this 14th month of your life has been a lot of fun! I am quite certain this is absolutely my favorite month of your life,….but, sometimes, I do look at you and wonder how you could possibly be that same little tiny bird with dark hair who was placed on my chest over 14 months ago. If we put a Then and Now picture side-by-side the only thing to identify you would be those old man ears. You are as blonde as can be. White blond. And long…and so lean, there is no baby fat on your body. You are tan, so tan. People stop us to tell us how tan you are. I’m still not sure if you look like me or daddy, but I know one thing for certain, you are the cutest boy I’ve ever seen.
As is typical, when I start to type this and look at the notes from the beginning of the month regarding your personality it’s so very different just 30 days later. At the start of this month I wrote about how I felt like you and I fought a lot. How you yelled at me, cussed me out in your own little language, threw things and food at me. Writing this weeks later I don’t remember it being as bad as I made it sound and and while there are certainly a lot of days where it does seem like you and I have different plans for each day, most days just involve a lot of compromise and are a lot of fun. I tell you what to eat and you yell at me or throw tomatoes at my nose. I tell you to go to sleep and you yell at me and we end up reading another 47 books. I want to go in one direction and you want to go in the other and we usually end up going your way before we go mine. I tell you to “stop” and you look me right in the eye and say “don’t.” I usually just end up shaking my head and rolling my eyes and laughing at you. This is your world…I’m just here to hold your hand and make sure you don’t get run over by any of the big trucks or Honda Pilots in our neighborhood.
This month you favorite things to do include pinching my belly roll and climbing on it and bouncing upon my uterus. Neither feels good, but makes you giggle so hard, which DOES feel good so I let you do it as much as you want. I tell you “that’s where you lived” and you then lift my shirt up and try to dig into my belly button as though there may be a secret portal back into that warm, wet and dark home you possibly remember. You also love to blow zerberts on my belly. Only 1 out of every 5 actually results in any sound, but any trick you can learn to do that involves my belly sure does make you giggle. I’m always just hoping you don’t bite that skin on my belly b/c you are still aware that “bye-eat”-ing is soooooo bad, but you just love the reaction you get when you nibble on my shoulder or the skin on my forearm. Why are you obsessed with my belly? Weirdo. Yours is pretty cute too, Bubba. It’s hard and round and you love to rub Lotion (Losh) on it with both hands. You also like to pinch your “baby boobies”
You are becoming quite adept at crawling and scaling things. From the ottomon in your room to the desk in the basement, you fling one leg up and then scratch and pull to get up. I love to see the determination and perseverance you possess. I tell you “don’t give up, you can do it” and you either show such pride when you do or such angst when you can’t. I’m still trying to relax when I see you hanging on the edge of the couch or off the side of the bed. I just picture sharp corners and goose eggs on your forehead or teeth knocked out and I typically just hold my breath until both feet are up or down. You are about 40% adept at going down the stairs. Lord, child….would you just slow down enough to learn that mastering this trick will enable you so much freedom? We spent one whole day working on the “sit & scoot” and “belly” approaches. For each step you got down I gave you a piece of Lime & Salt popcorn. You did so good, but without that food there to motivate you, you just want to walk down them like a big guy. Daddy is guilty of just carrying you down the stairs instead of taking the time to work on it with you b/c it makes him….wait for it….nervous. Imagine that.
You love to look for airplanes in the sky and will yell “pwannnnnnne”. I am confident you would pass any vision test as you can spot the tiniest glimmer of aircraft in the sky. You have a few toys that are planes and you like to hold them in the air and fly them. When we are outside and planes are in the sky, you hold your arms out and just start spinning in circles. It only takes 2 or 3 to get you dizzy, but you just love to spin. You also love our morning walks where we “Chase the Moon.” You can easily say “moon,” but add about 14 extra n’s on the end. We try to teach you Moon-ey so you can say your name and it comes out “moon-ah”
The answer to most questions we ask you is “no.” I’m not sure if you just can’t say “yes” or don’t know what it means or are just difficult or what, but “no” is your standard reply. Unless, of course, ice cream or berries or juice or jelly beans or baseball are involved. One of my favorite things you do this month is tell yourself “no.” You don’t say the word, you just start shaking your head as though you know that you shouldn’t be doing something. You will walk up to the coffee table in the Living Room and start to touch it then shake your head back and forth for about 15 seconds. I will put broccoli on your plate and you will touch it then start shaking side-to-side without a word. It’s so cute. It tells me that you are aware of the choices you are making and know that there are consequences, but not yet what those are enough to make the right choices. It’s okay, I’m really proud of you for learning. You should be proud of yourself as well, you are a very smart boy and a really good learner.
