Friday, July 15, 2011

Whatchu talkin' bout, Jacob?

Jacob's language skills continue to amaze me everyday. His words and ability to form sentences (that make sense) have completely taken off lately. In the past few months, he has gone from speaking in one or two word phrases to sentences that can be five to six words long. Strangers are often surprised to hear that he is only a little over two years old when they hear him speaking so well. I don't really have anything to compare it to, so I just think he is "normal" for his age. When we went for his two-year well visit last month, the pediatrician asked me how many words he was saying. When I paused to think, she said "At least 50?". I laughed and said, "Yeah, really more like hundreds". And when she heard him say a four word sentence "I get the ball", she smiled and said that she was definitely not worried about his speech!

Here are some examples of phrases and sentences that have come out of Jacob's little mouth recently:

"Have both of these" (when holding two items)

"Can Daddy do it?" (regarding getting something that Mommy was going to get)

"These are apart" (talking about two trains that were connected, but came apart)

"This is the beginning" (in regards to the opening on a DVD he was watching)

"Mommy play cars with Jacob" (when he wants me to play with him)

"Jacob wants...." and "He wants..." (when he wants me to give him something, such as a certain type of food)

"There's another...." (when he sees two of the same thing)

"It's all over" (referring to the end of a video or book)

"That's Mommy's [or Daddy's, Aunt Katie's, Jacob's, Papa's, etc]...." (referring to something belonging to someone. For example, cup, water, shirt, body parts, book, pretty much everything!!)

"What's he/she/Mommy/Daddy [or anyone, similar to above] doing?" (when he wants to know what someone is doing. It can be something interesting that he sees or just something simple like eating or driving a car or washing hands. He is very inquisitive!!)

"What book are we going to read?" (he asked this when he was picking out a book to read before bedtime)

"I don't like...." (he has started to show his dislike for things, even those things that he previously liked. He will most often use this phrase regarding food, but he will use it for other things too when he is trying to tell us that he doesn't want to do something)

"I don't want to watch X no more" (obviously when he is no longer interested in watching whatever DVD he was previously watching)

"I have to go get...." (he announces when he is going into another room to get something such as a toy, book or shoes)

"I'm looking for..." (when he is searching for something, whether a toy or an object in a book)

"Few more minutes" and "One more time" (he uses these phrases when he is trying to negotiate with us after we have told him it is time to stop playing or doing whatever thing he doesn't want to stop doing)

"What do you want to watch?" (he says this when he wants to watch a DVD - Barney is by far his favorite right now, with Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine running second and third.)

"Oh, you're right" (he said this to me yesterday and I laughed out loud! I can't remember what he was referring to, but it had something to do with me telling him to do something and then when he did it, he made this exclamation).

"You're such a big boy" (he also said this to me yesterday when he was hanging on the monkey bars at the playground. It was funny to hear him say this - obviously he was repeating what we have said to him many times before!)

"Where's the book, honey?" (he was looking for a specific book and couldn't find it so he asked me this question. Again, I laughed out loud because he was obviously repeating what he has heard!)

Songs - he loves to sing songs lately. He sings along to the CDs that we listen to in the car or in the house, he will sing along to songs that are on DVDs that he is watching, and he will sometimes sing along with me when I am singing to him before his nap or bedtime. Some of his favorites right now are the Bob the Builder theme song, "Baa Baa Black Sheep", "Hush little Baby", "Itsy Bitsy Spider" (with some hand motions), "Farmer in the Dell", "I've Got Peace Like a River", "Are You Sleeping?", and "The Grand Old Duke of York". He will often ask to repeat the same song on a CD in the car over and over and over again!!

Body parts - he is very good at pointing out various body parts (on himself or someone else). I am pretty sure this is age appropriate, but I wanted to document it for future reference. He can point to and name eyes, nose, mouth, tongue, teeth, ears, head, hair, eyebrows, mustache, beard, neck, shoulder, chin, arm, hand, fingers, fingernails, chest, stomach, belly button, penis (that is a fun one!), bottom, leg, knee, ankle, foot, toes, and toenails. Lately he has also been asking me what my breasts are (if I undress in front of him). I have told him and he will say "Those are Mommy's breasts", but he continues to ask every time. I guess they are just interesting to him. He will also say "Mommy's penis" so I am trying to explain to him the difference between girls and boys (in a way that a two-year old will understand!). I have not gotten into telling him the name for my private area yet, and am hoping to hold off on that for awhile! He already talks about his penis a lot, I don't need him to start talking about my parts too!

