Van @ 11 months

Growth & Appearance: You hair is getting lighter and I’m wondering now if you too will be blond. The hair in the back of your head is significantly lighter than the hair at the top of your head, though it all seems to be in transition.
You’re wearing size four diapers and I’ve been meaning to go into the garage and get the next size up in clothing because I think it’s a little overdue. You’ll be wearing 18 month clothing as soon as I can get my shiznet together.
Your right leg is almost always black from dragging it around when you crawl.
You have four teeth on top and four on the bottom. We just started brushing them, which is more than we could have said for your brother… we waited until the doc pointed out that they were yellow before we started brushing his (hash tag: first time parents). You’ve started grinding your teeth, something I learned to be associated with teething. For you, teething also includes weird diarrhea, extreme fussiness, clinginess, and decreased appetite.
Your hair is all over the place in that it’s several different lengths. We have yet to cut or trim it and due to the the patches of hair you lost as a newborn, the hair in back is longer than the hair in front and it’s all just kind of wonky looking. Eating:You like drinking water from a sippy cup. You can drink out of a straw. You can hold your own bottle. You also like the idea of using utensils, but your coordination is, um, not quite there yet. You did, howver, grab a piece of food, place it on the spoon, and bring the spoon to your mouth… but I’d be lying if I said the bite actually made it to your mouth. In any event, you want to be just like us… in every aspect of daily life. You’re in such a rush to grow up.
You have more of a preference; you know what foods you like by simply looking at them. If you prefer something that’s on my plate over what’s on yours, you communicate that very clearly via whining. In general, however, you still like just about anything we put in front of you; it’s just that you love somethings and simply like other things.
Foods you love: bread, peas, avocado sandwiches, chicken, pasta, strawberries, cheerios… Who am I kidding… You love everything.
You’re still breastfeeding 8 times a day, but it’s getting harder to squeeze all those feedings in between naps and meals. I’m worried that if I start the weaning process that my milk will suddenly disappear completely and I’d really like to make it to a year, and perhaps then some. So I try to squeeze in all 8 feedings.
You went through a period of time where you were totally distracted while feeding. It has since gone away, but I spent that period only feeding you in your room with the light off and the door closed. It’s difficult to breastfeed you when we’re out and about or in the car because you’re much more interested in what’s going on around you. It’s hard, some days, to spend much time away from the house because I know there will be missed feedings. Part of me can’t wait to be done with breastfeeding so I can let it all go, but another part of me knows I’ll miss it and wonders if this could be the last time…
You also went through a period of biting me. Hard. I yelled at you quite a few times and it has since stopped. That made me want to throw in the towel. When you’re older, I’ll be sure to return the favor. For the record, nothing has made me want to throw you across the room more than when you bit my nipple. You’re lucky I worry about holes in the wall.
Not quite as bad as biting, but still annoying is your obsession with tweaking the nipple you don’t

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have in your mouth. Even if I have a shirt on, you seem to wiggle your little hand in there. Before you even latch on, you’re hand is searching for that free nipple to tweak. Sadly, I’ve gotten used to it. When you’re in a more aggressive mood, I have to find something to cover myself with that you can’t get through because it hurts too bad. Sleeping:When you wake up in the morning, with your tired eyes, I think you look most like me. There have been numerous days this past month that I have actually woken you up. Sounds crazy, I know, but our breastfeeding schedule gets all out of whack if we get started too late and we all know what a lunatic I am about breastfeeding. I’m eager to be done to celebrate the days I wake up long before you do. With that said, most days you wake up between 7:30 and 8:30. I don’t let you sleep much later than 8:30, though some days you would.

You become a little nuzzler when you’re tired, burring your head in our laps or snuggling up with a warm load of laundry straight out of the dryer. You’re fairly adaptable when it comes to sleeping in different places and/or falling asleep anywhere.
Breastfeeding puts you to sleep most nights, but not every night. Either way, you don’t have any trouble putting yourself to sleep.
You’ve learned how to turn your white noise maker off. We keep it in your crib and most mornings it’s either turned off or unplugged. If it’s the latter, this means you’ve reached your little arm out and around your crib and pulled the plug out of the outlet. What a little skeezer you are.
Talking: I’m not quite sure starting this “talking” category is justified quite yet… but… you’ve made your first attempt at saying your first word, “hello”. When we give you the phone, you hold it to your ear, look at us and say, “high-yah”… But in all honesty it sounds more like a high squeal that ressembles “hello”. What I’m trying to say is it’s not quite a word, more like a sound, but it’s clear what you are trying to say. So, “hello” is your first attempt at a word. And we’ll leave it at that.
Also, you wave when people say “hello” and when people say “goodbye”. And we’re both fairly certain you’re trying to say “car”.Development: People describe you as “mellow”. I agree to some extent. You definitely make it known when you’re not happy or when something gets taken away from you, but the majority of the time you’re cool, calm, and collected.
You still bear crawl, up on all fours, when crawling on grass or dirt. The other day you bear crawled all the way under the car.
You can stand unassisted. The other day you pulled up on me and let go, distracted by something your brother was doing, for about 10 seconds. Then you realized you were standing and plopped back down to your butt.
You can walk with a push toy all the way down the hallway. You g’pa swears he watched you take your first two steps, but you have yet to repeat.
You are rough n’ tumble, reckless, all systems go; the kid that will make me look 45 by the time I’m 35. You’re shaping up to be a climber, an explorer, a limit-pusher, a boundary ignorer.
You’re incredibly physical. When I lay you down to change your diaper, you kick. When I breastfeed, you bite. When I lift you up off the ground, you kick your legs. Each time you are around a baby smaller than yourself, you pounce. And by pounce I mean all that baby sees are your hands on their face.
You climb on and over everything. You do this thing we call the “sumo stance” where you climb onto something (yesterday it was a suitcase) and stay in the squat position like a frog. The other day I found you on top of a chair.
You’re starting to take to your Papa more and more. That time when you leaned toward me no matter how far away I was, is fading. It’s bittersweet.
You have a lot of pride and you wear it well.
You follow simple commands. You give us big wide open mouth slobbery kisses when we ask.
You love to laugh and are very ticklish.
You like to be chased, crawling away from me as fast as you can but stopping every so often to take a peak over your shoulder to be sure I’m still chasing you. This 11 month mark is the start of real personality and I’m loving every moment of it.
Favorites: You still love the remote controls. You also love phones, both real ones and toy ones. You play alongside the sofa with your brother, each of you moving cars from one place to another. In general, you love learning from Hooper and are quick to mimic anything and everything he does. You still love putting everything in your mouth. It’s hard to play outside with you because nothing is off limits… dog poop, rocks, dirt… you’ll try it all. You like to grab the mouse down from my computer and then find me to show off what you “found”.

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3 Responses

  • Happy 11 months Van! Berlin has a serious case of distraction as well, just like Van I can only nurse her in a dark, quiet room. If there is any noise or distraction she refuses to eat. She also refuses to sleep if there is any noise or guests at our house-she is hyper alert and wants to be the life of the party (hmm, wonder where she got that from!). BTW-love the bathtub pic!

  • In that crying picture, he looks exactly like Hooper! I feel ya on the distracted nursing. We went through that phase from four months to the end of breastfeeding for us (17); I felt so isolated at times. I was almost relieved to be done with it. Almost. 🙂

  • His first (attempt at a) word is “hello”? Not “mama” or “papa”? How independent and friendly of him to want to greet people. Ha. He is getting quite the personality. I can’t believe he gives kisses when asked. What a heartthrob.


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