We were able to watch you experience the pool for the first time and then the personal growth involved with overcoming fear and anxiety. On Memorial Day weekend we first took you and watched the terror on your face as you saw the deep waters (really only a foot deep in the baby pool ) and loud fountains and kids screaming and running….to say you were terrified would be an understatement. For the whole week after, you wouldn’t even take a bath. I literally had to either get in with you or let you cling to me while you screamed with all your might. Trying to get you clean was impossible. You wouldn’t sit, you wouldn’t let me put water on your body. At one point, your legs were literally trembling. I even let you take popsicles into the tub. Nope. Just screaming. It as the saddest little sight. I had worked so hard with every bath you had ever taken to make sure you weren’t afraid of the water. I guess nothing can really prepare you for the actual experience. We went back a week later at a much quieter time in the a.m. and you put your toes in…then you would walk in up to your ankle. For a week you wouldn’t go any deeper than up to you knees. Here we are 4 weeks later and I now witness a fearless little guy who sticks his whole face in the fountains and sits in the deepest part of the baby pool and who “jumps” off of the side. I love that you love the pool and I’m so proud of you for venturing a little further each time, but I am absolutely terrified as well. I don’t take my eyes off of you for one second and am constantly yelling firmly at you. I believe the pool is the only place right now that warrants the tone of voice you may hear me using. I want you to be alert and aware. It’s so much fun to take you up there and, doing so, always guarantees at least a 2 hour nap….if I can keep you awake for the 5 minutes it takes us to get home. I usually end up handing you a fruit chew every 30 seconds to try. We take lots of fruit and peaches and veggie snacks up there with us. You love watching the other kids and I’m 100% certain that the overwhelming body of water has rendered you powerless, you no longer feel the need to hit other children or steal their toys. I’ve even seen you willingly hand over toys to other children. You really should be very proud of yourself, dude. The transformation from terror to Water Baby has been so fun for me to watch.
As far as eating goes, this month you’ve had some good days and some bad days. At the end of your 14th month I couldn’t pay you to eat a banana or blueberry when you used to LOVE those things. I think it’s because I introduced peaches/nectarines/apricots into your diet. Since they are hand-sized and shaped like balls, you LOVE them. Some days you will eat broccoli and others you spit it out at me. If I put a little ranch on your tray you may try a bite of a snap pea, but will most likely only dip your pointer finger in the ranch dressing and say “mmmm” over and over. Some days you eat a chicken nugget (you called it a “Chi Chi Nuggie”) others you shove handfuls of pasta into your face only to turn your nose up at them the next day. You ate a turkey sandwich one day and I haven’t been able to get you to since. Same with salmon. You love the apple juice and spinach smoothies I make for you. I swear I’m going to puree some chicken to put in there too since you rarely ever eat meat. You do love corn on the cob though. Again, I think it’s b/c it’s shaped like a baseball bat and you can swing it. You love “cheeeeeeez” and hot dogs. I just never know. With eating, no two days are ever the same. You do drink 2-3 sippy cups of milk a day now. You call anything in your sippy cup “chooce” (Juice) and still love “i-yeessss” (ice). You learned this month what the word “hot” means in terms of food and now touch everything I put on your plate and declare it “hottttt” …. even pb&j or yogurt. I say “blow on it” and you spit all over it trying to cool it off.
