Sunday, August 23, 2009

Milestone Weekend!

Wow, was this ever a big weekend as far as milestones go! Lately I'd felt like Jacob had hit a bit of a wall as far as big milestones go. We hadn't had any new abilities or any new words...at least, not big stuff that he was doing or words that he was saying on a regular basis. Here and there we'd hear something that might sound vaguely like a new word that he'd repeat, but at best it was a mimic and not something he committed to memory. He still wasn't showing any desire to walk on his own, let alone stand. He was starting to do his grass crawl (up on all fours) more often on surfaces other than grass, which made it seem like he's starting the neanderthal man process...walking bent over, and slowly learning how to walk upright. But in general, although it seemed like he wasn't making any big strides, I suppose there were little, more subtle things changing over the past few weeks, and that was about it.

Well, Saturday morning brought milestone #1. Jacob has made a few attempts at climbing up on our ottoman. He's a pretty good climber when it comes to stairs, and he's been doing really well with pulling up and cruising along furniture for a while, so I figured the climbing was just a matter of time. Our ottoman has a bit of a crater in it because the padding somehow collapsed into it, and apparently that gave Jacob the inch or two that he needed. He managed to climb up the ottoman, by himself, in part because the crater made his entry point just a little lower. He's got to be careful that he doesn't slide back down via the crater, but since he did it Saturday morning, he's been getting up there pretty easily. It's sort of fun (though an added level of stress, as well) because he can now use that to crawl up on the couch. He likes playing with the moose that reside on the top of the couch, and once in a while will even snuggle up with me when I'm sitting there. Here he is later in the day on Saturday, posing with the freebie football we got at Bills camp. He loves that thing and is becoming quite the pro at throwing it!

On Saturday I also started hearing what sounded more and more like "Mama". Sometimes he'd say the syllables over and over again, often in a bit of frustration, but at least it appeared he was learning the M sound a bit. By the end of the day Saturday he was definitely saying it, and today he was repeating it a lot, and even directing it at me! So, I guess we can finally check that one off the list!

Saturday afternoon my parents came up and we visited again with our friends Laurie and Colin, and Laurie's parents who live in Victor, across town. This time Laurie's husband Kevin and their dog Marley came, too! It was nice to meet both of them. Laurie and I have gone through the pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood thing together (albeit a couple months apart), mostly via email, and it's always been nice to swap stories and visit from time to time. It's been fun this summer since she has made quite a few trips up to Rochester from the Philly area and we've been able to visit each time. This time the boys seemed to at least acknowledge one another's presence, though interactive play is still a tough one. It seems to improve every time, though! This time we tried to get them to play catch, which only lasted so long. Here's a shot of Jacob reacting to one throw...

They were really cute, though, each on their own. Colin's a couple months younger than Jacob but he outweighs him by a couple pounds and has eight teeth fully in! Jacob has three coming in now to get his total to seven. They seem to be pretty close in a lot of ways. They're both getting into everything and have only had marginal success in the standing realm. As I think I've mentioned, we've got Jacob to stand on his own for a few moments here and there by catching him off-guard and keeping his hands full, but for the most part the moments have been few and far between. Colin is much the same. His first birthday is coming up this week! After he opened the presents we brought, Jacob enjoyed playing with the tissue paper...

Later in the visit we headed outside to appease Marley, who was outside barking. He knew we were all inside, and apparently it was leaving him a little lonely! He's a big dog (though amazingly patient and gentle considering his size!) and I think Laurie and Kevin were hesitant to let him in with Jacob around. Of course, Jacob loves dogs and has no fear of them (yikes!) so we weren't that worried. The good news is that Marley's used to a little friendly abuse from Colin, so anything Jacob would do would probably be par for the course. Jacob was dying to get outside himself, whether it was because he could see Marley or because he was intrigued by what he saw out the window...tons of grass, plants, a little pond...definitely new territory! Once we were out there he had a lot of fun getting into everything. He crawled into dead pine needles under the pine tree (a little sap, but not too bad), pulled clumps of grass, tried to pull out flowers and plants, dipped his toes in the pond, and chased down balls. He did not want to stay up with the toys on the deck for anything! He did enjoy petting Marley and getting some wet kisses, though Marley rarely stayed still long enough for a good petting. Jacob loved every second, though! He also liked riding around and pushing this little dump truck...

So anyway, as we were hanging out, he was up on all fours in the grass, as usual. All of a sudden, he lifted his hands up and very slowly raised himself up to standing! I couldn't believe it! All of a sudden, out of nowhere, he stood up on his own and just kept standing! He stood for a good 10 seconds at least, long enough for my parents to snap a couple pictures! It was a big moment!

Ever since, he's been exploring the world of standing quite a bit. He stood up again this morning when we were in bed with him, and again during church. He stayed on his feet for a good three minutes tonight while Craig was playing with him, and in general he's staying on his feet without support a lot longer. Seems like it's only a matter of time before he starts moving his feet! It's all very exciting but it's also a little scary since it means that he'll be getting into a lot more in the weeks to come! I'm sure the folks at day care will be very excited when we get back there on Wednesday. Yes, Wednesday. They're closed Monday and Tuesday for their annual cleaning and teacher prep, so Craig's taking off tomorrow and I'm taking off Tuesday. Craig is still figuring out what their day will entail, but Tuesday we'll be meeting up with my college roommate Mary, probably with considerable time spent in Geneseo. It should be a lot of fun!

Other than the milestones it was a bit of a trying weekend. Jacob may be coming down with a little cold. He had a runny nose today, though I keep hoping it was just his enhanced outdoor experience yesterday impacting his allergies today. We'll see. He was just generally fussy today, not eating well and having random meltdowns throughout the day, despite three pretty good naps. He woke up once last night and had a hard time going down tonight. It may be his teeth as well. I can't imagine three coming in at once feels good! At times I think weekends are hard for him because he's off his usual routine. It's hard to take when your own baby's time with you isn't his best. I know that there isn't much we can do for him. By the end of the day today I was pretty tired of the meltdowns. When he refuses most of his food for two straight days, I eventually start to take it personally. I know I shouldn't, but it's hard and makes for a tough judgment call--do you cave and give him something you know he'll eat just so he's getting enough, or do you hold strong and try to give him healthy things and/or new foods, just to keep trying to expose him to different things to hopefully improve his eating in the long run...even if it means he might end up a bit hungry in the short term? It's hard. But no one ever said parenting was easy!
Still, the milestones help remind me how great parenting can be, as you see your child achieve something great. Let's hope they keep coming because I might need the reinforcements these days!

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