Life with Arthur: 18 Months

Dear Arthur,

Happy half birthday!!! I

We recently returned from a three week vacation in the Adirondaks with your grandparents and extended family. You had a blast! You loved spending time outdoors and became a very confident (and speedy) walker during our vacation.

Our first weekend away there was a kid's fair and you rode your first pony! You also went into the bouncy castle with your dad and you were laughing and smiling the whole time. It was also Fourth of July weekend and just like last year, you slept through the entire (very loud) fireworks show.

There is no doubt that you LOVED all of the attention that you received while we were away. Some of your favorite things to do in Keene Vallley included swimming in the pool, playing at the playground (especially in the sandbox), running around the golf course, taking rides on the golf cart, and investigating every inch of the club house. We also took you out to dinner and lunch a few times and you adored having special treats like sweet potato fries and pasta. Your dad also took you out for your first ice cream cone at the Noonmark Diner. You ate your entire vanilla cone and some of Po Po's cone too. 

Every meal time was an opportunity to consume ridiculous amounts of food while simultaneously charming us with your smiles and funny antics. And of course you were on top of your game every evening during cocktail hour. You would take "laps" around the back deck, walk in the house, and then come back out again for a nibble of cracker (you fell in love with entertainment crackers in Keene Valley). And every now again someone would yell "Touchdown" and you would hold up your arms doing the touchdown sign (a new trick that Uncle Tom taught you).

Your dad carried you up Indian Head twice this year on his back and I carried you up Baxter, pretty soon you will be climbing on your own! We also had our first bear sighting! The two of us were playing at the beach at the Lower Lake when a mother bear and two cubs walked over to the boathouse and stole the trash. I was scared out of my mind, but we hid in the boathouse office and watched the bears from inside.

When you weren't playing outside (which was most of the time), you spent a lot of time pushing your new toy stroller up and down the hallways of our house, Silver Birches. We also spent plenty of time collecting rocks and pine cones outside the house, and walking up and down the pathway to the driveway. 

Our vacation coincided with a new nap schedule. You are officially down to one nap a day at around 1:00pm, and you typically sleep for between 2 or 3 hours. Some mornings are more difficult than others because you get tired, but for the most part you are doing really well on the new schedule as long as we stay busy.

Unfortunately, you did get sick for a few days and we had to take you to the doctor in Keene because you had a high fever. I felt so bad for you because you weren't your usual active self during those few days, but thankfully you bounced back pretty quickly.

You are still not talking, but you understand so much. When I ask you to go get something, like your toy stroller, you will go off and get it and come back to me. And as soon as you want to eat you point at the kitchen or your high chair. I feel like I have conversations with you all the time, which is kind of funny considering you don't speak a word. I'm sure that you will start talking when you want to, and not a minute before.

I sound like a broken record, but you are truly such a happy and fun baby to be around! We love you so much.







Life with Arthur: 17 Months

Dear Arthur,

You are walking everywhere these days and getting faster and faster. It's difficult to keep up with you! You are also becoming more independent and let us know very clearly what you want and don't want. For example, you really don't like diaper changes and insist upon having something to hold and play with when we change your diaper. You also squirm and arch your back and do everything that you can to avoid being put into the stroller.

Lately your favorite activities include pulling out all of your books and opening and closing the sliding closet doors in our bedroom. You like to play peekaboo and hide in the closet. And for some reason you are infatuated with my coffee maker and like to open and close the top and pull the filter out. Your toys barely hold your attention, although you do like to play with balls. You have learned how to kick balls (like you are playing soccer) and think it is very fun. 

We go to John Jay playground at least once a day, where you like to walk around opening and closing the playground gates (not the best choice on a busy day), climb stairs, chase pigeons, and play in the fountains. But you get really excited when we let you push your stroller around the playground. The other day your dad took you to the playground early on a Sunday morning (it was empty), and you pushed your stroller in a circle around the playground no less than 15 times. By the end you were so tired that you tried to climb into your dad's arms and nodded your head emphatically when he asked you if it was time to go home. 

