Little man Clark is 11 months old now. That gives me less than a month to plan his first big birthday bash. I've got so much to do and so little time. I need to reserve a petting zoo, order all of the moon bounces, hire a celebrity to make a guest appearance, take out a loan so I can put together fabulous party favors for guests, buy a pony, reserve the dunking booth, and install an inground pool so I can use floating ice sculptures.
My plans are simple. Clark will have his own mini cake and his guests all get to go home with a party hat and a belly full of hamburger and cake. It's going to be great. Watching Clark stuff his face with cake is going to be hilarious because it will be the very first time in his life he would have ever tasted anything sweet. He's never tasted chocolate or any kind of candy or dessert in his little lifetime. My family is flabbergasted and thinks I'm crazy because of this (and also because sometimes I stick Clark in dark closets and shut the door so he will take naps). I have very little self discipline when it comes to dessert, and my mom claims that when I was a wee little tot I used to reach my hand out and demand candy (pronounced cay-ney), so it just amazes them that I have the discipline to keep Clark away from it. I will most certainly film this event and share it with the world.
Dadgum, its so hard to believe he is 11 months old. So much has happened during the last month that I'm bound to forget something great, but I'm going to try. I know I've said this before, like 10 other times, but this month was by far the best. Something clicked in Clark this month and all of a sudden he started doing things that completely surpassed my expectations for him at this point in his life. It all started when he began to point to or even go get things that I would say. For example, I could say, "Clark, where's your book? Where's your shoe? Where's your deer?" And he would look around the room, locate the random object, and then bring it to me. Genius. Well, he never actually gets the deer head off the wall and brings it to me, but he points and smiles at it. I was so amazed he understood the words I was saying that I kind of started expanding the list one by one, and now he can do things I ask him to like shut the door, put the toy in the basket, pet (or brutally beat) Jake, or brush his hair. Seriously, he gets his hairbrush and brushes his own hair. Again, genius baby.
My favorite thing he does right now is give high fives. His Aunt Bek and Uncle The Ryan taught him this one night while I was at a Christmas party, and the next day he was dishing out high fives like it was his calling in life. He expects much praise after each high five and smiles uncontrollably each time. Its cute. We've also taught him lots of tricks that he's happy to show off at any moment. When we ask him to dance, he sways from side to side and sometimes picks his feet up in process. Cute. When we say "bouncy bouncy" he squats up and down. So cute. When we say "Touchdown!" he raises his arms above his head. This is cute squared. And he likes to clap, wave bye bye, and touch his ears whenever we ask him to. Another freaking cute thing he does is say "uh oh" when he drops things. Except it sounds more like "oh oh." I just said the word cute five times in one paragraph. Clearly I lack some essential creative writing skills.
He's also started doing some peculiar little things that honestly makes me think he's intentionally trying to be cute. Dang, there's that word again. Why else would he sit on his butt on the floor and just spin around in circles for no reason? Or why else would he bury his face in his monkey in pure delight every single time he sees it?
I have got to stop taking these pictures. Its getting weird.
Another big development I've come to realize is that Clark the Shark Tank is definitely starting the process of talking. He talks with a purpose now and is starting to make his own words for certain objects. Of course it is babble and completely uninterpretable jibberish, but every time he looks at a book he says "bap." Don't know why, but it is what it is. It completely makes sense to him. Sometimes he will make a word-type sound, and then look at me and do an over exaggerated nod and wait for me to respond. I'm just going to say it...it is really cute.
Some random facts: He HATES getting his face washed. He makes a huge mess every single time he eats. He has a new tooth in the back of his mouth that is sharp as a nail and is the product of many short naps and waking up in the middle of the night. He toddles everywhere he goes now. Oh my word, does that mean he's a toddler? Ding dang, that came faster than I wanted it to. He walks about 95% of the day and he's pretty good at it now. He pants like a dog sometimes and smacks his lips a lot. He got to spend an entire week with family and friends over Thanksgiving while his dad, uncle and grandfather went on their manly hunting trip to Texas. He LOVES red velvet cake yogurt. He likes to stack things. He puts his shoes on top of his feet to tell me wants them on. He won't sit in the bathtub anymore; he has to be standing the whole time. He doesn't like being fed anymore. When I do feed him pureed food, it is imperative that he is completely distracted by something or he will not open his mouth. Sometimes when we are in his room playing, I shut the door and turn the lights off so it is pitch black in his room. No matter where he is in the room, he makes his way towards me and lays his head on my lap and I savor the very short lived tender moment. He's not a big fan of sitting still. He poops about three or four times a day. He LOVES playing rough with Aaron. Aaron throws him up in the air and he shrieks. Its cute. Yes, I said it again. He got to experience the Hattiesburg Zoo with his Aunt Audge over Thanksgiving break and had a big time. He loves to swing and smiles like a goober the whole time. Being outside is an instant band-aid for the Shark Tank. When he hits his head, which happens no less than 35 times per day, all you have to do is take him outside and he is instantly content again. Clark the Shark loves him some Jake the Snake. He still eats a boatload of food and we have yet to find something he won't eat. He finally mastered the sippy cup but only with water in it. He hasn't grown out of the stage where everything within reach must enter his mouth. He is still obsessed with the fireplace and tries to get in it about 650 times every day. And also the toilet.
At the end of this month, Aaron and I are going to leave Clark for the first time ever to go to Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl. He's staying with Aaron's parents for two nights, so I am completely confident he's going to have a blast. I do, however, have a lot of anticipated sympathy for the Rice's because Clark is going to completely wear them out. I just don't think they know what they agreed to. But I am so flippin' excited about our little weekend getaway because I get to see my Bulldawgs play, I get 16 or more uninterrupted hours in the car with Arnie, hopefully I get to see Megan, my roomie, Aaron and I get to celebrate New Years Eve together in a new city, and I'm going to sleep in until at least 9 a.m. It sounds wonderful doesn't it?
Obviously I could keep rambling on and on but that wouldn't benefit anybody so I'm going to cut myself off here. This is going to be one busy month for the Aaron Rice clan, so please keep us in your prayers. Aaron is finishing up exams and will be getting ready to start his very last semester of law school ever. Praise the Lord. He's not around very much these days but he's keeping a good attitude. Bless his soul. Clark's next update will be epic because we would have survived an entire year of this thing called parenthood. I think we are going to celebrate the same way Haley and Dan did and take ourselves out to dinner after the birthday party.
Check out Clark's new kicks.
I'm going to continue on with the December Photo Project and pat myself on the back for staying committed to it so far and even posting a Clark update. Rock on, Kelly.
Will somebody please come over and clean my house, do my laundry, change a diaper or two, fix Aaron and I a healthy dinner, and let me lay around in my pajamas on the couch and do nothing? That would be awesome.