Monday, August 29, 2011

What little man's up to these days

Well Ethan is officially one year old- still doesn't feel like that much time could have possibly passed already!  He is keeping us on our toes more and more, which means I have less and less time (not to mention energy, or even inclination) to blog.  Because quite frankly, at the end of a long day, usually all this mama wants to do is curl up and watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey.  Don't judge me.  But I do want to keep up with our sweet E's milestones and such, and since TURNING ONE is a pretty big one, I figured I'd better make a guest appearance on the blog.  One day there will be a sentimental, sweet, and hopefully well-written letter to Ethan in honor of his first birthday as well, but today is not that day.  A. Because I really don't feel like crying and B. Because The Closer is on in 15 minutes.  Again, don't judge me.  You all know you love Brenda Lee Johnson, too.  HA! ;-)

So here's what Ethan's up to these days:
-Unfortunately the temper tantrums mentioned in the last post are ratcheting up.  Some days I feel like I'm living with a bipolar baby!  He's still his sunshiney self, but most of the time these days if he wants something and you tell him "No," or even if he's just trying to do something on his own and isn't able to (like reach something on a desk, or pull something out from the toy basket), he immediately hurtles into a meltdown.  Do not pass go, do not collect $200.  I'm talking wailing, arched back, flailing fists, the works!  To me, the hardest part of this is WHAT THE HECK TO DO ABOUT IT!?  Homeboy is ONE.  He has no concept of time, so time-outs are a no go right now.  I don't feel that spanking does anything productive either at this point.  Right now, we just sit him on the floor and ignore him until he stops the freak-out.  Once he's calmed down, I get face-to-face with him and say with a serious face as sternly as I can, "Look at me.  No sir.  That is UGLY. NO." Which usually makes him cry because he gets his feelings hurt.  It works, but I'm telling you, parenting isn't for wimps!  Sometimes I catch himself thinking things like, "Is it really that bad if he wants to chew on the electrical cords?  I mean, really?"  I kid, I kid. ;-)

-Still trying to kill himself on a daily basis.  Ethan has no concept of his own mortality.  At the beach, as soon as he hits the sand, he crawls as fast as he can, head down, barreling straight into the ocean, as though he's some kind of submersible vehicle!  When I am holding him, he does everything he can to be dropped.  When I am changing him, he is SUCH a wiggle worm that it's a straight up BATTLE.  I am usually winded and/or sweating by the time we're through, and its always an act of God that he actually has the diaper on anywhere adjacent to where it should be.  I try to stay positive and think of it as motivation to potty train ASAP! ;-)  The other day, you won't believe what I caught him doing. I had just unloaded the dishwasher, and was emptying the sink, re-loading the washer and hand-washing the stuff that was too big to fit in the load, so the door to the dishwasher was down, and I had a pile of hand washed dishes drying on a towel on the counter above the dishwasher.  You know, doing 18 things at once, as is my custom.  Anyhow, when I finished, I turned around for ONE SECOND to walk over and empty the dish drain into the trashcan.  In that brief moment Ethan managed to climb onto the dishwasher door, climb into the bottom rack, stand up on his tip-toes, and reach for the pile of dishes on the counter- when I turned around I found him at a 45 degree angle, seconds from grabbing a chef's knife!  I am in trouble when this kid is actually walking!

-He has a few words that I'm sure of.  Some moms crack me up because of the "words" they think their kids know.  You know the moms I'm talking about- their child mumbles "muhweeahhtonettah," and they're like, "DID YOU HEAR THAT!?  SHE JUST SAID MARIE ANTOINETTE!" I am on the totally opposite end of that spectrum, but there are a few things that he consistently uses the same words/sounds for: daddy, mama (he only says this when he's upset and only wants me, so I very rarely hear it), Buddy/dog ("dee"), "Uh-oh," and "See?" which is always accompanied by a pointing finger (my favorite.  He wants to see and touch EVERYTHING.  SO inquisitive. I love it!).  Despite the lack of language, he "talks" all day long- he's the King of gibberish, and he's very communicative with sounds- he squeals constantly (and loudly), he loves to click his tongue, and smack his lips, etc- he's very imitative of those types of things.  I guess he's a typical boy in that sense.

