Our Crazy Crawler
It’s hard to believe, but the last update I wrote on Evan was 10 months ago in November when he was a wee five-month-old. Time goes by so quickly and now he is a big one-year-old who’s a crazy-but-cute crawler (he crawls with one leg out and one tucked under) who gets around quite well. While some think his crawl is weird, I think it is quite cute, and my brother appropriately called it the “pirate leg crawl” because it looks like he has a short, wooden peg leg like a pirate who walks around with a limp. :)
So while I’m glad Evan is at last crawling, it has definitely made life more challenging as he likes to get into everything and be everywhere I am. Even if I simply start leaving a room, he will start screaming and crawling after me. It is like his newfound freedom has oddly enough made him more discontent. And no, we cannot close a door or put up a gate without a major meltdown as he does NOT like being confined or separated from people.
Sometimes it really feels like I have no rest or alone time or time to really concentrate and get things done, especially since he is still terrible at taking naps. On average, he will nap for one hour a day, maybe two hours if I’m really lucky. (Do you understand why it’s rare I write on a regular basis now?) With such a track record, we have definitely been trying to put him to bed at 7 or 7:30 each night, and thankfully, he goes down rather well overall and sleeps through the night until about 7 or so in the morning.
As far as walking, he has not accomplished that feat yet, but he did not even start crawling until the Sunday after his first birthday in June which was quite surprising knowing how active he has always been. He is so close to walking though as he is always pulling himself up and moving along the edges of things. I am ready for him to walk in some ways, but I know that he will keep me even busier once he does start.
A Challenging yet Surprising Eater
So how has he changed over the last 10 months other than that he is now crawling and sleeping through the night? Well, he has 11 teeth now, and he is slowly but surely becoming better at eating foods. Getting him to eat foods and not formula and now milk all the time has been a challenge.
His favorite food or the easiest one to get him to eat consistently though is BANANAS! If he sees you just pick them up in the grocery store, his face lights up, or if you just say the word, he looks to where they are kept on the top of the refrigerator and instantly wants them. It is crazy that even when he is throwing a fit about other foods and you pull out a banana, he’ll immediately calm down and become all smiles.
Evan also surprisingly likes his green vegetables like peas and fried zucchini of all things. And just this past week Evan started eating and enjoying broccoli, a vegetable you’d think most kids would hate. I just made it for dinner one night and upon seeing it, he went crazy with delight! Maybe he has something for the color as green is mine and Micah’s favorite color. :) He also does very well with eating meats including everything from chicken and beef to salmon and tuna. Even yesterday he had his first gyro (lamb) meat and did not spit it out as he’s known to do when not liking something.
An Energizer Bunny
Physically, Evan continues to be a very strong child full of vigorous energy and force. Since he was a newborn, he was always kicking his legs or moving his arms–never wanting to be still or contained, thereby, earning himself the nickname of “Captain Squirm.”
Well, in February, we discovered one way he could put this energy to use in a way he loved–by kicking or throwing balls! Not only did we discover that he loved balls but that he also has a really good pitch. People always comment on it and how maybe he’ll become a baseball pitcher someday. The hard thing is that he likes throwing everything though–from his food and books to even cans and cars. So you really have to be careful of what you give him. :)
We also have to be careful where his head is in relation to our faces as he has always been a terrible head butter, meaning he likes to forcefully throw his big, hard head back, and when he does, he can really hurt you as it often comes unexpectedly. Just this summer, he threw his head back into my nose one morning and made it bleed and bruised it.
Micah and I often comment on how there needs to be a Parent Protective Service, not only because of his head butting but also because of a thing he has for biting us since about 11 months old and for pulling our hair, whether on my head or on Micah’s face or arms. These things have worried me of him being a bad child, but praise the Lord, I think I have noticed some improvement in these areas lately. :)
An Interesting Combo
Now you probably don’t remember when I wrote an update on Evan back in November, but even at five months old, I could tell he was a social child who loves being out and about and with people. Well, to this day, he is like that which is interesting seeing how he also an affinity for books which you’d think a more quiet or unsocial child would take to. I think his love for books started when my aunt gave him a bunch of baby books for Christmas, and since then, it has continued to grow.
