Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear Luke (11 Months)

Dear Baby Luke,

I'm calling you that this month because it's the last time I "officially" can (That's not to say I won't...). One month from today you will be a TODDLER! I still can't even wrap my mind around that, so I'll wait to attempt that until next month. It's really hard to believe that we are only 4 weeks (and a few odd days) from milk over formula, and a forward-facing car seat over rear-facing. I really think the idea of you as a 1 year old hasn't registered as a possibility with me.

You, are more than ready for the toddler life, though. You're such an incredible little boy (I think anyway!). Your comprehension REALLY kicked in this month! You've really started to understand the concept of communication, in that it's in your control. I've noticed you studying people's faces (particularly mine) when you're spoken to - you try to mimic the way people's mouths move, you try to repeat the sounds you hear, and you are SO willing to pick up new gestures! In the last couple weeks alone, you've just about mastered waving both "bye-bye" and "hi" (you sometimes even make a sound that is ALMOST the word hi!), and you sign "ba-ba" (which, is technically the ASL sign for milk, but when I started working on that one with you, you weren't ready for the sign for "bottle", so we'll just have to slowly transition that). You also sign "more" and "eat". You seem to FINALLY understand clapping somewhat (I know kids who picked up that skill around 7 months or so, I was wondering if you would ever care to clap...you just seemed to have no interest!). However, I think you may have clapping and the sign for "all done" confused because you use them interchangeably. That is probably Mommy's fault because I've always clapped when you finish something (particularly your meals), and I do so right after showing you the sign for "all done". I think now that you're soaking up signs you'll figure out the difference soon enough. You're also starting to understand how certain toys operate - you'll watch and listen for instructions on where a button is and how you push it, and then you'll do it yourself! In fact, even Monalisa showed you how to work one of your toys!!

I think all of that already has this underlying theme, but stating the obvious, you still love to imitate. You do it with words (or sounds that sound like words), specific gestures, types of body movements - everything it seems like! When I say, "Luke say..." (and insert a word or sound) you do your very very best to repeat it! You still say ba-ba, and da-da accurately...but most other things come out sounding like one of the first two. Sometimes I'll say, "Luke say meow!" and out comes a screech. It's adorable - you try SOO hard to make the same sound! You understand the word "Look" really well - I feel like I'm saying it to you allll the time so I understand why you know it so well! :) There are just so many things you're interested in that I know you'll like to see, and you never disappoint. You get excited about everything I tell you to look at!

One of the most impressive pieces of all of this, is your depth of understanding. It's just incredible to me that you've become this understanding creature in one tiny year! So every time you use a sign or gesture correctly, I am floored! The one you use the most lately (I think because it's your newest) is waving Hi. In the morning when you come down the stairs, you wave hi to the dogs. When you see someone for the first time on any given day (like Grandma, or Grandpa Tim), you wave hi to them. You'll do it most of the time when I ask you to, but I'm the most amazed by your initiative to say it without being prompted like, "okay Luke, this is when you should say hi". You already understand the context of it. I'm just so in awe of that! I think it's fairly obvious that this has been a HUGE month in language development for you since I can't seem to say enough about it, but you have been up to other things, too!!

Your mobility is still pretty stellar! You take some big risks, nowadays. You creep around corners, for longer distances, and between objects. The other night, you tried to take your own steps TWICE! There are days when I think you're going to take off walking, and others when you won't even walk while you hold my hands - your only interest is crawling. But the signs I've seen lately are starting to make me think it will be soon! I really thought (and a doctor you saw once suggested it) that you'd be a 10 month walker. The closer we got, though, I knew it wouldn't be so. You were too busy working on other things to care (like, signing and picking up words) so you resorted back to what you knew well. In all honestly, you are a handful and a half just being able to crawl - I kind of hope you take your sweet time figuring out this walking business!

