Sunday, December 28, 2008

Newletter: Month 15

(Photos to be added)

Dear JB,

Today you are one year and 3 months old. I was going to try and fake it, write it late, and quietly post it, but it looks like I've got to give it up and leave the 14 month newsletter in pictorial form. In theory, we should have had time to write some stuff up about Halloween and Thanksgiving and the fact that you started WALKING in your 14th month, etc... but your parents opted to spend time with you and the extended family rather than blogging. And then December flew by like a whistle in the wind.

In this past month. You have become a two legged creature. You started walking before Thanksgiving, but in the last four weeks have improved your balance, coordination, comfort, and speed. You quickly learned to get from sitting to standing, usually via a downward-facing-dog pose. You are not afraid to fall down and get back up; you don't even mind if I give you a few playful pushes to test your balance.

You and Cameron have been in the One year old room at day care for several months now. You like that room because there are cooler toys and a big table that you all sit in (the chairs are built right INto the table.) You also take naps on cots in the middle of the day. You mommies and grandparents think it is a bit much for you to spend the whole day with one 2 hr nap, but all in all, you are handling the schedule pretty well. You come home exhausted a lot of the time. The "commute" nap that we are used to in the 30 minute car ride on the way home is not a guarantee anymore because you are facing forward and much more curious about what you see inside and outside of the car.

I've started a list of things that we know we haven't taught you and therefore we have to credit day care: blowing your nose into a tissue, smelling things, flapping your wing when you tell us what a duck says, vacuuming (or pushing any object remotely shaped like a vacuum in a vacuuming motion), clapping hands to music (you've been clapping for a while, but you just started "clapping" when you hear music this month), stomping feet to music, throwing a fit...

Just kidding on that last one, day care.

You eat pretty much everything now. We try to keep you away from fried foods, foods with nitrates, foods with a lot of seeds, nuts (even though we doubt highly that you would have an allergy). You only drink milk and water, no juice. We've started letting you have an occasional cookie and dessert. You really like meat (beef and chicken) and eat it by the handful. We also give you tofu, beans, yogurt, and cheese regularly. We use seasoning in your food and you are a super good eater. You like fruit, especially bananas and grapes right now. You will eat your veggies too, but not if there is meat around. We still aren't great at having our food at the same time as you eat, but now that you are not on a special baby diet, we are getting better at it. The problem is that if you eat a meal before we do, you just want to eat ours too, and so that seems silly.

You got tubes put in your ears last week, and it could be a coincidence, but you seem to have had a communication explosion since then. You used to only say "oh" and you had a lot of different inflections and things that "oh" meant. But in the last 2 to 3 weeks, you say, "wow" and "what is that?" and "hi" "ut oh". You can sign "diaper," "more," and "milk." You make sounds for lions, cows, monkeys, ducks, and frogs. You grunt and growl and point when you need things and follow directions well. (Ex: "Go put this ball in that box" pretty much always gets done). You have started trying to say other words as well, but you drop then ends of words; "bell" becomes "beh", "hot" becomes "ha", and "hi" sounds like a karate chop. You imitate things more and more. Yesterday, Mama was stretching her neck and when we looked at you, you were looking at her moving her head in the same ways.

You are an old hand at "high five" and just recently have become able to "punch it in". For several weeks, we hold our fist up for the "punch it in" bump and you use your pointer to poke at our fist. It was great cause for celebration when you finally "got it" and bumped our fist.

You are in the middle of a learning explosion. Every day you do something you've never done before... some examples:

Bring us a book, hand the book to us and turn around and inch your butt back to sit out our laps
Take a book off the shelf, open it, and blah,blah, blah read to yourself.

Things you still LOVE beyond our ability to describe: "in/out", "open/close", the letter "O", rolling or throwing a ball, remote controls, telephones, talking (baby talk) on phones.

Things we noticed that you don't love yet: Snow, getting fed when you can feed yourself.

You know what spoons and forks can do, but you are about 4 times as likely to use your hands and fingers to eat. You are much improved with the fork, stabbing at your food and bringing it to your mouth. But many times you just hold the utensil and eat the food with your other bare hand. Even cuter, sometimes you take a morsel of food, and PUT it ON the fork or spoon and then bring that to your mouth. (Good problem solver!)

Your opinions are getting stronger and sometimes you want something for no apparent reason except sheer, stubborn, inexpressible desire. My toothbrush for example. You have your own, but it is mine that you always want to carry around, stick in your mouth, drop on the floor, and take into the tub with you. I haven't the foggiest idea why my yellow toothbrush is so much more compelling than your yellow toothbrush, but this has been the cause of our biggest disagreement to date. I told your papa the story of the fit you threw after I took the thing away from you and tried to offer you your toothbrush as a consolation prize. "On the one hand," I said to him, "I really don't give a crap if he holds, mangles or 'ruins' my toothbrush. On the other hand, if he's gonna make such a big deal about it, I kind of feel like I have to show him that he doesn't get to make this decision." Papa looked at me and said a little too mischievously, "And that's the conversation you'll be having with yourself for the rest of your life..."

Several times this holiday season, we have taken you to parties or gatherings and put you to bed. When folks at the party inquire about you, we've paraded them in to see you sleeping. All comment on how perfect, adorable, and miraculous you are. We sheepishly agree and also admit that this is what we still do no less than 3 times a night: crowd around your crib (usually just the two of us) and whisper to you and each other how beautiful and great we think you are. So I hope someday you understand why sometimes we have to take the toothbrush and/or the phone away from you. Because like Kelly Mcgillis in Top Gun, we'd like to try to keep a modicum of objectivity in our reviews of your performance.

We love you to the moon and back,
Your mommies

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