Sweet Baby Colt, today is your birthday dear love!
Colt developments: Angel. You are growing up just right. In the past 3 months since I wrote your 9 month post so many things have changed. During that time you perfected your crawling and became a little speed demon! And then, just a week ago, you took your first steps! Last Sunday you were standing on your own (as you have loved to do ever since you could pull up) and I saw you slightly adjust your foot. You just moved it a tiny bit and definitely didn’t go anywhere, but I immediately knew that you were ready to start walking (which actually surprised me because you’re so cautious that I thought it could be a while). The next day I really worked on it with you and by lunch you were walking 2 steps at a time between furniture or to me and by that evening you would walk up to 5 steps. By Wednesday you were walking 10-12 steps in a row and now you’ll walk up to 20-25 steps in a row! You are still getting the hang of it and often drop down to crawl, but what a quick learner you are! I think you like it and you’re proud of yourself when you get a good walk-session in, always with a big smile on your face.
You’re not a huge talker but you do say “Dada,” “Mama,” and “Uh-oh.” You babble other things and some days you are very chatty but in comparison to your girlfriend Mailey (who has created her own language and speaks it constantly), you’re a little bit on the quieter side. You love to hang upside-down, be tossed in the air, clap your hands, wave to people, read books and explore whatever is around. You’re latest “party-trick” is putting your hands on your head when we tell you that you’re under arrest. It’s pretty cute, although it may be sending you the message that it’s fun to get arrested…Over the past couple of months you have also started to snuggle more and more and will snuggle in my arms or just lay your head down and put your arms around a stuffed animal or anything soft. It’s very cute and I think you know that we like it because you’ll snuggle up to something and then quickly look over at us for the “awe” moment. I love it though.
Currently your favorite toys are not toys at all – you love getting your hands on anything that is not for you! Whether it’s a drawer full of post-it notes and note-cards, the vacuum cleaner, plugs, pots & pans, even trash – you’re into it! You definitely keep me on my toes these days and I really can’t leave you alone for even a minute.
Your personality has been consistent through the first year as a happy, sweet, serious, cautious and observant little guy. Your default face is quite serious although you’re a very happy boy. You’re flexible and do well in new environments and around new people and your dad and I continue to drag you everywhere with us. You have been on 24 flights already and are an expert traveler.
The one concern that I have sweet boy is that you’re so sweet. I sometimes worry how you’ll do one day when I’m not there to comfort you when you’re hurt, or if you’ll be OK if a bully at school picks on you. You definitely seem more sensitive and less aggressive by nature, but it also makes me wonder if I’m doing things that foster that sweet side of you more. I think that your sweetness is a total blessing and it is a wonderful quality for a little boy, but as your mama, it also makes me worry just a little. Your dad and I just keep trying to create space for you to explore new environments, away from us when possible, and be around other babies as much as we can. We leave you in daycare at church, you have lots of play-dates with your friends here and we leave you with babysitters pretty regularly. And you do great with all of this. I just want you to be confident in who you are. To be brave. To have adventures. To not be afraid to take risks every now and then. To have courage not only to stand up for yourself but for others also. You are strong and I want you to know it.
Health: Colt, your dad and I praise our God all the time for your health. We are so thankful that in your first year, despite the dirt, trash and other things you put in your mouth, you have not had any sickness beyond teething symptoms (runny nose, low grade fever for a day or so and one real throw-up). We visited your doctor today and learned that you are 20.3 pounds and 30 inches tall. You continue to be right on track as we have just recently transitioned you into all 12-month clothes. You’re still in size 3 diapers but I think we might go up to 4 soon. (*Note: You might be a Brazilian baby but so far you’ve only worn American diapers – as in, we have yet to buy any diapers here in Brazil. The quality is just much lower and the price much higher so…we pack them in our suitcases…and our friends’ suitcases…) You currently have 8 teeth – the 4 middle on top & bottom – and your toothy little smile is so adorable. Your eye color continues to confuse me – people will say everything from gray to blue to green to hazel. I tend to think they are a steel-blue-gray but lately I’ve been seeing more brown in the middle… Your sweet, fine, blonde hair is growing slowly but surely. I love my little loirinho.
Feeding: Right now you are nursing 3x/day, eating 3 meals/day and drinking juice and sometimes snacking throughout the day as well. We have continued to make all of your food and normally make you an apple/pear/berry sauce and then savory meals with meat and veggies. We have pretty much been puréeing all of that for your major meals but you also snack on yogurt and finger foods like beans, cooked fish, lunch meat, cheeses, fruits, etc. Although I know that you “can,” you’re not that great at feeding yourself and whenever I try it out you end up throwing food all over and make a huge mess. Therefore, I’ve kind of been slack on pushing this skill since I just don’t have the patience for the mess, plus I like to be sure you are getting the nutrients you need. AND if I’m preparing food for you, it makes me cringe to see it end up on the floor. Nonetheless, it’s getting to be time that you do it so we are doing a little at each meal – starting with foods that don’t make a huge mess when they are thrown.
I am about to start the weening process over the course of the next month and am both happy and sad about it. Your doctor says you’re totally ready for regular milk and honestly we’ve made it longer than I necessarily thought we would, but it’s definitely something I’m going to miss (I’m actually getting teary-eyed just typing this!). It’s been such a unique and special thing for me to be able to personally feed and nourish you for the 9 months of gestation and then for your whole first year of life, and I’m so thankful that it worked out for us. That being said, I have yet to spend more than a 8 hours away from you and I think that it’s time for us to create more space for ourselves in this way.
Sleeping: You are napping twice/day for a total of about 3-3.5 hours and sleeping about 11.5-12 hours at night. You’re a great sleeper and generally don’t make a fuss about going down for naps or at night. You always sleep in your sleep-sack and have pacis and some snuggly toys with you. We have decided that pacis are now just for in the crib, car-seat or when you’re with a babysitter. It’s not that I really think you’re too old for them yet but we want to allow you to focus on speech and language development while you’re up and at ’em.
Schedule: You’ve been on an awesome schedule for the past couple of months.
7:45am Wake & Nurse
8:30am Breakfast (banana & apple sauce or yogurt)
12:30pm Lunch (meat & veggies)
6:00pm Dinner (meat & veggies + juice)
8:00pm Down for the night.
You are pretty much like clockwork on this schedule and generally we allow you to be our alarm-clock in the mornings. This normally works out great, but you do sleep in a little every now and then. Recently, Dad had a 9:00am meeting and when we woke up to your sweet little sounds at 8:40am it was almost a disaster! Thankfully we were so well rested from the extra hour you gave us that we were able to get him out the door in record time and he juuuuuust made it.
Mama: It really feels like these are my glory days. The past few months have been nothing short of incredible. (Months 10, 11 & 12 have been by far my favorite!) I am genuinely the happiest I have ever been, and you, sweet Angel Baby Colt, are a huge part of that. I’m just so content with our little family of 3 and am loving all aspects of life right now. I know that there are seasons to life and this one is just full of celebrating the joys and fun of each day.
Thoughts: I keep remembering that special day, one year ago today. What a surprise and a gift that we got to meet you 3 weeks early! Baby Colt, you are a blessing and we have treasured getting to know you and care for you and love you this past year. We are so excited for the days and weeks and years ahead with you little love.