Back in September 2007, when Jeffrey was about 21 months old, we did a post about his vocabulary. So it seems only proper that as we approach Ellie’s 2nd birthday we offer her the same benefit. Here we go:
- Keeee! (First word – Cat)
- ‘top (stop)
- Choose (shoes)
- Swish Swish (from The Wheels on the Bus)
- Applecup (Apples, maybe because I serve them in a bowl?)
- Mush (Oranges)
- More *
- All done (ahhhdonahhhdonahhhdon, while frantically signing) *
- More *
- Book *
- Thank You (Tan koo)*
- Baby (refers to herself in the 3rd person)
- Leena (Elena, just recently referred to herself)
- Various animal sounds:
- Cow (moooo!)
- Sheep (Ba.)
- Horse (Neigh!)
- Monkey (Ah ah ah, but not like “The Count”)
- Cat (high pitched EEE-ow)
- Dog (Bark.)
- Duck (kack kack)
- Tiger (RARRRR!)
- Ow-L (hoo!)
- Choo Choo
- Chitty (Kitty)
- Fire truck sound – (Ee Oh Ee Oh)
- Bus-sh! (Bus)
Of course, she understands much more than she can say. Last month, I asked her to go put her shoes in the kitchen. She left the living room and then came back, sans shoes. A few hours later I went into the kitchen to get a glass of water, and there are two size 6 shoes, floating in a bowl of soapy water in the sink. Why? Because whenever I ask her to take something to the kitchen, it’s usually her plate or cup. Kitchen=sink? Not anymore!
And of course, Jeffrey continues to expand his vocabulary both in English and Chinese. He loves telling everyone that he’s a Volcanologist, and that he has a laboratory in his room. He also has a seismograph in his watch that tells him when the volcano will erupt. By the way… he doesn’t own a watch. In Chinese, he can introduce himself, talk about food and colors he likes, tell you where he lives and sing a few songs about animals.
We have a new economy in the Meehan household. Fred Flintstone would be proud. Jeffrey has taken affection to brightly colored smooth fish aquarium stones. We were at a wedding recently and he grabbed a handful of the one decorating the buffet table and put them in his pockets. Remember, this is the boy who can’t seem to hold his pants up on a regular day without 2 pounds of shiny plastic stones tempting gravity.
Currency, in an economy, can be anything that mutual parties agree has value and can be easily transferred. In The Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, the Triganic Pu is an example of a bad unit of currency. The Triganic Pu is subdivided into eight Ningis. The Ningi is a “triangular rubber coin six thousand eight hundred miles a side” and hence nobody has ever owned enough Ningis to own one Pu.
Aquarium rocks, on the other hand, are small, brightly colored and have immense value to our boy.
So we’ve started a system where we “pay” Jeffrey when he does good things or is especially helpful. There’s no rock-based penalty for bad behavior, however. Then we use a schedule that Danielle and I came up with to determine what he can “spend” his rocks on. So far, here’s what we have:
- 1 Rock – Extra story at bed time
- 3 Rocks – Play Super Mario Galaxy with Dad (he mostly watches, with a Wii remote sitting idle on his lap)
- 10 Rocks – Special outting (Lego day at Toys R Us, a birthday party, Trick or Treating at the Mall)
- 10 Rocks – Ice Cream dessert
- 50 Rocks – Movie date at the theater with Mom & Dad
Of course, I’m working this from the Math angle. He’s already learned to start calculating how many rocks he’ll have if he asks for different rewards.
This led to the comment last night, “Danielle, can you finish up the dishes? I have to play Wii with Jeffrey. He’s already pre-paid his rocks.”
Jeffrey’s Video Blog, Episode #2. On the way home from day care, he started telling me about Santa Claus. So that’s the topic of tonight’s episode.
It’s about time that Jeffrey started pulling his own weight around here. So far, his only chore is feeding the cat dry food each morning. Therefore it seems only fair that I hand the reigns of this blog over to the diminutive Meehan. Welcome to Jeffrey’s video debut.
Jeffrey’s Video Blog
Today was a perfect potty day! Thanks to Dani plying him with Pez candies, he stayed dry and in the same set of clothes all day. We’re so proud!
We’re at that stage. You know the one if you have ever interacted with a toddler. It goes like this.
“Good night Jeffrey.”
