Sunday, January 30, 2011

Griffin's First Year

Smart Boy

13 Months

This month has meant big, big leaps and bounds in Griffin's development.  I've been keeping a list this month to jot down new words, new things he recognizes and does, etc., and I cannot believe how much he has changed this month alone!  So, without further ado...Here is the list:

Griffin's "Skills" by 13 Months
A.  Words
  1. mama
  2. dada
  3. dog
  4. duck
  5. cat
  6. meow
  7. hi
  8. night-night (nie-nie)
  9. bye-bye
B.  Signs
  1. hi
  2. bye
  3. light (also "light on" and "light off")
  4. fan
  5. more
  6. please
  7. good morning
  8. eat
  9. Jesus
  10. bath
  11. peeew! 
  12. bubbles
  13. dog (points to right forearm....I have NO CLUE where he got that, and it isn't the sign for dog in ASL, but...oh well!  Hahah)
C.  Can Recognize/Point to/Locate (not including the things he can sign/say)
  1. toes
  2. mouth (his and mine/other people's)
  3. nose (mine/other people's)
  4. weeble wobble
  5. monkey
  6. cow
  7. horse
  8. pig
  9. zebra
  10. elephant
  11. cup
  12. nuk
  13. spoon
  14. frog blanket
D.  Songs He Recognizes & Does Hand Motions
  1. The Itsy, Bitsy Spider
  2. Pat-a-Cake
  3. Jesus Loves Me
  4. Deep & Wide
  5. This Little Light of Mine
  6. Skidamarinky-Dinky-Dink
  7. He's Got the Whole World in His Hands
E.  Recognizes & Will Do These Things When Asked
  1. splash
  2. jump
  3. kiss (with a "mmmm" sound included haha)
  4. blow
  5. clap
  6. smile
  7. no touch
  8. no bite
  9. high five
  10. How big is Griffin?  SO BIG!
F.  Makes These Sounds
  1. elephant
  2. cat
  3. car
  4. dog
  5. baby (crying)
G.  What He's Starting Doing
  1. Walks 50% of the time
  2. Can walk across living room & down hallway, but rarely makes it all the way
  3. Predominately feeds himself finger foods (cut up normal adult food), and is VERY determined to feed himself all spoonfed things too....It's a huge battle because he really doesn't have the skills to be able to do the spoon by himself quite yet, but he refuses to eat from my spoon unless he is trying with his own spoon.
  4. Very interactive and responsive to questions and requests, unless absorbed in play
  5. Will "read" and/or play on his own for long stretches of time if he's without major distractions (usually 30-40 min. at a time, but sometimes even an hour or more!)
  6. Is getting his upper right eye tooth and 1 yr. molar, but I suspect more are coming in that I can't see (It's hard to get a good look on a squirming 1 year old)
  7. Has basically started refusing to take an afternoon nap but cannot stay awake without getting fussy more than 2 hours after he wakes up in the AM.  He will usually sleep 1 1/2 to 2 hours for that morning nap, but then he'll refuse that 2nd nap altogether...which means he's awake from about 11:30/12:30 until bedtime!  This makes meals, disciplinary issues, etc. much more difficult for everyone involved because he gets more and more fussy from about 3pm-6/7pm.  
  8. Boundary testing has begun with him, and it is a daily battle of wills between him and I.  I can really see how it would be easier for the parent to just give up and let them have their way, but I've just got to stay focused on the reality that it isn't best for Griffin in the long-run.  So, even when I'm tired, worn-down, and really simply don't care if he bangs on the computer, I try to stay consistent, focused on the goal, and determined to do what's best for him.
  9. He picks up things faster than ever now, and I'm daily amazed at his ability to see something once and mimic it himself...or want me to repeat it...or want to make a game out of it.  I used to see moms doing the same thing over and over and over again with their kids and thought, "I would go insane if I had to do that!"  But now, I realize that it is so fun, as a parent, to see your child learn and grow and want to play with you.  This is such an incredibly trying age and such an incredibly FUN age.  The latter definitely trumps the former, no question. 