Despite all this walking and activity, you rarely take two naps. You are in the process of dropping your morning nap and we will mostly likely transition to one nap in the next few weeks. I won't lie, it scares me because I use your morning nap to workout, eat breakfast, and get ready for the day. 

We spent Memorial Day in New Jersey with your parents and uncles and you had a great time visiting your great aunt and uncle's pool. You spent more than an hour in the pool splashing around and playing with cups. The weather was beautiful and it was a fun start to summer. We also went to a family wedding on the Jersey shore and you did very well but were exhausted by 9:00pm so we left early.

A few weeks later we took you to Colgate University for our 10 year reunion (and your grandfather's 40th). We loved introducing you to friends and walking around campus and town We were exhausted by the end of the weekend but it was worth it!


We also left you on your own for the first time ever with your Gammy and Po Po in mid June when we went to Maine for a wedding. I was worried that you would cry and have separation anxiety but you absolutely adored spending the weekend with your grandparents. They took you to Central Park Zoo and to the playground and you were laughing and smiling the whole weekend. And we got back just in time for Father's Day!

Which brings us to the end of June. We leave this week for Keene Valley, NY, where we will be spending 3 weeks on vacation with family. I am excited to bring you there, you were only 5 months old when we went there last July, and couldn't even sit up on your own. This year I expect you will be all over the place, enjoying the pool, playground and tons of green space!



Life with Arthur: 16 Months

Dear Arthur,

Your are officially walking! You still fall down frequently and sometimes prefer to crawl, but you are getting so much steadier and confident and I think that you are ready for your first pair of real shoes!

We've had another fun month, including visitings from both sets of grandparents and Aunt Laura, a first birthday party for one of your friends, and multiple visits to the Central Park Zoo. Your Meli and Grandy (as we call them) came the last week of April. We celebrated Grandy's 60th birthday with a trip to the zoo and a delicious dinner at a special restaurant (you stayed at home for the dinner...sorry).

Your Gammy and Po Po also happened to be visiting that weekend so we were lucky enough to get a shot of you with all of your grandparents. You also showed off your new swimming skills.

This past week your Aunt Laura came to stay with us in New York and you spent tons of time laughing while she chased you and blew raspberries on your belly. You also generously showed her your entire library (and by that I mean you took out every single book and made a mess). We also went to the zoo and saw the penguin exhibit (your favorite) and the sea lions.

Now that the weather is warmer we have been going on more walks to the parks and playgrounds and you have loved getting the opportunity to point out all of the pigeons that you see in the parks. You also like to point out flowers, dogs, trees, cars and bicycles. 

While you still aren't talking, you do have a knack for copying sounds, like clicking your tongue and blowing raspberries. 

And one of your favorite ways to show affection is to give us big slobbery kisses. Thank you!

Books still capture your attention and you spend a good deal of time when we are at home in your room flipping threw pages. You also learned how to zip and unzip bags this month so I often find you standing by the stroller opening and closing my diaper bag and wallet. You also enjoy throwing balls and just about everything else that you can find. I often have to take cover when you start throwing the DVD's out of their drawer (you nailed your Gammy in the head with a DVD the other weekend). And you think it is is very funny to hide balls underneath the furniture, especially the sofa. You also love to open and close doors and crawl up stairs (when we visit your grandparents you climb up the stairs at least 20 times a day).

You are still eating a ton! You often crawl over to your high chair when you are hungry for breakfast, lunch or dinner and your eyes light up when I tell you that it is time to eat. Your favorite food is probably roasted zucchini, followed closely by oatmeal, cheese and cheddar bunnies. Actually, your favorite food is really cake, but that is a special treat. We went to your friend Sienna's first birthday party and to a baby shower this month and you easily ate a large slice of cake at both parties. You also had pizza for the first time last week and managed to eat two entire slices of mushroom pizza (minus the crust). 

You are a good eater, but you can be picky at times. For example, you loved blackberries last month but will barely touch them this month, and the other day you randomly refused to eat pita bread with cheese on it. I should also mention that you don't like cream cheese but do like plain bagels.

