Collen is up to A LOT these days. My mom always told me, "Lindsay, I hope you have a child just like you one day." She said this because I was quite a handful. Very busy. Very talkative (those who know me now might not believe that one...). Had to be entertained at all times. Never stayed still. My response to my mother has always been, "Me, too." And I got a kid just like me in Collen. Whew. He keeps us busy from the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes to sleep. Never a dull moment, and we enjoy every second of it!!
Collen turned 22 months Friday the 22nd. It's so hard to believe we are 2 months away from having a 2 year old (and a newborn...eek!). You're probably wondering, is he acting like he's almost 2? OH YES....but I wouldn't call it the terrible twos. There's nothing terrible....just challenging at times but always learning moments. I have to say, he requires a lot of patience. It's a good thing we have a lot of patience most of the time. He tries to push the boundaries and test his limits. He's a kid. He's learning. Which is why I said we consider it learning moments. He's going to push. He's going to be persistent. He's going to be a typical kid who is trying to figure out his own independence as it fits into a relationship with parents who expect him to mind and listen. He's getting it, and he's definitely learning from these trying moments of his. He's getting great at saying, "Please" when he wants something. He is also doing well with "Thank You" and "Yes Ma'am."
Some things about Collen that we love (well, that's everything, but here are the highlights):
1. His compassion. He has a sweet, kind spirit. He doesn't like to see characters in books, on tv, or people get hurt or cry. He'll ask, "Okay?" (Are they okay?) with a look of sincere concern. We are quick to assure him that all is well and tell him how sweet it is of him to be concerned.
2. His humor. This kid is FUNNY. He likes to look at a book of animals and try to name each animal as fast (and loud) as possible! He'll go down the whole list, "Monkey, donkey, pig, dog, horse, peacock, dolphin, elephant, "pottamus", etc."
3. He loves to dance! His new move now is the "wiggle." When he is sitting in his chair and eating, he starts wiggling his shoulders and arms saying he's dancing. Such a cute little dance move. :)
4. He enjoys learning! He is very vocal and has a wide vocabulary. He is saying several full sentences and associating things such as getting into a car means someone is going to work, or when he sees a bus, he'll say it goes to school, dump trucks carry dirt....etc. He can count to eleven, and he knows all of his letters. We are trying to get him to say his ABCs. He will join in on the song, but he will only pick out certain letters. But, show him the alphabet, and he can tell what each letter is. :)
He picks up a lot of things by observation and listening to us. I talk to him ALL the time...if we're out driving or just playing...he likes to talk and be involved in conversation, so he and I spend a great deal of time talking. He also LOVES to read, so I know that all of this combined is where the vocabulary comes from. I was very verbal at an early age as well. He comes by it honestly.
5. He loves animals, being outside, kids, music, and his family. He talks about family members all the time and prays for them often. After his prayers, we ask him to say thank you for people who come to his mind. We'll say, "Thank you, God, for who?" And he'll answer with a list of people who come to his mind. So sweet.
6. Speaking of prayers, he is learning to say his blessing at each meal. We do the usual, "God is great, God is good..." We have him fill in the blanks, so we will say, "God is great, God is ______" and he fills in the last word of every other line. He has this down pat, so we're hoping to get him to say more of it.
I could go on forever. Collen is such a joy and blessing in our lives. I love him more and more with each passing day. I'm so thankful for summer vacation and the time I get with him every day! We have been doing some fun things and have other activities planned for the summer.
Last Monday was our first day at Kindermusik. It was fun! Collen is not used to being around a large group of kids outside of Sunday School, so it was nice for him to have the chance to interact and watch other kids his age. He enjoyed the music part and participated most of the time. I was appreciative that the teacher did not discourage kids who were squirmers from getting up and wandering around. Collen doesn't sit still often - it's something we will start working on as he approaches preschool. So, he was up and wandering around part of the time, but he was watching and interested in what was going on. I was impressed that he sat with me and participated as much as he did. He was not shy, and he went right up when puppets were used and when "rug time" came in for reading a story. He kept me in sight, but he did venture out with the other kids. So proud!
We will do swimming lessons in July. I'm interested to see how that goes. I want him exposed to and comfortable with water as early as possible. Stories of toddlers drowning terrify me. I keep an extremely close eye on him around all kinds of water - even the tub. He has a little pool outside, and one of us is always right there with him..never walking away and leaving him alone. So, I want to introduce him to "swimming" and survival techniques as early as possible. I know at his age, there is only so much he will grasp, but if he picks up anything at all, I will be happy and a bit less anxious!
We met up with Lori, over at the blog "Lori Does Maryland", and her son Luke on Friday for a trip to a local aquarium. For us it was a 2 hour trip, but with Jeremy already doing football this summer, we plan to make Fridays (his days off) our family days and get out and do fun things together. So, this past Friday was a trip to the aquarium. It was a good (busy) visit. Collen wanted to run around freely and not stay right with us. He struggles with understanding why Mommy and Daddy tell him he must hold our hands and stay with us in public. The kid doesn't know a stranger (just like me....goodness), so we are working on getting him to understand that he has to stay with us for safety....not just because mommy and daddy aren't letting him have fun (the way he sees it.). Anyway, he tested his limits at the aquarium, but once he understood he wasn't going to run off...he was a bit more cooperative. He took it all in at a brisk pace (ha...don't take a 22 month old to an aquarium and expect to take your time and learn anything), and definitely used up a lot of energy. After grabbing lunch with Lori and Luke and heading out, he was asleep within 5 minutes of leaving.
Here are some recent pictures of Collen. I'm a little biased, but I think he's the most beautiful child ever... :)
On the turtle at the aquarium
"I sit in box!"
"I get stuck!"
Our exhibitionist will actually keep the towel on for a few minutes these days.
Looking at the "dinosaur" with Luke :)