Sunday, July 31, 2011

Words, words, words!

Another overshare post, I'm sure...but I am just so amazed at the development of my son! The latest breakthrough since turning 1 has been his sponge-like absorbency of trying out new words. His very first word (or mimic) was around 10 months...saying "uh-oh". He really didn't know what it meant, but repeated as he threw things, dropped things, or saw us drop or fumble with something. You can only guess how proud we were and waited longingly for more words to spring up like popcorn...

Well, uh-oh was followed guessed it...DA-DA! Not "mama"...the woman who carried him for nine months, cuddles with him, and worries about him at all moments of the day. No, it was "dada"...his fun-loving, energetic, roll-around-buddy who is quite honestly one of the BEST fathers (no bias, really!) I have ever seen interact with his child. :-) When asked to say "mama" for the longest time...he would reply "dada" with that mischievious grin that is 80% adorable and about 20% joking. Who says babies don't have sense of humors?

From there...Noah's biggest changes were walking and exploring with his arms and legs. He really didn't say too much else even with constant repetition from us. Then around 14 months the floodgates of the spoken word have been opened! D and B sounds are the easiest for him, and he often prefers to use those sounds in substitution for the actual letter it's supposed to be. For example, "mama" was finally spoken...except it's "baba" as he looks at me when I say "who am I?". Still mealts my heart...however I am looking forward to the "m" sound being learned soon.

Noah's current list of words that he usually says in an exclamatory (!) or interrogative tone (?):
*kitty (keeee)
*doggy (daw-dy)
*hot (pronounced "hah!" as he touches anything very hot...or ice cold :-)
*duck (da)
*mama (baba)
*bye-bye (ba-buy)
*baby (ba-bee)
*Opa (bah)
*Micah (ahhh)
*zebra (bra-bra)
*Brown Bear his favorite book (brow-bra)

And my favorite (and most recent mimic)...what does a cow say, Noah? "mmmmmm...." as he tilts his little head back. In the video pic, you'll have to watch for the "mmmm..." sound :-)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pictures say a thousand words...

Family picture time! I have always enjoyed beautiful photos and frankly one of my "if I weren't a teacher I would be..." jobs would be a photographer. I have just discovered (probably 5 years too late) the wonderful, free photo-editing application called Picasa. Love does not even describe what it has done for my photos. There is just so much you can do with it! Straighten, crop, name it and it can be done.

I dare say I may never hire a professional photographer again. Noah only had professional pics done right after he was born...and frankly I was a bit dissappointed with them. :-( They were posed and just weren' the style I was looking for. And the saddest part for me was that they COST hundreds of dollars! So...around four months, I took some photos of Noah with the best investment I have ever Canon Rebel camera. I researched lighting and out of the dozens of shots I took I have some gems that are still up and framed in my house.

I have his feet shot in black and white in his scrapbook.

These pictures were just taken in our master bedroom right after I painted the walls a light blue. The lighting from our large windows was perfect. I used no flash and upped the ISO to 1600.

Unlike many friends I have, I have not been very good at documenting formal pictures of Noah at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months old. But I guess I figure I have saved tons of money! Obviously, I have no lack of pictures of my son for almost every day of his life! Also, I appreciate more "random" moment shots than poses.  The "four-month" photo shoot was the last time I really tried to get some professional-like photos up in the house...and they are still there. Now that Noah is almost 15 months, I feel another "photo-shoot" will be in order soon to replace the baby photos up on the mantle and throughout the house. Perhaps fall will push me to play with color and outdoor lighting when he's around 18 months in October.

Here are the latest photos I have taken of Noah during a family photo shoot with my parents and siblings. Was thinking of putting the chair photos in a 3-picture frame...we'll see. :-)

Noah and his Uncle Aaron

Love this picture of Noah standing up...and the Picasa application helped me straighten out my shot.

Took this picture right as Nick and Noah were walking...I love how simple it is and that they're feet are in the same motion. I also like that Noah is still the focus since you can't see Nick's face...definitely thinking about placing this one in a 5x7 frame above the mantle.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Life's a peach!

Just recently checked on the progress of my pregnancy and at 13 weeks, baby is now the size of a peach!'s just amazing to me how fast things are going. It wasn't that long ago that the fetus was only about as big as a blueberry. Just the other day, I also began to feel the first flutters of a tiny life inside me. I don't know if all soon to be mothers feel like this, but I love feeling those flutters if only to assure me that yes, I'm still pregnant and that the baby is active and able to move. I have always been one to worry, but now being a mother has almost compounded it. So I guess it's natural that along with worrying about the development of Noah...I'm now worrying about the development of baby #2. I guess I just think there is no way that I could have two healthy children...there's something bound to happen! I just know it! But, then there is a calm that comes across me when I realize that a) I don't have much control over it other than doing my best to care for myself and the baby and b) God will NEVER give me more than I could handle. He promises that much...not that life will be easy but that he will not give us more than we can handle.

The next task in the Hagewood household in preparation for the next bundle of joy is getting Noah ready to be a gentle, caring older brother. Hmmm...we've got our work cut out for us folks! "Gentle" and "caring"...not really words that I would use to describe my blond, blue-eyed rambunctious little tike. Aggressive, assertive, and cheerful...yes! His latest word is "baby" so that's a start and he recognizes baby pictures of himself. Now to search for a fake baby doll to have "big brother practice" is next on my list. Lesson #1 I'm thinking will be:  we don't scratch at baby' face and eyes!

Wish me luck...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Book Bin

Okay...maybe I'm a "bad parent" but we had to make an executive decision recently. Since around the age of 8 or 9 months, Noah absolutely loves being read to...however, on his terms. His idea of "storytime" is choosing books among a huge explosion of them on the floor, bringing them up to you, having you put him on your lap, us trying to read the words quickly, him turning the pages as fast as possible, and then asking to go down quickly to get another book. Not quite sure how much "vocabulary" is getting in there...but I know the power of reading to your child (being a teacher myself). It's a wonderful activity that he quite frankly prefers even over playing with his many other toys!

The breaking point for us, however, has been that when books are around...Noah just desires that one-on-one attention from us the entire day. If he had his way...he would ask to be read to througout the day hundreds of times! And quite honestly, at times it is just the action of choosing a book, being picked up, being put down that he enjoys along with turning the pages. After five or six books, it's difficult for his already short attention span to maintain enough stamina to get through even the simplest of books.

What should we read tonight?
So...mommy has put her foot down with a side order of guilt. I have set aside a BOOK BIN of only books he can get through (and that are cardboard baby books). The other books I have put aside in his bedroom for another day. The book bin is also hidden throughout the day on top of our TV stand out of sight. Our current routine is that we only get the book bin out around 7:30 before bedtime. We pull it out and Noah has 30 minutes for us to read as many books (and as many times) as he wants. While at first I felt some guilt about it (what's so bad about wanting to be read to a lot? Am I taking away his love of reading by not making books available all day?)...I now see the positive of this new routine. Noah's attention is much sharper at this time since he's winding down for bedtime. It's also nice because it's a treat now for him and he's that much more excited choosing books...instead of just choosing books when he wants attention (like bringing me a book when I'm trying to wash dishes). It's also encouraging him to discover his other toys and hopefully (fingers crossed!) gain some independent play time skills throughout the day (something he is definitely LACKING at this point...not sure if that is daycare, his personality, our parenting skills, normal????).

So for now, this routine of reading at 7:30 and bedtime (or "night-night" as Noah knows it as) at 8:00 is a peaceful time of day I am definitely learning to look forward to and cherish.
My little man handing me a book and "asking" in his question voice. :-)


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