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Alex Update

Alex, The Shrieking Goat

Alex becomes more opinionated every day. We have now entered a phase where, once he makes a demand, you have about 8 seconds to comply before he begins shrieking at the top of his lungs.

That is pure, unadulterated rage, my friends. “MAMA I SAID PICK ME UP RIGHT NOWWWWWWW!!”

Right away I knew what it reminded me of. Now whenever he starts doing it, I start playing this on my phone:

Strangely, that doesn’t make him feel better.


Alex’s First Birthday

I don’t know if I should start by saying “my how time flies” or “look how far we’ve come”.

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Alex babbles basically non-stop. Whoever thought we could have a kid that talks MORE than the two we already have? He basically understands everything that you’re saying to him, even if he can’t answer back as much as he’d like. For example, he can point to every body part if you ask him, as well as basically everything in the house.

For some reason he can shake his head “no” just fine, but when he tries to shake “yes” he does it with his entire body. This makes for a VERY ENTHUSIASTIC yes, especially when you understand what he’s saying (usually by handing him something he wants or taking him somewhere he wants to go). If you ask him, “How old is Alex?” he will stick up one finger, he will make a goofy face on command, and he can stick out his tongue.

Okay, so here’s a list of things that he says. Some of these were actually after his birthday but before I wrote this post (there are pretty much new things on the hour these days):

“Na na” can mean many things: no, Nala, banana, or that emoji thing that Evelyn gave him for Christmas. “Da da” can mean me, or sometimes dog. “Da” (singular) means down. “Ma ma” means Sara, of course, but also sometimes more. “Ma” (singular) means cat (as in “meow”). He can say door, bird, apple, “vroom” (for car), “whoo” (for owl), up, “wa wa” (for water), bib, and book.

He also signs some additional words, like more, all done, eat, water, train, banana, book, bath, night night, “yummy”, milk, and book.

We were keeping track of how many steps he took in a row, but he’s pretty much just straight up walking now. He can also climb up the stairs, which makes it tricky for trying to watch him downstairs. His favorite toys are anything he can carry around the house while walking, but seriously, his all-time favorite toy right now is just the little cookies from the Melissa & Doug set play-kitchen set.

He continues to have strong opinions about food, and he definitely has a sweet tooth (bananas are still his favorite). We hadn’t really given him any dessert until the holidays, but now that he knows what it is, he absolutely flips out if we try to eat any without him. He doesn’t really like to drink anything.

All in all, Alex definitely keeps us on our toes! He is now officially a typical, talkative, opinionated one year old!

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12 Month Comparison Photos

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They grow up so fast

So most of you probably saw this video from over a week ago now, but I’m saving it here for posterity:

With all the new stuff that Alex is getting up to, it’s easy to forget that the other kids are growing up too!

Ollie in particular just suddenly seems so old all of a sudden. I went to get him out of class early one day for a doctors appointment and I just had to laugh. He’s in real school now! They were doing math, and then when I got there he took care of his math notebook and I was just like, “Wow, he’s like a real kid!”

In fact, Evelyn had some multiplication flash cards the other day, and Ollie was pretty dang good at them.

He has gotten so good at reading all of a sudden. I remember this with Evelyn too, but it’s like he just got to that point where he realized that there’s writing everywhere, and he can read it. He’s reading billboards, the backs of cereal boxes, and addresses on Christmas cards. It’s like a whole new world! It’s so much fun to listen to him read an Elephant and Piggie book.

He’s also a very detailed artist. He can sit and draw for HOURS, and he draws these really elaborate scenes. He loves to explain to you all the little nuances and hidden things he’s added to his drawings, and he gets very clever with them.

And if that wasn’t enough, Ollie started taking piano lessons! It seems absolutely crazy to me, but there it is. He is so excited about it! I can tell he feels grown up too; he’s very proud. And even songs like “Mary Had a Little Lamb” seem so impressive when this little boy is playing them!

Not too long now before he starts writing his own blog!


11 Month Comparison Photos

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Yes, each of our kids have had successively less hair.

Alex finally figured out how to shake his head “no” and suddenly he has opinions on EVERYTHING. He’s really off like a rocket on this communication thing and enjoying the tyranny it brings, like every good almost-1-year-old should. He thinks he should have the ultimate say in what he eats, where you carry him, and what books you read him, often slapping books out of your hand with an imperious shake of his head. “No no no!” he’ll calmly say, as you try to feed him anything other than sweet potatoes or bananas.

