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Katie's Parenting Journal

Entry 18 - July 15, 2009
10 Months - He's Got Moves!

Will is now FULLY mobile. Not walking, yet, but crawling at an impressive speed and pulling himself up and into everything in his path. What this means is that my life has become a lot more complicated these past few weeks. It used to be that I could set him down in his play area and get a few things done. I wouldn't leave him and go upstairs or anything crazy like that, but I could go to the downstairs bathroom (if I left the door open), or into the next room to get dinner started. Of course, I always would check back in, but a few minutes could go by and I would always find him where (or near to it) I had left him.

That is SO not the case in our house today! If I turn my back for a second, he is crawling after the cat, trying to grab a dog tail, climbing up onto furniture, or getting into some sort of mischief. So, unless he is napping, I pretty much can't do a thing unless I put him in his jumparoo. And while he used to get a kick out of hanging out in that, he now views it as exactly what it is: Baby Prison. He starts to protest the minute I approach it and cries pretty much the entire time he is in it. The play area is part of our formal living/dining room area, so I am trying to track down a pressure mounted gate that is large enough to basically halve off the room as I don't want something that is going to permanently damage the walls. So, all of you more experienced parents out there, send me your advice on what kind of gates to try! Also, any advice on top/bottom of stair gates would be welcome, too, as I am sure that is the next thing that will intrigue our little mover and shaker.

Other than his super-crawling skills, Will also has increased his verbal prowess this month. He can say Dada, kitty, uh-oh (complete with adorable, hands thrown up gesture after something has "fallen" - more likely been tossed - to the ground), and Jack (the name of our dog). He mimics a lot of words, including thank you, but he doesn't seem to grasp their meaning, which are the only words I really "count" as him saying. He absolutely knows who his daddy is and when we read books with pictures of cats in them (even for the first time and without any prompting from the reader), he will point to the cat picture and triumphantly announce KITTY!

Speaking of pointing, that seems to be his latest skill. We have a First 100 Word picture book and he can point to about 1/3 of the items throughout the book, including cup, cat, dog, bottle, and flower. He also points to things that he wants, things that interest him, and sometimes, just because he can! He also makes these really cute kissing sounds, can make a great high five, clap his hands, and loves to dance.

Ah, yes, the dancing. I am afraid I might have created a monster with that one. Starting from birth, I have sang to him. I have a terrible singing voice, but he doesn't seem to be picky. If he is scared or grumpy, a rousing round of "Itsy-Bitsy Spider" or "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" will make him smile. I am also a huge Raffi fan from my own childhood, so "Baby Beluga" and other such standards have been a staple since day one. I even downloaded some Raffi songs to my i-Pod, and every morning after first nap, we would dance to the songs. At first, it was just me, making a fool of myself dancing around, shaking my hips and throwing my arms in the air (yeah, I dance about as well as I sing). But after a few weeks of just being the audience, Will decided to get in the game. Now, just turning the music on will get him rocking back and forth. Even the word dance gets a few moves out of him. He crawl-dances . . . now that is something to see! Fortunately, he already dances much better than me!

We are enjoying a really nice summer here in the Pacific Northwest. There have been a lot of sunny days. We are either at the park, or outside in the backyard enjoying his kiddie pool, or taking a walk around the neighborhood. The days are going by so quickly that I can hardly believe that he will be a year old in a little more than a month. We are in full party-planning mode, getting ready to usher in the start of the toddler phase. I get a bit emotional thinking that I won't have a "baby" in the house any longer, but I am also eager to experience the fun times that I know are ahead. I also am still hopeful that someday we will get to experience the baby stage again, but if not, I am so thankful that I have been able to be with Will each and every day to really immerse myself in this precious time.

Those of you who read along back in January know that quitting my job to stay at home was not an easy decision. I do feel, however, as if we made the right one for our family, at least for the time being. I hope to someday return to the outside work force, but for now, I think this is the right place for me to be (not judging anyone who does work outside the home, as I came very close to making that decision and believe that both paths have their pros and cons).

~ Katie

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