Ohhhh, yeeaaaahhhhhh! (That’s one of Aleksander’s favorite things to day – must get it on video….!)
We have words! Lots of words!!!
It turns out we had to go to the Netherlands for Aleksander to start talking in English! All of a sudden, we realized he was adding about one word a day – sometimes more! It’s so exciting. And so much fun
Here’s the kicker…. I finally decided to schedule the speech evaluation. They came two days after we got back from Europe. And of course, since he’d started talking, everything was (to coin a phrase from my mother) hunkydory! He scored about 2 months behind his actual age, which is no big deal. On their scale – where 100 is perfectly average and anything below about a 73 is indicative of a problem – he scored a 91. Tja! No worries there! So all that frustration and going back and forth on my part for no reason at all.
So… on to the good stuff. My favorite thing that Aleksander is saying (other than “ohhhh, yeeaahhhhh”) is “BEEP”! It’s so funny. Any time anything beeps – like the microwave – or honks – like a car – you hear this little “beep” come out of his mouth. You just can’t help but smile when you hear that! Well, maybe that’s not exactly a real word, but it’s just too cute!
Okay, so what are his real first words turning out to be? (I say “real” because he’s started talking before, but then stopped. So I don’t know if those words count.) And I won’t count words like Mama and Daddy, hi, and bye-bye, since he’s been saying those for a while. These are sort of in order:
- go (or more like “go, go, go, go, go!”)
- nein (his 3rd German word, after Raupe and bitte!)
- Elmo (sounds like Eeee-mo)
- car (sounds like goy-a)
- bus (without the “s” so far)
- go car (yup! a two word phrase!)
- oh boy
- more (sounds like moy – I guess that’s what he’s doing for “r” at the end, like car)
He’s also saying names of his friends, his cousin, and one of his babysitters: Luca, Zac, Eamon, and Emma. So far Logan is too hard. But I think he’s trying it out.
It’s so much fun! I know he’s understood me for a long time. But now, even a simple “yes” makes it feel like there is a real interaction going on.
In addition to words, Aleksander now also says about half of the letters in the alphabet! We knew he was recognizing the letters, thanks to an alphabet puzzle and the letter magnets that go with the easel he got for his birthday. When he started saying them, at first I thought it was a fluke. It started with vowels: O, E, A, I – still no U, but I guess that one is harder. But then he added D, B, and Z. Now he also says F, H (sort of), K, M, N, P, R, S, T, V, and Y. I know I am his mother and therefore am astounded by all the brilliant things he does, but this does seem rather amazing to me. Am I wrong?
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In other news, we returned from the Netherlands on Monday. I’m SO glad we went! It was a fantastic trip. And everything went so well, we’re already talking about going back in the spring! Aleksander turned out to be a great traveler. There were a few bumps along the way, but overall he did amazing! On the flight home, he fell asleep for about an hour right after take-off. That was it for a nap. But we were able to entertain him for the most part. He did walk around a bit now and then.
There were three things that turned out to be the most entertaining. One was his Playmobil toys (a few people, some animals, and most importantly the slide). We did break down and get a portable DVD player. That was a lot better than the entertainment options offered by the airline – anything in the kids genre was too old for Aleksander, and he wasn’t interested. The only problem was that he wouldn’t wear the earphones, so I ended up just using the volume on a low setting. He couldn’t hear it that well, but I didn’t want to disturb anyone. Last but not least, I had bought some Colorforms of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. That was such a hit! He loved peeling them off the page, sticking them on one of the two boards it came with, and then taking them off and putting them back on the paper. Back and forth, back and forth. They’re so much better than stickers, since they only stick to the boards. There’s no danger of them sticking permanently to any part of the plane.
Visiting my in-laws was a wonderful experience. Oma got Aleksander up every morning (which his parents greatly appreciated!). He enjoyed playing with the toys they had and running circles in the living room. He helped Oma with the cooking, setting the table, and cleaning up. There was also a little playground just down the street. He loved the slide and enjoyed the new experience of a see-saw. One morning, Oma & Opa took him to the shopping center. It’s about a 10-minute walk. Aleksander apparently ran the entire way there! I think he favorite part – other than playing with Oma & Opa – was looking out the window of his bedroom. The house is on a somewhat busy corner, so there was a whole lot to see – cars, buses, bikes, people, dogs, planes, birds, a canal. It’s so boring now that we’re home again!
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I almost forgot to write about Germany!! PER and I drove two and a half hours to Münster. It was a great choice! The Weihnachtsmarkt was fantastic! It wasn’t just on the Marktplatz, it took up almost the entire Altstadt. It just kept going and going and going. And it filled me with all that cozy (yet cold) holiday spirit. There were lecker (yummy) things to eat and of course I couldn’t leave without a mug of hot Glühwein.
We spent an awful lot of time in the bookstores, too. I was a little disappointed in the big chain, Thalia. I did buy a number of books, but I thought the selection was a bit limited. We did better at a children’s bookstore I’d found online before we left. The woman who owned it was very helpful in finding some wonderful books. Between the German books and the Dutch books, I filled a small suitcase of books to bring home! Good thing I’d packed light on the way over!
So that’s an update for now. We’re all under the weather after our trip. I can’t believe it’s only 9 days until Christmas! I have a half-decorated tree up and a wreath on the front door. And that’s it! There’s still so much to do. The only downside to our trip. But I love decorating for the holidays. I just wish we had more time to enjoy it.