Thursday, November 29, 2012

17 months!

Another long post about the wee one....

Caleb turned 17 months old Sunday. Seriously, it amazes me that he is so big and has grown so much. He just continues to learn more and more and soaks up a ton. It is really neat to watch him learn something new- and he gets so proud of himself, too.

Per my measurements, Caleb weighs 25 lbs. and is 31 inches tall.

His sleeping hasn't really improved much, but we are working on it still. Some nights are definitely better than others. We put up his big boy bed and he will sleep in there for part of the night sometimes- then if when he wakes up, he can just come find me on his own. That part is nice and not-so-nice. He has become very clingy lately- I mean, he was kind of clingy anyway and he's definitely a mama's boy, but he was exceptionally clingy last week. Flattering.

He has become quite the daredevil and is experimenting more and more with climbing. He tries to climb on everything. He hasn't figured out yet, how to climb furniture, but boxes or toys or anything that he can get his little legs up, he climbs.

He has also started learning more and more about autonomy, meaning he's becoming quite a defiant little bugger. My good, sweet little listener, well, doesn't always listen to me anymore. He likes to see just how far he can go. He has also started hitting, more like swatting, and saying "uh!" when he gets frustrated. He has been becoming very easily frustrated lately (which also means that he gets fussy)- so usually if it's because something is stuck or it's something that he can help himself with, then I will encourage him, but not complete the task for him.

He is still very sweet and is affectionate. He loves to give mommy and daddy hugs and kisses and loves to be cuddled.

He is the funniest and funnest little 17 month old. He cracks me up all of the time and he is so smart! He knows when he's being cute or clever.

Now for some pictures of this awesome kid from the last month:

Playing in the leaves with daddy!

I love this goober. :)

And I'm sure he'll love me for posting these pictures.

He had just built this huge tower all by himself and I went to take a picture and he knocked all of the blocks down. 

Trying out his new "big boy" bed.

He eats pretty well with a fork all by himself. :)

But sometimes he just has to use his hands. :)

There were a couple other pictures that I wanted to post, but I still haven't put them on my computer... I'll get around to it one day. :)

Anyway, this month Caleb:

*Has learned to say "I love you"- he says, "I you".
*Runs all over the place! He has two speeds: fast and faster.
*He has recently started trying to mimic more of what we say, which is awesome! It doesn't always sound the way it should and he has a hard time making a lot of the sounds, but he really does try.
*I've been bribing him with M&Ms to get him to work on saying the "mmm" sound- something that is apparently difficult for him. Let me tell you- the kid LOVES M&Ms- don't worry, I don't give him too many. :)
* He tries to count- sometimes it sounds like he says, "one, two" as he is pointing to things. He will also give him his hand and make a pointer and point to objects as if he wants me to count them for him. 
* He recently learned how to say "thank you"- mostly just the tone of voice.
* He is starting to climb more things now- anything that he can get his legs up- so his drum, wipes container, books, anything he can climb.
* He loves to snuggle with his mommy and for me to sing songs with him.
* He dances anytime there is music- even at church.
*Sometimes we can distract him by asking him to "conduct" and he'll wave his arm(s) around.
* He loves to put whatever will fit into the water jug that we collect coins in. We've also found coat hangers sticking out and shoes stacked on top.
* He loves to stack things... anything that he can stack. 
*He's sneaky and likes to hide from Mommy. Not so fun when we're, say, at the mall. He ran away from me in the children's section of a clothing store. I called out for him, he didn't respond so I start looking for him frantically. I find him on the floor-on his hands and knees watching me with a huge grin on his face. He then gets up and runs and hides again by some strollers, laughing the entire time. He thinks he's funny. 
* He is so helpful. But only when he wants to be. If he's made a mess, he will only clean it up if I sing the "clean up" song (I think it's from Barney). It works every time. 
* He absolutely adores his daddy and loves to watch for him when he comes home. And if he hears the door unlock. He'll whisper, "Who's that?".
* Has yet to say "mommy" or "mama", but will say "daddy" spontaneously and on command. Last week sometime I said, "Where's daddy?" and so he said it, too. "Where's daddy? Where's daddy?" But when Jeff asked him to say, "mommy". He completely ignored him. Maybe by Christmas he'll say it. That would be an awesome Christmas gift. :)
* Had an awesome allergic reaction to Kiwi- we think. He got a blister on his lip, complained about his mouth, his chin turned red and he got hives on his tummy and back. Not positive it was kiwi, but I'm now keeping Benadryl in his diaper bag, just in case it wasn't the kiwi and he has a reaction while we're out somewhere.
*He's got some new teeth. He just grew one molar (back, bottom, left) and is in the process of growing 3 more and another bottom front tooth- so maybe that's why he's grouchy sometimes. Poor fella. 
* He is constantly saying, "what's that?" or "What is that?" and loves to point to babies and ask that. 
*He loves to pet soft things, blankets, slippers, animals (that's definitely from his mama). 

