Friday, July 29, 2011

One and a half!

Today is the day. Our boy is officially one and a half. A full fledged toddler, you might say! Some days I feel like he is still a little baby, but most of the time I feel more like he is a 6 year old trapped in a one year old's body. His speech, memory, independence, humour and grown up looks (I think it's the bum chin) blow my mind everyday. Here are a few things I want to remember about Caleb at 18 months:

Weaning: We've successfully transitioned to one feed a day. First thing in the morning and that is it. This has been great for our night routine, because it is no longer just me who can put him to bed. Alan is now putting him to sleep 90% of the time, which means I get to relax, read, and enjoy a bit of extra free time in the evenings. Alan loves it, too, and it is great to hear him calling out for 'dada' if he has trouble falling asleep....ole mama is off the hook!

Sleeping: After many ups and downs, and likely more to come, Cale is sleeping once again from 7-5 am. We abandoned the bed and he is back in the crib. We spun it around so the lower side is now against the wall, so once again he is safely contained, at least for another few months, anyway. At 5 he comes into bed with us, nurses and sleeps until 6:30 or 7. We have often thought and talked about dropping this bedtime cuddle, but it seems each morning at 5 am, it is so much easier just to bring him in with us instead of listening to him cry himself back to sleep.

Talking: He is a real talker now and it is amazing. Our days are like a game of show and tell. Point and say the word, then point to something else. In the car it is 'bus, bike, tree, car, truck, dog....' at home it is 'juice, cup, monkey, book, phone, guitar, apple sauce....'. But the most amazing thing is his colors - he'll get yellow, red, blue and orange consistently correct. Green has him stumped.

Potty training: He loves the word potty and knows what it means, but we've only had the one successful attempt.

Favorite past times: climbing stairs, singing, playing in dada's new truck, swimming in lakes, watching dad mow the lawn, reading, playing in puddles, coloring and hopping on pop

Favorite toys: firetruck, balls, hockey stick, rocks, vacuum

Practicing up to be in dad's band someday

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Great Escape

Can it really be time for a big boy bed??

Our little Houdini can climb out of his crib. He just swings his legs over the side, holds on to the railing and drops down to his feet. It is actually quite a graceful maneuver! Needless to say, Alan was very surprised when he put him down for his nap and two minutes late Caleb emerged from his room and walked into the kitchen! This is a serious gamechanger for us because suddenly Cale can no longer be contained. We can't leave him to cry if he wakes up at night for fear of him falling, which means we need to stay in his room until he is sound asleep at nap time and bed time. So yesterday afternoon, we decided it was time to convert his crib to a bed. He was sooo proud of his bed (and insisted on helping dad put it together). But when it came time to actually go to sleep, things didn't go quite as planned.

Dada's little helper

I have heard of the 'imaginary force field effect' when kids first transition from crib to bed and they lay there calling for their parents to pick them up in the morning because they don't realize they can get out on their own. Let's just say this was not the case with us. Our 7:00 bedtime, turned into 8:00 bouncing and laughing while we took turns watching him and pretending to be asleep. By 9:00 the frustration really began setting in until finally at 9:15 he fell asleep. He has been sleeping through the night consistently for the past 2 weeks, but of course, last night he cried out at 12 and a split second later he was at our bedside. No force field was going to help us last night. After an hour of trying to get him to go back to sleep, we gave up and let him sleep with me. Maybe he just isn't ready for this transition or maybe we should keep trying for a few more nights and hope it gets easier. Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated!!

Little monkey jumping on his bed. Quite cute at 2 in the afternoon. Much less cute at 8:30 pm.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Caleb's tree

I'm sad to say that we are leaving our little seaside paradise and moving closer to town. BUT, I'm very happy to say that we will still be on the ocean, in another beautiful small community called Purcell's Cove. We've been spending way too much time in the car commuting these past few months and we decided that a move would make life much easier for all 3 of us. So September 1, we start another new chapter. I can't imagine we will ever live in a place quite as beautiful as Duncans Cove and our spectacular, private view will be missed. Luckily, we will still be able to see the ocean from our new bedroom! We will leave here with many wonderful memories - long walks with Arlo, watching whales from our back deck, encounters with deer, fox, porcupines, raccoons, coyotes and wonderful birds, wild storms and raging seas, sea urchin shells on our front yard, exploring the old World War II bunkers and tunnels of Fort Chebucto, discovering wild orchids, fog horns and singing seals, backyard bonfires and BBQs with friends, but most of all I'll remember this place as Caleb's first home. Spending the first 18 months of Calebs life here has been a dream. I'll never forget the many nights and days nursing, cuddling and reading to him in my Nana's old green chair while staring out the window at ocean. It still makes me laugh to think that he knew the word 'boat' before he knew 'car'.

