Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fun with Chalk and Bubbles

I've been meaning to post these pics for a few days now and am just now getting around to it...sorry! Dean had a good time last weekend coloring all over the driveway with some sidewalk chalk!! Here are a few pictures (forgive me for my "artistic" shots....I am taking an online digital photography class to try to learn some of the manual settings on my super nice camera I've had for almost 3 years now but never taken off of auto....I'm quickly learning that although I do consider myself to be a very creative person, I am soooo NOT artistic!!! And yes, there is a difference!).

Dean is so funny. He has learned to open the big heavy door into the garage and well, we can't have him going out there. We've had NO luck finding a child lock that fits the handle on that door, so being the evil parents that we are, we told him one time that there was a monster out there. I'm not even sure how he knows what a monster is (other than Cookie Monster, who he loves). But somehow, instinct kicked in (or maybe it was the exaggerated sound of terror in our voices when we told him "no Dean no, don't go out there, there's a monster in there", but he's convinced. He hasn't even tried to go out there since. In fact, now when I go out there to do the laundry, he stands inside the door and seems a little worried. When I come back in, he grabs my hand and looks up at me and says "no, no. Monsters, Mommy". I've told him that "the Monsters are scared of Mommies and Daddies and we would never let them get you, but it's probably just a good idea to stay in the house anyway, OK?". He listens intently, says "OK" and then runs off to play without a care in the world. I can't believe how smart he is. Well, I think he's smart. I need to get out my books and compare him to the "norm", but it seems early to me for some of the things he is able to do. He will be 2 in December and he is able to identify just about all of his colors, he can count to 4 - sometimes 5 (sometimes I can even say "how many, Dean?" if there are 2 or 3 objects and he can correctly say 2 or 3 without having to count them), and he is able to identify several letters (probably about half of them). He is also able to watch something on TV and apply those concepts to things he sees in real life. For example, the only time he has ever seen hop-scotch to my knowledge is on Curious George (if you're a parent of a toddler, you've probably seen the episode with the lucky hat about a million times also). My Mom said that on their walk a few weeks ago, they came to a chalk drawing of hop-scotch and Dean was standing on 1 foot and trying to jump, like he knew what to do. It is just so amazing to watch his little mind develop!! Anyway, enough Mom boasting.

You may remember that Dean had been going to Music Together classes at the Tropical Plantation since he was about 4 months old and LOVED them. The classes usually run in about 9-week sessions, about 4 sessions per year. They have cancelled the last 2 sessions and I have heard through the Mom gossip that they may not re-start. I was very disappointed about this as Dean really enjoyed the classes and I liked that he had some social time with other kids his age. Last week we were playing at the play structure at the mall and ran into one of the little girls from his gymnastics class, Makena, and her Mom, Brynn. Brynn told me about Kindermusic (which I've heard wonderful things about but didn't realize we had here on Maui). It runs year-round (not in sessions like Music Together) and is for children birth to 3 yrs old. We attended our first class on Wednesday. Let's just say that I think Dean really NEEDS to be involved in some type of structured group activity like that. He didn't participate as much as he did in Music Together, but I'm hoping that's because it was in a completely new environment (it's at the Music Conservatory at the mall, where I was also excited to hear they have wonderful piano lessons beginning at age 4) with lots of new things to look at, new people to check out, etc. He mostly just ran around the room, tried to climb the shelves, and didn't share a single thing. I signed up for a month, so we'll see how it goes. Keep your fingers crossed. We've definitely entered the "Terrible Twos", so I'm just hoping we can get through classes without any major meltdowns!!!

Oh, last but not least....we are very proud that Dean now says "please" and "thank you" without being prompted. It's pretty funny though that his "thank you" sounds EXACTLY like a really really naughty word that starts with an "f" "F$&% you". When we're out in public and he says this, I sometimes get some weird looks, so I always try to quickly say "oh, you're welcome Dean" very loudly.

OK, sorry for the lengthy update...I'll try to be more consistent with my posts!! Take care and have a good weekend!

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