Wednesday, June 11, 2008

11: The Final Countdown

Warning: I didn't think it was possible, but I may have broken my previous record for Longest Post with Totally Excessive and Probably Unreasonable Amount of Pictures. Now, for some of you, that's good news. For others, that is dreadful news because it means that a) you have to take time out of your busy schedule (about three days should do it) to read the whole thing so as not to feel guilty about not reading it, or b) you have to come up with a good excuse for not having read it, something like "My boss has threatened to fire me if he catches me spending another billable minute perusing my daily list of Mommy Blogs", or maybe, "I have my own family to worry about and don't have time to read about what color Alex Evans' boogers are this month". Either way, I don't keep tabs, so read it or don't. But I did feel a warning was necessary.

Now that I've added another hundred words warning you about how long this post already is, let the post begin...

Alex is eleven months olds today, which wouldn't be so scary in and of itself, except for the fact that it is a mere one month away from an entire year. And that, my friends, is scary.

Size: His next check up with the doc - his one year well-child visit - isn't until July 14th. So, I don't have the foggiest idea how much Alex might weigh or how tall he might be. I think his growth may have tapered off a bit at this point, because he hasn't outgrown his clothes lately, but I'm pretty sure he is getting stronger and stronger every day.

When people see him and ask how old he is, "Almost eleven months" is always followed by the response, "Wow, he's big!" So I guess he 's still big for his age.

His hands often receive a lot of attention, but with no point of reference other than his teeny-handed birthday buddy McKenzie, I had no idea whether his hands are big for a large eleven month old boy. However, I've started to form an opinion based on some of the things he's gotten his hands on lately. For example, he can easily palm a baseball, a large can of diced tomatoes, or a jar of mayonnaise. He will pick up a can by grasping the tiny metal lip around the edge with his fingers - something I'm barely strong enough to do - and just fling it around like the can is filled with air. And, just the other day, he picked up this aluminum bat and held it in the air - with three fingers - until we pried it from his hand. Sure, it's aluminum, but am I the only one that is impressed by this?

Anyway, not much has changed since last month as far as clothing sizes go. 12-18 pants, 6-12 shorts, 6-12 shirts. He has, however, outgrown several of his size 4 shoes, so his feet are still growing at the very least. I was worried about having to move to size 5 diapers at night, but I discovered that his size 4 Overnites work fine if there's more diaper in the front than in the back, hence more diaper to absorb the abundance of pee. Genius, I know...

Eating: This kid's still an eating machine. Fruits are his fave, meats are his least. But he will eat just about anything.

Generally he still has some variation of what we are having, although if we go to a restaurant, I usually bring a backup in case I want to get something that he can't have. Thanks to our "fruitful" farmer's market trip, we introduced him to mangoes and papayas and raspberries this month, and reintroduced fresh blueberries, which may have trumped strawberries in the "Alex's Favorite Fruit" category.

He also looooves bread. English muffins, whole wheat, white, rolls, biscuits, pastries...His love of corn on the cob has not waned one bit. In fact, tonight at dinner, he was double-fisting two ears, which I eventually had to coax from him so that he could get a bath and go to bed.

He still eats three meals a day, plus a 5 oz. sippy cup of formula at each, and a snack around 3. I am working hard on weaning him off of his bedtime bottle, which now consists of 4 ozs. of formula in 6 ozs. of water. His formula is about the one single thing that I would say he has an "attachment" to, so I'm petrified about taking it away. Hopefully he will lose interest soon and it won't be the traumatic event I'm fearing...

Sleeping: A is still typically getting up between 6:30 and 7am, takes two naps a day from 9-11 and 1-3, and goes to bed around 7:30pm.

