I can hardly believe it's flown by so fast. He used to be just tiny, right? And now he's gigantic!
We won't know his official stats until his first-year well-baby appointment in three weeks, but he seems to be about 30" tall, and though he's not chunky, he's solidly built and heavy.
He's so strong. He can climb everything! His new climby toy out in the yard has a four-rung ladder. The first time he tried it, he seemed puzzled. The second, shortly after, he sailed right up, one foot after the other, one foot per step, then clapped when he got to the top. We keep a fierce eye on him, he is a monkey.
This is me trying to write an 11-month post for Family Values about Owen, and failing. I just don't have words right now.
- He's testing us about biting. We are being firm and resolute and consistent. So is he.
- He has the best laugh *ever*, and looks for ways to use it.
- He is eating pretty much everything now that we can prepare in ways that he doesn't have to use his (non-existent) molars.
- He has five teeth, two on bottom and three on top, with a gap in the top, so he has both lateral incisors and one center incisor on top. It's danged cute.
- He can put himself back to sleep at night about half the time, we help him the other half. (I know this because our bedrooms share a wall, and I hear him get up and stir and talk to himself then go back to sleep.)
- He has his babbly-talking sounds, and babbly-singing sounds, but few actual words yet.
- He can almost run.
- He has grown-up friends at our local pharmacy and will climb up their bodies if they have time to play with him. They love him. The checkers at the supermarket know his name, too. The nurses at my rheumatologist's office come out to see "that baby." He is so social.
I am planning a small family birthday party for him, his first birthday party. How weird is this, he was just a tiny thing yesterday. What happened?
I love our family so much. We are good partners, all of us. We take care of each other, we each pull our own weight, we don't hold grudges. We really get along. This is the most familyish I've ever felt, I think, and I'll do what it takes to keep things happy and healthy. I find myself valuing the work and compromises I get to put in to be a part of this. I am becoming a better person for it.
Right now, Audrey and Casey, with help now and then from Casey's friend Andy, and Audrey's dad Walter, are building a big shed in our back yard, so they can have a workshop while keeping the yard safe for Owen. When it's done, we'll finish putting up the swingset and shade structures (probably just a shade sail and a big umbrella, the neighbors removed the trees that were shading us from their yard *sigh*), and I'll gradually start working on a garden. We won't be here forever, so we don't want to make huge physical changes, but I need something with vegetables in it. I'm also putting English daisies, johnny-jump-ups, creeping thyme, and dichondra in the lawns, so they're softer -- the current thick bermuda grass is unpleasant -- and so Owen has baby-safe flowers to pick.
It's been a stressful few months, with losing two dogs (one to old age, one to cancer); a cancer scare for our beloved DJ, the dog who's been with us longest (it turned out to be a stage 1 mast cell tumor, the best kind of cancer if she had to have cancer, she's fine now); a couple of bad colds for Owen (his first illnesses); and my own rheumatoid arthritis flaring badly, but now it seems like we're moving out of that tunnel and coming into something more bright and easy.
Our baby is a toddler now. We are exhausted.