12.months

Dear Bubba,

let me start by saying I now understand why parents say every age is their favorite. A month ago I was certain you couldn’t be any more fun or funny or energetic or smarter. I believe you will spend your whole life proving me wrong. Bring it! I look forward to you surprising me for the rest of my life.

We have spent a lot of time this month gasping over the things that come out of your mouth. “Did he just say that?” Is it possible that you can enunciate “strawberry” (though it sounds more like “aw-beh-eeee”. As shocked as we are by your vocabulary, we are equally amused by the parroting skills you possess. You can copy any word, motion, physical task. As often as we are shocked, we are also so very amused and have spent so much time this month shaking our heads in disbelief, then looking at each other to confirm what we just saw/heard and then laughing at you. It’s really a lot of fun for us to just sit and watch you. We don’t go out a lot or “do” a lot anymore, but just watching you wonder and babble and swing your arms side-to-side as you walk is pretty entertaining.

We are so glad you are ours. Ours. Our smart and strong little boy.

This month you have begun a Love Affair with Yo Gabba Gabba. At first I felt guilty letting you watch anything on TV, but then I quickly realized when you were saying “babba babba” that you were begging with me to let you see your friends. Sure, too much television time is bad for you, but those silly, repetitive, often annoying songs have worked their way into our Bargaining Verbiage. Don’t want to eat your carrots? Well, guess what? There’s a party in your tummy and the carrots wanna go to the party in your tummy. And, you have to learn to be patient. And, Don’t bite, don’t bite, don’t bite your friends. And Try it, You’ll Like it. You just love to dance around with Toodee and Foofa and DJ Lance Rock. I often find you zoned out with that TV Coma stare on your face, but then you will start to dance and wiggle and bob your head and I’ve also discovered it’s a powerful bargaining chip. You just love those silly little characters and, I won’t lie, we quite enjoy the 10 minutes of silence and stillness it affords us. On the mornings you wake us up at 6:00, we bring you into bed and just turn it on for 15-20 minutes until our brains are up and running as fast as you are. You love the little Yo Gabba Gabba Boom Box that we have. You carry it around by the handle and just want to hear one of the four songs it plays.

MAMA MAMA MAAAAMAAAAAA! As much as you love to cry those words when hurt or sad or scared, this month “DADA” has become nearly as important. You almost always start the Dada chant when we play ball and you now run to him for comfort at times. I see you slowly becoming his best friend. But don’t get me wrong, you still want Mama 94% of the time and it’s often a word I love to hear, but can also mean I don’t get more than 3 feet from you.

I’m not sure how it started, but sometime this month we started telling you to “look at the stars” on the ceiling to try to get you to calm down during a diaper change. Though there are no stars on the ceiling, you don’t know that and must think there is something cool up there. It works every time. You point at the ceiling fan or the carbon monoxide tester or the attic door and go “ooooh” or “ahhhhh”. Surprisingly, you also started to make gun sounds at shoot at them. Where did you learn this? Both the sound and the finger?

Your cutest new trick is walking around with your hands on your shoulders as if to ask, “Where?” or to respond to us as though “I don’t know” is your answer. I don’t know where you learned this either, but it was so cute the first few times b/c it was also accompanied by a sad, pathetic look that was so desperate. You would hold your hands in that position for about 10 seconds until we at least tried to locate whatever it was you wanted.

Oh wait, maybe blowing kisses is your best new trick b/c it’s pretty cute too. You started doing it b/c Don Linny taught you on Facebook, but now do it as enthusiastically as you wave “bye bye” to any and every person who is leaving.

You like to pick up every single little thing you find. Whether it’s a crumb on the floor or Hannah’s (Nana to you) toy or a vacuum cord or a shoe or a magazine. Nothing is safe on the floor. Thankfully, nothing really goes into your mouth, but watch your wallets.

Little Boy, you are going to be a climber. THe other day I left the Master Bedroom to quickly get something from the closet and came back to find you sitting ON a suitcase. You like to throw your little leg up onto the laundry basket, the Tonka truck, the gate, even the bathtub. It makes us nervous, but we also try to let you at least figure it out. It wouldn’t hurt you to learn how to crawl DOWN things ~ like the stairs. You still have no idea how to go down them.

