Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ben at 16 months

Ben turned sixteen months old on Monday. Looking back at some of his photos from a year ago, it's hard to reconcile that tiny, mostly-bald baby with our big, independent, chatty boy with his thick head of hair! He is talking up a storm with some recognizable words & word approximations and lots of baby chatter. We read Going On A Bear Hunt tonight and he surprised us by chiming in on some of the repeated "uh ohs!" It is one of his favorite words. We are also working on adding "please" to his mealtime requests for "more," which he both says and signs more and more clearly. When we look at books or just go around the house, he points to things, sometimes saying something that's probably his early version of "what's that?" We generally don't watch any kids' TV shows, but he loves watching funny kitty/puppy videos and Sesame Street and drum corps videos on YouTube. There might be a Drum Corps International show in the area this summer, but I'm not sure if live drum corps would be too overstimulating for him at this age. It's definitely something I'm looking forward to taking him to in the future! They are always a good spectacle.

My parents flew to KC to take care of Ben a few weekends ago while Dave was accompanying me to a regional music therapy conference in Ft. Collins, Colorado. The conference was at Colorado State and we got to stay with Herb's cousin Mercy & her husband Ken, who is a retired history prof at CSU. My presentation with my co-worker went well and I attended several good sessions. Dave got to see more of the beautiful scenery than I did, but took lots of pictures of the Rockies for me. I didn't have enough free time to see Estes Park or the Rocky Mtn. National Park this time, but Ken & Mercy drove us around the pretty Horsetooth Reservoir and Dave and I wandered around Old Town on a few afternoons, sampling some of Ft. Collins' wonderful food! There were so many interesting restaurants that it was hard to choose. I also got to reconnect with an early childhood specialists who was one of my close co-workers at Columbus (now Nationwide) Children's Hospital. She now lives east of Ft. Collins and we had a great lunch together and talked a lot!

Ben & his Grammie & Grandpa had a great time at home while we were away. They played outside, read a lot of books (or, more likely with Ben, a few books over and over!) and probably had a lot of hugs and cuddles.

As Ben & our friends' kids had such a good time at Paradise Park, we decided to try a similar kids' attraction, Wonderscope in Shawnee, KS this Sunday. Ben slept in late, refused to take his morning nap, and as they label it at daycare, was "sensitive" for part of the afternoon. He did warm up eventually and have fun exploring the different areas as long as we were nearby.

It took a few minutes of modeling for him to figure out exactly what the awesome car ramp was for in the toddler room. It also took a lot of distraction so he would stop paying attention to the dirty toys & cars in the fenced-in closet behind him!

He loved exploring the texture wall.

There was a room partially sponsored by the Women in Engineering Society (I'm sure Heather or Sarah can correct me if that's not the correct title!) with various exhibits/experiments using golf balls to explore energy. Ben liked watching the balls go down a loop-the-loop track, try to toss one into a spinning pail, and spiral down the funnel-shaped thing pictured below. His feet did kind of get in the way of the ball's biggest path, but it was the best way for him to see what was going on and get involved!

We ended the day in the water play room. I think we're just going to have to buy the boy a full-body wet suit for the next time we come here, because he always ends up soaked, even with the aprons! Thankfully, learning from our Paradise Park experience, we not only brought a change of clothes but also remembered dry socks & shoes. Next time we'll bring a towel as well!

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