The sleeping situation has been less than ideal these first couple of weeks in the new place, which I suppose is to be expected. Alex's room gets a lot of sunlight all day long, even with mini-blinds and two layers of drapes, so he's had a hard time falling asleep at naptime without being rocked. It's especially bright in the evening, so when we try to put him down around his normal bedtime, he undoubtedly wonders, "Why am I going to bed in the middle of the day?" So on many nights lately, Alex has seen 9pm. After another rough night tonight, I have determined that tomorrow, someway somehow, I will make his room pitch black at all hours of the day.

It probably doesn't help that he is teething and often runs a fever at night, plus I think he may be experiencing a bit of separation anxiety. We may have to hold a refresher course in Sleep Training 101. Anyway, I'm hoping that it all works itself out, which it will, but hopefully before I end up in the looney bin.

Physical/cognitive milestones: So the kid's still not walking yet. He does everything that you'd expect a walkin' kid to do, except walk. I've heard from several people that kids who are really strong crawlers often take a little longer to walk because why the heck should they? They get where they need to go quickly, then they can pull up and reach what they need to. So there's not much motivation to fix somethin' that ain't broke.

I think that's exactly the case with A. I have no doubt in my mind that he could walk if he wanted to, he simply chooses not to. He often stands up on his own for seconds at a time without realizing it, but when he does realize it, he immediately sits down. Kinda weird...not sure what he's thinking. But he uses just about every mobile object in our apartment as a walker - the footstool, the step stool, the end table on casters, his wagon, his music table, the chairs - you name it. He'll get behind something and walk it all the way across the room. When we try to help him walk, he'll go along with it for a few seconds and then sit down and crawl. I'm not really worried about it because I think that it is merely a matter of time, and like everything else, when he decides he's ready, he'll be a pro in no time.

He doesn't have walking down, but he sure has a handle on climbing.

This month, Alex has shown marked cognitive development in the sense that he is really starting to understand how his actions affect the world around him. For example, one of his favorite pastimes lately is to sit in front of the TV with the remote, press the buttons, and then check the TV to see what effect his button-pushing has had. If he finds a button that does something cool, like change the channel at a crucial moment in Mommy's show, he will continue to press that button. If it doesn't seem to do anything, he will move on to a different button or move on to another set of buttons all together, like the ones on the DVD player, on the DVR, or on the TV itself, and repeats the process.

He is still extremely curious and spends long amounts of time exploring the apartment, looking through drawers and cabinets, opening and closing things, hitting things together to see what kind of noises he can make. He loves to play with Murph, in whatever form that takes.

In this case, he either wanted Murph to chew on this pencil or he was trying to turn him into a goon. Alakazam!!!

He is talking a ton these days, some of it decipherable, some of it not. In addition to incessant, indecipherable ramblings, he has added a couple of new words to his repertoire. In addition to ma-ma and da-da and ball, he spent several days where he said nothing but "baby", clear as day, over and over, in various tones and inflections, and now he says it on occasion or when prompted. In addition to baby, he says "bear" when prompted and has started saying something that could be interpreted as either "turtle" or "tickle", but is most likely just the sound it makes when he sticks his tongue in and out and tries to talk.

He has been nodding and shaking his head for a while, but now he will do the corresponding action when we say "yes" or "no", i.e. the response to "No, Alex!" is that he will grin ear-to-ear while shaking his head at us. He still claps when we say "clap your hands", when he sees or hears people applauding, or when he's excited. He usually high-fives on command, and recently he has started blowing kisses.

The most hilarious thing he's done in a long time started the other night, when I was rocking him on one of the many nights he needed to be rocked. I sat in the rocking chair with Alex on my lap, his head pressed against my chest. Instead of relaxing and going to sleep like a good boy should, A turned his head and zurpled my chest, which created an incredibly loud farting sound. As a typical boy would, Alex burst into hysterical laughter, which made me laugh even though I was trying to be serious and reprimand him for playing instead of sleeping. Of course, he kept doing it, and every time he heard that sound he cracked himself up. And it struck me as such a "big boy" thing to do for some reason, especially the fact that he is so self-aware, that he knows he's funny and that he knows just what to do to make us laugh. Anyway, we tried to get video of it, but it was dark and didn't turn out well enough to post. Maybe you had to have been there, but take my word for it, it was freakin' hilarious.

