Baby and Big Boy Updates

Luke reaches out to see the flowers that Jared picked.

Our babies are growing so fast, it is hard to keep up with them.  Jared is now 2 ½ years old and Luke is one year old.  They had a doctor’s visit at the end of January.  I discovered that Jared had gained 2 ½ inches in height in the past six months but hadn’t gained a single ounce in weight.  He basically weighed the same amount that he did this summer.  He is nearly 37 inches tall, but only weighs 26 lbs.

It didn’t help that his body had to fight two different stomach flu attacks.  His first one was in mid-December and lasted until about Christmas time.  He was better for a few days when a really strong stomach flu hit him a week after New Year’s.  He was throwing up all of his food for a few days and his mom got concerned enough to take him to the doctor to get antibiotics. 

February has been a better month for him.  According to our bathroom scale, Jared has gained back the weight he lost while he was sick and hit a new record of 29 lbs on Sunday. 

We are still struggling to potty train him.  Jared is not interested in using his potty and does not let us know he needs to relieve himself until after he has done so…in his diaper.

In other areas, we are seeing lots of progress.  Jared is officially finished with bottle feeding and uses his sippy cups to drink all of his fluids.  His vocabulary continues to grow in both English and Spanish (although he prefers English when his parents are around).  He has learned to count (for the most part) to about 14.  Sometimes he’ll say “One, two, three…nine!”  Then he tries to fill in the numbers in between. 

Luke has gone from crawler to…climber.  He’s not confident to take those first walking steps on his own, but he will stand up and pull himself along furniture.  Anything that he can lean on, he will use to push himself across the room.  He has learned how to climb up on a tall couch and climb off without hurting himself.  I’ve seen him climb up on Jared’s “big boy” bed and climb off without any assistance. 

Once I saw him push a stool across the kitchen floor until he reached the stove.  He proceeded to climb up on the stool so that he could reach the knobs on the front of the stove.  His favorite button is the light switch to turn the light on in our stove. Of course, I took him off the stool before he started turning on any burners on our stove.

At this point, I’m sure it will only be a short time before Luke starts walking. In the meantime, he is learning how to talk.  Most of his talk is just babble right now. He knows who each of his family members are.  Stephen is “Da-da,” Cristina is “Ma-ma,” and Jared is “Ba-ba.” He is always full of curiosity to discover things that are within his reach.  This means more and more things have to be moved OUT of his reach.

One of Luke’s favorite places to be is in front of our bookshelf.  The bottom shelf contains puzzles and musical toys for both boys.  The second shelf (still in Luke’s reach) now contains only the books that Luke is allowed to play with.  Basically, those are the books that Luke can’t shred to pieces.  Luke enjoys reaching up into his second shelf and pulling down the books that he can look at.  I’ll often find him sitting in front of the book shelf with his puzzles, toys and books piled all around him.

The third bookshelf is out of Luke’s reach, but is now within Jared’s reach.  We put all of Jared’s books up there that Luke could easy destroy if he was allowed to get to them.  By the time Luke gets tall enough to reach Jared’s shelf, we hope that he’ll be able to take care of the books as well as Jared does. 

I still have not weaned Luke completely, but he is learning to eat “big people” food.  He loves having small pieces of cheese or meat that he can put into his own mouth.  He’s gotten into the habit of fussing at being spoon fed.  I think he’s catching up with Jared in being able to feed himself.  Jared is still in the process of learning how to hold his own spoon and fork while he eats. 

We are proud of our boys progress and enjoy watching them play and interact with each other.

Becoming Bilingual at Two

One of the amazing things about two-year-olds is the speed in which they learn new things.  Jared continues to astound me with his level of comprehension of the world around him and his ever increasing vocabulary.

Jared pushes Luke in his stroller

Jared pushes Luke in his stroller

Jared is now two years and three months old.  He has definitely reached the full flower of toddlerhood and all of its glory.  He is the typical two-year-old who wants to be held and cuddled one moment, and then wants to do everything “by Jared self” the other.  And he’s a very possessive brother in his relationship to Luke.

The moment I put Luke in the stroller, Jared wants to push the stroller alone…even though the stroller handles still reach over his little head.  If I try to help him push, he’ll push my hands away and tell me, “No! No, Mamma help….Jared help.”

Of course, Jared’s language tends to get a little mixed up between what he is hearing in English and Spanish.  He usually speaks to Stephen and I in English and speaks a mixture of the two with Marina, the lady who cares for our children while I’m teaching classes. 

He’ll form sentences like “Esto is my auto.” (Which is a combination of the languages to say, “This is my car.”

