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    Milestones

    Month 12-15 With Hudson

    After Hudson turned one, I decided I could ease off the monthly recaps. But now that I’m sitting down to catch up on the last few months, I feel like it was actually easier to write about Hudson monthly than try to write about months 12-14 because he changes so much! And I’m sure I’ve already forgotten little quirks and habits from 12 months. Ah well. Here we go.

    The best part about this age is the emerging personality. And there is a lot of personality in that little bod. Hudson is funny, sweet, stubborn, serious, naughty, nice… so many things at once. I’ve watched him get much more comfortable with other people–both adults and other little ones–over the last few months. In group settings, he does his own thing.. very busy checking everything out but not overly concerned with the other people there… also not overly concerned with staying too close to me! Which is nice and also a little sad.

    He loves positive reinforcement. Whenever we say, “Good job!” He’ll clap for himself and look at us expectantly like, are we forgetting something here? This is helpful because there are a lot of no’s and things we’re telling him not to do at this age so positive reinforcement is a nice accompaniment to all of that.

    He likes to be the center of attention in small groups. He’ll pretend to be shy with people in the elevator and play peekaboo around the corner of his stroller. The elevator is his moneymaker and he expects to be the star of every ride. On the off chance someone is not paying attention to him in the elevator, he’ll start saying “Hi, hi, hi” until they are.

    Walking

    Now that he’s 15 months, I think we would all finally say he’s walking. Around his first birthday, I thought it was just around the corner… and it kind of was? Lots of walking holding my hands around that time. I’ve thought so many times that the walking/not walking question is kind of a mystery, because when do you say he’s walking? When he takes his first step alone? I remember his first real step that I saw: around 13 months, Grandma was over and I was getting ready to head to work and he took two little steps towards me. But then he never really did that again for a couple of weeks, favoring crawling or walking holding our hands. (Which by the way, I miss so much already. Sob.)

    Interestingly, he finally switched from army crawling to real crawling after he started trying to walk.

    So after 13 months it was a very, very slow slide into him trying to walk more and more. I think, without exaggeration, Hudson must have fallen 1000+ times over the last 2 months. I’m not talking about dramatic face-plants, thank God. Just that he can’t keep his balance so he’ll be walking and suddenly he’s on his bum. Or he’ll try to turn and I’ll see him windmill his little arms… and then he’s on the ground. And even now, while he’s sturdier, he still goes “boom” frequently and I have to be very, very careful when we’re out in the real world. But he rarely cries and always gets right back up! Hudson Bean is my personal, walking (kind of) inspirational poster.

    12-month doctor appointment!

    We have a theory that he’s extra tipsy and klutzy at the moment because of his size and proportions. 18-24 month onesies are tight and a stretch on his extremely long torso, but we have to cuff even 12-month pants, which fall down on his skinny little waist and legs sometimes! And he’s just barely in a size-5 shoe, which is appropriate for his age… but he’s actually he size of most 2-year olds so I think his feet are pretty tiny for his size. So there’s a lot going on there, bless him.

    Talking

    “ssssssssshow.”

    I’ve read that babies either pick talking or walking to focus on right around their first birthday, and Hudson made a firm decision in going with TALKING. We realized a few months ago that he will mimic pretty much anything we say with varying degrees of success.

    Some of Hudson’s favorite words: Blitz, up, down, cheese, no, please, help, shut (“SSSSSSUT”), this, yellow (everything is the color yay-ow), hi, bus, zoom-zoom, truck, bear (“buh”), show (as he’s waving the remote at us, whoops), and a mysterious word that sounds like “SHUMMY”—the leading theory is that he’s saying “show me”, but typically when he says it it’s during times that he isn’t really looking to be shown anything… so, it remains a mystery.

    He’s great with saying hi and bye to the people in our building, and if Jason and I are having a conversation of our own he’ll say “hi, hi, hi, hi” until we pay attention to him. He’s started to say with a TON of gusto, “buh-BYEEEEEE” as people are leaving.

