I wrote this for my blog in anticipation of Kiernen being 13 months (not until the 10th). It's long, but it's what's happening right now, and as I rarely get a chance to post anymore (but am still reading!) I thought I'd just put it here, too. It won't be on my blog until the 10th, but you all get to see it now!
And before I do,
And here it is:
Now when he is nursing, he often switches sides and says, "bo". I say, "Oh, you want the other side?" And his face lights up that I have understood. That seems to be the standard way for him to say yes, although I have on one occasion seen him nod his head deliberately, so I know that he gets that that is the true way to do it. But why bother when Mama knows what you mean? Sigh. So he loves to switch sides frequently while nursing. He also loves to have little drive-by nursing 'snacks'. He gets a little irritated when I am wearing a bra (when we're out) because it takes WAY too long to get the 'Bos'. (pronounced with long O.)
Lately at night it is difficult for him to settle down in bed. I think this may be largely due to the fact that we've not been consistent with his bedtime and have been getting him to bed about an hour later than normal. So when he is restless, I pull him up onto my stomach, where he latches on and falls asleep nursing. It helps that I have large breasts and he can wiggle and move around fairly freely until he settles and still stay latched on. But it settles him fairly quickly and he falls asleep that way. It is the sweetest thing ever.
He is becoming so much more stable now with the walking - he walks holding only one hand now, and fast! He wants to get there quickly! It's amazing to see him progressing - it feels like sometimes if we blink, we'll miss it and he'll just breeze on through all of these stages without us. He took FIVE steps unassisted today! His confidence is building!
The boy loves his trees, just like Quinn did. MBD says we have a Druid in training, and that's just fine by me! He wants to greet and touch the trees and plants, outside in the front yard and on walks, wherever we go. He LOVES the trees. He even has a favourite one in the front yard. It is, of course, the largest one as well. When we return from walks, he MUST touch both of the bushes we have outside of our window. And he is so gentle with the plants, too - I can let him touch flowers or anything and not worry that he will smush them.
Kiernen knows signs for 'finished', 'again', 'more', 'nurse', learning 'help', but prefers to use loud voice and sometimes whining (!) instead. There is such a fine line between actual helping and rewarding such whining. Sometimes there is a genuine need he is unable to express - other times maybe he just doesn't want to put forth the effort. I anticipate his needs incredibly well, and it can sometimes be a detriment, because it doesn't require him to use his communication skills. I do NOT want to teach him that whining and screaming are the ways to get what he wants.
Words: 'bo' (eat/nurse/drink), 'mama', 'ma' (up), 'daddy', 'da' (can be anything - da is the fallback word for 'that' or pretty much any exclamation), 'ba' (book), 'kiy' (kitty), and lots of verbalizations and complex sounds that make up his own special language. He is a very chatty little fellow - often at home or in the car he'll just be talking away, and laughing, only he is the only one who knows what he is saying. It is delightful to listen to.
Of course, Kiernen loves to chase kitties, they delight him - laughter always ensues. If they meow angrily at him he will burst into tears and cry. They have no front claws and the most they can do is whap at him and meow angrily when he's too much in their personal space.
Books! He is so very much into his books again, and wants them read over and over. His two favourites currently are "Goodnight Gorilla
" and "Alphabugs
". He also loves the Chuck Murphy books. There are others he likes to read but these are his favorites by far. He does not like "Goodnight Moon
". Go figure. But he does like "The Foot Book
He loves to walk back and forth through the house with either his little Winnie-the-Pooh lawnmower (I can't find a photo of this on the net) or his Playskool walk n ride. Or sometimes for a change of pace he'll take one of his little plastic chairs and push that, but he gets all mad when it won't go up on the carpet (and I of course come in with one of the wheeled ones explaining how those will work on the carpet).
We recently rearranged everything in our living room - took out the huge space hog of a coffee table and the no longer needed glider rocker and added in the train/lego table and a toy/book shelf. Toys are no longer buried in the toybox and he has his own little plastic drawers to replace the ones he liked so much on the coffee table. Now the entire length of the kitchen and living room together are fully open and he can zoom back and forth across the house with his little mower or walk n ride. He LOVES this.
Of course he isn't too keen on the steering yet, so I am almost always 'helping' him get unstuck every few feet. But he is getting the hang of it.
Such an outdoorsy boy he is! Lately we have noticed just how happy he is outside - when he is troubled and fussing, we simply get his shoes on and take him out in the front yard (the wasps have taken over the back) and he is immediately calm and happy. Trees! Nature! Outside! He cannot get enough. Out in the driveway or for a walk in the stroller, he is blissed out. Or to the park! Or the beach! Or both! Funny though, he is not a fan of the heat. So we just make sure we take him to shaded places. Luckily our front yard is ALL shade!
And! He LOVES the bigger kids. Loves them! He loves to watch them run and play and he will follow them wherever they go if we let him. The other night we were at Friday Night Dinner with our close friends, parents of Beanie (of the infamous Beanie and Sprouty
). Usually we're managing Kiernen, following him around, making sure he doesn't wander outside or get into things he ought not or whatever. But that night, Beanie went into his room and Kiernen followed him in there, and they just hung out and played. And we didn't even have to follow him! MBD did a swing by to check that all was well and it really was. Delight! And a little bit of nostalgia because my baby! Is not so much a baby anymore.
Then after dinner we all went for a little walk around the neighborhood and Kate carried him! Not me, not MBD, but Kate! Someone other than his very own parents! And he was fine with it. He was laughing at us walking behind her and at Beanie and he was having a great time! My baby. My heart melted and it said, "Stay here. Stay in Washington, where Kiernen's friends are." Because you know, he has known Beanie since he was in the womb. And Beanie is so so good with him. They are soul brothers, those two. And? His parents are our very best friends here.
And! Kiernen's comprehension is so high! He is a boy of few words, but he understands them quite well. He knows exactly what I mean when I ask him if he wants to go for a walk, or take a bath in the water, or use the potty, or eat some biteys, or nurse, or go for a ride in the car to get Daddy, or....He is a smart little guy! Of course this also means that we have to watch what we say in his presence now, too - time to ramp up the censorship of adult speak!
Oh, and the kisses! When I get particularly close to his face or if we're playing and he feels affectionate, he will make a little, "mmmm" noise and lean in close to my face. I then kiss him on the mouth and we both giggle away - it is a part of the game. But I love that he gives me kisses! Sometimes even when I ask for them. What a sweetie!
Despite his newly found independance lately - or maybe because of it - he is very snuggly. He wants to be close to me all the time still - he wants his Mama to come along! He will climb in my lap with a book in hand or just want to sit with me or be held by me just as much as ever. He will tug on my pants when I'm in the kitchen trying to do dishes/take my vitamins/cook food and look up at me, shouting, "MA!" (up) until I pick him up. He can sometimes be appeased with some food in his high chair but other times I'd better darn well hold him. Thank goodness for my Ellaroo wrap! I can wear him around the kitchen while I get things finished - just not the dishes.
My baby - my baby boy is officially for all intents and purposes a toddler. A toddler! And man alive, is he ever awesome. How I love that child of mine - he is just so amazing to be with.