Wednesday, February 13, 2008

He says his name, kind of.

Just recently Tobin started saying "Tobin." He's been saying it for a few weeks now, but Matt and I were a little slow to catch on because he pronounces it "Munya." In the last couple days, he will say something that sounds a little closer with a definite "oh" sound: "Monya" or "Monyo." I get where "oputus" (octupus) and "epitant" (elephant) and even "big Josh" (giraffe, undoubtedly Joshua from his favorite song) come from, but I'm a little perplexed by this particular pronunciation.

Obviously, Tobin has known his name for a while, but it was always intriguing to us that he wouldn't say it, especially when he would at least try to say anything you asked. We would ask him to say "Tobin" and he would proudly pat his chest. We'd ask again, and he'd pat his chest more emphatically and look at us like, I already did that. But lately, he's been doing adorable things like patting Matt's chest and saying "Daddy!" (always with the exclamation point!) and then patting his own and saying "Munya." Or looking in the mirror with me, pointing to each of us and saying "Mama, Munya, Mama, Munya." He'll even count Tobins--"Munya, one, two, one two"--when looking in the double reflections created in our closet door mirrors.

Now that I think about it, "Munya" is terribly close to "munka" (monkey). Given his love of his Curious George and the Puppies book, this might not be a coincidence.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Second Super Bowl

Matt and I were just remembering that we mark last year's Super Bowl as when Tobin started crawling. Just crawling. It blows my mind to think about how much he has changed in just the last twelve months: from crawling to walking to dancing, running, and almost-jumping; from cooing to babbling to talking, singing, and "reading"; from purees to Cheerios to eating whole bananas, devouring pancakes, and, lately, enjoying veggie burgers.

I know we've posted a lot of pictures and videos recently, and those are probably a great way for you to see the rapid pace of T's development. But I've also been meaning to sit down and write about what life with Tobin is like these days. To say it's delightful is quite an understatement.

He loves to read. Tobin has displayed a renewed interest in books. When he was really little, he used to love to sit in our laps and listen to us read. He would sit through a whole Dr. Seuss book; Fox in Socks was our favorite. Then we went through a stretch when he was just too busy to sit still for a book. I know I felt rather like a bad mama because I wasn't following the advice to read to your child everyday. But then around 18 months, Tobin suddenly showed great interest in looking at his books and learning new words and labeling the things he already knew. His favorite book right now is Curious George and the Puppies, which his [Great] Nana Yardley gave him for Christmas. He'll even warn George ("oh no George!" with hands to cheeks) about letting the puppies out of their cage. George doesn't heed this warning, but it turns out all right in the end.

He sings. As we would expect because Matt is his daddy, Tobin loves music. Most afternoons, he and Matt play guitars, with T on the ukulele and Matt on the bigBIG guitar (lately his 12-string). Tobin also loves the Raffi song, "Joshua Giraffe." He sings the "oh oh oh" part, which actually doesn't come until about two minutes into the song, as soon as the song starts. We may have to post a video just with him and that song. He'll also join us lately when we sing "Row Row Your Boat" ("row row row row") and "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" ("ee-oh-u ee-oh-u"). And yes, he does dance, even spinning when he's really inspired.

He likes to count. Tobin is highly amused when we count our five fingers or the bath toys he lines up on the edge of the tub or the dogs on the front of his Curious George book. At this point, his counting goes something like this: "one, two, one, two, two, two" with the occasional "four?" thrown in. For now, he is really good at counting to two. He'll count his shoes or Mr. Potato Head's ears or a pair of plastic animals (a "moo-cow" and a "neigh-horse") he likes to carry around. Matt and I find this especially intriguing because of our respective professions, neither of which have anything to do with math or numbers. Okay, maybe sometimes, I do secretly think I might have enjoyed being an accountant because of how I like to balance our checkbook and file our tax returns. So maybe that's where this interest is headed.

