Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hallie's words

One of the rough measures of infant/toddler development is the number of words they use by a certain age. Since the kids had a doctor appointment a couple weeks ago, Erin and I put together a list of all the words we could think of that Hallie uses to present to their doctor. As is fairly common for girls, Hallie is much more talkative than Will was at her age. Here is a list of words that comprised Will's vocabulary when he was about 4 months older than Hallie is now, you can see they are similar.

Hallie's words (phonetic spelling) and any notes:

- Hallie (Hayee/Haddie)
- Will (Weeyah)
- Dada
- Mama
- G-pa/G-ma (bahbah)

Friends from school:
- Miss Aubrey (ahBEE)
- Miss Rowena (weeweewena)
- Miss Lymari (maree)
- Adeola (ayoya!). She talks about her buddy Adeola very often.
- Paula (paba)
- Maxine (sheen)

Body parts:
- Eyes
- Mouth (mow)
- Nose
- Ears
- Teeth
- Piggies

Some of her favorite things:
- Socks (soss)
- Shoes (shee-ooze). This is almost certainly her most oft-uttered word
- Outside (ah-SIYEE)
- Slide (side)
- Shades (sah-dees)
- Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story (BOSS!). She likes Buzz because her big bro talks about him all the time and has lots of Buzz toys and clothes
- Iron Man (Iahmah). Similarly, this is part of her vocabulary because of her brother.
- Ball (abah!). Especially, her tiny soccer ball.
- Bo, the monkey equivalent of Roar (bow)
- Baby (beebee!) - this is her response whenever she sees a picture of herself and we ask her who is in the picture
- Eat
- Banana (nana!)
- Yogurt (yogo/yolo)
- Cheese
- Cheerios (also pronounced "cheese" but with pointing toward the cereal cupboard)
- Apple juice (appy)

Exclamations and manners:
- Hi
- Hello (hiyo)
- Bye bye
- Night night (nye nye). She enthusiastically wishes people good night with this, but also will tell us when she's sleepy - go point at her crib and tell us "nye nye"
- Please (pees!). She's very polite and always says please and thank you.
- Thank you (dee dee!)
- More
- No. Actually, this is her most oft-uttered word.
- All done (ah dyee). This is what she repeats over and over if she's done eating, but also when there's anything happening that she does not like for whatever reason.
- I did it! (she pronounces this very clearly, accompanied with hands raised over head) This is a celebratory phrase for any time she accomplishes something she's excited about.
- Yay! Maybe not technically a word but she says this a lot too.
- Ready (wahdee). Stated when she has her shee-ooze on and is waiting by the door to go ah-SIYEE.
- Pretty (piddy). Applies to all clothing and shoes, and often said when she's having her hair done.
- Uh-oh (ut-oh). Usually she says this after she has thrown some food off of her tray or something she needs out of her bed.

Animal noises:
- Roar (waaahr!)
- Ruff (wufwuf)
- Meow (very high pitched: mowww!)
- Tweet (teet teet)
- Hiss (SSSS!)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

good manners

Will (as Hallie was finishing up her first cracker): "Hallie, would you like another cracker?"
Hallie: Smiles and nods.
Will: "Say please!"
Hallie: "PEES!"
Will: "Don't talk with your mouth full!"

still tiny

Hallie and Will went to the doctor last week for a regular checkup and to get flu shots (which went ok: Will told me he only "cried a little" and he helped Hallie be brave for her shots). Since their mid-summer checkup, Hallie has gained an entire pound, she's up to 19.2 pounds! Something like 75% of baby girls weigh 20 pounds when they turn 1 year old - Hallie is already 6 months beyond that and still teeny tiny. The estimate is she's in about the 20th percentile for height and 1 or 2% in weight. She's still perfectly healthy, and maybe someday all those bananas will catch up to her.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Soccer: Week 1

Soccer is a big part of Erin's life. She's not one to brag so I'll do it for her: she's pretty good. She played at a very high level in high school, playing in international tournaments and even scored a goal in international play. Though I didn't witness the goal personally, by all accounts it was on par with the 1980 Miracle on Ice: the crowd chanted "U!S!A!", Erin was draped in an American flag and there was probably a call from the president.

Anyway, this year Will was old enough and interested enough to play in a youth soccer league, so we signed him up. Because the season started in September, Will was still 3 years old, so he is one of the oldest (and biggest, fastest) kids in the 3-year old league, instead of one of the youngest in the 4- and 5-year old league. This is a significant advantage. All of us were very excited for Will to use his blazing speed and strong kicking legs to destroy every other child in his path. We are also very excited for Erin to be able to live vicariously through her son.

