Thursday, January 9, 2014

15 mon. Caleb

Our sweet baby boy turned 15 months on December 23rd, my birthday. He looked adorable, but you know what? I could barely get a photo of that stinker with me on my birthday to save my life! He was too busy being well...15 months! You know, all squirmy and "put me down mom! I've got cars to play with!"

It's been awhile since I wrote a post about our little guy. He's certainly changed a lot since his birthday! I'm loving this stage SO much.

Fine/Gross Motor:

~Runs! His little legs move so fast! He's running all over the playground and uneven surfaces. He likes to go up and down curb steps. Maybe he's practicing gong up/downstairs like a "big boy."

~Climbs! He's really good at ascending stairs, usually by crawling up them, but he's also able to walk up them if he has a rail or someone's hand to hold. He's able to go downstairs, but not safely of course. He tends to sit on his bottom and and "bump" down one at a time.

~Uses a fork/spoon (when allowed by mama--it is so messy that we don't let him practice at every meal!)

~Uses those little hands to do all types of play with his toys and blocks. He especially likes to hold smallish toys in his tiny fist.

~Throws and kicks balls, occasionally able to catch it when thrown to him. Enjoys hitting balloons back and forth and catching them in the air.

We scheduled a cut with Ms. Val while we were in KY. We miss her!

Comprehension and Expression:

~This may be my favorite part of the 1-2 year development. I love seeing his understanding grow. Even if he has few words he speaks, he understands so many now. It is awesome to see him follow through with instructions, nod yes/no appropriately, etc. I haven't bothered with teaching him baby sign language because he is easily able to communicate what he wants through pointing and gestures. For example, when he gets restless in his high chair, I ask him, "Are you all done? Do you want down?" He lifts both arms up in the air and looks up at me for me to get him down. Sometimes, he nods his head in agreement and says, "YES!"

~Spoken words include "mama", "dada," "bird," "car," "go," "thank you," "yes," "no," "ball," "dog," "Emma," "Pop," "bubble," "outside," "this," "cheese," "apple," "down," and "uh oh!" I'm sure I'm forgetting something. He says a lot these days. He repeats lots and lots of our words and small phrases when we ask him to "Say _____."   Of course many of his words are still babyish and aren't pronounced perfectly. "Thank you" is all garbled, but there is no doubt what he's saying and he uses it appropriately--like after we give him food. :) His first sentence was "It's a car." 

Favorite Toys:

~Our boy LOVES, LOVES, LOVES balls and cars. He is completely obsessed with balls. I keep several in the back hatch of the car so when I open it to get out the stroller, he goes crazy, saying "Ball! Ball! Ball!" If we are at the playground and I forget to bring a ball, he zones in on one as soon as we get there. Doesn't matter if there are big boys on the basketball court or tossing football in the grass or kicking soccer balls--whatever. He goes to the ball and will try to take it or be a part of the game. I didn't think he would like small hot wheels type cars so soon, but oh he does!

~Caleb also enjoys cuddling with his lovey, cuddling with other stuffed animals, playing at Emily's Calico Critters table (although he mostly plays with the cars, motorcycle and horse!) and reading books. When he's in the right mood, he would let me read 10 books in a row! He loves to pick them out from his shelf, bring them to me, and cuddle up in my lap. Of course I love it and can't get enough of his sweetness.

Hanging out with our little cousins, Madelyn and Cooper

Cheesy grin that mama loves

Doll baby

Pure Sweetness:

~It's not just girls that are "sugar and spice and everything nice." Caleb is just as sweet as he can be at this age. He likes to play a game with Jeremy and me where he runs back and forth between us giving us hugs. He pretty much gives me a hug and kiss any time I ask for one. If Jeremy and I are being affectionate and hugging one another, he runs up to our legs and joins in on the family hugs. He will even let me hold him and rock him. I can't believe it! He's often pretty squirmy about me holding him when he is intent on doing something else, but at nap time and bedtimes, he allows it--especially if I give him the lovey to clutch while I snuggle him under covers.

~He has the sweetest temperament. He is quick to laugh and smile. He loves to dance. Any of the toys that make music, get used a lot. He happily dances to the tune.