He continues to be an awesome, awesome kid. Seriously, he is so smart (he gets it from his mama ;) ) and quick-witted (he must get that from his daddy). He is so fun and he cracks me up all of the time (like when he thinks he can hide by turning his head or putting his head down and staying perfectly still or when he rolls his eyes- yes, he already rolls his eyes. Seriously?). He knows when he is being cute and he seeks approval from mom or dad whenever he does something that he thinks is awesome (he gives this awesome half scrunchy-faced smile). He loves bathtime, outside time and he loves shopping-at almost any store. He is a happy little boy most of the time and such a delight to be around. I love it when he's been crying in his crib (I don't love that part) and I go to get him and he gives me kisses. Though we do have days that are hard, they are just so many positive things in our days that they overshadow those hard times. I really do feel so blessed to have him in my life and am so grateful that Jeff and I get to bring another little baby into our family in just a couple of months. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I have a Baby Raptor

Recently, I was telling someone how wonderful of a child Caleb is. He listens to me and follows directions, he doesn't cry much anymore. I can somewhat reason with him. He's just so, so awesome. But soon after that... oh boy was I in for it. He spent five days screaming. Screaming to the point of losing his voice by the third day. He would scream when he didn't get his way. He would scream when  he couldn't figure something out. If he was pushing a toy and it got stuck, he would scream. If he wanted more banana but he'd already eaten a whole one, he'd scream. If I put him in his carseat wrong or wanted him to take a nap, he'd scream. And at night- he would scream and scream and scream. Unless of course, I was holding him. 

Two days ago was particularly bad. He was up a large part of the night. I would hold him, he'd fall asleep, but as soon as I placed him in his bed, he'd scream. So I'd do it all over again. This happened several times. By the next morning, we were both exhausted. Before 10 am, he had had three full-on tantrums. I mean full-on. I thought he wanted to be held, so I held him, but he continued to scream, hitting and head-butting me. I put him down, he screamed, threw himself on the floor, head-butted me. I tried talking to him, which would work before. It didn't. This happened three times. One time it was because he wanted to watch Mormon Tabernacle Choir videos (no lie). We'd already watched a couple and it was time for something else. At one point I though it was because he wanted a ball. But when I asked, he just continued to scream and thrash about. I have no idea why he tantrumed the third time. 

Around 10, because we had had a late night and because it was obvious that he was tired, I decided he was going to have a nap. We continued with our morning routine as usual prior to that (we sing and read a General Conference talk). I then told him it was nap time. I held him and rocked him and sang a few songs to him and then put him in his bed, where he lay quietly for approximately 45 seconds. He was then up and screaming. I decided I'd let him cry for a bit. Afterall, he needed the sleep right? Well, after about 20 minutes, I just couldn't do it anymore, so I got him out of his bed and offered him some milk. He drank his milk on the couch. When he was done, he screamed. At this point, I had had it and I am sad and ashamed to admit that I sort of yelled at him. It wasn't a mean, threatening, incredibly loud, angry, scream-like yell. It was more of a forceful, I'm- exasperated-and-you-need-to-stop kind of yell. I told him that he had a choice: He could take his nap on the couch or in his bed, but that he had to stop screaming. He stopped for a minute and I went into the kitchen to wash dishes. A minute or so later, he screamed- and let me interject here... these are high-pitched, loud, long screams. So, I kind of growled to myself and went to the bathroom and balled my little eyes out. 

First, I felt like a complete failure. My whole life I've wanted nothing more than to be a mama. Now that I am one, I don't know how to help my baby figure out his feelings enough that he can stop screaming so much. I yelled at him- what an example I am. Basically, I berated myself for being the worst mother to my sweet boy and here I am getting ready to have another baby. How am I going to do this? After I was able to pull myself together enough to continue on with my morning, I left the bathroom and went back to washing dishes. Caleb continued to lay on the couch. Then he started screaming again! So this time, I told him that he was going to have to get into his bed while I took a shower. So, he lay down in his bed initially but before I could even make it to the bathroom, he was up and screaming and I just turned the shower on. He screamed throughout the entire shower. I quickly got dressed and told him that we had to get him ready for the day. He actually let me change his diaper and get him dressed without a fight- which has also become the biggest battle of our day lately. 

