Saturday, February 7, 2009

Update on Joey

It's been a while since I've done a good update on Josiah, so here we go....

Joey is a week shy of 17 months! I can't believe he's been around that long!! It's definitely been a bright 17 months! Joey is a very smiley and happy toddler (wow-toddler), most of the time. He loves to be the center of attention and to have people fawning over him. He is such a social guy! If we are at a restaurant he is watching the people at the next table, especially if there are children. There is nothing that delights him more than strangers socializing with him in the grocery store, or anywhere else we have to go. I can't imagine this guy ever hiding his eyes behind our knees. There isn't a shy bone in his body. He lives for people's attention. Other than sleeping though, he does not like to be left alone. We are working on giving him some alone in his room playtime, and while he doesn't always need someone to play with him, he really gets upset if he is alone. He doesn't ever mind being left in our gym nursery or church nursery, as long as there are people with him!

He is a very focused guy and has several "jobs" (as we call them) that he likes to get done. He is really really REALLY into buckles. As soon as he gets down from his highchair, after every meal he runs to get some toy or do something, and then has this moment of realization. You can almost see a little light going on, then he runs back over to the high chair and works on the buckle until he has rebuckled it. He rarely forgets to go back over to the chair and work on the buckle. Now it only takes a few seconds or a minute, but a few weeks ago, he would stand in front of the high chair for 5 minutes or more totally focused on the buckling. He's the same with the carseat. If his carseat is ever sitting in the house or (this is a favorite) someone is over who has an infant carseat that he can actually climb into, to work on the buckle, then he is in heaven! He is the same way with small electrical things, like cell phone chargers, ear phone plugs, computer cables. He knows how they connect, and which small spaces to fit the cords into. While we don't let him (intentionally) play with anything plugged in, he is really in heaven when there is a set task to complete and he works with such determination and focus! He is such a little man already!
Here he is, hard at work on his most important job...

Verbally Joey is starting to try to say new words but only very occasionally. He is really only most comfortable saying something that he 1. already knows he can say 2. knows exactly what it is, and 3. practices saying frequently. The words he says on a regular basis and he is comfortable saying are:
banana (nana)
bow wow (dog)
vroom vroom (his noise for cars, planes, buses, anything that moves)
all done (ah, dah while he signs "all done")
milk (ma, signs milk)
and he signs please, when we ask and on his own when he wants something that we aren't offering ;-)

He understands:
Lay down
come here
no no
eat a snack, dinner, lunch, breakfast
Be gentle (mostly said when "petting" (grabbing fur of) Mocha
and most simple commands with: where are your_______ (socks, shoes, diapers, Mocha, cup, trains, daddy, phone, car, bear, blanket, pacifier etc.)

I know there is a ton of stuff that I am forgetting and really I think he understands even more than I think he does but he is so unwilling to wing it and try to say something that might not come out perfectly, so sometime I'll say something like "hold on to the railing", without thinking about it, and he'll look at me and then grab the railing and I had no idea he'd even been paying attention since he really makes no huge efforts to communicate. I think Matt and I actually enjoy this a little bit. He's very mellow with his talking and still seems very content to babble convincingly to himself and those around him. I'm sure that eventually there will be a word explosion but for now we're glad that he is enjoying himself, and doesn't ever seem frustrated by communication.

He is starting to get into trains. Ahhh boys. Probably largely to do with the 4 year old that I watch and his OBSESSION with Thomas the Train paraphernalia. We bit the bullet and got him some wooden tracks to flesh out a starter pack that he was given for Christmas and some plain wooden trains. I think we're going to try to steer him in the Brio direction, fun classic, wooden trains and not so much the Thomas direction, slightly hyped-up racket. I'm sure he'll end up falling in love with crazy fads like Pokemon or Hannah Montana (ok maybe not Joey), or The Wiggles or whatever is coming in the next 5 years that we aren't prepared for, and we'll just have to roll with the punches and let him enjoy being a little boy....
He does make the cutest little train sounds....

Eating...he's doing much better with eating now than he was a few months ago. I think (looking back) that I just made the mistake of starting him on "our food" much later than I should have. He generally has our leftovers from dinner for his lunch now, or pieces of lunch meat and cheese. He still loves his tofu, and we give him lots of yogurt and cottage cheese. He is resistant to eating most things that he's never tried before but he doesn't spit out his food (he did that a little before) and he doesn't give us a very hard time when we feed it to him. Our goal would be for him to eat anything we put on his tray without too much hesitation, but usually we still have to feed a good bit to him to get it down. He is really good about eating it though! Some things he eats now that he didn't a while ago are: scrambled eggs, noodles (still not crazy about these, Matt questions whether Joey is his own offspring at times), tuna, chicken nuggets and fish sticks, broccoli (not pureed!) and corn. He'll eat any fruit without question and any vegetable although chewing up green beans seems hard. He loves them and he shoves them in but then gets this mouthful that he can't swallow. I think they are just a little tough to chew up. He's not a huge dessert guy. Once he's full and has had a good dinner he'll maybe eat a cookie if you give it to him, but maybe only half or if he's full none at all.
He has a lot of interest in using his fork and spoon! He's pretty good at it, but it's hard to let him because he can't really handle it with a bowl. If he gets say, peas in a bowl he can take a few bites with his spoon but eventually will end up overturning the bowl or dumping it on the floor. We've tried the suction-cuppy bowls and plates but they won't really stick to our high chair. Trying to grab peas or something with spoon off of the tray is tough work, so we have to be really really attentive if we are going to give him a bowl and silverware to practice with. He really really wants to learn though and loves being allowed to feed himself with adult silverware when he can weasel it out of our hands!

