I'm amazed that it was six months ago that we were celebrating Trip's first birthday. It's incredible how much development takes place in such a short amount of time. We have loved each stage that Trip has gone through, and 18 months is no different. He is social, active, and communicating more each day.
I wanted to get some pictures of Trip with his monkey, but most of them looked like this...
because of this...
Then, I had a good idea... videos on my phone!
There we go! And that's the best we got!
By his first birthday, Trip was just learning to crawl. Six months later, he is running everywhere and generally picks himself right up when he occasionally falls down.
He is getting better each day at feeding himself with utensils. He still uses his fingers a lot to pick things up, but really enjoys using a spoon or fork too. He has also realized that bowls and plates don't have to get dumped on the floor. That one was a struggle for a while, but I can now give him a bowl of food and be fairly confident that it will stay on his tray. The other thing he loves to do is share his food with the dogs. He sits there like a little prince and they wait eagerly for their portion of his meal or snack. I love having their help keeping food off the floor, but we're working on not feeding them on purpose.
We have been dealing with some nasty incisors as of late. All but one of them have at least broken the skin, which is great. Trip's front eight and four molars have been in for a while, so he will soon have a full mouth of teeth. I know there are still more molars to come, but it's a relief when each set is complete.
Trip has always been a good napper, and has been sleeping through the night for quite a while. He goes to bed around 8:30 and wakes usually wakes up between 6:30 and 8:00. Sometimes I can get him to go back to sleep when he wakes up early, but not always. He still takes two naps most days, which none of us complain about. :) He has started to wave at me when I put him down and head for the door. It's so cute!
One of the biggest changes lately is that he is trying to talk and learning new words all the time. He still uses a few of the signs that we taught him (mainly please, thank you, all done, and milk). He says Dada, Mama, hi, bye bye (buh-bye or mum-bye), no, cookie (cooh-key), uh oh, tasty (ta-ty), ball, shoe (shu), go, car (cah), church (ch-ch), and a few others. Kelly told him that all she wanted for Christmas was for him to say her name. Well, a couple of days ago, he finally did. Now he says "Keh-yee" whenever he sees her. We've tried to get him to say Jaime, Jordan, Erik, Jonathan, and others but he just says "Keh-yee." Another name he says is Noni. Whenever he sees my phone, he says "Nono!" and sometimes gets very upset if we don't call her.
He loves to make animal sounds. He knows what dogs, cats, fish, monkeys, elephants, cows, ducks, beavers, pigs, horses, and sheep say. When he wants Goldfish crackers, he makes fish faces, which is really funny. When we were at Grandpa and Noni's house at Christmas, he kept pointing to the door of the pantry/laundry room and making fish faces. At first we didn't understand why. Finally, we realized that there were some packages of Goldfish on the shelves and he had spotted them. Another thing he can spot anywhere is a dog. Living in such a rural community, people have dogs in the back of their trucks all the time. We were in line at the post office yesterday and Trip started barking. I looked out the window, and sure enough, there was a dog in the back of a truck. He spots them in the store parking lot constantly as well.
Although he has become a big mama's boy and likes me to be nearby, he also loves to play with other kids and adults too. When kids come over, he gets so excited and has a blast entertaining everyone. He doesn't like the days when I work, especially if he sees me leave. He and Kirk dropped me off at the high school yesterday and he apparently cried "Mama! Mama!" all the way home. Last week, Kirk found him standing next to my side of the bed crying for me. As much as I hate to leave him, I'm thankful that it's usually only a couple of days a week and I'm glad that it gives him a chance to play with friends and develop some independence.
He still loves to look at books and play with his toys. He is learning how to throw a ball and usually tries to say "Ready, set, go!" (which ends up being two random sounds and then "Go!") before he makes the throw. I'm sad that football season is coming to an end because Trip loves to watch football. Even seeing commercials or pictures in books, magazines, or on the internet that have to do with football gets him excited.
Our son is crazy about anything electronic. Remote controls, X-Box controllers, phones, computers, he wants it all. He is especially crazy about my phone. He absolutely loves watching the videos of himself that I have on there, hence how I was able to distract him to get a picture.
You are a pretty cool guy, Trip, and your daddy and I are so thankful to have you as our son!
A few days ago, Kelly and I heard Trip making some frustrated noises in the dining room. We both looked over to see him stuck in our largest pot. Being the wonderful mom and aunt that we are, we had to get some pictures before we rescued him.
As we were laughing and taking pictures, he realized that this might be fun and that he wasn't really stuck.
