Friday, September 25, 2009

new adventures in language

Sebastian has learned to say again - previously he used "more" to mean the same idea. But he is thrilled with his new acquisition and says it again and again and again. :) With a cute smile that shows he's on to us.

Yesterday he counted with Steve to 10! Steve got started, counting toes, and then Sebbe kept going - he doesn't seem to know 1, 6, or 7, but he finished up strong with 8, 9, and 10! We often count when we want him to wait for something, like when he wants us to come play and we want to finish eating dinner. We have him count our bites and then we give in. Of course, it isn't clear that he totally gets the concept. If we ask how many trains he's seen in a given morning, he either says 2 (his favorite number) or holds up both hands and all fingers.

He is finally starting to combine words into phrases - right there! mama bus, my bus. sit down. And my favorite, choo down? which means "I know the train is right down the hill if you just make this turn off Broadway, so can we please please please go there and watch some trains?" He fits a lot into those two words. He actually learned to say train yesterday, after months of referring to them as "choos". I'm proud, of course, as is he, and also a little sad at the disappearance of such a cute name.

And, finally, he is moving beyond nouns into new types of words - adjectives and adverbs!! He knows when a character in a book is sad, and says "sad". He calls express trains "fast", and tells me when the sun is too bright in his eyes.

Today he said "home" for the first time. Very quietly, like he was testing it out, but he clearly said he wanted to go home.

I am finding it amazingly fascinating to watch Sebastian acquire language.

Monday, September 21, 2009

haircut at the barber!

Last time we took Seb for a haircut, we went to a specialty children's hair salon. They had toys and trains and videos and bubbles, none of which prevented our boy from crying and wailing nonstop. And we hated the too-short, off-kilter haircut.

So this time around, Sebbe and I accompanied Steve to his usual barber (Yuriy, who has a shop in Dobbs). We watched Daddy get his hair cut, and then Seb sat on Daddy's lap and got his hair trimmed as well. He still didn't love it, but he didn't cry or scream - he mostly sat still and even occasionally smiled about various things. And the haircut is good. We're both a little sad at the loss of his lovely blond curls, but Sebbe is happy to finally have his hair out of his eyes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

food update

Sebbe has always been a pretty good eater - he's occasionally picky, and vegetables can be a challenge, but he has fairly consistent preferences and eats a ton of food.

Tonight for dinner he really outdid himself. He ate a fruit plate - watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, and peach - pasta with tomato sauce (a puttanesca, no less, and with red peppers and zucchini diced and hidden in it), black beans with yogurt, and oatmeal and dried figs. Just for dinner!

Other foods he loves: almond butter and honey sandwiches; scrambled eggs, blueberries, Irish oatmeal, cereal (Puffins are his current favorite). most fruit (bananas, berries of all stripes, cherries, apples, grapefruit, raisins, figs, prunes, grapes), bread and muffins (esp. pumpkin muffins from Whole Foods, and croissants), yogurt, pizza. He's not really into meat, although he'll eat ground beef in a pasta sauce (he'll eat pretty much anything if it's covered in a tomato sauce and on top of pasta). He refuses straight-up veggies - he'll occasionally eat things if they're pureed (and on top of pasta or pizza), but most things get a "no mama".

He also doesn't really like chocolate, or cookies with chocolate in them. He likes ice cream, but only when he's in the mood (i.e., hungry). He used to love cheese but no longer does. He's drinking milk (and water) out of a real cup, and mostly feeding himself with a fork or spoon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

weekend festivals

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We had a terrific weekend together - for the first time in a month, neither Steve nor I had to work, and no one was either sick or overly tired. So we got to play together, which was delightful. On Saturday morning we went to a music class organized by The Rivertown Play Group at Groove Music in Larchmont. There were three musicians and lots and lots of props - drums, maracas, streamers, etc etc. The class was really energetic and upbeat and fun, although unfortunately our boy was not. I think he thought we were about to leave him in another strange new place - he was extremely clingy, with his arms locked around my neck in a chokehold and his face buried in my neck. He finally loosened up about 20 minutes in and started to pay attention to the music.

