Aiden turned 16 months old on Dec 6th. This past month wasn't a HUGE month with lots of changes really. That could be due more to the fact that he was sick a lot and we were so focused on what was wrong and how to fix it than other things. (I also noticed that while most months I take about a thousand pictures, this past month...there were less than two hundred, even with a holiday. So, yeah...our priorities were a bit different during November.)
- Aiden just loves his Guess How Much I Love You book. Actually, it's Camden's from when he was a baby, but we use it for all bedtime readings (naps and nighttime). Aiden has definitely come to expect it by now and will ask for it before we get it ourselves. He also asks for it just about any time he is in his room. We keep it on the shelf, and he'll point and beg for it. He's loved the book for a while now, but NOW, he will act out some of it, too. He will stretch out his arms and say something that sounds more like "shisshh" but is supposed to mean "this much" (like they say in the book...I love you this much.) He'll also reach his hands up high and say the same thing. And when we get to the page where Big Nutbrown Hare kisses Little Nutbrown Hare, Aiden makes a kiss noise (he also does it on the last page b/c both Ryan and I kiss him again at the end).
- Bunny is becoming more important, as well. When Aiden wakes from a nap or in the morning, and we pick him up, he turns back to the bed and signs "bunny" and reaches for him. I've also noticed him cuddling with Bunny a lot more than he used to. He'll hug and kiss him, and when he's lying down, he'll hold him close, too.
- Another favorite book is Kiss Goodnight. Aiden will read that, say "kiss," and make kissing sounds all throughout it (but not when he kisses one of us...go figure!).
- Aiden likes to put lids on things - lotions, pots and pans, ANYthing that has a lid...he has to put it on (even if you want it off).
- Puppy dogs...well, the barks from puppy dogs. We don't actually go up to any of them but can hear them from the house (our neighbors have dogs in their fenced-in yard). Aiden will bark and make the sign for dog. He also is starting to turn his bark sound into the word "puppy" - hard to believe they can sound alike, but if you heard him bark...you would get it.
- Drawing. He figured out that when you put pen to paper...something stays on the paper! I've always let him try to draw on cards before we send them out, but he never really made the connection. Now he does, and he wants to do it ALL the time! Markers aren't such a great idea yet, though. He will try to take the lid off...even if you have already taken it off, which means he's just grabbing and pulling at the marker itself. Or he'll try to put it up to his nose. I think he does this because he knows he's not supposed to; he'll look right at me as he tries to do it.
- Stuffed animals that talk/walk/play music/etc when you push buttons on them. He has all these toys that you turn on by squeezing their hands/feet/bellies, and we would have to always push them for him. But he now can do it himself, and he is quite proud of that accomplishment! He loves playing with these toys even more than before. (And it's nice for us because he can do it without us!)
- Not sure this qualifies as a favorite, but Aiden sure does it quite a lot! Pinching and scratching! (Definitely not a favorite for the rest of us!) If he doesn't want you too close, boy, he lets you know it. We're working on squashing that behavior. If I'm holding him and he does it, I put him right down. He'll get upset (because he wants to me to hold him), but I won't pick him back up until he signs that he'll be nice...and after he signs it, he actually is nice. If we tell him to have gentle hands, he'll gently pat or rub our faces. So, he is getting it. We're also trying to get him to say or sign "no" or "stop" more often - so that he can use that as a way to express he doesn't like something instead of hitting or pinching. (I would certainly prefer that.) He's learning to test those boundaries, that's for sure. Another thing that's not our favorite...us telling him "no" tends to get the opposite response we want - laughing! We can use our meanest voices and faces (even Ryan!), and he somehow thinks it's funny. That's not what you want...
- Clacking his tongue against the roof of his mouth.
- Pointing out people's ears, mouth, eyes, noses...you name it. He likes to actually touch them when he shows where they are. And watch out if you try to get him to do it with you because when pointing out where your nose is, he'll try to point in it if you let him (not that he's trying to pick your nose, he just likes pointing where the opening is). When showing you where HIS eyes are, he squints them and makes the cutest face.
- Diaper changes. The nasty rash he got all over his body last month also included the diaper area. And it's not so much fun to be wiped and all that where you have a rash, especially when it happens multiple times a day. So...diaper changes have become a little less fun for him.
- Not being able to fit a lid on something. He'll get all the pots and pans out, and if he has the wrong sized lid for something (which means it won't fit right), he gets really annoyed.
- Taking anything away from him (he has a tight grip!).
- As I mentioned, acting out parts of his nighttime book and stretching out his arms (Guess How Much I Love You). He doesn't just do it when we're reading the book but at any point throughout the day he'll do it.
- When I nurse Aiden and I'm switching sides...moving him from one to the other...I'll say "switch!" so he knows what is happening. Now, he says "shisshh" (yes, just like when he's trying to say "this much," but he's trying to say "switch." They do sound alike even when you say the right words.). And he's even made up a sign for it. I guess he gets it from me picking him up and moving him over - he'll put his hands together (as if he picked something up) and move them from side to side quickly as he says "shisshh." Sometimes if he's emptied one side, he'll look up and say it and do the sign all on his own. Or I'll tell him to let me know when it's time to switch, and he'll tell me when it's time.
- SLEEP! I mentioned this in the post I wrote a few weeks ago about The Sleep Lady. Aiden has improved so much with his sleeping - going to sleep, staying asleep, etc. He has even went without nursing once or twice (during the night)!! The first night he did that, I woke up the next morning and was REALLY confused! I haven't NOT nursed during the night since before he was born. We'll see if this can become something consistent soon! He's pretty much waking just once or twice, but going right back to sleep most times (as soon as one of us goes into the room). Ryan is taking over most of the nighttime wakings now so that Aiden will be more likely to not nurse. I think this has been harder on him because he isn't used to waking at night. He says he is tired a lot more, and...well, I know how he feels! I think he sometimes forgets that I really do get it and that I've spent almost a year and a half going no more than two hours without being woken up. When you sleep through that, you don't really understand what it really feels like. So, it's a new feeling to him these days. I hope to soon be saying that Aiden is sleeping through the night - as in not waking between going down at nighttime and getting up the next morning with no waking in between (not the technical definition of, what, five hours of sleep...ha). We're really pleased with how he's been doing so far!
- This one's for you, Mammaw Melly...Aiden now will blow kisses!! One night I blew him a kiss from his doorway, as he got ready to read his nighttime story with Daddy. And...he blew me a kiss right back, making the smacking sound and all!
- I'm pretty sure Aiden's vocabulary is about to explode any day. He really watches closely and intently when you sound out words. He'll watch how you move your mouth and will try to mirror it. Sometimes he thinks it's hilarious if you slow down the word so he can better see how to move his mouth. He'll try to make the "lalala" sound and other words. He does already say a handful of words, but we think we'll be hearing a lot more really soon!
- Aiden was away from BOTH Mommy and Daddy for the first time. He stayed with MaMaw Sharon while we went out to see the Phantom of the Opera. We were away for 5 hours (even seeing a matinee). He went down for a nap and amazingly slept for two hours (!!!) without waking, and then he played with Camden and MaMaw until we returned home, not fussing or asking for "milk" or anything like that. Of course, very shortly after I was back in his sight, he was signing "milk" like crazy! (And even though it ruined his dinner, I let him nurse, of course.) We all survived. We had a nice date out, acting like adults, and the boys had a fun time with their grandmother.