Posts tagged talking

The Fearless and The Anxious

Enough with the generic titles. It’s getting awkward to list the kids’ ages, and I get frustrated not being able to title the blogs based on what they actually contain. So from here on out, I’ll be nixing the time-stamp and utilizing my creativity.

Reid is 11 months old now. He is learning new things every day, and it is getting so fun. Just in the last couple weeks, he’s learned to wave bye-bye, give hugs and kisses, pat my breast when he wants milk (he usually says, “Mama” while patting), and sign “more” when I say the word… I’m not sure he quite understands what it means yet.

I thought for sure he’d be walking by now. He’s been standing on his own with confidence for months. He can stand up from sitting without using anything for leverage. He can go from standing, to squatting, to sitting. He can bend over and pick something up off the floor and right himself. He can wiggle, dance, clap, play with toys while standing. But he shows no interest in walking. Only occasionally will he let me lead him around by holding his hands while he walks. He prefers just to crawl since he’s a master crawler–a sprint-crawler even.

He’s also a climber. He tries to climb on everything. We bought a sit and stand stroller from some friends at church recently which both boys love. When not in use, it is parked in our front hallway. Reid loves to climb up into it and stand in the seat. He could stand there playing for several minutes. In fact, I’m not sure how long he’d be content there since I usually get him down after a few minutes so I can attend to something else. We have also found him sitting on the bottom shelf of our built-in DVD unit, inside the bathroom cupboard (completely inside), standing on the open door of the dishwasher, on Daniel’s bed, and he desperately tries to fling himself into the bathtub as soon as he notices the water is on. He is going to get hurt one of these days. He just is. And I’m afraid.

Daniel never did that kind of stuff. He was curious. He would make feeble attempts. But he wasn’t the daredevil that Reid is. I can see huge differences in the two already. It’s as if I birthed the two most opposite boys our DNA would allow, and not just in their behavior. Reid is nearly three inches shorter than Daniel was at this age. Reid still barely has any hair, while Daniel had his first haircut at 3 months old. Daniel could say several words at this age, but Reid is still only babbling–he does say, “Mama” and perhaps “bath” (as “ba!”). Several wise moms have told me that you think you have it under control, when the next kid comes along and changes everything. It’s so true.

Daniel has been dealing with some anxiety issues lately. Thankfully, they’ve calmed down and he’s slowly getting back to his old self (phew!). The immediate trigger for his anxiety was two-fold (three-fold, if you count Reid being born). First, Dan and I planned a trip to San Fransisco to surprise his friend Mike for his 30th birthday. We arranged for Daniel to spend the night with his grandparents (something he loves to do), bought our plane tickets and booked our hotel. We told Daniel that we were going to go on a trip while he spent the night with grandma and grandpa. But that didn’t go over very well. We decided not to talk about the trip in front of him, and instead just talk about how much fun he’d have spending the night since he was going to get to go to a baseball game.

Right around that same time, during Daniel’s gymnastics class (he’d been attending for about 6 weeks already with absolutely no issue), he looked up to where I normally stand and watch him to let me know he had to go to the bathroom. When he couldn’t locate me (I had gone around the corner to another viewing area to eat a muffin and wasn’t paying attention to the class below), one of the teachers walked with him to the bathroom. On his way back he spotted me and seemed okay. He went back downstairs to the class, but before he even sat back down on his spot, looked up to find me again, couldn’t see me for a second, and freaked out. He started crying and wouldn’t return to the class. And every class since then (about 6 weeks ago now), he’s needed me to be with him down in the gym area (the gym regulations state that parents are not allowed to be in the gym area, but they have kindly made an exception for us). For a few weeks, he would barely leave my side, but now he’s content as long as I am within 10 feet of him.

