as much as i willed it, time did not stand still. not for a month, a week or even a day. and so...my baby turned a year old last week. :(
i've gone through the gamut of emotions leading up to his birthday - sadness, loss, denial, eventual acceptance once it happened, and now i'm starting to embrace it...somewhat.
overall, it's still bittersweet; i'm definitely losing my baby, and it's not like now that he's one, time will start slowing down. i've been told it just keeps moving faster and faster. that scares me and makes me even sadder.
but it would be impossible not to enjoy the stage he's at now...pretty darn fun.
here's a snapshot of my baby at 12 whole months -
- 23 lbs, 7oz - 60th percentile for weight - no wonder my back is shot
- 31" long - 75th percentile for height. needless to say, his daddy thrilled about this
- has 5 1/2 teeth (3 on top, 2 on bottom and a fifth just coming through on top)
- some of his favorite activities- while he has plenty of toys he loves, he will easily give up ANY toy in favor of the following -
- climbing stairs - we live in a 2-story house, and the stairs are gated at the top and bottom. however, i swear he moves at ninja speed if we ever leave the gate open, even for a few seconds (which we, of course, have never, ever done). when he hears us approaching, he starts giggling and climbing even faster. then, he screams bloody murder when we attempt to remove him from said stairs. i've tried teaching him how to go back down the stairs, but he's not interested in going down; just up.
- climbing into the dishwasher - gross, i know, and it doesn't happen, obviously, but he sure tries. i've had to wait to load/unload the dishwasher when he's not around because otherwise he will stop ANYTHING he's doing and beeline for the dishwasher, after squealing with delight when he sees me open the dishwasher. he's now strong enough to pull out the bottom rack completely if it's empty and tries climbing in. and like the stairs, he definitely lets me know how unhappy he is when i remove him and close up the dishwasher.
- playing in the fridge / freezer - notice a pattern, haha?! the boy loves appliances. i obviously don't condone his playing in the fridge, but heaven forbid he sees me open it (which he does ALL the time) and NOT let him at least look around for a couple of minutes. yesterday for the first time, though, he figured out how to remove a fairly big glass bottle off the fridge door. yeah, gave me a heart attack. so no more fridge time for him.
- climbing inside the washer & dryer - especially the washer. it's a front load and in-between loads, i leave the door open to air it out. so it makes common sense that he would attempt to climb inside. he can't do that yet, but he gets a good part of his trunk in there. he also loves banging on the inside steel drum of the washer.
- opening up drawers - any drawer that has a knob on it is fair game, and even though he's had the occasional pinched finger, that hasn't deterred him in the least. we're scrambling to get locks on all our drawers.
- unfurling toilet paper rolls - almost nothing gets him squealing with pure joy like furiously unrolling an entire roll of tp. it's too funny to NOT let him do this every once in a while.
- jail-breaking the toilet - we put toilet locks on our toilets a while back, once we realized that not only could he get into them, but he loved nothing better than to splash in them if given the opportunity. yep, GROSS. HOWEVER, last week, in a bout of frustration with one of the locks, our little houdini pulled and pulled until it snapped open. yep, he's already outsmarted our toilet locks. fun times.
- WHEELS! he doesn't discriminate, either. his love of wheels includes (but certainly isn't limited to) cars & trucks, senior citizen walkers, baby doll strollers (he just flips them over and spins the wheels), library carts (he's been known to chase them around at the library), etc.
- and BALLS! not sure how it's happened, but he's already accumulated quite the plethora of balls. one of his favorite toys from his birthday was a plastic bucket full of tennis balls from his uncle. he's got them in all sizes, and loves lifting them over his head and watching them bounce as he hurls them on the floor. quite tempting for poor zoe-girl.
he's my little explorer and i try to be pretty good about giving him free reign to explore, while trying to balance that with his safety. i've never wanted to become a 'helicopter parent' although i can see how it could happen.