We left and headed to the mall. They have a play area that he can play in and since we had to head that way anyway and it was cold and wet, we decided to stop there for awhile. He was a perfectly behaved while we were out and so I just let him play. He had a great time and even made a new friend. We had lunch in the food court with our newfound friends. What started off as a terrible morning was ending up to be a pretty great afternoon. 

Afterwards, we headed to pick my sister up from work and to take her to run a couple of errands. Again, he behaved awesomely. We got home and he continued to be pretty great for awhile until I started making dinner. He still had a couple of short, high-pitched screams, but nothing like before. 

We had dinner and I explained to Jeff what a rough start to the day we had (and I had debated on telling him, because I seriously felt like I was the worst mother ever. But, it's hard for me to not mention all of my faults to him.) Anyway, I also explained that I knew that he was just discovering his autonomy and that he was starting to understand that he was an individual and that we just needed to help him learn how to express himself better. Jeff didn't make me feel like a bad mother at all, but rather looked up some literature on toddlers and tantrums. It turns out, I did a lot of good things, too... 

Once Caleb was in bed, he slept for a couple of hours, but then of course woke up and woke up again and again. His sleeping has just been so out of control lately, which I think makes everything worse for all of us. 

Yesterday though, was so much better despite the lack of sleep. Yes there were some bouts of screaming (more like baby raptor sounds- which he does all the time now), but no real tantrums. We had so much fun together, dancing (which I am paying for now), listening to music, reading the same two books over and over and over again (I hid them last night so that maybe I didn't have to read those books again today), making and eating chocolate chip cookies, playing, going to the store. It really was just such a good day. I was able to talk to him again and have him respond positively to me. He was very loveable yesterday and every time I held him, he'd give me a multitude of unsolicited kisses (seriously, the best kind). The only time he threw a fit was last night right before bed when I had to change his diaper. He had a rash, which keeps recurring and I am starting to wonder if it's from his diapers. Other than that, he was pretty great and he even went to sleep great- though not throughout the night. 

Anyway, I realize this is a rather long post. If you made it to the end, good for you and thank you for indulging me. :) 

Here's to hoping for another great day today. I'm sure we'll have lots of baby raptor sounds, but I can handle those. :) 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

So Much Learning

So Caleb has learned recently (like this week) how to wave "hi" and "bye"- which looks like his sign for "yes". He has also learned how to sign "more" with a modified sign. He learned to point to body parts, too! The body parts he'll touch are: head, nose (unless he hears toes), mouth, feet, toes. We're still working on others. But I didn't really teach him "feet" and I just asked him the other day where his feet were and he grabbed both of his feet. So cute!

Anyway, it's a quick post, but I just wanted to remember how much he has learned in the last couple of days. He is learning so much all of the time and it's so amazing to me.

Oh, and I got him a potty seat. Now before anyone comments about how he is so young, I just thought we'd try it out. We are not pressuring him into using the bathroom or anything, but sometimes I'll ask if he wants to sit on the potty and he emphatically waves his arm up and down to indicate that he does. Then he takes off into the bathroom and anxiously awaits while I get him situated on the toilet. He likes to read a book while sitting on the potty and he'll ask me to read to him as well. He's not gone into the potty yet and he only sits there until he wants to get up. I don't really have high expectations that he'll be potty trained anytime soon- especially since he's only 16 months old. But, I think it's great that he likes to sit on the potty so far. :)

Oh, he's also learned to "fold" his arms for prayer and will now sit most of the time during prayers, which is awesome.

He initiates more and more interactions with people, which again, is an awesome milestone- and with adults and children alike. I just can't believe how much he's growing and learning. What an awesome baby I have. :)

He pretty much makes this face all of the time.

I love his curls. 

Enjoying playing in the leaves!

I couldn't get him to look at the camera.

He makes the funniest faces!

My baby boy getting ready for prayer.

He kept climbing up and sliding off the chair and laughing. He would also squeal and laugh  throughout. He was cracking me up.

I really love this sweet face of his.
Well, I suppose that's all for now. I just didn't want to forget about how much he's learned recently.