Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Limelet Turns One

A snapshot of life as Limelet becomes one year old today (we mostly celebrated Sunday) .
He walks around the edges of the room holding on to things now (the radiator, the sofa, the table), and occasionally he lets go for a second or two.  He has little bruises all under his chin from bonking it on the table constantly, poor little guy. His crawl has remained kind of sideways, as he crawls on his left knee but his right foot, as though he's half trying to walk while crawling. I think he's going to begin walking before he ever corrects that funny crawl.  He loves smooth surfaces, such as the kitchen floor, because he can scootch himself backward on his bottom.
Bathtime has recently gone from funtime to struggle time, as he no longer wants to sit down in the bath but wants to stand up the entire time, which is a bit slippery.  He especially hates lying back on his bath pillow so I can rinse his little curly blonde fluff.
He can eat most everything now, though he still doesn't get much dairy, soy, or nuts.  His favorite food still seems to be the gruel I make from brown rice, peas, and broth, but he also loves Daddy's lentil chili.  He drinks enriched rice milk or diluted fruit juice at meals, aside from the pumped milk he gets (in a sippy cup these days).  He holds his own cup, and eats some foods with his fingers, although he's just as likely to flail it back and forth or throw it as eat it. Unless it's his favorite junk food, which is those baby cheesy-poofs.  (At least they're whole corn and lower salt.)  Those go right in.  He sometimes likes sweet things but seems to prefer salty things--not surprising with us as his parents.  He even likes toast with vegemite!
He still nurses when I'm home, and still prefers to be carried and nursed to get to sleep. Failing that (like when I'm not there) he'll settle for being carried as long as Daddy sings "Pattycake" to him softly.  I made up the tune, or else it's a cryptomnesiac tune.  He nurses several times during the night but doesn't really wake up unless I'm not there to nurse him. 
For the first month or so here, we had to put him to sleep out in the swings almost every night because of the heat.  He couldn't get to sleep otherwise.  Thank heavens it's finally cooled off so I can put him to sleep indoors!  When everything goes right (like since the heat finally broke), he goes to sleep around 8:45 and stays asleep until 6:45am, with just a bit of help staying asleep here and there.  He's also been napping at two regular times during the day. Yippee!  But something's been wrong the past two nights--I got about three hours of sleep (individual hours, not a chunk) last night, as I was up with him most of the night.  (Daddy just won't do in those cases, more's the pity.)  We wonder if he's beginning to get some of those back teeth in now.
He is still just obsessed with plastic containers, especially detergent jugs.  The larger the better.  One night I had to put him to sleep (outside in the swing, no less) hugging a big yellow laundry jug.  TheLimey has come up with an entire sitcom (including theme song) based on this premise.  "Me and Limelet and a juuuhhh-hug, lalala, la, lalaah..."
He loves playing with a ball, or two or three.  He'll throw them along the floor (or the grass) for himself to get, and then throw them again.  He's beginning to open the pages in his little board books, though his favorite thing with books is still to chew them.  One of his first words was "book" after all. He also loves his wooden blocks, especially if someone else stacks them up so he can knock them down.  He still sometimes wants to just jump up and down for a while in his jumper-bumper, which we have hung from a support out on the "porch" area.
He really loves for people to pay attention to him and talk to him, though he's still quite wary of being picked up by anyone but us.  His favorite people are the young waitress called Adela at a nearby restaurant (we call her his "girlfriend"), and our nextdoor neighbor Kim.  He's even begun letting Kim hold him and take him into her apartment. This bodes very well for future babysitting possibilities!
As far as communication, he clearly understands a lot more than he expresses.  He'll sometimes say a word, or even repeat a nonsense syllable he hears ("Baby Boo-Boo!") And he loves to imitate sneezing, especially right after he sneezes, which he enjoys.  "AH-hooo, AH-hooo."  But he rarely initiates conversation.  He does say "mamamamamamaaa" near the end of the day when he's getting fussy and ready for me to be home.  He also sings a song about his dada that goes like this: "da, DA / da, DA / da, DA."  (The first note is usually low and growly, while the second is high and breathy.)  He sings other random songs at times, too, but that's his favorite. 
He loves to ride on our shoulders and play tickle games.  He also loves to play "Buttercup," in which I swing him back and forth precipitously high (yet very safely!) while singing "My lit-tle But-ter-cup, dear lit-tle But-ter-cup, I love you!"  I think it's a mutation of Gilbert & Sullivan.  Now if I just say "Buttercup!" he starts laughing.
His favorite music to listen to is still Ricardo Lemvo's Mambo Yo-Yo, from way back when he was only a couple of months old.  He breaks out in a huge grin as soon as he hears the opening bars, and sometimes laughs.  He also loves going on the swings, and looking at animals and birds.  Good thing we're on a campus with swings, birds, and squirrels!  And there's plenty of grass for him to grounge over.
He still enjoys riding in the Mei Tai (when awake---I have to use the sweatpants carrier for sleepytime), but right now I'm trying to finish the sewing on it, so that the straps can stop crumpling up and being uncomfortable when I wear it. I don't know how much he weighs now, but three months ago he was 20 pounds. 
I ordered some 18-month-sized clothes for him from eBay (used, for winter) but he's already wearing them now.  He still seems tall and slim. He's due for his one-year checkup, and the beginning of his delayed-and-staggered vaccinations.
We turned the car seat around to face forward now that he's old enough.  It seems to be better for him as he's less apparently isolated.  But sometimes it makes him want to be picked up because he can see us.  Nevertheless, now we can both ride in the front seats instead of there usually being a "chauffeur." 
The time he's happiest is when he wakes up on weekends and we are both there waking up with him.  We call it "The Valley of the Parents."  (He especially liked waking up like that and getting presents on Sunday, as far as I could tell, and who wouldn't?!)  The time he's most unhappy is waking up when I'm in the shower and not beside him.
He's recently discovered the fun process of peeing.  He usually does it while I'm changing his nappy, because then of course he can watch it occurring.  (So exciting!)  So then I have to change his shirt, too, which is something he hates.  Don't all babies love being naked? 
For his birthday celebration Sunday we decided to spend the day doing stuff that makes him happy.  First of all, that meant avoiding things that make him unhappy, like getting overtired or going on car trips.  We started with Valley of the Parents, of course.  He's happiest when we're all three together and not stressed out about scheduling.  So we carefully maintained his normal schedule, got him up on time, and gave him his naps and meals on time so he'd feel good.
Then we basically did stuff he enjoys that was within walking distance, like playing in the grass and rolling a couple balls around the basketball court, going on the swings, going back inside to play his favorite song (still Mambo Yo-Yo), playing his favorite games (Buttercup!) and so forth.
We gave him a number of (modest) presents individually throughout the day, starting when he woke up, instead of giving them all at one time, late in the day.  How would a baby enjoy that?  Ours would certainly have been overwhelmed. As it was he got to have new excitements all day long, and enjoy the heck out of each one before moving on to the next one.
Today was his actual birthday, but I was at work being a serious zombie from only sleeping three hours last night.  Nevertheless, I managed to get one genuine birthday photo of him today.



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