Then we went to Will's first game. The way the league works for these kids is they meet for an hour on Saturdays, practice for the first half of the hour and play a game against another team for the second half. The coaches do a great job of creating a very positive, encouraging environment and for practice they basically play fun games that are loosely associated with soccer (like "hide and seek" where you have to kick the ball as you run to the clearly not well-hidden "hiding" coach). Despite all these efforts and emphasis on fun for everyone, some kids (and I'm talking about one of ours here) are going to be pouty when they're not the winner at everything.

So the first week did not go very well. Will basically cried/pouted the whole time and refused to play any of the practice games despite Erin and I trying everything we could. I think it was a little bit nervousness about not knowing any of the other Blueberries (that's his team name, cute isn't it?) and a lot of just blind refusal to do what mom and dad want him to do. This actually wasn't very unusual: I think every Blueberry had at least one week spent crying on the sidelines for much/all of the practice and game.

We took a few pictures and video, but for the first week they were pretty pathetic so not worth sharing. The exceptions were pics of Hallie. Unlike her bro she was very excited about watching the kids play soccer, and played a bit herself with Erin and I. She even helped try to cheer up pouty Will. Here she's giving him hugs to help cheer him up while Will tries to pout through them.

So at least I got some smiles from one of my kids that kept me cheerful as I went back to work on the dissertation.

Does Will go back to having fun playing soccer and start living up to his soccer pedigree? Check back for an upcoming post on Soccer: Week 2...

Hallie's brother

This video was shot at least a month ago, but is still relevant because Hallie still pronounces Will's name (Weeyah!) the same way, and still gets confused about names sometimes. She's better about the name confusions now, almost always able to correctly identify Weeyah and "Haddee", but gets "dadee" and "mama" confused sometimes. Also all grandpas and grandmas are "baba".

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hallie's bath pictures: 18 months

Hey everyone, I'm back! After a very long couple months, I finally finished and (successfully) defended my dissertation on Monday. So I've had a great week of playing with my kids and relaxing, at least during the evenings. Finally I can get back to more important things like watching football and blogging.

We didn't even realize we'd forgotten to take Hallie's bath pics until a couple days ago, so I took these last night. Apparently Hallie is now old enough to recognize when we're trying to take her picture, and to smile and pose for the camera. Every shot I took had a big bright smile like these here.

As I've been home a lot more the past few weeks, I've gotten to experience Hallie's developing personality as Erin and Will have for a couple months. From what I've gathered, I can summarize her interests thusly:
1) shoes! (sheooze)
2) going outside, once shoes are put on. (aht-SIDE!)
3) going to and down a slide, over and over, once outside. (SAIIIIDE!)
4) speed reading. It's possible that Hallie thinks "reading" means turning book pages as quickly as you can, like a race.
5) singing: Twinkle, Twinkle; the ABCs; Bah-Bah Black Sheep (all the same tune, interchanging words between songs is acceptable); Old MacDonald had a farm. For Will's birthday we went to McDonald's (his choice) and when we asked Hallie if she'd like to go, she replied "E-I-E-I-O". Singing would be higher up on this list, except usually her songs have something to do with the other interests. Last weekend Hallie and her grandmas spent a lot of time singing the song "Hallie likes shoes".

It has been very fun to interact with her as her language skills continue to develop. We have lots of conversations about shoes, Will, and Will's shoes (which she frequently puts on). She can say all of our names, though sometimes she gets a little mixed up. This past week she's been confusing "mama" and "dada" a lot, though maybe she thinks we're the same person with interchangeable names. She's very polite, rarely forgetting to say please ("pees!") and thank you ("dee-dee!") when she wants/gets something. Her manners and interest in shoes make her mom very proud.

One thing she's still not interested in: eating pretty much anything... except for bananas. I took a video earlier this week of Hallie taking down one of her 2 - 3 bananas that she eats each day for breakfast. She makes it looks like an eating contest, it's incredible.

Lots of blog catch-up to do, look for more starting this weekend. As of this post, there have been 28,996 visits to Will and Hallie's page.

Monday, October 4, 2010

updates and next week's blog-o-rama

Hey all, sorry, no great pics to post yet, but I've got a couple months worth of good ones which are coming soon, I promise. Just an update - a week ago today I submitted my PhD thesis, and I defend it a week from today (the 11th). That's when I will catch up on posting.

Right after I submitted my thesis, printed it off and delivered it, I had to get on a plane for a conference, where I was all last week. I got home at 3 AM Friday night. Hallie woke me at 7 AM on Saturday, with a very loud but sweet rendition of Old Macdonald which she was singing from her crib (EEE-YAI-YEE-YAI-YOHHHH!!). We had a very nice weekend, the best I've had in a long time.

Oh yeah, it's Will's birthday today! He turned 4, he got all kinds of cool stuff including a big boy bike. It was a very Buzz Lightyear-themed birthday, he had a blast. Thanks everyone for all the very nice presents. We took pictures, coming soon.