    He also recognizes so many things. Out of mealtime desperation I started pulling out his little picture flashcard-y style books and using them like a picture finders… so I’ll go to the farm animal page and ask him to find the pig. And he can! He gets really still and moves only his little finger over to where the pig is. He can find most of the things in his little books, so apparently he’s been absorbing more than we thought. This also caused us to realize we need to lock it up with the language around Hudson 😃

    Going for Walks

    I think a chapter ended with Hudson and thankfully I didn’t know it at the time, because I would have been really sad. At some point, Hudson became totally unwilling to walk for the sake of walking (and for him, that obviously means riding in his stroller.) He has THINGS TO DO and cannot be constrained like a little baby!

    Our walks these days have purpose and a destination: a walk to the park or a walk to the grocery store. Anything much longer than 15-20 minutes and he is trying to figure out how to escape the harness and saying “out out out OUT OUT” in increasing volumes. I bought a few $1 Hot Wheels cars from Walgreens and keep them in the stroller, which I can hand him one at a time to keep him entertained for a little while… that and the motherlode—a snack cup filled with salty snacks like cheddar bunnies or veggie straws are the two saving graces when we need to keep him in the stroller. But once the magic of those two things run out, the best approach is to give him little breaks and let him walk around a patch of grass or something for a little bit.

    Oh, and bonus points if there’s a construction site nearby. My wiggly baby will hold VERY still for a surprising length of time if you park him in front of a construction site.

    Sleeping

     

    Hudson continues to be the world’s best night sleeper. (Knocking on wood.) We had a weird week where he was up in the middle of the night a few times, but over the last 6 months that has literally been the first time he woke up at night and generally sleeps from 6:30-6:30. On that note, he’s had a lot of early wakeup calls lately–awake by 5! And now of course we’re figuring out the time change and how to manage that. But for the most part, we are extremely lucky with his love for night time sleeping. Thanks, bud—this has been a lifesaver.

    Naps, as has been the case over the last 15 months, continue to baffle us all. Sometimes he takes two awesome naps in the morning and afternoon. Sometimes one is long and one is short. Sometimes both are short. Sometimes he skips one altogether. Sometimes when he skips it he cries and then is cranky all afternoon. Sometimes he just plays in his crib and is totally fine. Can a mom get a pattern?! At one point I tried going down to one nap but it was way too early and pretty much a disaster.

    I pretty much just assume I have 45 minutes of naptime to do whatever I need to do at this point: shower, clean, work—and then any extra time I get is a huge bonus.

    Eating

    He got a little finicky right around 12-13 months and was not super excited about all of his old standbys. Meat, in particular, he pretty much refused. A lot of mac & cheese around that time! Thankfully, he’s back to eating pretty much whatever we put in front of him. Salmon is a strong favorite: he will eat a 6-oz piece of salmon like nobody’s business. Cheese is always a winner, and so is broccoli. I finally broke down and bought him yogurt squeezes and he LOVES them. He loves snacking on cheddar bunnies and veggie straws, though both Jason and I ALSO love snacking on those things so it’s dangerous to keep them in the house.

    Obsessed with my water bottle

    Mealtime itself is not unlike the stroller and can be a battle, however. Lots of grunting and pointing if he’s not constantly entertained. While he loves food, being stuck in his high chair is the ultimate offense. He can SEE all of his toys and the whole condo to explore around him… he just can’t. get. out. Once in a while, I cave and let him watch Sesame Street during mealtime and it’s seriously a dream. He’s quiet, happy, and will mindlessly eat whatever I put in front of him. But because I’m not looking to raise a zombie who can’t eat or sit still without a screen in front of his face, I really do try to limit that to desperate times, ha.

