This past weekend you turned 14 months old, you have some scars on your face but you’re fine otherwise. Life in the Kotera house is still completely baby-led, which works great for our little family. You breastfeed around the clock, and you eat a lot of solid food. You enjoy trying new foods and eating old favorites. You’re still loving frozen grapes and flavored rice cakes. You’ve recently discovered a love of cherries, and you seem to like the green vegetable and fruit juices I’ve been juicing up for us.
At night, we all sleep together in the family bed, which is cosy and convenient for night feeds. You usually sleep from midnight until about 10 or 11 in the morning and do one big nap during the day. You still prefer napping on top of mama, so after I feed you to sleep in the afternoon, I just carry you around in the Ergo. Sometimes I lay you down on a pile of blankets on the floor, but then your naps only last about 30 minutes instead of 2 hours.
You are now 12.38 kg (27lbs 4oz) and 78 cm (30.7 inches). You have finally gained some weight! You’ve between 11 and 12 kg for about half a year, and you weighed exactly the same during your last 3 weigh-ins. You have been growing taller consistently, though.
Now that you’re walking, you finally get to wear those Puma Suedes you received when you were just a few weeks old. You walk really well in them, they’re easy to put on, and they stay on really well. Papa and I have always loved the adult version of those shoes and we’ve both owned several pairs over the last 8 years. Now, all three of us have a colorful pair of Puma Suedes, yours are the best though. I kinda wish ours had velcro instead of laces as well.
You enjoy the playground and we did a lot of swinging and sliding this past month. We used to have to push/pull you down and then guide you down the slide. You have now figured out how to start sliding yourself. It works best when your shoes are off, because you don’t yet understand that the rubber soles act like brakes. We do still help you at the bottom of the slide, as you haven’t figured out how to get there without falling or toppling over.
All that walking is accompanied with loads of falling. Especially when you’re outside and walking on uneven ground. Usually your hands do a good job of breaking your fall and you quickly stand up again to do some more walking. People have remarked that it’s amazing you don’t cry at all after these falls, you’re just very used to them. You get better everyday, and your falls become less frequent. Still they happen daily, and last week you actually fall flat on your face on the concrete in the playground. Ouch. It hurt, it made you bleed as it opened up your forehead and nose, and it made you cry loudly. A couple of minutes later, you were over it and back to playing. You’re a tough one.
You’ve not only the mastered the art of walking (and almost running) you are also amazing at climbing. You like to climb into the top of the toy trolley, onto the TV unit (and switch the lights on and off and on and off), and you climb the stairs in no time, it’s like you think you’re in a competition every time you go upstairs.
You’ve tried to climb the couch and the ottoman, and it’s still a little too high for you, but I think you’ll be able to do it really soon. Which is not good, since it is the ottoman in the doorway that keeps you from escaping the living room. You have figured out how to safely climb off the couch though, with legs first instead of your face, that’s a really handy skill and lets me worry less.
Now that it’s summer there’s a fan in the living room, that you love to climb and pull on, and it seems like you’re windsurfing when you’re on there.
Heights don’t scare you. You love sitting on someone’s shoulders while dancing through the living room, or being thrown in the air or being swung around.
Papa has had this fantasy of going kiting with you for a long time, so when we were in Japan, Papa bought a kite at the ¥100 shop and brought it home to England. This month he finally found an opportunity to take you kiting in the park. You were definitely interested in watching Papa run around with a flying thing pulling behind him. Your eyes followed the kite everywhere.
Papa even took you with him in the Ergo carrier. He was running around trying to keep the kite in the air and you were bouncing on his chest seemingly enjoying this fun new experience. A few rounds of kiting with you in the Ergo and Papa was exhausted, of course, but it was worth it.
Papa’s next goal is letting you hold the reel while the kite is in the air. He already tried to let you hold it a few times, but you were completely fixated on the kite in the air every time Papa tried to hand you the reel. I don’t think you’ve made the connection between the kite and the reel yet. You may understand better in a few months.
Watching you play is interesting. You are really good at it, and you can entertain yourself for long stretches of time with your toys. You enjoy playing with Duplo, especially pulling them apart. You try really hard to build things with Duplo but you haven’t quite figured out yet how to line them up correctly and you don’t realize you need to push them to click together. I often help you to do this by holding your hand and making it go through the motions. When we succeed, and especially when I cheer you on, you flash me such a satisfied and goofy smile. I’m sure you’ll figure it all out soon. I can’t wait to see what you’ll build with the Duplos.