One thing your future self may consider embarrassing needs to be documented. I know I've mentioned it before, but you LOVE - and I mean LOVE!!!, the General Hospital theme song. I believe it's from you hearing it every day as a fetus, and then as a newborn, and well, all of your life. It's not your fault :) You just LIGHT up when it comes on! If you're in the other room when it starts, you will start crawling at top speed, laughing all the way to the TV. Usually you'll find a place to stand up and watch it, and you dance and smile and squeal through the whole thing! I always made a point of pointing out Luke (Spencer) at the end of the song (because if you ask me....he's your namesake. If you ask your Dad, it's Luke Skywalker) so now you get a huge grin when they show him. I know as you get older you won't care anymore, but it always makes Mommy laugh. And, if you're cranky, I always know how to get 30 seconds of silence out of you :)

Food? I feel like this is pretty much an obvious thing to tell you but - you love it! You love EVERYTHING! Seriously, I'm not sure if there's anything you WON'T eat! In fact, the other day we went Christmas shopping with Aunt Mal and I got some Greek food for lunch. The pasta salad had some pretty herb-y dressing on it, and while you looked shocked at first you ate it up! Your favorite lately is pasta, WITH the sauce - which Mommy LOVES because you're getting some good vitamins in there and one thing I would really like to avoid is you becoming a toddler that wants plain pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I'm pretty sure that as long as something is edible (and even sometimes if it's not) you'd eat it! Oh and....I was bad, and I let you try hot chocolate. Um...you loved it. Probably more than anything you've ever tasted before, and you practically mauled me over and over again for more. I know I shouldn't have, but you had such a TINY amount and well, we're doing this first Christmas thing right! :)

Look at how much you've grown this month, I've said so much already and I still have oodles to say!! Let's see...your favorite toys right now? Probably your gloworm, still your tractor, blocks, books, anything round or with wheels (particularly the mail truck Grandpa Tim gave you), and anything that has buttons to push. Moxy was kind of MIA this month, Daddy just found her under the changing table (oops!) but you seem to be thrilled that she's back! You also love the animals.....a little too much. Snow White gave you your first scratch! What's really cute, though...is that you'll crawl up to the dogs, one at a time, and pat them on the back for a few seconds each. It cracks me up.

Hmm what else to note? You have 6 teeth, and I'm pretty sure you're working on #7 right now. You are wearing 18 month sleepers, pants, and one-piece outfits. You can still fit in 12 month onesies and shirts, but you even wear 18 month shirts sometimes, depending on the brand. You are loving on the Christmas tree, the lights, and all of the decorations. You haven't been toooo terrible with trying to tear them down, but our little gate/fence helps out with that. It's been pretty cold lately, and when we step outside (usually to let the dogs out) you make a little sound, kind of like breathing in really fast, like you're saying "brrrr!".

Oh, and another thing!! For a while now, anytime Mommy or Grandma are turning out a light while we're holding you....we say "1, 2, 3..." and then "blow out" the light, like a candle. Now when we do this, you blow too! Usually you blow as soon as we start counting, and by the time we get to 3 you're so excited for it to go out you scream! :) The funniest part of all, is that when you hear someone count to 3 (which surprisingly happens often when playing with you), you blow! It's way too funny. I'm hoping this might come in handy on your birthday when it's time to blow out the candle :)

You celebrated your first Thanksgiving this past month. You were such a good boy! You ate almost everything we made- turkey, mashed potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce - and you even tried a TINY bit of pie (which you LOVED). I was really excited about the fact that you got to eat a REAL turkey dinner for your first one, and you didn't disappoint! We also picked out your first Christmas tree together, did some Christmas shopping, AND...went to your Great-Great-Uncle Stan's 90th Birthday party! He is the oldest Rychlicki and you are the youngest - we got pictures of him holding you! You were given the trophy for "youngest Rychlicki" at the party, too!!

Well baby, this has obviously been a BUSY month for you!!! Mommy can't say enough it seems! Every month I'm amazed by how much you come to life, only to be showed up the next month. It's really hard to believe we're in the last leg of your journey as a baby, now. I hope you let me soak you up as much as possible this month.

I love you soooo so so much my sweet baby.

As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be,
Mommy

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