Thursday, July 23, 2015

14 Months

Happy Thursday! It's a dreary one over here, a welcome break from the crazy humidity at the beginning of the week. Marshall and I took a nice walk this morning (our typical route is a little under two miles round trip) and have spent lots of time hanging at home, packing, getting ready for tomorrow's road trip up north. I can't wait to celebrate my dad's birthday!

Since today is mostly about errands and getting ready, I thought I'd just stop in to share a bit about Marshall turning 14 months old today. (Insert lots of cliches here, like "How did he grow so fast?!" and "Stop time now, please.")

Fourteen Fun Facts to celebrate our Fourteen-Month-Old

- This month was all about reading. Marshall seems to love looking at his books, either by himself or with us, and really engages in the pictures now. It's so fun to read to (with) him, and I hope we are helping to instill a love of reading and learning in our little boy.

- Walking is WAY better than crawling! Everyone warned us: "Oh, wait until he's walking. Then you'll really be in trouble!" I disagree. I love that Marshall can walk now. I can set him down on the sidewalk (far from the street, don't worry) while I pack the stroller back in the car; I can put him down when my arms hurt from holding him; I don't have to worry as much about him scuffing his pants when he crawls; I can let him walk in parks even if there's a little mud or sand, whereas with crawling it would have just been way too messy. I thought crawling was super cute, but walking is for sure more convenient and more fun!

- Marshall weighs about 23 lbs 9.6 ounces (based on our home scale), and an attempt at measuring him yielded approximately 33 inches. We'll get official numbers next month!

- Favorite foods of late: fruit (ALL the fruit), yogurt, especially with frozen blueberries, bread/pita, and dad's homemade chili. Here's a week of what he ate this month!

- Still breastfeeding twice per day, mostly because I haven't seen reason to stop. Once we cut the night feedings (he was just using me for comfort), it all became very relaxed. Next month we'll drop the morning feeding and then start to think about dropping the before-bed feeding, but I haven't felt any rush. It's a nice time for me to just sit, to say good morning or goodnight to M, and to start or end the day on a calm note. Then again, if we stop soon, I doubt he'll really even notice, or so I'm hoping!

- Marshall started "dancing" this month, where he stands in place and moves his feet really fast, but he really only does it while holding the gate that leads to the kitchen. Dance moves need some work. I'm on it.

- Marshall LOVES dogs and is super calm when he meets one on the street. Yesterday a woman complimented him on being unafraid and willing to let the dogs say hello and kiss his hands. I'm so glad he is a dog lover early in life, even though we don't have a dog! I thank my brother and Ashley's dogs for that, because if he's not afraid of those giant beasts, he's not going to be afraid of many!

- We visited the Santa Monica airport this month, and I think it sparked a love/fascination with airborne vehicles. He knows the sound when we hear one, even if he can't see it, and he knows the words airplane and helicopter. Granted, it may be that we get excited and our example rubs off on him, but it's fun that his daddy works with jets and Marshall enjoys them.

- The tantrums haven't been too bad yet, but we do notice bouts of fussiness and some fairly intense whining on occasion. We do our best to acknowledge his emotions and move on, but I'm sure any parent would agree it's tricky territory. Experiencing lots of feelings he can't express yet must feel frustrating, so we're trying to understand what he's trying to tell us without indulging unacceptable behavior. We do our best.

- Marshall is just completely enamored by his daddy. If I tell him we're going to see daddy soon, his whole face lights up, and he repeats, "Dada!" until we get home. I love it.

- Sleep took a glorious turn for the much much much better this month! (KNOCK ON WOOD.) We did a few nights of the Ferber method, where we ensured Marshall was fed, safe, dry, etc., but let him cry for 5 minutes, then checked on him and calmed him down, then bumped up to 10 minutes, repeat. It was horrible and I resisted it as long as I could, but we had too many nights of not sleeping. I can deal with me not sleeping well (to a point), but Marshall needed sleep too. I knew those long nights of waking multiple times were not healthy for him, and that's the only reason I was willing to try Ferber. He never actually cried himself to sleep, oddly--he would always end up falling asleep while we were in there during one of the "breaks", but somehow it seems to have made a huge difference. Now he's slept through the night more times this last month than his entire first 13 months of life, and it makes for a happier baby who naps better, a happier mom and dad, and a much less stressful household. If you'd like to hear more about it all, let me know. I'm not saying it's perfect, and I wouldn't even go so far as to say "he's sleeping through the night" (call me a pessimist, but I need a few more weeks of good sleep to get there), but it's gotten so much better. Thanks to all my mom friends who helped me with lots of advice and encouragement while we were struggling with M's sleep!

- Our new neighborhood has opened up a world of possibilities for us during the day. Marshall and I go for at least one walk a day, usually to the store, sometimes to the park. We have two awesome parks to choose from nearby. After Terry gets home we frequently take a family stroll somewhere. We're near everything, so nothing feels like a hassle. It's been a dream.

- M has shown more interest in Scout lately. It's been off and on, but this month he really wanted to pet Scout. Sometimes he's gentle, sometimes not so much, but we really encourage them to interact while we supervise. Scout tolerates him to an extent, then backs away and totters off to glare at all of us. Scout has lots of high (out-of-reach) safe spaces where he can be alone, so we don't worry too much.

- Sometimes Marshall catches me off-guard when he comes toddling out of his room holding a book and smiling his silly grin. I can't believe he's already a walking, "talking" (he says maybe five consistent words--dog, dada, duck, cat ["ata"], and that) little person. I miss his newborn days and the days when I could set him down and know he'd be in the same spot two minutes later, but I also love this stage where I get to learn more about him and he gets to show us what kind of person he is becoming. I feel so lucky to be his mama.

I'm not sure how much I'll check in this weekend--I always have the best intentions but these trips are a whirlwind and I want to spend as much time as I can with the people we don't get to see too often--but can you believe that next week is the last week in July already?! 


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