Demi Grey at 1.5

A couple Several days ago (started this a couple weeks ago and didn’t finish… *sigh), Demi Grey hit the year and a half mark! The development that happens between 1 and 2 years is just a joy to witness. She does new things everyday, she mimics her brother and all the adults around her, she makes us laugh with her expressions, she’s just hilarious and sassy and smart and so much fun!

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Here’s a snapshot of this funny monkey at a year and a half:

Communicating:

  • She says “up” when she wants to go up or down, so up means up and up means down
  • When she wants you to open something (anything) she says, “pop?” even if it doesn’t actually pop, like a ziplock bag or a jar of pickles
  • When something is gross or dirty, she scrunches up her face and says “cucky”, but then if you repeat that back to her, she thinks you said cracker or cookie
  • She’s been asking (yelling) for milk for a while, saying “milll” and just a few days ago she tacked on a ‘k’ but it took an effort. It sounded like “milll….K”.
  • Birds are “tweet tweets”
  • Dogs are “woof woofs” or puppies
  • All bugs including flies, lady bugs and ants are “bees”
  • If you say “did you go to Inny’s house today?” she says “Inny!” “Poppy!”
  • She has almost comedic timing on saying “bye!” because she picks up on the cues in a conversation that we’re about to say goodbye and she shouts “BYE!”
  • When she is really excited, she yells, claps and says “yay! yay! yay!” and it is maybe the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I need to get it on camera.
  • When she wants a dabble of something like ketchup or toothpaste, she asks by saying “boop?”
  • When I was growing up, we called farts “fluffs” (this is making me laugh), but we call them toot toots. When anyone toots including herself, she makes a scrunch face and says ‘toot toot’.
  • She knows everything that is hot including the stove, the coffee maker, steaming food, the toaster, the decking outside my office, etc. and whenever she says “hot”, she whispers it softly, “hot”.
  • For cold things, she says “brrrr…”
  • It took her a bit to figure out the word “ice” but now she very loudly and articulately asks for “IIIISSSSSSSSS”
  • “Brother” and “water” sound a lot alike, so it might be only Joe and I that can hear the subtle differences
  • Other words she’s mastered recently: brush, tissue, yummy, yucky, bike, all done

Favorites:

  • Brother! My goodness she loves brother. She says “brother” about 217 times a day. She points to brother’s belongings and says “brother”, she hears him in the other room and says “brother”, he does something funny and she laughs and says “brother”.
  • Walking Mila. She calls her Mimi and she pulls out the leash and makes the kiss sound to make Mila come to her.
  • She loves her babies. We have almost no baby accessories, so I feel inclined to give her a few. For now, she likes holding them, kissing them and making a funny lovey face when she holds them.

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  • Shoes. She puts on ev-er-y-ones shoes, no matter the size and tries clomping around in them. Her favorite shoes to put on are Cam’s gray natives. She’s often walking around the house in just one of them. Some days she insists on wearing particular shoes even if I want her to wear different ones.
  • Being chased.
  • Brushing her teeth (with other peoples’ toothbrushes). She points to the medicine cabinet and yells “teeth!”
  • The happy birthday song, but she only knows, “happy, happy, happppppyyyy…”
  • Water! Includes the beach, pools, the hose, the bath, a cup she can make a mess with, all of it.

Dislikes:

  • Mushrooms. This is the only thing I’ve seen her pull out of her mouth because she didn’t like it.
  • When we stop her from doing something dangerous (climbing ladders, etc.), she gets angry, “no! no! no!”
  • Being inside when anyone is outside.

Comparing her to Cam:

  • She is strong willed, for certain, but she cooperates more than Cam. Example: half the time we change her diaper, we ask her if she wants a new diaper and she lays down on her back and waits. Cam didn’t do this, not even once, in his entire diaper-wearing days.
  • She is just a verbal as Cam was at this age so far as I can remember. I’ve been told that when you have a talker as a first child, the second child talks less, but I don’t think that’s the case with Cam and Demi.
  • Size-wise, they’re both on the same track… high percentiles all-around. Big heads,tallish and meaty, just like I like them!
  • Both kids are shy in new situations with new people, but Demi warms up quickly and then acts like herself. Cam would always take longer to warm up and sometimes wouldn’t at all depending on his mood.
  • They both love all food for the most part. Thank goodness they’re good eaters.
  • Their favorite number at this age is 9. I remember that was Cam’s first number and it’s Demi’s too. If she hears you counting, she’ll always say ‘nine’.

