Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Founder's Day Fair - Aliso Viejo

On Saturday, Sept. 27, Parker attended his first fair celebrating the founding of Aliso Viejo. It was such an awesome event! Everything was free unless you wanted to buy food, which was vended by local restaurants.

In the petting zoo area, Parker got to see chickens, bunnies, goats, a black pig, a huge sheep, and a very funny duck. He wasn't too thrilled about being amongst all those animals at once, so we scooted out without too many pictures.

One of the bunnies

We were a little bit afraid that he wouldn't like the ponies, but the waiting in line to get on was the hardest part.

All the time spent on the carousel with Grandma and Grandpa must have paid off because he acted like it was no big deal and had some huge grins for mama while she walked beside him.

He wanted to go again, but the line was even longer the second time around so we distracted him with all the other fun things to see.


Huge Tractor Wheel

HUGE Tractor Scooper

Cool Police Car

Going Into a Fire Truck

Doesn't Like the Hat so Much


Parker and Dada in Jail!

Parker and Mama in Jail!

"Throwing" the ball into the holes:

All in all, it was worth the hour and a half we spent in the heat!

Having fun with the Fireman hat after the fair:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Changing, Growing and Other Fun Stuff

Parker is growing more and more into a little boy and is less and less like a baby every day. He is becoming more independent and is so proud of his accomplishments. He has been letting us know more often when he has to use the potty and has had five poo-poos on the potty so far. We haven't done anything special to coerce him into wanting to use it - he just thinks it's awesome because Mama and Dada do it and now he can too! He gets lots of praise when he tinkles or poops and we think that's another incentive because almost more than anything else he loves to please us. The only bummer about this whole potty thing is that it is a huge time-buster because I have to sit in the bathroom with him while he goes and he will sit there reading or drawing for a half hour sometimes if he has to poop. It's nice when it happens to coincide with me getting ready for the day because I can brush my teeth and do my hair and make-up while he's otherwise occupied.

Parker has developed another security blanket (or sheet, actually). Parker always wants to sleep with something covering him, but it's been too warm for a blanket and since they don't sell crib sized top sheets anywhere that we've been able to find, I took an old twin-sized top sheet, cut it in half, sewed the cut area and now he has two identical sheets. Thank goodness he has two because now he has decided that he doesn't just want to carry his blanket around, but he also wants to carry around his sheet too, so it needs to be washed often, just like his blanket.

Parker has also been finding new ways to entertain himself and has been so much better about playing by himself so I can get things done. He loves to make ramps for his cars to go down, or just push them off an upside down box. He found my hot rollers and has fun taking them out and putting them back in the container. It's like a puzzle for him since there are different sized rollers and he has to figure out which holes they go into.

Just this week he has decided to talk a lot and has been trying to repeat a ton of words we say. I've mentioned in a Myspace and Facebook blog that he is learning his colors and his favorite one is blue (he says brew). He has also been using all the following words in addition to his usuals (not very clearly, but he tries): Drew (this is the name for his uncle Andy whose full name is Andrew) sorry, down, red, yellow, brown, green, peas, please (yeah, these words sound exactly the same) juice, beans, truck, pee-pee, poo-poo (those he just used today for the first time), and probably more that I'm not thinking of.

Parker also loves to help me with everything (this only becomes a problem when I'm washing dishes or cooking) so it's been a lot easier to clean when he's awake now and not have to wait for everything for the weekend when Jake is home to help watch him and/or help clean. Today Parker helped me clean the bathroom, sweep and clean the floors, do a ton of laundry, and vacuum. He loves to push the vacuum cleaner so we each take turns and I count backwards from 10 to 1 so he knows when it is his turn or my turn (we do this with his toothbrush, too). We have found a timer to be a very useful tool, not just for time-outs but also for giving him a specific time frame to finish what he's doing before he has to move on to something he doesn't really want to do. It really helps to curb tantrums.

I'll finish this up with a couple of fun videos. Yes, the Helen Keller dance is completely non-PC, but here is a good analysis that my Dad wrote of the song from which the Helen Keller reference originates.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

She bought some broccoli She brought it home. She's chopping broccoli ... She's chopping broccoli She's chop.. ooh! She's chopping broccola-ah-ie!