With it being pool season, we haven’t gone to the library for Story Time much this month. It was truthfully getting a little hard for me to take you. Every day I seemed to leave feeling diminished from chasing you, keeping you from banging on the computer keyboards, climbing the water fountain stool, pulling books off the shelf. I always had to sit on the edge of the Mommy Circle with my bottom on my ankles prepared to pounce and intercept should you decide to start beating on any other children. It was exhausting. I welcomed the change of the pool and knew that since you are a High Energy child trying to contain you wasn’t working. You need to BURN energy. We’ve been only twice this month and both times you were an absolute delight. No hitting, no screaming. You sang and did the arm motions along with the song and didn’t hit a single child. I’m certain the change in your routine with the pool made you forget that hitting is “your thing” at Story Time. This is MORE than fine with me as we started the month by having to take you aside to do a 30-second timeout. What a joke. You definitely got that you were being punished, but could only sit for 2 seconds at a time until you would try to get up and run to me. Each time I put you back on the spot you only got more and more worked up. There is no doubt in my mind that you had no idea what was going on. I’m not sure if you are just too little or what, but I think just being patient and sticking with “hands are not for hitting…hands are for gentle touching….” and all those other phrases I was annoyed with saying are what worked. As I typed this, Daddy wanted me to make sure to mention that you do, however, still hit the picture of the baby on your Indoor Trampoline every time you see it. Ahem…
I will admit, however, that Story Time has been wonderful. This month you are obsessed with a few of the songs we’ve learned at the library. Most noticeable, “Itsy Bitsy Spider”. You love to try to twist your fingers up the water spout and then “whoooosh” the rain away. Sometimes you will stop in the middle of whatever it is that you are dong and start twisting your fingers at me so I will sing it for you. You also like Twinkle Twinkle LIttle Star and Baby Shark goes Doot Doot.
You are still obsessed with anything Ball related. It seems we have 258 balls in this house. Soccer, baseball, softball, tennis, ping pong, golf, wiffle, sticky, splash…you name a type of ball and we have it….in multiples. Your swing is only getting better and better. You are so serious when you grab a bat. You now say “teeee” and want to hit off of one of the 2 tees we have in this house. You swing with all your might and crack that thing all the way across the room. Earlier this month, while outside playing one weekend, Daddy taught you how to pitch by slowly showing you the motion of lifting his leg. Now, you can’t throw a ball without lifting your leg. The word “lift” isn’t quite accurate to what you actually do though. You really just tilt to the side until your leg is nearly off the ground….either way, it’s pretty amazing! We cannot believe how quickly you learn such things. When you throw at us and get the ball to us we say “good throw, bubba” and you always clap for yourself. Twice. Two little claps every time. Not one. Not three. Just two. It’s your own little affirmation that you are awesome. You sit so contentedly at Daddy’s games for Innings 1-3. We watch daddy and you yell “dada! DADA!!!!!! DADDDDEEEEEE” so loudly that sometimes Daddy has to stop to gather himself on the mound b/c you are so distracting. He loves it though, daddy does. It makes him laugh and the other players too. By inning 4 (if you make it that long) I set you free and spend the next hour and a half trying to keep you out of mud puddles, off the metal bleachers, from eating sunflower seeds off the ground, running down the hill, putting your fingers in the metal fence, hitting the pole with your bat…..I am completely exhausted after daddy’s games. I love taking you though. I love that you love to watch daddy play and I love that you are starting to get the game. You always know Daddy is the one on the mound and think Andy #44 is daddy at bat (silly boy, daddy doesn’t bat).
Each night after your bath, we start your routine. We read as many books as we can, though some say stick with 1-2 and then quickly wrap up the night, I disagree and choose to read to you for an hour. I don’t understand why a child should only get 1-2 stories a night. If you wanted to read all day I would. I think reading makes you so smart, Bubba. I can tell you which book to get off the shelf and see you walk over to search for it. You pull it down, throw it at me and then catapult into my lap. I say “go put it back and bring me a new one” and you sometimes do and sometimes don’t. We look at airplanes and animals (always finding and fixating on the doggy). You grab our fingers to point at things and like to turn the pages for us. You have certain books you like, some you LOVE and others you get flat out mad when we try to read to you.
As it nears 7pm, we see you start to rub at your eyes and start to get this faraway look. In the past week or so, you’ve been looking at us and saying “nite nite”. Are you asking us to put you to bed? Telling us you are ready? Or do you just think “nite nite” is the new word for “milky” and want to nurse? Either way, we laugh at you and then you give daddy his wet, sloppy goodnight kiss and then me mine. You go to bed fairly easily (naps are sometimes a lot more challenging) and then sleep 10-11 hours each night. I would give anything for you to sleep in until 6:30am each day…just an extra half hour. Gosh, that would make all the difference to me. It’s hard to complain when you sleep so well, but I would still gladly take the 30 minute extra. Daddy and I swap every other morning going into your room to get you out of your crib. On my mornings, you are so happy to see me and start jumping up and down. On Daddy’s, when he flips on that light and you see him, oh boy, you get so pissed. You bang your head on the railing and flail your body down and start screaming. You pull your socks off and throw them. Your first sentence was in the midst of one of these Daddy-mornings. You said, “I want Mommy”…..best sentence I’ve ever heard, and through the baby monitor no less.
