Vela Creations is an in-depth resource for off grid living. The site documents our research and experiences, hoping that they might help others interested in pursuing this lifestyle. This blog is designed to document our day to day experiences as we build our new, sustainable homestead. If you are interested in seeing more photos and videos, we have a flickr account at the following url:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bob and Janet's visit

For more photos and videos, click here.

We have been having a lovely time with Bob and my mum. Mostly relaxing and enjoying our time together (who knows when we'll get to do so again). We play cards when Leo goes to bed; we've gone for a few hikes; got a few odd jobs done (like the boys making me a beautiful shelf for my kitchen - photos); picked some apples. A pretty perfect vacation actually. But of all the positive aspects of having them here, the most striking has been with Leo.

He's at a stage where he communicates perfectly, but does not use many words. He will point at things, grab your hand and pull you to what he needs or wants, grunt - in fact, he has a whole array of putting his point across without actually speaking. We haven't been at all worried, as he seems to understand everything (in both English and Spanish) and he is quite ingenious at making you understand him. However, with Bob and Janet here, it seems like his vocalization is suddenly kicking in. Maybe it's the fact that since they've been here we have only spoken in English, rather than the two languages, or perhaps the new Sesame Street DVD (which he LOVES) is helping, or maybe it's just that British is easier to mimic than American (!!). Who knows. Whatever the reason, all of a sudden, he is starting to use more words. He nods and shakes his head at appropriate times, answering questions. He seems to be adding words, or trying at least, each day. Even if he doesn't say the word, he will make you say words until you get the right one, then nod. Here's an example "conversation":
- He makes the sign for eat.
- "You want to eat?"
- Nod.
- "What do you want to eat? Cereal? (shake) Fruit? (shake) Nuts?"
- Nod. "Mm- huh." And then an attempt at nut.

We also finally, now that the whole place isn't a building site, got out the paddle pool that his American grandparents got him. And since we did, he has spent a HUGE amount of time in it. He likes to be outside most of the time anyway, but now every time he passes the pool he starts to climb in, taking as many of his favorite toys with him. He gets kinda mad when you tell him it's too cold or we're about to eat.

He has developed a strange preference for toys. He has always liked wheels and anything with wheels (like his cars or tractor, or our wheelbarrows, trucks, etc.). However, over the past month or so that preference has been fine tuned to round things. He will empty out all his shapes and carry the two little circles, blue and yellow, everywhere with him. He will play with the alphabet, but eventually discard everything but the 'O'. He loves balls, wheels, bottle tops. Other things still really interest him, but it seems like at all times he now has something round in his hand.

He has loved having the constant audience of doting grandparents. He is a naturally funny baby, always thinking of different ways to make people laugh. However, with this new audience, he has really been able to show off. In the evenings, we sit back and watch his show, as he stomps through the house doing different walks, different noises and faces, little dances. He'll then move around the crowd giving everyone a kiss. And of course, while we are all in hysterics, his face is lit up in delight. We are the ones who get tired first, getting to where we just can't laugh any more, and only then will he decide it's time for bed.

I'm sure he's really going to miss Bob and Janet when they go in a few days, as will we.

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