Parker is usually very good about eating his vegetables, but even we were amazed this night and had to get it on video:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Favorite Park!

Finally we found a park nearby with lots of great sand to play in! Parker loves to dig, and usually it's dirt he digs in, so we like having a park with sand to fulfill that digging thrill without the worms, snails and rusty nails. The only strange thing we've found about this place is that there are rarely any other kids playing there; it is well hidden, but surrounded by a neighborhood and some businesses.

Whoa, where do I start?

Parker loves to pick up and throw away trash!

Down, please!

We had to go back with Dada, too!

Parker invited his friend Ethan to his new fav park and they had a blast owning the place.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More Firsts!

Parker went poo-poo on the potty for the first time this morning! Mama put him on the toilet for his morning pee and he quickly asked for a magazine so she thought maybe he just wasn't ready to go. As soon as he started reading, sure enough a little tinkle started, and then some other suspicious noises and funny faces. Mama was shocked! It might be time to start the potty training in full force. Parker hates wearing a diaper so it might not be as difficult as we fear.

Also, this past weekend Parker got his first haircut from Grandma Munns! Technically it's his third haircut since Mama attempted twice, but this was his first good hair cut. Here are some pics of the momentous occasion (don't worry, I'm referring to the hair cut... we didn't take pics of the poo-poo).

Making some finishing touches

Devilishly happy with his cut!

Special dance walk with Grandma

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Just Playing

The last couple of weeks have had a lot of ups and downs with Mama going through some rough patches emotionally and physically. Parker, unfortunately, feeds off of Mama's stress and acts out even more, making everything compound on itself. The weekends are somewhat of a break for Mama as Dada is there to feel her pain and help her keep the little man occupied. Unfortunately, often when Dada tries to take over Parker whines and cries asking for Mama, making Dada more hesitant to step in and making Mama want to pull her hair out.

Mama, giving Parker a fair warning.

Look what I can do.

I see you!

Yes, Dad, I just washed my hair, now stop sniffing it.

Now you did it!

No Mama, we swear we didn't do it.

Mama and Dada have found the best relief is to just get Parker out of the house as he is usually very good when he gets a chance to explore new places. He went buck wild in Kohl's this past weekend and had a blast playing "you can't catch me" with Mama and Dada. He also loves spending time with Grandma and Grandpa Munns and going out to eat... as long as he gets his own meal and the restaurant has lots of things to look at.

On days when it's too hot to even step outside our door without melting, we try to keep the little man occupied indoors in the AC. As long as Mama is nearby watching, Parker will usually play peacefully, so Mama has found it's a good way to catch up on her reading. Sometimes Parker will grab one of his books and sit in the chair next to her and read quietly as well. His latest obsession is lining up his toys.

Lining up cars: Day 1

Lining up cars: Day 2

Lining up cars: Day 3

Lastly, here's a fun video for ya'll to enjoy:

Parker, the Kissing Hair Dresser:

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Parker's Language

Parker's first telephone message to Mama and Dada:

Parker has been "talking" a lot lately, but mostly in his own language only he understands. He uses a sound like "ish" for nearly everything. We think he's asking "what's this?", but he'll repeat "ish" even after we've said the word for an item, so we're a little stumped sometimes.

His most commonly used words are Mama, Dada, Grandma (sounds like "mmmama"), Blanket, Milk (sounds like "ik"), Juice, Cheese, Hi and Bye (sounds like "dye").

His latest sounds/words are: "up" - which actually means "oops." It took mama awhile to catch on to that one. She thought he was saying up, but he would never say it when she asked him to say "up," instead he would do his sign for up. It was frustrating for both of them for awhile until mama finally figured out that he meant oops when he was saying up and he refused to verbally say up when he wanted to go up. "Hep" - means "Help." Mama only caught on to that one because he uses the sign for help as he makes the sound. He also makes a ton of animal sounds... for some reason those are easier for him than words. This next video shows him making all kinds of strange noises as he talks to himself, including some animal sounds:

We are still thinking about putting Parker in speech therapy, but we're hoping that he's just a late bloomer and we won't have to put him through all that. It's been a month since his last doctor's appointment, and he has made some progress with his language. If he hasn't made any significant leaps in the next couple of months, we will feel more comfortable that he actually needs it.

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