familyvalues: Owen at the park, December 20, 2011 - I made this from my own photo. (Owenninemonths)
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Reading by marymactavish
Reading, a photo by marymactavish on Flickr.

Yesterday, Owen ticked over to ten months old! He celebrated by standing straight up from the floor, steadily walking about eight steps, then gracefully sitting down. Over the past 48 hours or so, he's transitioned from a baby who is experimenting with a few steps to get from one thing to some other near thing to a toddler who falls down a lot. Like the first word becoming clear then becoming speaking, it's hard sometimes to tell when walking starts. Yesterday, we called it for-real walking. So now comes the next couple of rounds of baby-safeing. ;)

Owen eats nearly everything now. Mostly, we don't give him what's obviously junk food, very salty food, cows milk, or honey. But he's had pizza, cookies, and like many toddlers, gets at least a handful of cheerios-type cereal every day. Even with that, he can eat himself to popping on broccoli as well.

And we're shifting ourselves to organic (or at least antibiotic-free) dairy and (for the omnivores here) meats, so that we can start him out without antibiotics in his food. There are some very well-treated cows, like those at Clover-Stornetta, who are so healthy that they get few antibiotics anyhow, so I don't fuss that much when I can find Clover. I wish we still had chickens, as Owen loves eggs, but we tend to get the more environmentally friendly and chicken-friendly versions of those, too. He mostly self-feeds and when it's not purely finger-food, he makes a huge awesome mess. Until you've seen a baby push oatmeal-and-yogurt into its mouth with hands, you've missed real mess-making.

One of my favorite things about our recent life is that Owen plays like crazy, chase-the-baby, and roll-the-ball, and stack-and-knock-down-the-tower and he likes it best when we're all three with him. So most evenings, for some big chunk of time, all of us hang out in the living room and play with Owen. It wears him right out, and delights all of us. His laugh is infectious.

His favorite things are things-that-roll, and animals. This means that he'll chase after people in wheelchairs, kids on scooters at the park, and whatever he can make roll at our house, balls and toy cars and pieces of his stacking towers and plastic drinking glasses and the removable legs from our storable tables. He adores the balls from his pound and roll tower. They make a lot of noise on our wooden floor, and roll fast and far. He also plays with them with the tower, now and then.

His relationship with DJ is one of the most delightful things in my life. He'll put up his face for kisses from her. Yesterday he bit a ravioli piece (raviol?) in half, ate some, and gave the rest to her. She loves him and puts up with a lot, too. She is teaching him about caring for and loving dogs as family. He is teaching her that we will protect her and not put him on the bed when she's resting.

Otherwise, he loves watching birds, knows crows from geese from jays, and looks for birds in the sky or trees, especially geese, crows, and hummingbirds, when he hears their calls. He also loves the goats and rabbits at our local farm, and Kimberly's kittens.

And we're so glad he loves books! He can sit peacefully in a grownup's lap, or on the rug, and listen to the same story several times, or one after the other. His favorites so far are Margaret Wise Brown's "Big Red Barn" and Rosemary Wells's "Max's First Word." And if any book has animals in it, that's also good. We are still collecting a library, being as though the public library has board books, they're not lent, and are seriously sucked-on. We read them there, though. We have wishlists at both Powell's (mary at geographile dot com, "owen's wishlist") and Amazon, because so many books I love are out of print (seriously, Stella and Roy How can that be out of print, it's mandatory) -- but we certainly don't need books that are new or purchased-just-for-us. If you have books from that list or that you think Owen will love, you're done with them, and want to pass on to us, before you pop them in the bag for goodwill or your local library, feel free to consider Owen's voracious book appetite! Mind you, he sucks on them too, but he loves reading them.

He had his first real illness a couple of weeks ago, a bad cold. He's been so robustly healthy otherwise.

Santa brought him two teeth (bottom central incisors) over Christmas weekend, and he acquired his top left central incisor this past week. Somewhere in there, the top left lateral incisor showed up but was tucked away so we didn't notice it right away.

He's still delightful, makes us laugh, loves it when we laugh, loves it when we kiss, loves visiting people, loves going to the park, loves playing with his friend around the corner. He crawls outside when he can, and I just follow him around the back yard keeping him alive, as it's not really baby safe yet. Over this winter and spring, once we finish the garden shed (the construction of which is the primary reason the yard isn't safe enough), we'll make a shade structure, garden stuff, and a small play structure for Owen. Then I reckon we'll rarely come inside. He's an outside kind of kid.

So on we go toward 11 months and a year. We've decided to follow my own family's child-birthday thing and have small parties, so Owen's first birthday will be almost entirely family, a couple of family-of-choice people, and no kids aside from his one friend around the corner. Future birthdays will probably be similar. I like the idea of having one small party so as not to be overwhelming for any of us, but if anyone wants to meet us (me and Owen, most likely) somewhere like the playground to hang out and celebrate, we're fine with little mini-parties here and there.

I had no idea what being a mom would be like, but I am happy with how it's turning out.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-01-23 12:42 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
How thrilling -- he's truly walking!

How terrifying -- he's truly walking!

Congrats to Owen on his toddlerhood! I can already envision the first time that he lurches across the room to your outstretched arms, grinning like a jack-o'-lantern.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-01-23 12:50 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Ooops -- that last comment (Owen's pumpkin grin) was from Sue, Owen's auntie-by-choice, the one who can't wait to share 101 Dalmations with him. Michael memorized the entire book. And Goodnight Moon! I so love Goodnight Moon. I hope he'll let me read it to him even if he's heard it before.

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