Saturday afternoon we went for a bike ride to Dobbs Ferry, where there was a street fair all afternoon. We wandered the streets and ate dinner on the curb.

Sunday was a gorgeously sunny fall day. We went to Rockefeller Park early in the morning and spent a few hours outside. Sebbe threw rocks and branches into various streams, mooed at the cows, and cautiously watched chickens and piglets scampering around. And then he fell asleep in the stroller on our way back to the car. In the afternoon we went down to the Irvington waterfront, where the town was throwing a family picnic. There were organized games for older children (ultimate frisbee, kickball), music under a tent, inflatable castles, and, in what was clearly the highlight of the weekend for our boy, a mini train doing rounds. We went around a few times and he was utterly delighted.

Monday, September 14, 2009

the indoctrination begins

Yesterday I was in the kitchen doing some dishes, while Sebbe and Steve were down the hall in our bedroom. And all of a sudden I hear, "Throw, yeah! Now run run run.... Yeah!! Go Steelers! See, a catch! Go, get him! Yay Steelers! Throw, throw, throw, catch!!! Yay!"

Steve had found Steelers highlight videos online and was showing them to Sebbe, accompanied by commentary. The indoctrination into the cult of black and gold begins...

Friday, September 11, 2009

kitchen play

Sebbe and I went to Ikea a few weeks ago to buy some household stuff. He had a great time running through the store, jumping on the beds, climbing up the couches and chairs, and exploring the kids toys. (And helping mama pick out some cheap ceramic plates and bowls for his own use . . . I've decided to throw out the melamine and let him use the real stuff, but I wasn't quite ready to unleash him on our real dishes.)

He had a wonderful time playing with the toy kitchen and all its props, and I could barely drag him away after 20 minutes. I was thrilled to see him so fascinated by a non-vehicle-related toy that I promptly bought all the stuff. Steve and I still haven't managed to find the time to put together the toy kitchen (which is in 100 parts and requires approximately 50 steps...), but in the meantime Sebbe is having a grand time playing with his pots and pans, making food and feeding Pip, his hipster boy doll.

My favorite part is when he blows on the food, so that it isn't too hot for Pip.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sebbe and the trains

This video is from a few weeks ago - the picture above is the "before" shot - me and Sebastian, listening to the music at the Hastings farmers market, happily clapping, dancing, cuddling, tickling. And then you can watch this video for the "after".

train!!! from B. Avery on Vimeo.

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books books books

We have always read books to Sebbe at bedtime, but for a little while he wasn't all that interested in books outside of that routine. He didn't really look at them when he was by himself, and if we tried to read to him in the middle of the day, he generally wandered off.

All that changed when I had the sudden brain wave to go buy some books about the things he was really interested in: trucks, trains, and buses. Suddenly, he loved to "read" books. He read in the back seat of the car, he asked for more and more books at bedtime, he would fetch books and ask us to read to him in the middle of the day. For awhile, he wanted us to leave a book in his crib when we put him down for bedtime. It's been great. I've continued to buy books about subjects of interest (including, recently, some Elmo and Sesame Street books) and he is a huge fan. For two such bookworms as Steve and myself, it is so rewarding to watch.

So our new favorites: the I Spy series, especially I Spy Little Wheels; Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!; Two Little Trains by Margaret Wise Brown (beautiful lilting story, and gorgeous drawings); anything by Donald Crews (School Bus, Freight Train, Truck); the entire Duck and Goose series, and a variety of other transportation-themed books.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

lazy Sunday at Rockefeller State Park

We spent a gorgeous Sunday afternoon wandering Rockefeller State Park, splashing in puddles, throwing rocks into streams, checking out the pigs, cows, and sheep, and generally running around. It was a perfect day.