I think the initial problem started when I attended my dear friend’s birth when Daniel was only about a year and a half old. I left him for several hours with my mom in San Diego (he’d never been without me for more than an hour or two). He didn’t know my mom very well, and he wasn’t terribly familiar with her house. We’d visited several times, but nothing more than a day or two here and there. It seemed that the day went well. He ate, slept, and played with my mom. He didn’t seem lethargic, or depressed. But he was obviously relieved to have me back. And every time we visited my mom after that, he wouldn’t let me leave his sight. I couldn’t go to the bathroom without him. I couldn’t even go around the corner without him panicking. And while he is okay visiting my mom’s house these days, he still has to be reassured that I am not going to leave him there. I’m sure the issue is not with my mom, since he adores her when she visits at our house. But in his mind, her house is associated with that feeling of abandonment.

Thus, I have concluded, when we told him we were going on a trip without him, when he couldn’t spot me at gymnastics class, that terrifying panic was conjured up for him. Now, whenever we had to be separated (dentist appointments, a date with Dan), Daniel screamed, cried, had to be peeled off of me. A good friend and child psychiatrist confirmed my suspicions that we (at least I) should not go on our trip without Daniel–that his extreme separation anxiety would only be made worse if I forced us to be separated, that we needed to help him deal with his anxiety step by tiny step.

I felt frustrated, powerless, worried, annoyed. I thought it was going to take months of hard work. Instead, things have been getting easier on their own. Well, not totally on their own. We have been talking with him about his feelings, reassuring him that we would never leave him without telling him first–and even then we would always leave him with someone who loved him and who he trusted–and we would always come back.I’ve been leaving for short amounts of time when necessary (multiple dentist appointments, Holistic Moms meetings), but never more than necessary, and I’ve called to check in and make sure he’s okay. And little by little, he’s been okay with my leaving. Little by little, he’s going back to the confident little boy who plays by himself and reads books to pass the time. He’s once again comfortable enough to play with daddy, or auntie, or grandma with me in another part of the house. He even went happily with Dan to the grocery store a few days ago.

I’m relieved. But nervous about what else might trigger his anxiety response again. I know the fear. I have the same feelings about earthquakes. And I was reminded of how terrible those feelings are when we had a small but violent earthquake in the middle of the night. I could barely sleep afterward. I jumped with every move Dan made in the bed. I lurched awake with that firey surge of electric butterflies in my body every few minutes sure that the whole house was going to come crumbling down on me. For several nights, I was afraid. The fear got less and less every day, but occasionally something would bring it back up for me.

So even through my frustration, my worry for Daniel, through my own fears, I was able to have real empathy for him. Fear is a terrible thing to have to experience–especially as a child with no real ability to rationalize, to talk yourself down. I dealt with irrational fears as a child myself, and remember how paralyzing they were. I’m sad my poor little Daniel has to deal with that dumb inherited trait of mine (and Dan’s as well), but grateful that Dan and I both have experience dealing with it personally so we can help him through it gently should it come up again.

For now, he is doing well. He still won’t spend the night at his grandparents’ house. He still prefers that I stay close by. But he’s  not terrified anymore. And for now, I’ll call it a win.

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21 Months Old

Call me obsessed, but I’ve already got Daniel’s 2nd birthday party all planned out. I’ve had so many ideas, but most of them are not quite age-appropriate yet. I want to do crafts and activities and games… but there are really only so many things you can do to keep a bunch of toddlers interested. So I’m trying to keep it simple. But it’s going to be tough.

We attended his friend Annabel’s 2nd birthday party, so he’s been able to grasp what it means to have a birthday–fun, friends, and presents! Grandma told him, when he asked about a basket-ball game, that he could have one for his birthday. Now Daniel tells us, “Daniel’s birthday! Happy birthday, Daniel!” when we talk about basketball. He also likes to remind us, “Daniel’s birthday coming in June!” I’m trying to figure out a way not to restrict gifts on his birthday, while still keeping it from becoming a “give me stuff” event. I want him to appreciate the fun time with friends and family celebrating his life without the gifts being the highlight of the event (especially since we’ll be inviting half the world to his party–which could spell disaster for those plans if I’m not careful). I’m thinking of asking people to donate money or gift certificates towards swim classes, MyGym classes, or KidSpace membership instead–or to give books or clothes–if they even give a gift at all. I feel like I need to establish this pattern early so that not only will Daniel view our tradition as normal, but so will our friends and family.

