Saturday, April 04, 2009

Alex's Word Quiz

Back in September 2007 when Will was about 18 months old, we posted his first 50 words. Now, as we are continuously comparing our children, we realize that, according to Dan, Alex seems to be into sentences. So, I thought I would quiz Alex on words even though he is only 15 months old.

Will only words in blue. Will and Alex words in red. Alex only words in green.
hey, hi, hello, bye bye
dad, mom, baby
, dude, Asha, Sidney, Alex
ball, box, block, truck, book, bubble, balloon, slide, swing
go, shoes,
up, down, door, this way, outside, step, open
car, key, airplane,
bird, dog, puppy, bee, bear, dinosaur (di-di), duckie
no, mine, me, you, oh-oh, oh no, thank you, please, more, yeah, I, all done
ding, beep, pop, crash, dance, boom (the sound dinosaurs make when they walk)
bath, shower, towel,
nose, eye, ear, teeth,
chair, food, hot, eggs,
cheese, banana, cracker, water, milk, fork, cup, straw, bib, bowl, bottle, apple, melon, oatmeal, snack, eat
drawer, rock, dirt,
hat, pen, phone, book
that, there, yea

48 words so far. And, since both Will and I can sign some words, Alex has actually learned how to sign apple, cheese, all done, wind, cold, more, and hat. Although I have to give credit to Zimry for teaching him more.

I have to say, my favorite word that Alex has learned is "yeah." Oddly, Will didn't learn a positive yes word until much later. With Alex, we can actually ask him if he wants something and he will say "yeah." In fact, when he wants anything, he will sometimes point to it and say, "that, yeah" but most of the time, I find him simply nodding and saying yeah over and over, not quite sure what he wants. It's also funny when he vehemently shakes his head "no."

Alex has also figured out what duckies, frogs, birds, vehicles, dinosaurs and puppies say. The puppy part is mostly due to the fact that Will has developed his first imaginary friends. He has a group of imaginary baby puppies that go places with him. He made me open the car door to let them out after I got him out of the car the other day. We quiz him on how many there are, "a lot" and what their names are, "they don't have names yet." Although today he named one of them Max. Max joined us on a walk to Starbucks. Will is also convinced that he is a puppy, making the rest of us "mommy puppy," "daddy puppy," and "baby puppy."

Here is an example of Alex explaining what dinosaurs say.

Oddly, Will has switched from calling us mama and dad (or mamadad collectively) to mommy and daddy. I think he learned this at school. He is also quite sophisticated in his language usage, effectively expressing his displeasure about many things.

The two kids together have taken up syncronized activities. These include nodding and saying, "yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah." They also dance, spin, and they stick their tongues out together. Plus, as an added bonus, we have syncronized throw-yourself-on-the-ground-tantrums. Fortunately Alex doesn't quite understand what he is doing and Will does understand that he gets sent to his room if he does this.

Sometimes they are in sync, but sometimes they disagree. For example, when they watch YouTube together, they want to see different videos. I'll see if I can upload the video of them watching YouTube to YouTube. Because that is what comes next. YouTube videos of people watching YouTube.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

No Longer Picky

Did you know that being picky about food is like any other behavioral habit? While it is difficult to quit "cold turkey," you can try to stop over time. Or, you can use a substitute to the picky-ness to get you through the process.

For those of you who have ever had a meal with me, you know that I am one of those people who order food, then modify the order and ask for special sides. Then, when it arrives, I send it back if it is not precisely what I ordered. Being from the Midwest, I tend to be a "food racist" and only eat the white food (chicken, mashed potatoes, corn).

No more! I have decided not to be picky anymore. Now, before you pull out some butter sauteed mushrooms dipped in vinegar with a side of sushi for me to eat, there are limits. and they are basically that. I am still not going to eat fungus. It's not really a food anyway. And uncooked meat? I'll pass for now. Vinegar? I'll eat it if it is in a nice vinaigrette (previously avoided) which happens to come with my meal, but I won't go out of my way to eat it. I feel that these remaining restrictions are OK.

How did I come to this realization that being picky was just not worth it? It sort of started when I was pregnant in Japan. I got used to the idea that food was not going to magically appear in exactly the way I wanted. Now, this did not stop me, at that time, from buying super expensive chicken breasts at the store and cooking them to satisfy my white food craving. It also did not stop me from visiting many of the TGIFs in Tokyo or visiting the Best El Torito in the World in Omotesando (which I believe, sadly, now is closed). However, I got used to the fact that at official company dinners, the person in charge of ordering (Kishi-san) would order every chicken dish on the menu for me which were never made from white meat. And I would eat them anyway. Good thing I was pregnant and had that "excuse" to limit me to the non-fishy chicken dishes or I might have offended Dan's co-workers and caused International Badwill.

Since being back in the United States (for three years now), I have happily gone to Japanese restaurants to eat tempura, katzu dishes, soba, and sometimes teriyaki. Sometimes I want Korean bbq. And, since I now eat more fish, I sometimes order fish at restaurants, always cooked, of course.

And, with my recent decision to not be picky about food, I have even branched out into things like feta, olives, pine nuts, and other Greekish food type items. I am not rejecting goat cheese. I even ate a few onion rings last night at the Red Car Brewery in Old Town Torrance. While this might not seem extreme to you, since onions were not something I ever embraced, it was quite the step.

What next? Perhaps we will visit Japan again and I will actually search out different foods to enjoy. :) Until then, I will order things from menus. Without annoying modifications!