Letters - he can recognize a few letters (O,I,Q,L,G,B) most of the time, but he sometimes still gets them wrong. He loves to point out letters and tell me what he thinks they are (even though most of the time he is not correct). I love his apparent enthusiasm for wanting to learn! He also knows a lot of letter sounds (from his Leap Frog "Letter Factory" video). Sometimes, he will walk around randomly saying "The B says Bah, the B says Bah, every letter makes a sound, the B says Bah". I took this video of him doing it a few weeks ago (I aso added in some footage of him singing yesterday):

Basically, Jacob is at the stage now where he will repeat pretty much anything he hears! He has a mind like a steel trap and almost anything that goes in, stays in and often comes back out in one way or another. It is fun watching him process things and develop his own little language and ways to express himself. I am glad that he is able to communicate with us so much because it makes the tantrums and outburts happen a lot less. He is good at repeating himself too until we understand what he is saying. Sometimes it takes me a few tries to figure out what he is trying to say. He has trouble with the letter V and it comes out sounding like a B. Other than that, his words are often pretty recognizable, even by people who aren't around him that often.

I just love my little chatterbox! I think he is going to be a non-stop talker (sometimes he already is!) just like his Mama can be!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summertime Fun

We have certainly been enjoying the beautiful weather that Virginia has given us so far this summer. We are so blessed to live in a community that has a pool and several beaches to choose from whenever we want to go play! This summer has been so much fun so far - Jacob is at such a great age and he asks almost daily if we can "go play in sand and water" (aka go to the beach) or "go jump in the pool". He loves the water and I am sure that he is going to be a little fish once he gets a little bigger and learns to swim. This makes me very happy since I also love the water and even taught swimming lessons and lifeguarded in my younger years.

In early May, we had some beautiful weather so we went to the beach a few times. One day, Jacon and I were going for a walk (he was riding in the wagon and I was pulling him!) and I decided to walk to the nearest beach (it is about 1.2 miles from our house). Of course, we didn't have our swimsuits on or have any sand toys with us, but we did have fun wading in the water, looking at boats and walking in the sand.

A few days later, on a somewhat overcast day, we got our suits on, packed up our sand toys and headed for the beach. Because it was a little cool, I didn't let Jacob go in very far, just up to his ankles, but he was asking to go in further.

Due to our 10 days away from home (visiting family in NY and PA) in late May/early June, we had a few weeks where we missed spending any time near water. Thankfully once we got back into the swing of things, we more than made up for it. In fact, a few weeks ago, Jacob and I had our swimsuits on five days in a row - three trips to our neighborhood pool, one trip to the beach and one day at a friend's pool all in the same week! If you ask me, it was great (and I think Jacob enjoyed it too!). I am truly blessed to be able to do things like that!

Here are some pictures from that week:

Jacob enjoying his lunch at the Lake Monticello pool
(June 21)

Of course drinking Mommy's water bottle is so much more fun!
Reid and Jacob

Playing with trucks in the Lake
(June 22)

Eating lunch at Emily's pool (It was rainy and cool on this particular day. We did swim for a short bit, but mostly we hung out eating under the umbrellas)
(June 23)

Back at the LM pool - having fun in the baby pool
(June 24)

Keith went with us to the pool on Saturday. It is always fun to have Daddy there to do fun things like throw you up in the air!!
(June 25)

At our first trip to the pool (on June 21), Jacob started jumping in the pool if I was holding his hands. He wanted to do it over and over again and wasn't even upset if water got in his face or he went under a bit. On this particular day, he started jumping in all by himself (without me holding on to his hands). I think it had something to do with him getting the noodle that we had been playing with. Either way, I was so proud of him! Thankfully, Keith was able to get it on video:

We had a bit of a lull the week after our 5-day water fun because the weather was a little crappy (rainy) and also we had some other things to do! This past week, we had a playdate with my mom's group at one of the local spray parks. I had never been to a spray park before so I had no idea what the expect. It definitely exceeded my expectations and the best part is that it was completely FREE!

One thing I did learn was that I should have worn my bathing suit - it was 90+ degrees and very humid and I was wishing that I could jump in the water with everyone else. Next time I will wear it for sure!! Here are some pictures I captured of Jacob (he was a little tentative at first, but after a litle while he started really having fun!):

I am looking forward to many more fun times at the beach and pool this summer. We leave for our fun family vacation to Corolla on Sunday, July 24th (just three weeks from today!) and I am really looking forward to it! I hope the rest of the summer is as fun as the first part as been!