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Worst moments:

  • She has streaks of several nights in a row where she wakes up angry and doesn’t want anyone to touch her and we can’t figure out if it’s a night terror or growing pains or what, but this goes on for a while, sometimes a few minutes and on the worst nights a couple hours.
  • We’re battling an epic rash around her mouth, which we believe started with teething. She had 6 total teeth, 4 on top and 2 on bottom, then plateaued for over 4 months. All of a sudden, she busted 4 sets of teeth, so 8 total teeth and a bunch of molars. This caused drooling and falling asleep on the bottle for comfort and now we just can’t get rid of it.
  • Croup! Just last night, she went to bed happy and woke up a half hour later barking like a seal. It was significantly less scary than when Cam got croup the first time. We thought he was going to die because he couldn’t even get a solid breath, whereas her breathing was just labored. After a couple hours, her breathing evened out and we all sort of slept.

Best moments:

  • Her brother’s birthday. She snagged a cookie and ran like a bandit before I could take a group photo and generally just acted like she owned the place.
  • Summer beach and pool days.

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  • Boating on San Diego Bay

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Demi Grey is picking up new skills and words daily. She is just like the Sour Patch commercials… first they’re sour and then they’re sweet. And her sweetness overpowers her sassy/sour side by a landslide. She is beautiful, hilarious, and full of personality. We love this munchkin so dearly, there aren’t enough moments in the day to smooch her squishy cheeks.

Cam Says, 4-Year Old Edition

I haven’t been diligent about collecting ‘Cam Says’ moments, but the last 3 days have presented some doozies.

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Here they are:

Cam has told me his favorite books are the Dr. Seuss books. While starting our reading tonight, he asked me, “Who writed the most books for kids?” So his grammar wasn’t perfect, but I thought it was a smart question… that I didn’t know the answer to.

A couple nights ago, we were texting Joe before going to sleep and Cam asked, “how do messages go through the air?” Again, I had no answer for him other than saying smart people figured it out and then I muttered something about satellites.

Cam: I want to make a chart with times and days on it.
Me: So, you want to make a calendar?
Cam: More or less.
WHAT!? The kid knows the expression “More or less”???

Tonight while going to bed, Cam asked, “who controls everything on earth? Like, is there a king or something?”

Oh man… I am NOT ready for 4 years old!!!!

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Loaded Questions

Earlier today, Cam asked me, “Is it hard taking care of two kiddos?”

This could mean I’m so obviously struggling that he became aware of the difficulty. But, I’d rather think he’s a curious, inquisitive and thoughtful little human. I like the idea that he is potentially a tiny but “beyond the id”.

My answer was, “Sometimes, but always worth it!”

And then I asked, “Why did you think to ask me that?”

He had a wry little smile and said, “Because we’re always doing things like eating and playing and napping….”

Come to think of it, he might be aware that it’s tough because I keep asking him “How many arms does mommy have?”

That always makes him laugh and lighten up on the requests.

Maybe I should start balancing things on my head too.

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The Caterpillar Experiment

The Easter Bunny brought Cam caterpillars.

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He was excited but I may have been more excited because after reading the reviews, I learned it would only take a total of 2 weeks for them to grow, go into their chrysalises and come out as butterflies. It also sounded like it was foolproof–you just keep them in their container and wait for things to happen.

Well, we got home from our egg hunt and Cam was sitting on the arm of the couch looking at his caterpillars. We were discussing where we should put them so that they’d be comfortable and safe. A place where we could watch them, but that Demi wouldn’t be able to reach.

Just then, Cam fell off the arm of the couch head first, smashing his face on the floor and crushing… no… obliterating the caterpillar habitat. I yelled for Joe, made sure Cam was okay and then immediately began picking up the plastic shards and frantically trying to locate the tiny caterpillars.

Meanwhile, Cam was crying because his hand was bleeding, which made Demi cry, which made Mila howl and amidst all the confusion we only recovered 3 of the 5 caterpillars.

We re-created the habitat with a mason jar and a coffee filter and hoped for the best.

In the end, it was a really cool process to watch. The caterpillars grew extremely fast, then one by one they attached themselves to the coffee filter lid and went into their chrysalises. One week later, the first one began to emerge and we tortured the poor thing as he warmed up and started testing out his wings. The next two came out 2 days later.

