You’re not exactly 20 months yet until Christmas Day, but since we’re traveling to the Netherlands tomorrow I’m a few days early this month. You haven’t gained any weight in the past two months, but you have grown 2.5 cm. A new molar is coming through on the bottom left. You love pears, and still love bananas. Your hair is getting pretty long, especially in the back. I don’t know how long you’ve been doing it by now, as I haven’t blogged about it before, but you like to pull and twist on your hair for comfort. Especially when you’re nursing (which is much better than you pulling my hair, since that’s painful), but I’ve seen you do it while watching TV as well. I also often see it as a sign that you’re getting tired. Just like that sweaty crown around your head that appears when you get sleepy.
You have some new habits. A habit I wish you would get rid of is hitting your head against things, especially hard things, like the wall, the floor, the bed, and my head. You also punch yourself in the head more and more again, just like you did about a year ago. Not sure why you’re doing it.
You’ve mastered the frown. At times your frown (a.k.a. teenager face) appears at totally appropriate moments and other times it’s totally funny moments. Not sure why you do it so often these days, perhaps you’re just practicing a new set of muscles you’ve recently become aware of? Thankfully, it’s not like you’ve been grumpy to match your new facial expression, you’ve been a happy boy this past month.
We have the vacuum cleaner parked upstairs next to the living room door now, because you love crushing your snacks into smithereens on the floor. You also love dumping out the entire contents of any bag of snacks. Thank goodness, we finally have a properly working vacuum after 4 machines that were horrible because they did not suck – the dirt from the floor.
Oh the kisses. You give us so many kisses these days. You no longer just lean in to receive our kisses, you initiate them, grab our faces and plant kisses on our lips. Sometimes you even make kissy lips and smack noises. At bedtime you like to give the most kisses and it’s adorable. When Papa was already asleep, you climbed on top of him to kiss his head and arm. We can’t get enough of your kisses, keep them coming!
Our and your most favorite word these days is “wow”. Lots of things are “wow” or “oh wow” especially all the Christmas lights and decorations all over town now. “Achi” definitely means ‘hot’ or ‘warm’ to you. You make this little hand gesture with it that makes it really obvious. You’ve also been using “yay” when you’re happy or when something went well, and that’s often combined with hands high in the air.
We’ve been trying to teach you the Dutch gesture for ‘delicious’, which is basically a hand, palm facing your head, waving back and forth next to the side of your face. But you have picked up the Italian gesture for ‘delicious’ from Clara, and thus have been poking your cheek with your finger and twisting it when something tasted good. Including my breastmilk. You have given the Dutch gesture another try since, but you’re either petting your face or waving in front of your face. Your wave these days is very straight, kind of like a royal wave, instead of flapping your hand about.
December has been busy. Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet left Playmobil versions of themselves, a large chocolate letter B, taai taai, and mandarins in your shoe, and I introduced you to some Sinterklaas songs while you unwrapped them. You like taai taai and old-fashioned pepernoten, just like your mommy.
The mall had a large snow garden in which you loved playing. The snow was super itchy, but that didn’t bother you at all. We tried taking Christmas photos of you and your friends but we were spectacularly unsuccessful. I did end up with a nice photo of just you, perfect for Christmas cards.
We all visited a Santa’s Grotto for the first time and took a photo with Santa. There was no way you were sitting on his lap, because as soon as you spotted the guy with the huge beard you started crying loudly. None of the elves you’d met all over the grotto scared you in the least, you loved them actually, but Santa… Nope. Just like Sinterklaas he gifted you some Playmobil, but that didn’t make you like him any more.
For Papa’s birthday we went to the Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester. We rented a car and got to try our your new rear-facing car seat. The Legoland Centre is most suitable for children over 3 years old, so you got to go for free, yet there was still lots of fun to be had by little ones like you. Also, by adults like your parents.
You were too small for most rides, but they had a climbing frame and play zone, slides, huge Lego and Duplo cars to sit in, mini versions of Manchester, the Peak District and more built from Legos, and Lego cars to build and test out on tracks. The best were the opportunities to build things with Lego bricks, there were huge rubber bricks from which houses so big could be built we could all fit in it, there were plates against the wall and earthquake simulating plates to build on with Duplo bricks, and then there were those awesome Lego pits! You could sit in them and build as much as you wanted, and we were surprised how well you did with the little bricks.
Almost every Friday for the last 7 months we’ve been to a playgroup at the local Children’s Centre. It was a great a group and we loved it both, unfortunately that Children’s Centre closed its doors last week. I’m sad it’s over, but I’m glad we went to it so often because we both made some really nice friends there. We’ve already had numerous play dates, mall dates, park dates, and even dinner dates and one birthday party with your friends and their parents. Life for a one-year-old is pretty busy here in Derby.