Okay, it’s another photo extravaganza this month!
My parents visited in our continued reliance on grandparents to get through his school’s one-week closure. They took Ari to the food cart pod down the street and…hiking? Then we all went to the zoo, where Ari carried his little animals all over and did a good map-reading impression. These are mostly my mom’s pictures:
Later, Ari and I went to OMSI with a friend and her son. They mostly ignored each other and played in different areas, as usual, but toward the end they started giggling together, running around, and interacting. Here they are reading books together:
We went to the Thousand Acres off-leash dog hiking area with a friend and her dalmatian. Like most children do with dalmatians, Ari gets very excited about him. The dog tolerates him amazingly well since his stay with us almost a year ago, when he figured out that Ari drops a lot of food on the floor.
It was a really nice, warm day, so Ari got to strip down to his diaper and play in the water! He also got to check out a tadpole:
And he wanted to wear my headband:
Green smoothie mustache:
Naptime – aaaahhhh:
Another attempt at making vegetables he would eat – roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes before and after. He still wouldn’t try either one, but I enjoyed it all!
Finally – the new Orange Line and the Tilikum Crossing Bridge of the People opened!! We went to the opening day party and biked across the new bridge because the trains were too crowded to ride. All public transit in the city was free all day and there were music performances, activities, and booths, at many of the stations along the new line. I have been SO excited for the new bridge to open to make it easier for me to commute by bike! More on that later…
Our friends’ baby celebrated her first birthday with a lovely “microparty.” Ari rode his “bicycle” over with a book in his hands:
They very thoughtfully had some presents for Ari, too!
Why didn’t I ever get one of these for him? What a great idea!
Ari had a new “back to school” backpack and he wanted to wear it:
He’s been getting a lot more interactive with his dolls. He often says George wants to hear a story too. Here, he was having George turn the pages (I gave him the idea):
Bagel and cream cheese for breakfast:
I’ve found him putting his dolls to sleep before his naptime a few times. He lays them down and pats them, singing in a tune I recognize from the “Good Morning” song at his school: “Night, night, (animal name), night, night, (animal name), night, night, (animal name), it’s time to go to sleeeeep!” I’ve actually started singing the same song to him, over and over while rubbing his back, and it seems to really help him get to sleep! Well, the first couple of times, he shouted, “I don’t want to sing the night-night song to me!!” but if he’s sleepy enough, he seems to enjoy it. It’s nice to have something like that to do, instead of lying down with him. Of course I’ve tried singing and rubbing his back before, but so far this song is working better than others have.
Ari finally outgrew his first bike helmet so we got him this one – a nice, bright color!
He’s been doing more climbing on his own at the park:
There was a big election at the neighborhood association that took up a lot of our time this month, because we really cared about the outcome. A. had a lot of meetings and we got involved in campaigning. There was a huge turnout – over 200 people – with a line around the block to get in, and the vote went our way BY ONE VOTE!! Anyway, here is Ari in line, wearing our housemate’s hat:
In the basement of the church where the meeting was held, he got in this car and said, “I’m going to work!” But he could only figure out how to make it go backwards and he kept running into things…
We started a Baby Circus class at the nearby Echo Theater! I actually took adult trapeze classes there a looooong time ago, just after college. Ari hasn’t been into swinging on the trapezes like many of the other kids are, but he’s been loving running and jumping up and down and off of the angled mats. Also, the first day during the big circle time when we did stretches and little tricks and pretending to be animals, he just wanted to cuddle in my lap. But the second class, he sat right by the teacher and did everything she did, looking very serious about it! He figured out how to do the “donkey kicks” (handstand precursors), too, and loved doing that over and over, saying, “Hee-Haw!” For our third class, he started out doing all the moves in circle time but then started getting bored and going over to play on the mats, or turning to me and saying, “I don’t want to (do a flip, or whatever we were supposed to be doing). I just want to be a donkey.”
We’ve had a lot of nice days this month, and we’ve gone to the park in the evenings sometimes.
Ari learned how to hang from the bar and he was so proud of himself! He did it over and over, saying, “I’m swinging like a monkey!” (I thought he would then be able/willing to hang from the trapezes in circus class, but he still won’t do that.) He also started jumping off of steps by himself–I think it was that same day at the park. Now all the time he just wants to “jump!” and challenge himself to jump off of higher and higher things… At circus class he can jump off of quite high mats because the floor is covered in mats, and he has a great time doing that over and over.