He watches ESPN. Well, as much as any toddler "watches" TV. We certainly don't encourage TV watching, but we will sit down and watch "Sesame Street" with him some afternoons, always trying to talk him through the show. He likes Elmo and especially the Count. And Matt and I admittedly have a mild ESPN dependency. Most mornings, "SportsCenter" is on, and most weekends lately, there's a basketball or football game on. Tobin especially loves football and will sometimes whine when the game cuts to a commercial or the highlights switch to another sport. And he does know the difference between sports: football ("fu-ball"), basketball, ("bika-bika-ball"), and even hockey ("hocka"). Matt and I think this bodes well for the three of us, because it would just be awkward if Tobin wanted to, say, watch Dora the Explorer when there was a Kentucky basketball game on. :)

He's finally eating more protein. For months, it seemed that the only things Tobin would eat consistently (and that's a generous characterization) were Cheerios, bananas, and yogurt. Lately, he's taken to chicken (okay, usually Morningstar fake chicken but he does eat real chicken at school and we occasionally go to Chick-fil-a) nuggets and veggie burgers. In fact, the night before last, Matt and I made ourselves a meal of veggie burgers, roasted potatoes, and broccoli. We gave Tobin half a veggie burger (like we usually send with him to school on days they're serving things like cheeseburgers, Salisbury steak, or sloppy joes). He surprised us by removing the bun, devouring the veggie patty and cheese, and asking for "more burger." We gladly obliged, and he ate the other half. Matt and I are stoked by this recent interest in protein, even if we wish he would express similar interest in, say, anything green. But we think that will come with time. Tobin also likes pancakes and muffins, both of which I try to make healthier by making from scratch and using mostly whole grains. He still won't drink cow's milk. However, he's still nursing regularly when we're together, so I've decided not to fret too much about his disinterest in the other kind of milk. (I could write more about him still nursing, and maybe I will, but I will just say that it seems like the most natural thing in the world for us.)

He's still as sweet as can be. Although he daily shows more signs of being a rambunctious little boy and keeps us on our toes, Tobin still has a very sweet and gentle spirit. We are humbly grateful to hear that he is the "happiest" and "best-behaved" kid in his preschool class. And we personally love that he is generous with kisses, hugs, and snuggles. Of course, we have the occasional misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and boundary testing, but overall ours is a peaceful household. Tobin is even mostly gentle and loving with Hannah, and she with him. They do occasionally have their run-ins, usually him bopping her on the head or nose and laughing and her running into him and knocking him over; but we're able to keep the "sibling" rivalry mostly in check. Most importantly, they genuinely enjoy each other, even if Tobin may enjoy Hannah slightly more than she cares for him. :)

I always mean to write more posts than I do, but hopefully this one will nicely supplement the videos and pictures of late. I'm one proud mama--so thankful for and totally in love with my (increasingly not so) little boy.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Big boy hair

Today, at 20.5 months, Tobin got his first haircut. Yes, his hair was quite long. But we had to wait until we were ready. Especially me. And today was the day.

As we drove over to the salon this afternoon, my stomach felt a little funny because I was nervous. I wondered how sad I would be to see his long, golden locks trimmed away. I also worried about the process. How would Tobin, who can be very shy at times, feel about a stranger doing something as odd as cutting off his hair?

We went to this (somewhat pricey) kids salon near our house. As emotional as I was about this haircut, I wasn't going to compound that by trying to do it myself. The salon was great. Tobin sat in a car and watched "Dora the Explorer" while the stylist worked quickly and gently. He did really well. Now, there were some tears. He did not want to wear the smock. And he did not like having his head sprayed with water. Nor the electric clippers used to finish the cut. But as with most Tobin protests, those were short-lived and not too intense. With a little reassuring from us and some help from Dora and the fishes! on his smock, he sat still through the whole thing and told us about what was happening on Dora's show.

He looks so handsome still. And so grown up. I am a little sad because I miss his wild, sweet longer hair. But it's also fun to look at him now and think, That's my big boy. (As I type this, he is looking in mirror and rubbing the back of his head. Too cute.) Please enjoy the pictures we have over at Flickr.

Sound check

Tobin is an explorer. He's testing limits everyday and learning more about his own coordination and abilities. One thing that he's taken to doing lately is testing the limits of his own voice. Below is an example. He isn't angry or upset in any way in this clip. He's just being loud. Well, and trying to get a reaction from Mama or Dad. This is one video that we probably won't let him watch so this doesn't become a regular occurrence.