I realized it's been a while since I shared an update on the boys' progress. AJ and MJ are now 13 months old. They are both proficient walkers these days and are working their way up to running. Since their first birthday, they have been going to The Lit.tle Gym every Saturday morning, and it's been a lot of fun watching their progress there in the "Birds" class. They have become more adventurous in what they are willing to try, and AJ in particular has become more outgoing. We see many of the same fellow students and parents every week, too, and that's fun.
We were able to successfully get the boys off their pacis with minimal difficulty. As I'd suspected she would be, our nanny was totally on board with our plan to eliminate the pacifiers. When I approached her about it, she told me that she actually rarely gave the boys a pacifier except at naptime in any event. Starting on the Friday after my post asking for advice about how to get rid of the pacifiers, she put the boys down for nap without their pacis in the morning and in the afternoon. She said that they cried a little more than usual before falling asleep, but not excessively.
Because they had been able to fall asleep for nap without their pacis, MM and I decided to put them to bed that night without them as well. They were able to fall asleep without much difficulty, and neither child has taken a pacifier since. So it's now been a little over a week with no pacifier use, and the only small difference we've noticed is that MJ is chewing on a lot more things than he used to. (Because he used to often have his paci in his mouth.)
In hearing stories from other friends who had to eliminate the paci at older ages, I am actually pretty glad that we decided to do this now instead of waiting. Maybe if MJ could talk, he would ask for the paci, but he can't communicate at that level yet, so he hasn't. And they are both so young that I think they've mostly forgotten about them at this point.
In addition to walking and giving up the pacis, MJ is working on talking more. He already says "Mama" very clearly. He also says "goggy" for "doggy" and "Da" for "Dada." He makes a few other word sounds, but nothing that we have been able to identify clearly as meaning anything specific. (He had started to say "Ba" for "bottle" a week or so before we weaned them off bottles, just after their birthday, but stopped saying that after the bottles stopped being offered.)
MJ also signs "more" and raises his hands for "all done" and also to be picked up. MM has taught both boys to give "high fives." MJ can now wave "bye-bye" also.
AJ vocalizes quite a bit but does not clearly say any words. The one thing he says a lot is "uh-DA," which seems to be used to indicate something. . . maybe meaning something like "look at that!", although that's not entirely clear. AJ understands a lot of words that we say, based on his reactions to them, but when you try to get him to repeat them or to sign them, he just smiles.
Both boys are pretty good eaters. One challenge in feeding them is that poor AJ still has NO teeth, at 13 months of age! Neither of the boys will eat pureed meat in any form--I have tried several, both store-bought and homemade--so that makes getting them enough protein a challenge. I have tried giving them tofu (fail), eggs (scrambled--ok, hard-boiled--fail), tuna (fail), and quinoa (fail). They get most of their protein from yogurt and cheese currently.
(I could feed MJ small bits of meat because he has six teeth, but that wouldn't be safe for AJ, and he gets VERY upset if he sees his brother eating something he didn't get.)
Interestingly, neither of my sons seems to like any type of processed food very much. They haven't had much of that type of food--just some Ger.ber organics, Ella's Kitchen and the like--but what they've had, by and large, they haven't liked. They will eat most foods if they are whole foods prepared fresh; they have even eaten roasted asparagus and Brussels sprouts. This is in stark contrast to their father, whose daily diet is composed of mostly processed "foods."
Both the boys drink hormone-free cows' milk from their sippy cups with no problems. We are trying to work on improving their proficiency with drinking from various types of straws, with mixed results. They do enjoy their milk.
Overall, they are just very busy and happy, and a lot of fun. Apart from a few colds, they have been very healthy. AJ has had two ear infections in the past few months, as I mentioned in my post about the pacifiers, so we are mildly concerned about that and the possible effects on his speech development, but at this point, I think it's too early to be more than mildly concerned.
In other news. . . I have had two job interviews over the past couple of weeks. I thought one went very well, and I am optimistic that it may result in a job offer. . .but it is with a government agency, so the process is slow, plus it would be a paycut. I think the lower pay would be worthwhile for better working conditions and more job satisfaction, though.
I also saw another job opening this week for which I believe I am qualified and plan to submit my application and resume. I have come to believe that my current job is a large source of my stress. It's really not worth devoting an entire post to that subject; suffice it to say that, for me, as for most people, work takes up the bulk of my waking hours, and I do not find my current job fulfilling. It's one thing to be away from your children all day doing something you enjoy and feel is worthwhile; it's another thing to be away from your children all day doing something you find soul-sucking solely for the money.
Additionally, I do not like my employer, and although I earn a pretty good salary, the benefits are crappy to non-existent (I opt out of their health insurance because my portion of the premiums is so high; I get no sick leave and no vacation; they don't match employee 401(k) contributions). In addition, my firm has all the features that most lawyers dislike about private law firms. I would really like to leave this job before the end of this year, if at all possible. The job market in my area seems to be actually not too bad for experienced attorneys, so I think that it will be possible.
I am also on a diet. (I am following an eating plan I've done once before with the success, the one found in this book.) I decided to take this on for a few reasons. The first and most obvious is that I need to lose weight. (har har). Second, even though I think I need to exercise even more than I need to change my eating habits, I have not had a lot of success finding ways to fit that into my schedule over the past year or so. Third, I often feel that many of the things in my daily life are out of my control. I figured that my eating is one thing I CAN control, should I choose to do so.
I am starting Day 4 of this eating plan, and so far it has been pretty easy to follow. I have had a couple of headaches, but that is pretty typical the first few days. I am hopeful that I am past the worst of that now.
That is pretty much the best of what's going on in a nutshell. I am VERY glad it's Friday (as usual) . . .even though I have to take the boys to The Lit.tle Gym solo tomorrow due to MM's having to attend an all-day traffic school (poor guy). My in-laws will be coming over before lunchtime to help me out in the afternoon, and I get to have brunch with my BFF on Sunday; yea!
Have a great weekend.