Friday, December 16, 2016

Joey: 12 Months

Happy 1st birthday to our Joe! He is such a cute little rascal.

We celebrated his birthday on Saturday, and a couple days ago on his actual birthday, I was trying to get rid of leftovers in the fridge. One of them was one single piece of cake left in the big box it came in. Since it was just one last piece and four days old at that, I decided to throw away the whole thing. That way when Tim got home he wouldn't be giving me a hard time for never getting rid of anything in the fridge. The trash can was already mostly full so I squished the whole box in the top as best I could and left it with the lid open, intending to come back in a little bit and change out the trash bag. (I should have put the box in the recycling but truth be told I was too lazy to clean the cake off.)

Then I went on about my business in the fridge, and when I next happened to look out to the laundry room, guess who I saw standing on tiptoe at the trash can, reaching into the box and stuffing cake into his mouth? I took him away from the trash can, but not before getting a picture of course. I shouldn't let this picture see the light of day, but you know I can't help myself.
Then because I felt bad for the little guy scavenging birthday cake on his birthday, I rescued the last bit of cake from the box and put him in this chair and gave it to him even though we hadn't had lunch. He took a few halfhearted bites and shoved the rest off the tray. I guess it just didn't taste as sweet as the handfuls he filched from the trash. I sure know how to take the fun out of things, don't I?

What else is new with Joey?

He finally got a guy babysitter. I don't know if you recall, but Joey has not responded positively to the two female babysitters he's had, and both times he's preferred their husband/father. I said after that last time that I really should just hire a guy next time, but I hardly ever need babysitters and I mostly avoid having to go anywhere when Tim's not there to help.  Then last week I found myself staring down the specter of having to take all the kids, including a five-year-old with ants in his pants and a restless, squirmy baby to see Delaney's sign language performance in the school Christmas program. I texted my neighbor asking if any of her kids would be willing to babysit and she offered up her oldest boy. I spent the next few days trying to decide if I wanted him to to come with us and be an extra set of hands so that I could watch and record Delaney in peace; or if I wanted to leave him at home with them. My only worry about leaving them at home was the late evening timeframe, which is bedtime. I worried that he would get really tired and fussy without me there to nurse him and put him to bed, and he doesn't take a bottle well. I thought maybe I'd be punishing Joey and the babysitter by leaving them at home, and that would not be fair. I over-analyzed the situation for days, and there did not seem to be any acceptable solution but for the school to NOT have the concert at 6:30, and for my husband to not be out of town.
Tim said I'd be better off leaving them at home, and the funny thing is that after all my analyzing and tormenting myself, I always end up just listening to whatever he says and going, "OK, I'll do that." So I had Ben come over the day before to meet Joey because although we've said hi in passing, they've never gotten acquainted. While we were sitting there on the living room floor with Joey and his toys, Joey handed him one of his shapes which I take to mean, "Let's be friends". I told him that's what Joey likes best, to have you at his level and giving him attention. I also warned him that this house isn't babyproofed much at all, and he's just going to have to watch him. I didn't do much to hide that I thought Joey was going to be a big pain in the butt because I wanted him to be ready for the worst.

The next night went really well. By the time Ben arrived, Joey had nursed well and eaten a good bit of my white bean chili for dinner, so at least he wouldn't be getting hungry any time soon. As I was handing him off before going out the door, Joey leaned toward him, and that gave me so much peace of mind right there. It's so nice not to have to tell myself, It's OK, he'll probably be done crying by the time I back out of the driveway. The whole time I sat there in the school gym with Annie, I thought to myself how glad I was that they were all at home. I'd have been crazy to take them all with me. The program was a short and sweet 45 minutes long (Yes!), and when I got back he told me that the boys had both been really good. All that worrying I did was for nothing. And now I've got a babysitter he actually likes. Until this summer (*sniffle*).
That was a long story. On to 12 month stuff.

We have no major milestones to report. Joey remains a happy crawler, sometimes cruiser, and now sometimes clinging to the wall as he goes along the same way I used to do on the skating rink. He'll also hold one or both of my hands and walk around from time to time. He'll mosey his way around to walking at some point in the next few months, but he's in no hurry. Neither Delaney nor Timmy had taken first steps by their first birthdays either.

He's not saying any words yet, just a lot of adorable nonsensical chatter with lots of "g" sounds and clicking and "ch" sounds too. Sometimes I say "Uh-uh" in a firm voice instead of "no", and today he said the first part of that back to me with an impish grin. "Uh!"
He is starting to mimic the things we do. He gives us things, takes them back. He takes things out of a basket and puts them back. He picks up a brush and puts it up next to his head because he sees us brush our hair. He tries to draw with pens, pencils and crayons too, whenever he gets hold of one which is far too often.

He is super playful and affectionate, especially in that last hour before I put him to bed. It makes it really hard to want to put him to bed because I'd rather just sit on the floor and tickle him while he rolls around; or let him stand there holding my back and look at me over one shoulder and then the other. Then when I pick him up and say it's time for "night-night" he is quiet and calm while I go through the ritual of waving "night-night" to everyone. He still doesn't usually wave back until we're down the hallway out of sight, and it's his palm facing himself.
Our naps and bedtime routine are unchanged from last month. Morning nap happens sometime around 8 a.m. and can last an hour-and-a-half to two hours usually; as long as three hours after a bad night. Afternoon nap starts around 1 and lasts not nearly long enough in my opinion, but around 1.5 hours. Bedtime is 7:30. We wave "night-night," we go to his room (he's still in the guest room), I nurse him in the glider rocker and then I say a prayer and lay him down. I got him a new lovey after we lost the one on our trip to NC, but he hasn't bonded with it. He didn't bond with the old one either. Annie and Timmy loved their loveys (Timmy still loves his), and they are helpful for bedtime. But they are also kind of a pain when they get misplaced. Delaney was a baby who slept well with no lovey, thumb or pacifier, and Joey is the same way most of the time. I still dream feed him before I go to bed around 10 or 10:30, and he's usually good until 6. When he wakes up he cries right away for me to come get him.

He nurses about six to seven times a day now, and depending on his mood, he eats some of whatever meal I'm having. I don't want to try to name his favorite foods because if I do he'll hate them tomorrow.

Just like the others did around this age, Joey's decided Daddy is the favorite. He lunges toward him when he walks in and clings when he tries to give him back to me. When I mentioned to Tim that I was the favorite only when they were babies he teased me saying I should try harder to keep myself relevant. Hmmph.

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