The Tovsky Tribe

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Monday, December 10, 2007

A letter to my sons on their 17th Month Birthday!

Family picture on Thanksgiving

Chase- all smiles

Ryder's grin

Dear Chase and Ryder,
On Friday you turned 17 months old. We were at the shore enjoying a quiet weekend.
Chase, at 17 months you have really enhanced your verbal skills. You will repeat, with a good amount of clarity, almost any word we say and you continue to build your every day vocabulary. It seems you have more words and use them more often than other kids your age. You answer Yes and No to simple questions, though they are not always the answers you mean. You seem to understand everything we say and are good at following small commands. In addition to your speaking words you are learning more sign language and though you do not use it fluently, you are certainly improving. The problem is, you often watch sign language videos (signing times) in the car, so I can not see what you are watching. I have picked up on a few, however. Someday soon I will sit down and watch the video myself.
Ryder, you seem to do more talking when we are one on one. You still have this knack for saying difficult words perfectly, despite the fact that you barely use words. You recently have said Delaney a few times. We laugh because Chase, who talks a lot, calls her DiDi. You say a few choice words in addition to the ones previously listed: Bubble, Baby, No, More, Pop-Pop, Daddy, Mommy, Mom-Mom, Banana, Elmo, Shoe, Shower, Breakfast, please. It is not the amount of words that you lack, you just choose to not use them. You are much more in favor of the grunt and the point.
Chase, you are such a flirt! You continue to charm the ladies wherever we go. You flash your dimples and wave and blow kisses and the girls marvel. You give smiles and laughs out to anyone who will take them. Ryder, you are a bit less extroverted. You actually make people (me included) earn your smile and your laugh. But, once we work for it and you flash your grin, your whole face lights up and it was worth earning. You are very independent and though it takes you a bit of time to warm up to a crowd it is not because you are clinging to me. You are often content playing by yourself, figuring out how things work. Daddy and I always wonder if you will become a scientist.
You both prefer to sit at the table in the regular chairs and fight me when I try to put you in your baby seat. You are using forks more often and are using plates a bit more too. You still occasionally throw the food on the floor, but you are improving. I am amazed that you can sit at the table like big boys and eat most of your meal. You are learning to make decisions based on choices I give you (do you want milk or juice? pancakes or waffles?) Though still decent eaters, you are certainly becoming more particular and the variety of food you eat is a little less. Bananas and cheese, though not together, rank amongst your favorite foods. Chase, you have a new love for cookies, which you clearly get from me. You can ask for them by name and know exactly where they are. You also love cookie monster, and I am not sure if that is a coincidence or not. In addition to Cookie, you know many of the Sesame Street characters, Big Bird, Elmo, Ernie and Burt, particularly. You love to dance when you hear music and you have learned Ring around the Rosie.
Ryder you like to figure out how things work and are still fascinated by buttons, dials, lights, and phones. You tend to take off your clothes, whether it be your shoes and socks or your shirt. We have found you in your crib just diaper clad.
You both love your toddler table that we put in your playroom. You will sit there to play with a toy or eat a snack. And, sometimes you love to just knock the chairs over. You both prefer to drink from real cups, sometimes with a straw, sometimes not. It is not uncommon for you to drink my whole drink at a meal and as a result I try to no longer order soda. You had your first juice boxes and did pretty well with them. I was impressed that you did not have it squirting all over you. It did get messy after some time and I made a note to myself to only give you the smaller ones.
You have basically transitioned to one nap a day which is somewhere between 2 and 3pm. The inconsistency is my fault, as our activities often take us to that late in the day. Sometimes you will take a morning snooze in the car, about 30 minutes or so.
We are in the middle of Hanukkah and it has been fun. You have enjoyed lighting the menorah, particularly the wood one we bought. This allows you to put the flames in the candles and it is great to see you dexterous enough to do it. The first night we watched you Ryder, as you changed the position you were holding the flame so that you could correctly place it in the candle. Although you have been enjoying the gifts you are getting, I am not sure you get the fact that Hanukkah means 8 nights of gifts. I am sure by next year though I will have something new to write about that. We have gotten together with friends and family for the holiday, which you and I always enjoy.
Though you both love our cell phones, Ryder you have become a master at programming new numbers or sending texts to people, particularly Ali. I have to go into my phone everyday to delete your contacts.
Chase you love to tell us when you take a poopie. You will point to your hiney and say poopie. Most of the time you are correct, sometimes there is nothing there. Daddy believes you will be very easy to potty train as a result. I suppose he is right.
Ryder, you have fallen in love with a peek-a-boo all over again and will hide yourself beneath your hands, then show yourself with laughter. It is very cute. You both love to throw away your dirty diapers and know exactly where they go on both floors. You love it.
Today we went for your 2nd flu shot and afterwards I gave you each a lollipop. You both loved it, but the funniest thing was Chase, you called it a lollipoppop. Needless to say, your pop-pop thought this was really cute.
We looked at pre-schools this month, for which you will begin in September. We looked at both Ohev Shalom and Shir Ami. Though we are leaning towards one we are going to look at Rainbow Academy on Wednesday. We will soon have a decision.
We celebrated Thanksgiving, which was fun and daddy and I had our 4 year anniversary. It has been a busy month that seemed to pass quickly but as always it has been filled with fun and laughter. You seem like amazingly big boys these last few weeks, doing things boys do, not babies. It is startling and amazing and overwhelming all at once. I want to see you grow and learn and yet I want you to be my babies forever. This is every mom's emotional conflict. Regardless, I am proud and happy and doubly blessed every day, and I know it.

Never forget how much I love you so.

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