Monday, November 8, 2010

Alex's 2nd Birthday!!

It's hard to believe that two years have already gone by since Alex was born! On November 5th and 6th we celebrated Alex's second birthday with a weekend long extravaganza. It seems like just yesterday that we were at the hospital when she came into the world. Time really does fly!

Last year, for Alex's first birthday, we had an enormous party. The tradition in Korean culture is to throw a big shindig when the baby finishes her first year. Dozens and dozens of people came to celebrate with us. This year we had a much quieter party, with just a few people invited to our house for her party. Some of the folks were not able to make it, so we wound up with two couples and two of Alex's young friends. It was a great night!

But before that party, we had a family-only dinner for Alex on her actual birthday, the 5th. We went to Alex's favorite restaurant, Red Robin, where Alex ate fish and chips, her favorite dish there. At that restaurant, the waiters come and sing for people celebrating their birthdays. As it turned out, there were several people around us also there for their birthdays, including a 4 year old girl at the next table. We made sure to tell the waiters about Alex, and they came to serenade her. When Alex heard the clapping that proceeds their arrival, at first she thought it was for another table. When she realized it was for her, her eyes lit up.

They brought a sundae with her, and Alex really enjoyed the dessert after her big meal!

The next day was her party. She scored a lot of presents there as well! She loved them all. Here you can see her play with the magnetic numbers she received as one of her gifts.

Later she also got to eat a chocolate birthday cake. Here mommy brings it in while everyone sings Happy Birthday! They put a few more candles on than necessary, but we think it looked better with more candles.

For the first time, she got a chance to blow out birthday candles. OK, mommy helped her a little, but she still managed to get them to go out!

She had a great time with her friends Chloe and Colin.

She wasn't sure what this present was at first...

... but when she realized it was a little puppet, she loved it!

Sunday gave her a chance to play with her new presents and get used to being two years old! It's pretty amazing how much she has developed in just the past few months. She has gone from speaking a few words here and there to complete sentences. In fact, sometimes you can't get her to stop talking! She can sing several songs from memory as well. Every day she says or does something I didn't suspect she could do. We can't wait to see how the next year will go!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Smiling Through Summer!

This is Alex's mommy with a quick post. Alex has been enjoying this summer immensely, spending hours at playgrounds & in the outdoors every day.

She's talking more articulately each day, although she prefers affectionate nicknames: Instead of "cupcakes," she prefers to say "ta-tas" (imagine our surprise & confusion, when she first said this & pointed to a picture of a cupcake!)

We should probably see a dentist soon, as Alex has developed quite the sweettooth like her daddy.
Before ending this post, I should include a picture of me & Alex right before I was heading to a 70's costume party. Yes, those are disco ball earrings that I'm wearing. Alex wanted to pull of my giant wig -- probably because she had a hard time recognizing me in my 'fro.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July: Alex is changing so much!

It's been quite a while since our last post, and Alex has changed so much in that time! I think the last time we were posting, she was just starting to get the hang of walking. Well, that's certainly no problem for her now! She is running all over the place, climbing stairs and furniture, and even climbing the ladder on her toy slide to give it 'one more time', as she puts it (and one more time usually means many more times, I might add!).

As amazing as her newfound mobility is, perhaps the biggest change in the past six months has been her increased ability to talk. She had been already using sign language to communicate with us even before her first birthday, but now it seems like her vocabulary has been growing almost daily. And she is not just saying one word; frequently she strings several of them together in sentences. Just the other day, she sat down on the stairs, pointed to the spot next to her, and said, 'Daddy sit here now'.

I never cease to be amazed at what she has picked up. She can count to 10, for instance, and sometimes does that to put herself to sleep. She has known tons of body parts and types of clothing for months, but now she is also getting colors and can identify pretty much any of her toys by name and type.

The biggest challenges right now are that she sometimes adopts her own terminology for things, and sometimes she can't quite pronounce what she wants to say. She pronounces 'c' as 't', so most words with a 'c' sound sound like 't' words. For instance, 'tat' instead of 'cat'. It can get pretty tricky! She likes to tell me which clothes she wants to wear in the morning. When I ask her what pants she wants, she'll reply, 'tatty'. But she means 'khaki'. Took me a while to get that one!

Another word that challenges her is 'cupcake'. Sometimes she says 'tuptake', but more often she just uses the word 'tata', one of her Alexisms. She has a bunch of those. For instance, she calls her nanny 'Nana', and the nanny's husband Rich she calls 'Ree Ree'. Her word for pizza is 'tabba' (no idea where that came from), but she understands what you mean when you say 'pizza', so it's probably just that she doesn't feel comfortable saying that word. 'Th' is another challenging sound for her, so there is a lot of 'dis' and 'dat' coming from her right now. But she's quite good at identifying something she wants. If she wants you to put cream on a 'booboo', she'll identify it by pointing and saying 'cream dis part'.

Her diet has also expanded a lot. She loves ice cream, which she calls 'um', and french fries, which she labels as 'chen chies' ('f' is another letter that she has trouble pronouncing). Strawberries, avocados, pizza (she loves that), clam chowder, 'tots' (ie tater tots), cheese, potato chips, popsicles, apples, and blueberries are some other favorites at the moment. She hasn't acquired a taste for meat yet, but I expect that will be coming soon.

Next time I'll talk more about how her world is expanding, as she not only reads books but has started watching some TV and interacting more with kids her own age.