Monday, April 1, 2013

The Latest on the Little Guy

This update on Noah is long overdue. Knowing I would eventually get around to writing it, I've been keeping notes about the new stages he has reached and funny things he's said and done in the past six weeks--and as I look back at my notes, I realize that what was a milestone a month ago is now old news!  It's amazing how much he's grown in such a short time.  He's twenty months old today.  Time flies.

So this is what our little Noah Bug has been up to lately:

Doing chores.  A few weeks ago, I was trying to unload the dishwasher, and Noah kept getting in my way--throwing the silverware on the floor, climbing on the open door, etc.  I thought, This is a job I am just going to have to do when he is napping or strapped into his high chair.  But then it occurred to me: Maybe Noah could help?

And thus began our daily tradition of unloading the dishwasher together.  He hands me each dish or piece of cutlery, and we talk about what it is called and what color it is.  He loves it, and so do I.  Of course it takes longer than if I just did it by myself, but it's a fun way to spend 15 minutes, interacting and working together.  The way he says "splatchla" (spatula) is just about the cutest thing I've ever heard.  (Don't believe me, watch the video below.)

So focused.
Our success with unloading the dishwasher has prompted me to try giving him other "chores," and he surprises me by what he can accomplish by himself: He can load the dishwasher for me while I do dishes (though the dishes aren't exactly well placed  and I almost always have to redo them later to make everything fit), and he can sort silverware into the drawer with a little guidance by matching forks with forks and knives with knives.  He loves "helping" me cook, bake, and sweep, and I've also been trying to teach him to wash his own bowl after he's done eating.  He is excited to carry it over to the sink and use the sponge and play in the bubbles.

Sorting silverware
He plops down on the ground and waits for me to sweep  up the crumbs
I'm hoping that by teaching him to work with his mom early, he won't resist so much when he's older? Maybe? Maybe? :)

Talking up a storm.  This boy is a talker.  In the past few weeks, he's started putting words and phrases together into meaningful little sentences.  He will tell his dad, "Hit it hard!" when they are playing with his hammer game, or he will tell me "Later, Alligator!" when he is shutting his bedroom door to play by himself.  He knows his colors now and can usually identify them correctly.  He busts out new words every day that I didn't realize he knew and that I don't remember teaching him.  Just today, I was wrestling with him on the floor, and he said, "Steamroller!"  That one definitely came from his dad!

Earlier this week, I parked the car at the grocery store and let out a long, belabored sigh (I hate grocery shopping), and I heard a little voice from the backseat pipe up, "Mommy tired."  I was so shocked that he could read my body language.  Amazing what kids pick up on, whether or not they can verbalize it.

Going commando.  Noah may be a smarty-pants, but his mother sure isn't.  The other day, when we got home from a morning of running errands, his pants and his car seat were all wet.  Confused, I checked to see if his diaper had slid over to the side somehow, and I realized, in horror, that I had never put a diaper on him that morning.  Who puts skinny jeans on their son and doesn't realize that his bum is exposed??  I am such an airhead!  Fortunately this accident wasn't messier--or more public! 

Giving himself permission.  Noah has this cute habit of saying "Okay!" all the time.  Whenever he asks me for something and I repeat what he said, just to make sure I understood him correctly, he responds, "Okay!" as if he is agreeing with an idea that I came up with.  It's really funny.  Sometimes he doesn't even wait for my response--he just tells himself "Okay!" in the same breath that he makes a request.  He'll say, "Play toys? Okay!" or "More ice cream? Okay!"  Sneaky boy--giving himself permission to do what he wants.  His great grandpa gives him real ice cream, but fortunately, his mother can get away with pureeing frozen bananas with milk and spinach.  We do this together so often that he knows the process and asks "Spinach?" when we get to that step, and then gleefully throws several handfuls into the blender.  This is the kind of "ice cream" I will always say "okay" to, and he gobbles it up by the bowlful.

Yes, he eats all of that.

He also gives himself permission not to do things.  One of his favorite phrases is "No want to...okay!"  (Because that is obviously going to change my mind about making him brush his teeth or take his medicine, right?)   He recently started attending the nursery class at our church, and whenever we start walking down the hallway toward the classroom and he realizes we are going to leave him, he starts shaking his head vehemently and saying, "No want to...okay!  No want to...okay!"  It's kind of hilarious.

Clinging to his parents.  Speaking of his aversion to nursery class, Noah has gotten very clingy all of the sudden.  He doesn't like us to leave him, even with his grandparents, and he doesn't want to go to class at church.  His pediatrician says this is developmentally appropriate for his age, and we just need to reassure him that we are coming back, give him a kiss, say goodbye, and leave.

This has been helping.   He still screams hysterically when we first leave him, but, as has been the case with Noah throughout his short life, if we don't give in to him, he gets the picture.  His first few weeks in nursery, he screamed for at least half the time (bless those sweet teachers), but now he usually only screams for thirty seconds or so.