When he plays with his playdough or rice, he calls them “masa” and “arroz.” That is probably because I usually don’t pull out those toys unless he’s going to be spending some time with Marina.  He also has a little sandbox full of “arena” (the Spanish word for “sand.”

One day I heard him telling her that the cat says “meow, meow” in Spanish.  He’s not quite figured out that there is a difference between the two languages.  Sometimes he’ll stubbornly refuse to call an object by both its Spanish and English name and will want to use just one or  the other.

Jared likes to see his cars roll down the front walk way to our home.

Jared likes to see his cars roll down the front walk way to our home.

He still can’t pronounce the hard “C” or “K” sound.  That creates a whole list of cute phrases that bring smiles to our faces.  His brother Luke is now called “Baby Oot.”  When he wants cookies, he’ll say, “Jared want tooties, please.” One of his babysitters is “Kristina” and he’ll call her “Thirstina.”

He’s a talkative boy with a strong desire to repeat everything he hears.  Stephen was flipping through channels one day and stopped on a channel where a lady was randomly screaming, “Stop it! Stop it!”  Jared went running around the house repeating that phrase for the next several minutes.  Ever since then, he’s known to tell his Mamma to “stop it” if she is tickling him too much. 

Although we don’t know when he’ll learn how to pronounce everything correctly, we do know one thing.  Jared is not going to be a shy boy as he grows up.

The Interpreting of “Jaredish”

 Jared continues to defy my expectations of him.  I had heard that boys take longer to talk than girls.  I had also heard that children learning more than one language at a time would probably not start talking as soon as children who are learning only one language.

Jared calls his brother, "Baby Loo"

Jared calls his brother, "Baby Loo"


     However, Jared has amazed me with his understanding of so many English and Spanish words.  We’ve been playing the “where’s your ______?” game with Jared, and he’ll point out those objects for us. 
As his understanding has increased, so has his spoken vocabulary. At 19 months of age, he has learned to say quite a few words.  Now, he doesn’t actually string them together in the form of an intelligible sentence, but he has been able to get his message across.
The challenge comes with words he’s learned to say that are similar to each other.  In these instances, interpretation is all about context.   

Here is list of some of the words Jared has learned to say:
“Daddy” and “teddy”For a long time, everyone was “Mama”, but finally he learned how to call his father, “Daddy.”  It was about the same time that he had learned how to say “teddy” when saw this stuffed creature, which can cause some confusion if you don’t know to which he is referring.
“bottle” and “Bible”:  Jared loves to play with his parents’ water bottles, even if he can’t drink from them yet.  He also learned how to distinguish the book in his bookshelf that is called “Baby’s First Bible.”  It is one of his favorite picture books.
“Papi” and “puppy”: Jared’s grandfather (on his mother’s side) has the title of “Papi” whom Jared is becoming acquainted with through computer visits on the Skype video-cam.  Jared’s stuffed puppies are his favorite sleeping toys.  
“juice” and “shoes”: Jared is learning how to drink juice from a Sippy cup.  He also knows that he can’t go outside to play in the park if he doesn’t have his shoes on.
“num-num” (the word for his milk) and “mum-mum” (the word for his food):  These are…of course…words that Jared has made up.  We still have a hard time distinguishing when he’s asking for something to drink or something to eat.


And there are other words that he completely makes up:
“baa” is a book
“die” is Stephen’s Gameboy®
“why” is the word for his stroller. We think he is trying to say “ride,” as in “going for a ride in the stroller” but it always sounds like he’s saying “why.”  

     There are also a few words his parents say that confuse Jared.  For example, Stephen wanted to teach Jared where his “brain” was.  For a while, Jared would make a flying motion with his hand every time we would ask, “Where is your brain?”  
     Then, we realized he must be thinking we are saying “plane” (which we had already taught him in English and Spanish because we see a lot of planes fly overhead).  I took some time to teach Jared to point to his head when we asked him, “Where’s your brain?” 
     After he finally seemed to get the hang of it, we thought we had reached communication success in this area until Stephen asked him, “Jared, where is the airplane?”  Much to our amusement, Jared started pointing to his head again.
     Even with these communication challenges, i
t’s exciting to listen to Jared learn how to speak.  Sometimes he just babbles away in “Jared-talk” and we can’t quite figure out what he’s trying to say.  In those cases, Jared has learned how to use body language. 
For instance, he brought a water bottle and his Sippy cup into my bedroom the other day.  I was sitting on the bed, feeding Luke.  
I watched curiously as Jared carefully put the water bottle on the ground and then placed the Sippy cup on the ground in front of it.  He took a minute to look up at me and then he dramatically pointed to the water bottle full of water and then at his empty Sippy cup.
Hmm…can you figure out what he wanted me to do?
Note: An update was written in May with more words that Jared has learned.