Friday, March 15, 2013

my curious little monkey at 14 months

the month between 13 and 14 months has been the one in which i've seen the most drastic developmental changes in my little bud.

but i feel like i probably say that every month.  :)

he's definitely turning into a toddler now, through and through.

he's a steady walker.

he's incredibly active.

he's an explorer.

he's a curious little monkey.

he craves independence...but still needs me.

he doesn't just take things at face value anymore.  he looks for alternate ways to use things he's familiar with; usually that means tipping toys, boxes, laundry baskets,  etc. over on their side and trying to climb them, stack them, knock them over, etc.

what i want to remember about 14 months -
  • his goofy nature - this usually manifests itself in his goofy grin, scrunched up face and fake laugh
  • his sweet nature - he shares smiles easily, with those he knows and with strangers
  • the way he extends his arms to be held
  • he loves to be chased...and to chase
  • his favorite activities - 
    • shooting hoops with daddy into his new basketball hoop
    • throwing balls 
    • going for spins in his cozy coupe
    • walking around playgrounds
    • climbing playground structures
    • playing peek-a-boo
    • removing EVERY SINGLE receipt and card from my wallet
  • his obsession with the fridge...and condiment bottles
  • the way he buries his face into his ducky
  • how snuggly he's become, especially before nighttime
  • the way he sings with me when i'm rocking him to sleep at night
  • the way he barks every time he sees a dog
  • the way he tries to chase every dog he sees at the park
  • the 'vroom' sound he makes every time he hears a truck or loud car engine
  • the way he watches airplanes in the sky
  • the way he gives open mouth kisses
  • the way he LOVES observing older children
  • the way he imitates actions and sounds
  • his favorite signs: 
    • milk
    • more
    • ball
    • and his favorite...light
  • his love of books.  10-20 books in one sitting is not uncommon
  • the way he says 'wowwwww' and 'ohhhhhh' when he sees something exciting or new
  • the way he turns his palms up and looks at me inquisitively when he's looking for something

challenges - 
  • learning how to parent a toddler - 
    • i realized i was behind the ball with this a couple of weeks ago when i found myself completely frustrated during a typical feeding session (food being thrown off his tray, even though i KNEW he was hungry and i had made him multiple things to eat).  i realized this was just the beginning of my sweet baby asserting his independence, but i found myself at a complete loss as to the best way to deal with the situation while trying to maintain some semblance of sanity and patience.
    • i reached out to my facebook 'mom community', and was not only given great advice re: feeding a toddler, but many book suggestions re: parenting a toddler.  needless to say, i have LOTS of reading ahead of me!
    • the books most often suggested:
      • 'love and logic magic for early childhood' - i've already ordered the audio version of this
      • 'brining up boys' - i actually own TWO copies of this, so it'll definitely get read
      • 'toddlerwise' - just picked it up from the library
      • 'happiest toddler on the block' - just picked up the dvd from the library
      • 'have a new kid by friday'
  • eating
    • or rather, not eating.  at least not the way i see other boys/kids his age eat.  he can take or leave food, even when i know he's hungry. 
    • actually, there are a couple of things he WILL eat with no prompting, and no distraction necessary: blueberries and mushrooms (sauteed).  he LOVES them, and will pop them like candy (or like i assume he would inhale candy, haha!)
    • from what i've read, it's normal for toddlers to eat relatively little and often take in fewer calories than they expend, especially if they're very active, and HE IS ACTIVE.  
    • he simply can't be bothered to eat most times; he just wants to be on the ground, playing and exploring.  and when he does eat, it's the result of a LOT of entertainment provided while he's in his chair.  i also know at this age he should be fed finger foods rather than spoon fed, and that's primarily what i do; however, occasionally, if we can get him distracted or entertained enough, we will spoon feed him yogurt, etc. just to ensure he's getting some essential nutrients.  
    • another factor is that i'm still breast-feeding.  i thought i'd be done once he turned a year, but for various reasons, i've continued, and i'm very happy with that decision. knowing he's getting valuable nutrients and immunities that way takes off some of the pressure and anxiety i have about whether he's getting all his nutrition needs met.
    • without a doubt, feeding a toddler has been the most unexpectedly frustrating part of mommy-hood for me thus far.
  • sleeping
    • he still wakes at least once a night, and it's so hard to know if that's due to normal sleep regression patterns, teething, habit, or is he still hungry?

all challenges aside, the best part about having a 14 month old is watching them discover the world around them.

there's nothing more fulfilling and heart-warming than watching him experience 'ah-ha' moments throughout the day - it's what makes being a mom worth every second!

now if summer would just hurry up and get here.  :)

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