through at the end of the July, another just the other day, and the others are bulging and ready to cut.

Eating habits
We are so thrilled that you are such a great eater. Let’s hope it continues! You now prefer to bite off from bigger pieces of foods instead of having them cut into small pieces. Eggs and peaches are new favorites, you still LOVE avocado and applesauce, and this week you had salmon for the first time. You are really good at eating with your spoon…whether it’s your small spoon, or a big one you swiped from mama! It’s fun for you to work on getting a piece of food onto your fork.

Sleeping habits
Jetlag recovery only took about a week once we got back from the states. You settled back into your “normal” routine, and once you were actually getting consistent nighttime sleep, you were ready to just take one nap each day instead of two. We have so much more time to explore and play when you only nap once :). Nighttime has been roughly 7:30pm-6:30am, and naptime is around 11:30-1:00.

Hand-me-down toys from friends are the best! Giddy up!
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June 2013: Connor’s 14-month update

I think you are officially at the stage where this mama can’t keep up! I can’t keep up with how quickly you develop and learn new things, and I certainly can’t keep up with your whirlwind path of toys, books, and kitchen tools that you leave all over the floor! As soon as I try to clean something up that you are done playing with, you want to get it out again 🙂

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Signs: You are adding new signs so quickly! New this month: hat, outside, glasses, flower, pear, avocado, apple, water, cat, dog, please, bless you, mad. Sometimes it’s easy to understand what you are signing, but other times we still have to use context to figure it out because you aren’t making all the signs “correctly” yet. For example, “outside,” “glasses,” and “cat” all look the same right now when you sign them, but we can usually figure out which one you mean. One moment that really struck me was when you heard a dog bark and you immediately started signing “dog,” and we couldn’t even see the dog!

Favorite toys: Now you prefer the REAL pots, pans, and other kitchen items. If it has a matching lid, then you are in hog heaven. While sitting in your highchair for a meal, you love to put your food into containers, put a lid on, shake it, take off the lid, take a bite, put the lid back on…and on and on! A new source of fascination for you is trying to put a straw through a hole in a cup.

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Favorite books: Moo Baa La La La (you can chime in with some of the sounds now!), Zoo Poo, There Was a Man and He Was Mad, Little Lion, and your Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Singalong

Favorite activities: You are Mr. Curious! Every day you ask to be picked up so that you can look at everything up high on our bookshelves. You point to a photo, flower vase, figurine, etc, and we bring it closer to you for a look. After a big smile and looking or touching, you point and give another, “Nah!” to show what you want to look at next. Riding in the backpack with daddy is another favorite activity.

New animal sounds: pig (SO cute – you make the snorting sound, not the “oink”), duck, horse

Mama’s little helper: Now you like to get IN the basket of clean laundry and toss the clothes out. “Here mama, fold this one next!” Sometimes you help by putting the folded socks back into the basket. You like to get the watering can and stand by the door, telling us you want to go water the garden. You also enjoy unpacking groceries…taking bites of the fruit as you unpack, and carrying boxes and packages of food alllllll over the downstairs!

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Friends: It is hilarious to see you greet another kid your size! You walk right up to him/her and let out an excited, “Nah!!” or, “Aaaah!” as if you are saying hello!

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Other fun things: You like to give kisses to mama, daddy, or pictures :). Sometimes when daddy is leaving for work, you lean in for a kiss before he can even ask! I don’t know if this counts as “fun” – at least not for mama and daddy! – but you are now climbing up on things, like the couch, boxes, etc, and you insist on walking DOWN the stairs (with help, of course).

New teeth: All 4 molars are working their way through. We can see lots of white, but the entire surface isn’t through quite yet. You are a trooper!

Eating habits: You’re doing pretty well with your spoon, and now you can stab food with your fork (sometimes)! You can identify a spoon, fork, and bowl. By the end of a meal, you usually have your tray full of any container, lid, and utensil that I will let you have! Raisins are one of your current favorite foods, and you still love sweet potatoes and cooked carrots. At lunchtime, you usually insist that I hold my salad bowl towards you so that you can pick something out with your fingers, spoon, or fork.

