He's becoming more and more vocal. He still doesn't say a lot of individual words, and doesn't really say words on command a la "Jack, can you say dog?" BUT, he says quite a few phrases and can get his point across pretty easily with his few sign language skills. First the talking - his favorite things to say are:
- "Where's Jack" - he LOVES peek-a-boo and will play it with everything - his hands, a towel, hiding behind a wall or chair, etc. Cracks himself up.
- "I want that" and "What's that" - I would argue that "I want that" were Jack's first words
- "Uh Oh" (sounds like Ooh Ooh)
- "Yeah" - this one is funny - if you say anything to him that remotely sounds like a question, his answer is "yeah." And just in the last week or two, he's added a very dramatic head nod to go along with it when he really means yes. Too cute!
- "All done" - he's been doing the "sign" for this one for months, but just in the last month or so has started saying the words too
- "Na-na" (banana)
- "Bubbles" - random, I know
- "More" - he's kind of starting to say this, though he's been signing it for months
- "Help" - though he doesn't actually say help, he makes eye contact and claps when he needs help, which is close enough to the real sign for help that we know what he means - it's much more effective than the squeal he originally started to use to signify his need for help
Jack is quite the active little guy and has mastered his throwing. We have close to a million balls at our house, and he enjoys throwing every last one of them, along with Maggie's toys, his sippy cup, books, food, etc. He seems to use both hands to throw, but I think he throws more often with his right hand than left. I need to pay more attention to that to make a true assessment. As you saw on a video a month or so ago, he also is getting pretty good at kicking balls. I looked it up and soccer at Vetta Sports starts at 18 months, so I'll be looking into it this spring!
He has been learning his body parts - this one we definitely credit to his teachers. We were working on belly and nose, which he would point to some of the time. Then one day on a whim we asked him where his eye was, and he knew! Then hair, then mouth! We were amazed! When I asked Ms. Jill she said "oh yeah, we do body parts all the time." Ah ha!
He's starting to make animal sounds. So far, the distinguishable ones are tiger roar and cow moo (kind of). When he gets on a roll, he'll just make the same noise for every animal you ask him. Some work needs to be done in this category. :)
Jack LOVES music and loves to dance to said music. We listen to children's music on the way home from work/school/Grandma & Grandpa's (after I hear the traffic report) and it is the funniest thing....after EVERY song, he blurts out an enthusiastic "YEAH" and claps. I haven't confirmed this, but I'm assuming he picked that up at school. I love it. I mean, after every single song. He also does some actions to songs like "If You're Happy and You Know It," "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider." Grandma is working hard on teaching him the "1, 2, 3 strikes you're out" in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," and he's making some progress. I looked in my rear view the other day and he was staring at his one extended finger during that part - still trying to figure out how to extend fingers 2 and 3 I think. We also discovered the other day that he loves to do "Ring Around the Rosie" - the night we discovered that he insisted on doing it over and over again until we were both so dizzy!! He cracks up at the "all fall down" part and before I'm even all the way on the floor, he's back up reaching for my hands to do it again.
Jack has always been, and still is, a great sleeper. He ditched the pacifier the week of his first birthday without a hitch and now sleeps with a lovey (or multiple loveys and a teddy bear at home). He goes to sleep at about 7:30 at night and wakes up anywhere between 5:30 and 6:30. We've experimented with how to get that morning time later, and surprisingly, it seems if I keep him up much past 7:30, he tends to wake up earlier the next morning. Hmm. He takes two naps in a typical day at home or at Grandma & Grandpa's house, but at day care, he takes one nap right after lunch. He doesn't seem any fussier on those days than others, but at home he struggles to make it through a napless morning without getting fussy. I'm guessing school provides more distraction for him, so he can make it through to lunch without realizing he's tired.
As far as food, Jack is eating pretty much everything now. It's strange because I would say he likes most things, but he is moody when it comes to his food. One day he'll chow down on some green beans and the next 3 times you serve them to him, he snubs them completely. The one standard we can always count on him eating is fruit, especially mandarin oranges, grapes (cut in 1/4ths, of course), strawberries and bananas. Other favorites (on a good day) include: hot dogs (cut in non-round pieces, of course), macaroni & cheese, pasta, corn, peas, chicken fingers, french fries, and french toast sticks for breakfast. And how can I forget ketchup! The child LOVES ketchup! I think the key is the thrill of dipping - I mean, it doesn't get any more fun than dipping your mandarin orange in a pile of ketchup!! NOTE: We only give him ketchup when he's in one of his "I'm not eating" moods and it works like a charm. My sister is concerned that we are turning him into a ketchup monster, but hopefully that is not the case!!
He also goes through over a gallon of whole milk each week. The boy can chug some milk!! He drinks a sippy cup-full (8 oz maybe?) when he wakes up, then with or after breakfast and lunch, in the afternoon and before bed. Usually, he just stands there and drinks the whole thing until it's gone. No osteoporosis risk here! We put water in his sippy cup between milk servings, and he'll drink that too, but not nearly as passionately as the milk. And he loves juice too (so far only apple juice), but I just don't give it to him that often. He particularly loves to drink out of a straw, so juice boxes are a huge hit. And also sometimes a huge mess, when he decides to squeeze them.
Jack is becoming more and more interested in books. We have as many books as we do balls at our house, and until a few months ago, he really paid them no mind. Story time consisted of about 5 seconds on my lap before he'd get down and wander off while I continued reading. Now he will sit for longer, and is starting to point to items in the book. Our Parents as Teachers lady said he should master that skill by the next time she comes back (at 18 months), so we're working on it and making great progress, I think.
I think that pretty much sums up Jack's current skills and likes/dislikes. He is almost always just as happy as can be. He is always making us laugh - such a silly little guy. We just love every minute that we spend with him and are amazed at how quickly he picks things up. He's a bright little guy, that's for sure!!