*Please note, this may be a long post, but you'll want to read the whole thing as there's important news at the end of it!*Yesterday I was actually able to get out of bed at the crack of dawn (9am) and head over to Whidbey Island with my mom for her regular "Tuesdays with Dante" day. She may come home tired, but she always comes home content after spending the day with her boy and I've been getting jealous. I don't see enough of him (or my brother & SIL) even though we live in the same state!
I made it out there last Thursday for a few hours and was so happy I did, but a whole day with the little guy was pure bliss! He is growing up so fast! Learning new skills and tons of new words that he strings together in both nonsensical and understandable sentences. (Such as when Daddy picked us up at the ferry and then swung by the store to pick up a few things, leaving us in the car with Dante. After struggling, unsuccessfully, for quite sometime to get his car seat belts off when he saw Daddy leaving him behind, he finally announced to us: "I want out!" plain as day! Fortunately Daddy came back right then and he was content to take off again with Daddy safely back in the car.
Dante absolutely loves seeing his Grandma and greets her with big smiles and Hi's! but he's been a little unsure of me since he hasn't seen that much of me lately. But, he saw me last Thursday and again on Saturday and then again yesterday so while he wasn't immediately launching himself into my arms, he wasn't scared of me either.
Last Thursday, he suddenly started calling Grandma "Nana" and that seems to have stuck! He continued to call her that all day yesterday! He has christened her with his own special name! How exciting! Especially as my mom had her own Nana whom she's been talking about quite a lot lately and been missing. Isn't it sweet that her little love bug chose to call her that?
At Auntie Tiffy & Uncle Mikey's Cinco de Mayo party with Nana
Last week, Dante noticed that both his Nana and I had our toe-nails painted with bright colors and with flowers on our big toes. He was fascinated! He compared our toes to each others and then (with my help) pulled off his sock to look at his toes. He lined up all of our feet together to look at them and then crawled on Nana's legs to get a good look at her toes and was surprised to get a bumpy "horsey" ride too.
Foot Fetish in the Making? ;-)
This week, he remembered that ride and within minutes of our arrival, he pushed the coffee table out of the way and climbed on to Nana's legs with glee!
Ride 'em Cowboy!!!
He did this off and on through out the day. Nana's not sitting on the couch? That's cool. He can make it work on the floor too!
Just like his Daddy before him, Dante is a little nature boy. Two words he had down: Bug! and Spider! He is okay with you stepping on one of the many (MANY!!!) spiders outside if you tell him it's a spider but God forbid you step on a bug!!! He could probably spend hours looking at various bugs! There were lots of fascinating roly-poly bugs outside that he carefully followed around, squatting down to get an even closer look at--you know, cuz a 15 month old is soooo much higher up than a bug on the ground! LOL
Do you see that green cup in his hand? He brought that outside with him. At one point he had set it down and was looking at a bug on a the porch pole. Suddenly there was this glimmer in his eye that spread across his whole face. He spun around and grabbed that green cup and tried to capture the bug on the pole! I'm telling you the instinct to catch bugs in jars must be inbred into little boys!!!
Of course there wasn't just insects, but various grasses and wild flowers to check out as well. He is a lucky little boy to live in a place where he is surrounded by such beauty!
We are looking at a little tiny purple wild flower...
He must have known me to be the sucker I am, because he finally took one tentative step off the patio into the grass (where his mama won't go as it is full of bugs and spiders, but his daddy will go--the test of Auntie M: will she do it or not???). As I had already chased down a big wiggly worm for him he must have had an inkling of which way I'd turn. *Gulp* Auntie M took the plunge, pulling up my pants as high as I could to avoid getting creepy-crawlies in them and followed him through the grass, Nana following saying, "Really?? Where are we going??" with me replying, "I don't know--ask Dante!"
He led us to the corner of the garage where he paused, looked up at me, took a big breath for courage, and took my hand (my heart promptly melted) and led us into the front yard. There we inspected the car ("vroooom, vroooom!") and still more flowers...
....before Dante continued to lead us on our Nature Walk adventure, straight up his driveway, stopping to check out intriguing items such as pine cones, insects, sticks, or "bubble" flowers...
This is a "bubble flower" because you blow on it~clever of him, no?
Great fun!!!! He faithfully carried his green cup with him everywhere! Teagan usually would start out on a nature walk with an item that I would end up carrying as she would soon be carrying rocks or sticks or other things. While Dante did collect other things--pine cones, sticks, flowers--he only carried one thing at a time and kept that cup in his other hand the whole time! Pretty amazing. However, I did end up carrying the little bouquet of wild flowers and grasses we collected and brought home to Mommy since he didn't want those in his green cup! LOL!
Our only issue lay in getting him to turn around and come home. Twice we made it down the driveway:
...only to have him turn and go back up it. It finally ended with Nana having to capture him and carry him down while Auntie M tried to distract him with our collection of "pretties" for Mommy.
We made it back into the house, where he was happy to see his Daddy for a brief time...
Cousin Teagan gave Dante this adorable fedora!!!
...before crashing for a nap. (Secret: Nana took one too while she held him and so did Auntie M.)
In case you can't tell from the pictures above, Dante is just a wee bit of a ham for the camera! He'll hear me turn on the camera and suddenly you get pictures like this:
What a card! Of course, he likes to explore the camera too, to see what the pictures look like that were just taken, or to watch videos that were shot, or (more importantly) to push buttons and see what happens!
Dante took this picture all by himself! Aren't you impressed?!
As you may remember, Teagan is obsessed lately with playing Monkeys with Gramma. Well, it turns out, that no matter where she goes, Gramma/Nana seems to be playing with monkeys with her grandkids! Kinda funny really!
Notice the rather crazed look in her eye from having to play with monkeys so much?
And, similar to Teagan at this same age, Dante (in case you haven't already noticed) has great fun playing with hats! Which I love, cuz I love hats!
Now are you ready for the really important news from yesterday????
He pointed right at me (3x!!!) and clearly said "M!" while smiling!
Yup, you guessed it: my heart completely melted away!