You still love baths. We now have a small basketball hoop in there that you love to slam dunk and say “oooohhhhhh” and try to pull the suction cups off. We’ve tried Bath Crayons that you just like to ram into the sides of the tub with or eat. You like to stand up and try to turn the faucet on or dump water on your face with the cup we use to dump water on your head. You are scared of the purple monster washcloth and you love to locate your “penis” and give it a firm yank. You think it’s so funny to splash us and to stick your face in the water to “blow bubbles.” You pooped in the tub for the first time this month. It happened at the very end of your bath, so it was easy to just finish and carry on. Still….don’t do that again.

You are gaining so much control of your body. You are starting to learn to take small steps up or down onto varying heights of cement. You can put your head on the carpet for me to roll you into a somersault. You like to run at your Superman Beanbag and throw yourself onto it. You think it’s so fun when I say, “I’m gonna get you” to run at me and throw yourself into my arms. You can run AT a soccer ball or football and kick it without even stopping to try. You have almost figured out how to put 2 hands on a baseball bat. THAT blows my mind. You already have a stance. You can aim any ball you throw and then toss it up and swing at it (WHAT?!?!?!) You can bend down to look under things ~ mostly the couch to see where your ball went. And how funny is it to throw your body down on purpose and say “boom!!!”

Playing with others has become easier this month. It still upsets you when someone takes any ball you have in your hand, but you haven’t bit anyone in a long time. In fact, I’ve seen you share and make a HUGE deal out of it each time you do by saying “Good job sharing” or “What a good share” or “thanks for sharing.” You look at me with such pride. Every now and then you get a little fired up and whack someone in the face or head, but for the most part, you are about 89% better than you were last month. At Story Time each morning, you are still a Little Explorer. It’s hard to keep you in the circle we moms create and I don’t really attempt to. As you get older, I will focus on listening and doing as the teacher says, but for now, you are just too busy looking at the bunny out the window, or the balls in her cart, or the dinosaur bones hanging from the ceiling or the giraffe pillow or the pencils at the table or the computer keyboards….or anything. It’s hard to keep you still. Most of the teachers use you as an example of “a busy boy,” but some have told me I’m doing the right thing by letting you just go and watching you from afar to see where you wonder to. You get about 10 feet away, look back to make sure I’m there and often come right back to me.  A few times you have forgotten to see where I am and can’t find me amongst the other mamas and freak out a little. You won’t sit for the teachers as they read books most times, but just LOVE to be read to at home each night. I can’t limit you to 3-4 books b/c I feel like I’m taking something from you by not just reading and reading to you….we sometimes read 10-15 before bed.

This month we transitioned to one nap a day versus two. I was very nervous that you would take just one-30 minute nap versus the 2-30 minute naps I was used to, but could see that it was getting harder and harder to get you down for your 2nd nap each day. What was I thinking and why didn’t I do this months ago? The first couple of days were only about an hour long, but sometimes now you nap for so long during the day 1.5-2.5 hours that I don’t even know what to do with myself. The first 2.5 hour nap consisted of me checking on you about 10 times to see if you were breathing, but also me sitting on the floor watching a whole tv show then trying to fill my time. It’s amazing! We also moved your bedtime to 7pm (it was 8) and you are sleeping anywhere from 11-12 hours. HALLELUJAH!!!!  And…that’s all we are going to say about that b/c I don’t want to jinx it!

Oh, one more thing, it does make it harder to go anywhere these days b/c I don’t want you falling asleep in the car (which you still do within about 3 minutes of any drive). We are mostly stuck to a 2 mile radius and I’m quite bored, but our house is always SUPER clean now with all the time I have.

This month, the amount of control you have over your body is amazing. You can do funny things with it (like throwing it down and yelling “boom”) but you can also run and kick a ball without coming to a stop. You can hoist your leg up to climb onto things. You can point out body parts and clap along to songs. Your dance moves are downright awesome. Part Chicken-Dance with your elbows out and part disco with your legs bent to wiggle. You walk around with a sippy cup straw dangling from your mouth. You copied us doing Karate Chops and think bonking the headboard repeatedly each morning is hilarious.

Wrestling is Daddy is SO much fun. Daddy is so much fun!  Each day, you find yourself wondering down to his office saying over and over, “dada…dada.” You find the vase filled with the baseballs that were our Wedding Guestbook and repeatedly say “ball, ball” until we hand you one. You sit behind the sheer guaze curtain playing Peekaboo with us. You sit in his leather chair and get so excited when he slowly spins you once. Sometimes, when the sun is right, you see your shadow on the wall and just want to kiss that cute little boy…I don’t blame you. The sun spot on the floor is the perfect place to lay down. It’s in Dada’s office that you like Hannah the most. You hug her backside and gently torment her knowing we are right there to step in if need be.

