All of a sudden, Aiden has become obsessed with drawing and arts and crafts in general. He never had the patience to draw or paint, but once he learned how to draw the “A for Aiden,” there was really no stopping him. It took a while before he had the interest to learn how, but once he did, he was SO proud. After that, it was only a matter of days before he was attempting his whole name. Once he mastered the “N”, which he was less confident in, he had the confidence to try any letter.
For the most part, Aiden is writing his letters without any guidance. We have told him how to write a few of them, but mostly he thinks of the letter and just writes it. It’s been astounding.
With his newfound confidence, Aiden has also begun drawing pictures, including the elephant above. He started with monsters that he would cut from paper (he LOVES to cut paper): he would cut out the monster, add an eye and mouth line on each side of the paper, then cut out a series of legs à la caterpillars. He moved on from monsters to things like the sun, trees, and clouds. He’s now drawing animals of various sorts, or cool things like a volcano with lava in them.
Art has become something that Aiden can do when he “doesn’t know what to play with,” which has been an issue with him for months. I think he’s often overwhelmed with the amount of attention that Damien gets, and it makes it hard for him to play. During these times, he goes to his little craft table and happily puts together a card or a picture or something from his activity book. It’s been fantastic for his confidence and for his ability to regain his independence.
Just one short year ago, on May 20, 2012 at 8:30am, we welcomed you into our family. The days awaiting your arrival were filled with anxiety and discouragement, but you came quickly enough once you were ready and settled into our family like you were always meant to be there.
Those early weeks were filled with the highs and lows of any new baby, plus all the added complexities of getting to know what it’s like to be in a family of 4, where you’re not the only baby in the house. You have happily come along for the ride as we cart you around to all your big brother’s activities. Thankfully, it turns out you are of a very similar disposition and love being out seeing people and new places. You always have a waiting smile on your face to flirt with people or beam at your favourite friends.
Your newborn days are a blur now of breastfeeding struggles, a lack of sleep and the crazy schedule of 2 kids. I wish I had more time to go back and gaze at your beautiful sweet face. Sadly, the time has flown by and you are a one year old now, on the verge of walking and attempting new words every day. Your vocabulary of words is in the dozens now, though perhaps only a select few can be understood by others.
Once you pick up a skill, whether it was sleeping or eating solids or talking or your scooting bum crawl, you charge ahead and never look back. I love that about you. You express a confidence in all things that shines out with an “I’ve got this mom, it’s all good.” Even now at night when I give you your kiss as you smirk at me with your thumb in your mouth and then give you your milk, you give me one last big grin and roll away from me, asking to go in your crib to put yourself to sleep – Mr. Independent through and through.
Your bright brown eyes are always on the move, searching the world. Your finger is at the ready to point to things you want to touch and explore and you want more than anything to be set free to see them on your own terms. You are outgoing and social and daring – always on the go. You love nature – sand, rocks, flowers, grass, trees and most particularly water. You are not afraid to express your enthusiasm for the things that you love (especially food), though you are more than happy to quietly and seriously observe at other times.
You have an amazing future ahead of you. I hope you continue to charge at the world to get what you want. At one year old, you are already a strong and courageous spark of a boy and I can see glimmers of the man you will grow to be. I will continue to stand at your side all through your life, offering a hand if you ever want to take it, though I know one day soon you will walk on your own, looking back to say, “I’ve got this mom, it’s ok.”
Happy Birthday my Damien!
Damien has been 11 months for a while now but it was a crazy month. At the time Damien turned 10 months, we were all getting a cold and Aiden was being treated for pink eye. An additional 15 doctor visits and 3+ weeks later, we’d mostly be feeling better… but it’s taken weeks to come out from how behind our lives became. Not to mention that the approaching FIRST BIRTHDAY for Damien is taking some planning. OMG – he’s almost 1!!
So, before the rest of the month gets away from me, let me talk about how AMAZING Damien is becoming. Learning to crawl and cruise and pull up has made a world of difference for Damien. He’s communicating better – words and signs – and is generally way more happy.
He learned a lot this month, but his advances with musical instruments had me the most excited. He loves to bang on the xylophone or blow into whistles. So cute.
- Weight 21lbs 6oz
- Has 6 teeth
- Takes 2 naps a day. 1st nap is 40mins – 1.5 hours. Second nap is almost always 1.5 hours.
- Sleeps 11.5-12 hours a night consistently with 1 wake about 50% of the time (we got off track being sick)
- Continues to crawl in the bum scoot – it’s very fast now!
- Can pull up easily and cruise one-handed, going from item to item to cross a room. Can push walkers or make anything into a walker.
