Monday, November 28, 2011

12 Month Update (Yep, he's 13.5 months, and I am late!)

Well I am horrifically, completely late on this last post. October was such a busy month with birthdays and Halloween, and Aaron is just so mobile these days! We spend a lot of time chasing after him, and there is less time to do things for ourselves. Writing has definitely fallen by the wayside.

Here’s weights and measures for 12 months:

  • Height: 30.75 inches

  • Weight: 20 pounds, 14.2 ounces

  • Head: 18.5 inches

What a busy month! Here’s what’s new:

Aaron has decided that he doesn’t want a pacifier any more. He did this all on his own, much to my horror. The pacifier gives me a needed respite from breastfeeding when he just needs a little comfort, and it was one of our primary tools we use to help him self-soothe when he goes to sleep. It has been an adjustment figuring out how we operate without it. Daycare was really the reason behind it. They don’t let babies have them unless they are sleeping (how would you keep track of which kid gets which paci? Gross!!) I was wondering how we would work that out when the time came, but leave it to Aaron to let us know when the time is right to grow past certain things!

We have officially made the switch to a new pediatrician. I know I have talked about this in previous posts, but at this point, we have now been several times to the new guy, and it is working out beautifully. I am so glad we switched. When he needs to see the doctor, it is so much easier to get to this office, and they are huge and can always get us in. And, he has started to have more flu bugs now that he is in the bigger daycare, and it is fall, etc. They have been fantastic, and we couldn’t be happier with our choice.

Aaron started music class this fall. He LOVES it. He is quite a musical kid. He dances whenever music is on, and loves to explore things that organically make noise (as opposed to things that require batteries). The maracas are his favorites, and he is quite good at doing it in time to the music. Our first class, he had a perma-grin on his face watching all the adults act like idiots (we sing and do all the dance moves for the kids in a big circle. It was a bit of an adjustment for me to be honest!) This first variety of music classes we have done has been good, but I am not so fond of the management of the class, so I think we will perhaps try a different group next session, likely after the holidays. It is really fun to see how much he has learned from it, and new ways that I have learned to connect and play with him. I definitely think it is something we will try to keep doing!

Aaron is now beginning to say first words! His first word is (drum roll please…) “THAT!” He will point to things and say “THAT!” as in “What’s that?” He loves to point to different things while you hold him, and then go and explore whatever it is that he sees. Frequently, the fun of having you follow his direction is what he likes best, so as soon as you go over to what he sees, he will find something else to point to and say “THAT!” to keep you going. He also says:

  • No (in a deep voice repeatedly, like “no, no, no”)

  • Doggie – anything that has four legs and fur is a doggie

  • Cookie, as in Cookie Monster

  • Hi and Bye (with a wave attached of course!)

  • Dada and Daddy

  • Mamama (occasionally, but not often)

  • Baby (though it sounds more like bee bee. He points to Noah’s picture and says this. Makes me cry! I love it!!)

  • Go! (One of his favorite books is “Go Dogs Go” by P.D. Eastman. Chris reads it to him, and Aaron will yell out “Go!” The other day he picked up the book on his own and said “Go dogs go!” enthusiastically! It was too cute!!)

Our feeding clinic appointments have continued. Aaron is making such great progress. Our therapist thinks that she may turn us loose to try life on our own after the first of the year. He is right on par with a picky toddler at this point. This means that he eats snack foods pretty well, like cheerios, graham crackers, goldfish crackers, baby puffs, etc. This is a HUGE improvement over where we were when we started. When we started out, being in a high chair was a traumatic experience for him, and he refused to really eat anything. Now he sits in the highchair and plays with foods, and puts everything in his mouth. He swallows some of it. I am so grateful to the feeding clinic. They have really unique methods that really do work. I can see the progress happening, and I feel confident that this is going to get better and better as he gets older.

The big news in October was Aaron’s first birthday!!! I am amazed how fast this first year went. I spent some time re-reading my posts after he was born, and wow, have we come so far since those first days in the NICU! It has been a lot of hard work, but such a tremendous joy having Aaron here. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in the world. I feel a unique sense of appreciation for Aaron, given what life was like before he got here. On his worst day, life is still light years better than what it was before he was born, after having lost his brother. I will choose this every time. I am just so glad he is here, making life move forward in a really fun and joyful way.