I get real hugs from you now. You learned to put both hands behind my head and push your cheek into my face. Open-mouthed kisses still make me nervous. I would never be surprised if you bit my lip, but they are the absolute best thing. Your new thing is to hug my right arm as I carry you on my hip, like a little Koala baby. You smoosh your head into my arm and then give me the best smile.

That smile. Deserving of it’s own post, a paragraph can do it no justice. Strangers stop us on the street to tell you how adorable your ornery smile is. You scrunch your nose squint your eyes. It’s pure rotten-ness…it’s pure perfection.

You walk around a lot reaching for my hand. Sometimes when you are scared or nervous, sometimes for support as you approach rocks or cement…mostly, b/c it’s safe. You must already know my hand will ALWAYS be there for you. For now, it’s really just my pinkie you hold. I catch my breathe each time you do this, knowing my heart will break someday when you are to big or old to do so. Second to nursing and all other moments of bonding it allows, it’s really the most intimate act. That look you give me as I peer down into your face speaks so many words. I just know if you could speak to me, you would say, “Hi, Mom….let’s go play.” You are always pulling me along, looking for life’s next adventure or puzzle or slide or dog or balloon.

Reeve, I’ve saved your biggest development for the end of this post as I know it will take up so much time and space to write.

This month, your speech has grown exponentially.  At your 12 month check-up, Dr. Tucker asked how many words you can say. Off the top of my head, I rattled “20, maybe 30.” He looked at me like I was a fool. Quickly it became apparent that he didn’t believe me. When I left, I counted aloud the words you could speak and the list topped nearly 40. He said most 1-year-olds can say about 5-10 words! My boy, you are a talker and smart as can be….a stranger would think I were lying, or bragging, by how many words you can say

I will start with the words you can sign, as sign language is VERY important in this household. It allowed us to be able to meet your most basic needs when you weren’t able to, but is now giving us the opportunity to allow us to teach you manners. You can sign the following words:

More, Please, Eat, Thank You, Milk, Fish …. every time you use sign language for something, Dada shakes his head in disbelief. He thinks Please is cute. My favorite trick you do with your hands is when I say, “Where is Mama’s Heart?” and you gently pat my chest….SO SWEET!!!

As far as the words you speak, I expect that next month’s letter to you will probably only state how you learn at least 2 news words a day and I couldn’t possibly keep up with everything you can say. A lot of the words you say sound the same as others, but Mama can tell them all apart.

For instance, a lot of words that start with the Letter B probably sound identical to anyone but Dada and I, but here are the B words you say.

Banana (bun-uh)

Balloon (OMG…this is your favorite and sounds like Brrrrrr (insert the Spanish Trill). You still obsesses over balloons and if a book so much as has a small balloon on it anywhere, you only want to sit and look at that page.

Berry…. (beh-eeee). If we open the fridge, you start chanting it over and over and over

Bottle (bah-ul) Which is actually your sippy cup, bottles are gone

Bath (bahhhh)

Bye (bi-eeeeeee) always followed with a hand wave and blowing kisses….and sounds very much like a Southern woman who might be saying it to a friend

You Gabba Gabba (babba)

Chickens say “Bock” and sheep say “bah”…you can also say “Duck” and “Bird” = burrrrrr. When I sing E-I-E-I-O to you in the car to keep you awake, you sing back to me “eye…eeeee….eye…..eeeee….yooooooo”

Dude….yep, you call me Dude a lot. I call YOU that a lot, so that’s fair.

Superman = Mah

Ice = I-yeeee (any time you see any of our cups, you start screaming this and want us to give you a small chip

NO….you are really good at this one. It’s with a deep voice or very angry or aggressive. You tell me “no” a lot. Ahem, you also started saying, “don’t”…..

You can say P-U when something stinks and hold your nose. You also make a cute Fox Face (which is scrunching your nose and opening/closing your mouth) You can also say “nose”…it sounds like “noooooz”

Juice = Jewwwwwwww

Table = tay-uhl

Rock = ball (go figure)

Though you can sign both “please” and “more”, you also say “peeeeez” and “mo”

Toe

I could probably add 20-3 more, but those are your favorites this month. I promise I won’t bore you each month with all the new words you learned, as I said, I expect from this point forward you will learn at least 2 a day.