He has started to play "catch", which basically means he will hold his hands up while we hurl the ball at his chest. He attempts to throw it back, but usually ends up just handing it to us or rolling it to us instead. So his hand-to-eye coordination is lacking, but he does seem to understand the concept at least. He will share food and toys with us and will hand over "no-no's" if I say "Mommy have it" and hold out my hand. He seems to be grasping the concept of the word "no" - not that he will stop doing what he's not supposed to do. He will pause to think about it, but after a smile and a shake of the head, he'll go right on doing whatever it was with even more fervor since he knows he not supposed to be doing it. I guess that's progress...

He laughs so hard at so many things, which has been so much fun for us. He really has a wicked sense of humor and knows he does, so he definitely loves to make us laugh by doing silly things.

I literally can't remember the last time we were in public that someone didn't come up to us or stop us to say how cute Alex is, what a great smile he has, how happy he seems. His smile is contagious, and he doesn't discriminate about who he shows it to.

He has certainly become higher maintenance over the last month, despite the fact that he isn't walking. I spend most of my day wrangling him away from things he's not supposed to touch. The apartment, with its open floor plan, is not conducive to the use of baby gates, so most things are fair game. That said, my tolerance for what I will let him get into has necessarily increased.

Of course, he's having a ball with this newfound freedom.

Thankfully, though, he will entertain himself for long periods of time, which allows me to get a few things done.

Just a few, though.

So he can be a bit of a beast, especially since he has taken to whining in order to express himself, which totally drives me up a wall. But he is such a pleasure to watch and to play with and laugh with that those kinds of things are easier to forgive. I mean, who could look at this face and not want to smother it with sloppy wet kisses? Not I...


Amy said...

OH! I feel like I've just won the lottery! The first to reply! I guess I just read faster than the rest. As far as I'm concerned forget the book club. Just keep writing and sending those adorable pictures. He looks soooo grown up! My little man. Did he open the fridge or just crawl in when you opened it?
I was working on a birthday presenst for Alex today!
I hope he likes it.
You look adorable in those pictures too Sarah. Tim stick your face in there once in a while so I know you still exsist.
Keep on bloggin'!
Granny B

grammy said...

Too long - too many pics - NEVER!!!
I luv the fact that you can just read a story into every picture w/that sweet little face of his and all his many expressions. Priceless. And that last picture of you and Alex, beautiful. Happy 11 month old Alex.

Mimi said...

Great blog, Sarah, I always look forward to them. And, you know what? A looks just as much like Nick as I always thought. It must be the Errion look. What a doll. It is hard to realize he's already almost 1 yr old.
Sure miss you guys, but at least I know I'll see you in November.
Love you, Mimi

Molly Telford said...

He is such a cute little boy! And that was a looonnng post, but I love it. Love keeping up with you guys via the blog. We plan on making the big bday party!!!

AliciaG said...

I am sure you do not know who I am but I am good friends with Bill and Vicki and I was also around when Tim was born. We went to church together at Marrable Hill Chapel. My daughter Alison was born 13 days before Timothy and they were great friends when they were little. She even wore a pair of his underwear when she stayed the night with Bill and Vicki.
Anyway, I love reading your blog. You have such a way with words and it is so much fun to see how Alex is growing up. I can't believe he is almost a year old already. And,if I may comment on you looong post, never apologize for that. As a Nanna also, I don't believe you can post too many pictures or have a post that is too long.
Keep sharing!

Day Family said...

I was just able to scan this post and I caught the part about the fruits. Jack isn't a big meat eater either, and he loves fruit too! My constant worry is if he's getting enough protein. He gets a steady diet of eggs, peanut butter, and cheese.