Sunday, March 27, 2011

17 Months - Language of love

Julia's speech has just exploded! Yesterday, she pointed to her nose and said, "deus", then pointed to her neck and said, "nnne," for "neck" then pointed to her tummy and said, "maaa" for "maag" and followed shortly after by "b" for bellybutton. She's also saying "oe-huh" for eyes, and "ears" sound kind of the same. Lots of ending consonants absent, but she's actually saying several things that are now recognizable to us. So exciting!

I read a word book to her and Emma, and both of them said,
"Boom" for tree
"Huy" for "huis" (house)
"Cah" for car
"Pop" for doll

Today was the first time I heard Julia ask for her dad. We went for a long walk in the stroller and she said, "Daddy?" (he was at work)

Emma also attempted to say "blom."

We took an hourlong drive to a neighboring city, and I sat next to Emma, who suddenly started talking non-stop. Such an adorable little chatterbox - she seems to have just found her voice.

It was the funniest stream of consciousness. She strung together all of the words she knew into one adamant sentence. "mamma daddy teddy doedoe car ball" and so on.

March 27 update
Ada's words have really picked up the last few days. She's now saying "blou" (blue) more often, and walks around pointing at her nose and saying "neus." She looked at herself in the mirror, and squished her nose with one hand, said "neus" and then pointed at herself in the mirror with the other hand. She cracked herself up. It looked like she was mocking herself.

She also says, "no," and "nee" and "teddy." Ada has basically started saying all of the words her sisters have been saying for a week or two, which is amazing, considering that she has been very focused on learning to walk. She says "pie" for "piesang" (banana), and "boh" for "bottle" and "b" for "bellybutton."

She understands and points to her head, hair, eyes, nose, ears, shoulders, tummy, feet/toes, hands, fingers, and mouth. In addition to these, Emma and Julia also know "neck" and "back." They're all starting to understand "tongue," and we're working on cheecks and teeth now.

Our nanny, an OT student, remarked last week that her motor planning is remarkable for a kid her age. Very encouraging. She's shifting her weight easily, and figuring out how to climb into and out of boxes, climb on the couch, and is consistently sliding down feet first from low raised surfaces, like an air bed.

Her balance is improving by the day, and I'm amazed at how freely she moves. She dances. Often. She twirls in circles when she hears a song she likes, or when we sing "Ring around the rosie." (yes, I know the history, but you know, I played this as a kid and I'm not scarred.)

Because of this song, they all understand and say, "down." In fact, they head toward the floor just before we get to the "all fall down" part while saying, "down."

All 3 say, "done" and "klaar," especially when they're done with meals or bottles. Yes, *gasp* they're not off bottles yet. They drink from sippy cups during the day, but to get their vitamins and probiotics in, we use the little NICU bottles. They can say, "boh" for "bottle."

They definitely know "ja" (yes) and "no/nee." They are too funny when saying "yes," it sounds more like "uh-ja-ah." They say this with a funny inflection that cracks me up.

Earlier this week, I started asking them to sit when we read, or when I hand them their sippies. For the most part, they listen and I'm blown away by that.

Julia and Emma consistently point to "ball," "car" "teddy" "maan" (moon) in books and know those objects. They recognize many more, but those are the ones that they say while pointing out the correct object. Other animals, for example, they recognize and will make the appropriate sound to imitate the animal, but they won't say the animal name yet.

They're imitating sounds much more often, and I realized that when reading the Sandra Boynton book, "Doggies" to them. It's a counting book, and each dog has a unique bark. We had a Scottie, so I imitated the "bow wow wow" of the Scotty, the "n n n n" yelp, and the "Ar roof" of the Afghan (my husband used to have an Afghan.) When I was about midway through the book (the sounds repeat), it sounded like we were running a kennel! All 3 of them were barking/howling/imitating like crazy!! I just burst out laughing at my little pack of wolves.

Unlike her sisters who say, "neigh" when asked about the sound a horse makes, Ada clicks her tongue like I always do when we play on the rocking horse. It's adorable. Whenever she sees a picture of a horse, or the horses-on-a-stick, she clicks.

All 3 now say, "book." Ada chews on books (4th eyetooth coming in), so I sometimes place books we've read out of reach on the kitchen counter. She knows they're there, and will walk over, reach, and say, "book, book, book."

Tonight, Emma said, "stop and go" (thank you, Little People schoolbus.) Emma also said, "juju" a pet name a friend gave her sister, Julia. It was the first recognizable name for one of their sisters.

Julia is now able to make the guttural "g" sound. I was floored when she said, "oog" (eye) perfectly as all 3 of the girls have been omitting the consonants at the end of words.

A dear friend took photos of them when they were 11 months old and framed it for us as a first birthday present. The pictures of their little eyes and feet hang in the hallway, and we point them out before heading to bed every night. It's part of our nighttime routine, to say goodnight to the pictures on the wall.

Last night, there was much crabbiness in our house, and so we looked at some of the other pics leading to the nursery, but skipped the eyes/feet photos and headed straight for the cribs. Julia let me have it! She was saying, "oog oog oog oog" all the way to the crib, with increasing intensity and urgency. I turned back and we went to look at their little eyes and toes on the photos, because she was just that cute. Routine matters.

I stay in the nursery another few minutes after my husband has left the room. I pick them up one by one, and sing to them. A simple lullabye. This is my selfish time with each of them. A chance for me to be still, to be thankful, to just breathe, and to just love on them without the million things that need to happen every day to keep our little show on the road.

I tell each baby I love her. Usually, I say goodnight, and blow 3 kisses as I pull the door closed behind me. The past week or so, they've been blowing kisses back. So sweet.

Two nights ago, I also told them each just how much I love them, and how impressed and proud I am of the things they do (I used different examples for each child), and how smart I think they are. After my little spiel, Ada gave me such a heartfelt kiss, and made a "mwah" sound as she giggled. It was incredibly tender.

Then I spoke to Julia, and whispered into her ear, and when I was done, she leaned in and held me tighter and gave me a kiss too. I thought it was just coincidence, but then Emma did the exact same thing. She leaned her head against me, squeezed me a little tighter with her arms, and then picked her head up and made, "mwah" as she kissed me. It's obvious to me now that they understand every word I whispered to them.


Dee said...

Just wondering if you are south african? sounds like your girls are speaking afrikaans? Im south african!

Sounds like you guys are having a wonderful time, cant wait for my trips to start speaking that must be so special!

Michele said...


Anonymous said...

So adorable! Kissy noises are the sweetest :).

Chelle said...

This is a great post and the last paragraph made me all warm and fuzzy! So sweet.

Your girls are doing so well. You are such a good mama.