This is a picture of my first glimpse of Charles, and his first glimpse of me. He looks slightly concerned, but it's one of my favorite pictures of all time. That tiny, not-so-sure face belongs to a boy who is now one year old. My boy.
Charles has changed so much these past weeks. Right before his birthday, he had a super rough week with sleep and wanting momma. He went from waking up once a night to waking up like a newborn, not wanting to go down for any naps unless I was holding him, and not even wanting to be left with Trevvor or a grandmother when I walked out of the room. In hindsight, I think that's when he hit a big developmental jump, because he seems to have shifted from baby to toddler in just that week. He was also cutting a tooth, which I'm sure didn't help.
Charles at his newborn well-baby check-up
Charles isn't walking yet, but he's getting more adept at cruising around furniture and along walls. He's learned how to "steer" us when we're walking him holding his hands (and he's quite proud of it). Trevvor taught him how to swing his legs around to get down off a bed or sofa or lap, and he's really quick at getting up the stairs (even the big flights at Nana & Grandpa's), but isn't sure enough to get back down. He loves climbing and navigating through small spaces while crawling.
The past couple weeks he's starting scrunching up his nose into the most adorable face, and he tilts his head to one side and grins when he's being impish. He also has a face for when you ask him to do something he knows how to do (like stick out his tongue), but he doesn't feel like doing it--I wish I could describe it. He loves playing peekaboo around furniture or curtains, and often initiates it. When he wants me to stick out my tongue, he pokes at my lips until I get it. He can wave bye-bye and has a different wave for "hi," usually accompanied by a wide-mouth grin. He shakes his head for "no," and has really learned to push things (or people) away when he doesn't want them near him. (The other day he climbed from my arms to Trevvor's then looked at me and pushed my face away with his hand. Forcefully. It was like he was saying, "Okay, it's my turn with Papa!")
Charles at his One-Year well-baby check-up
Charles is still nursing throughout the day and once or twice at night. I love it. He's quite the acrobatic nursling, so we're trying to teach him nursing "etiquette" without much success. (He is getting better at lying still on the changing table though.) His most common solid foods are egg, avocado, meat (salmon, chicken, beef), and whatever veggies we're eating. He likes sipping coconut milk and he LOVES rice crackers and rice puffs. Trying to keep grains to a minimum, but it's hard to find healthy non-squishable finger-foods for a one-year-old! He's started sharing my apples with me after I eat the peel off--his eight little teeth are helping with that!
Charles isn't super independent yet, which I'm not rushing. He's usually playing right at my feet or I'm wearing him on my back while doing housework. He loves things with wheels, which is good because he got lots of cars for Christmas and birthday! He is getting better and better at throwing that ball back and forth and really seems to delight in his skill. I've loved watching him discover relationships between objects, like that a smaller cup can fit in a bigger one, or this toy can roll through the tube or fit in the hole. When he figures something like that out, he'll sit and do it over and over and over again, very studiously as if it's the most serious business in the world. And rightly so: learning like that is his job right now!
His FAVORITE toys are some little animals. When he was born, his Uncle Chris gave him a little toy tiger. It's been sitting on his chest-of-drawers all this time until recently we handed it to him during a diaper change. He carries that thing everywhere and can even say roar when asked what the tiger says. So of course Nana got him three more little animals for his birthday last weekend--they're in the picture below. Tiger is still his favorite, followed by the panda bear.
Playing with his favorite toys: tiny animals
Charles loves music. Several months ago he started "dancing" to music when he heard it, and he just keeps adding to his moves! He dances in his car-seat, while nursing, while eating, while sitting, while standing... Now he's added his arms to the mix and likes to "conduct" the music. It's. So. Cute. He got a xylophone for his birthday and he's enjoying making a little music of his own. I see violin lessons in his future... ;)
Verbally, he's gotten much more chattery with still very few words. He's had "mama" for a while, and sometimes we'll hear a "baba" (papa), and my mom said last night that he said "nana." As an English major, I was very excited and proud that his third spontaneous word was "book!" That was just yesterday. He's very good at imitating sounds, especially nonsense sounds or animal noises. He's also repeated "ball" a few times, said "pot" clear as day when I pointed one out to him, as well as some other things once or twice. Most impressive was when he parroted "danger" back to me--the "d" and the "g" were there at least! ;) The past few days he's exploded in sounds and parroting skills. He's just soaking it all in. I'm trying to do better about labeling things now that I know he understands. He often amazes me with his comprehension. He has his toy tiger and a stuffed tiger, and earlier today we were standing in front of my parents' fridge and I asked him, "Where's the tiger?" and he pointed to a tiger magnet (that really looks very different from his toys) from the zoo!
Hmm.. other random tidbits... We're still cloth diapering with pre-folds and covers and loving it. The few times we use disposables I can't wait to get him back in cloth! Charles has had two fevers, both in December, both were treated very successfully at home. He's never had any ear infections. He's had a little bit of a rash on his cheeks and nose and chin at times, usually when he's teething and/or snotty (which often occur together). His hair is so long now that it really needs a trim, but I can't bear to think of it! Poor guy... it's in his eyes more often than not. Charles loves rough-and-tumbling with us on the bed--it's one of his favorite places to play... which, now that I think about it, may not be creating the best association for when he has a "big boy bed" of his own.... Oh well.
Our family, Fall 2013
I just love being Charles' mom. I have so much fun with my little buddy, and Trevvor does too. It's not always easy, but thanks to him, each day is the best day of my life.