27 March 2008

Movin' and Groovin'

Gabriel had a big moment today: he can now stand up by himself! He usually crawls to a ledge, wall, or piece of furniture to stand up, but today he decided that he could do it without assistance. He is now officially an independent mover and shaker!!! Jake saw it the first time while I was making dinner, but I got to see it soon thereafter. I got super excited, so Gabriel did, too. We ran around the living room yelling "yea!!!" with our arms over our heads and pausing only for kisses. It was way fun!

Speaking of kisses, G is a great kisser. Especially since he gives big, slobbery ones occasionally laced with his last meal and often ended in a giggle. His hugs are really wonderful. He is very loving and really enjoys showing his affection. He made a friend at the park yesterday who was about a year older, and Gabriel gave him some of the sweetest hugs ever! Takeshi didn't seem to mind, as long as Gabriel continued to share the cars and trucks they were playing with. Gabriel is fascinated with other kiddoes, and he followed Takeshi all over the playground!

We are liking Frederick more the longer we live here. It seems to be family friendly, but a bit more hip than we first imagined. Here is a picture of our townhouse... second from the end, with the red door. We have great neighbors and live next to two small playgrounds, so that makes us feel more at home. There is an awesome park in the middle of old town called Baker Park, and we love to play on the playground or walk along the sidewalk and look at the ducks/geese. There are tons of Canadian Geese around here, and Gabriel loooooves them! Plus, there are lots of kids at the park on pretty days, and Gabriel almost always makes a friend or two. He is usually one of the youngest playing on the equipment, but he doesn't seem to realize it! On cold or rainy days, we try to do different projects around the house. One of Gabriel's favorites was an idea from Anitra Edney: I made colored ice cubes and we melted them in warm water. The water ended up funky colors, and G was really impressed that they disappeared! Actually, I think Gabriel enjoys anything that involves water!!!

We like to go to the YMCA here in town for our swimming sessions, and I get a workout a couple times a week. Gabriel isn't great at staying with strangers unless there are other kids to play with, so he's usually okay. The ladies there are very nice, and it's nice that they always remember his name and understand that he's not away from Mama much. As for swimming, he looooves it! He can now blow bubbles (occasionally), doggie paddle (with support), float on his back, climb out at the ladder all by himself, and go under water for a few seconds without support. We play and giggle the whole time -- except for when he is flirting with the lifeguards! He especially loves the locker room; he could spend all day in there running around and greeting all the people coming through.

He still loves to help me cook. If I am stirring something in a pot or bowl and I don't let him help, he cries as if I had totally rejected him! He is very patient and helpful, and is so proud of himself when he helps me stir or measure something. Once he's helped, he is content and will run off and play.

Unfortunately I am very mean to him: I often close the refrigerator door. Suddenly, that has become an awful thing. He loves to play in the fridge, and he especially enjoys taking the yogurts out one by one and placing them on the kitchen table. And we have a lot of yogurt! He loooooves yogurt, and he looooooves the fridge, so there you go. I've even gotten to the point of waiting until he is in the living room to hurridly open the fridge and get out everything I need before he comes back into the kitchen! Otherwise it's meltdown time if I need to close the door again. Worst of all, he's started banging his head when he gets mad, and I'm always worried he'll bump too hard. Fortunately, he's very careful not to hurt himself, and we try not to make a big deal of it. I'm concerned that it's a way to get our attention, and I'd rather not give him negative attention. If he's doing it out of frustration, he needs to get those emotions out (I just wish he'd do it another way). I focus more on distracting him or trying to prevent the meltdown than on the actual head-banging. Let me know if anyone has any better ideas!

Here is a picture of Gabriel's first experience with a rolly-polly. He was quite fascinated with that little bug, although he nearly squashed him most of the time. I think he and Daddy finally set him free outside, although I'm not sure what kind of shape the pill-bug was in. Good luck little pill-bug!

Well, it's late. Our cheeky little monkey is sound asleep, so I'd better follow his example. He slept 10 1/2 hours last night (a new record), although he averages around 9. I hope this is a new trend... :) I'll close with a picture of Gabriel "monkeying around" in his new monkey pajamas. Have a great weekend!!!

No comments: