Tuesday, January 25, 2011

18 months (warning: long post)

Here are Owen's latest stats from his 18-month check-up a couple weeks ago.

Height: 32 1/4 inches (44th percentile)
Weight: 26 lb., 12 oz. (60th percentile)
Head Circumference: 48.3 cm (63rd percentile)

Pretty average! (Although I think he's pretty extraordinary!) Here are some of his latest accomplishments:

New words creep up every day, so it's getting hard to document them all, but here are a few I have noted recently:
  • "Chee" (i.e., "cheese") - mostly accompanied by a great big grin for a photo!
  • "Chaya" (i.e., "chair") - he LOVES climbing into all chairs, particularly those that are kid-sized. I've been thinking about getting him one of those adorable leather wingback chairs for his next birthday.
  • "Baa" (i.e., "bath") - which he now really loves! He tries to climb in the tub whenever we're in the bathroom. He does still HATE having water poured over his head, though.
  • "Beh" (i.e., "bread") - a favorite at dinner time.
  • "Chewww" (i.e., "Cheerios") - a staple in our house.
  • "Awtaaa!" (i.e., "Awesome!") - a la DJ Lance on Yo Gabba Gabba! ("Listening and dancing to music is...Awesome!")
  • "Ppp-ppp" (i.e., "poo poo") - I thought he might be an early adaptor to potty training since he seemed to recognize when his pants were dirty by repeating me when I asked him if he had poo poo. Turns out, he says it when he toots, too! He actually has no idea what it means, I'm afraid.
The other day, he handed me his book, Tickle Monster, and then lifted up his shirt to reveal his tummy (ready to be tickled!) and slowly started backing away from me. We never actually make it all the way through this book, but he sure is fun to tickle anyway!

Lately, I find Owen "reading" books to himself. He likes to sit and flip the pages back and forth and spout off a bunch of gibberish that I have to assume is his way of "reading." It is SO cute! I haven't captured it on video yet, but I'm working on it.

And speaking of video, here's a funny (albeit kinda gross) one I took of him tonight, enjoying his after-dinner dessert, butterscotch pudding with bananas. We are working on perfecting his use of utensils, but we've got a long way to go!

Quite the domestic gentleman, Owen watches Mommy doing lots of things that he likes to try, too. Like wiping down stuff. Give the boy a paper towel and he will go to town wiping down all sorts of surfaces – like the carpet, the cabinets, the piano bench, his toys, etc.

Here, we see him "reorganizing" the kitchen utensil bucket. This is a new favorite pastime that I like to make use of to occupy him while I'm cooking dinner.

Putting items inside something and then taking them out (repeatedly) continues to be a favorite hobby for Owen. Tonight, he discovered a deck of playing cards in a little tin box. Oh, boy!

As I've mentioned before in a previous post, I have pretty much stopped reading all the emails and books updating me on what milestones my child should have reached by now and what new activities I should be working on with him. However, I do still receive these emails and occasionally I will glance at one. Last week I discovered that (gasp!), Owen should be proficient in his crayon coloring skills by now. (That is to say that he should be moving beyond drawing random lines and begin drawing "discernible shapes.") I felt a little ashamed to admit that I had really never even given him crayons to practice with up until now. I did try once or twice, but the crayons always went right into his mouth, so I figured he just wasn't ready yet. Anyway, I've been trying a lot harder this past week and, although he still prefers to eat the crayons than draw with them, he does ask me to color ("cuh, cuh"), and will occasionally make a few random scribbles on the page. Hardly the level that babycenter tells me he should be at, but I can't blame him for that. Maybe I ought to go back to reading those emails, huh?

Or maybe I don't really need the extra stress.

I had been debating for a while whether or not to document on this blog what I'm about to say. (And I actually decided to go ahead with it some weeks ago, but just kept forgetting. Plus, most people who read this know anyway.) Here goes...

