I've been "Dada" for so long--and I was fine with that--but let me tell you, it's nice to hear your own name from your child eventually.
From that point on he's rapidly increased his verbal vocabulary. It's crazy how all this pent-up knowledge from the past two years is finally showing up now. Words are popping out of our child left and right. Words that I know he knows, but that he's never said before.
For a while when he started talking he was saying new words but omitting the first consonant sound (which apparently is not normal in language acquisition--leave it to Evan to be different again). He also stopped doing all of the signs that he knew, swapping them for words. The problem was that his words were not understandable without signs. Even though he was verbalizing I didn't feel like I knew what he was saying any better than before. Just this last week he's improved so much with clarity and initial consonant sounds. Some of his favorite things to say are "Bye Dada," "Go Maya," "Mackey Mouse" (Mickey), and the ever-popular "cat."
Some of his most surprising words came on our walk today. We've done this walk a hundred times: First, to the mailbox; next, around the block; and finally, sit on the grass outside the house and watch the trucks. When we got to the mailbox I asked him, "Which one is ours?" Although he usually just points, today he said "twelve!" which is completely correct! I've said the word over and over so I'm not surprised he knows it, but it was such a surprise to hear him say it. Then I turned to go back to the house and he said "bock!" (block). I thought, of course--we're supposed to walk around the block first. At home I was about to walk straight inside but he said "gass" (grass). My child is a genius.