During bed-time prayers, for the last several weeks, Daniel has been asking God to make “Uncle Dave’s elbow feel better” (my brother-in-law broke his elbow about a month ago). This morning, Daniel inquired about “Uncle Dave’s broken elbow.” I told him that Uncle Dave’s elbow was all fixed. To which Daniel responded (brace yourself–this is too cute), “Thank you God! You did it God!” It was the cutest response he could have given.

He’s been volunteering “please” and “thank you” more often lately–but with “please” he hasn’t quite gotten the sentence structure down, so he says something like, “Please Mama drink Mama please Mama” or some similar string of pleases and mamas and whatever it is that he wants. With “thank you”, he knows that the word is associated with giving and receiving, but he hasn’t quite grasped that only the recipient is supposed to say, “Thank you.” He uses the phrase when giving and receiving.

As in the examples above, Daniel is expressing himself more and more–independently making connections and shifting his verbal communication from simply narrating our day to interacting with and responding to our activities. It is so much fun watching his personality develop before my eyes.

Yesterday, there was a training drill in our complex for the Pasadena Fire Department that lasted all day. The complex was swarming with fire fighters, which Daniel thought was exquisite. Parked outside were about 8 emergency vehicles that he found fascinating, as well. Unfortunately, we missed the window where the fire fighters were showing people around the trucks and equipment (Daniel was disappointed that he didn’t get to use the steering wheel), but we took some pictures of him admiring the trucks.

Next weekend we’re going on a cruise to Ensenada. Daniel is excited, or in his words, “exciting!” to get on the “big boat!” Especially because both sets of grandparents are going with us (and a whole bunch of Dan’s customers–since the point of the cruise is to reward and thank his business customers for loyalty). We did this cruise when I was pregnant with Daniel and he jumped and kicked inside me with the extremely loud music and microphones. I’m a little nervous about how it will be to have a toddler on the boat (I’m especially curious about the sleeping arrangements). I’m sure I’ll have plenty to update on that.

Bon voyage!

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19 1/2 Months Old

Oh, how they change.

I was just re-reading my 17-month blog about Daniel and was astounded at how much he’s learned over the last two and a half months!

Daniel is speaking in full sentences sometimes–usually the sentences are just long strings of words, but occasionally, they’re grammatically correct. When he wants to nurse, he says, “More need nilp!” Often, when he’s getting put to bed in his own bed, he’ll request, “Lay down, Mommy’s Daddy’s pidow (pillow)?”

And he has some words that he just insists on saying incorrectly. Water is “watee”, steering wheel is “wa wheel”, car is “ow”, mouth is “nouth”, and milk is still “nilp”. Motorcycle and helicopter are indistinguishable and sound like “atotato”, and at the sound of any siren, he yelps, “Help abody (somebody)!” Tow trucks also, “Help abody.”

Pottying is going so well. We still have accidents, but they’re almost always just little dribbles. The only times Daniel has a real soaker is when I don’t go to him quickly enough after he gets up from his nap. He’s completely out of diapers now. At about 17 months, I stopped putting him in diapers during the day and about 3 weeks ago, I stopped putting him in diapers at night. He’s still in training pants about 80% of the time, but I recently bought him a few more pairs of real undies.

Sleep is still a bit of an issue. Once the holidays were over, we decided Daniel was old enough to understand when I told him, “No more milk until morning.” After a miraculous two days, Daniel slept ALL NIGHT LONG!!! My punishment was to get a bit of mild mastitis (infected milk ducts) from going so long without nursing. I was sore for several days and had a fever for one night, but it went away without my needing anti-biotics (which I probably wouldn’t have taken unless it was unbearable anyway).