He hasn’t quite figured out “yes” in the same way. In order to demonstrate, Sara put her hand on the back of his head and moved it up and down. So now Alex thinks he’s supposed to put his hand on the back of his own head in order to shake it “yes”. Eventually he got tired of doing that, so he shortened it to just slapping himself in the side of the head twice.

There are a lot of things you don’t understand until you’re a parent, and accepting two slaps on the head for “yes” is one of them.


Alex update – A long time overdue!

I have been meaning to write this post for so long that some things that Alex does have already come and gone. A week is such a long time in a baby’s life, much less a month and a half!

So let’s see, what is Alex up to these days?

Well first off, he can stand up for long time without holding on to anything. Like maybe 30 seconds or more? And he can raise and lower himself a little bit as well. He’s a really fast crawler and he *loves* getting into trouble. You can just see from the twinkle in his eye and the grin on his face that he’s going to do something he knows is naughty. He very clearly understands when you tell him “no”, and you can tell because he pauses, looks back at you and grins, and then does it anyway.

He does pretty good with sign language. He signs train, milk, more, book, water, eat, and waves bye bye. But mostly what he does is point at things.

He’s basically always pointing at things, mostly to direct you which way to go. But if you ask him he can point to things like clocks (“tick-tock”), earrings, doors, lights, fans, the piano, books, watch, ring, nose, ears, and of course Evie (EE), Ollie, mama, dada, and nala. Even more impressive, if you hold up a picture book he can point to things like flower,  ball, and dog.

He can give you a kiss, give you a “bonk” (smashing his head into yours), lay his head down for “night-night”, and he does this adorable thing where he kisses each page of the book when you’re reading Sam Loves Kisses. Also, if you ask him where your nose is, he bites it. I do not know why.

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He has been able to say a few words for a while, but it’s not always clear that he means them more than just a string of syllables. You can never really be sure…he never does it when you’re trying to show someone else. So with the other kids they had a very definite “first word”, but I’m not sure what Alex’s first word was. I think it was “door”.

He very definitely says “mama” and “dada” and means us. Aside from that he says, “nala”, “book”, “tick tock”, and “nana” (banana).

He still cries himself to sleep every night, for at least a few seconds, but we’ve just sort of gotten used to it I guess. He just seems to be one of those kids who needs to cry a little bit to fully relax. I never thought he would still be crying every night at this point, but I guess it is what it is.

He LOVES to eat solids, and usually cries if you’re not shoveling fast enough. He seems like he’s not going to be a picky eater. However, recently he has discovered that he has a lot of power, so he likes to reject food (mostly by slapping it away from him) and point to other things on the table that he’d like better.

The one thing he loves above all else is hearing books. I read him 20 in a row the other day and he was still furiously signing “book”. He clearly has his favorites (and will throw other ones on the floor to get to the ones he wants). In fact, if you ask him to get individual books he will go over to the shelf and pick them out and hand them to you.

Some of his favorites are: Moo Baa La La La, Trucks Roll, The Big Red Barn, Peekaboo Morning, Baby Faces, So Big (Elmo), Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? / Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear?, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and May There Always Be Sunshine (although truthfully I could go on listing these for a long time…he has a lot of favorites!)

::whew::! I think that catches us all up!

Of course his big sis and big brother are good helpers to keep him occupied, and keep up with his steady diet of books. I should tell you what a good reader Ollie is becoming, but that’s a topic for a different day.

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9 Month Comparison Photos

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You can see from Ollie’s photo that we actually missed taking his 9 month photo on the 12th, so we had to get it the next day.

You can also see that we had to give him a piece of paper to play with so he wouldn’t crumple the sign, and let me tell you, that was a good idea! This was about the only photo in which Alex wasn’t grabbing for the sign, crumpling the sign, waving the sign around…

He certainly is a mischief maker these days. One of his favorite things to do is to pull himself up to stand at the bookshelf and just pull all the books off one by one. If you clean them up he gets mad, like, “Hey! I just spent a lot of time doing that you know!”

He still crawls like a maniac and is often not happy being held (since, yanno, less mischief that way!). He can walk a bit if you hold his hands and lately he has been letting go of things while standing up. I counted a record of 4 seconds of free standing without holding on to anything.

Won’t be long until we look back at these crawling days as being so easy and relaxed…