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Katie's Parenting Journal

Entry 21 - October 14, 2009
Houston, We Have a Walker

Oh, my word. It's been forever since I posted an update. I have a lot to report on, but first things first: WILL WALKS. He took his first steps on September 11, when we came in from a long car drive. I set him in the front hall and he just walked away from me. . . ten whole steps before he face planted on the carpet. Both of us were stunned and I grabbed him in a big hug and we were both very proud of him. That night when Mike came home from work, we played the "walk to Mommy/Daddy" game where he actually staggered between us a dozen times. We had attempted to play this game before, but he would usually plop down on his behind and then crawl to us, rather than walk or even attempt it.

After a few days of walking between us or taking a few random steps here and there, he progressed to more normal walking. He is now a pro. He still cannot stand up "freestyle," without our help or pulling up on something, but it still seems as if he has been walking forever. With his new skills, it makes going places (like the Children's Museum) much more fun. It makes going other places (like the grocery store) a bit more complicated, as he definitely wants to try out his steps everywhere, but he is still mostly pretty good about staying in the cart or stroller. I know that isn't going to last long, so I am milking it while I can!

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In addition to walking, his verbal prowess has really improved lately, too. He can say MOMMY (FINALLY), Daddy, Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie, puppy, tubby, kitty, bottle, baby, ball, car, bird, thank you, please, eggs, cheese, yummy, that's good, and a lot of unintelligible words that sure mean something to him. If you ask him what sound a duck makes, he quacks, for a puppy, he goes woof, woof. He also can identify lots of words by pointing to them and correctly saying what they are. He loves these really simple "first word" flash cards that I bought him about a month ago, and I really noticed that his talking increased substantially after we started those. I usually do them at meal times, since he's not doing much eating then . . .

Yes, you read that correctly. The boy who was never full is now never hungry. Toddlerhood hit Will's appetite with a bang. I know it is completely normal, but it is such a switch from our hearty little eater of the past that I am having a bit of a difficult time accepting that this is the way things are now. There are days when he barely eats a thing and I feel like a bad mother, putting my baby to bed without supper, but I also do not want to become a short order cook. It also doesn't seem to matter what I prepare, he is either hungry and will eat it, or not so hungry and picks. Even the old standbys like mac & cheese and blueberry pancakes will sometimes go untouched. He is still growing and playing and seems happy enough, so I feel it's just another phase for us to get through. There are meals when he surprises me and cleans his plate, so that must be all his little body needs.

Another big change in recent weeks has to do with me. I got a part time, work from home job. I had started playing around with the idea of getting something to earn a bit of income around his first birthday. I wanted something that I could do 100% from home during his nap times. I was fortunate enough to find something relatively quickly for a good hourly amount plus a small bonus. I am doing telemarketing for a merger and acquisitions company (something that I knew nothing about). It's been a steep learning curve, and since the position is a new one, it's been a bit of a challenge getting started as I kind of have to figure everything out for myself. I am also doing a lot of international calling, which as meant getting up pretty early to catch the UK clients. But mostly, I really do enjoy it. It's nice to work just a few hours a week, still get to make Will my absolute priority, and yet bring in a bit of money. It has meant that I have pretty much no free or downtime, but most parents I know don't get that time anyway. I used to feel guilty sitting around watching t.v. or taking a bath, when I knew Mike was hard at work. Sure, I work hard being a SAHM, too, but now I don't feel as guilty.

I hope you are all doing well!
~ Katie

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