One Year Old + Almost Three
Update time! Lots to catch up onů
At 47 weeks old, Felix started giving us nose kisses (awww!), and we visited Jon, Katie, and baby Greta (who is three weeks younger than Felix) in Seattle! Felix and Greta's interactions weren't quite as violent as these pictures suggest.
At 48 weeks, Felix started transitioning more smoothly from sitting to crawling, and he became more mobile (scooting backwards and rotating). He started giving us high fives, clapping our hands together for us when we asked him to clap, and moving his finger over his mouth to make a bub-bub-bub sound upon request (a great source of entertainment at dinnertime).
At 49 weeks, he was especially affectionate, full of hugs and nuzzles whenever we picked him up. This is such an awesome age :) On the less awesome side of things, he became very interested in dropping and throwing food and spitting during meals. Arlo loves to encourage this behavior, much to our chagrin.
At 50 weeks, he started scooting forward, and at 51 weeks, he started crawling! Conveniently, this happened while my mom and Alan were visiting. He also started saying "dog" and "bus" in context (his first words!), though they currently sound like "guh!" and "buh!" It's so great to see how excited he is to communicate with us.
At 52 weeks, he started waving and clapping (just in time for a visit from his Aunt Meg; I guess he was saving all the good stuff for relatives). We had a small first birthday party with Meg and Aunt Lorraine in attendance. I made banana cake with cream cheese frosting (so yummy), and we took advantage of the beautiful weather and grilled outside. Very nice.
In the first few weeks of being 12 months old, he has started pointing (very helpful when he wants a drink at mealtime) and crawling up to us and nuzzling our legs like a puppy (it's the best!). He has figured out how to pull up on things (only onto his knees; no standing yet), so he now has access to the first shelf in the kitchen. Time to babyproof again! When we go grocery shopping, he smiles and blows raspberries at people. He's an outgoing little guy, though he still gets nervous when somebody new holds him.
He has also become more opinionated and angry when he's thwarted. I think he's picking some of this up from Arlo. When Arlo gets angry and lashes out at Felix, Felix reacts in kind, hitting and yelling. If we could just get Arlo to be gentle with Felix, I think Felix would be gentle right back (for now, at least). But it's hard to reason with an almost-three-year-old. We're trying so hard to get them to interact nicely with each other, but I guess this is just how siblings act sometimes. Still, it's very frustrating for everybody. (But then there are also moments when they are very sweet with each other, and that's the best thing ever)
Arlo is rapidly approaching his third birthday, and the last few months have made me understand why they call it the terrible twos (any chance he'll magically get more reasonable and in control of his emotions when he turns three?). He loses his temper, breaks the same rules over and over again, yells at and pushes Felix for crawling (?!) and any other perceived encroachment on his stuff ("NO! FEWIX! DON'T TOUCH MY TRAINS!" is a frequent refrain these days), and threatens to eat us all up (not sure where that came from). It's so hard to respond calmly to him, and I'm not always successful.
He still very much favors Patrick, which makes things harder. Every so often, Arlo will calmly state that he doesn't love me, but he'll usually change his mind by the next day. Sometimes he'll tolerate hugs from me, but usually he'll push me away. Sigh. I don't know if I'm doing something wrong, or if this is just a (long) stage. On the bright side, I still get lovely cuddles and affection from Felix. I guess I should enjoy it while it lasts; before long, he too will become a surly two-year-old (noooo!).
Almost-three is such an intense age--wonderful and exasperating, all wrapped up together. It can be tiring hanging out with Arlo all day long (so many hard-to-answer questions!) and making sure he treats Felix nicely, but when I get to take a little step back on weekends and nanny days (thanks, Samantha!), I am reminded of how great Arlo is.
When he is calm and in control of his emotions, Arlo is a joy to be around. He's a good helper, he has figured out his pronouns (everything clicked about a month ago), and he's a pro at identifying letters (still working on some of the trickier numbers though). He is becoming more independent (putting on his own socks and shoes, grabbing his sunhat or jacket when we're going out, using the big potty mostly unaided), which is awesome. He and Patrick have started reading their first chapter book (Stuart Little) together before bed most nights.
I feel guilty complaining at all because I'm so lucky to be a mom to these two beautiful little boys. Life is good, I'm healthy, and I have a wonderful family. I wouldn't change a thing. This is all just normal stuff that happens when you have little kids (I think). I try very hard to remember these things when I'm at the end of my rope (usually just prior to dinnertime, when Felix is crying dejectedly on the floor for somebody to pick him up, Patches is meowing for her dinner, and Arlo is running noisy, shirtless laps around the house). I'm trying to learn to embrace the chaos.
As I wrote in my last post, I've been really getting into gardening this spring. I've also started running again now that the weather is nicer and there's enough daylight left after the boys go to bed. I restarted the Couch-to-5k program back in early April, and it's going well so far (apart from a few days of knee pain, which resolved when I tried leaning forward a bit and hitting the sidewalk with the balls of my feet instead of my heels). I was originally going to sign up for a 5k to motivate myself, but none of them looked too exciting, and I haven't really needed the deadline of a 5k this time around--it's just nice to get some exercise and have a little quiet time to myself (and ogle other people's gardens as I run around the neighborhood).
As far as food goes, I've been making a lot of old favorites and unremarkable stuff, but here are some nice recent meals:
- Maple lemon tofu with coconut-cilantro brown rice (loosely based on this recipe) - yum!
- Spaghetti with chickpeas, Swiss chard with raisins and pine nuts - this was the last of our winter chard before it bolted, and it turned out so nice and sweet with the raisins and balsamic vinegar
- Tuna and white bean salad, bread, and steamed baby artichokes from our garden (a little bitter, but otherwise very artichokey!) - the tuna salad was good and is definitely worth revisiting in the middle of summer when we don't want to heat up the kitchen