Our New "A Photo a Day" Blog

I've set out on a new journey this year, albeit a tad late to be an official New Years' resolution.  I've regretted not having any tangible chronicle of this past year, as I was too distracted to journal and too busy to scrapbook.  All is not lost, of course, as I plan to make a photo book of Griffin's first year soon...Heaven knows I have enough pictures to cover the job!  :)  But this year, I'm going to take a different, more intentional approach.  A friend posted a link to a blogger mom's site in which she attempted to take one photo each day, write a little blurb about each picture, and post it on a photo journal blog.  Along with blogging, she would include each photo and blurb on a page of a photo book.  At the end of each year, she would print the book, and have a wonderful keepsake album that had a record of their day-to-day life as a family over the course of each year!  What a great idea!  The great thing about it is that is actually do-able.  So, I've determined to attempt this "photo of the day" thing and see how it goes!  Here is a link to our "One Photo A Day" blog, so you can keep up with us:
I will continue to use this blog as I have in the past as well. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Walking with His Guitar


Griffin had taken one or two steps at a time between objects before, but today was the first time that he took a "big walk."  This video is of the third time he took a "big walk."  The first was with Oliver, the second with both of us, and the third time I finally captured it on camera!

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Favorite Things 4

Long time no blog! It's been over a month since my last blog post, and, honestly, I've been consciously avoiding it...mainly because of the sheer volume of things I have to post about (our 7th anniversary, Griffin's first Christmas, Griffin's first birthday, our travels to Tennessee, Illinois, and Michigan, New Years, to name a few). There are just so, so many pictures, videos, and stories to share! You know the feeling when your house, bedroom, schoolwork, yard, car, life :) gets so out-of-hand that you become somewhat paralyzed from the sheer amount of work to be done? Well, that is how I currently feel as pertains to this blog. Usually, in such scenarios, just doing one small thing to make even the teeniest dent in the project is enough to get one "unstuck;" so I decided to do a quick little "favorite things" post, and hopefully this will get the ball rolling (here's hoping!).

The Dixie Chicks
Yes...The Dixie Chicks.  You can hate me if you want; haters can hate.  You can say I don't have good taste, adequate exposure to other music, or ears if you like.  Now, let's be clear...I don't know anything about them as individual human beings.  I just like their music; it makes me feel happy.  I like singing along, and they're in my vocal range, making singing along easy.  I have lots of other bands that I love more than the Dixie Chicks, but they are a favorite thing because their music makes you feel like you have warm, happy, fond memories of summer on the farm in 1965...but you really don't...but you do....but you don't.  :)

Jane Austen
Oh, Jane...  You are my favorite.  I don't have much more to say on the matter, other than the fact that I am now seriously tempted to forgo the rest of this blog post so I can pick up where I left off in Mansfield Place.  I'm so close to the end that it's becoming quite unbearable to do anything else like cleaning, cooking...moving...

A Fuzzy, Soft Robe & Slippers
Not many things can rival this heartwarming combo...unless to add to them a cup of:

Earl Grey Tea,
(I like Twinings loose leaf)(with cream and sugar)

Dunkin Donuts Coffee
(and I worked for Starbucks for a long time...Dunkin Donuts is better by far)(with

         Coffeemate Peppermint Mocha Creamer, or
         (have you tried this yet?!  simply delightful.)

Homemade Chai.
The boxed stuff has nothin' on homemade.  Nothin'.  While I was in India, I thought chai must be the easiest stuff to whip together in the entire world.  With what little resources many Indians have, chai is ALWAYS readily available, no matter what time of day or in what location.  You feel like a chai in a clay pot at 3:25am on an overnight Indian train?  NO PROBLEM!  Bam!  It's there, hot and ready.  You have a hankerin' for some chai as you visit a burn victim at an Indian hospital when it's a billion degrees at 2pm?  NEVER FEAR!  It is, by FAR, more readily available than drinking water in India.  It really is a wonder.  Well, surprise of surprises...When I got home and was taught how to make chai by a YWAM teacher who spent a large portion of his life as a missionary in Pakistan, I discovered that it does not just appear when you snap your fingers.  Although it isn't difficult, it takes some time, and it can cost a bit, considering the ingredients are a bit pricey if you don't already have them on hand.  Of course, the pricey spices are indigenous to India...hence, not expensive there.  Here is the recipe (I've also seen sweet and condensed milk used instead of brown sugar, half and half used instead of whole milk, and loose leaf tea used instead of bagged):
9 c. water
12 slices of ginger 1/16" thick
2 sticks cinnamon
1 1/2 t. cardemom
20 whole cloves
4 1/2 c. milk (whole is best)
12 T. brown sugar
5 family size tea bags (or the equivalent of any black tea)

-Put water in pot
-Put in slices of ginger and soak until you see little "spikes" coming out of the ginger slices
-Add cinnamon sticks and bring to slow boil
-Add cardemom and cloves
-Cover, turn heat to low, and simmer 15 min.
-Add milk and sugar, and bring to simmer
-Put in tea bags, cover, turn off heat (leave on burner though)
-After 2-5 min. (I usually go with 5 b/c I like a stronger tea flavor), strain, and serve!