During our time in Albany, we enjoyed one of our favorite meals, raclette. Raclette is a delicious (although stinky) cheese from Switzerland that is melted and served over potatoes. Sausages and other meats accompany the cheese. Little pickles and pickled onions are served as well to cut the richness of the meal and aid in digestion. This is a meal that we can only really have at Dad and Mom's house because they have the raclette machine and are close enough to Trader Joe's to get the cheese, so we are always excited when we get the opportunity to have it.
The raclette and sausages, ready to be heated up
First, you place a piece of cheese in your little frying pan.
Next, you place it in the raclette machine under a heating element that melts the cheese. The same heating element grills the meat on the top.
Once your cheese is bubbly and slightly browned, it's ready to pull out and eat.
You use a mini wooden spatula to scrape the cheese out onto the potatoes and/or meat.
Time to enjoy!
Thanks to Rachel for her help demonstrating the process! I'm already looking forward to next time!
Here are some photos from December that didn't fit in any other posts, but were still worth sharing.
One evening as we were all watching TV (maybe even A Charlie Brown Christmas), Trip decided to come cuddle with me on the floor. He was being super cute so Kelly snapped a picture of us.
Trip likes to find books in his toy basket or on the shelves in his room and bring them to someone (usually me) so that we will read to him.
We braved the cold one day to play outside for a while. Trip really doesn't mind the cold and had lots of fun. In the end, though, between his puffy coat and multiple layers of clothing, it was hard for him to stand back up when he fell down and he ended up going head first into some mud. There were a few tears at first, but once we came inside and showed off his muddy face and hands to Daddy, he was fine.
A spatula is a normal eating utensil, right?
I made the mistake of giving Trip a bowl of cereal (with no milk, of course!), which he ate nicely for a while and then dumped on the couch. The dogs were happy to take care of what fell on the floor, but I definitely had to vacuum as well.
Once the mess was cleaned up, he discovered that Holly makes a comfortable chair.
I realized that Kirk had a couple of videos on his phone of Trip with some of his Christmas gifts.
He had fun opening the package from Grandpa and Granny that had some great gifts covered in packing peanuts. No big surprise, the packing peanuts became the stars of the show. Now that all of the wrapping paper, boxes, and packing peanuts are gone, Trip is loving all of the wonderful gifts that he got.
Thanks to Noni's shopping help on the day after Thanksgiving, our gift to Trip was this four wheeler. He has figured out how to make it go, but not for very long. Once the weather is nicer, he'll be able to ride it outside where there is more room. Here he was trying it out for the first time and keeping us all laughing.
We had a wonderful Christmas season here in Lakeview. About a week before Christmas, it snowed and stayed cold enough that we had a white Christmas. We then got more snow shortly after Christmas.
Kirk did a great job putting lights on the house. We also had lots of leftover limbs from our Christmas tree, which he tied to the porch railing. It all looked wonderfully festive!
Bad picture, but you get the idea. I have always dreamt of having a window large enough so that the Christmas tree would be visible from the street. I got my wish this year. (Sorry for the weird underlining in this post- Blogger is being strange.)
We got to go up in the national forest near our house to cut down a Christmas tree. The snow was over a foot deep, which made it quite a workout to carry Trip around.
We didn't find a great tree the first time around, so Kirk and Erik went back up the mountain later and ended up finding us a real beauty.
Trip did a great job not bothering the tree. After a few times of being told no, he got the message and left the ornaments alone. He would at times hover around them and almost touch them, but knew he shouldn't.
With six of us living here, we had a nice collection of gifts under the tree.
This was our advent calendar. I have been collecting baby socks for a while now in hopes of doing this project. I didn't put any gifts or candy in the socks this year, but hope to do so in the future. Instead, we had a monkey to tell which day it was.
Trip enjoyed moving the monkey to the next sock each day.
We had the cards we received hanging down the hall, and more pictures hanging on the fridge.
On the 23rd, I made a batch of Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls (yes, all of that is just one batch!). Tammi introduced us to them at Thanksgiving, and we loved them, so I had to make some for us to enjoy and there were lots to share too.
On Christmas Eve, Kirk fried a turkey and we celebrated with Jaime and Kelly. After our dinner, we attended the community Christmas service, and came home to open presents. I realized that I didn't get any pictures of Trip opening his presents, mostly because we were on Skype with Gram, he was tired, and was only interesting in one thing at a time.
On Christmas morning, we ate cinnamon rolls, opened stockings, and then got on the road to visit my family in Albany.