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.