Sleep is still going well. You go to bed anywhere between 7:15-7:45pm and you sleep until 6-6:30am. You are generally content (playing with your seven pacifiers!) until around 7:00am when I come in to get you out of your crib. Naps are still inconsistent. You almost always take a morning nap (that ranges from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours) but you rarely take an afternoon nap. Next month we will probably drop the morning nap and switch to one nap a day.

Now that it's summer our music class and temple class are ending for the semester, but I'm looking forward to taking you to the sprinklers in the playgrounds, to having picnics in the park and to being outside in general.

We love you so much!



Life with Arthur: 15 Months

Dear Arthur,

You are so close to walking! A few weeks ago you took your first steps. It was only about 2 steps, but you did it without even thinking. In fact, you will only walk when you aren't really thinking about it. As soon as you realize that you are standing up on your own, you sit right back down again and crawl. We keep encouraging you to walk on your own but as of right now you prefer to use your walker.

We enjoyed a belated Easter celebration with your grandparents and uncles in New Jersey the last weekend in March and you spent most of your time climbing up the stairs (again and again and again). We also took you to the small Animal Hospital down the road and you got acquainted with a number of very funny looking chickens at their little animal farm.

Your favorite activities this month include emptying all of the dvd's out of our media console drawer, opening and closing the dresser in your room and taking all of your clothes out, tossing baby food pouches around in the kitchen, turning your sound machine on and off, playing with your light-up constellation hippo, and emptying out your toy bin. You also love going on walks to Carl Shurz Park because we take you to the swings and the dog parks (you LOVE dogs). We have also put you down the slide recently and you think that is very fun.

You haven't said any discernible words yet, but you point to everything and anything. You especially love pointing out dogs on our walks, trees and flowers. But perhaps your favorite thing to point at is ceiling lights. You will also point at your head, your toes, your pants, your ears, and your mouth.

Last month you were a bit picky about food but recently your appetite has picked back up and you are eating almost everything that we offer you (with the exception of bananas, which you no longer like). Some new favorites include dried currants (like raisins but smaller), canned mandarin oranges, and blackberries. You adore blackberries. It might be a toss up between blackberries and cheese, you love them both (although I think that cheese probably wins).

Our month long membership at Gymboree is over, but we have started our Music Together classes again which you enjoy, and we are still going to class at the temple. We also meet up with friends on various days of the week for walks to the playground or lunch out. You are still going to swim lessons with your dads on Sundays and you are both enjoying them immensely. The good news is that they completely tire you out, the bad news is you often take a 2 hour nap after class and then skip your afternoon nap. 

Speaking of sleep, your naps are all over the place recently. You skip one of your naps at least 3 times a week, most often the afternoon nap. You are clearly transitioning from 2 naps to just 1 nap, but I'm in denial and refuse to drop the second nap for the time being. And even when you don't sleep, nap time is a good way for you to relax and unwind for a bit. So for now I am still putting you down for a nap at 9am and again at around 2pm.

You are also going through a bit of a mommy phase right now. You cry hysterically every time I try to leave you with a babysitting in the evening, which makes me feel bad. And on rare occasions when you are very tired in the evening you won't even let your dad hold you when he gets back from work (which makes him incredibly sad). I'm hoping that this is a short-lived phase.

Overall you are still such a happy, sweet and silly little boy. You love attention, but you also are also content to play on your own for short periods of time. Your favorite room in our small apartment is your nursery, you spend most of your time in there wreaking havoc!

We took you to the doctor's this week and you continue to get bigger and taller! I think that you had a growth spurt at some point over the last month. You are now 31.5 inches tall (65th percentile) and you weigh 23 pounds and 9 ounces (68th percentile). It appears that your head size has also increased, you jumped up to the 41st percentile from the 19th. 

