Wesley has really become a walker this month. He has gone from taking a few steps to now walking as his primary means of locomotion. Once in a while I'll be across the room and know he's going to come over to me, and it catches me by suprise that he stands up and walks over to me. I sometimes forget he is walking so well. The fanfare of walking has mostly passed for Wesley. He no longer beams at his accomplishment, but takes walking as a normal activity (unless he's going really far and fast, with two objects in his hands, or if he's being silly, then it still tickles him). By the end of the month Wes sometimes prefers to walk without his walker when out and about.
We try to go on a couple of walks with his walker each day. He has taken to pushing it with one hand quite a bit. We usually only walk a block or a block and a half, and it takes about 30-45 minutes. In the middle of the month we were able to pick him up and walk him maybe 7 paces past things we didn't want him touching on the walk, but by the end of the month, he'll just turn around and walk back! His confidence and steadiness have increased so much. He has so much energy that these walks are essential or else he has a very difficult time getting to sleep.
His walking ability has developed so rapidly...
This boy loves to point. It is amazing how much more we are able to communicate with Wesley now that he can point to things. He is now able to let us know exactly what he's looking at, what object he wants, what sights delight him, what parts of the story he is studying. Then he looks at us to share his thought or to inquire about something unfamiliar. It helps alleviate some frustration because he can point to the water jug or his cup if he's thirsty.
He regularly says "ma-ma" to me when he needs me or is coming to find me from a different room. He loves to talk into his toy microphone and into anything that echoes. I love how Wes vocalizes his thoughts more intelligibly now. If Casey leaves the room he'll say "da da . . .and then a long babbling sentence about him". Sometimes these sentences are concerned, sometimes they are forcefully expressed thoughts, sometimes they're just little sweet baby musings. He's making commentary on situations, and I can understand more clearly the kind of thing he's saying as he thinks outloud to himself.
Also, he says a very chesty "woof" when he sees dogs and has a special high pitched "ee-ow" sound he makes when he sees pictures of cats.
Wesley learned to play the harmonica this month! His blowing skills have increased and so he can suck in and blow out while playing the harmonica. He LOVES his keyboard. He plays the keys and then says a few lines into his microphone, then plays the keys some more, back and forth. He likes to talk into the mic and then he offers the mic to one of us to say a few words. He continues to love drums. He continues to dance to music when he hears it, and we've caught him singing...that is, baby talking distinctly to the rhythm of a song which is playing.
We have a little social butterfly on our hands. When we first met Louis, Wesley was nervous about interacting with him, and about being with strange people. Now, he totally loves playing with other kids and smiling at other adults. We try to somewhat limit the "playing with other kids" some because we don't want him sick all the time, but if he had his way he'd follow all the big kids and explore all of his peers. As soon as he sees other kids he wants to walk or crawl over to them.
In public he is continually delighting people with his smile, then he turns away and looks back again and flashes them more smiles, gets delighted and starts laughing. It is special to feel like we're spreading joy to strangers in the grocery store, on the street, or anywhere. Some people catch his fancy and he reeeally loves to look at them. At first they like the attention, then they get a little uncomfortable and confused as to why he is so delighted by the mere sight of them.
Wesley does things because he thinks they're funny. It's neat to see his sense of humor developing. If there is an adult conversation going on and everyone starts laughing, Wes will laugh, too. He is clearly picking up on more social cues. And, laughing with others is just plain fun.
He starts games with us which he thinks are funny, other than chase, which continues to be a favorite. An example is putting a particular little ball in our mouth so that we'll pop it out. Or he brings over a pair of glasses with silly shut eyes pictured on them. He thinks the glasses are hilarious.
Wesley is able to chew a lot of food now without choking. He is moving away from mushy foods to now eating primarly finger foods. Some items still have to be purreed or seriously mashed, but he still eats them with his hands (making a serious mess) or uses his spoon (depending upon his mood. He is getting pretty good at it, with some assistance to scoop the food on). He is eating three solid meals a day.
Coloring: Wesley colored with crayons for the first time successfully.
Drinking from a Straw: Of course he has good suction, but for some reason this one surprised me.
Drinking from a cup: Wes can hold his cup on his own and drink from it without spilling on himself too much. However, setting down the cup is not a concept he yet understands and he spills every time. He points to the water jug during his meals when he gets thirsty.
Sweeping & Watering: Wes had been pushing our big broom back and forth, so we gave him a tiny hand broom. He went around the house sweeping for 45 minutes. He swept around the edges of all the furniture and under the chairs (do we even sweep under the chairs?) and was very focused the whole time. He repeated the activity that evening with equal vigor.
One of my favorite Wesley moments was when we were at the garden. He picked up the extra hose we let him play with while we water. He took the hose, dragged it over to our plot, and gingerly brought it to the base of the tomato plants. He then proceeded to water back and forth over the top of the kale like we do. Casey and I both looked at eachother in surprise. He had noticed the way in which we water the different plants and was copying us. It was precious.
Wrestling: Wesley loves to wrestle. He now knows how to instigate wrestling matches. If we're on the floor he pounces on our face (particularly going for the nose) or bites our ankle or something in addition to jumping on us. Then the wrestling and tickling begins. It's great to hear his squeals of laughter.
Reading: Wesley adores having books read to him. It is one of his primary activities.
Gram & Grandpa P's Visit
Wesley's Gram & Grandpa P visited for the first two weeks of the month. Though Wesley fell sick the day they arrived, we had a great visit and it was a treat to spend time with them.
Wesley enjoys Skyping with them and thinks they are pretty entertaining on the computer, but live in person was even better. He thought they were good fun. It is very special to see how much Wesley enjoys his grandparents, and to witness the love they have for him.
They witnessed Wesley working on his balance and saw the early days of walking. He was just beginning the transition from crawling to standing and walking. He started regularly standing up without pulling up on any object when they were there (oh what an applause he got when he did that!). Wes became much steadier on his feet during their visit.
Teeth: Wes also cut two new teeth on the top. He now has six teeth.