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Sleeping habits: Nothing much new here, except that you have been waking up around 6:30am more often than not…but we can hardly blame you because the sun rises at 5:30! I think you are starting to wake less often during the night.

I don’t think there’s a category for these last comments, but…You pooped in the tub for the first time the other day (that’s what I get for bathing you first thing in the morning instead of bedtime), and if anyone farts, you immediately make a “pbbbbbbt!” sound with your mouth. We’ll make sure to share all of these fascinating facts with your prom date someday!!

July brings our first trip back to the states since we have lived in Germany. I’ll wait and post a 16-month update once we return!

May 2013: Connor is 13 months old!

What a busy month for you, Connor! You walk everywhere now, and love to “talk.” Your favorite syllable is “nah,” and we have to figure out what it means based on your tone of voice at the moment. Luckily, you have started using signs to communicate with us! It is so amazing (and fun!) to see you talk to us with your hands to express your wants and needs. You definitely have your own desires, and aren’t shy about making them known!

13-month highlights

Favorite toys: Pots and pans, bowls, spoons…any kind of container, especially ones with lids!! You also love your big container of dry beans on the porch, and your indoor “ball pit.”

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Favorite books: Rise and Shine to Bedtime, Sleepy Cat, Dear Zoo, Moo Baa La La La, Opposites

Other favorites: You love to ride in your new hiking backpack! You walk up to it (sometimes multiple times a day) and sign “again” until we put you in it and carry you around. It’s a perfect way for me to work in the kitchen while you get a birds-eye view of everything!

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Signs: milk, more, all done, again (Right now, you use the sign for “again” to mean again, more, help, I want that, stop washing dishes and pick me up, or anything else you don’t know how to sign yet!)

Animal sounds: snake (tsssss), cow (mmm-ah), starting to learn sheep (ba)

Body parts that you can point to when asked: Leg, foot

Mama’s little helper: I could hardly vacuum the floor last week because you wanted the vacuum! You like carrying around the Swiffer mop. You LOVE playing with the laundry…clean or dirty, you don’t mind! Recently, you started pushing the button to start the clothes dryer, pulling clothes from the dryer and putting them in the basket, and flipping light switches.

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Friends: We go to playgroup once a week, and we see other friends often. You prefer to explore on your own when we are in someone else’s house rather than play “with” the other kids. If you find a container with a lid, you are all set.

Other fun things: You love waving to our Santa nutcracker, but you hold onto daddy extra tight if he brings the nutcracker close to you! We’re working on your “ho, ho, ho,” but right now when we ask, “What does Santa say?” you answer, “tsssss!” (Yes, we still have our Santa nutcracker out. Once we realized you liked it, we couldn’t pack it away!)

New teeth: Your bottom right molar is just starting to cut through. You had a mild fever this week and have been constantly drooling and chewing on your fingers.

Eating habits: You eat most anything that we offer, but sometimes your preferences can change on a dime. Old favorites aren’t always eaten anymore! You haven’t eaten plain banana for a while, and avocado is hit-or-miss. Your current favorites are cooked carrots and sweet potatoes, raw beets and mushrooms, homemade applesauce, and pear. You have started experimenting with a spoon and bowl, but when you realize there’s something you REALLY want to eat inside the bowl, you just use your hands or put the bowl up to your mouth! When you’re getting full or don’t want to eat something, you either hand it back to me or drop it on the floor.

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Sleeping habits: You still nap twice a day: currently, around 10:15-11:15 and 2:30-3:45. Bedtime is 8:00ish, and you are usually awake around 7-7:30am. You nurse to sleep, sleep in bed with us, and wake/stir often throughout the night (and naps) to nurse. If I don’t have to get OUT of bed to get you back to sleep, then I consider it “sleeping through the night.” 🙂 You haven’t slept more than about 3 continuous hours since our vacation in Texas/Georgia before moving to Germany last summer!!

And just in case you missed them on Facebook, here are a few pictures from Connor’s birthday party:

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