Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dear Luke (1 Year!)

Dear Lukas,

So you went and did it, huh? Turned 1 on me. I suppose I have no choice but to accept that fact. In the few months leading up to your birthday I kept trying to find away to comprehend the idea that you were about to be a toddler instead of a baby and that big changes were on the horizon. I thought I'd figure out how to wrap my mind around it by the time your birthday arrived. Turns out, I still can't believe it....so I've resolved to just let that be. I think being a mom means being in a constant state of awe, so I'll just let you be you and try to contain my shock :)


It's funny, how you grow in spurts while still growing little bits each day. I felt like last month you changed so incredibly much, hitting some sort of huge milestone, and in the last 30 days you've simply improved on those things rather than take any huge strides. I actually think this might be a good thing for my sanity. Your speech is kind of confusing to me.....it's one of those things I've just sort of let be. I was updating your baby book yesterday and it asked me what your first word was and when you said it. The problem is.....I don't know! You say "mom" ALL the time but it's usually out of context. You say "this" and "that" (which actually come out sounding EXACTLY like a certain four letter S word and we are all constantly doing double takes around here), and you say them the most while pointing at random things inquisitively. You also say a form of "yes" that sounds a little like "yushhh", and sometimes it's in the right context. So I don't know if any of those count? You have been practicing a lot of other little words lately, too, but I don't know if they register until they sound more accurate and/or fit context better. Maybe I'm just a little too grammatically picky? I don't know. I do know that you are an absolute master of imitation, sometimes shocking me into silence! Just this morning you were sitting on my lap as I looked something up on the computer and I said "that's it" and you repeated me, absolutely perfectly. You have no idea what you said, and wouldn't say it again....but you do things like that allll the time. The other day you copied me saying "okay" and I nearly fell over.


I've been using some flashcards with you that are intended to help teach signs. You've lost your interest in signs lately (I've heard that your interest in them can be kind of roller-coaster-y so I'm just keeping at them), and I'm wondering why that is. While it may be "normal", I'm just curious. I partially think it's because you are starting to prefer words - I'm noticing you making connections all the time and I think that maybe you're finding signs to be a waste of time. I guess we'll see? You've resorted to just clapping any time you want to say "all done", "more", "milk".....seriously. It's hard to tell what you're trying to say! Anyway - the flashcards! You pay really close attention when we do them (which is both surprising and adorable). You seem to be overly interested in "cat", "water", and "sleep". When I show you the "dog" card you say "woof woof woof" - it's too funny. Sometimes, if it's near bed or nap time and I show you the "sleep" card....you seriously get up and go to the stairs like "yep, that's what i wanna do, let's go". Those times I've put you to bed and you fall asleep in seconds. These flashcards seem to be making connections for you - so whether they eventually enhance your signs, or just your words, they seem to be worth it!


While your language and comprehension are taking big strides, your mobility is just inching along (literally). You still creep around everything, walk if someone holds your hands, stand alone for very small windows of time, and are taking increasingly risky maneuvers, but you still don't want to walk. I'm not rushing you at all!!! But I have a theory. From the day you were born until about 9 months when you perfected creep-walking, your ONLY priority was mobility. You cared about nothing else! Of course you learned things here and there, but they were almost on "accident". It wasn't until you felt confident in your mobile abilities that you stopped and thought about other things. You've since put mobility on the back burner and are solely concerned with language and speech...and I think until you feel confident in your abilities there, walking will be waiting. I know there are two types of baby learners - those who jump into skills head first and learn with trial and error, and those who work things through mentally until they feel confident they will do something correctly. You're the second....so was Mommy! Take your time, baby :)


Your eating has changed quite drastically this month! I envisioned us slowly transitioning from baby food to whole foods but as soon as you had a few tastes of the real deal, you were DONE with baby food! I can still sneak some in here and there (I need to use it up!) but even that is hard because you are so independent about it and fight me for the spoon. It usually ends up in your hair! The thing that shocks me the most is the AMOUNT you eat! I asked your doctor if it was normal and healthy that you'll sit down and eat an ENTIRE banana, or a WHOLE big apple.....and she said you are perfectly proportioned and your iron level is perfect, so doing those things aren't keeping you from getting what you need obviously so have at it! Do you ever!! Sometimes I wonder how your belly can hold everything! Your absolutely favorite thing right now is bananas - bananas bananas bananas!!! You're going to turn into one!! :) You also really love the gerber yogurt melts, bread, cheese, apples, and meat of any kind. You relentlessly stalk anyone with food - even if you just ate a whole meal. You switched from formula to milk absolutely seamlessly - it was like you didn't even notice. You still prefer it warm, which was easy to do when mixing formula, but now it's kind of a pain in the butt to warm up your milk! I started warming it up less and less until you just straight up drank it directly from the fridge, so hopefully that sticks :)


You've gotten extremely hesitant with strangers lately. You're not clingy or anything when we're just at home, but if we're out in public, or someone you don't know well comes over - you hang on to me for dear life!! You are very enthusiastic about me, Daddy, Grandma & Grandpa Dunford, and Aunt Mallory...and you are pretty great with Grandpa Cole, Yaya, Grandma & Grandpa Webster, and even Uncle CJ and Aunt April. But anyone else? It takes some adjusting!!


You celebrated your very first Christmas this past month! It was quite chaotic for you. All the action surrounding Christmas Eve & Christmas Day really messed with your naps and you barely slept at all! Mix that in with the chaos of taking you to a bunch of stops and lots of overwhelming present opening and attention, and you were kind of miserable!! However, the best part was Christmas morning when you first woke up - you were fairly calm and rested and you enjoyed opening presents and playing with them. It was such a great Christmas, having you here :) I hope that next year, Mommy & Daddy will find a house for our little family and we can try to minimize some of the travel and chaos!

Something really great happened this month, too! Your future best buddy Nigel was born!! He arrived a couple weeks early, and we actually STILL haven't met him!!! We have all been sick and didn't want to pass it along to him. So hopefully we can see him REALLY soon!!!


I was trying to decide if I should write about your birthday party, since technically this letter is supposed to be yours before it occurred. However....while this letter might say the 15th, Mommy is just a little crazy and needs her scrapbook to match - including the dates on all of your letters. It's actually the 20th! (I'm a little behind, sorry!) So, I'll tell you....your birthday party was a lot of fun! We called it a Winter ONEderland and decorated with snowflakes and white and blue streamers. You had snowman cakes, and we had soup, snowball sandwiches, snowman noses (carrots), and snowman cut out cookies for lunch. Your friends played pin the nose on the snowman, and ONEderland bingo. You got some REALLY fun toys!! Unfortunately, you weren't feeling great and you'd napped through the first 45 minutes of your party, so when you woke up to a huge crowd you could never quite collect yourself and you were pretty upset for the whole party! Except for the part where I let you have your own cake and eat as much of it as you wanted - you had a GOOD time doing that!! :)


So, now here we are.....in your SECOND year of life (oh, my, gosh). I'm really excited about all the things to come - talking, walking, all kinds of fun stuff!! In fact, I'm a little TOO excited about your first front-facing car seat trip, since embarrassingly enough - you haven't gone anywhere since your birthday! (Oh the joys of only having 1 car!!). The truth is, I'm only a little sad about your baby days leaving us. I think I was MORE sad before it happened, but now I'm just excited for all the fun toddler things heading our way. Your goofy little smile makes me so happy, and I always look forward to seeing it when you wake up in the morning! (Which, by the way, you've been sleeping in until 7:30 or 8 every day!!!). Thanks for making my days, baby doll :)

I LOVE YOU!!!!

Love,
Mommy

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