Because you do wake up so damn early and b/c we are still asleep when you wake up, we have to bring you into bed with us. We turn on Sprout TV and let you watch Chica the Chicken or Tree Fu Tom. I know, I know, television is so bad for you, but I have to slow your little brain down a little so mine can catch up. Tree Fu Tom is a kung fu fairy?!?! or something and you love to try to do the kung fu moves he does. You swing your arms around and try to punch or kick like he does. It’s pretty dang cute to see you try to do Kung Fu. One day, while we were on our morning 2-mile walk, I said “do the magic” and you punched your arm really hard, then grabbed your elbow and said “owwwwwww.” Tiny little big boy. A strong punch hurts your little arms, they still have just a dimple on the back of your elbow. It’s a small reminder, that for now, you are still a baby.
One of mine (and Daddy’s) favorite things about this 14th month of your life has been listening to the things that come out of your mouth. I remember being worried that by teaching you to Sign Language I would be delaying your speech. That is, after all, what “they” say…..how wrong was that train of thought? You talk all day. There is never a doubt in my mind what you want. Daddy sometimes looks at me to translate, but I always know.I feel as though I could spend the rest of this post just writing out the words that you can say. I am blown away with your Speech Development over that of our friends who are the same age or even older. You are an expert pointer and say “apple” or “bottle” or “chicken” or “tattoo” or “moon” or “cookie”….which comes out “tookie”. At least twice a day your daddy and I look at each other in disbelief over what you can say. “Fruit Chew”…really? “Taco?” How do you know how to say the -ch in “peach?” “Turtle?” Just tonight you said, “eye—-ec eye…..ec bayyyyy beeeee” I long for the day when we can have conversations. I can’t wait to tell you stories and to catch you in lies and to hear how you interpret this world around you.
You are so fast this month. I swear, you RUN!!!!! One day, in the middle of your fastest run, you stopped and did a complete somersault….seriously, a full one. You didn’t tip to the side or anything. I still hate that moment where you approach a crack in the sidewalk or a small bump to pass over. In my mind, I see you falling and knocking all of your teeth out. I want to hold your little hand everywhere you go, but I love to see you grow more and more independent and curious about how you can figure things out. I just hate when you fall, Reeve. You are just too important….and, sometimes, I don’t know how to manage a love like this. Little boy scraped knees are already a constant in our lives, I accept that, but I still want to kiss away all the pain you have now and will in the future. Pain beyond that is more than I can even bear to think about. I would keep you in this bubble of my arms if I could. Forever. I just hate that bits and pieces of this world are going to break your heart someday. It just kills me that I can’t move forward in time and fix it all for you.
When I tell you to be quiet you can now put your finger to your lips and blow on it as if to say “shhhhhh”. You also can whisper secrets into mama’s ears, which is also just a lot of spit in my ear. You call Elmo “Melmo” and when I show you Cookie Monster you say “Tookie” in a growl. You run like a drunkard, toppling every which way….about to fall over at any moment. You laugh like a nerd, not catching your breathe and holding your belly. Daddy put Hannah on the trampoline and you about passed out laughing. You LOVE to hug Hannah and pull the hair on your nose and butt. You are also obsessed with touching her butthole. She tolerates you only b/c she knows you are going to give her your nuggets and hot dogs when you are done with them. You just don’t do anything small. From drinking a cup and tipping it back with all your might and then letting out a giant “ahhhhhh” after a gulp to making sure the Superman cardboard cutout in the basement closet knows when you wave and yell BYE BYEEEEE that you mean it. I think you get that from me.
Month 14 of your life has been one where I find myself wondering if you will be silly or serious? I lean towards silly. I see you doing things to get a reaction out of us (blowing bubbles in the bath water or on the high chair tray with your melted ice…sticking both fingers up your nose) and I picture you stopping at nothing to make your classmates laugh. I see you run full-speed and drop to a complete somersault and I just know that you will be an athlete. I see your love for baseball and know that you are going to be passionate about sports as we are/were. You scream for me when daddy has you and him when I have you. You just love the both of us so much. Equally….but differently. I can tell that we are your Safe Place and that, in your heart, we are doing our jobs as well as we can.