We will also miss our neighbours and we are thankful to have been welcomed into this close knit community. One neighbour told me that they have named a tree after Caleb that is growing on a small path we use to get between houses. They figure they both sprouted about the same time! They plan on diverting the path to let the tree grow and wanted us to know that Caleb can come back to his birthplace anytime and visit 'Caleb's tree'. I think we'll will definitely be bringing him back here in the years to come.

Caleb's tree

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sweet summertime (and sleep update)

Summer doesn't get much better than this!

We had a great weekend in Fredericton, our first in a few months that Caleb has been healthy enough for some serious outdoor fun! He had a blast playing with Aly and Ava, trying out a sprinkler for the first time with Grammie and Grampie and spending an afternoon in a canoe on the Saint John River.

Getting ready to hit the river with the gals

It was nearly impossible to keep him in the canoe. He wanted not only his hands, but also his head in the water!

I can't quite believe I'm writing this again, but Cale hasn't been sleeping well during the night lately and once again we need to get back on top of the situation. We lost ground while he was sick, both in May with his ear and in June with his flu/urinary infection. He ended up sleeping with us for would nurse throughout the night. We always lose ground in Fredericton partly because it is just too exciting being around family, but recently it is because he can climb out of the playpen where he sleeps. Our little monkey just swings his leg over the top of the pen and pulls himself right out. So I obviously feel like I can't leave him alone in his playpen for fear of him getting seriously hurt, so again he ends up sleeping with me for most of the night.

But now we are both home, healthy and ready to get back on track with Cale sleeping through the night. We think that he mostly wakes up for the comfort feed and at 17 months, we are more than ready to put an end to the night feeds once and for all. We also are ready to move towards weaning altogether so as of tonight, we are going to stop the night feed and Alan will be the one putting Caleb to sleep. This is a big step because nursing has been a key part of our nighttime routine, but we need to start somewhere and we felt like it would be easiest to let the bed time feeding go first. I'll still nurse him in the morning, but hopefully that will be it. It will just be once a day for a couple of weeks and if that goes well, we will stop all together. I feel ready and I hope Caleb does too. I do admit there is a bit of 'he won't need his mama anymore' fear, but rational me knows that isn't true. Nursing has been an incredible experience and I feel very lucky that it has gone so well from day one, but he is growing up and this is a step we need to take.

Alan just emerged from the bedroom and there are a few tears, but I think Caleb will be asleep in no time. I'm happy but I will be ready to give him a huge cuddle in the morning. The tears have already stopped and he has fallen asleep. All on his own.

Dad's #1 fan

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

Who's the fairest one of all?

This is one of Caleb's favorite games. Trying on different hats and admiring himself in the mirror. My dad took these photos last week.

And when he sees a look he really likes he goes in for a kiss!! Too cute.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Canada Day weekend with my favourite little guy

Photo by Greggy at Crystal Crescent

Caleb is feeling much, much better which is good news for me because I have him all to myself this weekend. Alan is playing a couple of gigs and will be home late Saturday night, but until then, Caleb and I are enjoying a fabulous long weekend in the Cove. It is fun to have nowhere to go and nothing pressing to do. We took a couple of extra long walks on this beautiful sunny day and I love seeing what grabs Cale's attention along the way. Today I was slightly ahead of him when I heard him burst out laughing, start clapping and say 'grass, grass'. He was pointing at a field of tall grass that was swaying and moving in the strong wind. I wouldn't have even noticed and he wanted to stay and watch for 20 minutes. I was more than happy to join him and watch the grass 'dancing'. We finished off our long walks with some ice cream. I'm really glad I knew enough to take off his shirt before giving him the bowl!

Signing for more ice cream

Much needed post ice cream bath

At 17 months (maybe it is time to start saying one and a half ??!!) Caleb has lots of new skills. Some we strongly encourage, several we do not. Flushing the toilet, opening the fridge door and pouring milk into dada's shoes are in the latter category! Winking, laughing, sneezing and coughing on cue and stringing two words together are developments we are much happier about. A couple of his favorite expressions at the moment are 'whatsthis' when he wants to know the name of something and 'did it' when he is proud of himself for accomplishing something like climbing a set of stairs. He also really likes us to clap and provide lots of positive feedback for whatever it is he has just done. It is hard, however, when you hear 'did it' and he has climbed up to the back of the couch or onto a super narrow window sill! Oh yes, things are getting much busier around here all the time, but I'd rather have a super active little boy than a sick little boy any day. I'm looking forward to another day in the sun tomorrow, although I may not bring out the ice cream this time!