- Can climb the stairs with difficulty, though can handle the single steps outside with ease
- Can stand independently for a few seconds if he forgets to hold on to something
- Favourite foods: yam soy paper rolls, cream cheese toast, yogurt, applesauce, raisins, smoothies, strawberries, pancakes, pasta, chicken, anything with a sauce
- Loves to play musical instruments (harmonica, whistles, drum, shakers, pipe xylophone) – especially sharing back and forth with an adult, cruise around the train table, play catch / rolling balls, parachute at Gymboree, anything with Aiden, the bath, swimming, sand, slides, the swing, the trampoline, banging objects together
- Loves to read his “boo” (aka books). Favourites: I love you through and through, Tails, Peek-A-Zoo, Toes, Ears & Nose, Mother Goose, Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See
- Favourite toys: music toys of any kind, echo microphone, train table pieces, finger puppets, balls
- Had his first bout of bronchitis and his first antibiotics
- Went to the beach for the first time. Went mental in his desire to enter the water.
- New signs: water, more (a clap, which is confusing)
- Often says new words, but doesn’t always repeat them. Words less used include: tickle, bell, dada, tail, banana, hand, diaper, garbage (perfectly said too), ba-y (bunny), ootie (cookie), sna (snack), tired, Dada, dry dry, shake shake
- New words that we hear often: wow, mau (for meow / cat), hello, ater (water), Aiden, play
Damien started “crawling” at a week past 9 months… except, his way of moving isn’t really crawling, it’s actually bum scooting. As soon as he learned how to go from his tummy to the seated position, he absolutely refused to do tummy time. Although he’d been previously rocking up on his knees for a while, he would skip straight to sitting instead, once he learned that. I was frustrated that he’d never learn to crawl!
Thankfully, he found his own way to be mobile. One day, he put up his foot and pulled himself forward a little bit and he hasn’t looked back. His movement was painfully slow in the beginning, and limited in range for a week or two, but he’s building up both speed and confidence as he goes. Yes, it is very funny to watch him scoot around this way! I love it when he decides to play catch with himself, chasing after a ball.
Damien Bum Scooting from Ianiv Schweber on Vimeo.
With his newfound mobility, Damien is growing less fussy, no longer needing to be held to stand all the time, and is exploring the world on his own terms. He’s much more independent. Of course, this comes with a price and my days of running errands are over – he wants to get down and play, not run errands!
Damien is 9 months old now, which suddenly seems quite close to 1 year old! Yikes! My little man has changed a lot this month and, though his lack of crawling is making me frustrated, he continues to amaze me in so many ways. You should see Damien play catch, it’s amazing!
- Weight 19lbs 11oz
- Has 3 teeth, his upper right lateral incisor poking through today
- Still just a fuzzy head
- Is just transitioning to 2 naps per day (the morning nap finally getting longer than 40 minutes too, hopefully that holds!)
- Slept his first 12 hour night without a dreamfeed last night
- Favourite foods: yam rolls, garlic bread, chicken, bread with cream cheese, yogurt, cooked blueberries, applesauce, pancakes
- Has more picky foods than before. Happily rejects / spits out food he doesn’t feel like. Foods he’s most likely to reject are cheese, grapes, banana, avocado (love/hate with it)
- Perfected his pincer grip for eating
- Can pull to stand from a lap or slightly raised seated surface
- Can go from tummy to knees to seated position, though often forgets this when frustrated
- Can turn around in circles on tummy and move backwards a little bit
- Cruises the furniture in a slow shuffle, going around objects. Holds on with one hand or balances body against edge of furniture
- Plays catch. Grabs the ball with his legs to catch it, lifts it and throws it. Will throw large balls two-handed in an overhand throw. Can throw smaller balls one-handed in an overhand throw. Throws are quite powerful.
- Most common baby sign (he has 7): all done. Uses it all the time.
- Can clap, wave, give a high five, lift a scarf over his face to play Peek-A-Boo
- Words: mama, mum mum (cracker), ball (baah), done (dum), boop (book), Oma
- New sounds: baa, bat, a-da-ba, wawa, shh, um, dum, bum, adum
- Started swimming lessons: finds it cold. Enjoys the hot tub.
- Favorite activities: play catch, standing, the swing, sand (not averse to putting it in his mouth), Gymboree, circle time, playing with Aiden in any way, tunnels / tents / parachute time
- Favorite book: I love you through and through, and Tails. Loves to read, particularly books that involve a lot of customizations (kisses, tickles, songs, etc). No interest in Mother Goose. Will slam a book closed if he doesn’t like it. Can turn pages.