-Still very physical, although not interested in walking at all yet.  I think it's because he'd have to sacrifice speed.  Why be an unsteady walker, when you can crawl at the speed of light?  I have seen him stand on his own a few times, but as soon as he realizes he's doing it, he immediately sits down, or holds onto something.  He also pops up off his bottom over and over again like he wants to just stand up, and when we walk him along now, he stays flat-footed, and doesn't really lean on us at all for support, so I think it could happen any day now. I guess it's just a confidence thing?  We're in NO RUSH because walking is the final frontier.  After that, it's no holds barred!

-Teething, and this time around he's in pain.  I hate it! :-(  He's got diaper rash for the first time because of such frequent messy diapers, he is fussy and clingy, running low-grade fever, and chewing on anything he can.  I think it's his one-year molars, because he's batting at his ears a lot (and he just had his one year check-up, so they'd have caught an ear infection).  Last night, I had to rock him to sleep because he was so pitiful.  He didn't crash until 11 pm!  Now that might sound like a normal night for some babies, but Ethan is usually OUT by 7:30, and hates to be cuddled- he puts himself to bed!  I almost felt guilty that I enjoyed being able to love on him last night, since I knew it was only because he felt so bad, but I'll take cuddling when I can get it!

-He still loves reading- the only time he'll sit still on my lap and let me cuddle him is if there's a book involved, so we read a lot.  We have started going to the library every week or so to load up his board book basket, and he loves being able to "read" on his own, too, when he's playing in his room. I try to keep the books with rippable pages out of reach.  He also loves Sesame Street (with the exception of the "Abby's Flying Fairy School" portion- he never watches that part)- Murray is his favorite character.  I love that he enjoys a show that's so educational-  it allows me to not feel guilty about letting him watch a bit of TV so I can fold laundry or whatever in the afternoons.  He also likes music when it's on TV- like if there's a band playing on the Today show or something, he's glued to the screen.  But he doesn't seem to pay attention much to music that's on in the car or whatnot...or at least he doesn't have much of a reaction to it yet.  I am looking forward to the day when he starts dancing- I think it will be so cute!  On that note, do any of my mommy friends have recommendations for kiddy music that won't send me to the looney bin?  So far he's just been listening to what I listen to (which could account for the lack of reaction?)

-Still napping twice a day (except for the day's he attends MMO).  We tried to move to one nap a day for a little over a week, and although he did OK with it, he was so tired (and would sleep sporadically in the carseat if we went anywhere), I just decided he wasn't ready to transition yet.

-He attends a "Mother's Morning Out" class two mornings a week from 9 am- 1 pm, and loves it.  It's a nice treat for me, since it gives me 4 hours to run errands, get cleaning done without having to keep him simultaneously entertained, or just relax, and it allows him to play with other kids, which is his FAVORITE thing to do.  He loves Sunday school for the same reason.  He is such a people person!  Anyhow, it's really cute- he has a bookbag and a lunchbox, and has already come home with some artwork- he's got great teachers that are super sweet.  He is the youngest in his class- they're all turning 2, but since he just turned one, he's the baby of the group- the only non-walker!  But it does NOT slow him down.  Miss Sam and Miss Shana are constantly saying they're amazed at how well he can hang with the other kids, even though he's the runt!  That's my boy! ;-)

-At his one year check up he was 29 3/4 inches long, and weighed 24 pounds, and healthy as a horse!  He's finally passed his age in clothing size- other than in pants, he needs an 18 month or 24 month size.  BIG boy!

That's all I can think of for now.  Loving being this kid's mama- it's the best, most challenging, most rewarding, most wonderfully complex (both tiring and invigorating.  Makes you laugh and cry.  I could go on...)  thing I've ever done!

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