Before he started crawling, I’d often find him surrounded by books and quietly, contentedly looking through them in our living room for rather long periods of time which was so cute and precious! And now Evan will often bring us a book to read . . . sometimes again and again! :)
Recently, his favorite two books have been ABC Look at Me, a book on different emotions, and God Loves You, and I Do, Too!, a very sweet book my niece and nephew in Florida recorded themselves reading back in December as a Christmas gift to Evan. Even though he has always liked this book, lately he LOVES it and wants it read/played almost daily. It is so sweet. I am very thankful Evan seemingly has a love for learning, and Lord willingly, it will only continue to grow.
A Cognitive Sponge
I must say it is exciting and awe-inspiring to see your child develop a vocabulary and understand new things. Evan started off mindlessly babbling “Ga-ga” at nine months; “Bob,” “Bub,” and “Ba” at 10 months; “Da-da” at 11 months, and then “Ma-ma” at last at 12 months. Since turning one, however, he has been saying words with more purpose or thought. The first two words I noticed him saying with such intention are “O-kay!” and “A done.” Now he is also saying “Cole,” the name of his Grandma Patti’s dog who he loves, and “two,” “Whoa,” “Wow,” and “ball.”
He can also point to things in a book which you ask him to identify, and he can definitely understand commands like “No” and “Don’t touch” even though he does not always heed them like not pulling out cords from an outlet or not pulling out pinecones from a basket on our kitchen floor. He also understands concepts like blowing kisses and clapping which he loves to do. Something very interesting is that even whenever we tell him “Good job!,” without any training, he starts clapping his hands. That amazes me that a child so young can understand that is a sign of something worth clapping for.
An Easily-Delighted Child
So I could probably go on and on about Evan, but just on a quick note about this amazing little boy God has given us is that I love his capacity to be easily delighted in simple things. When he was five months old, it was a ceiling fan or a flying monkey above his play mat, but now it is baths, which he LOVES, or just splashing in the water whether in a tub or the lake.
He also LOVES throwing sand on the beach, playing with a plastic cup, swinging outdoors, tearing up a napkin into little pieces, sitting up front in a grocery cart, being thrown up in the air or onto our bed, going on stroller rides outdoors or around and around the track at the gym, being tickled or chased around on the floor, visiting his grandparents, and just playing with a simple plastic straw or silver spoon. For example, just in the last few weeks, my mom and I spent an hour or so talking outside a coffee shop one afternoon with Evan on the sidewalk just playing with a napkin, a plastic cup lid, and a straw. It was amazing but such a blessing, and I pray he is always so easily delighted.
After all, I think that is how God our heavenly Father wants us to be . . . To be easily delighted with the simple things of life and those things given to us right now because that is “pure” or unburdened joy not dependent on having lots of fancy material things, friends, or busy activities to entertain us and quench the loneliness in our hearts. God just wants us to delight in simply being alive and in being content with what we have knowing He cares for us (1 Pet. 5:7), will never leave or forsake us (Heb. 13:5), and will meet ALL our NEEDS in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).
Big Life Changes
Now just to let you know for those who are interested and care, while Evan is 15 months old as of last week, today I am 15 weeks pregnant with his new baby brother or sister. With that being the case, I am due the end of February. Yes, we are excited about this new baby, and I think and really hope Evan will be too knowing how social he is. However, he has definitely become more attached and affectionate to me and Micah since he turned one, which is so odd by the way seeing how he was never cuddly with us a baby, so it will be interesting to see how he responds to a sibling. You can please pray that it will go well! :)
Along with that change, we have another big change coming even sooner. In just a couple weeks, Micah will be starting a new job at a big company not close but not too far from our home. This is a big praise as he has really wanted and prayed for a new job the last several years as he has been at his current one for eight years this month.
He has worked from home the last few years, so it will be very different to not have him here all day, and we will really miss him but wish him the best with his new job. It has truly been such a BIG blessing to have him here to help, encourage, and comfort me with Evan over the last year especially.
Just in general, I appreciate all Micah has done and all he continues to do daily to help me out at home and with Evan. I do not know what I’d do without him as he’s not only a great father but a great husband as well. God has truly blessed us!
In conclusion then and in light of sweet Evan helping me to find more joy by partaking of life’s simple pleasures with him, I’d just like to encourage you today to delight more in life’s simple pleasures yourself because life is a “gracious gift” from God (1 Pet. 3:7) and not meant to be a burden.
If you need help in learning how to be easily delighted, go spend a day with a baby or a child. Tickle them, read to them, chase them around, blow them bubbles, or take them to a zoo, and I’m sure you’ll feel much better by the end of the day as their joy is contagious. :)
And in the meantime, may you take great comfort and courage from Jesus who yearningly calls to you, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30). So be blessed today and go be a blessing!