The Holidays and Todllerhood

We had a great holiday season! We spent Christmas Eve with Kyra's family, eating, opening presents, and watching a talent show. Christmas day, Kyra made a turkey dinner with all the fixings, and I made a pie. It was a spectacular meal! Kyra's dad, my sister and brother and his girlfriend, and our friend Carla joined us. New Year's Eve we dropped off Luca with my parents and attended a games party. We stayed until midnight for the first time in a couple of years!

By the way, thank you to everyone for the gifts! I've been enjoying the music from the CDs (listening to Appalachia Waltz right now with Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, and Mark O'Connor - it's beautiful) and the portable HD radio, the beautiful picture books, and the new camera. Luca and Kyra have been enjoying their gifts as well! Thank you!

We decided that after the holidays we would wean Luca from the nukie and the crib. Kyra's dad informed us of a friend who was giving away a toddler bed designed like a firetruck. I picked it up Monday last week and set it up right away.

That night, Luca woke up at 10 pm or so, and didn't fall back asleep until about 2 am. The next night we tried again. He woke up at 11 pm and stayed up again until 2 am. I feel like Luca is too young, mentally, for this transition, and I have a very busy month at work. So, I set the crib backup and partially dismantled the bed.

We have, however, been trying to wean him from the nukie. He wakes up occasionally and cries for a bit, usually around 11 pm and 3 am. He must have used the nukie at these times to calm himself and fall back asleep, but now without it he has to figure out a new way of calming himself. We've decided that unless he's really freaking out that it's more disruptive for us to go in his bedroom. All in all, sleeping has been rough lately. We'll try again in a few months with the toddler bed, hopefully when it's not so busy!

It would also help if Luca could burn some energy outside, but it's been so cold we can't take him out. Getting him enough exercise in the winter has been a bit of a challenge, but malls help a lot with that! Last weekend we took him to a mall with a play area. The next day we took him to a mall without a play area, but took the shopping cart he received from Carla for his birthday. He pushed it around for a while, then investigated the stairs and lights. He also enjoyed the coin-slot firetruck that moved back and forth.

He's been very cute lately, walking around and talking to himself. He babbles quite a bit for a 1-year-old. He's saying a number of words on occasion, including girl (although not boy), ball, cat, dog, car, eat, rock (as in "rock in a chair"), cow, socks, truck, book, nana (banana), along with some associated sounds, like meow, bark, and moo. We think he also calls the cat "mas" (Mars) with a slight "r" sound. One of my favorite questions to ask him is, "What do you want to do today, Luca?" and he responds, "Eat!" while making the sign for it. Hilarious!

On the other hand, we have some challenges with his behavior. He hits a lot - the TV, us, little girls. We're not sure why he does it so much - perhaps it's simply the sensory feedback or maybe he likes what he hits. We instruct him to be "gentle" and show him how to touch gently. He is also very rough with our cat, as I've mentioned before. Of course, he still throws tantrums when he doesn't get what he wants or when we redirect his behavior.

Aside from these challenges, Luca is a very good boy. He likes to cuddle and hug, he's quite independent and curious, and he loves to read. I can't wait to see what he'll be like in the new year!


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