Monday, August 27, 2012

Dallin update. FINALLY!

Now that Dallin is almost 14 months old, I feel sad that I never did a real-time 12 month old update.  At this point it's too hard to go back in time and remember what he was or wasn't doing a month and a half ago, so I'm just going to describe the current Dallin as is.

And WHAT a kid he is!  Dallin just gets more and more fun.

I say it every time and I'll say it again because it is one of the most endearing, charming parts about him: Dallin is a cuddle bug.  He loves to nuzzle his little face in mine, he gives the sweetest kisses, and when he wants to be held, he will hold me back so securely with his short little chubby arms.  And I feel so special to be held by those trusting, tender, and loving arms.

Cuddling with his Grammy 

When he turned 12 months, it's like a switch flipped and he suddenly became VERY demanding.  He wanted what he wanted when he wanted it and if he didn't get it, we were going to hear about it.  For some reason, it's more entertaining than annoying.  I think we were just so surprised to see such intensity and personality from sweet, calm little Dallin.

And his personality has continued to come out more and more over the last couple months.  He LOVES cars, push toys, and ride on toys.  All three toys keep him entertained for long periods of time.  He also loves anything his sister is playing with, which often becomes a source of contention between the two (Leah is also fascinated with whatever Dallin is playing with...we have lessons on sharing and taking turns ALL DAY every day).

He and Leah experience a lot of the normal skirmishes throughout the day as their wants/needs conflict and collide, but they also play really well together and have a lot of fun together.  He loves her energy (unless it is affecting him negatively!) and can get really excited and giggly when she starts running around and having fun.  He loves to be where she is, doing what she's doing, and she mothers him so much (one small example: when he cries, she pats his back and says, "It's okay, baby, it's okay").  Leah calls him "Die" and he is just as important to her as she is to him.  They get so excited to see each other every morning and after they get up from their afternoon nap.

Another fascination of Dallin's is sitting inside small spaces.  Whether it's a box, or a crate, or a laundry basket (most often this is what it is), if he can't climb in himself, he will fuss and whine until someone else puts him in.  And once he's placed inside, he couldn't have a more pleased look on his face. And of course, because Dallin has a fascination with this, Leah also suddenly loves it as well, and the two often fight over the same box/tub/basket.

Dallin likes to "talk" a lot and says "mom", "dad", "up", "ah dah" (all done), "mah" (more), and he also says his own version of thank you, but I can't even remember what it sounds like right now.  When you ask him what a doggy says, he replies with a high pitched, short "ah! ah!".  He also responds with two long, high pitched "ooh ooh's" when you ask him what a choo choo train says.

SO BIG (I know, I have tons of pictures of him doing this!)

Fold your arms!
He's an awesome night sleeper and has been for the past couple months.  We put him down at about 8:00 and we can pretty much count on not hearing from him again until 8:00 or so in the morning.  He's not a great napper and never has been, though I can usually get at least an hour out of him every day (I find things go better for all of us, though, if I can get him to extend his nap to at least an hour and a half).
Ready for church

And what a happy little kiddo!
 Other than about a one week period when he was 9 months old, Dallin has shown very little stranger danger/separation anxiety.  He definitely knows who strangers are and you can see him withdraw a lot and close up while he studies them and assesses the situation, but he will generally allow most anyone to hold him or talk to him.

The extent to which he works through his feelings and assesses things internally has become more and more apparent.  In situations where Leah will immediately show emotion (usually fear), you can see that Dallin holds it in first and deals with it there before letting it out.  The most stark example of this just happened the other day when I was vacuuming the upstairs. It is really difficult for me to find opportunities to vacuum, as Leah is terrified of the vacuum and gets really shaken up any time it is run, and most often it is just not worth the scene it causes to run it when she is around.  But as she is getting more independent, I am finding myself able to leave her and Dallin down in the basement while I run upstairs to vacuum.  This particular time, Dallin crawled up the two flights of stairs to come see what I was doing upstairs, and he seemed a little concerned about me vacuuming, but I gave him a little pat and reassured him everything was fine as I finished up the top floor and moved the vacuum down to the stairs. As I was vacuuming I thought I heard a little whimper, so I turned it off and looked up to see Dallin looking down at me through the railings from upstairs with a very, very concerned look on his face.  I assured him it was okay and quickly hurried on to the living room, hoping to get one last room done before my time to vacuum ran out.  I got the room done, then turned off the vacuum and noted that I didn't hear anything from Dallin anymore.  I ran up the stairs to see what he was up to, and found him sitting in the middle of the hall, clasping his hands together with the same concerned look on his face.  As soon as he saw me, he let the tears out and came to me as I went to pick him up.  Poor kid! He was so concerned about that vacuum, but didn't let it all out until I was there to sit with him and hold him.

He likes to climb up on/around/through everything and loves to explore.  He tries to scale things he shouldn't and is CONSTANTLY begging to get up on my bed (which is unusually high).  I rarely let him, though because once he's up there, he needs constant supervision, and I'm too scared he'll fall off.
 His favorite app on the ipad is called "I Hear Ewe", where you select different animals or vehicles and it tells you the sound it makes. He also loves books - something he inherited from his sister's example, because we haven't read with him nearly as much as we've read with her, so we're glad that he's taken her lead and likes to sit down for long periods of time to look through his books.
LOVING the ride Dad is giving him in the laundry basket
He continues to love peek-a-boo...a favorite game of his is to get behind anything (a couch, a table, etc.), squat all the way down, and then bounce up while yelling "AH!".  He'll do it over and over again and he must be developing some pretty amazing thigh muscles in the process...I know my legs would be burning after all those squats!

He can be such a ham and once he gets on a roll, there's no stopping him, as evidenced by his behavior when we had the sister missionaries to dinner the other night.  Even we were surprised at the show he was putting on.

He is slowly walking more and more, though it's a miracle he is doing it at all with Leah around.  The moment she sees that he is starting to take a few steps, she runs up to him and grabs both hands and tries to "help" him along, which usually means he ends up on the floor (sometimes they both end up in a heap!).  But he finds moments here and there to try it out without her around, and he gets more and more steady every day.  The most number of consecutive steps we've counted was 18, though we don't really count so much anymore.

At his one year appointment, Dallin was 30 inches and weighed 25 pounds (I think...that's what I remember from off the top of my head...I'll have to go back and double check).  He is such a loveable, squeezeable part of our lives and we are all so happy to have him in our family!

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