Stacking cups are your current favorite. After months of us building you towers for you to destroy you have figured out how to build the towers yourself.
Not only do you know how to build the stacking cup towers in the right order, you are also able to build quite creative looking towers. Using different kinds of cups and out of order, those towers are actually my favorite.
If we had still lived in Buxton, by now you would have probably started going to the nursery for a couple hours a week. We wanted you to go there to experience playing with other children and learn how to socialize. Unfortunately, the nursery here won’t accept kids under two years old, so we have to wait a while longer for that. So instead, I’ve started taking you to a weekly playgroup organized by the local Children’s Center.
They had a Stay and Play in Buxton at the library where I weighed you every month, but that was basically just a large blanket with lots of baby toys strewn about. The Stay and Play here is on a completely different level. They have several rooms, a reading corner, a play kitchen corner, tables with puzzles and blocks, musical toys, soft play, paint, crayons, glue and paper, water play, dry or wet food play, dry or wet sand play, a well-equipped play garden, and more. And it changes slightly each week.
We spend two hours there each Friday and it’s been a lot of fun already. After we arrive, I let you walk towards whatever looks interesting to you and then I just follow you around and assist your play. Near the end, everyone goes to the family room where the leader reads a story and sings songs with the kids.
You’ve loved playing with and smelling sand, both dry and wet, dry food (you kept putting the dry pasta into your mouth and tried eating it), and water. It’s fun to watch you, because you’re very concentrated and look so serious while you’re experimenting. You don’t really get to play with anything messy at home, so I’m happy you get to do all that at the playgroup. You’ve also enjoyed walking all around the play garden, sliding and opening and closing the doors of the play kitchen.
There are other children there, but you don’t really play with them yet, it’s mostly parallel play right now. You have pushed one kid out of the way once, because he was demanding too much of my attention for too long and I think you’d had enough of that. You do cross paths with a bunch of other kids there, but you’re not really socializing yet. I do get to socialize a little with the other parents there while you play, so it has broadened my horizons a little as well.
For this year’s Father’s Day, I thought it would be cute to take your photo in one of your dad’s ties holding and “I love Dad” sign. Well, I was right, it was cute. But it was also very hard work for me.
Normally, I take photos with Papa’s help. I get ready with the camera and he puts you in the frame and tries to make you smile and tries to keep you in place. This time he obviously couldn’t help, so I had to try it alone. Of course, you were not in the mood.
It was quite a scene. I put you down on the rug, with the sign in your hands. I quickly climb on top of the kitchen stool. One hand is hovering above you, holding an iPad (pointing down, playing Inai Inai Baa, in hopes of getting you to look up for) and iPhone (on top of the iPad, camera just sticking out). I’m hoping my fingers on the bottom of the contraption are not touching something and changing the YouTube channel, while I’m using the fingers on my other hand to try to get the camera focused on you. This is hard because you keep moving, so the camera keeps needing to refocus. By the time I’m ‘finally’ in position (just a few seconds after putting you down) you’ve already had enough and are either taking off or getting loudly upset.
After about 30 sweaty and chaotic minutes, I managed to get a few nice photos. So happy I didn’t learn how to tie a tie for nothing. I had a card printed with one of your photos and did pretty well keeping the whole thing a secret, even though I was really excited about it. Until about a month before Father’s Day, when Papa unlocked my iPhone (to quickly pay a video to distract you during a diaper change) and happily said “that’s cool!” The photo was right there, making Papa happy, and making Mama hit herself in the head. I couldn’t believe it. I had been so proud of this secret accomplishment. Oh well, Papa really loved the surprise though, and he agrees you look really cute in his tie.
I can’t wait for the time you’re big enough so we can work on Father’s Day surprises together. For now, you and Papa still had a great Father’s Day, just playing and being together. You always love each other’s company. Every day when he comes home you get super excited. Sometimes if you’re awake when he leaves for work, you cry very sadly. Thankfully, you’re usually still fast asleep when Papa leaves, so you only get to yell and stomp your feet happily when he comes home and attacks you with his ‘kissy kissy machine gun’.
Since last week you’ve not been as well as you normally are. You had a fever for two days, your nose has been stuffy and snotty for more than a week already, and you’re just not as comfortable in your own skin as you normally are. You’ve been very clingy, especially when you were feverish, and you show lots of frustration, crying and loud protests. We’re hoping it’s related to you being physically ill, but you could have entered baby puberty as well, who knows? Let’s hope you grow out of it this month.
Below are this month’s weekly face shots, we had 5 Saturdays this past month: