Monday, March 8, 2010

1 Year of Charlie



Chair pictures used to be so easy. They were polite, quiet affairs, where I'd squeak a toy to make Charlie smile and then snap a picture. Now, they are mayhem. Mayhem that has to span over 2 nights so I have enough decent pictures to post. I have approximately 5 seconds from the time I deposit Charlie in the chair to make him laugh and snap a picture. Then chaos ensues.

Exhibit A, Chaos:
Charlie is what is known as a 'high energy' child. I have learned from conversations with parents of other 'high energy' children that the appropriate reaction to this information is a healthy amount of fear. Since I have very little basis for comparison, and Charlie is not yet walking, my fear has its limits. Ignorance is like that.

I get lots of notes at daycare on Charlie's daily report about how much energy he has. He doesn't nap much and goes all day. The teachers describe it to me with wonderment. Brad is always telling me they tell all the parents the same compliments (so-and-so loves music! so-and-so is very smart and enjoys being read to, etc.) but I'm not sure 'your child can play for 8 hours with no rest' is really much of a compliment. They practically say 'good luck' and pat me on the back right before the weekend starts.

I think Charlie is going to be walking soon. Brad says he is kind of dreading it since Charlie will be even harder to keep up with. However, I'm looking forward to it since I'm the one who carries him around most of the time. 23 pounds of squirming baby is not kind to your back. Plus I think it will be fun to take him places where he can run around and play. He is a 'high energy' child after all.

Back in early January I watched Charlie pull up on our leather ottoman and start taking steps to the side. He also practices in his crib when he wakes up in the morning and from naps. I wonder if he will wait until he is good and mad we left him and went on vacation next week and then walk. Fortunately my mom has promised not to tell us if that happens and just act really amazed when he walks immediately upon our return!

We're working on some words and I think there are a few sounds that mean something. Obviously da-da-da-da-da has meaning, however we use that on more occasions then when Daddy is around. When I ask who the baby is or talk about 'the baby' I generally get a deeee-deee in return. Like baby with a D. There's some mama type sounds. Some Baaaah sounds that I think mean Bath. And the dogs get a very loud and pointed DAH! when they come around. This is usually accompanied with some finger pointing.

Charlie still has the same 7 teeth he's had since October. Since that is perfectly adequate for getting through all the solid food he wants to get through, it's almost like there's really no point in growing any more teeth. Reminds me of his crawl - he was pretty quick with his military crawl so there wasn't much point in crawling on his knees. He was pulling up and standing before he bothered messing with a knee crawl. It's all function over form with Charlie.

We just transitioned Charlie from formula to whole milk and I can't tell if he likes it or not. He ate the first few bottles fine and rejected the last few, but that may be because he's sick. We're trying some soy milk for a few days. I'm sure we will settle on whichever produces the least amount of gas in his little tummy.

Moving to milk does seem to leave him hungrier for more solid foods, which I can only guess is by design. I've been trying all sorts of different foods with him and some are hits but most are misses. I think it takes several times of trying things before a child gets used to them so I'm not discouraged. I'll just keep plugging away.

So far the drinkable yogurt, pancakes and grilled cheese are probably his favorites (besides cupcakes, ahem) but he'll eat pasta with marinara, butternut squash, dried green beans and rice pretty happily. He just discovered granola bars this morning and that seemed to be a hit. I can tell food and Charlie are just going to go together like peas and carrots!

Charlie's wearing 12 to 18 month clothing and it seems like he's not growing out of things nearly as fast. We're about to take him to get his first haircut, as all that fine blond hair is getting a bit unruly. It's so fine that when he wakes up in the morning it's usually bent in all sorts of funky directions. There are also a couple of cowlicks in there. Brad suggested growing it out long this past weekend. I couldn't tell if he was kidding. It really doesn't matter.

For the past few months Charlie has enjoyed being read to but it was only recently that he seemed to want to sit still for more then one or two books. He likes to reach out and turn the pages. Good thing I have most of his books memorized because his timing is a tad off. I put a book in his crib with him and when he wakes up in the morning or after a nap he will look at it while talking to himself and flip through the pages. It's very sweet to watch through the crack in the door.

Charlie got a bunch of new toys for his birthday and still loves anything that is loud. He's very into putting small objects into larger objects. Hitting things together remains a favorite past time. If a toy is worthy of playing with it better make noises, sing songs or sound really satisfying when it hits the floor or another object.

Health-wise we still have gas issues with him. He *hates* being on his back. Diaper changing is a timed speed event in this house. Improve your best time or pay the price. Lately I've just been trying to dress him sitting up.

Still having periodic chest colds like all kids do. They tend to be worse for him because of his asthma but having the nebulizer at home helps. It feels like we are at the pediatrician every week for some reason or another. Do all parents feel like that? Do you quit going as frequently with the 2nd kid because you already know what they're going to say?

Anyways, this post has been so delayed - and not just because I'm low on free time. How do you encapsulate the first year of your baby's life in a blog post? Very easy to procrastinate on that one because it's such a daunting task. I finally decided that would be too much to take one so I'm treating this as any other update - with plenty of mundane details about things just about every baby Charlie's age does!

I could try to get poetic about what Charlie and the past year have meant to me but I found out by reading old posts that it's all already written down. That was really the point of the blog to begin with - to document my memories of watching the most important thing I've ever done grow. This past year has shown me higher highs and lower lows then I've known before in my life. However, I think when you have that is when you know you're really living.

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