29 April 2008

Keeping Busy

We just don't stop these days! The weather is improving, and we are really starting to enjoy it up here. Gabriel is sooooo glad to be getting outside more, and he's finally getting to play with kids his own age. I've joined Stroller Strides, which is a Mommy and Baby exercise group. We meet at Baker Park to jog and exercise while pushing our prams, then the kiddoes get to play at the playground afterward. It's great for both of us! They also host little outings, and we are looking forward to a trip to a petting zoo next week. Gabriel looooves animals (but especially dogs and ducks), so that should be a perfect fit!

He's learning loads of new tricks these days. Today he helped me to load the dishwasher, then he closed the door, I locked it, and he turned it on! I guess we've found his second chore. His first is sweeping the floor, although Jake and I do a *bit* of touching up afterward... he kinda just moves the dirt around all over the place. It's amazing that I can ask him to do something and he does it. He also loves to help me put things on the table for a meal or a snack, so I'll hand him yogurt, silverware, plastic bowls and plates, etc., and most of them end up where they're supposed to be. He really thinks he is one of us, and is frustrated that he can't always do what we do. It's really frustrating that he can't see what I'm doing when I'm cooking or cleaning, so sometimes I let him stand on a stool and help me "chop" veggies or "clean" the counter with a paper towel. He likes to use his silverware properly (and he wants silverware like we have, not kid stuff), drink from a glass, and sit at the table. It is a lot of fun for us -- although a bit messy at times -- and he's learning, so we indulge him as often as we can. He's such a great little person!

Another little trick he learned today was how to take off his pants. Uh-oh... what do we have to look forward to??? He was happily typing on the laptop. I glanced at Jake, and when I looked back, Gabriel was stepping out of his pants, then carefully piling thim on the computer. He turned to us as pleased as pie! What a silly-willy! We got to giggling, and he followed suit. He's learned to throw his head back and laugh like we do, so it only makes us laugh more. What fun!

We try and create an environment that is conducive to learning and creativity, and we think it's really important that he is exposed to different languages. Luckily, we live next door to a family from Colombia!!! Laura is in Junior High, and she's coming over every week to give G Spanish lessons. He loves her and has totally accepted her as a member of the family. Not only does he happily give her kisses and cuddles, but he fully expects me to give her hugs and kisses as well! If we don't, he'll take our hands and pull us together. If we still don't, it's meltdown time. Needless to say, I am happy to give her a hug as well!

We've also started a little potted plant garden. Gabriel has really gotten into it, and his favorite job is watering the plants. We have carrots, artichokes, chives, lavender, and a few different flowers coming up, so we'll cross our fingers that we should have a pretty little crop of plants in a few weeks. Unfortunately, he also loves to play in the mud that is created from his watering, so it's a messy job! On occasion a bit of that mud ends up in his mouth, which he doesn't like, so he'll point the water hose at his mouth to take a drink. He's gotten really good at it, but he's usually a sopping mess before it's all over! After a particularly messy and muddy session, we came in to clean him up. As I ran over to grab some towels to clean him up, he reached up on the table and grabbed a huge cup of water and decided to take a drink. He's not used to full cups of water and ended up dumping the whole cup of water on his face! He was momentarily surprised, then very proud to have accomplished his task of cleaning up and getting a drink. I didn't even know he could reach that far on the table, so we will have to be more careful in the future!!!

Sorry for yet another week without posting. Gabriel was a little sick (and waking up constantly), now he's teething, and then Jake got sick, so I'd rather sleep than type these days! Thanks for your patience!!! We're all better now, and we are back in business.

It's rather late, so I'll leave off with a few recent pictures of our cutie.

His bear and new best friend from the Boones -- he's named Rillo (pronounced rijo) after Amarillo!

Gabriel and Nana at Mien Yu in Georgetown on her Birthday

"ME LOVE COOKIES" --Cookie Monster

"Baby Baby" by Amy Grant... we listen to this musical card over and over and over and over and over.....

He loooooves eggs!

A close relative of the Easter Bunny

Our first Easter in Frederick

Even practices the drums in his sleep!

Mr. Cool in his new sunglasses

G and his little sandcastle set that we take everywhere

Beside the YMCA's gorgeous dogwood tree

This is the bike we have to ride every day, rain or shine!!!

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