We went to the zoo with a friend and her son, who is almost exactly a year younger than Ari. We saw the mother and baby elephants really close, with the baby nursing from the mom right in front of us (I took my picture later, after they’d gone to a different area). I was surprised the baby was still nursing, because I thought she was a couple of years old and that seemed unusual for animals, but elephants do things slower than other animals do—for example, their pregnancies last two years! I asked the attendant at the exhibit and she said, yeah, the baby’s about two and a half and she’s just starting to eat other food, and she’ll probably nurse until she’s about three and a half. I had no idea!
Ari and his little friend:
Swinging like a monkey again:
Going crazy on the mats at circus again:
We went to a different park with the same friend and her almost-three-year-old son who we went to OMSI with. Ari was SO much braver than he normally is! First, we got to the park and he saw his little friend and just started giggling immediately. Then he just ran around with him having hysterical giggling fits! It was so cute. He normally won’t go down slides without holding my hand, but the two of them just went up and down the smaller slides there over and over and over and over, and climbed all over the play structures, laughing their heads off. It was cute when they would get close and talk to each other, too. Ari pointed at the big slides when they were up by the top of them and said, “Are you going to go on the slide?” Also, “What time is it?” which is a weird question he’s been asking everyone. I was particularly impressed/surprised by Ari’s playing on the see-saw. When his friend was at the other end of it with his mom behind him and I was behind Ari, helping him go up and down, he kept telling me, “Let go of it!”
We’ve been building some tall block towers recently. At bedtime now he’ll say, “It’s blocks time” and want to get his blocks out. The tower in these pictures was made mostly by me, but he’s stacked up to 16 blocks on his own, now.
Here he is playing his little guitar and looking cute in his chair:
Leaving weekend brunch:
Lining up his library books after I had put them in a bag to return. Hmm, is this normal two-year-old behavior?
The other day, we made banana bread! Ari helped mash the bananas and pour ingredients into a bowl.
Then he practiced cutting it:
Observations this month:
One day, Ari made up his own verses in the song “Down By The Bay.” When he got to the “my momma would say” part, he said, “Have you ever seen a…bird…tweeting?” and later it was some kind of animal pooping. He didn’t get the rhyming aspect, but I thought it was pretty cute!
One day, I offered him some food and he said, “No. Go away mommy.” I told him he could say “No, thank you,” and he said, “No! I don’t want to say no thank you!”
He’ll retell stories from TV and books. One day, lying down for a nap after reading Goodnight Gorilla, he said something like, “the zookeeper’s going to wake up and see the all the animals in their room and be surprised!”
He started saying, “I love you too.” 🙂
He also started asking, “Why?” sometimes when I tell him to do something.
One day, he asked me “What does it say?” for each letter in the animal names printed in his cloth book with the little animal dolls. He wanted to sound out each letter the way we would say, “D-D-D-Dog.” I didn’t know how to answer him best because the sounds in the middle of a word don’t always correspond with the way you say the letter, but I tried. Then, after a while, he put his hands on his head and said, “Oh! My head feels funny.” So I put it away!
Not quite a week ago, I wanted to show him how the letters on his blocks corresponded with the pictures, so I held one up and asked what animal it was, and he identified the frog, then I asked him, “What letter does frog start with?” and he said, “F”! Then he did the same thing with a pig and “P”. Then A. asked him the same question with pictures of a camel and doughnuts in the Dr. Seuss ABC book and he got both of those, then answered the question, “What does ‘fish’ start with?” without any pictures or words. But he said “Mommy” and “Daddy” both start with “A”. 🙂 I didn’t want to be drilling him, though, so we didn’t keep that up.
We’ve been reinforcing that we take his Play-Doh away when he puts it in his mouth, so one day he was playing with it and I heard him say, “I put it in my mouth! Now Mommy has to take it away.”
He loves to look at Good Night Gorilla and say over and over, “Whaa-at’s gonna hap-peennn?”
He also does a lot more pretend play, with his animal dolls, pretend food, and talking on the phone (the other day he was talking to Andrew).
He likes to say things are “nice” and “cozy,” as in, “This is a nice, co-sy blanket!”
The other day, he and A. met me for dinner after I took a yoga class, and he asked me something like, “Mommy, did you went to yooo-ga?” Then he started talking about “cat” and “cow” and did the little back curving and arching moves going, “Meeow! Mooo!” repeatedly. So cute! I told him I had just done that in class, and we did it together!
I love his musical little voice and ultra-precise speech.
I asked A. what he’d like to remember about Ari at this age and he said, “I don’t know, he’s really sweet… I don’t want him to change.” He said that yes, actually, he would be happy having 2-year-old Ari forever, meltdowns and all! (I didn’t get into his meltdowns in this post but trust me, they do happen! But he does get over them quickly.)