This is a picture of Joey "dipping". He loves to dip his chicken nuggets in ketchup but hasn't quite figured out that it's not great to dip everything in there. Here he is dipping a banana slice.

Sleeping.....I wish I could say we are at a consistant napping place now, but we aren't quite there yet. Joey is still taking 2 naps a day! He just can't quite seem to make it in the morning until noon or 1:00. Right about 11 he crashes and burns and only needs like 45 minutes or an hour, and then another nap from about 3 until 5. I'm sure eventually that will condense but for now he still takes 2 naps on most days and sleeps about 12 hours a night. If he had to wake up earlier in the morning the naps might condense more naturally but he doesn't usually get up before 8 or 8:30 which is a little late for his age. Well if there's no reason to wake up earlier..... Mama and Daddy don't mind! :-)

Playing, and fun random things..... Joey still really enjoys being in his walker actually. Which is really funny because it's our only "baby containment unit". I probably only end up using it once a week or so, to take a shower, but I'll roll it into the family room and put on a Baby Einstein. When he sees me pushing it in he starts screaming and laughing! It's a good way to get a shower and know he's safe because the guy is always moving. He won't even sit to watch a new library B.E. for more than a millisecond (and then he is standing). Right now, he's just up from a nap and is sitting next to me on the couch. I'm thinking it will last about 1 minute, but to prolong the experience I put on the only animated thing I could find, which is Spongebob, something I don't even understand. Oh....moving on to his trains. At least that means I can turn it off!
More funny stuff.... Joey thinks that "give me a kiss" means give you his forehead so you can kiss him. He has no idea that a kiss has or could have anything to do with his lips. I have yet to get a kiss from my little guy at 17 months!! But he is very willing to give you a forehead with a big smile and anticipation of your kiss to come! He likes to have his doggie and bear that he sleeps with kissed and his blanket. Lots of kisses to go around. He's still not much of a cuddler. I get a cuddle when he wakes up from his nap for about 5 or 6 seconds. bliss though, I tell you. He'll lay his head on my shoulder and go completely still. Sometimes after he hurts himself, he'll take a minute snuggle, but mostly then he just wants to get going again, even if he is still crying he'll struggle away to get back to work/play.

He absolutely LOVES to play with Dad. Especially on our sofa, or any other place where rough-housing can take place. He thrives on this. He loves to be tossed in the air onto the sofa. He lives for it! He still spends 2 days at work with me. 1 day (my day off, "at home" with me, read:running errands) and 2 days at home with Daddy. Although it's not always easy for Matt to get as much work done as he'd like to with Joey at home, it has created a really special relationship between them. Those days, Joey is so thrilled to see me when I get home, BUT, the days he comes to work with me, he is completely thrilled to see Daddy when we get home. I can honestly say it truly seems to make no difference to him which one of us he is with, as long as he's got somebody. Sometimes (a little selfishly, I'll admit) I wish that he'd prefer me, because it just seems right, but when I see Matt playing with Joey (he is right now and I'm watching, while they build a block tower :-) it reminds me of how grateful I should be that the Lord has blessed them with that relationship.

So some stats. Right now Joey is around 23 lbs. I don't know what percentile that is right now, but we have a Dr.'s appointment in a few weeks so I'll know then. I don't know how tall he is, but he isn't tall. People usually guess him at a year or younger. He's a pretty small guy! We have such a great time with him. He has the most precious laugh and I love those random moments where something unexpected that I, or Matt will do, crack him up and he laughs and laughs. I didn't know you could live so much for that! He is such a joy, and so patient and easy-going with his parents. Needless to say from the photos I have yet to cut his hair, and yes, people think he is a girl....ALL the time, but honestly, it doesn't bother me a bit, not even a teeny bit. I love those curls. I can look at those little curls and see Matt and myself right there in him and it makes my heart melt.

Thanks for bearing with me and reading about our little guy. I'll be back with more posts that I was going to write before THE FEVER. ;-)


Andrew, Naomi and Madeline said...

Hey Laurie, Madeline didn't like PB and J until she saw Jude eating it one day. She thought it was pretty interesting then. But, I do have to cut it into really small pieces for her. If it is too big, she will spit it out. So, I usually cut off the crust, and cut it into very small squares so she doesn't have to chew it too much. And sometimes I even squish the bread together to make it more compact. She also enjoys the red raspberry jam. So, maybe Joey would enjoy another flavor of jelly. I do spread the PB on very thin. She doesn't like how it feels in her mouth. Those are my only thoughts. It's hard to get them to eat new things. Madeline is not a big fan of new textures.

Matt and Laurie Beardsley said...

Thanks for the tips! I think I'm going to get a new jelly today and maybe that will help!

La Familia Garcia said...

What happened to your baby? He's soo big! But still super cute! I love those curls!

The Sinks said...

About the dipping thing: Kathryn loves to dip all things in all kinds of dip. She is also known to dip fruit in ketchup (even pineapple!), as well as in ranch. Seriously, pineapple and canteloupe in ranch...bleh! She also likes hot salsa, but wasn't a big fan of cocktail sauce. Kids are so funny sometimes!