Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chatty Little Benny

Benjamin has been babbling for months, with the occasional few random words. In the last 2 days he has made a HUGE leap in his talking. He now says teddy, kitty and car while pointing to the appropriate objects. He’s said these 3 words close to 100 times in the last 2 days.

Yesterday we were doing the grocery shopping and we bought a packet of kitty little tray plastic liners. The box had a cartoon picture of a cat on it, and he picked it up and pointed to the cat and said “kitty”.

There have been several other small incidences like this when he’s used words appropriately and in ways i didn’t expect him to be able to do. He will also attempt to say a greater variety of words if we ask him to. He’s very proud of him self and smiles a lot when we praise him for talking.

Ethan is still our quiet thinker and observer. We get the impression Ethan understands more than Ben, while Ben talks more than Ethan. It’s interesting to watch them develop.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Impressive Comprehension – 16months & 1week old

Our little men still aren’t talking much, but they sure do understand so much of what is said around them. We have to be careful of what we say. We’ve even started spelling words!

They are still learning body parts. They can now point to:

  • eyes
  • nose
  • mouth
  • teeth
  • ears
  • hair
  • belly
  • chest (but mostly they aim a little low and get their belly again!)
  • hands
  • fingers
  • legs
  • feet
  • toes
  • willy (penis)

We are trying to teach knees, arms and shoulders at the moment.

They have a book where “baby elmo” does various actions, and when we read it they try to follow the actions. They can copy baby elmo:

  • stand up tall
  • reach up high
  • touch your nose
  • touch your toes
  • play peek-a-boo
  • wave bye bye
  • turn around
  • sit down
  • say ‘ma ma ma’
  • say ‘da da da’
  • sing ‘la la la’
  • laugh ‘ha ha ha’

They also understand other simple commands/questions:

  • can point to, or go and get almost any familiar object you ask them to, then they can take it where you ask them to. – this is most helpful when you’re changing a poopy bum and the nappy rash cream/ clean nappy/wipes etc are a few meters away. My little helper (who initially moved it away) can bring it back to me now! They are also good at putting their dirty clothes in the dirty clothes basket. We have yet to teach them to put their toys and books away!
  • stand up
  • sit down
  • lie down
  • spin around
  • dance
  • walk backwards
  • ride your bike
  • go down backwards (steps etc)
  • take your dummy out
  • put your dummy in your mouth
  • put your dummy in the box (little container to store dummies next to their cots)
  • ta for mummy (and they will usually give you what ever they have in their hand. Rarely they consider it too good to give up, in which case they will shake their head)
  • shut the door/drawer (only works sometimes, but they understand what i mean, they just choose to ignore me!)
  • are you hungry?
  • Would you like some……… (name various foods and they will shake or nod their heads – sometimes)
  • would you like some water?
  • would you like some milk?
  • where’s …….(mummy, mumma, ethan, ben, your brother, grandma, nana, kitty, melissa(cat), zazy(cat)…… etc)
  • let go into the ………….. (kitchen, bedroom, living room, outside etc)
  • would you like to read a book?
  • go and choose a book you’d like to read

They are also starting to learn about their clothes. They know:

  • pants
  • singlet
  • socks
  • shoes
  • nappy
  • hat
  • sleep suit

They are still learning shirt and haven’t started wearing shorts yet this season.

Amazingly, with all this comprehension, they have yet to listen to me when i tell them to get out of the cupboards, draws, cat food, store room, bathroom, nappy box etc!!!!! They truly are curious little toddlers who have an incessant need to explore, manipulate and learn about EVERYTHING!!!!!!!

I know it’s normal, i know it’s healthy, but after 12 hours of two toddlers getting into everything……. it’s FRUSTRATING and I love bedtime!!!

They are still sitting at the table eating their meals like big boys. Ethan, who’s always been the better eater, is getting very very good at eating all his dinner on a plate with fork. Benjamin prefers to squash his vegetables with the handle end of the fork, but will eat them if you hold his hand and the fork and help him. They both want to have the opportunity to try and feed them self from a bowl with a spoon (yoghurt or cereal etc), but we haven’t had the guts to let them have free reign at that one yet. Soon i suppose! I’m not looking forward to the mess! They haven’t quite got the idea of holding the bowl still with one hand, while the other uses the spoon. Last time we tried, they basically stabbed the yoghurt with the spoon until the bowl almost fell off the table.

Their allergies and diet restrictions are going quite well. We have slowly been introducing more foods. At the 12 month appointment we were given about 6-8 “challenges” to do, which tested certain additives. They have had a few very mild reactions, but nothing bad at all. I think we only have dried fruit and food colourings to go. We should do them soon, but it’s hard to find the right time. We must choose a 3 day period when Ben’s skin has been good, and his diet as been good, and try to keep it that way so we can test properly. Life seems to get in the way! For example, we were going to do it last week, but we had a BBQ chicken, chips and salad for lunch (from a chicken shop). We gave the boys some chicken, chips (fries) that had chicken salt on them and some of the salad (cucumber, fetta and olives) They had not had chicken salt, fetta or olives before, so we didn’t want to do a food challenge near that day in case they were reacting to the other new food. Today we went to the shops, and Sal had a fruit salad with yoghurt and muesli on top. Of course the boys wanted some, so they had some. These are all foods they are allowed to eat, but as it’s food from a food court and we can’t read the ingredients label, and we don't know for sure that the chopping board that they used to cut the fruit salad was clean, and didn’t have any allergy products on it – we take a small risk. The boys were fine with the fruit salad, it is a risk we’re willing to take occasionally, and I don't want to deprive them, but it makes it hard to fit in these challenges to make sure the results are accurate. Life just gets in the way!