On our anniversary (New Year's Eve), we were over at my parents house, picking up Owen after his sleep-over with Grandma and Papa. After changing his diaper upstairs, I let him start down the steps, which is something he's been doing (by sliding down on his tummy) for some time now. He sort of got off at a weird angle and, as I bent down to try to straighten him out (I was still in front of him at the top of the stairs, about to make my way to the step below him), he just started tumbling down, down, dowwwwwwn the stairs. (Boy, this is really hard to type out because I've been trying to avoid replaying it in my head ever since.) My parents live in a two-story house, so this was a full flight (probably 16 steps, or something like that) and I watched in complete horror as my little baby tumbled sideways over, and over, and over, and over, and over, until he abruptly stopped (with a bounce or two to the head) on the vinyl-floored landing below. And then it was over.

I (the only one who witnessed the terrifying event) remember weird details about it - like how I kept thinking in my head, "stop, stop, STOP!," but just kept saying screaming, "oh my God, ohmyGod, OHMYGOD!" And how I was reaching out, wanting my go-go gadget arms to magically extend far enough so I could grab him. As it was, I somehow ended up at the bottom of the stairs (still don't remember getting there), freaking out in a way I have never freaked out before. I thought for sure there must be blood gushing out of his skull and he was never going to be my same sweet little boy. I insisted that he go to the ER, although I, myself, was in no condition to drive him. After a LOT of consoling (me) and urging (Ryan) to take him to the hospital, we all got in the car and went. By the time we left, Owen was no longer crying and actually seemed fine. He played with the toys in the waiting room and, although he did not like being examined by the nurses or doctor, he behaved quite normally the whole time. Long story short, he was fine. Nary a scratch or bump on him (save for one small bruise on his leg).

I, on the other hand, am not the same. Immediately afterward, I went through a brief period of shame, remorse, and complete self-loathing. I was embarrassed to tell anyone about it, I did NOT want to talk about it with those that did know about it, and I was convinced that I should not be responsible for the care of this child. I cried out to God, feeling guilty, unworthy, and scared. I had long talks with Ryan, my mom, and God. Then, nearly two weeks later, I (tentatively) shared the story with a group of other mom friends and, low and behold, learned that several of them also experienced a child falling down the stairs (or some other similar accident). They all reacted to my story with lots of "pshhh, that's nothing" type of comments. It made me feel TONS better. I know that I am human, flawed, and will always make mistakes while raising this child. But I feel redemption in knowing that I do the very best I can, and am immensely grateful that Owen was completely unharmed (and will likely never remember any of it!)

But I am not the same. I feel more cautious now, particularly about potential falls. I have a hard time taking my eyes off of him at play dates and I can't get the image of him toppling down those stairs out of my head. I have nightmares about it, actually. But maybe that's good. Maybe I needed a reminder to be vigilant about keeping after him. He is so delicate and precious. But so daring and FAST!

Dear Lord, please watch over Owen and keep him out of harm's way. And please provide his mama with the wisdom to protect him to the best of my ability and the strength to handle the bumps and bruises along the way.


  1. You are doing an amazing job with Owen. You are a great mom!

  2. You are a spectacular mother!!! Owen is so very lucky and you are doing the best you can, that is all that you can do. That little monster is going to get into lots more trouble over the years...but he's tough and he will always know that you will be there to kiss him when he falls :) LOVE YOU!!!

  3. Awtaaa Post this week, it made smile, laugh, cry, and think all in the same message. I am in class right now, so I haven't been able to watch the video clip yet but I am sure I will double over with delight when I do, because I always do!
    As for the "fall", You are my sister and I Love you unconditionally, just as O does. Which is why it kills me to see you doubt yourself! You are an AMAZING mother, anyone who even spends 2 minutes with you and O can see that. NO ONE has or EVER WILL do more or care for Owen more than you, Even though he can't say it or realizes it yet he know that, he might forget some day and not remember until his 30's that it is true but he will remember.
    Keep on doing what you do so well, because for those of us who hope to someday have children of or own, you are our inspiration!

  4. Heck Janice and Marge let Ryan and I go over the ravine into the woods on a sled when we were kids and look how we turned out. Ok maybe that wasnt the best example LOL :p Kids fall down stairs, bump their heads on tables, counters, etc its what they do. You are not a terrible mom you are a great mom. Although if I see any Iowa State stuff on owen in person I may have to change that vote.