Bryce's eleventh month was my favorite with him thus far. For so many different reasons. I'll try to list most of them here, understanding that I'm starting to write this close to 9p, which means my brain cell allotment for the day is nearly exhausted...
1) He is so ON THE MOVE. Definitely the fastest crawling baby of my three. The girls never really got into crawling. They did it for a month or so, but then decided that walking was much easier on the knees. Bryce might be one of those kids that doesn't walk until he's 18 months old. Why make the effort to walk when you can speed-crawl?!?
2) His instincts for trouble are amazing. It's as if he has eyes in the back of his head. Really. If he's on the other side of the kitchen and you open the pantry door, the garage door, the refrigerator, or the dishwasher, you better take care of your business quickly. Because he is coming after you to gain entry! Some people would just reorganize said pantry or fridge to move the things that he shouldn't get from within his reach. Not us. We use it as a game to see how ticked off we can make him when we slam the door shut just as he arrives.
3) Bye-bye, baby food. I think I've fed each of my babies less and less baby food as we've moved down the line. By the beginning of this month, we were using it only as a back-up in emergencies. Now the jars are just taking up space in the pantry, waiting for me to hand them down to a friend with a younger baby. Bryce isn't scared to put away some table food, now. Sunday, he had a piece and a half of pizza. Last night, he ate an entire hot dog, bun and all (don't worry, I DID quarter the hot dog pieces - I still stress about choking, even on Kid #3!). And tonight, he had 4 fish sticks, just as many as his big sisters had. Welcome to life with a boy, I guess!
4) Bryce's eleventh month also marked the end of pumping for me. It's funny, because, with Macie, I was really sad when it was time to stop nursing. So I figured that the same would be true with Bryce. But it's totally NOT (although as I just went back and re-read that old post I linked to, I did get sort of sad. Prooooobably shouldn't have done that...). I think it's a bit different because, with Macie, I didn't know if I would have another baby, so I was relishing in all things baby that were "going away". But, with Bryce, and knowing that he will likely be my last (and being okay with that!), I'm eager for life to move on to bigger and better, as I know it will. So if stopping nursing means I don't have to drag four bags to work every day, close my door and pump, wash the dishes multiple times, and be sure to be in a handy location for such activities at regular intervals, I'll take it. And, since our pediatrician told me that there is no difference between a 10 month old and a one year old in terms of tolerance to whole milk, we've officially made the switch. I'm now only nursing B to bed, and not pumping at all. Freedom. I love it. And so does he!
5) Along with the milk switch, we've also made the transition entirely to sippy cups during the day. Once I stop nursing at night, B will continue to get a nighttime bottle, but, for the most part, no more bottle-nipple washing. Dale is beyond excited about that!
6) NO MORE BIBS. This might be the biggest news from Bryce's eleventh month. The spitting has finally stopped. I think it's a combination of him just growing older, as well as the move to sippy cups. Whatever it is, it's wonderful. I can finally see the cute t-shirts that I've gotten for him!
7) Sleep. He loves it now, at least at nighttime, which is when it really matters. I can't remember the last time I actually had to nurse him during the night. And we also go weeks in between wake-ups that require us to even go into his room at all. Welcome to the wonderful world of uninterrupted sleep, B-Man. Though it took you a bit longer than either of your sisters to arrive, we're so glad you have.
8) Bryce's favorite place to play, by far, is in the play kitchen. He goes immediately to the bins of play food and automatically turns them over to dump out all the food. His second favorite play area is the girls' dollhouse, which is technically off-limits to baby hands. I think that's why he likes it so much (see #2).
9) B still is cautious on his feet. If he's holding someone's hand or pushing something, he'll walk like crazy. But don't try to get him to let go. He won't. I hope the caution he shows now bodes well for our future.
10) Speaking of walking, he better get on it, because next Monday he's moving up to the toddler class at school. I think it's because the teachers in the baby room are tired of him being the bully. He's now "that boy" that I used to hear the teachers complain about when I would go into the baby room to pick up my sweet, innocent little girls. They would always say, "So-and-so needs to MOVE UP. He's too big for this class - we can't control him any more!" Apparently Bryce just walks around and sits on the other kids. At least he hasn't taken to biting, which is the problem we had with both of his sisters.
11) Diaper changes have gotten extremely challenging. Thank goodness for the tube of Butt Paste that he loves to chew on. I've tried actual toys, trust me. He just prefers the Butt Paste. So be it.
12) He's starting to wave goodbye, he'll clap if you say, "Yay!!!", and he will raise his arms and wave them back and forth if you start to say our "Superman" blessing at the dinner table. Hilarious. Next goal is to get him to blow kisses. You know, so my heart can melt on a daily basis.
See what I mean about how fun this age is?!? If I didn't have older kids, I would think that there is no way that it could get any better than this. But it does. Which is, well, just awesome! We will just continue to enjoy every minute with this sweet baby boy...