~I love how he says my name. "Mama." He doesn't use it all the time, but he sure knows how to call me when he needs me or wants me. It is the sweetest sound.

First Flights:

Caleb's first flight was when we left KY for San Francisco. He was 10 months old. He did especially well on that trip because we took his car seat on the plane with us since Twitter bought everyone a ticket. He slept better in the car seat and it was nice to have the extra space. He only fussed for a few minutes when he was sleepy and trying to settle for a nap. We did everything we could to keep him entertained and happy.

Our flights home for Christmas were harder. At fifteen months, he's used to being more mobile and walking. Also, we didn't splurge on an extra ticket for Caleb since he could still travel for free as a lap baby. We managed pretty well and he did fine, but it was hard and stressful at times. Luckily, he did nap for an hour or so on both flights. He could have napped longer if I could hold him more still. Have you ever tried to hold a sleeping baby for that long and not squirm? It is really hard. My frequent readjustments finally woke him.

Eating Habits:

Caleb has gotten much pickier, I am sad to say. He still loves cheese, fruits, yogurt, bread, rice and a few vegetables. He pretty much eats any of the squeeze pouches of fruit/veggie purees that I give him. However, he barely eats any meats (just fish sticks and occasionally small pieces of ground turkey/hamburger). We offer and offer and he picks up the tiniest of pieces and throws them off his high chair tray. He won't eat eggs either, unlike Emily who loves them. I'm going to have to try to "hide" his meat in his grilled cheese sandwiches or puree it? I'm not sure what to do, but it is frustrating that he will no longer eat some of the foods he once liked. He drinks a couple of cups of whole milk in a sippy cup each day. He is able to hold his cup himself, but sometimes needs help tipping it up when it is less than half full. I have almost completely weaned him. He nurses once at night at bedtime. It is a special rock and cuddle time for us. I plan to wean completely by 18 months or earlier, but have decided that since it brings us both contentment (and a healthy dose of mom's immunity), there was no need to stop the day he turned one! I also wanted to get him through the winter months so maybe we could prevent a few illnesses.

Their expressions crack me up! Love our cousin, Elizabeth!

 And a note for Caleb,

We were so happy to celebrate Christmas with our families and share your 15 month cuteness with them! You have already traveled more than I ever did in sixteen years! Hopefully our flights home will get easier in time. We love watching you grow in your understanding and hear what you will say next. I love that you still let me cuddle and rock you some at night.

I have lost count of how many haircuts you have had now. Five? Six? Who knows. You have a head FULL of dark hair and it grows incredibly fast.

I'm still addicted to your super soft baby cheeks, long eyelashes, and sweet hugs and kisses. You are such a joy to us all and we LOVE you so very much. Happy 15 months, little buddy.



Wednesday, January 8, 2014


This is just a quick little blog post to commemorate that Emily is no longer a bed wetter! Hallelujah! I was hoping we weren't going to go to kindergarten this year still having to wear a pull-up at night. She's been potty trained during waking hours since she was 2 1/2 yrs. old, but continued to have accidents during nap time and bedtime. Of course this was completely unconscious so there wasn't a lot I could do about it. A few months ago, she stopped needing a pull-up for naps. Recently, she has been waking up many mornings with a dry pull-up or with only a small accident. During Christmas break in KY, she wasn't having accidents in her pull-up so when we got back home, we didn't buy anymore. She's now gone three nights without an accident! I'm so happy! Even though we only used one pull-up a day, I was really getting tired of buying them for my four year old. Back in November, we tried going without the pull-up and making her pee before bedtime and then waking her before we went to bed at 11 pm for her to go again. Well, that was a complete failure because she's a really heavy sleeper. She cried as I got her out of bed and cried the whole time I put her on the toilet. (She wouldn't even walk to the toilet. I had to carry her.) It was not worth it to make my little girl cry that much, so we never tried that again. It's just funny how one day her body was ready and that was the end of it.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Nan's Trip to California

Mom made her first ever trip to California October 23rd-27th. We were ever so thankful to have her come and visit us. We had considered going to KY in October. Jeremy and I LOVE Fall in KY and of course we were missing family, but ultimately we decided it was going to be too much to try to fly to KY in October AND December. Nan's visit was a big encouragement and lots of fun; however, it was entirely too short.