But then we went on our church retreat. And we were back at square one. Tonight is night 4 since returning from the retreat and it seems like tonight will go better than the last three. Judging by how easily Daniel went to bed, the rest of the night will hopefully go smoothly. I’m willing to give this nighttime weaning a full week’s worth of difficult nights before I change my strategy, but with last week’s success, I’m feeling confident that once Daniel realizes we’re not backing down again, he’ll stop crying “More need nilp!” over and over and over again.

I’ll try to remember to post the results in about a week.

Until then, enjoy your sleep! I envy you.

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Nearly 17 Months Old

We are still cosleeping, though our methodology has changed a little. We leave Daniel in his own bed until he wakes up–usually around 1 or 2–when we bring him into bed with us for the rest of the night. We’ve only been doing it for a few nights and his wake-up time has been pretty consistent. We’re hoping, though, that he’ll start to extend his first wake-up time by a little more each night as he gets more used to the new sleeping arrangement. We’ll see how it goes. We’re still not ready to forcefully break his all-night nursing habit. We do have plans to break him of it–if he still has it–by the time he can really understand when we tell him he won’t get any more until the sun comes up. But we’re hoping he’ll just slowly and naturally cut back as he is able to sleep longer without interruption in his own bed.

Tonight Daniel fell asleep laying alone in his bed without protest! I haven’t tried it in a while since it usually ends in tears. But tonight, he couldn’t stop wrapping himself around me, so I got out of bed, and sat in the rocking chair facing him. He whimperred, “Mommy? Mama?” a couple times, but it was enough for me to say, “Mama’s right here.” He rolled over and went to sleep! I couldn’t believe it. I’m trying not to get too excited, since I have yet to repeat the scenario. Tomorrow we’re trying it again.

Daniel’s vocabulary has exploded. He can repeat just about anything, and says of his own accord about a zillion words. We still have a hard time understanding him sometimes because he has trouble with the hard g and k sounds. He often mixes up other similar sounds as well. Some common ones he has trouble with are: doggie is doddie (sounds like daddy); trucks are ruts; milk is nilp. He calls basketballs batebottles; and bicycles bidibiderdidles; and ping pong balls pi po bas.  But his words are getting better every day and he’s starting to string them together. He tells me “help me” when he needs help and “socks and shoes” when he wants to put them on. And it sounded like he said through his tears the other day, “I don’t want a ping pong ball!”

I started going to MOPS with Daniel recently and have a bit of a rant to unload. It has been very hard for me because I have to leave Daniel in a childcare room. At his age, moms are strongly discouraged to allow their children in the meeting room. Every other group I attend is child-friendly, so this is just very different for me. It is hard enough for me to leave Daniel in the childcare room, but on top of it, I don’t like how the room is run.

First of all, they have a policy that children are allowed to cry for up to 20 minutes before their parent is retrieved! That seems so extreme to me. I spoke with the childcare coordinator who responded to my concern by telling me she had over 20 years of experience doing this, so she’s trustworthy. I’m pretty surprised that she’s discerned in her 20 years that children ought to be allowed to cry for so long. I think Daniel has only ever cried for more than 1 or 2 minutes when he was in his car seat and we were driving somewhere and we unable to stop to comfort him. When it is in my power to comfort him, I do so. And sitting in a room waiting for door prizes to be given out does not take priority over my comforting my child. Lucky for us, Daniel has done wonderfully both times we’ve gone, so the issue isn’t necessarily a personal one. Still, I am so very opposed to that policy and would be surprised if other parents were okay with it if they only knew.

Another thing I don’t like is that last week, the ratio of caregivers to children was much too low. The coordinator responded to that concern with the defensive comment that she was short 5 staff persons and she’d exhausted her pool of workers, so what was she supposed to do? I asked whether she’d considered asking the parents to take shifts throughout the meeting, but she said they’d never do that, they’d first ask the Mentor Moms to help out, but that she rarely does that because the Mentor Moms’ purpose is to lead non-believers to Christ, and how could they form relationships with the women if they were in the childcare rooms? So I asked if there was a policy in place that designated a minimum number of childcare workers. She had to look it up. She had just reminded me that she’s been doing this for 20 years, and she didn’t even know what the minimum number of childcare workers was supposed to be. That really made me uncomfortable.