You still play differently with daddy than with me. Basement time with me is in and out of my lap. Standing on my legs, Pinching my thighs. Grabbing at my breasts. Trying to hang on my neck….very physical. With daddy, it’s jumping on the trampoline and hitting off of the tee and running around and kicking balls. I’m tired enough, I figure, I don’t need to run or chase, I’m content to have bruises and burns on my legs.
Reeve, I really like seeing you in this world.
I just, I believe in you. Does that make sense? Some day, if it doesn’t now, it will. When I look at you and see nothing but potential, I feel this greater purpose than I’ve ever felt. Life isn’t at all about me. It’s all about experience. We went to the local carnival two nights in a row. On the way there, the first night, I kept thinking how badly I wanted to ride the scariest ride that went upside down and how I needed that thrill, you know? Then we got there. And you just wanted to run from ride to ride, thing to thing, game to game and go “oooohhhhhh” and “aaaahhhhhhh” and point, then run some more. I quickly forgot what I needed/wanted and said to your daddy, “I just want him to experience it all, you know?” Touch it. Look at it. Get in there. Get dirty. We pudding painted in the driveway this month. A neighbor-mommy said she couldn’t stand the thought of ever doing that with her children. The mess. The clean-up….all I could think was, “YES!!!! The mess….isn’t it awesome?” When we make messes…with pudding or paint or dirt, I believe they have purpose. Whether it’s figurative or literal, we make messes.
I believe every day we have together has a purpose. I hope one day you can look back at how your life turned out and realize how this time we’ve spent together, every second of EVERY day, has helped mold you into the best version of you.
I just want you to know that I think of you with every decision I make. From the shorts that I wear b/c I know I can’t wear a skirt and get down in the grass with you to the BPA in the plastics I buy to the spinach smoothies I make. I sit at concerts with your daddy and pray that this world can handle you. That you can shape your world. That you always show up for every Opening Act and stay well past every encore.
Reeve, I can hardly believe we are here…in this Chapter. That you are so big, your face thinning, your arms and legs so long. Words flowing from your mouth as they do. How do we slow this all down? Would I even want to? I love each month of your life more and more. Watching you become a “person” who can answer questions and give opinions is pretty powerful. When you were a baby I took pleasure in your innocence, your small sounds, in wondering what was going on in your brain. Now that you are a boy, I obsess over who/what personality is going to burst forth? Will you be quiet and calm like daddy? Busy and curious like me?
I love you so much. More with each day. It’s scary to think how this feeling can grow even bigger if every day holds more.
Bubba, you are the best thing I’ve ever done. This month of your life, on the 18th, Daddy and I celebrated our 2-year wedding anniversary. Though we will never know which night God gave us to you, we silently thanked him as we celebrated or 2 wonderful years together and for blessing us with you on the same night we said our vows.
I will love you until my dying breathe…and then, forever after that.
To the moon & back,
Favorite things to do: Go to the pool and splash or sit on the fountain, hit balls off of the tee, pull on the hair on Hannah’s mouth, pop bubbles, watch Yo Gabba Gabba
Favorite things to eat: Ranch Dressing, Jalapeño & Cheddar bratwurst, Noodles & Co. pasta, spinach and fruit smoothies, Cheeeeeeez
Dislikes: when Daddy gets you out of the crib in the morning….I’m having a harder time with this this month, you were such a good boy….you even loved your babysitter Ms. Amanda both times
Funny Tricks: blowing bubbles in the pool/bath, somersaults, jumping (one legs leaves the ground), pitching the ball and raising your leg, jumping on the indoor trampoline, jumping around inside your crib when you are playing
Scary items: Drawing a blank here….
Cute item: Your little Elmo (Melmo) doll, Baby Hannah, daddy’s baseball glove
Hair color: BLONDE…LONG….and so cute
Eye color: Still bright blue!
Clothing size: 18 months
Diaper size: 4
Weight: probably 26 pounds (75%)
Height: 34″ (98%) (so big you often are mistaken for a 2-year-old)
Teeth: 12. all 4 molars are in, but you walk around with your finger in your mouth so possibly your Incisors are working their way in too?