There are so many times recently where I've found myself just watching Jacob, amazed at the little boy he's become. First and foremost, I'm sure walking has contributed to this. If I haven't mentioned it, Jacob is walking a lot now. Just about a couple weeks ago he really got going, walking more than crawling, and doing it on his own without our encouragement. Once in a while he still reverts to crawling, but for the most part he's very content walking these days. He's doing very well when he's holding a hand, which I love. Not only is it so cute, but it's a nice break for my poor arms. He's still a skinny little boy but I think he's filling out a bit and (hopefully) gaining a little more weight. Some moments he still seems light as a feather, and others I feel like I can barely support him with my arm anymore. If nothing else, it's nice to know I have options now when transporting him.
Watching him toddle around the house is so adorable. Now that he's got two free hands, he can carry stuff all over the place, so we end up with toys (and other things) all over the house. Sometimes it's fun just to see what he pops around the corner with. I love hearing his little "stomp-stomp" walking style as he lumbers down the hardwoods. I'm still so nervous about him because he's still pretty iffy on balance sometimes. He tries to go faster than his little feet can safely move at this point. We've made a lot of good catches lately, believe me! But after such a long wait, it's a joy to see him finally able to walk around. And wherever we go, when he's walking along holding a hand, he elicits smiles from the people we pass. It's so cute!
Over the weekend I installed his first "big boy" car seat. I managed to get a good enough deal online that I got a Britax Roundabout pretty close to my $150 budget. I could probably get close to that for a seat for Craig's car, thanks to 20% off coupons for both Babies 'R' Us and Buy Buy Baby, but I think I'm going to opt for a different, cheaper, but still very good seat, just because I think the other one will be easier for Craig to use correctly. I think. I think I'm going to go with the Evenflo Triumph Advance, but don't quote me on that just yet. But as for the Britax, I'm actually leaving it backward-facing for a bit longer even though we're well past the year and 20 pounds requirement. The more I read up on the subject the more I'm convinced that it's safer. And if it's a choice between Jacob's entertainment value and keeping him alive in a car crash, I'll take keeping him alive. I read something about how babies spines don't fuse for a long time--I can't remember, but maybe even 2 or 3 years old--and it only takes a small bit of stretching to sever the spinal cord. And the trauma to that area is considerably less in a backward-facing seat. I saw this disturbing PSA (I think it was Welsh) that was a dramatization showing the inner workings of a car accident caused by a texting teenager. While I'll spare you the gory details, I have been haunted ever since by the sight of a baby in another involved car that was seemingly untouched, with his eyes wide open, but motionless. And all I can think is that his neck snapped. Even though that wasn't the point of the PSA, it resonated and I want to keep Jacob's little neck as protected as possible. He's got another 10-12 pounds until we have to turn him around, and I will gladly make full use of that time. The seat will accomodate him forward-facing until he's 50 pounds, so it will work for him for a long time. I still think he might outgrow the height before he outgrows the weight! I think his other seat will be much the same. He can still see quite a bit and he likes seeing himself in the mirror. He doesn't really know any different at this point, so I have no real reason to feel guilty. I'm very comfortable with the decision.
Otherwise, Jacob has been figuring out a lot of new stuff lately. Suddenly he's putting the pieces together with a lot of things. He knows to make noises when driving trucks around the floor, he does his version of "hello" (which he still doesn't say as a normal greeting, mind you) when he holds a phone or his hand up to his ear, and the last couple days at day care he's been picking up a toy spoon and pot and doing some mixing! He even tried to feed me with the spoon this morning! Since he learned how to drink out of a straw a month or so ago, I bought him a straw sippy cup this weekend and I think he's hooked. He loves it. He also likes to blow kisses (thanks in part to the Elmo Live dolls you see everywhere in stores) and knows how to give real ones, too. I love his hugs and kisses, though he's also learned how to shake his head no, so I get rejected a little more often now when I ask for one. Hmmm. He started saying "All Done" a lot over the weekend, though I'm not 100% sure he understands the concept because once in a while he'll sneak in a couple more bites after he's "done" with his meal. He's doing pretty well learning body parts and is trying to repeat some words that we encourage him to say. Usually he's a little off, but at least he's trying. He points to the wagon at day care and says "Wa", for example. You can just see the wheels turning these days, and despite cranky tantrums when he can't do something he wants to, we still manage to have a lot of fun! Getting laughs and smiles out of him is the best, and fortunately, we get a lot of those!
But like I was saying at the beginning of this post, sometimes I just find myself in awe of this amazing little boy. Once upon a time he was a tiny cluster of cells, and then he was a living, breathing, helpless little baby, and now he's a walking, talking little boy. I definitely try to savor each moment I have with him (the quiet ones and the fun ones especially), brushing my cheek on his soft hair, looking at his tiny toes, or blowing raspberries on his little belly...just taking in the essence of my baby boy before he won't let me anymore! I've said it before and I'll say it again....We are truly blessed.