Obsessing over balloons (as usual).  What is with this boy's balloon fetish?  It is getting borderline out-of-control.  When we are in public places and he spots a balloon, he starts shouting, "Ba-loon!  Ba-loon!  Ba-loon!" so loudly and for so long that people always end up giving him what he wants (which is kind of embarrassing).  The other day we were at the post office, and the guy at the desk had one of those little shiny balloons stuck in a plant by the cash register.  Noah, of course, went berserk with excitement, until the old guy finally handed the balloon to Noah.  I said, "You really don't have to do that."  His response, in a totally monotone voice, was, "This is all the government gave me for 35 years of service. He can keep it." Hahaha.

Noah briefly had all of his wildest dreams come true when our apartment complex tethered a giant balloon to one of the buildings near our apartment (you know, to draw in all of those potential tenants who love balloons as much as my twenty-month-old son).  The first thing Noah wanted to do when he woke up in the morning was look out the window to see his big balloon.  He was in heaven.  Sadly, the balloon must have blown away one windy night a few days ago.  Noah keeps looking out the window this week and pathetically saying, "Ba-loon flew way. Buh-bye, Ba-loon."

I really just have to wonder why they thought this balloon would bring in business...hmmm.

Kissing inanimate objects.  Not only does Noah say goodbye to inanimate objects, he also kisses them goodbye.  I've learned that I can avoid meltdowns with Noah if I let him say goodbye to things--I think it gives him a sense of control.  For example, when I need him to leave the train set at the Children's Museum so we can go home, I will tell him, "Say goodbye to the train."  He looks at the train sadly, and after a moment, he says, "Buh-bye, Train."  He gives it a little kiss, puts it down, and is then ready to go.  So funny how he needs closure on his own terms before he is ready to part with beloved objects.  He doesn't always include a kiss (I think he saves that for the most special toys), but it makes me laugh every time that he does. The other night, when we were helping him clean-up before bedtime, I watched him carry his bulldozer to the toy bin, give it a kiss, and say, "Buh-bye, Bulldozer," and then drop it in with a clunk. Is he cute or what?

Fake crying and driving his mama bonkers.  
Lest you think life with Noah is all bliss with no frustrations, let me tell you that he can really pitch a fit when he wants to.  If he doesn't get his way, he throws his head back and lets out a ridiculous fake cry: "Maaaaahhhhh!"  He seems to be especially whiny in the mornings, and some days he does this fake cry (which usually escalates into a real cry) on and off for hours.  Those are the days that I cannot get us out of the house fast enough because as soon as we go for a walk or an outing, he is usually okay.  Here he is walking his caterpillar on one of those fussy days:

Life's tough when you don't have a dog.
And here he is on an outing to the train museum on another fussy day (thank goodness he cheered up once Callum and Bapa got there!):

Grumpy pants.
Finally happy with his favorite playmate
Fun Grandpa!
And on the fussiest of days, we count down the minutes until Dad gets home, and then all is right in the world.

Riding around on a toy lawn mower, of course.

Other cute photos of Noah from this month:

I love his gut.  He loves his cars.
Sweetly reading a book on our way to the Children's Museum
My sister Sarah gave him this very classy onesie:
"Is it legal to carry guns this big?"  Nice, Sarah.

"Helping" Great Grampy
Cousin bath time!
  Jade looks a little concerned to be in the tub with Batman.
Cousin storytime with Aunt Laura
(she came to visit last week--funnest!)
I love this kid.  I am so grateful to be his mom.

P.S. Now I see why I don't write these updates very often--holy cow, that took me a long time!  I hope someone out there enjoyed reading that (Grandma Nielson?) because I could've been cleaning my house for the past two hours!  I sometimes think about my future children--the ones who are not going to get long blog posts written about them because their mama will be too busy with a bunch of kiddos--and I feel a little bad for them.  Oh well, they'll get over it.


  1. Not just grandma! I loved every word. Miss you guys already!!!!

    P.S. He looke tiny in those first dishwasher pics. Time flies!

  2. I'm up with my little one (can't believe it's real!!) so it was so fun to have something new to read as she dozes off. Your little Noah is so, so cute! I LOVE that video! What a great idea to have him help! Looks like he loves it! :)

  3. Thanks for the update. Noah looks so old! and adorable! I'm sure he can be a real handful sometimes too. Wishing we could be your playdate today!

  4. His cuteness is too much. A friend of mine uses the "goodbye" method to avoid breakdowns. I had never really heard of it before but it is so smart. I hope it works with my kids. I love reading about this smarty pants!

  5. I love this update!!! We total say goodbye to stuff too. In fact, there is a VERY high likelihood that he picked up on kissing inanimate objects by seeing Cal do it. Cal used to give himself permission to do or not do stuff at that age. It's hilarious! Lots of great pics here! Love the balloon, the caterpillar, his gut, etc. I can't believe how much he can help you! That's awesome!

  6. So fun! I realy hope Aidan picks up on all of Noah's talking. :)


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