She also told me I shouldn’t bring my own snacks for Daniel (I brought him carrot sticks last week) because it wasn’t fair to the other children who were given cheerios and goldfish crackers. Really? The other kids were jealous of carrot sticks? If so, why not prepare healthier snacks for all the children? If I’d brought cookies or something more universally desired, it would have been received better. And if she hadn’t just rubbed me the wrong way about my other concerns, I’d probably have thought nothing of it and understood. But I was really annoyed by that time.

I finished our conversation by letting her know that the previous week the 11 one-year-olds were left alone with a 10-year-old and a 12-year-old (who happened to be my sister who was visiting for the week–and who was the source of this information) for several minutes. She responded by reminding me that she was short 5 workers. And that everyone gets a 10-minute break, and that the doors are always open and there is another class across the hall if they were to have needed anything. That really caught me off guard. I expected her to be defensive of their policies, but not about a breach in them. I think she was just annoyed with me for having so many concerns at all.

Today, when I dropped Daniel off, I found new complaints. They have a television in the one-year-old room playing constantly! For 3 hours! Daniel didn’t seem interested in it at all when I dropped him off, nor was he watching it when I picked him up (thankfully), but I wonder how much he watched the rest of the time. And even if he didn’t watch it, one-year-olds in general shouldn’t be watching 3 hours of TV. I think I’ll need to give the coordinator another call and secure my place as the pain in her ***. My other concerns weren’t ones I could really complain about since I wasn’t in the room the whole time. But one of the childcare workers (who looked pretty old–maybe 75?) was sitting in a rocking chair when I got there and in the same chair when I got back. The workers were all holding children, but none of them were playing with them. They told one of the moms whose son started crying almost immediately to just go, that he’d be fine. She was sure pissed. She stormed out of the room, walked around a bit, and stormed back in. Then she huffed a bit, and stormed back out. She exchanged a few words with the coordinator who was curt and unfriendly with her as well.

All my concerns aside, Daniel seems to have a good time in the childcare room and plays really well. I am so grateful. If he was having a hard time, I don’t think I could bring myself to go another week. But we’ll probably finish out the semester and reevaluate then. I’m not so sure I’ll re-up, but never say never.

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Amost 15 Months Old

I’ve been meaning to write something about Daniel for the last couple of months… I just haven’t gotten around to it. And now there’s so much to say, I couldn’t possibly say it all.

This year–especially this summer–has been so busy! We’ve been traveling almost every other weekend. Since April we’ve been to (in order): Lake Tahoe (5 days), Newport Beach (5 days), Las Vegas (3 days), Bullhead/Laughlin (3 days), Hawaii (8 days), San Diego (3 days), Lake Tahoe (3 days). And we still have two trips left: Boston (6 days), San Francisco (3 or 4 days). Sheesh!!!

In between packing, traveling, unpacking, and doing laundry, I’ve been trying to get some work done (haven’t been very successful). I’m just not in that work mode. All I want to do is spend time playing with Daniel. He’s growing so fast and learning so much! He’s getting to be of the age where everything is a learning experience that we can share. He’s inquisitive about everything, constantly exploring and trying to do things, repeating words and sounds, communicating his wants and needs. He’s just so wonderful!

Last night after I had some trouble getting him to stay in bed (there were many protests and tears), he jumped into my arms before I could lay him back down and held onto me so tightly that I would have had to pry his hands off of me to do so. And before I even thought about doing that he looked at me and kissed me over and over again, then laid his head down on my shoulder and fell fast asleep. It was one of those touching moments that you remember forever. I held him and rocked him and told him how much I loved him and instantly regretted trying to make him lay down alone in his bed (I usually lay with him… last night I thought I’d try something new… didn’t work).

