A couple of things that have recently happened.
After months of prompting and getting nothing in return, J finally claps his hands. Yes, most children do this much earlier, but not J. He was holding out on purpose. Whenever I asked him to clap his hands, he would grab my hands and clap them together. Or, he would slap his knee. He stomped his feet on command with no problem, but he was not going to give mama what she wanted.
Last week, J fell on the lawn. He picked himself up, looked at his hands and clapped them together. I caught him and started cheering! Now he claps at everything. We sing, "If you're happy and you know it" and he does everything I say (clap, stomp, touch your head, shout hooray--he doesn't shout hooray, but he picks his hands up over his head like he is cheering). It's been a lot of fun. And, this is a great distraction when I am changing his diaper. For this week, anyway.
Our other favorite pasttime is playing with the spices. Our spice racks are on the inside of the pantry door. J loves to take them down and examine them and shake them all around. He can't take off lids yet, so we are safe. For now. His favorite bottles of spices are crushed red pepper and a mixed melange of peppercorns. He also likes to shake the bottle of shrimp and crab boil. The spices are great for stacking, placing in pots, moving over to the shelves on the pantry, and rearranging on different spice shelves. I think I need to look into getting him his own toy kitchen stuff. I don't mind him playing with the pots and pans, but the spices could get really messy one day. The only problem is that I don't think he will be fooled by something fake.