I am not sure why I have delayed writing this blog for so long. It is possibly because I don't think my son is old enough to really be 12 months, and now almost 13 months old. Believe it or not, I took these pictures the week of his birthday, but I have yet to write this update. I'll update you from his 11 month until now.
Shepherd finally popped out two bottom teeth 6 days before his one year birthday. I was so sure he would have teeth and be walking when we went to my Dad's house the week before his birthday for the International Hot Air Balloon Festival, but, alas, he wasn't walking and he didn't have any teeth.
He still isn't walking, but we have gotten him to stand unassisted for 6 seconds. We can usually get him to stand by giving him popcorn in both hands or distracting him. He is prone to lean on to something or immediately sit down when we stand him up. He can crawl ridiculously fast though. He crawls into our cabinets, under the couch, up the stairs, and over the bathtub before we can blink an eye.
Recently, the biggest transition in Shep's life is the dreaded night time without the bottle. You would have thought we removed his right arm during bedtime. We do our usual bath time and diaper change. We put pajamas on then read a book together. I sing "Jesus Loves Me," and, normally, I give him a bottle and he immediately falls asleep before he can even finish the milk. However, we have learned recently the residual milk left in his mouth can possibly rot out his two darling teeth. We don't want any of that so we've removed the bottle as part of bed time. Now Shepherd wants to be rocked to sleep. This is Shepherd, who never wants to cuddle or be held unless we are walking somewhere. He hasn't even wanted to be held facing towards us EVER. He has always wanted to be outward since birth! I am sure I will get annoyed at this extra bed time step to get Shep to go to sleep, but for now, I will cherish how he lays his head of my chest, tucks his arms underneath mine to stay warm, and his blinks last longer and longer until finally his eyes shut and his breathing slows to a steady pattern. I have relished in the past two weeks of all of this. It is so sweet to finally get to snuggle him
He isn't walking yet, but he is quickly approaching that "toddler" status instead of "baby" status. It is funny the things is growing out of and also the things he is holding on to. We haven't fully transitioned out of bottles, because he absolutely loves them and sucks on them until they are bone dry. They are a comfort to him, but when we try to give him a pacifier, he doesn't want to have anything to do with them. Then when it comes to any baby toy, he is pretty much disinterested. He likes balls or anything he can hit or make noise with. He loves it when you chase after him. He mainly loves it when you chase him up the stairs. Then we get to the food, and still LOVES puree baby food. I can't get the kid away from it. He is, for the most part, disinterested in all solids except crackers, cheerios, and popcorn. Then he self feeds like a pro. So I know he can do it, but just won't try the other solid foods. So in my mind, he is still part baby and the other half of him has already transitioned to toddler.
If any of you have any suggestions of how to get him to transition to real food, I am open. We attempt to give him pieces of our dinner every night, and most times he won't even let it touch his mouth. We are getting a Montessori table and chair to hopefully make him feel like he has more control over meal time. I don't think he likes being restricted to his high chair. As far as specific foods, I think it is all mental. I will give him steamed pieces of sweet potato, and he won't eat it. Then I will puree the exact same sweet potato and he'll eat an entire bowl. I think it is more about texture. We try to let him have food play as well to give him experience of other textures, but he just ends up smashing them and throwing them off the table. They never actually reach his mouth. I get frustrated when I see all of these sweet babies around his same age eating an entire plate of regular food and nothing is thrown off the table. Then I take a deep breath and remember all babies are at different levels and they are all still considered normal.
This was a longer post than I had anticipated. Especially since I am getting it out almost a month late. Here are some pictures taken the week of his birthday and a very special video capturing a second a day of his life from the day he was born until his one year birthday!
Thank you for keeping up with my family and Shepherd if you have read this far!