I'm posting this update in two parts so I won't overwhelm one post with too many photos. This post will be about general stuff, and the next one will be about our weekend in San Francisco.
Carter is learning new words every day. He's repeating almost everything we say now, so we really have to be careful! He's also starting to put words together more and more. For example, he'll say "Mommy car" and "video watch" and "eat nana". He really seems to understand quite a lot too, and I find myself explaining things to him more and more. It's so amazing to me that we can now have conversations like this:
Carter: Eat snack.
Me: Okay, what kind of snack do you want?
Carter (runs to the pantry and opens the door and looks up): Peaches!
Me: Peaches! Or would you rather have grapes and cheese?
Carter (thinks for a few seconds, then goes to the refrigerator): Grapes! Cheese! Open!
It's so much fun! He can also identify Porsches now, which is just hilarious. Of course, he calls all sportscars Porsches, but when he gets it right, it's funny to see the looks on people's faces. He can identify a ton of animals and their sounds now as well. We were in a store today and looking at stuffed animals, and he could name almost all of them and said what sounds they made. He does this without being prompted, which is interesting to me. He also will pick up each stuffed animal and give it a kiss on the head. I don't know where he picked that up, but he always does it with stuffed animals and dolls. They all get sugar!
After a week of frustration, he finally mastered the train set. He was so determined to figure it out, and even though he got frustrated a lot during that first week (even taking apart the track and throwing the pieces at one point), he worked through his frustration with an almost obsessive determination, and now he can roll fairly long trains around the track with ease. It's quite a subtle movement, and requires hand-eye coordination that he literally could not do when we first got the set. He worked really hard on this!
Another thing we've been working on about once a week is art. I got a table at IKEA, along with a roll of their awesome drawing paper, and we'll cover the table with paper, get out the markers, and go to work. Carter is still very interested in putting crayons and markers in his mouth (check out the glam-blue lips he's sporting in the pictures below), but he's increasingly interested in scribbling on the paper as well.
Stamping is always a popular activity too.
I decided to get his hair cut last week, and before I knew what was happening, the woman had cut nearly an inch off of Carter's hair! All of his sweet little curls are gone. :-( I wanted just a trim, but we got a bit more than that. I do like that the cut is kind of shaggy, though, and I know it will grow back out. Unfortunately, this means I'll need to postpone our Christmas card picture a bit.
Finally, I joined a health club a couple of weeks ago, because I seriously need to get more exercise. The one I joined has a fantastic child care facility, and so that was a big draw. This is the first time Carter has been in group care, ever, and it's not been an easy transition. He's used to having one caregiver (either me or Michelle) paying attention to only him, and so being in a room full of other kids with a handful of adults is really different for him. The first day he was fine for the whole hour, and also the second day, but ever since I've come back to find him crying, often in the arms of one of the staff. It seems like he's fine for a while, but when he realizes none of his trusted adults are there and he can't go looking for us, he gets really upset. This is really hard for me, as you might imagine! It's hard to enjoy myself working out knowing that he might be distressed. :-( I'm sure it will get better as he figures out what's going on.
When we leave the club, he always wants to stop in the cafe and have a snack. When we walk by, he always says, "Eat nana!" very excitedly -- we always stop and get a banana and share it. So it always ends on a positive note. :-)
Stay tuned for another post this evening about our trip to San Francisco this past weekend!