    So we do a lot of books with meals, talking about his food and listening to music with Alexa. Jason figured out a good trick: he says, “Hudson, can you do it?” and hands him the fork and Hudson will try to feed himself. He’s gotten pretty good at it, and now he’s starting to try to poke the food off his tray himself. This takes for.ever. and Jason has far more patience than I do, so I should try to take a page from him and work on this too since he’s into it 😃

    Some other miscellaneous Hudson updates:

    • He is obsessed with the washer and dryer. He “helps” me take everything out and put it back in—which is mostly to get to the button pushing part.
    • He loves looking out the window in our room and pointing at the buses and trucks.
    • He’s surprisingly good with not touching the shelves behind the baby fence….
    • But on that note, he is such a troublemaker with touching the TV. TV-touching is my biggest challenge with Hudson at the moment. (#MOMPROBLEMS) I dream of the day that we live somewhere that the TV is mountable. He knows “it’s a no!” and will go over there if I’m not paying attention to him and touch the TV while looking over his little shoulder at me saying, “no, no, no, no.” It’s funny but… it’s not 😃 That and trying to open the patio door. I could not even count how many times I’ve said no to those two things.
    • Hudson’s favorite things: construction sites with all of the trucks, farm animals, Elmo (though I tried to buy him a realistic Elmo toy and it completely freaked him out and he sobbed), standing on the couch (whoops), playing the Puppy counting game on my phone, the Wheels on the Bus song, B-I-N-G-O
    • Mom’s favorite things: once every like… three days, I’ll ask for a hug and he’ll kind of stop moving for 2 seconds and lean on me. I’LL TAKE IT! He has also mastered blowing kisses. Reading books, because this is like a pseudo snuggle. How he asks to share my smoothie every morning. His insane Einstein-style nap hair.

    “Give me your HA mama”

    So thankful for the weather this year. This picture was from early OCTOBER!

     

    So to sum it all up: he’s just the greatest. It feels like we’ve hit a fun stride as a little family, even if it’s an unholy amount of work trying to keep him from eating cat food and unrolling ALL of the toilet paper on the daily.

    Next up–the HOLIDAYS! Last year was fun just having him around, but this year he’ll be able to participate in it all a little bit more. Having Hudson in the picture definitely makes me appreciate so many little things again, so I’m sure with the holidays this will be the case tenfold.

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    Shop OKOT

    Now Open: Shop Chicago Baby Onesies and Tees on Our Kind of Town!

    Hey friends! Some big news to share today. I’ve been awfully quiet here on the blog but that’s because I’ve been hard at work over the last few months learning all I can about the art and science of onesie printing: finding printers, creating designs, ordering test prints, learning about shipping (woof), and setting up an online store.

    It’s no secret that this little family of mine is a proud Chicago unit of three. (Make that four: our cat is also a huge fan.) My husband and I went into this whole parenthood business pretty confident that this windy city is an awesome place to raise babies and kids—and now that we’re knee deep in it all, we’re positive that’s the case. I’m so proud to raise Hudson in this diverse, vibrant city and I hope that however his life unfolds, he’ll always call Chicago home.

    So that was my inspiration in starting a shop for Our Kind of Town–a celebration of Chicago and all that it has to offer it’s biggest little fans.

    You can access the shop through this link or by clicking Shop in the top menu of this blog.

    It’s hard to draw a line in the sand and say today’s the day! We’re getting started. I’m a perfectionist and there are roughly 3-4 million more things I would like to do—mostly more designs to add, additional styles of shirts, and options for bigger toddlers. But perfection is the enemy of progress, as they say, and I’m so excited to share this with you all now.

    I’d love, love, love your feedback and ideas to help me learn and grow on this exciting new adventure. And if you have new ideas for onesies or tees you’d like to see, let me know!

    Laura

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    Illustrations

    Illustration: Halloween

    I was going to say… I haven’t done an illustration in FOR-EVER but then I realized that’s not true. I actually created a series of FOUR illustrations of women in tech for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Tech–a conference of 18,000 women working in technology. I also attended the conference (my first work trip away from Hudson!) and everything about that event is just amazing.

    Between the conference, a few freelance clients I’m working with, a new OKOT project that I’m SUPER excited to share soon and oh yeah–a curious, mobile Hudson… I’m not sure where September and the first half of October went.

    I shared on my portfolio site where I originally posted this girl that I’m finally feeling into Halloween this year (I was VERY into it in college, then subsequently over it for the last 10 years, ha.) and I think it’s because Halloween marks the start of the holiday season.

    I need to work on a Hudson update so that I can share all of his fun quirks and tricks lately. I think I finally believe every parent in the history of the world who says: “it just keeps getting better!”

    Happy Halloween, friends!

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