Our Toddler-18 months old

 

A few week’s after his birthday, Zach started walking.  Now he is climbing, dancing, running, and spinning in circles.

Our little man LOVED being outside this summer and fall. Any chance he got he was collecting pine cones into his grocery cart, hiding under his play gym, and riding around in his little yellow car.   And recently he’s discovered puddles are for jumping and stomping.

we just learned to climb into a chair by ourselves

His vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds. He knows body parts, several colors, a few numbers, and many animal names too. He uses sign language, and sometimes words to say please, thank you, hurt, and help. He’s now adding seasonal vocabulary such as snowman, and Santa in the mix as well. All summer he would point at something and say “wassdat?” Recently he has started saying short sentences- “I get wet”, “throw it away”, “run over shoe” and is parroting everything we say, and sometimes what we do.

Zachary loves to read books and brings them to you when he wants to cuddle for nap and bedtime. He is also beginning to show an interest in puzzles and games. Luke taught him a basic matching game using face-up pictured tiles. The next day he proudly handed me two hot dogs, a match.

Since the beginning of July, Zach has been going to daycare half day three days a week so Mom can work. (more on Mom’s work later). He adjusted to it quickly and loves playing with other kids. One day I went to pick him up for the gym’s playroom. I told him it was time to say bye-bye and he looked at me, said bye-bye to me, and went on playing with the toy vacuum.

Thanksgiving Dinner’s favorite foods: stuffing and mashed sweet potato

Zach has almost all of his teeth now and is tall enough to reach counters. He is built like his Dad and is in 18 month pants but 2T shirts. He has had four haircuts already, the most recent one right before Thanksgiving.

He has been practicing using his fork and spoon, but if he is really hungry he will use his hands. Zach is definitely a toddler and has his food preferences, goldfish crackers and applesauce seem to be steady staples.

Zachary loves airplanes and all things in the air: clouds, birds, helicopters, stars, the moon etc. If we are outside during the day he will hear a plane or bird in the sky and point up. He has great eye sight so often he will spot it before we do. He also begs us to take him outside at night to watch the stars and moon.

The most recent interest is in trains or “choo choos”. He sat through almost all of Polar Express over the Thanksgiving weekend, his first full length movie.

The church nursery says he is very busy and into everything. To which we say yes, yes he is. That is our little toddler.

 

Fall Fun

This Fall has been full of fun festivities.

To start off, we bought Zach a red wagon in September. This is an ATW red wagon: it’s got big wheels so we can use it out on the property. Zachary loves it.

He enjoys being helpful, collecting sticks for kindling out in the front yard and on the property. Rides back and forth to the mailbox have become part of the daily routine.

As hinted above: we installed a fire burning stove in our family room this past September. Our only source of heat otherwise were electric floor boards which is a little expensive for the size of our place and for how cold it gets in the winter. Plus, if I haven’t share this already, we live on a timber farm, so we have plenty (and I mean plenty) of fuel. Zach has learned quickly to stay away from the stove-it is HOT! (We have also put up a baby gate around it.)

At the beginning of October my mother came to visit and Luke and I got the chance to get away from our 6th wedding anniversary to the coast overnight. We didn’t know it, but it was actually the cranberry festival down in Grayland, so on our way out of town we checked out the festival.

We have also enjoyed a very dry Fall which means beautiful fall foliage. Day after day we have enjoyed wonderful hues of red, yellow, and orange leaves. Perfect for fall outings.

Speaking of which, at the end of October we went to Zach’s first pumpkin patch with my MOPS group! It was a cold foggy morning but that meant we had the patch and farm all to ourselves!

Each kid got their own snack, pumpkin coloring page, a tractor ride through a themed country farmland, and to “pick” their own small pumpkin for the low price of 5$ .

The adults were offered hot coco and cider and a place to warm up by the fire while the kids went on the tractor ride.   My grandmother was here to visit for the week and she loved being of the outing, even if by the time we took pictures Zach was grumpy and cold. But the whole thing was about an hour, perfect for a toddler outing.

The next week was Halloween. Our church does a large Harvest Festival inside with prizes, balloons, games, and inflatables. Zach dressed as a seahawks football player (a hand-me down outfit) and Mom and Dad dressed as his fans in seahawk gear.

Highlights of Zach’s evening included: getting a blue balloon all to himself, playing a game and winning candy (aka one packet of gummy lifesavers), and going down the large inflatable slide with Dad.

November has flown by with work, house projects, and preparing for the holiday season. We are looking forward to spending Thanksgiving weekend with Luke’s parents this year: resting, eating great food, and enjoying quality time with each other.

Hope you have all had a great fall and wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

The discipline of Thankfulness

I love that this time of year, fall is by far my favorite season, it represent change and reflection: time to cozy up and rest.

During November, I see many people doing a daily post on social media of what they are thankful for.  I think this is awesome, and if you can keep it up all month even better.

I’ve learned for me, this is not a November activity. I need this to be a year round practice. Every Single Day.

Before bed, instead of thinking about tomorrow’s busy schedule, or what is left on the list from today. I try to think of one hand: 5 things I am grateful for, from that day:big, little, anything.

This changes my perspective. It is how I stay focused, content. That is how I find peace to rest at night, and joy with the next day.

Now, please notice the word “try” above, this is not always an easy to keep up. I can tell when I get out of  practice. I feel a rising gloom-cloud of discontentment and resentment. All of a sudden I hear a voice complaining or whining, and it takes a while to realize: that’s me!  The gloom-cloud, that voice, they are  my blinking yellow caution lights that I need to get back into the discipline of thankfulness.

That is what it is: a discipline. I have to do it, everyday, always, to keep my focused, on what is going well and on the big picture. I get so caught up in details,  n the tasks in my organizer, the stress of my current circumstances or season, that a discipline of thankfulness keeps me in check.

This discipline reminds me not to get caught up in what the media says I want, or need or should do. Not even caught up in my unrealistic expectations of myself and everyone around me. It reminds me of what really matters in life. (Which is ultra-difficult to do this time of year).

Once I really get into a good pattern, this thankfulness overflows through out the day into compliments and affirmation for my family and friends. The words come out naturally and unrehearsed because I’m already thinking of them, already thankful for them. But I know they need to hear it, just as I do.

One hand-five, things, to be thankful about everyday.

How about you? How do you practice thankfulness?