- some of the challenges
- he's developing a mind of his own - ok, this is a GOOD thing, i have to keep reminding myself. my baby is becoming more independent each day, which is GOOD, but means that when he wants something, he REALLY wants something, and has learned to communicate that quite effectively through screaming and crying. in those moments, i do my best to channel my most patient self and re-direct his attention, but the older he gets, the less effective that is.
- eating - i used to think he was a great eater, but since the intro of solids, and after reading various sources and talking with other moms with kiddos his age, i realize that he eats way less than other one year old boys. i've heard of kids who eat 1/2 sandwiches, part of an apple and 1/2 an avocado, etc., all in one meal. i'm lucky if i can get a few bites of spaghetti or yogurt and sweet potatoes etc. in him in one sitting. the older he gets, the more distracted he gets and requires TONS of distraction/entertainment if he's going to sit at the table and eat. and when he's ready to get down, he's READY and let's me know. basically, he seems to eat just enough to no longer be starving, and is then ready to get down and explore/play some more. and he still prefers milk (i'm still nursing) over pretty much any food he gets fed. he's definitely growing and developing well, though, so i'm not sure how concerned i should be about this, aside from the fact that mealtimes can be challenging.
- endless energy - again, not a bad thing, and apparently it's what boys are, but it becomes challenging when he needs lots of opportunity to get that energy out or he won't nap. most days i provide him with it either at home or play-dates at places like 'steamers & screamers', but then there are days when i'm running errands and he doesn't have much 'ground' time. those are the days he refuses to nap and turns into the cranky-pants version of himself.
- changing nap times - not sure if he's ready to go down to one nap, but he only takes his afternoon nap about 1/2 the time now, at best. this is probably directly related to my previous point. i guess it's always about trying to find that perfect balance.
- teething - i'm realizing this is what's most likely impacting the changing nap times, and not so much that he's ready to go down to one nap.
- the little things i don't ever want to forget
- the way he tilts his head to the side and gives big toothy smiles
- the way he says 'hi' and 'hey' in a sing-songy voice when he sees people
- he's a sound effects machine - whirring sounds, buzzing sounds, all kinds of sounds, especially when playing with his toys
- how fascinated he is with the garage door going down - big eyes and exclaims 'ooooh'
- how he loves carrying something small toys/objects in his hand, even while trying to hold onto other things
- the way he melts into me and lets me rock him to sleep after his evening bottle
- the unbelievable process he goes through when going down for a nap - we had NO IDEA how much he moved around before finally settling down until we received a video monitor for christmas (thanks grandma & grandpa!) - it's fascinating, and we just sit and watch the monitor. better than a reality show.
- the way he almost always tucks his legs under him and sleeps with his butt in the air.
- the way he starts dancing (swaying) as soon as he hears music with a beat. and he loves being picked up and dancing while holding my hand.
- the way he smiles at his reflection, over and over again, whether in a mirror or a window (the head tilt comes into play here also). the best is evening mealtimes when we're sitting at the nook table. he can see his reflection all around him, and takes turns looking to the left, the right and in front of him, smiling at that happy baby looking back at him. so cute!
- the way he squeals when he accomplishes something he's working on or just when he gets excited
- if it makes noise, he's going to do it. usually this involves throwing things from his high chair to the ground
- the way he intentionally throws food down to zoe. what a good share-er.
- the way his face lights up when he sees other babies or kids
- the way he tries to lay his head on zoe when she'll allow it. melts my heart.
and the big one...WALKING. for the past 4 days, he's taken multiple unassisted steps, so we feel he's days from walking, but he's not technically walking yet. he has two walker type toys that he's very comfortable with and takes for a spin on the hardwood floors all throughout the day. in the last few days, he feels comfortable enough to hold on to other toys while also 'walking'. yikes!
i'm excited (and nervous) for what his second year will bring. i know walking will change the game completely, as will his continued journey into toddler-hood, but i am also so excited to see him transform into a little boy, and so curious to see who he will become. i can handle all of it as long as he continues to give his mama toothy smiles and bedtime snuggles. :)
and some pictures taken on the last day of 2012, when we were lucky enough to get a couple of inches of snow.