Friday, September 23, 2011

Caleb: 15 Months

Keeping up with a toddler can be challenging to say the least. In one 10 minute period this week, Caleb learned how to open the refrigerator door (#herecomestrouble), tried to take off his shirt and practiced walking backward, grinning like crazy the entire time. Notice how none of those things seem related?

You really never know what they're going to think of next. They might do something adorable, like give their teddy bear a big slobbery kiss or the might decide to experiment with the lock on their bedroom door, resulting in a frantic call to the fire department. Not that either of those things happened this month also...

Speaking of trouble...Mr. Adventurous learned to climb this past week. He's been trying for a while, but had yet to make it more than a few inches off the ground. I discovered his success when I found him teetering on the arm rest of the rocking chair in his nursery, attempting to reach the light switch...By that afternoon he was on top of the coffee table. I've decided resistance is futile.

There will be things that are "no climb" but I'm going to let him climb into the chair and on to the coffee table. My rule is: He must sit and stay seated. So far it's going well. He needs lots of reminders, but already I'm able to back away and use my words instead of actually repositioning him.

Along that line, my motherhood life lesson for the month is this: The things that drive you bonkers, may not bother another mom and vise-versa. And that's ok. Sometimes I feel like such a permissive parent. I let my child splash buckets of water out of the tub and climb on the furniture. I don't mind mopping up water, and I know C has (mostly) learned how to get down from a high place safely. However, I can't stand for him to take the tupperware out of the cabinets and get it on the floor (I hate dishes, remember?), which most of my mom friends are fine with. I'm realizing it doesn't matter (within reason) what I'm setting limits about as long as the limits are age appropriate and consistent.

Another adorable milestone- we're starting to see his sense of humor develop. Our little comedian already knows that any object is more funny if it's placed on your head. He loves to throw his lovie on top of his head and run around the house grinning.

This month has been a language explosion. He is trying to repeat everything we say. David was reading him "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" and he repeated "Brown Bear" and "Red Bird" pretty clearly for a kid who wasn't repeating "dada" for us a month ago! He is also generating some words (not just immediately repeating. He clearly says "baw" (ball), "ba-oo" (book), "ba-uh" (bear) and "ba-bos" (bubbles). He has a thing with the "ba" sound...He also knows which one of us is mama and which is dada, though he still calls us both names. He is also consistently signing "all done", which means less food on the floor. Yay!

Going along with that, Caleb has developed a greater interest in books. He's always loved turning the pages and as long as I could read as fast as he turned the page he would listen to the story. Suddenly however, he seems to realize those things on the page mean something. He has several "favorite" pages he'll turn to and then look at me expectantly. Sometimes he'll even crawl into my lap. Right now his favorite are the Black sheep in "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" because he knows I'll sing the BaBa Black Sheep song, the 3 singing pigs in "Moo, Baa, Lalala" (he loves to say the "lalala" part, and the dog in his "D" book. He calls it woo-woo (woof, woof).

Have I mentioned this kid loves dogs? Our neighbors behind us have one of the loudest, barkiest dogs I've ever met. When she see's Caleb she comes tearing up to the fence like she's going to eat him. He squeals in delight and runs to meet her. Fortunately, she is all bark, with a good heart and her owners have been awesome about helping her and their other dog get to know Caleb through the fence. Nothing makes his day more than having one of them lick his hand. If the dogs don't notice him standing at the fence, he'll yell, "DADADADADA!" (dog?) to call them over. Time to end our doggie visits almost always results in tears.

His play time has really developed this month too. He has started some of the precursors of pretend play and it's soooo stinkin' adorable! He holds any toy phone he sees to his ear, he stirs his pot with a spatula like mommy does, and he loves to push his car around going "mmm mmm" (vroom vroom).
Anything we do, he wants to do too. He loooves the salad spinner!

Speaking of sound effects...this is kind of random, but, our son definitely purrs. Like a cat. Whenever he is really happy about something (usually food, but sometimes a snuggle) he starts making this purring noise. It just started this month and it's completely priceless! I hope it lasts a while : )

Teeth #'s 9, 10 and 11 appeared this month and they are all molars! We are so blessed to have a son who doesn't seem bothered by teething...or we are so immune to fussing after the colic days that we don't notice...definitely one of the two! I can see why they only get one set at a time though. I feel like that one tooth is taking up the whole back of his mouth!

Caleb has decided Daddy is not to be shared. If I'm giving David and hug and Caleb wants a hug too, he pushes me away and then hugs daddy. I'm not sure this is the best behavior, but for the moment, it's pretty darn cute.

His food intake has increased to the point we are beginning to wonder if it's a growth spurt of he's just grown an extra stomach. Lately, he's been devouring a banana, 8oz of yogurt/fruit/grain-mix, and some puffs after a gigantic nursing session. Then he's proceeded to polish off an adult size bowl of stew between lunch and dinner. We stand in awe.

Another big jump has been in the self awareness department. He's gotten even better at telling us he's hungry by running to the high chair. He'll also occasionally walk to the bathroom door to show us it's bath time (ie: the start of his bed time routine). Now, he's even letting me know when it's time for a nap by grabbing his lovies out of his crib, putting them on our nursing chair and laying his head down. It's a good thing too, because this kid is definitely confusing me with his nap schedule right now.

We don't tend to have a scheduled nap time, but rather a range of time where I watch for drowsy cues (ie: from 9-10 I watch for crankiness, eye rubbing, ear pulling, etc. and lay him down accordingly). Some days, he is happy as a clam during this time and then wants one giant nap from 11-2. Other times, he is still on the old schedule and takes a morning and afternoon nap. The transition times are always the hardest. Just when I get used to one rhythm, his growth and development time line seems ready for another!

Other fun happenings this month:

You may have seen photos of Caleb's little friend, Braydon, who is about 5 weeks younger than him. They are going to get to see a bit more of each other because Braydon's parents and David and I have set up a system to trade babysitting so we can all get one date night each month. This has been such a blessing to our family already and so much fun for the boys, who are both super active and play very well together.

Caleb and Braydon also got a chance to hang out at the employee appreciation picnic. Their friend Christopher, who is several months younger, was there too. Having 3 boys born within a year means they entertain each other! Caleb enjoyed running all over the park, tried to go careening off the dock into the lake at warp speed, and was limp from exhaustion by the time I finally loaded him into the car seat. It was lots of fun to get to spend time with daddy during the work day.
Attempting a family photo

And the winner for this month's most adorable story is:
David sat Caleb down on top of the foot rest on my nursery glider. Caleb loved the feeling of sitting up on a "chair" and getting to dangle his feet and kept wanting to do it over and over again. He would try to crawl onto the stool, but then couldn't get into the right position to sit so we taught him how to "back into" the stool. Once he figured it out, he'd sit down, grin, stand back up with "jazz hands" to balance himself and then sit back down over and over again.

Eventually, he got brave and started moving around a little after he stood up. The first time he remembered to back up to the seat before sitting (bravo!). By the second time, he'd completely forgotten that step and plopped himself right down on the floor. He never really did recover from that disappointment. As all this was going on, I couldn't help but wish we had some paparazzi following us around because leaving to get a video camera would have broken the moment, but it was the most adorable thing to watch.

Caleb's Jazz Hands

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