Whew! Well we had a busy November with a Mississippi trip, New Orleans visit, and South Texas Thanksgiving. Samuel signs all the basic words now:
arms up (looks like he's saying touch down!)
help (see note below)
He gets 'help' mixed up with more, but if he is playing, gets frustrated & yells, then walks up to you saying more, you can bet he needs help. Context clues, indeed Sherlock. :) He says mama, da, nana, aaaaa, dadda, eat, ezzzz (please). He's at that stage where he sounds like he says the actual correct word all the time, but then has trouble repeating the right word again. It leaves us saying, "did he just say xxxx?" all the time. It's anyone's guess if he really did. :)
Meanwhile, Samuel has turned into a big climber. For instance, he'll move the blocks box over to the toy chest, so he can climb up on box, then climb & stand on toy chest. This whole process will be so that he can push buttons on Sabrina's cd player which is resting on the ledge above the toy chest. This is a very effective technique to stop any continous music play and really aggravate your sister. He's also developed proficiency at moving the small chairs to many drawers all over the kitchen so he can dig in the drawers & get stuff out. All good until he discovers the knife drawer. Boo... we'll be adding a drawer latch this week to that! Also scary in that it is really a challenge to manage the stove. Besides using the back burners, we can't really turn our backs on him while cooking.
Samuel continues to be quite the dancer. Put on any music, and he'll draw close, like a moth to flame. Then he'll sway his hips side to side, bounce up and down by bending his knees, and occasionally spin. Clap, and he'll clap with you. If you tell him good job, he starts clapping for himself, and you can't help but join him. He's gotten a lot faster lately. Sometimes he'll get motivated to bolt for the laundry room (play in the doggy water bowl) or bathroom (loves the blue stool to reach the sink). He also sometimes likes to play chase with Sabrina, but he's still inconsistent with this - has to be in the mood! He loves to push Sabrina on her trike, or while riding the little yellow car. He's investigated our Christmas tree thoroughly, and we are glad for all the plastic ornaments on the bottom 1/3 of the tree. He really enjoys yanking them down & handing them to me & his dad.
He is starting to pretend, with babies & teddy bears, holding them longer and pushing them in the baby stroller. He also is starting to like the train set, moving trains up & around the track. He had a great time at the Barnes & Noble train table Saturday, moving the trains all over that thing. He isn't grabby yet, so when a bigger boy took his train out of his hand, he just looked at me quizzically. The train was returned by the little boy's father, and Samuel was back to happy again quickly.
I feel so incredibly blessed this Christmas. Most all of our family is healthy and well. There have been years where this was not true. Our kids are inquisitive & fun, and we had a great Saturday shopping for all of our loved ones. We went to the Christmas tree lighting & singalong at the Capitol a couple of weeks ago, then visited the Paramount for refreshments & Rudolph viewing. Walked down Congress hearing live music, and did a crafts project with Sabrina. We have most all of the presents wrapped & under the tree, and realize we are one of the few families in the world who have such plenty. We are looking forward to Grandma & Papa arriving Wednesday night, then Wimberley on Thursday night, and Christmas Eve at Rae's. For the first time in our married lives, we'll celebrate Christmas day in our own home, with our 2 wonderful children. Sabrina is filled with expectation and excitement for the big day. Allie, our Christmas elf, has been hopping all around the house since after Thanksgiving, and she serves as a daily reminder to Sabrina of the Christmas to come and how to behave to make that Christmas all that she wants it to be.