This is followed by any number of various scenarios. It could be the wind. It could be the cars. It could be the wind created by the cars whooshing by. But there was no way that I could have imagined what he was afraid of this time.
“What’s the matter, buddy?”
mumble mumble mumble through tears. Something about making noises.
“What’s making noises?”
mumble tide mumble ale roar
Here’s the final translation after I calmed him down. The nefarious item that was causing him such consternation?
“There’s a side table drawer making noises under my workbench”. No fooling. I asked him several times to be sure. And under his workbench? No drawers of any kind.
Where does he come up with this stuff?
"Mama! I made this for you"
I love having a pre-schooler. He’s at a perfect age. His mind is moldable and eager to learn new things. He makes deductions and observations on his own and is excited to present them to us… often ad nauseum . It’s exciting to see him interact with us, his new sister, his friends at school and the world around him.
Yesterday we pulled into the driveway after work/school. I exclaimed "We’re home!". With a matter-of-fact tone, he announced, "It’s a good place to be." I agreed with him. It’s these little phrases that catch me, surprise me and make me proud. Just last week, we had to stop by a client on the way home. Jeffrey often accompanies me for these quick visits. He’s been doing it since he was just 4 months old in a baby carrier, and now he’s helpful because he can crawl under desks easier than me and patch cables. He’s actually pretty good at it! As we pulled up to the door, he asked, "Can I go in with you? I won’t be miserable." Clearly somebody had a bad nap day at school, but it’s amazing to hear him put things in context like that.
This weekend we went on our annual Walk For Babies as part of the 2009 March of Dimes fundraiser, and we were joined by Shelly and Grayson. We had a fun time on the 3.0 mile walk with thousand of other preemie parents, family members, friends and supporters. A great big Thank You to our friends who helped support us. After the walk, there were crafts for kids by Home Depot. Jeffrey made Danielle a wooden wheelbarrow plant potter. He even nailed in the tack nails by himself!
On the Elena side of things, we’re still getting used to being 4 after being 3 for so long. She dropped in at 10lbs 10oz for this week’s 1 month checkup, tipping the scales to the 95 percentile. Does anybody remember how long it was before Jeffrey was 10lbs, 10oz?
The answer: May 24th, 2006. He was 5 months old.
Ok, so she’s a little bit orange. Not alarmingly so, but when we left the hospital, her bilirubin levels were 12.6 mg/dL. By Thursday, they were 17.6 mg/dL. Her pediatrician asked us to keep an eye on her, continue nursing her (that’s how you flush out the jaundice) and if she appears very sleepy or more orange, call. By Saturday evening, her color didn’t seem to be improving, so we went back to Highland Hospital were they measured her again at 14.9 mg/dL. They discharged us immediately and told us never to be seen bringing our carrot-faced baby around these parts again. No, they were very nice.
Her color has improved over the weekend, and at today’s weight check, she gained 5 ounces! 7lb 4oz. Nicely done.
Meme and Elena
We welcomed Elena’s first visitors today. This afternoon we were greeted to a surprise visit from Meme and Poppy. We had a nice time catching up and sharing our new little life with her great-grandparents. Of course, we had to pry the baby out of Poppy’s arms… he just LOVES holding babies! But seriously, she got lots of quality time with Meme. She’s going to look very cute in the outfits they brought out for her.
Thanks for coming to visit!
Jeffrey meets his new sister
After a mostly sleepless first night with our new daughter, Jeffrey rang the wake up bell a little after 9AM. Bridget and Meghan brought him to be the first person to meet Elena. We wanted to make sure that he knew that he was going to be first; it was his special time to get to meet the person who would be his little sister for the rest of his life.
He came in sporting a yellow smiley face mylar balloon. “I brought you a balloon, Mama!” Then he stopped in his tracks as he passed her bassinet. Hmmm… what’s this?
It was empty because Dani was nursing her at the time. He checked that out, and pet her head while she fed. Then I set him up in a chair and let him hold her… with some supervision of course. Let’s just say that Jeffrey is not known for his gentle touch.
“OK, I’m done now.” As if he was asking to be excused from the dinner table. We ate breakfast together and then Jeffrey tried to make a break for it with her in the bassinet. I scooped her out just before the collision with the hospital bed. Fortunately, it will be sometime before I have to teach either of them to drive.