Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Kellan and a bottle of....

Hey, its a cute photo. Lets just ignore the fact that he's holding a bottle of, well, "personal moisturizer". It was taken right after nap time this weekend, and we all know what mommies and daddies get up to during Saturday naptime!

No gender stereotyping here

At a friend's house this weekend, Kellan ignored all of the "boy" toys and spent the entire evening playing with this kitchen set. He absolutely loved it. At least three hours were spent doing nothing but play "in the kitchen". I'm going to have to look for one of these.

Friday, July 22, 2005

New Words and Great Books

Kellan is a reader. I've never known a child to read so much. He gets out of bed each morning, runs to his bookshelf, and starts the 6am ritual of "I want that! I want that! I want that!" while shoving books onto the bed for his (not yet awake) parents to read. If you go to the bathroom, Kellan's face lights up (a captive audience!). He runs to the bookshelf and out come the books. He will not eat meals without books. Each meal must be accompanied by at least five books which are read throughout the meal. He will not take a bite of food when one book ends until the next book is open in front of him and the first page being read. He knows how to work it!

There is also a great deal of solo reading. Kellan will happily sit in his room for ages pulling book after book from the shelf and "reading" them out loud to himself. I love to listen to his sing song voice and the way that he tries to mimic the way that I read the exciting bits. A great intake of breath, followed by high pitched chatter. Some books have excitement on every page when read by Kellan. Perhaps I'm doing it wrong. He seems also to have an innate understanding of the Welsh language, as his own personal vocabulary is full of sing song words and lots of double consonant sounds done with perfect Welsh flair. Even his father is jealous!

Coinciding with this great love of reading, Kellan's vocabulary seems to grow by the day. It can be difficult to understand a new word at first, but he's good at pointing and letting you know what he means. Also, words that end in "s" tend to sound pretty much the same. We have had a few meltdowns because I tried to give him goldfish when he wanted Cheerios, or because I handed him cheese when he wanted to nurse! Still, he isn't shy about trying new words and will usually have a go at anything. Which means that daddy is now in fact working with him on Welsh words, and I must say, he's coming along much better than I did!

I thought that I'd post some of Kellan's all time favourite books here for other parents who might be looking to find some new toddler classics.

1. Pretty much anything Boynton is an immediate hit. Favourites include Moo Baa La La La, Doggies, Blue Hat, Green Hat, The Going-To-Bed Book, and Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy!.

2. He adores Bus Stops by Taro Gomi. The pictures are great and he loves saying "Night Night" to the bus at the end of this book.

3. Much to my surprise, he also loves the classics: Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, both by Margaret Wise Brown.

4. A book that he has loved since infancy and which has never lost its appeal is Baby, Boo!. He loves getting to the "boo" page and shouting "Boo!".

5. That's Not My Monster... is a fun book, especially when you scream and go crazy on the last page. We don't have That's Not My Puppy..., but I'll probably pick this up soon for the boy who loves all things dog.

6. And of course any lift the flap book will provide hours of entertainment. We don't let him at the nice ones yet, they're still up with his "big boy" book collection, but anytime we find one at the dollar store its a big hit. It doesn't matter what the book is about, as he simply loves opening and closing the flaps over and over and over again.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Kellan and his friends at the farm

Our trip to the farm

Perhaps "That" wasn't so bad after all...

I may regret having complained in my last post that Kellan doesn't yet have a proper name for me (ie Mom, Mommy, Momma) and instead prefers to call me "That". This morning we were at the DMV to change the address on our driver's licenses. Better late than never. I pulled out my old license, showed it to Kellan and asked, "Who's that?". He enthusiastically pointed at the photo and shouted, "Poppo!" (his word for puppy). Yes, my 16 month old son called me a dog. Thanks Kel.

Friday, July 08, 2005

I want "That"!

Kellan does not call me "Mom". Or "Mommy". Or even "Momma". Kellan calls me "That". When he wants me, he points at me or puts his arms up, and, just as when he asks for a drink or a book or a particular toy, he says, "I want That!". If Nic is holding him, he'll lean over to me and say, "That!". Nic has been "Diddy" for a long time, and now he has been upgraded to a proper "Daddy". When he walks into the room, Kellan shouts, "Daddy!". Each morning when Kellan wakes up and crawls over me to greet his father, he touches his face and says, "Daddy". Very sweet, yes, but what happened to me?

Here's the thing though. Kellan knows how to say "Momma", he used to say it when I asked him to. Not in reference to me mind, but if I asked him to "say mommy" he'd always reply, "Momma!". Until he figured out that I wanted to be called "Momma". Now, if I ask him to "say mommy", he'll smile, look straight at me and shout, "Daddy!". He thinks its hilarious. Other people ask him to "say mommy" and its always the same response. "Daddy!"

If I point at Nic and say, "Who's that?", the answer is a quick and happy, "Daddy!". If I point at myself and ask, "Who am I?", Kellan mimics me, laughing and pointing at himself. If I ask again, he'll simply whine at me.

Mind games already? He's only 16 months old! This kid is going to be trouble.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


This most recent event has been difficult for us because it was very close to the people that we love. Nic's parents live just outside of London and we have many friends who live and/or work in the city. We were riding the tube only a year ago with Kellan when we needed to sort out our passport and visa stuff at the American Embassy. I cannot imagine what I would have done, trapped in a dark smoking car for nearly an hour awaiting rescue workers, especially had Kellan been with me. And then trapped in the city with no way to get home. Our thoughts and prayers go out to our friends and family in the London area today, and to all of the other families who have been affected by this latest act of cowardice.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Aaaahhhhh, summer....

Its been a busy couple of weeks. Lots going on at work and home. We had a fantastic holiday weekend. The weather was nice and we spent lots of time outside cycling, playing at the park, running in the sprinkler, going to the zoo, digging in the sand box, and even managed a bit of gardening while Kellan played with his sidewalk chalk. We went to a fun BBQ for the 4th where the main course was grilled portobello mushrooms. And the vegetarians (us!) breathed a sigh of relief.

We have had wonderfully mild weather this weekend and into the week. A well deserved break after two weeks of humid horrible 90+ degree weather. Its all you can do to get Kellan inside for bath and bed these evenings. And I don't blame him. There is nothing worse than being trapped indoors in the middle of summer. We suffer 5 long months of cold weather over the winter and early spring. When summer comes, we deserve some time outside! Kellan is loving every minute, as am I.






At the park -- as usual!

Here are some photos of Kellan at his favourite place in all the world -- the park.