Monday, August 6, 2012

Words, words, WORDS!

The other day I set out to write down a list of all of O's words. I figured, nearing 18 months now (when did that happen - holy cow!), there'd be about 20 recognizable words? Maybe even 25? Oops! Underestimated. Here's what we've got so far. (All English words, although, we're pretty sure he's blabbering in Arabic or Yiddish. The words with an asterisk * show that those words are currently only prompted, he's like a parrot!) 

I would normally put this on our family blog (sorry!), but it was connected to our old (hacked) email address, so sadly, I can't get into it until I contact someone :( 

Abby* - as in Caddaby. One of the wall clings in his room. Very clearly said! 
all done - pretty sure O thinks this is one word, a la 'aldone'. Usually accompanied by pushing his high chair tray away (without success) 
airplane - "air pane" at all times of the day, inside or outside. Pointing up at the sky (or ceiling). Often gets confused with a far-away lawnmower or motorcycle. Well-played, well-played. 
Auntie - said to, obviously, my sisters. But, now it's been extended to any remotely familiar female between the ages of 20-30. I guess that's what happens when you refer to all of your friends as "Auntie Mer" or "Auntie Stace". 
apple - this was one of Oliver's first words, and it generally applies to any round, edible object. Tomato, plum, peach, and even apples! 
apple juice - once again, one word - more like appleju. Said repeatedly, often very quickly over and over again. Especially when someone (anyone) opens the refrigerator. Reason obvious. ("appleju appleju appleju appleju appleju appleju") 
ball - with a lovely little British accent (can you guess who influenced that one?), in grocery stores, CVS (lovely bouncy ball displays), driving by a soccer game, and especially thanks to the Olympics. 
balloon - sounds slightly like ball-oooo, but contextually he always is pointing at balloons in books, or grocery stores. Who knew that Stop N Shop had SO many balloons - at the check-outs, at the deli, in the card section. Sheesh! 
Big Bird - "Bi Bir" when Sesame Street happens to be on, or he grabs the two stuffed BBs, or sees the wall cling. I think he knows these are two separate words :) 
blue*- Oliver's "blu" sounds quite French, and I love it. 
boat - This one was first heard on our UK trip, seeing as my in-laws live about 10 feet away from the harbor (excuse me, harbour), and we were constantly looking out the window at the boats. 
bump, bump, bump - always in threes. This is totally my fault. I've said this any time we drive anywhere, because there's a bit of our road that is SUPER bumpy. One day I forgot to say it (probably because I was jamming along to whatever was on the radio), so Oliver chimed in and said it for me. 
bus - we're having a bit of difficulty with this one. In London, it was easy peasy, because any two-level red thing was a bus. Over here? A bit more difficult. We've gotten the yellow ones down (although they are not too frequent in July/August - thank goodness), the city buses are going to take a while. 
bye bye - this used to only happen AFTER people walked out and closed the door, or AFTER we hung up the phone or Skype. We've made progress so people can actually hear the words. Now, we say "buh bye" to lots of people and things - balloons, animals (especially dogs, or when I turned the equestrian off the tv?!?!?!), and cars driving by us. 
car - again, British, "caaaaa"
cheese - much to Daddy's chagrin, this was a pretty easy word.  ...and he knows where the cheese bin is in the fridge. 
cookie - he knows where the snack cabinet is. trouble. 
cracker - this one cracks me up. "cracka" enough said. 
Dada - First word. Grrrrrrr.
dinosaur - we saw a bunch of dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum in London, and he really started saying "dine-sor" when we came back and were looking through his London Bus book. 
doggie - sounds a little bit like Dada, but we can generally tell which one he means :) 
Elmo - obviously, the furry red guy, although he gets Grover confused and sometimes calls him Elmo. They have the same face shape, right? 
empty - this is exactly how my sister, Sarah, used to say it. "emp-ih-tee" so cute. 
Ernie* - again, wall clings. (sensing a theme?)
giraffe* - we saw them at the zoo in London, and they were AMAZING. Plus, there's Sofie Giraffe here (who Stella is obsessed with. still.). It's pretty clear "jir-af" but only once we say it first. 
Mama - third word. after dada and doggie. I guess that's where I fit into the scheme of things! 
more - just now at lunch, this was combined with please! Ben got him to say "mo peas" - yippee! 
Nana - I'm convinced that this one (and all the other family names) were helped by our adorable photo books. (We have three we bought from Target - like this one) Oliver LOVES looking through the photos, pointing to everyone's faces, and practicing their names.) 
no, no, no - I've been trying to get this on video for approximately three months. We have a palm (?) / fern (?) in the corner of our living room (it's still alive! woo hoo!) and when Oliver went near it to grab the leaves, Ben said "no, no, no" while shaking a finger at him. Oliver did the exact same thing back. It was hilarious. And, of course, we had to pretend not to think it was funny. He does it now, without being prompted, which tells us that he knows right from wrong pretty well. 
Oliver* - sounds more like "ah-ver" but it's a start, nonetheless! And when we ask where Oliver is, he grabs his ears, points to his nose, or his chest. 
orange* - Granny and Papi (in-laws) have tons of orange flowers, and this was surprisingly easy for him to say - we were all pretty impressed! 
pepper - O says "peppa" like the pig cartoon, but then gets mad if his pepper (no matter the color) doesn't have hummus on it. He knows what he wants. 
please - "peas!" and if we don't respond or give him what he wants right away, it gets progressively louder until it's not really that polite! He walked over to Nana's candy dish, pointed at it, and nicely said "peeeease!" chocolate - score. He knows what to do. 
pool - we've been taking swim classes, and I suppose there are a lot of pools on the Olympics, but he kinda generalizes pool and can't differentiate between a pool, river, ocean, or lake. Fair enough, bodies of water are "pool" for now.
Pop - [my step-dad's name]. The second p is often soft, or even silent, but it is used to describe anyone wearing a suit and tie (we learned this Skyping with Uncle Mike), or sitting in a recliner. Hahahaha! 
poop* - I'll spare the details of when this happens, but maybe (?) it'll help potty train in a year or so? Ha!
purple - When the questions are: "Oliver, what's your favorite color?" or "Oliver, what color would you like to draw with first?" the answer is always "PURPLE!" Oh, Harold....
shoes - He knows where his shoe drawer is, and always chimes in when we're putting them on. What 18 month old has more than 10 pairs of shoes? Oh, wait, he's my kid.
sock -  Same as above.
spoon - We are trying to master the spoon. Trying is the operative word here. Suction cup bowls worked for 10 hours. He calls all utensils "spoon" for now. 
Stella - Obviously, he hears this word quite a bit, and has known where Stella is (below the highchair usually) or who she is (the one who takes all of the abuse), forever. Best friends. 
tree - "chee" on our walks, and when we're driving. There are a lot of them, and he likes to point them ALL out. Although, bushes/shrubs kinda confuse him for now. 
truck - I figured little boys loving trucks was kinda a myth, or exaggerated a little bit. Nope. 
up - "up" is usually followed by "peas" thus making "uppeas" which (like many other words) is repeated over and over, in a very cute voice until he gets out of the stroller, high chair or car seat. 
umbrella - another word we learned in England. Why? Because there were a TON of umbrellas because it POURED every hour or so.
yeah, yeah, yeah - "Oliver, do you want breakfast now?" Nodding his head, "yeah, yeah, yeah." Cracks me up. 
yuck, yuck - Whenever O tries to touch something (garbage bin, Stella's food dish, or something else that he shouldn't), I say "no, no, yucky!" and he does the "no, no, no" thing along with "yuck, yuck." Once again, he knows what's yucky and what's not. Smartie pants.

