Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mr. Man 18 Months

One and a half baby!  Such a cutie!  Such a Baby Hulk!!  Weighing in at roughly 32 pounds and ?? inches tall, Caleb is at the top of his class.  We love our sturdy little man.

He has changed so much since his little sister was born 3 months ago!  He has gotten much more independent.  He did it naturally and totally without him "having" too.  What I mean is he didn't learn to be independent after 3 weeks of being ignored or anything...he just was almost the same day we came home from the hospital.  It was a huge answered prayer.

Top 5 Characteristics
1. Emotional (highs and lows)
2. Sweet (gives kisses and hugs allll day long on his own!)
3. Chatty (although I can't understand hardly a thing he says, he "talks" a lot)
4. Strong willed (VERY)
5. Quick to catch on (another way of saying "smart" I suppose)

The boys sleeps like a rock.  I just love that about him ;)  He takes a solid 2.5-3 hour nap every day and he sleeps 12ish hours at night.  He goes down easily and looks forward to sleep.  If he is tired and you say "want to go night-night" he will reach up to be held, which means "yes, please".  He will say "nigh nigh" to Autumn who stays up later and have no issues about that.

He is a very diverse eater and will try anything.  He likes most things, but veggies are, of course, sometimes left on his plate.  He loves everything so I don't really know what his favorite foods might be!  Maybe bananas?    He is sill a chunk but is starting to get tall so he is slowing thinning out.  I am obsessed with his chunky legs and will be so sad when they are lean and mean.

Ok, this is Caleb's most challenging aspect.  I don't know how to describe it.  He is emotional, yes, but so are all children.  I don't know that he is more emotional, but he expresses his emotions quite strongly.  He laughs LOUD and HARD when he is happy and he SCREAMS and CRIES when he is not happy.  Most days he has a tantrum of some sort.  Sometimes they are brief and sometimes they seem to last all day.  Things that set him off most of the time are not getting something that he wants.  For example, a toy or my cell phone or medicine (if I have to give Autumn some I have to be sneaky or give him something else at the same time or he LOSES HIS MIND).  Also if you do something he doesn't like, he starts to lose it and it is sometimes hard to get him back.  You can't just stop doing the thing he doesn't like, you have to distract him or just let him get the emotional overflow out of his system.  He doesn't do great with new situations.  New places, new people, new experiences...these things make him feel vulnerable (I assume) and it takes him awhile to warm up.  Awhile can mean 20 minutes or 2 weeks, haha.  When we first moved to our current house we would go outside in the back yard and it took about 30 minutes of sitting in my lap before he ventured out to explore the yard with Autumn.   We have been going to church nursery for 4 months and he still cries every time we leave him (obviously, my presence or lack thereof affects him too).  Trying something new affects him  long after we have left the place so we choose what we do carefully.

I don't mind that he is like that.  It is challenging, but I feel up to the challenge.  The only thing that I worry about is that I will parent him wrongly.  I don't always know what is best for him.  I rarely feet like this with Autumn.  I know what is safe and what is beneficial and what she can handle.  She rarely cries so when she is upset it is easy to know something is going on.  Caleb cries every single day so it is harder to know how seriously things are affecting him.  He cries over big stuff (Autumn pushing him down) and little stuff (wiping peanut butter off his face) and I can't always tell if he is really emotionally upset or just mad at me for doing something he doesn't like.  He has to get over me doing stuff he doesn't like.  I am going to always enforce our house rules whether he likes them or not, but I also want to be compassionate to his emotions since he seems to feel things A LOT.  It is not an easy line to walk.

For example, with dropping him off places (church, exercise group, bible study, date nights etc).  He is very attached to his family and doesn't want to be with new people or play with kids he doesn't know.  I need to find the balance between encouraging him to step out of his comfort zone, but not pushing him into things that are too much for him to handle.  I just want to do what's the most healthiest for him and I feel like I don't always know what that is exactly.

UPDATE 13 June:  I wrote this post about 3 weeks ago.  I have started going to a workout group 3 times a week on average.  Autumn, Caleb, and Eliza stay together in child care and he has grown soooo much in this area!  I think having Autumn there helps a lot.  I even went to a bible study for the first time last week and he didn't cry AT ALL!  It feel miraculous.  I know that's a big word and I know it's not really a miracle, but that is how it feels.  I never ever ever would have predicted a month ago that he would have "grown up" so much!  He is even crying/whining/tantruming less at home.  It is awesome!

Ok, moving on now...

He loves toy cars.  It is so cute to seem him scooting around on the floor driving his little car.  He always loves books as much as Autumn.  Yay!! That is such a blessing to have 2 children that love books.  He will sit on the floor with a book in his lap and "read".  He just sits and talks and talks while he looks at books.  He can say mama, daddy, Eliza (thy-tha), Autumn (Ah), papa (grandpas), shoe, sock, ball, teeth, hair, hot, eye, dog, cow, duck, book, snack, night night, bath, no, phone.  There are more but I can't think of them right now.  He also says outside, back pack, Tinkerbell, and water but they are too hard to write phonetically and I doubt anyone would know what he is saying except me (and maybe his daddy!).
Funny thing is he talks allllllll the time, but you can't understand 95% if it!  Hopefully, he will learn to enunciate better in the next couple of months.

Overall, he is healthy, healthy, healthy, and we are so glad he is OURS!!!!!!!

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