Monday, January 13, 2014

A Few More Shorts...



This morning, as we were getting ready for school, Eli decided to try to bargain with me: "If I go to school, can I have a banana when I get home?"  When I asked why he didn't want to go to school, he broke my heart a little with, "Oma, I miss you when I'm at school."  He is going through a phase of feeling a little clingy; at least I was able to cheer him up by reminding him that he gets to carry "pack pack" to school (his back pack). His Uncle Lee and Aunt Miyu sent it to him for Christmas, and he is in love with it : ).  He especially loves putting his "home work" papers inside; these are papers that he has colored at school.

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He has now gotten interested trying to spell words with his magnet board. He spelled "Grp=q" and claimed that it spelled "Grandpa." He wants to play with the letters every night & is delighted when we make rhyming words.  He is also a dedicated nursery-rhyme lover.  He loves to hear them and repeat them incessantly.  Every time he turns a page in his nursery rhyme book, he says "Oh, oh!  I love this one!  Read this one!"  He does, of course, have most of them memorized now.

Eli is almost obsessive about rhyming words and simple word play jokes. He even takes his socks off to properly "read" the "Little Piggy" rhyme (This little piggy went to market, etc).  And if you look at him and say "Hickory, Dickory, Dare" he gets flustered & says "No! No! No! Hickory Dickory DOCK, the mouse ran up the CLOCK!  Not 'dare'! Clock no match dare!"  He is now attentive and interested enough to sit for longer, more complex stories, so we are having to start read a bit earlier on most days.  It's really nice to finally have that ability to cuddle and read...for so long, Eli wouldn't tolerate being read to...and now he LOVES it!  I sincerely hope he always does love it!
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So, Eli is back in his jigsaw-puzzle phase. He went through one last Christmas (2012), when he finished his first 12 piece puzzle unassisted. For months, puzzles were his favorite toy. Then, all of a sudden, he lost interest. Now, he's back into them. He started getting really interested in them again right around Halloween, completing puzzles daily - often completing the same puzzles multiple times a day. He refuses help most of the time, though he absolutely wants to have us sit with him and chat while he works (he sings Frere Jaques while he works, too...hilarious!...and after 20 solid minutes, you begin to beg for mercy...). For Christmas, he received a pack of 4 "Pororo the Penguin" puzzles (as well as several 48 piece puzzles). The pack had 1 twelve piece, 1 eighteen piece, 1 twenty-four piece & 1 thirty-five piece puzzle.  When Patrick and I got it for him, we thought he would find the 12 and 18 piece puzzles easy, and the other two more difficult. He not only completed all 4 Christmas day, he now has a favorite way to do them: He dumps all of the pieces from all 4 puzzles together in the floor & mixes the puzzle pieces together. THEN, he puts them all back together. That's 89 pieces, y'all...and it usually doesn't take him more than 15-20 minutes. He does seem to be slowing down again, partly, I think, because he has several puzzles memorized. It's also funny to watch, because Eli doesn't use the outside/edge pieces and corner pieces the way an adult would. He just starts matching up pieces randomly, or picks a place to start (by sorting out pieces by color or by what character they belong to). We are going to give him his first 100 piece puzzles for his 3rd birthday (in March).

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Eli also now has a favorite song artist. The winner is....Toby Mac!  For a while, Eli only wanted to hear little kids' songs (Itsy, Bitsy Spider, etc), but over Christmas, he developed a love for the Toby Mac's Christmas songs CD. He can go through all of my CD's and recognizes the Toby Mac one on sight. Luckily, after Christmas, Eli has remained appreciative of many of Mac's other songs, so it's made CD choice in the mornings a little easier.  He also loves, loves, loves the song "Baby, It's Cold Outside", both the old-timey version and the "Duck the Halls" version (btw - he loves the entire "Duck the Halls" CD - except the Grinch song - he hates that one & says it is scary).

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Eli has also begun a fascination with the fact that roads have names. He asked us once, when we were out for a walk what the "EGJ's" (words) were on the sign to our neighborhood. I told him it was the name of our street. He thought about that for a minute, and really didn't say anything else about it. The next day, after I picked him up from school, he started asking what the names of each road were that we turned onto.  I also explained to him that each house of the road has a special number, so that the postman knows where to take everybody's mail. He loved that idea!  When his Uncle Lee sent him a Christmas present through the mail, he looked at the name and address portion on it and when we told him it was his name and address, he rattled it off from memory. He still frequently asks what road names are, or what the name of someone's street is (like "What street Grandma/Grandpa live on again?"  We've tried to get him to say his city and state when he says his address, but he's not very consistent with it yet.  However, this is leading to an entirely new interest in the post office and the mailbox!

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Eli is also very proud to have already started 'his' spring garden. We planted some early onions and garlic recently, and they have begun to green up a bit and grow...and Eli is thrilled to the core!  He lovingly waters and pets his plants every day (which is fun to watch), although we've had to replant one or two garlic cloves that he'd pulled up to "see what the bottom looked like now."  I think he figures that if the top changes that much, then the bottom should, too (and he's right), but it's not very healthy for the plant!

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Eli's birthday is in a couple months, and he's already making plans for us : ). He wants to have a "birthday party" at school with green cupcakes, eat pizza with Uncle Lee & Aunt Miyu, play at Stone Mountain, etc. He also wants a "big bed" like oma & appa. He's been in a toddler bed all year, but he wants to sleep with all of his stuffed animals...and they won't all fit in it with him!  We'll see...Patrick and I are discussing that one!  Eli is still not night-trained (though he has been potty trained during the day for quite some time), and we are wondering if such a big bed would make that harder for him to get up at night.  On the plus side, it does mean I could lay next to him and read before bed, which would be really relaxing.  We'll see.



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