Three of five ain’t bad?

 

Real Stat: 50% of Life with Cam is Spent Talking Like a Character

For at least the last year, Cam has wanted us to be the voice of his stuffed animals, bath toys, action figures, and really anything with a face and a mouth. I still remember how he used to tell us to use a voice: “he talk.”

It used to be mostly in the bathtub where we would create stories with his magnetic fishes or the Dory figurines. We’d play hide-and-seek with the otter saying “hello!” when Cam found him under the bubbles.

More recently, this has picked up steam and I estimate that approximately 50% of our communications with Cam go through his toys. Sometimes when he is being difficult or defiant, we can get him over the hump by talking like a toy. Seriously.

Just this evening when Cam said “I’m still hungry” after he’d already eaten a few different post-dinner snacks, we told him to have some of my lemon chicken. He said he didn’t like lemon chicken. And so I told him that Iron Man loves it and said like Iron Man “I love lemon chicken, yum yum yum.” Cam immediately popped up and shoved a big piece of lemon chicken in his mouth.

I especially love when Cam gets used to Joe doing a particular voice and then he asks me to make Spiderman talk, but when I do he says (totally straight faced, totally serious), “that’s not his voice.”

While it’s ridiculous sometimes, most often he is expressing such rich imagination that it is so fun to listen to. It makes me smile. I love hearing him teach his animals how to brush their teeth and why it’s important. I love listening to him talk about his plan to build a cannon to launch the cannon ball into the alien guns. I love hearing him consult monkey on whether or not we picked the right bedtime books.

Side bar: he is obsessed with Joe’s childhood action heroes. Cam doesn’t even know where they come from and has never seen a movie or even a YouTube clip of them. He calls them “the superheroes” and takes them on our walks, takes them into the bathtub, props them up in a circle and gives them game pieces for a round of “Candy World” (Candy Land). It has been a few weeks now and the novelty hasn’t worn off. I think these guys are here to stay.

“See superheroes, this is how you brush your teeth.”

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I think I’ll be asking Cam to finish his dinner with Captain America’s voice for the foreseeable future. And that’s okay with me.

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The Wild World of a 3.3 Year Old

CamO is such a complicated guy. But, I think it’s a three-year-old thing and totally natural. Talk about highs and lows and more highs and lows all in the same day. In addition to that, he’s exhibiting definite signs of being a “three-nager”… he’s got sass! I even had to talk to him about sass because he left me wide-eyed with his comments.

Highs: Cam is so smart and creative and entertaining. I love watching him think and draw and create and talk and ask questions. He came home from school and told me all about Mercury and narwhals. Evidently, Mercury is a rocky planet with lots of volcanoes and narwhals sometimes get their horns frozen in the ice. Here he is just talking and talking and talking in his imaginary world where he enjoys tea time with superheroes and bandits steal cake from his bedroom:

He can also be so sugary sweet. Just melt your heart sweet. Look at this little angel face!

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Lows: He gets so into whatever he’s doing that he has a tough time transitioning. If he’s coloring, he doesn’t want to stop coloring. If he’s playing in the yard, he doesn’t want to stop playing in the yard. If he’s bathing, he doesn’t want to stop bathing. Etc. And this can turn into a tantrum, like today when Joe and Cam were leaving the Stadlers’ house. He had so much fun playing with Morgan that when it was time to go, it was a 5-alarm meltdown.

He also seems to have a few good weeks with no real moments and then a tough week filled with defiance and tears and tantrums. It’s so hard to figure out how to handle an upset, irrational kid who is normally able to tell you exactly what he wants or needs.

And then there’s the sass. Here are a couple gems from the last week:

Me: If you can’t be nice to your sister, especially in her own room, you need to take a moment to yourself and leave the room.
Cam: Fine! “B” is for BYE!
*Slams the door*

Me: Please stop throwing things, you could hurt someone.
Cam throws something else across the room as he looks at me.
Me: Since you’re not listening to me, I’m going to have to put away one of your toys.
Cam: We’ll see about that.

Joe and I left for the weekend and came back on Sunday, so I barely got any time with him before it was already Monday and time for work. I missed his sweet face so much I think I kissed it 150 times by the time he got into bed tonight. He might be complicated but he’s the best little bug.