Thursday the 24th was Nan's first full day with us. We decided to let this be a "normal" day and show Nan Emily's preschool, the church we were visiting, and other local places of interest in Alameda. The weather was chillier than normal and my plans for the picnic lunch at Crab Cove didn't go as well as I had hoped, but we still had a great day. I loved showing Mom around our cute city and giving her a "day in the life" view of things at our house.

On Friday, we took Mom to San Francisco! We took her to Fisherman's Wharf where we had a picnic lunch with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. We picked up yummy cupcakes at a shop in Ghiradelli Square, and we had a nice walk with the kids by the bay. We drove over to Chrissy Field to get a closer view of the bridge and photos. We also rode a cable car from Fisherman's Wharf all the way downtown and then took a quick taxi cab ride back to avoid waiting in line again at the end of the line. (Cable cars are only one way rides and you have to get off the car at the end of the line.) I had hoped to drive north over the Golden Gate into the Marin Headlands area this day, but we had already done quite enough with the two kids with us, so we saved that trip for the next day.

Nan and Emily hanging out at Fisherman's Wharf--Alcatraz in the background.

Walking by the bay with the kids and Nan.

So sweet!

This is the best pic we could get with squirming little baby boy!

Mom let Emily pick out this gift at the warming hut near the bridge.

On Saturday, we spent all afternoon in the Marin Headlands. I had been itching to go here ever since we moved, but we just hadn't done it yet. The Headlands are part of Golden Gate Recreation Area. It is filled with beautiful vistas of the city and the Pacific coast. There are lots of hiking trails and scenic drives to be had in this area! We drove down Conzelman Rd. and could have stopped every few feet for another panoramic view of the city. It was awesome! The weather was beautiful and warm, too. At the end of Conzelman Rd, there was a place to stop and hike a short trail to the Point Bonita Lighthouse which is perched precariously on the edge of a cliff with dramatic drop-offs into the Pacific. A white suspension bridge made to look like the Golden Gate connects to the cliff where the lighthouse sits. It was only about a half mile trail and I was TOTALLY game, but Jeremy had his doubts about whether the kids would be up for it. Four year old Emily was being a little whiny. It was Caleb's naptime and he was squirming and fussing as I tried to put him in the Ergo baby carrier. Jeremy just looked at me and said, "Do you really want to do this?" With more confidence than I really felt, I said, "Yes. Let's do it. We can always turn back if we have to." I had already researched that the lighthouse was only open for a few hours about three days a week and I didn't know when we would ever get back to do this trail if we didn't do it today. Also, we had Mom's extra helping hands so I felt that it would work out fine.

Thankfully, I was right! Emily did great on the little trail. Caleb calmed down and snuggled in the Ergo with me once we got walking. The hike wasn't too strenuous and it was totally worth it for the gorgeous views of SF, Golden Gate and the wild rocky Pacific coast. Sometimes it can be so difficult to do all the things on my "west coast wish list"  because our kids are so young. That day was a small victory that we can have a successful adventure with our little ones. That evening Jeremy and I had our first official CA date night. We ate at arguably the best restaurant in Alameda, followed by pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks and a movie at the Alameda Theater. I would relive Saturday October 26th over and over and over again if I could. It was just about perfect. A date night in Alameda was so easy. We drove about a mile from our house to our downtown restaurant then walked to Starbucks and the theater. All of it was within a few city blocks and we never had to get back in the car until we were ready to go home. I can't think of too many places in KY where you can do that because everything is so spread out.

View from the Headlands

Hiking to Point Bonita

We need a new camera lens. The view was ridiculous and our camera does NOT do it justice!

Hold on to her tight, Nan! The cold Pacific is right below!

Point Bonita Lighthouse

One of my fave pics of Caleb. Those eyes! So soulful!

On Sunday morning, se said good-bye to Nan and dropped her off at SFO on our way to church. The visit was way too short. We spent most of our time having fun and exploring so I didn't get to have mom help me tackle a few house decorating/cleaning/organizing projects, but they can wait. It's not every day we have our first visitor.