I love you to pieces,


Life with Arthur: 14 Months

Dear Arthur,

It was only a month ago that you started cruising around, and you are already so much more confident on your feet. You cruise along the walls, along the coffee table, along chairs, and along cabinets and you have very good balance. You aren't yet balancing on your own, but we know that you can because there have been a few instances where you have stood without holding onto anything for a few seconds. You are just hesitant to try, understandably so.

You investigate every little item in our apartment, and recently figured out how to turn the dial on your sound machine. Pure trouble! You still enjoy emptying the dishwasher, but prefer to spend time in your nursery knocking every book off the bookshelves. You also like to take all of your books out of the bins by the gliding chair and either toss them on the floor or turn the pages for a few minutes. Needless to say I spent a lot of time tidying up after you!

Some of your other favorite activities include being chased by mom and dad, waking us up from a pretend nap (you either give me a kiss to wake me up or tap me on the head), bath time, and tossing everything out of my bottom dresser onto the floor. Occasionally you will put things back into the drawer, but that doesn't happen very often.

You still love to eat, but have recently become pickier. One day you will eat bananas and the next day you will toss the banana pieces on the floor. One day you will eat strawberries, and on the next day you won't, etc. Two things that you never reject are cheese and bread. You have recently been loving peanut butter sandwiches and grilled cheese sandwiches. Of course you still adore your cheerios and point at them all the time. You are quite the mischief maker and always try to sneak in multiple cheerios or bites so we have to watch you carefully to make sure that you don't choke. You still won't drink whole milk (you spit it out), but you do love smoothies made with fruit, yogurt, and milk.  

I signed us up for a class at Gymboree and I have been taking you to the open gym sessions a few times a week. You love it! Apart from chasing the other babies around the room, you are quite the climber and very good at going up the stairs and ramps that they have set up in the room. An hour at the gym is tiring, and you usually take a good nap when we get back. 

Your dad has also been taking you to swim classes at Asphalt Green. You've had 3 classes so far and have never once cried when your dad or the instructor has dunked you under the water. You are a water baby! The pool that we take you to is very high-tech, the floor of the baby pool moves up and down so you can even stand and walk in the water during part of the class. Swimming classes tire you out even more than Gymboree, your dad usually has to distract you so that you don't fall asleep during the walk back home. 

Naps in general are going well, but you do have the odd nap strike now and again. Once or twice a week you play in your crib for over an hour without falling asleep. Thankfully you don't seem too upset about it, and are generally happy even when you miss a nap. Night sleep is also going better (I'm crossing my fingers that it stays that way), you typically sleep until 6:30am which is much more manageable for your mom.

We celebrated Easter at home for the first time in a long time. To celebrate the three day weekend we took you to Central Park Zoo on Saturday. It was your first trip to the zoo and you were so excited to see all of the animals, especially the penguins, grizzly bears and red panda. Your dad held you up so that you could see all the animals at each exhibit and you were very focused. They have a children's zoo at the Central Park Zoo as well, so we took you over to see the sheep, cow, pigs, llama and goats before we left. I have a feeling that we will be visiting the zoo frequently during the next year.

Easter day was spent enjoying french toast for breakfast, a mini-easter egg hunt, and a walk to Carl Shurz Park to go on the swings and see the dogs in the dog park. I forgot to mention that doggies are your favorite animal! You point at all of the doggies in the street when we are walking and you love trips to the dog park.

On a slightly more serious note, you went to the Emergency Room for the first time last week. You came down with Croup very suddenly and were having difficulty breathing. Thankfully I knew right away that you had Croup because I had it once as a child too. Either way, it was a scary and long night. The doctors gave you oral steroids and a breathing treatment and spent many hours monitoring you. We didn't end up leaving the hospital until 5:30am the next morning (we got to the hospital at 11:40pm the night before). The medications helped because you were feeling much better the next day. Seeing you sick made me realize how thankful I am that you are generally very healthy and thriving. 

You continue to surprise us every day with how much you know! For example, the other day I asked you to point at your mouth (I had never taught that to you before) and you did it right away. You are at such a fun stage right now, and we are enjoying every minute with you.

Love always,