He’s still waking several times at night to nurse which is tiring and difficult for me sometimes, but it’s completely normal for a cosleeping child of this age. In fact, it’s something he’ll probably continue to do for quite some time as long as we keep him in our bed. This is no surprise to us–we knew what we were getting into when we decided to keep Daniel in our bed–but it does get tiring. I’m not really helping matters either… I stay up late checking email, MySpace, watching TV, spending time with The Husband, or even working (gasp!). Daniel sleeps for a good 3-4 hours for his first stretch. I could be sleeping then, too, but I’d rather have adult time.

Just a couple days ago, Daniel started saying “hat” and “ball”. He also says, “water” and “bottle” but never together–too much at once for him–but often they’re interchangeable. I always have my water bottle with me so he knows he can get a sip if he says either word. He says “no” a lot now even though we try to say things like “not for Daniel” or “food doesn’t go on the floor” instead of “no no!”. It was inevitable that he’d pick it up. He says “doh?” when he puts a phone to his ear and is finally saying “mama” and “daddy” with intention. He can make animal noises for: dog, cat, horse, goat/sheep, bird, and cow, and he says “un-unnnn!” when he sees a land vehicle of any kind. For air vehicles, he says “hkhkhkhkhkhkhkhk” and flies his hand around like an airplane.

He can point to most body parts when asked. We’re still working on some of the less “popular” ones: elbows, knees, neck, etc. I’ve been especially working on shoulders and knees because he knows all the other parts for the song Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. He tries to snap when he hears music, but really all he’s doing is tapping his thumb and forefinger together. It’s pretty darn cute.

The other day I was looking for my keys–I knew Daniel had been playing with them the day before, but I lost track of where they ended up. I was going through the house looking everywhere I could think of, when I said out of frustration, “Daniel, where did you put my keys???!!!” He looked at me, and walked over to the DVR and retrieved my keys from the cubbyhole it sits in. They say that babies probably understand more than double what we think they do… this sure did prove that point to me.

We’ve been switching from using cloth diapers to training pants. He has a few different kinds and they’re all super cute. I’m sure I’ll give in to my temptation to buy him a couple more pairs as we transition away from the diapers so I don’t have to do the laundry as often. But I’m hoping that him being in trainers will help us be more on the ball when it comes to pottying. On our most recent trip (to Lake Tahoe), Daniel only wet 4 or 5 diapers the entire weekend (including nighttime!). I know he’s ready to be out of diapers. I do like to use them as my security blanket when we’re out in public. I’m still not ready to deal with “accidents” at the grocery store. Though I do shop at alternative grocery stores so it wouldn’t be too bad–and Trader Joe’s does have a nice big bathroom.

Daniel’s tooth count is up to 12–the four on top in front, on bottom in front, and his four one-year molars. I think he’s working on his canines now. His gums are red, but they’re not really swollen yet. He’s finally able to eat a greater diversity of foods, but still isn’t very interested in eating much. He just nibbles here and there.

Now that I’m beyond tired, I’ll get myself to bed and hope for a resful night.

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5 Days Short of ONE YEAR

My son is not a good sleeper. He’s not a bad sleeper, but he’s most certainly not a good one. His biggest issue with sleep is getting there. Putting him to bed has become a huge chore. He used to nurse happily to sleep most nights, but in the last month or so, it’s been taking him longer and longer to fall asleep. Tonight, for example, it took him nearly 2 hours! He’s so tired, tossing and turning, even drifting off to sleep for a few seconds here and there, but he just can’t fully relax and let himself get into a deep sleep. And lately he’s been waking up around 3 or 4am doing the same thing–tossing, turning, wiggling, grunting, and occasionally, popping his head up and crawling around to see if either Dan or I will give him the time of day. After about 2 hours of that (the sun is usually up) he’s back asleep until 8 or 8:30. It’s really driving me nuts.