Oh, wait….one more. The cutest is “Uh Oh”.  It always makes me smile. Uh Oh when you drop something, when you can’t find something, when Hannah leaves, when food falls on the floor, when the lights go out. Uh Oh all day long.

Reeve, you have made me so much stronger in this year. My life is all about “balance” and “Schedules” and EVERYTHING has to be planned in advance. All of this is just part of my brain now. In fact, those may be parts of my brain that I never even knew I had before you.

I just spend so much of my time laughing at you…and wondering. Who will you be? What will you be like when you are older? Will you love sports as much as you do now? Or will you love outdoors? Or books? Or all of it. As YOU take shape and become the YOU that you are, I just am so thankful that I get to experience this life in a way I’ve never know. Throwing rocks and falling down on purpose and carrying balls around like a little girl might a baby doll is all part of our life. You are dirty and messy and love to eat dirt or sand. Your fingernails are always long and filthy. You think smelling feet is the world’s best joke. You love to mash egg in your hair and still sleep with your butt up in the air.

You are just a whole lot of fun. I could wax poetic forever about the every day things you do that make me love you more with each breathe. It would be so easy. How you just go out of your way to make EVERY stranger within 10 feet of you notice you, waving at them, smiling….

Reeve, I search my brain trying to remember the feel of your tiny, new body in my arms those first days, months. I remember trying so hard, storing each tiny part of you in my body. I remember writing posts about the hair on your ears, the tiny lips, the big ears. I’m SO very glad I have recorded each moment and memory as it’s become so very hard to think of you as ever being so tiny.

Your independence is so amazing to see. You just try and try so hard at everything you do. But, the way you still absolutely NEED me is my greatest joy. For your health, I am always most thankful, but as I see your fearlessness guide you through new situations, I am so proud of you.

I have loved every moment that I have been able to call you mine. I look forward to every moment I know our life has in store for us. As always, SLOW DOWN….both literally and figuratively!  This goes so fast. A blink and you are onto a new trick, a new skill.

Bubba, thank you for making me laugh so hard this month. For giving me moments where I have to ask myself, “did that just happen?” The unknown has never been so welcome. I say (and hear) quite often, “it’s just a phase,” but I hope you NEVER grow out of the phase of amazing me or impressing me or being so curious.

It’s so easy to be your mom, Reeve. You are not only special in all the ways that make me smile, but our souls have known each other for so long (long before we met in person) that I never doubt this journey we get to experience here on Earth is one that will be filled with the purest of joy. One morning this month, I watched you as you slowly rocked side-to-side, along with the  John Denver song “Sunshine On My Shoulder” and I felt it. I felt absolute peace. Love. The feelings that become just words, those we toss around so casually. That we are so blasé about….and I knew, I just knew, that everything is as it should be.

To the Moon & Back.

I love you so very much,

Mommy

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Favorite things to do: HIT balls…with a bat, a brush, a toy carrot, a remote. It doesn’t matter, you just LOVE to swing at them. Play outdoors with your soccer ball. Throw rocks. Say my name “Mama” a whole bunch. Spin into my lap for me to read a book to him
Favorite things to eat: grapes, BERRIES, any fruit. NO meat. Spinach smoothies….ha ha…chicken nuggets. Raisins. Brocolli dipped in ranch
Dislikes: when we let you cry yourself to sleep, when we leave him at church daycare, naps, getting diaper changes and when the Rockies lose
Funny Tricks: throw ball up in air and hit it, blow bubbles in the bath with mouth, somersault (well….), wink like a fox, blow kisses,
Scary items: not being able to see me, the squeaky rubber duck.
Cute item:  Likes to hug the Scentsy dog that’s been in his room since he was born. Kisses babies in books and hugs (bonks) other babies with his head. High-Fives other kids
Hair color: Light brown, almost blonde you could say. Some of them are really long, especially over your ears
Eye color: Still bright blue!
Clothing size: 18 months
Diaper size: 4
Weight: probably 22-23 pounds
Height: 33″ (so big you often are mistaken for a 2-year-old)
Teeth: 11.5. Your top 2 molars are finally out. Bottom left is in and bottom right is cutting the gums. NOT FUN

 

 

 

 

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