Ethan seems to have had a growth spurt recently. He looks bigger. I’m sure he’s about 2-3cm (an inch) taller than Ben now. He feels heavier too. Ben is still a little skinny light weight. He feels very light when you pick him up compared to Ethan.  We haven’t had them weighed and measured lately, I’d actually be curious to know what they weigh. I think Ben is a little skinny, but I don’t know how to fatten him up. He eats and drinks less than Ethan. I don’t think you can force a toddler to eat more. Can you?

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, what else? There are so many things our little toddlers are learning and doing every day. I may complain about the toddler insanities, but I really am enjoying this age. Last week they discovered that the front tap was dripping. Such a simple thing that an adult wouldn’t think twice about provided so much enjoyment. They spent ages feeling the water drip on their hands, laughing, squealing in delight and running around the garden. It brings a smile to my face to watch them play, learn and just be happy.

I’m sure there are many more things that B&E are doing at the moment but that’ll have to be another entry….

Monday, September 7, 2009

We bought a house!

Today, after 2 stressful weeks of waiting, the bank has finally given approval on our home loan. We are officially able to buy our first house!!!! We put down our 5% deposit and we are so excited about moving into our very own home :)

Below are a few pics of the house we’re planning to buy.


Front Entrancetn_105902357jl1248852048

Front living roomtn_105902357el1248852034  

Second (back) living room, dining area and kitchen (also see combustion fire in the corner)tn_105902357cl1248852028


Kitchen (we love our new cook top and oven!!)tn_P8250019

Different angle of the second living room.tn_105902357kl1248852051 

Master bedroom (note it has a balcony, walk in robe and ensuite!)tn_105902357hl1248852042 

Second bedroom (will become our spare room)tn_P8250042

Third bedroom (will become the boys room)tn_P8250049

Fourth bedroom (will be a study for us too)tn_P8250056

Main bathroomtn_105902357gl1248852040

First part of the back yard just out the door from the dining areatn_P8250037

Lower entertaining area (see the hot tub – we get to keep it!)tn_105902357bl1248852025 

Grassy area of the back yardtn_105902357ll1248852054


Cubby house (we get to keep this too!)tn_P8250029 

We’re looking forward to moving into our new place in the second week of October :)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Riding bikes

The boys love riding their little bikes lately. They ride them around the house every day. They are funny with the way they ride them, they usually stand and just walk with their legs over the bike. They haven’t got the concept of pushing with two feet at once and letting the wheels do the work.

They are little plastic bikes with no steering control. You have to lift the front wheels to change direction. They are starting to get quite good control of the bike and the steering. so we’ve started taking them outside to ride in the back yard. They had a great time in the yard yesterday.

We have a small relatively steep slope in the yard, and the boys have become dare devils and will ride their bikes down the slope. This was the first time they actually lifted their feet and let the wheels take them. They thought it was great fun!!!!!!

Below is Ethan riding his bike down the slope

Ben riding his bike down the slopetn_P9050073


Ethan and Bentn_P9050070

Friday, September 4, 2009

Getting closer to buying a house.

We went to the house again yesterday to look at the retaining walls (in the rain) with a landscape gardener. Apparently it is not as bad as we first thought.

There is one wall at the side of the house that is rotting and needs replacing, but it isn’t a big job and would cost only about $500 to fix. There is another wall that’s on a bit of a lean, but isn’t going anywhere any time soon. It would also cost about $500 to fix. The main big wall that is on a lean has apparently already been reinforced. If it fell it would be about $3000 to fix, but as it has been reinforced, it shouldn’t fall – we hope!

We have decided we are willing to take the risk, and we still want to proceed with buying the house.

Of course the bank is taking it’s sweet time to approve our home loan. We have conditional approval based on our incomes and assets and all of that. We are only waiting for the bank to value the house, then we can buy it! We have until Tuesday. We hope the bank will give us approval by then, or the vendor will allow us another few days. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh the stress of it all!!!

In other news, our little toddlers are doing great. They are happy healthy boys. They are starting to run and it’s very cute and very funny.

Tracie was reading a book about toddlers, and it said that a small amount of toddlers at this age can follow a two step verbal command without gestures. So we decided to test them. We were sitting on the couch and the boys were playing and walking around the room. Tracie and Sal were having a discussion about what specific two step command we could try. Tracie said to Sal “maybe we could ask him to go get igglepiggle and bring it to mumma – Do you think that’s a good step command???” (they have an igglepiggle toy - which is a character a tv show the boys like). Ethan must have been listening to our conversation, because without even being directly asked he immediately walked over to igglepiggle, picked him up and brought him over to his mumma. Such a clever boy!!! There are many situations like this each week when we are continually amazed about how much they listen to us, and how much they take in that we don’t realise. We really have to be careful what we say around them now!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Trying to buy a house

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, life has been a little busy and stressful lately. We are trying to buy a house. We’ve found a house we like.We put in an offer and after a little negotiation, we' agreed on a price. Last Tuesday (7 days ago) we put down our 0.25% deposit ($900ish) and started the process of buying the house.

A week later we are still waiting and still stressing. We’ve had the pest and building inspections done. There isn’t any pest problems, and the house is in pretty good condition considering its age (about 25-30 yrs old). The main problem is the retaining walls in the back yard and on the left side of the property. According to the builder, they aren’t structurally sound and could fall down. We are going to the property again on Thursday to meet with a landscape gardener who will give a quote on what it would cost to fix/replace them.

We are also still waiting for the bank to give us approval on the home loan. We have a mortgage broker who’s liaising with the bank. We hope it comes through soon!

This whole ordeal is very stressful and time consuming. We hope we have all the answers soon. We really want to buy this house, so I hope it isn’t as bad as it sounds and everything happens smoothly.