Yesterday I purchased a “calm kit” from Whole Foods. It’s a series of herbal supplement drops that are supposed to help children calm down and relax. I gave it to Daniel last night and he fell asleep quickly and stayed asleep for 3 1/2 hours before waking to nurse (he usually wakes within 2 hours). Unfortunately, it didn’t last through the night. He was up at 4:15 and didn’t fall back asleep until after 6. Tonight, the drops didn’t help him get to sleep, but they’ve helped him stay asleep. We’ll see how he does when dusk rolls around tomorrow morning.

Now that Daniel is understanding more and more words, the night time routine isn’t as frustrating as it could be. I can tell him he needs to “lay down in bed” and he knows what that means. If he doesn’t stay laying down in bed, I leave the room for a few minutes. He really doesn’t like that, so he’s motivated to keep himself horizontal. And I do get a lot of good quiet thinking and praying time in.

Enough about sleep, though. Daniel took his first steps on Sunday. Auntie Laurie was holding onto him from behind as he toddled toward Grandma Sue when she let go of him and he continued to walk! He repeated the trick when Grandpa and Daddy came running in to see what all the cheering was about.

He’s up to 8 teeth now, but he’s still not eating much. From talking to other moms who breastfeed their older babies, this is completely normal, but I would feel better about his nutrition and mine if he’d eat a little more. He’s figured out how to spit food out of his mouth and he usually does so after 3 or 4 bites of something.

Daniel’s vocabulary is increasing as well, though his words still aren’t very clear. He can now say: light, water, milk, mommy, daddy, hello, and he mimics other words, though I don’t think he really knows what they mean. For example, when we’re in the shower, and he points at the diamond-shaped tiles, I tell him, “diamond” and he says something like, “daidoh”. We play that game almost every morning.

Because we’ll be in Newport for Daniel’s birthday (a work conference for Dan), we’re having his party the following weekend. I originally intended on keeping it small, but now I’ve invited a bunch of people and I’ve planned games and swimming and barbeque. One year birthdays are more for the parents than for the children anyway. Daniel won’t remember his first birthday but through photos and video. Dan and I will. And hopefully the memories will be wonderful. You’ll soon find out!

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10 Months, 3 Weeks Old

Daniel is standing on his own more and more. He’s not even wobbly when he does it. It still requires a bit of coaxing and some trickery sometimes, but he’s much more confident. Yesterday, he let go of the couch and started clapping for himself. I didn’t even realize he wasn’t holding onto anything for a second. When I realized it, I started cheering for him and he got so excited that he couldn’t balance anymore and had to hold onto the sofa again.

As you just read, he claps now, too. He can wave bye bye and give hugs and kisses. He makes the “aaahhh” sound after drinking from a cup. He pretends to drink from a cup by making a slurping sound when he puts one up to his mouth. He likes to “share” his drink, too. He loves to brush his teeth. If he sees a toothbrush, he has to have it. He goes nuts if he can’t. He likes to share his toothbrush, too. He’s learned to put things “away”, but usually he puts one thing into a basket or bucket or other receptacle and then takes something else out, or he stirs his hand around inside of it which almost always ends up flinging more things out than he put in. He’ll usually “dance” when he hears music. When we get to our front door and I start unlocking it, he likes to ring the doorbell. He’s a fiend for my mobile phone. As soon as he wakes up in the morning, it’s the first thing he goes for.

On a less exciting note, I think Daniel has Spasmodic Croup. Since he was sick a few weeks ago, the croup cough has suddenly returned twice now with barely any other symptoms. It doesn’t seem like he’s getting sick again, but his cough would suggest that he is. I’m pretty convinced that he’s not sick despite the aweful cough (based on the lack of any other symptoms and that he’s retained his curious, on-the-go attitude without skipping a beat) and there’s information to suggest I’m right. If it is Spasmodic Croup, something is irritating his little airway and I’m determined to figure out what it is. I’m not looking forward to several more years of this.

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