Somewhere amidst our holiday guests and festivities, Cullen turned 14 months old. I took a bunch of pictures that day, but am just now getting around to writing about it. Figure if I wait much longer, he’ll be hitting 15 months! His littler toddler personality is coming out more and more each day.
He and I both love to be outdoors, so it’s been a challenge for us this month to be cooped up inside so much. We’re finding new things to do at home – crafts, stickers, sorting, stacking, chasing – and we’re running outside the minute the sun peeks out.
I meant to do “Day in the Life” type of updates for many many months now, and always seem to push them off until the next week. I wish I’d written about our days at 8 months, or even one year, because they are so drastically different now. Cullen is down to just one nap each day, so most of our time is spent hanging out together. I’m lucky that he’s such a fun little companion.
At fourteen months, his is totally into everything, but in a different way than before. He used to tear into everything – climbing, tossing, eating, chewing. Now his exploration seems much more methodical and specific. He turns things over carefully, examines details, places things in very intentional arrangements, and you can see concentration all over his face.
He is really into his shape sorter, and in the last few weeks he went from banging the shapes and trying to jam them all through the square, to rotating and fitting most of them into the right places. It’s so interesting to watch him work. He always, always starts with the circle, and then the oval. He gets really frustrated by the triangle and the wedge. I’m convinced he will grow up to be some sort of engineer or mad scientist. That is, if his venture into cloth diaper modeling doesn’t pay off.
He loves to run, and he’s been walking for long enough now that he has some decent speed. He has this awesome little shuffle, and he loves to run with something in his hand. If you chase him, he giggles and screams, and then melts into a fit of laughs when he’s caught.
He is still fiercely independent, and has been since birth. While I see other kids walking along side their parents and holding hands, Cullen will have none of it. If you try to hold his hand, his body goes limp and he dangles off your arm like a rag doll. He seems very confident, and has little fear. I have to keep a very close eye on him all the time, because he’ll just run and run and run.
But eventually, he always turns and comes back to mom.
His hair is totally out of control, and he’s starting to look like a member of The Bee Gees. We took him to get his hair cut last week, which resulted in a crying, hysterical meltdown. He’s just starting to show fear of strangers, and he’s been a lot more clingy in public and crowds recently. He cried and buried his head so hard into my chest, that we ended up leaving the kids’ salon with a full head of (wet) hair. Maybe next time.
So the mullet mop lives to see another day.
The most notable thing that is different this month is his language. He’s never been an overly vocal baby, but boy has that changed. He doesn’t have many specific words just yet, but he seems to have developed his own language. You know how some babies wait and wait to walk, and when the finally start they stand up and RUN? I think Cullen is skipping individual words, and moving straight to sentences.
He babbles in loooong stretches of words, and uses conversational inflections. It’s really bizarre, and kind of hilarious. I’ve never heard anything like it. He looks at you like he can’t believe you don’t understand him, and he even seems to raise his inflection to ask a question. (Video at the end!)
He does have an official first word: APPLE! He says aaap-puuhl whenever he sees one, and he’ll stop turning the page of any book with an apple in it. We also seem to have an alarming amount of books about fruit. He also points to them in the grocery store. He also makes a vroooom vrooom sound when he plays with cars!
After a year of having no interest in books other than eating them, he suddenly can’t get enough. I think he would sit and read all day if I’d do it. He only likes very specific books though, and he’ll slam the cover shut if you don’t read the right one. He loves his birthday chair, and he sits and reads for long stretches of time while I prep lunches and feed dogs.
He’s eating and sleeping really well, but I might touch more on that in my Day in the Life post (which I will do soon!). He sleeps through the night and naps once in the afternoons – it’s a great schedule now that I’m used to it. At 14 months, Cullen is still breastfeeding twice a day – morning and night (although as I write this we’re down to just one feeding).
Something feels like it has shifted this month within me. While I’ve always enjoyed my time at home with him, I often felt like I was just sort of managing his needs all day, and our worlds felt sort of – I don’t know – separated. He was a baby, I was a mom.
Maybe it’s all this talking and babbling, but I suddenly feel so much more connected to him on a personal level, not just a parenting level. This might not even make sense, who knows. But I just feel like these days there is a totally awesome and legit PERSON in our house, who is filling my day with fun and laughter. I am happier than I have been in a long time.
I know every age feels like the best, and next month I’ll wax poetic about how 15 months is so amazing. But he’s at this great stage right now where he’s teeter tottering between being a baby and a toddler, and I love that I still get both aspects of him. He plays hard, braves the big kid area at the playground, and races down the hallway to climb up the stairs – knowing I will chase him. But then he gets sleepy, rubs his eyes, buries his head into my neck, and gives me a big sloppy baby kiss. Life is good.
Weight: Probably between 23-24 pounds. He’s a chunk.
Teeth: STILL only 8! He got so many so quickly, and then totally stalled.
Diapers: Cloth – love them. Size 4 disposables for overnights.
New Tricks: blowing kisses, giving high fives
Favorite toys: wooden pegs, empty yogurt cups, wrapping paper tubes, BOOKS!, cars, the baby monitor, shape sorter, cups
Likes: stacking, sorting, bath time, pouring water, throwing sand, standing on his Twilight Turtle, spinning in circles, throwing piles of socks into the air, playing in his crib, hanging out in his toy corner
Dislikes: diaper changes, stroller rides, getting into the car seat, being held for more than five minutes, the vacuum, the blender, the coffee maker, having his face wiped, not being allowed to play on the stairs