Ok, enough of the mushy stuff, and on to how we celebrated him! Chris’s parents came out to visit, and we spent the day of his birthday doing things that he likes best. We took a long walk to the park, and looked at all the animals. (We live down the street from a ranch made up to look like Colorado back when the settlers first arrived.) His favorites are the chickens and the pigs (he is EXCELLENT at making the pig noise. These pigs are funny because they are quite vocal and will have “conversations” with you when you snort to them. Aaron thinks it is hilarious and joins in). We had lunch out at a local restaurant. Aaron is really fun to take out to restaurants. We bring his foods, and like likes sitting in the highchair, swinging his legs, playing with his food, and watching everything in his surroundings. We also went to the other park we live by that has playground equipment, and pushed him in the swings and such. We gave him our birthday present – a large toy house he can climb on. He LOVED it and had fun exploring it!

The next day was his birthday party! We did a Sesame Street themed party since that is Aaron’s favorite. We had decorations all over the house, and he loved seeing the characters all over the place. I got Sesame Street music from the library that played in the background as well. Aaron was a little overwhelmed at first as people started to arrive. He has a hard time in chaotic environments, but I was able to get him to settle and adjust after a bit. We kept it pretty simple. We got pizza from Boriello Brothers, and had a big sheet cake with Sesame Street on it. He had a little cake to smash as well. He was quite dainty with it! I think the idea of really smooshing into it was a bit gross and overwhelming to him, but I did put some frosting on his lips, and he liked it a lot (who wouldn’t!) and took a few more bites on his own. He got a lot of really great gifts too (thanks friends and family!!) like a toy parking garage and cars, musical instruments like he plays with in his class, books, blocks, stuffed Sesame Street characters, and the all time favorite came from his Uncle Mark – a cart that he can push as he walks!

Because crawling works so well for him, he hasn’t really cared too much about walking. He pulls up to standing beautifully, and will walk along furniture, but convincing him to take some steps away from the furniture on his own has been hard. Well, as soon as we got the cart out of the box and assembled, it was like a switch was flicked in his brain, and he took off with this thing and hasn’t stopped since! I had seen these things on Amazon and saw that they were highly rated, but I didn’t get it. Wow, is it cool!! In the month or so following his birthday, he has really gotten to be good with this thing and really has a blast with it, and now he takes several steps on his own! It has been amazing to watch! Crawling or running (yes, running) with his cart are still the fastest way for him to get around, so they are his favorite, but he can now walk on his own too!

We have also had Halloween since I last posted! It was so much fun to have a kiddo who is a little more aware this year. He dressed as a puppy. I found the costume at Carters, and it was perfect because it was very warm and made of fleece. For those who live elsewhere, it always is crazy cold if not snowing on Halloween in Colorado, so finding warm costumes is pretty important! This year ended up not being so bad, though it was still pretty chilly by the end of the night, so I was glad to have found this one. Both Chris’s and my offices do up Halloween big. I dressed as Miss Piggy, and Chris was Cookie Monster (which was so much fun – the kids at these parties LOVED it!). It was so much fun to have Aaron there. He trick or treated in my office, and bounced with Chris in the bounce house at Chris’s office. We took his walking cart both places and he walked all amongst the other kids which was fun for him. He participated in the Halloween parade at his school (where he pushed their cart toy, with one of his classmates in the cart which was too cute!). For Halloween night, we went to my brother’s house so he could trick-or-treat with his cousins. He hit a few houses, and then happily rode in his stroller watching his cousins and all the other kids run up and down the street. It was such a great holiday.

Trick Or Treating:

We had another round of pictures done of Aaron for his first birthday. Look how big he has gotten!!! Can’t believe it. So proud of him, and loving him more and more each day. Before I cap this off, I want to say that I will post when I can, though it is getting harder to do it every month (as you can see since this post is more than a month late! Sigh…) Being the mother of a toddler is a busy thing! Perhaps year 2 will be every other month? We shall see. Thanks for keeping up with us! Now here’s a bunch of pictures and video of my big boy!

Here is Aaron Walking!