Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Holding on to Memories

Well the other day I sat down to write a little post all about Joshua and what he's been up to, but just a  few minutes before I was about to finish, I ended up losing everything I wrote...and I was too tired and frustrated to write it all over again that day so now I'm going to attempt to recall everything I wanted to write!

I've been so terrible about keeping a record of things Joshua's been doing and milestones he's reached. I think we've got all the 'major' ones, but there's a lot of little details that I've unfortunately already forgotten!

But, with Joshua's 15 month birthday approaching, I want to sit down and get some things recorded for memorie's sake!

(One of his favorite places to hang out!)

Joshua is like a little sponge these days, learning so much so quickly and he understands SO much of what's going on around him! I absolutely love watching him grow and's fascinating! I've been trying to teach him some sign language and it's really fun! He catches on very quickly and it's given us a glimpse of just how much he understands in spite of being in able to communicate! 

The other day when I was feeding him, it was quiet but the birds were chirping. While he was eating he looked at me and signed bird, all on his own without me prompting! It was the first time he had signed it by himself after I had been teaching him for a few weeks. It blew my mind and really opened my eyes to how much he understands!

When I worked at day care, I knew I wanted to try using sign language with my kids because it was so cool! And now it's really fun to watch him learn and communicate! I bought a Baby Einstein DVD way back then and Joshua is currently enjoying it now :) We haven't done a lot yet, as I still have some more learning to do (YouTube is so great!) but some of the ones he knows are:

Daddy (he's holding out on Mommy both in sign language and words!)
Milk (that was his first one...I'd been doing it for weeks every time he nursed and finally one morning when we got him up, he furiously signed milk with both hands...and has ever since! Guess he was hungry!)
Sleep (his version cracks me up...I should take a video!)
And he has his own sign for his Papa D that he does every time we say his name or talk on FaceTime!

We're working on:
Please (he does it, but doesn't quite understand when to use it yet...'more' takes precedence!)
Drink ( I don't think he understands thirst yet so he hasn't really been doing that one yet)
Eat (he says "Mum! Mum! Mum! every time we sign/say eat or when he gets his eyes on a snack but doesn't sign it)
Thank You (he usually nods his head Japanese style and blows out his nose as he nods when we ask him to say thank you in both English and Japanese) 
All Done (he takes his bib off instead of signing all done!)

(I love seeing him 'get into' his books these days, flipping pages and chattering away)

We often listen to a Christian kid's praise music station and the 'Zacheus' song is a favorite of mine because I do a few actions with J. A couple months ago that song came on and before the words even started, he looked at me and started 'wagging' his finger like I do for the part that says 'Zacheus, you come down from there!' Once again, my mind was blown!

He's also recently started clapping when he hears the word clap in songs without prompting!

He has a favorite Japanese TV show called "Inai, Inai, Baa!" (Peek-a-boo). He loves one song in particular and knows some of the actions to that one too and will do them right before the characters do!

The channel that this show is on is unfortunately kind of unreliable and will often cut out. The other day it cut out in the middle of his show and he picked up the DVD remote that he plays with and very intentionally started pressing buttons and looking up at the screen, trying to fix it! I guess he was imitating me and how I always try to change the channel and try to get it back on when it cuts off!

He's recently started playing peek-a-boo by himself and says a hearty 'baaa!' when he "appears". He usually knows where his eyes, ears, nose, mouth and toes are when we ask him. He holds up one finger when we ask him in Japanese how old he is, and he raises his hand when we "take roll", calling his name. 

He also loves to play in the water and loves bath time and pool time.

He has really turned a corner in his eating these last couple of days. I still have to mix everything with yoghurt for his main meal, but he's recently been more open to trying almost everything we eat. Even if he spits something out the first try, he will often take a second bite and decide it's not so bad. Our most recent victory has been bananas! For the longest time, he would dramatically gag anytime we offered him banana or put banana in anything, but now he actually likes it! We're thankful because bananas are cheap here, unlike all other fruits! I'm so thankful for this answer to prayers and have officially stopped crying and worrying about his eating habits! ;)

He's gotten past the inability to stay awake for more than 2 hours at a time (finally!!) and has been on a really good schedule the last couple weeks getting in some good, long naps! 

He is just so much fun these days and he brings us so much joy!

(First trip to the hot springs with Dad!) funny story about that...Bobby was super nervous that J would decide to pee or poo in the water, but thankfully as far as he could tell, he didn't! But, that night when he came home and we gave J a bath, he pooped in the tub for the first time!! B said if that had of happened before his trip to the hot springs, he probably never would have taken him! ;)

But, we do have our moments of frustration when he can't communicate what he wants...or doesn't get what he wants. I feel like no one ever really talks about how much frustration thee is in this stage of development...both for parents and the child. I'm thankful that signing is helping with that, but it only goes so far! Discipline feels like a hairy subject because I know he understands a lot, but I can't seem to figure out just how much he understands in the area of discipline so I fear being too hard on him, beyond what he can, I'm praying for wisdom in that area!!

(All dressed up for the Hirao festival!)

He's still not walking yet...but loves to cruise on the furniture or with the help of someone's fingers. He's only stood by himself once for about 10 seconds a few weeks back, but hasn't tried since! He's getting braver with only holding on by one hand and sometimes uses his belly for support against the furniture instead of his hands so I have a feeling one of these days he's just going to take off and hit the ground running...and my life will never be the same! ;)

His "lovey" is his sleep sack! I tried giving him a lighter blanket for the sake of it being easier to transport and wash, etc, but for whatever reason, he holds on to his sleep sack every time he gets sleepy! He also has a stuffed monkey named "Squishy" from his cousins and aunt and uncle in Canada  that he sleeps with and plays with in his crib. When we ask him where Squishy is, he always looks around and finds him!

He recently started giving us hugs when we ask for them...we say "hugs!" In a big exadurated voice and stretch out our arms and he'll stretch out his arms and lean forward. I love that and can't wait for him to start being more affectionate! He has for a while now been giving us 'smoochies' when we ask for them...aka big wide open mouth slobbery kisses!

He's currently cutting one, maybe two molars, but seems to be handling it pretty good...better than I would anyway! He's had 4 on top and 4 on the bottom for quite a while now.

He loves pinwheels! (The rainbow things on a stick that twirl in the wind) Our neighbor had some in his garden for a long time but put them away when a typhoon was coming but never put them back out for some reason. Every time we went outside, J would point and twirl his finger to get us to take him to see the pinwheels! Finally the other day Bobby broke down and bought one for him and it was worth every yen for the smiles he gives us while he plays with it! He bought a cheap one for him to play with and a "nicer one" for our garden for him to look at.

He knows our routine pretty well...after eating dinner he signs 'bath' and when we sit down to eat he puts his hands together to pray (but only for a second!). At bedtime after Bobby reads the Bible story, J will usually put his hands together to pray then too. And after that he points to our "goodnight board" where we have pictures of our families and say goodnight to everyone. 

I think that's all for now. I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting, but oh well! Hope you enjoyed the update and pictures...sorry once again for being such a terrible blogger! I still intend to write a post on his first birthday...that was 3 months ago!!

(Oh, and as a random side note, I just discovered that the draft of my last blog got saved after all...after I finished typing this one out!! Oh was good to see what I forgot and add that in!)

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