Almost a year! Whoo!
Caleb now crawls with his stomach off the floor all the time, though he does tend to slide his knees rather than bothering to pick them up off the tile when he's wearing pants (which is most of the time, now that it's winter and the tile is quite cold). He loves standing up and is very good at sidling along the edge of the couch or coffee table. He particularly likes chasing down Aiden now as long as it doesn't take him too long to catch up. He loves doing whatever Aiden is doing, and is always trying to "share" with his big brother (i.e. take things from him). Aiden, of course, does the same thing back. Luckily, they are learning to actually share with each other, and Aiden is starting to enjoy teaching Caleb how to do things (mostly how to drum).
There were a couple days when Caleb refused to take a morning nap, but he's gone back to taking it again now, which I am ecstatic about, as not taking it made him quite grumpy. We started a couple days ago (again) with not nursing him to sleep. He's doing fine with falling asleep for naps and bedtime, but is not liking it so much when he wakes up in the middle of the night. Our poor neighbors are getting to listen to lots of crying in the middle of the night. It was slightly shorter last night than the night before though, so I think things are improving. Hopefully by the end of the week maybe he will be sleeping all night (or putting himself back to sleep at midnight or 3AM or whenever he happens to wake up). Since I'm not catering to Caleb's every whim as he tries to fall asleep anymore and am letting him cry it out, I've decided to do the same (again) for Aiden, who had gotten to a point of calling/crying for one or the other parent at least four times after we left his room post-bedtime-routine, asking for water or another song or his hat on or a random stuffed animal or, most often, nothing at all ("I need something." "What do you need?" "Um. Nothing."). So I am refusing to go back in his room now. He was very distraught about it last night, though it only took ten or fifteen minutes before he went to sleep. Hopefully tonight will be better.
Caleb adores eating anything sugary and will get quite distraught if it runs out once you start feeding it to him, even if he's overly full already. He goes through phases (undoubtedly related to teething) where he only wants food he can chew a lot, or where he's very picky about what he'll eat, or where he'll eat as much food as you give him, putting away ridiculously large amounts into his small little tummy, or where he doesn't particularly want to eat much of anything at all. Aiden was never quite so discerning with regards to food, and I am now realizing just how lucky I was when it came to feeding him. Not that Caleb is all that bad about eating either, he's usually a good eater and will usually eat what I give him. He has recently discovered, however, that throwing food on the floor is fun. Also, he is starting to want a utensil to play with while I'm feeding him (if it's something he can't eat with just his hands), and will grab at the one I'm using, which results in lots of spills, which he also finds quite interesting. He's finally figured out how to drink from a straw, which I'm a fan of, as our most spill-proof sippy cups (that I like to carry in my purse) have straws.
He has figured out how to put things in other things, and so I got out our ball-popper toy that shoots balls out the top via a fan, and he's been enjoying putting the balls back in after they fly all over the room. Now I just need to teach him how to press the button to make it go by himself, and convince Aiden to not steal the whole thing from him, and we'll be good to go. He also loves taking things out, which is not so fun for me with Aiden's wooden puzzles as Caleb loves tipping all the pieces out and carting them around the house with him as he crawls around. We are back to the stage of me lying on the floor multiple times a day trying to reach my hand under the couch to fetch whatever toys or pieces of toys have rolled/been pushed under there. At least we haven't entered the LEGO phase yet, my feet are not looking forward to that. The boys do quite like playing with their blocks though. Aiden has gotten rather good at building decent-sized towers before he knocks them over, and Caleb loves to knock the blocks over as soon as one is on top of another, and then picks them up and chews on them.
Caleb loves, loves, loves sticking things in his mouth that he's not supposed to eat. Particular favorites of his are paper (no Christmas presents waiting under the tree at our house this year, they're all up out of reach), sand (always fun times when we go to the playground, and several days after with his diapers), grass, leaves, paper, rocks, sticks, paper...and yet he spat out a delicious avocado I tried to feed him the other day. I am mystified as to how sand and leaves and paper are apparently delicious and yet an avocado is not. At least he ate the avocado eventually (once I mixed in some salt and lemon juice and mayonnaise and made it into a sort of guacamole).
He also loves playing with open appliances, like the fridge, freezer, and dishwasher. We make sure he is contained elsewhere whenever we have to open the oven, as he's quite speedy at crawling over to large open doors and reaching his little hands in before you even realize he's there. He likes pulling things out of the door of the fridge, and out of the utensil holder in the dishwasher. He also likes pulling things down off the pantry shelves whenever it's open. I'm amazed he hasn't broken his foot yet from pulling cans down on it (amazingly, they've all missed hitting him on the way down so far). Doing dishes is infinitely easier when he's napping. He also likes sticking his hand in any dripped water on the dishwasher door when it's open, and then licking it off his hand. Caleb insists now on having a wet paper towel of his own whenever I'm cleaning him off post-meals with one. He sticks his in his mouth and sucks the water out of it while I wipe off his hands and face. He also likes ripping the paper towels apart and then trying to eat the small pieces.
Once we've gotten several days of good sleeping under our belts, we're going to start cutting out daytime nursing sessions, which he is not going to like, but hopefully it won't be too bad now that he can drink from a variety of cups and can have juice or whole milk instead.
While Caleb is busy trying to figure out basic things like blocks and balls, Aiden has entered the active questioning phase, and is constantly asking me "What's that look like?" (which means he wants to know what it is), after which he asks, "What kind of _____?" and occasionally he sneaks a "Why?" in there too. He also really likes saying, "Look at me, Mommy!" when he's doing something he's proud about, like standing on top of the arm of the couch, or jumping on the cushions, or running around really fast. He calls letters "numbers" and is starting to ask me what things say. He's getting better at counting, and knows when there's two of something now. He's getting more social and likes going to our ward park day every week and sharing his sand toys with the other kids. He actually talks to them too, now. He's still nervous about high places, and won't go down the tallest slides, but he'll climb up to them and look over the edge before going back down the stairs. He likes climbing the ladder at the playground. As he's interacting more with other kids, he's also discovering that other kids don't always have as nice of manners as he does, and he's been getting pushed off of things regularly lately, which results in a flurry of tears. Luckily kisses from Mommy still seem to heal most of his hurts, both emotional and physical. He likes rehashing sad/scary things that have happened to him, and frequently mentions things that happened months and months ago.
Mike's been really busy lately with work, photography, and callings, and I've had a nasty cold or something for a little over a week now, and somehow Christmas has snuck up on us without me being terribly prepared. We got our tree up and decorated at the beginning of the month, but I think most of our presents for our little family will end up being Three Kings Day presents rather than Christmas presents.
I hope you're all having a fabulous holiday season.