Well, another Christmas has come and gone. We had a lovely trip to Fresno, spending a couple of days with Grandma C.R. and Uncle Steve, then back up to the Bay Area for a gathering with the Cahalen side of the family. This year was especially fun because it was the first holiday that Taylor had some idea what was happening (i.e. that she got to open gifts). We started off by telling her that she was going to get a surprise and gave her one gift a few days before Christmas. She picked at the paper a little bit, then she started tearing into it. She opened the gift (a new book) and from then on kept saying, “Prize, prize!”. I was a little concerned that she would be disappointed when the “surprises” ended, but we explained that she doesn’t get them all the time and she just took it in stride. Taylor received some really wonderful gifts for Christmas, but one of her favorites was a plastic box filled with about a dozen large buttons that she got from her Grandma C.R. Pure genius…it’s better than a TMX Elmo! The button box has kept Taylor occupied for some good stretches of time so it’s really a gift for T.J. as well as for us.
Taylor with her buttons:
As I’ve mentioned before, Taylor loves to look at pictures of herself, so we spend a lot of time checking out her photos on the camera or the computer (and there are MANY of them!). We skim through the pictures and she points to the people that she recognizes. She’s quite good at identifying other people, but whenever we point to her image and ask her, “Who’s that?” she replies, “YOU!”. Naturally she would say that because we always point to her and say, “Look, that’s YOU!”. I’ve run into the same dilemma when she wants something of mine. I had a glass of water on the table and Taylor picked it up and said “Mine!”. I replied, “No, that’s MINE”. I’m sure she was thinking, “Yeah, that’s what I said – MINE”. We ran through our Abbott and Costello routine for awhile before I realized that “me” and “you” is pretty much impossible to explain to another person – especially a one-year old. In her mind, the WORLD is hers. For now, we won’t tell her otherwise.
T.J. has discovered a new sport – surfing the pillow:
Last week we went to Arizona to visit with Gene, Toby and Linda. While we were there, we met up with our friend Heather and her kids, Ella and Ava. It was a really lovely trip, especially considering that we had a 4-year old, a 3-year old, a 2-year old and a 1-year old all together at the same time and everyone survived! Taylor hasn’t stopped talking about Toby since we got back. Every once in awhile she’ll mention “Dee” (which means “Gene”), so this is what we get all day long: “Toby, Toby, Toby, Toby, Dee, Toby, Toby, Toby…”.
Every time I travel with Taylor, I learn something new. This time was no different. The FAA has not made our lives easier with the new “no liquids” restriction. They actually made me pour Taylor’s milk out of her sippy cup even though she was drinking it at the time! I am all for safe and secure travel, but it seemed a bit ridiculous, especially when we got on the plane and the flight attendant told us that they don’t have milk because they have no refrigeration. She offered us juice or soda instead. Thanks, but no thanks! Taylor has never had either juice or soda, so the thought of having her hopped-up on a sugary beverage while we tried to keep her in her seat for two hours didn’t exactly sound appealing. We distracted her the best we could and, all things considered, she handled both flights really well.
Our Space-Age baby (or deep sea diver!):
Taylor’s learning so many new words lately, it’s hard to keep up! She can be very chatty and Zach and I have found ourselves translating a lot. Here’s a little dictionary of Taylor’s words…
What T.J. means vs. What T.J. says:
No = No
Milk = No
Paul = Paul
Chiquita = Cheeta
Nala (Pete’s dog)= Nono
Peas = Peas
Please = Peas
Cheese = Cheese
Keys = Cheese
Trees = Cheese
Bubbles = Bubbles
Big Bird = Boo Boo
Crackers = Hachoos
We have to stay one step ahead of her all the time. It’s really great to hear the development. I read somewhere that kids her age understand 10 new words every day. She can’t say 10 new words a day, but the fact that she’s comprehending so much keeps us on our toes.
Pics from T.J.’s visit with grandma C.R.:
People keep asking me whether Taylor knows about Christmas and if she’s going to get her picture taken with Santa. It’s my personal opinion that Santa can be a bit scary for a small child, so I wasn’t eager to bring Taylor to have her photo taken with a big bearded stranger. After seeing this website, my feelings were pretty much confirmed. I think we’re going to hold off on the traditional Santa picture this year. By the way, if you want to see the picture that made me fall off of my chair laughing, click here.
Taylor just might be my harshest critic. She likes to sing, but many times when I start singing she’ll cry out, “NO!” and shake her head. She really doesn’t seem to like my singing voice (hey, at least the kid has taste), but I found out a trick to get her to listen. If I sign with my hands while I sing, she loves it. The hand motions don’t generally mean anything, but she’s riveted. It’s actually helping her to learn the ABC’s. She used to shut me down every time I sang the alphabet song, but I started signing each letter and now she can say most of her ABC’s! She can also count from 1 to 10. It’s not perfect…for instance, she just refuses to say the number 1. She’ll put one finger up, but she almost never actually says “one” out loud and she says the number six for both 6 and 7, so she often just skips right over number 7. I guess it’s just too repetitive for her. The best part is when she gets to 10 and she claps for herself. She’s so proud and so are we!!