Wednesday, January 2, 2013

letters to duke - 14 months

December 22, 2012

Dear Duke,

You are a walkin' man!  Occasionally, you still do your "broken bird leg" crawl though, as your dad likes to call it.  You've been taking steps for awhile, but around 13 months, you started getting more and more daring.  Now, you walk all around the house!  It is crazy to see you so mobile.  It's also crazy to see how tall you are and what you can reach.  You have no problem reaching the piano, the knobs on the stove, and the door knobs.  I just hope you don't learn to turn the knobs any time soon!

The sounds/words/babbles that come out of your mouth are like music to my ears.  I love all of it!  Some of your favorite words to say include "doh" (the disobedient version of "no"), "no" (when you understand you shouldn't touch or do something, shake your head, and then obey), "dah" (dog), "ah" (off), and "uh-oh" (uh-oh, of course).  You make other fun noises like "gulgee-gulgee," "dat," and lots of other babbling.  When you walk towards doors to shut them, you say, "di-doh."  One of your favorite things to do is to respond with any question I ask with, "No!"  Then I just laugh and tickle you.  You think it's hilarious.

We were in the Dollar Tree one day and the lady behind us in the line started smiling and talking to you.  You were not interested.  You pursed your lips together, shook your head back and forth, and said, "mm," over and over.  Of course, I wanted you to be your smiley, friendly self, but I guess you just weren't in the mood.  It's okay, sometimes adults aren't either.

As far as sign language goes, you've come such a long way!  In the past few weeks, you do "please" anytime we ask you.  You do "all done" most of the time.  You do "more" some of the time.  I'm just so fascinated seeing how we are beginning to communicate, even in these tiny ways. 

At this age, we have lots of little "games" we play together.  Sometimes a little feather will come of out the pillow in our living room and you have a blast playing with it.  We blow it around on the floor and you giggle every time it moves.  When I change your diaper before a nap, sometimes I'll give you your water sippy cup to drink.  You love to let the water seep out of your mouth and then let it make a gargling noise in the back of your throat.  I give you a look, you return the look, and we both laugh.

You will touch your ears, head, and belly button when we ask you where they are.  There are several questions we ask you and you know exactly what we mean.  For example:  "Do you want to take a bath?" "Do you want to watch Yo Gabba Gabba?"  "Do you want to see (insert relative's name here)?"  "Do you want some applesauce?"  "Do you want a drink?"  To all of those, you respond with great excitement.  You learned to wave "Hi" and "Bye," although, like other babies, your palm faces you.  So cute.

You've love opening and shutting (or slamming) doors, opening cabinets, taking everything out of cabinets, pushing things (light switches, buttons, buttons on shirts) very intensely with one finger, dancing, putting phones up to your ear, and pointing at everything.  You love reading books, especially "The Wheels on the Bus."

One of my most favorite things I've observed these past couple of months is your musical ability.  When I sit down at the piano to play and sing, you immediately smile and begin singing.  The funny thing is, you sing with the same tone quality as me.  You make a dark, raspy sound.  I can hardly believe you're mimicking it!  There are two specific songs that we sing all the time and they involve action.  We sing "Round and Round" (you spin around in circles on the floor) and "Rocking, Rocking" (you rock back and forth as you sit on the floor).  You will start humming "Rocking, Rocking" by yourself sometimes and you are right on pitch - exactly an interval of a minor 3rd, So to Mi!  Jmama also taught you where the low notes are on the piano.  We say "low notes" in a very low voice and you reply with "ooohhh" in your low voice as you walk towards the low end of the piano to play those notes. 

You eat 3 meals a day with one snack after you get up from your afternoon nap.  I have loved getting to feed you even more of what us big people eat.  Your 13th month seemed to be a difficult one when it came to eating.  You seemed extra picky and had an adjustment period with drinking milk.  This past month was a breeze though.  You eat practically everything we give to you and now that we've switched to soy milk (because whole milk was upsetting your stomach, we found out), you've learned to like it. 

You take a morning and afternoon nap each day.  You've definitely transitioned to a shorter morning nap (around 1-1.5 hours) and a longer afternoon nap (around 2 hours).  When you wake up from your naps, you love to go crazy in your crib - leaping from side to side, burying your face in the mattress.  It's pretty entertaining to watch!  You sleep 12-13 hours each night.

I've called you a chubby bunny lately because you're really starting to fill out!  I don't know your exact height and weight, but I do know that most 18 month old clothes are fitting you perfectly.

I love being with you, Duke.  I love spending time with you.  You are a joy.  I love that I get to stay home with you and see every little thing you do and know every little thing about you.  Although I'm human and occasionally need moments to go do things on my own, have date nights with your dad, or hang out with my girlfriends, I would never trade spending all of this time with you for anything.  You can know that for sure.  You are worth it.

Oh, Duke, I'm just overcome with love for you.  I will love you forever and there's nothing you could ever do to change that.  You are an absolute gift and it is my privilege to be your mom.


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