Woah! That's a long list. I'll be glad when he's older that I've written this.  I figured the only other person who will enjoy/appreciate this list is Nana :) So, enjoy, Nana! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What I want to teach my son...

This has nothing to do with running, at all.

I am normally not one to voice opinions on Facebook, or any blog, or even to anyone other than my family. Having said that, with all of this craziness about Chick-Fil-A going on, I've felt inspired to think about what kind of world I want Oliver to grow up in. And what kind of world I want him to try to make a difference in. 

We've lived and worked in two very different environments in the last few years, and I find myself somewhat split between the two. I often think about the quote, America is not a melting pot, rather a beautiful mosaic. I love this because it talks about the fact that we don't need to change who we are to 'fit in'.  I get upset when I hear people calling each other names, or trying to impose their own beliefs on someone else, and I'm honestly torn about this issue quite a bit. 

So, what about those chicken sandwiches and peppermint chocolate milkshakes? (mmmmmmm.) I think it's everyone's right to feel, and say what they believe. I don't necessarily agree with what Dan Cathy (president of Chick-Fil-A) had to say about gay marriage, but I think he should be able to say it. This might seem a bit hypocritical [and I'm sorry because I'm pretty sure I'm about to offend 99% of the five of you who read this], but I don't think that a town or city should be allowed to deny someone's company a plot of land to build on based on their political, artistic or religious point of view. Let them build a Chick-Fil-A in Boston, and let the people who disagree with his alleged homophobic remarks go buy their chicken elsewhere. That, my friends, is the beauty of the country we live in. 

...and half of you have exited out of this window. So here I go, up onto my soap box. 

I want my son to grow up in a world where he feels comfortable speaking his mind, regardless of what those thoughts are. I've heard about toddlers saying things publicly like "Mummy, why is that man having a baby?" (when seeing a man's large belly), and that's not the kind of thing I'm talking about. There is a big difference between knowing what is appropriate given the situation. I'd be glad to talk to Oliver about how some men happen to hold weight in their midsections, so long as the fat fellow isn't within earshot. 

I want my son to grow up in a world where he doesn't have to preface his friends' names with things like "Jenny, the one with two mommies." Because, let's face it, that's what people do (whether they realize it or not) with family circumstances, religion, ethnicity, and physical characteristics.  I want him to say "Jenny, the really nice one who helped me find my lost math book." Because that's what's important. 

I want my son to grow up in a world where he has choices. If he wants to 'boycott' a restaurant, business, brand, or product because he doesn't believe in their sourcing, beliefs, pricing, or ethics - so be it. Hopefully, there will be an alternative. (Ironically enough, I'm making the Chick-Fil-A chicken bites from Pinterest on Friday evening, I'll let you know if they're a good replacement!) 

I want my son to grow up in a world where we can have discussions about important issues like this - so I can hear his unique, uninfluenced (for now!) points of view.  Right now, I don't let Oliver watch more than 5-10" of TV at a time, except for when we watch the news altogether. Nightly, sometimes even the BBC World News, it's an important part of our day. I want him to ask "why?" although I'm sure I will run out of answers. I want him to know about the world, good and bad (but it seems like a lot of bad these days...), to have questions, and formulate his own opinions. 

And, finally, I want my son to grow up in a world where he wants to make a difference, a positive impact, for those who don't feel like they have all of these same opportunities as he does. 

Thank you for 'letting me' rant. I'm done now. For now.