Tuesday, March 29, 2011

20 @ 20

At 20 months, you are:

  1. Obsessed with shovels. You notice them everywhere, even calling your spoon a "shi-va," and want to spend every minute in the backyard dragging one of our big sharp tools around.

  2. The only thing you like as much as shovels is sticks. Expecially waving them around the house.

  3. Ask for "boots" as soon as you wake up in the morning. (that's books, not footwear.)

  4. Will eat brussel sprouts, bean sprouts, asparagus, and any other veggie, often before other toddler-friendly food.

  5. But meatloaf is your favorite dinner. Just like your daddy.

  6. Still lay down and go to sleep as soon as we put you in your crib. And we're still amazed, each and every time.

  7. Ask to go "ou-dide" at 7 am every morning.

  8. Were amazed when we went out one morning this week into a short-lasting snowstorm. You learned the words "snow" and "crow" that morning.

  9. As soon as the word "school" is mentioned, you ask about your favorite buddy, "Ally."

  10. Are happy to be dropped off at school, particularly if you get first dibs on the schoolbus toy in your room.

  11. Have started singing the Twinkle Twinkle with mostly nonsense words and a few syllables of recognizable words.

  12. Know the shapes for hearts and stars and can say the words. Circles and squares, not as interesting.

  13. Got a new trike from a neighbor and love to be pushed around on it (pedeling can wait, it seems.)

  14. Love getting horseback rides from daddy, and giggle uproariously, but get jealous if mommy tries to get in on the action.

  15. Will politely tell us "all done" and hand us every item on your plate as soon as you decide the meal is over.

  16. Know how to ask "pssss" for something you really want, but get frustrated if we don't know exactly what that is.

  17. Immediately answer "no" to any question we ask you, as if you've given the matter great thought.

  18. Love to have Grandma visit and give her a big hug. You'll occassionally give kisses on request too.

  19. Imitate us frequently, like when we wink at you and you try to wink back.

  20. Make us laugh and smile and glow with pride every single day.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

One more hassle

I thought I was done with nearly every legal and religious hoop that needed to be jumped through for Micah. Indian birthcertificate, check. US passport, check. Exit visa, check. Circumsion and conversion, check and check (or should I say, slice and check.) Adoption decree, big check (and yes, it required a big check.) Then we sat back, patiently waiting for our state to figure out how to issue a new birth certificate..... and waited..... they contacted the State Department to ask for a new Coninsular Report of Birth Abroad.... and waited. Finally, today our lawyer sent me a letter from the State Department asking for certified copies of my birth certificate, marriage certificate, adoption decree, and a notorized request for an amendment to the birth certificate.... what a pain. Adam wonders why I care so much, but I know (from this request if nothing else) that there are many occasions in life when you need to show your birth certificate, and I want Micah's to reflect the correct information. I just feel bad that each time he needs a copy of his birth certificate, he's going to have to request it from the State Department. What a pain they are to deal with!

Monday, March 7, 2011

19 months/Mexican sunsets

We're back from our Mexican excursion, safe, sandy, and (only me) sunburned. Bliss. Back in the day (say, less than 2 years ago), a good vacation for me and Adam involved daily hikes or water activities and covering as much ground as possible. But we've quickly realized that with a toddler, less is sometimes more, so we found ourselves a simple house right on the beach and parked ourselves there for a week, venturing away from our little village only to find an ATM mid-week to support the local, cash-only merchants.

It was amazing to watch Micah thrive on this week of being a "free-range" kid! Right before the trip, he had learned a new word, "happy," to tell us when things were A-OK by him, and he used it frequently on the trip. He also used a new command, "Ow-dide," barked with increasing intensity to tell us when he wanted us to take him outside (it was rather funny that he usually issued this command from the open-air living room/kitchen or balcony of our rental house!) Although it was somewhat tedious for us to chase after him as he toddled down the nearby beach access road to visit the stray cats and merchants, it was wonderful to see his self confidence and curiosity. And although somewhat embarassing for us, it was also quite funny to see him walk up to strangers in restaurants and on the beach and try to play with their beach toys or eat their dinners!

Another new word used frequently on this trip was "wow" -- used when seeing something spectacular, like the ocean for the first time, or a beautiful sunset. Folks, there is no better reason to become a parent than to hear the joy and wonder of a child saying "wow" in that way. It is so interesting as a vocabulary word, too, so different from the much more frequent pointing to things and naming them: birdie, woof, guck. This one says "I am having an experience and I want to make sure you understand it." A parallel development: learning to arrange the face into a fake expression. One of the books we brought along on this trip shows a woman with a surprised expression -- big eyes and mouth in a large O. By the end of the week, Micah was frequently making this expression, sometimes appropriately but mostly because it got a laugh from us.

We also observed a new fascination with motor vehicles, including "heh-co-co" (helicopters, or what you and I know as airplanes), and any non-car vehicle, all falling into a category he calls "guck", or truck. Adam made the mistake of letting Micah sit in the driver's seat of our rental car while we did the paperwork, and he suddenly wanted to climb into the front seat every chance he could, and onto the dune buggies common in the village we were staying in.

In the last few weeks, we've also seen him increase his ability to really play imaginatively -- he picked up sticks several times and called them "heh-co-co" because they looked somewhat airplane-like. He was firmly attached to his "sh-sh" (shovel) and rake that we bought to play with on the beach, and if he had assigned you to the rake, he would give it back to you every time you stopped raking the sand. And Adam and I got to participate in more rounds of "ring around the rosy" than either of us has in many a year. Micah was really interested in other kids on the beach -- watching the big boys play ball, and joining other kids who were digging away to "help" them with their sand castles. He was also eager to hug and love every dog that came his way, and we were luckily that this village has a lot of very friendly dogs!

All in all, he was an easy-going travel companion, with the exception of about half of each 3 hour plane trip and a few nights at dinner where we kept him out past his bedtime. He slept each night in a little tent (Adam described it as a kennel) without any difficulty after the first time, ate nearly everything he tried (except for some spicy salsa that we accidentally put on a drumstick), and bravely faced the teeny-tiny little ocean waves (though he really didn't get the concept of playing in the water.)

All in all, while it was certainly exhausting for us in a completely different way than our past vacations, we're so glad that we were able to spend such quality time relaxing with Micah and watching him grow... and heck, I was even able to finish half of a long novel, something I rarely accomplished on previous trips with Adam!